Monday, December 11, 2017

It's Like This Now: My Experience Doing a Second Mental Health Adult Partial Hospital Program



Just short of eight years ago, I decided to stop writing things down in my journal all the time and instead to post my journal to the Internet so that the entire world would have access to my Brain. Seems reasonable enough, right?

In the time since, I had no idea that I would end up writing about Cancer, Death, and Mental Illness. I've experienced countless groans and sucking-through-the-teeth noises from family members and friends alike with that oh-so-familiar look that says, "Are you going to write about this in your blog?"

When you are a Writer, and you are a Non-Fiction Memoir-type writer like I am, it can be challenging to ignore those groans and proceed with Courage under the fire of less, shall we say, public souls. Over the years I have learned to accept that, in my Midwestern, Norwegian culture, I will receive more teeth-sucking noises and less Ooos and Ahhs about my writing. Also I learned early on that, as an Artist, Critique comes with the territory of splattering your guts on the canvas.

But, what are the gains? Well, the most obvious gain is selfish. I get eight years of my life on the Internet, searchable by all, but, most importantly, searchable by Me. I have many times gone back into the many posts of my now-deceased Father, for example, and I've re-read what I felt when he first became a quadriplegic. In the Love category, I have the luxury of re-reading the gory bits of my own charred heart and lungs in my Epic Love Adventures. But, I think the most important thing for me has been the ability to revisit my Younger self, and therefore my Younger Brain, starting at Age 28. 


This blog is lightly peppered with evidence of a woman who has managed a Mental Health condition for what feels like seven lifetimes, and it is times like these when I feel very fortunate to have the luxury of perspective. Not Your perspective, nor my Mother's perspective, or even God's perspective. Just my own.

Tomorrow I will successfully discharge from an intensive 15-day program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis Minnesota. I've been going to the hospital everyday (except weekends) since November 21st. This experience has been one of the most exhausting, terrifying, enlightening, funny, insightful, and traumatic experiences of my Adult Mental Health journey.

The reason for the negative words in the above paragraph are as follows: Not only was I born in this hospital, I was also diagnosed in this hospital. As mentioned in previous posts, I spent the Summer of 2004 at Abbott learning all about my interesting Brain. And, though my body was often there, in the bed, in the chair, in the group, my conscious mind was not.

This time, though, on the mat, in the chair, in the cafeteria, my conscious mind has been present throughout. And many times, due to the pain of reliving past traumas and terrors, I did not want it to be. I have a deep and inexplainable trust for my psychiatrist whom I've seen for five years. When I begged and pleaded that she change her mind about me going to the Abbott program this November, she gently refused to give in. Somehow, she must have mysteriously known how badly I needed this program.


What I gained was this: Information. Brand new information about previously vacant vocabulary words like these: Boundaries, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation, Gaslighting.

You see, even though I was super disappointed to discover that there would be no Occupational Therapy, no Arts n' Crafts, no Yoga, no this and that and simply just Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, I got in my car (literally) on the second or third day of my 15-day program and I decided to leave. After all, I was not on a 72-hour hold, and as the nice psychiatric nurse reminded me, I was here as a voluntary adult. 

Instead of driving my car out of the hospital parking ramp, though, I just sat there in the driver's seat and enjoyed a nice mild panic attack. I looked across the top of the buildings to the top floor of the in-patient psychiatric ward where I have hazy memories of strumming a classical guitar and writing songs at 6:30 AM in the morning while caught in the thick of a psychiatric Mania. I just sat there, in my nice SUV, looking at that top floor, and remembering what it had felt like 13 years ago to gleefully accept that I would escape and run in front of a truck, or cheek all my pills once a nurse was not looking.


Here's the interesting thing: I never did run in front of that truck, and I never did cheek my pills, and now, present day, I never left the program and instead I decided to finish it.

It has not been easy for me, not at all. Even as I write this on the eve of my discharge, anxiety can creep in about Group Therapy tomorrow. I am haunted by the idea that my memories will never leave me, no matter what I do.

