Toxicology

August 3, 2012

I messaged A.F., Monkey Man’s step-sister, on Facebook yesterday. We’d been having a nice little chat back and forth. And I thought of what my new therapist Brunet Young said–about preparing to call Monkey Man’s step-mom who hadn’t called me back like she’d promised.

Well, I went ahead and asked A.F. on the last email if she’d heard anything about the toxicology reports. This was her reply:

Evidently cocaine and codeine don’t mix. Drugs are bad mmmkay? I guess he woulda stuck around longer if he wouldn’t of been so hard on his beautiful little body. Damnit.

I need a hug and kiss, thank you!

*******

Well, I got the answer I wanted. Damn it Monkey Man, I thought you’d quit that shit! Liar!

Ooooh, ok. ok. ok. Today is one of my swim days.

Breaaaaathe.

Ooooh there goes the trembling and the tears.

I need a nap.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I started therapy again three weeks ago. I’m seeing her on Wednesdays. This Wednesday will be my fourth session.

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The second session I had with Brunet Young was just as productive as the first, but the third surprised me. Did I actually say all that? Yes, yes you did P. At ‘a girl!

It’s a good thing when you know what you’re getting yourself into when starting therapy. The same could not be said when I first went to see a counselor after my monumental mental meltdown in 2008. I had no idea what to expect then; I even walked out, or rolled out, of a therapist’s office in frustration in 2009. But this time… I have goals this time!

I came into therapy just as desperate, but more ready than ever. I know my borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis, I’m more sure of the bipolar tendencies if the psychiatrist is right, and I’ve learned some basic dialectical behavioral skills training from Ex-Young Therapist as well as core training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

I’m barely driving out of hell, but I have a tank full of gas, me thinks. That’s hope for ya.

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On the second session, much like the first, we went over major areas of my life that need working on. I asked Brunet Young if she could tell me what it was she remembered about my history from the consultation team so I could fill in the rest as best I could.

I told her things like, “the overdose from two months ago was not my first, but definitely the worst” and “I have a history of abuse, though my views on it change. I mean, you have to understand our culture is different. But, it’s a fine line no?” I told her about my mother’s past suicidal tendencies, her upbringing, her sister’s (my aunt’s) suicide and so on. She already knew about my immigration situation, my medical problems, my tendency toward isolation, and my body image issues, so I didn’t have to go into that with her.

We talked a lot about how Monkey Man’s recent and sudden death has affected me, how I  was drugged up with him much of the time we were together (off and on), but how I always tried to get him to stop drinking. We discussed ways in which I can work up my courage to call his step-mom and/or dad to ask about the toxicology report results again.

On and on we went. I couldn’t believe myself.

Towards the end of the session, she did something I was so thankful for. She asked me to write a list of issues I thought I hadn’t had a chance to go over with Ex-Young Therapist.

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My dad had taken me that second day and, on the way out, he said something that bothered me a little.

“She’s not good like the Ex-Young Therapist is she?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, she didn’t say hi to me as kindly as the other one.”

After the initial frustration this remark induced, a light bulb lit up in my head! Aha! I have to discuss this with Brunet Young, not this in particular, but my dad. I have to discuss how I think some of my black and white thinking patterns about myself lead back to his black and white thinking. I didn’t get into depth discussing my dad much with Ex-Young Therapist. I did a little, but more toward the end, or just when issues arose. In fact, because we focused so much on me learning DBT skills,  the therapy process and focus remained on present problems and not past, “unresolved” problems.

********

Last Wednesday, I decided to take the bus for our third session. It was better for all of us. My dad didn’t have gas money and I wanted the liberty of no off-handed comments.

It was an hour and a half bus ride; I have to take two buses and the MetroRail downtown but that’s a hell of a lot better than waiting on ole MetroLift’s shifty ass.

I arrived on time and with my homework assignment completed.

Here is my list of “past problems” I didn’t get to discuss with Ex-Young Therapist. And I added a bonus for Brunet Young. I added some therapy goals–totally my idea.

