More Dreams

More crazy vivid dreams last night. At this point I’m guessing less meaningful symbolism and more random neurons firing. Seriously, I had this long hyperreal dream that some of my friends bought a mobile home and were super happy and having this weird house, er…trailer warming party? Really bizarre and there I was hoping for some deeper meaning coming from the great beyond.

Woke up early with the anxiety again and couldn’t fall back asleep. Too many stupid conversations to replay in my head, too many cringe worthy self loathing memories to enjoy. Sigh. Sometimes I hate my brain. I really would have preferred to go back to sleep and dream about trailer parks.

Now I’m just tired as hell. At least I made it through my work day, that’s always a win. Tomorrow morning I’m off to see a new doctor. Here’s hoping he will be more understanding than my last doctor. I just don’t want to be playing some stupid bingo game with medication. I get so scared, will a change help or make it worse?

I’d like to say things can only get better but I know from experience that they can also get worse. Oh well, cross my fingers and say a little prayer. Maybe tonight I will have some really kick ass dreams? Flying would be cool anyway.

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Dreams

Hey, is anybody into dreams and dream interpretation? Been having massive anxiety lately. Med problems I think but don’t want to talk about it right now because I will go off on a rant I might regret.

Aaanyyywaaay..probably just anxiety related but last night I had this very vivid dream about being back in my hometown in Colorado. There is a little river that runs through town, like, in real life but in my dream the river was all dried up. Oddly enough at the bottom of the river bed there were dozens of old eyeglasses that I guess fell in the river at some point?

No clue why this dream was so vivid probably just meds and brain being weird but was wondering if anyone out there thinks dreams have meaning or if there was some significance to that?

Good Enough

Recently I reconnected with my mother who has been fighting her own battle with opiate addiction for many years. I’m not for telling her story at the moment, it’s her story anyway.

We’re both creative people who tend to need a little motivation now and again. We decided to do a weekly art challenge to get each other going. This last week’s challenge was create something with the script: today is going to be __________. You fill in the word.

I was trying to think of the best word I could use; amazing, stupendous, fantastic…and I couldn’t come up with a good word. I asked a friend of mine for some good synonyms which ended up with me explaining my little project.

My friend said, “I dunno, I mostly just hope my day is good enough.” At first I thought that was silly, why wouldn’t I want my day to be stupendous? Awesome beyond belief? Phenomenal? But the more I thought about it the more I realized my friend was right.

I focus too much on needing things to be perfect, needing to be amazing, why can’t things…why can’t I, just be good enough?

So, today I am good enough and today will be good enough for me.

Still Alive

Haven’t posted in forever.  My last post pretty much sums up the way life went.  I wish I stayed more on top of the blog because a lot of stuff happened both good and bad.  It’s a little hard for me to define exactly what was good and what was bad at the moment.  Life just doesn’t seem to ever want to fit in those nice, easy to define categories.

Good and bad; I broke up with my boyfriend of seven years.  Good because the relationship hadn’t been working for several years.  Bad because it was still painful and messy as these things often are.

Bad; had a relapse and it took me a while to pull out of it.

Good; I’m on the other side of those things and I still want to grow and I still care about myself enough not to give up.

Good; motivating myself to do something proactive and post on the blog.

Avoiding…Everything, Because That’s How I Do…

Obviously, I haven’t posted for a couple a weeks now.  Totally lame, I know.  It’s totally lame, not because I’m sure everyone is dying to hear what I have to say, but because writing is how I deal.  Writing is how I organize my thoughts a little.  I have not been organizing my thoughts and I have been purposefully avoiding doing this for two weeks now.

This is relapse country for me.  Relapsing isn’t necessarily about the chemicals I put in my body. Relapse is about the mindset I adopt.  I know I’m headed to a bad place when I start shutting down emotionally, isolating, and avoiding.  My avoidance seems to start off innocently enough.  At first I’m just reading , nothing wrong with reading and who doesn’t like a good book?  Then all I’m doing is reading; not communicating, not getting out of the house much, not taking care of myself.  I still feel reasonably good about myself, though, because I’m not drinking so I think I’m all aces.

