Sunday, November 14, 2010

Misplaced October

Where did it go?

I missed October due to illness. I was absent. And the dog didn't even eat my homework.

I was hospitalized at the end of September for a couple weeks, then went into Intensive Outpatient Treatment for a few weeks. So, after a promising year of writing, I missed a month. And I've been putting off writing at all for most of November.

But no more.

I'm back.

And I'm writing. I'm even better now than I was before. All around. I'm making strides to come in for a landing. I've been up in the skies for a while, and it's time I get grounded. In a good way.

This time, I was psychotic. A psychotic episode, to place neatly on my medical mantle, next to the McDonald's Student of the Week Awards. Yes, psychotic. I imagined myself a driver, a taxi cab sort of driver, like the beloved Robert DeNiro in his Taxi Cab movie. "You lookin' at me?"

Luckily. I have no access to weaponry. Guns kinda scare me. As they should everyone. Especially if you're on the wrong side of one.

I drove my wife's car to the gas station, and went to put in some gas, fill up a tank that was running on empty, on vapors. The low fuel light had come on, meaning-- you guessed-- I should get some gas before I found myself walking. So I went to a gas station. But I pulled in the wrong way, so that the gas cap on the car was on the opposite side of the gas pump.

So I looked around a bit, then got in the car and left.

I did this twice.

I envisioned myself as an undercover, secretive agent of something or other. I'm so creative when I go mad! I made it to the airport, picked up my wife and sister-in-law, and drove us all home.

Some time after that, the needle on the turntable of my mind started skipping.

My mind was skipping around like a waterbug. Things made sense to me, somehow. I couldn't explain it then, nor can I explain it now. But I was in the know, had it all figured out.

My wife noticed fairly quickly that I was awry in the head. That the chickens had flown the coop and the eggs they left behind were all hard-boiled. So she negotiated with me to go to the ER.

While in the ER, I thought we were there to get me better, which we were. But we hadn't just come from the Super Bowl, where the Raiders had won. (See? Really crazy thoughts!) Everybody in treatment at the ER I figured had been hurt somehow by the hazards of gathering 70-thousand people together, adding alcohol and stirring. So they hooked me up to numerous contraptions to try and figure what was going on with me.

Problems began for me when I had decided that I'd had my fill of my psychiatrist's plot to treat me for bipolar disorder. I was so frustrated with her that I took things into my own hands and stopped taking all of my medication. In the short term, this improved my life greatly. Suddenly, I was on top of my thoughts and dreams and was doing everything right. Life was a breeze, or a river that I was calmly floating in, not noticing the rapid changes in the current, as if I were headed towards a large waterfall.

We thwarted the fall and got me into treatment before things really fell apart. But as these things go, it was only the start of tweaked reality for me, as they tried to figure out what was wrong with me and started me on a new set of medications.

Also-- it should be noted that it wasn't just my decision to stop my meds. The doctor had said that I had to go to CDRP (Chemical Dependence Recovery Program) because I had started drinking again. I asked her what I should do about my medication, and she said she couldn't treat me if I was drinking, and that stopping drinking was my first priority. So I had gone to CDRP and started the program. I think my last couple blog entries alluded, if not explained that course of action. Well, it didn't go as smoothly as we would have liked, and I got bad advise on what to do. So I ended up in the psych hospital.

Funny how it makes so much sense in recollection. Hindsight highlights the road to recovery. We have to live in the other direction, though.

It took some time, but I got out of the psych ward and started IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), something I'm all too familiar with. It tests the patients of a rational being. If you're not crazy going in, you're sure to be crazy by the time IOP is done with you.

Okay, so that's a bit of hyperbole. But it makes you laugh. And a sense of humor is a strong, important tool to carry with you on these sort of journeys.

So I'm back home now, and I "graduated" for IOP last Friday. We had the "cap and straitjacket" pomp and circumstance and they gave me my release papers. My mother was so proud she couldn't stop sobbing. Again, hyperbole. But had she been there, I'm sure there would have been tears. Okay, so I'm not so sure. Now that I think about it, it was kinda goofy. The class clapped for me (most of them, anyway) and sent me off into the "Real World" with a lot of hope and glory.

But even I know that the real test is yet to come. I'm still unemployed, have limited responsibility, am fighting new side effects of the new medications I'm on that are still being titrated to get the most out of them for me, and I'm still sleeping way too much. I slept 17 hours last night/this morning.

The sleep thing has got to stop. I gotta get busy again, with my hopes and goals and possibilities.

So here's a first step. This is my blog. May you read it and hear my call. ACTION! Let's ride this wacky roller coaster!

I've got books to write. Lawns to mow. Theories to test. Wives-- er-- a wonderful wife to love and support anyway that I can. She certainly supports me. She has earned her sainthood. Again. She's the real deal. I am truly lucky and blessed. She makes me believe that there really is a God. Or Goddess. Something greater than ourselves, anyway.

So get a cookie, or some popcorn. Maybe a drink. This should be entertaining.


Farlar said...

Can I give you an assignment to keep writing and writing and writing? I suppose moderation is necessary for all things, but I am eager to lap up more words from your brain. I miss them when they go on sabbatical.

Gerri said...

Glad to have you back!

(t)om said...

Mmmm, popcorn.