Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sit Down, Shut Up, and Listen...

That is what I was told at a noon AA meeting by an elderly old timer.  He was right.  I run my mouth too much and need to listen more.  One thing I will say about alcoholics in AA is that they are brutally blunt and honest.   I am a sensitive soul, though, and it hurt my feelings.  I mumbled the serenity prayer and got to feeling better about the whole affair. 

Friday, May 30, 2008

Gluttony!



Hotline to God...

There has been a strange van showing up at Joyce's house at night since she has been home.  The speculation between Mom and I is that Joyce has a boyfriend. 

"Oh no!" my father said last night when I mentioned it. "That is that wacky preacher of hers who is giving her religious counseling for her mental illness."

Religious counseling for mental illness?  I scoffed.  Joyce has a bio-chemical imbalance in the brain and that causes her mental illness.  Only medications can help.

I was once told schizophrenia was a gift of insight from God by my grandmother's preacher.  I could see and hear spiritual matters most normal people couldn't.  When I was mentally ill this only fueled the fire that was my malfunctioning brain.   I thought I had a direct connection with God.  Kind of like a hotline to spirituality.   They put me on an atypical anti-psychotic and any religious tendencies I had disappeared.  It was all a delusion.  I sometimes miss that religious fervor as it is much easier to explain the scary unknown and a chaotic world with God involved.  It was comforting in an odd way.  Truly the opiate of the masses.      

"I hate God!" she said.

It has been several weeks since I quit taking Benadryl.  I now have a large stockpile of the pills in my kitchen cabinet.  Dad still gives me six at night.  My doctor originally suggested Benadryl for my anxiety.  The active ingredient in the allergy medicine is commonly used in sleeping pills.  It does help to calm you down and make you mellow.  I just couldn't take a reasonable amount.  I would take six at a time to get a buzz from the pills.  

Joyce has been acting strangely today.  I keep watching out my kitchen window to find her pacing on her carport.  I am tempted to walk out and talk to her.  I am just afraid I might startle her and make things worse.  The last time she did this I had to call the paramedics.  She kept screaming she hated god.  The police arrived and said it was a religious matter and urged me to call her pastor. "She's mentally ill!" I pleaded with the officers in black.  The police finally got her family involved and got her in the hospital. 

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hermit Version 7...

I already spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer.  I wistfully thought tonight that I could withdraw from the real world and take on a full time online persona much like The Homeless Guy has done with Second Life.  Online life and relationships are so very easy to control.  If I don't like what you have to say, I just don't read it.  If I have a question, I can search via Google.  I can live vicariously through the many hundreds of blogs I read daily, and I do to a certain extent.  People lead such fascinating lives. 

I wouldn't have anything to write, though.  Much of my writing lately stems from my personal interactions with people.  It was the same when I was writing about George and the gang.  I made it my job to go down to the shopping center daily to garner up a post for the blog.   I had grand dreams of being the next Waiter Rant. 

I also crave human contact.  I went and got Mom tonight and despite all her recent problems, I was overjoyed to have her here.   I easily overlooked her suspicious behavior for my own selfish gain of company.  Joyce being home has also brought me immeasurable joy despite tenuous and dire circumstances surrounding her living arrangements.  

I guess what I am trying to say is I have a story to tell -- a story of the people in my life.  I wouldn't do this if it was like a job or tedious.  I love to open Windows Live! Writer and craft a post.  The icing on the cake is when others enjoy it as well and share in on my tales.   I have an impetus to continue doing something so scary to a person with social anxiety and mental illness, and that is to go out into the big wide world and intermingle.  Scary, but so rewarding for me. 

J-O-B!

It is so easy now that I am working to be sanctimonious about the whole affair.  So easy to blithely tell someone who is on the dole to get a job!  We think we are in some special club when 99 percent of the world works for a living making us not so special.   There is a big difference between working for a living and doing something you truly enjoy, though.  You can train a monkey to do a repetitive task as most jobs are.   It takes a stroke of genius to get paid for a labor of love.  Who decided this social fabric for us?  I question that often. 

My father hates his job.  My mother hated her job as a school teacher for 30+ years.  The only job I enjoyed was working at the pet store, and that is because I loved tropical fish and all the perks that came along with it.  I don't particularly like my current job except for the fact that it is so socially and familial-ly acceptable.  I don't feel so guilty for being on disability.  I am paying taxes. 

Today, I almost wrote on my previous post that The Homeless Guy would never volunteer at the Rescue Mission cause it would be like a J-O-B.  I was falling so deeply into that sanctimonious trap I've seen so often spewed with vitriol on his blog comments for years.   GET A JOB!   I leaned back in this chair and thought long and hard, and deleted what I wrote.  It gave me much food for thought. 

What's Next?

Okay, so I joined Second Life by downloading the client and creating an account.  The Homeless Guy spends all his days in-world and I am infatuated with the guy.  I search for his name, Rez Messing, and add him as a friend.  He accepts much to my very own shock.  But what do you do?  It seems to be a glorified chat client.  And what would buying land with real dollars do for me?  The world is so big that it is easy to get lost.  I am completely lost already.  I seem to be stuck in the Badlands of Second Life. 

The Homeless Guy has started an in-world group to create avenues of communication for homeless people.  I joined, but excuse me?  How would some virtual world ever help homeless people who are sleeping on the streets and eating in soup kitchens in the real world?  I still say The Homeless Guy should spend his days volunteering at the Rescue Mission if he truly wanted to help the homeless.  

If by some odd chance you join and enter the world, my in-game name is OrionsStar Andrew.   Maybe together we can figure out what this game is about. 

The Pall of Sobriety...

"You look like a different man these days,"  Wanda told me at a lunch time AA meeting today. "Your color.  You demeanor.  Your confidence.  You just seem so full of life."

"Thank you," I modestly replied as I shyly looked at my shoes.  I never was much one for compliments. 

Wanda works third shift at the hospital and was so very tired.  She told me she couldn't wait to get home to snuggle with her many dogs and to climb into bed.  "Prime drinking time!" she said with a laugh of her mornings.  "I had to give up my long love affair with my old boyfriend, Jose Cuervo." 

I have found myself enamored with her lately -- often going to familiarly haunted AA meetings just so I can see her.  I am walking down the wrong beaten and trod path, though.  She is old enough to be my mother.   She is a very complex woman -- full of mystery.  I guess that is why she is so alluring.   I always did love a challenge.

There is always an awkward moment between us as she always wants to go get lunch.  I always make up some lame excuse cause I don't have any money and would hate for her to have to pay.  I think she takes it personally as if I don't want to spend time with her.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I would love to lavish her with meals from firm bars like Applebee's or Chili's.   I had the grand total of four dollars in my wallet today, though.  Enough for a Happy Meal for one minus the toy they give you. 

Today's meeting we discussed the steps to sobriety -- the much vaunted twelve steps.   "Let go and let God," one member told me when I talked of my own struggles following the steps.  That concept seemed so foreign to me, though.  Let go and let God.   As if I had no control over my own destiny.  I have often struggled with AA for the fact that it seems mystical higher powers take away the urge to drink and not through the own volition of the alcoholic.  There seems to be a lack of accountability, but the twelve steps are all about accountability and growth in stark contrast.  I guess I will just have to let go and let God.  God help me!  I feel like a duck out of water!  I feel just about as awkward as I would if I told the AA group I was an atheist.  Imagine the cold, hard stares!

