Tuesday, July 23, 2013


While not my personal wish or preference, and my next-of-kin (Luke) knows this, there's always the remote possibility that my cremated remains might end up on the specifically-purchased waste of perfectly green land occupied by quite an impressive, 8' tall, cross-shaped marble statue engraved with the ancestral name, the initials signifying the first names of my great-grandparents, who came from Poland.

This gem of a ditty just got added today to the growing list of versions of songs which I do choose to have played at the memorial service celebrating (?) the vast contribution towards the greater good of humanity that will mark my earthly legacy, while my astral spirit soars to glory.

Except there wasn't any contribution, if you ask around. So just pretend.

It's often said that it's healthy to try and see yourself as the wonderful, beautiful, intelligent individual as others see you.

That it's mentally and emotionally wiser to discount the inner voice which can engulf with self-doubt, self-loathing, and a lack of confidence in favor of accepting the unique qualities and quirks that make one ONE. And in some way, each one of us is breathtakingly miraculous as bestowed upon us by the good Lord.

But wait.

No, you were right when we passed on the street. Perhaps you took a second glance, wondering, "Really? THAT'S The Offbeat Drummer? I thought she was headed to a Chase Bank interest rate protest." A bony but busty, sassy and smart girl on the cusp of getting things together got chunky & heavy again, draped a sash across her torso that said "LIABILITY" and was wearing this:

I'm just a walking dollar sign. Because my parent cosigned for one of my masters school loans, the living stipend you take out specifically so you don't HAVE to work while you go to school, I was not privy to such an honor as to be a joint account holer. What am I? Money.

Because part of being severely bipolar is overextending yourself with money, as I've said before (Stephen Fry's 14 iPods). Doing everything in excess. Yes, I mismanaged my finances in the past, but  I'm learning how to manage them wisely, though it takes a lot of habit-breaking and reversing maladaptive behaviors deeply ingrained in my psyche.

I'm not an asset, it would seem. I'm a risky investment deemed SO sick, so stupid, naysayers wage my incapacity to grow, learn, adjust and succeed an impossibility so overwhelming that, despite all that's well and good, the effort involved in hope will surely prove to be as improbable as winning the Power Ball. Ironically, it's been said that one might have greater odds at picking out 8 multi-million dollar numbers that match as randomly blown balls in a machine on television than of The Offbeat Drummer reincarnating life into the responsibility and success of middle age with a new career.

Hang on a sec. This is the future I *wish* I had....with Guy, of course. 

Aside from your children, who often idolized you, or your friends, who thought you were fun, or your spouse/partner, who put up with your crap for however long, think about the people who are supposed to be your endless cheerleaders with unconditional love. Hint: They've known you the longest, they chose their words and wisdom with which to form your core value system, you spend your entire life attempting to measure up to what and how they hoped you'd turn out, and technically, they'd like your life to turn out slightly less shitty than theirs did.

Well, the person who I know conclusively would champion me and my ambitions died a long time ago. My ultimate guardian angel.  

That ALL leaves me with hearing such statements as these at present:

"You're a fuck up."
"Your blog is nothing. It means nothing."
"You're a dreamer. That's what you are."
"You're a child." 
"You're totally out of control."
"I don't care how many degrees you get, or what kind of doctor you are....YOU WILL NEVER 'BE' ANYTHING."

Well, THAT'S encouraging! 

I can completely hear in the back of my head my father labeled in a similar, if not exact way. Because the habit is to project onto me the illness of my father. Because I'm "just like him." And who WAS he, really?  

I hate wakes. HATE THEM. I understand their function in the family healing process, saying goodbye metaphorically and being a supportive source "if the family needs anything," but for God's sake, don't embalm me and put me on display. Just cremate me and spread me in an as-yet undisclosed location.

It would NEVER, EVER occur to me to spew such vile commentary to my child. Especially if my child happened to be mood disordered and in a depressive state. 

