Don’t Panic

To me…there is the possibility of

fear…

fear of what is known

fear of the unknown.

To me…there is the possibility of…

strange thoughts submerged in routine.

Always an angst devil looking over my shoulder…misinterpreting what I mean.

A heart so full it reaches into the throat.

Tranquility resides nearby…but never takes off her coat.

Panic, panic, say what?

Don’t panic, don’t panic…

the only words that I can breathe.

I look inward to a wild rose bush with thorns…

the beauty does not relieve.

G.A.D.

Though I have been told…I am wonderful at small talk; I am trembling on the inside.  The chips on my shoulder provide me with enough distance from others.  And, my smirk, is just an incentive towards personal space.

I have generalized anxiety order.  I know that I am not alone with this.  But in the middle of full blown jitters and racing thoughts…I am alone in a crowded room.

hello-my-name-is-anxiety

7 Things People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder Wish Others Would Stop Saying

“Stop thinking about it.” Don’t you think if it was that easy I would not think about it? It maybe easy for you, but as a person with GAD I have to practice the coping strategies I’ve learned in therapy. And sometimes I can’t even do that. So telling me to not worry simply does not cut it.

“Everyone feels anxious.” Yes, everyone feels anxious, and it is completely natural. Anxiety actually pushes us to get things done, but when your anxiety stops you from being able to function, guess what? That’s a problem.

“I’m stressed too.” Not to discredit your stress, but you are certainly discrediting ours. What you do not understand is that we have a hard time controlling our thoughts, and whether you realize it or not, no matter how small it may seem to you, our anxiety tends to maximize everything.

“I know how you feel.” Unless you have GAD you do not know how I feel, so please stop saying that you do.

“You need to calm down.” When people suffer from GAD, there are times when his/her anxiety is through the roof and it takes me time to calm down. It is always a three-ring circus going on in our heads. That advice is like telling someone who is sick to stop coughing. So no, we cannot calm down right now.

“You are doing too much.” (Translation: “You are being dramatic.”) Thank you for your words of comfort. We know our thoughts can be irrational at times, but that is how our brain works. Can you imagine 1,000 tabs on your computer are opened, and you cannot stop new tabs from opening? Well, that is how we feel. Just because our disorder is invisible does not mean it is not real.

You worry too much.” Yes, we worry too much and we know that, but if you have not figured it out by now, we cannot control it. Telling us we worry too much does not help. We were already worrying about 50 things prior to this unnecessary statement, and now we are worrying about worrying.

T-Kea Blackman

 

 

One Toke Over the Pain…Sweet Jesus!

Due to age, injury and heredity…I have degenerative arthritis.  It is what it is.  Everyday for me is a ‘act as if day.’

Act as if there is no pain.  Act as if the zen like walk outside isn’t, on occasion, interrupted by searing pain.  Act as if…all the pain medication…produces relief.

Yet, Big Pharma, and, the doctors would rather see me on chemicals to which…we really do not realize what their repercussions…will be.

Further still, when I inquire about the healing use of medicinal marijuana…I am just encouraged to keep on popping!

Jim Belushi is far from the first celebrity to get into the legal pot game. Stoned luminaries like Willy Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Tommy Chong, and the Marley family are selling pot with their names on it in multiple states across the country, but Belushi’s doing something different. These other celebrities have simply created a brand that they then license to pot farmers, whereas Belushi is actually growing the pot on his own property, often with his own hands.

Belushi started slowly, first with a small medical grow three years ago and then transitioning into a full recreational farm with multiple outdoor and indoor gardens. He’s been selling his carefully curated set of strains for two years but only recently decided it was time to put his name on the label. Pot shoppers in Oregon can now buy weed from Belushi’s Farm.

I caught up with the former Saturday Night Live (SNL) star by phone a few weeks ago. The actor and musician’s voice was hoarse from singing at a community party he throws on his farm every year. We talked about what it’s like growing legal pot, working with David Lynch, a vape pen of his that’s been making the rounds in Beverly Hills, and how he thinks medical marijuana could have saved his brother John Belushi’s life.

Do you think if medical marijuana was around then it could have helped him?

I think what we know about marijuana today, if we knew in the ’70s, a lot more people would be alive, including my brother. Danny Aykryod said, ‘If your brother John was a pothead he would be alive today.’

The medicine of marijuana will help prevent the collapse of families. I came from a collapsed family and the trauma of John’s death, you could imagine, and I’ve always been in search of family because of it. And this family of marijuana cannabis people is a terrific family. They’re all being led by the plant.

But the wellness of cannabis is not just for Alzheimer’s, headaches, anxiety—it also enhances the sound of music. It sparks creativity. It enhances the taste of food. It enhances the touch of your lover’s skin. It also gives you euphoria, a sense of joy, and a higher consciousness. So there’s wellness all across.

lester black/thestranger.com

 

Cycle of Abuse: Isn’t It Ironic?

Irony is such a strange word.  I never fully understood it.  Until, I found myself uncovering the trash bin of history that covers my blood.  And, until, I found myself needing to look long and hard at my own ‘hate crimes.’

The irony of my parent’s sharing the same psychiatrist…Dr. Koutras, the hand who filled the bottles.  Until the, irony of shared psychosis…Forty five minutes with my father (the wife killer.)  Forty five minutes with my mother (depressed ex nun looking for abusive father figure.)

Until, until, until…

Dr. Koutras became a stone pillar within a graveyard.  Not until, the doctor’s death, did I  understand how the sharing of time together…can become a pebble that lay the pavement.  The pavement that cover the path…to their children’s own bouts with depression, anger…addiction.

My mother had told me shortly before she passed away.  Informed me that both she, and my father did not reside well.  Did not perform well, as parents should, after Dr. Koutras passed away.

Gee!  Do you think so?

After all, the good Dr Koutras and Mr. John Hawkins, had lay the ground work for my father’s quick dismissal from murder.  After all, both psychiatrist and psychologist, along with many of those with power, knew Janice and Harold had created a child…under the hospital’s not…watchful eye.

The irony that struck me?sps-5

It had not been my mother’s discourse on loosing a psychiatrist of good faith.  The irony struck me that…many abuses of doctor/patient professional relationship…had occurred.

My father, essentially, lived weekends, at John Hawkin’s home.  Lived not as the killer he had been…less than two years before.  My parents shared the same confidant for over twenty years, Dr. Koutras.  He had allowed them to visit, have sex, get married and give birth.  Give birth…to me.  Give birth to an addict with OCD and generalized anxiety disorder.

The humor?  Years later…had been that I became a counselor.  Receiving a degree and psychology and working as, a mental health worker.  Going even further than that…a master’s degree in social work.

Paradoxically, I had worked with adults, dual diagnosed, at a private psych hospital.  Still, I found the bowel’s of addiction held me close at night.  Still, I had bouts of anger that would only be semi controlled by destructive and risky sexual behavior.  Still, with papered degree in hand…I did not know of my history.  A history that possibly could have helped explain my abhorrent…after work…behavior.

Nothing from my childhood to my thirties seemed cohesive!  Would it have helped to know?  Could I have changed?

I took so many friends, lovers hostage…as they say, in AA.  I ran and hid.  Ran and hid.  Ran and hid.

If I took the time, depression would set in.

Being gay appeared to be yet, another personal flaw to be ashamed of.  Growing up catholic, living among adults who did not hold the tools to console and reflect.  Having siblings much older, I found no comfort there.

I lay no blame on my own homophobia.  Lay it nowhere and it no one’s feet.

However, when dressed in my best gray wool skirt, green polyester blazer and pastel button down shirt.  Reading of family values…one man, one woman, two and a half children.  Beholding a ceramic blood infused man hanging from a cross.  And, being scolded for inquiring about a couple, two women (Maryanne and Dawn), that seemed closer to one another than most…

It, the Bible, the Scriptures, distances placed between myself and two, possible role models…  IT all instilled in me feelings of insecurity, remorse, guilt.  And, the unspoken words of

being gay…was not okay!

…fear…resonated.  stand alone 4

When I did eventually come out.  Come out… and running with ‘freak’ flag, flying.  Closet doors not only splintered but knocked off it’s hinges.

My mother spoke few words…

‘I am ashamed of your choice.  But I’ll get over it.’

Criticism began my adolescence.  My mother and father did not want me to have anything to do with Maryanne and Dawn, the not gay, but gay couple.  I had been told to pray for them.  My sister with baggage of her own, slipped birth control pamphlets under my bedroom door.  I had been dressed in gray wool skirts with pastel button down shirts and green blazers.  I had been dressed in the Good News Bible!

Whether any of us knew it or had the ability to understand!?  Slowly, the encouragement to shun gays…rooted and grew in my subconscious.

In school, I used with frequency the words…

fag, dyke, queer…

With friends, I did not confide my inner turmoil.   My wanting to play with GI Joe and not, Barbie.

I hid deep within me, self abusive and risky sexual behavior with men (starting at the age of 14.)   Hurtful scars for my teenage mind to own.  And, own alone.

A sore that was deeper than a chasm of  my leftover souls.  Souls that held no reality.  Or, at least, in my young mind…a life I could live not live with any certainty.

That is…until, irony brought me to a woman with her own demons.  Another graduate of New Hampshire Hospital.  A woman whom… with her innocence and love, rescued me from all the turmoil that stir inside my defunct and dysfunctional persona.

busnote

 

 

 

Anxious Commentary

Around or about…the tightness.

A spiritual choking.

A breaking down of matter.

Chomping, chewing, relentlessly.

And, spitting me out.

Here I am…’do not leave in doubt.’

Cigarette burning into the middle of night.

Supine vertigo…prompted upon an endless fright.

I awaken to a self…basquiat

Self, as a victim viewer.

I am there in her eyes.

All my sentences a scratching post…Tainted with compromise.