They’re going to raze the old movie theater, vacant since 2005.
They’re going to raze the old movie theater, vacant since 2005.
I was running late, like super late. It was 12:30, and I was supposed to be at the shrink’s at 12:30. I took too long in the bath. I called the shrink’s office, the anxiety in my voice making my already child-like voice pitch up three times higher. I told the receptionist I was running late, was on my way, and I’d be there in 10 minutes. Please don’t hate me. Please don’t hate me, kept going through my head.
I usually take Uber when in need of a cab, because it’s cheaper. This day, however, Lyft ran a special, so I ordered a Lyft.
My Lyft driver was really nice. I could tell straight off he was gay, as there was a slight lilt in his southern accent (don’t be mad I said that, OK?). He knew exactly where we were going, too, Shrinks ‘R Us. He’s been here before, that voice in my head said.
“Which way do you want to go to get there, because that road goes straight there,” he asked.
“Whichever way you think is best, sir.”
He was an affable guy, and we did the usual cab conversation in our short drive. I asked him how long had he been driving for Lyft.
“Two years. I got laid off from my job, but I just finished my degree, so hopefully that will be able to get a job in that.”
I asked him how long he lived here and he told me he was originally from Boone, but had lived here for 11 years.
“Boone?” I said, excited. “I was born in Boone!” That started the conversation. I told him how my family hailed from a little area on the state line, an area only people from that area in the NC mountains know. He knew exactly where I was talking about. Exactly.
So, I told him every family name I knew about. It turns out his family may be related to mine by marriage. My second cousin Diane married someone with his surname. It may have been one of his father’s 15 siblings. I’m not joking.
I told him I only lived there for the first two and a half years of my life. Mom wanted out. “Everyone talked about everyone there and were very judgmental,” I said.
“That’s the truth,” he said.
I was sad when the ride ended. Here I am, Lisa, who sometimes almost forgets she’s a member of the human race, sitting in a car with someone linked to my family. It was positively surreal. I took a good look at him before I left, which is different for me, as I rarely look at people.
I haven’t seen a relative since my mother died in 2011. I didn’t tell him that my family disowned me. Maybe it was my mom, and then by default, me, they tossed in the garbage. They knew I was different, and didn’t want to be saddled with me, too.
When I got home from Shrinks ‘R Us, I looked up my kinsman on Facebook. Fortunately for me, his Facebook is open. My assumptions were right and then some. Yes, he is gay. Yes, he no doubt has been to Shrinks ‘R Us, because he’s severely depressed. I wish I could friend him, but I won’t because that would be super creepy of me.
I wonder if his family disowned him too. It is highly likely, if they’re like the remaining members of my side of the family. ‘Gay’ would be up there in unpardonables. Next to being a democrat and interracial marriage. I wish there was something I could do for him.
If it’s snowing at WordPress and winter is nigh, Jesus and I are having birthdays. I share my birthday with Ann Coulter, December 8th, and my birthday is also the day that guy shot John Lennon. While Ann Coulter is biting the head off of a chicken at her fete, my birthday is more subdued. I wait at a bus terminal attempting to go to my favorite place to dumpster dive. I like hitting the craft store and Dollar Tree, because everyone knows Dollar Tree is so damn expensive these days. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll even meet up with my would-be lover again. One day I headed for the Beyond part of Bed, Bath, and Beyond to scavenge through their brightly spray painted trash when a chunky transient made his suite by asking if he could touch my boob. I declined his romantic gesture and hurried away, but at least at about 37 I still attracted homeless Don Juans.
It is dusk by the time I make it to the craft store and I fumble through the garbage using my tablet for light. In the end I find a few ornaments, one a clay snowman. My mother would have loved this, I think, with a slight pain that vaguely reaches above my subconscious before it’s gone. The memories of that other Lisa.
When inside Dollar Tree, some stocking woman asks if I paid for the stuff peeking out of my book bag. I sigh, hating her, opening my bag and telling her I got the stuff from the craft store. I added, “In their dumpster, actually” in an icy tone. Did she apologize? Hell no.
