Kudos to the Helpers

We have people in our lives that lend us strength when we become weak. These are blessings in human form. Love flows from them against our storms. When one enters our existence, it is a miracle, a grace.

Today some of my heroes reached out, not knowing how much they were needed. My son, Alex, called. His calls always lift my spirit and ignite my soul. We talked, and it was just a wonder.

I called Bernice, and she cheered me on as we laughed together. She gets me, even though I am strange.

I have been struggling, and a few people noticed. Today, my mentor, called. He invited me to lunch, catfish, fried okra, green beans, and bread. He also offered to go shopping with me. I have not been able to get myself to go and had almost run out of food. We went to Kroger and Sam’s Club, and I restocked. He is such a dear.

My best friend, Reba, and I talked. She saved the dog, from physical discipline, after making a terrible mess, by letting me vent. There is so much she does, long-distance, to help me.

My people are my support and much-needed considering. My disease, I cannot express, but love is sometimes the only thing that helps me survive.

It feels good to know I have food. It had reached a critical point.

Tomorrow I go for shots in my knees.

I guess I said all that to tell you, love those people who make life bearable. Never take them for granted. Also, recognize, however low, you feel that you are someone’s hero and do not give up. Life is precious, we are destined, what we will become is to be seen. Hang on. You are a blessing.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

The Wookie was scolded for making a mess, admonished never to do it again, and then the poor rotted creatures got bacon treats. There was some time-lapse. She was observing proper social distancing since she was not entirely able to predict the actions of her Momma. Truth told at that point, I was not prepared either.

 

Insomnia

I do not know how others do it. Many just fall into this thing called sleep. For me, it is a challenge, a runaway I cannot catch. I want it, believe me, I dream of it, but it evades me.

I have Schizo-Affective disorder, which among other annoyances and gifts, means that losing sleep can catapult me into psychosis. Nowhere I want to travel because my symptoms are ever-present, but in psychosis, I entirely lose reality. I am compliant on medication, but for about two weeks, my brain will not turn off, and my pain recommends destruction.

Two to four hours of rest is insufficient. Insomnia is a unique brand of torture. In a pandemic, it is a thing of unusual cruelty.

Posting this may be too much information, but one day, perhaps someone will want to understand these struggles. I love having long days, but it is essential to plunge beneath the stream of Lethe for some hours.

I am uncertain what has caused this prolonged disturbance. Almost always, my meds send me into slumber, but not recently.

The battles with my hyperactive mind have increased. Not a problem yet, but let’s not ride the boat over the falls.

Anyway, that is my condition note. What quest are you all on?

As a prompt, think about something has become a sign of this pandemic in your life. Not only losing mobility in the world but an effect that you are experiencing personally. Create a work that gives this authenticity.

I will come about with a more typical post later.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Creativity, Due Activity

I have to think that paradise exists because there must be something to counter this absolute.

I remember I was a tyke, my cousin (adult) who visited saw me writing. Colored pencils on pieces of notebook paper I cut down to fit my lines. This before school years, he looked, saw I was writing positive ideas, I was happiness. He asked me if he could take those words, lines, kid musings, and publish them to help others. I said yes, then asked if I would get my name or money, acquisitive child. He said I would help make the world a better place. I wonder, sometimes ponder. The expectation became, an maybe always was, do good, be love, help.

I have been part of publishing almost my whole life, not that it paid the bills, but that does not always motivate me. I have read so widely, owning an ark of books, and we do not talk about my Kindle library. Libraries have been my oasis, to the point I was there more often than anywhere but home. The magazines I read were a smorgasbord. This still tends to be the case.

I was told by a near/dear I was too stupid to use a computer, but I bought one at earliest opportunity. I had already exp!ored a Tandy and Atari and had a Pong. My KLH from Sam’s Club was decided after checking Apple in 1991, and that one was soon turned over to my tyke, who was an inquisitive three. I acquired a scanner, cameras, Wacom tablet, more computers, Photoshop, Corel, Office, Pagemaker, and with a little work, a stable of contributors for a digest-sized desktop published magazine. I sent contributor copies worldwide, but the money, like often, was not there.

At the time, were I not me, I probably could have made the deficit up with advertising. I believe rapacious advertising is responsible for many ills of our society. The mental health of many citizens is negatively impacted by the expectations raised and then left unmet because economics prevent people from attaining their inflated desires.

My hopes run toward society recovering its interest in the well-being of citizens, not the unreasonable profits of mega-corporations. Devising restraints on tantalizing over-intrusive advertising would positively affect this goal. I am a single voice, I restrict.advertising’s access to my attention through active cultivation of selected media. I have done this since teen years. My concern is our littlest ones and those who are losing themselves to ad-fueled despondency.

Love is the worthy aim for all who care for life. Personal interaction, attention to those closest to us, recognizing the devastating lure of things beyond possibility, and stepping up when help becomes necessary, these are love’s calling.

Paradise, they would let you think you can buy it. I hope you know; it is not for sale.

I am a dreamer, a lover, a soul adrift; I live the creative life as best I can, a poet who believes. Some call me crazy… But I still have a lovely mind. TMI. Well…

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Short Story: Unexpectedly Gone

Married to an ex-military man who was crawling back from the abyss of a previous divorce with alimony and lots of child-support. His rising star was Maitlyn’s favorite creation. She invested in all the programs to teach him coding and hardware to help him become an expert with networking and computer maintenance.