The problem is that sticking my nose in a book for hours on end doesn’t make any of the problems or negative emotions go away.  I can keep reading but I’m still unable to get away from the lurking anxiety and depression I feel creeping up.  Pretty soon the books won’t be enough, I’ll need a drink or a pill to help me detach from these feelings I don’t want to feel.

The last two weeks sort of helped me clarify a pattern I’ve been in since beginning recovery.  I’ve hinted at a little so far but today I broke it down into an easy set of drawn diagrams.  Check this out:

2018-02-23-050017

Realize I’m depressed and really fed up with life as it currently is.  Decide to take action and start working on myself.  First step, of course, get sober.

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Okay, sweet!  Got sober and now I feel like I am on top of the world and I can achieve anything.  2018-02-23-050017_3

Get a little mental clarity and realize that I have some huge issues in my life that must be dealt with besides my addiction.  Okay, I’ll just come out and say it; I’m not in a good relationship and I don’t know how to end it.

2018-02-23-050017_4

So far in my recovery my choice has been to take the easy route; screw this emotional bullshit and I am going back to drinking.

Seriously? and what is the definition of insanity?  I keep thinking somehow I’m going to get different results from my relationship.  I suppose it’s  not wrong to want the person you’ve spent years with to get sober with you.  It is wrong to keep staying with a person who keeps dragging you backward, though.

I guess after three years of trying it’s time to move on and accept that I can’t change anyone but myself.  I’m just terrified because I know this most likely will come some pain and some tears, things I really try to avoid.  How much more pain and tears will there be if I choose to do nothing, though?   What about my the tears and the pain I have when I relapse?  What about wanting to grow into someone better? No growth comes without pain.

I just can’t help but think about how much this is going to suck…and that drink sounds awfully good…

 

Art by me.

What About Love?

Been neglecting the blog a bit this week, yet again.   Probably because I’ve been getting  high.  High on that Love drug anyway.  I’ve been spending entirely too much time sitting around messaging my friend and enjoying the euphoric buzz of fantasizing about someone.  Yeah, unfortunately I’m still on that stupid kick and can’t seem to shake it.  Hello my lovely endorphins and this is so much easier and more enjoyable than, say, working out.

A fantasy can be so much better than reality.  My  fantasy my partner is perfect, he understands everything about me, he can read my mind and know exactly what I need when I need it.  In my fantasies there aren’t any fights that don’t end with great make-up sex, my boo is never sick or grouchy or just plain irritable for no reason.  I’m just as perfect in my fantasies; I don’t say or do things that hurt my partner, I’m always happy, I’m super witty and everything I cook turns out amazing.  Fantasies are fun, I guess that’s what makes poorly written romance novels such big sellers.  The problem with fantasies is that they are by definition fantastic.

fan·ta·sy     ˈfan(t)əsē/           noun

the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable

fan·tas·tic      fanˈtastik/            adjectiv

informal

extraordinarily good or attractive.

 

(Thanks dictionary.com for reminding me that sometimes I’m an idiot.)  Having a crush on someone is the act of imagining something extraordinarily  good that is also most likely improbable or impossible.  The funny part is that knowing logically that fantasy is simply fantasy doesn’t stop the brain from producing all those annoying neurochemical reactions that make us wobbly in the knees with butterflies in our tummies.  “Love” is really annoying like that!  Or maybe neurochemicals are just annoying like that?  I have long standing battle with all the different neurochemicals in my brain so I think I will just stick with blaming them

