Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bitter Pill to Swallow...

I spent a long time this morning helping Joyce's sister clean up Joyce's yard.  It was cathartic and I needed something to occupy my mind.  I couldn't help but look at Joyce's elder sister bitterly, though.  It is my belief that Joyce would still be alive if they would have kept Joyce in her home and had caretakers come in to help with day to day tasks.  Joyce was not happy at assisted living. 

It is all water under the bridge now. 

I have a good supper planned for tonight.  Beef Lo Mien which was always a favorite dish my mother would fix when I was a child.  I love the crunchy lo mien noodles. 

Maggie has slept all day snoozing on the back of the sofa.  She will occasionally grunt leading to furious barking when someone walks by on the road. 

Thank you for the outpouring of support in the comments on my last post.  It was truly heartwarming to know that many caring people are reading the blog.  You all are my treasured support group and I appreciate it. I wish I could more tangibly return the favor.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Go Softly into the Night...

They found my neighbor, Joyce, dead in her bed this morning at assisted living.  Mom called me and I broke down in tears.  Joyce was such a good friend and neighbor.  I feel like I have lost her twice.  Once to assisted living and again with her death. 

Monday, July 28, 2008


I told a good friend of mine this morning that I was tired - tired of conventional life and trying to put this square peg in a round hole.

"You just want to drink without repercussion or responsibility," she replied.

I laughed and gave her a hug.  She was right.  I still live under the delusion that I would go pitch my Kelty tent in the woods, drink beer, and live by a campfire.  I still can romanticize my homeless days.  

"Conventional life is more rewarding," she then told me.

"You mean being a sheeple," I replied snarkily.

We argued back and forth about how conventional society is carefully controlled and manipulated by the bourgeoisie.

"You think too much," she finally told me.

Thinking has been my Achilles heel.  I told her I wished I was some penis-less orphan and she laughed and laughed.  I was serious.  I am off to engage in more conventionality: work. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Keyboard...

Crepe Myrtle...

My crepe myrtle by the driveway has decided to flower.  The tree is full of fuscia colored blooms.

Yay for Jerky!

Mom picked the menu today.  Helen was in a hurry and could only cook and not clean.  I find myself cleaning for the housekeeper anyway so my house was pretty clean.  Helen cooked a ham steak, broccoli, glazed carrots, corn-on-the-cob, candied sweet potatoes, and cornbread.  Mom and I sat quietly eating at my kitchen table after Helen left.

One strange thing did happen when Helen asked me to borrow $20 to pay her phone bill.  I just didn't have it.  I talked to Mom about it and she said Helen borrows money from her all the time.  Helen always pays her back or gets her to take it out of her pay. 

Maggie is a happy dog.  Mom brought along a big bag of expensive beef jerky from Kroger for her.  She has followed me constantly looking for more since mom has left and I gave her some.  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pregnant Nurses and Nervous Patients...

"Take your two Klonopin," Mom told me as I sat in the doctor's office this morning and started to nervously shake. 

"I've got to save them!" I replied. "Dad will freak if he knew I took them two days in a row."

Mom reached into my pocket, pulled out the pill bottle, and poured the two pills in my hand. 

"Go ahead and take them," she replied.

I took both pills and within twenty minutes was feeling calm again and normal.  I almost felt euphoric. Soon, my nurse called me back for my once every two week injection on my anti-psychotic.  Mom followed and her and my nurse talked babies seeing as how my nurse is 4 months pregnant.   A few moments later, the deed was done with a fresh supply of sanity potion in my ass. 

The Stoic One...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's a Big World Out There, Maggie!


What a base and unflattering emotion.  I still struggle with it in regards to my brother and sister.  They seem to have such happy lives filled with fulfilling vocations, children of their own, nice new cars, and friends.  I try to tell myself that their lives aren't all roses.  Being a doctor is tough and stressful and comes with little time off. 

My father brought by my sister-in-law and my two nieces today.  I found myself jealous of these beautiful and happy children.  I wanted children of my own some day, but I am getting long in the tooth.  I will be 40 before you know it.  I also realized I couldn't handle the responsibility of a child.  Too many children are born to deadbeat dads with addictions and mental illnesses.  I don't want to be another statistic. 

My father watched guardingly after I got Maggie.  He wanted to see if I could take on the responsibility of another sentient being under my care.  I have proved a hundred fold that Maggie is well taken care of.  She has to be one of the most low maintenance dogs I have ever met.  At least, I am doing something right.  My little furry "daughter" is happy and content.  I guess I should just be content with that.   

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stormy Weather...


Doggone, don't be gone...

