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“The ADHD Experiment” (“Speed Demon,” next-to-last edit.)

 

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“Suddenly you are in a room with 10,000 doors. And behind a bunch of the doors is some cool suff. You are gonna wanna try and run as fast as possible and stay awake as long as possible to look in all the doors.”

– from the 2018 Netflix documentary, “Take Your Pills.”

~

Hey, I finally quit smoking! Actually, it was pretty easy once I got off of the speed I’ve been hooked on for the past year. Well, “Vyvance.” I mean, a drug that I was prescribed after I got bored and decided to see if they’d give it to me. They did! (Crazy, right?!) Yes, true believer, that’s what I’ve been up to for the past year – proving to myself that I definitely didn’t have ADHD, and that speed, while certainly fun and interesting, also seems to be quite addictive, and it really runs your body-machine rough, like a redneck on, well, speed, driving a jalopy in the Arundel demolition derby.

This was not a good thing, this ‘free speed once a month.’ If I’d been in any way monitored, if my pills were ever counted, if I had to go in and see my provider once a month – it either would have worked, or I’d have just d/c’d it not long after the experiment began. But no one was watching. After abusing it for a year, suffering debilitating crashes, acting like an utter bitch and dodging more that one heart attack, I finally decided to crash one more time and then quit. Eventually, I knew, I’d have a heart attack or a stroke; I have a box in my closet with letters to my loved ones to be opened upon the event of my passing. I knew that it would happen, I just wasn’t sure when.

This was bad, but, legal. I mean, in Freeport for example, the town is still all perplexed about the weed issue, and they’ve put moratoriums on this and that. Well, I can’t walk down main street smoking a joint, but I can walk down main street mad-jacked up on speed without anyone troubling me. All day long. Even with a pocket full of pills as long as I have a bottle with my name on it.

So my getting off and away from amphetamines totally me, I swear, I mean, they weren’t monitoring me at all – no pill counts, medical tests, counseling, hell no. In fact, I never even discussed my decision to quit with my provider, I just never refilled the script after july.

But, why would you talk to your drug dealer about contemplating a quit? They’ll either talk you out of it, or sell you something else. It’s business, brother-man!

Geez Louise, it’s pretty easy to get really addictive schedule two drugs prescribed to you in Maine. Well, it was easy enough for me to get an un-monitored monthly supply of speed, I should say, but isn’t that insane? What got the German’s into Poland so fast in 1941, is the same thing that little Johnny gets to do better at school today. It’s everywhere, just like the ADHD that it purports to treat.

Get this –

Between 2003 and 2014 there was a 42% increase in diagnosed cases of ADHD in American children. There was a 60% increase in the diagnosis of poor kids between 2003 and 2007. as compared to a 10% increase in the same diagnosis of children of the middle class. More than 20% of all high school boys have been diagnosed with it an one time or another, and 13.2% of all boys ages 4 – 17. (girls get diagnosed with the affliction less frequently, coming in nationally at 5.6 percent.) The diagnosis is thrown about at different speeds depending on the state, ranging from more than 9% in states like Louisiana and Arkansas, and less than 3% in spots like Colorado and California. Maine falls somewhere in between, with 5 to 7 % of our children carrying the diagnosis as well as a pocket full of pills. Of course, the United States has more people with the diagnosis than other countries, but only at the moment. American pharmaceutical companies tend to export diagnosis that they already have a profitable cure. Because, let’s face it – it’s all about selling speed.

30 years ago, the rate of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was estimated at between 3% and 5%.

Spending on ADHD medications rose 14.2% in 2012, the greatest increase seen among any traditional drug category. Although children remain the primary users of ADHD medications, the number of adults using ADHD drugs also increased dramatically, from rising 18.9% in 2008 to a 53.4% jump in 2012. And, approximately two-thirds of adults were prescribed ADHD medications by a PCP (primary-care physician), rather than a specialist.

Instead of getting too complicated as far as the “why?” goes, I’ll just say that, if you have the blues or anxiety or the lazies or phobias, whatever, if I give you speed, you’ll feel better.

It made me feel better, for a second, before it got a bit crazy.

That’s right, dear reader, I, a fellow with five convictions for drunk driving, residuals from a traumatic brain injury and all sorts of other nonsense, was able to get diagnosed with ADHD (I think it might have been a 90 second discussion) and therefore a big pile of speed every month. For free!

I could have died.

~

Important Information

Vyvanse may be habit-forming, and this medicine is a drug of abuse. Tell your doctor if you have had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or a heart defect.

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Black-Box Warning

Vyvanse has a black-box warning because central nervous system stimulants have the potential for abuse and dependence.

Your doctors should assess your potential for abuse before prescribing Vyvanse and monitor you for abuse while you are taking it.

~

I’m still here.

I know – a bunch of us live way past 27, right?

During this past year (following my diagnosis and treatment for ADHD back in July of last year) my paranoia, my hyper-vigilance, and all other manner of bloody psy-badness was all over the place, all over the inner-space. I really thought that it was the worsening of the ol’ P.T.S.D., but, in all likely hood (between me and you, loyal viewer) it was a consequence of your humble narrator being all hopped up on what grampa might have called “pep pills,” all year long. Pep pills, diet pills, mother’s-little-helper, blitzkrieg-nightcap – you know, brother-man, speed. Amphetamine.

It wasn’t crystal meth (although just a molecule or two away.) Hell, I wouldn’t know where to get crystal meth, although, I honestly haven’t asked around, but that shit’s illegal, the quality unchecked by the FDA, and even Kosmo lost a few teeth punking around with that shit a few months back.

No, I’m reformed, you know? Doing things the right way. Now, I get my drugs from a white-coat, a prescribing physician. Insurance covers it, and I pick it up down the street. All legit.

The drug that I was put on is called Vyvance. Legally prescribed, legally obtained. Then, monitored and well, abused monthly.

It was like picking up a big pile of crack once a month from the local CVS down the street.

For free!

Holy. I swear – I don’t get into these situations just to have something fucked up to write about. I grew up a True Believer in the American Dream, and in a pretty privileged background. If it hadn’t been for the Gene, then instead of reading these scribbles, you’d be watching ads on TV for my law-firm, or my Supreme Court nomination. Back when I was a citizen, years ago, I always wanted to be a fiction writer. Instead, I seem to be constantly writing articles for a history book that hasn’t been put together yet, one about life at the turn of the century. I mean, I have a tendency to initially think that I’m the only one confronting this or that (do you?), but, have you watched that Netflix documentary, “Take Your Pills?” (Netflix, 2018)

Now, perhaps you’re saying, “But wait, how could this be? How could an alcoholic with.. how many OUIs?” (Five.) “A traumatic brain injury and quite the rap sheet as well as a record of drug and alcohol treatment, how could HE get prescribed speed? How did he manipulate a doctor into prescribing him an extremely addictive schedule two drug?”

I know!