So, instead, here I am. Writing them out to You, my Dear Reader, ever loyal, most always silent. All I can say is this: If you clean a fish and then shove the guts inside a wet blanket on your boat, those guts will eventually start to stink. But if you clean a fish, and then lay those guts out to dry in the cold hard sunshine, they may not stink quite as much. Regardless, there will always be fish guts. No, I do not fish.

A Deep and Profound Thank You to the wise and caring staff at the Abbott Northwestern Mental Health Adult Partial Hospital Program. My only hope for you is that you someday use a Brand Consultant like me and find yourselves a shorter Name.

Most affectionately,
Susan M. Andersen
aka, Susan B. Agony






Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Platinum Rule: Why it Pays to Be Nice



Today I found out that I was Terminated by Amazon because I was in the hospital getting care for physical and mental health issues for three weeks. They no longer have a spot for me and are not hiring until further notice. This was sort of um, a surprise. What I said to the nice HR Director/Recruiter lady was... "Huh."

So, technically, I am unemployed and still sitting on thousands of dollars of medical bills from breaking my wrist and from receiving regular therapy and psychiatric care.

Here's the weird thing: I'm not stressing.

Now, perhaps I am just exhausted from the start of IRONMAN training, or, maybe I am in denial, or sleep deprived, or just annoyed from the start of bad Minnesota Winter driving, but, I don't think so. I think - no - I know that I am going to be OK.

Last night I received a surprise email from a professor at Carnegie Mellon. I could not believe that he took the time to email me. It was just a brief, "Hey, I have not forgotten you." This particular faculty member has been super patient with me as I've peppered him with questions about Astrophysics and how I might pursue further education in that field.

And this evening I got a call from a new friend (we've only known each other a couple months) and he told me that I am motivating him to change his life for the better. When he said that, I got teary eyed but felt too tired to express my emotions to him over the phone.

What I find interesting is that, these two people were strangers to me less than half a year ago, and now just through some short communication in the past 24 hours, I feel better about myself and not so crummy about losing my job.

Here's another weird thing, and this might sting: Despite quite a bit of Social Media information I've pushed out there about the severity of my physical illness of the past several months, my own friends and family - some people I've known for decades, or at least several years, have been craptastic support. Like it's just so fascinating and curious to me - the concept of care from other human beings...

When I was young, my Dad always said to me, "Runsky, you need to follow something called The Platinum Rule. Not just The Golden Rule. In accordance with The Platinum Rule, you treat others how they want to be treated. And everyone wants to be treated differently."

I always was annoyed by this. My Dad - A master of Emotional Intelligence - knew how to treat others the way that they wanted to be treated. And because of this, his funeral was a fricken' rock concert. People still talk to me about my Dad and say, "Oh, Chuck Andersen, I loved him so much!" I often want to ask (but hold my tongue), "Um, did you ever tell him that??"

I knew my Dad better than anyone, and I know that he was a lonely man. He often reached out for help from friends in "his own way," and I now know, in my super sleuthing of his network post-mortem, that many of my father's "Friends" barely knew him as a human being. 

So, my advice to you tonight is this: Consider yourself a representative of the Human Race. And think about what that means to you. Do you care about how you treat other human beings? Your Friends? Your Family? Do you ever think about anyone besides yourself and your spouse and your own children and your own fur babies (dogs and cats)? 

Because, here's the thing. It really does pay to be kind to strangers. That professor is helping me on a long path toward a doctorate in Science and that New Friend has given me a partner in the Business of Music.

So just, Be Nice. Think about how other people inside and way outside of your life / your neighborhood / your country / your race / your religion, etc. might want to be treated. And then try your best (none of us will fail if we at least try our best) to treat those humans the way in which they want to be treated. 

You never know when you might need another Human Being's Help.

Namasté,
Susan M. Andersen
aka Susan B. Agony
12.5.17






Wednesday, November 1, 2017

37


Hi.

Well, here it is.

That long-awaited-all-encompassing-utterly-intelligent post where I WOW you as a Smart 37 year old. I've been sitting on this post for weeks because I knew. I knew something was not right. And now I know for sure. Writing comes effortlessly for me, but I write less and less because less and less do I know what is TRUE.