Love seems like an appropriate topic with Valentine’s Day coming up this week.  The over-hyped, commercialized “love” day or Singles Awareness Day (SAD) if you prefer.  Since I’ve been feeling all crushy this week and working hard to convince myself that I AM NOT it’s got me thinking about what makes love, well, love.  We all go through that crush phase when we meet someone.  We are absolutely  twitterpated, everything is great, our new partner can do no wrong.  Suddenly we’re in love with life again and life revolves around that person. The sun is brighter, the air is sweeter, birds are chirping everywhere for no apparent reason.  (check the last post link for why love is like smoking crack)  

Not only does our dopamine and norepinephrine conspire against us, just be careful handing out your hugs.  Turns out hugging someone for twenty seconds can raise the level of oxytocin in your system.  Oxytocin, also known as “the cuddle hormone”, now joins the army of bodily functions conspiring against your better senses.  The body produces oxytocin when mothers breast feed their babies.  Scientists believe oxytocin helps mothers bond with their newborn.  Want to know what else makes the body produce oxytocin?  Orgasms. Yup, the body produces a hormone that makes people cuddly and bonded after being intimate.  Oxytocin effects both men and women, there is no escape!  Nature has prepared us a wonderful chemical cocktail for the purpose of perpetuating our species.  It tastes great and it gets you really fucked up! 

As an  addict  I’ve always enjoyed the love cocktail.  In my twenties I jumped from one relationship to the other because I always felt like when the “high” was gone I must not be in love anymore.  Obviously I’m over simplifying;  low self-esteem, mood disorder, codependency and a variety of other issues led to my general flakiness but the bottom line-I wanted the high to last forever.

  I don’t think it’s entirely my fault, I do feel like our culture perpetuates the notions of “true love” and “happily ever after” and sets an impossible ideal for relationship perfection.  That’s part of my excuse, anyway.  Whatever the reason, I have not had a lot of experience with serious, long term relationships.  I’ve been in two relationships that lasted over two years, one being my current relationship.  I suppose that isn’t all that bad, I’ve known people with worse track records than me.  

It seems to me that eventually, no matter how in love you are, the crush high will wear off.  So, what comes after the crush?  What is love after all the fireworks are over and it’s time to go home?  If you have five minutes this is very interesting (and quick) article on those love chemicals:

LoveMonogamyandVoles

Since I’ve been in recovery I have been trying my best not to think with my addiction when it comes to my relationships.  I’ve thought that maybe I don’t feel the “rush” from my relationship anymore but that I should be building something stronger than that.  After the neurochemical party is over shouldn’t there be a partnership?  Now I find myself questioning that partnership, questioning why I really stay in my current relationship.  Do I have a good partnership or am I just too afraid of change?

These thoughts have been frightening if I’m honest.  If I’m very honest these thoughts make want to drink more than anything.  If I’m totally honest these thoughts have made me drink, more than once, in the past.  Really would like a drink right now.  Really would like to escape into a fantasy and not have to debate these thoughts at all.

Think I’ll have to continue this post later.  I’m getting a little tired and I feel like I’m about to launch into some boring and tedious thought loops about love and happiness.  Let’s do that later.  For now, let’s embrace fantasy love for the sake of Valentine’s day.  Perfect, happy, cutesy love that comes in a heart shaped box with a guaranteed Happily Ever After or your money back!

 

 

Ladies Night

I’ve been neglecting my blogging a little this week.  I suppose I have been a little preoccupied.  Some of my preoccupation has been less than healthy.  Sigh, puppy love.  I have, however, found some other, healthier preoccupations as well.   I am trying to get my head out of the clouds and focus myself back on recovery and staying sober.

Now that I’m a few weeks sober and finally not sick or post-surgical I decided it was time to start exercising-for real.  Regular exercise can help with depression and anxiety.  Exercise stimulates endorphins and helps boost self confidence.  I know exercise is an important part of recovery.  When I’m exercising on a regular basis I feel better and I’m less prone to rapid mood changes.  I know it’s good for me but it’s still hard sometimes to get the momentum going.

