Well, shit…I suppose my “plan” to get back to writing and posting here more regularly hasn’t really been seen through, so far. But the thought struck me, like a Nike sneaker to the skull at a hardcore show, as to what the future of this page and my contributions therein should be. And it goes back to the very title of the blog, Dharma and Belligerence. And it seems so fucking CLEAR all of a sudden, maaaan! But that could be the brain damage talking…
In any case, if I really want to start trying to pour myself out on these digital pages again, I think it needs to revolve around the things which consume most of my time. Which would be 1.))) My struggles with mental illness and attempts to cope with the symptoms of said illnesses, which include mindfulness and meditation (the Dharma), and which also includes COPIOUS amounts of 2.))) MUSIC. Something I posted on Facebook a day or two ago sums this up nicely:
“The past few days have basically been one constant panic attack occasionally broken up by periods of immersion in music where I am able to lose myself and thereby remove my psyche from the existential dread that pervades my being and is the source of my debilitating anxiety. Not even drugs (prescription or otherwise), meditation, essential oils, exercise, rage episodes, destruction of people and property, or any other remedy I’ve tried has a comparable effect.
THAT’S what I mean when I say music is my therapy.”
So my intention with this page is to write with increasing frequency, ferocity, and volume about mental illness, my life philosophies that have largely come about as a response to mental illness, and the role music plays for me in all of that – including probably a LOT of detail about the vast amounts of music I love and consume.
I hope y’all enjoy hanging out and checking in when you can. 🤘
In the meantime, feel free to troll my very candid, very public Facebook page for a bunch of pics and live streaming footage of a KILLER local hardcore and heavy music festival I attended this weekend, as well as a whole host of other strange and terrible content, observations, and wisecracks. I’m sure there is a link to it somewhere here (I really need to refamiliarize myself with all of this zany WordPress nonsense 😂), or here is a direct link to the video for one of the absolute highlights of the fest for me and the new heavy band, local or otherwise, that I am most excited about, Tucson’s HIST:
I’ve been trying since February to get help from the government with my mental health bullshit that’s been rearing it’s ugly, destructive head most of my life. Since then it’s been nothing but bureaucratic red-tape clusterfuck inanity. After another extended period of no communication on their end, I called today and found out benefits were denied nearly a month ago, but nobody bothered to send me a letter. Social service programs are specifically designed for cases like this, where mental illness symptoms are a significant detriment to successful interaction with society. As in, unless I get the help I need and start fixing these issues, I am liable to flip out and start physically harming hapless, brain-dead members of society. This is why motherfuckers bring a shotgun to work one day.
Title from Buzzov*en, “Shove” from the album …To a Frown
I learned something interesting at my head shrinking session a couple days ago. Apparently, the current medical knowledge of the last decade or so indicates that anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication has little or no effect on bipolar symptoms, and in many cases can actually exacerbate manic symptoms and trigger manic episodes. This according to a psychiatric professional, so I would assume the information is legit.
So, basically this means the last fifteen years or so of having the entire spectrum of SSRIs and whatnot flunge at me was, as I had come to suspect, doing fuck all for me, and in fact is partly to blame for the constant headcase fuckery cycle of recurring bullshit. All clinical terms, I assure you.
This is one reason I have such a distrust of doctors. Plus they keep trying to harvest my organs for their secret black magic rituals. Just kidding. Probably… 😉
Title from Fistula, “Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails”, from the album Vermin Prolificus
Manic as fuck. This has been building. It’s a frantic race to nowhere. A deranged rat on a hamster wheel. The sedatives aren’t working (“I think I can handle my sedatives, bro…” -Charlie). Cyclical thought experiments. Running through my past transgressions. Recall, revisit, rewrite, restore. This is why the lines get blurred.
Suddenly, focus. Something intense, white hot, piercing, and its all that there is. It envelopes from the inside out, wraps tentacles, consuming. It is all that there is.
It is gone. And there is nothing. Less than nothing.
Fractured psyche, rearranged. The protective cover of scar tissue. Healing. Growth. Change…
It’s been just under six months that I’ve been completely off any sort of psychiatric medication. The last set of meds I was on triggered strange and terrible bouts of manic insanity, and I wanted to get back to an unmedicated baseline to see what that felt like. At no time in the last six months have I felt any better or more stable than before, though I have had a fair share of days that were much worse: my experience with mental illness, much like my experiences as an active drug addict, is that just when you think you’ve reached your lowest point, life is about to show you just how much more fucked it can be.
