Saturday, January 31, 2009

Changed Their Song and Dance...

No Snow!  The National Weather Service has changed their song and dance.  It was just too warm today and will be tomorrow.  It felt like spring outside and that is one reason Maggie was so  playful.  She has spring fever!

Ghost Eyes...

Right after I took this photo, Maggie picked up the stick at her feet and ran like a bat out of hell down the backyard.  I couldn't help but smile.

Clean as a Whistle...

Spent the day cleaning the house.  Helen only cleans once a month now.   She hasn't cleaned since before Christmas so it needed it.  It is one of my least favorite tasks to do, but it gets Maggie excited and hyper.  She even went so far to bring her stuffed toy through the dog door.  "Wanna play?" was the look in her eyes with the stuffed toy in her jaws.

Still struggling mentally some today.  I have this feeling of restlessness.  I can't lay on the bed for long to watch TV, and I can't get on the computer long.  I guess I can go play that God awful expensive Wii dad got me.  And speaking of Christmas, I still want curtains for my house like I wanted year before last! LOL 

Friday, January 30, 2009

Snow Fever...

"Tell him it is going to snow!" Helen jeered and handed the phone to her husband.

This sent me on social anxiety overdrive.  I had never talked to Helen's husband on the phone.

"She just doesn't want to work Monday," he said chuckling.

"They've changed the forecast again," I told Helen when she got back on. "There calling for snow flurries but no accumulating snow."

"Shit!" Helen exclaimed.

I had never heard her cuss before.  I laughed and laughed and was enjoying her cavalier attitude. 

"Keep your hopes up," I said before I said good bye.

It is good to know another soul in the South carries my enthusiasm for the white stuff.

Sleepy Pups...

A photo wherein Maggie warily watches me to see if I am going to do something unusual with the flashy, bright thing in my hand.

On the Right Foot...

I woke up this morning feeling better than I have for probably two weeks.  A winter's sun was shining through my windows.  Maggie was on the bed snuggled firmly next to me.  Soon, there was a knock on my door.

"I forgot my key," Helen said as I opened the door. 

Each arm held a bag of groceries.

"I got you some of that ice cream you rave about," Helen then said.

"Great! There goes my diet!" I thought. "Thank you," I replied.

I usually have trouble with small talk, but with Helen it is easy.  The conversation just effortlessly flows from one topic to the next. 

"I've got to leave early so today we will have lunch," Helen told me as she got the rice started. 

It was nice having someone in the house with me.  That's one of the major things I miss about having Rosa here with me.  The companionship.

Charlie came last night with my medications.  He brought his autistic son, Randall, with him.  Randall confuses Maggie with his behavior. 

"Horsefly, come sit next to me," Charlie told his son.

Maggie snuck over ever so cautiously to take a sniff.  She was then more relaxed.

Charlie kept asking me if I felt okay last night.  I told him I was fine.  I didn't want him to go to any trouble.  I think he had some Klonopin on him and wanted to give me some.  I am now regretting I didn't get some from him.   

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Something to get Excited About...

There is a slight chance of snow Monday night.  I should know more when the evening weather models run tonight.  Forecasts will start to trickle in then.

Mom gave me $20 this morning.  "For God's sake don't buy beer," my mother sincerely said with a smile.  I am saving the money for a rainy day.  There is a Wii game I would like to buy.  Been enjoying Metriod Prime for the Gamecube today.  What a fantastic game to be from 2002.

Mom and dad have gone to a cousin's wedding in Birmingham today.  I just called mom's cellphone and she was elated that someone actually knew her number and would call. 

"We're 20 minutes from your sister's house," she said.

"Y'all be safe," I replied and got off the phone.

Maggie got meatloaf and mashed potatoes tonight.  She's a happy dog. 

Helen comes tomorrow and is cooking cubed steak, sticky rice, broccoli, and biscuits.  I could really use some of Helen's homemade biscuits right now.

On my diet front, I weigh 195 pounds.  It is the first time I've weighed below 200 pounds in decades.  I attribute this to the 2000 calories of beer and cokes I am not drinking daily.  It is so nice to be able to wear my Land's End flannel lined blue jeans again!

Sir Andrew to You!