Hard News...

Joyce was somber and sad this morning when I stopped by to take her some breakfast.  I had carefully prepared a plate of warm Danishes, fruits, and buttery toast.

"My sister is selling my house," she said sitting in her kitchen as she started to cry.  "They are putting me in assisted living."

I didn't know what to say, but a feeling of anger welled up within me.  I swallowed my anger and just sat with her at the table holding her hand.

"Certainly there is something you can do?" I asked.

"She has power of attorney over me," Joyce replied between sniffles. 

Selfishly,  I thought of my own circumstances.  That of being a mentally ill man in recovery and also having my father with power of attorney.  I wouldn't know what to do either.  Mental illness can rob you of your independence and adulthood.  You are relegated to the rights of a child. 

"I love you," I told her as I hugged her. "Eat your breakfast and you will feel better."

I left Joyce sitting at that table and somewhat more composed.  Joyce is only 62 and much too young for the old folk's home.  She still isn't doing well, though.  Who knows?  She might like assisted living once she settles in.  I can only hope for the best. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Routine...

I was just going through the motions at work tonight.  Blah!  The girls were overly gossipy and loud. 

"I wish they would get to work," I overheard my father complaining up front.

I smiled and walked up front to get a coke.  Then I sat out front smoking a cigarette as customers came and went.  One thing I will say about my father's pharmacy is that he gets the most interesting cross section of patrons.  I watched as a little old lady hobbled to the door to open it.  I jumped up from the curb and got the door for her.  She tipped me a dollar! LOL

We had something interesting happen at work tonight.  My uncle helped himself to some prescription drugs by walking into the back room.  He walked back out and wrote a check for the medications.  My father was livid and the girls seem to think he got an interesting combination of medications. 

"I am going to have a talk with him soon," Dad said fuming.

"That was just wrong," I replied and it was very uncharacteristic of my uncle Roger. "How imposing!" 

Homecoming...

There was a knock on my door very early this morning.  I scrambled to put on some clothes and answer the door.  It is strange how Maggie knows who are friend or foe at the door.  She jubilantly did her happy dance and started to whine.

I opened the door and was so surprised.  "Oh, thank you Lord!" I said at the sight of Joyce.  "Come here and give me a big hug!"

"How are you feeling?" I then asked.

"Oh, I am okay," she said sheepishly. "I still have delusions about God."

"You look well," I replied. "I love your new hair-do!"

"Will you do me a favor?" Joyce asked. "Help me remember to take my nightly medications."

"I will call you after Dad leaves at night," I told her.

She didn't stay long.  You could tell she was still shaky.  I am just overjoyed she is home though.  Joyce is such a outgoing and gregarious person and makes living next to her interesting.  She promised me a fried chicken and turnip greens supper soon.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pervading Addictions...

By now you have probably read my previous post.  By now you are probably thinking I enabled my mother to get away with this, and I have.  I am caught in a terrible Catch-22.  If I tell my father of my mother's indiscretions this morning then I will destroy any trust I have built up with her.  What she did was wrong and put others in harm's way.  She drove drunk all over our little town.  On the other hand, my father will overreact and probably not act in a rational way.  Things will get mightily complicated for the foreseeable future.  My mother will be treated like a small child and overly scolded. 

Mom called me a minute ago pleading with me not to tell my father.  I asked her exactly what happened and she said she has been saving the three Xanax Dad gives her nightly.   She says she can't bare her solitary reality any longer and needs something to make her feel better.  I've said the same thing about beer many times.  "I'm not addicted," she pleaded talking of a HIGHLY addictive substance.  Oh, how the roles have reversed.  Now sober, I am faced with the very same dilemma my family was faced with months ago with me.  It is so very damned easy just to turn a blind eye and hope this won't happen again, but it will.  It has happened often over the years.  I don't know what to do, but I do know what is right and wrong.   

Nine Xanax!

It is not often I get to see my mother drunk, but drunk she was today.  I was aghast that she had been to the grocery store and to Fat Albert's. 

"What have you been taking?"  I asked as she stumbled through my front door.

"Nine Xanax," she said. "Don't tell your father."

Mom stayed for hours just talking and eating my groceries.  She had the munchies something terrible.  Maggie was thrilled to be a benefactor of the bounty of food. 

"You are not driving home!" I said as she was getting ready to leave a minute ago. "You are lucky you haven't gotten a DUI!" 

"How am I going to get home?" she pleaded.

"I will drive you home and we will tell Dad you had a panic attack," I replied. "He can get your car tonight."

The sad thing is that I was envious of her altered state.  I wanted to feel the release of nine Xanax, and the extreme drowsiness it would cause.  I love anything that makes my reality altered or different.  It has been a constant battle over the years as I continue to get addicted to sometimes the most benign things.  Caffeine, Benadryl, sodas, food, you name it and I can get hooked on it.  At least I now know where I get this from.  

Higher Power, Where Art Thou?

I went to an early morning AA meeting.  I really couldn't afford the gas, but went anyway.  I needed hope and enlightenment.  We discussed the AA promises which are to your left.  The promises are read before every meeting and the power of the words always sends shivers down my spine.  From the despair that can be chronic alcoholism comes hope, and that is something amazing.

My biggest hang up with AA is the religious aspects.  My father is a staunch atheist and always taught us to have healthy skepticism of anything religious.  I want to believe and try to grasp the concepts of higher powers and God, but usually fall short.  I keep going, though, and hope some of this mysticism and religion rubs off on me.  I need to believe to stay sober.  Lately, I have been using the collective group of AA as my higher power, as I understand him. That can sometimes be lacking though. 

I also have to be careful with religion.  When I was in the throes of my schizophrenia and un-medicated,  I grew very religious.  Even going so far to reading the bible and believing God was sending me messages through the television and Internet.  I would watch the nightly news broadcasts and scribble down messages from God that Dan Rather was imparting to me.  It drove my then wife crazy.  So I have to temper my zeal for things religious as my experiences while mentally ill have left a bitter taste in my mouth. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mars Phoenix....

The first images from Phoenix are starting to pour in. Phoenix landed near the polar region of Mars to look for organic molecules. I just love this stuff and get so excited. I know there are some happy scientists this morning when the images came in. They are breathtaking.




Click here for more images from the Mars Phoenix website.

Of Pancakes and Chicken Plates...

I had two tickets to a local church's Memorial Day barbeque chicken dinner.  I brought the plates home and me and Maggie devoured them.   They were so delicious!

This morning was a pancake breakfast at the AA meeting hall.  I wasn't going to go, but Wanda enticed me into going with her.

"Quit being so anti-social," she said. "You will have a good time!"

There was a speaker's meeting after breakfast and we both stayed and listened to a wonderful speaker. 

"I was always drunk on planes," the businessman said.  "There were times I don't even remember flying and getting to another city.  How's that for scary?"

