Sunday, August 31, 2008
I went to my favorite Sunday morning AA meeting. It is like church on steroids. One of my favorite AA persons was there. Wanda. It was good catching up with her after the meeting.
"I come close to slipping up everyday," she told me.
"Life's a gamble," I replied. "I would probably have the same problem if I had money."
We spent a long time talking about our dogs which are the focal points of our lives.
"Dogs are people too," she told me.
I couldn't help but agree. Maggie is like my hairy little daughter.
I was sad to see Wanda get in her car and drive off. I was lonesome and hungry for the company of another. It was a long drive home with my radio still not working. Thinking time. I thought of how far my life has come in this past year.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Mom just brought by a bag of cheese and bacon dog treats. Maggie knew what the bag was and immediately went ape-shiat bananas.
"Gimme, gimme, gimme," she seemed to say with her frantic little dance on the floor.
"Should I give her some?" my mother asked.
"Give her two," I replied, smiling.
These little moments make me wonder if this is how parents feel about their children on Christmas day. The sheer joy of this little moment with Maggie is shared with Mom and me. Despite the endless dog hair and Maggie's incorrigible need to slumber the day away, I love her dearly. She has brought so much joy and personality to this little house in J-Ville.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
It is 5 PM and I am sitting in my office. I am overcome with fear of the prospect of facing the public today. My father, on the other hand, is in his element in public. Call him a natural born speaker. I envy him. He would have made one hell of a used car salesman.
"Could you take a look at Veronica's computer?" my father's co-pharmacist just asked.
Dad is off today. She left before I could respond. I wanted to say, "only if it doesn't mean leaving the safety of my office."
The positive side of my working is it forces me out in public and to be sociable. That is usually reserved for AA, but the people in AA are different -- different minded than most people I meet in public. They are more accepting and giving.
Soon, it will be time for me to get in the company van and make deliveries. I hope I can mentally hold it together enough to make it home. Let me gather the mojo to get this thing done. Good night.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Karen and I went out for lunch today after an AA meeting. I've got in the habit of carrying my two Klonopin around with me everywhere in a pill bottle. "In case of emergencies," I tell myself. I can't leave the house without them.
While we were eating, my pill bottle was bothering me in my pocket, so I placed it on the table with little thought.
"What's that?" Karen asked.
"My nerve pills," I replied with a wary smile.
"Do I make you nervous?" she then asked me.
"No, no, no," I stammered.
We both broke out in laughter after I explained to Karen why I carry them with me. She then wanted to know all about my anxiety attacks. How long I've had them. How long they last. She seems to think she is suffering from some as well. Just two battle scarred alcoholics leaving the battlefield and joining AA.
Monday, August 25, 2008
"That's vitamin water!" my mother exclaimed a moment ago.
"Looks like a bottle of wine to me," I replied, standing in front of the fridge with the door open.
I was wondering why my mother followed me downstairs so I could get two diet Dr. Peppers. They are so overprotective of me.
"Mmmm, Vitamin water," was my mind's Pavlovian response.
I had to forego my dose of vitamin C and alcohol and make do with my caffeinated drinks. I couldn't help but smile driving home. Vitamin water for sure.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
It is a cool and overcast day. I was just sitting on my porch listening to Joyce's wind chimes in the gentle tropical storm winds. I know she would now just do anything to be sitting with me alive. It made me grateful for the moment.
I've felt so content lately and it is a good feeling. For years, I felt something was lacking in my life. One more drink spurred me on to disaster. Now, I can pass on a drink and feel okay. Content.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Worked all morning on teaching Maggie to walk on a leash. It was slow going and she balked at every chance. She would wiggle out of her collar every time. I finally got to a point where she was doing pretty good then mom came over. I probably said, "dammit" a hundred times.
Mom stayed two hours while we sat and watched TV. Maggie goes bananas at mom arriving and you would think we had a dignitary in our midst. It tickles me cause Maggie will jump in mom's lap and lick her on her face. She would never do that to my father or I. It is funny how dogs know what they can get away with.
I am cleaning tonight -- cleaning for my house cleaner. I don't want Helen to think I am a total slob. The house was pretty messy today with dog hair everywhere. It seems Maggie is already molting for the winter.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Day three without any major mental illness symptoms. I can get carried away and think I am cured.
"Do I have to take these medications for the rest of my life?" I asked my father last night.
