Yay

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Saw my best friend, Julie, yesterday. Hopped a greyhound, got there in the morning and we went to the beach.

It was so nice to be with someone who’s known me for a long time…we gel really well as people, and it’s good to have a friend that is so smart and caring.

Being in nature again was wonderful. The beach was gorgeous.

Living close to downtown like I do, I see a lot of concrete and buildings..it’s nice to see so much green and trees.

She’s due on November 24th, and having a boy. I’m so excited to bean aunt. New life in the world. Wow.

I’ve been struggling in general, depressed, stressed out.

Not even sure what’s going on…think opening up to new people is hard for me, especially with my past.

It’s really hard for me to enthusiastic at all, especially romantically, and that’s almost becoming it’s own issue. Like I feel better alone but that makes me more depressed.

Idk, feel like things are running their course with my romantic situation… I’m in a dark place with little hope. I’m not excessive with it, but it certainly alters my ability to be enthusiastic. The guy is super enthusiastic and ambitious, and encouraging even, but I think I’ve been so emotionally distant and concealed that he’s giving up.

Honestly think he’s too,um, not damaged for me. Like I have tons of weird shit and negative experience that I don’t want to just lay on him.

Haha. “This isn’t going to work, you’re just not fucked up enough for me.”

Ultimately, though, it was good to connect with someone. It’s a reminder that I’m still alive…one of my friend’s seems to have cotards syndrome, which is the belief that you are dead.

While I don’t think I’m dead, in some metaphorical sense after giving up drugs/alcohol and my last relationship, and maybe even dating, I think I thought life was over.

It’s nice to know that I can still function in the world, even if love is difficult for me. Hell, I don’t think I ever had the normal capability to feel loved. I could/can love, but almost never feel like it’s returned.

Oh! Bought my first piece of art for my apartment this weekend.

From headhunterapparel on Etsy.

Reading “the best minds of my generation”, a print form of Allen ginsbergs lectures on the beat Generation. It’s covering Burroughs right now, Allen’s insight into his internal conflict and self hate really add more layers to his writing…

Burroughs is so sardonic, removed, controlled and logical, but it disguises deep emotions…the man was an inveterate outsider, no wonder I love him.

Avoidant Personality Disorder/Medication

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  1. Check out Avoidant Coyote, here’s a link to their memes.
  2. Doing a class presentation on “Avoidant Personality Disorder”, but I’m trying to make it a combination of what the DSM V says and information that is more “real world” accessible, ie. youtube videos produced by people with the disorder, memes, etc. Problematically, I feel like I’m making it too relatable, and half the people paying attention are going to convinced they suffer from it, and the other half are going to be convinced it’s not a “real” diagnosis.
  3. I‘m going through another deep questioning phase with the whole “mental health” system- specifically the abundant pharmaceutical response to every issue a human being could experience, and my own life in relation to that. I‘ve been implementing a more regulated and healthy lifestyle over the last few years. I feel like I didn’t learn much in the way of coping skills in the first half of my life. I think my problems were related more to that and flourid substance abuse rather than organic brain dysfunction. Honestly, the longer you keep me off alcohol/drugs, and the further away I am from unpredictable people, the more stable and predictable my life gets. “Don’t follow me”, as Cee lo Green says.
  4. That was a complicated way of saying “I am tapering off my psych meds. I’ve told a couple people close to me, so if three or four weeks from now, my daily life consists of curling in a fetal position and listening to Sister Morphine on repeat for hours on end, we can deal with that level of dysfunction before things get completely out of control.”
  5. Although, now there could be things legitimately atypical about my brain now based on the amount of weird chemicals that have passed through it and trauma, so that’s something to be aware of, as well.
  6. There is no “baseline performance” for my brain. I just feel like assuming this one specific thing is wrong with me based on a really uncertain history is dubious. Literally, the stuff that could be wrong with me is a)medically nothing, I was my family’s scapegoat/Identified Patient, and in my teen years  Ideveloped substance abuse problems, and have been treated with toxic medication for years for no reason. b) anything from depression/anxiety, bipolar I or II depending on the doctor, or, if it’s friday and you’re feeling festive, borderline personality disorder.
  7. There just seems to be a pattern along the lines of the less chemicals in Joss’ body = the better she operates, ultimately.

