Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Therapy Couldn’t Arrive Sooner…

“Be sure to talk about your father at therapy tomorrow,” mom told me on the phone after work. “I know you don’t want to talk badly about your father, but much needs to be said.”

I said I would.  Mom blurted out that dad made a smart ass remark about my ailing refrigerator.  You have to be careful what you say to mom as she will tell it to the third party consistently.

“He said that now that you are working and want to be so independent then you should have to buy a new one yourself.”

I was hoping the several thousand dollars of disability money dad has saved up in my account for emergencies would pay for this.  I had to fight the urge to grow infuriated. It is just not worth it.  I will buy a cheap refrigerator at Sears and just be done with it.  It will just be part of the responsibility I am taking on by becoming independent from my family.  By May, I would have to pay for it myself anyway.  That disability money is really not mine in the grand scheme of things.  It is dad’s and he feels that way about it having taken ownership of it many, many years ago.

“Your father also doesn’t like you coming to family events because he thinks you will drink your sister’s husband’s beer like you did last Christmas,” mom furthered, blurting out more revelations.  “He feels he has to constantly watch you to keep you out of trouble.”

“I only drank three beers to calm my nerves,” I said in my defense. “I would have been drunk if I drank all the beer in their fridge!”

“Your sister insists you drank all the beer in their refrigerator without asking,” mom said. “This kind of thing just makes your father go ballistic!”

I kind of chuckled.  “Much ado about nothing!” was my primary thought.  I am not close to my sister and don’t particularly relish going over to her house anyway.  My brother and sister have mostly treated my mother and I with disdain over the years.  In most normal families, a sister wouldn’t mind her brother having a few beers on such a special occasion.  Not in mine.

“I’d go see a therapist if you father would let me,” mom then told me.

“Just go and do it,” I replied.

“He would be infuriated saying the therapist would fill me all kinds of bad ideas!”

Mom sure was being a busybody today.  I hung up the phone after she asked me if we could ride down through the Valley later in the day just to talk and spend time together.  It has become a common routine for us.  I have to chose my words carefully, though, or it will get back to dad. 

Drama at Work…

“I filed for divorce from my husband yesterday,” my supervisor told me revealing all. “That son of bitch moved in with his mother.”

I sighed. I didn’t want to know all the sordid details of my supervisor’s failing marriage or private personal affairs.  It made me feel uncomfortable.  I did express concern for her over this turn of events, though, out of kindness. They have been married for many years.  It was a sudden revelation that took me by surprise.  I kind of groaned thinking of the more furtive advances my supervisor will now make in my behalf.  She is a very sexual creature that just oozes sexuality.  I won’t dare tell Stacey as this will send her into a stir.  She is already extremely jealous of our relationship.  

Work was routine other than that.  I like everyday to be like the next with no surprises.  I like to carefully gather my carts and dote over them during the day.  I don’t want anything to upset my very set routine as it will cause anxiety.

Today was steadier than most days – the grocery side of the store being very busy.  As the day progresses, the traffic in the parking lot gets worse and worse and it can be interesting trying to gather all the carts with all the traffic.  People just do not show common courtesy these days and have no patience whatsoever.  Often, people will honk their horns at me if I get in the way.   If they honk their horns too much, I will act like I am having problems with my mechanical pusher much to their dismay.  Just my little form of civil disobedience that always brings a smile to my face and a frown to their’s.  

I was also musing over this early morning at work about this being the start of my third month of working.  I would have never thought I would have lasted this long.   In my all or nothing fashion, I have completely turned around my life going from an idle internet addicted homebody, to this very active man with a fierce independent streak.

Starting a New Tradition…

Tonight is my night to spend the night over at Stacey’s house.  I hope I can sleep tonight.  I will take two Klonopin and an Ambien and  hope that knocks me out and I can sleep in the black hole that is her bed.  Stacey is cooking supper for a change which should prove interesting.  She doesn’t cook much and I haven’t had much opportunity to eat her cooking.  She said she was making a chicken casserole, salad, and garlic bread.  I am going to miss my pups tonight, though.  Last night, Maggie was being so affectionate.  I really have my hands full with two dogs in the bed.  Maggie insists on being in contact with me as we go to sleep.  Caramel’s routine is to lie next to my chest under the covers as I turn the air down at night and it gets cold.  She is so short haired.  I sometimes feel like I can’t move not to disturb the pups and it can grow claustrophobic. 

Excitement…

I received my first call for lawn care work this morning after Sandra began putting all those business cards in the prescription bags.  I was so excited.  It was the first call I have had in over two weeks.  I told the man I would be over tomorrow afternoon to mow his lawn as we negotiated a price.  I am hoping these calls will turn into repeat customers.  I have grand designs for my business and hope to put George to work as well.  I would eventually like to buy a commercial grade mower which will cost thousands.  That is far down the line, but it is exciting to muse over nonetheless.        

Mental Health Check-In…

How are you feeling today?  I felt a little anxiety after work oddly. Usually, it is at work I feel the most anxiety.  I was busy rearranging all the monitors in my den and grew too excited.  I bought some more cables at work and was excited to get home and get my “command center” situated.  I could never do this kind of stuff if I was married.  My various audio/visual fixations literally drove Rachel crazy when we were living together – her saying I made our den look cluttered.  Never mind, the stack of Magazines of hers that sat in the corner of the den that was almost four feet high.  And she said I was the cause of clutter.

I slept really good again last night getting almost nine hours of sleep.  I did have to get up once to use the bathroom.  I knew I shouldn't have drank that large glass of cherry limeade before bed, but I was quickly back asleep after lying down again.   I can’t express how much regulating my sleeping habits has helped me mentally.  My psychiatrist was right – that it is so important to my mental health to get a good night’s sleep.

Quick Note Before Work…

Yesterday, I updated my Weather and Photo Blog and never got around to updating my main blog.  It was a very busy day and I was just exhausted all day and lost my muse for the evening and went to bed early after taking my Ambien.  Mom and I got Lucky to the Veterinarian after work which was an interesting ordeal. The Vet wants to watch him a few days until the swelling in his face goes down.  He had a terrible infection.  He also got neutered much to his chagrin.  Mom insisted on paying the Vet bill and I didn’t argue this time.  It was going to be very expensive.  Mom was cheerleaders with Joyce during high school and felt helping Lucky was the least she could do for Joyce and in her memory.  Mom has a very soft spot for animals. Especially strays and homeless animals.

Mom and I then went to buy groceries yesterday.  I only spent $64 dollars and this worried mom something fierce after we had gotten home.  Dad allows me to spend $85 dollars a week on groceries out of my disability money.   I told her that I am supplementing my groceries out of my own money like buying all my own breakfast foods – breakfast being my biggest and most favorite meal of the day.  Mom called me three times last night insisting on going back to the grocery store to buy more groceries.  She can be a little obsessive compulsive as I have said before.  She got another disability account check from my father. I sighed and gave in just to quiet mom.  I bought lots of Chef Boy Ar Dee as they were on sale for .99 cents each, bought an enormous jar of peanut butter, and other assorted “freebie” items such as a gigantic $5.99 bottle of A1 steak sauce.  I also used some of the money to buy new chew toys for Caramel.

I installed an update from window’s update on Windows 7 last night and it caused my Ethernet Internet connection to stop working making Windows 7 practically worthless.  Damn Microsoft.  I haven’t had any problems whatsoever with Ubuntu Linux other than the technical aspects of getting everything configured to my liking.  I uninstalled Windows 7 and glared at the computer screen and told Microsoft to go to hell.   

Well, I am off to get ready for work, cook a breakfast of cheese toast, grits and eggs, and then drive over to get my diet Sprites for the day.  I have so much more to write about and am looking forward to a day off tomorrow to catch up on things. My life has gotten so hectic lately with so many plans and projects going on.  I feel like Annabel.  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Time for a Day Off…

I can see why Ambien can be so addicting.  You quickly become reliant on it to get a good night’s sleep and worry if you don’t take it, you will be miserable without it the next day.  I slept so well again last night – going to bed around 8:00pm and waking up at 4:00am.  Giving me eight good hours of sleep.  I really haven’t slept this well in years.  I also feel so relaxed after taking it – almost as if I took a muscle relaxer.  I got in the bed last night with the biggest smile on my face the covers felt so cool and comfortable, and I was so relaxed and calm.  It had been many years since I felt that way about going to bed often dreading it in that it would often take an hour for me to fall asleep previously.  I was asleep within minutes of laying my head on the pillow thirty minutes after taking the pill and then going to bed. 

A Steak on a Plate…

Dad grilled steaks last night for him and mom.  He brought me by a plate of a large sirloin steak, baked potato, and toasted barbecue bread around 7:00pm.  I had just called him warning him big storms were on the way.

“You were right,” dad said, always so excited about the weather. “The heavens opened up just after you called.  I had just gotten the steaks off the grill.”

It is hurricane week on The Weather Channel and it is hard to get current and local weather information.  Dad is still finding it hard to adjust to using the Internet as a weather resource like I do. His computer just doesn’t interest him.   And our favorite local weather television station, WeatherNow, is broken again as usual much to our chagrin.  Dad couldn’t keep up with the weather last night.

“The Weather Channel is just going to die as far as weather fans go,” dad said with a sigh. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes under.”

“They are catering to a mainstream audience now for the advertisement dollars,” I replied. “It was a shame NBC bought them.”

We both have lots of misgivings about the “new” and “improved” weather channel. You know it’s pretty bad when two weather nuts are not watching a channel that is supposed to be devoted to all things weather related. 

Dad didn’t say much last night other than asking me if I had taken my medications.  He is relieved that my current psychiatrist still has me on an antipsychotic still insisting that mom and I are schizophrenic. I like to call myself eccentric these days rather than mentally ill.  I told him she has dropped it to 2mg and he grumbled some. I didn’t tell him that I hoped to be off that antipsychotic before Christmas and that my psychiatrist is working with me on this.  Dad is so medication obsessed – feeling medications are a panacea for all that ails us humans.  I guess it is only natural with him being a pharmacist. 

