Marshmallows and Misunderstandings

If my mind
should ever
eat all of me,
please remember
the girl
I tried to be.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

Twenty-six Pages

 

Remember when I said I was going to get the pharmacist to print out every single medication I have been prescribed since 2012? Well here it is and it is a whopping 26 pages long. There is shit on here that I had to Google, absolutely no fucking clue what it was, and no recollection of having taken it for, say 3 months.

Lexepro? Nope, I’ve never tried that one yet…Oh wait, yup sure have, it’s cipralex and it works for me…if my stabilizers are good, if not ↑ ↑ ↑ Buspar? Never heard of it, but apparently I sucked a shitload of that back too. Oh and don’t get me started on the lithium again. On it, off it, on it again, increased, decreased, off it, try it again – 5 fucking times.

My failure to recall these specific meds come from the big stay at the psych hospital, or as I like to refer to them, The Lost Months, so I can forgive myself for the memory loss there. They had me so drugged that I’m surprised I could feed myself. Oh wait, I needed help with that too (lithium tremors.) Oh! I just had a thought:

I need to get the records from the psych ward…all of them…to see what they had me on there…all the times I was in there…different pharmacy so my meds from inside are not reflected here. Goody, that means more.

 

Here’s a look at SOME of my outpatient meds over the course of 3 1/2 years:

Seroquel

Quetiapine

Resperidone

Lithium

Effexor

Clonazepam

Zopiclone

Ativan

Lamotrigine

Cipralex

Olanzapine

Trazadone

Cymbalta

Chlorprazamine

Loxapine

Buspar

Mirtazapine

Topiramate

Pramipexole

Escitalopram

 

I have been on and off some of these drugs numerous times, take lithium for example, 5 times. Went toxic three times requiring kidney scans and two weekends in the hospital being flushed by IV. The doses have been increased, decreased and then increased again on so many.

This list does not include medications to counteract side effects from these listed.

I have seen 4 psychiatrist, 2 psychologists, gone to CBT, DBT, mindfulness classes and yoga. I have jumped off of meds, which put me into seizures that sent me to the hospital (not proud of that and wouldn’t advise it at all) and I am tired. I am so tired of this. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many pills I have swallowed in the last 4 years.

January 20th is the day that I see my GP. I’m taking this list with me. I’m going to ask for an ECT consult, I don’t know what else to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delusions or brilliance?

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Vibrant Ideas

My mind is filled with an essence. Tales and characters ride on the cusp of almost tangible, and trust me when I tell you they are neither delusion nor hallucination, but that they are vivid and extraordinary.

Thinking outside of the box makes perfect sense to me and logic seems almost crude, at times. For years I have been told that any and all ‘flights of fancy’ must be abandoned because surely if I have an idea that doesn’t fit into a pretty little box, I must be delusional.

Is this creativity, flashes of brilliance or even an Aha moment? My psychiatrist and her Big Pharma Friends would call this bipolar disorder. But what if I had never received a diagnosis? Would I be considered a little bit eccentric, perhaps the boho hippie chick who enjoys talking about other dimensions and crystal healing and the power of dreams? Who knows?

Sometimes I wonder.

MindTrip CROSSFIRE Humanity Edition: Mental Illness, Massacres & Misinformation

Welcome to MindTrip Crossfire

A section where I take one topic and hit it from two different bipolar perspectives. This is the place where we encourage you to join in on the conversation, share your experience, and let us know where YOU stand.

The MindTrip CROSSFIRE: Humanity Edition is taking a look at the recent UCC massacre. Your contributors are Nicole Lyons and Jacqueline Cioffa.

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I Cry The Same Tears Over and Over Again Until Something Changes

By Nicole

Every 40 seconds someone in this world dies by suicide. In the time it will take you to finish reading this blog, roughly 8 people will have taken their own lives, and 90% of those people will have been living with a mental illness. Chances are high that the only pain they have caused others has just been the excruciating soul crushing loss they have left their loved ones with by their devastating departure from this world.

It’s happened again. Another massacre, another mass shooting, another “crazy” person has killed a bunch of innocent people and the world has once again gone looking for blood. I too have shed tears over this tragedy and the countless others, and the ones that are sure to follow this one and the next, and still the next and the ones after those. And I will continue to cry for those victims of those preventable tragedies until our collective citizens stand up and demand change, instead of spilling more blood.