****

I’m on a roll. I’m telling you. Here’s what I wrote down for her:

Goals for Therapy

*Manage Panic attacks and chronic pain

*Reduce suicidal and self-injurious impulses/actions/urges and manage the thoughts better. (No more overdosing!)

*Increase support network
-> continue rebuilding relationship with brother
-> get into that DBT group at BT (keep calling! don’t desist!)
-> get involved again in community organizing/activist orgs.

****

* Interpersonal effectiveness -> review
* Distress tolerance -> review and continue practice!
* Develope a more consistent daily ruitine to include: writing/blogging, sketching, watching Lynda.com tutorials, planing, swimming/yoga, playing ukulele again, and getting a job after filing the immigration papers!
-> remember to do one thing at a time
-> break down into smaller chunks
-> plan ways to reduce stressful situations, not increase or worsen them

* Continue healthy eating / no binging
* Work on self-validation
* Work on healthier ways to deal with complicated grief
-> Monkey Man L’s death and guilt about death
-> hearing loss

* Ask about/look into other methods such as IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Schema Mode therapies.

****

Past Problems

* Mother’s verbal and physical abuse (I really hate the way I wrote this one because, honestly, I feel closer to my mother than my father and I love them both very much, even when they piss me off. And my mom’s changed for the better after getting help herself.)

* Dad’s continued invalidation and overbearing tendencies (not to mention the fact that I still have to depend on him financially)

* Medical Trauma (e.g. still need to deal with jaw incident and set up a date for surgery, continued nerve pain, decreased bone density, past accidents that led to ER, prolonged stays at hospital during childhood; loads of surgeries)

* Sexuality and validation issues (e.g. what happened with Dusty and Emily)

*Repetetive compulsion with alcohol and drugs (mainly alcohol and self-harm)

* Maladaptive core beliefs (e.g. I am not a “good” person, I’m “a burden,” etc.)

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Yep, so that’s what I have so far. We went over this list I wrote, which she said was very good. I think it’s a good starting point too. And since I was able to write it out, it helped when she asked to explain what I meant by “sexuality and validation issues”. That’s when I brought up Sir Dusty and a lot of other things I may or may not mention here. Man, it was hard work!


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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and substance use disorders (SUDS aka drug abuse and addiction) have high co-occurrences.

Like many of those diagnosed with BPD, I’ve had an issue with drugs, both illicit and prescribed. The first drug I got hooked on was alcohol when I was fifteen. Later on, there were others. I’ve never been addicted hardcore. I’ve always had a level of restraint despite my low impulse control, but mostly, I’ve just always had a lack of access. So I was always able to maintain a strong will with an air of sobriety and a high functioning persona, but the looming pitfalls awaited throughout the years.

********

So drugs.

Isn’t this nation (U.S. of A) over-medicated? I think so. I’m currently rethinking and outweighing the pros and cons of going inpatient because of this urge to take the rest of the painkillers I have left and that just mean I’m afraid I’ll OD again. I think I’ll have to call New Male Therapist because I still haven’t heard back from that DBT group I was supposed to get screened to get into and the other three waiting lists I’m on. I’m hanging on though, barely, but I am. I’m really tired of the nonstop crying bouts, these random highs and lows, this susceptibility to triggers everywhere. It’s exhausting. I feel like fainting every morning. Ha. I just got a picture of a damsel in distress fainting and then a flutter of birds swooping in from the window to pick me up like a Disney-style Cinderella in her opening shower scene.

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Well, this “borderline girl” P feels a tad over-medicated sometimes. I feel like the drugs given to me by my psychiatrist are gonna kill me, sometimes, like now, I hope they do. Other times, like yesterday, I worry they will. I worry I won’t make it to thirty.

And why do they call illicit drugs “controlled substances” when prescribed drugs are substances just as, or more “controlled”?

And aren’t we just mere chemicals bouncing around? You know, quantum physics and shit.

We are the essence of substances which contain energy, more or less. That’s why I love to bounce to this beat, because it’s so energetic, maybe. It’s called none other than “Drugs” by the wonderful Ratatat.

Yeah, I have nothing else of interest to write since my “Good List” went to shit after I’d only written half of it and then I got another one of my mini breakdowns this weekend and on Monday, so I figured I’d just throw in another “Bordeline Girl Song of the Week” for filler… until I get my head on straight.

