Tag Archives: stress

Alternatives to hospitalization, suicide, and loneliness.

I’ve talked a lot about the ideals and research and experiences and proofs of the efficacy of peer programs, peer respites, peer hospital diversion programs, peer everything, and I probably have a lot more to say in drafts that I just having refined for publishing. However, what I haven’t done is talk about how these programs are growing throughout the United States and spreading internationally.

This is a good thing. Other things like Ebola, that spreading, that’s bad. Peer programs good. Remember; Ebola: BAD. Peer programs and respites: GOOD.

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Although these systems are fairly new, the research, the propositions, have been around since about the 1980’s from my knowledge, but they haven’t gotten good footing until recently. It’s hard to get good footing when you’re pushing up against a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s hard to get funding for good, credible research (in the eyes of science and the APA) when psychology research is  more often than not funded by those multi-billion dollar industries. I.e, Big Pharma.

But this isn’t about “fighting the system”. I suppose in a subtle way it is, but it isn’t about the system really, it’s about the people, which is something the system is not about. For us, it’s about communication and connection and relating and processing: processing emotions, processing whatever you yourself considers illness, disability, disorder.

It’s not about diagnosis. We don’t care if your diagnosis is schizoaffective, we just care about what you’re feeling, how you’re reacting, and what we can do to support you through that. Schizoaffective is the last thing on our mind. In fact, we won’t even know a thing about diagnosis unless you tell us: and that’s only if you want to.

And in case you’re confused, peers are people with lived mental health experience supporting you through your experience, whatever that may be.

Most respites have a phone line you can call. We call ours a warmline, I’m not sure what others call theirs, maybe it’s all mutually exclusive. It’s 24/7. It’s not a suicide hotline. If you’re in a crisis and need to chat, and we think maybe you need further support, we can talk to you about how you feel about getting more support. It’s not about calling the police. Obviously immediate, drastic crisis is different. But I’m someone with frequent thoughts of suicide and frequent plans and I’d feel ten times more comfortable telling a warmline that than a hotline that because hotlines just keep asking me “can you guarantee to me that you can be safe tonight?” And I don’t know what the fuck that means and if I say no, they want to get my location and if I say yes then they say “have a good night and stay strong”.

Warmlines are different. We know the feelings you’re feeling and we process them with you to the best of our abilities. I’m not saying we can connect with everyone. I know I’m not a person who has managed to connect with everyone. I try my best, but it’s like life: you’re not going to get along with everyone. Everyone tries their best.

There’s no script or series of questions we have to ask. I like to call it supportive conversation, not active listening. It took me a while to really understand that and be able to offer support through words and not just an ear. I’m still working on it.

You can call for anything. You feel like your thoughts are racing? Call. Feel like your neighbors are watching you? Call. Aliens chatting to you and annoying you? Call. Feeling harassed? Call. Seeing demons nibbling on your feet? Call. Feeling depressed? Call. Feeling anxious? Call. Feeling stressed? Call. Whatever it is, Call.

I’m saying these things to give you alternatives. Alternatives to hospitals, to suicide, to loneliness.

I don’t know the exact places of every respite house in the country. I don’t know which communities have established peer programs or peer hybrid programs, whatever. Take initiative to look it up.

But in the meantime, I do have a list of some respite houses and programs here. They have descriptions and where they’re located. If you don’t see your state or whatever listed, google, google, google. Call, call, call.

They’re out there.

Want more information? Email me.

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Vulnerability

A man is born gentle and weak.

At his death, he is hard and stiff.

Green plants are tender and filled with sap. At their death, they are withered and dry.

Therefore, the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death,

The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.

Thus, an army without flexibility never wins a battle.

A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

The hard and strong will fall;

The soft and weak will overcome.

–Lao Tsu

This becomes a testament to the importance of vulnerability, the importance of being connected with the present, of essentially “going with the flow”.

Often those of us who struggle mentally are praised for being so “strong”, so “resilient” to the things we go through, and often those who are the strongest of us are the ones suffering greatly, more so than those giving us the “compliment” may actually perceive. It takes much more energy to build (and maintain) walls than it does to crumble under the force.

There’s this odd sentiment among people that you always have to “fight back”. That the prospect of being vulnerable leaves one open for attack  . . .

Attack from?

