Good day dear readers!
I am now up and writing on a very precarious footing. I went to bed four hours ago and just now woke up with a stomach ache which I am treating with seven-up. Funny to think of all the times in my youth when I ordered my favourite drink, vodka, seven and lime. I’ve actually been thinking a fair bit about when I did a lot of drinking. There were some fun times, like when I used to go visit my DJ friend and we would play drinking games and get completely blitzed. He ended up being quite a jerk after I had my mental health problems, we haven’t spoken in many years. Kind of goes to show the value of superficial friendships based on an addiction.
Well, tomorrow is a big day. I will be turning 50. I am in fairly good spirits about the whole thing, the truth is I am happier now at 50 than I was when I was 30. Almost hard to believe I have been living in the same neighbourhood now for over 20 years. I really get treated well here. Kind, caring people like my barber Tony live here. Then of course there is Dan Glugosh and his amazing family. I would find it very hard to leave this area.
I think in 20 years, the most important thing I have learned is the importance of rest for people with mental health issues. And of course, hand in hand with rest is a stable place to live. So many times, I see homeless people who look completely exhausted, trying to get a little sleep on a bus or in a library. It all seems so unfair that a person gets treated so poorly just because they don’t fit into “The status quo”. A few years back, I had a car, a great job and I was working out. But because I worked early mornings, took a long break, then went back to finish up late in the evening as a stage hand, there were some pretty precarious times. That is something that everyone should try and put aside if they are ever diagnosed with a mental health problem, pushing yourself through lack of sleep.
I recall driving home from the pool, intending to sleep the day away and being so tired I could barely keep my car on the road. This is a malady that I am sure a lot of people with mental health issues has, the two factors most written about, what you decide to do now and what you want to do when you wake up.
As a kid, I was always impressed by commercials advertising for people to join the military when they would say, “In the Army, we do more before 9 am than most people do all day.” I really though that was cool, working together and by yourself to achieve goals you never thought possible. Then I later went into cadets and got to experience a lot of that stuff first hand. I recall drinking it in from the very first night.
Just to skip back a bit, I recently wrote an exercise in writing about how my life experience getting pickled on beer and whatever else had to do with some of the things in life I would experience later. Of of the things I recall is that when I got drunk beyond my control, I still had a fair bit of free will. It was that capacity for free will that sends a lot of people who are drinking off to prison. Of course, I learned in my Law class in high school that, in Canada at least, people get time off their sentences if they have a mental illness.
Of course, when you consider mental illness and the Law, other very unfair things pop up. One of them, which I am not sure how I feel about, is that you can kill someone and have the sentence reduced to manslaughter if you can prove you had been intoxicated. Our laws sadly favour those who own substantial resources and can easily fight back if a law bothers them or even if they are just having anxiety due to being alone.
The next step down would be assault, then property crimes. Many people think property crimes are among the worst, especially since they seem to happen to everyone. These are some of the disproportionate volume of overall serious crime cases. Reading up on the subject often points out that if there are any problems, you can just kill your victim and use another hostage. It is frightening to see how many people lost a friend to illness or suicide, or preventable homocide and overdoses. And of course, there are so many people who have been dying in the ever-worsening pandemic.
One of the things I feel is important to do is to set aside everything you are able to that costs you money. It is so important in these times to always be mindful of your needs. I have been talking a fair bit about needs in this blog. One of the ways I am very lucky is that when I was in cadets, I learned a very valuable lesson That was, understanding how to teach the creative writing class I am putting on twice a week. One wouldn’t think it could, but these classes have a big toll on my overall fatigue and other symptoms. If you have that fatigue you can’t even describe here, or want more information about support groups, it is my suggestion that you consider sleep to be critical. Go to bed as early as 8:00 and read until you feel tired enough to try a full rest. Above all, talk to your doctor or psychiatrist about such feelings, they can truly help.