Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Things Aren't Happening

There's the joyful p.r. promo "Things are happening!"

And there's the crazy person's failure to explain what is going on around him or her: "Things are happening!" (They can't articulate what exactly is happening).

Things aren't happening. That can be consoling. Or I suppose it can be depressing.

It's the relationship pre-breakup line too: "Things aren't happening."

Stated like the verbal equivalent of a piece of white bread dropped on the kitchen floor that you feel zero desire to reach down and pick up.

On the plus side, I finally slept. After days of manic driving mind weather and pain in my teeth from grinding them with the tension of being awake so long I guess, and a weird forehead pain that emerged about two days into the mania jag.

I filled the kitteh bowl with as much kibble as it would hold, but all kibble comes to an end and so that was my wake up call, as usual. Cat need.

I guess it was enough sleep.

I was using an OTC drug and I accidentally overdosed on it the other night.

That was the closest I've felt to death since I was in my early twenties and went outside and overshoveled in a blizzard and felt like I had a mini heart-attack or something. I might have had a mini-stroke the other night but I think it was just the results of the overdose.

It was completely accidental. Normally I'm very careful to lay out pills, and then put the bottle away so I won't exceed the dosage. This time I kept the bottle near me by the computer and I think in the disordered manic state completely lost count. And the drugs take quite some time to hit. And I was probably not feeling the results and then redosed. I'm guessing (in retrospect) I redosed twice in excess. And each time several pills. Because I lost all balance and couldn't go downstairs.

I hated drinking tap water but I seriously could not make it downstairs. There was no way I was calling an ambulance because the agoraphobia is really bad right now and I just couldn't face dealing with people and noises and leaving the house and the cold and having no ride home. I knew if I just kept flushing my kidneys out and drinking water it would pass.

But it took hours longer than I expected. I already knew the primary way this drug is cleared from the body is urine so it was just a matter of speeding up the pissing. But every time I had to get out of bed to make the trek to the bathroom and drink more copious amounts of water, I had terror of passing the stairs. I had to reach out my hand like an alpinist breaching a wide crevasse in rock, terrified he would fall and be broken on the rocks.

It really was like Poe's "Imp of the Perverse" story, where I felt as though the dark steep stairs had the ability to suck me down into them.

This must have been part of the paranoia the drug induces when taken in excess. I could get no relief. Even lying in bed my head was spinning. Eyes open my head spun. Eyes closed my head spun. I couldn't find a single position that would relieve the sense of sea-sickness (no nauseau though).

The worst were these perceptual jump-cuts that kept occurring. As though someone were playing a camera trick with reality. It would feel like your head missed a few frames suddenly. It must have been consciousness flipping and glitching in those moments. I guess that was its way of warning me that unconsciousness was only a few pills away.

And the first time I turned to go down the stairs (right as the overdose was kicking in) I experienced psychotic effects. In the downstairs darkness I saw this hideous, broad shouldered black creature like a spider-minotaur fucking splayed out across the few steps and just waiting to come up...or was it already moving towards me. I pulled back.

This is funny to me typing this now. But wasn't at the time.

I hope I didn't give myself a stroke. When I could finally get my blood pressure taken the next day it was well within non-stroke territory. But I kept having this weird sensation on the right side of my face yesterday and this morning before I went to sleep finally that mades me think a nerve might have paralysis...but I looked and look now in the mirror and there's nothing visible, Thank God, so I think it might just be a muscle fasciculation caused by either the overdose (it seems gone today as I type this) or a muscle fasciculation caused by my withdrawal from Lorazepam since I didn't want to mix those drugs when taking the OTC one so went off it for a few days.

Plus, if the symptoms were on the right side of my face, the stroke or T.I.A. or whatever would have been left brain and I probably would have experienced some degree of language difficulty. My father began having a series of mini-strokes and T.I.A. right around the age I am now. But his blood pressure was much higher than mine.

About using and not-using Lorazepam: I don't seem to suffer any serious withdrawal symptoms (virtually none but sometimes slight muscle fasciculations) when I abandon Lorazepam (Ativan) for a few days.

