Sipping on chemical cocktails

I’m what the psychiatric world calls ‘medication compliant’

That means I take the drug cocktails prescribed by disinterested doctors like a good girl 

Open, swallow, repeat

It started with just one pill to take the anxiety I was feeling away

Then it doubled and tripled

And to get better I had to get so sick

Nauseous and numb 

Hospitals and late nights 

Feeling like an outsider in the psychiatric wing

Listening to the screams and cries of people 

While I sat frozen in fear and silence

Then they added another pill to the mix

You know…

To deal with the depression the anxiety had dropped me into

All the doctors with their notepads and padded wallets from pushing pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals where reading the side effects were like reading the symptoms of the disease it’s meant to treat

Open, swallow, repeat

And then there’s a magical white pill that absolves me of everything including the intensity of feelings

In the fog of it all, are the self righteous people who preach medication isn’t the answer

To questions they know nothing about

Like

Why can’t my brain just fucking stop?

Why can’t I just be fucking happy?

I wouldn’t wish even a minute of a panic attack on even them

I wouldn’t want even them burdened with the weight of depression 

I worry about zombie apocalypses and World War Three

Not for the risk to humanity 

But of how I’ll get my medication 

How will I beat the zombies and the army when I’m going through withdrawal? 

When I start panicking

When I start falling

Open, swallow, repeat

Never miss a dose

Like a good patient 

What would my brain be like without all the medications? 

I picture it like a flickering light bulb in a bad storm

Thunder, lightening

Flicker, flicker 

Over and over again

Like a mouse running on a wheel

Never going anywhere

Running towards nothing

Open and swallow and repeat

Until…

The

End

Advertisements

Numbers 

Almost 5 months post Round 1 of Lemtrada  

Four monthly blood tests

Four times I’ve panicked about going for blood work 

Four times where I did it without a panic attack or fainting 

Four times I’ve gotten good results 

Four urine tests where I didn’t pee on myself

Four urine tests with good results

One time where I saw my neurologist who said it was way too early to determine if the treatment was successful

Twice He wouldn’t tell me how many lesions I have active or not

Twice I was told my vision was better

Countless number of times I’ve been a heaping crying mess 

Eight months until Round two 

Twice I’ve thought aloud that I shouldn’t have done the treatment 

Two consecutive weeks at work where I felt strong and unbreakable 

Two consecutive weeks where I didn’t take a sick day

Countless times I’ve thought ‘I just can’t do this’

One week that was really fucking hard

Numerous times during said week where I doubted how long I could continue ‘this’

One time I had to cancel travel plans

One day I called in sick 

Countless times I’ve laughed, smiled and been happy to be at work or around people I like

Three times I was awake most of the night

Too many times that food had lost its flavour

One breakdown since being advised to refrain from being tattooed until further notice 

Innumerable days I’ve gotten up, dressed and left the house

Zero

times

I’ve

given

up

I don’t know whether I’m the boxer or the bag

The doctor asks if I feel that I have people in my life who look out for me

I am stumped by his question

I’m not sure what the right answer is

I hate feeling stumped 

I don’t know what answer he is looking for 

Do I go with what I think he wants to hear?

Sure, I have people in my life that watch my back

Do I go with honesty even if it makes me look miserable?

No, I know people care about me, but at the end of the day, I’m in this alone 

Are we supposed to feel that our loved ones will be so proactive as to protect us? 

It makes me wonder do people out there actually feel like someone is looking out for them?

Like some sort of guardian angel…

Do people think that their loved ones are so selfless as to be on guard for them?

Are we that selfish to think that people are so proactive in their love for us that they uphold some sort of duty?

Do I sound like a despondent depressed person?

Is he going to think I need way more help than cognitive fucking therapy?

I mull his question over in my head

I swirl different answers around on my tongue

Trying them on for what feels right 

I come to an answer I think I can live with

That I won’t kick myself for

It’s on my lips

And I can’t say it without a break in my voice

I try once

Twice

Shit

That makes me sound so…

Weak

I decide I don’t want to answer this

It doesn’t mean anything

It doesn’t say anything about me

About my mental health and wellness

Who comes up with these fucking questions anyway?

What box does this check off on his assessment of me

But

If I tell him that I don’t want to answer

It’ll make me sound more freakin insane than I think I actually am

So fuck it

I can own up to my shit

I’m good at that

And you know what, I don’t need anyone to look out for me

I’ve always carried the strongest shield 

The thickest armour 

So what if I’m usually the one pointing the gun on the other end?