Meta-Post

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I’m trying to write a post on how mental health, substance abuse/dependence and culpability intersect with one another, which will be interesting if I ever manage to finish it or figure out what my exact opinion is on that messy combination. However, I keep getting horribly sidetracked by interrelated issues while writing, getting too personal with other people’s lives, which I feel is crappy behavior, have to re-draw the line on where my responsibility began and ended in past situations, which I did with my fourth step, but my perceptions have radically changed in the last six plus months.

One of the main problems with writing this is that one of major events in my life was a messy abusive relationship that I kept going back to. It really should have ended a lot sooner than it did, and I started out talking about my own responsibility with it, and ended up getting tied up with my ex-partner’s end of the situation. The man I was with had a number of wonderful qualities (which is another thing, is people don’t really seem to realize how ostensibly “normal/above normal” abusive people can be in certain areas/seem), but also had a number of physical and mental health issues (beyond what should be applicable to a man in his 30s), including paranoid schizophrenia.

At the time, I kept arguing with myself about how responsible he was for his actions, but it would have been better, I guess, to operate from a different viewpoint. Something more along the lines that no matter what the cause is for certain behavior, especially when it’s repeated, combined with the responsible party’s knowledge of the problem and tendency to put fuel on fire rather than attempt to mitigate it well…that’s pretty good grounds for terminating a relationship, really.

But I feel shitty talking about this, because I feel that people with schizophrenia are talked about negatively too much. I’m certainly no expert on it, but I’ve known two other people well enough to know that it was part of their life, and they were both good people, one of them was pretty instrumental to me psychologically surviving a chaotic portion of my life.
*sighs* I guess the point is that the man is an asshole with schizophrenia, not an asshole because of schizophrenia.

Should I be treating this specific disorder differently than any other medical condition? Honestly, I feel like if, for example, he had heart issues, or even depression, and actively disregarded them while doing things to worsen his health,  I’d feel differently/talk about it differently. But maybe it is appropriate to treat this differently.

 

The Blue Sky Tag

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Knight was gracious enough to tag me in this, and provided some amazing questions; Here are my answers and tags for others, feel free to answer as you wish:

Here are the rules:

  • Give 11 questions
  • Tag as many people as you want
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you

Questions:

  1. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to?

2. If you could recommend one book and/or movie to the rest of humanity, what would it be?

3. Describe the strangest thing that has ever happened to you.

4. What poem or piece of writing has had the biggest impact on you?

5. Who’s your favorite artist? (Music, visual art, or writing)

6. Was there one moment that changed your life in some way? If so, what was it?

7. Share a song with us.

8. What are your spiritual beliefs?

9. What do you miss the most? (Person, place or thing)

10. What is your ultimate goal in life?

11. What skill have you yet to master?

 

People tagged:

  1. PinkForDays

2. Jeff

3. Sharmishthu Basu

4.desertcurmudgeon

5. Himanshi Shukla

6. Manal

7. Unhinged and Unenlightened

8. AddictedSophie

9. Vera Wabegjig

10. Krista

11. soberinvegas

What made you start writing ?

I’ve been writing since childhood. It helps me organize my thoughts and I enjoy it.

 

Your favorite writer/ poet ?

That’s a hard one. Currently, I love Thich Naht Hanh’s books on basic mindfulness practices, but in terms of a long term relationship with a writer/poet, it’s Allen Ginsberg . I used to walk around with a printed out copy of his poem “Howl” in my coat in high school.

 

A fear yet to conquer

I’m weirdly afraid of succeeding. I have a long history of getting within spitting distance of a goal, and then going off in a weird direction/distracting myself with something else and losing the opportunity or messing things up for myself.