"I believe you will," he said. "Don't start back wanting to go off them."
"I was just curious," I replied defensively. My father is so pro-medication.
I now realized know why I drank all those years. I was miserable. I drank to cover up the symptoms of my schizophrenia. Drink was sedating, depressing, and subduing. It made me to not have a care in the world. Little did I know, I was committing slow suicide.
When I get a string of days where I feel well, then I can get cocky. I want to tackle the whole world and climb proverbial mountains. I also get bored and start thinking of jobs, good jobs. Jobs that will pay me a living wage. These are normal dreams not usually entertained by someone with my lot on life. It feels good. I feel confident. I want to tell the whole world!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I had such a great day yesterday. "For the first time in my life, I know what contentment feels like," I told Dad as I was taking my medications last night. This led to a discussion of some of my various shenanigans when I was very ill.
"You remember the time you thought Emeril Legasse was coming to pick you up and fly you to New York for his TV show?" Dad asked.
I laughed. "I can't believe I thought that at one time. I thought it was real though."
My medications always make me dopey and drowsy, and soon I was in the bed for another day.
Today? I am feeling kind of shaky. Not too bad. But I've had a few close calls with anxiety attack symptoms. I was lying in the bed this afternoon watching Stargate: Atlantis, and my heart started to furiously race. I lay down flat and still, and got to feeling better.
I do have somewhat of a treat to look forward to tonight. I've got a big pot of vegetable soup on the stove. The wonderful smells have been torturing my taste buds for hours. All I have to do is make some cornbread.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I awoke pretty early this morning. My mind was clear and I got excited -- excited to greet the day. "What to do?" I thought as I dressed. I patted Maggie goodbye and got in the car to drive to my parent's house.
When I arrived, mom was still in her nightgown and Helen was doing laundry. "Lord child," she said. "Yo parents sho wear a lot of clothes." I smiled, agreeing, and headed upstairs.
"Mom? have you got any of my Benadryl?" I asked as she climbed back into the bed.
"Look in my medicine cabinet," she replied with a sleepy sigh.
My heart did a flip flop at the sight of the big bottle of Lortab painkillers. "Two won't hurt you," my mischievous mind said. "You're such an addict," I thought as I shut the cabinet door with two Benadryl in hand.
"What are you going to do with the Benadryl?" Mom asked me.
"Save them for an emergency," was my honest reply. "I mainly just wanted something to busy myself with and wanted to drive."
Mom had a busy day today and rattled off a number of things she had to do.
"Do you dread things?" mom asked me.
"Yeah," I replied. "I got that from you."
I wasn't dreading anything today, though. I was feeling good, and it has been a good day. Like eyes in a hurricane, these little respites from the mental illness storm are wonderful. I am off to sit on the porch and read magazines till time for work.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
This weather here has been fantastic. I can't remember an August being so pleasant and cool. It is normally humid and oppressive. Maggie and I sat out on my porch all morning as I read Model Railroaders from years ago. I got to dream my little dreams and scheme my little schemes. I can literally lose hours doing that.
I finally came inside and fixed Maggie and I ham and cheese sandwiches. I toasted mine and gave Maggie hers plain. Maggie always carries hers into the den to eat much to my chagrin.
2sunset was asking about schizophrenia and the medications. I can only speak for myself, but stress causes my symptoms to increase even on my medications. A large family gathering is about one of the most stressful situations I face these days and that was why I was hearing voices yesterday. I also see what I describe as "ghosting." Usually innocuous hologram-like images of animals and cats lying around the room. When I am under a lot of stress, I can have what I call waking dreams where I experience something in my mind and it is so real that I can't decipher the difference from my mind world and the real world.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The morning started with my usual cup of very strong coffee. I was sitting on my porch reading one of the Wired! magazines Cheryl had gotten for me. The phone rang which spurred Maggie into running inside to see who was calling.
"Hello?" I asked after picking up the phone.
"Hey son," Dad replied. "We are having a big breakfast for me over here. I want you to come."
"Lots of people?" I asked.
"Oh, come on," Dad said. "Come for me."
So I went and I had a pretty good time. The homemade biscuits my cousin Jean made were scrumptious. I still have a hard time with large groups of people, though. The constant noise and talking makes it hard to decipher the voices in my head. It is like having a room full of people vying for your attention. Breakfast was had and I snuck out the back door to drive home.