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By the way, our human bodies… I’m probably saying “human bodies” because I started watching Battlestar Galactica for the first time on Sunday to cope. Guys, I know, I have to get nerd/geek points for this or something–anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, human bodies. Our bodies produce a tad bit of DMT, one of THE MOST powerful psychotropic chemical compounds in the history of our existence. It is a naturally occurring substance that is also seen in plants like ayahuasca which is found in places like the Amazons.

The Amazonian shamans use ayahuasca it to get “into the spiritual” realm. You know, religious rituals and such. Well, I’m from Colombia, and I sometimes wonder if I ever get my legal/immigration and financial situation fixed, I’ll travel to my birthplace and after visiting family I’ve never met, I’ll go down to the Amazons and ask those shamans for a little hit of ayahuasca and give god/universe a high five, a kiss or a cursing scream (depends on my mood guys).

Then, I’ll say, “Drugs no more”.  Except love, ’cause love is also a drug.

Oh, and now I know what this song reminds me of. Ahhh, yes, it reminds me of Jaques Cousteau Escargot. (It’s French spelling guys  because he had a French name though he was adopted, so that’s what we’ll call him for now.)

Anyway, he’s the boy that broke my heart back in late 2007 (I was drinking and druggin’ every night by then). He’s the boy that triggered my Monumental Mental Meltdown in 2008. And that meltdown was what led me to see my first psychiatrist ever.

Thank you Jaques Cousteau Escargot! Thank you alcohol! Thanks to you two and my “borderline”self- destructive ways and my depressive susceptibility, I am now in a merry-go-round with the mental health system. You’ve led me to a revelation, though I happen to think I’m no better seeing it–not at the moment at least.

Drugs. Love em. Hate em. Nuf’ said.

addendum: Dear Dotty says Venus is going to fly over the Sun today! TRANSIT OF VENUS GUYS! I have not seen the news due to my current Battlestar Galactica addiction on my brother’s Netflix account and the fact that I don’t have antenae for HD conversion, so I don’t know what time it’ll be in your part of the world, but it seems like trippy stuff and you don’t have to take any drugs for the trip. Just look up at the sky (wear protective eye gear and punch a hole in a paper if you don’t have any special equipment).

…so I can’t stop changing all the time” ~ Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

I’ll try and make this one a quicky because the one below this is a bit long. It was my first attempt at “scheduling a post” heheh. I had forgotten all about it until I saw a “like”.

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Anyway, I’ve been feeling ambivalent about blogging lately. VERY ambivalent. And the last few days I became painfully aware of how much of myself I’ve put out there. If it weren’t for my semi-anonymous voice, I don’t think I could’ve ever expressed some of this. And even so, I’m holding back on what I call some of the “darker stuff,” most of what the Pretty Little Demons feed me. A fellow blogger, well two actually, recently wrote about such conflicts when it comes to writing a personal or somewhat personal blog.

I submitted the photo and felt ecstatic at the reply I got from Broken Light , but I also felt very self critical.

“What are you doing? You only set up the first shot, even then it was a mutual take. You’re not even a photographer. You’re an amateur, a whanabe. What are you anyway? What are you doing exposing yourself like this? Do you want pity?”

No, I’ve always hated the pity people have showered down on me! This is fucking expression of art; it’s NOT a pity party! Besides, it’s cathartic, therapeutic even and what if I inspire someone? Quit being so overcritical P!

“Ok, ok. I’ll stop being so critical, so harsh. But really, are you this narcissistic? You need to tone it down! What if you embarrass your family!? hmmm? They don’t even know about your little drug adventures anyway, not most of them at least.”

Ugh. If embarrassment is the case, I’ve done that already and the only one I’ll really be embarrassing is myself. That’s been done too. I’m used to being uncomfortable, remember?

Here’s where I realize that the other voice is just my punitive parent trying to punish me for expressing myself (and hell even indulging myself), much like the guy in the video I shared in my Five Faces of Borderline post.

