Monday, June 30, 2008

Think you can!

"I can't make it," Wanda said after our morning AA meeting.  "I fear tonight I will end up drunk."

"If I can go this long then anyone can stay sober," I told her as we walked to our cars hoping it would help.

It is times likes these in AA that you have to reach out for support and help.  We've all been there and done that.  I can't count on both hands how many times and opportunities I've had to get drunk. The program of AA is like a complete reprogramming of a persons personality and thoughts.  One could argue it is a cult. 

After I made sure Wanda was okay, I was bursting at the seams to find out about my new computer.

"We ordered it," Dad said over the phone. "Should be here in a few days."

I was elated.  I could never afford such a nice computer without the help of my father.   I can't wait to get it home, un-box it, and set everything up.  I will be nice to finally have a reliable computer for a change. 

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Tuna Kind of Day...

Helen stood in my kitchen at lunch as she made pimiento cheese and tuna salad.  I also watched how she made her deviled eggs.  This was Mom's eclectic menu that she picked out for Helen.  I love just to sit and talk to Helen.  She has a great and bubbly personality.

After much calling and cajoling, I managed to get my psychiatrist to call in more Klonopin.  The Klonopin is like a miracle drug in keeping down the anxiety.  I was elated when my father's co-pharmacist called and said my prescription was ready.   She would only give me five until she could speak to my father about putting the rest in my pill packs. 

Dad, friends, and my brother made it to Washington D.C. last night.  My brother had to head straight in to work which surprised us all.  They drove all the way across the country and he immediately was put in the trenches at the hospital.  I wouldn't want to be a doctor personally. 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Astonishing...

Imagine my astonishment as Mom showed up with Helen today to help clean my house.  My mother hasn't cleaned house in probably 20 years. 

"I just want to make sure Helen is doing it right," she told me as she pulled me to the side. 

I sat in the kitchen and peeled and cut up potatoes for potato salad while they cleaned and Helen got some ground beef cooking. 

"What has gotten into you?" I asked mom as she whizzed by carrying some of my laundry to my laundry room.

"I don't know," she said as she stopped in her tracks. "But it feels good.  I feel so alive."

I was so proud of her.  She has seemed to have blossomed while my father has been gone.  I haven't seen Mom so active since my youth.  It is truly heartwarming.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Embarrassment...

It has really worried me that Helen is having to give me my medications.  It is embarrassing.  Dad didn't trust Mom fearing she would have enough patience to wait the 15 minutes for them to take affect.  Helen has been so kind, though.  I wonder what she thinks of all of this?  We have a strange family. 

Mom took me to get my injection this morning.  We sat in the lobby as she read a book and I people watched.  Soon, they called us back and I was injected in the ole derrière.

"That didn't take long!" Mom exclaimed.

"It never does," was my reply.

We then went by my father's pharmacy so Mom could do some shopping.  I meandered around the store just browsing.  Now, I am home and glad to be here.  I am working on day 7 without a panic attack.  Please let's keep this up! 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Knock on Wood...

I've felt better lately.  No panic attacks for almost a week.  I pray they don't return.  As we speak, Mom is calling my doctor for a refill on the Klonopin.  I am out. 

I called Dad yesterday.  They were in Nevada headed East.  My brother got a fellowship in oncology at the Naval hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.  The whole family had to uproot and move. 

Blogging is going to be sporadic cause I am having to use my parent's computer.  Hopefully, I will get a new computer when dad gets home.  I already have one picked out, a Dell XPS.  Dad is giving me a $1100 dollar budget to buy one and mom is kicking in $250 dollars.

I miss you all and hope to be back to blogging regularly soon. 

Andrew

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thanks...

Thank you Mosaic Mind for calling me last night.  It thrilled my soul to speak to you.  You have a pleasant voice.  I just got a calling card that Kirs mailed me and will call you back, soon!  Love you dear friend. 

Cross Country...

I have Helen all to myself this week.  Dad is on a cross country trip to drive my brother from San Diego to Maryland.  Helen is giving me my medications and cooking lunch everyday. I try to make it easy on her and mainly want sandwich stuff like chicken or tuna salad. 

My good blogging computer finally died after years of prodding it along.  Dad said he is getting me a new computer, but knowing him, it will be the cheapest crappiest Dell you can get.  I guess beggars can't be choosers. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quiet Day...

It has been a quiet day.  I spent most of the afternoon working on various model railroading projects.  Mom was over here all day as well.  She was lonely and didn't want to be alone.  We both grabbed a quick lunch at McDonalds. I outdid myself and ate two Big Macs and an extra large fries.  Needless to say, I am full. 