The Talk…

Stacy and I had a talk last night about our argument over sleeping arrangements the previous night.  She went shopping for beds and realized it was going to be very expensive. She wanted to discuss the “situation” one more time before she put a new mattress and box springs on her credit card.

“I worry about Maggie and Caramel,” I told her. “I don’t think I can get them both in the car to drive over and it would devastate me if one of them would to get away from me. I can’t sleep without Maggie snuggled up next to me as well.”

Stacey sighed, not giving in.  She can be one doggedly determined woman.

“I will start to sleep over one night a week,” I finally told her with a sigh myself. “I will just leave the dogs at home.”

That was all it took to make her happy.  I know she wants to be with me and to sleep in her own bed as well. I can understand that. I will just have to take some Klonopin and an Ambien to be able to sleep over at her house. I am just so set in my ways after all those years of living alone. The things we do for our loved ones.

Just and Cookin’ and a Paintin’….

I got all my windows in the den painted yesterday afternoon.  It took hours in between bouts of cooking and checking the stove. All my windows and trim have this natural pine finish and it looks old and dated – like all that pine paneling that was so popular in the 70’s.  This new cream color I am painting my windows and trim makes the room look so bright and fresh.  I was very pleased with the results.  As busy as I am these days, it is going to take many weeks of off and on painting to finish, though.   

I also cooked tangy chicken, sour cream and mushroom chicken, and beef lo mein yesterday afternoon.  They are all in casserole dishes covered with aluminum foil in the freezer now.  Today, after mowing my lawns, I plan on cooking the spaghetti sauce and the lasagna – mom’s lasagna being a convoluted affair, but oh so delicious.  This will give Stacy and I meals for the ready for nights I just don’t feel like cooking.  I was afraid all that food was going to ruin if I didn’t get busy and do something about it.  I also hate to eat out, which Stacey loves.  But Stacey also loves my cooking so it is a good compromise between us.  She doesn’t cook much.  

Plans for the Parole Hearing…

I talked to Mrs. Florene last night with George’s parole hearing being only over a week away.  We were making plans about how to get down there and who was to drive.  It is about a five hour drive to Atmore, Alabama – just thirty minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.  I had already talked to my supervisor about taking the 9th of September off which will be a Thursday.

“We need to line up a job for George when he arrives home,” Mrs. Florene told me.

“If my business picks up in the next few weeks, then I would like for him to work for me,” I told her.

I told Mrs. Florene about putting business cards in every prescription bag at dad’s pharmacy. I am hoping this will make my business take off.  September is just another summer month this far South.  Our first frost usually doesn’t come until the first of November before all the grass goes dormant for the season.  And then the leaf season begins which I hope will keep George and I busy through November and December.  

“We will just tell the parole board that you are a businessman and he will be working for you!” Mrs. Florene said excitedly.

I kind of cringed some at the hyperbole she was using, but told her I hope it does help George get parole.

I will be so glad to have my friend home again.  It has been so long.  He’s been a faithful friend writing me almost everyday from prison.  George is my “Jay” friend.  Jay was a friend I had when I worked in Calera, Alabama and lived in a little apartment above a pet store.  Jay wouldn’t take no for an answer and would get me out of the house.  It was the perfect fit for a shy guy with social anxieties.  We went to a lot of hockey games over the years I lived in Calera.

Biting the Bullet…

I still feed Joyce’s cat Lucky every morning.  He is anxiously awaiting his can of tuna on the back deck before I drive over to get my diet Sprites for the day. He sleeps under my house on an old quilt i put down for him.  He refuses to be a housecat.  I noticed this morning he had been in a big fight and there was a large sore on the side of his head and it has gotten infected. His left side of his face is swollen. I am going today to buy a pet crate and am going to coax Lucky into the crate with a can of tuna tomorrow after work.  Off to the veterinarian we will go.  I am going to get him neutered and his shots administered while we are there as well.  I am hoping this will stop his tomcat ways and the territorial fighting as well.  He looks beaten and battered these days – worn like he is living a rough life.   It will probably take weeks to regain his trust after this ordeal, though. He is still much like a stray cat and fiercely independent.   I hate to do it, but it must be done.  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More Stability Today…

I bought a tiny little Sony radio with weather band at work this morning.  I had grown tired of music on my iPod as I gathered my carts – much preferring AM talk radio.  I also bought some batteries, put them in my new little radio and was overjoyed this morning when I found I could pick up KMOX out of St. Louis before dawn.  They replay last night’s Coast to Coast AM again at 5am and was also overjoyed to find Art Bell hosting the show overnight.  This made gathering the buggies much more pleasant this morning – the hours before dawn just flying by as I listened to my favorite radio show intently. 

I got an extremely good night’s sleep last night – the Ambien so helping to regulate my sleeping habits.  I am finding myself sleeping for eight or more hours before work and not needing my usual nap after I get off.  I do have to go to bed so early, though, finding myself asleep often at  7:00 or 7:30pm. The anxiety I experienced so profusely yesterday had also melted away overnight as well. Yesterday was a hard day and it was so very tempting to over imbibe in my Klonopin.  I am so afraid I will grow addicted to those pills and try to only take them in extreme emergencies as in one of my severe attacks.  Yesterday wasn’t that severe as I didn’t have that confused feeling I often get when the anxiety goes too overboard.

Say No to Featherbeds…

Stacey and I had a small argument last night as she was leaving to go home after gathering Sadie.

“Why don’t we ever stay at my house?” she asked jealously.

“Your bed is too soft. I can’t sleep on it,” I replied.

I often feel like I am falling into a black hole when I lie on her bed – my bed at home being very firm with an orthopedic mattress Charlie bought me years ago. 

“I am going after work to buy a new bed to be delivered,” Stacey told me with a harumpfff.  “I want you to be able to stay with me sometimes!”

I didn’t further the argument that I probably couldn’t sleep without Maggie or Caramel and it would be entirely too complicated to get them both in the car to drive over.  I left Stacey up to her machinations for the time being and will just play nice and hopefully things will settle down again.

Lots to Do Today…

I have a lot of plans for the afternoon today.  I hope to start painting my trim.  I plan on doing one room per week until I am finished. The hardest part is going to be painting all my windows around the panes. It will be a careful and tedious job.  I also plan to do a lot of cooking as well.  I have so much food that needs to be cooked from my and  mom’s visit to the grocery store last Monday.  We spent over a hundred dollars on all the ingredients for mom’s favorite recipes and I plan on cooking them all and then freezing them for next week or for when I need an easy meal for Stacey and I. 

Building My Business…

I ordered more business cards earlier in the week. They arrived yesterday.  I stopped by my father’s pharmacy after work with a plan in mind and a box of cards.

“Sandra?” I asked. Sandra has worked for my father for twenty years and we have developed a rapport over all this time. “Will you put one of my business cards in every bag of prescriptions as a customer picks them up?”

“Sure!” Sandra said with a warm smile. “I would be glad to do that.”

“You’re going to get overwhelmed!” dad exclaimed from behind the counter as he listened in intently as he was filling some prescriptions.

I just smiled and then did some shopping.  I got some paper towels and lots of snack foods for work to munch on.  I also got three 20oz diet Cokes as a treat going against my usual caffeine free mantra these days.  I needed a pick-me-up after work.

I haven’t received any more calls for my business lately and this has worried me.  I am hoping by getting those business cards out in the world that things will start to pick up again.  I do have three lawns to mow tomorrow on my day off and then I will be caught up until next Sunday when a new round of mowing my regular customer’s lawns starts.

Dad, the ever astute business man and busybody, walked out with me to my car as I was leaving.

“You’re going to need to get a business license,” he told me. “And what are you going to do about taxes?”

“I am keeping a spreadsheet of all my income and expenses,” I told him. “I will get a business license when I am mowing many lawns every week.”

“Do you think you can do all this and work too?” he asked worriedly.

“It can’t hurt to try,” I told him smiling.

Dad was still frowning when I got in my car, drove off and headed home.   It certainly can’t hurt to try I thought on the way home.  I thought of the tale dad would always tell us as children when he first started his business.

“I took out a big loan to buy the pharmacy,” dad would tell us. “The first two weeks after I opened the store, I didn’t have hardly any customers.  I thought I was going to go under.  I spent many sleepless nights those two weeks worried.”

If he can do it, then so can I!  It is just going to take some moxie and hard work – all things I have in abundance these days off all those medications. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

It’s Just One of Those Days…

It was so disconcerting today to feel such anxiety after such a good day yesterday.  The whims of my brain and body are like a turbulent and fickle Southern storm.  I felt extreme anxiety all throughout my time at work this morning – my heart beating furiously in my chest and I felt this clammy cold feeling with my extremities tingling all day. I realized it had been almost two weeks since I got that injection of Risperdal and my medication levels were steadily dropping.  I decided I was having withdrawal symptoms from the lack of all that medication – hoping it wasn’t mental illness.  It would be Tuesday night from the advice of my psychiatrist before I could start taking my 2mg of Risperdal in pill form again.  Even the beeping tone of my phone signaling I had a text message from Stacey sent my heart reeling. It was so scary and I couldn’t wait to get home to rest and lie down to calm my heart and mind.  I didn’t linger at work in electronics as I sometimes do when 1pm rolled around and headed straight for home.

Meals on Wheels…

Helen cooked today after a two week hiatus. Mom came by with a plate of baked, not fried?!, pork chops, green beans, corn casserole, fried okra, and cornbread. There was also a small bowl of pear salad – my father insisting on having a salad with every meal.  I was dismayed when Helen didn’t use “fat back” to season the green beans as she normally does – fat back being salted pork – a Southern tradition and giving the vegetables a wonderful if greasy taste.  President Taft once said of one of his visits to the South that they served him “greasy vegetables” and “bread made from ground desiccated corn”.  What an interesting way to describe Southern cooking for a Northerner.  I will be glad when mom and dad are both off their diets and Helen can get back to her true Southern cooking form.

“Put your plate in the fridge and let’s go for a drive down through the Valley,” mom said as I stood out by her new car. “I need someone to talk to.”