Mom soon arrived at my house.
"Did you leave with all those people over there?" I asked as she walked to my front door.
"I can't take it," she replied. "I came over to stay with you and Maggie."
I laughed and welcomed her inside. Now, you see who I get this from? Don't you?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Early this morning in the cool air I was sitting out on the steps of my back deck. Maggie had her stuffed plush dog trying to remove whatever guts are left. My thoughts turned to Joyce as I drank my coffee and had a cigarette. Joyce loved to do the same.
"Life's too short," I told an inattentive Maggie.
Maggie brought her stuffed toy to me and dropped it at my feet. I rubbed and scratched her back vigorously. I wanted to savor this moment forever. I was feeling well for the first time in days. Maggie was happy. My relationships with my family were good. The sun shone down on my good fortune.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
My buzzy mind continued this morning as I rolled out of bed. As if a thousand voices were trying to speak at the same time in my head. I grew worried that my anti-psychotic is no longer working as well. Me and Maggie were all alone in this house despite the thousands of voices volleying for a chance to speak in my mind.
Lunch time found me in an AA meeting. I had just taken some more of my Klonopin and was ravishingly hungry. I sat and ate two double quarter pounders with cheese as the meeting began. I then slunk down in my chair after my meal hoping we wouldn't go around the room to speak. I wanted to just sit and listen today.
I came home and immediately called mom, telling her I couldn't go this afternoon to eat. I felt too ill. She sounded very outdone with me. Now, I keep playing scenarios of her getting in car accidents in my mind. It will be all my fault.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Last night was interesting. My old nemesis schizophrenia, I believe, paid a visit. I was sitting on the couch watching The Weather Channel. Dad was sitting next to me. This horrible and loud ringing erupted in my ears, and I felt like I was floating above us.
"You're acting strange," my father told me.
"I feel strange!" was my emphatic reply.
I was never so glad to get Dad out the door so I could go lie down. My trusty sidekick, Maggie, joined me and I woke up this morning feeling better. It has been a day of SpongeBob cartoons and Coast to Coast AM on the radio.
One thing I lament about living in my new house are the very few photo opportunities that present themselves. Maggie is the only thing to take pictures of, and I won't bore you with constant dog pictures.
I've been thinking of ways of being more of service to others. I guess I could start by commenting more on the blogs I read. I just don't sit in front of this computer like I used to. Being of service to others is an important part of recovery and AA. Far too often, we alcoholics were the most selfish of creatures. Always taking and never giving back. I wish there is something I could do for my ex-wife in regards to this. I owe her a lot!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
"There is something terrible wrong with my car," Mom told me as I stepped out of my house. She had just pulled out front.
"It is pulling to the right and making a terrible noise."
I walked over to check her car out and she had a massive flat tire and had been apparently driving on it for miles. The tire was shredded.
"Great!" I thought sarcastically as I proceeded to change the tire. It had begun to rain softly and soon I was soaking wet from the rain and sweat.
"Did I tear anything up?" Mom sheepishly asked as I walked back in the house, filthy.
"No," I replied. "But I need a shower."
Mom proceeded to tell me how she had to be in Auburn for the Doctor this Thursday. I volunteered to drive. I didn't feel comfortable with her driving that far by herself. We are going to eat at the Red Lobster afterwards.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Mom made a mad dash over to my house a moment ago.
"I can only stay ten minutes. Can I have one of those chocolate iced cupcakes I bought you?"
I laughed heartily and got Mom a cupcake and a paper towel.
Every Monday night is a meeting of elderly ladies at Julia's house. Mom is the youngest and could be the daughter of most of them. They talk and gossip and eat finger foods.
"All they talk about is that Catholic church," Mom told me with a smirk. "I really don't like going."
I, for one, am glad Mom has something to do every Monday night. She will fuss and complain, and then enjoy her time there, joining in on the gossip.
I've rediscovered TV again after not watching for years. I find myself drawn to the science fiction shows on the Sci Fi channel. That is how I am passing the time these days. I had hopes of starting to play Battlefield 2 again also, but never get around to joining a server. I feel I would be so behind the other players that it wouldn't be worth my time.
Mom quit coming over for coffee so I've been driving down and getting a coffee to take to her. She is sleeping till lunch time these days. Her medications and her Zyprexa specifically make her so drowsy.