It was the first incidence of suicidiality I'd felt in a long time. If *I'm* nothing, what's kind of the point?  Why am I even fucking bothering when now 2 people have told me to quit school and get a "job?" (My mom and my ex-husband.) The job I want is to become a counselor, so I'm being trained in how to do that. I don't see how that's a bad thing.  I say, "I had a job at the medical practice. For 3 years. It drove me insane and anorexic. It was a go-nowhere gig." So I went back to school. It was a very, very good decision. 

Luke said that if I ever were to take my own life, he'd be "sad for a couple of weeks, but then he'd be okay." We all think that's a coping strategy against what very well might scare him the most in the whole world. The devastation towards my son is too selfish to consider permanent harm to myself, but this level of hostility in my house is no bueno. 

She says she feels trapped in the house taking care of us, when she'd rather travel around the country on holiday and enjoy her retirement. Instead, she says, all she does is cook and clean for us. (Which she repeated: "And cook and clean. And cook and clean. I don't GO anywhere.") She's threatened several times recently that she'd toss Luke and I to the streets to live if I don't abide with the next living stipend I get for grad school in a month or so in the manner SHE wants it spent or saved. You don't know how I wish I could get someone other than her to cosign the stipend, but manic-depressive untreated me has kind of fucked up credit as a result of being, well, untreated me.

I don't understand why she's NOT traveling. Luke and I would be perfectly fine taking care of one another by ourselves, just as we did when I lived in Camp Swanky, my apartment from when I first separated (the one the landlord foreclosed on & disappeared, the one with the kick ass Jacuzzi). My hunch is that IF Luke and I were to leave, she'd sink into a hugely deep depression and not know what to do with herself, if she wasn't traveling or something. 

She tried taking me off the checking account with MY OWN MONEY in it, for which I AM PRIMARILY responsible after I graduate. A check that's made out in MY NAME. I refused to be taken off the account. She's almost asserting  power of attorney over me because I'm mentally ill, which'd never fly. She's called it HER money, or if she's being nice, OUR money. Yes, I acknowledge she helped me get it. But it's in my name. 

I told some friends close to me to ride me out until Thursday, when I'll get my mental prescriptions written out and I'll see the psychiatrist again. Friday night, I have plans for a swanky-ish dinner and some swinging jazz with someone who, I believe, DOES love me unconditionally, who's never judged me and makes me feel safe.

I think about Luke and breathe it all through. It's fair to say I am a dreamer, but aren't well all, just a little bit? All of us run imaginary vignettes in our heads as we begin to try and fall asleep. They're usually relaxing scenes which help you drift to sleep. I certainly do. One of them is just to imagine walking along Lake Michigan with my dad, in the incarnation I remember him, except sober. We'd get a chance to catch up on life as grown ups, and he'd tell me how proud he was of me for surviving all of this. I'd tell him about Luke and how much they'd love one another. 

I'm trying to remember, "I AM" more than all of which I'm *NOT.*

Reminds me of the Margery Williams classic kids' story, The Velveteen Rabbit.

Luke's got his own Velveteen Rabbit. He's always called her (he made her female) "Bunny." I actually hadn't ever read the book to my knowledge, but I received a copy from my friend, Sharon, in June of 2010, because even then, Sharon could recognize I was becoming "Real." I was growing up. Luke's bunny..She's a little worse for the wear, but exactly what this story is about. Bunny is REAL, just like my Curious George doll:

I don't feel real. I feel like a 13-year old kid trapped in a 41-year old body. I feel like nobody believes in me. 

I should "BE" someone treated with respect and dignity, not verbally lashed at.

I think the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull is ridiculously stupid, but I do like the Neil Diamond soundtrack....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

So Very Pinteresting, And For the Fans.....Flaming Lips and Otherwise.

Jeeeeeeeeeeeeessus. Or lack of Jeeeeeeeeeeeesus.