 

Describe yourself

Ooh, boy. I dunno. I’m pretty easy-going and calm, unless I feel like someone is violating the basic laws of being a human being. I don’t end up in these situations a lot, but I will call whoever it is on what they’re doing, and calmly destroy them in about five sentences. Yeah, it’s a cool talent and usually gets whoever it is to stop doing whatever they’re doing, but seeing me in “attack” mode freaks people out.

Also there’s no hallmark card that says something along the lines of: “Sorry for pointing out that you were doing the same thing your asshole father did to you when you were a kid when you were attacking a someone for doing something minorly wrong/being in a situation they didn’t create/etc.”

 

Your ultimate goal in life

A stable, quiet life.

 

Will you call yourself an introvert or extrovert?

I’m pretty strongly introverted, but I’m actually kind of good at jobs like cashiering and working front desk at a hotel. If you just focus on filling the other person’s needs and making sure they have a good experience, it’s not that hard.

 

Your Zodiac sign

Western: Sun: Pisces, Moon: Aries, Rising: Cancer.

Interesting note: I have several combinations of planets that are linked to a heavy tendency toward addiction.

Vedic: Ashwini.

I don’t know a lot about the technical aspects of vedic astrology, but I had a birth chart done by Kapiel Raj about a year ago. Vedic astrology tends to be more predictive, and deals more with long-term patterns than western astrology.

In terms of romance, I’m something called manglik, which has stigma attached to it, and basically means I have bad luck in love, and it’s likely that I’m going to marry late…or I’m going to unintentionally kill my spouse with my overtly fiery nature. It seems to depend on who’s talking.

Weirdly enough, he said there’s a chance in the next few months that I’m going to meet a tall, fair man through friends who works in law enforcement, something like a probation officer, and it would be my “ideal” match.

I don’t know how much weight I put on that, but I’m amused because my type is more along the lines of “short, dark, and has a probation officer”.

…seriously, I get this image of me walking next to some tall blonde giant and it makes me laugh…my boyfriends are generally closer to 5’7 than 6’7….

I could never go to this guy’s place of work, I’d probably know like half the dudes in the waiting room…

Also, my career aspects are weird, and it’s recommended that I work for myself, and I have several healer/shaman aspects and should consider a career in alternative medicine.

Chinese: Earth dragon, no clue what any of that means beyond what you’d read on a placemat at a Chinese restaurant.

 

Movie you have watched hundred times and can watch over a hundred times more and still relish it

Beetlejuice, my first favorite movie. I wore out the tape and ate the box as a small child, and still enjoy it as an adult.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic87SfqQAAM

 

If given a chance , which famous personality would you like to date ?

Out of those people who are living, not approximately 100 years old, and attracted to women (which narrows things down to a depressing degree)-we’re left with Damian Marley, who I believe is married.

He’s scarily intelligent, spiritual, and is a kinda “street”, which is what I like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djWm-5fjyWA

Okay, so he seems more than a little street here…

Also in real life, I have a horrible time understanding men with Jamaican accents. Women from the islands I understand, most people with accents don’t throw me, or at least for long, but I’m pretty sure every man from Jamaica that’s dealt with me thinks I’m a little deaf and a little slow.

 

Your Favorite writing genre

Spirituality/Recovery from addiction/Self-help

 

The decision you regret the most

Hm, it’s hard to pick, but there’s a guy (actually there’s a couple like this, but this guy is in his own league) who’s been in and out of my life for years, but we’ve basically been in each other’s social orbits for about fifteen years now (which is approximately half my life, thank you very much). Every time he reappears, my life turns into complete chaos and I’m totally thrown completely off balance in 2 weeks to month. He’s basically a human poltergeist.

It sounds like I should have figured this out sooner, he displays a lot of normal “toxic” traits, but literally some of the stuff that happens in my life when I’m around him are a) totally unrelated to him, b) really weird and just kind of inexplicable.

If I could have never met him or decided to befriend him, or the in the very least decided to stop giving him the benefit of the doubt so much, that would have helped me out.

