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Monday, July 24, 2006

Mystical Experience In A Bar Prior To Getting The Schizophrenia Diagnoses Haunts Me More Today Than Back Then
After I resigned from my position on an oilrig from strange phenomena happening around me, I returned to St John's Newfoundland to my apartment and felt rather isolated. At this time, my life did not consist of doing very much, I did not have too many associates that were close to me and ended going out to the Bars to catch local Bands or those Bands that came to the "rock" to play on the local circuit. One particular evening in the Bar back then that I will never forget, was when I had a mystical experience that was hard to handle at the time. The Canadian Artist Cherie Lawrence, who had a TV slot in the seventies I think, was doing her gig in Bars during 1984. She was quite the attraction when she came to St John's, she put on a really good show in the Bar that she was playing in while in town. Of course I was in attendance for the show, I always had a weakness for female vocalist in song and I have to say she had the power of song in every song she sang. If I am remembering correctly, I had my mystical experience on the last night Cherie played over the weekend. I was not even consuming alcohol at the time, I was into tonic water and lemon for a refreshment when I went out to the Clubs, sort of staying sober in a hard drinking town. Anyway, I was standing close to the stage leaning on the long center island for holding drinks and ashtrays. I can not even remember what song Cherie was singing when I seemed to go somewhere in my mind and vision where I saw a total waste land in front of me. Everything was coloured in a light rolling red with its various shades between orange and red. The scene reminded me of a sunset with clouds that resembled a waste land, which I saw in high school, that I never forgot. The surrounding image of a total waste land as one would try to describe it, where I could no longer hear the music from the Band nor the chatter of the people in the Bar, I was off on some mystical voyage witnessing something I could not explain. I was held in suspension for a bit where ever I was, then I heard Cherie singing the words "Do not forget to be loved" No music or nothing, just her voice sing out from somewhere in the waste land that I seemed to be in. After the words were sung once, I came back to reality and was in the Bar again hearing the music and the chatter of the people present. I was left in a slight state of awe over it, while feeling nervous and all after the experience. It was almost like I showed the people present what I saw or something, it was a really strange feeling that I was left with. The night was close to the end of the stage show and I found myself a spot at the back of the Bar by the main entrance, I nervously stood there by the door not knowing what to make of the night's experience. Cherie Lawrence then came briskly walking towards the door where I was standing, as she went out the door of the Bar, she seemed to glance at me in what seemed like a bit of a nervous fashion. It really bothered me due to the experience I went through during one of her songs, why did she even glance at me while going out the door? I was nobody special or did something special happen that people knew where I went with Cherie's song. I may never know what all really happened that night, but I sure know what I experienced in seeing a waste land and hearing the voice telling me "Do not forget to be loved". So here I am twenty two years later, single and left haunted by this experience from so long ago. Sure it is human to be wanting love from someone, I always used to ask my Ex in our arguments "What do you love me for then?", it is like I never really felt love the way it is supposed to be felt. Many a time while out on the town over the years, I was haunted with being alone while Cherie's voice would run through my head singing those special words in the waste land that I seemed to have entered way back when. Here I am once again feeling haunted by this particular past experience, with not being in a relationship any more while searching in my head for a direction to obtain a better financial status than what I am presently in. Sure love can come in many ways I guess, to go looking for love is not the direction I want to take in my life right now, but the desire to be loved by a special woman again is dear to my heart. With all I have been through, looking for that special love of a woman, I am left with the image of the waste land once again with the words of wisdom ringing in my head. Where does a male turning 46, that carries the diagnoses of schizophrenia with no real assets except my intelligence, find that special love through a woman's desire for me. So that the mystical experience of so long ago, does not leave me haunted by the words "Do not forget to be loved" because I was never in a position to feel the love that I so desired.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Finding My Way With My Life Again While Pursuing My Art & Music For Its Therapeutic Value
It has been a couple of week now since I have made a post, my life is slowing returning to a productive routine like prior to my hospitalzation and struggles with extra pyramidal side effects. Finding myself with being in a reflective mood, regarding all that has transpired the last eight years during a relationship with my ex-common law, I chose to pursue my artistic endeavors for future plans. Hoping may be something will come out of it. As a person carrying the diagnoses of schizophrenia, I always tried to hold down a job putting my tools of the trade to work with competence. I had a good job when I met the last woman (Ex) that I fell in love with, everything seemed to go wrong after the industrial explosion at that place of employment. It was a mind blowing experience all the way!!! Just before the explosion at the factory, I was picking up some tools or something in the machine shop and stopped to chat with one of the machinists at work on a surface grinder. We chatted for a bit, then I said, "Well I better get a move on and get some work done before the Boss comes around". So I headed out off the machine shop, through the door into the factory, with a right turn to go through another part of the factory, I walked a small way and took a loading dock door to go outside heading to the place where I was working in the North section of the plant past the office. I was not long outside when there was a large bang with an explosion, smoke started coming out from everywhere, with being one of the factory's electromechanics, I started to return into the factory to investigate as production workers started steaming out coughing and gasping for air. I forget how things got organized, the machine shop wall and door I had just walked through earlier had crumbled with the blast of the explosion, we were finding each other and getting flash lights and fire extinguishers to go look for others closer to the blast. I was soon part of a small team fighting the fires and looking for injured men in the rubble. The plant Engineer and Owner were in close proximity of the blast and were carried outside injured. The electromechanics teamed together to control the fires and shut off the electricity. Soon everyone was accounted for and we pulled out of the smokey haze that made the air thick. The Firemen had arrived by the time we came out, they were preparing to enter and wanted one of us to lead them into the burning factory. No one wanted to go back in, so dumb old me volunteered to take them in to the part of the factory which was a blaze. They had their Scott Air Packs for breathing, while I only had my personal rubber faced dust mask which was not designed for toxic gases of an industrial fire. After a briefing and the firemen knew that we were going to be approaching a fire around a glue tank that could explode if over heated by the surrounding fire, we waited for the command to enter the building. So when all were ready and we were told to go, I lead the team of firemen into the smoke hazed factory to the section burning still. As we walked through the dark by flashlight, the glow of the fire ahead was upon us. The Firemen asked me to try and open the emergency exit that was close the the fire at the back of the building. I headed over to the exit crawling over rubble and taking a two step to give the buckled door the best of soccer kicks I could ever give on the opening bar. The door popped open right away, more Firemen were out side setting up equipment, I returned to the team I escorted in and I was told to go back out front and leave them to handle the rest. After sitting out front for a bit, I was crammed into an ambulance with several others to be treated in hospital for smoke inhalation. I was soon released after I started coming and going from my room to have a cigarette. In time I was called back to work to start the clean up and repairs, then my right leg started to get sore. As each progressed I started to limp more and more with my sore leg. After work one night, I went to the Clinic to see a Doctor. An X-ray was taken and a hair line fracture was found in my old healed break of my tibia and fibia in my right leg. The Doctor asked me if I had kicked anything or something, well I responded with my role in the explosion and kicking open the emergency exit. She said "That will do it". So I had to stay off my leg for a while and walk with a cain until the fracture healed. I could not get workers compensation because the dead line for claiming injuries from the explosion had past, along with me never telling the Boss I had a bit of a bump leg when he hired me. Do you tell the boss everything medical when he hires you? In Quebec, Canada you have a responsibility to tell your employer medical conditions for hazards on the job. I found out the hard way and ended up out of work with no money or anything. As the leg healed, I got another job offer for more money which I ended up accepting only to get screwed by my new Boss for knowing my engineering and making some other Supervisor look bad. Like a co-worker said to me when I was leaving, this company uses people, I feel for you, you know your job. I never really was able to land a decent job after that while always arguing with my girlfriend at the time, because of electrical problems in her home and the electrical fire I stopped in her bathroom in the fall after I was in the explosion the spring of the same year. When ever we argued over weather or not I new what I was talking about in building practice, someone always called 911. So I stood up for the Canadian National Building Code and my life went progressively down hill with 911 being called on me. At least now the Doctors I work with, respect my capabilities and expertise in engineering technology. I am more prone to doing my art and playing guitar as a form of therapy for my developed anger from being strapped to beds and sedated after trying to arue my engineering point with my girlfriend. The "Schizo" was never to believed or something. Other people always new best and it destroyed the relationship and part of my life. Ok, I got my disability pension out of it and I got more involved with developing my artistic talent. While the Art Group that I am part of is off for the summer, one group member and myself get together in a local park with my guitar and our sketch pads. We take turns playing guitar while the other sketches a scene of the park. I contacted the Music Therapist at the Hospital to get involve in the Music Therapy program, so I could get some more guitar lessons out of it. My guitar playing has come a long way since I got two semesters of lessons under my belt from student Music Therapists at the Hospital in the past. My art has also come a long way as well, since I started taking it more seriously. I am no longer scared of pushing a pencil and wasting paper or a canvas. When I see what I want to produce in my mind's eye, I just produce it or copy an image from somewhere. With being part of an Art Show with Birks House Artists at the Musee du Beaux-Art de Montreal, I feel more like an Artist somehow. The opening of the show was the fist time I displayed art outside of the Out Patient Clinic and smoozed with a glass of wine in my hand. I really enjoyed that sense of accomplishment, I put quite a fair bit of work into that particular Art Show and the Museum Animator seemed to be able to open my eyes more to the world of art. My art and guitar buddy in the park is starting to plan with me to do an Art show at a location that I have in mind through a contact of mine. It would be nice to put something together with the visual arts and having my guitar interlude along side. I always was a creative dreamer, it is just at this point of my life that I am starting to dream about doing things with the creative arts. I have no children, my only expense is me and ambulance bills that built up along with one unfortunate credit card from financial hard times. As I am turning 46, perhaps it is late in life to go diving into being an Artist. But what odds for now, if it proves therapeutic. I play a couple of old WWII songs on the guitar, that carry me onward through my memories of the battles and struggles of my past eight years, to find a new found happiness in the future.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Coming Out Of Heavily Drugged Induced State Leaves Me Weathering Out A Psychological Storm Of Thoughts And Feelings About My Life
