You! Stop It RIGHT NOW: ADHD meds and Psychosis

Alright, everyone STOP.

I found something to rag on already? Damn, it must be a divine plan for me to come back to this blog.

I need to stop this shit before it gets out of hand. I can’t even get through ten posts on my reader on WordPress without seeing: “ADHD medication may increase the risk of psychosis”. And I can’t read one fucking article related to that without getting this bullshit statistic of “rates of ADHD have increased by *enter bullshit number* within the last year”.

Let’s tackle this one stupid point at a time.

First of all, let’s review: The ADHD medications which are being talked about are stimulants. They are not, and let me repeat this, THEY ARE NOT CLEARED FOR NOR RESEARCHED FOR CHILDREN CONSUMPTION, and yet they are given to toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers, and people under 25. What do all those age brackets have in common? Their brains are still developing.

Some idiot doctor is quoted in this article saying “We compared amphetamines [Adderall and Vyvanse] to people who were prescribed methylphenidates [Ritalin and Concerta]. We found that the Adderall type drugs had an increased risk of psychosis”.

Wow, you guys! Really? Is that what you found? And did something similar happen when you asked people to mainline some meth? Bump some cocaine twice a day? And moreover, did you ask a thirteen year old to do it?

Someone please just take a bat to my fucking head so I don’t have to read this nonsense anymore. No one should be surprised that a type of amphetamine that has a very similar chemical structure to illegal amphetamines is causing something illegal amphetamines cause in otherwise healthy people quite fucking often.

If anything they need to take this opportunity to learn from this. They already fucked up multitudes of people’s lives. So do us all a favor. Do something you should have been doing from the beginning. Scan the brains of your patients before you put them on this shitty medication and scan their brains afterwards, when they decent into brutal, prescription induced psychosis, and publish the results. And tell us exactly what these psychiatric medications are changing in our brains.

But you won’t do that. That would harm your fucking business.

Now, obviously, not everyone experiences this side-effect. Don’t get fooled–that does not mean the structure of your brain doesn’t change. Let me share an article I posted on my job’s facebook page. And let’s really, really talk about this.

This article here is posted on Mad In America. It’s essentially an interview with a man who was on psychiatric medication, anti-depressants, and has his doctorate now, in medicine, and doing research on behalf of medication withdrawal. It was found in some studies that as much as 1/40th of a general starting dose of an antidepressant immediately effects every serotonin synapse, 70% of which are in your gut.

So let’s think about that. I was started out on 10mg on my antidepressant back in the day. 1/40th of that is .25. .25mg of that antidepressant would have had an immediate effect on me. Would I feel it? Probably not. But your body and your cells and your synapses would. And over time, eventually you would too.

Adderall is an amphetamine and therefore directly effects serotonin levels. The recommended starting dose of Adderall for adults is 30mg. Not quite sure how they came up with starting dose for anyone other than adults considering it’s never been researched on children.

.75mg of Adderall will have an immediate effect on your system. Think about that.

We have absolutely ZERO clue as to what any of these psychotropic medications do to our brains. That’s not me hating on the system, that, my friends, is simply a fact. The research is biased, often perpetrated by bribed researchers, and the media is so inept at reporting truth half of what the studies actually say are never reported. Don’t believe me? If you’re in college, take your university library card, get on the database, and go read some real journals. Trust me, if you understand statistics a lot of these studies will ultimately disappoint you.

On a child, on an underdeveloped brain, even half of 30mg is going to have a lasting effect on them.

This idea that ADHD is rising is also bullshit. Why? Firstly, doctors get paid to prescribe these medications. They get little kick backs from pharmaceutical companies. So, if you come in with your child who has a few tantrums a day and has trouble sitting in school, that doctor isn’t going to ask you what the nature of the classroom is or the nature of the household (i.e, whether or not the child is being stimulated in school, whether or not there’s enough physical activity, whether or not the child’s diet is overdosed with sugar, whether or not the child is glued to electronic devices, whether or not your parenting just sucks ass).

What this is doing is invalidating the people who really do have deficits in their attention. You could go in a doctor’s office and say you’re having trouble focusing and walk out with a fucking Adderall prescription.

Recesses are being taken out of schools or the time outside is being shortened. You think that’s not going to affect a child? Even though I was silent throughout my school years, when it was raining and we weren’t allowed to go outside I got fucking restless. Why? Because I was a fucking kid. That’s why.

I feel bad for the children who really can’t focus, who literally spend every day and every night fighting their brains, trying to finish a paragraph in a book they’re assigned to read. While their classmates talk out of turn one time and are suddenly given a prescription.

Then everyone wonders why, when that child turns 13, she has a psychotic break.

For example, I have attention problems. I start things and I don’t finish them. I space out when people are talking and then randomly blurt something. I’m either very interested in one thing, or interested in nothing. But I function like every other person. I love school, and learning, and my attention issues have never been a problem for me, even as a child. I didn’t grow up with the t.v on every second, with a smart phone in my hand, eating freaking Frosted Flakes with extra sugar. Whenever a psychiatrist asks me if I have attention problems I always say no because I’m not going get punched with a label I don’t need when there are people out there who literally have breakdowns because they can’t focus.

Everyone STOP this MASS HYSTERIA. And think CRITICALLY. Please don’t believe everything you read–including me. Go research for yourself.

And stop trying to find quick fixes for every little hiccup in your life. Because quick fixes don’t exist.

Two Years of What-The-Fuck

It’s pretty ironic that a few weeks ago I made a post on here saying I wouldn’t be on here for a while and instead of leaving I’ve been pulled back towards this site.