My heart was still pounding in my chest at the moment, but I decided to go.  I thought it would be good to get out of the house and be with mom – hoping talking to her would calm me.  The words of my psychiatrist to “work” through these anxiety situations echoed in my mind   I was relieved when mom insisted on driving although I was very wary that mom’s driving would cause more anxiety for me.  Every time I ride with her behind the wheel, she always has a few close calls with other vehicles on the road.  I call them my “Oh Shit!” moments.

Mom left my house and decided it would be nice to drive to Fat Albert’s to get some drinks and those little miniature pecan pies they sell in the South. We pulled up at Fat Albert’s and mom handed me a ten dollar bill urging me to make the purchase while she sat in the car. “I can’t walk that far,” she said. As I walked in and got my items, I noticed how busy Fat Albert’s was with only one register open and it was the lottery specific register. I moaned.  A long line had formed behind one lady who was spending hundreds of dollars on lottery tickets.  I watched on at this very convoluted and complicated affair as the lady made one purchase after another throwing her money away. 

“All these damn lottery people need to work for a living for their money like me,” the burly man behind me said extremely loudly, tired and annoyed at waiting. “They are wasting their money!”

The lady at the register glared menacingly at the man and rolled her eyes.  This sent my social anxieties reeling.  I was so afraid I was going to get caught in the middle of a confrontation and argument.

Mom then walked into the store after about 10 minutes with an exasperated look on her face.  The line still hadn’t moved in that time.

“What’s taking so long?” she asked.

I rolled my eyes as well and pointed to the lady at the register saying lottery.

“Put the stuff back and we will just drive to your father’s pharmacy to get our drinks.”

I was so relieved to get back in the safe confines of mom’s car. We were soon on our way down the Valley to dad’s store. I sat in the car telling mom I was “shaky” as mom went inside the Pharmacy to get our drinks.  She also got us two small bags of Cheez-Its to eat as a snack.  We were then on our way to Fairfax, Alabama which is just down the road from dad’s place of business.

“I had an argument with your father last night over me taking pain pills,” mom told me. “I want to get an appointment with Dr. Mona to get some pills to take for my back and leg.  He said I couldn’t and I told him I was going to anyway.  I am tired of hurting.  It is not normal for me to hurt all the time like that.  He says it is just because I am fat and I need to lose weight.”

I was surprised at my mom’s assertiveness.  I told her she should be able to decide what she takes or not.  Not dad.

“Your father said I will take them like I take my Xanax,” she then went on to tell me. “He will only let me have three Xanax per night now.  He carefully controls my medications.”

I sighed.  Mom is in the same predicament I was in for all those years.  I didn't know much what to say other than she is just going to have to fight back.  Dad doesn’t like his comfortable little quiet world to be upset and won’t take mom arguing for long before he will give in to keep the peace as he did with me eventually.  Mom is so afraid he will divorce her she is so dependent upon him for everything.    

We were gone for about an hour. I was relieved to arrive back home and immediately curled up in my Lay-Z-Boy and calmed down some. I couldn’t even take the TV being on.  By this time, my heart was beating so furiously I thought it would bound out of my chest.  I finally decided that sometimes it is just not best to “work” through my anxiety issues and to just stay home and rest.      

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Day in the Life Post…

I set my alarm clock for a change before bed at 7:30pm last night apprehensive about taking the Ambien. I normally just automatically wake up naturally around 3:30am to 4:00am without fail.  I was worried about feeling overly groggy in the morning – worried I wouldn’t wake up for work on time like I normally do.  I will say this for that drug: I got a full night’s sleep for the first time in days – feeling so rested and relaxed this morning. I didn’t have any noticeable side effects.  I was out of the bed with a running start with Maggie and Caramel choosing to continue to sleep in a little longer.  Later, Maggie watched earnestly from the bed as I put on my clothes and then my shoes after my shower – my shoes going on signaling to her that it was about time to drive over to get my six diet Sprites for the day as I never wear shoes in the house.  Maggie excitedly jumped out of the bed along with Caramel as I grabbed my car key and headed out the door.  Maggie’s morning job is to go out barking up a storm to clear the way for my departure and quick return.  We do this every morning without fail. This ritual is as important to Maggie as it is to mom and I.   I listened to a Smashing Pumpkins CD foregoing my usual NPR on the drive this morning feeling aggressive and adventurous.

On the drive over to mom and dad’s, I noticed how old my CR-V seemed now with me driving such a much newer and more pristine car – mom’s car being so noticeably quieter mechanically – everything running like clockwork.  It was tempting to mash the gas peddle and enjoy the much more powerful engine in mom’s car compared to my CR-V. I guess I am just a “boy racer” at heart.  

I arrived home with my “cokes” as we call all soft drinks in the South and turned on Coast to Coast AM to catch the tail end of tonight’s subject of interest as I packed my lunch for work, filled my water bottles with tap water and ate a honey roasted turkey sandwich and an oatmeal cream pie for breakfast – an unorthodox breakfast for me at best. I am usually an eggs, bacon, grits and toast kind of guy.  I drank my six diet Sprites compulsively after chilling them on ice in my freezer for about 15 minutes.  “Can I ever do anything in moderation?”  I thought.  It is either all or nothing – the bane of my existence. That’s why I don’t buy the drinks as I will drink them all in a day. My and mom’s routine helps me moderate my intake and moderate my wallet’s outtake as well. 

Work was as routine as it ever gets which was nice in a way if not boring.  I clocked in at 4:55am, put my cooler of bottled water nearby where the greeter usually stands and immediately got to work gathering all the carts in my organized fashion – carefully gathering all the strays into long strings to be pushed inside with my mechanical pusher.  Then going back out to gather all the carts in the caddies. It was overly cool for me this morning with me being so cold natured and I could have worn one of my fleece pullovers to be more comfortable.  It also took longer than usual for me to get caught up this early morning with eight rolling around before I could take a break and visit the electronics department to see Derrick.  Stacey was off of work today. Derrick told me like Carlos that the iPad was just a glorified iPhone with a bigger screen. That didn’t daunt my enthusiasm I felt for the contraption though. The rest of the day was slow with me doing busy work such as cleaning the parking lot to fill my time in between bouts of wandering about the store and obsessively checking the weather on my Blackberry. I was so hoping for storms today.  We had a thirty percent chance. I also spent some time with my supervisor talking about various work related subjects – us having become great friends these past few weeks.  She can still be kind of creepy as far as her advances towards me go, but I still love her to death anyway. 

I arrived home from work to find Sadie had been brought over during the day.  Stacey left me a note on the kitchen counter saying she was headed to the mall in Auburn to shop for clothes and wanted Sadie to be with Maggie and Caramel and to not be alone at home for all that time.  I was glad to see Sadie here. I took off all my clothes down to a t-shirt, socks and underwear and curled up in the bed with all three dogs joining me – all three dogs hoping we were going to take a nap.  I turned on the TV in my bedroom to CNN to find them talking about Tiger Wood’s recent divorce and quickly turned it back off feeling there were much more important things going on in the world than that kind of crap for CNN to be wasting air time on it. Itchy and Scratchy (Sadie and Maggie) immediately got to work doing their usual pre-nap routine of vigorously digging at their imaginary cooties – scratching and carrying on furiously, shaking the bed. I dozed off for a few moments until there was a knock on the door – the dogs all starting to bark like crazy.  I jumped up, quickly putting on my shorts and answered the door.  It was the Fed-Ex guy with my iPad.  I had been anticipating this moment all day. I was so excited. I even dreamt about it last night. 

I furiously unpacked my new gadget and began charging it next to the bed.  It immediately connected to my wireless network without problems.  I was browsing and reading blogs within moments – extremely happy and overjoyed.  It was the best money I had spent in a long time.  I caught up on my daily reads with Google Reader until I could stay awake no longer.    

I awoke about four hours later to the sound of a key opening my front door.  The air conditioner had gotten stuck on again and it was just freezing in my house.  All the dogs immediately jumped to alert status at a visitor at the door.  It was Stacey after her shopping trip. I got up and set the heat to 80 degrees. The thermostat read 71 degrees in the house. Brrrr!

“Are y’all going to sleep all day?” Stacey said with a beautiful smile and laugh as she walked into my bedroom with several shopping bags with us all back in the bed.  Sadie’s and Maggie’s tails were wagging wildly and Caramel would be wagging hers if she had one.  “I bought some more work clothes and shoes to keep at your house for when I stay over. It was a good excuse to go shopping!  I had a girl’s day out.”

Stacey stripped herself of her clothes as I watched on like a dirty old man – putting on one of my well worn and comfortable extra large cotton t-shirts after taking off her bra and climbing into the bed with us with her laptop.  It was a lazy and really nice day.  I got caught up on some much needed rest.  I grabbed my IPad and joined Stacey in browsing the Web. 

“What would you like for supper?” I sleepily asked Stacey around 5:30pm as I was reading the archives of one of my favorite blogs. “I could cook, but I am entirely too lazy at the moment to be bothered.”

Stacey browsed to Papa John’s website using my account and ordered us a pizza to be delivered.  I grabbed my wallet off the chest of drawers next to the bed and gave her twenty dollars telling her she was in charge at that point. I didn’t want to leave my iPad or the bed.

It took an hour for our pizza and breadsticks to be delivered.  Stacey got to complaining about the delay, but I didn’t mind.  I was completely enthralled with my new toy.  They finally arrived as Stacy pulled on her pants to answer the door and we ate pizza in bed as we continued to browse – the dogs getting their fair share as well. The dogs were effective organic vacuums of crumbs and pizza crusts keeping the bed clean.

I eventually got out of the bed to come to my computer in the den after Stacey had fallen asleep after some amorous affairs and wrote this blog post for the day.   A grand and utterly lazy day if I do say so myself.  These kind of days are made in heaven. I am about to take my Ambien and head to bed for hopefully another good night’s sleep. Work beckons in the wee hours of the morning. I want to get at least eight hours of sleep tonight and will set my alarm for 3:30am.        

