Popping Vessels and Such

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Image

Slipshod shoestring rope, tied off way too high. Fuck man, I’d like to hear that story again, but this headache, you know?

Don’t puzzle me with temptations, screws got loose okay and I don’t want that medication. Plugged into a magnet machine which vivisected my skull peace with radio style pulsations. Dude says they’re gonna have a topographical map of that gray matter.

They can change the tones to show puddles of blood, goop, or whatever submerging force sketched them wrinkly hills if they want.

Today it’s about hemorrhaging. Poor baby has that capillary blown man, shit looks rough. Doctor, where are thou doctor?

Show on the road, shit, last time that didn’t go far. Van life it then, lets live like homeless rockstars.

Yeah, let’s do that.

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Is BiPolar Mania a Drug to an Addict?

From a general standpoint, every mental illness (at least in my experience) offers it’s afflicted a slightly varied experience from the next in line. The numbers rattle off to “BiPolar Disorder Type I – Last Manic Episode Severe w/o Psychosis.” Next up is the well beloved Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) rounding out with Borderline Personality Disorder for good measure.

In a world of “medicated everyone” not many people blink an eye when the sack of pills comes out. Though in a strangely uncomfortable way it occasionally strikes me to explain what they’re all for and watch them adjust their demeanor in that so common and anxiously polite manner I’ve come to expect.

Here’s the kicker. When I was running a sales organization with a 150 reps, and quotas, plane travel 5 days a week – outside of the unchecked alcoholism at the time – you would never have known. The counselor that has finally found a checkmark next to his name for me continuously tries to reinforce that the mania can be used as an asset, a tool.

That’s where the differentiations come in for all of us.

In the early stages, mania feels like the beginning of fearless adrenaline rush without any edge. Endless possibilities are all within easy reach potentially. The stacks of chaotic problems encroaching all around are not only solvable but nearly laughable in their simplicity. With a blossoming confidence that transcends arrogance to simply become conviction that ANYTHING that I want to do right now I could do. Usually, I start walking, headphones in, my face will become unable to hold onto anything but a ear splitting toothed smile as I laugh out loud looking at the oncoming traffic. Air crisps or whistles across my skin. It’s the first moment you meet a new woman, it’s the first cigarette in the morning, it’s a tank of gas in the car and a world to explore, and it’s far to exquisitely perfect to be sustainable.

For me, this is where it starts. To the reader, if you felt as though there was nothing you couldn’t accomplish, the world was your oyster for a day – would you find it tempting to hold onto that?

Challenge #1 with comorbidity and dually diagnosed:

  • Regardless of consequences, addiction says “If it feels good, do it. Do it again….”
  • Mania can feel equally as potent as the strongest narcotics, with the same hazing of rational cause/effect evaluation.

The logical outcome is the circular pattern of up, down, feel bad, look for other options. Recovering from addiction is reliant almost entirely on the willingness to simply hand in the weapons and stop fighting. Surrender to the reality it is a losing fight, and if you stay away from using, you are on your way to brighter things.

Mania is deceitful though. Sure, it’s easy to throw an ungodly sum of anti-psychotics down someone’s throat until the pattern may well be nearly impossible to repeat. It could be argued on some level, that while a Thorazine shuffle isn’t a high quality of life, if it’s sufficient to overcome the initial hurdles of early sobriety without a high flying manic swing knocking you off the tracks, I don’t know how hard I’d argue against it.

That said, I’m a stubborn and foolish individual who continues to bolster the thought that, “If we just edge down the manic swings a touch so that I don’t feel like me I bet it would work…”

The reality is that I’m trying to stay high without thinking of it that way directly. My brain will pull magnificently orchestrated rationalizations out of the neurons they were stuffed for a rainy day until I’m willing to concede, that maybe, just maybe, this time everything will balance out. This is where the big kicker comes into play.