Later that evening, I’m in a bar drinking Sundrop and listening to trivia. It’s too cold outside to wait a half hour for the bus. The bar has “hell” in the title, so of course it’s warm. On the muted TV, John Lennon is being canonized on ESPN, the sports channel.
The bartender must have thought , ” poor cat lady,” my dollar bag of cat litter sitting by my seat like a the badge of my permanent virgin state. One of my cards is declined, and before I can pull another, she gives me my soda on the house. Happy birthday, indeed.
You’d think after approximately two years of riding mass transit, I’d remember that the bus stops running at 6pm on Sundays, not 6:30. Since the driver offered me a transfer, I thought maybe I still had the chance to get on another bus. Nah.
“Where you getting off at?” asked the driver as we neared the downtown transfer.
” Uh, I was hoping to get on the 202.”
“No, the bus stops at 6, so you going downtown?”
“Yes, I guess I am going downtown,” I said with affected cheer. Now, I could have got off earlier and went to a different grocery store location with more of a walk, but the dread of extra walking made me take my chances with a transfer. Fail. Well, I’m here, I thought. Might as well enjoy myself a little while, then walk 10 blocks up to a Family Dollar and do my shopping there. All downtown were the signs of life being lived: people drinking, eating, and sightseeing. I drowned my sorrows in frozen yogurt, saving the colorful plastic spoon for my collection. Then I began my quest for the 10th Street Family Dollar. Passing by Ye Olde Church, a sight caught my eye. The gate to the oldest cemetery in town stood open. Before now, the gate was always locked. My mother and I always wanted to tour that cemetery, but Mom was a little ‘late’ to this Land of Dead Episcopalians. So it was just me and her ashes around my neck. And this is what I saw:
March 25th will mark my third blogoversary. Time flies when you type five words a minute. Picture it, I a callow youth of 32, rose in my cheeks and tortured genius illuminating my eyes, typing my first words! Oh how the muses danced, the angels wept, and the majestic turkey vultures soared! Three years, still here. In case you missed those 3 years, let me summarize:
Lisa, the OCDbloggergirl, lives with her mother and 3 cats. Lisa has OCD and is getting into fights with her mom, mainly because Lisa cannot be the perfect person Lisa wants to be and this pisses her off. Poor mom. The years are swallowed up with Lisa writing, Lisa getting published by online journals ( reprints of blog entries, mainly). Lisa’s writing improves. She thinks “Hey why don’t I get my own website, maybe I’ll get rich or at least be able to have a meowing cat widget!” Life is swell. Then Fate says, “Hey why don’t I let your mom die of complications from pneumonia, that would be a plot twist!” Life sucks. Some social worker says Lisa might have to go to a group home if she can’t find somewhere to go on her SSI check. Lisa would rather die than be separated from her cats now that there’s no one else. Neighbors step in and she and the cats go live there. Life is very good again and Lisa finds her Soul Mate in her gay neighbor (Dumb, OCDbloggergirl. You get what ‘gay’ means, right?) But gay friend and jealous partner are kinda messed up themselves and who was wrong? Who was right? Who was fucked over? I think Lisa was, but maybe they were, but maybe she was, but then …All the lies and uncertainty make Lisa do something to herself, she ends up in the hospital. Then she ends up in hell…er a nursing home for two months, until her roommates cave and let her dumb ass back in for a nominal hike in rent (475.00 instead of 240.00). Life is teetering from good to bad back and forth. The man she loves, Gay Romeo, likes to lie, and has stopped taking his medicines. He forgets he cares about Lisa altogether, but she is saved from hell by a program. Lisa now has her own apartment for the first time in her life, and they all lived happily ever after maybe. She hopes that now her blog will stop being a total buzz kill.
I guess you could say I am at a good place now. Well, almost. Oscar, my grey and black tabby is missing now for over a month. I remain hopeful he will return, just as my Phillipe did 9 years ago when my mother and I moved into our old apartment. Phillipe was cooped up 2 weeks before we opened the door and let him go outside. He didn’t come home for 2 and a half months. Came home though, and no worse for wear. I suspect someone took him in and he finally got away, which I suppose happened to Oscar too. I think a good post would be to tell the stories of my 3 cats one day. For those of you who pray, please pray Oscar comes home. Thanks.
