…down on the floor, scratching for more…

Title from Fistula, “Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails”, from the album Vermin Prolificus

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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…

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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So, you’re just gonna come back around here, show your face again like nothing happened?!

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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! 😉

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tormentor (I Am The Meteor Hammer)

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Title: Fister, “Flail” from the PRIMITIVE MAN/FISTER Split 12″

I’ve been reflecting lately on the pervasive idea that I don’t have anyone in my life who I trust implicitly. Obsessive ruminations feeding a chasm of paranoia. An inability to forgive, to see the other side, to let go. Precious solitude reflected in a negative. Strangers seem easier, but only objectively. There is no worry in the unknown there, because nobody actually exists to me until I have to look them in the eye. And then suddenly they are all too real, and in an instant they own a piece of me which I never knew I had, never knew enough to miss until it is ripped away. I tell myself lies like there aren’t many pieces left, in feeble attempts at self comfort, but the truth I keep buried in the back of my skull is that this will go on infinitely because two things are forever. And one of them is suffering.

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Misanthropic Rant Hinged on a Gypsy Dream (No Dharma Here)

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I hate people. It’s a horrible thing for an aspiring Buddhist to feel. But, I hate people. I hate their busted faces, and I hate their bullshit opinions, and I hate having to put up with their constant barrage of inane moronic stupidity. But, most of all, I hate that they are goddamn everywhere and that I have to live among them. Because SOCIETY.

SO. The plan.

1.))) Make some money.
2.))) Learn how to save money.
3.))) Purchase a caravan.
4.))) Trick that bitch out, ultimate gypsy wanderlust road warrior style.
5.))) Plug in the Gogol Bordello discography for perfect rubber trampin’ ambiance.
6.))) Live on the road and/or in glorious hermetic seclusion the fuck away from everyone as much as possible.
7.))) Work on my “attitude problem.”

This may take some time, but I’m in it for the long haul! Also, I should maybe move the “attitude problem” thing up a few notches in priority. Maybe…

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* I’ve been doing this whole #LetsBuseyThisPlaceUp thing on the Books of Face and that Instacrap thing. It is…ridiculous. 🙂

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Pills You Take To Mend Will Be the Architects of Your Destruction: A Musing on Paxil and the Struggle With Madness

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Illustration by Joel Benjamin

Someone dear to me shared this outstanding post from Vice News on the subject of psychiatric medication withdrawal. You can find the original post by following this link.

Below is one of my own rantings on the subject from recent months.

Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan

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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…

View original post 824 more words

Rantings on Madness with a Dose of Damn the Man

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After months of dealing with paperwork, questionnaires, waiting in lines, hours on hold on the phone, ridiculous inquiries, bullshit red tape, and other fucking ridiculousness, I still am no closer to obtaining health insurance. I have no idea what is going on with my mental health disability claim, and am at a loss of who else to try and contact. All avenues explored for low-income or no-income access to medical and/or mental health treatment services have been a fucking flaccid cock suck. I am too broke to afford food for my dogs. And I can’t even get hired at goddamn shithouse Target or fucking Wal Mart.

THIS. THIS is why motherfuckers snap and lash out in horrific, destructive violence. Fuck my life.

I’m throwing a self-pity party, and you all are invited. Bring cake you fuckers.

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Then, later….

So.

Around the same time that I started trying to get that good government-funded insurance coverage at the beginning of February, I also filed a claim with the Social Security Administration for mental health disability. Anything to get a little assistance while I try and un-fuck my mind.

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Just as we were about to move to Cheyenne at the beginning of April, I finally saw some movement on this when I got a call from a representative at the Tucson SSDI office. They needed to schedule an evaluation with a head shrinker to determine if my Crazy is legitimate. However, this appointment wouldn’t be happening until the start of May, by which time I planned to be nestled snuggly in the springtime snow drifts of Wyoming.

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Of course, this creates a problem. And the government minions in Tucson have no powers of influence outside of their own little Sonoran desert bubble, so the entire case would have to be put on hold and transferred to the Cheyenne SSDI office for further processing. Sure, whatever, just get it done. “Someone should be calling you in a couple of weeks,” I was assured.

