A mental health post

It seems like I am always acquiring more mental illness labels. This time, it’s psychosis. Of course, it was drug induced. I was smoking marijuana daily. But I think I was still smoking less than a lot of people do. I think I have a predisposition. I read today of a schizophrenia spectrum. I find that really interesting.

I have exhibited some traits of schizophrenia throughout my life. It got really bad this summer, with a combination of pressure and marijuana over-usage. My official diagnosis was, again, Depression with Psychotic Features. It’s a bit embarrassing to talk about, but a lot of it centered on the release of the movie England is Mine and Morrissey’s new album, Low In High School. I avoided these things for a while, because I think I had a subconscious sense that Morrissey is a trigger for my psychosis. I wonder if other people experience this… It makes sense, because so much of his work is about mental illness. But its always been kinda weird, how I have felt like he was singing to/ for me. Other people describe this. I guess it was more like, he was singing an opera of my life. Like our experiences were linking up.

I fall into a line of thinking where I believe he and I are spiritually related. And this summer, when my life and relationship was in flux, there was the new album. And a movie, which I was quite convinced was informed by my books.

I remember, at it’s worse, I was very high, standing in my room with my partner. I had just played “I Wish You Lonely,” I believe. And I said, trembling, “I think he read Refuse, and I think he liked it, and I think it influenced him. And I think he wants to meet me. And I think I am going to finally be in a band and my books will sell and I am going to be rich.”

This wasn’t what prompted my partner to suggesting I be hospitalized. It was when I announced I was leaving, and I wouldn’t say where. We called my doctors. Everyone agreed I needed to be hospitalized….except me. I thought everyone was overreacting. I was also being pretty abusive and accusing others of being crazy.

All through hospitalization, I still held out hope that Morrissey and his band and people were coming for me. I also believed I was on the government watch list…and something to do with Chelsea Manning…and that they would be helping my family and I flee the U.S.

I still believed I was going to meet Morrissey when I went to see him perform in Philadelphia. My friend had bought my front row tickets, and I was going to try to give him Refuse for the third time. I wrapped it and included a neclace. Unfortunately, Morrissey cancelled.

I still was convinced this had something to do with me.

My anti-psychotics were raised. I started to see how foolish I was being. I realized how horrible and paranoid I had been about people in my life. I also lost a great deal of my creative drive.

What is it about Morrissey’s music that has this weird effect on certain people?

I have now accepted that there was no plan for us to meet up. But the malady lingers on. Not psychosis. Depression. Unemployment. The meds make me sleep way too much. I attend classes that are supposed to help me, and I think they are. “Mindfully living with depression.” “Dialectical Behavioral Therapy” ( a more Buddhist, feminist approach to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Maybe even “Help with Employment” eventually. I am lucky that my partner has supported me through all this.

I miss marijuana on a daily and nightly basis. It’s like grief. It made me happy in a way that I hadn’t experienced since childhood. I hope one day, I can smoke again in a safe, controlled way.

Now, my days are mostly empty. This is the most I’ve written in awhile that I’ve felt pretty good about. I’m still in Ithaca. I have shelter. I have food. I have my cats, and some crappy old instruments, a computer, and notebooks. I have some friends that I am trying to get to know better. It looks like we will be here for awhile.

I enjoy yoga. I’m not drinking or smoking. I’m also going to addiction related programming.

I lost my therapist and got a new one. This was hard, but probably for the best. I had come to see her as more of a very close friend. Still, I grieve the loss.

I’m not really able to get into any project. I’m hoping that changes soon. I’m trying to lessen my negative self-talk about being a burden for my family, etc. It doesn’t fix anything. It will get better in time.

I am having lately some horrible conundrum of gender identity. I begin to feel I want to be feminine and lay off T some, and dress differently. But then it switches. Call it DID, being bigender…I don’t know. It’s saddening.

Anyway. This is a blog entry. I feel good getting it out. It makes me hopeful more will come soon.

Beacon, NY

Currently as I write this, I am sitting in Columbus Library (a New York Public Library) in Hell’s Kitchen. Joey and Drew went to check out some stuff that interests Drew: aircrafts, submarines, some sort of museums (he’s a 15 year-old aspie kid. In many regards, so am I, but our obsessive interests are very different so I decided to go to the library instead). This young guy just sat across from me at the table and gave me a very deliberate look in the eye. Flirtation? Maybe he’s just awkward. There are plenty of other tables to sit at, though. This is uncomfortable. I think I’m just going to keep typing. (He eventually left).

So. The main purpose of this trip was for me to attend a modeling audition. “The shoot is for a booklet that will be given out by healthcare professionals to transitioning (FTM) folks. The focus of the booklet is transitioning safely and healthfully.” It paid pretty well, so I figured why not give it a shot? We ended up doing a lot of things on this trip, though.

Driving through the Catskills was not entirely ugly.
Driving through the Catskills was not entirely ugly.

First we had to stop for gas/bathrooms and whatnot in Binghamton. Here are the notes I took while there, because I intended to write about it later. I have so much to get to though, that I think I will just give you the notes. Perhaps in a series of haikus?

Gas station truck stop

Bedazzled pink cowboy hats

Awkward bathroom men

Ok it’s not really working. The best part of that reststop was that they sold these huge wooden crosses with ornate gothic designs and sharp ends that totally looked like vampire-killing-devices. I wish I got a pic.

Anyway, at the second rest stop in Roscoe, NY (“Trout Town USA!”), we observed something very creepy indeed. Notice a difference between the men and ladies room doors?

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Then it was on to Beacon, NY where we stopped for lunch with our friends Nora Olsen and Áine Ní Cheallaigh, fellow queer authors and couple. We got to talk about writing, traditional vs. self-publishing, Morrissey, and travels, and cats. Check out their cat:

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Also, I tried on their unicorn hat.

unicorn

So I haven’t got much longer until Drew and Joey are back. I will end this here, and pick up where I left off with our evening and morning spent in Manhattan. Most likely I will write that back when we are back in Syracuse. Until then!

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Walking around, exploring Beacon.