It’s been a long road. I was skimming through some of my older posts and having a laugh at not only the content, my aggressive nature which quite obviously came through in biting satirical wit, but also the comments and the beautiful souls I’ve met through this blog.

One person commented: “Are you mentally stable?”

If you have to ask that question, the answer is probably no. And I saw how many posts I wrote at 3am, 4am, 5am, and then came back the next day with either no sleep or two hours of sleep. I was busting my ass in Calculus and trying to find a job that wasn’t complete ass while simultaneously losing my mind. I’m pretty sure this blog helped me keep some kind of attachment to reality.

Then I ripped Alex Gorsky a new one (here) because there is no way in hell that man should have any kind of award in any kind of “humankindness” category. He’s a straight monster, and if I ever get the chance to meet him in person it’s going to take all of my strength not to spit in his fucking face. He hasn’t done anything that any other C.E.O of a major pharmaceutical company hasn’t done. The difference is he got caught. And I read about it. And that’s where the real danger for him is.

People ate that post up back in the day before I disabled the like button and couldn’t figure out how to get it back up, and it launched me into the blogsphere at a tremendous velocity. I became known for not only tearing apart pharmaceutical companies, but tearing apart anything and anyone who seemed to throw ethics out the window. And people who park in the red zone outside of my apartment. Fuck those people.

Where is this blog now? I have no fucking idea you guys. I basically recorded my decent into madness (I said that in some post a couple years ago) and the large gaps in between posts are indicative of me either being comatose in bed, in the hospital, or running the streets all hours of the night.

Those times consisted of a lot of weird shit. Like, weird shit. Like . . .like this:

Cat-Fish.

That isn’t even weird enough to really explain all the weirdness. I remember a lot of horrible dreams, traumatic dreams, all of which were caused by some unseen forces, dark forces, demons, which followed me around during the day, crowded my bed at night, whispered in my ears, fucked up my thoughts, intercepted them really, possessed people around me, and somehow I went to class and took notes and took exams and went to work and I guess I just sort of let my body work from muscle memory while my mind drifted into a different dimension.

At one point I remember being in hell, literal hell, and I was strapped to a torture board where some demons–I finally saw their true form, rather than the disguises they use here on Earth–turned their dial and stretched my limbs, trying to rip them from my body. That part was a dream, I’m pretty sure, but when I woke up they were still screaming at me, hissing at me, and I don’t remember much after that, just a lot of them screaming and cursing me, and they promised I would die.

One of these fucking things

Eventually I couldn’t keep up with the classes. Eventually I wasn’t picking up shifts at work, and inevitably, I stopped writing on this blog. The last hospital visit I had followed the Las Vegas shooting. Because those demons were after me, (and still are in all truth, that hasn’t gone away) they were hell bent on—

God it’s so much to explain. It’s so much to explain mini explosions detonate across my cortex when I think about it.

I believed I was here for a reason, on earth I mean, and I still believe I am. I believe everyone is. But for whatever reason this was heightened during this time, and I believed the safety of the human race essentially depended on me, and that was why so many dark forces had surrounded me–they knew what I knew, and they had to stop me.

They couldn’t physically touch me because I had the protection of my ancestors–that’s what I believed and still believe. So instead, they entered others around me. Strangers, friends, coworkers, and everywhere I went I felt attacked and unwelcome. I couldn’t tell anyone because 1) they’d think I was crazy and 2) they were all fucking in on it anyway.

So when the Vegas shooting happened, I immediately knew it happened because of me. I waited and waited and watched videos and theories and news stories, waiting for a motive to come out, and when nothing was found that only confirmed my belief: he’d been possessed and the shooting was a message to me, specifically, that they were coming for me. And that’s when they attacked my thoughts and I remember always feeling confused and drained of energy and I couldn’t sleep and I just wanted to die. I wanted to die and happened to mention my plan (I guess I didn’t really want to die anyway) and got the sheriffs called on me yet again.

I wasn’t in the hospital as long as people would expect. I have this problem. It’s called functionality.

She seems functional, albeit stressed.

Through all of this–and this built up over the course of a year, at least, maybe even two, of being out of my mind–I was still functional. I went to classes even though I had to drop them eventually. I went to work, some fucking how, and I wasn’t speaking strange or obviously disconnected from reality. I wasn’t walking down the street talking to myself or accusing people of things or anything. I was just . . . existing. A shell. My body moved, I responded to people when they spoke to me, and that was that–I was okay by mental health system standards.

And so the hospital just wanted to help me sleep. And that’s what they did. They gave me some Seroquel so I would sleep, waited for about a week, diagnosed me with Bipolar 1 this time, and tossed me to the county mental health system back in my town which gave other optional diagnoses (PTSD–which I’d already been diagnosed with, Schizoaffective–there’s a newbie, Psychosis NOS–okay?) no one ever came to a conclusion on, and then they outright rejected me. I didn’t last long enough in their system for them to conclude anything, really.

Now, the wonderful thing about all this is somehow it’s all worked out.

And the weird thing is now that I quit my medication in the worst fucking way possible, a way that almost cost me my life, I feel so much better. I still get confused by my thoughts often, but a lot of the time I feel wonderful, sparkly, like I’m connected to every inanimate and animate object on earth; sometimes I know what people are thinking, sometimes I know that they know that I’m connected to them.

I haven’t heard any voices since I abruptly stopped my medication–it’s been five months. That’s fucking unprecedented. I’ve been a conundrum in the mental health system since I was 5.

I’m back writing, and that’s a good fucking sign. Welcome to whatever the fuck this blog is now!

Perhaps I’ll find another C.E.O to drag through the dirt and hang by his/her ankles.