I've read on several blogs where the owners of a dog have had to put it to sleep due to old age.  I actually had tears erupt reading one blog and I thought I couldn't cry due to my medications.  I don't know what I would do without Maggie.  She is like my daughter and closest confidant all rolled into one.  I have nightmares thinking of her getting out of the fence and running out into the busy highway down from my house.  I pray everyday that she has enough sense not to dig out and bolt.  I love her so much.

Mom came this morning bringing coffee from Mickey D's.  It was delicious.  Mom has got to take my sister-in-law and my two nieces to see my grandmother today.  I hope they see Joyce as well.  I had the opportunity to go, but feel like a hermit and will stay home.

My AA meeting today was routine.  A good group of people and Karen was there.  We spoke for a long time after the meeting until the heat chased us to our cars.  She's far more religious than I am, though, in our talk.  I still struggle with higher powers, God, and the likes.  Each day I draw closer to a God of my understanding.  Not the spiteful, tyrannical God of the Old Testament, but a kind and benevolent soul bent on my best interests. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

On Stage and Acting...

I realized today that going to my AA meetings is akin to me getting on stage and acting.  The rules and regulations of social gatherings just don't come natural or easy to me.  I have to make conscious choices to navigate this personal mine field.   Do I shake his hand?  Should I ask how her kids are doing?   How much sobriety do you have?  Excuse me while I melt into a puddle of goo on the floor and ooze home.   It is that exhausting for me.  And yet I keep trying ever harder to learn the skills that never came natural to me as a child or as an adult.

Today's meeting was just your usual AA gathering with people on their lunch breaks needing a meeting.  I shared which is somewhat unusual for me as I usually just listen quietly. 

"I am being blinded by my sobriety," I told the room.  "Blind to the dangers that would occur if I took that first drink.  It is almost reckless how I will put myself in situations where drinking arises.  I found myself Saturday coming close to buying some beer.  It is similar to wanting to commit suicide."

A lot of helpful people came to me after the meeting with advice.  Calling my sponsor which I don't have was the most prominent bit of advice offered.  I just felt better sharing my burdens with a group of caring people.  It somehow lessened the weight bearing down on my shoulders. 

I've made it 244 days sober this time and that is just astonishing to me.  I always thought I was a helpless case or lost cause.  I won't lie and say a beer or six wouldn't be tempting now.  I still have a long ways to go.  

Saturday, July 19, 2008

2 a Day Keeps the Bottle Away...

Went to two AA meetings today.  Both had similar themes - not picking up that first drink.  The first drink would always get me as well.  With one down, twenty would follow. 

I still romanticize drinking though.  I stood in the convenience store down from my house this afternoon and eyed the beer longingly.  "It has been so long," my mind said. "One drink won't hurt you."  They say in AA that alcohol is cunning, baffling, and powerful.  It's the truth.  As soon as you let your guard down, old habits arise and the stinkin' thinkin' starts. 

Charlie is throwing a big cookout tonight.  It is ribeye steak night at Charlie's.  I declined from going and they will bring me and Maggie a plate.  I've got to get over these social anxieties.  I will never meet new people and friends sitting in this house all the time in front of this computer. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wake Up Baby!

I awoke this morning to someone unlocking my front door and then shutting it.  I scrambled to put on some clothes as Helen came through this house just so chipper.  I had forgotten about her coming.  

"Baby, it be time to get up," she said as she was humming a tune to herself.

I got in the kitchen to scramble some eggs and make some cheese toast.  Soon, Mom arrived with my groceries and it was a full house.  Mom and Helen have become good friends and they talked and talked as I put up all my groceries. 

I got Helen to make chicken salad today.  I've been in a big sandwich mood.  She made enough chicken salad to feed me for days after running to the grocery store. 

"Thank you," I told her. "Your cooking is delicious."

You should have seen Helen swell up with pride.  I have almost gotten used to her coming and feel less self conscious about the whole affair.  

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Old Friends. Memories Long Gone...

Spent most of the day down at the very active railyard.  Saw multiple trains and ate my lunch behind the bank on the bench where Ferret would always sleep homeless.  Walking through the shopping center today reminded me of my old friends.  Big S.  George.  Ferret.  Clara.  Dexter.  Dumpster Diving Dan.  I wondered what they all were doing these days.

Left the railyard and ate one of Merl's big hamburgers at Merl's Diner.  I was stuffed.  I had already eaten some sandwiches for lunch.  It was an impulse binging.  There goes my diet.  I am still hovering around 215 pounds. 

Mom came by this afternoon.  She brought a gift of toilet paper.  A huge pack of it. 

"I didn't want you to run out," she told me. 

Mom and I sat in my den for the longest time just watching The Weather Channel and talking.  I missed our McDonald's coffee ritual today and she said we would do it in the morning -- get back on track.     

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Could it Always be this Easy?

Imagine my surprise as I sat down in my psychiatrist's office this morning, shook his hand, and he smiled warmly.