Maybe you know this feeling? The feeling of wondering what REAL is when FAKE has become the most popular word of 2017? (I made that up, but check Buzz Feed, maybe.)

Things that I know are true...

  1. I am 37 years old now
  2. I wanted to move to Montana
  3. I wanted to become an Astro-Physicist
  4. I wanted to...
Not sure.

Other news. I am back where I started two years ago. Packing up my courage and getting ready to teleport across the Mississippi to Regions Hospital to attend DayBridge. Again.

I learned today that there is no failing at DayBridge so you can take it again. And again. And my doctors thought a lil' stint through Behavioral Health Day Program refresher course could do me good. I trust my doctors. So I am going to go.

I am telling you, World, cause I don't care. About hiding things. I am Honest. I am just me.

Things that are true:
  1. I am a Musician
  2. I am funny
  3. I have Peacock Green (it really looks more blue than green) hair
  4. I am scared
Psych wards are scary for me. They shouldn't be. But they are. What is not scary for me? Telling you. Because I am just me, being me at age 37.

Wish me luck. Maybe I will knit you something in Occupational Therapy. But, probably not. Just being honest.

Namasté,
Susan Marie Andersen
aka Susan B. Agony
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
8:32 PM







Monday, September 18, 2017

Secrets Part II: The Stink of Dishonesty


The pen is mightier than the sword. 

I cannot fall back asleep.

I was sleeping earlier and now I am awake.

I have roughly twelve files opened inside my head.

The rainbow wheel is spinning, though. My brain is on empty and my brain is nearing capacity. 

Thoughts...
In my own "selfish" attempts to save myself, I must reveal some recent realizations that I feel certain to be true. My goal in revealing these realizations are completely selfish and yet also altruistic. 

I am going to selfishly attempt to save myself so that I am still here for You.

Secrets. They stink.

Like a forgotten fish caught on a lazy Summer day, a Secret grows it's own ecosystem of maggots and the maggots bring the flies. The carcass of the fish eventually turns to chum and then freezes and then, in the Spring, the Rot is refreshed until the Dead dry up in the Sun. The brittle, salty bones lie in wait, while Sea Gulls swoop down to chomp with the delight of a three-year-old boy eating Cheetos.

I am alone and hanging by the thread of my own conviction. My conviction is my one True Friend, and it feeds me and comforts me. It tucks me in at night and reads me a bedtime story. My Conviction tickles my back until I fall asleep. It coos encouragement when I doubt I can take one more step.

Conviction has a trusty sidekick named Anger. Anger is a badass bitch who walks around with a Vietnam-War-era Napalm jet pack, ready to incinerate anything in it's path.

If you are like me, and you have a Disability, watch The Others. Other People who are not disabled are different than Us. They walk around not worrying whether or not the "Handicapped" doors work at malls. They walk around ambivalent to the "WAIT...(beep! beep! beep!)... WALK..." mechanical voices at crosswalks.

Secrets stink. Millions of them float around the planet, just junking up the sky, hanging out with Smog, Birds, Insects, and Airplanes.

I am honest. I try not to harbor Secrets. It's just the way I was built.

Humans are exhausting.

Like, absolutely tiring. Humans poop and pee and have bad breath. Humans do what is in their best interest, and they enjoy a game called "gossip" because it makes them feel better.

Somedays I have empathy for humans, and other days I long for the ai that is already here but will take ten more years to completely catch up and twenty more years to surpass us.

When I am feeling particularly dreadful about being a Human, I just sit. I stew. I stay alert. Sleep is OK. Laughing is better. The claustrophobia of this Home Planet is oppressive. I may never make it to Mars, but I know I will make it up there, inside the thinner atmosphere.

I will look down on Humans as I sit up in the sky with other humans and I will think to myself:

At least there will always be Medium Oreo Blizzards at the Dairy Queen. I still have yet to receive one. But, when the time is right, one will appear in my still healing broken hand, and my cyborg wrist will hold onto said Medium Oreo Blizzard, and my Human brain will go into pleasant Food Coma, and then I will sleep.