Career Shameer

It’s 10:44 in the morning. I got off of work two hours ago. I am sleep deprived from the last few days, and quite irritable. That’s the perfect time to belch out a post. Agreed?

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but my best cognitive realizations and abilities are birthed from pure, elegant exhaustion. I did much better in Calculus at eight thirty in the morning after four hours of sleep than I did in an afternoon class after a solid seven and a half hours of sleep the night before. My brain is backwards and I appreciate that.

However, I am at a rather jarring crossroads in my life right now. After the last three years of being in and out of psychiatric hospitals, on and off psychiatric medications, jumping around from (ignorant) diagnosis to diagnosis, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight again, in and out of a four year relationship, it’s left my education in shambles.

Most of you know I currently work as a Peer Support worker at a Peer Respite house and if you didn’t know, now you know. Somewhere on this blog I still have the post I put up about my first day of work there. I’ve been there for 2.5 years by this point, the longest job I’ve ever held. I started when I was 20 years old, a month or two away from my 21st birthday that I don’t remember. In my interview I told them I was a Pre-Med student eager for a career in psychiatry to fight the system.

I am now 23, four months away from my 24th birthday.

I’m not quite sure what happened. I was fully invested in my psychology degree and unscathed by the physics and math required for Med-school. I was a little perturbed about chemistry. I can’t balance an equation to save my fucking life. Another fun fact: put a Calculus equation in front of me, or teach me Linear Algebra and I”ll eat it alive. Put a pre-algebra word problem in front of me and I crumble, I disintegrate. As a writer, you think I’d understand what word problems are asking of me. As someone pretty decent at math, you’d think I’d understand how to calculate what’s being asked of me. Both of your assumptions would be horribly, horribly misled. I’m sure you can, then, deduce how well physics went.

My point in all this rambling is I can’t figure out what I want to study in college anymore. My psychology degree is almost complete and I don’t much care for it anymore. Every psychology class I take I no longer take interest in. Perhaps it’s from 1) living the experience of mental health issues and realizing textbook explanations are pale in comparison, 2) understanding the corruption that lies in the mental health industry/business, and 3) from working in the exact opposite environment that I would be working in were I to pursue my original career choice.

Perhaps it’s my stubbornness. I don’t want to answer to Insurance companies. I don’t want to be solicited or bribed by pharmaceutical salesmen offering me money to push certain drugs. I don’t want to have to deny someone my services because their insurance won’t pay for me because they don’t want medication. I don’t want to make that choice for them, it’s not my business. I don’t want to go into private practice and have to charge 300 dollars an hour and limit myself to an elitist group when we’re all very much aware that the people who need the most help are often struggling with housing, substance use, financial issues, as well as their mental health.

I don’t want to work for a county that would allow me to see that population but underpay me significantly and overload me with cases. I don’t want to only be allowed to see those people for 15 minutes when they need so much more time than that. I don’t want to be considered a doctor that only hands out medication. I don’t do well with rules that are illogical and all of the aforementioned happens to be just that.

And yet I feel that to not pursue this would be abandoning my own people. I feel the difference I wish to make can only begin with legitimizing myself, and unfortunately that requires a college degree in this day and age. But if the passion for the classes isn’t there anymore–where does that leave me? I still have a fiery passion for exposing pharmaceutical companies for what they are, for guiding people through their own mental health journey, for offering other opportunities and healing besides medication and hospitalization, but I just can’t handle sitting through these fucking brainwashing classes and pretend to care about what they’re saying.

So do I start over? Do I accept the psychology degree and switch to a different discipline? Do I follow my original plan, which would require a hard science degree? Do I have the confidence for that? Or will word problems best me? Will I make the same mistake, get the degree, and then not want to pursue the discipline? Will I even be able to get the degree? Or do I say fuck school all together and live the rest of my life check to check, roommate to roommate?

I’ve been off all meds for a couple months now. No antipsychotics, no mood stabilizers, no antidepressants, no sleep medication. I’ve 360’d my diet, and now exercise five days a week for an hour and a half. I’m making a lot of changes and it feels like it’s only natural that my career path do the same.

The real problem is i’d love to have a career in physics and a career in peer support. That just doesn’t seem realistic though. Research during the day, peer during the night? Sounds exhaustive.

What’s helped you choose your career path? Are you still searching for something? Are you at a crossroads too?

Asking For Help

Things have been troublesome for me. My relationship of 4 years has ended, and I’m still heartbroken over that fact. It’s only been a couple days, and so the feelings are still very raw. It’s difficult to have 4 years of good memories in your head, only to be trumped by the memory of one incident: the break up.

I’m okay with having to move forward. I mean, I’ve been through a lot worse things in my life than a breakup, and have had my heart broken on the same level once before. I’m used to the pain. I’m used to the random crying that hits you when you hear a song that reminds you of everything, or see a couple, or hear about people and their love, or see all the pictures we have. I’m used to the constant feelings of “wow, this is all your fault” because I’m used to things getting ruined because of my mental health. And that’s essentially what all this boils down to.

I still have my cat. I love her, and I will forever love her. And I thank him for buying her for me those 2 years ago, she’s been a great addition to my life. So that’s one thing to be thankful for.

On top of that, the program I work for is also closing in December. I feel I am no longer welcome in this town by way of the universe, and that because both my job and relationship are essentially over at the same time, it’s a sign that it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.

I plan to move down to Los Angeles where peer support jobs are rampant in certain areas, and where I can really use my creative talent: my writing, my photography. I want to be able to blossom in this crazy life, and I’m sick of being stifled and stagnant. All of this stress is really kicking up my mental health issues, and so is not having the money to even pay for my prescriptions right now.