We all do crazy things when drinking irresponsibly.  I broke my shoulder and arm on a drunken motorcycle ride to go argue with my ex-wife.  I don't remember the ride all the way from home to up by that old cotton mill. I was in a blackout.   I came to laying in the grass with my helmet still on.  It was sleeting and a policeman was standing over me.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"I'm drunk!" I blurted out.

He took me on to county jail to spend the next two days in pain.  It took a lot of physical therapy to get my arm and shoulder back in shape.  I still have little strength in it and can't even clip my fingernails with that hand.  I have to get Dad or Mom to do it.  

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Don't Forget!

We have a mission to Mars landing today. The Mars' Phoenix lander is set to hurl through the upper atmosphere within the next hour or so. I bet the scientists are all pins and needles waiting for word from the craft.

Mars Phoenix Website

Meals at Rodgers' Barbecue...

I was just looking over some old photos -- photos of food.  Now I am hungry.  I miss going to Rodgers to eat everyday.  Just look at these wonderful meals.  For those of you new to the blog, I had a tab at this restaurant and could go eat lunch everyday.  It is all a part of my father's grand plan to keep me from drinking by disallowing money. 

The meatloaf with potato salad, fried okra, black eyed peas, and cornbread muffin.

Turkey and dressing, and candied sweet potatoes, turnip greens, and cornbread muffin.


The super cheeseburger, slaw, and fries.


Chicken tenderloins w/ honey mustard, mac and cheese, stewed apples, lima beans, and cornbread.



A Little Humor this Morning...


 

Single Male, 36...

Single male, 36.  I have a stable job, but don't have any money.  Divorced, I carry some baggage.  Mentally fit these days despite a storied past.   Once was a lush, but have been sober over half a year.  One furkid who is my life.  Enjoy walks on the beach and lots of trains.  Did I say I liked trains?   Looking for someone in recovery.  Single.  Preferably no kids.  An interest in computer games is a big bonus, but not a deal breaker.  I like the demure sexy librarian type.  You can read me to sleep at night.

And you see why I don't put up singles ads on the Internet! Hah! Most dating ads are overly dishonest anyway.  There is actually a dating service for mentally ill people.  I never had any luck with it.  Just search for "No Longer Lonely" in Google.  From my forays with the service, it seems most adult mentally ill people are still living with their parents.  I am not far removed from it myself.    

Phoenix...

It is 5 AM in the morning.  I am up for a brief cigarette and soda break.  Maggie is lying on the bed and preening.  Soon, the magical hour will start.  The magical hour is when the world awakes for another day.  The birds begin to call and the squirrels stir.  It is a special time most notable during my camping days.   When I was homeless, this foretold sunlight on the way, and sunlight meant warmth and rebirth.  Like a phoenix from the ashes I would arise from my drunken stupor of the previous night to begin anew.

7 PM today is an AA speaker's meeting over at the meeting hall.  I look forward to seeing Phillip, Carl, and the others.  As they say in AA, "It works if you work it!"  Hopefully, I can pour my heart and soul into AA in the next few weeks.  We will see what a difference it can have in my life.   

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hope for an Alcoholic...

I put the AA promises on the left sidebar.  I strongly urge you to read it to find what AA is about.  It represents HOPE, and that is something most alcoholics can't grasp at first.  I never tire of reading it and it bolsters my urge to get active in AA again. 

Thank you to those of you that read and comment.  Just a simple hello can make such a huge difference in the life of a mentally ill person.  I think we all strive for that feeling of connective-ness and community a blog can foster.   My life has been immeasurably improved by online journaling. 

What a Difference...

I heard this commercial today and checked out their web page.  It looks promising...

If somebody told you he had diabetes, how would you react? If you're like most people, you'd express sympathy and concern, offer your support and reassurance, and feel confident that your friend's condition would improve with treatment. Now, if that same friend told you he had a mental illness, what would you do?

Too many people respond negatively when confronted with a friend's mental illness, and this only fuels the stigma surrounding the diagnosis. The reality is, mental illness is no different from physical illness. Conditions like depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders affect a person's body. The emotional and psychological aspects of mental illness make supportive friends and family even more important to a person's recovery.

[...]

What a difference a friend makes

Sleepyhead...


I sometimes wonder if Maggie is going to sleep her life away. At least she held up her head for the photo.



Doesn't she just look pitiful? It is a tough life I tell ya!!!!

In My Mailbox Today...

Look what was in my mailbox today! A Railroad Model Craftsman! It is going to be a good afternoon!!!!

Noontime AA...

I went to another noontime AA meeting.  It was so great seeing familiar faces and hearing familiar sayings.   I should have been going to these meetings all along. 

Wanda was there again.  I find myself drawn to her like a familiar old blanket to soothe and comfort.  We talked a long time after the meeting about our lives and where we want to go.   She is a nurse and stays busy these days.  I, on the other hand, have far too much time on my hands.  I jokingly told her I would trade with her any day.  She hugged my neck and said, "hang in there, kiddo." 

Lay Awake...

I lay awake until late last night.  Maggie was lying at my feet and chewing on her rawhide bone.  The first summer's nocturnal insects could be heard buzzing and whirring through my open window.  Far off, a police siren interrupted the night as they sped off after the suspects.  Soon, I heard a train air horn wail downtown.  It brought such a feeling of comfort to me.  All was right in my world and I drifted off to sleep.   

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Freudian Development...




You Are in the Genital Stage of Development



According to Dr. Freud, you've reached the genital stage of development.

Whatever issues you may have had in your childhood have been resolved.

You don't have any hang ups, and you are able to function as a stable adult.

You are the model of being well-adjusted, and you are able to balance your life beautifully.

A Few Flower Shots from Today...




AA Goings On...

My old AA friend, Wanda, invited me to an AA meeting with her today.  I was overjoyed at her call being very lonesome today.   They say to practice H.A.L.T in AA.  Never let yourself get too hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.  I certainly was lonely and tired, and possibly hungry when she rang.

"I've got a half a year sober," I told her as she drove her old Ford Crown Victoria towards Lagrange.

"You're amazing," she said. "I can remember when you first started going to AA and I would have never guessed you would have stayed sober for so long."

A lot of miracles happen in AA.  You see them all the time and today's meeting reminded me of why I need to go more often.  It is my only chance at socializing besides work these days.   I am so hungry for human contact of any kind.  So lonesome it is painful.

Mom bought my groceries yesterday.  There was never a more sweeter sight than when she pulled up in front of my house.  I was stir crazy I was so lonely.  Maggie was overjoyed as well. 

"I love you," I told her. "And thank you for staying awhile.  I get so tired of being alone."

She held my hand and everything was okay in my world for about an hour.  

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rocky Road...

The path in front of me was rocky as I walked.  Ballast strewn from the train tracks made every step an exercise in pain.  My ragged old tennis shoes bearing the brunt of the assault.  I was walking behind that old cotton mill as I stopped to sit awhile on an old concrete loading dock.  I had a ham and cheese sandwich and an orange for lunch as I drank a lukewarm Sprite Zero from my backpack.   It was a beautiful day, but overcast.  The sun so bright it seemed to break through the clouds on occasion.  I could feel it's warmth on my skin -- the catbirds serenading me.