Like, have you seen the Dark Knight? The last time we saw each other was (hopefully) as close to this moment as I’m going to get in my own life…and it was substantially less dramatic…also, this better be the one time in my life I compare myself to Batman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oPsvq81n2A

Ahaha…I don’t feel like the Harley Quinn to his Joker, I feel like the Batman…

Whenever we hang out, it’s like 2-6 hours of mental chess that always ends with:

Him: ….crazy whore….

Me: …white trash thief….

Is there such a thing as a “dark” soulmate? Like someone that’s going to eternally mess with you without even trying half the time? We run into each other sometimes randomly at gas stations, through friends we didn’t know were mutual, etc.

I actually asked him out approximately three months ago based less on my attraction to him and based more on how astronomically weird I find this situation, we have a really weird synergy and I thought that maybe like having a more traditional relationship with him would change the mind-bending elements of this relationship, or at the very least extinguish some lingering questions. Now he’s my second biggest reason for moving a minimum of 2-3 hours away…

Drugrehab.com

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Recently, someone from drugrehab.com reached out to me about potentially collaborating, which is super-exciting.

What’s even better are the resources provided on the site, the first thing I’m struck by is their free e-book on sobriety, found here, which is a wonderful dossier on the process of getting sober. I really wish I had found something like this earlier in my recovery, and find a lot of it is still useful to me at this point.

Other things you’ll find include help with finding rehabs, getting insurance coverage, guides on issues related to substance abuse – I especially like their article on domestic abuse and substances–  and write-ups on specific drugs – their article on meth is pretty accurate, and includes this paragraph:

Consider that the human brain produces dopamine, the primary chemical of happiness, in different amounts based on what we experience. Sex increases dopamine levels 100 to 200 units. Meth, by comparison, can spike the brain’s dopamine level to about 1,250 units.

This is the best is a objective description of how horrible my first year out of serious methamphetamine addiction was. My brain was used to high levels of dopamine, desensitized to the amount of dopamine anything I could do would produce, so I was stuck in both an eternal brain fog and a hell realm of apathy, disinterest and depression for six months before it abated…It really took me about a year to return to anything resembling a normal psychological baseline.

I feel that Drugrehab.com is a great addition to the current conversation on addiction. A lot of information on the web is somewhat biased, incomplete, or written from a specific viewpoint on addiction, and frankly sometimes these sites feel like more of a sales pitch than anything, so definitely check it if it’s relevant to you.

 

Shifting Identities

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“I can hear them talking in the real world,

but they don’t understand

that I’m losing myself in a white trash hell.”

Everclear, Heroin Girl

I have never had a good sense of self. I was repeatedly told I was a worthless piece of shit as a child, and it stuck and prevented me from being able to value myself as a person. Years of my life were spent trying find scraps of love and live under other people’s rules. I never aware that I was my own entity and could live by myself under my rules. There are so many people out there that will shape you and break you to make you into what they think they want, and guess what? You’ll never be good enough for them.

So, my “true” self disappeared into addictions, people-pleasing, co-dependency, and a thousand other broken coping mechanisms. Talking about my past and throwing the whole thing into perspective helps me gain insight into myself with my sponsor last night, but I’ve been straight up exhausted. I kinda want to figure this out, for my own sake.

Here’s a brief introduction to the different people I’ve been in my 20’s:

18: Honor student. Drinks, does vicodin and adderol. Takes year off school to “get head together” and go to New Hampshire.Drinking and pill use intensifies.

21: At college for Political Science, convinced she’s going to make leftist anarchist theories a thing in American political discourse. Been in lesbian relationship for 3 years, engaged, but unable to legally marry; heavy drinker, heavy use of klonopin, on occasion secretly gets high and has mutual “bitch about my girlfriend” fest with neighbor guy. Smokes crack once, panics, takes cold shower and swears to never do it again.

23: College dropout, Suicide attempt, klonopin and whiskey. Diagnosed as bipolar 1, psych refuses to believe amount of whiskey being consumed by 23 year old girl.

24: Leaves fiance, moves into “Roadstar Inn” – cheap hotel, tries to get sober and switches to large amounts of marijuana, cough syrup, and ends up in non-sexual but strangely sexually frustrating with man who’s car she lives out of. “Do you sleep with everyone who isn’t me?” Man is on probation and has to rescue her from bars and other dubious situations.

