TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

OCD

Notes from a Very Noisy Mind

Presence.  Stay in present.  Stop projecting into future.  Stop the negative daydreams.  Worse than nightmares.  “What if”, “what if”,”what if” ad infinitum.  Put ice yogurt on grocery list.  Add potatoes.
Is Tom getting a cold?  Flowering plant blooming.  The “spirit” of mother.  Her secret sign.  Our doctor appointment soon.  Afraid to go.  Pandemic fear.  Pandemic fear.  Pandemic fear.  Leak in wall.  Will super come?  He doesn’t respond.  Annoyance.  Will they have to bash the wall in to fix?  Will they have Covid 19 and bring it into our home?  What will happen??  What?  What? What?
Untense your back.  Feel sensation.  Relax body.  Deep breath.  Fear of losing Tom.  Stirrings of a migraine.  Can not stand mind anymore.  Eckhart Tolle said similar thing.  Concentrate on senses.  A flower.  The sky.  Can’t see much sky.  Buildings. Screen.  Windows.  Apartment.  Other lives.  Other deaths.  Look back at the flower.  Flower responds to attention.  Eckhart Tolle says flower does not know it is pretty.  Responds to attention.  Have heard this before.  Plants feel sensation.  Plants have responses to people.  Russians researched this.  Be like a plant.  Feel sensations.  Not fears.  Thoughts are the enemy.  Only for planning.  Avoid thought.
Time to meditate.  A few seconds of peace.  Fight sleep. Fight thought.  Just look, don’t fight thoughts. Just observe.  Follow the breath.  Almost over. Peace for a few seconds after noisy thoughts.
Will I ever be present?  I once was.  Long ago.  Medication fought psychosis but blocked presence.  Can I get there again?

The ER

DSCN0110
Chest pain
shaky and
light in the head
go to bed
awaken
at 3 AM
pain in chest worse
down the arm
in the neck
nausea
to wake my husband
or not
decide not
decide to lie there
and see what happens
but first
write him a note
of my undying love
which he finds in the morning
when I am surprised
to find myself awake
husband says to the ER
NO
urgent care center
OKAY
doctor there says ER
despite finding a normal EKG
I say NO
husband says YES
another taxi
to hell
get sent to “geri”
and wait
sitting on top of
sick people
afraid husband
will catch something
I in tears with fears
of being in this
overcrowded, overheated,
festering inferno
with screams
in the background
a man lying on the floor
after an hour or so
can take no more
tell husband
LEAVING
he says
OKAY
even he is spooked
I will never go back
not there
and this supposed to be
an advanced country
how dare we look down
on the developing world
with our pants down.
P1100919

Confessions of an Agoraphobic

P1130581_edited-1

I will do almost anything to stay at home. Granted I have a few chronic illnesses that keep me in but it is mental illness that is the real challenge. Mental illnesses, plural, and phobias, to be more exact. Bipolar Disorder, Asperger’s, OCD, Emetophobia, Claustophobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Agoraphobia. And I do what mentally ill people do.  I isolate.

Life can be lived through the ethernet. Luckily for me and many others. One can stay in the apartment for days. Today, however, I had to go out. My husband asked me to check the car. And there was shopping to be done and a trip to the post office required. Shit! Forgot to take major meds last night and was not in good shape yesterday either.  Dreading going out!  A one mile errand for me is like a trip to China. First off, take the missed meds. And make the preparations to go out, hiding money in case of a mugging, packing a phone, emergency meds and emergency numbers for my husband, etc., etc., etc.

Then comes the moment of truth, going out the door. Meet a neighbor and surprised that could handle her in my fragile state, and was, in fact, good with her. Not always the case. Helped a new neighbor and walked out the door into the street. A man coughing. He may vomit. Terrified of vomit and vomiting. I search out the streets and buses for people who look sick or sound sick, coughing, etc. The origin of this phobia– an alcoholic father who was often sick, but knowing that does not help matters. Make it past the coughing man and note his location to look for vomit on the way back.

Then there are all the unknown. This is New York City after all. Dirty, smelly, overstimulating, overcrowded, noisy New York City. People approaching you for good causes, bogus causes, begging, anything is possible. It is not like I am a newcomer here, having lived in New York City for six-plus decades and worked all over the city for three of those decades. Until I couldn’t any more.

Someone once asked me what was there to be afraid of? What could possibly go wrong? Oh, wrong question. I could easily rattle off twenty-five scenarios of disaster and then some. But this morning surprisingly and unusually, am happy to be outside. Greet my Indian newsstand lady friend and my friendly Hispanic super next door. All goes smoothly. The clerk in the post office ends on a kind note after my botched addresses had to be fixed. It actually, and can’t believe I am saying this, but, it actually feels good to be out.  Give a beggar a dollar and talk to him. Feeling good outside is a rarity. Perhaps it is the missed medication. Secretly I still believe the medication takes away something good in me. Still suffer from the delusion that all ills come from the medication, though “know” I cannot function without it. Actually perhaps it is doubling up on the dose that helps. Perhaps I should be on a higher dose of the anti-psychotic. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

Trip over. Glad to be back home. Didn’t feel faint until back home. One of these days  will venture out to shop for a new pair of jeans. One of these days…

(For more writing on battling mental illness please see my e-book, “Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things” on Amazon.  Also available on Smashwords, iBooks and Nook.)