Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Moment in Time...

I stare at my face in the mirror. A week's old beard greets me in it's carrot red fashion. "I wish I could grow a beard without looking like a homeless Carrot Top!" I muse to myself as I let out a weak chuckle. Lunch was a supreme pizza prepared just like I like it. I cut it into slices, and then placed them in plastic bags to steam and for the crust to get soft and pliable again. It takes a gargantuan effort just to complete this step in my life. I can go days without eating when I get to feeling like this.

I walk by my bedroom on the way back to my computer room, and the bed looks so inviting. I wish I had a magical pill that would allow me to sleep on a whim. To sleep away my life when I get to feeling like this would be the perfect blessing.

I then sit down to write. I want to pour my heart out, but I can't. Too many people would get on to me and use my weakness as an excuse to write nasty comments. The below post pours out onto my blog anyway. For a fleeting moment, I just feel better and some of the gloom has lifted. Just by reaching out and sharing the less pleasant aspects of my schizophrenia, It makes them not so much a burden to bear.

Maggie is on the bed sleeping. It is drab and overcast -- a perfect day for a snooze in. I took the last two of my Benadryl hoping for the calm it induces. And it does. My arms feel lighter. The constant butterflies in my stomach go away. "You can't take anything addictive, though," my father yells at me in my mind as those pills take effect. "I will only give you four a day." And the pills are doled out to me in piecemeal fashion. Never enough for me, and one too many for my father's comfort.

What happened to when I could no longer make these choices for myself? It crept in insidiously. First, I was given $85 dollars a week. That was then taken away. Second, no more shopping at my father's drug store. "It is embarrassing," he told me one day when I was getting sodas. It was my only avenue for shopping without any money. I could charge what I bought down there. Next, came the medications at night. Despite doing well for months, my father decided I should be given my medications with them forced upon me. Threats are made if I don't take them. Terrible threats. Threats of starvation and cold. I couldn't take a chance. I can't live without the Internet and with the constant turmoil. Little by little my freedoms were whittled away to almost nothing.

I wrote a friend yesterday that I often dream of running away like some petulant teenager. I would give up everything to have a little freedom back in my life -- to live homeless in Nashville with what I have learned reading The Homeless Guy. He has a place to sleep, food to eat, and a laptop to blog in coffee shops. That is all I really need. They would hunt me down like a pack of hounds, though. My father would mobilize his great political clout to have me brought home. More freedoms would be taken away as more control and medications were exerted. "Only a crazy person would want to live homeless," my father has told me many times during our discussions. It would be the perfect excuse to dope me up even more.

I finally find my groove while writing. Chapter 12 of my memoirs has begun to be fleshed out. I can hear my radio playing softly as a cigarette dangles from my lips. Down the street, walks a neighbor seen outside this window as I peck busily away at this keyboard. I come alive in moments such as this. I call it a writer's frenzy -- ever spurring me on to loftier heights and perches on the writing plateau. That is one freedom that can't be taken away -- the gift of what is left of my mind and its yearning desire to express itself. My imaginations. My loves. My thoughts. And my desires. They can be squelched, but they are mine, and mine alone, swimming around in the tangled synapses of my brain. I may be crazy, but I have the freedom of thought and dreams -- freedoms no mortal man could take away from me forcefully or willfully. Dreams to strike out on my own, disowning my family to live life by my wits. And far off into the distance, the fat lady sings and she serenades me this last act in this play called Andrew's life. Let the next performers join the stage.

Positive things to be done Monday to take back control...

  • Pester Social Security relentlessly about getting my disability put in my name. They will need a letter from my doctor I found out today. I wonder if he will do this? Could it be so simple?
  • Get all household bills put in my name. Everything is in my father's name as it stands. No more threats of cutting off my electricity and the Internet!
  • Get my car title. I know my father has it.
  • Get my car insurance put in my name.
  • Change doctors ASAP.
  • Get a third party pharmacist.
  • Simplify and reduce my medications to a more reasonable level to where I don't feel blah and drugged all the time.

This is going to take a gargantuan effort by me. I just wish I had some help and didn't have to go this alone -- a mentor or something. A confidant that would go with me and hold my hand in support. I am scared of causing trouble and creating waves. I am scared of the anxiety attacks that will result when dealing with Dad. Wish me luck. I am trying to seek out positives instead of becoming mired in the negatives!

