Monthly Archives: December 2010

Reflections on 2010, like a Christmas letter, but a blog, and betterer!

Dear loyal Fit of Pique reader!

I have been happy to feel your ever so silent support as I have dealt with the last year. It all opened with a bang in January when my cousin went off his meds and had a massive medical emergency involving police and blood and blindness and most of the year spent in the provincial hospital up in North Battleford. Where we visited him all that time, taking him for McDonalds and bringing him smokes and clothes. Do not underestimate the need for cigarettes while in an institution like that. It’s a small joy. But they all add up. I know they are unhealthy, as I have been quitting on and off for seven years! Anyway, moving on from that incident, things for my mental health front have been pretty darned good this year, a few momentary slips with sleepless nights and so on, but overall pretty good. I lowered one anti-depressant and went onto another and DIDN’T get depressed!

I did struggle with my own dual diagnosis this past year, like last year. I was either not smoking up at all for weeks or else smoking everyday when I wasn’t working. I really wanted to come to some kind of resolution on the matter, either a medical report detailing how medical marijuana is useful for bipolar disorder, or to say FUCK IT and give up completely and start painting happy little trees in my spare time instead. Or even better, ACTUALLY work on my career as a famous video artist. So what happened in the end was this report came out that said marijuana wasn’t as bad for people with bipolar as it was for people with schizophrenia. Which I have noticed when smoking up with schizophrenic friends. They don’t respond well to it. Even my cousin who had the emergency this year says he doesn’t like it. I think it makes the paranoia worse. So anyway, as you can smell, I didn’t quit for good, but I have opened up to the idea of taking detox vacations from it from time to time. I noticed every time I quit smoking up my dreams would come FLOODING back and blow me away with symbolic imagery that heightened my experience of my life. And so, as you can see, I find that important. Which is why the solution of detox vacations has come up. It’s a start anyway.

I was on EI for half the year and went to Berlin and met amazing people and got stuck in Heathrow for 24 hours and I went to Vancouver and premiered my newest video and saw old timey friends!

I was on welfare for one miserable month but was saved by a CanSask program for Self Employment where I am currently being taught how to write a business plan and run a business. I am starting a video and film editing company and I am also going to try writing a Canada Council grant AGAIN. I didn’t get my Research/Creation grant this year for Mars: The Maiden Voyage, so I have to put together more support material and writey stuff.

My love life had a recurring character this past year but it mellowed back down into a more friendly friend thing and so really there is nothing to report on that front. Oh, but I had at least three major crusholas this year, one old longstanding crushola that I still feel gooney with, a far away crushola, and a friend crushola. Tapwe!

My Grandfather turned 93 this year several days ago and while we were eating cake downstairs at his residence these ladies were talking Cree to him. And he told me, “When they’re speaking and you can’t understand them, just say ‘Ah, tapwe!'” Which means “Ah, it is true!” Naturally you can imagine the kinds of things old Cree women say (I dunno, can you? It’s pretty crude sometimes!) and so me saying “Ah, tapwe!” when they are discussing intimate details of their husbands might not be the best idea. Trust Grandpa to get me into trouble!

Overall 2010 was a good year, I think. For myself, not for my cousin, who is now in a care home here and learning how to live without sight. I never intentionally went off my medication and when I slipped it was never for very long.

I got an alarm clock/music system for my iPod from Mum for Christmas, so I spent an hour scouring through my mp3s making a playlist called “Sex Attack!” so that I can put on appropriate sexy music should I need to set the mood. I have to say, bad music during sex is just awful. It’s like being tortured. Although now that I have mentioned that I bet there are people who get off on being heavily involved in sex and unable to change the music. That’s just not one of my fetishes.

OH I KNOW what happened to me this year!!!! I moved in with my mother! And it was going to be temporary, but now, what with this economic climate and rental prices being so high, I am going to stay until I have enough for a down payment on a house. Sooo, judge away! Actually only in North America is there shame about multigenerational living arrangements. Yes, I live in my mother’s basement. BUT I don’t play World of Warcraft and I pay rent!