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Trip to the P-Doc…

It was a long drive down to Auburn this morning. I was extremely sleepy by the time I left the house having been up since 2am and couldn’t wait to get this over with and go home to get in the bed.  I was thirty minutes early for my appointment as well – never knowing when to leave the house to get to Auburn on time.  I signed in and sat down in the reception area resigned to wait a long time and was called back as soon as I had sat down.  I was so relieved.  The person before me had cancelled their appointment.

“How are you feeling this morning?” my doctor asked over cheerily for my mood. “You get in early today!  I always like being early.”

“A little sleepy,” I said. “I am still having some insomnia issues.”

We talked a very long time about how to deal with my anxiety at work.  My doctor is so pleased I am working and have taken control of my life.  She feels this is so important for my mental health. We also talked of all the recent steps I have taken to improve my life like not drinking, the quitting smoking, having control of my medication intake, etc.

“You have the perfect opportunity to save up a nice nest egg these next nine months with you working fulltime and getting disability,” she told me smiling. “Take advantage of it.”

I then told her I couldn’t take any confrontations or any causes of adrenaline at work.  It would cause the most severe anxiety attacks – my heart pounding furiously in my chest and I would feel confused for awhile.

“Keep working through it,” she told me. “You’ve got to retrain your brain how do deal with anxiety situations.  For eights years, you’ve been under some pretty dire and stressful situations with your family. You haven’t been out in the world much for a long time. It is going to take some time to get better.  You are doing the best thing by just getting out of the house and dealing with these anxiety issues by working and going about life unfettered.”

We lowered my Risperdal to 2mg a night along with continuing to take my Paxil. She prescribed me three Klonopin to take take per day “as needed” for anxiety.  She also prescribed me Ambien to help me sleep – urging me to take it every night even though I had some misgivings about taking another drug.  Doctors just seem to have this inane inclination to add more drugs than take away.

“It is important you get a good night’s sleep for your mental health,” she told me.

“I will see you again in a month,” she told me as we stood up and vigorously shook hands as she handed me my prescriptions. “I think you are stable enough to go awhile now without seeing me.”

The only other thing she wanted me to do was to get some blood work done before our next visit to check my kidney and liver functions after all those years I took all those extremely high dosages of medications. I will have to be sure to tell mom to put this on my healthcare calendar so I won’t forget it before my next visit – such things just do not stay prominently in my mind.

I left the doctor’s office and drove directly to Hardee’s to get my favorite breakfast of two steak biscuits, hashrounds and a diet coke.  We no longer have a Hardee’s in my hometown and it is a treat to eat their biscuits – them having the best fast food biscuits in the South in my opinion.  

A Big Step…

Maggie, Caramel and I slept for about four good hours until my cellphone rang.  I got up and answered it sleepily saying hello?

“Your mother and I are bringing you her Civic in a minute,” dad said excitedly.

My father really does love me and wants what is best for me.  He just goes about it in a wrong way sometimes. He just has no sensitivities with regards to personal boundaries. They were here in a few moments – dad having called me from his new car.  We signed over both titles to my cars into my name.  Mom spent her time here on the sofa with Caramel in her lap as Maggie jealously looked on – vying for her attention.

“Now, you are going to be responsible for both cars monetarily from now on,” dad said very worriedly.  He still has trouble letting go control of me and my life. “Do you think you can handle it?”

“Dad! I am 38 years old!” I exclaimed, laughing and exasperated. “I need to be able to take care of those kinds of things for my self esteem.”

“The current insurance on both cars will expire soon,” he said. “I will go with you to get the insurance in your name.”

Dad and mom soon left and I went for long drive out Spring Road into the countryside in my new car.  It is probably the first time that engine has ever been over 4000rpm. I “blew out the carburetors” my grandfather would always say of getting a new car and taking it for it’s first drive.  I smiled vigorously as I checked out all the features and set the clock on the stereo to the right time.  It was turning out to be nice day.

An iPad on the Way!

I ordered my new iPad.  I paid extra for overnight shipping which was expensive, but I just can’t wait.  I want something new to play with.  I have worked hard for many weeks and enjoyed spending some of that hard earned money on something I will really use and enjoy.  I ordered the 16GB model with no 3G – the 3G wireless plans being too expensive for my blood.  I can’t wait for tomorrow to arrive.  I bet I will have a hard time sleeping tonight despite taking the Ambien.  I saw where Wil Wheaten got a lot of flak for buying an iPad on Twitter the other day.  There seems to be this love or hate relationship with Apple with regards to people. I find their products fascinating for a gadget geek like me.  There is just something so appealing about them for some reason.

How are you feeling today?

I feel much better after my long nap this morning. Mentally, I feel fine – very calm and serene.  I experienced some anxiety about going to the doctor this morning, but it was nothing of the magnitude I have experienced in the past.  I seem to get better and better with every week and it is so encouraging and exciting. It is so nice to just relax and feel mentally calm – to not feel like I am constantly about to jump out of my skin.  I didn’t realize how bad I felt for years until I came off all those many medications – medications for obsessive compulsiveness, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, etc. I was on a regular cocktail for years. No wonder I felt badly with me not being really mentally ill.  All those medications are renowned for their side effects. 

New Cars!

Dad came over late last night and knocked on the door insistently.  He was excited to show me his new car.  I sleepily got out of the bed and put on some clothes as Maggie barked jubilantly at dad’s arrival.  Charlie, dad, Charlie's friend and coworker Kevin had been to the Honda dealership in LaGrange earlier in the day to pick up dad’s new teal CR-V and mom’s new navy blue Honda Civic EX. Dad had wrote a check for both cars he said hoping to retire soon and to not want more car payments.

“I am giving you your mother’s car,” dad told me very excitedly which surprised me. I thought I had fallen out of favor with him.  He was really proud to do this for me.  “Don’t say I never did anything for you.”

Mom’s car is a tan 2005 Honda Civic LX with about 17,000 miles on the clock.  Mom basically just drove to get her hair done and back for the past five years and to Connie’s occasionally. I don’t think the car has ever been over 70mph. Mom drives like a little old lady. It is still basically a brand new car.

“We need to sell your CR-V,” dad told me. “You can’t afford insurance, registration and tags on both cars out of your disability money. We will use the money to put vinyl siding on your house.”

“Yes I can,” I told him, not wanting to sell my CR-V. “I need my CR-V to pull my mower and trailer for my yard care business. I am making decent money now.  My yard care business will take care of the costs of the CR-V.”

Dad grumbled some, but reluctantly agreed for me to keep my CR-V if I would take care of the costs involved.  I was very assertive and vehemently insisted that I have both titles to both cars in my name and in my possession.  I was pushing my luck with dad last night with him giving me such a gift, but he was in such a good mood after getting his new car and open to suggestion.  I didn’t want this new car under any “conditions” as dad is known to do with regards to me.  I could drive my old car easily for another ten years I was sure, so I could gamble some with my assertions.

Dad left after we drove around the neighborhood a few times and he let me check out the new CR-V which was an extremely nice new car.  I love that new car smell.  I know mom will be pleased as punch in the morning when she gets to drive her new Civic EX with a sunroof to her hair appointment just like she wanted.  She had said yesterday on our trip to soft tissue therapy that it was about time for her to have a new car.

To the Doctor I Go Today…

I have an appointment this morning with my psychiatrist at 9:30am my time.  I almost forgot about it until mom checked my healthcare calendar and called me last night before bed to remind me.  I am hoping to reduce my Risperdal another milligram after my injection runs out and to possibly add Chantix for the cigarette cravings – now knowing it works on the nicotine receptors in the brain and is just not another antidepressant.  I am sure my doctor will be pleased that I am going on 5 days without a cigarette.  We may not even need the Chantix she may decide in that I have gone so long without smoking.  I am still having terrible cravings, though.  It has proved to be one of the tougher things I have done in years – much tougher than quitting drinking.  It hasn’t been as tough as the opposition I faced from dad in gaining my independence, though.  These days I feel like I can about just conquer anything. 

I also want to develop a plan with my doctor to get out of the psychiatric system by Christmas.  I am unsure how she will handle this – the Paxil helping me so with the social anxiety she believes.  I am beginning to believe my lessened social anxiety has more to do with my new found self confidence and esteem more than anything – more so than the Paxil.  I just want to be free of psychiatry for once in my life feeling I am not mentally ill. I am so tired of all the labels and stigma involved. If dad tells me I am schizophrenic one more time, I am going to scream!

Happenings with Caramel…

Caramel is now using the dog door on a regular basis. She is just cute as a button and growing by leaps and bounds every day – eating like a horse.  I noticed this morning when I got up that she hadn’t used her Wee Wee Pad during the night as she normally does.  This must have meant she went outside to use the bathroom with Maggie during the night.  Both dogs are now laying out on the back deck in the cool 72 degree morning air with Maggie occasionally barking at things that go bump in the night with Caramel joining in occasionally with her not very menacing puppy bark.  Caramel’s constant whimpering has also stopped and she has seemed to settle in with her new family.  Maggie has really helped, fastly becoming best friends with her.  They will occasionally fight over who gets to eat the puppy chow, though, but that’s about it as far as jealous squabbles go.  I gave up on trying to keep Maggie away from the chow and just put a separate bowl out for her. I will just have to watch Maggie’s weight until we get Caramel on Purina One.

Next on the agenda comes getting Caramel spayed and all her shots administered.  Mom was fretting about this on the phone last night saying I was being lax about it, and said she would call to make an appointment in the morning.  We also need to get her started on a flea treatment and a heartworm regimen.  I feel like a parent of a child – worried about my little daughter and all these leaps and hurdles in life. Soon, she will be a “teenager” and I expect her soon to be chewing things with even more vigor.  I am going tomorrow to get her more chew toys.  Stacey bought a bag full last week and she has quickly torn them up – chewing through them with zest. The floor of my den looks like an atomic bomb went off these days with chew toy debris scattered everywhere.

It’s All About the Sex, Baby!

