Friday, December 19, 2008

One last salute before we sink. (Day 15)

Tonight was the roughest night I've experienced since I've started taking the Lamictal's. The strange thing is the coincidence of it, as well.

See, today I started the new dosage of 50mg's.

But I don't feel that the new dosage had anything to do with how the night went.

But for the first time in a very, very long time I was crushed by something someone had said to me.

I felt weak, worthless, and absolutely like I am nothing.

My Uncle came to visit tonight, and he explained how he'd felt I was nothing but a waste of life. Every shitty thing he felt towards me, he made abundantly clear tonight.

The strangest thing happened. My Mother and I don't get along well often, and my Uncle is the only blood relative her and I have. She loves him very, very much...but for the first time long as I can remember she stood up for me.

But that feeling of uselessness, and worthlessness...that still lingers heavily on my mind.

Being told that I was young, and needn't worry about my health, and should be out there procreating with my "sweetie" and...all these things.

Theres a target on my forehead, and all I feel like is a complete loser.

I have no idea if Days Gone By will continue henceforth.

Mostly because I feel like chasing this dream is a worthless expenditure of my time.

I have no idea if I'll continue taking these pills. I just want to get better, but at what cost?

I want to follow my heart, feel it beating in my chest like a diesel engine singing in the rain, and know that if I never stop I'll never freeze. I don't want to look back...

But right now I can't even see ahead.

I felt so childish accepting to take these pills tonight, that I'm not even sure I can validate the process any further.

Tonight will be a long night. A lot of soul-searching...if theres even that much left.

So...if this is it, thanks for reading.

If not....well;

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I don't wanna be alone at night, I'm gonna walk with the zombies, baby. (Day 14)

Like it or not, come tomorrow the dosage is upped to 50mg's. What I'm really hoping for is that the side effects aren't noticeable, like now. If they exist...I don't even notice them anymore and I'm okay with that.

I'm more anxious than anything for the next appointment with the doctor. I want to see what else is going to get thrown my way, and I want to see how I'm going to react to it.

The thing is, I'm not sure where her stance is on me drinking. With New Years looming in the distance, I'd kind of like to have an answer, but the thing is...wouldn't she explicitly tell me not too if it were a problem? But then again...she never really told me much about the side effects of Lamictal. Which is fine, I could have just as easily asked, but the whole scenario was quite odd.

She wasn't even in the same room as I was. She did the evaluation via webcam, which is cool and all, but I kind of wish she could've been there at this point, in retrospect. There was another lady in the room taking notes the whole time, and it made me very uncomfortable the entire time.

I just felt outnumbered, and it's from an experience like that one that I really realized that there is no possible way I could ever do something like group therapy. I'd rather converse with the voices in my head, cause at least I know every body involved and theres no need for name tags and oreos and black coffee.

I wouldn't even have to wear really, I'm all in.

I'd like nothing more than to be able to move, now. Out of here and up to the Valley, or into California. Just a change of pace, but not too far away in case something happens like the last time.

I like the congestion that comes with big cities. I like the sprawling mass, and the seas of humanity fighting upstream battles every day, like trout without a purpose or calling other than to deposit seed and feed bears.

Hopefully this book is finished soon. I really hope it does well enough to justify another book at least. I really don't want to get a real job. I'd rather play kiss the cattle guard on a train.

Thats all I've got for tonight. I'm kind of tired and want to finish watching a movie staring Will Smith that allegedly hasn't quite made it's way to theaters yet. Awesome!

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This is my body, this is the blood I found on my hands after I wrote this album. (Day 13)

Tomorrow is the final day of the 25mg dosage, and I think I'm about as prepared as I can be. Who knows?

Right now though, I feel extremely low.

See, I like to pretend I'm a writer, and for the better part of a year I've been working on a series of short stories for a book. And to be quite honest, I'm nothing but completely satisfied with every single one of the stories that are finished, which...has never happened before, for me.

Part of the conflict stems from a time frame I'd set for myself, which was to be done before 2009. Not edited and everything, just the content written and finished.

See the other day I got the idea for two new short stories, both are outlined and I know exactly where I want to go with them. One is titled, "South Paw" and the other, "Chet".

And where the main conflict comes, is with the content. It has the potential to hurt people I care about, to be divisive and polarizing in a way that just wouldn't be worth it.

But I've always been able to push whatever envelope I could, to not just cross any lines, but emphatically jump over them and take my stance. But now I feel like I've compromised something I felt I never could. Because of this...I feel this could be the end of me attempting to be a writer, and move on to something completely different.

To be completely honest, I wish to God I'd never had this idea.

And I know I could decide right now not to write the story, and be nothing short of happy.

But in doing so, being torn up so much because of the content...I'm not sure I'm even fit anymore to even fucking attempt anything. If you bend on one thing, then why not go back and take out everything else objectionable?