Her aversion to being away so long from her little one, she swallowed along with her anger over unmercifully long hours and no corporate support. It had to be okay because, for the first time in her life, she was a runaway success with money in excess.

Sometimes she wished there was time for guitar practice, small jams, photoshoots, and writing more than grocery orders and inventory counts. Making a good life for those she loved was a dream, though, and she held it in her hands. No sacrifice, no fulfilling extraordinary demands, one could not expect plans to bring hopes to fruition. Maitlyn knew from experience everything could suddenly crumple like notebook paper and catch afire, burning totally away as if none of it ever existed.

At moments she felt like a mouse on a wire-wheel chasing forever faster to catch a tablet-sized cheese, which was inevitably beyond her reach. She wanted a quiet life where items could be alphabetized and checked off the list, where nothing was impossible, and joy was ever-present.

Climbing the ranks had been a vertical ascension, always giving more, reaching higher. It amazed her, but the shadow, she was consistently aware of how quickly one could fall from the heights.

She had seniority and was vested, but there came a time when she had to manage several weeks short-staffed working fifteen to eighteen hours in a row. She called her supervisor for assistance, he offered none. One night around 3am, she crawled into bed. At 5am when she tried to get up, she no longer connected with the world.

Logan called the district manager, her supervisor, he explained that she was sick and he was taking her to the hospital. The DM said if she failed to come in, she was fired. Logan kept her home and took her to the hospital, where she was admitted for an extended stay.

Sweet dreams often end precariously.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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Mad Advocacy

It is bad enough the subject is still taboo in our day. It is bad enough, so many people suffer in fear, afraid to be real. It is bad enough there are millions. It is so horrible people are dying.

If it were cancer, if it were cardiac, if it were anything physical, there would be a focus, discussion, compassion, a willingness to try to find better treatments, a cure.

My cousin asked a general question on Facebook, “Can a person with schizophrenia be called an individual?” Family, my own family. He knows me. I have corresponded with him. He has read my work and me, his. He came here and spent time with me in person the day of Mom’s memorial service.

Read that again, “Can a person with schizophrenia be called an individual?”

This was my reply: “Yes. Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder are different things. Do you consider me an individual? I have Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia, and the mood disorder, Bipolar combined.

Even MPD, the person, is an individual. Our illnesses do not make us any less worthy of respect and love as individuals.

I wonder where this post came from.”

Punch me in the face and lay me out cold. I could not believe I was reading this.

I should not be surprised. Society wishes to sweep us out with the nasty garbage. Do you know how long it takes to get funding to find those of us suffering new treatments? Do you realize how many people think we are all acting? Do you know how few live to age 56 because they commit suicide?

Sorry, I am angry. It is not so much about me. I know people who could function with meds. I know women who are so down on themselves, their husbands can put fists to skin. I have spoken to a father whose son and his wife were both mentally ill, and that man was in the process of adopting their little girl because neither of them could adequately care for her. He was almost 70.

I am lucky, I get my meds, and though I am sometimes suicidal, I know how to defuse myself with my creativity. Not to say, I have not come very close to success but been saved. My disease is the worst, and I am high functioning. I have an incredible doctor, I was able to get disability, Medicare, and Medicaid by 1997, but I had been living a nightmare since 1981. What I get does not pay all the bills, but I am afraid to lose the insurance by going to work, and I do not do well in public for extended periods. My home is a disaster area. Alex cleared out my Mom’s room. We took three loads in large trucks of clothes to Good Will. I could not do it. I cannot hardly manage any of the house. I have to keep my mind busy, or I destruct. I have to read, write, create, stay mentally engaged, or go to pieces.

Do you realize why so many are in a sorry state? They cannot afford a doctor, and if they could, they could not afford meds. Go price anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, go ahead. I will wait.

This is a crisis, and every day it gets worse. That is not an exaggeration. More and more people are committing suicide.

I am sorry, I try to leave this out of the conversation. I know most do not wish to hear about it. Many think we just lack will power and can pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. My older brother was like that, he looked down on me most of my life. We loved each other, but I failed to meet his expectations. My Mom talked to everybody who knew me trying to find ways to relate to me.

No one knows what having voices that you know are unreal, but you cannot dispel, that tell you that you are damned, stupid, ugly, unwanted, unloved, is like without experiencing it. Also, delusions that make it so you cannot trust anyone and always make you feel inferior, make you wish you were never born or could die right quick. It is so hard to understand, and no one should have to, we should put an end to it with committed research.

People like so many of our stars and veterans who commit suicide because of depression. Most of the people suffering are bright and had potential until the diseases took over their lives.

Maybe you know someone who struggles, perhaps you could give them a hug, tell them how much they mean to you. Offer to visit. Just treat them like they are an individual. Love them even if they are sometimes or often unlovable. If you know someone who needs treatment, maybe you could help them with the process. It is damned hard, and many require advocates.

If this offends you, I am sorry. If you think less of me, I get it. Something needs to be done to wake this country up to this crisis. People are dying, and their blood is on our hands if we do nothing, say nothing, we do not initiate change.

“Can a person with schizophrenia be called an individual?” If we dehumanize those with mental issues, are we not falling back into worst tyrannies than our nation’s and world’s past.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I usually give you pretty pictures, but I think the stark text will do this time.