I can’t say I’m much of a natural athlete.  I was definitely that awkward kid in gym class that get picked last for every team.  Badminton, I wasn’t even good at badminton, I’m a little uncoordinated.  There is no way my ass is going to the gym.  It’s stupid but I can’t get comfortable with the idea of working out in front of people.  I stay at home and workout because it’s fun.  I can crank up my tunes and dance around like a lunatic between sets of free weights.  My dogs get me out for cardio because they hold me accountable to a least one walk a day.  I’m sore from getting back into the rhythm of daily exercise but I can already tell I’m sleeping a little better.

In addition to the exercise I finally made it to my ladies meditation meeting this week.  I missed the last couple of sessions because of my cold and surgery and because I was really being a chicken shit about trying something new.  I was fine with the idea of going right up until about an hour before I supposed to go and then my anxiety started kicking my butt.   I really had no excuse not to go this week so bullied myself into going.  “C’mon, c’mon, get your butt out the door, one foot in front of the other, don’t overthink, just do!”

Like a lot of things I think I don’t want to do I ended up having a nice time despite myself.  It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in a group and I had forgotten that sometimes it’s nice to share with real, live human beings.  I don’t have a lot of close relationships with other women.  Going through recovery I’ve met some great ladies and I realized that I really do need female friends.  I mean, I work in all male prison, I have a boyfriend who has two boys.  I’m around dudes constantly, it’s ridiculous!  Sometimes I just need that feminine energy and perspective.

The meeting was actually better than I thought.  We did a guided meditation which I was really needing at the moment.  The group is currently working on a book.

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Easy read but pretty deep subject matter.  I like it because it plays into what I’ve been learning about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, how our thoughts shape our reality.  I enjoyed sitting with a group of adults and discussing a book, life changes and other positive things.  I really enjoyed the fact that the focus was on spiritual and personal growth and not about drugs or alcohol.  The meeting experience ended up being a positive one.  I can thank my inner bully for pushing me out the front the door.

It has been a pretty decent week for my sobriety.  I’ve taken some more positive steps to bolster my sobriety.  Cravings and anxiety have gotten a little better, not amazing yet, but better.  Better can be good.  I’ll take it.

Just Gotta Get My Fix Somewhere

My brain just has to have something to be addicted to.  That’s the only way I can explain why I suddenly find myself behaving like a thirteen year old at Justin Timberlake concert.  I think I might be a little twitterpated…and it’s not with my boyfriend.  WTF?

Is this the hypomania talking?  Is this some kind of weird addiction my brain is coming up with to replace alcohol.  Is this normal?  I soooo do not know what normal even is!

 I have always found love and relationships to be extremely confusing.  I’m sure I am not the only who feels this way but I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that I was not present the day they were handing out the rule books on love.  Right now I’m feeling just as confused as ever.  Here I was hoping that I had finally gotten old enough to not be ruled by every little romantic whim that makes my heart go pitter-patter but noooo. Just no.

 Here’s the story. I have a guy friend who I’ve known for almost three years and all that time we’ve never been more than just friends.  Yes, I will admit that I have always found him attractive.  He isn’t tall, dark and handsome but he’s cute and has qualities that I find attractive.  Friendo and I both love to read and have similar taste in books. Friendo is super witty and intelligent and always makes me laugh. Yeah, I got a thing for guys who can make me laugh.  I’ll take smart and funny over big and brawny any day.  All that being said we’ve just been friends, it’s never been more than that.  All of a sudden I’m having this interest in my friend that is a little more than just friendly.

 We went to lunch the other day and got on the subject of me not drinking.  At first I said I was just wanting to lose some weight, this is my usual excuse when I don’t want to tell someone I have a problem.  Even with friends I’m not big on discussing my personal life.  I always try to play it off like I am perfect and nothing is wrong.  My friend guessed that there was more to it than I was letting on.   I finally admitted that I drink way too much and that I just didn’t want to self anesthetize anymore, that I wasn’t happy with myself and I wasn’t sure I was happy with my life at the moment.  It kind of sucked to admit that last part  because I haven’t  really gotten around to admitting that to myself.