Other memorable moment: Accidentally goes home with cop from a bar, quotes Scarface “Do you know what a chaza is?” (ANS: A pig who don’t fly straight); has sex, cop finds weed; says something about giving her a break; she blacks out for several hours, comes to watching cop in boxers frying eggs and telling her she’s circling the drain.

First time at Narcotics Anonymous.

Age 26: Mostly homeless, starting to experiment with meth in beginning of year, pretty much lets random men feed her random drugs and has a different boyfriend every 2-5 weeks. By end of year, starting to get hooked on opiates, snorting meth/ In rehab for 4 months. Strangely popular with the homeless community. (For real, dude, I’ve always been a shy loner, with like three friends,  but for some reason I was like, one of the popular homeless “kids”. If you’re wondering, it’s a lot like being popular in high school, but with more smells and death.) Diagnosis switched to bipolar type 2.

Age 27: Moves from rehab to women’s transitional shelter, steady job as front desk attendant at hotel; everything fine and peaceful for six month stretch of sobriety until she instantly falls in love with a guy with a lot of health problems and on/off addictions to alcohol, meth, and heroin. Verbal abuse and possessiveness start; Moves into hotel with guy anyway, gets hit, goes on the lam and has brief junkie whore period before begging women’s transitional shelter for uh, shelter. On/off relationship with guy, generally ends up going off the drug deep end every few weeks.

Smokes crack second time; doesn’t get high, subjects room to speech about the obvious superiority of meth.

Age 28: Spends time at women’s half-way house (Oxford House), cleans up, works on a regular basis again, volunteers, does well until leg breaks in Nov; moves to friend’s apartment and her program starts to slide.

Age 29: Enrolls in tech school. Moves back to hometown. Starts to get dry drunk syndrome, reunites with the guy who’s car she used to live out of and other dudes from her past, relapses for about a week (I think?), sobers back up, lives in perpetual state of panic until she finally finds a sponsor.

Can be generally described as worn-out and cynical.

Diagnosis: Depression with substance abuse problems or type 2 bipolar, psychiatrist and the world are confused.

I’ve been 29 for under two months now, so like…that’s it, folks.

No wonder I have psychological whiplash.

30 Days Sober

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Being alive is such a blessing.

 

Spring is beautiful, new life is blossoming, and I’m learning a new way to live. Sobriety this time is much easier, because I decided to open myself to healthy people and take suggestions. My whole life has been pretty isolatory and self-willed – I was raised to think no one really cared and never fit in or expected to as a child/teen, so learning how to be open and trusting as an adult is difficult. Starting and keeping conversations going is difficult for me with new people, but it’ll come with time.

I opened up about my life story with my sponsor last night and I’ve been completely exhausted since. Slept well, woke up still being tired. I wasn’t that long-winded, and I jumped around a lot, but that’s the most I’ve ever sat down and verbally told someone at once, especially someone I don’t know well. Honestly, I am just worn out and feel physically exhausted. From talking. I don’t get it either.

I’m so closed off that my best friend, who’s known me for over 13 years, just found out that I was homeschooled as a child last November. I wouldn’t say I’m secretive necessarily, I was taught not to talk about myself, that no one was really interested and it’s better to listen to the other person. I have a lot to work on.

I don’t expect to always be this contented or happy, but living in this moment is beautiful. Every time I’ve let something go in the last year, God has given me something better. Reading more about Buddhism is teaching me not to cling to what I think I want, and that all things in this world pass. Having accepted that, it’s much easier to deal with change and loss.

I’m also grateful to be re-working the steps. I switched from N.A. to A.A., and I’m not sure if this is a program difference or a difference between my sponsors, but my original working of the steps was primarily me filling out the stepworking guide and reading my responses to my sponsor.

In A.A., or with my new sponsor, there’s more of a structure – reading assignments, and much more discussion of the program. I feel like I’m going to get more out of doing the steps this way.