Try to stop being such an annoying Human, and I will, too.

Good morning / Good night,
Susan










Friday, September 15, 2017

Secrets: Why We Need To Try Not To Lie


Sometimes I feel compelled to begin my blog posts with an historic fun fact or a deep famous quote in order to give myself credibility, but, fuck that shit.

Hello. Good Evening / Good Morning, Childrens.

Some of you follow me on FB / Instagram, etc, but lots don't, so. I'm just going to write as though we are sitting down for our very first coffee and cigarettes. Here, allow me to relight your American Spirit, there...

So. We, as human beings, we lie. We are really good at it. All of us. It is a natural skill. We use dishonesty to survive. If you are a longtime reader, you know that an important aspect of my overarching thesis is that we must remember we are all just Advanced Animals (good Band name, eh?).


I don't like lying. I'm still working on the answer to this, but I now know that my top two Core Values are: 
1. Honesty
2. Integrity
 

There has been quite a bit of professional Bull Shit / a.k.a Lying / flying around our tiny planet of late, and I am so sick of it that all I am going to do is blame it on Harvey and Irma. But, For Real...

Because I have a special Brain Disorder, I get the opportunity to be REAL a lot - I have to carefully slice open the top of my head with a super sharp scalpel, peel back the skin from the skull (there's not too much blood, so, not too gross for the squeamish out there), use that loud cranial saw to carve open the skull, and allow the Doctors to poke / prod / shake VooDoo dolls over my head then take notes that go into my Permanent Record.

I always Stand Down. You MUST do this. If you are documented as having a "Mental Illness" and you don't stand down (meaning, you just be YOU), it's handcuffs and XL bluish teal jumpsuits with scratchy hospital socks, all the way.

So, What I am getting at here is, YOU DON'T LIE.

Now, I am not here to lecture or Out anyone. I have no political agenda. All I am saying is that, in the 12 years that I've been forced to let other Animal Humans peer into my head / heart / gut cavities, I truly have learned the real value of Truth.

So, that's it. Have a think. Reflect on all the lies we do. Reflect on why you lie each and everyday (we all do, to some extent), and my advice would be to ask yourself the following:


"Why do I lie?"

So see what comes up for you. Then, drink a glass of something and go back to whatever you are doing.

That's it! Thanks :)

Love,
Susan






Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Air: Why We Need To Breathe



The Breath. Breathing. Air.

Exhale...

As I sit up here, back in my actual childhood bedroom (prior to this, I was sleeping in my Dead Dad's Hospital Room / Before that it was a TV room), I have to silently laugh to myself.

I looked up, "Ancient Quotes about the Breath" and I got a bunch of shit.

Then, my computer led me to some Pinterest stuff when I added in "Tao De Ching" and, well, here you go:



I've been sitting outside, smoking / meditating / listening to creepy crawlies (frogs?), and feeling homesick for New York. And Paris. And Chicago. And... Me.

In a therapy session today, conversation 1,349 about my Brain, I became tediously fatigued.

It's like, No. Yes, No, No, Yes. Maybe.

How many times do I have to describe what it feels like. Bipolar Type I. 
How many times do I have to defend that I follow the law. I take my Meds.
How many times to I have to tell myself, others, the Moon, Yaweh, whatever. That I am Me.

The Brain. I miss Obama who was so interested in it. All of that funding to figure out the three pound lump of cauliflower inside le tête.

Here is a quote I am making up but prove me wrong with Science and I will back down:

We know more about The Universe, The Oceans, and God 
than we do about The Brain.

(I am pausing so that you can go Google something and prove me wrong. Believe me, I DEFINITELY want someone to challenge that above "fake quote" by Susan B. Agony.)

Good Morning / Good Night / Good Evening / Good Afternoon.
Bonjour.

Love,
Susan








Thursday, August 31, 2017

Now Here's My REAL Blog Post.

Me, Looking at YOU. Inside the Computer.

Hi. So, come here often?