Dad's taken to calling me royalty.  He says I never come out of my house anymore unless there is a special occasion.  "Hope you bring your entourage this morning," he jokingly said after a phone call to see if I could get my cokes.   I just haven't felt well.  I spend most of my time these days laying in the bed listening to the radio.  Even the once treasured Internet has lost it's allure. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Convo with Dad at Lunch...

"Your mother says you're seeing that George character again," Dad said with a scowl on his face.  "Is he still doing all that drinking and drugs?"

"I only see him at his work," I said defensively. 

I had told mom yesterday jokingly that George was going to get me hookers and beer, and we were going to throw a party.  I was jesting; making small talk. 

"George is like valet parking for the underworld of Andrew-ville," I told mom. "He can get you everything and anything."

It was actually rather sad that I was boasting about having a friend with such connections, and that was what I was doing: boasting.  I then berated mom for telling dad that, and then felt like a total schmuck.

"I promise you I am not going to turn into an alkie again," I reassured mom.

Geez, my life can get exponentially complicated at the drop of a hat.    

Life on Mars...

I mistakenly read the other day that they had found microbes on Mars -- a source for the methane in the atmosphere.  It was just an overzealous reporter muddling the words in the report.  I was elated for a moment there, though.  Life on an alien world would challenge many conventions and beliefs held here on earth.  The holy grail of evolution.  Would they have DNA and RNA?  Would they be carbon based or silicon?  It opened up so many questions.

I went to my first AA meeting in weeks last night.  My sponsor had grown very insistent.  The floor was opened up for people to generally just share about what ails them.  It came my turn to talk.  We went around the room as it was a shy group.

"I am struggling with my use of prescription drugs and whether it is harming my sobriety," I blurted out at my turn. "I have become dependent on certain pills to make it through the day."

Nobody said anything about it in the meeting except to, "keep coming back and it works if you work it."

My sponsor talked to me afterwards about when he was first getting sober they didn't have such pills and had persevere on through.

"But I have a mental illness!" I interjected.

"You've used that before to explain your drinking as if your mental illness would be worse without the beer," he told me.

He was right and he knows me well.  I am still not ready to give up the Klonopin, but have gladly given up the Benedryl.  I am at a crossroads.  It feels good to actually have a choice, though.  I never had a choice when drinking I like to lament.  It was beer or misery, or so I thought.   I have a choice to stay sober today and i am.  

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hookers and Beer...

"I know what would help you!"  George said this morning after my tale of recent woe and my first cup of Fat Albert's coffee.  "You need to get laid!"

I burst out laughing and then said, "Do I look that hard up?"

"You've got a backup in your plumbing dear friend," George continued. "We'll get some hookers and some beer."

I am still smiling after that little exchange with George this morning.  I seriously doubt that is going to help what ails me mentally.  It was fun seeing the spry look in George's eyes, though, as he exclaimed that. 

I am up early this morning.  Weather watching.  It is supposed to rain all day and I have been watching the radar.  Wait!  I just heard drops of rain on my windows, but the radar said rain is an hour away.  They can be wrong, you know?

Well, it is time for me to go back to bed for a few hours till sunrise.  Maggie is already back in the bed after chasing her backyard demons for awhile.  Miss you all and I hope this means a return to writing regularly.  I am going to give it a good college try. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quiet Around Here...

Helen came today.   She couldn't stay long so just made some tuna salad.  Mom came over to eat a sandwich a moment ago which thrilled Maggie like crazy. 

Tonight is Charlie's birthday.  I am not able to go, but will go in spirit.  I certainly hope dad comes by with my medications this afternoon.

I still feel very weird to say the least.  I feel like I don't have control of my mind or my emotions.  I keep having slips out of reality.  My doctor told me to, "take a bath, dress, and go about your day."  That was about as therapeutic as telling a 3 year old that Santa was dead.  I do have an appointment with a therapist to work on the anxiety attack stuff.  And I am going to get a second opinion from another doctor.    Just gotta make an appointment.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Crazy Misfits...

I drove by the shopping center this afternoon.  It was a late evening setting sun.  Skies were cloudless and blue.  It just looked cold and I shivered in response.   Nobody was to be seen.  No Big S. No Dexter.  The cold had chased them inside, or the lack of benches chased them away.  I sometimes miss that crazy group of misfits I called the gang.  I don't miss the hangovers, though.

