Muh Chemical Profile

I’ve been taking various central nervous system drugs since I was a wee Berserker of seven or eight. My current cocktail, including non-psych meds is:

Risperdal 3mg daily
Ritalin XR 20 mg daily
Wellbutrin XR 150 mg daily (beginning tomorrow morning)
Metropolol 25 mg daily
Benazepril  6.5 mg daily
Also occasional ibuprofen for joint pain and I keep a few vistaril on hand for the times when sleep is elusive.

Some folks tell me it’s horrible that I take all these meds. I don’t think it is myself. Aside from them working at keeping me sane, organized and not hypertensive or achy I don’t really feel like I’m ‘on’ anything. I’d like to see you manage arthritis with no analgesics.

At some point in my life I have had these experiences with the following drugs:
Abilify- Made me very foggy and was rather unremarkable.
Adderall XR- was great for my attention span but revved my heart like crazy .
Buspar- didn’t do crap for my anxiety and made me feel blah.
Celexa- kept me hypomanic before being discontinued when the psych unit was bringing me down from a feral lexapro induced mania.
Depakote- Acute psychotic reaction. Tried to start a revolt in the crisis ward. Fun stuff.
Effexor- Absolutely despised it. Felt like a zombie dipped in shit. Plus I had the most horrible withdrawal. Ever hear of the brain shivers? Because I never had.
Geodon- Good results for pulling me out of madness. It does scary stuff to the heart though. Wouldn’t repeat it.
Lamictal- helped at first but crapped out fast.
Lithium- blunted my emotions profoundly. I couldn’t cry while I was on it. I can now. I’m glad that the side effects outweighed the benefits enough to try something else.
Provigil- great for ADHD but needs a time release coat or something as it poops out too quickly.
Tegretol- took at the same time as Geodon. It’s a seizure med so it’ll basically make you kinda drunk and disoriented like it did for me.
Zyprexa- made me fat. But slayed my psychosis like nothing else. Calmed me the fuck down fast.
Lexapro- induced a terrifying series of rapid cycling manic episodes. I am still cobbling my life back together from this period.
Strattera- didn’t do crap for my ADHD. made me feel really sluggish and ditzy at the higher doses.
Risperdal- works better for me than any drug ever has in terms of keeping me stable without completely zonking me into oblivion. It is a good med for the  bipolar/ADHD combo in particular. However, at the higher doses (6mg and up) it can do a number on your hormones. I only take three mg and my doctor is hesitant to raise it.

As with a great many things, results may and will vary. This is just what I got out of these particular drugs.  Hope you have found this entertaining and informative.

Depression Part Deux

I’m changing my approach as my ‘soul of iron’ is no longer cutting it. I’ve been in a funk since before Thanksgiving. I kept telling myself it would get better after the holidays. But it hasn’t. I still have the same hair trigger agitation and  fairly regular spells of explosive weeping.

As I mentioned in previous posts regarding this particular subject there’s… an issue of sorts. I’m Bipolar. More specifically the Manic variety. As such, giving me antidepressants, particularly the SSRI kind is a dangerous proposition. It can induce the worst kind of batshit mania known to man. A lexapro induced mania led to my first hospitalization and I was a bucket of wacky. When I would finally crash I was so depressed I was nearly catatonic.

But yeah, after the last few months, I’m
warming up to giving it another try. My shrink tells me the mania potential is less with multiple reuptake inhibitors as opposed to strictly serotonin inducing meds. I’m already (more or less) stable on risperdal so that works in my favor too.

I have to try something. I’m tired of feeling like putting a grenade in my mouth.

It’s been frustrating. It took a lot of nerve on my part to actually talk to my doctor about this. The first med he prescribed I tried to fill today on the way home from my appointment. Not covered by my insurance.  I walked home in the rain crying and pretty much cursing life.

I feel relatively alright right now, at least alright enough to try to articulate some of this stuff. It’s like walking across a booby trapped floor. Not sure if the depression I keep falling into is worse than the anticipation thereof.