Heh. Joke.

I'm still awake and I am still annoyed.

Annoyed. What do I mean. I mean that I am annoyed. Annoyed that Moms > Art. Before your panties get bunched up MOMS, hear me out...

I've been here, living in Minnesota since March 2015. At my Mom's. We all know this. I am super lucky. I live with my Mom. She is a rock star. We all know this to be true, too.

I'm annoyed because...Because...I'm annoyed with...Myself.

I am Annoyed with Myself.

[pause for me to write song in my head...annnnd...done.]

I am annoyed with myself for a long list of reasons and lately I have been acting out. Angry. I get in these horrible fits. It's amazing. Yesterday I side-kicked a leather poof thingy (from Midtown Global Market) in front of my Aunt and earlier in the day I threw some random t-shirts at the wall, trying to kill a mosiquito. I think I at one point also swore in every language every single cuss word I know.

[pause for me to write yet another song to myself – a swear word song – in my head...annnnd...done.]

I once told Rachel that the moment I say I am "bored" I am cured from my Chicago Depression. Well. I am bored. And it is not as serendipitous as I thought it would be.

There are a myriad of reasons why I am bored, and the annoyance comes in because I had to unfriend all of my mom's friends just to give myself some breathing room. I love you guys so much, but any time I post and then you talk about it around my Mom, it stresses her out. She is super private while I am a transparent eco friendly shopping bag.

To Review:

MOM \\ XXX \\ Social Media / Spilling Guts on Internets.

SUSAN \\ yes please \\ Social Media / Spilling Guts on Internets.

And so.

I feel like I have fallen prey to voices (yours, mine, that man on the corner who wants to bum a smoke) and I can barely hear the one that is supposed to actually be talking. 

I have been singing / screaming / posting / swearing etc. etc. all because i am in this hideous holding pattern. I broke my wrist, got super sick, wrecked my car, and I am grounded inside the state of Minnesota until future notice because I cannot seem to man up and go back to a big city, where I feel in my heart is where I am supposed to be.

I am entirely and completely exhausted. I failed Tinder, again. I think I weigh 15 hundred pounds, and I just ate an entire thing of Steven Colbert Americone Dream ice cream (Ben & Jerry's; it's life changing).

And I do not have anything else to say. I want you to say it. But here is the DO NOT SAY AND OR ASK list of questions:

  1. Are you taking your medication? (Yes, you fucking idiot)
  2. Are you getting enough sleep? (Yes, if I could stay asleep until the next president comes and saves us from T, I would).
  3. Why don't you try and RELAX (I will feel much more relaxed as soon as Physical Therapy lady says I can go outside and play.
I am so tired and I am going to go to bed. Here is where I am leaving it (thesis)

I FEEL LIKE MY WINGS ARE CLIPPED.

And I wish I were floating in space with Sandra Bullock. These are my thoughts.

One more smoke in the scary suburban silence and then hopefully I drift into a dream about a 747 landing in the middle of Being or Moscow.

Peace (I'm trying!),
Susan





Has She Lost Her Mind: The Full Truth of August 2017, as told by Susan B. Agony, with commentary from Susan M. Andersen.


Let's just name the 800 Pound Panda in the Room:
Has Susan Marie Andersen literally lost her mind?

SMA: Prolly. I mean...

Yep! We will hear from you later, Susan, I'm writing this blog today m'kay. So. I cannot read minds, although I often think I can with my special powers given to my brain from the Bipolar Type I. But, with the exception of my doctors (SHOUT OUT TO PAT & MICHELLE!!), most people won't listen to us crazies because they either:
  1. Assume we are off our meds.
  2. Assume we are having "an episode" (be it Manic or Depressed).
  3. I forgot number three.
But when you go into Le Hospital, you are taught a bunch of stuff and given all les drugs so it can be difficult to really know. Unless you do know.

SMA: Exactly, that's what I've been trying to tell you that –

Nope! I'm talking here, Suze. So, we will hear from her later. ANYWAY...

