Vitamin Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh

I wasn’t going to write anything today about the way I feel.

The problem being, I get the feeling that if you post that you’re having a crappy day on Facebook, most people either bleep over them or don’t know how to react and that is understandable. So that’s what blogs are for – to keep that kind of shit away from people who really don’t want to see it. If you want to know what it is like, you have to come and find me.

I can only write now because I took an Ativan around 30 minutes ago. Every time I take an Ativan, I feel like a weak failure.

Yeah, like her

I feel like a junkie, shuddering for his fix. It is not a good feeling and I don’t have this overwhelming anxiety + depression every day. Some days, one or one and a half pills are enough.

I’m still not OK. I hear people outside my door and I half shout “leave me the fuck alone.” They’ll think I’m yelling at the computer which is fine with me.

The days I turn off the classical music station are the bad days. I can’t take any distractions, noise or complications. I struggle in silence. Silence, sometimes, is my best friend, right up there with solitude – when I need it.

The problem, of course, is being at work. Thankfully, I’m off the beaten path with a door I can shut.

But every freaking keystroke until now, every document review, every greeting exchanged in the hall has required an absolute force of will to complete. I’ve held my head in my hands enough today to leave creases.

Slowly, like a warm blanket, the drug takes hold and I slowly, slowly, calm down.

This is what it is like.

My father, of course, thought I did ‘these things’ for attention. If I did, then why did I spend so much time in my bedroom reading, scribbling (I wouldn’t call it drawing, I don’t have any artistic talent) and watching TV? Because I didn’t want anyone, especially my dad, to see me and make the usual cutting comments on what a mope I was being.

I remember the first time I heard Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘I Am A Rock.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.

Every word rang true.

I was surrounded by books, maps and other ephemera. I had a radio and a small black and white TV. My books were my friends, subbing for the ones I couldn’t make (or trust) in school.

My mother used to joke that all I needed was a refrigerator and a food delivery service and they’d never see me.

It is amazing to me they never asked the question why?

sub ‘family’ for in-laws

They knew something was wrong. My dad thought I was a moping pussy and my mom thought I was maladjusted. She just felt I needed to be forced into Cub Scouting, summer camp and Little League baseball, all of which I hated and in no way did my condition any favors. Sorry mom, you were dead wrong on that.

In a way they were both right but in a big way they were both wrong.

There are thousands of people in this society just like me. Some work, some can’t. They live with the stigma as best they can. I feel very sorry for people like me who have to work in cubicles. The work society at large does not understand that some of us need doors. For many workplaces, doors are the purview of the executive class. Little people don’t get doors or windows – they get fuzzy walls.

I am lucky that I have both doors and windows for days like this. Of course, if I go to the window, there are at least two mounted security cameras that can see me if they are being monitored.

I work in a veritable fortress that calls itself a hospital. They give Ativan (lorazepam) out like candy – now that they can’t flood the zone with opiates.

Now I am calm. My head is clear. I can write with greater ease. I do not need to pace the floor or stare numbly out the window. I can get some work done by the end of the day. All because of a little benzo pill that does it’s job at the same time it builds an complete and utter dependence.

The whole morning was a torture felt inside and hid from others. The afternoon will be a recovering relief.

I hate this.

We have an employee just recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. He’s justifiably worried as he’s starting chemotherapy.

I don’t say it, but I think it: wanna trade places?

See, I look at it this way. What he has can be fixed. I would rather be a mentally well-adjusted if not happy person with a condition that can be treated and cured (50-50 chance) than crawling-the-walls stigma-sucking miserable with a condition that, after 40+ years can be ‘treated’ in the same way you would treat a sucking chest wound with a Band-Aid.

I no longer expect most people to understand. You have to feel it, if only for a few minutes.

And you wouldn’t ever want to feel that way again.

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4 Responses to Vitamin Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh

  1. Brave to speak out about it. You're writing and doing something and that's what matters. Thanks for sharing. Found you through Depression Comix.


  2. Your post made me pay attention to the lyrics of I Am a Rock. I like the song, but I had not realized what it was about, since English is not my first language. And what you have with Ativan I have with clonazepan, it`s really hard to get through life without it. Anyway, I wish we all get better 🙂


  3. Thanks. When I found Depression Comix it was akin to what I would have liked to have done if I had an inkling of artistic talent, which I don't. I'm great at stick figures, that's about it. So I write. I hope people will get a little understanding, maybe a laugh or two but also this is part memoir as well. I'm not getting younger and I wanted to knuckle down and put this material out there because none of us is guaranteed another day.


  4. Hi Camila – I was put on clonazepan (Klonopin here) and it nearly killed me, or rather, I should say it almost helped me kill myself (by accident, not on purpose). It also made me angry which was weird because no other benzo has done that to me. I started with Xanax and with Ativan I will have to stay. As for “I Am A Rock,” it's interesting how many levels the songs of Simon and Garfunkel work on. You hear a song and you think – they just wrote my childhood. Others hear a catchy tune like 'Cecelia' and think: I like it. I DID like but one of the nuns I had for a teacher said she liked it to until she paid attention to the lyrics and was aghast at all the sex in it. Horrors! Then 'Mother and Child Reunion' is one of the saddest songs of all as a mother contemplates suicide after the death of one of her children. I hope we all get better too but as long as we keep fighting our illness and manage to find some joy out of life then we have won.


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