I was as surprised then as you are now. I mean, I never expected to get it, I was just chemically bored, looking for a new, legal chemical transformation, and thought I’d ask. I let her know that I’d been previously diagnosed with it (back in the 90s for two seconds, after “Driven to Distraction” came out, and while I was still drinking) and blah, blah, blah. I recall her saying without question or discussion that it sounded like a fine idea, and that she should have thought of it herself, with speed being such a good thing for peeps with brain injuries. Without checking my backstory or asking me, well, anything, she wrote me a script for 30mg Vyvance, this a “starter” dose. She informed me that the dosage may have to be increased, and to phone her in a week.

Off I went!

I killed the first thirty day script in a week, and it was fun. I was, of course, out of my starter dose, but, I gave my provider a ring letting her know that, although I’d noticed a difference with the Vyvance, it had been slight. So, of course, she upped my dosage to 60mg, and despite the fact that it was two scripts of the same drug in one month, the fact that it was a different dosage allowed insurance to cover it. Come on – that’s like a Narcotics Anonymous parking lot discussion, day one.

After that script, which was in spring of 2017, I must’ve sensed danger. I told a couple of peeps close to me that I’d been punking around with speed, and that’s why I’d been such an asshole recently. I called my provider, and without going into detail exactly as to why, I left a message telling her that I’d decided the Vyvance wasn’t for me and to please discontinue it, and thank you.

Once off of the V, I ended up doing two major Bollard articles, one month after another and then my daughter got married. Then I must’ve gotten bored.

And,

I grew up at a time when it was believed that if one was a physician, if you’d earned that distinction, then you were at the very least one of society’s most virtuous, and competent members. I really never expected to get the drug, and when I did I was easily able to rationalize that, well, according to the rules, she knows what she’s doing. Can’t fool a professional, right? And certainly not in this town, in these times. We each had our roles to play – SHE was the doctor, the professional, not me. In fact, my role was that of documented alcoholic and addict; drug seeking behavior would not be out of line with that role, if one were to improv. She knew my history, including notes concerning it that I probably hadn’t seen myself. If I asked her for cocaine and she gives it to me, then it has to be okay, and legally, if she gives it to me, it’s DEFINATELY okay, right? This isn’t back alley shit. Conversely, as a doctor, if it were bad, or potentially bad or harmful, she wouldn’t be giving it to a patient, correct? Even if I begged for it.

So, I was bored and looking to modify my reality as I’d been taught, by chemicals prescribed by knowledgeable, licensed professionals. White coats, dig? All legit.

I rolled the dice and plugged into the Matrix.

And the 60mg pills were blue.

It isn’t just me, either, is it?

Look to your left, and then to your right, and try to guess which one of you is on speed. Are YOU on medicine for ADHD dear reader? Well, my friend, I hope that they told you about the addiction piece. Yes, brother-man. Surprise! You aren’t just a patient, you’re also an addict! Congratulations.

It’s not just for back alleys anymore! Or rather, it’s back from the back alleys, again.

~

“She stays up nights making all the rounds, they say she lost about 69 pounds
Now Mr. Murphy claims she’s getting awful thin and all she says is, ‘Give me some skin!’.”

– Harry “the Hipster” Gibson, “Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy’s Ovaltine?” (1947)

~

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Amphetamines were first synthesized in 1887 followed by methamphetamine in 1893. These turned out to be really fun (equals profitable) drugs, it just wasn’t until 1932 that they could come up with a diagnosis for them the apply to. That year Benzedrine inhalers (allegedly for relief from nasal congestion) came out and were instantly popular – these were cheap and available over the counter by any 13 year old in any drugstore. In 1935 the drug company expanded prescription of the drug for the chronic; now it treated sleep disorders as well. Just remember – this is a business, not a religion, and the drug was marketed for anything it could be profit from, even opiate addiction. Time magazine noted back in 1937 how the inhaler strips were being removed and chewed by college students to enhance performance. The British press began publishing stories of the actual dangers of the drug, and in 1939 amphetamines were placed on a list of toxic substances in the United Kingdom.

Their attitude changed during World War II with soldiers on both sides given large amounts of amphetamines as a way of fighting fatigue and boosting morale (and, I mean, if you’re in in to win, right? And your enemy has a chemical advantage, what do you do?) The British issued around 72 million tablets to the armed forces, after discovering that Kamikaze pilots and German panzer troops were using the drug successfully in a blood and guts setting. Hitler’s own medical records show that he received up to eight injections a day of methamphetamine. An artist on speed.

The demand for amphetamines continued to be high in the 1950s and early 1960s – long-haul truck drivers, soldiers who needed to stay awake, high school and college students cramming for tests while Western pop musicians often structured their lives and music around the drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimated that there were well over 200 million amphetamine pills in circulation by 1962 in the United States alone.

Of course, athletes have historically gone to amphetamines for more of an edge. Even before my own speed experiment this year I remember thinking that if I were to climb a mountain, it would only make sense to have a good supply of speed. Amphetamine use has historically been especially common among Major League baseball players, known by the slang term “greenies”. I was surprised to find that it wasn’t until 2006 that the MLB finally banned the use of amphetamine, enforced through periodic, loop-hole riddled drug-testing. Of course, the MLB consequences for amphetamine use are dramatically less severe than for anabolic steroid use, but, that first offense will still get you a warning, a severe frown and further testing.

During the fifties and sixties about half of the quantity of amphetamines produced were used outside of the medically prescribed purposes stated by the law. Still, of the nineteen companies that were cranking out speed back then, nine of them didn’t even have to show their registry of buyers to the FDA. You know, it was probably those same nine companies which supplied much of the illegal speed available at the time. Right?

So, only after decades of reported abuse, finally, in 1965 the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) banned the cheap Benzedrine inhalers, and limited amphetamine to prescription use. Think that non-medical use remained common? Of course it did. Even after the Controlled Substances Act of 1971 made amphetamine a Schedule II controlled substance (alongside winners like methadone, all good opiates, and all of the ADHD medicine currently in your medicine cabinet.)

The use of amphetamines and drugs like amphetamine showed a sharp decrease in the 1980s, but that was probably due to the increasing use of cocaine, which was introduced in the mid-1970s and proved to be even more fun than speed. Still, a survey done in 1987 showed that a large number of high school seniors (12!%) had used amphetamines during the previous year.

Methamphetamine isn’t made exclusively in trailers up in the county. Meth is a prescribed, pharma-created drug, it’s just.. it’s not so hip right now due to the aforementioned home-cookers.

Of course these days, up to a quarter of college students use Adderall to help them focus on their studies instead of its intended purpose of helping people with ADHD. This use will normally continue even after school, because, despite the name and the dressing, Adderal, Dexys, Focalin – it’s all amphetamine, speed. And speed works well. As of 2015 amphetamines, especially Adderall, were increasingly being used by young white-collar workers who work long hours at demanding work. Many felt drug use was necessary to perform adequately, to get that edge. Like Lance Armstrong claimed, if your competition is on speed, what are you gonna do?