Bipolar Type I is tough because, if you happen to be a women of ambition, like moi, pretty much everything you do seems either Manic / Depressed / Chocolate / Vanilla / Strawberry, or Medium Oreo Blizzard. So, it can be tough...

SMA: No one ever brought me an actual Medium Oreo Blizzard.

SUSAN! Let's work on some manners here, eh? Understood?

SMA: Understood?

You sure? Ok. Onward...

So, anyway. No, I don't think she's "Crazy" right now. As far as I can tell, her mother is suffocating her with love like an overwatered house plant and she just needs to get up in the air and see the world at 30,000 feet again...

SMA: And It's been ELEVEN FUCKING MONTHS SINCE I'VE BEEN INSIDE AN AIRPLANNNEEEEE!

Susan Marie Andersen!!! 

Why don't you just Shut - The - FUck Up! 

...What's gotten into you...??

SMA: And I am NOT Manic, I'm working on my Depression, yes I feel smothered by my mother but what girl doesn't and –

WOW. Just, Wow

Girl does NOT know how to take a hint, and shut the fucking FUCK shit up! 

Geeze. So, Ok, let me continue. Ahem. As I was saying...

SMA: And I feel like I have to almost lie and cheat and steal just to get some peace of mind and have some quiet time alone to THINK and I am sick of people telling me that Social Media has ruined my life (how would you know? If you don't even know how to use an iPhone)... And, OH! Another thing I just remembered – 

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE MY NORWEIGIAN HOMIE ANOTHER BENZO?

SMA: No! You are wrong, Susan B. Agony, ma'am. I take all of my medicine each and every day and I breathe and I exercise and I meditate and I smell the flowers, and I'm –

Schtop Schtop SCHTOP! Hey, Susan?...

Do you remember

We have a 3/4s carton full of Steven Colbert Americone Dream in the freezer. !!!!

SMA: Oh yeeeeah. I totally forgot that we bought that ice cream when I picked up the rental car today...

RIGHT! 

So, what do you say we sneak into kitchen, steal our ice cream and watch more fun content on magic iPad? 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

SMA: Welp. What about the rest of this blog post? Didn't you want to talk about the events of this past month? Explain things??

FUUUUUUCK THAAT. Dude.

SMA: Haha! Isaac quote.

Who's Isaac?

SMA: Um, I don't know. I mean, I, never mind. 
Ok! Deal! So this post is donezo!
SMA: Thanks for being my friend, Susan B. Agony.
Yeah, sure, whatevs. I get to take the first bite of icecream.
SMA: I get to light the last cigarette.
Deal.
SMA: Deal.
Ok, Seesuze, let's blow this joint. Race you to the kitchen. Or, not. Let's not and say we did. You are kind of, um. Gimpy. With that used-to-be-broken-now-kick-ass-cyborg-wrist.
SMA: Yeah, I know. Did I tell you it's multicoloured medical grade titanium??? And I can already play the piano, play the guitar, write in cursive, I was able to play pool! And, I was thinking too that –

...Do you hear crickets in the backyard? 

Do I look INTERESTED? 

Just... Stop talking. 

There's ice cream in the fridge. 

Let's go get it NOW. 

kthxbyeeee!!!


Good Night!
Sincerely,

Susan B. Agony \ Susan M. Andersen 
Mom's House / Upstairs Childhood Bedroom
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Minnetonka, MN
Sometime in the Middle of the Night
(But we are nOt mAniC and have slept a bunch!)



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Grounded


Picture a perfectly filtered photo of my newly black vecroed broken wrist, 
with my Butter teal blue fingernail polished pointer finger
resting atop my weird pyramid crystal.

That would be the image here. FPO.
TTTTP: Too Tired To Take Photo


People assume a lot of things about other People. 
People assume that I am Happy / Spazzy / Fast etc. etc.
For 70% of my year, I am not. I am Slow / Quiet / Pray for Rainy Days.

People with Bipolar Type I Disorder experience Mania, Depression, and Normal.
I am currently working on Normal.
I assume that Other People think things about Me which they may or may not actually think.