I will continue to my guttural wail of rage until you all command that treatment be a requirement for lost and broken brains. When you all finally take a pledge to stand as one in solidarity and understand that health is more important than your guns.

I promise you that change will come, and come swiftly.

You tell me that your guns are your right, but God Damn You, MY HEALTH is my right. You want to lay blame on the feet of a mother whose child was born sick, pick one, there are many. I will lay blame at the feet of a government who refuses to care for their sick, their weak, and their hurt.

My heart bleeds for the victims of each massacre, but making it this much easier for the mentally ill to hurt others, as we know is a very real possibility, is preposterous to me. If you want to enact change, use your voice for those of us that need it. Gun Control Laws, it’s called an amendment because you can amend it.

I have been to the edge and back, and while I know for a fact that I I would never harm anyone but myself, there are others not like me. They are still good people, beautiful people, people I love, and before you hate on me for my thoughts and views, maybe you should read something from someone who I love very much who isn’t quite as certain.

NicoleforHasty

Humanity

By Jacqueline

We are a sick society. Before you hurl stones, rocks and bullets at my beliefs, or me please don’t. I never asked to be put in a 2 x 2 narrow minded, cement block box filled with blame and shame, yet here I am. One of the crazies. On the outside I appear pretty, well mannered, kind and a little bit eccentric. The three-pound brain matter floating inside my skull and faulty DNA tells me otherwise. The darkness and the violent genetic history, the ever-present reminder the cracks and fissures could explode. The grandfather who threw boiling water at his wife ending up in Willard, a violent act, the relative who committed murder and suicide, a violent act, the gorgeous, brilliant cousin who I adored’s death by suicide, another violent act.

Do I blame them, absolutely not. Do I understand the out of your mind depths of a psychotic break, yes. I have been out of mind, spinning out of control, consumed by the crazy. Who’s to say the phone I hurled at my mother in a moment of paranoia, fear and rage could not have been a loaded gun. I cannot honestly say with one hundred percent certainty that I would not pull the trigger. In that one instant I am not a thinking, rational human being with a healthy brain. I can’t in good conscience be responsible for brain matters I do not understand, that Science does not understand and when crazy is shrugged off as the inconvenience.

All people have a propensity towards violence, throw in Mental Illness and it’s a recipe for disaster. Now, do not misinterpret or misconstrue what I am saying. There are millions of upstanding citizens living with mental illness and thriving with not one hint of violence in their beings. Me, I am blessed with an army of support, a goddamn brigade of humans who circle around me, creating a bubble of protection when I am unwell. Which, in truth is every single day. I am broken, cracked and seriously fragmented. What I am not is delusional, in denial or unaware.

I do not blame myself. I will not blame myself. I will blame the mental illness that has wreaked havoc on my life, and the ones I love dearly. You see, I would kill for them. And, that scares the hell out of me. I have written the blame and shame game in I AM ADAM LANZA, I have shared the ugliest, darkest, scariest pieces of my insanity in SEVEN SHADES OF SICK.

Who is to blame for the massacres, the sick individuals who walk into a school or movie theatre with mass arsenals readily available?

I blame every single one of you. And myself. I blame the lackadaisical therapists who missed something, the arrogant pyschiatrists who check the clock unwilling to study, delve deeper, question everything they know about mental illness throw it out the window and start fresh. I blame the media whores who shove the pictures of dead children and gruesome images of grieving parents without following up. I blame the fractured, broken mental health system where prisons have become modern mental institutions. I blame the government, politics, the NRA, greed, power, and money-grubbing mongrels for shoving the news down our throats with no concrete answers. I blame the parent who buys their child a laptop, or a Smartphone because they’re too busy to go outside and throw a ball around, to communicate and ask simply, how was your day?

I blame anyone and everyone who is in denial about the violent, sick, twisted world we live in.

I blame Social Media for creating an easily, accessible outlet glorifying the senseless massacres. I don’t blame the lonely, isolated, unwell human beings with no support system. They are very real, and they exist in our world. They are humans desperately trying to fit in. Their sick, twisted minds don’t need the apathy of a deluded society.

I blame anyone and everyone who thinks their child would or could never commit such a heinous act. Guess what, I am somebody’s child.