As gloomy a post as this is, it’s the best I’ve got right now aside from one bright spot: I met with the people at the Vincent House today and am getting the vocational rehabilitation ball rolling.  That compels me to get this depression under control more than any tea or sympathy in the world. I keep telling myself my current job isn’t forever.

Also, (and this is a huge one) I have the most kind, witty and devastatingly handsome Boyfriend in the universe.

I’ll survive, I just have to keep these things in sight.

Onward.

On Death Metal

It’s quite possibly my favorite thing in the world. When properly articulated nothing compares to the feral majesty of this warped artform. I started off like a lot of American kids, with Metallica and Megadeth. It wasn’t long before I was checking out oldschool Sepultura, Obituary and Morbid Angel. From there it just kind of snowballed into an obsession.

I love all kinds of Metal, especially the old heavyweights like Iron Maiden, Motorhead (RIP), Mercyful Fate and what have you. However, something about the first time I ever heard Death Metal hooked me like nothing else ever had. I fell hard for the Florida bands in particular, like the aforementioned Obituary and Morbid Angel, Deicide,  Death, and Atheist. These bands blew me away in a way I had never experienced and are still very close to my heart.

On the one hand it’s like listening to a horror movie, or maybe something far more subtle or esoteric. Death Metal has many ways in which it invades the mind and tickles the imagination. It can inflame, attack and soothe the senses all at once. Autopsy, Carcass, Napalm Death, Sadistic Intent, Suffocation, Incantation, Nocturnus, Morpheus Descends and Monstrosity are just a few of the greats that come to mind when I think of proper execution of this twisted art.

Many of the well established classic bands are still active and kicking ass. Also, some of the newer bands are hungry and wicked as hell and doing the same. On an odd side note, former Morbid Angel bassist/throat David Vincent is now a country singer. Look up David Vincent ‘buyer beware’ on YouTube if you doubt me. He’s actually pretty good at it, odd as it may be.

I love going to shows. I’ve seen Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, Koroidia, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Napalm Death, Obituary, DRI, Hypocrisy, Vile, Paths of Possession, Contorted, Exhumed, Voivod and a few others.

Part of the fun of shows is people watching. At least I think so. There are some pretty eccentric Metal people in this world. I’m one of them. But yes, I love and strongly adore Death Metal. The voice of the feral and the alienated. The transcendent beauty of exploration and the toe-curling rush of freedom permeate every facet of this strange music. It is unafraid and unflinchingly intense. It knocks your teeth out and kicks you in the gut as you attempt to pick them up. It inspires, incites and attacks one’s consciousness.

We are about death, but death is about life.

Getting kicks on the 76

That’s right, blogging on the bus. I figured a forty minute or so ride would be sufficient time to spit out a few thoughts. I’m nervous about a great many things on the horizon because well….  That’s how I roll and stuff.

My sister is getting married and naturally I’m happy for her. I’m just worried that now that the whole fam knows I’m queer it might be…. A tad awkward. Whatever, I’ll do the best I can and maybe pack a flask for good measure. I’m thinking Bird Dog or Wild Turkey.

My job is really stressing me out. I’ve been begging to get taken off prep and they keep scheduling me to work prep. I can do it but the knife work makes my tendons in my arm hurt. I feel like I’ll never heal up this way.

My love life is still kickass and amazing.  My lover is patient and kind. He’s also as strange as me if not a bit more twisted still. He makes my heart light and full of laughter.

There’s a concert I want to go to Saturday that I’ll most likely have to miss due to not having access to a car.

Mentally I’ve been a bit short fused lately. I’m mostly attributing it to slacking with working out. This I intend to fix.

That’d  be it for now. 

Joyful (Re)Discovery

After an irritating few years, I once again have a working turntable. Better yet, I can convert records to MP3s with it so I can have it all even when I’m on the go. As you might imagine, I am extremely happy with this. My Boyfriend is the absolute best ever for getting me back in touch with my vinyl collection.  Best Christmas ever, for reals.

I intend to eventually get lots of Metal and Occult Psychedelica Records. The albums currently in my sights are Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Blessed Are the Sick and The Thousandfold Epicentre.