In bad periods, I can't do without it. But in relatively good periods like lately I can pick and choose.

I attribute my worries that I was experiencing a stroke to the paranoia which also goes along with the drug (especially in overdose) and I was misinterpreting the serious-as-fuck ataxia that I was having by attributing it to something other than what I should have known was causing it: the drug overdose itself. That drug didn't need to facilitate a stroke to cause serious as fuck ataxia.

Every ten minutes I forced myself to leave the bed (which wasn't easy) to go drink more water and keep pissing it out and each time I opened the door it was as though I were going mountainclimbing. I would leap the three or four feet from corner to corner to get past the stairwell and grab the wall for dear life.

I had turned the act of walking down a hallway into alpinism. I'd like to say it was interesting but interesting doesn't seem to ever be the right adjective to apply to terror.

I say good periods up above there because even with the distortions and the psychosis, I know what's causing them. Even as I experience them I am telling myself what's causing them so I'm not being controlled by my psychosis. I'm merely observing it. Today it happened again when the drug must be well out of my system, which was a little weird. I attribute this more to vision problems.

I couldn't resist digging out my camera and recharging it after being so inspired by so many visual productions on Tumblr and while I can't get myself out of the house (I'm going to try to go around the block tonight to just get some Christmas lights and pictures of things in this great wind we have tonight in the darkness) I took some pictures through a second floor window of some neighbor's Christmas lights lighting up the porches of large hulking dark houses below creepy dawn skies mostly jagged with dissenting gray clouds in the shapes of some of the snootier forms of punctuation, and some snooty diacritical mark was drearily pretty...

Not sure the pictures came out. But they can be manipulated, played with. I look forward. I was naked from the waist down and trying to hide behind my venetian blinds and not knock over about ten plants I have flowering atop that radiator in that bathroom while moving the blinds around and trying not to appear like an exhibitionist or a stalker.

This is because I thought the people who live there were on the porch. And I wanted to get the pic before the clouds broke up and before it became the full light of dawn and time was moving fast at the point when everything seems to change over at once.

But it weirded me out because the people on the porch seemed to be wearing Halloween costumes. At November's end. They were huge. They had to be in like giant mouse suits. I could only catch bits of their silhouettes. Sometimes I thought they saw me and other times I thought no, I'm in enough shadow.

I just wanted them to fucking leave for work so I could have the picture I wanted without them in it. But they would go back in the shadows. Then re-emerge. Clearly, if they had seen me I wasn't the subject of their focus, which was each other. Eventually, Lee came in the front door downstairs and I asked him to come upstairs and look and see if there were people on that porch. He looked and said there's nobody there.

This made me much happier and then I was able to work on taking the photo from the first floor right out the front door, since nobody would be disturbed by me pointing the camera that way. It was a creepy feeling to see them again and again relating to one another and trying to intuit what their dark costumes were and why they were lingering in the cold of the porch and not leaving for work or going inside. At that odd hour to mill about.

But I guess this was more my complete exhaustion (at that point I had only applied a few bandages of sleep to the mania) and the fact that I'm somewhat myopic and the fact that the porch was so dark and windy and probably there were forms there moving about in wind that my mind misread. Something blowing probably. A porch flag. Something anyway.

So not psychosis in the sense where you are believing the hallucination you are seeing. True psychosis, is, I think where you believe the hallucination.

In both cases, I questioned. The monster I knew was wrong. The people I wasn't so sure. But it made sense with the limited visual data and not being sure to be prudent about being seen. Taking a photo of a neighbor without their permission can be creepy and that was certainly not my intent. So I'm glad I didn't accidentally do that.


  1. I'd love to see a post about what you think of religious mystics and mysticism in general and also William James.

  2. My thoughts on William James are that he made a very fine teacher for Gertrude Stein.

    I am interesting in the James siblings in this strong order:

    1). Alice

    2.) Henry

    3). William

    I liked Sontag's Alice in Bed.

    I can identify with her.

    I like when her father tells her the "meaning" of the the "meaningless" of the universe and she decides that means "bed."