The kids aren’t alright 

The kids aren’t alright

They never were

Not when I was one

Probably not when you were either

Something happens when we reach the peak of adulthood

Where we forget the feelings of pain and of being so lost

And start to resent the kids

The same kids that just aren’t fucking alright

Thinking they have it so easy

No responsibilities

No bills to pay

But the truth stares back at me every day

In the faces of the kids I work with

The forced tough guy faces

In the set of their jaw

In the puff of their chests 

They don’t know what the future holds 

All they can see is how shitty life is

In that precise moment

In how fucked up their parents are 

In how lonely they feel

In how angry they are

I remember that too

The angry feelings

When I was scared to speak

In case I let out a breath of fire 

And someone would see the real me

But still the anger kept me going

See…the kids don’t know

They don’t know that when the anger goes away

Everything is still exactly the same

Except you

You finally realize that nothing is going to change

Nothing you do                           Nothing you wish hard for      Nothing you fight for

It didn’t change then

It didn’t miraculously get better for me like we keep telling them it will

Let’s stop selling them fairy tales of how once they’re older, it’ll all be better

Stop setting them up to be disappointed 

Maybe we should just tell them that it doesn’t get better

It’s not easier 

We learn how to control the fire-breathing

We just learn how to keep soldiering on

We learn how to not let the shitty stuff overwhelm us

We learn how to fake it sometimes

We learn how to mask it so well sometimes we think we really are alright 

They will too

The kids weren’t alright then

The kids still aren’t alright

Eye Hate Mondays

Mondays are the days that nobody warned me about

The days that drag on with seemingly not an end in sight

Not scary or shocking like a nightmare

But like the haunting eeriness of a Walking Dead marathon

Nothing seems plausible and everything seems impossible

Mondays are the bitter haggard days of the week

That seem to have lost the naïveté that Fridays sometimes carry

And utterly devoid of any of the promises that the weekends leave with 

Instead the day is all jagged edges, tired sighs

and painful eyes

And the only thing that gets me through a never ending Monday

And is the only thing that separates the long day from the long night…

Is that I can finally close my fucking eyes 

 

First week down

I had no idea what to expect for my first week back at school

Would I feel as exhausted and generally shitty as I did last year?

Would there be any noticeable change?

So one week down and I’ve learned or realized the following things:

It’s not the job or the kids that were exhausting me. It was the fucking disease (okay and maybe the kids a little) 😬

I have more overall energy and that contributes very positively to my mood

CBD has helped with pain management of which I get along of aches and pains and having run out of my supply this week I find a noticeable negative difference and yet still I survived

Youth today haven’t gotten ‘worse‘. They’re just as lost and fucked up as I was when I was one. They still just want someone to listen to them, to understand, try to understand, even just sit with. 

I can pass for 17 when surrounded by other 17 year olds. (This did not feel as complimentary as I thought it would!) 😳

After having done this job for several years, I wondered if I’d lost some of my passion or ability to empathize. I learned this week that I’m not desensitized to the youth and their multitude of issues, I’ve just learned how to manage and cope with my response to them and their lives

There have been a lot of changes in my agency and some of them made me question my work, coupled with that niggling of a reoccurring thought in the back of my brain that doubts my abilities as a youth worker and as someone capable of making a difference in a young persons life. A coworkers reaction to my filling her in on a youth we had just accepted into the program made me feel like just maybe I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be doing what I’m supposed to be doing. She told me that she is always amazed at how much these kids open up to me after just meeting me. 

I learned this week that even if it’s only one kid that I reach or empower or help feel heard…well, I’m counting it as a fucking win 

I learned that even with all the bureaucratic bullshit and red tape that surely must be in hot demand these days, I still love my fucking job 

I know the race isn’t over. Lots more shit to come…but maybe                   this old gal’s got a little more to give…besides who doesn’t love an underdog?

💋 xo

Angela 

Life, one day

I think about things in terms of ‘one day’

One day I’ll be happy
One day it’ll be different

One day I won’t be me

I lose myself in the possibilities that ‘one day’ might bring

I worry about the possibilities that ‘one day’ might never come
I consider what my life will be like if ‘one day’ finally comes
One day I’ll be healthy
One day I’ll be full of laughter 

One day I’ll fall asleep fulfilled and peaceful

One day I’ll wake up with eagerness to meet what lies ahead 

I consider what my life will be like if ‘one day’ never arrives 

One day I won’t get out of bed
One day I won’t keep going

One day I won’t get better

One day it just won’t stop

One day

One day

One day

I’ve grown tired of waiting for ‘one day’
I’ve grown weary of the promise of what ‘one day’ might finally bring

One day

One day 

One day 
The words lose their meaning 

One more day?

One less day?

One day soon?

One day in the past?

How will I know when that ‘one day’ is here?

Will someone tell me?

Or like love, will I just fucking know?

Will it come like a storm with thunder and lightening and with a warning?

Or will it be quiet and stealth with no fanfare or time to prepare?

What if I miss my ‘one day’?

What if I’m busy having a bad day?

Will I get a do-over day?

What if my ‘one day’ already came?

and I didn’t even know it?

What if it was worse before? 

And this, this is my ‘one day’

And I’m busy wasting it

Waiting for something that already happened?

What if this

really is 

as good as it gets?

As it’s ever gonna get?