They try and tell us we’re paranoid.

If you believe you’ll be attacked, you will be attacked. By your own mind.

Being rigid in mind and body leaves you trapped, encased in your own personal hell. Being flexible in mind and agile in body leaves you, well, like this: the-matrix-billboard

If you’re flexible in mind and body, you’ll learn to absorb different forces and push them back as a reflex. If you’re stiff and rigid, what hits you will bounce off . . . until the force is large enough and breaks you.

There’s nothing wrong with struggling. There’s nothing wrong with feeling weakened. There’s nothing wrong with being flimsy or flexible or agile. There’s nothing wrong with vulnerability.

There’s something wrong with thinking you can absolutely handle everything thrown at you with a smile on your face. There’s something wrong with thinking being “strong” means “being closed”. There’s something wrong with thinking resiliency is the ability to turn every negative into a positive–particularly, when you turn that negative into a positive without ever focusing on, and growing from, that negative.

There’s something wrong with the idea that focusing upon negativity drives you downward. Dwelling on the negative, perhaps, but focusing upon it for the purpose of confrontation, for the purpose of learning, is how a negative makes a transformation into a positive. Recognizing a negative, saying “oh well”, then “finding” a positive within the negative does nothing but allow you to ignore the feelings of the negative. If you can’t embrace negativity, what makes you think you can embrace positivity? They’re one in the same.

You can’t experience positivity without having ever experienced negativity. And Visa Versa. It’s the concept of Yin-Yang: love cannot exist without hate, evil cannot exist without good, and you could never tell one from the other if you have never experienced both. Hence interconnection.

I can preach twenty four hours, seven days a week. Some people with disagree, some people will agree, other’s won’t understand what the hell is wrong with me, and really none of it matters. Everyone has their way of life and I respect that. However, I’ve seen the damage of being this kind of “resilient”, of being this kind of “Strong”, and it’s done nothing but create more mental strain than any of my apparent “illnesses” could.

Life is a cycle. Pain is a cycle. We don’t categorize death into right or wrong, than why do we categorize people’s pain as such? Why is one type of pain disordered and wrong, but another average and understandable?

HINT: Everything on earth is understandable if you take the time to climb off your high horse and understand it.

 

 

I can’t

I hadn’t been blog posting rants or personal posts for quite some time now, because I was actually partially adulting.

No, I wasn’t adulting, I was simply coasting through the adult world for a brief period of time. As someone who dislikes most medication, and can’t ever seem to agree with one or the other, Effexor XR did wonders for my mood or whatever hole I was stuck in previously. I could my emotions again, and work through them rather then get entirely overwhelmed by them. It was a stabilizing moment in my life, now gone.

I got eight hours of sleep. Now I’m back to getting whatever the fuck THIS is. This 5:34 a.m clusterfuck of thoughts and no sleep.

The withdrawal, I will say, is fucking terrifying. At least, for me it was. I had to lay in bed for a couple days because every time I stood up to walk, the world tipped on its side and a shockwave ran from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I’m still getting the shockwave senstation a bit, and that’s convinced me 2016 is going to do what it does best, and kill the fuck out of me.

My head is killing me. The headaches were another bad withdrawal symptom. I got so dizzy and my head hurt so bad I was immobilized and crying for a good hour or two. At least I’ve got my kitten sleeping on my shoulder.

Because tonight the thoughts are going, going, going, gone into fucking outerspace. I can’t tell what I’m thinking half the time. I described it to someone as having a head full of thoughts crashing into each other–not racing thoughts, just a bunch of them–and because they crashed into each other so quickly, I can only capture snippets of what they want to say. So the conversation I had with this person consisted of me blurting as many snippets as I could to try and convey how I felt. I don’t think it worked. Shit got weird.

I’ve been away from this side of my brain, or at least this intensity of this side of my brain, for a good couple months. And now, because health insurance costs want to shove a lead pipe up my ass, I’m back to where I started. Too bad. I was making progress.

But, considering the withdrawals, to be honest, I wouldn’t want to stay any longer than a couple months on that shit. With the way my body reacted, me being on it for a year would get me stuck on it for life. And I’m not about that bullshit.