I am still not up to snuff.  My mind is a tangled emotional mess of wants, needs, and desires.  I keep telling myself I should be so thankful for what I have now.  It took homelessness and a near death bout with alcoholism for me to find gratitude about such things. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dashed Hopes...

I ran outside my house this morning at 5:00 AM.   The radar on the Internet was showing echoes of snow.  I was disappointed.  Nothing was falling from the sky except my dashed hopes.  Maggie got hyper with me being up so early as I came inside and fixed us some scrambled eggs and toast. 

I keep thinking of this one woman at B.I.T. who would show me her breasts.  She was clearly more off her rocker than I.  I would try not to look, but she would be there grinning like a Cheshire cat as she held her shirt up.  "Put on a bra," I would say to myself.  Just another one of those normal boundaries that get muddled with someone with a mental illness.  She clearly was a legend in her own mind.     

The only thing to do in B.I.T was to watch copious amounts of TV.  I rarely watch TV so I found myself people watching, or I should say consumer watching as the nurses would say.  We had a motley crew with me being the only guy in there.  I had my own room which was nice that I could close the door and sleep.  It was damn cold in there though.  My feet are still getting warm as you couldn't wear shoes so people wouldn't be trying to hang themselves with shoe strings. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Special Recipes...

There was the unmistakable smell of my grandfather's special recipe barbeque sauce simmering on the stove.   I had just driven over to my parent's house to get some sodas.  My stomach immediately started grumbling. 

"Look in the slow cooker," Dad said, turning his attention to stirring the sauce.

"Pork butt!" I exclaimed with wide looking eyes.

"Come back over around two and we will eat."

We then took my medications.  Dad was standing outside in the cool air in his pajamas as he got today's dosage out of his car.

"Now you have to stay with me for 30 minutes," he said. "I don't want you throwing them up."

It was scary driving today.  I really shouldn't be driving until I get more stable.  I keep having the uncomfortable sensation that my car is moving while at a full stop at a stop sign.  I will push the brake pedal as hard as I can thinking I am moving.  I made it home safely though with my guardian angel looking over my shoulder.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I called my doctor last week and said, "I'm miserable and I need help.  I feel like I am going to jump outta my skin."

I was sent directly to Brief Intensive Treatment while they adjusted my medications.  The tried to put me on Olanzapine (Zyprexa), but I just slept around the clock.  They finally got me stable on a higher dosage of Risperidone.  I'm still very drowsy, but it's livable.

B.I.T. has the best food and it was certainly the highlight of my stay.  Each nurse takes a turn at making up a menu and then preparing a meal with a consumer's help.

I am so glad to be home.  Maggie greeted me with a zeal like no over time before.  Mom spent every night over here with Maggie so she wouldn't get lonely.  I appreciated that so much as she is my furry little buck toothed child.  I've missed you all and hope things will get back to normal soon.  

Jimmy Dean sausage complaint...

Warning! Profanity at the end.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hanging in there...

I am going through a very, very rough spell with my mental illness and my anxiety attacks.  I can't get to feeling well no matter what I try. This usually means the hospital for me.   I should be posting again in a few days.  I am going to stay quiet while in this ill tempered mind set though.   Will be posting again when I get to feeling better.  I hope you all are well and in good spirits. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lazy Sundays, How I Love You...

Breakfast was the Waffle House.  Ham and cheese omelet with a side order of bacon and an extra order of toast.  The most fun part of eating at Waffle House is the people watching you get to do.  That place always has some characters hanging about.  It reminds me of the truck stops when I was long haul truck driver.   I ate and then buried my face in a newspaper.  A thoroughly lazy Sunday morning.  Rachel, my ex-wife, would have loved this morning's meal.

I came home to a message on my answering machine.  It was Rosa and her car.  She was sounding desperate.  She doesn't have the money for a garage to do it. 

"I'll be over this afternoon," I told her after calling her back. 

"Thank you!  I love you!" she replied excitedly. 

"Yeah, yeah," I said after hanging up the phone. 

So it seems my afternoon will be spent getting greasy and feeling cold.  So much for my lazy Sunday. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Over the Hill...

