Tag Archives: writing

Casket

Misery’s afoot
And she’s slinking through doors.
I try to retreat
But my curtain
Doesn’t reach the floor.
There must be
A place for all this pain.
It hides
Within me
Memorizing my name.
That old tattered
Chest black as ages at best
Has swept through
The years and found me in here.
Is it
Within me or do I
Hide within?
Is it
The darkness
Or am I
Full of sin?
Fuck.
There’s no place
Left for empty spaces.
I
Am no being
Only emptiness weaving.

Hope is gone.
Days are long.
Someone tell me
I’m wrong.
The ages
Are years
Only fueled
By tears.

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New Blog

I started a blog dedicated to more personal stuff. Poetry on this blog you’re reading, journaling on the other. Being bipolar as I am, it’s only obvious that some posts will be despondent, others filled with light. I’m like a box of chocolates. Truly can’t want for that box of light.
I would truly appreciate a follow: Perpetual Hallways.

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A Prayer

There will be no rest here. Horror overwhelms like nerve gas. Agent blue. Chills crawl up my spine. I’m torn between some sick elation and the monster of every day discomfort. I’m lost. Lost in my head. Lost in my books. Lost in my own house. Fear lurks in every corner. And no, the natron didn’t help. Not one bit.
I’ve become blind to responsibility. I haven’t showered in days. My stomach is as empty as my bank account, which just so happens to be in the red. I have no desire for food. I need clarity and light. These things I simply cannot locate and if I did, would I know what I had? Searing questions. Is it worth it to go on? To seek out elusive dreams? Or am I chasing nightmares? Perhaps I’m in hell. That would explain so much of what’s gone wrong. What’s still going wrong. And thus an atheist cries out to god to save him.

–J

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Line

Separation is key.
I cast a line thru paper
To break up the verses.
Writing is free.
I cast a line thru paper
While in my mind a line rehearses.
The line is me.
I hold no substance
And I’m too drained to find a rhyme.
Separation is key.
In these lines I’ll never find
Any semblance of divine.
I commit a verse to paper,
And then I cast a line.

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halfhearted

Darkness is a voice. It inhabits empty things. Hear it. Repeatedly screaming my name as she’s dragged away. Blood dripping. Choking. Crying. Blind. Swallowed up.
She didn’t write me until he was dead. He would have kept me safe.  Instead I’m exposed, to epistolary efforts that unwind in the soul. Words of jagged scars and acrostics and sadness and want.
Rejection cast a shadow on my every move. Confusion dimmed her eyes. Her voice became a whisper. On and on. Needing me more than a child could provide. What was real? Until she died. Still I hear her calling. The saddest sound.
I never claimed her ashes.

This is my story that should be told. In part. Partial. Complete. My existence. Defined by what’s not there. Are you there? I don’t believe you’ll ever know what it really means to be alone.
You see I can’t stop and here I’ve already started.
Sweet release of a lifetime of grief.
Too many extensive mentions for a note to be complete.

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Liaisons

Life for me has been a rollercoaster ride these past couple of weeks. I spent a few days struggling with hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. This week has been a lot better, but today isn’t as great. I feel I might be slipping again. I see it coming and sadly there is nothing I can do.

I made a friend here on WordPress after I got out of the hospital. I’ve been talking to her a lot about my past, my present, and what goes on in my head. I’ve been learning about her too. She is really an amazing person. She’s from the Northwest but just happened to be visiting relatives here in Kentucky this week. I drove to meet her and we spent the day together in the park, just talking. We had pizza and concluded our night laying in the grass watching planes fly overhead. It was truly a good day. We’re only friends and can’t be anything more. She lives so far away. Still, I feel close to her. We talk almost every day. Suffice it to say she has saved my life already. Having her around is a good thing.

Although Michelle broke up with me a couple weeks ago, she still keeps coming round. She seems to think she can just see me when she feels like it and ignore me the rest of the time. I tolerated it for a short while but I think it’s gone far enough. It’s me who’s going to have to break up with her now. I’ve been putting it off. I guess I’m waiting until she contacts me again. Maybe it will be never and I won’t have to deal with it. It’s tempting to be her bitch and let her keep playing this game so I don’t have to be alone. I’m trying to maintain some sort of self-respect. A monumental task.