The emotions are all haywire again. I felt it the instant I woke up this afternoon and rushed through twenty emotions at once and confused myself so badly I forgot to eat. This was my problem before. My head gets so muddied up with random thoughts, anxieties, paranoias, pains, that I forget to do basic things like eating or I just don’t have the energy to take a shower or go out and buy necessary items. If I lived on my own, I wouldn’t survive more than a week.

That’s what impressed me about Effexor. It’s labeled as an Anti-depressant, and it sure did give me some energy back, but wholly hell were the thoughts calmed to a dull roar. I wasn’t so quick to convince myself of whatever it was I was going to type here because I type to slow for the thoughts in my brain. And I type pretty damn fast, ya’ll.

My plan going forward is to go talk to the dreaded county office. They can help set me up with Medi-cal. At least I can get healthcare that way. My hope was to get into system.

To get into “The System” you need to be labeled “severely mentally ill”, three words I never put together in one sentence. Ugg. It makes me cringe.

The truth is, I don’t have the capability, or the skills, to live independently. It doesn’t mean I can’t learn, it just means at this moment I don’t possess them. I get lost in my head and shit gets weird and I don’t leave this room, I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I don’t do anything really but think and think and think. At this point it’s not even thinking really, more so as such my brain blurting random shit and then attempting to foil a theory from it, failing, then trying all over again.

Is that “severe” if I have an on-call position and a record of going to college? Probably fucking not. Severe means you’re in the streets babbling about the bastards you know and the hero you hate and scrubbing your feet with a dead squirrel because it contains the blood of Egor, the giant in the clouds who tells you to punch the kid on the red bicycle and shove a pine cone in the ass of the next skunk you see.

Sorry.

See, I babble about that kind of shit in my head or I babble about it out loud in the shower. I’ve only slipped up a couple times in public, and I yanked my dumbass self back down and shut my mouth. You can’t be seen loosing it in public man–reputation forever tarnished.

People don’t hear me talk to myself, or the images that get put in my head, or any voice I may hear, because, well, fuck me, I’m aware of stigma. Well, fuck me County, let me just disregard everything I’ve taught myself and let the crazy out JUST FOR YOU, let me do it JUST FOR YOU.

And they’ll still shove a steel pipe up my ass and kick me out their office.

I’ll repeat, I have not slept. I am tired. My teeth hurt from clenching them. The only reason I care so much about being part of “The System” is because you’re assigned a team dedicated to help you get along. They’re there whenever you need them. Sure, I could also use where I work as a support force, but the difference is I have to initiate it, and that’s something I’ve never been able to do. This “team” would be “assigned”. And as you all know, I prefer structured things over willy-nilly things.

So whatever. First things first–get Medi-cal insurance. Second: tell medi-cal I’m crazy. Third: take over the world. Fourth: finally, for once in my fucking life, actually get the services I need because I rule the fucking world, and if they don’t do as I say, I’ll just blast them away with the laser hidden in my third eye.

Now, I’m going to go ruminate on the third eye, all the powers it contains, and try to unleash Pandora’s box on the world. Cool.

THAT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE SLEEP TO ME.

 

Self Confidence

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Confidence is key.

At least, that’s what they say. And let’s be honest: how much of what “they” say should we really hold on to?

I think a lot of people struggle with confidence because of the standards set upon them. You should be good at this because you studied this. You should this, you should that. I think a lot of people struggle with confidence because there’s this misconception that being confident means you’ll succeed.

As someone who is thoroughly confident, I know this is not the truth. To be confident does not mean you will succeed, it means you have the ability to accept where you fall short. It means you don’t avoid the hole by risking your life and leaping over it, it means you fall into the hole and manage to climb your way out.

Some people call that resilience, but you can be resilient and stand strong while continuously getting beat into the ground without a chance to get back up. And without the chance to get back up, you start believing you won’t ever get back up. And that doesn’t sound like confidence to me.

To be confident means you know it’s okay to feel bad. To be confident means you know that the struggle is not the end, but a process to birth an outcome. To be confident means you know that outcome, whatever it may be, is just that: an outcome. And once that outcome passes, there will be another chance, in whatever way it presents itself, for you to create a new outcome.

To be confident means you don’t always smile. It means you accept what emotions come when they may, whether they be “appropriate” or not. To be confident means the words placed on your social media meant to provoke you into a rage doesn’t dent your pride, but elicits a laugh because words on a computer screen are like salt tablets thrown into the ocean.

