Zpital

April 28, 2013

Last week I ran my roommate to the ER and we ended up staying there for just under 24 hours. It was very emotional, very trying, very I-don’t-ever-want-to-do-this-again-dear-god. I took the rest of the week off to take care of my friend and I haven’t left her side unless it was to run important errands for us. I paid bills, I talked to Human Resources people, I called her family doctor and made her an appointment, I yelled at my manager for telling me she wasn’t my kin why should it matter, I brought her water and food and got her caffeine at 1 AM from the soda machine that stands outside of the tiny trackside mart down the street. I helped her from place to place, I got her clean clothes and towels and tucked her into bed every time she got up, I brought her orange juice and kept her water bottle filled and brought her entertainment and kept her from being bored. My friend needed my help this week, and I was there to give it.

Damn it.

My tax check came in during all of this, thank goodness, because my paycheck will be utter shit now. And after all of that, after picking up cigarettes and putting them back down again (I’m on day two without smokes, go me) and after missing important doses of my medication and bla bla bla bla, I spent $100 on a big bag of funky green reefer, damn it.

Everything is real cool. I am so chill. 

Things are smooth now. No hurts, no sores, no imperfections in two CAT scans and a lot of bloodwork and 24 hour hospital observation. We’re just recovering now. Whew.

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Little Piece

March 12, 2013

My preferred smoking method is a pipe; after that, bong, vaporizer, joint. Pipes aren’t the best way to imbibe cannabis–you tend to inhale ash and sometimes resin, if you don’t use a screen and your pipe is super dirty. But I love the art of glass pipes, bongs included. They’re beautiful. Pipes also collect resin, which can be rolled up into balls, sometimes in piles of cannabis powder (called kief) and smoked when cannabis is not available. Resin extract gives you a different high than smoking actual cannabis, and it is disgusting–it stinks, it turns your teeth yellow, and it tends to give me a headache, nausea, blegh, but it has helped me sleep in past dry spells, which is the most important thing.

I collect every last bit of cannabis that I can for reuse, barring seeds and stems. I will smoke 75% of a bowl and save the rest for the end of the week, when I’ve just about run out and am waiting on the paycheck / dealer. It doesn’t taste great, but it’s about ten steps above resin.

Seeds and stems can be recycled for things like edibles and teas, but I just don’t have the motivation to get that crafty. Plus, echinacea tea will do in a pinch if one needs a tea that induces a high.

People in town know I smoke; at least, those that smoke do. You have to share with the people that know you, in the event that one day you will need them to share with you. Cannabis culture is as unique as the area it exists in, and in our area, the community is linked by who you know, who has helped you when in need, and who has fucked with you or yours. Society is always a jungle, most especially when it revolves around a valuable substance.

The best way to conserve your cannabis, at all, is to keep the fact that you smoke to yourself.

Life with cannabis is peaceful if precarious. It’s a completely wonderful atmosphere–mostly, people are kindly and gentle-hearted, willing to commune with each other and help the needy. Mostly.

But you never turn your back on a drug, as Thompson once so wisely advised.

 

 

about a high

March 8, 2013

As with anything you imbibe to induce a high, you sometimes get a little loopy. Too much cannabis makes me dizzy and quiet, because that level of high that is meant for sitting down and thinking deeply. There are many nuances of high that I have noticed in my experience of using, and as usual there are many different highs for the different types of cannabis just as there are for different types of cannabis products, such as edibles or topical applications. Cannabis comes in all kinds of shapes–food, lotion, lip balm, spray, plant, the possibilities are wide and far.

The high that is necessary for me to be able to function is a level of high that I try to maintain throughout my day, barring work. I have a flexible work schedule that keeps me at five hour shifts with a few eight hours here and there; this allows me to keep my stress levels down and my working levels up, so that I get in actual exercise in a day, which is very important. It also means that I am never too long without my medicine. I carry my pills with me everywhere unless I have already taken my dosage. I do not carry cannabis with me out of the house unless I am on an extended trip or running an errand that takes longer than an hour. On this note, I do not find that my driving is in any way inhibited after smoking cannabis–in fact, I am a very defensive driver who pays excellent attention to the road. I think that cannabis’s influence has gotten me to slow down and pay more attention than I did, and it keeps me from floating off into la-la-land.

I smoke throughout the day as I can, maintaining a level of alertness without being introverted. Yes, cannabis changes my thinking–I am more vocal after smoking, more creative, sometimes comedic, all of the time joyous. Cannabis brings a middling-out to my moods almost immediately. If there is depression, I start thinking differently after smoking, and it ebbs away. If I am euphoric or manic, the cannabis slows me down and brings me back to a focused, manageable current.

It also chases away all insomnia. Think about that for a moment: no insomnia, at all, for a bipolar person. Whoa. I can’t describe to you the senseless hours spent trying to get to sleep, trying desperately to stay asleep, being unable to sleep because the dreams are not letting you sleep, being unable to sleep for longer than hour periods–and waking at each interval. All of that is gone in just three tokes from my pipe.

I pass out and sleep like a baby.

I get regular 8-hour sleep because of cannabis. I think that in itself is one of the top reasons why I smoke. No medicine, no other alternative practice, can give me pure, dreamless, uninterrupted healthy sleep like cannabis can. It is a fucking miracle.

The effect of cannabis is immediate. It is the most wonderful, flowing feeling. Granted, for first-timers, it might not work. That’s normal–you have to keep trying. Believe me, it will hit. It worked for Carl Sagan, and he had to try almost seven times to experience it. Cannabis is not a scary substance in any way. It is not unhealthy, it is not cancerous. It’s a medicine. And it does so much good for so many patients.

I have a MTWThFSaS pill box for my weed. I’m serious about treating it like medicine. If I show others by example that I consider this a part of my medication routine and not a drug to fool around with, perhaps some good might come of that. Unfortunately I have to do so anonymously for now, but maybe one day I’ll be able to stand up confidently without worry of losing my livelihood and say, I use medicinal cannabis, and I love the fuck out of it.

sriracha chips

March 7, 2013

One of the things I hate most about bipolar disorder is that constant, nagging inability to socialize appropriately, followed by the constant, nagging worry that you’ve just pissed someone way the hell off. It feels worse than it is, usually, and sometimes you’re right, you have pissed them off, but most of the time you tend to be wrong, because you don’t know how to tell if someone is mad at you or concentrating really hard on something else, or if someone is just irritated in general.

Then you feel horrible about feeling that way, as if you were flattering yourself by believing you were important enough to make a person mad at you.

I was raised in a home that refused to believe in psychotherapy, that believed I was poorly behaved instead. The way my mother and stepfather dealt with this was to use mental and verbal abuse so powerfully that I would eventually come to believe that I was everything horrible that they told me I was. I don’t have the greatest self esteem as a result, but what’s more, people don’t know this when they look at me. I can’t explain it to just anyone, either. One does not go around in their daily life expressing the fact that they came from mental abuse. One merely picks up and moves on, and only explains this fact when bad behavior comes out. I feel very strongly that abuse is misused in order to garner attention, so I try not to mention my own unless someone asks me. I’m open about the subject, but I would rather not offer it.

Mental abuse is also one of those weird things that I feel does not get the same kind of attention as physical abuse because it doesn’t leave visual scarring (unless the victim is driven to self-harm, as many are). I could be wrong, for the times, they are a-changin’.

Sometimes I hate it when people tell me “I wouldn’t know you were bipolar to look at you.” You aren’t observant.

Sometimes, I like it. It means I’ve done a brilliant job of functioning properly and behaving well. It means I haven’t used the wrong words or said something entirely inappropriate, or had any tics or any sudden fury which sometimes takes hold and then passes just as soon as it arrives.

I am smoking right now. I feel that it helps me access memories that I wouldn’t normally remember; not what happened that day, or even yesterday or the day before, but things that happened a long time ago that I wasn’t aware I had forgotten. I have an amazing capacity for short-term memory, but long-term is much more difficult. Even yesterdays can be challenging. I mark days by remembering details like what I ate or what I wrote, or what I wore. Other things get mixed up and lost in a big mess, but I get to pull out specific things from this mess when I imbibe cannabis. Right now I am remembering my birthday at Six Flags. I wore a green shirt, blue jean shorts, white socks and tennis shoes. I was with my dad and my sister. We ate turkey legs and my dad forced me to ride the rides even though I balked stubbornly enough to go out and sit in the parking lot for the rest of the time. I am really glad he did, because I loved them all. I realized that you can’t think too much about what you’re about to do, even if you wait in line for an hour to get on a thirty-second ride, because otherwise you’ll just never do it. You’ll let fear tell you to run away. I did it. I got into each coaster seat like a person going to their death. It was amazing.

I love my dad. He’s a cool guy. He, like the rest of my family live about 2500 miles away from me, which I feel is a perfectly safe distance. I don’t own a phone, and I don’t often contact my family. Not out of any kind of hate, or embarrassment of them. I feel it’s better that I sequester myself from them. It is safer, and it is much healthier for me, as well. There are certain family members I do not care to ever see again because I feel they are too unhealthy to be around.

I think that’s a sad bundle of thoughts to think, but the nature of things is real, and I accept that willingly enough.

I like to be alone. I always have. The inability to socialize well turned me very misanthropic, but after searching around a while, I managed to find a community that I can be relatively okay with. It’s a community of strange and unusual folk, but I myself am strange and unusual. I had to go find a place that would be okay with me, just as okay as I was with it. Mutual agreements.

I think that’s all that life is, really, just a matter of finding your bee people.

mania

March 3, 2013

Yesterday, I had a full-blown manic phase happen, which I am still experiencing. I was going to write “fighting” or maybe “getting over” but I do neither of those things when I’m in a manic phase. I don’t fight it, I let it happen, and I don’t get over it. I’ll never just “get over it”.