I am still trying to teach Mom to use the computer.  It is almost as if she is afraid of it.  Before I know it, she will have a blog and a Myspace account.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Poor Steven Spielberg...



Hey, I am schizoid!

I've been lucky these past few months not to experience any real symptoms of my schizophrenia.  Imagine my shock this morning when I woke up feeling mentally buzzed and strange.  I was hallucinating both visually and audibly.  Mom and Dad were sitting my room as I lay on the bed.  Mom asked me a conversational question and I replied loudly.  Talking out loud brought me back to reality and my parents disappeared.  This was no dream. 

Also my short term memory is shot to hell.  I will get up to do something and can no longer think of what needed to be done.  This happened at least a dozen times today.

I am lucky the symptoms I am experiencing right now are benign for the most part. My delusions and hallucinations can almost be comforting in a way as I can get lost in my own little world for hours.  Populated by the people I love, and other loves lost. This house has gotten lonely lately.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Miscellaneous...

Never let an inexperienced paramedic try to put in an IV on the drive to the hopital.


I was in the laudry room doing some laundry until the sun broke through the clouds in glorious fashion. I love the interplay between the shadow and the light. Reminds me Joni Mitchell.



Sunday, June 15, 2008

It Works if you Work It...

I keep hearing that in my AA meetings.  I keep hearing the importance of a sponsor to work the steps.  I don't know, but having a sponsor terrifies me.  To call everyday with problems.  To have such close contact with a mentor is terrifying to me.  I continue to go through the program solo.  Sans mentor/sponsor.

I don't want to drink these days and that is a blessing. 

Ah, I am tired of blogging.  Tired of thinking up something to write here everyday.  I used to love it.   Now it is just a chore.  Maybe I am just going through a phase that will pass. 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cya Google Reader...

I've given up on Google Reader. Hundreds of posts waiting to be read and I don't want to read any of them. It has burned me out of reading blogs. It felt like some manic job to catch up everyday. I will go back to organically reading blogs by visiting each blog individually. This means more blogs I actually enjoy and less crap and drivel I could care less for. The majority of blogs I had in reader I can't remember why I added them and why I wanted to read in the first place.

Desperation...

"I'm desperate," my mother told me a moment ago. She had come over just to sit with me. She had a wild look in her eyes.

"Desperate about what?" I asked.

"I don't know. I can't put a finger on it," she replied.

I held her hand and it was shaking.

"Calm down. It is going to be okay."

"I don't want to drive to Birmingham to see your sister and the baby," Mom blurted out. "I dread that long drive and I have to leave soon. Your father can get up more things to do."

"I understand," I said as I lit up a cigarette.

"That's terrible of me isn't it?" Mom said.

"I think that is normal," was my reply.

Mom really can't take a lot going on. My father constantly keeps up activities to do. It wears on her. I don't blame her for dreading that drive and the resulting social menagerie.

Maggie at Rest...





Friday, June 13, 2008

Architecture...

I sat in a noon AA meeting bored. You would find me looking at the architecture feeling listless.  I still don't know what we were talking about.  I was having trouble concentrating.

After the meeting, a kind lady came up to me. 

"I don't mean to pry, but you're John's son," she said.

"Why yes I am," I replied.

"I just love your father.  He's been my pharmacist for years."

The lady was kind and offered to take me to lunch.  I declined and wanted to get home.  I wasn't feeling well. 

On the drive home, I drove through a shower and smiled.  Just that simple act of getting caught in a little downpour changed my spirits.  I threw my head back and laughed and beat on the steering wheel jubilantly.  It is no secret that I am overly fond of the weather.  It is going to be an okay day.    

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Coy Little Pills...

"Alcoholics can't take any addictive substances," Wanda told me on the phone a moment go. "You're playin' with fire son."

"I don't know what to do," I replied, lost. "The quality of my life was at it's lowest point.  I couldn't go any lower."

"Are you going to take it?" she asked.

"I already have," I replied. "I've taken one today."

"It will only lead to you drinking again," she replied tersely.

Sigh!  I told her goodbye after she told me to keep in touch.  I stammered into my den to pick up my other pill and took it.  I am at the point where I will gamble with this pill to feel better.  I felt so badly.  Maybe it is just the alcoholic in me talking, but I feel so much better.  How can something that makes you feel so well again be so bad?  These pills are scary and coy.  

Dead to the World...



Apprehensive...

