No poetry this post, sorry. Tune in next time, soon.
Yes I take drugs.
I take 4 different psych meds, not high dosages and I’m unable to notice any annoying side-effects. There have been several times in my mentally-ill life that I have been med free and doing fine, thank-you. The last few years I have needed, or seemed to need, some chemical support to stay operational. This doesn’t count the insulins I need to survive type 1 diabetes.
Late last week I got 2 calls in one day telling me I was “not selected” for jobs I interviewed for, both were jobs I’m very well qualified for, thought I did great in both interviews. The clincher on one was when they said they found someone who was more experienced in a particular area. It just so happens that, no ego here, I am probably the very most experienced and qualified in this specific area in the state. Made me feel like a loser. Made me feel paranoid about my mental-health rep and the possibility that people I had listed as references who are so very supportive to my face may actually be undermining my job search. “Objection!”…” But Judge, this goes directly to the subjects state of mind!”… “Okay then, I’ll allow it…”
A few days back (…4?…5?) I ran out of 2 of the most important psych meds. One helps me sleep (among other things) and the other is an SSRI. Now, I know all about abrupt SSRI withdrawal, personal and observational data gained at some difficulty. But, thing is, I have been broke. Can’t afford even the co-pays. Also, 2 days back I ran out of one of my insulins; again, can’t have what ya can’t pay for. My sleep has been very odd- it;s like I’m sleeping but can’t tell if I’m awake or dreaming. I sweat very heavily (yeah,too much info, sorry).
I have been getting more and more “weird”. I have thoughts and perceptions I know aren’t right. It has become harder to carry on even simple conversations with family members because I have to keep editing myself, trying not to say something too strange or something that might worry my wife or younger son (who still lives at home).
I haven’t brought my lack of meds up at all. I know we don’t have money. I have feared that my wife would call my mother or some other family member. I am so sick of begging, being dependent. It reinforces my feeling of being a pathetic loser. BTW- I know that this is also probably an example of not thinking right.
I haven’t called anyone who might be helpful- well, I called someone but they weren’t answering and so I stopped trying. I have become more and more paranoid that people will find out how worthless, pathetic and crazy I am. I have become increasingly afraid to talk to anyone.
Friday, 4 days ago?, I was already losing it but the day went to hell way beyond what I could handle. But I tried to handle it anyway. I did everything wrong, at least in the eyes of the people around me, especially my wife. Her car broke down (I’m no mechanic) and she took my car to work, swapping it back later in the day. The bank account was overdrawn and I ended up using the last of my unemployment money to get the balance back to zero.
Thing is: I was so shocked to find the account overdrawn. I knew exactly what was in the account and the day before I talked to my wife about not using the “apparent” balance showing on the account- it was just ghost money that would soon be gone. She made 2 relatively small payments- for gas and $20 cash (perfectly legit uses for money)- and added to the two $35 overdraft fees put us a hundred bucks in the hole. I saw in our future a black hole of overdraft fees that would continue to pile up until we couldn’t do anything about it. (This is not an unreasonable fear in itself- it’s happened before.)
During the day she wrote another hundred dollars in checks to cover important medical co-pays she needed to get her insurance set up with a new provider. I talked our son into getting a $100 cash advance to cover the upcoming overdraft.
She got a ride home from work after suggesting that we get a “drink” on the way when I picked her up.
She got home from a co-worker. She indicated she still wanted to go get a drink.
We’re still on Friday. Instead of taking her to get a drink I took my son to his bank to get cash and then went to our bank to deposit cash. I went home. My wife was half asleep but I could tell she was mad. Why had I prioritized going to the bank (before it closed)? Why had I spent all our cash covering the bank overdraft?
So, I made it worse. I went out and found a mechanic neighbor who said they would help me diagnose the problem with her car. We found that things were much worse than I could fix on my own (or without money to invest in a real mechanic).
By the time I got back I knew I was in the doghouse and in the very back of said animal abode.
The next day she was still mad. I was beginning to really lose it. My brain was definitely not functioning well. Being incapable of reasonable conversation, made the relationship problems worse. I was even more afraid to tell that I had no meds and was experiencing alternate reality that was more and more scary.
I didn’t go to Friends Meeting- I was too agoraphobic at this point. I didn’t wantto have to talk to anyone if possible.
The saga continues: So, over the course of the weekend I got weirder and weirder. Tried to stay inconspicuous. Not a complete success.
This morning: cried from 8 am to 10. Then walked around the neighborhood trying to find cans and bottles that I could take to Safeway and get some oatmeal and toilet paper (I judged these to be the most important things I could get). Cried from 12 to 1pm, until got a call from my wife at work. She asked me what was wrong. “nothing”. She said she was going to call my mother and get money to buy meds. I begged her not to do this. She hung up. I cried some more. She called back and said that she would go to the pharmacy and write hot checks to cover the meds. I sobbed until she arrived with a bag of drugs. I had shit in my head that I will not share with you, kind strangers, but just know that it was very bad.
Now I have taken pills, even ones I don’t usually take (some sedatives). My wife has some difficulty being around me when I’m “not right”. I have stayed mostly in our room and either just kept my eyes closed or read a stupid crime novel.
Why did all this happen? How come I let it get so far? Why can’t I call on people when I need help? (Wait: I can answer that last one- Most people don’t want to hear from you when you are “not right”. They want to have you feel better, right now. When you don’t get better right away they get nervous, impatient and can’t wait to hang up. Also, I am not good on the phone. I can’t usually talk comfortably to people I can’t see.)
Madness, feeling like you can’t think right, feeling pathetic/ worthless and suicidal- these are not good ways to be. I don’t go out of my way to feel like this. In fact I have put an extraordinary amount of time and thought into making sure I don’t go there. But sometimes, the best laid plans….
I know I’m not alone. I spend a lot of time with people who walk the edge. I know that slipping is common and that isolating is a very common response to the slippery slope.
Later this week I will be teaching 3rd through 5th graders at a conference in Corvallis, as part of a children’s program designed to allow parents to attend and give children a pint-sized dose of the conference topic: That of God in Everyone (It’s a Quaker conference- North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
The main result of this engagement that relates to issues at hand is that I will have to postpone the monthly radio show till next week- a full week after the Full Moon. So:
Mad Liberation by Moonlight is postponed until Friday 7/25, I think.
What is it with me and comic book characters today?
BTW- this following false Advertisement was done by a woman who is “sick of the pink, flowery, sound of music” shtick that goes with feminine hygiene products.
Good luck, stay safe, do as I say, not as I do, please be as happy as the circumstances will allow, if not more so. Until next time…(soon)…