Not much else to talk about. I’ve been trying to spend more time in the woods, but it’s been cold again. Better luck next week.

–J

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I Miss. . .

There are so many things I miss these days. I miss my mother, I miss my father. I miss warm walks in the woods. I miss evenings in the truck with my friend Brian. I miss me when I’m feeling myself and the things I could do when I was whole and alive and healthy. I miss the warm summer air and the smell of the trees in the forest. I miss Briley and her gentle touch, when I gave her my all without regret. I miss my home, which is wholly the same, minus that feeling that things are okay. I miss days on the carport simply enjoying the warm air and the birds singing. I miss my heart that was vulnerable, letting it all in with doors wide open.
Now the doors are shut.
There is too much at stake to admit wordless feeling. I’m too old to care and too young to survive such an onslaught of the cruelty of reality.

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Threesome

Well, yesterday was the big day. I finally saw the psychiatrist. He was a very round man, with a short white beard, wearing a dress shirt and suspenders. The suspenders only accentuated his largeness by drawing an arc around his basketball shaped form. All in all I suppose he was alright. He talked about his family a lot. I just listened and nodded and waited for him to get on with it. He did listen to what I had to say. We settled on doubling my effexor and risperdal doses, and changing from trazodone over to amitriptyline, which is supposed to prevent migraines rather than cause them. Of course trazodone is supposed to do the same thing, but it’s been the opposite in my case. Want to know my number one migraine trigger? Cinnamon. It doesn’t take a lot of it. It seems I’ve digressed.
I’m picking up my new scripts today and really trying to maintain hope.

I’ve decided to skimp on sleep for a few days. Over the last week and a half I’ve slept nine plus hours consistently. It obviously hasn’t been good for my mood or my symptoms. I’m hoping it will boost my mood to a manageable level rather than cause absolute mania. We will see. I only know that anything’s better than the way I’ve been feeling, and something simply has to change or I really am going to lose it. I’m only 17% kidding, which means it’s pretty serious.
I managed to stay up til sunrise this morning. I took an early morning walk in the woods. It was great. I need to make these ventures a daily habit, weather permitting. It’s very refreshing out there in the not-so-deep wilderness. The forest is a place where my mind can just take a break from it all. Rudie and I like to pretend we’re wild. He’s better at it than I am.
After my walk I got an hour long nap and woke up not long ago. It’s almost like a spring day outside, which makes me a little nostalgic as it invigorates me. It’s a rather complex feeling.

I don’t suppose I have any bad news today. Does that make for a dull post?

–Sleepless

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nt555555555555554 (Says Rudie)

My days have not been easy since coming home from the hospital. After turning away from suicide I’ve had to start rebuilding my life. Not much to work with, really. Somehow I’ve managed to get my house cleaned up. I’ve felt a little better with all that dust and clutter gone. I still remain in a moderate state of depression. I’m taking all my medications as prescribed. I asked my doctor to take me off the soma. It’s all too tempting, and I’d managed to develop a little addiction. No withdrawals as far as I can tell. Sleeping good on the trazadone. It’s often prescribed to prevent nightmares. Soon after I started taking it, the nightmares and cold sweats went away. I’m thankful for that.
Yesterday morning when I woke up, I felt just like I’d chugged two bottles of cough medicine. Not a feeling I was enjoying. I took an extra risperdal and felt better within an hour. I think I’m going to ask the psychiatrist to double my dose. What I’m on isn’t cutting it anymore. I’m also going to speak with him about how I’ve been feeling. Still, I’m afraid we may have reached a limit as far as what medication is capable of doing for me. I’m on a lot of shit as it is.
Loneliness is yet another issue I’ve been dealing with. This morning, I sent Michelle a text. I’m desperately hoping she’ll take me back. I know she just can’t handle me when I feel my worst. I’m willing to accept that. She’ll just have to stay away from me when I’m feeling psychotic. I doubt she’s willing to take me back anyway. It probably doesn’t matter.
Thankfully, the sun is out today, and I’m in my right mind–for the most part. I continue to feel a little off. Colors are fascinatingly bright. My consciousness seems to have moved half an inch to the left. It’s hard to explain. So long as my symptoms don’t get any worse, I’ll be able to manage.
I’m sure I had more to say, but my short term memory is experiencing glitches. No choice but to stop here.