  I knew I was unhappy about my drinking and that it was wreaking havoc on my mental stability.  Quitting drinking has always been the easier part of recovery.  The hard part has been my relationship. Boyfriend is a nice guy with a really good heart.  I’ve been with boyfriend for almost seven years.  When we got together it was all about the party.  We’ve been drinking buddies for years. When I finally decided to get help and quit  he was supportive to an extent.  Over the last three years I’ve had ups and downs in sobriety but BF has always continued to drink.  Boyfriend drinks like I drank, daily and a lot more on weekends.  BF doesn’t see himself as an alcoholic because he goes to work, pays the bills and gets the kids to school early in the morning.  I’ve tried to explain that being an alcoholic doesn’t necessarily mean living under a bridge eating of garbage cans but he doesn’t see it.  Despite seeing me relapse several times and despite my asking him to stop to support me he continues to drink .  I know I can’t blame my relapses on him, at the end of the day I’ve made my own choices, but it’s a struggle to maintain sobriety living with someone who doesn’t think they need to give it up.

 January 1st was when I decided to quit again he said he wanted to join me.  I was super excited because I felt like finally we were in this together and I could really do this sobriety thing.  Unfortunately he seems to be back to drinking.  At the moment he’s been hiding out in the garage with his drinks.  I think he hopes I don’t notice but don’t kid a kidder, I am the queen of sneaky using.  Sigh.  The issue of my relationship came up a lot when I was in IOP, it came up with my sponsor, all the signs tend to be pointing to the fact that this may not be working yet I keep hoping against hope that it will work. I still love him even though this relationship may no longer be good for me. The biggest heartache for me is the kids.  Those little guys have been a part of my life for almost seven years, I have a relationship with them too.  Breaking up with an adult isn’t easy, how do you do that to little kids?  I’ve mentioned a million times already, I’m afraid of pain more than anything and I imagine things to be worse than they probably will.  I think I know what I need to do I’m just afraid to do it.  How does that saying go?  The pain of staying the same has to be greater than the pain of change?

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 The last two paragraphs were what was going on in my head while I was pretending to be so engrossed in my gyro that I couldn’t speak.  Friendo is a nice guy but I’m not about to spill my guts that much.  Saying I wasn’t happy was enough.  Then friendo had to go and admit that he has been having problems with anxiety and has struggled with anxiety issues since childhood.  Maybe I’m too self centered or maybe we all just go around trying to convince everyone there is nothing with us but I never would have guessed that about my friend.  Oddly enough that admission made me more attracted to him.  Maybe it was just the fact that he admitted it to me, that he was able to be honest, that I find attractive.  Maybe it was just knowing that we’re a little similar.  Maybe my brain just latches onto anything that will give it a rush of endorphins.  Whatever the reason I suddenly feel this crush developing and I can’t stop thinking about friendo.

 This is not good.  Is this my crazy brain going through the love tunnel part of the sobriety roller coaster ride?  Are my feelings even legit or am I just feeling this way because I’m unable to cope with the issues in my current relationship?  Whatever it is, this can’t be good.

Since I cannot seem to get this crush out of my head I decided to do some reading today on the subject of love and addiction.  Studies seem to indicate that falling in love functions much like addiction on a neurochemical level. Falling in love stimulates many of the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by an addict’s drug of choice.  Check out the following article for some more in depth information:

http://nautil.us/issue/33/attraction/love-is-like-cocaine

 “Few academics and laymen regard romantic love as an addiction—because they believe that all addictions are pathological and harmful. Data do not support this notion, however. When neuroscientists Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki compared the brains of happily-in-love participants with the brains of euphoric addicts who had just injected cocaine or opioids, many of the same regions in the brain’s reward system became active. Moreover, when my colleagues reanalyzed our data on 17 men and women who were happily in love, we found activity in the nucleus accumbens (unpublished data), a brain region linked with all of the addictions—including the cravings for heroin, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, amphetamines, opioids, and even gambling, sex, and food.”