I realize the train crews are starting to think I am homeless I spend so much time down here.   There is a old concrete loading bay that would be the perfect place to pitch a tent.   I've camped out here before during a urban homeless experiment.   It is the perfect place except you are trespassing.  Luckily, the mill has long been in disuse and the employees are just a memory.

I couldn't stay long as my stomach decided to balk and protest.  It was a long bike ride back home hoping I would arrive in time -- that rocky road a now distant memory as I retired my old, ratty tennis shoes.  These shoes look terrible, but are the most comfortable things I have ever owned. 

Mom called when I arrived home. 

"Where have you been?" she protested. "I've been trying to reach you all morning."

"Down at the tracks," I replied.

"I am going to get your groceries tonight," she said. "Rhonda changed my hair appointment to today."

"Big hair," I mused at the fact that my mother gets her hair done and wants to take on the whole world with bravado.  My father is also known to laughingly muse about Mom's "big hair" days as well.  

Mom buying my groceries means unhealthy eating.  I just don't feel like going after last night's panic/anxiety attack.  She will buy me lots of sandwich stuff, Little Debbie snack cakes, candy, and Chef Boyardee.  I guess beggars can't be choosers.   

We have a 30 percent chance of storms today.   I know you can guess how excited that makes me.  We are getting into that summertime weather pattern in the South.  Most days bring a chance of pop-up storms.  I am just thrilled to death and will watch the Internet radar all afternoon for development.  I will oscillate between the radar and "The Homeless Guy's" blog.   Hopefully, he will update today.  He did get up the money for next month's rent which was exciting.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The First Time...

I can distinctly remember the first time I was told I was schizophrenic.   I was scared, but relieved at the same time.

"Your schizo-affective," the doctor told me as I frankly asked for my diagnosis.

I slumped down in my chair as it all sunk in.   It made sense.   I always thought I was just a terrible alcoholic and that explained the paranoia and strange thinking -- just mere drunken symptoms. 

I was on the phone this afternoon talking to Mom about our day this morning.  We had a good time together and she was so relieved I had driven her all those miles to the doctor.   I asked her what exactly was her diagnosis.

"Schizo-affective," she said which means you have symptoms of both schizophrenia and bi-polar disease. 

"It has got to be genetic," I replied.  "Your mom and your grandmother suffered as well."

"I am so sorry," my mother said heartfeltly. 

"What for?"

"For giving this to you," she said.

"You all didn't know what you know now.  You wouldn't have known I would become schizophrenic as well."

I told my mother good night after making sure she had something for supper with my father gone.  I often deeply lament and regret my station in life.  It can be all encompassing if I let it.  I take some solace in the fact that we now have effective medications.   My life would be unlivable several decades ago.  

I hear so much feedback about how I should live and how my life should be.  "Stand up to your father," was Rosa's favorite saying.  "You need to be financially independent," was another.  It was like asking an alcoholic to sit in a room full of cold and free beer.  I don't regret these days how my life has turned out.  I am lucky in so many ways.  And that makes me stand out amidst all the naysayers.   I have a full and rich life with a wonderfully supportive family.  What more can a man ask for?  Not much. 

What Porches are Made For...


The Price of Gas hasn't Stopped these Drivers...

It was a crazy, topsy turvy drive down interstate 85 to take Mom to the psychiatrist this morning.  The police were everywhere and the traffic was very heavy. 

"I've never seen so much traffic," Mom told me checking her seatbelt.

"Me neither," I replied as I drove and smoked my cigarette.

You would never believe gas was almost $4 dollars a gallon with the way people were driving.   Fast and reckless.   I felt like a driver in a NASCAR race. 

We arrived at the doctor's office.  We didn't have to wait long and they called us back.   I was amazed that Mom didn't tell the doctor much.  She just matter-of-factly answered his questions and was ready to go.  I was tempted to talk about my panic attacks while I had the doctor's ear, but didn't.  

We swung by the book store on the way home.  I got a Trains and Classic Trains magazines which thrilled me to death.  Mom got a couple of books which I didn't pay attention to what they were.  Mom likes those Harlequin romance type books which would just bore me to tears. 

The traffic was better on the way home.  It had cleared somewhat.  I was glad to make it home without a panic attack.  My biggest fear of leaving the house these days.  I just love spending time with Mom and we had a good morning.  I was sad to see her leave after we ran to the grocery store to get me some more Sprite Zeros.   

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Storms on the Way!

This just thrills me!  I love some good afternoon heating type of thunderstorms.  I will sleep well tonight.  Such excitement after a boring day of nothing weather-wise.   I am so freakin' excited!

picture

Kicking up Dust...

The beat up old pulpwood trucks were kicking up a lot of dust as I walked near the pulpwood yard in the rail yard.  These big trucks bring loads of logs to be loaded onto railcars.  I paid close attention as I want to model this operation someday.  

As I was walking, a strange, gangly man greeted me also walking the tracks.  He had a heavy backpack slung over his shoulder.  

"You got a fiver?" he asked as he neared.

"No," I replied. "I am flat broke."

I lied.  I did have a little money mom had given to me yesterday.  I was saving it for emergencies. 

"Where are you headed?" I then asked.

"Lagrange," he replied and didn't elaborate.

He wasn't the talkative type and kept on walking the tracks towards Atlanta.  I was getting strange vibes from him and was glad to see him go.

I really want to go shopping today south of Atlanta at that Southern railway inspired train shop.  I am thinking of asking Dad for a hundred dollars to do so.   I need more kits to assemble and weather. It is a long shot, but I am going to give it a try.   

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Transitions...

"The Homeless Guy" is having trouble transitioning to a homed life.  I know the feeling and can understand.  When I first got my apartment over at my late grandmother's house, I slept on the floor in my sleeping bag.  The mattress was just too soft and springy.  I would find myself spending the next two years camping out a lot out-of-doors.  Only feeling comfortable in wide open spaces inside my tent often in my very own backyard.  It took a long time to break this habit.  Long time.  The trouble is that there are no transitional services.  You are thrown into a home and expected to be grateful and joyful.   When reality says this is uncomfortable or unnatural.   So, I know how he is feeling.  He is at the point of no return with no help.   Let's hope he can soldier on through it.

Most people think that housing the homeless is the answer.  Certainly, it is a means to an end, but often times not so easy.  The person has to be rehabilitated back to homed life.  Everyday tasks once provided for the person must now be taught.  Simple tasks such as feeding yourself after years of being fed in soup kitchens.  Learning to sleep without others around is also so key.  There is no more sharp pain of loneliness than that of being homed after spending years amidst your countless homeless peers in shelters.  The silence can be deafening.   

Destiny at McDonald's...

My wonderful mother and I went for breakfast this morning.  It was a weird, haphazard morning culminating with Maggie peeing on the bed.  My poor little sweetheart.  I cleaned it up and washed my sheets and comforters.  That is something she has never done before.  It worried me.  I worried she was getting sick. 