34 comments:

Sharyna said...

Andrew--I understand exactly where you're at. But as my therapist tells me, it's your decision not to shower and that's ok. At least you are making decisions. I want you to be ok. Maybe you need to change doctors--or fathers! LOL Get some sleep. Play with Maggie. Everything will be fine. Email me or comment on my page if you need any help.

sharyna

Anonymous Boxer said...

I just wanted to say "hello".

:-)

Ellie said...

I agree with Sharyna, for the most part. Better to make decisions that to rot. You are an excellent example of God's gifts. You should so proud of yourself! Don't be afraid to pour out your heart, if the right ones are guided to your blog, no one would ever try and use your weaknesses as an excuse to trash you.

Grad007 said...

That sounds like a great strategy for taking back control. Even if you don't get all those tasks done on Monday, completing even one of them is a big step towards more independence.

mosiacmind said...

i think that you have a really good list made. please remember that you are welcome to emotionally vomit via emails to me. i hope that joyce gets more stable soon. one thing that i wanted to tell you is that my family doctor who is one who is hyper vigilant not wanting me to take anything that might mess up my being clean and sober and is really alright when i take benedryl and has allowed me to take 4x the regular dose at times when sleep was nill. i am not saying that should take 4x just trying to share some experience and hope...........

amelia said...

I think that's the best news I've heard all day!!!

Take back your life, you're a big boy now!!!

Good for you!

darla said...

Andrew, I've been reading your blog for several months now. I rarely comment, but it doesn't mean I don't care.
I wish your father and doctor could "see" the Andrew that your readers "see". Obviously, they aren't looking very hard.
Hang in there! Your list of things to do Monday look good (difficult, but nonetheless, good!).

justLacey said...

Just remember Andrew that if you take bake your life, you need to be somewhat responsible. Bills have to be paid on time and you have to kinf of budget your money yourself. You will have to be an adult. Not always fun, but beats lettng someone else have all the control.
I read the Homeless Guy today. He creeps me out. Why would you want to be like that? I bet he wishes he could be like you with a place to live and no responsibilities. That is pretty much all he writes about. You are better than that.

rut said...

I then sit down to write. I want pour my heart out, but I can't. Too many people would get on to me and use my weakness as an excuse to write nasty comments.
Andrew,
I know there have been alot of comments about the anonymous posters. But I don't think what they had to say was nasty. What they said obviously stuck because you are still writing about it. I think the anonymous posters do care, but they aren't going to coddle you. I think you can take what both the anonymous posters & your regular poaters have to say & use what advice you need to get better.
I do wish you luck on your goals for monday. That is alot to take on at once. You might want to try one goal at a time. I dunno....
Good Luck....

CRUSTYBEEF said...

If you ever need help, We'd be happy to help you!!
I will have to check out THG...I as much as I dream of just running and changing my life when it gets dull and drab and anxiety ridden, I remember the good...

THought you'd like this one: we have snow watch until 3am-possible for 1-3inches!!!

Any luck on your camera?
I'm wishing you well! I know you can do it. And again, if there is anything I can do..I am a good listener.. :)
Peaceful thanksgiving my dear friend,
Always,
crusty~
p.s. your post had tears in my eyes.

abbagirl74 said...

Hey booger. It's been a long day. I have read the last several posts and I feel overwhelmed. I can't imagine how or what you must feel. As I read people's comments, I try and imagine what you must be thinking and what you are feeling. It hurts just to read some of the comments.

I wish I could say it's all going to get better and will go away, but even you know that isn't going to happen. I know some of the people who said they would no longer read your blog are still reading it. They can't escape it, they have to know what is said and what will happen next. It's almost as if they want you to fail or they want to see you fall.

I know that's not going to happen either. What people fail to realize is how this blog thing works. It's a mask of sorts. Readers only get the side you want them to see. It's even like that for bloggers who "tell it all". Readers will only see what they want to see. Perception is reality. That is one lesson I have learned the hard way. That is one lesson I know you already know. Let them come for the ride if they want. They will anyway.