Yeah, your on speed, brother man. Just like Charlie Parker, Adolf Hitler, Judy Garland and Lenny Bruce.

Vroom, vroom!!

~

“Eating on an Adderall, wash it down with alcohol. Writing holy mackerel, actual all factual.”

– Danny Brown, “Adderal Admiral.”

~

Alcoholics get diagnosed with lots of things, before and after they dry up (if they do.) I certainly gathered a bunch of labels and explanations and, unfortunately, many of them I even came to believe. Here in America, if there’s an illness, there’s a pill for it, or a marketable, profitable solution, I should say. Before I go any further, I know that many of you who are prescribed medications tend to end up in the hospital if you fail to take them. That’s never been the case with me. I end up in the hospital because of chemicals taken, not the opposite.

Keep this in mind as you go on.

Remember in the 1990s, when the book “Driven to Distraction” came out, giving adults who were enjoying their children’s ADHD medication a reason to get their own script? Well, my parents got a copy and had an “a-ha” moment regarding their son’s shortcomings. After my second OUI I’d blown off my final month of probation to head to Memphis, and upon my return a few months later I was, of course, arrested. Upon my release, my mother and I went to see Dr. Charles Clemetson in Lewiston, this English fellow who’d earlier prescribed me the Zoloft which had sent me into that wonderful state of hypo-mania. I remember, at the time of my release from Kennebec County, him saying that we had to do something drastic, or I might get into further trouble down the line. He blamed my troubles not on booze, but on ADHD. When Mom put me on that bus for Memphis, I had a bottle full of Dexedrine for the ride back.

At the time, I took prescribed meds as prescribed; I was a citizen back then, remember? In fact, I think that I was still a CRMA at the time. I’d never really trusted pills, which I felt couldn’t be measured out safely, like booze (!). If you took a pill, you were on the bus until you reached Boston; no getting off. No. As a citizen, pills were for treating sickness, not having fun. Booze was for fun. I really don’t remember much about the effects of the one bottle of dexys that I took as prescribed – this was fall of 1999 – and I never bothered to try and get more from my doctor down south. After the hypo-mania of the Zoloft had flat-lined in 1996, none of the SSRIs seemed to do anything, although I continued to take whatever capsules were popular with the prescribers at the time. I truly felt that, as far as anxiety, depression, sleeplessness or boredom went, booze was the only way to go, and I returned to it again and again. That was in 1999. By the time I returned to Maine in 2001, I’d switched from beer to the easier to transport/conceal vodka, and five months later, in February of 2002, I got mugged while leaving a party, and got that traumatic brain injury.

Instead of giving me Naltrexone for my alcoholism, I was court ordered to attend a religious group. It didn’t seem to take. This one fellow told me that I must not be spiritual enough.

Oh.

A few years later in 2006, I went to Windham Prison for the first time, for drinking on while on probation for the OUIs, and I was kept on so much medication that I slept most of my bid away. When I returned to Windham in 2009 to wrap everything up, I recall thinking, “Ok, I’ve got eighteen months to kill. That’s plenty of time to find the perfect medication through trial and error. The Pill.”

The Pill.

Well, Dr. Bevin, a really good physician who would be fired not long after following an in-house romance with an inmate, prescribed me something to start off with, but I ended up never taking it. I was behind the wall at the time, in medium, and just never wanted to get up as early as you had to for med pass. By the time I went to see Dr. Bevin for my second and final time, I was feeling surprisingly well. True, I wasn’t on any medication, and didn’t do any thing that might have been illegally available (if for no other reason I never felt that there would be enough to do the job, you know, splitting a bottle of pruno with seven people, or sharing a ciggie or a joint with 12,) but, left with no pharmaceutically altered states, I’d become surprisingly healthy. I was, you could say, hitting all the marks – mind, body, spirit, society, that I never had to when getting my dopamine artificially, via medication. I was writing in the prison newsletter (“the doing times”) to avoid physical labor, blogging and collecting the writings of other convicts to be blogged on the outside (politicalprisoner.wordpress.com), wrote handbooks for Native American Spirituality, started a screen-play. And, of course, all of the bloody reading you end up doing behind bars. Physically I was working out six days a week in the gym, running five miles a day, practicing Hatha Yoga, and eating as well as I could in such a situation. Spiritually I was involved in Native American Spirituality, Catholic Services, prayer fellowship, meditation and on and on. And socially, I had a fellowship, well, in prison, I think its called a gang.

“Some of us,” Dr. Bevin offered, “feel too much.” Exactly, I thought, waiting for the offer of a pill that I didn’t really need. She didn’t offer me one. “I can give you something that might make it as though you didn’t feel things as much, but, it wouldn’t be just the bad things you felt less intensely, it would be the good as well.” And that was that; I didn’t take any medication that time during that stay. Windham Prison, from 09 to 11 was the first time that I had actually practiced a holistic lifestyle, and many times after my release would I find myself asking, while knowing the answer, how I was able to remain so Zen, even content, while behind bars, all the while unmediated.

~

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“Hey, kids, plug into the faithless Maybe they’re blinded, But Bennie makes them ageless.”

– Elton John, “Bennie and the Jets”

~

This story has so many layers, or rather, so many predictable threads. Initially I wasn’t sure whether this piece should just focus on speed, or whether it was a more general story about wide-spread over-prescribing of everything. I remember a few years ago while doing the “Opiatopia” piece reading that despite the wide-spread, well-publicized opiate epidemic facing New England with the largest blood clot in Maine, physicians in the one-syllable state were still over-prescribing opiates. I searched for that old piece on-line, and found alot about measures which had been taken to curb the over-prescribing… of opiates. The only other piece on over-prescribing I could find was for benzodiazapines, and once I started reading it, I realized that it was from the U.K.

When I searched for amphetamine abuse, I was usually lead to sites which were actually promoting ADHD medication. The support sites are for people diagnosed with ADHD, or for the parents of children on speed.

Then, I started tossing out emails and messages to providers in Maine, and the response was minimal. These are the same people who would talk your ear off if you wanted the skinny on opiate abuse, but didn’t have a word to say about speed. I’d reached this one fellow on FB and got a “lol what not to do with Vyvance!” and a promise to message me later which didn’t happen.

So I started thinking, they could be on speed, Rage. Or, if 11% of our kids are on speed, chances are, especially if you’re a white-coat, you’re either peddling the stuff, or you know someone who’s kids doing well on it. Maybe yours.

But, let’s face it. If you’re in pharmaceuticals, the formerly successful opiate market is fished out, well, at least for the moment. What can you sell? Addiction, baby! If I owned a pharmaceutical company, I’d have a big banner in my research lab reading, “ADDICTION SELLS! FIND THE CURE AND MARKET THE DISEASE!”