Mom decided on McDonald's for breakfast.  We both got two sausage biscuits and a hash brown w/orange juice.  I was just thrilled to be spending time with her.

"I checked our email last night," she told me as we sat and ate.  She was just beaming with pride.

"Who emailed?" I asked as I was putting mustard on a sausage biscuit. 

"Jennifer sent a picture of the baby," she replied.

"See?" I said. "You will be using that computer like second hand before you know it."

You could visibly see Mom ruffle her feathers in pride she was so proud of doing that.  I know the feeling and felt the same the first time I built my very own computer from parts.

We drove around for about 30 minutes after breakfast.  Mom wanted to see the houses in a newly developed neighborhood.   I indulged her.  Gargantuan houses greeted us with most likely equally large price tags.  I could only dream of large basements for a model railroad empire to adorn.  I love my little house, by the way.  And wouldn't trade it for anything. 

I took Mom home and got some extra Tylenol and aspirin.  Dad is convinced I can get high off of Tylenol so they only let me have a few a day.  LOL!  You can't get high off of Tylenol, by the way.  I can't help but be good natured and laugh.  My crazy family.  

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Me, Mom, and Computers...

Mom has been over here all morning.  She lay on my computer room bed and asked me questions about the Internet as I worked on this computer.

"How do you know where to go?" she asked.

"You search in a search engine," I replied.

"You make it seem so easy."

"It is," I replied.

It is hard to believe my parents now have a new computer and Internet access.  But they are afraid to use it.  I showed Mom how to check the weather or read a blog.  I even showed her The Pioneer Woman's website. 

"You'll like this," I told her.  "I love her recipes."

I didn't learn to use a computer until the late nineties when I was working at the University as a research technician.  I thought I had found heaven.  I can remember wasting much time at my job on slow days browsing the web.  I discovered Internet chatrooms and formed many new relationships.  I also learned some hard lessons.  It seemed certain people weren't all they said they were.  I fell in love and got burned all at the same time.  I had come of age in a new digital world. 

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Cornucopia of Food...

"I've got your groceries in the car," mom cheerfully told me after I opened my front door.  "I didn't think you felt like going to get them."

"Thank you so much," I implored as I gave her a hug.

I got all my groceries in and Mom ate supper with me.  Helen had just finished cooking and hadn't long left. 

"I always loved rutabagas," Mom said as we sat at my table gingerly shoveling in food. "Helen does them justice." 

"Too bad I don't have any hot sauce for them," I replied.

"What do you think is causing all these attacks?" Mom asked.

"I am pretty sure it is my medications," I replied.

"Don't tell your father that," Mom said. "He will freak out."

It is a catch-22 about my medications.  My father feels they are miracle drugs without side effects.  He gets angry anytime I disparage them.  I have little choice but to take them as they are fed to me every night.  I have cut out almost everything that would be causing these attacks including the Benadryl.  I haven't taken Benadryl in days.

Mom left after supper and I curled up on the couch with Maggie.  I was able to catch an old episode of Firefly.  My favorite Sci Fi show these days.   I was content with a full belly as Maggie groomed herself for the full hour.      

Trains Galore...

I spent another long morning down at the rail yard.  I hiked all the way from where the old train station used to be to the end of that old dilapidated cotton mill.  One thing about walking the tracks is you get to see the backside of town.  I did get to see two trains which thrilled my soul.  I waved vigorously at the engineer as one train passed. 

Good Helen is already here.  She is washing my sheets and comforters.  Soon, she will get supper started.  She is frying pork chops and preparing rutabagas, mashed potatoes, pear salad, and cornbread muffins.  My mouth is already watering. 

Folks, I really don't know what to write these days.  This is the first time in the life of this blog that I have nothing to say or write.  Hopefully, this writer's block will pass. 

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Witch's Cauldron...

I have a big pot of titillating beef stew bubbling away like a witch's cauldron on the stove this morning. My house smells wonderful. I made enough to feed an army and will freeze most of it. Also, today I am making a pan of cornbread like my mother always made it. You heat the oil in an iron skillet till it is smoking and pour in the cornbread batter. It fries and makes a crunchy crust on the outside.

This morning was my injection and that was routine. Tim, one of my fellow employees, picked me up and took me. I don't feel well enough to drive lately. I managed to talk Dad into giving me a little money for breakfast this morning. I ate up at Sarah Jay's getting the big breakfast platter with scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausage, buttery grits, and orange juice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sorry!

Sorry for my outburst this morning.  I am just not feeling well and tend to use the blog to vent.  I feel badly and better at the same time for writing that post.  Misery loves company as they always say, and I just don't want to be alone.  I feel so alone these days. 

Tired and Scared...

You heard it here first.  I don't want to go on living with these panic/anxiety attacks anymore.  I hear people saying they are having them too, but I seriously doubt the severity as compared to the ones I am having.  I see things.  My mouth gets so dry it is maddening.  I can't swallow.  It feels like someone punching me in my stomach.  My head spins.  I can't focus on anything to see straight.  This will last for hours as my heart pounds in my chest to the point I fear I am having a heart attack.  I am afraid to go to the doctor as I will have another waiting to see him.  Work is the scariest thing in the world as I fear having one of these "spells" out of my home.  It is soul crushing and debilitating.   I have never been so scared in my life.  I feel like part of me -- the outgoing and gregarious part -- is slowly dying.

And I feel like I can't write about it on my own damn blog.  I fear I am coming across as whining or complaining -- just more mentally ill bullshit from the mentally ill guy.  No one believes the severity of my attacks.  Including my family.  My Dad was praising me last night cause "I handled them like a man."  Scoff!!!  I ought to just go back to drinking.  Then maybe they will stop again.  My life couldn't be any worse than it is now. 

Clickety Clack!

I worried all day yesterday constantly.  Worried about Rosa.  Worried about my sister and her one year old, and how she was going to juggle all that and be a cancer doctor.  Worried about Mom and her mental illness.  It culminated into a big whiz bang anxiety/panic attack that lasted for hours and hours.  Thankfully, it passed just about time for Dad to come over at 9:30 PM.  Whew!!!!  That was close.  I couldn't bare to go through another search of my house for contraband that Dad is prone to do when I am feeling ill.  Adding insult to injury. 

This morning I am still in my pajamas. Not long from waking.  I've been watching Maggie chase a fly -- her little "cleats" going clickety clack on my hardwood floors as she daintily chases it.  It has brought many a childish smile and laugh.  I am easily amused.  It makes me feel lighter and better.  

I find myself living through other people's blogs lately.  Their lives seem so good and wholesome.  Free of anxiety or panic attacks.  I long to be so active and outgoing.  I would love to go to an AA meeting today.  Just to sit and listen to the AA speak and people watch.  Alcoholics are such an interesting breed of person.   Brutally honest once in AA -- almost to a fault.   I admire that and need to emulate it more.  I would love to get embroiled in constant AA meetings and gatherings again.   

Monday, May 12, 2008

.:Strange Calls Near Midnight...