So I don’t quite know what is happening in 2011 for me. In a perfect world I will be going back to Berlin, and running my business, and getting my Canada Council grant, and making a video, and being allowed to fall in love with someone. I say “being allowed” but really I mean falling in love and the other person falling in love back. Mutual love!

Tomorrow morning at 7am EST I will be on Bravo! My half hour Storytellers In Motion episode is airing and I am recording it on the DVR and finding out what I said in the first half! I’ve only ever seen the last fifteen minutes!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I will be spending the evening having quiet drinks and conversation with some laid back people, and then off to bed! Nothing crazy, just good times and hopefully the cab won’t take ten million hours!

Christmas love, shyness, Spinsters and Santa!

I’ve got this TERRIBLE shyness and nervousness around women I really like! I swear to god, I will sit there when I know I am supposed to ask for a kiss and I just won’t ask, my stomach will start doing somersaults and I’ll get sweaty palms and I am sure there should be some kind of medication for it but I haven’t been on one that works yet. I will get back to you when I find out what it is.

I have recently discovered because of a long standing “crush” (though I suspect there is much more to it than that) that I do exactly the same thing writing an email as I do talking to a girl I like. I hyperventilate in type form, too many exclamation marks and too little substance. I end up feeling like an airhead, a bicep butch instead of a brainy butch. I feel like I want to say all these deep and meaningful things and instead I talk about some other trivia about my life which I am sure she doesn’t care about. But then the deep and meaningful things seem too intense to be discussing over email, it seems like I should be talking about them face to face. And until such a time as we do come face to face, I should just hint at meaning. I think. I mean, what do I know? You can’t think very clearly when you are type-hyperventilating!

It can take me four hours to write her a three paragraph email! No lies!

It’s nearly Christmas time, and every Christmas that rolls around when I am single I have all these morose mooney thoughts about what it would be like if I had a partner I could bring home. It gets so damned maudlin torturing myself with imaginary relationships with various women over the years. And the reality of what that Christmas would look like is so different. For one thing all the women wake up and start working in my family all freakin’ day! It’s definitely not a laid back experience, and by the time dinner rolls around everyone (the women, specifically) is stressed out. So who knows, maybe I am imagining going sledding with someone Christmas afternoon but really we’d end up in the closet under the stairs arguing about whose family is more dysfunctional.

Oh man, Christmas time! And I have an intangible present of a thing that this person loves to do (nothing weirdo) and I don’t know how to wrap it. I mean, I would like to put it under the tree, but I didn’t bother with a giftcard solution to this dilemma. I could be total Grade 1 Mother’s Day Gift and draw out a little certificate, hmm. Since the present IS to my mother, and since I am a reasonably decent drawer, maybe I should do that.

I was called my mother’s “Spinster Daughter” today and maybe that is freaking me out a little. I am 32 years old and I have yet to live with a lover or even bring one home for ANY of the 3 main Anglican Holidays. I’ve never even introduced a girlfriend to my Grandma, or Grandpa. My Mum has met some though. She secretly wanted to rabbit punch a couple of them, I know that for a fact! But she has never punched anyone.

I think it’s all the damn Christmas shows that are doing it to me, any reasonable attractive (read straight white folks, according to tv) person my age in all these shows has a partner and 2.5 children, the .5 often being a baby. And they are all learning some deeper grander Christmas message through this hilarious adventure that could spell the end of ALL CHRISTMASES FOREVER if they don’t right this through family love. It’s pretty barfy, and I don’t think I can expect to learn a grander Christmas message this year through having a wacky adventure with my poor osteoporosis suffering Grandmother where we end up in either a VW Bug in the hinterlands or somehow have to go on a rollercoaster. Oh yeah, and Santa helps us along the way.