I had a dreaded phone call today.  It was Rosa with a question about her car's alternator.  She only calls me now when she needs something.  I used to resent it.  Now I just dismiss it. 

"Can you put me a new one on?" she pleaded. "My battery keeps going dead.  I've got the new one on my back seat."

I had to say no.  I wasn't feeling particularly well today thus my lack of posts lately.  These anxiety attacks are kicking my butt lately. 

Helen cooked all day and showed me how to cook rutabagas not from the can.  They were surprisingly hard to skin and then to cube.  But tasted so much better.  I love to eat them with a vinegary hot sauce, southern style.  Helen also cooked a comfort food of mine, macaroni and cheese, and cubed steak.  

It is going to be a long few hours till dad comes tonight.  I've been lonely for family today and will relish my 30 minutes with him.  That, and my medications will make me sleep like a baby.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Close Calls of the George Kind...

I noticed something amiss with George's car when I pulled up to Fat Albert's this morning.  A headlight was out and the quarter panel was badly dented.

"I hit a deer," George said, startling me, as he came outside to smoke a cigar.

"And pigs fly," I thought to myself.  I couldn't see any blood or animal hair. 

"What are you addicted to these days?" George then asked me to change the subject.

Misery loves company.

"I was addicted to Benadryl for awhile," I told him.

"Does it get you high?"

"Just makes you sleepy and dull," I replied.

"I'll stick with my bourbon and beer."

I drank several refills of coffee until I was growing to feel guilty for not paying.  I told George good bye and drove home wondering whose mailbox he hit last night while drinking and driving.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


"Oh, I am going to be sick!" I exclaimed as I motioned for Tim to pull the company van off the road and onto the shoulder.

"You're not pregnant, are you?" Tim jokingly quipped while I was barfing my guts out in the grass.

I climbed back in the van feeling so much better.

"You got a stomach bug?" Tim warily asked.

"It's my nerves," I replied.

We finally pulled into my Doctor's parking lot.  I was due for an injection in the ole derrière.  My sanity potion as I call it.  The nurse had a hard time putting it together and almost screwed it up.

"Dear God, please don't let her screw this up," I prayed with my heart pounding furiously in my chest.  I was nervously rocking back and forth in my chair. 

Finally, I got my injection and left the building.  Tim was sitting in the van listening to Country music.  Tim drove me on home and I am waiting for the drowsiness my injection causes an hour after I take it. It is so good to be home.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Always Young in Heaven...

"Do people get young again in heaven?" my little niece innocently asked me on the ride to the cemetery.

"I hope so," I replied. "You will have to ask God."

Our procession took a beautiful route through the piney woods of Alabama.  We even saw some turkey cross the road.  The graveside service was short and they put my grandmother into the ground. Everybody dispersed and found their ways home. 

Earlier, at lunchtime, many of the little old ladies at my grandmother's Methodist church served the family lunch.  It was a casserole affair which thrilled me.  I even got to eat some classic green bean casserole that was delicious.

I am saddened by the loss of my grandmother, but surprisingly upbeat today. She lived a long, full life.  These last few years she was miserable.  I hope she finds peace where ever death lands you after life on earth.   

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rest In Peace...

My grandmother, Leta, passed away this afternoon at the age of 87. Mom called me just a crying. "I wish mother could have had a softer heart," she told me. I have been asked to be a pallbearer, but am concerned about the strength in my left arm which I broke 4 years ago. Not sure if I will be able to lift the casket. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I hope you all had a less sorrowful New Year's day.

The Cornucopia Car...

I was never so glad to see mom when she arrived this morning with my groceries. I wasn't expecting her thinking Kroger would be closed New Year's Day.

"Happy New Year's!" I exclaimed as I kissed her on the cheek and gave her a hug.

I put away my groceries this morning and me and mom talked awhile.

"Your father is a control freak," she told me.

"Tell me about it!" I replied with a sigh.

Mom soon left and I immediately put some lasagna in the oven. Mom bought me a bounty's worth of groceries today. I needed them.

Maggie did good with the fireworks in the neighborhood last night. She didn't even get scared. She is currently laid out on the bed sleeping.

I have six dollars to my name today and it has been tempting to go get a six pack of ice beer and celebrate. I've thought about all day and the only thing that is stopping me is I feel I will panic if I drove. Lord help me today!