While we're at it, Fuckin' Disney and all they Fuckin' stand for, those fuckin' assholes. Am I the only one who's seen the sexual innuendo video of all of the phallic/vaginal/perverted illustrations they sketch into their family-oriented movies? Pervs.

Pinterest. Holy crap.

It's so INCREDIBLY not recommended if you have ANYTHING ELSE to do, like homework. Or child-rearing. Or murder-plotting. Laundry. A job. Showering. I mean, anything, totally. I thought thoughtcatalog.com sucked me in. Now, all of a sudden, hundreds of wayward individuals with even shorter attention spans have begun following me on Pinterest. Hundreds! They're oddly intrigued by the food I find somewhat appetizing, the clothes I either own or would like to own, crap I hate, musicians I like or know, my religious convictions, Woody Allen, philosophy, tactless humor, "funzies," my favorite authors/places/thingys, my son, my hopeless romanticism and quest to be the most unrequited lover of all time, anarchy, art, books, writing, weight loss and being completely insane. It certainly begs the question, "WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK?" (http://pinterest.com/anniearchy/boards/)

It's where souls go to share pictures of their dreams.....recipes, interesting objects du jour, art, politics, music, it's like more Twitter-useless than Guy could even tolerate. It's just PICTURES OF SHIT. I'm sure Guy has literally no idea what it is, because it's more befuddling than Twitter, about which he relentlessly complains. (Incidentally, Guy, if your daughters' dream weddings are anything like they're portraying on Pinterest, take a second mortgage out on the house, dude, and quit going on vacation, bro, you'll need the dough!)

I like finding shit on Pinterest. I repost a lot of it. I collect the pictures. It's numbing escapism (unlike Twitter, where you're forced to be witty in 140 characters or less). It's literally NOTHING BUT A WASTE OF TIME.

So naturally, since I'm completely procrastinating my work, I'm over there. Good news! That book I was supposed to have read 4 months ago arrived today, I have to pick out 3 things of interest and compose a 3 page paper on it. No problema. Let's rock this out. Later. Right now, I'm busy defending Guy's hair versus Devo and that guy from Sparks. (Don't ask, Guy, and be thankful I deemed you far more masculine than John Waters.)

I looked up Steven. In his category, you'll find pictures of Steven and I, Steven performing, Steven being Steven, his instruments, illustrations, all kindsa stuff. Steven being generally beautiful and interesting. His portrayal, however, is brief. So I searched him. This is what I was told:

Holidays? He loves cheesy Christmas sweaters. Corgis? Don't think he owns one, but then again, I don't know how big Becky's purse is.

Sneakers? Loves 'em. 

Pasta? Uncool for his svelte waistline. But what ODD suggestions.

So I look up Wayne. He's a bit more popular, being all glamorous and gorgeous and all. But I really had no idea his lack of religious affiliation was subject for public scrutiny.

Now THAT is one happy godless motherfucker. He's on the fast track to heaven based solely upon his looks....or being really nice. According to Pinterest, it doesn't really matter. Snap judgment city!

No bullshit. Either of those 2 guys could ceremonially worship Subway coupons from the Sunday papers, and they'd still float my boat. A footlong on a flatbread, YEAH BABY.

Both sweetie pies are in my sub-category of "Music/Musicians," along with about 2000 pictures of George Harrison. I figured since I *am* a musician, I'd add myself to my board.

Don't forget drummer! I'm a helluva drummer!

I can't help but laugh at the 900+ freakazoids who've publicly exclaimed on Facebook to be fans of The Offbeat Drummer. I'm truly flattered and appreciative, especially of the 68,000 people who "talked" last week and reached out in protest of Guy's being insensitive while I had piles bottles of sedatives laid out on my bed.