And I’m telling you not to look the other way. Violent acts happen every single day.

I do not need or want a gun in my home.

Who do I blame the most? I blame humanity.

jackie

Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and Stone Crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in “Brainstorms, the Anthology” and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness. She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Tumblr, and her Author Site. Look for her on the Gravity Imprint of Booktrope Publishing.

A Manic Mind

manicmind

A Manic Mind

Imagine if you will, the fair has come to town. Take in all of the sights and sounds, from the toddlers crying to the pre-teens, laughing. They’re running and trying to cut in line at the ride that promises the biggest thrill. You smell the deep fried donuts, french fries and cotton candy. You hear the carnies yell out, “Bet you can’t make this shot, three for a dollar, step right up.” Every sound is amplified, from the creaks of the rusted gears on the ferris wheel, to the poor kid who is puking behind the fortune teller’s trailer. Everything is alive. You look right and then left, which way do you go? It’s a maze of debauchery and adrenaline.

Chaos and pleasure are hidden around every corner. You want it all, but where do you start? You have only purchased enough tickets to ride two times, which will you choose? Do you spend your tickets in the funhouse, reflecting on your own reflections? This one is too small, this one is too big, this one is just right, and it’s creepy as sin. You’ve seen your soul in the mirror at a circus, and it scares the hell out of you. Move on. Something has to take the sting away. One ticket left. You clutch it as if it were your payment to the boatman on the River Styx. Anxiety starts to swell. The noise is becoming too much and something inside of you has built up, you don’t understand what it is, all you know is that it needs to be released. All you can focus on is the feelings that you must get out of you. There is no talking this down, there is only a primal instinct to shred every sense of dignity you thought you had.

The noise and the lights beckon you to stay, join us, and partake in this pleasure. Lose yourself in the rush. Forget all of your worries and everything that ties you down and just fucking live. Take the feelings inside of you as far as you possibly can before you burst and shatter into thousands of unfulfilled dreams and promises. Find your release, and find it fast, they are closing the gates in mere minutes.

You follow the nervous screams and maniacal laughter until you see it, the main attraction. The rollercoaster has been boasted as being the fastest and scariest ride to come to town. You trip trying to make your way to it as fast as you can. All pleasantries are off, you’ll push small children out of your way because you know what that rush will feel like. You’ve turned into a junkie now; you need the escape. The release.

As you make your way to your seat, you push past the people that refuse to ride the front. What’s the point if you can’t stare into the abyss on your rapid cycle back to the ground? You buckle yourself in, front row seats, but not too tight though, the rush of potential death gets you off. The attendant comes by to make sure you’re secure; you fight the urge to spit in his face and tell him to fuck off. You’re pissed off at the time it takes for every other sucker to be belted in, this is your ride, and they have neither clue nor any business being on it. You run this coaster and it moves when you say so.

The climb up the tracks feels like a sad sort of foreplay to you. You hear the gears churn and the squeals of the unimportant people who’ve hitched a ride behind you. When the coaster gets to the peak it stops, and your heart starts to pound. You are so out of sync with everyone here, but in tune with everything that matters. For the briefest of moments you are free. The air is thinner and there is nothing above you but sky and possibilities. If you unhooked your seatbelt right now you know for certain that you could fly.

You raise your face to the Heavens and take a deep breath; the anticipation of the plunge is ecstatic. Raise your arms and feel your ass lift off the seat. Like lighting the coaster dives into it’s decent. The speed is finally a match for all of the thoughts that race through your mind, it overtakes and for a second there is stillness. The quiet ecstasy of something that is more powerful than you, and it is delectable. You’ve met your match, and you urge it on, faster, harder, DO. NOT. STOP.

The coaster whips and weaves over its tired and worn track. People scream and even cry, begging for it to stop, you shut them out while focusing on the way the wind howls through your hair. The impulse to keep riding swells to a radiant compulsion. Before it is half over, you are devising a way to get more tickets. You can’t even be satisfied with the thrill of the ride. All you can think about is how you will be able to make it possible to ride again, and again, and again…

You are finally free. There is something more powerful than you, and the innate instinct to harness all of it overtakes every sense you have. You are no longer here to release anything, you are here to devour and discard until you finally feel full. There is no end to this fair, this ride, and this hunger; there is only that swift decent into oblivion.