Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Badger Eats Pills: Psych med Gourmet Reviews "Seroquel"

The Blogging and interwebs world is full of Foodie Bloggers they are everywhere, and I am a foodie, I am also Crazy. So I decided that to break new social media ground I would write reviews about Psych meds that I take or have taken. it is a untouched space in digital reviews and I hope that soon there will be a Yelp category or maybe even a Camp for it. First I have to say that I am not saying that psych meds are bad and should not be taken, they help and are needed. I just want to take down some stigma surrounding them and have some fun.

Just like popular foods there are popular crazy meds and not unlike Pizza which has become a food for everyone  so has Seroquel a delightful little pill from the La Cordon Blue of Psych Pharma, "AstraZeneca" . This delightly little pill was first created in the test kitchens of AstraZeneca while they were try to develop a pill that went very well with Potato Chips at 1 A.M. ...

 It was a success! Seroquel is a salt (who does not like salt?) which was first dined on by people who needed to eat some anti-psychotics and like any good food was soon found to work on depression,  bipolar, mania, anxiety and anyone who had a aversion to carbohydrates. Depending on your appetite it can be ordered in various portion sizes from 10mg to 200mg nomminess. I preferred to eat 750 mg at a time because I am a glutton.

 Seroquel is paired well with a nice French anti-depressant or if you do not go nap time soon Mexican food in the form of 7-8 bags of "Doritos" maybe  followed by a dessert of creme du Ben & Jerry's .   After your dining a long protracted dinner coma will ensue complete with such activities as nocturnal weight gain, and competitive pillow drooling. after eating your Seroquel you will find that you no longer bark at squirrels, avoid bridges, shop for crap you don't need or fit any of your pants anymore.

 The Bipolar Badger recommends Seroquel if your Dr./Waiter prescribes it. It can make your life better and is a  good med for a lot of people. So eat and be mentally healthy!!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a Physician or Healthcare professional, this is just satire and I by no means recommend any  prescription to or dosage of seroquel or any pharmaceuticals and you should consult a physician prior to starting any medications.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"August 16th 1990, 20 Years Minus 6 = Emotional Mathematics"

 On August 16th 1990 I was in Sarajevo covering the breakup and building tensions in Yugoslavia which would lead to a vicious ethnic war and mass genocide. But on that day in what was a beautiful city my life changed forever. Not by bomb, or illness or money, it was changed by love. This was the day that I had my first date with the amazing woman who would become Mrs. Badger.

  I had met J.J. before, and I always had a crush on her, she was a funny, smart, beautiful photographer. I had previously tried to chat her up at the smarmy journalists bar in the Holiday Inn Sarajevo  and she was having no part of me. As her friends were telling me and I quote, " JJ thinks you are a Crazy Little Boy, who had a better  chance of getting pregnant than a date with her" But my heart would not give up. I came up with an idea, that was hatched while drinking with some other cameramen of questionable moral providence. I would show her I was a professional and would write  her a "Relationship Resume"!! fueled with a locally made moonshine and bad Baltic weed  I wrote my resume, complete history of my relationships with references.

  I bribed JJ's Best friend and personal firewall that I would never talk to or attempt to again only if she delivered said document and that JJ would agree to a 1 hour date.  The firewall agreed and soon JJ came by the bar and announced that I would get a 1 hour window to prove I was not just a less hairy ape.
That one hour turned into a 8 hour date, the next day JJ moved into my room and that was the beginning of how I learned to Love & be Loved.

  Today if J.J. was still alive we would have been together for 20 years and probably would have been. Our relationship was not perfect non are. But we saw past our emotional, social, interpersonal quirks because we were best friends, JJ was the first time I experienced unconditional Love outside of my Parents & Grandparents.  A lot of our friends saw us as a perfect couple, maybe because we always respected each other and enjoyed every moment we were together. But we were not perfect,  I as we know have lots of issues, and so did she. We did fight but never in public, we did not moan to friends about each other unless it was child like kidding. When we did fight and we fought a lot, it never got personal or ugly and we never went to bed angry we would stay up all night and find a solution if that is what it took. As sappy as that sounds it really works. when you go to bed angry it ferments, and evolves into something else and that is never pretty.

  These are some the things that J.J. gave me as a person and that left me a much better person than I was when I met her. She taught me to be able to be Loved, a skill I am still working on. JJ always trusted me emotionally even when I was emotionally not well. I learned from her that being silly when things look the darkest is good medicine. I learned there is dignity in accepting who you are. The best gift that I was given was that I am at my core good, kind and have the capacity to Love and Respect back and that I do not have to be perfect in doing it, if I am truly Loved back.

Here is the Math! God and I hate math............