“Why yes Chris, I have new spinal bones for you in my bag! Ho ho ho!”

My sister on the other hand loves Christmas. She keeps laughing when ever I say “Ho ho hold the payments!” or “Ho ho ho, Green Giant!” Oh, she loves ho ho hoing but she HATES Santa Claus, with a passion! She goes into a terror if she sees him. Today my Mum and I saw Mum’s friend’s baby getting a picture with Santa and she just suddenly squinched up and cried like, well like a baby! Poor baby!

Santa doesn’t scare me, but I do find him highly suspicious.

Suck my dick Bill W.

I have a new mission now to follow the principles of Harm Reduction over completely quitting my various vices. My friend Mikiki has a good paragraph explaining Harm Reduction on his facebook, it goes:

*Basic Principles of Harm Reduction:

Harm reduction philosophy considers risk taking behavior as a natural part of our world and suggests that our work should be focused on minimizing the harmful effects of these behaviors rather than focusing on the cessation of the behavior.
Harm reduction philosophy supports the involvement of individuals in the creation and/or delivery of programs and services that are designed to serve them. These programs and services must be offered in a non-judgmental and non-coercive manner.
Harm reduction philosophy recognizes the impact of issues such as poverty, classism, racism, homophobia, social isolation, past trauma, and other social inequities on both people’s vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with risk taking behavior.

I think one of the main problems I have noticed being a mental health consumer is this constant PUSH for us to quit using drugs and alcohol completely. I understand the reasoning behind this: it means your meds don’t work as well. BUT at the same time, why single us out? Alcohol will work as a depressant for anybody, not just persons suffering a mood disorder.

I’m thinking about it a lot ever since Luke came back from the Saskatchewan Hospital. He’s in the group home system and he’s not allowed to drink at all. And even his nurse wants to ask his doctor for permission to let Luke go have a few drinks once a month at someone else’s house. When I was in the group home system, I just hid my stash at someone else’s house and still smoked everyday.

And now my nurse says I am doing well and see how good life can be when you stop using? Only I haven’t, I still toke and drink and abuse tobacco. I’ve realized something about myself: I just really like getting crunk!

And a LOT of people like it. I mean, my god, that’s what happens at art events all the freakin’ time. Most of my socializing is with supposedly sane types who love nothing more than boozing it up and having a big fat joint. I just talk honestly about it. Mostly because my desire to party has been pathologized by psychiatric nurses. Ironically, not by my actual psychiatrist. She has always said it would be good if I cut back or quit, but she’s never pressured me, never denied me proper care because I am a drug/alcohol user, basically has just accepted that I will take risks and still be pretty much compliant with the treatment she has set out for me.

Ugh, COMPLIANT. Friggin psychworld speak.

So it’s a tricky thing. My profile got disabled on facebook, and I am not sure if it was because of drugs or because I was telling this crazy story about a neighbor in Bad Manors who didn’t pay his sex worker and she screamed for an hour outside his door about his dirty scaly dick. Facebook is pretty prudey really, case in point the transman whose profile was disabled when he posted post chest surgery shots. It sucks that we have to follow the rules of Palo Alto. At least they let us say when we are married to someone of the same sex.

Anyway, to friends who thought I unfriended them on unfriend day, no I didn’t, facebook hates me. Or someone on facebook hates me. The day my profile was disabled someone sent me this vicious private message saying I shouldn’t talk about psychiatric meds if I am using drugs and alcohol. WTF?????? Pretty pissy, and I was wondering if SHE reported me, but I really don’t know.

Anyway, I like being bad sometimes. I still want to quit smoking, and that would probably be the best thing I could do for myself. But the rest of it, ah heck, as long as I don’t hurt people I think it’s okay. I try to be good about it. I’m not a mean drunk or anything, and I don’t drink or smoke and drive, and I don’t get stoned or drink before I go to school or work. So I think I am going to accept myself as I am. Not every former psych patient has to be a friend of Bill W.