George wrote me yesterday asking if Stacey had any black girlfriends at work that were into ex-cons. I laughed and laughed at the absurdity of it all. He said he was going to “tear up some pussy” when he got out – he had missed sex so. I pray he doesn’t hook back up with Pookie – that crack fiend. I am sure George will be over at the shot house plying a few prostitutes’ wares in just a few days after arriving home.  George and I call it the shot house because they illegally sell shots of grain alcohol for a dollar and also sell several other “services”.  It is over in a very poor and rundown neighborhood near the housing projects. Things will certainly get interesting in a few weeks when and if George arrives home.  George is just another one of those odd fringe dwellers that seem to fill my life in these latter years.

Dealing with Insomnia…

I am still dealing with insomnia some. I went to bed at eight.  Dad woke me up around ten and then I was back to sleep after he left.  I was up at two wide awake again and couldn’t get back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. I took one Klonopin and two Aleve hoping this would help me rest, but it didn’t.  My doctor warned me this was one of the primary side effects of coming off eight years of heavy dosages of Risperdal. I am having the most terrible night sweats as well – my sheets being wet  and clammy when I wake up – my chest and legs just dripping wet with sweat when I wake.  Coming off all those medications has proven to be more of an ordeal and challenge than I thought it would be. For eight long years, I was on very high dosages of an extremely heavily sedating antipsychotic and this is going to take some time I guess.  Luckily, I am able to take nice long naps during the day, but I wish I could get eight fitful hours of uninterrupted sleep during the night before work.

iPad Adulation…

I have been completely and utterly obsessed with this gadget for month’s now.  My brother had his wife’s new iPad with him when he was in town last week. He let me borrow it for a few hours so I could test it out on my Wi-Fi network at home. I was instantly in love.  I opened up Safari and browsed to my blog and was so pleased as I lay on the bed. So nice!  I also installed The Weather Channel’s new iPad App and decided I had to have one and soon.  I am going to order me an iPad today off of Apple’s website.  Just the 16GB model to save some money and no 3G.  I feel I have worked hard these past two months and have decided to treat myself to a new gadget.  Derrick, my electronics friend at work, will be so jealous and I am sure he will come over to check it out.  Work also has a Wi-Fi network in the store and I will be able to browse blogs and check blog comments while I am at work on my breaks.  I don’t think my supervisor will mind as long as I keep the buggies caught up.   

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall…

96 Hours Without a Cigarette…

Today at 2pm marked 96 hours without a cigarette. I was washing my work clothes in my laundry room as I walked through the kitchen and looked at the clock on the stove.  It read 2pm.  I had made it four days without smoking. I smiled.  I immediately called Stacy at work on the phone to share in my jubilation!

“You make me want to quit!” she said excitedly. “I would have never thought you would have made it this far.”

“I’m giving up a 22 year habit,” I told her. “They say it’s like giving up heroin in it’s intensity. I believe it. It has been rough.  I have wanted a cigarette so badly today.”

“I am going to miss you tonight,” Stacey then said. “Give the dogs a hug for me.  I know you will want to go to bed shortly after you get home from taking your mother.”

I told her I loved her and would see her tomorrow afternoon.  She had to get off the phone not being able to talk long at work without her supervisor getting angry at her for wasting time.  We said our goodbyes and I missed her dearly.

And You Thought My Mother was Interesting.  Just Wait…  

“You won’t believe what your father did to me when we were in Washington a few weeks ago,” mom said vehemently as she slurred her words on our drive home from Red Lobster and Connie’s. “It was terrible!!! Just terrible!”

Mom had just had two large PiƱa coladas and a very large margarita.  She was telling me EVERYTHING as I tried not to smile and I was trying to take her seriously.  We forewent a heavy meal and just split a clam chowder appetizer and had two large salads with bread – the blue cheese dressing being extremely delicious.

“What did he do?” I asked anxiously as we passed a big rig pulled over by four State Troopers and a K-9 unit, lights blazing. 

“Oh!!! Look at that!!!” mom exclaimed at all the police. “That trucker must have been selling drugs from his truck!!!”

I laughed. “Now back to your story,” I coaxed, interested in what dad did.  I wouldn’t be surprised.  He treats my mother and I like adult children.

“Well,” mom said. “You see? Your brother had ordered takeout Chinese.  We all began to eat in the den around the TV with our chopsticks.  Your father told me I had to go sit away from the family at the kitchen table alone as I was sloppy and would spill food all over their carpet.  Wasn’t that terrible? It was so demeaning!”

“That was terrible!” I exclaimed, realizing I had already heard this same story one time before. 

I smiled as we passed the Cusseta exit just miles from home.  Mom was having a good time and was feeling really well being so tipsy. She was feeling her oats and was in a gossipy mood. Connie and the drinks had worked wonders for her spirits.  

“Let’s don’t go home,” mom then told me pleadingly. “Let’s ride around the Valley for an hour. I have nothing to do, but go lie in the bed for the rest of the evening.”

By this point, I was very tired.  I had worked eight hours, come home and did laundry and then took mom to her soft tissue therapist and out to eat.  I was anxious to get home.  As a concession, I left the interstate and drove us deep down into Fairfax, Alabama in the old mill village where Rachel and I lived when we were married.  Mom and I spent some time looking at and critiquing people’s houses and their yards.

“Your father says he was very wary about you starting to paint your house,” mom told me as I finally drove us home.  She was telling me everything dad wouldn’t want her to say. “He says you never finish what you start.”

“He did, did he?”

“We also went looking for new cars the other day,” mom then said, changing the subject. “I told him very assertively that if he could spend $56,000 dollars for a BMW then he could at least get me a Honda Civic with a sunroof!”

I laughed.  Mom really was telling it all. I told her to tell dad to buy her a Honda Civic EX.  It would have a sunroof and a bigger, more powerful engine.

We had a good time. I am so glad to be home, though. It is two hours away from my bedtime and I am just going to relax in my Lay-Z-Boy for a moment. It is going to be so nice to be off tomorrow and get caught up on the lawns I need to finish mowing which will be cathartic for me in the early morning air.   

Monday, August 23, 2010

Whiz Bang!

Mom just came by in whiz bang fashion.  She was feeling much better tonight after a hard day physically.  She stepped inside for a moment with two McDonald’s bags filled with burgers, fries and apple pies.

“Enjoy!” mom said after giving Stacey a hug and telling her hello.

Maggie went just nuts at the smells of her favorite hamburger.

“Should I put out your diet Sprites tonight after you got that case today?” mom then asked before she left.

“Let’s stick to our routines,” I replied, which pleased mom.  She loves doing that for me.  I love driving over around four in the morning as I listen to NPR’s Morning Edition to get them. 

Mom left after picking up Caramel and giving her a hug and telling her how cute she was. 

“Your family is not conducive to me and my diet,” Stacey told me, giving me “the look” as she hungrily bit into her double cheeseburger.  “I am never going to lose weight eating like this.”

I laughed.  I should be more sensitive to her needs as far as her diet is concerned. She’s been so kind and supportive about me quitting smoking.  We ate our supper and Stacey gathered Sadie to go home. 

“I love you and probably won’t see you tomorrow,” she told me as we kissed good night. “Till we meet again.”

Well, it is nine and an hour after my bedtime.  I am going to bed.  I have another busy day ahead of me tomorrow. 

Mom Never Asks for Favors, But She Did Today…

“My back and leg are killing me,” mom said this afternoon on the phone. She sounded so tired.  “Your father says it’s because I am so fat.  Will you go with me to the grocery store and to your father’s pharmacy to help get everything?”

“Sure,” I replied. “Do you want me to pick you up or will you pick me up?”

“I will be over in a minute,” mom said. “Let me fix my hair. I want to see the puppy.”

Mom picked me up and we drove to the pharmacy first to do some shopping.  Mom had to get a check from dad from my disability account for my groceries.  Mom also had a case of paper towels to pick up that Judy had ordered for Helen, and she also had to get her prescriptions filled. I got some razor blades, a case of diet Sprite, and three packs of toilet paper while we were there.  Dad was behind the counter smiling warily at his “mentally interesting” crew as he calls us.  I talked briefly to dad about painting the inside of my house.  He has a credit account next door at Hayes’ Hardware and I wanted to get some paint and brushes.  I am hoping my disability money will pay for it.  Charlie painted every room in my house the same drab olive color and it has grown old.  I also want to finish painting all my trim a cream color as well. 

“How much do you think it will cost?” dad asked apprehensively.

“Not much,” I replied very optimistically. “I will be doing all the work.”

“Bring me all the receipts so I can see what your spending,” dad finally told me, giving in. “I don’t want a big surprise when they send me the bill at the end of the month.”

We then drove to get my groceries.  Mom had two pages of recipes and ingredients to give to me as we started shopping.  I did all the hard work and she just pushed the cart around having to stop every so often to rest.  We got all the ingredients to fix her lasagna, spaghetti, tangy chicken, sour cream and mushroom chicken, and beef lo mien.  Mom got to feeling better after we got out and about and she exercised her leg some. 

“It sure helps when you go to buy groceries with me,” she told me thankfully as I pushed the buggy out to her car. “You need to go with me every week.”

I told her I would be glad to.  I always thought I was a third wheel and got in her way.  We then headed to the optometrist to pick up my six month’s supply of contacts.

“I forgot all about your contacts even though I wrote it on my calendar,” mom told me very worriedly. “Your two month’s overdo for your disposables. It’s a wonder your eyeballs aren’t rolling out of your head.”

I laughed. Things like this just don’t even enter my mind.  My mother is so keen on the details.  She even keeps a separate calendar for Maggie’s healthcare and has added Caramel as well.  We got in a small argument over who would pay for the contacts, though.  It was $160 dollars for six pair.  I pulled out my debit card to pay, but mom insisted on writing a check.  I finally gave in when she looked at me sternly and blew loudly, tired of my arguing.

“I am just not feeling well physically these days,” mom told me as I drove her Honda back to my house. “Will you drive me down to Connie’s tomorrow in Auburn?”

“Sure!” I replied. “What time is the appointment?”

“Three o’ clock Auburn time,” mom said. “Four our time.”