–J

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The Behavioral Health Ward — What It’s Like

The first time I was admitted into the hospital, I posted a few journal entries from my stay. They were mostly personal and didn’t go into detail about what actually goes on in the looney bin. I’ve been to a State Hospital once, and twice now I’ve been in the regular hospital’s behavioral health ward. Things are pretty much the same in both places. If I’d never been to these places, I think I would still be curious what it’s like, so I’m sharing it with you all.
Upon arrival, they check your vitals and go over a questionnaire concerning your mental state and past history with mental illness. Then, they take you into a little room, where you’re weighed, and then asked to strip down for a contraband search. There’s no touching and no cavity search, thank god.
Once you’re cleared they take you to your room. The rooms have two beds. I had a room to myself for the first couple of days. It was nighttime when I arrived. They gave me trazodone to help me sleep. Over the next few days I would receive a valid prescription for the stuff, which I’m now taking every night. Stuff works like a charm, though I think it’s causing me migraines.
Every morning at five-fucking-AM, they come into your room and check your vitals. This was usually the point where I couldn’t go back to sleep. If that didn’t get me up, they came back round at six to give me my neurontin. They liked to be super punctual with medications. When sleep was out of the question, I would get up and have a cup of coffee that they made available at all times, although, get this, they only serve decaf. Both a wise idea and an effective form of torture.
I would wait, and read, and wait for breakfast to roll around at 7:30. The food wasn’t half bad and I had suddenly developed quite an appetite. They serve one regular, caffeinated cup of coffee with breakfast.
Every day you receive a menu on a piece of paper. You’re able to mark what you’d like to eat the next day. I would mark two cups of coffee with breakfast and from that point on the caffeine withdrawals weren’t as bad. I would also request a cup with lunch and dinner as well. The boredom in that place is so overwhelming, that eating was one of the only things I had to look forward to. You get three meals a day and a snack at 9:00. I ate more in the hospital than I had in months. In fact I’ve gained four pounds since my stay. I needed to.
Every twenty minutes, a nurse’s assistant makes her rounds and checks each patient, marking on a sheet of paper what everyone’s up to and when. Even at night, they come round and open the door to your room to make sure you’re safe. Luckily I was able to sleep through most of it. Nightmares woke me occasionally, soaked in sweat and freezing to death. Sometimes I would get out of bed to read, sometimes I could fall back asleep.
To sidetrack a little, I was reading Armor by John Steakley. A very appropriate read considering the circumstances. Science Fiction isn’t my preferred genre, but a good friend loaned it to me, promising it was worth a read. I give it a seven out of ten. I finished the entire book within four days. The ending is well worth it.
Morning medications were given at about nine. That was when I received my lithium and effexor.
The psychiatrist came in at about this time. There were two or three psychiatrists in charge of about twenty patients. It always took a while for my turn to come around. I spent about ten minutes a day with the psychiatrist, tops. The first day, I requested to be put on trazodone officially. He complied. He also doubled my effexor dosage, and quadrupled my lithium dose. That means 75 mg effexor, 1200 mg lithium. Even with my new dosages, I noticed no change. I was in a state of despair. If I wasn’t reading, I was staring at the floor. They had television, but they would put it on the most boring channels imaginable. They kept the remote behind the desk. If you wanted the channel changed, you had to ask. We were treated as if we were twelve years old and we were only allowed to watch certain things.
At some point a social worker called me into a room and asked me several questions about my mental state, my home life, my values and my views on suicide. Most of my answers were lies.
We had group therapy four or five times a day. No one forced you to go, but they say part of your treatment includes group therapy, so I would participate in order to be discharged sooner. It was more boring than staring at the floor. I learned nothing I didn’t already know.
The boredom in that place is indescribable. Absolutely nothing to do. They had cards, puzzles, and board games, but none of it appealed to me. I wanted nothing to do with the people there. I spent most of my first day in bed, either reading, napping, or staring at a wall. I felt so trapped. I missed home. I worried about my cats. I hated that place with every fiber of my being.