"How many Klonopin do you need this month?" he asked.

"Twenty," I replied.

He proceeded to write my prescription for it with no further questions.  I thought I would have to grovel and beg and prostrate myself upon the floor.

We talked a lot of my schizophrenia and my current symptoms -- symptoms which I rarely reveal on this blog these days.   My main problem these days is dealing with anxiety and paranoia.  My doctor upped my Risperdal Consta some and added on another 50 mg of Luvox. 

"You handled that like an adult," Dad told me as we were walking out.  "I didn't have to say a word."

"Thanks," I replied, thoroughly pleased at my father's positive affirmations.

Me and Dad talked a lot of Mom on the way home.  The way she used to be, and how she is now. 

"She's like a different person," I told Dad.

"You two always fought like cats and dogs, and now she is your most staunchest supporter." Dad replied.

I enjoyed the time spent with my father this morning.  Our relationship is a direct reflection of my sobriety.  The longer sober I go, the closer we get.  I felt blessed today --blessed for all I have and blessed to have such a caring family.     

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What I have to Listen to...

"Your grandmother drives me crazy," Mom said this morning. "You would think at the age of 87 she would have mellowed some."

"Not Memaw!" I replied smiling. 

Even at the age of 87, my grandmother can keep my mother and her brothers and sisters in an uproar.  She is cantankerous and feisty.

"I think I am going to take her phone away," Mom said pouting.

"You can't do that!" I replied. "She needs a phone to call people."

"She called this morning and needs more makeup," Mom said. "She puts on more makeup than anybody I've ever seen."

I just sat on my couch nodding letting Mom know I was paying attention.  This kind of stuff has been going on for years so is nothing new to me and my family.

"She also said she wishes she was dead.  She is tired of living," Mom told me.

My grandmother has been saying that for years as well and keeps on going and going.  I think she has quite a few more years left in her.  Now if only Mom and siblings can keep their sanity for just a bit longer, they will be home free. 

Monday, July 14, 2008

Anxiety No More!

It is quiet in this house this afternoon.   Too quiet.  The only noise a whisper from a fan in my new computer.  Maggie is asleep on the couch and I have just awakened from a long, fitful nap. 

Talked to Karen at lunch today.  She was trying to get me out of the house, but I wouldn't go.  I'm slightly agoraphobic today.  Good thing I don't have to work tonight.  Blessings come in many forms. 

This morning I spent some time at the railyard watching trains.  The air was cool and each sound of a train air horn excited me.  I almost didn't want to come home, but hunger spurred me on. 

Wednesday, I go to see my psychiatrist.  I am hoping he will continue with the Klonopin.   I have certainly felt better these days with it's aid.  I shudder to think of having any more anxiety attacks.  

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rainy Day Sunday...

It has rained off and on all day.  It has made for a very pleasant and comfortable Sunday.  I am watching the radar now as more showers march our way.

I'm struggling with my old nemesis addiction today.  I am just bored and I want something to do to pass the time.  I thought all day of just driving down to Auburn and getting a six-pack of beer.  A six-pack would only lead to more and drunk driving as well no doubt. I wish I could take a pill to sleep until this feeling passes. 

Mom was over another long time today.  She brought me a coffee from McDonald's and it tasted wonderful.  The caffeine was intoxicating as well.

For supper I am making some bobby burgers (you will know these as Manwiches or Sloppy Joes).  I have my grandmother's recipe and it makes the perfect bobby burger.  

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Big Mac Time...

Took my mother to lunch today.  McDonald's.  I had a terrible craving for their french fries. 

"Surely you can't eat two Big Macs and a large fry at one sitting," Mom protested as we ordered.

"Watch me," I replied. "I might even get an apple pie."

We finished our lunch and came back to my house.  Mom stayed for about an hour and the small talk with her today was excruciating.  She wouldn't carry on a conversation. 

I also had a long phone conversation with my father about getting Maggie a companion puppy.  I've proven with Maggie that I am responsible enough for a dog.  I fear Maggie is bored shitless here at home and needs a canine friend.  So, I will keep my eyes out for a small dog that will fit through my dog door. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Computer Pictures...

This and That...

I'm really enjoying and loving my new computer.  Everything is instantaneous and quick.  I've had a few issues like it coming with WindowsXP installed, but I fixed that last night by installing Vista. 

Oh, just my luck.  Yesterday I was so excited about having my new computer.  I was ready to play.  We had a very violent storm and it knocked the power out for 5 hours.  Me and Maggie sat on the porch in the rain cooled air as I smoked and watched all the neighbors busily come and go after the storm. 

Helen has left.  She fixed a wonderful lunch and Maggie is eating a plate of home cooked food as we speak.  Gosh, I spoil that dog.  I look forward to meat loaf sandwiches tomorrow. 

