More about hallucinations

Hallucinations can get really weird. I’ve literally had hallucinations tell me I have schizophrenia and that I need to get help. Really?

Here at the house, I have another common hallucination: hearing mom and her boyfriend on the phone. What I don’t understand is, he usually uses an earpiece, so why would she be on speaker-phone, and why would they be talking in the living room where I could hear them? That’s some really loud whispering. More to the point: they know better than to Baker Act me, because it really serves no purpose (long-term) and it’s expensive.

So there ya go. This is the schizophrenic part of me. There’s still the bipolar, and the epilepsy, but that’s life. Ya just gotta live it.

More about hallucinations

So, I’ve written things about coping techniques like reality checking and whatnot. That’s all great. Even if you think you know, you are still never sure because as time goes on, you forget the context of the situation (which happens very fast). At the end of the day, you just have to learn to put up with it. For instance, I heard the TV in the living room until I walked out of my bedroom to check that it was off (which it was). Little things like that. It’s taken a long time to really be sure that I hallucinate. I think I wrote about this a while back when my mom and her boyfriend went to Key West. I called the cops because I felt threated by what was nothing more than a hallucination. Even though the cops didn’t Baker Act me (hallucinations or delusions on their own will not get you Baker Acted), when they confirmed it had to be a hallucination it scares me. They offered to take me down to the hospital so I went, but even the hospital said I didn’t need to be there. Go figure. So, the cops were very nice and left a card, and they came back to bring me home.

I used to live alone. I never had any problems until I moved from Austin to St. Pete and had several major seizures before they put me on drugs. Being alone, and unconscious from a seizure for 1.5 days nearly killed me. Yet, I lived alone anyway, eventually moving to New York and later Maryland where I lived in a prison for 2 months with a boss who completely did not care (there’s a post about this elsewhere).

But anyway, life goes on. I’ve never been more confident of my diagnosis. Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type. There is a paper which claims schizoaffective disorder doesn’t exist, and that it’s just a subtype of schizophrenia. I have to disagree. There IS a subtle difference, you can be diagnosed with both schizophrenia and bipolar, but I usually explain schizoaffective as schizophrenia and bipolar because otherwise people don’t understand. Most people don’t understand most mental illness anyway and if you do the cliche google search you only get a very general list of symptoms. You have to consider side effects of medications, problems with relationships (both friendships and family), etc.

There are things I won’t write here, but they’re not secrets to the people who know. I know that they know that I know. Or at least I think so?

The problem with schizophrenia a lot of the time is that the meds make people feel normal again, and so they think they can stop the meds. I still have hallucinations and delusions even when on meds, so I’ve never gone off meds for those reasons. For me, it’s related to stress. Somehow, for whatever reason, I’ve lost the ability to handle any form of stress. I’ve known this for a while, and many people have repeated this to me independent of each other. I just stop, and that includes taking the meds, and everything goes downhill from there.

So, to sum up, the hallucinations are convincing. What I don’t understand is why other schizophrenics respond to their voices and I don’t. Maybe that’s the difference between schizophrenia and schizoaffective?

I had a therapist tell me that I wasn’t actually hallucinating, I was just hearing my thoughts in my head. Perhaps that was the case back then, I don’t remember now. However I can say this: It is easy to mix up thoughts in your head with hallucinations. So, it’s a game.

README.txt

Before you read anything else in this blog, start here. This blog is really nothing more than a jumble of words somehow associated with each other into long strings called sentences, organized into larger groups called paragraphs, and each set of paragraphs makes up a post which usually has one or a few (likely related) topics.

A lot of what I have written here is simply my own experience from living with a mental illness. There’s other random stuff too like random comments aimed at people (although I will never reveal anyone’s identity without permission).

Words are a very powerful thing when used appropriately. They are as sharp as knives. In the United States, we have the right to freedom of speech, but that does not mean anyone will listen, and in some cases, we can find ourselves in a box where nobody can hear our screams except ourselves.

I enjoy writing in this blog, that’s probably why I’ve continued to do it for so long. I’ve been told, however, certain things shouldn’t be shared. I disagree. If you’ve seen the photography section of my website, and you have a flickr account, you will see what I mean. Sure, I post my resume here, and I quite seriously link this website to job applications. As I’ve stated elsewhere, it’s the “honesty factor”. They say not to discriminate, but it happens all the time. So, let’s just get it over with before we’re in over our heads. Besides, I took some damn good pictures in Austin anyway.