Well, the legal opiate market is dead. Let’s start selling benzos and speed again.

Although Opiate abuse is the current soup of the day, as Dr. Publicker stated in “Opiatopia,” there were far more drunks than opiate addicts. I believe that he said the rate of alcoholism stayed pretty steady at 10% of the population; drunks just aren’t dying as quickly. But although the opiate epidemic is the big issue of the day, drugs like Ibogaine, a non-addictive drug legal for sucessfully treating opiate abuse in other countrys (such as Canada, Mexico, the UK, Scandinavia, etc.) isn’t legal in the US, where it’s listed as a Schedule 1 substance, alongside coke and acid.

I’ll bet you if the shit was addictive they’d rename it Ivadream, and market the hell out of it.

Just heard back Patience, this friend of mine up in Central. We met years ago in court promoted Intensive Outpatient Program and ergo in 12-step meetings. She was, like, legendarily BAD, and was still at it even after I’d stopped. Then, about a year ago, they put her on Naltrexone, and, suprise, she’s been sober ever since. I wanted to talk to her because, well, she’s been put on everything, and I knew that she’d been on speed before as well. I really just wanted to know if they were counting her pills.

Had they known, when they prescribed her the speed that she was a gnar-gnar no no addict? Of course! She was in treatment for heroin addiction, her doctor had her on suboxone, klonopin, Vyvance and Adderal. All at once! Pill count? Hell no! Consequences? Doctors were puzzled as to why she kept overdosing on presciption medicine, and then Patience had two heart attacks in one night. She woke up in Augusta general… (do they still call it that?) thank God she had people around her, unlike your humble narrator.

And they couldv’e give us both Naltrexone twenty years ago and stopped the train, but think for a moment how much profit we’ve generated. Doctors, cops, courts, pharma, psychiatrists, drug and alcohol counselors, therapists, pharmacists, half-way houses, on and on.

That’s alot of yen.

Peter once referred to Patience as one of the most destructive women he knew. Is it frustrating, or even weird couseling drug addicts who are trying to get off of illigal drugs while all doped out on legal ones?

Speak of the devil!

Peter Wohl, Zenmaster, Soberati and Paladin level 9 got back to me. He wrote:

“It’s so easy to get Rx happy meds, that may be the largest, but unseen epidemic in the state. Very few people are minding the store. Speed, benzodiazapines and of course medical marijuana, all the major food groups. Add a little suboxone and you can be in pharmaceutical nirvana. There are a bunch of docs who are also giving out suboxone without any testing, counts, etc.”

Probably at least 9 out of 10 don’t do counts, especially primary care offices.

Yay, Maine!

But, here’s the other side.

I spoke with one of my homegrrls from Sherwood and she was diagnosed as a kid, claims it helped her greatly. Another professional who wrote me back (because she’s a professional, with all sorts of creds.) was Jen Orcutt. Jen, who’s a drug and alcohol counselor wrote:

“With my client load I have had over almost 9 years now I have yet to meet someone who says they are here because they were given meds for there ADD/ADHD. I actually tend to see the opposite, ones who say they were never diagnosed or they were never treated when they were kids and so they couldn’t focus in school and goofed off gave up.”

I have just been intrigued by how many clients I have had over the years that almost say lack of treatment for their ADD/ADHD prob lead to them going down the wrong road. I have not had anyone who said they felt their ADHD medication started their addiction off. I find his actually very interesting. But then again I think most say due to them not addressing their mental health weather it be anxiety depression, that lead them to seek a way to self medicate.

Again my truth is my own, and I’m not going to stop anyone out there from doing anything. I remember Vince McNeil, of the World Wrestling Entertainment defending steroids by pointing out that the Beatles had done their best work under the influence of drugs, which were therefore “performance enhancing.” Because of that, should we disregard their work? Adderall is apparently being used quite widely in America to gain that edge, you know? And, believe me, this isn’t one of those drugs that you have to wait six weeks for it to take effect. I have no problem with Lance Armstrong keeping his wins, and, honestly, if I had my own army, and i knew that you were jacking your army up on speed, I’d probably get the whole war machine diagnosed with ADHD. Hell, I’d keep the whole country medicated, you know. But, then, that’s why Bog didn’t make me a dictator.

Although, according to Dr. Publicker, despite our roughly 5% population, we do consume 80% of the medications. And those are the legal ones. It brings me back to this childish outlook, these innocence-grounded questions that come out of my 1970s upper-prole upbringing:

If this is the greatest country in the world, then why do so many of us have to be on medication in order to be comfortable here? Hell, brother-man, if Mr. Trump were one of us, they wouldn’t accuse him of being crazy, no. They’d assume he was on drugs. But I’m sure he has a script.

~

“Remember the simple rule- what pharmaceutical companies get richer on is good for us. What pharmaceutical companies don’t get richer on is bad for us. Now, repeat after me……”

– Peter Wohl, Soberati, therpaist, zen-master, clinician in the One Syllable.

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~

What was it like for me, being on speed for the past year? Well, at first it was fun. I mean, speed is fun. I’m sure that no matter what you suffer from, anxiety, depression, social phobia, etc, if you do some speed, you’re gonna feel relief; maybe you’ll decide its the cure. No, dude. It’s just the speed. So, fun at first, and after that, just addiction.

I couldn’t snort the shit, like a benzo or a 1990s oxy – just clogged me up – and I didn’t shoot it (only because I haven’t been there yet) but, hell, I ate the shit, stayed up night after night after night, often writing and writing and writing pages, chapters, perhaps even a book or two of scribbles that I would inevitably destroy at the end of the trip. During the crash (after running out of speed, when your body tries going without) I would either dismiss all they pages as speed-driven crap, and less frequently I wouldn’t be able to decode the scrawl which would unwind after a few nights of sleepless scribbling. Of course, after the first twenty four, I stopped being able to see the lines on sheets of paper, but, hell, who can wait for lines?!

I made, still have, a running list of commercials on YouTube that didn’t give me the option of skipping after three seconds, vowing never to use their services or purchase their products. Never!

Following what began as two weeks but which ended up as four days of consuming a thirty day script would come the crash, a period of withdrawal painted with strokes of paranoia, depression, agoraphobia, and more, which would last a week, sometimes two. I’d have te ever widening space in between speed trips, moments of blurred sanity which would begin as even cloudier days of anxious justification.

While I’d be n it, it would have this socially paradoxical effect. The paranoia that was always there once I’d passed the first sunset, strong enough to keep me off of the phone, off of the bus, often creeping about silently like a tweaking crack head, as though any noise could alert this invisible enemy force to my presence, causing some sort of confrontation I could never quite imagine the specifics of, but always feared.

On the other hand, I didn’t really need to leave my island. I could focus on anything, no matter how pointless and it would become so interesting that I would become consumed with it. I remember Busby showing up in the fog, like Billy Zane visiting Zoolander in the wastes of New Jersey in the viddy “Zoolander 2.”