Stay focused on your goals. Stay strong. Happy Thanksgiving. I am so thankful to have met you. This will be our second Thanksgiving as great blogging friends. Here's to a lifetime of them.

Kelly Jene said...

Well put, Abbagirl.

Andrew if I lived even a state or two closer, I would help you every step of the way. But even from here I can write you and support you and encourage you in each step you decide to make. That is a great list of goals. And remember, even if it only gets accomplished one step at a time, it is still a step in the right direction.

Remember the Chinese proverb, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or a list of 7 objectives begins with a single phone call. ;)

You are in my thoughts and heart.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

sorry to be a fester again, but I did just check out THG's blog...strange...but some good idea's...I'm thinking that of anyone that you deserve to have a wish list (such as his) but because you are the type that pays it forward...that would be something to think about. So, my dear friend, I ask you, what are your wishes?
:)
Always,
Crusty~

Ryan said...

It might be inappropriate, but would you mind showing us a picture of your beard, Andrew?

Ann said...

Long time reader, infrequent commenter here...

Can you get a social worker and the local mental health center to help you with some of this stuff? You have a right to make decisions about your own care. Your father sounds like (from your description) a very caring but overbearing person and you may need to take back control. However, it would be easier if you had an advocate on YOUR side. And it really may be time to go to a new doctor, one without ties to your dad. Easier said than done in a small town, I am sure. Still, make it clear that you don't give permission for them to discuss you with your dad - it's the law (HIPAA) that they have to abide, Maybe it won't be permanent, you cutting your dad out.

As I noted, I'm a long time reader and infrequent commenter. It seems pretty clear from your writings that you are having a tough time with your illness right now. But it's always seemed clear that you and your dad have a complicated relationship that hasn't really matured as you have. I hope you can help him move on from his outdated and overprotective impulses toward you. Remember, he doesn't have any blueprints for what this should look like either.

But mainly I just wish good things for you.

Leon said...

Andrew -- keep on writing and sharing your thoughts. And be sure to notice the difference between the "nasty comments" and those of friends who want to be there for you. Remember that friends are people who sometimes tell you what they think you "need" to hear rather than what you "want" to hear. Have a good Thanksgiving!

Eric said...

Andrew, I try to read your blog with an open mind. I try to listen to all you say and because of that I have formed some opinions that I think are fairly accurate. From what you have written about your dad, I see a man who loves his son, who believes he is doing what is best for his son, who is sometimes embarassed by the things his son does, esp. since y'all live in a small town. I see a man who does not appear to understand the humiliation you feel from his attempts to help you. I see a dad who is still thinking of his son as a child, and sometimes overcompensates for the mistakes his son has made in the past.

I also think that I am getting a better feel for how mental illness effects people. Mind you, I am not saying I am an expert by any stretch of the imagination. This insight offers me a different take on the struggles you face, esp. with your dad than others have mentioned. I think that some of the problem is perspective, how you are feeling at the time and seeing your relationship. I disagree with the negativity of many of those anon posters earlier, but one point that was made I do concur with: you need to examine your part in these struggles with your dad.

Having said all that, I wholeheartedly support your goals for taking back your life. I too would strongly recommend getting a third party to help set this up and help you keep on the right path. Any chance you might find help through AA?
Please excuse the length of this post.

Chandira said...

Andrew, I've got to be honest and express what reading this post and the comments brings up.
I really feel that whatever your father's been up to is plain wrong.
He's a bad father. Not badly intentioned perhaps, but bad in it's practical application and results.

I can see how living with such a person would mean that ANYBODY would have SOME problems. I know you love him, that's obvious, but I really think he's partially responsible for your problems. Not letting you make choices as fundamental at what you described amounts to abuse, no matter how loving the intentions might be.

I really hope that doesn't offend, and I hope it DOES spur you to take a look at that, and your relationship with him from that perspective. I'm not meaning to cause any pain here or any division between you and him, but honestly love, if he's treating you like that, it's time to really get some help from outside. An advocate for YOU is a great suggestion.
Threats???
I think Ann had some good things to say in that comment.

I think there's a cycle here of him wanting very much to control you emotionally, and that's set up your so-called 'problems'. Are your problems really problems, or have you always been told they are?