If I do decide to write can I do so and feel honest about it?

All I can do now is second guess myself.

And all I can think of is that...maybe it's time to hang it up.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There slipping it in your drink when you're not looking. (Day 12)

If I didn't have this blog with the little counter up-top, I'm not so sure I'd even know how long it's been since I started taking them. It's felt like a life time, and in all actuality it's been less than two weeks.

However, in the next two days is when the Lamictal is supposed to enter the bloodstream. That's also when I begin doubling the dosage.

I can't really say I'm looking forward to it with open arms, either.

The side effects prior to this kind of sucked, and to think of them in terms of being magnified,'s not one of my favorite thoughts or the most popular aspect awaiting me.

But every day I seem to bide my time, and try to do a thousand things at once so I don't wind up wracking myself over and over about whats to come, or how long this road really may be.

One of my closest friends, Jeremiah (or JJ for short). He's a Christian musician, and a network administrator. He recently released a CD that he put about a years worth of work into when he had the time, titled, "Loved". It's for free, with an option to throw him a little coin if you feel so inclined.

The thing I've always liked about JJ is that while a lot of 'religious' people tend to be so off the wall radical and closed minded, that's never been what he--or his family are about. All of them are great people, and it's always a blast to spend time with them.

They are quick to make the distinction that they aren't religious; that they're faithful. On a number of times they've displayed their near-contempt for religion, as it distracts too heavily from God, and focuses more on Hell, fire and brimstone. I have so much respect for that, and them as a whole.

We may have opposing beliefs, but it really just doesn't matter with them.

I've always know JJ to plagued with quite a few mental health issues. As long as I've known him, he's had to take more pills in one day than most people take in a month. Tonight I went with him to go pick up a prescription, and something that struck me to the chord is when he stated, "I can't wait for the day I don't have to take medication any longer."

He's had some serious bouts with depression, and a lot of the time it's because the medication counteracts another medication he's taking, or his diet isn't balanced enough, or he isn't getting the right amount of sleep--to be honest, thats completely scary to me.

It seems to be this provincial balancing act that I'm not sure I'm equipped enough to handle. As it is, I'm struggling to find an appropriate time start taking these starter meds as it is; but when the dosage is up in the 200mg range, I have to make sure without a doubt theres a set schedule.

And it has to be in the morning.

So this morning I wound up taking it at about 11, which I guess is still fairly late.

But what happens when I become dependent on this chemical, or any others? It's a cause for concern, because what if I break that order?

I've seen what breaking the order can do to people. Where they have to take certain pills that literally renders them incapacitated; like a walking zombie. The Walking Dead.

Thats always been my main concern with these medications.

For those of you who might be wondering where "Days Gone By" comes from...well, I'll go ahead and put that mystery to rest.

While it in fact serves as a pretty straight-forward title, of these days having gone by it's also a reference to a comic book done by Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard, and Robert Kirkman.

The title is borrowed (or stolen, however you wanna look at things) from the first trade they put out (for all of you who comics aren't your thang, a trade is a collection of the comics at that point put together. Also can be referred to ((more popularly)) as a graphic novel) titled, "Days Gone Bye".

The Walking Dead in the beginning was pretty much your basic 'zombie apocalypse'. The origins of this story are very similar to the beginning scene in '28 Days Later' where the main character of the Walking Dead, Officer Rick Grimes awakens in an abandoned hospital.

Without getting too much into it (I highly suggest picking it up, even if you aren't into comic books, it's just an amazing story) he, and a band of other survivors wind up living in a prison during this zombie apocalypse.

But what I fear most about these drugs is losing base with who it is that I really am. That this time next year, two years from now I'll only be a semblance of who I was going through the motions doped up on anti-depressants and whatever else gets crammed down my throat.

Thats something I definitely don't want to happen.

Even though there are times where I can't hardly function properly, it's still me at the beginning and end of each of those spells. And if I ever got to where it wasn't me anymore, I'd stop immediately and split with the consequences to come.

But I'm worried I won't notice any of the changes that may come.

That's the purpose of Days Gone By. To look back at it six months from now, a year from now and re-evaluate my decisions and see if they were the proper ones to make.

I'm worried about losing my passion for writing. To be honest, with DGB, I've had more output on a consistent basis than I think I may have ever had.

I'm noticing though, that it is becoming easier for me to concentrate. To not lose thought, or get distracted, and that completely gives me hope that maybe things are gonna work out well in the end.

I'm gonna leave you with what sold me on picking up the Walking Dead.

It's probably one of the most poignant looks at our social existences I've ever seen. I'd truly rank it up there with anything George Orwell (Animal Farm, 1984) ever did.

"How many hours are in a day
when you don't spend half of them
watching television?

When is the last time
any of us
worked to get something that we wanted?