Psychologically, the ups and downs became intolerable and so I spent a lot of energy just convincing myself that they were getting better, at least better than last month. I never did speed with anyone, never shared it or sold it, but then, a good test of the addictive nature of a substance is how freely it’s shared with friends, right? You might tell yourself, my friend, that you don’t share your speed because of legal or ethical reasons, but really brother-man, you wouldn’t share your shit, irregardless. This ain’t weed, ja, comrade? For me, speed was one of those drugs done best in isolation. If I was around anyone for any extended period of time, it just wouldn’t work, and usually because of the nature of the focus that speed gave me. No matter how stupid the task I was so engrossed in was, it took on the nature of a mighty mission, and it was always a world of me and the target and nothing else. Humans were always getting in between me and the target of my focus, and whenever this happened I would react angrily and often nastily, hurtfully. Speed was one of those drugs that you really didn’t get a picture of its effect on you, or how fucked up you were until you found yourself in a position where you were pretending that you weren’t. It’s like being stone around your mom or your boss and suddenly your mind starts screaming, “Holy fuck! Am I stoned or what?!!”

The self-awareness of the previous “Stoned in A.A.” example, coupled with the paranoiac awareness of speed all combined with the long-ingrained teachings of the church of sobertology, lack of sleep and nutrition, as well as my own feelings about white-coats and pharmaceuticals became.. just bad, a badness which was only relieved when I returned to safe, insulated isolation.

Cheese-at-Christmas, brother-man.

~

‘ “But aren’t you shortening her life by giving her so much?”

“In one sense, yes,” Dr. Shaw admitted. “But in another we’re actually lengthening it.” The young man stared, uncomprehending. “Soma may make you lose a few years in time,” the doctor went on. “But think of the enormous, immeasurable durations it can give you out of time. Every soma-holiday is a bit of what our ancestors used to call eternity.” ‘

– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

~

Last January, I’d just started off my New Years speed ride when I got a message that my old street partner, Mr. Nixon, had overdosed, had crossed over.

I don’t know what to write about that yet.

I know that.. I’ve been really close, either spatially or emotionally, to a bunch of good peeps who’ve crossed over much earlier than anyone had expected. I pulled True Dogg out of the shower in Kennebec County in 2009; he’d hung himself. I felt his cold flesh, I saw him die, but, I don’t know. That night when I heard that Nick had crossed over, for the first time, I became aware of my own mortality, acutely aware, with the focus of a handful of speed spills. Nick hadn’t meant to die, as my own heart pounded away in my chest, over-worked, over-tired, undernourished, pumping in a cloud of cigarette smoke, it occurred to me that this drug that I was abusing could stop my machine just as easily as down had stopped Nick’s.

I had to stop it. Had to. It just took a while.

My initial plan was to call my shrink and without any deep details to simply cancel it. Then I decided that it would be better if I saw her in person. But, damn, (the dilemma of the labeled) if I’m honest with her about abusing the V, I’ll get “red-flagged” as a junkie,and I’ll never get anything but Visteril and designer placebos for the worried-well. Never anything fun, or interesting. Evermore. Well, by the time everything had been considered and re-considered it was already time for a refill. Well…

Fuck it! One more time! Yee hee!!

This went on from January until July, when I filled my last script. It’s one of those power dynamics that I’ve always hated, the drug dealer/client relationship and the market of supply and demand. In the same manner, I’ve despised contacting my prescriber once a month to get more drugs to abuse. Twice the script wasn’t refilled on time, once it was delayed for an entire week! (It turned out that my prescriber had billed the wrong insurance, and continued to bill the wrong insurance until eventually, my local pharmacist caught on, and I filled my doctor in.)

Good thing that I hadn’t been taking the shit as prescribed, right? If I’d been taking one pill a day for a year and then my supply was interrupted for a week, I’d have been all tweaking and krunked right up! As I said when I began this article, you aren’t just a patient; you’re an addict.

In fact, I feel that there are two, maybe three (or four or five) things that really allowed me to get off of sped without a lot of hassle. One – I didn’t take it as prescribed. As horrid as it sounds (and don’t try this at home) if I’d taken a pill every day for a year and then tried to stop, as I wrote a moment ago, it would have been some grotty difficult horror show discovery channel shite, to say the least (is it trite to still write, “to say the least?”) Even the times when I didn’t get this primo addictive substance within a reasonable amount of time it would have caused me much more discomfort than it did. Of course, I wasn’t snorting it, or shooting it, and that might have changed the game (including the death factor) and I wasn’t using it as part of a crowd or a scene etc.

But, I also believe, (sorry folks, this in just MY truth) that if I’d been dealing with this situation in AA or NA, any of the Operating Thetan churches of Sobriety, with the powerless piece that I’d clung to as an excuse for so many years of my drinking, well, I reckon that it would have been a bit more difficult.

~

‘Lenina shook her head. “Was and will make me ill,” she quoted, “I take a gramme and only am.”

– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

~

kr7

I remember quite a few back when Peter Wohl mentioned that meth was making a comeback, way before I really knew what it was. Until I spoke with True Dogg and Daisy about it. They were from away; they knew about it. When I was doing research for this article, “amphetamines in Maine” always lead to “Methamphetamine in Maine” and how they were going to deal with this ghastly epidemic. As I wrote earlier, the last time I saw Kosmo, he’d lost some teeth due a recent meth experiment (maybe) but on the street, I found pharmaceutical speed alot more accessible, and usually under $5 a capsule. The show, “Breaking Bad?” Here in Maine, I’d just pay a bunch of peeps to go to their doctor, get diagnosed with ADHD, collect the pills and sell speed that-a-way.

Go for it kids. I don’t own the idea.

Somethings up with Benzos, as well. You know, benzodiazapines, klonopin, valium, xanibars? Again, the first time I’d heard the term “benzo” was via Peter Wohl, then at C&C Augusta, who at the same time told me that was quite a lot of cross-addiction between alcohol and benzos; apparently they both enjoy the same sort of nerve receptors. Well, as long as I had a script, right? My prescriber had me on Ativan / Lorazepam (a benzo “mood elevator”) for a while last year, but that was a pretty bad experiment too. I think that i ended up requesting that to be d/c’d as well, and when I tried to get more a few months later, she told me that the benzo prescribing process had become somewhat of a pain in the ass. So, instead I got welbutrin, and abilify, and veneflaxine and lots of trazadone and prazosin and a bunch of other stuff that didn’t work, and that never stopped coming. I swear – I have this huge bag of pills that I’m dumping off with FPV on Monday. Lemme take a picture for you.