Aside from that I’m simply trying to enjoy life more. Reading more, laughing more, spending time outside more. Spending more time with my Darling as well. It was rough for about eight days there with him fighting a flu and me catching a milder one. Played nurse quite a while I did.

Things are normalizing now and I’m growing more concerned about the future. I told a friend from work about what I was planning to do and she said she thought I was better than that. That kind of irked me. People who never see me at my worst tend to make the most ‘You seem fine to me” type of judgments when I’m being open about my problems. Comes with the territory I suppose.

But yeah, I have no desire to keep doing what I’m doing. I want to get into something completely new that actually somewhat applies my creative energy.

We shall see. I’m optimistic about it ūüėā

Edging Forward

It’s taken a long time, ¬†but I may just now have found a way. ¬†I’ve known for years about a place in my county that does vocational rehabilitation for the mentally ill. ¬†I never thought I needed it until now.

Actually, ¬†that’s not entirely accurate. ¬†I already did vo rehab through the state of Florida in my old trade ¬†(HVAC). After two serious collapses I no longer found myself capable of that kind of work. I still sort of have the physical strength but my wiring and general technical knowledge got pretty much wiped out by losing my mind twice.

I’ve been winging it since then which equals about the last ten years of my life. I’ve done odd, Shitty and mostly food related jobs for terrible pay and a pathetic amount of time on the clock. All the while being abundantly aware of how hard I’m getting screwed. At least in comparison to what I used to make in my early twenties before I went cuckoo.

I’ve been immensely depressed and morose for some time about the state of my working life. Sometimes the fact I’m working at all amazes me. I was on Social security benefits for nearly five years for acute impairment due to ¬†bipolar disorder which was diagnosed just before my twenty-fourth birthday.

I try to cut myself some slack for how far I’ve come and give myself a little credit for still being alive. I just recently fully came out of the closet with my family which has been a major load on my mind as long as I can remember. They were all pretty cool about that and everything actually went much better than I expected.

But yeah, I want to do more than work in a kitchen.  This place has a wide variety of skill training and I feel like they could really help me succeed which in turn would make me more self actualized and most likely a bit happier day to day.

I actually have to give most of the credit to my boyfriend. ¬†He gives me loads of encouragement and told me that it sounded like something that I should pursue. ¬†I’m not used to being with someone who builds me up. ¬†It’s really incredible and beautiful.

The interview process begins in two weeks. ¬†That gives me time to download forms and have them ready when I go there. ¬†I’m really excited about this.

That’s all for now, but if I think of anything else you’ll be the first to hear it.

Guess what?

Are you foaming at the mouth to know? Because it’s not really a big deal. Okay,¬† here goes: I’m gay. Not a huge deal, right? I still haven’t been able to admit this to myself for the better part of my thirty-three years. I think my family AND most of the women in my life have known this way longer than I have.

I’ve enjoyed the things I’ve done with women but never been comfortable with the way it’s made me feel. As if I’m not allowed to enjoy being myself. As if I need to be a knight in shining armor. As if I’ve needed to be something I’m not. I should go ahead and tell you that I reject a lot of what people think it means to be a man. I stand up for those I value and I do my best to be an honorable and ethical person but… That’s not all that defines a man now is it?

When I met my first girlfriend I treasured and worshipped her. But I could never quite be what she needed. I almost walked down the aisle for her. I was committed but….still uncomfortable. Girls, excuse me … Women.. Always required a certain level of … I guess aggression¬† from me that simply wasn’t there.

For years I made myself hopelessly miserable trying to conform to what I thought women wanted. I loved them deeply but could never be that alpha male they so burned for. I wanted so badly to be what they wanted that I incinerated all sense of myself in favor of what the situation required.

Despite occasional moments of ecstasy I was losing my mind. I was engaged, installing ACs for a living, driving a truck and seemingly living the dream. Only I wanted to die every day. Every day I took a long hard look at myself and threw it in the garbage because I loved her so desperately I wanted it to be true.