Well, here I am slowly getting my act together again with functioning better after doing a lot of pill popping to control the Extra Pyramidal Side Effects. I never did take kindly to being sedated so I could not function, when one is left medicated and laying in bed at home, struggling to cope with ones situation, the mind is thrown for quite the loop. At times the assumed fetal position that one finds themselves in frequently, under heavy sedation and with what seems like one being totally alone with the situation, helps one to crawl out of the complexities of the mind and find inner strength to gain control of ones life again. At times I am at a loss how my inner strength carries on, it feels really beat up with all that has transpired in the recent past. It is like one has to create their own light in the darkened tunnel of life, while keeping the illumination of hope close to the heart as one regains the strength that was lost. Physically feeling weakened after going through what seemed like a drug withdrawal from the high medication levels and lack of good eating habits at the time, my daily habits are slowly getting back on track. I have not had any Extra Pyramidal Side Effects since I woke up out of the drug induced state, I had stopped all the medication that I was taking so that I would be able to do more than sleep all the time. It was a nervous waiting game as I passed the days until the visit to the new Psychiatrist that is going to over see my case. The mental health system does not take lightly to consumers playing with their medication or stopping it as I did, there is always a fear of the system when you play with it. Knowing that I was due to see the new Psychiatrist over seeing my situation, a lot went through my mind as I did not know her as an individual, how would she deal with my confession of stopping medication to get a partial grip on my life again. I now presently have a lot of not so pleasant flash backs from being strapped to beds and taking what seemed like excessive amounts of medication for my situation. Anger and fustration compounded my situation for the worst all the time, one does develop an attitude with being shipped off to hospital during Police Interventions in the home. It has happened a lot in the recent passed due to complications on the home front arising out of anger, from all the other hospitalizations over the last eight years due to arguing over weather or not I knew what I was talking about as a tradesperson and this building. It gets to a point where you start questioning quite a bit about what all has gone on, then you start questioning yourself in ensuing fustration. The snowball effect of questioning one's self too much, has left me in remorse and looking at what my life has become. Reflecting thoughts on this pasted Canada Day, left me feeling haunted by all the songs that played on the radio. Every guitar wail or melodramatic riff of music took me somewhere in my memory, within buried conclusions of stupidity, with what I have had to go through to try and succeed as a Canadian with schizophrenic issues. It does not take much to make me happy, I always tried to lead a rather simple life, while it has become more and more complicated as the years passed. The realization of the stigma of Psychiatry has slapped me in the face more than ever before, I even often feel it now from the Mental Health Case Workers that deal with consumer issues, when they are sensitive to the stigma in Psychiatry themselves. I always went through some sort of ridicule growing up, I lead my life in such a direction that it hardly ever happened any more, I was able to stand my ground with confidence as not to be the brunt of it, rolling with the punches and laughing it off. It is not as easy to roll with the punches that come with the stigma of Psychiatry, it brings out a not so pleasant sentiment in me that has more and more over tones of anger. I came back to Montreal from the East Coast as an angry young man with the schizophrenia diagnoses, I got over it through time to gain the reputation at one place of occupation as the "Happy Mechanic" that knew what he was doing around engineering principles. Now I have to get used to picking up a tool of my trade once again, it is easy to loose the knack of working as a tradesperson with tools. My balance is a bit off which takes some time to get a handle on again while working, it has improved some recently but it like you find yourself testing ones balance a bit all over again with adjile movements while working. It is like I am for ever rebuilding myself in this way in the last couple of years, hopefully with the new Psychiatrist that now treats me with medication, it could be made easier with lower levels of medication. When I had my first visit with the Doctor, it was a lengther visit than what I am usually used to. Of course there were the primary questions one is always faced with, so the Doctor can evaluate your mental stability. An evaluation was also completed for the Extra Pyramidal Side Effects and the residual reprocussions on my physical being. Over all the visit went well and I started on a new perscribtion of Risperdal at a low dose. I see the Psychiatrist in about a week, for further evaluation while consuming her perscribed medication. I felt more free talking to my new Doctor, there was some comman ground found for what direction could be taken for my medication treatment, so I can produce to pay taxes once again instead of being incapacitated. The winding road keeps winding on with some sort of light off in the distance.