The goal here is not to offend anyone, just an outlet for me to express my ideas and opinions. This is not a political blog, nor does it identify with any particular groups or cultures. That said, I’m catholic and I have no interest in being anything other than becoming a better catholic.

One last comment: Yes, I’m a millennial, but if I were born one year earlier, I would not be (at least by the definition I read on wikipedia a while back). So please, I am not 26.

I can’t sleep

My routine is off now, thanks to some interruptions.. Just a bunch of random comments on my mind.

  1. I like writing pissed off emails to people. The problem is I don’t have any authority to implement change from those emails because the people who are responsible for all of this are usually my superiors, just don’t give a fuck, are rude, or don’t listen (or some combination of all of these things). Eventually I will apologize because I usually go waaay overboard to ask for something simple; in the end I realize this. A career is about learning and growing, at least that’s my view, so progress has to be a bit relaxed. It’s not simply because engineers are lazy, we just have to work with a lot of details in a very complicated system, and it requires time to go over everything and make sure we don’t fuck up (because that would cost even more time and money to correct).
  2. My mentor tells me there are a lot of things in this blog that I should not post in public. There is not a single comment from anyone on the blog, so that comment from my mentor (which probably shouldn’t be discussed here) is the only feedback I’ve gotten so far. I’ve had to remove a few things from my website for purposes of intellectual property integrity, but if you know where to look you can still find it anyway. I can only remove it superficially, so any consequences of having posted those things is already done.
  3. It’s occured to me that some things that happened a while back were, in fact, quite serious hallucinations (or at least so it would seem). This is nothing new. What is new, is that I’ve never had visual hallucinations of two people talking to each other that I could see AND hear (auditory AND visual hallucinations).

On another note, my therapist says this is the most stable she’s ever seen me. I was experimenting with my drugs and a certain sequence of events simultaneous caused a chain reaction which really backfired on me. Nobody can force you to take meds even during a Baker Act, but it is unwise to not cooperate. So, I was just honest with my doctor and told him what and why I was doing it. That said, I am not a medical doctor, so I have no idea how this combination of drugs was derived to treat my condition. I understand the withdrawal and how bad it can get, and some of the effects of the individual medications. After all of this though, I’ve basically reached the conclusion that my drugs are good and functioning properly and as expected. This is stuff they don’t teach you during a Baker Act or in any mental clinic. As they say, therapy is more important than the medication. Not only have I found a good combination of medications, but I also know what to look for out of a therapist. If you aren’t proactive in your health, you will get nowhere; ask questions and don’t be afraid to fire a bad doctor who doesn’t listen or care.

Idiot

I just ate a slice of pumpkin pie and it was delish.

I decided to write about a comment I made earlier about the neighbor. I had just arrived at mom’s house and of course the neighbor has a new car to play with. Not sure what he was doing, but that’s not the point. He previously had a Mercedes and souped it up. He must be doing some sort of chip tuning on these cars to mess with the timing and air/fuel mixtures, etc.

Anyway, I just couldn’t hold back. We were nearly inside and I couldn’t help but call the guy an idiot. Twice. I mean honestly. He responded “Thank you!” so I know he heard. If you think putting straight pipes and muffler/catalytic converter deletes on your car is cool, then I just don’t get it. I’m sure that any mechanical engineer would tell you that when you when push the engine beyond factory specs, you start to put extra stress on the drive train, the engine itself, the chassis of the car, not to mention you draw the attention of cops who are more than happy to take all that extra cash you have lying around to buy these cars and flip them.

Now, don’t get me wrong, when I had a BMW, I drove it like it was stolen. However, the N54 engine in the 2008 135i was severely detuned. You could get 100 more HP out of it with nothing more than a chip tune. What did I just say about the stress on the engine and drive train?

One point worth mentioning is that a catalytic converter is extremely important in maintaining low emissions, so a car with no cat can really only be driven in a state that doesn’t do emissions testing (such as Florida), so that limits your market when you flip the car. Even WITH the cat, if you’re messing with timing and fuel ratios, you’re going to screw up emissions anyway. Let’s not forget that a car without a cat is pushing the edge of street legal.

Experimentation

This blog, like my drugs lately, are a source of experimentation. Obviously with respect to the blog, I’ve stuck to more personal topics. I enjoy writing this stuff. I’d write a lot more in my blog if it were more convenient to do so, but then again it would probably just come off as a lot of rambling. I can honestly say I have not gone back and read anything I’ve posted here. I just have no real desire to.