But yeah. Good place. Now. I am happy for the most part. There is a strange sort of freedom to being alone in the world. I find my life worth living, even if only for my cats, and the occasional ‘rescue mission’ for Bestie, who is a bit of an anxious lass. I don’t have to be useful to anyone anymore, and that’s freedom in a way. When I was with the roommates, my use was measured in my finances I guess. When I was with my friend I knew from way back, all he wanted was a batch o’ my snatch. When I went to that ‘home,’ almost everyone wanted me for one reason or another. Eh God, vultures. I am better off on my own having my own adventures and my own life. Hanging out with Bestie, my friend of 20 years, basically fulfills my social life, that and my online life. Soul brothers are merely mythological creatures, unicorns. I miss my unicorn though (we even watched My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic together, sigh).
And now, not to be all Jodi Arias stalky or anything, but I did have someone drive me by ye olde home place, just to see if the members of the She-Male Lisa Haters Club had indeed left town as they said they would in March. Part of me prayed that they were gone, that seeing an empty apartment would cure me of my feelings for The Unicorn nee Soul Bro. But neighhhhhhhh, the signs that they were still there abounded. First, the plants that I gave him from my mother were still there. The chair that once was mine was still there, as no doubt the rest of the lawn furniture that he felt was his due (I would have left that chair for him anyway, the way I had left half of my hard candy for him). There is a yellow truck out in front. I wonder if it’s his. He always wanted a yellow vehicle. If it is, the straits they said they were in due to me must have eased into gentler waters.
But the doubts are ever present in my mind. Is it because of me that they aren’t gone to fulfill his dream in DC? Is he sick? Or, like so many other things, was living there just another of his stories? Once, The Partner told me that I was a boil on his butt that he just can’t lance. Well, I was lanced wasn’t I? Shouldn’t they be happily ever after now, and shouldn’t I, like a normal person, stop giving a fuck about The Unicorn? Somewhere over the rainbowwwwwwww….
I am happy now. I am almost at peace. I must put them out of my mind. I am eternally grateful that he was there when my mother died, but that chapter of my life must close. That way I can truly be happy, That and finding Oscar. Where the hell are you, Oscar?
PS, other fun incidentals. Remember for a time I foolishly flirted with having a self-hosted site? Well when I hung up the towel there at ocdbloggergirl dot com and let my domain expire, guess what happened? I thought maybe some other blogger might buy it, but I doubted it. Nope. Ocdbloggergirl dot com didn’t even become a Canadian pharmacy. Cough. It became…cough…a porn site. A porn site boasting Polish lesbians. I’m not joking, And as Paul Harvey used to say…”now you know the rest of the story.”
I was given the option of “voluntarily” being admitted or getting a judge to commit me. It was around 4am a nd I was finally sobering up a bit. I bid adieu to my best friend who had stayed through the whole ordeal, was carted off in a wheelchair by a surly cop and began a 10 day vacation locked away in a psych ward. Ten days because no one wanted my sorry ass and I ended up in a faraway nursing home for 2 months. It was the worst two months of my life, though I absolutely LOVED my stay in the psych ward. It was pretty fun and I met some great folks. I’d do it again if it didn’t entail trying to kill myself and making all my friends tell me they don’t want my crazy self and sending me away to the home. Not fun.
In case you missed it:
I try again on that red phone and this time we are allowed into the ICU. The third time is the charm. My mom is in room 14. The doctor I met in the ER asks me questions, the one with a European accent and wonderful bedside manner.
“We can keep the antibiotic drips going, which may let her live for a little while longer, but I’ve rarely seen anyone get better this far along. But it’s your decision.”
“How much difference would there be in time if I take her off the drips?” I ask.
“It’s hard to say. She could last a few hours or a few days.”
“But it’s near impossible for her to get better?”
