Real Lonely

I’ve been alone so long I cant really think of what it is like to have a mate, or friends even. I went to Denver recently to visit my family, and that helped, but I am really feeling my isolation, especially with the restrictions of COVID.

It has been a long time since I’ve had anyone interested in me, anyone to care enough to ask what matters, how I am day to day. I miss checking in with someone, having a few words just to keep on track.

When I was in my 20s I started dating a man in his 50s and he wasn’t so much interested in my emotional feels. I liked getting intimate through talking, saying “You matter to me.” Don’t get me wrong, we had good conversations, they just weren’t emotional. I think it was then that I began to shut down. Then I was raped in my early 30s. That really shut me down.

It wasn’t just the trauma, it was the stigma that was so hard to deal with. I didn’t feel I could confide in anyone and I had to keep my experiences a secret. I don’t feel so much that way today, but even the mere mention of having been raped will change the tenor of a conversation. I was so suicidal for so long, and the weird thing is that I think it was mostly a spiritual hit, though it was also physical and emotional violence.

I guess I feel the same about schizophrenia–it is the stigma that keeps me silent. That and the general lack of understanding. Though all of my close friends and family know, they don’t relate to my struggle. My best friend does, and she’s a treasure. I miss her since we’ve moved so far apart.

As I’ve aged I feel I really need a companion. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life. I’ve squandered time, money, love. I’ve wasted effort. What am I doing? Where am I going? What do I want from my life? Even my spiritual studies have waned and lost their meaning. I want to be in the city again, I think. If I could move now, I would. Sometimes maybe just being in the right place helps. I miss Denver. I miss my hometown. And moving back is going to be such a huge effort.

Maybe I’ll find love. Maybe if I had love I would be happy where I am, in this house, in this small, rural backwards Trump town. I was going to go to the gay church to try and find some progressive friends, but COIVD has put the kibosh on that. Now it is just me and mom, and mom is dying. I feel like I am trying to claw my way outta hell and nothing is moving fast enough.

self-isolation versus social distancing

Well, my arm is getting better, but is still not healed. I can type from my recliner with my arm supported. I’ve been isolated because of my broken arm for about 14 weeks now. I’ve been able to drive recently, using one arm. I couldn’t before because the cast was in the way and I now have a brace that allows more freedom of movement.

All of this isolation had me in a very dark place in January and February. I started to come out of it late February with increased sunshine and increased meds. I finally get well enough to go out and the Corona virus self-quarantine begins.

I moved in November and I haven’t had an opportunity to create a real routine for myself. I broke my arm just after we got unpacked in December. I still have a room full of boxes I plan on going through later. Not having my usual coping mechanisms in place, like writing, I’ve really struggled with how to keep myself occupied. I told my orthopedic doctor I was certain I would end up psychotic, and I did. Being psychotic with no way to cope has got to be the worst hell. I suffered through for a while as my doctor quit and then my clinic dropped my insurance. I finally found a new clinic but had to wait a month for an appointment. When things started getting more and more bleak, I called for a “crisis” appointment. Luckily, they were able to fit me in.

My intake was two hours long. I went through my entire mental health history in detail, but I found it suprising they never asked if I heard voices. When I mentioned it, my psychiatric nurse seemed surprised. I am not sure what the average medical person is trained on when they are taught about schizophrenia and shizoaffective disorders. They shouldn’t be supposed caught off-gaurd though, when you say you hallucinate.

I am so thankful that the sun is out and I am feeling better.

A Beer a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Enjoying my newfound wellness, a reprieve after the heavy pressure of psychosis. I’ve taken to going out a lot and enjoying the summer months (despite the heat). A beer, yes, tastes better in the hot afternoon. I go out to socialize and get my mind off my narrow, myopic indoor self, the one who is bored in the face of the vast internet where anything can be found within a few clicks. I just sit there, staring at the screen, wasting hours upon hours doing nothing much at all. My computer is to me what television is to my mother, the attention grabber that isn’t very important after all.

I’ve decided to keep track of my time using a spiral-bound day planner, and when I notice a chunk of time starting to be etched out doing nothing, I start finding something for myself to do. Ergo–the blog today.

Going out alone in your 40s as a single woman is a lot different than going out alone in your 20s or 30s — something I couldn’t stand then, but should have. In my youth it seemed like every hairy, wrinkled old man would hit on me and park himself next to me, lording over me his stale pheromones and rank booze sweat. In my 40s the men largely consider me a fixture and will talk openly with each other around me, so I get the man’s perspective on everything, for better or for worse. If they get exceptionally frank, one will typically buy me a drink, perhaps in hopes I’ll forget about their raunchiness.

When they inquire about me, I lie about my working status and extend the last date on my resume, saying I am still working my last job (this being the most fresh in my mind); I’m a technical writer working as a project manager. This earns me some street cred and very few questions about what I do day to day. No one wants to be in the shadow of a PM. I feel guilty admitting to being on disability, especially drinking, where I might earn the ire of the working man for using government money to fund my carousing.

I don’t lie about being in school, working on my Master’s in Education. That has sparked a few conversations. Add to it that, come January, I’ll be working on a technical certificate from a reputable local college, I’ll have more to talk about.

I don’t know much about politics. My memory has never served me for political points, nuances, lies, and history. I get pissed off before I can make my point and I just let it roll over me. I know where I stand, and I don’t need convincing or cajoling to alter and amend my views. As far as bar conversation goes, then, not speaking about work, kids, or politics cuts away the meat of what is said in conversation in which I find myself participating, so I sit and enjoy the revelry around me and simply laugh when appropriate.