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Here we are, six or seven weeks later. Fuck all. So I call the local Social Security office to check in, find out what’s what, see if I can do anything to move this along. Lo and behold, it turns out the fucking case was never even transferred from Tucson. It has just been sitting in limbo this entire time that I have had a thumb jammed up my ass to try and keep the Crazy from leaking out too much.

Fuck you, Government. Your shit is ABSURD.

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Oh, and I forgot to mention. It’s not that I don’t want to work. I have had several interviews over the last several months, in both Tucson and Cheyenne, for jobs I would have been proud to work. The interviews start off great. By the end of them, I have devolved into a bumbling, anxious, sweaty mess that can barely utter a comprehensible sentence. Call me crazy, but I suspect that might have been a factor in me not getting hired…

BitchFest over. For now. 🙂

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But first, for good measure….

In my madness, I am actively trying to alienate most or all human meat popsicles from my life. I’ve managed to purge several high profile carcasses so far this year, and there have been a few unplanned casualties. But all that means is we clearly need to step it up a notch!

Still chock full of irreverent sarcasm, however. We’ll need plenty of that to be in this thing for the long haul…

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Upon Waking, Pure Hatred — And Yet, An Appeal

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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 wearetheryan@yahoo.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)

Artwork Courtesy of BAG MAN-Visuals by Ethan McCarthy (click for more)


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“The demons got my beautiful, loving daughter…” via The Washington Post

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Doris Fuller with daughter Natalie, 2004

Read “My daughter, who lost her battle with mental illness, is still the bravest person I know” by Doris A. Fuller on The Washington Post.

In case some of y’all don’t know, this “crazy emo brain cloud bullshit” kills motherfuckers.  This kind of story always hits home, because it makes me realize the potential consequences of my own suicidal ideation, and it makes things like the death of my brudder Branden come up fresh and new again. (A tale for another time…)

To paraphrase a friend, after every manic episode, every bout of deep depression, every nervous breakdown, every psychotic break, it becomes harder and harder to bounce back, to find your center again, to remember who you are. Some don’t make it back.

For those who may need them, below are a few links to resources for help in moments of crisis.  Please, if you need to, use them.  If you don’t, guaranteed someone you know does, so feel free to pass them along.  And keep your head up!  There’s plenty more ridiculous shit to experience. 😀

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US)
1-800-273-8255

National Crisis Services (US)

List of Suicide and Crisis Hotlines

Crisis and Suicide Hotlines (Canada)

International Suicide Prevention Lifelines

International Crisis and Suicide Hotlines

The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”  — David Foster Wallace

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Image by Neo-Surrealism Art

The Pills You Take To Mend Will Be the Architects of Your Destruction: A Musing on Paxil and the Struggle With Madness

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 system as of late, Paxil (paroxetine).  Here are a few things nobody ever told me about taking Paxil (until it was already too late):*

— Once the medication has built up in your system, it might work great for a while!

— Soon, though — within a matter of months, even weeks — as your body adjusts to the medication, your state of mind will steadily devolve and retreat to the same depths in which it began, and worse.

— Increasing your dose will work for a while.  Until it doesn’t, and suddenly you find yourself more unhinged than ever.

— Rather than treat and prevent thoughts and feelings of suicide, depression, anxiety, paranoia, loathing, and rage (as it is supposedly intended to), the medication will cultivate and nurture those demons to unfathomable strength, then magnify and perpetuate their terrible power until they all but consume you.

— If you have the misfortune of being a slave to this medication, but find yourself jobless, without insurance, and destitute, your physician will not give a shit.  Nevermind that you are in the grips of a powerfully malfunctioning drug; it’s all about that motherfucking bottom line.  I mean, what is this, Socialist French Canada?!

— Should you choose, through calculated decision coupled with necessity of circumstance, to wean yourself off the medication before your final prescription runs out, be prepared.  As in life, love, and most of Hollywood’s output, things will get much worse before they get better.

— Paxil has the proud distinction of being, according to studies and patient testimony, the absolute worst SSRI to stop using, due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Common withdrawal symptoms for paroxetine include nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness and vertigo; insomnia, nightmares and vivid dreams; feelings of electricity in the body, as well as crying and anxiety. (Read more)

— The withdrawal symptoms are not dissimilar to the paradoxic effects the medication itself had, leading you to quit the shit in the first place; they are simply more severe, unpredictable, and debilitating.