I started a GoFundMe. Hear me out: I hate taking money from people. I hate taking offers from people. I hate doing anything that requires me to beg. But I am in a situation where I can’t just up and leave town and not risk being homeless. I can’t stay in town and not risk being homeless. Again. I’m trying to avoid that. Again.

I would use the funds strictly for moving expenses and nothing more. That means the U-Haul to get my stuff down there, the deposit and first months rent on a place ( a room for rent, of course), and food along the way. I’m asking for 2k. Not too much, not too little.

If you know anyone who is willing to donate, that would be amazing. The link is here. I’m just a young 23 year old trying to make a new start in a world that has beat me down from the beginning. And I’m not trying to act helpless. I’m not even on disability, although with my diagnoses I could qualify. But I want to do things on my own, prove to myself and the world that I can be who I need to be without second guessing myself or degrading myself.

I am just in need of a little help.

I’ve been apart of this wordpress community for three years now, and have been thankful to every single person who has ever liked or commented on this blog. And now I’m finally reaching out to every single one of you and asking for just a bit of help. You don’t have to donate, that’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking for you to share the link on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, whatever. I only have so much of a following, and could use more help in that department.

If you do donate, thank you, thank you. Every little bit helps.

Now, I’m going to try and get ready for my day, as difficult as that’s becoming.

Thank you.

Who’s In Your Driver’s Seat?

It feels good to be back. And by being back I mean reading articles that really have meaning to them, reading tweets that aren’t just about the memearific Kim K shoot. It feels good to be reading and reporting on articles that support and disapprove of my stance. I read one this morning called “The Corruption of Evidence Based Medicine–Killing for Profit” by a Doctor Jason Fung, a Nephrologist. You can read it here.

I mostly report on the corruption within the medicine of psychiatry, but the same happens in the sector of physical health.

This isn’t surprising. As I’ve said many times, medicine is a business. It shouldn’t be, but it is. It’s the same sort of business Tobacco is: it feeds off of people’s weaknesses. That’s not to say at least medicine has the quality of “helping” some people. Without my dad’s blood pressure medicine, his pressure rises into the 200’s easy. They’ve already seen he’s had a few mini strokes none of us knew about. So I’m not here to say we need to abolish the current system. I’m here saying we need to take a closer look.

It’s not your physicians necessarily that are in on this, it’s the researchers, the pharmaceutical companies, and if you live in the United States, the insurance companies. It’s a shame the only research that gets published is the research that very obviously supports the pharmaceutical or the procedure.

Fung quotes Doctor Marcia Angell when she stated the mean truth:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to reply on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor.”

It didn’t take me two decades to reach that conclusion, and I wasn’t reluctant about it. As soon as I read anti-psychotics were given to three year old’s for tantrums, I knew something was screwy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to see the profit within that.

Some psychiatrists and physicians aren’t even aware of what they’re doing half the time. My last psychiatrist wanted to raise me to 15mg of Abilify even though the research says anything about 10mg shows no real efficacy. And yet, how high up do they go in miligrams? 30. Think about that. 2mg of Abilify is 939 dollars a prescription without insurance. Abilify is one of the top-selling Antipsychotics in the U.S. Think about it. It took me digging through a lot of papers and research to even find the truth about the efficacy.

Soon all the rage will be these injections. The easiest way to trap someone on a medication is to give them one they can’t refuse. They are, of course, for the more “difficult” patients. So not only are you a patient with no rights, you’re also a patient with no rights who knows they have no rights, so you stand up to that, and that makes you difficult. Or, your experience of psychosis hasn’t been properly approached yet, and therefore you are left to sizzle in your own mind with only the fleeting hope an injection will change things. Maybe for some it does. But at what cost?

Fung makes a good point: “Evidence based medicine is completely worthless if the evidence base is false or corrupted.” 

Doctor Relman makes another good point:

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”

It’s very disgraceful. This is why I have such a strong moral stance against taking medication, this is why I hate to admit that sometimes, yes, a low dosage of a medication does even out my mood. Yes, a low dosage of a medication does help me better understand and better dictate what thoughts I listen to and what thoughts I don’t.

It’s when doctors push up your milligrams because your voices haven’t gone that is the problem. Maybe the voices will never go away: if you haven’t accepted or made peace with that, that’s not a problem medication will solve. Maybe the delusional thoughts will always be there. The depression. The anxiety. If you haven’t accepted any of that, again, that’s not a problem medication will solve. 

It’s also not a problem to be solved. It’s an experience to learn from. It’s an experience to learn how to experience it in a way where you can still live the life you want to. Everyone has some kind of struggle that holds them back at some point in life. You are no different. And to sit back and say “Well, this is my ‘sickness’, I guess I’m doomed to a life of nothingness” is called giving up. That’s not acceptance.

That’s one thing that I struggle with in accepting this “mental health awareness” campaign everyone has going. They’re making awareness for the sickness, the illness, for this idea of helplessness because “your mental illness will never go away”. We should be empowering each other. We should be introducing each other to new perspectives, new ways of hearing voices, new ways of interpreting delusions, new ways of tackling anxiety, new ways of coping with depressions, new ways of experiencing mood swings. The only way we will avoid the corruption of ourselves is to keep ourselves. We can’t lose ourselves within this idea of being ill, of being sick, of needing this, needing that, being disabled.

And that’s today’s Mental Truth.

 

Reaching Contentment

blog-22-journey-600x300

Where are you in your journey?