"People think about you a lot less than you think they are thinking about you." 
- Paraphrased Dr. Phil, probably lifted from someone way smarter than him.

Today I was told that I am obsessed with myself. Oh.
I am actually obsessed with something else.
Just two little words, I say them to myself every morning when I awake from slumber, they are sometimes uttered in a plea, other times uttered in a factual, motherly tone, and other times set to Hip Hop beat:

"Stay Alive."
- Me, every morning.

People with Bipolar Type I Disorder have a 1 and 5 chance of dying in their lifetime of suicide. I will be part of the 4 out of 5 Dentists who Stay Alive.

People assume that Millennials are annoying and maybe we are but I really don't care, we will probably steal your job. #sorrynotsorry.

People are Tiring for Me
(I think) People assume that I am an Extrovert.
I am an Introvert. I Re-energize by being Alone.

People are nice, mean, killers, bullies, black, white, rainbow colors.
People rule the Earth.
One day, Artificial Intelligence will rule the Earth, but we will have already escaped to Mars.

People do not get enough sleep.
I am working on getting more sleep.

People eat too much. I am working on eating when I am hungry, and not worrying about when I am not.

People have five senses - Taste, Touch, Smell, Hear, See
I have a high pain tolerance.
I am in pain. Physical pain is easier for me than emotional pain.

I am hungry. I am going to eat a sandwich and some applesauce.
I am tired. I will sleep after I eat.
I am done with this post. I will smoke a cigarette.

Goodnight.
Susan









Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Le Pause


I knew that it was broken the second I fell.

I had been backing up, trying to slow down, just finishing my solo Flashdance encore ALL BY MYSELF at Ground Zero when I decided it was probably time to, uh, reel it in. My friend was at the bar, completely unaware of what had just occurred.

Ice. I need ice. Oh! And, don't you dare fucking look at it Susan. DON'T LOOK.

I know a thing or three about going into Shock because it has happened to me before. Let's do a list.
  1. The Moment my brother slammed my hand in the Station Wagon Door
  2. The Day I stupidly, impulsively decided to get my nipples pierced
  3. The Week we thought my father was brain dead
  4. The Mornings I wake up from The Dream
  5. The Afternoon a burning marshmallow fell on my hand at Summer Day Camp. And stayed there. Ugh.
So.

I put pressure on my wrist, was so happy there was no bone sticking through the skin, walked back to the table next to DeeJay Dirty Duke, was relieved he didn't even know, took three deep breaths, told Isaac we had to go to the hospital, we drove to Abbott, were there for five hours (less? more?), they gave me three pain meds, they wanted to put me under with Propofol (I said no, my Dad did not wake up from Propofol very well), I hee hee hoo hoooed like I was having a baby through my thumb, they Chinese Finger tortured my hand into sitting the Radius (which was turned 70 degrees the wrong way), they plastered up the splint, my mom drove us home to a weekend of hell (screaming, screaming "YES. IT IS A LEVEL 10 ON THE PAIN SCALE, DAMMIT), we saw the surgeon Monday, she asked if I had seen the x-ray, no I had asked not to see the x-ray (avoid going into Shock at all costs), I saw the x-ray and then wanted to puke, Liz the surgeon informed me I was having emergency surgery in less than 24 hours, I went to a pre-op in Maple Grove, I went home and stared at a tree, I posted shit on FB until I could fall asleep, I got up the next day and...

Walked into that hospital and...

I took a deep breath and...

I took the blood all over the fucking place from a miss-placed hand IV and...

I made them laugh in the operating suite as the 20, 19, 18, 17...

"Hay. You are very tan (says me to anesthesiologist)"

And I woke up with a sparkling, medical-grade titanium plate and screws in my left wrist. The one with which I play la guitare.

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The Buddha tells us that life is Suffering, and that we are here to work toward Enlightenment. Suffering is part of life. We suffer, suffer, suffer, and suffer some more. 

But, in the end, it truly is (please don't punch me in the mouth) All About the Breath.

Find the Breath. Then work toward the beginning. I'm not there yet, but we can walk together.

Namasté,
Susan