Challenge #2 deals with facts:

  • Not only do I know that I can do anything while manic, I’ve proved it to myself so many times over that it feels like I’m reliant on the mania to accomplish anything. Without tipping off into psychosis (which I’m blessed to not endure), in full blown mania, I truly will be the bizarrely entertaining, wildly offensive yet endearing, crazy charismatic and charmingly maniacal life of any party. FYI – sales is both a great and terrible place to put this to use.
  • Factually, I know that I only will have about 1-2 days of the enjoyable mania before it starts to turn me into something wildly unpredictable, sleep deprived, and consumed with a NEED for more – which inevitably leads into the cycle all over again.

 

I had written something try and put it in perspective for my poor parents who have watched this for 15+ years. Mania tried to capture all the blended excitement and frustration attendant with the feeling.

In essence, as everything builds up further and further, I force myself into a corner where the only outcome is going to be using my own self prescribed medication, or face another hospital which in the throes of mania seems completely ludicrous.

I recognize that the world looks at the series of insane adventures that have certainly occurred, the days without sleep, the spontaneous flights of fancy and even actual flights as something only a “crazy” person would do. Certainly, there is an element out of the norm, that’s why I’m taking medication and working on counseling in the first place. But for all the oddness, I delude myself with imagining that there is an element of jealousy beneath the demeaning words tossed around.

When things fade down, I’m always certain to get right back into the cycle with meds, visits, check-ups, retrospection. Invariably when the cycle completes I’ve lost my job, money is gone, probably overdosed once, and I’m homeless and coming back to family with my hand out. There is an absolutely bittersweet element to everything related to the upswings in BPD (much as I’m sure there are to the down as well).

This is not a life that I want to lead. I am working to follow the directions and accept the help of those still willing to offer it. So often though – just like with drugs and alcohol – all the progress fades away when the world takes on that special hue, sharpens up, and the rush comes on. I’ve lost homes, my wife, family, my life 6x (god bless Narcan), and even access to see my children for fear I’ll disappear again and leave them devastated. In the same breath, I left my pregnant wife nearly bankrupt and verging on foreclosure before she divorced me, and since, there are wide oceans of wreckage that spill against the happy homes of those that dared to care.

If you happen to see someone else having the time of their life while they pour gasoline on everything they’ve worked so hard for – speaking from experience – the smile is masking a far greater pain and frustration then is easily seen.

Tears from laughter and tears from misery both look the same.

This was originally written as an awareness building essay for another site that didn’t use it, so I’ll feed myself (and anyone who cares to listen to me prattle) the leftovers. Thank you for reading, and I really would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. ~S

Burning Bridges

Every feel like you didn’t just burn bridges behind you, but rather laid out a remarkably complex series of landmines just in case you wanted to go back and try to repair? 

Addiction Makes you Do Stupid Shit

Fact.

Melancholy for Anya

A minimal background here….the young girl in the photograph is my daughter. Because of both my actions leading up to the divorce and subsequent relapses, along with a “less then friendly” civility between the mother and myself – I have only seen her once in the last year and change. She’s about a year and a half to put it in perspective. 
Anya's Big Blue Eyes (2)

Some sing songs of longing,

Blazing with desire to find or be found.

A lonesome call to remove the isolation,

From the desperate state of silent night.

For others,

Absent are the sounds once felt.

Or missed because of poor choices.

To have loved and lost is a blessing,

To lose a love over choices given away,

Hurts the way that pain self-inflicted does.

Unswayed by pleas for mercy,

Nowhere to misdirect the blame.

I want to know my daughter,

But all I feel is shame.

Not at the beauty she is sure to be.

Surely not at the creative gleam in her eye.

Not her brilliant hand that will craft a world,

Or her soft skin that will feel the kiss of life daily.

The shame is a shattering indulgence.

A reminder striking loudly of what could have been,

Of where I should have been.

Wanted to be, and missed the closest moments with her –

And those can never be reclaimed.

Because she doesn’t know who daddy is –

And maybe doesn’t even know that I’m not there.

I’m sorry Anya.

I love you even if we aren’t together yet.