I ended up breaking up with her. I knew why but wasn’t ready to intellectualize it. When I told her I felt something light strike me in the chest. It was the engagement ring I gave her. I said ‘What’s this?’. She replied ‘What do you think?’ as I quietly wept.

I don’t hold it against her. She just wanted her man to be her man. I just decided to cut and run before I made an even bigger mess.

Long have I mutilated myself in the name of being what others expect of me. I finally gave up on my last heterosexual relationship as a matter of practicality. She was using me and I wasn’t even vaguely attracted to her anymore. Her being so spiteful made it easier than expected.

So after several years of wasted effort I found myself living with Mom again. Working a shitty food prep job and just generally hating life, really. This went on for nearly a year. Then, something happened that made me feel validated. I’ll expand on that in a moment.

I was engaged to be married not once but twice. But both times a nagging thought invaded my head. ‘What if this isn’t really what you want?!?’. It ate at me constantly and became the focal point of my thought.

I escaped the altar once to … Do it again?!? This is what I kept thinking to myself with a girl who was my best friend since high school. Both times I was told that I was fully accepted for what I was but… As long as you’re my man. This didn’t seem like too tall an order until….

I found myself thinking about my old boyfriend all the time. Knowing it didn’t work but wishing it had. Missing something I couldn’t put my finger on. Nights of the most weepy solitude wishing I knew what the hell my problem was. Nights of holding myself in my own arms and yearning for peace.¬†¬†¬† Nights of getting to know myself fully.

So… I stayed alone. Lived at my mother’s home, went to work and pretty much cursed life 24/7. But then as I said before, something happened. Out of boredom I decided to go to my first theatrical audition. I had been in a few shows but never actually earned a part.

When I auditioned for ‘A Flea In Her Ear’ I ran into Shannon, who I knew from ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ in the previous year. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but my life was already changing.

I worked really hard on this show, as an actor and a Stage Manager. There was something building slowly between Shannon and I but again I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. The show went on and we all worked really hard as the show required.

As we entered performances it seemed like business as usual. Little did I know what was in store. There’s a scene in act two of ‘Flea’ where my character (Rugby, horny British guest at the hotel d’amour beats up Shannon’s character Jacques)I got a little into it one night. Like broke the set with his body into it.
I went up to Shannon backstage and asked if he was alright. He said something to the effect of ‘I’ve been waiting for you to manhandle me like that for a year and a half!’.

My immediate reaction was one of a wide smirking ‘Yeah?!?’. We got through that night of the show but from there the interest was firmly established.

About halfway through the run, one of the actors had a party on Clearwater Beach that we all went to. I coyly asked Shannon if he had a ride as I was rocking Mom’s minivan at the time. He replied he didn’t and I began to put my plan into action.

I played it cool, as we both tried to. We both knew what was up. We began holding hands as we crossed the bridge to the beach as Depeche Mode oozed through the speakers. I think everyone at the party knew we had a thing going.

That show plus rehearsing another almost pushed me over the edge but… Something was happening to me. My gait was light and my belly was full of butterflies. I felt like a tipsy teenage girl and pretty much acted like one.

It only took a couple months of this to completely turn my world upside down. People at work would say to me ‘What the hell has gotten into YOU?’. I would say ‘I’m just in a good mood is all.’ But my huge smirk would betray me.

I was in love. Like hard. And I still am. This is why I never walked down the aisle with a woman. Because I couldn’t bring myself to murder the essence of my being. Because I didn’t want to get married, have kids, finally realize I’m queer for sure and be like ‘See ya!’.  One because it wasn’t what I wanted and two because I couldn’t bring myself to do that to another human being.

I had been with men when I formed my relationships with women. But I had never loved another man. I knew if I tied the knot I was risking the prospect of never knowing. And I. Just. Couldn’t.

When my relationship with Shannon began to blossom I was nervous and terrified but oddly at peace because it was finally happening to me after all that madness and soul searching.

I am a homosexual. And that’s just fine with me. For the first time in my life i feel comfortable and at peace. This is what I want and I’m grateful beyond words for the freedom to express my being.

Thanks for reading, whoever you may be.

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