To be confident doesn’t mean you’re strong, and it doesn’t mean you can turn your weaknesses into strengths. Being confident is the act of allowing weakness to simply exist.

To be confident isn’t to be smarter than the person beside you; confidence and arrogance are not synonymous, I’m sorry to say.

All of the above is the reason they say confidence is the key to success. When a wall is presented, those of us who are confident don’t slink in defeat and we don’t majestically leap over the wall with no effort. We stare at the wall and acknowledge it. We say, “okay, this wall is new; let’s see where this takes me”. Then we walk along the wall and feel the wall and see the wall and never ignore it. We let the wall think it controls our fate and we understand that by giving up the power of perfection and standards and the illusion that we can simply climb up the wall without understanding why the wall exists in the first place, we gain even greater power of our outcome.

You don’t need multiple successes for confidence: take it from someone who, in many people’s eyes, including my own, has failed over and over and over and over and over again. And those failures are what keep me going. If I didn’t have those, I wouldn’t be nearly as confident. I would be terrified that one day, at some point in time, my successes or my achievements or my standards would be ripped away in an instant. I would smile all the time so people couldn’t see my terror.

With that, I shall leave you with another excerpt entitled “Prayer For Keeping On”.

Let us find a way to keep it moving, to keep it alive and free, where it wants to be. Let us walk all the way through doubt consistently, to believe in what we have found in our beginnings. Let us know what is real, and let us pass it back and forth between our hands until we are gone from this earth, and even then, let us remain in this spirit, please.

From “Sam Woods, American Healing”.

 

. . . And Life Goes On

Life goes on and the unreality of the eighth falls prey to the angry, hungry lion that is daily reality. And in daily reality inquires are made and solutions are dished out and some people work a 9 to 5.

Then there are those of us who don’t. Then there are some of us who have to awkwardly explain to their non-peer professor that she feels the entire class has conspired against her since her return from the hospital but that she’s been keeping up with the work at home and will be back the following week. Then there are some of us who disappear from math class without warning and have to, once again, awkwardly email the non-peer professor and hope he will be understanding.

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That’s what’s been keeping me from going to my creative writing class by the way: the same thing that kept me from going to my Native American Literature class those years back.

Let me say I love this professor. She is hilarious and open and an eloquent writer. Although she is more interested in poetry rather than fiction, she and I understand each other as writers. Her class is very open. Everyone talks among each other, and I was once in a little group. Then I shipped away.

Returning back to class felt wrong. And once I told my professor why I’d been gone, I got this nagging feeling she’s told the entire class who I am, what happened, and why I was gone. Then when I return I’m noticing someone who used to sit next to me, sat a seat away, and while another person used to ask me questions she now asks the guy next to me. I’m sure she told them all to ignore me and hate me. I’ve tried to reason myself into believing it’s because they have all had time to get to know each other better, but that other voice in my head has invalidated and battered reason to the floor.

Driving home one night I realized something significant. First, I realized that this level of paranoia can go fuck itself.

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The Only Image Of Hello Kitty I’ve Found Even Remotely Interesting

Secondly, I asked myself what someone would say to me at  Second Story if I were to explain my thoughts. I asked myself what I would say to someone were I to explain the thoughts to myself. And while I can’t remember the full conversation I had with myself in my head, I do remember the conclusion.

Feeling violated by my professors purported confidentiality disrespect, feeling like an outcast among people with stigma as rampant as it is, is the root of this paranoia. My own insecurity of being seen as “crazy” or “sick” on the outside is the root of this paranoia. And while that doesn’t make me feel any less paranoid, it made me sigh in relief. It made me sigh because it makes me remember all the people I’ve spoken to who struggle in the same way. I sighed because it only confirms there are reasons for thoughts, no matter how “deluded” they could be considered. My interpretation of my environments may be different from yours, but if you’re insecure about the way you look, and I’m insecure about how my mentality is perceived, aren’t we both sharing in the same struggle but seeing it differently?

Crisis averted.

And that got me thinking about the future, about transferring, about digging deep into my career. And all that bone crushing anxiety got me thinking about questions I hear and have been asked often:

What kind of jobs are there for the “mentally ill”?