I feel like I spent a lot of time confused. If any of you are reading from the past, you’ll remember all the posts I made while I was in classes, about annoying girls flipping their hair right in my face and Calculus tests and writing workshops. You might even remember that I started dropping classes like flies. Now I’m trying to work on getting back into my classes so I can finish this puny fucking degree.

I’ve always liked school, and I’ve always been rather smart. There were some things I had to work at harder than others, but a lot of that was chalked up to my anxiety and inability to raise my hand and ask for clarification when I needed it–everyone needs clarification sometimes, I don’t care how smart you are. And if you are unable to get that small little aide, you start falling behind. And that’s exactly what I did. That’s exactly what I’m still doing.

Where am I in my journey–I’m not quite sure. I still feel a little lost and a little confused, but I feel like the directions are becoming clearer. I feel like I’m not longer standing at a fifty pronged fork in the road, I feel like I’ve narrowed it down to about 4 prongs.

I will be attending some classes again this semester, but I feel more ready for them, more so than I have in the last couple years. It’s going to feel a little strange being back in the classroom and as I watch my cat jump atop the fridge to get atop the kitchen cabinets, I realize that I have to do the same thing she does: calculate how far I can really leap, and what my limits are. I can’t just be jumping aimlessly. I need to jump with a purpose. That’s the only way to keep what little motivation I have left steady.

Life is such a great learning experience, I’ve learned to appreciate so much over the last three years. I’ve learned to appreciate myself most of all, and the shit I’ve put up with.

85

I think what has made this experience one of the best experiences is that I’ve really learned how to feel my feelings. I was talking the other day with someone about how content I was, and how that feeling has been harder to learn to accept than the negative emotions. I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m content. I don’t have to fight with my brain, I don’t have to practice breathing because I’m not anxious, I’m not hearing voices or seeing demons, I’m not suicidal, I’m just kind of sitting in my house content with where I am in the moment. And that’s a new feeling. As with all new feelings, they take some time getting used to.

My intention was to pinpoint ways to become content like this, but I’m not sure if I can put it into steps or even words. I’m still expanding my support force, both with peers and in the professional world, and I’ve dropped a lot of pride. I’m still morally against taking psychiatric medication, but I came to the realization that as a temporary tool they can be useful. I’ve decided to give it a year or two, see how much progress I can make, see what skills I can learn to curb my experiences, and re-evaluate at that point. It felt like a defeat. It will always feel like a defeat.

My cat is scratching to the beat of Chop Suey by System of a Down. THAT was hilarious.

I think I introduced my cat to everyone 2 years ago when I got her, and I said I’d named her Andromeda. That was a lie. I have since named her Jazz. She likes Jazz music and is wild like Jazz can be, and smooth and calm like Jazz can be. Therefore, her name is Jazz and it will forever be Jazz. Here is Jazz now:

 

Jazz Photo
She’s gotten much bigger

img_20161124_115142.jpg
This was her 2 years ago

Now she lays on her back and watches Television. ‘MERICAN Cat.

My posts are going to be haphazard like this until I get back into my writing groove. There is a groove, believe it or not, that writers get into. Some people are content with spewing the first thought from their head, and that is their groove. I do most of my deep thinking when I’m writing, so a lot of these thoughts are carefully calculated in my head as I type. Nothing is too spontaneous. I edit and edit and edit and take what I say very seriously, even when I’m joking about Ben Carson lying about his times at Yale. Carson could never be a good manipulator of the masses, he lies too blatantly. You have to lie subtly, with the intent to make the lie sound real. Nothing he said sounded real. I think he needs to operate on his own brain.

I will forever rip him, Trump, and Alex Gorskey a new one at any chance I get. One day I hope at least one of them will read some of the things I’ve said about them. I will be content on my death bed if that is the case.

Throwing Shade.

sonson

 

 

Halfway To Jupiter

grey-skies-1680x1050-id-39380

Today the skies are grey and I’m okay with that. Less traffic, less people, less noise. Inside of my room I only have on my air filter that sounds like a fan because it’s so old. Some people have white noise machines, I have an air filter that sounds like a fan. There are two kinds of people in this world.

My window is cracked open just enough to let the breeze through and collectively it reacts with the breeze from the living room and they open and shut my door periodically. After years of living in this room, I’ve learned all it’s secrets. When I have my ear phones on and my music on full blast, all I need to feel is the air brush lightly past my ankle to know my door has opened which usually means someone has opened the door to the house. That’s how I judge when my parents are outside smoking and when they aren’t.

Today would be a good day to get, as the crazy kids these days call it, “lit af”.

247139f8894636838dc3c7edf9be811654ebd1ff71286546c854a649775f8b6c_1

Sadly, getting “lit af” isn’t as easy as it used to be. Not for my brain, at least. Not for a brain that takes a bucket load of Ativan just to slow it down an inch.

I should call back my supervisor because she has questions about my time card. I probably fucked up somewhere and either put a time I didn’t work, or didn’t put in a lunch. We didn’t use to have to put in a lunch, but now we do, and that’s probably what I forgot. Either way, it looks like I’m trying to jack money from them. At least, that’s what my brain is telling me they’re thinking. I’m a mind reader now, apparently.

I hate talking on the phone. Why can’t people just text? Why is it necessary to hear each other’s voices? Don’t you people understand how hard it is keep up with words? It’s fucking hard.

This has been weighing on my mind for about three hours now.

In order to make a phone call, I must take several preemptive steps:

1) I must listen to the voice mail. If there is no voicemail, I never, ever call back: if you didn’t have a reason to call me, you shouldn’t have called me.

2) I must decide whether the news is good, bad, or somewhere in between. Depending on which it is, I decide whether or not I should give two flying fucks.