I do know, within a certain degree of measure, that people do read this blog. If I cared, I could play around and parse logs or mess around with Google Analytics, but I don’t want to.

I think I need to re-write the sticky post about words, although I haven’t read it to be sure of what it says. However, to summarize what I might say in a new post, this blog has had real effects on people in both positive and negative ways. Here’s an argument for myself: If you don’t care for yourself, how are you supposed to care for anyone else? That, though, is a huge can of worms.

It comes down to accountability; that’s what I see. My parents weren’t very good at that, especially as I got older, and when they did try to hold me accountable for things, at least in my opinion, they did it in the wrong way.

You have to be willing to grow, regardless of where you are in life or you will never.get.anywhere. It’s amazing to me that while there are a few new faces around, there are also a lot of familiar ones, and some of these people have maintained the same disposition for so long it makes you wonder if they have ever really listened to a homily. You can go to church, but if you don’t understand what and why, you may as well not go. Tattoos are great, doesn’t mean anything. Necklaces, suits and ties, smiles, superficial. Faith is within and it has nothing to do with what religion you choose.

So let’s see, honesty, accountability, and I am a confirmed catholic. We’re going somewhere with this. I like it.

Motivation

I just heard a song that I haven’t heard in literally forever. It’s a good thing I have bullet proof headphones or they’d be on fire. My ears are so used to the extreme loudness that I hear buzzing basically all the time. I finally reached critical volume on the subwoofer. It’s weird: Everywhere else in my room, it’s loud, but right where I sit, right in front of the window, there’s a huge null. The low-end subs don’t have any phase adjustment really (just a 0-180 switch), which effectively does nothing. On the other hand, the subwoofer provides what headphones don’t, and that is the feeling of the bass, so, the headphones are like toys, even though the sub cost less than the headphones. The smell of burning voice coil is never unique. Copper and lacquer is pretty much universal. What’s interesting about sound is that the perception of loudness has to do with distortion and the de-sensitization of the ears by louder sounds to less loud sounds. This isn’t unique to human hearing either, RADAR, radio, SONAR, optics, whatever. It all works the same way essentially. They’re all analogous to each other.

I’m missing my own point as usual.

People say not to have an attitude about things. Well, everyone has an attitude about things, it’s just, some have a nice attitude about it. I’d probably guess I come off as cold and distant, and not so nice. My mentor suggests I should be nice, but I also live with someone who has spent his life being nice and has to deal with the reality of his choices because society itself ultimately DOESN’T reward being nice. So does God? (I had to throw that in there).

Wow, I am ALL over the place.

It’s been a ridiculous week. Starting last Thursday night, I couldn’t get any sleep. Then on Friday, I found out what could’ve potentially been a reason: neurotoxic poisoning from Vitamin B complex. My mentor suggested this. I have symptoms of carpal tunnel just like he did. It’s also could be nerve degradation from sitting in front of a computer for the last 9 months. Some people are saying COVID is close to over, but it’s really not, and while drugs and vaccines are out for it, they haven’t been mass accepted yet.

So anyway, uhhhh….

Don’t do drugs kids.

I have an exam on Friday, and two chapters of homework due tomorrow at midnight, and I guess I’ll just play tag with this. My adrenaline rush from the music is long gone. Unfortunately, though, the only way my sleep will get fixed is if I stay up all night. I’m nocturnal from all of this and the situation is dire. I don’t have to take the exam, I can do fine without it, but I don’t see the logic in at least trying to fix things which will also means, I should be able to do well on the exam, especially in lieu of recent discoveries which I’ll talk about later.

Enough procrastination, it’s gonna be a long day.

Edit: Okay, in my head I’m back to a point I made earlier. It was the stuff about attitude. Now, getting back to that. I’m just left wondering. To be specific, rather than general, it’s the disability paperwork that I’m filing, and specifically the “REMARKS” section. I’m going to provide remarks, but I need to leave a personal message with it, rather than just “more facts” about my “situation” and “why I think I deserve my SSDI”, etc. I’m probably going to guess that if I even slip one word, they’d just ignore the whole thing and deny it, so caution is advised, but I want to know: how much can I get away with and make a point to someone that I am not happy, communicate that I don’t think you care or understand (or really want to), and that SSDI is my right just as much as anyone else’s, especially considering how much I have paid into SS taxes over the last 10ish years. Maybe I should just say EXACTLY that. I value honesty, so shovel it out. I can dig it. You won’t hurt my feelings.