No more non-prescribed medications was what my doctor told my father.  Dad took it well and agreed.  The doctor upped my Luvox from 50 mg to 100 mg saying that would stop my panic attacks.  He had an a-ha moment in the office when looking at my medications past and present.  I am extremely dubious, but I haven't had an attack in two days.  I attribute this to the Klonopin I am taking.  The doctor wouldn't prescribe me more immediately and told me to call him when I run out of what I am taking.  This worries me.  I realize it is addicting, but I need it to feel better.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Maggie Doin' What She Does Best....



Early Lunch...

I was just sitting in my kitchen eating a very early lunch of grilled chicken, yellow squash with Vidalia onions, field peas, and cornbread.  This is wholesome southern food and I was so overjoyed to have it.  Mom really did good buying my groceries last week. I want to continue to eat such wholesome meals for my health. Rib sticking delectables that will encourage me to eat lots of vegetables and lean meats.

Maggie was in heaven even eating the veggies on the plate I fixed her.  I draw more satisfaction out of her enjoying this as much as I do for me.  She is my little baby, after all.  Though, she is growing in girth.  

Psychiatric Merry-Go-Round...

"You get a thousand chances.  You only have to make one count." --unknown

This morning is my injection.  I've already called Dad and said I was just going to lie in the bed and listen to the radio this morning.

"YOU'VE GOT TO GET YOUR SHOT!" was his reply. "I am taking you and I wont take no for an answer."

I am convinced that all these myriad of medications I am on are the culprit for my attacks, and want to come off all of them.  I want to be medication free and to be able to cry again and quit drooling.  I am tired of the psychiatric merry-go-round. 

Monday, June 9, 2008

House Call

Well, I called the paramedics and went to the hospital. I had one of my worst attacks yet and was so scared.  It got worse at the hospital with all the noise and talking.  Going was a bad mistake.  Mom arrived by my side and stayed with me.  They didn't run any tests and just prescribed me Klonopin for the anxiety.  I feel a lot better now.  I am too tired to write much though.  When I get like I do in my attacks it is akin to being drunk or intoxicated.  I can't speak or interact much and I just know everyone at the emergency room thought I was on drugs.  That is my biggest worry now.  And it would have to be a nurse I went to high school with.  Sigh!

Impetuous...

I'm turning into Johnny Social these days.  It feels good to get out of the house and be with my family.  I drove over this morning to get more Lexapro and Dad was sitting in his pajamas in his favorite chair with a newspaper in hand.  I went and spent time with Mom as she lay in the bed yesterday afternoon. 

"You're so impetuous!" Dad told me.

"I just want to feel better," I replied. "I am convinced this drug is helping."

Dad didn't have anymore, and he agreed to meet me at the drugstore in an hour.  I am just waiting for his call.

_________________________________________

I haven't been able to drive much lately, but I drove the long drive to the pharmacy this morning. 

"You look better!" my father told me.

I smiled and told him thanks.

"It is this medicine!" I replied as he handed me the little white pill.

I immediately took it and almost immediately got to feeling even better!  I know it is placebo effect, but it seems to work for me so I am going with it.   T minus 2 days to I go and see my doctor. 

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Brand New Pill...

"He works in mysterious ways," An AA oldtimer told me about my higher power this morning at a meeting.

"Don't tell me that!" I decreed.  I want clear cut answers and solutions.  I like things black and white.  All or nothing.  It is my nature.  

I felt so much better getting out of the house despite my deepest fears.  I swung by my parents and Dad had a new medication to try:  Lexapro, an anti-depressant.  I took it and do feel better.

"You've been terribly depressed," my father told me. "You could see it in your house and how you carried yourself."

The strange thing about depression is that you sometimes can't tell when you're in it.  I know I am grasping at straws, but I am willing to try anything at this point.  

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Blog Break...

I am thinking of taking a break from this blog until I can get to feeling better.  I don't want this to turn into some constant boring drivel about what ails me.  A life changing ailment can be all consuming.   And I feel terrible.  I have never been so scared in my life, and I feel like I am losing my mind.  I see my doctor Wednesday and hopefully he will help me.  I need help badly and my father is a poor advocate for my mental health thinking these medications are the only answer.  He will force more antihistamines upon me this afternoon and they will only make my heart race.  Thank you all for reading and hopefully, I won't be down for long.  I've worked so hard to build up a readership and a dead blog will kill it.  Maybe after Wednesday I will be feeling better.  

A Pepperjack Morning!