3) I must feel the anxiety of it. Anxiety seems like a distant partner buried underneath the sand compared to everything else I’ve been dealing with, but it never fails to poke its head out of the soil at the sight of a phone call.

4) I must mull it over for two or three or twenty four hours. This allows the majority of my energy to go into building up the courage to dial back the number.

5) I must make the phone call in my car, in silence, away from my room. I hate talking on the phone in my room. It feels like both the neighbors and my parents can hear me and that shit ain’t cool.

That being said, let me take a brief hiatus and go call her back before I lose my mind over this bullshit.

Here are some photos to keep you entertained while I’m gone.

lblx8t4sizzle-album-lit-577961667314733056-twitteraovqw52_700b

 

 

Well, she was not there. Brilliant.

However, my manager was. And although he had no clue what she was talking about regarding my time card–I probably screwed up, I swear I did, I’m shit with those kind of things, always have been–he did ask bluntly the exact question I was terrified of: What happened?

It’s hard for me to tell someone I legit wanted to end my life, so I told him I felt the people I was talking with overreacted. And in a sense, that wasn’t a lie. I felt like they really did overreact at the time. 

I didn’t tell him everything about the hospital or how I call it the Lion’s Den and that I had to turn on the Antisocial Personality manipulative portion of me to get the fuck out, but I did say that I’m doing better. And that’s not a lie. I am doing a little better. Freezing, apathetic, and tired, but better. 

i-m-fine-i-don-t-need-no-medication

He told me to always feel open to call him or anyone in the house if something’s going on, if I need to talk, and even though I kind of already knew that was an option, hearing it specifically was helpful. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m allowed to do and what I’m not allowed to do around people, so I need a guide. It was also nice to hear that he said he was just about to call me and ask how things were going.

I feel like I could have spilled a lot more. But spilling things to people is hard. Even though I know these particular people out of all people will 100% understand, it’s still hard. I have to always keep up that “I’m doing fine” face. You all know what face I’m talking about:

large

And perhaps that’s why this breakdown over this last week has happened. My subconscious is sick of playing pretend.

I don’t pretend to be “happy”. Despite what every single person in this world seems to think, I am not depressed right now. How many times do I have to say that?

I pretend to be a sponge or rubber. I pretend to absorb things on impact. But in reality my attention is shit, my thoughts are shit, my fucks are gone. In five days I have an appointment with a psychiatrist and in five days my thoughts will still be shit, my attention will still be shit, and my fucks will be halfway to Jupiter.

I scold myself internally for not being an open person. But to be vulnerable is difficult, particularly after being raised in an environment where being vulnerable means you’re weak.

vulnerability-management

I’m still learning. I think he knows that, given how young I am.

So I feel bad for not telling the complete story and hurrying to get over the subject. At the same time, I know he probably knows that anyway also, probably sensed it (these people are good at that kind of thing I’ve noticed), and rather pester me for all of the story, he just told me that everyone there was always willing to talk. I think that was a better jester than the majority of the reactions I’ve received from people.

Besides my one English professor. He’s the real OG in all of this: he’s letting me turn his class into an online one so I don’t need to go to class. I can take the midterm when I want. He said he struggles with some anxiety disorder and depression, e.t.c, e.t.c, and he completely understood without even knowing why I was in the hospital. That’s an OG son. Shout out to him for being a straight loc.

Life is strange.

Life Status: Updated

Yes, I will always allude life to the way technology works. Since I last posted, a few updates have been downloaded. Some have been tried out, others uninstalled, and then reinstalled because of the urgent need of them.

Firstly, I said my first “no” to a shift offer. I had a lot of things to do that day and just couldn’t make it, and saying “no” is one of the hardest things to do because I hate making other people feel disappointed. But it had to be done. And I did it. Fantastic. Still feel like an asshole.

a4e

I was one point away from a B on my math test. Considering I didn’t get a chance to study at all with the crazy weekend I had last week, I’m impressed. The class average was 49 points out of 70. I’ll also throw this in for perspective: In the history of my math classes, my first test has always been an F. I’m talking 50% and below. That’s after I studied. So it’s obvious having my tests proctored in a separate room, where its quiet, has really made a huge difference. Why did I get points knocked off? I forgot a ()^2 in a formula, fucked up on the first problem because it was a problem review from a class I haven’t taken in a year and a half, and I forgot a 1/2. So note to self: proctoring in a different room doesn’t help the attention span.

I have to read a book that I hate. It’s collected short stories and fuck me, it makes no sense. None of the short stories make any fucking sense. I want to take this book and shove it up the publishers ass. And all the reviews that say this writer makes others gibber, or that she’s the quintessential fiction writer were obviously written by people bribed. Because fuck this book.

young-man-throws-book-over-his-head-white-background-53026102

Some peers told me I pay way more attention to detail than other people and therefore think I should tone down some things in my writing. I respectfully agreed and disagreed. I believe there are times I take too long to describe something because in my eyes I see every little thing about it. Someone seeing five things happen in twenty seconds in my eyes is seeing fifty things happen in twenty seconds. I’ve always been that way. Catch me on a bad day and I’ll tell you it’s because I have the ability to manipulate and slow down time. Catch me on a day like today and I’ll tell you it’s just a product of how my brain perceives things.

At the same time: Criticism.

maxresdefault

Need I say more?

