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

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.

 

Coffee, Poems, Ramblings

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Alex went to bed. I am wired, see the photo above for an explanation. Alex wants me to cease drinking diet sodas, which I am catastrophically addicted to, and he believes coffee is the answer. The truth about coffee is it usually makes my acid reflux worse, (which I have ceased treatment for due to the lack of a colonoscopy). I did not have that problem this time. I take my coffee, much like a soda (with Splenda, and brew specific – a generous amount of vanilla extract), which might make it even worse than those drinks I am assured are killing me. I do not do compliance exceptionally well. There would seem to be some stubbornness on board.

Being stubborn very likely is the only reason I am alive. I could not fight my monsters without I were tenacious. The last few days have been abysmal at times, and by turns incredible. I am pleasantly surprised my recent coffee consumption is going well. I LOVE COFFEE, I just rarely drank any for the past couple of years. Coffee has superior caffeine, and caffeine makes some of the side effects of my powerful medicines a bit more manageable. I am fully compliant with my psychiatric medications, but I do not have to like them.

I am on The Dell. Whatever it was doing earlier failed, and it is in the process of trying again. I like computers, possibly better than other devices, probably because I have used them much longer. I love this one, but I also hate it. Ambivalence seems to be a widespread trait in my existence. There is very little I only have one end of the feeling scale over. Catch me at the right time; I love everything. The wrong one and I would be hard-pressed to tell you a positive thing among everything in my life.

Will You

Will you hold me close
When I turn myself around,
Inside-out, upside-down,
Lose who I am – hokey-pokey like;
Without rhyme and lacking reason?
You should know this happens
In and out of season, without control.
My emotions are like an ocean
With waves that ebb and flow
Washing warm and cold, beware
Also, the undertow that drowns me
From time and again, in feelings
For which I have no use, refuse.
Will you find the patience
To weather moods, disturbances
In my equanimity? I hardly do
And it all belongs to me.
There are days I need to escape
The prison of what I am, but
My jailor is unwilling to grant any
Leave, breaking out an impossibility.
Writing though, and reading,
Grant me some serenity, words
Are love and I can find, perhaps,
Another searching soul with
Whom I have an affinity.
Come now, come near, and let us
Discover whatever is and will be,
It should all be okay, we shall see,
I will not give up the fight
As long as hope survives that you
Might deign to place your heart
Near the fullness of mine.

Composed here, live, out of nowhere. I admit I have been wrestling with inferiority. I have doubts about my worth and my sustainability. Those are near-constant, but I believe there is some talent in me. Fifty-three years of writing had to have some purpose.

Alex keeps telling me I should get rid of my books. It is killing me. I do not know how to explain what they mean, even the many I have not read. I read library books almost exclusively for years, but the books I own are a comfort to me. I have sent all the borrowed books back. Delving into these of mine has been a revelation, I fear I should have done it sooner. If he has his way, what a loss I shall suffer. I think this persistent demand of his is one reason depression has been unfailingly dogging me.

Let your whole being
Become Love’s celebration,
Your fascination.

As a prompt: Follow your emotion somewhere and create something that elucidates where yourself is at the moment. All my prompts are meant for creation with no particular medium restriction. Most creatives, which means all of us, are multidisciplinary.

I am grateful that this morning when Facebook malfunctioned and I had a full-blown panic attack, that I got myself under control with Alex’s assistance, and I recovered my account. Yeah, life is bizarre. When devices do not work, I go a bit unhinged.

Blessings to all of you, and may all your electronics function as advertised. Be well. Choose joy. Keep moving, it is harder to hit someone in motion. Carry on…

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

 

Poem: Hunted/Hunter

Well, here now, bet you did not expect me back. I took a nap. It is the best way to reset my destructive urges when I am being pursued by suicidal thoughts. Trust me, depression is no ally. However, in my crenelated state, mania also sets about to usher me away, over-taking walls that can never fence me in. Always a battle, forever a war, victory nevermore. Anyway…

Hunted/Hunter

There is a dichotomy
Built into our lives,
A perceived separation
More akin to a lie.
We are every one
A hunted, running
For survival and to
Be claimed a trophy
To ornament some
People’s idea of who
We should become.
Also, each a hunter,
Aching for forever love
Chasing illusions, dreams,
Whatever seems a goal,
Thinking accomplishment,
Wealth, reputation, will
Finally, make us whole.
Reality is our hearts
Are vessels circulating love,
What we wish to attain
Lies within us to share,
Give away, making love
All of the world
And throughout
Every moment of history.
The hunted/hunter is
A celebration of creation
Begun with a word,
To continue for eternity
The Beloved we serve,
The Beloved we are.

Yeah, that just came like a hurricane out of nowhere, the only thing I had was the words, Hunted/Hunter. Oh, dears, that is the first draft. I usually only write first drafts of poems. 

As a prompt: Create something about a dichotomy you feel presents itself in life.

I am safe, by the way. I just get agitated. The damnable disease is a horrible thing, but it has its gifts too. I am not sure I would be so wildly creative did I not face the struggle.

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© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan