One thing I know about myself is that I have a brain that won't quit. It takes a whole lot of things to keep me organized. The basics begin for me with food, shelter and clothing, which had never been a problem to maintain.
From there, I have to keep an office, with a desk, calenders, post it notes, and files. I am rarely seen without a notebook and various color pens, highlighters and the like, to keep track of all I have to do in service to a genius mind.
Additionally, I need to exercise and maintain a specific diet in order to manage my weight, hypo-mania and over-all well-being. I learned to eat the same foods over and over to stay smoking freaking *hot.*
Finally, I have obsessive compulsive disorder. I depend on organization to stay focused. My house is always perfectly in order and spotless. Among my many phobias, I loathe bugs. They won't ever be welcomed in my house.
Without a place to call my own, my tools for organization and a solid plan, I am absolutely lost.
I've always had a panic disorder, yet I figured out how to be successful, in spite of it, when I was in prison. For the first time ever, I was allowed to make my own decisions about what to do with my time, for myself, by myself. I was determined to make the most of every moment while I paid my debt to society.
As I've said before, I got my G.E.D. within two weeks of my arrival, finished a two year vocational training course in less than nineteen months, became a teacher's aide for that course, took multiple classes, and, I lost the more than forty pounds I'd gained in the year when I was trapped in rehab for the second time.
All the while, I denied offers to relocate to a cozier situation at a prison camp. This was for the simple fact that fur-lows with no place to go seemed silly compared to all I could accomplish by staying where I was.
I stuck to myself, did what I had to do and, I was released to a half-way house, armed with an education that made me a sought after employee, thanks to my typing and computer skills.
Within two years of my release from prison, I had a beautiful apartment in downtown Boston, a well-paying job and I was admitted to Emerson College, thanks to the 3.75 grade point average I earned in classes taught by professors with the fortitude required to bring their passion inside the triple razor wire fences that surround a place like that.
I graduated with a 3.275 from Emerson College, not because I was the smartest student. I still have no idea how to describe proper grammar, yet I can tell you exactly how to make a successful film. I am also able to write like nobody I've ever read.
I am "gifted," as they say.
Originally, my panic disorder came out in ways that people deemed odd, but all I did to stay on top of my game worked. Nobody bothered to note my oddities, including my trade-mark, pressured speech or, more accurately, what I call motivated speech. I talk fast because I've got a lot on my mind to accomplish.
I act fast because life is short. I want to make the most of the time I have left on this earth, no matter how long it may be.
Only God, my true Father, knows for sure. I aim to do the best that I can, whilst I'm here-call it an obsession.
That obsession for control morphed into a crippling fear as soon as all I used to maintain it was stolen from me.
No matter how hard I've tried to move on, I've remained stuck, like a record on a phonograph that ran out of energy to function.
I was stuck.
My panic disorder became debilitating when I relocated to the seedy motel in Las Vegas, where the pimps spent weeks pounding on my door in an effort to get me to come into their world of prostitution, substance abuse and death. I developed a habit of remaining super-glued to my couch, unable focus on anything or, to move a single inch.
My mind swooned with my mother's betrayal. I went from feeling like the world was my oyster to the brink of destitution in the blink of an eye. Thoughts of the months leading up to the day she tossed me out flood my mind, along with the overwhelming doom that came with the realization that all I grew up believing about her, my family and myself was shattered.
On the one hand, I knew I was finally free, but the other was filled with immense fear, anger and insecurity. Not only did she steal everything I'd worked my butt of to earn in 39 years, she stole my security and all I'd come to depend on to manage myself and my life.
Although I'd made mistakes in the past where I quit a job suddenly, I was always able to get another one without much effort. My mental state at the time, plus all that was stacked against me: no Nevada state id, money, home or, transportation, coupled with the emotional distress I was under made it seem impossible for me to fix it for the first time in my adult life.
I did not know what to do.
I spent weeks just sitting on my couch, with Tolstoy staring at me with concern.
Then I met a woman who turned me onto speed. Although a lot of scary shit went on after that, I know for a fact that drug saved my life. It stopped the panic. Gave me the ability to focus on what was next and, it provided courage I never knew I had. That drug divert my attention from everything to one thing: my goal to CHANGE THE WORLD.
I kept that courage and Amy Lee Coy's mentoring friendship stapled to my heart, while I lived through homelessness. No matter what I went through, I was absolutely determined to Live the Dream, regardless of how long it took.
When I got cat-fished by my cyber-stalker in Canton, I was on the brink of losing it because I knew her shit-hole was the final stop before true destitution. I had no place to go after that. None. My father lied to me for the umpteenth time when he told me to find a place in Asheville. He said he would pay for it. I found the perfect place and, in spite of his promise, he refused to send enough money.
I had my first nervous break-down.
