Life’s Like A Jump Rope: Blue October

Yesterday was my day off and I was on Twitter (as usual), when I saw Blue October tweet that they were having a free show at the Barnes and Noble out in Moneyville. As you know, Lamesville isn’t known for its music draw and the chance to see one of my all time favorite bands in my town for free was not to be missed. So once the traffic died down I put on my Yee-haw Kitty Shirt and started the drive.

It did not go smoothly.

First, I missed my exit. Then my GPS refused to reroute it. Then the map server fell off the face of the earth and I found myself circling a fancy-pants area of town called The Rim. After giggling like a 12 year old boy, I stopped a gentleman in the Bass Pro Shop parking lot and asked him where the hell the B&N was. He gave me some circuitous directions and I finally found my way to the “venue” with only about 10 minutes to spare.

Then there was a line. The upper deck where they were having the show was filled to capacity and they weren’t letting us up. I decided I would have to content myself with just hearing the concert. Then the kind manager let the rest of us up and I squeezed myself in with a bunch of other people, all of whom were taller than me. By some amazing stroke of luck, two people moved a certain way and I was able to see Justin from between their heads.

blueoctober

The set was awesome. I finally got to hear songs from their newest album and the story behind Bleed Out made me get teary. Then he had everyone in the store sing Into The Ocean and I really got teary.

Then I found out they were signing CDs. I immediately ran down to the music department, bought a CD and got my group number (I) for the signing line. My plan was to get some Starbucks, grab a manga, and just chill ’til my group was called. Unfortunately when I got back upstairs I discovered I was in hell. I couldn’t get to the manga. It was behind where they were signing. So I made a new friend. Her name was Alex and she was like 20 years old but we bonded over nail colors and Blue October “oldies.”

When I got up to the signing table, I got the VERY LAST poster of the night. They were all “you’re the winner!”  I was all “What did I win?” What was the answer? “The very last poster!” Which they then signed for me.

swayposter

The signing was great and everything, but the real moment of the night (probably the week or possibly the month) for me came when I got to stand in front of Justin and thank him. Thank him for all the times I felt alone in my mania or depression and his words saved me. Thank him for letting me know through his songs that he had been where I was and was still going as best he could. Thank him for giving me the chance to sing along and know that someone, somewhere knew how I felt.

My voice shaking, I told him thank you. I told him I went through some really heavy stuff last year and that his music helped me through and let me know that someone else had the same issues and was keeping going. Justin shook my hand and told me he was glad to be there for me, then he said the one thing that matters to someone like me and to people with mental illness all over the world.

“You’re never alone,” he said.

How I didn’t start crying right then and there is beyond me. I gripped his hand and thanked him again, then moved along so everyone else could have their chance to thank him. I’m crying right now, though. But they’re happy tears this time.

At this time last year, I was still hiding in my house. I was hearing voices and wondering why I was even alive. I was scared all the time. I never would have been able to put on clothes, get in a car and drive myself to see a show, even if it meant meeting one of my heroes. I never would have been able to see a tweet, toss on a pair of shoes and head to Moneyville. Every day, I’m still amazed at how much I’ve been able to do since then. And through all of it, Blue October has been there to tell me that “Life’s like a jump rope.”

Thank you, Justin. More than I can ever say.

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Struggling to Process

Relapse
Prevent trigger intent
Now drown
High strung
Say X amount of words

You’re solar, bipolar
Panic disorder
Seems harder and harder and harder
Still you try to control it

You mold, you mold
Yeah you shape to mold
Oh you’re bold you’re bold
But your shape is bold

You’re a symptom superficial
To what they call knowing you
Minus the speed,
Could you imagine the phobia?

Your brain is faulty wiring
the reason for tiring
Keep treating the curse,
Imagine the worst
Systematic, sympathetic
Quite pathetic, apologetic, paramedic
Your heart is prosthetic
Blue October, X Amount of Words

Sometimes I can’t find the right words to say how I feel. Thankfully, Blue October is often there to explain it. I listen to their music and hear the feelings that are in my head. A lot of times I cry. Mostly I’m just relieved that someone else has been in the same place as me and is still surviving.

I’ve been hiding in my house for more than a week now because everything outside is just too much. I hear people talking behind me, whispering, but when I turn around there’s no one there. Out of the corner of my eye, I see shadows and know there’s someone back there, following me. When there’s no one there I assume they’re hiding. It’s a fact that they’re reading my Twitter and this blog. It follows that they might be able to read my email as well but I can’t be sure of that.

This is my life right now.

When I’m in my apartment, things are okay. Mister E and I joke around, I work on cross-stitchery, we watch movies. Depending on the situation, I’m able to write sometimes but other times I can’t stop replaying horrible things in my head. Remembering things. Seeing what could have been. The farthest I can go on my own is the fitness center across the parking lot but only because it’s still inside our complex. Even then I have to be at the treadmill in the corner so I can watch everyone that comes inside. Sometimes I’m aware that my behavior is irrational. Sometimes I don’t even remember doing it. Even when I’m not, I’m scared. Scared of everything.

The medication doesn’t help.

Yesterday I went and saw my shrink. He told me some things that I needed some time to process.

What’s happening to me is a transitory psychotic episode brought on by the stress of everything that happened with the bullies and the aftermath. It’s a severe result of my bipolar disorder, which is something of a relief because it means I’m not slipping into schizophrenia. What’s not a relief is that I’m that person that gets portrayed in the media, the one who’s crazy as a shithouse rat. I used to be the survivor, the one whose BPD was under control and who lived a normal life. Now I’m a stereotype.

The doctor upped my antidepressants and put me back on antipsychotics, which he says will stop the voices and the paranoia. He wants me on Ativan regularly, not just when needed, to keep my fear under control. And he wants me to apply for disability. My mental illness has finally reached the point where I can’t function at a job. He gave me the contact information for the center for health services, which will help me apply for disability and get my medications. I’m about to become a drain on the federal health care system because I’m too goddamn crazy to function.

Getting used to the meds is…not fun. While I was trying to get to sleep last night, my skin was itching and crawling like there were bugs running over it. I scratched my arms raw. This morning I’m nauseous and there were lights flashing when I opened my eyes, along with full body shaking when I stretched. To say nothing of the wobbly dizziness. I’m not worried just yet because this was what happened last time I started antipsychotics. It’s just unpleasant. But it’s going to help. I guess.

I’ll get through this, I’m sure. Mister E is supporting me completely, and I have my friends in The Band to keep my spirits up and fling glitter at me. Still, the fear is overwhelming. Paralyzing. I need a worry hat.

Excerpt from Questionable Content. I need a worry hat.

On a more pleasant note, I got a new postcard from Postcrossing yesterday. I’m so glad I joined that project, there’s nothing that makes a person feel more wonderful than finding a postcard in your mailbox from some random person saying hello from somewhere in the world. It’s a way for me to have some contact with the outside world without actually having to contact people. I love postcards anyway, for the simple reason that it means that someone cared enough to pick out a pretty picture, stamp it, and send it to me.

Looks like my grandfather’s cat, Tuffy.

Maybe I’ll do a gallery.