I feel better this morning, but scared.  I still have that lump in my stomach.  I woke up with it.  It is a nice morning of drinking Pepsi, Sprite Zero, and listening to the radio.  I had so many blog posts to catch up on.   Reader was packed with hundreds of great posts.   I have whittled them down to just a handful.  I find myself browsing more than reading though when that happens. 

I never know what Mom will bring me grocery shopping.  Yesterday it was lots of breakfast foods.  Breakfast burritos, fresh eggs, pepperjack cheese, bacon, sausage.  This morning I had a fresh pepperjack omelet and bacon, and it was delicious.  I always did love breakfast.  She even brought me some fresh fruit and I love some kiwis and cantaloupe.

I don't know what I am going to do about these attacks.  My father seems to think I am having (DT's) delirium tremens from my drinking days.  I can assure you that is not it and I get tired of him poo pooing my symptoms.  I think they are caused by my medications; either the Luvox or the Lithium.  I am tired of periodically dealing with this, though.  Convincing my father that it is my medications is akin to convincing Jesus to become an atheist.  Just isn't going to happen.  I will have to talk to my doctor without him in the room.  And that will take an act of congress.  

Weekend Heat Wave!

Graphic from The Weather Guys over at USA Today.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dearest Mother...

I do have something to look forward to today!  Mom is coming with my groceries.  I can't wait until her car pulls up out front and Maggie does her dance of joy and happiness.   It will be so nice having her over for about an hour.

Mom buys me lots of sweets and always has to taste test them for me.  Doughnut? Yes!  Peanut butter cup? Yes!  I smile and enjoy them with her.  She has such a sweet tooth.  We won't tell Weight Watchers about this. 

We usually don't talk about much.  My attacks will be the conversation du jour today.  Mom has panic attacks, but they are nothing like mine.  Mine are so physical and her's just make her uncomfortable for a brief bit. 

I so look forward to her being here today.  Only a few more hours left after her hair appointment and she will be here.  I can't wait!

Yesterday's Attack...

This is my attempt to write about this occurrence with the hopes it will alleviate some of the symptoms I am experiencing today. 

I felt it coming on for hours.  My head started to spin and I couldn't focus on anything.  I immediately started to pace the floor.  "Your house is so freakin' dirty," I said to myself noticing acutely that dirt and dog hair was everywhere.  I don't noticed this when I am normal.  It adds to the panic that my father is coming at night with my medications.  Soon, I was lying on the bed too tired to walk anymore.  My head continued to spin.  I can't drink, smoke, or have any noise on.   My mouth grows so dry, I feel like I am choking trying to wet it.  My neighbors were mowing their lawn and it just added to the panic.  It was so getting on my nerves.   Then the need to urinate would hit.  I would stand over the toilet as my head and heart pounded, but nothing would happen.  I got so scared I would urinate in my bed as I lie there.  Finally, I managed to use the bathroom.  This went on for three or four hours.  It is maddening.  I feel like I am losing my mind.  I have no control over my body.  They almost feel like seizures to be honest.   

Impending Doom...

Glum post, I know.  Sorry.  But I don't feel well.  It all started a few days ago about the time Dad would come with my medications.  Now I feel this lump or pain in my stomach like another attack is going to happen any moment.  I woke up this way.  I had a terrible attack last night.  So painful and uncomfortable.  It lasted for hours.  I kept feeling the need to urinate, but couldn't!  I actually outlast these attacks after three or more hours and get to feeling better.  I assume my adrenaline runs out and the attack is over.

When I first started to go to AA, I worried there wouldn't be enough meetings to go to everyday.  I had grand plans of ninety meetings in ninety days.  So far the meetings have materialized.  The Internet is great for finding them.  I am making about one meeting a day.  And they have gone so far in helping my moods and my outlook on life.  I feel like I am growing and maturing as a sober alcoholic in AA.  I sat in an early morning meeting this morning and felt so at home.  I had to leave early because my panic set in.  At least I went and tried. 

Sorry I don't feel like writing much lately.  My posts have been short and to the point.  I will spend the rest of the day with my finger's crossed hoping another attack won't start.  I will smoke copious amounts of cigarettes and drink diet 7UP -- my only comforts.  Well, I am off to fend off that roulette that is these attacks for the day.  Thanks for reading and thanks for all the comments.   You are so appreciated.    

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Where There is a Will, There is a Way!

"You will find a way to pay for it,"  a long time AA goer told me this morning in regards to my not having enough gas to get to all the meetings I want to go to.  They were right.  "You always found a way to drink!"