“Less than a 1% chance, but if you say to keep going, we will keep pumping her with antibiotics and doing all we can.”
“I need to think about it a bit.”
He asks me about taking extraordinary measures to keep my mother alive, but I know my answer already. “No, my mother wouldn’t want that if she would be brain-dead. I’m certain I don’t want you to resuscitate and she’s told me before she wouldn’t want it.” Break my mother’s ribs so that she can be a dead woman breathing? No. NO.
“I don’t know if in her condition any of her organs could be used, but if they can, I want them to be donated. My mother wouldn’t mind. She had ‘organ donor’ on her driver’s license. It would be nice to know my mom hadn’t died completely in vain.”
They are going to do some other procedures to my mother, so Bestie and I go out to the waiting room again. Bestie is on the phone with her mom and telling her about my indecision in keeping Mama on the antibiotics. And of course Bestie’s mom wants to give me her sage advice in the matter. I politely listen.
“She’s your mom. You can’t give up on her.”
“Yes, you’re probably right,” I reply.
“What kind of insurance does your mother have?”
“Well, you know with people without anything but Medicare, they try to do as little as they can with them and get them out of there.”
I tell the doctor that he should keep the drips going just in case. Afterall, they are also keeping her on pain meds and sedation just in case. I probably would’ve made this decision anyway without the intervention of my bestie’s dear Mama, but…
I have to ask, though. How do you ask such a question without giving offense? “Um, I don’t believe this of course, you’ve all been so wonderful, but…my friend’s mother is a bit of a cynic, and she told me y’all don’t do everything for Medicare patients because of their insurance. Is there any truth in this?”
The doctor’s answer was no. “In fact, this is a teaching hospital, and most of the patients that come here don’t have any insurance at all, so we do everything we can for all our patients.”
I decide to go home for some sleep. I am assured that the nurse would call me should my mother take a turn in the night. A nurse is attending my mom’s IV and I remark to him, This must be one depressing job.”
“It can be.”
“How much of the people who come in here live?”
“About 50 %.”
It is 10 pm when Bestie and I head home and I collapse into bed. I know no more until about 4 am when the phone rings.
“You might want to come now. She’s taken a turn for the worse,” says the doctor.
“Hearing the phone at this time of the night doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling,” says Bestie. She was sleeping on the couch and we go to the hospital in the quiet of the ear morning. This time I don’t have to wait when I pick up the red phone. I tell Bestie that I want some time with my mother alone at times, but would check on her in 20 minutes because my friend is an anxious soul too.
I tell my mother that I would understand if she has to go, that I would be fine, but if she could, please stay. I make myself not beg her to stay for the sake that if she can hear me, I don’t want her last thoughts to be worry over me not being OK without her.
I see the chaplain when offered. He is a young Episcopalian and we pray together. I like him so much I take his number in case I need someone to preach a funeral (my mom and I hadn’t been to church in a number of years). I even end up asking him if he thought my mom would be OK if cremated. My grandmother didn’t believe in cremation and I suddenly felt the need for reassurance from a man of God. “God is bigger than that”, was his answer. My mother felt cremation was fine and to rid myself of the ashes in the sea was what she wanted.
I even saw an old high school friend and he was a nurse there. Small world. The last time I’d seen him he was a server at one of those steakhouses where they think it’s a good idea to use roadkill as decor. I guess the road to the original Texas Roadhouse was fraught with many an animal.
Shortly before 8 am, September 13, 2011 my mother took her last breath. I couldn’t restrain my tears now. She was gone and I held it together as well as I could to not upset her. I tried to calm myself again for the Bestie to not upset her more than she was. Who was that woman that shoved anxiety ridden Lisa into a corner and took her place in my body those two days? It wasn’t the me who had dreaded this day for years and went to extremes to prevent her death. It was the Lisa that only comes out when I’m drowning and that Lisa swims.
About a week ago, I went with my friend on our second solo dining experience. You know who I mean, the one who likes showing affection with his tongue as the Continentals do. As I have said before, this guy has the distinct honor of being my first date and my first French kiss. My life before my mother’s death was a bit uneventful in its solitude.