 Very interesting and very annoying.  Damn you dopamine, you are supposed to be my friend!

OMG, friendo just emailed me a funny meme, squeeeeeeaal.  Tee-Hee.  Can’t adult will be acting age thirteen for the next few minutes.  Can’t write blog, must come up with something adorable to reply to friendo with…

This cannot be good.

 

art by me

Freakin’ Friday, Freakin’ February

Freakin’ Friday again and it just sort of hit me that it’s freakin’ February already.  This means I made it more than a month without alcohol.  Yeah me!  Except for that one little hiccup Ooops, F*ck Up.  I’ve rollin’ sober for the beginning of 2018!

When I get all proud of myself I’m almost tempted to start counting days.  Seems like chalking my sobriety up to calendar days hasn’t helped me in the past, though.  I get too hung up on those dates and when I mess up even a little I feel like a total failure.  Having to reset my sobriety date was pretty detrimental to my progress in previous sobriety attempts.  I think in too many absolutes.  Psycho Addictive Side of Brain makes up stupid things like, “Well, you already dun screwed up, might as well keep going.”  I don’t like giving the Psycho Addict any fuel for the fire so this time I’m just focusing on taking it one day at a time.  If I stayed clean today I am I’m making progress.

I still have that crazy Friday night urge to have a drink but it’s not quite as bad.  Time is on my side.  I keep thinking of Pavlov’s dogs, eventually they stopped slobbering all over the place when he stopped feeding them every time he rang that bell.  Eventually my addiction will stop slobbering up my life if I stop feeding my cravings every time they chirp.  Still a little slobbery today but less slobbery.  I believe the actual psychological term is “extinction” if one prefers not say “less slobbery,”  this sounds far more intelligent.

For some reason I got all into Edgar Allan Poe today.  Probably started when I was drawing up a sketch for a friend.  Friend wants a tattoo looking something like this.

raven

Needs refining and resizing but was fun to sketch.  Friend wants to get the tattoo on his rib cage.  Ouch buddy! Good luck with that.  After skulls and ravens it seemed like  natural progression to read some EAP.   After seeing this amazing quote I knew I had to put it into some art.

Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart;

of it’s constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. 

The way it stops and starts.” Edgar Allen Poe

Sometimes I am afraid of my emotions, my desires, the way they sometimes seem to take over and blot out all logical reasoning.  Addiction is my attempt to sate that constant hunger but no drink or drug can ever truly fill that place in my heart.  Do we ever find that thing that truly makes us complete in this life or do we wait until the after?

Man! Listen to me, haven’t read Edgar Allan Poe since high school and here I am getting all deep and melancholy.   I love that word by the way.  Think it might be time for some upbeat music or a funny movie perhaps.  Not going to let myself sink into the depression hole like I did last weekend.

 

Hey, if you’re reading this maybe give me a suggestion for something to draw this weekend.  Think of something with positive vibes.

Art by me.

 

 

Hypo-mania, Prison, Death and…Sex?

After my depressing weekend my mood seems to have jumped back to hypomanic.  This is the roller coaster ride from hell.  This is why alcohol is bad for me, m’kay.  Monday morning I had two cups of coffee and went to work feeling like I just smoked crack.  Constant, pressured, loud speech and I think I am hilaaarious.  Could not sit down.  Had so much whizzing through my brain I couldn’t concentrate long enough to actually accomplish anything.  I felt like I was teetering on the edge of euphoria, sliding to the side of anxiety and irritability.  And I can’t stop thinking about sex.  Seriously.

The last two days I switched from coffee to decaf green tea which seems to be helping.  I’m still bouncing off the walls but I feel less like a crack head and I’m managing to get some work done.  Still can’t stop thinking about sex. I’m glad I just recently read an article about Bipolar II and sexuality.