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Preferably Ones That Don’t Drive Us To Ring Our Necks With A Tie

You all know I refrain from using terms like “mental illness” or “mental disorder” and instead call them experiences or struggles or interpretations. But that is how the question is often phrased.

And one obvious thing comes to mind and it isn’t office job, it isn’t an online position, it isn’t reclusive writer, and it isn’t backroom stocking associate, all of which I’ve tried.

Well, I’m still a reclusive writer, but . . .

I smacked myself on the forehead at the realization: peers.

And with the rise in peer support sweeping, literally, the nation, there’s a huge need for it.

I will be transferring over the hill next year. I refuse to live on campus unless it will be paid for by financial aid and I can have a dorm to myself: those are rather harsh and specific requirements, so I’m not counting on it. Therefore I will need income. I smacked myself again on the forehead before searching for peer support in the county I will be moving too.

Yes, it exists there as well. In fact, it exists in many, many more places and cities and towns than I thought. Second Story may be peer run, but even within health centers there are peer programs. A lot of them. This gave me the hope for humanity Trump tried stealing away.

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To Be Clear, Trump is Mocking Him, Not Me

If connecting with people who also struggle is something of interest to you, I encourage you to search programs, I really do. It may sound like a huge step, and it is,  but let me tell you, you’ll be way better off being nervous around people who understand how that effects you personally, than being in an office where a boss snorts at you and says “tough shit”.

My point is, there are jobs out there for people who struggle in the way we do. I’m not talking people with just Anxiety or depression. I’m talking those who hear voices or bounce up and down with their moods. Self Harm. OCD. WhatEVER it is, we need you.

You don’t need a degree, all you need is your experience with mental health.

The transformation I saw in the woman I met from the hospital who happened to show up a week after I told her about Second Story . . .the difference I saw in her from the time we were in the hospital together to the first week she was with us . . .tremendous. She used to not speak above a whisper. She didn’t make much eye contact and was really stuck in her struggle. The last time I saw her she spoke confidently, she made eye contact, she saw all of the problems she had to go through in terms of housing and such as things she could accomplish: she told me that many times. She said it would be hard, but that they are do-able.

That was the first positive thing I’d heard from her.

She and I cooked a feast that night. I asked her if she was any good at cooking chicken and we were off. We made stuffing and baked chicken and mashed potatoes and a salad and some green beans and sliced some bread. Some of us sat down and ate at the dinner table and joked about Mariah Carey and the 7 million dollar engagement ring her (ex??) fiance gave her.

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*Rolls Eyes Tremendously*

I remember when I left the hospital she whispered good luck to me. Before I left my shift for that night I told her good luck. The last I heard, she’s signed up to Volunteer with us.

You make a difference in people’s lives, and they make a difference in yours. That’s what peer support is about. These are real positions in this life and real places have implemented these types of programs.

There are people out there that understand. And there are people out there you can use your experience to connect with. If you’re curious, I implore you, please, research it. If you have questions about what I do as a peer support counselor, email me or leave a comment, I’ll be happy to explain in more detail.

You might go in hoping to change someone else’s life and come out the one who is changed. That’s when you know you made a good choice.

We need you.

 

It’s Fucking Raw!

I’m about 300% done.

With what, you ask?

With the internet. Not the trolls (South park is taking care of that for me), not the idiots who start rants on social media about things they don’t understand, and certainly not the eleven year olds posting sexy pictures of themselves captioned “ftw, keep it 100, stfu biatches, snort weed hoe”.

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She’s not 12, calm the fuck down.

I’m simply done with internet connections.

It took about twenty minutes for me to load this page. I paid seven dollars for this day of wifi connectivity and this is the result I get?

“Just sign up with an internet company.”

Easy for you to say, you probably have enough money to pay an internet company. I’m about to get fifty frappe’s from Starbucks and start my ass on some Nikola Tesla shit. Resurrect Wardenclyffe for some free Wifi and energy.

I mean, does anyone ever think about this? How can they claim dibs on wifi if it’s everywhere? How can you claim dibs on energy when it is literally everywhere? It can’t be created or destroyed, only transformed. Don’t tell me PG&E is the only way you can power a fucking light bulb because I’ll slap you so hard with some science you’ll be dropping chemistry test tubes out your ass for a month.

