The Santa Barbara air had a clean fragrance, and a nice breeze wafted through my hair, which hasn't been washed for four days. I smoked a Djarum, which has been outlawed here in California, and savored the familiar old inhale/exhale routine.
The nursing staff had lost my wallet, containing practically all my life. They sent me off with promises to find it and mail it up to me. I was content with that. It seemed a small thing to lose, when you have fought a monster in your mind and then emerged triumphant.
I went off too many meds and did it quickly, sometimes without consulting my doctor. I knew I was in trouble when I won the big-deal poetry prize, was happy for a moment, and then the black monster reappeared, took out my brain and shook it real hard.
I worked my AA program to the best of my ability. But I've had this mental illness since long before I was first hospitalized for depression at age 16.
I think it's time for the rah-rah cheerleader to take a break and explore the black sorrow for a little while with my therapist. The medications will take time to work, but patience is a virtue I learned in AA. At least there is hope, where before there had been despair, carefully controlled.
Thank you to everyone who wished me well and sent prayers my way. I believe in the power of prayer to change things, starting with changing yourself, for that moment or that day. The support I had from you kept me sane when I wanted to explode (the Ativan didn't hurt, either). I'm no longer on Ativan, no drugs that start the phenonemon of craving. Just loving you guys and looking forward to tomorrow ( writing this at night). Have blessed days, each one of you.