How long has it been
since any of us really
something that we WANTED?

The world we knew is gone

The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been
replaced by a world of survival and responsibility.

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept
the globe causing the dead to rise and feed on the living.

In a matter of months society has crumbled,

no government,
no grocery stores,

no mail delivery,
no cable TV.

In a world ruled by the dead
we are forced to finally start living.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Maybe I could go blind faster staring at the sun. (Day 11)

Chance is a difficult concept to really and truly rely on.

Whoever thought up of a coin toss was either a sadistic glutton for self-punishment, or a sadistic genius.

Really, all it can take is a coin toss, and your entire world is suddenly flipped on it's ear.

Maybe a coin flip just serves as a painful reminder that humans aren't as in control of their destiny as they'd like to, or want to believe.

Today is Day 11 in "Days Gone By". In three more days I'll be doubling the dosage and taking the next step of this seemingly arduous and tedious process. And even after this inaugural run with Lamictal, that doesn't even, in anyway shape or form, signify that things with medication are figured out.

Apparently having a crazy brain is as unique as a snowflake; each straight jacket won't fit just the same as someone else's. I'm like a rainbow--a manic, bipolar rainbow...only, instead of a pot o' gold at the end of this ray of hope, theres a big swirling mass of super crazy.

Taste the rainbow.

It's frustrating in this sense. I don't think I much appreciate being a guinea pig. I wish that instead of throwing billions of dollars into research into what can make an old man prime for sexin', they'd point that gun towards a little bit more important issues. I mean, not that when I get to that age I won't feel differently when I need a blue bomber, but for the time being I'd like some respite.

What I mean to say is that millions and millions of people go undiagnosed with some sort of mental malady, and continuously feel like there isn't any help whatsoever. Especially damaging is when it happens in youth, because teen years are pretty damn difficult if you don't know what going on. What, with the flood of hormones everywhere, periods, and boners being erected every whence way.

But I firmly believe mental disorders become cemented in people who suffer from these diseases in those prime teenage years. And I think very often they go undiagnosed because it's easy, so easy to to write off actions of depression as something thats happening because of a hormonal change.

Maybe just look at what music they are listening too, and how they dress. If they are dressed with black eye-liner and tight clothing and know every word to the new Fall Out Boy...chances are you've bred an ignorant child. Perhaps that conversation you had with your mate 16 years ago about having the "A-Word" has come back to bite you on the ass. They might not truly have any mental disorders...besides being stupid.

If they have more popped collars than a frat boy's wedding (or commitment ceremony. Yeah, I said it.) and swear by Jack Johnson and're child is a douche bag. That in itself is something to worry about, sure, but they might not be a'swingin from an old oak tree anytime soon.

If your kid is hopelessly white, but thinks TI is some ghetto prophet and their pants could fit the late Yokozuna, and their jersey collection could clothe the Patriots...well, probably just confused.

However if their rocking long black hair, and a Deicide or Cattle Decapitation shirt...chances are you two should have a nice, long heart to heart.

I'm not saying music or general tastes in pop culture dictates how they feel emotionally, but a lot of the time it's more than just a phase or something thats appreciated for it's beat. Connection, synergy, a place to go.

And it bothers me that we have more cut and dried treatments constipation than we do mental disorders. No one seemingly cares about this, maybe because thats not where the money is, or because it isn't something that you can physically see.

Theres so little understanding, and what worries me is that in order to get the right medication you have to go through a long list of possibilities. How many people have given up hope because a) they felt like they'd never see any relief, b) became fed up with feeling like a guinea pig, c) too much time passed and eventually gave in to the pressures of hurting, or d) their symptoms were heightened by any side-effects these medications can cause?

Lamictal has a funny little side-effect of two skin rashes that can kill you.

There are anti-depressants that can depress you? Come on, man. That's like having cholesterol medication that clogs up your arteries, or nicotine gum that really enhances the experience of smoking.

Time should be spent on this. Not just because it's something that directly affects me; but because its something that affects so many people and goes undetected. Society can make you feel bad for feeling bad, too. Cheer up, sunshine heres another crappy movie. Get over it. This too shall pass.

How small does that make some people feel? You feel childish for being depressed, and get conned into thinking you're being immature for having something last longer than a day. Instead of people taking appropriate notice of something that should be noticed (not to be confused with blowing an actual bad day out of proportion.) but withdrawing from people, fatigue, etc.

The medication is yet another obstacle as well.

I don't see why, even if it's 'taboo' to pursue the idea of Universal Health care in the States, why mental health care shouldn't be free. What good is it finding a solution to your problem, but having dealt with an extremely hefty bill amassed along the way?

It's a lot, I mean a LOT of hit or miss with this specific type of medication. Yet another reason to work diligently for faster solutions in this field would simply be for the economic strain.