I’ve known this guy off and on since third grade and have off and on liked him since about the fourth grade. When he gave me the surprise kiss and even more surprising tongue, I thought, Hey for the first time someone I could like likes me back! Winning!
This last excursion began with Mexican food, and I have a big steak. We both have a touch of Habanero sauce, a green pepper sauce that is hot as hell. We have blue margaritas, another new experience that are tasty for alcohol. The drink goes to my head and before long I’m exclaiming, “Oh shit!” – at what, I don’t quite recollect, but I have enough of my wits to feel a hint of embarrassment. Neither am I so buzzed that the running commentary in my head doesn’t play. Why is he interested in me?, I keep asking myself. I’m so shy, my conversation isn’t funny or fascinating, and I am less than average in looks. Could he have liked me all this time and waited for a proper time to act on it?
We are home and I know he will try to kiss me again when we get to the door. I try to suppress my giddiness on the way. “Come here,” he says, just as he did before, like he’s going to give me a hug. This time I know his modis and am preparing myself. I’m going to kiss him back this time or die trying.
Now we’re going to count down all the first times in this one…
I manage to tuck my tongue under his in his mouth and leave it there for a couple of seconds, all necessary and proper. When I retreat to my tongue’s natural station, I say “Heh, well at least this time I got my tongue in too.”
I find myself relieved when his tongue returns to my mouth in a way which needs no reciprocation from me. It is a kind dispensation of heaven for a socially anxious woman to have a kiss with a guy whose tongue would be the envy of the Geico Gecko. And herein comes another first, he’s copping a feel of my breasts. Cupping them and pressing me against him, and then, he caresses my bottom – another first. I want to discern whether his pole is raised to attention, but short of grabbing him or applying continuous pressure with my pelvis, which I don’t have the balls to do in either case, I decide I must not look either. It’s as though he’s trying to lift me. “Um, I’m rather heavy and we’re practically making babies in the hall.”
His solution is to pull me under the stairway conveniently next to the fire extinguisher lest we get too hot. More kissing with his tongue. Oh look here, he’s nibbling on my ear. A first! And there he is kissing my neck, another first! I dare to look into his eyes once or twice and he indeed looks as though he actually wants to have me, devour me even.
Then he asks that question every gal dreams of hearing: “Do you have a ‘fuck buddy,’ Lisa?”
“Um no…I’m still a virgin.”
“I have a couple of them.”
“Who are they?” I ask, thinking GERMS!
“Nevermind about that,” he says. “Do you want to be my ‘fuck buddy?'”
I am not aroused because I’m too shy to be aroused being pressed against the wall. So that’s why he’s interested. Oh.
I actually think about it. I’m 34 years-old and my flower is wilted and gathering dust. I say that I might let him have dessert one day as long as he has protection to keep from having a Junior running around. I am giddy and want to hurry off lest Wilt Chamberlain here tries to gain entry when a neighbor might walk by.
I’m excited and happy that I am desired, the margarita still numbing my senses. I tell Soul Bro and we are giggly. It’s after I wake in the night that the tears come. I thought he had feelings for me. Nah, he just needed another fuck buddy to go with his harem. Waaaah!
The next day I talk to Soul Bro, crying even though we are having a bowl. I want to divest myself of my virtue, but by someone who doesn’t love me? I don’t want to die a virgin. I don’t want to die alone. I mail him with a “when and where,” but several hours later seeing that he hasn’t responded, I write, “Nevermind, I’m chicken.” I hope he will write back, but he doesn’t. Feeling my impending old age and ultimate death, plus the fact that I want Wilt in my life whatever way, I make another bid on Facebook, declaring “Fuck it. I’m tired of being a virgin.” That gets an answer and he agrees to Friday night.
Taking my best girlfriend’s advice, as well as my therapist’s, and casting it to the wind, I am ready for my virtue to die. My girlfriend tried to convince me I’m not worthless and that I will meet someone someday. Noted, but life is such a damn transient thing, and unless I start hanging out with mutes, I will be at a disadvantage in the dating world. My therapist also had similar objections, plus the whole ‘fuck buddy’ thing being crass. Yeah. But I am resolved.