Days we would have been together : 7305 pretty scary number
Days I have still lived after she was gone: 2191

 The second number is more important to me right now, I have come along way since then, seen many things met many friends, and all I have seen, and all I have met have been the direct benefit  of Jennifer June's impact on my life. Do I miss her? Yes of course I do today, on our wedding anniversary, her birthday, her day of passing and ground hog day are the worst on me emotionally. I get through them knowing I was lucky to have 14 years with my best friend and that is not a little thing, not many people can say that at my age. Wherever you are June Bug I hope no one else has written you a Resume........................................

Friday, August 13, 2010

"All Shame Sometimes Needs is a Friend & Some Elbow Grease"

I am open about so much of my life and Mental Health here online and in public, yet I have had a Dirty Little Shameful Secret for a while now.. I had not been taking care of my home.

   Because of the show "Hoarders" talking about this or admitting I had a problem was too difficult for me. As a result of my Physical Health and my Depression I had let my Apt become a mini episode of Hoarders. No mummified cats or wall eating goats, but it was to me a horror show. The problem is that the worse it gets the more depressed and stressed about it the more you live in some quasi denial and it gets worse. I  have did not have people over my place, and hated myself in quiet torture. One of my  best friends who had visited gave me a invervention and was not going to visit me unless I let her help me. In my Shame I was willing at first to lose this friendship rather than have her see my place in full and help me do what i could not do myself.

 I am working on living a better life of mental wellness and I trust my friend emotionally so I  agreed and today we made a huge dent in the clutter and dirt in my place. She told me it was not as bad as I thought it was and that made things much less anxiety ridden and I will say that I actually had fun. The job is not done there is still a lot of work to do but now I know it can be done. I had to write about this to be more open as that is a goal I am working on in my life. Today some of my personal feelings of shame were lifted thanks to a friend I could have lost because of it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Dear Brain, I Think You Are Following Me"

 PARANOIA !!!   A word that is used humorously in media and in conversation by many but when mentioned by someone living with mental illness strikes fear, outward stigma and self stigma. I am sure a lot of you are familiar with the paranoia from pot, it is a very different animal.

When I had my last Major Depressive episode I also for the first time it invited a new friend along without asking me first and that friend is yes you guessed it paranoia. Now this is not of the variety you are used to seeing or thinking about, the psychotic paranoia. I am not thinking the government is coming for me, or people are listening outside my door, fuck my life is way too boring for anyone to listen to. It is more like, I think I did something wrong to someone and they hate me now. Or my dr does not want to help me because other people told him not to. This is not a constant or ever present thought pattern, it seems to only rise when I am under a lot of stress and goes away when I am not stressed.

 Stress is a big part of paranoia and I am learning more about this right now as I need to to better understand wheat my mind is doing to me. This is not a fun or easy subject to discuss because it is scary to both me and others and can be difficult for friends and family to understand. I am going back on a med I was once on called Gabapentin . I know these thoughts are my mind and my illness on one side and the other side is my crazy talking. This is for me difficult to deal with because if you know something is wrong you change it, this does not change that easy and it is also new to me so it scares me even more.

 To those of  you who see me often please understand these thoughts I am currently having and feel free to remind me that this is my illness taking to me and not reality. And please be patient with me I am still not 100% but I am getting better. Living with Mental Illness is not cut and dry and it's boundaries and borders change all the time. The human mind is always dynamic so it is understandable that Mental Illness or Mental Wellness would be as well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Who Me Ask For Help? The Badger is a Learnin Stuff"

 Being alone for so long now it seems that I have unlearned things that make a person a good friend. I have always been somewhat stubborn and frankly can keep people from helping me. It is a trait I learned from my Dad who was the king of "I am OK". Six months ago this would not have been such an issue for me. I was resigned and accepting that for the most part I would be pretty much alone for the remainder of my life. Reaching that point of comfort was not easy, or comfortable, yet like most people with acceptance became kinda ok.
   This has not been my best of years, personal loss, a diagnosis of cancer, and my recent trip into a mental health crisis had left me pretty beaten up. Who could blame me for wanting to burrow deep into my emotional castle keep, only to venture out when it was comfortable to do so? There is one catch to this theory and plan though. Friends! In recent months I have made some wonderful friends, people who accepted my crazy ass into their lives even when I had so little to give back, or just forgot how to. Some of these people I see everyday, some once and a while, others I reconnected with after years apart. Then one day I was not alone anymore and this scared the crap out of me, I worked hard and long to be alone for the most part keeping people on my peripheral, letting them in only as much as my comfort zones would allow.
 It may seem to those who know me that I am outgoing, open and will disclose freely my life. Yes I am open but open does not mean close. I carry with me a lot of personal pain and grief, along with a twisted sense of pride that has forced me to not ask for help emotionally when I need it.