I post a lot of random shit on that page, as well as links to the blog entries. I love all of the readers--except this one broad who was offended by a picture I posted; this:


Fine. If you're a fan and follower of my blog and page, why the fuck are you bitching about the pictures I post? Why'd you "like" me in the first place? Nobody asked for your opinion. The shit went down like this, and do feel free to heckle her, if for no other reason than the fact that she ended a question with a period and not a question mark:

Jiminy Cricket. Whaddya gonna do, send a legal team after me for exposing your Facebook identity? I'd be more worried about your reputation of having a profile picture of your nuclear family with Disney characters online. You blocked it. That means, essentially, that YOU, YOURSELF, won't have to see it. It doesn't send a firing squad after the Offbeat Drummer. But how fun would that be to dodge? I'm jumpy enough! Report it as personally offending you. I almost give a crap. My bet's you drive a minivan with smooching Mickey/Minnie stickers on your windows. In any regard, my level of shit to give is pretty much nil.

So does the Offbeat Drummer.

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Funny How Some People Just Won't Accept Change, As If Nature Itself, They'd Prefer Rearranged.

"The Light That Has Lighted The World"

By George Harrison

Take One

My older brother was almost killed on May 1st in a motorcycle accident that rocked the family dynamic something fierce. We nearly lost him. 

His recovery has been nothing short of miraculous and for that we're grateful to God. His recovery and rehabilitation have been one of the family's focal points since May.

That didn't stop some friends of mine from getting angry and discontented with me for my shift of focus, which, please, my school barely understood. I heard a lot of "Sorry your brother got hurt, but...."

"My brother got hurt?"

He didn't stub his toe.

That was the least of the heart-sinking sensations which engulfed me when I walked into the ICU in Rockford for the first time, the day after the accident. This is what I walked in to:

Steve's shattered arm had 2 large rods in it holding it in place before the upper extremity surgeon could reconstruct it. His right leg was weighted down with 3, 5-lb weights to hold it in place before the lower extremity surgeon could rebuild his leg and shattered pelvis. He got "hurt?" He had a bulging disc in his neck upon which it was decided not to operate.

This is about a month and a half later. Praise! Over the weekend, he walked with a crutch down to the basement and played his drums for the first time since the accident. That was all he kept telling the surgeons: "I'm a drummer. I need to be able to drum."

The cast has since been removed and he can bear 100% weight on the reconstructed arm and pelvis/leg.

Over the weekend, he danced on his feet (shuffling) at a wedding. He is a HERO.

In the meantime, I've invested close to $200,000 in the last year plus to graduate study in psychology, which I have to pay back to the government when I graduate. Deep depressive episodes and impossible manic episodes have marred my academic progression and I'm consequently a semester behind all of my cohorts. Every day is a struggle between either sleeping 2 hours a night or 20 hours a day. I've extended extensions beyond what the school find reasonable and I'm still pulling straight A's. The "deadlines" aren't simply ones of urgency...there are grades and money depending on them. They set the stage for the rest of my graduate career. Though anyone who knows me well knows that at the eleventh hour, I'll rally my creativity and brain juices and pull it all together, because that's just how I roll. A woman of extremes, that translates down to my school work as well.

I've been accused of--I can't remember the exact word--"romanticizing," something, bipolar disorder because MY symptoms don't present in the same fashion as others people have known who also have had bipolar. I wasn't nearly as sick in college as I am now. "I seemed normal" in college. I wasn't. It was the onset of the illness.

No, I don't run down the street manic yielding knives and utterly non-functional, bound for an institution at any given moment (though it feels that way sometimes). No, I haven't lost my sense of humor, though one doctor (who's not my doctor) insists that the truly mentally ill lose their senses of humor. The truth is, drugs have advanced and changed. Go back to the blog "The Gift of Bipolar Disorder." Stephen Fry resists treatment by lithium specifically because it DOES sap one of one's personality. It's for that reason I refuse to try that as a mood stabilizer and choose to take second generation, less side-effective drugs.

I don't experience bipolar the same way as Fry, or as (also mentioned in that blog) Carrie Fisher, or Richard Dreyfuss, or Sting, or Van Gogh, or Winston Churchill. Brain biochemistry is not like a case of chicken pox, with obvious signs, symptoms and cures.