Lunch came and went, along with more group therapy sessions. Meds were passed out at some point. This was when I received my next lithium and neurontin dosage. Nothing was helping.
The people there ranged from seemingly normal, to obviously insane. There were a few instances of attempted violence from some of the patients. One man had to be strapped down to a bed. One woman, somewhere in her sixties, with long frizzy hair and a wisp of it always in her face, insisted on talking to me. She only mumbled and I was never sure what she was saying. Every time she saw me, she asked me what my name was. I avoided her as much as I could. Another patient, a young man in his early twenties, was in a manic state and never knew when to shut up. Everyone there tried to avoid him. He was kicked out of several group therapy sessions for his constant running of the mouth.
Dinner came and went, more meds were passed out. At that point I wasn’t due for any more drugs, so I was skipped. More group therapy. More despair, more reading, more staring at the floor. Snacks at nine. Night meds about 9:30. This was when I was given my last lithium dose, neurontin, risperdal, soma, and trazodone. Considering I had a full stomach when I was given the meds, it took the soma and trazodone a while to kick in and make me sleepy. I stayed up until about eleven, which is when the nurses dimmed the lights and turned off the television. I went to bed and read for about an hour, then finally fell asleep, hopeless as ever.
The next morning I woke up feeling fucking fantastic. I was, dare I say, happy. I felt my whole body vibrating in the most wonderful way. I got out of bed humming a little tune. I left my room and actually socialized with some of the other patients. I immediately made friends with a two different people with bipolar disorder. A guy and a girl. They were actually really cool.
When I saw the psychiatrist, I told him how great I was feeling. I thought for sure he’d discharge me from the hospital. No such luck. He wasn’t pleased with what I was saying. He told me, with bipolar disorder, the last thing you want is a sudden change of mood. Looking back, I think he was right. I wasn’t better, I was just manic. But goddamn, I felt so good. I wanted to hold on to that feeling. Psychiatrist cut my effexor dosage back down to 37.5 mg.
I had a good rest of my day with my new friends. I actually spoke up in group therapy. I didn’t hide in my room. I was singing happy songs. The world seemed so much brighter.
The next day, I was much more leveled out. Not overly ecstatic, not depressed, just normal. I still had plans of suicide, simply because I knew how temporary my happiness could be. My head was much more clear. I spent the day either reading or hanging out with my two new friends. Time was still moving torturously slow.
I believe it was that night I got a roommate. A man in his forties, with a contorted face that made him look like he was crying full-time. He immediately went to sleep in the middle of the day. He slept all that day, didn’t go to any group therapies, slept all night and most of the next day too. I was actually somewhat jealous that he could sleep through all the monotony and boredom. Turns out, he had just come from ICU as well. He had an incredibly low blood count and received two transfusions and a hefty dose of iron. His low blood was the reason he slept so much, and also the reason he was in the behavioral health ward. It was causing him to have irrational thoughts. The lucky bastard, was discharged the next day.  I went the next couple of days keeping up a happy, alert appearance, and telling the psychiatrist what he wanted to hear. Finally, five days after being admitted, he told me I could go home. I was ecstatic. I was ready to go through with my plans. The plans that are no longer to be executed.

Right now I’m still struggling a bit with my mood. I’m no longer as hopeless as I was, and I no longer plan to commit suicide, but I’m desperately looking forward to visiting my new psychiatrist on the fourth. I feel my medication still needs to be adjusted. I am hopeful that we can come up with a game plan.

All in all, the behavioral health ward, boredom aside, isn’t such an awful place. I was treated well. I was fed well. I made some new friends. The feeling of being trapped, though, is a real issue for me. I have nightmares about it. I’m praying that I never go back, though I’m wise enough to see that I may well end up there again. I know how capable I am of crashing hard into depression, or free-falling into total psychosis. I will not delude myself into thinking those things will never happen again. They’re guaranteed. The question is, how will I deal? How bad will it be? How often will it happen? Is there any hope for me at all?? Only time will tell.

–A MadMan

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