Connie is mom’s soft tissue therapist which dad says is a glorified and expensive back massage. Mom exclaims that it works wonders for her leg and back and has been seeing Connie for close to fifteen years.  We both agreed it would be nice to eat an early supper at Red Lobster while we were down there.

“I want you to drive so I can have a few Margaritas!” mom said as she started to laugh.

Mom never drinks so this interested me greatly.  Mom and dad have both been teetotalers for the majority of my life.  I just laughed and told her I would be glad to drive and give her a break.  It would be my treat and I look forward to going with her tomorrow.

Well, I am off to the hardware store to pick out paint colors and to grab some paint and painting supplies.  I hope this will be an interesting new hobby for me if you can call painting the inside of your house a hobby.  

Caramel Says, "Good Morning!"

Caramel and I have already been out for our potty break this morning. This time she followed Maggie through the dog door and I lavished her with praise. "Good girl!" I said in excitement as I rubbed her vigorously. I am hoping house training for her is going to as easy as it was for Maggie. Maggie was no trouble at all being as smart as she is. Maggie, though, got to barking up a storm this early morning at a possum in the pecan tree in Joyce's yard. "Maggie?!" I exclaimed, worried about the neighbors. "Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?" Maggie and Caramel both came tearing back inside and I fed them both some Beefaroni as I locked the dog door so Maggie couldn't go back out and bark up a storm. I was careful to put the Beefaroni on separate foam plates so there wouldn't be any fights over food. I then cooked some grits and cheese toast for breakfast.

 

2pm Will Mark 3 Days...


2pm will mark three days without a cigarette. They say the nicotine gets out of your system after three days and I will be relieved to have some peace from that anxious feeling I have constantly -- the constant need to smoke. Stacey has just been amazed at my will power. I told her she is dating an "all or nothing" fellow as I will either smoke lots of cigarettes or smoke none at all. It does work in my favor at times -- especially when I decided to go for my independence from my family. I can just have this dogged determination at times and I wasn't about to have to work five hours a week or more just for my smoking habit. The best thing dad did was to make me start paying for my cigarettes again instead of him paying. He thought he was punishing me, but he did me a favor.

Back to Work...


It is back to work this morning after a good fruitful day off. I mowed five lawns yesterday leaving me only three to do and I will be caught up for a week or two unless I get more calls for work. I look forward to work this morning -- not dreading it at all. I love these early hours before seven when it is so cool and dark and I can gather my carts in peace without the parking lot being hectic and busy. Today will start my eighth week of work -- the end of the week marking two full months of working again after eight years of idleness. I feel so accomplished and my self esteem improves everyday -- that old nemesis social anxiety wilting away. The best thing I've done in many years was to start working again and to say to hell with Social Security -- somebody else can start having my benefits in May.

Epicurious...


Mom called me last night just as I was going to bed at 8:00pm.

"You won't believe our day," mom said. "We drove all the way to Thomasville and back and it stormed the whole time.  I am calling about your groceries tomorrow.  I am so tired, I am going to collapse in the bed after I get off the phone."

"Surprise me about groceries tomorrow, mom," I told her. "Get me all kinds of interesting foods to eat. Get me what you would want to eat yourself.  I get tired of the same things every week."

Mom chuckled warily not wanting to upset our usual routines.

"Give me more direction," she replied.

"Think of some of your favorite recipes and buy me the ingredients for them," I told her excitedly.

"Your putting a lot of work on me," she said, chuckling again.  "You know I can be anal about our routines."

"I know," I replied. "I just get tired of those Marie Callendar frozen meals all the time.  I want to be able to cook for Stacey and I this week every night."

"I will surprise you," mom said wanting to get off the phone now.  I had put too much on her for the busy day she had.  "How does my lasagna and spaghetti sound?  And mushroom chicken, tangy chicken and beef lo mein?"

"Sounds wonderful," I replied.

"Don't forget your diet Sprite tomorrow morning," mom then said. "Are you coming over at four to get them?"

"Certainly," I replied. "I appreciate you doing that."

"I will also bring you, Stacey and the dogs some double cheeseburgers, fries and apple pies tomorrow night as well."

"Sounds like a nice plan," I replied and we got off the phone.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Caramel this Morning During Potty Time…

I haven’t been posting pictures lately because  I couldn’t get my camera card reader to play nice with Ubuntu – my primary operating system.  I was too lazy to set up my camera in Windows 7 as well having to install Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge. I finally read a tutorial this morning that walked me through setting up my Canon camera to work with Linux.  I take Caramel out every morning to use the bathroom – letting her know outside is the place to go for potty needs.  She’s reluctantly beginning to use the dog door as well which excites me to no end!  She’s smart as a whip and wants to go where Maggie and Sadie are going when they go outside through the door.

Caramel

Don’t Spend a Fortune on Photoshop…  Use Gimp…

You can find Gimp, a free open source photo editing program, in my free software page above.  It a laid out just like Photoshop – even the menus and tools are the same.  The only thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t open in a window.  The interface is tiled around your monitor. Luckily, they have the same version for Windows as they do for Linux so you can use it on Windows as well.

Busy Day Ahead…

I have a lot of lawns to mow this morning.  I am going to start with my my own, and move to Joyce’s, then Mr. Ed’s. It is so cool this morning after our storms last night so it is going to be nice toodling around these yards on my mower in the cool morning air.   I am going to try and get most of my clients done as well before the start of another work week. I plan to stay busy today to keep my mind off smoking.   Around 2pm will mark 2 full days without a smoke.   They say after 3 days you are over the nicotine withdrawals, and then must just contend with the habit itself. 30 days and the habit will be broken and you will finally have some relief. Well, I am off to get started mowing.  Stacey has already left for work after I fixed us a good breakfast.  

Going on 36 Hours…

If you would have asked me three days ago if I would be almost 36 hours without a cigarette, I would have laughed.  I will never forget as long as I live that last cigarette in my car on the drive home from Fat Albert’s.  I savored every last puff.  Stacey has been very supportive even though she continues to smoke.  I put the ashtray out on the porch and she has been going out there to imbibe.  She is very skeptical that I will make it a week I smoked so heavily for years.  Since she’s known me, I’ve smoked one cigarette after the other while at home.  I am just taking it one day at a time – one day is all I’ve got.  I haven’t been so determined about something since I decided to go for my independence from my parents, though, and I am out to prove Stacey wrong.  Stacey thought of quitting with me, but she is worried she will gain weight.  I can understand that as food already is starting to taste better and I can breathe out of my nose again for the first time in years.  I didn’t wake myself up snoring last night.

Withdrawals…

I woke up at 1am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  It didn’t help that I checked the radar and we have storms on the way which excited me and for which I will stay up and wait on.  I can only guess my insomnia is from both medication and nicotine withdrawal.  My doctor warned me the reduced dosage of my Risperdal from 8.5mg to 3mg would cause this. It is not pleasant as I feel tired, but I can’t sleep. I opened up the windows in the den and am waiting on the first sound of thunder.  The fall crickets have started calling I noticed tonight – a certain species in the South that only calls late in the summer season into the fall.

What’s That Smell?

Stacey and I were laying in bed last night with the dogs. I smelled this horrible rotten egg smell waft over my nostrils.

“Did you just fart?” I asked Stacey with a vigorous grin.

She laughed and laughed.

“It was one of the dogs, silly!” she exclaimed, still laughing.

It seems the Puppy Chow is too rich for our grown pups and has caused some intestinal distress. They are absolutely obsessed over the Puppy Chow, though, and would eat it until they are sick. Itchy and Scratchy are going to get fat if we are not careful.  Sadie is already kind of portly. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

24 Hours Without a Cigarette…

Work was hard without a cigarette.  I’ve smoked pretty continuously for 22 years and it is going to be a tough habit to break. This is going to be much harder than I thought.  I seemed to have more anxiety issues without that old crutch of mine – the nicotine calming the synapses in my brain and just my general demeanor as well.  I had a few Klonopin in my pocket and took one around lunch before I was to get off from work.  I felt better in thirty minutes, but worried about trading one addiction for another.

The last time I paid for smokes many years ago a pack of twenty “little cigars” was a dollar.  They looked just like a cigarette, but tasted like a cigar.  It was ten dollars for a carton.  They circumvented all the sin taxes being labeled as cigarillos.  They quickly took them off the market when they proved to be too popular at Fat Albert’s and other establishments in town.  The government wasn’t making money off all our “sins”.  They were so popular that Fat Albert’s would always have trouble keeping them in stock.  I was lucky to get them when I could.  

I stopped by dad’s pharmacy after work.  Angie, his co-pharmacist, was working – dad being in Thomasville, Ga. for one of my cousin’s open houses. The nicotine gum was as expensive or more expensive than smoking. I also realized I would just get hooked on the gum – chewing it constantly.  I am going to have to do this cold turkey and sweat it out I decided.   I am determined, though.  $38 dollars for my favorite carton of cigarettes equals to about five hours of work.  That is close to a whole day’s wages of gathering carts.  Too costly for my frugal inclinations. 

“Get a prescription from your doctor for Chantix,” Angie chirped happily from behind the counter trying to help.

“It’s just an anti-depressant,” I replied dourly. “I think it has more of a placebo effect than anything.  I need to just make up my mind and put them down for good.  I am trying to lessen my dependence on psychiatric drugs.”

Angie smiled as I asked if I could get a diet Sprite.  I always ask before I get something for free when dad is not there not wanting to impose on my father’s employees.  I grabbed two Sprites out of the cooler at the front of the store and headed home.  I looked longingly and wistfully at the Circle K convenience store on the drive home wanting to stop and buy a pack. “Damnit!” I muttered. “You can do this!” as I drove onwards in determination.

The Drama Over Puppy Chow…

Maggie and Sadie are both obsessed with Caramel’s Puppy Chow.  They had a fight lined up for who was eat next when I put out more of Caramel’s Puppy Chow down after work.  It must taste better or something.  I chastised the two saying, “NO! NO! NO!”  Maggie sulked off to the den while Sadie sat there wagging her tail not to give up.  I had to referee as Caramel ate her fill being very hungry. After Caramel ate, I put the bowl of food up on the washer in my laundry room.  This is turning out to be a constant struggle for Itchy and Scratchy not to become bloated on Puppy Chow.  