~

“Tell her I’m not up to takin’ calls, Ask her for some Adderall

The Hold Steady: “Ask Her for Some Adderall”

~

Strangely enough, the other thing which had a big impact on my continued use was a documentary which I caught on Netflix which was actually put together to alert the viewer to the acceptance of, and the wide spread abuse of ADHD drugs, like the one I’d been prescribed. “Take Your Pills,” a 2018 Netflix film absolutely gave me the “wows.” Watch this documentary; after watching it, I’m pretty sure that either you and/or more than one person you know has been prescribed speed for Adult ADHD. The documentary is full of information that everyone should know, (and which, therefore, most will not want to know) but it convinced me that I should continue to give Vyvance a try. The problem (and remember, I’d been on speed for a while, and so was probably easily swayed to continue the abuse) for me was the participants who represented the pro/con sides of taking speed. On one side you had dour, serious professionals telling you how dangerous this drug was. On the other side, they give you young, attractive Waspy looking middle class Americans talking about how wonderful speed is. I came away from the documentary thinking that, if these people could make this drug work so well for them, then certainly I should be able to. If I can do it differently this time.

Which, of course, I never could.

I highly recommend that you, dear reader, viddy this documentary. I’m sure that it will probably get a bunch of you to go get speed (which, in my experience is pretty easy) if you aren’t already on it. But, honestly, once I press the send button, I’m done. I’m pretty Libertarian when it comes to your drug abuse; I’d vote Matt Coffey for Council if I was still in P-town. I guess, as long as I’ve warned you, right?

~

“It was perfectly harmless unless discontinued.”

– Kurt Vonnegut, Slap-Stick

~

When I first hit Freeport, I went through a six month period of absolute anxiety. This WAS P.T.S.D., a result, truly, of your humble narrator being in a safe, quiet place for the first time since.. 2008? The result of issues concerning alcohol abuse and jail and prison and suicides and deaths and betrayals and homelessness and more death and on and on that I’d never had the time to really grok on. Once I found that chaos-free time and that peaceful place, the mind-storms were horrific. That combined with separation from what had become my community, as well as withdrawal from the many drugs that guests tended to bring with them when they’d visit the Vatikan. You see, usually, when the adventure ends, the hero goes home, right? By the time my adventure was over, there was nothing to return to.

Anxiety and paranoia. It was miserable, and waking each morning with this stabbing terror as though I’d fallen asleep on watch and could be surrounded by the Forces of the Unforgiving. I’d initially switched from my primary care physician to a psych nurse in order to have easier access to a greater selection of meds with lack of over site afforded by private practice. I spoke with my psyche nurse about my insane anxiety, and started trying different pills and different pills. The good thing about being crazy, as previously stated, was that there was always a pill. Somewhere.

Anyway, I was about to ask my presciber to put me on Thorazine, an old school, 1950s heavy tranq used to treat schizophrenics. I just wanted this angst to stop. Then, one day in August of 16, I just stopped it. I decided to just knock it off. I understand that this sounds completely irrational, but, I had this feeling that if I continued to let this river carry me along in this particular direction, that I’d end up institutionalized. I had to stop it. It was all in my mind.

When I was younger, the phrase, “its all in your mind.” meant that whatever was plaguing you was a product of the way that you were handling it mentally, and therefore, you could correct the problem by changing your outlook on it. These days, “its all in your mind,” kinda means the same, except the solution is different. “It’s all in your mind,” is mental illness, baby. That requires a pill.

What if they run out?

~

“All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.”

– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

~

rage-bella-1

 

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Oh no! They fired that sweet, wealthy, racist pig-fucker, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III ( you know, Jeff!)

It’s another Sunday morning, true believers, and we’re still here, you and I.

I wanted to scribble something down about the public outcry over the firing of  poor Jeff Sessions, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (that noble soul who recused himself from the Mueller investigation into Comrade Trump’s ties to Russia.  The public wailed, as though this was some noble statesman, one of the last in DC willing to follow his conscience over the whims of his authoritarian, immoral boss.  Then, Maine’s own (how embarrassing) rape-apologist, Susan Collins comes out with this statement about how the Senate must do something to protect the investigation into Trumps ties to Russia!  You know, an attempt to win back the support of the moderates and the progressives, the young; let’s not forget, before we go further, that it was Collins (who, let’s face it was “Marcy” to Olympia Snow’s “Peppermint Patty” for years) who introduced Jeff Sessions, the good-ol’ boy from ‘Bama to Congress for approval as Secretary of State.

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What a pair!

Let’s take a quick look back at an oft-told Jeff story.  As the US attorney in Mobile, Alabama, Jeff Sessions was talking over a case one day in the 1980s with two fellow prosecutors.  It involved the kidnap and brutal murder of a young black man  by two members of the Ku Klux Klan.

The sociopathic Klansman, Henry Hayes and Tiger Knowles, slit the guy’s throat and thenhung him from a tree.  The murder was apparently in retribution for a jury acquitting a black man in the slaying  of a white police officer.  As Sessions learned that some members of the Klan had (supposedly) smoked marijuana on the evening of the slaying, he said aloud that he thought the KKK was: “OK until I found out they smoked pot.”  Sessions insists he was joking.

Hah, hah!

Jeff says he’s not a racist, but the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Heidi Beirich, who tracks hate speech, has said that Sessions is a racist, and that his presence in Trump’s inner circle was “a tragedy for American politics.”

Know what his last act as Secretary was?  To limit Federal oversight of State and local law enforcement!  Of course, Betsy Devos, your Secretary of Education is pushing back Obama-era legislation which was passed because of the tendency of Universities in the US to keep reports and punishment of campus rape in-house, instead of reporting it to the Cops.

No, we don’t have time for that today, but, hell, think of your daughters, people!

Back to Jeff, I’m glad that the evil son of a bitch was canned, and I don’t care why.  I lived down south, in places as regressive as Wild New England is progressive; I’ve know plenty of Jeffs, and a slew of Beauregards.

I mean, the guy is against legal immigration!  Google that shit.

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Oh, but Rage, we know that he was bad, but we’re just worried that this new guy will stop the Mueller investigation!

Ninja, please.  I read where some scatterbrained fem-bot compared Sessions dismissal to that of Archibald Cox, special prosecutor in the Watergate investigation, finally fired by one (after several refusals and resignations) of NIxon’s Secretaries of State.

Hardly.

Trump will go only as far as he knows he can; he might be a bad businessman who enjoys watching Russian women urinate on one another, but he’s hardly an idiot when it comes to perceptual manipulation.  I could see him staging a distraction, another “Al Qaeda-Taliban-Isis wants to kill us” Orwellian sort of thing, or another terrorist attack, like the one which was so beneficial for the Bush regime.

Of course, Mueller does have a secret weapon available to him, even if he is dismissed:  the Secret Indictment.

If Mueller decides that he has a strong enough case against Trump, a secret  (or “Sealed”) indictment returned by a grand jury will automatically protect the integrity of his investigation even if he gets fired, while (since it’s secret) it wouldn’t provoke Mr. Trump (the “not-so-slenderman”) into retaliation.