As I've previously mentioned, I'm on the State of Arizona's Government supplied health care system known as ACCHHHS.

A problem I ran into, though, was that ACCHHHS wouldn't cover Lamictal. For a moment I had no idea what I was going to do, until I thought to ask how much generics were.

"400 dollars."

"I meant to ask how much for the generics, I'm sorry."

"That is for the generics."

You mean to tell me that something that might not be approved by your health insurance if you're lucky enough to have it, and is just a "test run treatment" cost that much? Who can afford it?

It's unacceptable, and more research needs to be done.

And not even just for pharmaceuticals: Herbal treatments, education on how exercise can help, and all other alternatives. I feel the Government owes it to it's people to make sure they can do all they can to keep them at least mentally stable. It's the very least they can do, otherwise why do we even bother electing them?

Luckily for me, a sister program for ACCHHHS, called Simpatico, covered me for the medication. Otherwise, I have no idea what I'd do.

So maybe it's all a flip of the coin, when it's all boiled down to it.

Maybe the best things in life can be decided by simply landing on 'heads'. Who knows?

It was a coin toss that made me finally swallow my pride and seek help. It was a coin toss that kept me on edge all last night.

Call it, friendo.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rejoice the bed you sleep in is burning, oh rejoice the sky is fucking falling.(Day 10)

The one thing about the lamictals is that they do curb your appetite. I mean pretty much completely for a good portion of a day or so.

Which sucks, because I have an inherent love for cereal, and especially right now...Lucky Charms.

True love is cereal in a bowl.

Lately I've been so confused about everything. I just don't care about much anymore, because what I do put myself much of the time it'll blow up in my face.

Maybe my problem is that when I get into something, I put everything I've got into it.

So much of the time, I feel like I've got something to offer...and then I realize, hey wait...not really, actually. Back to ground zero, and all I got was this pile of rubble.

It's strange for me to look back a few years ago, and even fathom that who I was, was actually me. Maybe it wasn't so bad.

I'd fell into a routine. Wake up, bowl of cereal, work, hang out with the Departed, come home, video games and sleep. It felt so dull and dead to me at the time, but looking back on it...maybe thats what life is all about.

Maybe everything isn't so hard if you just take a number, stand in line with your mouth shut and let someone else do the thinking for you.

Maybe thats the best I can hope for from this medication.

I just don't want to go through another big hurt. The last time I did, I wound up in Albany. But now...fuck, I'm just running out of places to run. I'm not sure I've got enough gas left in the reserves to do so.

New Years is one of my favorite times of year. It's the transition from something to the other. And realistically, you may think..."oh, it's just a day."

What a difference, mentally, this day can do. 2007 was one of the best years of my life.

But when that clock flipped over to '08, it's like a switch went off and a gala of shit poured down on me.

The past two years I spent New Years alone, trying to make sense of myself. But thats completely impossible to do, I've begun to realize. The truth is, it takes another piece of the puzzle to complete the picture.

But my edges aren't cohesive with anyone else's.

I get so close sometimes, but then ends. Maybe I was never close at all. Maybe I never even stepped on the field.

This year I won't be spending my New Years alone. I've got three of my closest relatives stopping by, and we're gonna play, "spin the sky, eat the floor."

I look forward to seeing you Uncle Jack, Cousin Jim and brother Johnnie. It's gonna be a hoot!

There's this song though, by the Alkaline Trio called, "We Can Never Break Up". The lyrics to me are completely the sweetest gesture I've ever heard in my life. God knows Dan Andriano can craft an amazing pop song.

"We've only got one choice, so lets keep making it and making it. Making it, and making it. [...] You're like a test I can't fuck up, you're like a song in my head, like a la la la la la. You're like a dream, don't wake me up. And if I never see the light again, I guess they can put me in the ground with a smile on my face."

I'm not an average guy by any stretch of the imagination. I like MMA, sure. I love sports as a whole, and I'm fairly active...but God, my Dad must be so depressed I don't know how to use screwdriver.

Well, it's not THAT bad.

But I've never taken advantage of a drunk girl. I'm not the guy that usually has an agenda of a "hit and run" as it were, but still I wind up at the back burner in literally every situation.

Which is fine. Cards dealt, play the hand.

But eventually everyone bails, to quote Dr. Cox.

One thing I've always wanted...

I'm always waiting for the sky to fall. I'm always waiting for it all to end, because to me the apocalypse would be something to see. You wanna think that Obama's little victory speech was something to behold...

You read about what was possibly the ending, but God damn get to see the end. Maybe thats the best any of us can hope for.

I realize today's update went up at a rather odd hour, but I guess eating Lucky Charms prompted me to update before the butt-crack of some ungodly hour.

At least I'll always have me Lucky Charms.

Until tomorrow.