Moving into a tent turned out to be the best thing that could have happened because I had to learn how to function without any sense of stability or the tools I'd come to depend on.
Homelessness is ugly and messy.
Food, shelter and clothing became my number one priority. I did whatever I had to do in order to get these things back. Like while I was in prison, I basically stuck to myself. Avoiding substance abuse in all forms and I got my shit together pretty quickly after that.
Instead of crank, I was introduced to Klonopin by a doctor who correctly diagnosed my illness as generalized panic disorder. It worked, until I was housed in a place that turned out to be a crack house. The landlord came to my door in his skivvies with a crack pipe and a demand that I have sex with him.
My refusal of the drug and his advances became his motivation to verbally attack me whenever he saw fit. He spent hours pounding on my doors, pacing the hallway outside my apartment screaming: "you white bitch, get the fuck out of my building, I will return every dollar," which left me inside, afraid for my life.
My case manager at the time told me it was all in my head, until I brought a recording of a particularly scary incident to her office where I played it for the director of the program and several shocked team members.
Nobody did anything. Months went by, while I remained stuck in a place that felt more like a prison than the horror of my youth.
Although my case manager was in no rush to move me, as she ought to have been, she had no problem assisting me when I was forced to put Tolstoy down.
When I got my disability settlement, I took matters into my own hands and moved as far away from that despicable place as I could get. I moved back home, to California, a bankrupt state with no room for a dependent person. I had no idea, since I made a lot of money when I lived there before. The lack of support was daunting. I missed Asheville. A lot.
By the time I returned to California, I had replaced nearly all my mother stole from me. Finally, I had what I needed to become the success I'd always dreamed I'd be. Then, my beautiful, affordable condo became infested with bed bugs. My bedroom was hit the hardest. I was covered in bites and, through research, I found the bastards on my bed-post on March 13, 2013.
I'll never get that image out of my head. I hired a lawyer to end my rental agreement because there was absolutely no way that I could spend another night there after that. Although the place was treated, I threw away everything, aside from my electronics, clothing, beauty products and jewelry. I couldn't bear the thought of dealing with them again.
It was an ugly fight with my roommate who was the owner of the condo. She was pissed that she lost her dream roommate. I felt like the universe was against me.
I became homeless again.
It was devastating.
And, more than I could deal with. My substance abuse came back with a vengeance.
This was a battle I knew I could not win. The bugs followed me to La Jolla, then to Denver. It got so bad that I felt as though I was in purgatory. The drugs did not help.
My panic disorder morphed into agoraphobia. I gave up on myself and my dreams.
It seemed futile. Intervention would have had a field day.
It is what it is.
Fast forward to today. I'm finished with hard drugs. Alcohol has never been my friend. I am no longer in the position to make every decision for myself because the totally corrupt court system has me by the nipples. So, what am I gonna do?
It took a lot of phone calls to find out where, exactly, I am supposed to go to get this substance abuse assessment. In contrast to what my public pretender told me, my therapist cannot write it up. I must go to a court mandated place to take the test, then another place for groups.
In desperation, I called 211. The woman gave me three places to call. One is associated with the organization that placed me in the crack house. I was crying when I spoke to the woman in charge. After she heard my story, she told me that she likes my public pretender. She also asked if I was on medication. When I said no, she said I would need to be on something before she would assist me.
Although I may not have to pay cash for treatment through this organization, I do not trust them. This is the same place that made me go on medication when I was here before, left me in a crack house and seemed to care more about how I was doing when I was in California. Now that I am right up the street, none of my old case workers seem to give a rat's ass about me. I've realized it's a numbers game that I want absolutely NOTHING to do with.
Instead, I've made an appointment in a place that does not cater to the homeless population. I refuse to identify with those people, in spite of all I've been through. I'd rather pay out of pocket for authentic treatment that is not GRANT BASED.
No matter what I say in the substance abuse assessment, I will be assigned groups at a place where I refused treatment after a doctor discussed my case with another patient. I actually had to threaten a lawsuit to get out of their network because they would not let me go.
This is laughable, but my insurance will cover any mandated groups.
Yesterday I went to a psychiatrist who realized that I have A.D.H.D. long before I mentioned it. He put me back on Klonopin, which I took because it works. Next month we are going to begin the process of finding the medication that will effectively cure what has, most likely, always been my problem: ADHD.
One of the greatest gifts of getting out of the 12 Step box is that my treatment is no longer focused on an imaginary "disease." Finally, I've been able to ditch two diagnoses that have blocked me from getting well: Substance abuse & Bi Polar disorder. Thank you, God.
I'm willing to take medication because I am in a place where medical marijuana is illegal. It fucking sucks ass, but I gotta do what I gotta do.
For the first time in nearly three years, THE SKY IS BLUE!
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