I grappled earlier this spring with a quarter of my family assuming my father shot himself to death and didn't die of alcoholism, which wasn't true, but hit me like a ton of bricks, and I believe was a catalyst in the deep depressive episode that followed, out of which I'm still crawling. 

My mother and I spar and I often feel treated as young as my 13 year old son, though I'm 41. I have a verifiable history of making poor decisions, largely (but not blamed upon) my mental illness and addictions. Yet who was it who scraped herself on the cement outside to pick my limp, Valium-doped frame off the patio on Friday night after I landed on the cement and then squished her garden? Who Neosporined and bandaged my wounds? Who takes care of me? Who provides me a household in which I can concentrate on my studies as best I can? My mom.  I won't deny that things get tense. I'm a handful. But she has my best intentions at heart, even when we're both cranky. Without her assistance and support, I'd be far less functional.

Last week, I didn't lose just a member of my church. I, as his son-in-law Upe said, lost my buddy. My partner. My musical and spiritual brother. We took a band of 2 musicians and raised it to God's glory twice a month. We turned songs meant for a full band into reasonably beautiful drum and guitar riffs. This weekend is Jake's wake and funeral. Yes, it'll delay more of my school work, but my professors know about it. I'm the de facto leader of the contemporary band. I've supported Pastor Dave and my band family as best I can in what is an emergent and unexpected situation. I've recruited help in the form of Julia on piano. Mariah's doing better on guitar than she even thought she could.

This is my left arm/elbow. I have a huge gouge on my elbow, multiple bruises on my arm, and still managed to play the drums for 2 hours Friday night and again on Saturday. I'm left-handed. I rest my left arm to write, to type...and it hurts...a lot. It's by no means Steve's injury, but it's painful. I'm trying not to let it get infected.

I've been mad at Guy Friend since mid-May. He resurfaced this weekend via email. I see no use in holding onto anger against him. I may have said some harsh words, as did my friends, but they all just want me to be happy, and I miss him. He's my friend and I love him dearly, as I love all of my friends. Being around him makes me very happy. That being said, I felt abandoned by him and "unfriended" by him with no just cause.
We're working on rectifying that. In a lot of ways, I'm just like Guy. I can't be counted upon to keep promises (with my son, with my friends) and I fuck up. I'm human. I'm embroiled in a frantic lifestyle that unfortunately takes me away from things I'd rather do and luxuries I'd rather engage in. Each day, I'm learning a little more about what it's like to be on a schedule like Guy's. Yeah, he acted like a douche, but you all know what a pussycat I am and how deeply my affection runs. 

To my family and friends' chagrin, I have to put my son, my school work and my music first. Luke feels neglected, not to mention my friends. I'm hard to get a hold of, like Guy. It's insanely frustrating. I told Guy, before he boarded a plane to Canada to see his daughter this weekend, that yes, I had the support of a lot of people in my life, but I need him too. "I know," he said. And that's true. And other people need me, whom I've let down, and for that I'm deeply sorry.

I try to visit my brother every weekend, but that's not even always possible, given my work schedule. 

Don't think I haven't thought of checking into a mental facility during the course of my sabbatical in August. But I'm on Medicaid, and I'd receive sub par care. I just need a break. I need some mental rest. I'd like to reconnect with disconnected friends and see and talk to  those whom have fallen to the wayside because of my inattentiveness. That chiefly includes Kate, who's really mad at me know in much the same way I have been mad at Guy.

As a student of psychology, I'm doing my best to help those in need of my care and theoretical opinions, but I get things wrong. I don't think it's fair to cast blame on me because I'm in the midst of learning literally dozens of approaches to issues and I get things wrong. I'm not licensed. I'm not responsible for what happens to people who listen or don't listen to my opinions, which are just that. Opinions. I know a lot about drugs and medicine. I try and work out proper medications and dosages for others, while I stumble around doped up on Valium myself. My suggestions are conjecture. 