 I have learned in recent weeks that I cannot do this emotionally alone, that the people whom I care about next to me can and want to help, but my walls make it very difficult to care for me. How can you keep trying to care for a prick like me when I keep you at a distance? again lucky for me I met and have become friends with people who have such huge capacity to love and care. They have taken care of me regardless of my emotional kicking and screaming, even when their own emotional plates are over flowing. I am moved by this humanity in ways you may never understand.  these amazing people have help my hand while I am relearning to be a human and a friend again.
  I am not there yet, still, a work in progress and some days I run back to my old self, but I am dedicated to change to be the person I once was. I only hope that the do not give up before this happens. I am not now a easy person to always like, love or understand. My life is in some ways more complicated by the way I interact with it, growth is never easy or painless. Yet I am motivated to change these things about me, and try and leave the world around me a better place for knowing me.
  So stick around as I empty some of the crap from my emotional closet and learn once more to not only ask for help, to accept that help and to give back to those who help me.

I will thank each of you who has aided me personally, and not here in this blog because HTML is not the way I want to do it. Be well my friends and readers and I am sorry if I have been cold, and distant it is only because that is what i knew to protect myself. Now I am learning differently.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Chemical Fail Whales"

 Failure!!! I Failed!!!!! I Will fail!!

We have all said it thought it beaten ourselves silly with it. I believe personal failure is a self defined benchmark, a   event horizon that is set by us, our minds and by our belief system. There is a criteria for failure that I found and it is this on wikipedia 

The criteria for failure are heavily dependent on context of use, and may be relative to a particular observer or belief system. A situation considered to be a failure by one might be considered a success by another, particularly in cases of direct competition or a zero-sum game. Similarly, the degree of success or failure in a situation may be differently viewed by distinct observers or participants, such that a situation that one considers to be a failure, another might consider to be a success, a qualified success or a neutral situation.
It may also be difficult or impossible to ascertain whether a situation meets criteria for failure or success due to ambiguous or ill-defined definition of those criteria. Finding useful and effective criteria, or heuristics, to judge the success or failure of a situation may itself be a significant task.
Living with mental illness the thoughts of failure always float to the surface, especially when we are in some sort of flux. I have beaten myself up like a circus monkey over and over again based on what I see success as. I have placed a line in the sand for failure many times and forget to see the real successes that were  in front of me all the time. Everyone has but, Me living with my mental illness I do not have this luxury. Setting myself up to believe I failed can spiral me into my illness. If is Red Bull for my depression and for my anxiety.

 How do I battle this? I had to learn that just knowing that my thoughts of setting up a set of rules to fail are in it's self a win ans self awareness removes my line in the sand to some degree. Letting others know that these thoughts are in my head are also a win and  lessen the risk of what I think is a failure. You see when we think we are going to fail we are sailing a big ship alone and in the case of a a person living with depression that ship is a super tanker in size and have lots of sails, ropes , and shit that no one person can do alone. So talking and sharing our fears with friends and professionals helps us operate SS Crazy.

 In today's hustle and flow of life, our driven world of social pressure, we forget to let ourselves be human. I am recovering from my turn into my illness, light is shining through my depression now and I feel a lot better. I see this as a journey not a race, there is no failure for me right now, because I have survived so much in my life. I am all win now every step is a win even when I do not feel like it is.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Flying Without A Mental Net, The Badger has No Shrink"

 I have been out of hospital for a week now and while I maybe on the road to recovery I am not firing on all cylinders yet. I was referred to a Shrink near me for my care after my stay at the Hotel California and was at first happy to have been directed to one so close to me. I was soon shockingly mistaken. My old Dr. who was wonderful and I had reached a pivot point in our relationship and it was clear that our relationship was not assisting me in moving forward. No blame it just reached it therapeutic terminus.  The other Dr whom I love and has to be one of the most caring and kind men not just medical professionals is retiring, and he will be a much missed advocate for all who live with Mental Illness .

  So today i went to meet my new doc with a open mind and WOW it was not only traumatic but I must admit the worst treatment I have ever received by a Mental Health Pr crap I cannot even call her a professional. She acted from the moment I met her in a hugely patronizing manner in one of those monotone I think you are a asshole kinda voices, mixed with a smile that is a atom thin veil of disgust. I guess she read this blog, HI DOC !!! and figured that I am a not who she thinks is a Sheep enough to be honored by her care. She just took my history, smiled art me like I just ate her favorite  natural cotton caftan and playacted me like some idiot. Either I am too fucked up and self aware/ advocating . I think she has another agenda and it is one that I theologically do not subscribe to .

 Psychiatric medicine should be a safe pl;ace for all to be. Especially consumers who are recently out of hospital and fragile. Not a place which I left in full on tears and in a major anxiety attack. Only thankfully to a friend I worked my way through safely. If I was someone else or in a more weakened state and left in that space and because of the experience was bent on self harm, she would have been responsible plain and simple. If I was a lets say a paitent with angina no doctor would have treated me that way. So it begs to ask, are we living with Mental Illness treated with less concern than others? Maybe but not by all, but by too many.

 I will find a new doctor one without an agenda and a distaste for strong self aware/involved patients. I am driven to become healthier than I have been and to seek new growth in my mental wellness. We all deserve dignity and that is all I ask for.