Then Team OCD decides to ruin any chance of me ever getting any. Ugh.
My Soul Brother has made me up nicely – eyeliner, sparkly eyeshadow, and everything…when I get the call. Wilt’s tire blew out on the way to buy condoms and he will have to cancel. “I’ll get it fixed first thing in the morning,” he says.
I decide to ask him then the questions I felt must be asked before I let anyone into where no man’s ever gone before.
Perhaps if I had left it at “Do you have any STD’s?” this story would have a happy ending. But no. I ask him if he has a medical encyclopedia’s worth of diseases, even if he has sores near his genitals.
Oops. Apparently, that’s not a turn on. But it get’s worse.
“I know we’re not in a relationship or anything, but you won’t just drop me one day, right, or try to break my heart?”
AND, help us all…
“Maybe my mom is telling us we shouldn’t be doing this.”
Needless to say, he cancels the next day and says he’ll call in a couple of weeks. Let’s hope he calls before the world ends on December 21st.
1. Decide to have a self-hosted blog in addition to my regular blog. Get money!
2. Decide self-hosting ain’t worth the trouble after my mom gives up the ghost (look out for posts coming here that were written there. You may not have seen ’em.
3. Watch my mother go from having a simple cold to being cold dead in the morgue in three weeks. I don’t recommend it.
4. Come to the fabulous conclusion that I am an orphan in every way, as my family tells me in a nice way to F off. Thanks Mom for alienating us, but whatever. I don’t recommend not having blood relations though, I really don’t.
5. Find that my “soul brother,” the kindred spirit that I always yearned for lived just down the hall.
6. Having my life possibly saved by being invited to live in his apartment with my three cats. If I had to give up my mom AND my cats that would have been the knot in my noose. My mother loved those cats so much that I got my reason to live in caring for them. ( Talk about needing to get a life.)
7. I got to go to Washington, DC!
8. I got buzzed on a glass of semi-sangria.
9. I tried pot, tried pot, tried, tried…I try it every time I can. It numbs the sense of being in limbo that is my constant companion… My mom wouldn’t approve, but pretty sure my dad would.
10. I had a date, a genuine adult date for the first time in my life.
11. I didn’t know it was a date until the guy walked me to my door, reached out for a hug but planted his lips on mine. Then, what do you know, but I felt his tongue trying to get in. I gave it a thought, thought “Ah, what the hell” and opened my mouth. I let my tongue stay where the good Lord put it, because I was shy and stunned. Still counts as my first experience in the French tongue, non? A lady never tells, but I’m a blogger, so…
I’m sorry to everyone I haven’t responded to. Life has been hectic. It’s been bad, good, and definitely different. Stay tuned!
It is a full day on my usually empty dance ticket. I, Lisa, professional mental health seeker, have the joy of seeing both my therapist and my shrink. Rolling out of bed, nicking my legs shaving, and dressing in my new Family Dollar ensemble, I get to my therapy session at 10 am. As I suck on a starlight mint, we go over my myriad of “issues.”
“I went to see an art house film called The Smurfs in 3-D this past weekend, and went to the library before the film. This was the first film I ever saw in 3-D and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” I say as my therapist inspects the little book she caught me reading while I waited for her. She admits to never having seen a 3-D flick, and I praise the medium, that one can almost catch a bird flying out of the screen. “Though I don’t think The Smurfs would be your cup of tea.” I then bemoan the cruel truth that kids’ movies would be great except that kids actually come too.
“What is your comfort level standing in a line at the movie theater?”
“Well,” I answer,” not bad really. Crowds don’t bother me, individual interaction does. I can even ask for movie tickets, as long as I have the money so the person will have a reason to tolerate me.” I show her my latest acquisitions in my quest to get all the McDonald’s Smurf Happy Meal toys, the Baker and Brainy (I happened to have them stuffed into the labyrinth that is my purse). I then tell her that I’m too childish, too child-like, but the therapist likes who I am because she’s known me since I was 15 and because she gets money to like me -but honestly, I think she likes me anyway.