— While dealing with the seemingly endless and hopeless period of withdrawal, you may experience moments of clarity and serenity wherein you may be tempted to believe you have come out the other side.  These periods may last mere hours, or they may last days, but they are not to be trusted.  Your demons lie in wait, festering, waiting for their moment to come raging back in ecstatic fury.

— The madness of your withdrawal will cause you to lose yourself in frequent brain clouds, wherein confusion, disquiet, unease, desperate paranoia, and bitter, manic neurosis will consume your being.

— You will react poorly and with little semblance of self-control to even the most seemingly insignificant of stressors, because the battlefield of your mind is not capable of reacting appropriately; in short, due to blockages of bullshit and ridiculousness bred of the betrayal of this thing which was to be your salvation, the sewers are not flowing properly.

— Your broken, damaged, imperfectly deluded rote response to all of this will alternate between abysmal, hopeless surrender in listless abandon and scornful, violent explosions and fits of uncontrollable rage.

— The only ones who suffer through this perhaps worse than you are the ones you love, and the ones you use.

It has been close to a month since I took my last quartered dose of Paxil.  I’ve been hopeful that my recent relocation and the accompanying change of scenery would offer chance at a change of perspective that might breed fertile ground to nurture myself out of this frozen void of hatred and despair.

While that may yet remain a possibility, thus far I have only steadily gotten worse.  What might have been a simple and resolvable conflict this morning was instead filtered through the rotten screen of my madness, and resulted in a bit of a meltdown.  Within half an hour of being conscious, I found myself so enraged and upset to be violently quaking in my skin, followed by an invigorating episode of vomiting and near loss of consciousness.

Science claims it takes about a month for this poison to fully purge from your system.  I am hopeful that I may see some sunlight on the other side of this soon.  I have to be.

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* It should be noted that the experiences detailed here are purely anecdotal and specific to my own experience. Do not start or stop any psychiatric medication without consulting your physician.

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A musing on disquiet and simple acts of psychic upheaval

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It occurs to me — over and over again, because I never learn, and usually at the least opportune moments, but I digress — that the primary reason I procrastinate and stall and make excuses and put off trying or fucking doing anything (besides being rooted, as all things are, in Fear) is that I get caught up in the percieved or apparent enormity/entirety of a thing, I overwhelm myself with obsessive monolithic dissection, I let loose the mental patients in my head, and we fucking bathe in the feces encrusted misery of our own paranoid compulsive immersion. The thing becomes an uncontrollable beast in the china shop of my perception before I even have a chance to move.

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Take the act of meditation, for example. On a logical level, I understand and have even experientially witnessed the spiritually, emotionally, and physically healing properties of meditation. I know that practicing zazen would be the first best thing for me to be doing in this time of psychological disquiet and uncertainty. But, I am automatically consumed by the entire Universal scope of the idea of Enlightenment and peace and unity and understanding and nirvana and sublimely perfect cosmic alignment. And so I can’t see the forest for the trees. I am too caught up in obsessiving anxiously over the details of neurotic insignificance and distractifying minutia, and I am blinded to the simple, obvious beauty and wonderfully flawed delicate perfection of each magical moment.

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So, today, an experiment. An exercise in detached observational experience and willful, conscious presence. I read something that, as with all of the most profound truths, seems so obvious now. Meditation doesn’t have to be the ritualistic, solemn, esoteric act of spiritual perfection that I sometimes picture it to be in my muddled mind. The simple act of observing and experiencing one’s thoughts without reaction to them is an act of meditative contemplation. My intention for today is to attempt to allow my thoughts and emotions to flow freely through me, but rather than react to them and allow them to direct my behavior and feelings, I will practice at simply observing these thoughts and emotions, analyzing and attempting to understand them, and in this way perhaps I can arrive at a deeper understanding of myself and my place in these moments.

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And when I inevitably step off and engage and allow myself to become consumed with some neurotically poisonous snowballing wreckage, I must simply acknowledge, reset, and try again! This all seems so simple on paper…or LCD screen, as the case may be.

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.