My Life With PTSD and Bipolar’s post

 Hoping I linked that correctly!  This post has given me a new understanding of some of my behaviors now and in the past.  I may have been a bit, er, promiscuous in my youth and by youth I mean until I was thirty.  Hyper sexuality happens and obviously it happens often enough to people with Bipolar II that it’s an actual diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV, who knew?  I didn’t know.  I just always figured I was flakey and got very easily bored with relationships.  I am happy to say that I have been in a steady relationship since going on medication.  Boyfriend will be pleased when I tell him this new information.  Now just to stop thinking about it, there are just times when it does not work into my day to be thinking about such things! (Now try not to think about white bears, you can’t right?)

Now that I cut straight to the chase and got the sex part of this story out of the way, let’s talk about prison and death. I hate death notifications.  I really do.  Death is one of those highly uncomfortable subjects that nobody really knows how to deal with.  There is no training manual on how to deal with death.  I have eight hours of crisis mental health training but I do not recall ever getting any training about how to handle telling someone that a loved one has passed away.  Despite having no training it seems to be an unwritten rule that it is my job to notify individuals when someone in their family has died.

Let’s put this in perspective.  I am a case manager for maximum custody inmates.  I deal with a fairly unique type of individuals.  I don’t mind working with violent offenders that very often have serious mental health issues.  I’m not exactly normal so I feel more comfortable working with people who are also not exactly normal.  Prison is all about acting tough, we all do it.  Inmates, case workers, officers, everyone’s a “hardass” or so we like to pretend.  I’m good at pretending to be tough, I’ve been doing it my whole life.  Nobody sees this girl cry. Ever.

I’ve seen some pretty disturbing shit in the years I’ve worked lockdown.  I’ve been there for four successful suicides, one successful homicide, numerous beatdowns – two of which will be forever engrained on my brain for the sheer violence of the attacks.   I may be desensitized to blood and guts but tears?  Tears are really hard in prison.  I don’t think sitting down with a stranger and breaking the news of a family death is easy for anyone.  I hate calling a big, tough guy to my office and telling them, in the most professional manner I can muster, that their father or mother has passed away.

I can’t imagine the guilt and sadness of my inmate knowing that they weren’t there for their loved one’s final days.   All I can do is say I’m sorry, I give them a phone call if they want and offer them religious or psychological services.  I’m not a fan of tears. Nobody sees this girl cry. Ever. Every single death notification I’ve done ended in those awful tears.  Today was no exception and this guy was, like, huge.  Burly and tattooed sat in my office and cried for twenty minutes.  I felt really bad for him but I was also thinking that burly, tattooed guy is probably more well adjusted than I am.  At least he isn’t so afraid of letting someone see him cry.

That was how my day started, craptastic.  Right after my awkward death notification we had to evacuate the building.  Why the evacuation?  To put a new A/C unit on the roof with a crane.  The buildings at this prison are all about a hundred years old and the maintenance workers were actually concerned that the new unit might make the roof collapse.  So, we all sat outside and watched the crane work like it was the most interesting thing since 80’s hairstyles.  Despite all the movies and TV shows out there prison can be really boring.  Yes, I have seen some crazy things but the reality is that 99% of the time my job is really boring.  Prison is boring enough that staff and inmates will all stop what they are doing to watch a crane put something on the roof.  Of course, thinking that there might be a chance the building will collapse made the operation more notable.

Inmates were taking bets; “Bet you three coffees the roof collapse.”

“Bet you three it don’t.  Smitty’s fat ass up there shoulda put a hole in it already”

Smitty is a rather portly maintenance worker. I’m hoping the Smitty theory works out and that guy gets his coffee because I couldn’t help but notice that the A/C unit is pretty much directly over my office.  If I suddenly just stop posting one day it’s probably because I’ve been crushed by a three ton A/C unit.  The roof did make it through the rest of my workday and fortunately no one else died either so the rest of the day was uneventful.  Just had to make it through the work day and try not to think about those white bears.

random scribbles by me.