Have I changed? Yes. For the better? In a lot of ways, yes.  I've matured. I've learned responsibility and dedication towards furthering a life for my son and myself. I'm more educated. I'm more street smart. Am I still Annie? Oh my, yes. Ask anyone. Bat shit loony, scatter-brained, incapable of prioritizing, heavily medicated, in therapy, going crazy, but loving like there's no tomorrow, because it's something we can't count on. Just ask Jake, if he were here.

In a lot of ways, no. But I'm human.

Just just as I've forgiven Guy for the err of his ways, I ask forgiveness from those I've hurt or neglected. 

I'm pretty burned out and exhausted, so I'm wrapping up for the night. 
Again, I ask for mercy and forgiveness from those I've hurt, understanding and patience from those I've neglected.

Guy, come home. I do need you. You may be 60 before I can blink, but I'll keep you young at heart.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yes, Guy. I *Could* Yell at You for an Hour. But!

This seems way kinda more totally better. After your roundhouse kick for being such an inexcusable twatwaffle, of course though "Bum Derelict Asshole Jerk AWOL" were certainly befitting. Think about it. We could burn 5.2 calories a minute! And you have serious Annie philematophobia*, which you need to work out.

*A fear of kissing.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

OK, he got a haircut....is everyone happy now?

He looks really happy, doesn't he? Darn hippie.

Clipped but not scissor cut yet.

We were afraid the stylist would slip and fall on his giant hairballs and sue us.

Lookin' good, Luke. They grow up so fast!!!!!

We'll wait to get it cut again until his 8th grade teacher starts complaining again about how long his hair is.

I gotta good lookin' kid, don't I?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Keep Hope Alive"

This young fella, Chance, had been staying with my brother, Steve, before the accident in May. He's played with Steve's church band, and now he's on his own with a band called Nothing by Chance. They just released this incredibly powerful new song/video clip which features my brother's early struggles after the accident.

Made. Me. Bawl.

But in a good way.

Steve's come a hugely long way since this clip was produced (maybe) a month ago. His arm cast has been removed. He's walking with a walker and scooting around the house. I have video of that too, I just can't get it uploaded from my phone. The surgeon said on Monday that if Steve continues to heal at the rate he's going, he can drive in 3 weeks! God is good ALL THE TIME.

Anyway, here's Not By Chance's Clip, with "Keep Hope Alive," featuring Steve Miklasz:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Saturday, July 6, 2013

You're NEVER Ready for Goodbye, So We Grieve

This week as taught me much about the fragility of human life.

Yesterday, I spoke of the passing of our dear church brother, Roy, whose death we all expected and anticipated, but that moment--that moment of the here and now, versus the hereafter, is so difficult to explain and to comprehend. We *knew* Roy was riddled with cancer; yet until his dying days, he worked tirelessly towards the work of the church, St. Paul Lutheran, where we attend, where he's called me "Andy" since I was a baby, which always drove me nuts. Perhaps my most grievous error against Roy was dropping one of the PA speakers on his newly refinished communion rails a few months ago, leaving a huge gouge in the pristine wood. Alas, I've left my mark on St. Paul. (Sorry, Roy.)

Roy's wake and funeral are scheduled for the beginning of next week, and Luke will be unable to attend because he's in De Kalb visiting Steve and Jake for the long weekend. Roy always liked Luke, who he'd call that "curly haired kid." Craig will be singing with the adult choir, of which Roy was the one of the only other male parts, a tenor, along with Craig and another fella, Tim, the church music director, who were both basses.

Roy was 80, married for 60 years. He was infirmed. He had rapidly spreading esophogeal cancer. We knew the heartache his wife, Shirley, would soon undergo, and Pastor Dave was more or less ready.