Criticism can be hard to take, particularly on my writing because of how much of myself I put into it. I took an AP english course in high school. My attitude was this upon entering the classroom:

arrogance

This was my attitude after two weeks:

notworthy

Because my teacher was not like a high school teacher, she was like a private university professor. She pushed me harder than any teacher had ever pushed me. She picked on me in class, she embarrassed me in class, she laughed at how quiet I was and poked and prodded at me like I was the village idiot. She scribbled across the bottom of one of my papers that it was horrible and what the hell was I thinking? She didn’t say “hell”, but that was the emotion through her words.

I learned how to take criticism from her: No one tells me my writing is fucking horrible and gets away without me showing them otherwise.

At the end of the year she found me grading papers in the English office. I was a teachers aid. The papers I were reading were fucking horrible by the way.

Anyway, she comes in and leans by me and I stare up at her slowly because I’m already expecting a verbal beat down and whenever I see her I’m always ambiguous about how I should react. She asks me if I’ve decided to apply to the honor society at the college I was going to. I told her no. She said I needed to, that I had the grades for it. She told me I was really smart. She said a few others things too, but I can’t remember. I walked away that day very, very confused.

Another life update: I’m now apart of the honor society.

alpha-gamma-sigma_300x300

When I entered another English class at my college, the professor I took was an older woman who really liked to talk. I was always first in her class because I wanted to get the shit over with. The college made me take the class and all the books we were reading and the essays we were writing I’d already done in high school. Anyway, one day she came in and said the name of my old high school teacher. She told me she’d been told I was a great student and writer and that I would be a good addition to the class.

Once again, I left really fucking confused.

Until I realized what that high school teacher did for me.Until I realized she was pushing me my senior year of high school because she knew I wasn’t deaf or mute or stupid. She knew I was smarter than I thought I was. Sometimes you don’t know how much someone affects your life until you start living a little more.

The opportunities I’ve been given are astounding. Working at Second Story (which, by the way, was the first peer respite house in the state of California, seventh in the United States) is by far the crowing jewel. It opened when I was 16 years old. I’m only 21 for fucks sake. How many 21 year old’s have this kind of opportunity? How many 21 year old’s with mental health issues get a chance to be around their own people and learn and grow like I do? How many 21 year old’s get a chance to be in their field before they’d even got a piece of paper saying they’re allowed to? Sometimes I feel like I’ve learned more from guests and coworkers in the short time I’ve been here than I’ve learned from my own parents over 21 years. I don’t know how to feel about that.

And to think a month ago I was ready to quit everything: school, working, life in general.

I have to remember whatever stress I feel has the potential to make me stronger.

How To Survive College

There are tons of articles on the internet giving you lists of endless strategies to survive the seemingly endless hell of college group projects, surveys, lectures, and anti-abortion rally meth heads who camp out in the quad with their six foot tall posters of aborted fetuses, enticing women and men alike to screech pro-choice ideals at the top of their lungs.

Everything those lists have told you is a lie.

o-graduation-facebook

College is a bubbling cauldron of exponential debt. It’s a place you go to enhance your nihilism. If you weren’t already a nihilist, it’s a place where you can easily become one. It’s where you hustle to in the morning with your baggy sweatpants and a cup of coffee so you can walk into class, lean your fist against your cheek, and catch those extra Z’s you wasted this morning trying to find your car keys. It’s where you can major in rigid thinking, overly-liberal thinking, and non-thinking all at once.

It’s where you withdrawal from a course life intervenes on, only to take it once more while simultaneously kicking yourself. It’s where you sit in that course and bang your head repeatedly against the desk until the professor notices out of the corner of his eye, but tentatively ignores it because you have an accommodations contract from the disabled students center.

It’s thought to be a place for thinkers, innovators; the next Steve Jobs, the next Albert Einstein, John Nash, Nikola Tesla . . .

. . . but it’s mostly a place for hippies, kids looking for an excuse not to work full time, people with rich parents, or people with sports scholarships.

richkids

It’s where you could get a perfect score on a paper for memorizing a concept, but only fifty percent for creating your own outside the box.

With that in mind, there is your first tip: Lower your expectations. 

  • This isn’t 387 B.C and college isn’t a Platonic Academy. Plato has nothing to do with it. There’s less “let’s discover the world/the ether/ the mind” and more “we did the discovering for you, now read it, learn it, memorize it”. There’s a small percentage that will take that knowledge and build on it. Most will recite it and manage to feel proud.
  • Most people in college have average intelligence. That’s a good thing. Because if everyone was smart, i’d feel like an idiot.
  • The more you expect, the more disappointed you’ll be when things don’t go your way: like when you realize your major is the epitome of horrid and you want to switch but now you have to go through a bunch of paperwork and university is not fucking happy with you at all.
  • Instead, take everything with a grain of salt. Take charge when you need to. Coast along when you can.

We all know how sickening disappointment can be. So instead of making a list over summer hyping yourself up about all the great things you’re going to do in college, make a list reminding yourself not to do that. That’s stupid. And only smart people go to college, remember?

If you have an incessant need to list, than write this fifty times on four sheets of paper:

No matter how easily I sailed through high school, college will not be the same.

That’s my second tip.

It’s not the work content, it’s the work load. Professors don’t care if you have two part time jobs, a child, and a social life. They don’t get paid enough to care. And if they have tenure than you’re shit out of luck.

farley-katz-tenure

3). Learn your limits and don’t overexert yourself. Think you can take seven courses in a single semester and make it out alive? You know what, go ahead, fuck it, I want to see you do it.

4) When you get a boring professor with an accent you can’t understand, restrain your urge to mock his accent loudly and/or strip off all your clothes and mount the person next to you because they keep sneaking glances down your shirt. Trust me, don’t do it. You’ll regret it. You know how you went to that party the night before your exam, woke up with a headache and puked on your desk in class? You remember that regret? Do you really want to feel that again?