It was 11 PM when I received the call.  Then the pleading began.  I was cozy in the bed with Maggie.  I was curled up reading an old Astronomy magazine -- drooling over the Meade telescopes for sale on the back page.  I was so comfortable.  The phone rang and rang, and I ignored it at first.  It rang again and I laboriously lifted myself out of bed to answer.  I thought something bad had happened in my family.  Who would be calling so late? 

"Can I borrow your car tomorrow?" Rosa asked hurriedly without the usual pleasantries.

"What's wrong with your car?" I asked. 

"The batteries dead and I need to get to work," She replied.

Strange....

I said no.  After my car got stolen, I have been very protective of it.  I often go and look outside to see if it is still there. 

"I'll take you to work tomorrow," I said.  "What time?"

"Don't worry about it," Rosa replied. "I'll ask my uncle if I can borrow his truck."

Okay.  We hung up the phone and I lay in the bed for the longest time thinking about what just occurred.  It was totally strange for Rosa to ask to use my car.  It makes me worry she is using again and has pawned the title to her car.  What tangled webs we weave....   I am probably worrying for naught, though.  

Sunday, May 11, 2008

.:A Day for Mothers...

It is 2 PM on a Sunday afternoon.  Mother's day.  Dad has just cooked a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce.  Within minutes, we are sitting around the kitchen table eating spaghetti, garlic bread, and salads while we talk and laugh.  It is so delicious.  I cherish these moments with my family.  It feels so wholesome and good -- the things good memories are made of.

Woke late this morning and reluctantly.  I had aspirations of catching morning trains down at the rail yard.  I ended up eating a breakfast of Frosted Flakes cereal and bananas and sleeping in.

The days are getting so long!  It doesn't get dark till almost 9 PM.  It is spring and it is spectacular outside.  I, too, find myself counting down the hours till sunset though.  Sleep is my only respite from life and I welcome it.  Being able to dream of winning lotteries and eating at posh restaurants is a frequent trend.  Most years I have longed for Spring, the same as everyone does, and can’t wait for the longer days, all this magical light, lasting into the evenings.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

.:Heartbeat....

I sit here uneasily in my computer room.  Meek.  I listen to my heartbeat for the tell-tale signs of another panic attack.  They are so scary!  I feel like I am losing my mind.  I will browse the Internet awhile and then go lay down for several minutes to fight another off.  It is amazing I've been able to work. 

There is a heartbeat down at the railyard -- a veritable pulse I have found.  I am drawn down there almost everyday to sit and watch trains and their workers.  It feels like a presence -- a benevolent one.  The timeless parade of trains that was once the backbone of our community.   We could once call ourselves a railroad town.  Times change, but one thing holds true:  The railroads still march onwards carrying the freight that gives us our standard of living.  Long live the railroads!

Tomorrow is Mother's day.  I feel a sadness cause I couldn't get Mom more.  I got her a card which I hope she appreciates.  If it were a just world, I would have gotten her flowers -- a large bouquet of beautiful roses or pansies.  She certainly has meant so much to me lately.  It is hard to believe, but ten years ago we barely talked.  We fought constantly like cats and dogs -- oil and water.  Now, I call her everyday to see how she is doing.  We are kindred spirits whose mental illnesses kept us at arms.  We are medicated now and serene, loving, and giving.  We have both come a long way. 

Almost looking forward to going back to bed.  I did sleep 5 more hours this morning after waking at 6 AM.  Sleep is my great escape -- my release.  I know no panic attacks will occur then.  Unfortunately, once I am up then I am up.  I can't go back to sleep no matter how hard I try.  Fresh, warm recently washed and dried sheets and comforters on my bed.  So inviting.   Maggie has the right idea and is on the bed.  I can hear the bed shake as she carefully preens herself of the numerous things that "bite" her -- her cooties.   Hours will pass before the urge to sleep again hits.    

The Aliens Haven't Landed...

I listen to a lot of Coast to Coast AM. One of their favorite topics is UFO's and extra terrestrials. I have always been a staunch skeptic. Phil Plaitt wrote this on his blog today, Bad Astronomy. It is a very valid point.

To his list, I’ll add my #1 reason of all time: why don’t amateur astronomers report them in record numbers? After all, who spends more time looking at the sky? The fact that few if any amateurs report them is a pretty clear case that the vast majority, at least, of all UFO reports are misunderstood mundane objects like airplanes, satellites, reflections, meteors, and Venus. Sometimes even the Moon, amazingly.

When a flying saucer lands on the White House lawn, someone call me.

UFOh Noes!

Friday, May 9, 2008

.:Deep Blue with a Splash of Yellow...

Sat out on the bench behind the bustling bank this morning -- my secret place of solitude next to the train tracks.  The sky was a staggeringly beautiful azure blue interspersed with puffy white clouds.  A veritable calm amidst the storms we are experiencing.  The city skyline stretched out behind me for as long as I could see.  The grass has become so lush and green with trees of blossoms of pink and white.  In one hand was a Sprite Zero and the other a Model Railroader magazine.  All was right in my world. 

I actually enjoyed my day off yesterday, but I missed the socialization.  Johnnie Watts had requested more hours and did the deliveries.  This meant I could stay home and cook the Edward's apple pie I had in my freezer.  Although not as good as homemade, it was still very tasty.  The only thing I was missing was ice cream to accompany it.  I sent a piece of warm pie home to my mother with Dad last night.  I am sure she devoured it. 

Struggling with what to write these days.  My life has been so mind numbingly boring that I risk scaring people off by writing about it.  All my old favorite characters and haunts to write about no longer inhabit my life.  No Rosa.  No George.  Very little of Ferret and Big S. I originally started to blog cause I liked to tell the tales of the characters that inhabit my life.  Now the blog is just a regular daily journal. 

On the way back to the shopping center, I dropped the keys to the lock on my bike.  I bent over to pick them up and noticed the most minute and beautiful flowers.   Deep blue with a splash of yellow at the heart, they were growing through the deep cracks in the pavement.  Pulled one up and just stared for the longest time as I stood there. I know I looked silly to anyone driving or passing by looking at this tiny freckle-like flower, but I was undaunted.   Doing things like this just reaffirms my confidence in the world -- that good things are out there you just have to know where to look.  I could have scorned the hot, moon-like cratered pavement upon which they grew, or I could see the beauty in the little small flower that caught my attention with dazzling color.  I am going to try and hold on to this moment for the day.    

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lazy, Rainy Day...

video

.:Winded by the Truth...

It was a long, hectic bike ride to McDonald's for lunch.  The traffic was busy on highway 29 with cars honking and swerving to avoid me.   It all felt rather frantic.  I arrived at McDonald's and got two delicious Big Macs and a large fries.  The next hour was spent people watching.  I watched as a beast of a mother berated her two young sons for eating too much and fighting over the rest of their french fries.   They were two rotund little children.  The mother I might say didn't have too much room to talk.  She was rotund as well. 

I was soon growing worried about storms so headed home.  It took me thirty minutes to ride the way back to my house.  The wind was blowing briskly and the clouds were growing amid darkened skies.  We have a slight risk of severe weather today.  I look forward to the storms, but don't want tornadoes.  It is that time of the year in the South. 