I speak dramatically in order to emphasize importance; not to emphasize drama. Bipolar people have the unlucky disadvantage in that they’re so very…interestingly behaved that they’re mistaken often for being badly behaved, or overly-dramatic, attention-seeking, etc. This is quite unfair. The stigma attached to mental illness is something that will have to be continuously overcome; but through calm explanations, I’m sure we might be able to handle it confidently.

Mania comes in many different forms. I’d been feeling this mania creeping up on me for some time now–that’s the thing with my meds, see, I am afforded an objective look at my mood swings, and they creep up much more slowly, with less explosive impact. However, what I can’t help, I can’t help! Mania happens and I have to let it go, because I don’t have any choice in the matter.

Yesterday I worked out some of the signs of my mania with my best friend, whom I live with. Over our weekly treat of Mexican food, I had several tics. I fidgeted terribly. I knew I was and in some cases, like when I was eating, I tried to make the fidgeting into a flow, wherein I didn’t stop moving, but I moved without needing to pick at things like the table or my bottom lip or my fingernails or wring my hands or the napkin or look around and shake or jiggle my legs. I have a hard time keeping eye contact, or staring at other people in general–not that they’re scary, I just don’t know them, and I don’t want to know them, and maybe my friend knows them and that means I’ll have to get to know them, and that in itself is scary. I stuttered a little bit in the car.

That night after I got home from work (where I never stopped moving–work is fast-paced, which is good) my friend was listening to Vocaloids, one of her favorite bands. She promised me it was a short playlist, so I agreed to listen to it. I don’t like the Vocaloids. I don’t like the music at all. It doesn’t flow. It has no logical melody except in one or two songs and the beat drives me insane. Unhelpfully, I become a music Nazi when I have episodes like this. Also unhelpfully, I have zero concept of time. After three songs I thought, we have to be completely through the playlist by now, and I asked my friend if we could listen to something else.

Apparently I looked wild-eyed and begging, as if her music were the worst thing in the world, because we immediately had a little fight about it. We don’t have big fights, not anymore. I like to think we’re past that point, or hope we are. Little fights happen now, and it’s mostly over when I need to step back and realize that I’m being bipolar; sometimes it’s when she needs to step back and be tolerant of my being bipolar. Either way, we always manage to work it out and hug afterward, and compromise. We compromised by listening to something we both liked, which was the amazing Koji Kondo and the Hyrule Symphony Orchestra. I desperately needed something orchestral, anything at all would do.

I obsessed consistently over a Facebook comment. I just had to go back and check and see if there were any more comments. There were. Excellent, I hate wasting my time, even seconds of it, when I am manic.

Hmm, what else. Ah yes–I am also pushy. So pushy. We had to watch or do things that I was going to be okay with. I hate that, I think it makes me sound horrible and makes me horrible to be with, but the important thing during this time is to make compromises, I’ve learned. However hard it is to do so.

A lot of the time I feel so much like a child. I have to keep remembering that there is a great deal of miscommunication between my amygdala and the rest of my brain; my friend has to remember it, too, and though she’s worn thin by stress from work, oh my GOD TIME WARP JUST CAME ON THE IPOD, DANCE PARTY, she never fails to be supportive and tolerant. Bless her bones.

LEEET’S DO

THE TIME WARP

AGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN

God I love this song. The euphoria it induces is ridiculous, like a drug. I love dancing to it, I love freaking out to it, I love singing to it, and I love air-guitaring to it.

I’m going to listen to this again and dance with a cat.

Oh right, I should probably bring medical cannabis into this at some point. I guess I can describe it like riding passenger in a Formula 1 race but being in complete control of the car. Without cannabis, I am not in control of the car, just the passenger. With cannabis, I can direct the vehicle while it is at top fucking speed.

And it’s kind of awesome.

First Post

March 2, 2013

Recently, I’ve had to come to grips–actual, realistic grips–with the fact that my disorder is severe. I have hardly considered it so until now. I suppose it was a mix of not wanting to and not really believing it was.  But the more that I think about it, however uncomfortable it makes me, the more I realize that I have a serious condition. It is debilitating, and it requires a heavy dosage of medication, and on normal terms would require much more, but because I was introduced to cannabis at the age of twenty, and since I began using it as a part of my medicinal routine, I do not have to take as much. In fact, because of cannabis directly, the quality of my life and my ability to function is so incredibly improved that I can’t imagine life without it.

But because it is illegal in my state (and country, still), I have to use this medicine within the privacy of my own home or in very private spaces where people are not around. I have to purchase this medicine off the black market, which brings me perilously close to other types of drugs that I want nothing to do with, but could easily get if I were manic and without medication / support long enough to do something incredibly stupid. This medicine makes me a criminal in the eyes of the law, but without it, I would not experience the quality of life that I do now. Being without it, to me, is utterly unacceptable. I’ll do whatever it takes to be able to keep functioning.

I want this blog to serve as a whole experience of what it is like to live with bipolar disorder, and how I use cannabis to my benefit as a bipolar person. Because I am not a doctor and because everyone is different, I cannot condone its use for everyone. I can only state my experiences and my discoveries.

Okay but since it’s late I’m gonna go now.