5) It’s okay to not move the same speed as everyone else. If you start struggling and feel like everyone is zipping past you at the speed of intellectual light, that’s okay. Because someone next to them is zipping past them as well. And so on. Everyone moves at different paces and if you’re not perfect, that’s alright. Don’t swallow thirty Ritalin and expect it to turn you into a super human. If anything, get in the Ritalin underground dealing on your campus, especially if you go to Harvard or Yale or any place where people are pressured to be inhumanely perfect. You don’t need your degree to get rich then.

6) If you don’t like it, don’t go. The simplest tip of them all. Not everyone feels like they need to constrain their mind (or their time) to the few options college has to offer. It’s not impossible to be successful without a little piece of paper signed by someone who calls himself/herself a “dean”. I’ve heard of tons of people with doctorates working hours at McDonalds now. College degrees don’t guarantee a good life. No college degree doesn’t guarantee homelessness. It’s all about how you maneuver life to your advantage.

7) Last but not least: if you can find a way not to pay for room and board, TAKE IT. LIVE OFF CAMPUS. Often paying for a dorm is the second most expensive thing you’ll waste your grant/loan/scholarship money on. If you can rent a room in a house or live with family or parents or whoever, do it. Trust.

8) Actually last but not least: if you are taking math, and math is not your greatest subject, I would suggest always doing the homework directly after class. I would also suggest doing some right before you go to sleep. The difference will astound you.

I once struggled on a problem for ten hours. Finally I said fuck it, threw my book across the room, resisted the urge to take a shit on my homework page, and went to sleep. I had a wonderful dream of the problem, how to work it, and the solution. Woke up and, for a second at least, declared myself a genius.

But actually, mathematical dreams are not too unheard of. It happens to many people, especially mathematicians. You might not care whether you know math, but apparently your subconscious does enough to work on it throughout the night.

If all else fails, flip off your campus, walk away, and give your life up to nature. What difference does it all make anyway?

df038df4a54e0a4b3657bd9630cb85cd

 

Small Positives

Instead of burning under the fires of negativity, I’ll mention one of the small positives of this week:

I managed to get down to the Accessibility Support Center at my college to ask how to register. My boyfriend had to come with me of course, but I made it. I asked the woman what I would need to do in order to register for services from the center. She seemed nice and very receptive. She said the first step would be to attend one of the orientations that gives us a small overview of the services and a tour of the HUB station (that’s where the support/tutor services are).

The second step, the one I dreaded the most, was to then bring in documentation. She said it could be an IEP, a 504, family doctor records, anything like that. I knew it was coming and the anxiety still took over.

She set me up for an orientation on the 31st at 9:30 in the morning. That day I also have to be at my psych appointment at 11 am. She said it would be finished before then certainly. Then I have to drive back to the school for class at 12:40. That’s a busy day.

I walked from the center rather disappointed. An IEP? A 504? Two things you usually get when you get diagnosed with something as a child? You know, like ADHD?

Head in Hands

Unfortunately for me, when I wasn’t talking, when I refused to interact with children, they send me to a counselor who concluded I was “shy” and would “grow out of it”. I couldn’t even get an ADHD diagnosis for fucks sake.

If I would have known the system, I would have opened my mouth and expressed everything I felt. Instead I sat there, said not a word to the counselor woman, and still somehow got a certificate of completion for it. How does that even work?

c396fkeden-kac3a7c4b1nmak-c4b0c3a7in-7-gc3bcc3a7lc3bc-c4b0pucu-6-birkac3a7-gc3bczel-kelime-etkili-olur

At this point this blog has become one large contradiction. I speak so often about how diagnosis doesn’t matter, how it doesn’t define you, how I feel it’s much less damaging to consider “symptoms” as “experiences”, and yet I’m here kicking myself over the fact that I’ve never gotten a sincere diagnosis past “social anxiety”. If you ask me, it makes me look like one of those preachers who reiterate the Bible, then go out and murder people.

I still believe in experiences over symptoms. I still believe in “this is how I am” over “this is what I have”.

I also know the world is a business and a label maker. And I’m going to milk every last drop of it, because if there are ways to get help out there for school, for housing, for finances, for whatever the case may be at any point in my life, than I think I deserve that.

When she said “family doctor” I cringed. Because I have no doctor any longer. Because I have no health insurance. My doctors never had any part of my mental health record anyway. Fucks sake.

The anxiety part of all of this is that I will be walking into that orientation at 9:30 without a complete record confirming what I experience and be surrounded by people who do. People with perhaps more severe mental/physical struggles than my own. It’s like I’m sitting myself down in a wheel chair with full knowledge that both my legs work, and signing up for a wheel chair basketball team with people who actually have lost function of their legs.

It’s another way for my brain to invalidate my own experiences.

shutterstock_106645070I think my main issue is that I’m very confused. Ever since I started this job it’s made me take a different look at behavior and experiences in different people and in myself. It’s made me realize I have so much more to work on than I thought. It makes doing janitor work ten times more appealing than it had before, and even then it had looked appealing.

Depending on what happens with full evaluations and a complete diagnosis, I may or may not continue working here. I love their concept, I love the “fight the system . . . but it’s really about the people” vibe that they give off. I want to always stay in contact with them and maybe even attend the groups. But working is something I’m not sure I’m ready for yet. I should have learned this lesson after my third job in four months.

Functioning and adulting isn’t easy for anyone, I’m aware of that as well.

Today I went into a hardware supply store and a Rite Aid, in the company of my mother. Both stores are pretty quiet and large and don’t have many crowds.

Three more days until the orientation.