To make this happen, all that Mueller has to do (if he hasn’t already) is to formally request that the already-seated grand jury (the one looking into Russian interference in the last POTUS election) issue criminal charges against Trump.  If they were to find probable cause for the charges to proceed, then a judge would decide whether the indictment could remain secret or not. If the judge were to determine that it could, then the charges would remain hidden from public view.  Well, until the arrest or once his peeps bailed him out.

If Trump were to fire Mueller, an already-filed sealed indictment would remain in force, since a  sealed indictment, you see,  can only be dismissed by a judge.  Trump can’t get rid of the whole mess simply by firing Mueller.  And, with a sealed indictment the statute of limitations for crimes Trump might be charged with wouldn’t expire.  This leaves open the possibility of Trump being tried in the future.

To the Ninth Circle of Hell with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III; but first, he needs to go back to 1952 where he belongs.  As far as the Klan smoking weed?  I don’t know any stoner (even ignorant racist stoners) who could do anything as horridly, ignorantly, misanthropically and anti-Christian as the Klan did in the above case.  They were drunk, brother-man; you know it.

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AS for Susan Collins, you know –  she knows it, unless her meds are disabling; she knows that if she had turned right instead of left at that moment when the World watched, if she could have sacrificed her favor with Mr. Trump and his rich plutocratic cohorts…

Think about it.

She’d have become this shero of the ages, an Oprah favorite, a savior of the GOP.  Hell, you know that Ryan quit his day job and came out against Trump so that he could put himself in position of candidate viability against him in 2020, and you know that Collins, instead of voting for Trump, wrote in Ryan’s name.  If she had stood up for what her own constituents demanded, what the victims of past abuse had demanded, what the young and the moderates had demanded, she could have been Ryan’s running mate.

But that’s not gonna happen, is it, Susan?

No, in 2020, you’ll be running an ill-fated election campaign, and before you know it, even Bruce Poliquin won’t be returning your calls.

She knows this too, everything that I’ve just scribbled, goes over that moment over and over again in her mind.  She could have become a postage stamp, a folk song, a coffee-table book of quotes.  Instead, because in that one instant, she turned left instead of right, she’ll become one more paragraph in history books-to-come about left-over relics from the old-way of doing things who, instead of becoming a timeless hero, became one of history’s fools (at best,) one of her villains, at worst.

So, in closing,  Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (and I imagine, the second and the first as well) is a racist (we smoked a big ol’ fatty when we heard he was canned.)  George H. W. Bush’s favorite book is “David Cop-a-feel.”  And, I finally quit Facebook last night and hooked back up on Ello.

The lesson.. or, a lesson, but a really important one:

Always try to do the right thing.  You won’t always, but at least try.

And don’t worry about good ol’ Jeff Sessions;

Are you, really?

Forget it, man.  Let’s go bowling.

Love and riots,

Rage

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Follow Haiku, from Political Prisoners Blog presented by Holsitic Recovery Project

Recovery for Profit in Maine, or, “Thank God he got arrested!”

“Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning, truth and beauty can’t.” 
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
~

Hola True Believers.

I was gonna bitch for more than a minute about my own recovery experience in USAmerica, or, why didn’t they put me on Naltrexone for my drinking twenty years ago?  Naltrexone (by the time I was prescribed it) killed my need to drink in three short months.  Instead, I was court ordered to attend a spiritual group (a church for all purposes and definitions) which turned my alcohol addiction from a biological/medical issue into a spiritual one.  It never worked for me, but, the Program told me that it was my own fault – not honest, spiritual enough, not surrendering, on and on.  I should have been ordered into Scientology.  What the fuck?  I’m thinking class action lawsuit.  Sending me to church instead of giving me this available medication cost me a lot of yen and a lot of self.  Conversely, a lot of white coats, a lot of badges made money off of me.

Well, if they’d given me Naltrexone twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have nearly as many adventures to write about, ja?

Scope out my Naltrexone piece in the Bollard at: https://thebollard.com/2016/09/19/the-no-step-program/

The cost of addiction that THEY are always talking about is someone’s profit.  Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t want to acknowledge a cure for alcohol addiction, Generals don’t want peace, nominal “Christians” don’t want the J-man coming back anytime soon.

It would totally mess up their hustle.

Here’s the good news: my good friend Kosmo finally got clean and sober!  In fact, he’s living in a sober house right now, the only truly successful one I’ve experienced, both personally and in others:  corrections!  That’s right, Kosmo was arrested, ergo, his drug abuse was, at least temporarily arrested.

And how fucking insane!  That Rage would celebrate someone being incarcerated in a country that already houses 25% of the world’s prison population.  It’s true, it does seem odd.  Until you look at the alternatives.

I have letters from Kosmo during a previous stay at Cumberland County Jail in which he writes things like, “Thank God I am off of these methadone handcuffs!”

The problem with for profit recovery is that (and here, I’m NOT talking AA) there is a tendency by rehabs and individual physicians to put these guys on either Suboxone or Methadone.  Before Governor LePage cut tons of Mainer’s from the state insurance rolls (necessitating heroin replacement therapy) Suboxone was the most abused, illicitly sold drug on the streets of P-town.  No attempt has been made at all by it’s manufacturers to prevent tampering, or misuse, and it dissolves easily into water in that spoon; most of my peeps on subs shoot them.

The clinic (Kosmo used to bitch about that Sunday bus to the Methadone clinic) has it’s own dealio.  When my homegrrl Samantha came back to the one-syllable from Vegas she was back on Methadone, and ergo, at the clinic every morning.  You know who you’re gonna hang out with at the clinic?

Lemme tell you, kids.  One of the problems with hanging out strictly or primarily with other peeps in recovery is that they aren’t always in recovery.  So, half of your friends (whom you met in “the Halls”) are gonna end up “out there.”  When Kosmo stayed with me for a second up in FPV and didn’t know where to score Suboxone up this way, someone suggested that he check out an NA meeting in Brunswick.

I’ve seen my good friend Kosmo sober only twice, both times following stays in corrections.  Each time he got clean.. completely clean.. from Heroin or benzos and/or everything else and wasn’t given the Methadone/Suboxone replacement therapy.  He was as clean as a baby, practicing Falun Dong, and screaming spirituality.

But, the street always wins.

Ever scope of the “Ox Herding Pictures?” (http://san-shin.org/TenOx.html)  They tell the classic tale of a fellow who, in search of an ox, finds enlightenment in the wild.  Then he returns to the marketplace to share what he’s learned, to save the sentient beings.  Know what I’ve realized, by experience, happens when the enlightened being returns to the marketplace?  The marketplace wins.

There ARE geographical cures; Kosmo is experiencing one right now.