I'd love to see you sort them into 2 piles.. Ones you can be somewhat responsible for, and ones you can't, because that's what you were always told by 'authority' was the deal, when maybe it's not the case..

Having said all that, have a great Thanksgiving. I will be giving thanks for you and your friendship, and your awesome ability to be so honest and open with us.

Love

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Sharyna said...

I forgot to ask you your plans for Thanksgiving. I hope you have turkey and stuffing of some sort. Because I'm poor and crazy, I get a food basket filled with a turkey (this year) and fixin's. Last year, they gave us large chickens!

I had a reverse situation. Gramma had alzheimer's and was in a home. All I needed from the home was a note to get SS send me the check. Your doctor should be able to do it. At least get your phone and internet in your name. You need a phone for emergencies and the internet to work.

I could go on but I'll email you, it's more private.

sharyna

Summer said...

I read over quickly what you wrote today. I will come back tomorrow morning and read slowly. I just want to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. Who knows? Maybe it will turn out ok.

I wish you the best sweet pea! You know I love you!

CJM-R said...

I do wish you good luck Andrew.

I feel your anguish.

I like your idea of a mentor to help you to advocate for yourself. Hopefully, you will be able to find one you can feel comfortable with. They are out there.

Hope you have a pleasant rest of the evening.

Cheryl said...

Lots of advice here Andrew. Most of it really good. I'd agree with all the 'one step at a time' ones. And I do think you need an advocate.

Life is a journey, and we're all on it.

Kelly Jene said...

Hey friend, love the new header pic... gorgeous. Makes me want some hot chocolate.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving if I don't get a chance to tell you later!

Take care dear friend!

Adam said...

You do have an interesting wide range of interests. How about you go check more Real Life issues at http://logic-life.blogspot.com/

AlabamaGal said...

I can't imagine what you must be feeling but know you have many bloggers support and we care about you a lot and wish only happiness and the best for you.

I just finished doing some cooking and preparing for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner.

Now I am sitting here with two cats on my lap. Animals are so precious. Enjoy your sweet dog and let her bring you comfort in this rough time.

P.S. I was sad to see you had to pawn your camera the other day for benadryl. If there is anyway to save a little money and get the camera back that would be great. Armando and I were brainstorming last night at work and were thinking of great ideas for you to earn extra money by using your creativity like a calendar with nature inspired writings, or even a book of writing because you can make your own books cheap online now and sell it yourself. I've thought about making a cookbook that way before.

Well, just a few thoughts. We hate to see you give up your camera for now because we know how much we enjoy ours and we believe you are the same way.


Happy Thankdgiving!
-Michelle

Eric said...

Happy Thanksgiving! May your heart be as full of gratitude as your belly will be of turkey.

Justlimz said...

Hello... Just want to say "wish you all the best..."

simonsays said...

Andrew, I want to thank you for the very sweet comment you left on my page. You are a great friend and I want you to remember that when you are down. You have so many gifts and talents.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. :)

forsythia said...

Andrew,

You are courageous, and a darn good writer. I am sure someone down there can mentor you as you take back your life. Perhaps the local chapter of NAMI can get you linked up with a mentor. Good luck.

Summer said...

I came back to read it all this morning. I want you to know that reading here has helped me to understand mental illness far more than I have. You're a good teacher!

I like your list. BUT. Don't try to do it all in one day or week. It can't be. Do one thing at a time, take as much time as you need to do it, then go on to the next. AND. Get yourself to social services for an advocate to help you along. Your father hasn't "legally" had you declared incompetent to handle your own affairs has he? By this I mean through the courts.

Do remember that there are laws out there to protect you, like HIPPA. Remind your doctor of this.

Happy Thanksgiving.

jane said...

i'd be happy to hold your hand - am psychically doing just that - good for you to take some control! it's not easy to make changes, but it is liberating.

love\
jane

Lady Sneerwell said...

Wow, I mean wow. You're like the first actual human being I've ever found in Blogger. lol
Sometimes I get the impression from people's blogs that they just don't have any feelings left. But you sure do!

I hope you won't mind if I quote a little bit of your entry? ;)

jacobithegreat said...

yay for lists!
they make it so much easier to make it seem like you're getting things done.

hang in there, just a rough spot.