Eff People

Eff people who think they know who you are, people who believe they can predict your fulcrum. Fuck people who try to maintain some semblance of control over their lives though ordinary measures, through conditional control of their life circumstances.

You introduce an element of chaos. I shall not allow this.

You’re living in a Fantasy world.

Women and children first
I have seen too much. I have seen enough.

Preparing for the New Year

I’ve got an early start on the New Year and I have high hopes for some serious progress. Here’s this list (thus far) of a few things I hope to accomplish throughout the 2013. I take it for granted I want to stay sane, stay on meds, do all those healthy things that are already a given. I’ve taken a different approach with this list than just “goals” and made it more about personal fulfillment and self actualization of the mind, body, spirit and heart.

  1. Take a Figure Drawing Class — As my first step toward becoming an actualized visual artist, I’m going to take a drawing class to gain some serious skills that I’ve never acquired.
  2. Hike a 14er — Living in Colorado has its advantages, and one of them is the great outdoors. I’ll be accepting the challenge to finally hike a 14,000 foot mountain, but I reserve the right to not “scramble” or take the “technical” routes to the top.
  3. Get a puppy — I miss the companionship of Zoey so much. This year will mark five years, and I hope it is finally time to get a new dog to warm the home and my heart.
  4. Take a REAL vacation — You heard it here, first, folks. I plan on taking a real vacation, not a stay-cation. Those three weeks away from work this year spent in psychosis don’t count either. I want to travel with a planned destination and a budget and a timeline.
  5. Get published — This may be my most important personal aspiration for the year. I’ve got a couple of articles started and one fully edited, ready for submission. This will be my year to break into print.
  6. Find a new swank hangout — With all the local bars closing in Denver, especially those with Historical importance, I’ve got to find a new place to swill some rum and cokes. Too many jock/sports bars are opening along with chain bars. It’s time for something new.
  7. Create a wilderness art installation — Perhaps my most grand aspiration, to install something in the wilderness for people to find randomly. Certainly I’ll document it all, as it will take some time.

As it goes without saying, I am really excited to put wheels on this and set it into motion. Keep posted for exciting updates.

Bad Memory

I have a bad memory, not to mention that my memory is poor as well.

Unfortunately, since my psychosis, my memory only seems to serve up the worst leaving no room for the new. I was also so inundated by sensory experience (and extensive auditory hallucinations) I could hardly pay attention to what was happening around me, outside of myself; these events were among the first to bypass my memory altogether.

As the psychosis subsided, I started to notice an inability to focus or concentrate. Conceptual information never entered into my memory, for it simply didn’t exist. As the side effects from the medications wore off, I find now that my memory simply doesn’t work like it once did, before all of this happened. It seems the associations I make now all refer back to that shattered space.

Be patient and forgiving of those with schizophrenia and psychosis — their memory may be affected by any number of things, to include psychic trauma, overwhelming symptoms, sedating medications, changing brain chemistry, and that one thing that gets us all in the end. Age.

Content and Context

Option G
Artist Option G, Electric Daisy

My voices are getting worse. Not as in volume or intensity, per se, but on content. I constantly feel as though my afterlife is at stake if I fail to step outside for a smoke, pour the sugar before I pour the coffee, or sit for long periods of time. Some of this may sound OCD-like, but it’s not. I do not feel a compulsion to act a certain way, nor do I do anything different than what I normally do. Problem is, when I follow their lead, they are not happy either and I end up looking like a fool doing all sorts of stupid shit like walking up to a door and walking away or talking to myself. I wish I could describe their content, but without the context of my experience, it all seems very benign.

Writers Block

I am suffering from a terrible writer’s block that seems to have started a month ago, perhaps even longer. Some how I need to keep the voice of the inner critic muffled.

I am in the process of working through The Artists Way, and I suspect I’ll be trying to write more as I go through each week. One of my goals is to make more of this blog — to fill in some gaps. Thus far it has been a progressive time line and though the posts have stopped, the story has not. Focus and inspiration, these are my mates.

Face to Face With the Stigma

Two issues here: one – a lack of family intervention, and two – the stigma of the schizophrenic diagnosis.

I’ve been struggling lately with the lack of support demonstrated by my family during my illness. I’m not certain if my family was in denial or if they were simply unaware of how debilitating this illness is, but I am heartbroken that they didn’t intervene at all. More than a year and half went by before I began to feel any real relief of symptoms, thanks to medication. Were it not for that and my own drive to survive, I would not be functional today. I may not be here at all.

I went from a high-functioning normal 37 year old with no prior problems to a homeless woman, living on my mother’s sofa refusing to shower for three weeks. My family now says they knew it was schizophrenia because they were able to research it on the internet based on my self-reported symptoms, and yet at the same time my mother refuses to admit now that I have this diagnosis. She continues to call what happened “a nervous breakdown” and is very concerned with appearances.

Thinking About Homelessness

Homelessness is not something I ever want to experience again. Now I spend a lot of time planning what I would do if I were to find myself in the same situation.

I am surviving on a full-time living stipend through AmeriCorps. In exchange for 35 hours of my week, I get $800. This, combined with loans from graduate school have kept me afloat. I, however, don’t want to be further in debt and am dropping out of academics in favor of a more manageable future (I hope). This, however, creates a predicament: that small stipend is not enough to pay both my rent and my auto payment. If I don’t get a job soon, I will have to choose one above the other. I am already one month behind on the car note.

Since my family is also in dire straits from the economy, there are no other support options for me. My oldest brother, Scott, and his three kids are living with my mother in her two bedroom apartment. This is where my other brother, Matt, and I were living before we got our current place. Seven people in a 1200 sq ft apartment with psychosis proved unmanageable for me.

Living in Colorado there are plenty of campgrounds. Come winter, the prospects are more dismal. I have about 30 days to pull a rabbit out of the hat.