“It’s normal to be enthused about something you collect. My mom collected a particular pattern of carnival glass and was very excited when she found a piece at a secondhand shop,” my therapist assures me.
“I have to see the psychiatrist today. I’m not looking forward to it.”
At some point in the session, my therapist says, “but you feel comfortable talking to me, right?”
“Yes, but you don’t poke me with a fork.” One therapist thought I was sexually abused and my psychiatrist feels I have the ways of an “abuse victim.” Once my psychiatrist threw out there one time that maybe I had Aspberger’s syndrome since my social anxiety wasn’t getting better and it’s a struggle to look people in the eye (I’m very self-conscious).
“I’d have to research it more,” I remember the psychiatrist saying. “But I have a lot of empathy. I thought they didn’t,” was my defense. I did not show how upset I was to have a new diagnosis until I was outside and started crying and fussing at my mother. (No one thinks I have Aspberger’s, though, and the psychiatrist never mentioned it again, so it must have been a passing fancy for her too. Let’s just face it, Shrink, I’m f****d and you can randomly flip through your DSM IV and diagnose me with whatever is on the page, but there ain’t no fixing me, not really. But with that cheery thought, let’s continue ).
“I’m thinking about asking her about Abilify,” I tell my therapist. “She’s talked a couple of times of putting me on an antipsychotic in the hopes it would help with the OCD and everything, but I’ve been afraid of getting tardive dyskinesia. Do you have any patients on it with OCD?”
My therapist is looking far into her memory and comes up with 75% of the folks she saw with OCD who are chomping on the Abilify say it helped them, 25% said no it didn’t, and if she remembers right, 10% got off due to side effects.
I imagine people who’ve been on Haldol for years, the excessive drool foaming from their mouths. I imagine lactating. But have mercy on me, I’m so tired of not being what I yearn for the most: Ideal. Everyday I feel I’m not doing things just right and some days it throws me into a rage. I take three times as long as anyone else to do anything. I’m more depressed than I was and I feel as though I have few redeeming qualities. I begin to hope that my shrink knows that I will dramatically change from my lifetime membership at “Camp Clucky.”
Yes, yes, Lisa. We get you suck, life sucks, everything sucks. Blah, blah, boo-hoo. Get on with the story.
My mother and I are having a spot of lunch and I’m trying to look up Abilify just to make sure I want to try this, but my mobile phone’s battery dies on me. I try to recall the latestAbilify commercial. Cartoon woman literally weighed down by her depression and falling into the “hole” of the depression. Then her kindly looking doctor helps her out of the hole and prescribes her Abilify. Some side effects, what were they? Happy family having a picnic. Happy. “Resulting in coma or death.” What? I don’t remember, must’ve been really rare. Still at happy picnic, even Depression Hole sits nearby. Everyone is at the picnic having such a nice time. I want to be at that picnic, so perfect! “Depression used to define me, then I added Abilify.” Ah, how nice. I’ll just ask my doctor all about it.
When I’m in Dr. Shrink’s office, I have my $3.00 ready to throw at the receptionist before she can ask, because I always get the sense she thinks I’ll run off without paying. It’s the rule of the house, yes, but I can’t help see it as a slight towards all psychiatric cases (power to the people!). I don’t think the receptionist likes my mother and I much. I can imagine her thinking “Sod it all, here comes that rubbish. If I wanted to deal with folks on the dole, I’d have stayed in Merry Old England, wouldn’t I?” Even before Dr. Shrink took Medicaid, though, and I had to somehow hack up $75.00 for my 15 minutes, I don’t believe the receptionist liked us much. It may be in my head, and I don’t seem much different from the others in the waiting room: they mainly look depressed, maybe a couple now and then look mildly apes**t. I’ve been with a friend to Mental Health before and they look worse and more interesting. I remember some young woman, obviously in a manic state, talking on her cell, “Friday night I tried to kill myself but they gave me some lithium and I feelsoo much better now!” I wonder if everyone is still getting help since our genius state thought it was a good idea to close the county mental health and the mental hospital to “privatize it.”