I am feeling shaky today, though.  I just don't feel well and have that impending doom (anxiety attack) feeling today.  I just called Mom needing someone to talk to.

"Did you get to your morning meeting?" she asked.

"Just barely," I replied. "I feel horrible."

We discussed the price of gas and making it to my meetings.

"I'll buy you a tank of gas a week," Mom offered.

I told her I would think about it.  I don't want yet another tendril of dependence to be attached.  It was nice of her though.  I am thinking I will talk to Dad about using some of my work money for gas.  He has an account with a local gas station for the pharmacy.  That way I would be paying my own way and would feel better about it.  As they say, "Where there is a will, there is a way!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

College Aged AA...

I drove the long drive at lunch for a morning AA meeting.  It was a small meeting filled mostly with college aged kids.  I felt at home.  I marveled at how young these kids looked, and to top that with an addiction to alcohol.  I wistfully thought of how different my life would have been if I had embraced Alcoholics Anonymous at such an early age.  I was almost jealous of these shiny, happy persons.

I had a $50 dollar gift card to Red Lobster.  I enjoyed the fried shrimp and garlic mashed potatoes.  I even splurged and got a piece of strawberry cheesecake.  It was fun people watching as I ate and read a USA Today newspaper.  I was in my element. 

"Can I get you a mixed drink as a starter?" my Asian waitress asked in broken English.

"No thanks," I replied with a warm smile.

Six months ago, I would have said yes and drove home from the restaurant buzzed.  Through AA's help, I could say no today and feel good about it.  Although, a margarita would be mightily tempting.   

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Evander Who?

Mom accompanied me to the train shop in central Georgia today.  We were gone for hours.  The highlight of the trip was picking up an undecorated SW1500 locomotive which I will letter and paint for the Chattahoochee Valley Railway. 

"Look!  It's Evander Holyfield's home," I told mom as we passed his house on the way home.

"Who?"

"Evander Holyfield, the boxer," I replied.

"Never heard of him," mom said.

I couldn't help but laugh.  Mom would be a terrible partner in Trivial Pursuit. 

Monday, June 2, 2008

For Sale...

Joyce's sister was over packing up her clothes and toiletries this morning.  I stopped by to offer a hand and to just be nosey.  I wanted to find out what was going on. 

"She's going to miss you," Joyce's sister, Janice, told me.  "We've got her a good place to stay."

"I am going to miss her as well," I replied as I busied myself carrying Joyce's clothes to her sister's car.

Stepping into Joyce's house is like stepping back into time.  It looks and smells like my now departed great aunt's house.  Something out of the sixties. 

As I was leaving, I watched as they put a for sale sign in front of Joyce's house.  It didn't hit me that she was actually gone until I saw that.  Despite all Joyce's problems, she has been a good neighbor -- the first neighbor I have ever felt close to.  I am sad to see her go.  I hope she grows to enjoy her new living environs. 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Intuitively Handle...

Went to a 10 AM AA meeting this morning.  It was kind of like a somber church for alcoholics.  We discussed handling certain situations in life sober.  Learning how to intuitively handle situations that used to baffle us when drinking.  There is a lot of wisdom in the halls of AA if you have an open mind and listen.  I try so hard to be a malleable soul and alcoholic.  

"Relationships," one lady said. "Drove me crazy and I was always dating the most terrible men.  I got sober and realized I didn't have to complete that vicious cycle anymore.  I had a new freedom in life.  I was at peace with myself."

"Resentments," another man replied.  "I got sober and resented it.  I wanted to drink like my father and his father before him.  It just wasn't fair.  I had to intuitively learn to handle life without alcohol.  It took years and I am still growing and changing.  I learn something new every meeting."

One of my biggest growth points was learning to be at peace with myself sober.  The only time I previously felt at peace was after six or more beers.  My busy, mentally ill mind would go a thousand miles a minute leaving me bewildered and confused.  It took weeks of steady sobriety to calm my mind down along with the help of my medications.

___________________________________________

Joyce's sister came and got her this morning.  Joyce spent all night sitting in a chair on her carport afraid to go inside.  That must have been a long night.  I was oblivious and asleep.  None of the medications they are trying on Joyce are working.  She is still batshiat crazy these days.  I am confused as to why they aren't trying new and different medications.  It is obvious her current ones aren't working. 

There was a note on my front door this morning from Joyce.  It said, "Don't let them take me away.  I love you.  Joyce."  It broke my heart.  I could barely read her handwriting though.  Joyce's living arrangements have been so chaotic with hospitals and living with her sister that it is no wonder she is struggling.