 

Small note – even though I only have a short call with her and my son weekly, she spit out a “dada” for me. 🙂

Built to Suffer – Addicts/Alcoholics

Note: I would love to hear from the rest of the addict community out there what they found to be their breaking point or share some experience with the damn cycle of relapse. Someone recently echoed my sentiments from bygone years…some of us are only allowed further suffering. There are existences that truly prove death to be a relief – active addiction is a great example. Please share, I know I’m not the only lunatic, chronic relapsing, seemingly deathwished addict out there having adventures when they want boring….I think. Thanks! -s

To anyone who ho has been following this blog, my apologies for the extended delay in posting….it has been a remarkably fucked up couple weeks.

I relapsed. I overdosed 3 hours after leaving one detox and was thrown from the car I was in onto someones front lawn. The police were called and I was resuscitated.

I left the hospital and went back to the house of the “friends” who had chucked me out and went on a coke shooting binge.

Two days later I had found a bed at another detox. Unfortunately, I use with the same intensity that I do everything else…so while it wasn’t an extended run, it was more than my body could handle.

When I showed up, my green haired angel started to help me get in and I simply collapsed. The ambulance took me to another hospital where it was found that I did indeed have an abscess forming on one arm, a blood clot on the other with the beginning of cellulitis, and most importantly, my kidneys were failing and there was concern that dialysis would be needed.

Makes sense when you consider that I hadn’t had anything to drink other than some wine in about 3 or 4 days.

I had been hallucinating earlier in the day which should have been a big warning. I had a conversation with a man while walking down a road about the quality of the train system running to Philadelphia…after blinking it was a bit frightening to find that in reality I had been standing still and there was no one there.

Took me right back to the meth days.

Eventually I left that hospital…lost my mind at the doctor for reasons I don’t fully understand. That miserable fucking shit sack decided that since I was leaving AMA he was not going to give me a prescription for antibiotics despite the fact they were giving them to me IV and as Bactrim pills. Not very positive karma from my side, but I hope he finds himself in a position someday where the hippocratic oath he took is ignored in the same way he did for me.

I left partially because I was starting to see red and wanted more than anything to break that fuckers teeth out the back of his throat….I might have been a bit crazy.

Turns out crazy was right…I’ve never been completely hysterical before. Waiting for my angel to show up again, I was sitting in a parking lot, sobbing, laughing, and yelling simultaneously. Everyone I spoke with on the phone that had previously offered help started getting scared and decided to bail.

There’s still only one person in the world that I can trust to always be there beside my mother – Misha. She took me to yet another hospital, spent the night with more IVs and going nuts….

Since I was homeless again, she helped me find a place to stay with a couple individuals that understood the madness I was going through.

Eventually I made it back into the same detox facility that I had tried to get to previously.

I completed it, and will be moving to another “sober living house”. I have multiple probation violations, new court dates, and am relying completely on my family for financial support like a child and not a 29 year old.

Fucking addiction.

Fucking disgusting.

I hurt so many people that I truly cared about and who cared about me with this relapse. I’m sorry to you if you happen to read this to the one who introduced me to country music and taught me to dance – and to the one who always floats on the outside of my thoughts. I’m an idiot, but you already know that.

And to my “neverland” – you know what I would say to you. You’re my everything.

Misha #5

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Yard

Blistering heat from a liquid sun,

That has burned up thoughts,

My eyes, their soul and my fun.

What brought on this sanguine approach?

Lost crouching and encroaching on sad joys and lost hope,

I’ve spun out my wheels into newly made glass,

Sand heated to molten,

Razing a shimmering patch.

Skidded to halt over stones constructed as ruts,

My misery shines through soaked in blood, tears, and guts.

Systematic breakdown of holy while high,

Head snapping, throat shaking, body trembling, while I –

Stagger to golden notes,

Choke quietly on the last strand of hope,

Chase goals through my screams,

Praying each daymare fades to a dream,

Balance desperately on life’s beam.

Stable for now,

Scared to say how.

Each breath shoves me closer to the edge,

Welling up my sweet desperate pledge,

To my kids and myself –

“I’ll change this life to a road followed out of hell.”

My mind and spirit can shatter,

Leave me mad as Alice’s hatter –

And though clouds block her burn,

To touch that blistering heat of our liquid hot sun,

Is to what I aspire and yearn.