I tell Dr. Shrink my decision. She tells me to avoid grapefruit juice (which I already do since I am on Luvox) and to watch for slowed down movements, that tardive dyskinesiawon’t happen suddenly if it happens at all. Two milligrams, not a big dose at al,l and come back at the end of the month( to see if I’m still alive). Ok, great I can do this!
This might fix me.
Or not. Twenty minutes after taking my first cockroach shaped and colored Abilify stuff starts to happen. I am me but I don’t feel like I’m really here. So I’m not at the picnic yet I guess. My thoughts are my thoughts but I feel strangely like I’m not thinking. OK weird. I rush to look at the guide that comes with my prescription then augment it with the internet. Sometime during all of this I start feeling angry, really angry. Smack myself angry, yay!
Apparently on Abilify, I could develop diabetes, go into a coma, and croak, but hey, I won’t be depressed anymore! Since I’m already fat and haven’t checked my blood sugar in ages, I’m not a happy fat camper.
Stay out of the sun and don’t get overheated…What the frostbite? Am I going to turn into a gremlin?
Weight gain! Do I need to say why I might not like this?
Abilify and Wellbutrin should be used with caution because it might lower one’s seizure threshold. Well that would be a different experience! Might lower my immunity…that should be a hit with someone deathly afraid of going to the doctor.
I try to sleep. I can’t, just as I fall asleep, I feel like I can’t swallow and jerk back awake. I sleep an hour to fly awake and feel angry. Repeat this 2 or 3 times in the night. It feels great!
The next 48 hours are interesting. I’m angry at everything and when my best friend annoys me by what I perceive as lectures instead of swallowing it, I tell her off over and over. I can’t help myself! Freedom such as the ability to tell off your best friend over stupid stuff is not a freedom a social phobe like me wants.
Today I returned to my psychiatrist. “I’m doing OK, but I had to stop the Abilify. After one dose I knew I couldn’t take it. If I had done thorough research I wouldn’t have tried it anyway because I’m afraid of getting diabetes.”
“Yes well,”Dr. Shrink replies, “if you look on the internet, getting diabetes from Abilifyseems as common as getting the jitters.”
True, but I feel I should be more concerned due to the fact I’m overweight.”
Later I visit with my professor from college, the one who I named my oldest cat after in tribute. The college is only a couple of blocks from my psychiatrist’s office. We talk various things and then I talk about how awful I sometimes was when on meds that opened my mouth so that I’d say whatever I wanted back when I was in his science classes.
“Don’t ever feel sorry about the things you say unless you hurt someone’s feelings, and I don’t remember you ever being mean to anyone.”
“Well no, but I’d say anything and I cringe at the thought now.”
(Flashback: pointing at a faux skeleton in class and saying, “Look he’s got a boner!” Flashback: among the things I inherited from my grandmother, one was her old lady bright red lipstick. My reply to the comments I got when I wore it, “Hey, this was a really popular color in the 1940s.” I was shy then too, but accepted as the oddity that I was and I’ve always liked making people laugh. In many classes I was near silent anyway, but not my science teacher’s class. It’s a pity he isn’t my real father)
You learn to have patience says my professor at some point in our conversation. ” I guess you have had worse than me as long as you’ve been doing this,” I stammer.
“At least you aren’t an ax murderer. That would be worse.”
“Have you actually had murderers in your classes?”
“Two of them. One the cops chased into the mountains and he was killed.”
So the Abiify didn’t help me become the person I want to be, not close, but, the moral of this story is, no matter what I do, hey, at least I’m not an ax murderer!
PS: Abilify has helped many people, it could help you too. Sometimes the risk is worth the gain. As my pharmacist said, “Line 100 people up, and two would have the same reaction as you did.” Besides, my body’s wired different anyway. I was the 1/10000 of Paxil patients who lost her period on Paxil (happened on Effexor too!). Soon as I stopped, flowed like the red sea. With that, I bid you adieu.
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