This reminds me of a bar fight I saw in Auburn. I was getting pissed off at the fact, that, after these two dudes were told to leave (now keep in mind, everything Auburn is a family establishment, it’s really like that), one dude tried to body slam the other dude through the window. With some beer in me, and not realizing they were MMA fighters, and ignoring the fact that they were huge, I just went up to the window and started flicking ’em off. This guy was laser focused though, I meant nothing to him. They probably just wound up going down the street like a dust cloud in Loony Tunes. I learned a few things that night. Auburn, New York was great, but, I didn’t have a future there.

Okay, I’m done now.

Pseudodementia. Word of the day.

I don’t really have any topic or plan to write anything here. I’d like to start doing music reviews regularly. Other than that, one of my hallucinations is very simple: my name. My name, in some random voice coming from some random place. My hallucinations don’t usually come from objects like radios or tvs. Lately however, I’m ready to just fill in my window with bricks.

Sometimes though, it’s just totally obvious your hallucinating. Earlier today I heard a voice call my name out about a dozen times really fast and then just stop. The hallucinations are almost always about me. That’s a dead giveaway most of the time. Putting on headphones can sometimes drown out hallucinations, but some of the loudest and most rude hallucinations I’ve ever had were with headphones on rather than off. I’ve also never had problems waking up because of hallucinations yelling or talking or whatever (yes, this is a thing).

So, anyway. Next music review will be a good one: Pachanga Boys – Time. Trance, trance, trance.

Black out!

In my life so far, other than anesthetic caused loss of consciousness, I’ve blacked out from alcohol once or twice, and from seizures. That’s pretty much normal. There is one exception to this: this happened a long time ago, a few years after I was confirmed. I was a volunteer for the confirmation retreat team as a team leader. Of course, I’m pretty introverted, so I’m not sure how good my presence is, but I enjoyed being there and it gave me a perspective that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

One thing the confirmation retreat does is improv comedy, take for example, “Whose line is it anyway?” style humor. I honestly didn’t have a huge role in the skit we did, but I blacked out. It could’ve been the epilepsy, it could’ve been just being nervous, but I did. Regardless, it was never my intention to be offensive, and people just don’t seem to realize that. Couple that with a variety of circumstances and confusion, and the fact that I look 10 years younger than I actually am, and you get a real mess in church.

My intent was never to appear to be doing anything to another persons genitals (even if I had long hair).

Let’s set the record straight on this. It happened. Why? I don’t know. Stranger things have happened. I’m still alive for stranger things to happen yet.

You may say that “this won’t happen in my house”, but isn’t that passing judgement on the actions of another? If you want to play that game, don’t have a conversation about it in church, or I’ll mute you and/or turn off your monitor. After all, the sound man giveth and can taketh away. Who is really in control of the choir?

Interesting twists and turns in the logic here, but these aren’t new ideas in my head, nor are they necessarily my ideas. So remember that, because unless you’re paying a recording engineer in a studio, the volunteer at the soundboard does not have to turn on your mic and/or monitor 🙂 Remember that. There are 3 people that must remain miced at all times: Father J, Father G, and Deacon J. Everything else is a luxury. I realize this is hypocritical, but it’s an eye for an eye these days.

Don’t piss off the soundman.

Klonopin

Doctor said to take no more than 3 tablets of klonopin a day which amounts to 1.5mg total. Klonopin is dangerously addictive in that if you are addicted, you don’t know it. Thing is, I think its action works quite well on my seizures so I’m hesitant to stop, although I don’t get the impression he’s trying to ween me off of it, or at least if he is, he’s going very slow. As far as my Artane goes, that one I know he’s trying to ween me off of. Between both, I’ve basically just stopped taking them completely but now I’m paying the price.

My mood is fluctuating oddly today. Earlier I felt bored after my test. The SI leader (tutor) said “work towards a positive goal” but my goal is to work towards more work. I had this same problem after I graduated with my Master’s degree and moved on from academia. It’s like…now what? I had a 9 to 5 job, I paid off my student loans in 6 months, and I bought a BMW. Buying a house would’ve come next, but then I got sick instead. Somehow, money or not, life keeps going.

Let’s write a second, more productive post about something that is a misconception that seems to still be a misconception even 10-12 years later.