For the most part, however, being completely off psychiatric medication for me does not feel all that much different from how I remember feeling while I was on psychiatric medication. Which, in my mind, confirms my suspicions that the meds I’ve been on in the past have done fuck all to address my symptoms. They seem to work for a short while, but then…
I have an appointment this week with a witch doctor or shaman of some sort to discuss the possibility of getting back on some type of psychiatric drug regimen. I will obviously be taking the doctor’s opinion and advice into consideration, but as it stands I am honestly torn about whether or not I want to start back on that shit again. The idea of finding some type of relief from some of these symptoms of insanity sounds rather fanfuckingtastic. However, with each past experience with psych drugs I grow increasingly doubtful of the effectiveness of medication at all.
Besides, I’ve grown rather fond of some of my imaginary friends. Some of them. The rest of you can fuck right off! 😉
I feel like my intellect is the only thing preventing me from diving headlong into insanity with utter abandon. Despite much evidence to the contrary, I am a fairly intelligent bag of meat and calcium, and my philosophical background ensures a certain level of logic and critical thinking. Thus I am able to identify and recognize much of this madness for what it is, a product of delusion and mental illness. So, on a logical level, I realize many of the things I think and feel are not “real,” in the sense that they are perpetuations of the sickness inside my mind. However, there is a very big difference between knowing something to be true on an intellectual level, and believing it to be true on an emotional, intrinsic level.
But then, another thought. Sure, I have certain manifestations of insanity that I can identify as such. But what of all the other things, the perhaps truly delusional things, that I don’t recognize for what they are, that I accept without question as “real” and “true” to my accepted understanding of “reality”?
I have been on and off various psychiatric medications for my entire adult life, mostly concurrent with a good fifteen plus years of self-medication with “illicit” drugs and alcohol. Surprise of all surprises, I am also the kind of “adult” who can never seem to get his fucking life together. This instability accounts for my inconsistency with staying on the legal drugs — I lose a job, I lose insurance coverage, I lose my doctor, I lose my mind. In the midst of this, I destroy everything.
Beyond that, I have ever increasing doubts about the efficacy of psych meds at all, coupled with growing anecdotal evidence and research suggesting I’ve never been accurately diagnosed in the first place. But that is a topic for another time…
I mentioned here that, for various reasons and circumstances, I would be going off the current “wonder drug” that I’ve been pumping through…
My scornful misanthropy is already getting in the way of my attempts to foster ambitious effort today. How am I supposed to do things that require me to be around people if every dumb fucking face I see nurtures boundless, inexplicable impulses towards wrathful violence and furious loathing?
Not your face, though. Your face is fine. If it’s even your REAL face… >:[
In other news, and pertinent to the reason I must venture forth into the world of other fucking people today, I am making some half-hearted attempts to further my profession as a writer of late. Thus far, this comes in the form of whoring myself and my “expertise” out as a ghost writer, freelance contributor, and/or proofreader to any and all interested parties. I’ve completed a couple of jobs, ghost writing essays for overworked college students who are also forced to work full-time to support themselves whilst toiling away on a degree that will look great on paper…
…but I’m not bitter. Says the guy who took a semester off over a decade ago, leaving a worthless Bachelor of the Arts in English and Philosophy with a handful of credits lacking. But I digress…
What I’m trying to say, is, should any of the none of you reading this need anything written, corrected, proofread, critiqued, reviewed, or otherwise bastardized and shat upon by my glorious intellect, hit me the fuck up! I would be only too happy to discuss your needs and what I will and will not be willing to do for money (no butt stuff).
My sarcasm in the face of seething, indignant ire aside, I am absolutely serious about this. Feel free to Private Message me on the Books of Face here or here, tweet my twat on the Twitter here, or just fire off an email to email@example.com. Get in on the ground floor while I am still cheap, easy, and without much moral fortitude!
Artwork Courtesy of BAG MAN-Visuals by Ethan McCarthy (click for more)
This could be the brain cloud talking, but oblivion sounds so goddamn appealing in this moment…
Suicidal ideation is often a symptom of mental illness. In a small portion of the population, suicidal ideation is a side-effect of psychiatric medications used to treat mental illness. When stopping the use of psychiatric medications, often drastically increased suicidal ideation is a symptom of medication withdrawal, even when quitting medication under physician supervision.