There has to be a way you can create something that receives a signal without you having to saw off your leg and fuck the manager of Comcast while pretending he’s “Daddy” and you’re his “little girl”.

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Fuck Comcast with a capital F.

Could this rant be a result of my nerves over my psychiatrist appointment on Monday or the mountain of math homework I’ve been staring at but not touching, or the frustration I feel over my tendency to avoid every single thing that overwhelms me (which turns out to be everything)? You tell me, smart guy.

Oh God, I just assumed your gender, oh fuck me, send out the killer clowns and put on your metal chastity belts before Donald Trump grabs your cooch and Clinton breaks into your house and deletes your entire gmail history.

2016 in one sentence.

Fuck off.

My goal in life is to be the Gordon Ramsay of the psychiatric world. Picture this:

[Enter]: three residents, two with goofy grins on their faces and one with a patented “I’m going to be a doctor next year” flat-line face. They all have their clipboards clutched to their chest like it’s the first day of class and they don’t want anyone to see how much they suck at math. I am wheeled in on a throne made of previous resident’s broken dreams and souls with four angels with wings of solid gold pushing me along. The wheels of the throne are translucent and easily visible is the bubbling blood of my enemies; my source of energy. I puff generously on a Cuban cigar  I made a resident crawl through Cuban jungles to get.

Me: Repeat my motto!

Them: People not products.

Me: Again!

Them: People not products

Me: WITH ENTHUSIASM!

Them (visibly shaken): People not products!

Me: Good. Better than yesterday; yesterday you were shit.

Resident 1: That’s a little harsh.

Me: What? What did you say? Hey–hey! Listen you fucking donkey, don’t tell me I’m harsh when you’re shit!

Resident 2 (under breath): a compliment would be nice once in a while

Me: You want a fucking compliment? I haven’t had to take your clipboard and shove it up your ass sideways yet! There’s your compliment. Hey–hey, did that hurt? Fucking sue me!

I’m sorry, I had to pause and ask myself what the fuck do I write about these days?  This is my personality, people. I should be on T.V making millions of dollars for insulting people. Think about how self-fulfilling that would be to know you are the one person with such great comebacks about dry camel asses and raw food that people hate you so much that they tune in and watch you every week. What a wonderful source of fuel for my shattered ego and what a wonderful cure for my crippling depression.

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My nerves are running rampant about this appointment. Meeting new people is one thing: meeting a new psychologist is another; meeting a new psychiatrist is ten times worse than both of the above. I’ve been fighting with myself over whether I would ever, ever, ever again in my life consider medication and although the dominant screech in my head is “what the fuck are you thinking you fucking psychopath, No!”, there’s a tiny voice somewhere hidden in the crevices of my brain matter saying “let’s get legally high”.

No, really it’s saying “do it.”

My problem is getting stuck in a cycle. My problem is 1) finding the words to explain myself and 2) explaining myself so well I went up getting thrown down the rabbit hole.

I have special names for things in psychology. Hospitals are called the Lions den because once you’re in there, you go by their rules.

aliceinwonderland-downtherabbithole-011The rabbit hole is the cycle of treatment people get stuck in, that I almost got stuck in once. The “take this medication, but it causes this so take this medication, but those side effects suck so take this one but now you can’t get off of them without horrible withdrawal or a psychotic break so I’ll just tell you that you might as well stay on them for the rest of your life” cycle.

I’m acutely aware that taking medication would mean my brain is forced to fight itself . Doctors call it “adjusting”. I don’t. Because it’s not your brain “adjusting”, it’s your brain constantly sending out more neurotransmitters to keep itself in homeostasis against the synthetic chemicals; that’s why you develop a tolerance–your brain finally reaches homeostasis once again and you don’t feel the effects of the medication anymore.

Until you quit it and suddenly your brain, which has started sending out huge amounts of transmitters to compensate and balance the other transmitters, sends out more than it needs because the chemical is now gone. That’s why you get withdrawal. That’s why alcoholics have seizures. That’s why many people who stop their medications have bad mental side effects.

I don’t have health insurance so what does any of this matter? Even if I wanted medication I wouldn’t get it. So, I guess . . .

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Internet is working now.

Halfway To Jupiter

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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”.

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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.

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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. 

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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:

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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.

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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.