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Then today, something odd happened. I was feeling alright, well, let me go back a little…

Last night I hung out with my brother, my brother’s girlfriend, his girlfriend’s little daughter and a new co-worker he’s been showing around (he just got here from Britain and is originally from Iran). We went to a park in downtown called Discovery Green. They play movies on certain weekends. We packed up fruits, pita chips and other snacks. It was a beautiful starless night. The weather was gorgeous, slightly windy, slightly cool and NOT HUMID–so unlike Houston. And despite my worry about the Bell’s Palsy returning (yeah, my lips ain’t right) I had a great time.

Oh, we watched ET on a big projector they set up on the park hill!

On the way home, I sat in his girlfriend’s car while my brother rode with his Iranian/British co-worker in his co-workers rental. And for the first time, I warmed up to her. We ended up having a great chat on the way to my house. She seemed to have warmed up to me too, telling me about her difficulty with trying to stay in nursing school while having C, her little girl, and having to drop out in the end. We talked about our mothers and all sorts of fun nonsense.

****

Then this afternoon, my brother stopped by again with his girlfriend and her little girl. He’d brought fish tacos for me and some other food for us to eat.

Well, we were having a good ole time, a good ole talk when all of a sudden, they started joking about drugs. I don’t know what prompted this. But it made me very anxious. See, my brother has never been a drug user or abuser like me. He’s very nervous about putting things in his body for fear of contamination. The only thing I think he’s done is weed and alcohol and alcohol is probably one of the worst drugs ever in my opinion, but anyway… weed, eh, I don’t really see it as much of a drug, though it is a substance and here I go contradicting myself. So yeah, I’m kind of the black sheep of the family in that aspect.

Then, out of nowhere, my brother’s girlfriend started saying, “I just don’t like to be out of control. I don’t like not being in control of my thoughts or my body. I even freaked out when I had to take a Vicodin after I had C. [her little girl].” She started to giggle but I didn’t. I couldn’t even FAKE a smile. It was a trigger.

Holy shit, it was a HUGE trigger. I began to panic. The mere words, “I took Vicodin…freaked…took Vicodin…freaked…took Vicodin,” sent my head spinning.

After what happened when I wrote the “Voluntary Hospitalization Post” I’ve been so wary of talking about anything related to painkillers, especially VICODIN. Of all things, why did she… of all things? (Vicodin is the same thing as Hydrocodone by the way)

So I quietly removed myself. I pretended I was too busy clearing the dishes to hear her. And once they were in the living room watching TV, I was washing the dishes, bawling my eyes out. I ended up having flashes of L and I downing painkillers. And after I was done with the dishes I went to my room to cry some more. I hope they didn’t notice but then again, I feel like running and telling my brother, “I don’t know what to do anymore”.

Good thing is I managed to cry just enough and re-enter the living room looking calm and collected. To a certain extent I was. I was being mindful of my thoughts and feelings–of everything around me. I was changing.

“I’m used to being uncomfortable so I can’t stop changing all the time”

This, my friends, is what it’s like to live with BPD. Any little thing can trigger you.

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Oh and I know I haven’t been coming up with anything funny as of late. Sorry. I think the recent overdosing/relapsing incident drained all the funny juice, well not all, MOST of the funny juice out of me, but I know I’ll refill soon and be a little funnier and less depressing with these posts.

p.s. FREE HUGS FROM COPYRIGHT BOUNCER BEAR Y’ALL! COME AND GET’EM! SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY ONLY!

HEY HEY! NO SHOVIN’ NOW. EVERYONE WILL GET THEIR TURN!

More SHAMELESS self promotion in which I make more typing errors!

Ok. That’s enough for the week. I think I’ve been whoring myself on WordPress a tad too much these days. But please do check out the Broken Light Collective. They’re awesome!

By the way, my Copyright Bouncer Bear Sends his hugs and is asking me to remind you that every Sunday they’re free (today was just a special freebie from him).

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Photos taken by Paz, who was initially diagnosed with bipolar II, but recently got a new diagnosis of major depressive disorder comorbid with borderline personality disorder. She was also born with a brittle bone condition, hence the wheelchair.