She’s Always Glad to See Me and It’s Nice…

Stacey says my supervisor is infatuated with me.  She gets so very jealous about it and I don’t talk about her when I am around Stacey. My supervisor is a very cute, petite woman with a wonderful smile. I would say she is in her late forties.  She won’t tell her age.

My supervisor gave me an affectionate hug as she arrived at work this morning.  I was standing out in the parking lot wiping the sweat off my brow after gathering a long string of carts. Man was it humid this morning.  You could cut it with a knife. 

“How’s my favorite worker?” she asked, continuing to cling to me. 

“I quit smoking,” I told her trying to tell everyone I knew so it would help me commit to this.  The peer pressure is proving beneficial. 

“That’s wonderful!” she exclaimed. “That was about my only problem with you.  You take lots of smoke breaks and my big boss grumbles about it when he sees you out to the side smoking on his rounds.”

“I smoked years ago when I was a young woman,” she then told me. “Everyone smoked then.  You could smoke anywhere.  There’s a lot of negative stigma to it now.  It makes you look dumb and ‘dirty’.”

I agreed.  It is a stupid habit, but boy could it be enjoyable and pleasurable. Smoking at work had grown to be hassle, though.  I constantly worried about it – wondering when I would get my next smoke break.  I had become obsessive as I am obsessive compulsive to a certain degree.  Luckily, I am an all or nothing fellow which flies in the face of moderation.  I will either smoke three packs a day or none at all.  This can work in my favor at times. Especially when it comes to addictions. 

No More Tramp Stamps Maybe?

Stacey and I were web browsing in bed last night.  Maggie and Sadie were at the bottom of the bed doing what dogs do when their nicknames are itchy and scratchy.  Caramel was snuggled up close to me asleep and quiet for a change – content to be with her new surrogate mother.  I looked over at Stacey’s laptop and she was browsing websites about body art.

“Not another one!” I exclaimed exasperated.

“I am just browsing!” Stacey said very defensively.  She knows my aversion to her constant need to plaster her beautiful body with inked art.  I call it defiling my sacred temple. 

“What is your fascination with tattoos?” I asked. “I just don’t get it.”

“It is an expression of yourself just like jewelry, stilettos, or nice clothes.”

“I understand that,” I replied in agreement.  She was looking at a design of a very ornate rose. “But there’s a big difference between a nice diamond ring and a tattoo of a menacing looking scorpion on your ass.”

Stacey just laughed and laughed at my candor and crassness.

“I won’t get another one just for you,” she said acquiescing with an apprehensive smile.

“Well, if you do get another, then get it in an inconspicuous place. Your tattoos drive my family crazy.”

“How about this rose on my shoulder?” she asked showing me the screen of her laptop.

“I have to admit that is kind of classy,” I said of the beautiful rose she displayed.

“My favorite artist is in Columbus,” Stacey told me. “Will you go with me?”

“Only if we can eat at Steak and Shake afterwards,” I replied.

“It’s a deal,” Stacey said. “It will take several visits.  And I will pay this time.  You always have to pay for everything.”

I’ve never seen a tattoo being administered.  I want to be there when she gets it.  I want to see the wince on her face from the pain and ask her if it’s really worth it.  I know it has to be painful to be continuously pricked with a needle like that.

The last thing I remember from last night was curling up with Caramel as Maggie crept up to join us getting as close to me as she possibly could.  Stacey was still browsing websites about body art and I could see her wonderful face from the glow of the LCD screen in my dark bedroom.  Sadie was snoring at the foot of the bed at Stacey’s feet. We were just one big happy family.

“Night sweetheart,” Stacey said as she looked over at me and the dogs with my eyes closed.

“Night,” I said sleepily. “I love you.”

And I was asleep after looking at the clock one more time.  It read 8:30pm. 

Father Fatigue…

I am fatigued about writing about the whole fiasco with my father.  I bet you all are as well.  I am going to concentrate on more positive writings for the blog for a change.  I might digress from time to time, but I am going to try to concentrate on the positive aspects of my life.  I have so much more good going on than bad that I would be remiss writing about all that crap and not sharing with you all my recent successes.  I feel like a butterfly coming out of it’s chrysalis.  No longer am I that ungainly and frumpy looking green caterpillar.  I have emerged a new man these past few weeks – a Monarch among Monarchs.  I am going to concentrate more on tales from work which is always interesting and stories of Stacey and I – all positive aspects of my life.

The Last Cigarette of my Life…

I walked into Fat Albert’s convenience store yesterday afternoon with my wallet in hand.  I was almost out of cigarettes and was going to buy another carton – dad no longer paying for my expensive addiction.

“What can I help you with?” the very portly clerk asked me with a fake smile.

“A carton of Doral Gold 100s box,” I replied.

I readied my debit card to be swiped in the reader.

“That will be $38 dollars,” the clerk said. “Debit or credit?”

“$38 dollars for a carton of cigarettes?!” I exclaimed. 

“They’ve gone up again,” the clerk replied apologetically. “They keep adding more taxes to them.”

“Do you have anything cheaper?” I asked hoping for the best.

“The cheapest is Gold Coast 100s for $30 dollars,” the clerk replied.

“No thanks,” I said. “Sorry to trouble you.”

I walked out of the door shaking my head.  I know I should be more concerned with the health aspects of smoking, but I was more worried about the cost.  $38 dollars is a lot of hours of pushing carts inside Wal-Mart.  I smoked my last cigarette on the drive home – the last Doral I had in my pack.  It has now been ten hours since I last had a smoke and so far I feel fine.  I am determined as hell about this.  I am not ever going to smoke another cigarette again and be a slave to that habit.  I can’t justify the costs of having to work so hard for such a nasty addiction.  Let the slaves be free! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Steps in the Right Direction…

Roguemort is Going to Save the Day!

I called Roguemort Key and Lock Service to come and have the locks changed on the house today.  It is going to be kind of expensive but it must be done for my privacy’s sake.  My anxiety issues just can’t take those uninvited visits in the middle of the night when I am trying to sleep. I go to bed at nine. Dad just will not respect any boundaries that I will set. My home will be a safe-house for a change from him. The only other person who is going to have a key is Stacey. The company van will be here around four the guy on the phone said.  I also asked what it would cost to get the locks changed on my car as well and the man estimated it would be around $300 dollars for my Honda. I will have to wait on that not wanting to spend the money just yet and hope dad doesn’t get a wild hair up his butt to take my car away from me.  It is not beyond the realm of possibilities as far as he is concerned as mom has keys to my car. I am unsure whether the title is in my name or his.  He said last night that he is intent on punishing me for not taking my medications.  His first form of punishment was to no longer buy my cigarettes anymore. I said that was fine – that was part of my plan of independence anyway.  With me paying for them, that might just be the impetus I need to quit – cigarettes being so very expensive these days.  I probably will quit very soon as it is very uncomfortable at work the time I have to go without a cigarette. It grows tiresome to have to deal with that addiction and to obsess over when my next smoke will be. 

My Brother, The Advocate…

“I talked to dad about you late last night,” my brother told me on my cellphone at work as I was gathering some carts. “I told him he was out of line and was causing you more harm than good mentally.  You have every right to make your own choices about your own mental healthcare. Dad is just obsessed with you and those medications and that injection.”

“It is really not about my mental health,” I told my brother. “It is about a method of social and behavioral control. Dad thinks I will be like mom as she was when we were growing up.  You know how manic and crazy she was for years we all thought. She was just a strong willed woman. High dosages of Zyprexa made her sleepy, malleable, and complacent – solving all of dad’s marital problems.  He can control her every move now.  He used to couldn't tell her what to do for anything in the world.”

“Mom slept all night, then all day yesterday as well,” my brother told me worriedly. “That’s just not normal. Especially with your grandchildren in town.”

“I know,” I replied. “She is over-medicated like I was.  That’s why I couldn’t work or live my life.  I was in a stupor all the time. I felt terrible.”

“Well, things should be quiet for awhile for a change for you on the medication front,” my brother said reassuring me. “Dad promised me he was going lay off you about the medications. I told him he must trust your new doctor. We head back to Washington tomorrow.  I will bring the girls over to see you before we leave for the airport. Love you bro.”

“I love you, too,” I told him. “And I look forward to seeing my nieces tomorrow. Thank you!”

A Concerned Supervisor…

Work went fine this morning with me settling back into my usual routines.  Bringing in the carts is so cathartic for me giving me peace as I daydream constantly as I gather them. It is nice to stay busy and have something to do with my time that is self esteem boosting and money making. My doctor had told me it would take about 24 hours for the previous day’s medications to get out of my system.  Around nine I was feeling like a million bucks again.  It was almost as if this wave of relief enveloped me.  My anxiety I was experiencing dissipated. That buzz from all those medications went away.   I felt invigorated and less fatigued, and worked ever harder for the rest of the day. I didn’t even hang out in electronics today doting over my carts and keeping them lined up outside and inside for the greeter to hand out. 

“How are you feeling today, doll?” my supervisor asked me as we stood at one point to the side of the store this morning during one of my cigarette breaks.

“I’m fine,” I told her smiling. “I took steps for what happened yesterday not to happen again. You won’t be bothered with anymore drama out of me.”

My supervisor gave me a hug and told me she was glad to have the old me back in action.  She said I was far less drama than most of the workers she had had recently.  I was glad to have the old me back as well.

George Writes Again…

“I don’t want my aunt coming to my parole hearing,” George wrote me yesterday. “Talk to mom about it.  She will tell them what a terrible drinker I was.  She can’t keep her mouth shut.”  I smiled.  George’s aunt sure is irascible, but George is in jail for like his sixth or seventh DUI.  It will be obvious to the parole board that he has had a drinking problem.  I recently saw in the news where a man who got his ninth DUI got a life sentence in jail.  George is a very lucky man to get off so lightly. It is now just twenty days until George’s parole hearing.  Waiting is half the battle – especially for George. Now, if we can only get a positive ruling and get George home then all of us will be happy.  And my life will only get more interesting for sure.  I am most certainly going to be George’s chauffer when he arrives home – him not being able to drive.