"I am so sorry," she told me this morning as I walked into my parent's house after greeting Helen.
She still feels really guilty for quitting. It is Maggie I am worried about. She loved Mom coming over like no other visitor and would put on a show of affection for her.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
450 PM CDT WED AUG 6 2008
450 PM CDT WED AUG 6 2008
...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ALERT FOR CHAMBERS COUNTY UNTIL 515 PM CDT...
AT 441 PM CDT...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED THAT
THUNDERSTORMS WERE RAPIDLY DEVELOPING NEAR CUSSETA...OR 8 MILES WEST
OF VALLEY...MOVING NORTH AT 9 MPH.
WINDS UP TO 40 MPH AND FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING ARE
EXPECTED WITH THESE STORMS.
STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO...COMMERCIAL RADIO...OR YOUR LOCAL
TELEVISION STATIONS FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS
CONCERNING THIS WEATHER SITUATION.
There is almost a steady rumbling of thunder to our southwest. I've watched the radar all day and our predicted 10% chance of rain was a farce. This excites me more than anything in the world.
I haven't done much today except sit at my hobby desk assembling and painting projects. I love how hours can blink by in a notice as I sit and fiddle with my different model railroading cars and engines. I am so used to seeing the pristine models from the pages of Model Railroader and the effect is hard to achieve. That makes it all the more rewarding when a project turns out nicer than expected.
When the Vet put on Maggie's new rabies tag, he didn't take off the old one. Now, it sounds like jingle bells wherever Maggie treads as the two aluminum tags clang together. I've got to get that extra tag off before it drives me and Maggie crazy.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Mom knocked on my door very early this morning. I could hear her stumble up my steps. It was time for my every two week injection of sanity potion. I had just taken a long shower and then shaved.
"I'm driving," I said calmly, but firmly after I said goodbye to Maggie and locked the front door.
"What did you do last night?" Mom asked.
"The usual," I replied as I drove. "I fiddled around with my computer and watched TV."
"We have pitiful lives," Mom said laughing jovially.
Mom was right. My mother and I both need to garner more life.
Mom has been recruited on my injection days to make sure I actually go get the injection. My natural tendency is to just stay in bed and avoid it. I get tired of all these pills and injections.
I got the injection in my right buttock and soon we were driving back up through the Valley. Mom had fallen asleep in the car and was snoring softly. I stopped at McDonald's and got us two small cups of coffee and we headed home.
Monday, August 4, 2008
There has been this character going around the local AA meetings claiming to be an "addictionologist." I chuckled when I overheard two AA members talking about it today. Sadly, there is no easy cure for addiction. It is a complete change of lifestyle. At least, that is the only thing I have found that works and that's what AA does -- it reprograms you.
Wanda and I were talking about it today after our meeting.
"Some people have all the gall," she said after pulling on her cigarette.
"Sadly, people will believe them," I replied, worried somebody would be duped into buying whatever they were peddling.
"He'll get run out of town soon," Wanda replied to my worries.
This morning we took Maggie to the Veterinarian for her annual checkup. It is not too often Maggie goes for a road trip and she was blissfully unaware of where we were going as I drove us to the edge of town. She did good, though, and just shook she was so frightened. Maggie has settled comfortably back into her usual routines and is no worse for wear.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
It's been a quiet weekend. I've done nothing -- absolutely nothing. Mom was supposed to come by with coffee today, but I haven't heard from her yet. Me and Dad were both saying that would end soon. The call of the bed with my mother is just too strong. She will now go back to sleeping all day long.
Blogs have been really quiet as well. I don't know if everyone is scrambling for last minute vacations, or just quiet. These long, hot summer days tend to keep people inside and sedentary.
Friday, August 1, 2008
"I'm up! I'm up and coming," I hollered at a knock on the door a moment ago.
It was Mom with groceries.
"I got you some cupcakes with chocolate frosting," Mom said excitedly. "I want to try one."
Mom often buys me sweets with the intent to try a bite or two. It works out well in my favor.
I realized today that I could never leave the house. Everything including cigarettes are brought to me. Don't think it is not tempting. If it wasn't for work, I could truly become a hermit.
I received a strange email from "The Homeless Guy" last night. It really took me by surprise because I thought he hated me. He wants to compare good books we've read lately. I haven't been much of a book reader lately. I kind of got excited about it all and was glad he is displaying a flag of truce.