About these photos: This is a two-part piece taken in 2009. It was during a time when I was messing with a lot of drugs. I was on the way to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Music and Film Fesitval (SXSW), on a highway that is covered in blue bonnets and other flowers. Although the scene is tranquil and almost spiritual, I could not find any peace of mind. I was feeling very frantic and empty. I was genuinely trying to enjoy the scenery and the trip there but it was difficult. 

The first one is called “Empty”. It’s just my empty wheelchair. The second is “Paradox Road”. This one was…

View original post 45 more words

Life is beautiful, it’s precious, it’s [insert other euphemism]. It is the only one we know we’ll get. So why waste it? Why throw it away?

Sure, there are tsunamis that claw over, killing hundreds of people and hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes all leaving ravage in their wake; there’s disease and famine, and worst of all, the man-made stuff–if you don’t count some of the natural disaster stuff being partially an effect of some of the man made stuff.

But still, why throw it away?

I have often wondered “How does one get to that point?” of taking your own life, of constantly being bombarded by thoughts of suicide. I wonder about this, even when I myself have been there countless times. So I can only imagine how incomprehensible it maybe for someone who’s never dealt with chronic depression and chronic thoughts of suicide like I have.

I say take this as a trigger warning, please: I will refer to suicide a lot in this post. Read the rest of this entry »

Protected: Monkey Man L.

March 30, 2012

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Penumbras

February 3, 2012

Penumbras

They are the ghosts

Of your bitter wishes.

Drawn by your insecurities.

Magnified by your frustrations.

Don’t stare at them.

If your gaze lands,

They will begin to

Crawl. Don’t follow them.

When your sorrows grow,

Floods of them will

Swarm and form a

Haze of darkness. And

Before you know it,

They will surround you.

Like thick, hungry ticks,

They will penetrate you.

Gnawing at each vein,

They will bleed you.

Don’t cultivate their need.

Because if you feed

Them and nurture them

Each night, they’ll surprise

You when you wake.

From corners and crevices,

They’ll guzzle each one

Of your uttered curses,

Your reckless, dark desires.

Attention is their sustenance.

It makes them bold.

Soon enough, they’ll chase

You down and rob

You of your peace,

Those sly, shady devils

Will have you prey.

Eat or be eaten,

Is what I say.

That’s why girl, keep

Your sight on lighter

Things.  Become the shadow

Eater, if you must.

© PAZ 2009

_____________________

This was actually an assignment for one of those creative writing classes I took in college. I don’t do well with prompts. The prompt here was to write four words per line. I found it yesterday as I was organizing some folders whilst  having a sudden urge to get really fucked up on benzos and narcos. But then I thought, “Hey, I’m going to use the end of this as a mantra for the day”. Really, I think I’m going to use it for the upcoming weeks since I haven’t had an urge like this (at least not this strong) in a very long time. And it’s a bit worrisome. I’m still feeling that urge to take something that’ll just knock me out good. I no longer have the Ambien nor money to get a refill either. But I do have some very old benzos (no strong narcos though), and then there’s some of that Hydrocodone left… See here I am contemplating the beauty of pills that give the wonderful gift of not feeling… No, I don’t want to go there. I know where that leads back to–crushing, blending, parachuting, and snorting painkillers with benzos, and any pill really.

I need to help myself curb away from the urge. I’ve never been an addict per se, not with narcos at least (and I suppose it’s a good thing I’ve never had a full, steady supply). With alcohol, maybe a little, ok a lot, but that’s another story. So admittedly, yes, I have an addictive personality–an addict’s tendencies. But I’m not half bad now. I’m not well either, but I’m not bad. I’m not. I don’t know. I feel a bit numb already, actually–momentarily dispersed into a strange depersonalized mood. Everything around me is vibrating and when I close my eyes, I can see every atom dissipate from my being. I’m outside looking in at that flesh that I call myself but isn’t really me. The flesh has no real sensation of its own. I do not feel it as my own.

God, I really need to eat me some of these impending shadows and then mercilessly turn them to the shit they really are out the other end! I’m strong. I’m smart. They think they have a hold of my mind, but I know I can outwit them.

Now here’s the oxymoron: darkness is merely an absence of light. Pure emptiness.