Lawn Care Happenings…

Sunday will start another round of lawn mowing. I look forward to it. I guess I am like Forrest Gump when it comes to mowing lawns. I don’t dread it at all and enjoy the money. It has rained so much lately and all the grass is growing by leaps and bounds – a boon for my business.  I will have to mow mine, Joyce’s and Mr. Ed’s lawns.  I also have my six other regular customers to take care of.  I hope I can get most of them done Sunday, but this will probably take up the first part of the next week as well.  I had one more call yesterday about mowing a lawn.  This time it was from a business card I had left in the door of a house on one of my rounds around the neighborhood many weeks ago. It was from a man who lives a few blocks over.  I haven’t been actively looking for new customers, though. The calls have been trickling in through my business cards being out in the world around town.  If work continues to go well and I continue to get more comfortable with fulltime work, then I will start hitting the streets again looking for new clients. I always get so excited when I will get a call like I did yesterday for work.  That means $25 more dollars in the coffers -- $25 more dollars towards my iPad.  My saving’s account is steadily accumulating money. 

Annabel Has a Boyfriend…

Annabel’s blog has probably been one of the longest running blogs I have read over the years. She was one of only two readers I had when I started this current rendition of my blogging efforts.   I am proud to report she may have a new boyfriend and this excites me to no end.  You want your blog friends to have a good and exciting life. It makes for such interesting blog fodder.  They kissed for the first time and I know that feeling well from my and Stacey’s first kiss when we started dating.  They went out to eat at Outback – one of my and Stacey’s favorite restaurants. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds and will continue to read along and hope for the best for her and Mathew.

On Drinking…

I have no desire to take a drink these days and it is absolutely amazing after all the years I drank so heavily.  I no more want to get drunk than a man on the moon.  Stacey asked me the other day how I quit drinking and I had to thank my father for that.  His obsessive control of my drinking habits caused me to grow acclimated and used to not drinking on a regular basis.  Also, I never had hangovers when I drank heavily. Now? They are terrible.  The other week when I drank those three glasses of wine, I almost couldn’t function the next day staying in the bed for hours feeling like the dregs of society.  Drinking is also very expensive these days.  A cheap six pack now costs at least four or five dollars when it used to only cost two or three.  I am too frugal to do that anymore. I have much better things to spend my money on than getting drunk. I never drank beer for the taste.  I drank beer only to get drunk.           

Walking Tall…

I stood my ground last night telling dad that my doctor’s orders where to not take the medications without a visit to her first.  This diffused the situation somewhat getting a professional involved. I told him to call her and talk to her and if she said to take them then I would. Dad was so pleading, though.  It was almost pitiful. “Do it for my birthday!” he kept saying.  The peer pressure is almost incomprehensible.  “I can’t take the police showing up at my door about you acting crazy,” he also said.  When have the police ever had to come to his door about me?  I told him I loved him and asked calmly for him to leave – that I needed to go to bed.  I have a busy day of work ahead of me and plan on working really hard to make up for my lapse yesterday.  I feel much, much better this morning. 

I also talked to my brother on the phone last night about what has been going on.  We are not very close and only talk maybe once a year, but he was very earnest in wanting to hear what I had to say. “I don’t want to get caught in between you and dad, though,” he told me. “But I am glad you are listening to your new doctor.  I was aghast at the amount of medications you were taking previously as well. I thought you must be seriously mentally ill by what dad had told me and for your medication levels to be so high.  I am sorry for getting involved.”  I told my brother I wanted him involved and for us to be closer – that I needed his help.

Oh, Dear Caramel…

Stacey kept Caramel for me last night.  I HAD to get a good night’s sleep and I couldn’t take the puppy whimpering all night.  Stacey was overjoyed to do this. Yesterday, Stacey went and got some Wee Wee Pads for the puppy and we put them down in the laundry room.  Luckily, the puppy has been using them to go to the bathroom.  I am hoping with Maggie’s influence and teachings, she will soon learn to use the dog door.  Maggie naturally took to using the dog door without having to be taught.  I was lucky on that regard.

Maggie’s motherly instincts have really kicked in, though.  It is very endearing to see her dote over that little Boston Terrier.  She will herd her around the house and will whine and whimper when the puppy whimpers as well.  Maggie would have made a good mother if I would have let her have puppies one time.  Maggie seems to be very worried and concerned about our new addition not fitting in just yet.  It will just take time.

Well, I am off for work.  It is 4:30am and I better get my lunch fixed and head out the door.  I know I will have lots of work to do this morning.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Physician’s Advice…

I spoke briefly to my doctor on the phone this afternoon telling the receptionist it was a family emergency. I had to stay on hold for about 15 minutes before she finally picked up the phone.   I’ve slept for most of the day, but got up to garner the courage to groggily make that call due to all your advice. Thank you!  I am to refuse the medications my father is coming over here tonight to give me. He was going to give me a double dose today saying it wouldn’t hurt me. “Your just going to love getting six Klonopin in a day,” my father said happily on the drive back to pick up my car at work. My doctor said to call the police if I need to and get them involved. We may need to get a restraining order for awhile until things calm down she also advised me.  She agrees with me that I have been extremely overmedicated for years and years.  I am so sleepy I can barely stay awake today. 

“Wait till tomorrow night and don’t take your 3mg of Risperdal and just take your Paxil,” she told me before hanging up. “Your 50mg injection equals to 3mg of Risperdal per day for the next two weeks. I will see you next Wednesday to see how you are doing.”

I told her honestly about going off the Risperdal abruptly before she got off the phone.

“You can’t do that,” she replied sternly. “You took extremely high dosages for eight years and no wonder you started to have problems again.  You were suffering from withdrawal and the trauma your father caused last night causing your psychosis this morning.”

I feel better with some “professional” help and advice.  It has given me the strength to carry on with my current course. I have felt like crap today – feeling buzzy and extremely sleepy.  I feel like I’ve been run over by a Mack truck with all those medications coursing through my veins – extremely fatigued.  It will take about 24 hours for them to get back out of my system my doctor told me.

Sharyna was right in the comments about my brother.  He doesn’t know what is going on.  Dad told him I was off my rocker – acting crazy and refusing my medications.  He was only trying to help me.  My brother asked me many questions about today’s symptoms on the ride to Dr. Kamath’s office this morning.  Many medical terms were blurt out by him as he listened and I talked.  I think he is gaining a better understanding of what is going on.  He is probably one of the most conscientious doctors you would ever meet and would never prescribe me medications frivolously.   

Defeated…

I just took the rest of the day off from work – my supervisor being very kind, nice, and supportive about my “crisis” as she put it.  “I will see you in the morning sweetheart,” she told me.  I did get all the carts caught up before I left, though, thankfully, and she thanked me as well. Dad and my brother came to work to get me to go get my injection at Dr. Kamath’s office, dad calling ahead to ready them, and dad also made me take my usual medications prescribed by Dr. Kern – my brother writing a prescription for them.  I just couldn’t fight it any longer.  I feel so defeated as if I am giving up my life. I just couldn’t take dad being mad at me for anymore.  I just love him so much.  He made so many threats last night and it scared me.  Threats I didn’t write about. Threats of court ordered mental incompetence and he has the money and clout to do it.

I am going to continue to work fulltime not giving up.  I will see how I do on all these medications again. Maybe I am mentally ill as I was feeling what could be best described as very crazy this morning – my mind racing and my heart palpitating – that nemesis anxiety as strong as ever.   I kept hearing cicadas calling this early morning in the dark and they don’t start until the sun comes up and is bright.

And Then There was Caramel…

“Let’s name her Caramel,” mom said last night on the phone of my new puppy.

Mom has traditionally named all our dogs over the years including Maggie.  I loved the name and told mom that was also the title of my favorite Suzanne Vega song.  Tonight, dad is bringing mom, my brother, and my nieces over to see her and Maggie. I am now back in the good graces of my family for taking my old regimen of medications.

“I still can’t believe you paid $250 dollars for a dog,” mom said amused.

“I just had to have a Boston Terrier,” I told her in my defense. “Boston’s just have so much personality.”

“Are you coming over to get your diet Sprite at 4am?” mom then asked.

“I wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world,” I replied.

Mom told me she loved me and that she would put the drinks out right away, and we got off the phone.

Exploring My Mental Illness…

It is so defeating to admit again you might be mentally ill. I was doing so well there for so long. Maybe the catalyst for my problems this morning was the cessation of my Risperdal a few days ago.  Maybe I am going to have to take an antipsychotic to keep my symptoms at bay.  I was so excited with hopes to get out of the mental health system – hoping I was wrongly diagnosed or that I had been miraculously cured.

I woke up this morning with my heart just pounding furiously in my chest – that anxiety ever as acute as in the past.  I assume as my medication levels continued to drop that I began hearing things – delusions of insects in the night.  It was disconcerting and disappointing to be hearing cicadas at 6am when there was only a sliver of light on the horizon.  I wanted to panic and get in my car and drive home.  I hung in there finishing gathering my carts before I took action.  It was a very hard thing to do.  I played too fast and too loose with my medications it seems.

What does this bode for the future?  I will most likely feel that fatigue and drowsiness I have experienced for years on these higher levels of Risperdal. I will have to go back to seeing Dr. Kern for my father to be happy – my mother’s doctor as well.  I will have to take my Klonopin again regularly to control the anxiety I feel is partly induced by my antipsychotic. I will continue to work fulltime though if I can with the hopes of being off disability in May – keeping my health insurance by paying the premium for Medicare when I get off.  This is just a minor setback and I will have to make a few concessions for my family’s sake to keep them happy and for my mental health as well. I fear I will never be out from under my father’s grasp fully and just need to resign myself to this predicament.  He is one of the most determined persons I have ever met and never, never gives up on a cause for which he thinks he is right. It is these traits for which he has managed to build a million dollar business over these past thirty years – this obsessive need to control, manage, and oversee.  I truly believe he does love me, but it is exasperating the way he goes about it. .