But there was nothing at all that could've prepared us this morning for the news that our guitarist/bassist, Jake Tufele, had suddenly passed away from a heart attack or a stroke at his country club en route to play a round of golf with his wife. He was only in his early to mid-60's. I shan't go into the depths of Jake's life tragedies, but they were abounding and severe. It didn't matter what was happening to the Tufeles....Jake and his family were THE most exemplary, solid Christians I'd ever met in my LIFE. Waiting for several relatives to arrive in from out of town, the wake and funeral won't be until next weekend.

Still, he was a hell of a guitarist, a pro who'd played concerts and clubs, who knew his shit. Never mind that he tried to attach a Samoan calypso beat to everything we played, I adapted. We all did, the 4 singers included. He was a loving husband to S'iu, a loving father to Jacqui and Giovanni, loving father in law to Upe, and loving grandfather to Farrah and his new baby granddaughter, Hope, and his late granddaughter, Jayden, on whose birthday he passed away.

Jake was the overnight guard at Resurrection Medical Center, home of my most notorious accidental overdoses. He always managed his way into my cubicle to offer prayers, even when I was considered a lost cause Jake was always ready with prayers. And he truly believed in the power of the Lord. His chant, and that of his family, was that "God is good, ALL THE TIME." Which, of course, is true. He saw me through the good and bad, the off rhythms and the pats on the back of the "Annie! You got it!" I would nearly well up in tears of pride when I knew that I pleased him with the vision he had of what he wanted me to play versus what I felt capable of playing. He pushed me. He pushed my talent. THAT is the mark of a good musician.

We never really got to play secularly, but when we did, we always picked up this tune, me on the djembe, Jake on the guitar. We knew different versions of it, but it always melded together. I can't think of one without the other:

Pastor Dave's having a hard time with all of this and what it means to the band, leaving me as the only musician left in the band. I'm working with the singers on songs I can play quietly on the djembe while they sing, Julia is lending a hand on piano this weekend, but Pastor's a lone sheep. His family's in Texas until the weekend and he just needed someone to talk to. Too many funerals, too much grief. Too much planning. So many people he asks "How are you?" and who asks him how HE is doing? We talked for a good hour tonight about the future of the band, and how much Jake meant to us, and it was all very gut wrenching. We don't know where the band is going, where we're going, how we'll get through the next couple of weeks. It's like a bad dream. I wish there was more I could do for Pastor Dave other than to give him a giggle, listen sympathetically and cheer him on, because he IS doing a phenomenal job with having to have dealt with 3 congregational deaths in a week. I still call him a "kid," even though he's 35. But Kid, I've got your back.

For Jake and Roy:

For Guy, I miss you. I'm tired of these pissing contests. The fragility of life is too precious. Just hold my hand and tell me I'll survive without you, because I don't see that happening right now:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

He's Got a Problem With His Poisons, But You Know He'll Find a Cure.

No, in all honesty, this was me at the grocery store yesterday, except I wasn't talking to anyone, I was just sort of wandering around, but the Ridgeys (that's what the *few* alterna-chicks in Park Ridge call the average robotic, suburban women) were out and about, mostly in workout gear and not bonnets, but you'll get the general gist:

I kind of feel in between that and THIS, and no, I'm not the giant American Indian chief:

Last Thursday's visit with the new psychiatrist, by all accounts, went well. I WILL say that walking into a doctor's office carrying a pocket diagnostic guide of the DSM-V *is* a helpful way to start a conversation with a crazy person (me). She asked me what I did for a living. I told her I was a 2nd year graduate student in psychology. I also told her I've been bipolar cycling more quickly than Lance Armstrong on dope (how she translated that in her chart notes, I'm not sure). And I am, and I was, and I have this veritable mountain of papers to write to round out summer term before I can *officially* take my sabbatical, which it would appear I'm already, uh, taking, not really by choice. I've been sleeping....a lot.