Maggie was so overjoyed to see me when I got home.  She did a little happy dance that only dogs can do when I walked in the door.  I sat on the couch for the longest time just petting her.  She relished every bit of the attention.  Legs sore and balking, I stretched out on the couch and almost went to sleep.   I was overly full and should have eaten only one Big Mac. 

Sometimes I get winded by the truth.  I thought long and hard as I lay there about my life.  36.  Having to borrow money from my mother for lunch.  Every aspect of my life carefully controlled by my father.  I don't even know how much my bills are or how much is in my checking account.   Am I lucky or is this just terrible?  I think I have a good life. I am pretty happy.  Others seem to think something is terribly wrong with all of this.  I fear I would quickly go back to drinking with lots of money on hand.  Just like a diabetic needs insulin, I need a carefully controlled and monitored life to do well.  This doesn't speak highly for my character I know.    

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

.:My Little Cherub...


.:Good Group of Ladies...

We have such a kind bunch of ladies at work.  I was struggling today and Veronica got worried about me.

"You sure you are okay?" she would ask poking her head in my office door.

"Yeah, I am fine," I replied with a weak smile.

I am unsure how much they all know about my mental illness.  They are all aware that I am on psychiatric medications.  I try not to think about it too much. 

I spent most of today finishing organizing my office.  I can be kind of neat freak and like an orderly working space.  Some of the employees often use my computer during the day and will leave a mess. 

"You sure you are okay?" Veronica asked one more time.

"Nothing a little rest won't cure," I replied.

She smiled warmly, patted me on the shoulder, and walked back to the front to continue helping with filling prescriptions. 

A Good Day Dawns...

Another enjoyable morning was spent down at the railyard.  I walked far down the tracks to the bridge spanning the Chattahoochee river.  The smell of the river water was acrid as they were generating electricity up at the dam.  This bridge was built in the 1920s and it's starting to look decrepit.  I tried to imagine all the countless tons of train that have gone before me over this bridge.

I left the tracks and walked over to Rodger's Barbeque.  Some of you may remember I used to have a tab at this restaurant.  I still had $14 dollars left on my tab.  I got a pound of barbeque and a pint of Brunswick stew.  I walked back over to the bank to sit and eat.  The day was just gorgeous.  Warm breezes and bright blue skies.

I had left my bike chained up at the shopping center on one of the posts out front.  I crossed my fingers it would still be there and it was.  I climbed aboard and headed home.   

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

.:Another Shot of the Sweetheart Rose...



.:Miasma...

I saw him walking up to me.  Ragged jeans with holes in the knees.  A flannel shirt hanging loosely on his skinny frame.  The look of a thousand years in his eyes.  He looked so old today.  It was Ferret. 

I had just driven to the shopping center to get a gallon of milk from money Mom had given me.  I was walking back out when Ferret caught me.

"Have you got five bucks?" he asked upon shaking my hand.

"Sorry man.  I just spent it," I replied.

He looked so tired like he needed to rest.  He was breathing heavily and labored. He was gone as soon as he arrived on a quest for money.  Was it for beer?  Was it for mouthwash?  Who knows!  I wish there was something I could do for my friend.  To release him from the miasma that is his life.  I could only hope.  I realized I was looking at my Doppelganger from a few years ago -- the walking dead.  It is good to be back in the land of the living!

Hope Lost and Hopes Dashed...

I woke up uncommonly early again this morning.   My body seems to go through cycles and now a 6 AM waking time is it.  Maggie, bless her heart, was a better bed companion last night and stayed to her side of the bed.  She's on the couch now so the bed is free when I go back to it and I will. 

Rosa laid out some conditions for us getting back together last night. 

"You need to get a full time job and quit the job at the pharmacy," she told me.

"No," I replied.

"What?"

"I said no.  I am not going to do that," I replied. "My current job is the only job I have felt comfortable at in years."

That was the end of her conditions.  Any hopes of us getting back together were dashed in that simple moment. 

Monday, May 5, 2008

Maggie and Me...

I awoke uncommonly early this morning.  Maggie and me were embroiled in a tug of war over bed real estate.  I would move her over to the edge of the bed only to awake an hour later with her hogging the whole bed again.  She finally retired to the couch, but I was up. 

Talked to Rosa again last night.  I am not getting my hopes up, but it looks promising about us getting back together.  I was careful to keep the conversation to mainly about her and not me and my unorthodox life.  The situation between me and my father drives her crazy, and I don't blame her.  I am 36 years old and should be more independent.  I kind of happen to like my life lately and so I don't complain.  This infuriates her even more. 

Last night, I went to my first AA meeting in awhile.  It was a speakers meeting and I was unimpressed.  The speaker we had was disjointed and nervous.  Phillip, the local patriarch, was glad to see me though.

"I know your sober and miserable," he told me.

I was like ???.

"We see a lot of sober people who are not working their programs and are faltering."

I didn't argue and played stupid and cheerful.  That is going to be my new modus operandi: stupid and cheerful. 

This morning I am jonesing for more Benadryl.  Dad will leave for work at 8:45 AM.  I will drive over to ask Mom for two dollars.  That will buy me a 48 pill pack at Fred's down the street from my parent's house.  I know I shouldn't take so much, but that is the one thing I have found that calms my nerves and makes me feel comfortable.   Some people have coffee, others have alcohol, I have my Soma errr Benadryl. 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

You're a Sweetheart!

The first of the roses from my sweetheart rose bush emerged.  They smell wonderful, and soon my bush will be filled with scores of these diminutive roses.


Chill in the Air...

It is cloudy and overcast this morning.  There is a chill in the air.  I even went so far as to turn on the heat inside my home to 78.  I like it warm.  Much of the country has seen chilly weather this spring.  Just this week it snowed in Utah.  There was snow on the blossoms.  We can't even get snow in the dead of winter that is February. 

I've been thinking a lot about Ferret and Big S.  I talked to Rosa again this morning and she told me, "That Ferret is crazy as hell."  I laughed cause he is.  I long to hang out with my friends, but know it is not for the best.  I just can't be around all that drinking and carrying on.  Still, I long to hang out down at the shopping center and to pass the time (so key!).  I've spent far too much time on this computer lately.  I have even thought of taking up panhandling to get up some extra money.  It sucks not having money all the time.  I know no other means. 

"You would make a terrible panhandler," Rosa told me when I mentioned it.

"Why?"

"You're too nice," she said. "You would give the money back."

I broke out in laughter. She is probably right.  I have always had a soft heart and hate to impose. 

"You need to talk to your father and get him to stop that crazy withholding of money from you," Rosa then told me.

Oh no! Not this again, I moaned in my mind. 

Rosa didn't speak of it for long and I refrained from commenting.  I didn't want to get in all that this morning.  Rosa forgets I voluntarily gave up the money this time.  It is my own fault. 

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Flush...

My face feels flush.  My arms begin to tingle and go numb.  I rush to the bed to lie down.  Thus starts another panic attack.  An experience that is excruciating and painful.  It takes about 3 hours to pass as I lay on the bed with a dry throat feeling like I can't swallow.  My eyes dart around the room as black dots appear frantically trying to focus on something real.  The need to urinate is overwhelming.  Everything looks dirty and I panic at guests coming meaning my father.  Is it my schizophrenia?  Or just a simple panic attack?  I don't know.

