Folks have been talking about rain all day long today. All day it’s been unseasonably warm with plenty of early springtime sunshine. But people turned out to be right on the money with their prediction of rain coming through here sometime today. Before sundown we got a little downpour. It was so delicious to hear the rain from inside my cozy apartment as I relaxed on my bed.
I’m coming up on my 61st birthday the day after tomorrow. Last year, I had to celebrate my birthday on a psych ward, but this year, I’m a free man. That’s progress. My whole life has been a parade of state hospitals and psych wards, a matter of degrees of failure to try and try again to succeed at something – anything. I’m finally getting along better than that. Finally, I’m a professional freelance writer. I’m working at setting down all sorts of thoughts, and then doing my best to make them at least five thousand words long, and salable material besides.
I saw my prescribing doctor today. I’m getting good at communicating with my doctor. I gave him some feedback about how my meds are making me too sleepy during the day. He made some adjustments of my meds, wrote it all down, and I took the papers to the nurse at the wellness center. So, I’m looking forward to being alert earlier in the day in the near future.
It wasn’t all that long ago I was totally out of control with my medications. I’d say about a year and a half ago. I couldn’t figure out how to take them safely. I couldn’t get it right, no matter how hard I tried. I kept overdosing on them, and passing out on the floor of my apartment. But now, I’ve got med techs responsible for all my meds. All I have to do is swallow the pills they give me twice a day, and take the inhaler medicine for my breathing that they set up for me in the morning. I’m living in a comfortable assisted living home down by my brother & family.
All my life I’ve been floundering unless I was in an institution. I’ve finally gotten the resources and the help to be a resident in the most perfect institution for my purposes I’ve ever been in in my lifetime. It’s like it’s tailor made for me. It’s called assisted living. What a revelation!
My latest friends are right here with me, at the Brighton Dam Apartments, on Facebook, and in the program here and up home. I’ve got plenty of friends now, new and old. Last year I thought I had just walked away from the last of my friends, and to a large extent I had. But when you don’t have very many friends, it’s time to make some new ones. The other thing about it is that some of my oldest friends are sticking with me, even though we are hundreds of miles apart. Those that took a lot of my substance who were not my friends, are just removed from the loop. I’m understanding better and better what constitutes a friend, according to my own, developing criteria. What do ya know? I think I’m finally growing up.
I finally figured out that having a woman throw herself at me is not a good thing. I don’t have to put up with it, either. A woman who throws herself at me usually wants something she doesn’t have any business getting from me. It took me a lifetime of trouble to learn that. But now I know it. One of the latest one’s tried to kill me. That’s why I moved South several hundred miles. The other one down here, in the program, got ushered out of my life good and proper. She’s proven that she doesn’t know how to behave, so I’m not interested in allowing her to misbehave around me. One of the things about her is that she’s a convicted felon. What do I want with that sort?
The other thing is that my best friend is still accepting my calls, better than a quarter century later. We still treat each other with respect, and we still get along just fine. Also, I have contact with a few friends from up home, and some of my high school classmates on Facebook and over my email. I have plenty of writer friends on more than one system, with different depths of relationships to interact with about my writing all I want. I have plenty of support for my writing projects, too.
I’d say all this amounts to progress.
With that time a year and a half ago, when I overdosed and lost my wits, my ability to speak and write – and all my property besides – it was just the right backdrop for submitting myself to my late Aunt Vi’s wishes thru her executor, and getting myself the Irrevocable Trust that’s taken care of by someone who has their head together and has proven themselves trustworthy. I’ve cooperated fully with that arrangement from the word “go.” My overdoses taught me a lot about who to trust and who to avoid. I’m finally arranging to keep my freedom.
So, I’ve lost Mother and Aunt Vi, but I’ve gained so much in so many other ways. I’ve seen clearly that I do need to stay in assisted living. I’ve also proven to myself that the place that was chosen for me to live in is about as nice a place as I’ve ever been to. I’m very happy here. I don’t even smoke anymore. I got away from that, too.
The other thing I’ve found out is that my laptop is my closest confidant, like Mother and Aunt Vi used to be. Whenever I get done with something I’m writing, I have the product to do with as I please. It’s all my own choice to make. That’s progress. I was always bleeding my thoughts into a telephone, or driving a car to go and sit down with the ladies to bleed out my thoughts in so much chatter. Now, it all gets written down. I’m not afraid to let people read it, either. I have plenty of reliable readers.
The thing that I’m doing is submitting myself to writing out my thoughts and sharing them with my laptop and sheets of paper, or for publication on ereaders, either one. My thoughts are just as valid as anyone else’s. I’ve survived too much to believe I should not share my thoughts with others. Besides, I’m giving myself psychotherapy with my laptop.
This story and another one have been combined and extended into a full length short story of 5,000 words under this one title, Progress. It will take a little time for the story to come live on KDP on Amazon, but the story in its entirety has been submitted for publication.