Social Security contacted me today about the money I made on this blog with advertisements.  The total for several months was $1001.00.  I am having to explain where that money came from.  Mom is worried they are going to take my disability away. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Loner...

Dad was worried today that I insist on doing the hospital bed deliveries alone.  The bed parts are heavy, but I would rather do it by myself. 

"I don't want a third wheel," I told him. "Somebody to be under my heels."

"Have it your way," he replied, patting me on my back. 

I still enjoy work for the most part although a large part of my wages are going to pay Helen's Friday cleaning and cooking.  I already have a meal planned for Helen: meatloaf (my favorite), creamed potatoes, english peas, and biscuits.  I can taste it now and can't wait.

This morning was my daily AA meeting.  It was a small group of wise members with a lot of sobriety and I got a lot out of it.   I sometimes have to remind myself that Alcohol is dangerous to someone like me and today's meeting did that.  A man spoke of having several years sobriety and "going back out" as they like to say in AA.  Lest I ever forget my humble experiences of homelessness and drunkenness of several years ago.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Undaunted, I Pray for Rain...

I am lucky my father shares my zeal for the weather.  It gives us something to talk about and a common bond.  Imagine me today as numerous times at work I would check the TV in the back room for the weather channel's "Local on the Eights."

"You can't will it to rain," Dad said smiling as he saw what I was doing. 

"Look!" I said pointing at the TV. "It is raining all around us!"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thoroughly Useless...

That's me today.  Thoroughly useless.  I've been all thumbs and screw up everything I touch.  Now, I am sitting at work wondering what I can screw up next.  Bad karma must be bearing down on me hard today. 

I gave up on my "no air conditioning" experiment at home.  I was trying to save money and was thoroughly miserable in the heat.  Everything would be damp and clammy in the morning as well sleeping with the windows open.  What would I have done without air conditioning in the South 50 years ago?

I called Karen today just to speak.  Karen is the lady I spoke of yesterday. 

"I am probably being too forward calling so soon," I told her. "I bet I sound desperate."

She laughed and loved my candidness.  She said it was refreshing. I hung up the phone with a big, broad grin on my face.  

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A New Friend...

We just hit it off.  There was something special the moment I heard her speak.

"You going home?" she asked as I walked out of the AA meeting and headed for my car.

"Yeah," I said. "How 'bout you?"

"I would really like to go get an iced coffee," she replied.

So we went to get and iced coffee and to talk.  Luckily, I had enough money on me today to pay for our expensive drinks.

What I like about her?  Her fiery red hair, fair complexion, and freckles.  She has also been sober over a year.  We've seen each other often in this meeting I have been attending in another town.  I think we are on the way to becoming fast friends. 

Mom has been by a lot today.  She feels bored and listless since she is staying up during the day and not sleeping.  Both times she didn't stay long, but I enjoyed her company. 

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

It has been a quiet and uneventful 4th.  Maggie has been my constant companion today and follows me through every room.  Dad brought by my medications on the way to a big cookout some family friends were having.  Yes, I got two of Charlie's famous hamburgers hot off the grill.  I am saving them for a much later supper.  I made a special trip to Krogers to buy some spicy brown mustard I just love with his hamburgers.

Not much is planned for tonight.  I am sure my neighbors will revel me in shows of fireworks.  This week marks a year I have lived in this house.  My, does time fly.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

AA and Pimiento...

Lunch started with an AA meeting.  There was a small crowd attending and I got a lot out of it.  Afterwards, I sat out on a picnic table eating my pimiento cheese sandwiches.  They tasted better outside and made ahead.  It reminded me of all the times my grandmother would make pimiento cheese sandwiches for when we would tailgate before an Auburn football game.

Mom had a biopsy on an abnormality in her breast this morning.  Dad and she had to be at the hospital at 6 AM.  Ouch!  I just called her and she feels fine and is recovering.  She still sounded shaky over the phone though.  As if she was still anesthetized.

Me? I didn't want to go into work this evening.  All I had to do was the deliveries and there were only three.  That made my job a lot easier.  I've got to work to pay back the $1200 Dad paid for my computer.    

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

200 Stones Lighter...

The first thing I did this morning after awakening was call Wanda to check on her.  She worked third shift last night and was so glad to be home.

"No drinking?" I asked.

"No, no drinking.  I feel better and sturdier today," she replied.

"This too shall pass as they always say in AA," I told her.

I will be so glad when my new computer arrives.  This old beater of a contraption I am using now is so frustrating.  I can't click or follow links without opening up the windows task manager. 

I saw Helen this morning sitting out on my parent's portico. 

"Hey baby," she said in that southern African American vernacular.

We talked of diets and staying on them. 

"I'm stuck at 215," I told her.

"I've lost over 200 pounds since my gastric bypass surgery," Helen replied proudly.