 

Schedules, No Meeting Times Available

I’ve been trying to get myself into a routine, one that I can follow daily, to feel as though I have covered all the bases and perhaps even made some progress. No wait, that last part is missing. I haven’t been tracking my progress on anything.

Wake up. Walk dogs. Drink coffee, smoke. Take a long walk with the dog. After that the schedule slips and each day it changes. Run errands may come next. Sometimes it is Make Dr. appointment. Whatever happens next, however, is sure to throw me off kilter. I get caught up in hearing. I get side-tracked by taking care of myself: Shower. Eat. I have a lot of time on my hands, so I decided this past Friday to exercise and take a five-mile walk to and from the park. I wasn’t physically ready for that and I ended up limping the last quarter-mile home; with a Charlie Horse in the calf, I’m out of commission for a nearly a week. Back off track. No routine, no schedule.

With too much time on my hands and nothing to interest me, I decided to alter my routine another way and get really high while I talked to voices before I went to bed. I don’t usually get high, but I had a small bud in the canister and it was enough for me to feel altered and relaxed enough to sit for a long time and have a chat. Mind you, I listen all the time, and I can’t help but hearing, but I had a special invitation from a manly spirit to get some spiritual business done. I stayed up until 3 am and all I remember are my two commitments to quit smoking: one by the end of this week, and another within three months. I don’t think either will happen.

Little spirits, I love you I love you

This morning, late morning, I decided to take myself out and get away from the house. On my way is my old place of employ, and I reminisced about the days when I used to work. Burger and fries later, I found myself at Bed Bath & Beyond shopping for some needed items, but I was too impatient for the broken register system to be fixed in order to check out. Leaving everything behind, I decided I can shop later. I have time, a lot of it. Being productive at work AND living a life — you realize how much extra time you have when you get a long weekend. It isn’t like that now for me. Being off work for nearly three years, and it seems I have no time for anything while having all the time in the world. I can’t even get my daily walk in. Its frustrating, but I guess that’s why I am on disability to begin with.

Write just before Go to bed. It is me trying to lay stake and claim the last bastion of hope for my sanity and self. Maybe I can make a schedule around my lingering dreams, my goals. Maybe I can tick off tasks and track my progress on something bigger than my day to day worries and troubles.

 

2015 in Review

2015 was a good year in some ways, and not so hot in others. In 2015 I saw a new diagnosis and with it, a new set of medications that actually help. I’ve been diagnosed as Bipolar I Affective disorder, which (for me) looks like a series of psychotic breaks with mania: delusions, hallucinations, disorientation. Although the medicines haven’t touched the audibles (note: auditory hallucinations) the Pop! Pop! Pop! of psychosis — which is the most destructive — has been allayed, so I’ve felt a sort of stability only hearing and not being driven mad by the intensity of sudden and frequent breaks from reality.

I closed my Twitter account because the voices are more conversational now, telling stories and figuring out mysteries, in a manner that isn’t really conducive to convey as a string of single tweets. Tweeting what I heard was helpful for me at a time in my life, and for those who were reading me, i think it helped them understand, too, that hearing hallucinations is different than they’ve expected – even the seasoned veteran doctors signed on to see and “hear” my tweets. I thank you for that.

I haven’t worked since March or April of 2014 and I haven’t been writing, here or otherwise. It’s a good habit that has fallen by the wayside that I think I’ll pick up again in the coming year. Retiring this blog has been a thought of mine on more than one occasion, but there is so much of me and so much information I would hate to idle. This year may see additional posts here. I am also thinking of starting a new blog about my meditative and spiritual interests.

Finally, I think I am going to give up my formal domain and simply use the free offering here on WordPress, because It seems I never have enough money when domain registration comes around, leaving my blog locked in limbo for a while. I hate that.

What next?

I don’t know. It is a lot of random thoughts of my trying to sort and organize through the past year and this outward-facing material representation of where I am, this blog that has been with me through critical times in my life, helping me to capture and track some weird, terrifying, strange, and wonderful experiences. Plan to see more of me this year.

For now: Ta Ta and welcome to the New Year!

Holiday Reprieve and Repose

BuddhaWell, after my most recent insanity (Three-Fisted Punch), including a trip to the Kansas State Highway Sherriff’s Department and local hospital, totaling my car, and purchasing a travel trailer while delusional, I’ve managed to enjoy at least one holiday this season at home with relatively little drama and unplanned expense.

I’m at a loss for my most recent symptoms, which include blackouts and fainting spells – not at all a part of psychosis or schizoprenia. I’ve been seeing a neurologist and have had a battery of tests, including an electroencephalogram (EEG) for the head, an electrocardiogram (EKG) for the heart, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the brain. I’m thankful that I have insurance at this time, but this is short-lived because through this last upheaval I managed to quit my job as well.

So, now unemployed, I’m left wondering what comes next. For now I think I can manage through January (maybe even February) without a job, but I need health coverage and some added stability with my sanity. Being delusional every six months has proven to be very destructive and costly.

On an up note, I am happy to be safe at home, warm and fed, drinking a spot of coffee and enjoying the company of my ever-loving cats.

Storm Prose

She sat dismayed, staring out the window, shadows cast from stars and steeples. Dismayed with November, and who was to say she would not remember gazing at the shades of Southern-facing slopes in the distance, dancing in the sky in the way only mountains sway, slopping and dipping, turning and finishing with a snap in the sky. The source of her dismay was not the dismal scent of stereophonic traffic, it was the stammering and stuttering laughter, a nervous twitter of excitement, her excitement at the candid expression.

2008