I pleaded with the powers that be that I will have no more.  3 days.  3 days without an attack.  I almost feel normal again.  I've cut out caffeine and all other stimulants.  I miss the caffeine the most, though.  That surge of energy late in the afternoon.  The heightened focus.  That razor sharp ability to get things done.  I miss this ability far less than I do those damned attacks, though. 

The Worst Food in America: Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries at 2,900 Calories

I'm a big fan of Outback steakhouses.  Their Rockhampton Ribeye is to die for.  I knew it was bad for me, though.  This article came as no surprise to me. 

"Men's Health identified one food item that will fill all your calories needs not only for the day but for a few days. It is right named the "No.1 Worst Food in America."In their article, Men’s Health names “Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing” as the No. 1 Worst Food in America. Aussie Cheese Fries has a massive 2,900 calories, 182 grams fat and 240g carbs. "

Article from Digital Journal...

Summery...

You could smell the sweet scent of flowers on the air this morning.  The world seems so alive after a drab and dead-like winter.  The jubilant calls of catbirds could be heard on every corner as I walked as they guarded their territory.  I live for spring and summer.  It seems I am just holding my ground during fall and winter when the temperatures drop and the leaves fall.

A strong line of storms came through as I ended my walk.  Luckily, I had my umbrella in my day pack.  It opened with a thump at the first sign of rain.  The thunder was soft and muted, and not at all scary.  I had no worries that I would get struck by lightning -- my umbrella being a lightning rod.

I thoroughly explored that old cotton mill this morning.  Through broken windows you could see hints of years of work and toil.  Old forklifts lay like relics of the past -- silent as their batteries and engines were long dead.  I scrambled up a large mound of old rotting cotton -- moats.   I stood up like the king of the hill upon reaching the top!  I could get lost exploring for hours, but hunger urged me home.

I like this feeling -- this feeling of excitement I feel in the pit of my stomach -- like something great is about to happen.  Day 3 without a panic attack and I relish these calm moments.  Moments away from fear and anxiety.  I am happy to be alive -- to sit at this computer and read about other lives, other blogs.  I am just happy, period. 

Helen was so kind last night.  I had all that delicious food to eat when I got home still warm in my oven.  She wrote me a little note:

Baby, you enjoy your meal.  I cooked you a store bought pecan pie and put it in the fridge.  Have a piece after you eat supper.  Love,  Helen.

Could you ask for more?  I don't think so.     

Friday, May 2, 2008

To Feel Good...

There is no better thing than to have your health!  My grandfather often said that before and after he fell ill with a brain tumor.  We all take it for granted until we get sick.  I've had a hard row to hoe these past two weeks.  Wracked with panic attacks, each day would be hell.  My attacks are extremely physical even going so far as to make me see things.   Finally, I seem to have some relief.  Two days so far without an attack.  I fear to say it though.  Fear I will jinx this fair health spell.  I worry I won't ever be able to function at full capacity again (One attack came on just by me cutting my front lawn!).

Helen is home cooking supper.  Sadly, I won't be able to eat until after 9 or so.  I did get her to cook a savory pork roast, mushy sweet potatoes, and her southern style green beans.  I especially like her slightly sweet and crunchy cornbread and so does Maggie.  It will be nice to come home to a hot meal after a hard day's work.

Well, I better get back to work. Still mounds of paperwork to sort.  This is the kind of job I could do all the time -- just sitting in my office doing clerical things.  Hope you all have a good weekend. 

Andrew out! 

Easy Peasy!

This was Maggie all morning. I am so jealous of her ability to sleep the day away. She barely opened her eyes to see what I was doing and then went back to sleep.

This is Maggie after I ate lunch. She is always so afraid she is going to miss a handout. I was sure to give her some and make a happy dog.

A little after lunch sunning.  She makes this look so enjoyable. 



Wilfred Brimley Look Alikes...

You may remember Wilfred Brimley from movies like Cocoon. I see these all the time on the web and thought this cat's resemblance was striking! LOL



My Chariot I Ride...

Rode my sparkly, new Scwhinn mountain bike into downtown.  Spent some time browsing in the shops.  I thought it was neat I rode from Alabama into Georgia on a bike.  Shopping seems so foreign to me now, though.  I stood as I looked at prices and they all seemed like hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  I only had a few measly bucks to my name leftover from my trip to Chuck's Barbeque.  My journey ended at Fred's dollar store in the shopping center.  I bought a pack of $1 dollar Benadryl to tide me over until Dad comes tonight.  At least I have my Soma. 

I left downtown and stopped in the railyard one more time.  A huge CSX crane was unloading an old Seaboard Coastline boxcar at the railroad museum.  I gawked as that spindly crane carefully unloaded it's cargo.  I clapped as they righted the boxcar upon it's trucks on the track.  The museum's menagerie of old railroad equipment continues to grow.  I don't know how this museum supports itself, though, as no one ever visits. 

I dread work tonight.  I am supposed to organize all the paperwork for our home healthcare operation.  I actually volunteered, but didn't realize what I was getting into.  I may be at work until after closing.  That's okay.   My father stays until nine every night anyway.  I hope he is in a good mood and I can spend some time with him -- quality time.    

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Helen Ho!

Helen comes tomorrow.  She will clean the house and then fix supper.  What should I have her cook?  I thought about getting her to make a pork roast with sweet potatoes, green beans, and cornbread muffins.  How does that sound?

Almost Sundown...


Groves and Groves...

There is an ancient old pecan grove across from the railyard and that old cotton mill.  It is nearby to where Ferret camped stealthily when he was homeless.  Today, I lay out in that beautiful grove for hours on the grass reading Trains magazines.  What a wonderful time, and I got some sun to boot!  I am finding these special little quiet moments to be what life is about.  And the weather was just gorgeous today to compliment my excursion! 

This morning was my injection in the ole derrière.  My nurse, Rebecca, who gives it, is 12 weeks pregnant.  I shudder to think who will take her place once the baby comes.  She is so kind and forgiving, and I am not afraid to bare my bum for her. LOL  I was close to having a nasty panic attack in the lobby, though. People were talking loudly.  The TV was on and loudly.  I wanted to dash out of there to the cool and unencumbered outside -- free of the noise and the prying eyes.  I did have to go smoke several calming cigarettes as I waited.

This afternoon was buying groceries.  I continued my trend and bought mostly healthy foods.  Lots of vegetables and lean meats.  This means I have to cook.  I've also been on a banana kick lately and stocked up on them as well.  Mom stayed an hour when we got back to my house as we sat and talked.   We discussed the various symptoms of our mental illnesses and all that entails as we put up my groceries.

Now I am sitting at work as the sun sets.  One of the girls brought in a store bought cake from Wal-Mart and I indulged in two pieces.  Bad, I know.  But I have a terrible sweet tooth.  My father is in a foul mood today so it is best to avoid him -- nasty, snapping spells.  Soon, I will be slinking out the door to do my deliveries.  That can't come soon enough!   It will be another ride on the Viagra express!