Not neglecting my child, no, he's fortified and dignified and sassyfied and all that other good stuff. He got his new computer and built his own new desk this week. He understands my mood disturbances, doesn't complain and is my solid rock of life; without whom, oh my goodness, yes, I wouldn't be around for any more of this utter fucking bullshit.

Anyway, with the shrink, I complained of chronic nighttime insomnia, and hypersomnia at odd times of the day (like during class). I also complained of being a tremendous bundle of anxiety, and how it affected other, well, facets of my biological system, which she thought made perfect sense. 

I told her I wanted to switch to a benzodiazepine with a longer half-life than Estazolam, something like Valium. (EEK! Everyone hears "Valium" and has a mini panic attack because it's so notoriously zombie-inducing. Well, ok, for good reason.) Thinking the two drugs had a similar half-life, she had to look them up, because she didn't trust my evidence that the former had a half-life of 7-10 hours and the latter had one of 10-20 hours (or somewhere thereabouts). She also didn't trust and had to look up my dosing equivalencies of 1mg of Estazolam for every 5mg of Valium, 2mg for 10mg...etc. ("Wow!" she must have thought. "It's like she has a Physician's Desk Reference or something!" which I do.) So she writes me Rx's for every damn drug imaginable that I take, and a note extending my work at school, which was followed up with a note by The Useless Therapist on Friday (God, I hope I don't achieve a moniker like "The Useless Therapist" when I'm a therapist, but that's a whole other ball of dope.) The doctor had no problem with me, uh "transitioning" between the 2 different benzos, but perhaps taking them all at once in increasing doses is contributing to the fact I sleep about 17 hours a day lately and NOTHING productive (other than fighting with fighting with people fighting for me against Guy) is getting done. 

The Useless Therapist--she spent yet another hour of my time on Friday morning writing out a treatment plan and case conceptualization that SHE asked ME to compose, yet proceeded to criticize it for sounding too "bookish." Well then gee, bitch, don't ask a psych student to write your fucking plans! And quit playing with your hair, you're driving me apeshit! How are we going to achieve these therapy goals? YOU TELL ME, YOU WRETCHED NIT. 

There is this line in Nizami's "Layla and Majnun," where Majnun (the madman) says, "When she was there; there was joy. And when she was gone, there was a lonely, raging emptiness which nothing could assuage." 

Yeah, pretty much. 

And no, he still doesn't care. I sent a rather angry text yesterday, criticizing his daughter's blog (which is admittedly a HUGE snoozefest about the uberdouchery of teaching English and lacrosse in Germany), and vividly showing him a picture of the gigantic amount of sedatives in my possession, pretty much telling him that now round about 68,000 people (via here and Facebook) have read about what an asshole he's acting like. I'm not sure *I'd* respond to that if I were Guy...I mean, what do you really say? "Um, sorry." NO. I told him no excuse will fly.

A prominent member of my church died today, Roy. There was nary a time when Roy wasn't at the church doing a myriad of tasks and improvements to the sanctuary and property. I'm deeply saddened by his loss, but his rights to Heaven, should it exist, were well earned. I've known Roy since I was able to walk and he always called me "Andy," which drove me nuts. I can't help but recall the deathbed discussion Pastor Dave had with another member, a woman, who was one of Guy's patients. She asked Pastor if she'd "done enough" to earn a place at the table with the Lord. If she'd earned Heaven. He assured her she had, but if I were to have that same discussion with Dave right now, I think the ringing answer would be "no." I haven't helped or saved enough people. I haven't finished my work. That's why, against my better pleading, God keeps not calling me home. It's not as if I don't have the tools at hand to end it all, because I do, and I'm heartbroken enough to do it. But I have a boy...that boy in the next room, to raise. And cast away your enormous ego for a second, Guy, but you're not worth it. Plus, if I survived somehow, I'd get my ass kicked by a number of people, my son first in line, Meg second, BMF 3rd, Kate 4th.

It's only 7:50 pm, and I'm ready to rest in peace for the night.

Til next time.

Monday, July 1, 2013