Unfortunately, there are no Ibogaine clinics in the USAmerica; have I bitched about this before?  I’m sure.  There are clinics in Canada, Mexico, Europe, but not here, where Ibogaine is listed as a Schedule One drug, alongside Acid and Heroin.  Why?  Could it have anything to do with the fact that Ibogaine is a one-time cure for opiate addiction?  Apparently it re-sets the brain to a pre-addictive state.  Wow.  If it was legal in the US, it would probably kill sales of Methadone and Suboxone, and, well, it would effect prison population and all this money being poured in to ineffective cures for opiate addiction.

Suboxone and Methadone are forever, baby.  That’s a lot more yen than they’d ever make with a treatment that needs only one or two administrations, right?  Get me?

Why is it legal everywhere else?

Why do I get furious when I hear about one more pointless symposium or task force, discussing the same options while ignoring actual treatment?

Know what?  If they could make a chunk of money from a one-administration cure they’d find it.  But, as we said a moment ago:

THE COST OF ADDICTION IS SOMEONE’S PROFIT.

~

“All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.”

― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

~

When was the last time you danced?!

Be ever so well,

Rage

 

On Trauma in the Key of PTSD

“The pain we feel is better than the pain we fear.”

~

Hey, True Believers.

This week, I thought I’d toss out a bottle with a note in it about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or, why people who have achieved safety after a period of acute danger and should be acting relieved and grateful act all freaky-krunked up.

I’ll offer myself up as an example.

I’m not quite sure where trauma began for me, depending how it’s defined.. Well, it’s pretty subjective unless there are visible scars so I’ll just scribble this shite down.

I was born to a trauma victim, a hard-drinking, small town woman with an affinity for musicians and unprotected sex.  My mother had already popped out a couple of papooses by the time she discovered that I was coming, and when I arrived (according to the myth) my grandmother, the Matriarch of a continuing matriarchy, snatched me from my mother’s hands and sent me into foster care.

I was in foster care for a while, like, a year or more.  I have a letter that was written by my foster mother to my adopted mother about me, and what I like, and it’s very obvious to the reader that this woman loved me very much.  I wonder what through my mind when everything changed, changed in an instant. Suddenly the woman who had been for all practical purposes my mother, wasn’t my mother anymore; this woman was.  And that strange man was suddenly my father.

I wonder how I processed all that?

My adopted mother, who loved me so wonderfully, told me often that I was strange as a baby, in that I never made a peep, never cried or fidgeted.  Maybe I was afraid of what would happen, I don’t know. I was always aware that I was adopted, and in fact would blame any shortcomings (reflected in the “constructive criticism” of my adopted father) on the fact that I wasn’t really one of them.  Or any shortcomings in older members of the family; it wasn’t there fault. It was because I was adopted. That was why I got mittens and a book from my father’s mother every year, when my cousins received more conventional gifts. That was why my evil cousin Dan was getting a piece of property when my grandmother died, but not me.

On and on.  And I’d heard of adoption trauma, but I wrote it off as bullshit.  There were, in the world, the strong and the weak.

I also grew up believing that anything could change in an instant, and you’d best be ready.

I went on to prove the change idea, or to have it proven to me, greatly aided by untreated alcoholism.  I lost children and wives and girlfriends and eventually my freedom (more than once,) close friends to suicide or overdose (more than once,) and it always truly happened in just one moment.

I turned right when I should’ve turned left, you know?  Just one moment.

If you add up just the alcohol-related trauma we’re talking like, ’95 to 2015.  For those of you uninitiated, that’s twenty years of my mind being in constant danger mode.  High alert, from dawn ’til dusk ’til dawn.

~

“Some people’s lives seem to flow in a narrative; mine had many stops and starts. That’s what trauma does. It interrupts the plot. You can’t process it because it doesn’t fit with what came before or what comes afterwards.”

Jessica Stern

~

After I went to prison for the second time, during which my dear, adopted mother crossed-over, the family, for all purposes, unadopted me.  When I ended up on the streets, following prison, no family, no friends, no born-again christians offered me shelter (thank God for the Shiites and the crack-heads;) when I moved to the banks of the Fore River, my sister lived her life as a physician, just up the road in Freeport, where I now reside.

I haven’t seen her about.

When I got my first place in P-town, well, y’all know that place.  I wrote about it in the most-cop-called-on-building-in-ptown story.  It was filthy with enough insanity to distract me; and that’s what saves the trauma survivor – distraction.

I said once, while living in the woods, “I can’t afford to freak out right now; I’m just looking to make it safely back here by the end of the day.”  I used to describe it as stuffing things into this chest of drawers in my head. I rationally, prophetically put forward that, once I was in a safe environment, the drawers would begin popping open.   They did.

My first nine months in Freeport, in this safe place so far away from the street, were a non-stop train of anxiety and hyper-vigilance.  As suddenly as everything else normally switched scapes in the tapestry of my life, just as suddenly, I’d lost my community, my supports, and my identity.  I didn’t feel the same when I visited P-town; I wasn’t one of them, my street peeps, any more. Just as confusing, I could dress like a citizen, get a haircut, and begin associating with people I hadn’t seen since before “the fall,” but I didn’t feel like I belonged on that side of the street either.  It felt like plugging back into “the Matrix” after experiencing reality.

~

“Distraction serves evil more than any other mental state.”

Stefan Molyneux

~

I went to my shrink and she began tossing all sorts of medications at me, some of it pretty good – the benzos and what not – but no matter what drugged state I was in, I couldn’t shake the fear.

It was a couple of summers ago, or leaning into September when I realized that if I didn’t knock it off, the only thing left for me would be thorazine or hospitalization.  I swear, it was that simple (as a beginning anyway,) that side of me, that insane self-preserving strength (Mystery Gene-17) that’s carried me through so much told me to stop, and I did.

Not immediately.  I had to go through one psychologist, (then fire him) and a few months before I finally felt okay again.  My relative okay, that is.

I still suffer from hypervigilance, and I’ll usually look for things in the Real to attach these memory-driven emotions to.  I’ve recognized that a lot of images that I previously saw as uncomfortable memories and carry strong, scary emotional triggers with them; I remind myself, out loud, “Just memory flashback, brother-man.” or “You’re not there.  You’re here.”  I find that I have this other voice or committee of voices in my mind constantly judging every action I take or don’t take.  I’ve found that I don’t have to listen to them. When that was still troubling, I learned that saying aloud, “No judgement.” would stop them.

Can I slay this dragon?  I don’t know, and I don’t know if I’m meant to.  It truly is easier, in that respect, being blind.

But I’ve learned to befriend him, this dragon, and to learn how to ride him.  I still fall off alot, but, I mean, it’s a dragon; I’m getting better. We both are.

~

The Madness Vase

“The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables.  Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day I would be grounded, rooted.  Said my head would not keep flying away to where the darkness lives.

The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight.  Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do.  I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling.  You will find a good man soon.”

The first psycho-therapist told me to spend three hours each day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed and ears plugged.  I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet.

The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth. Said to focus on the out breath.  Said everyone finds happiness when they care more about what they give than what they get.

The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamicatl, Lithium, Xanax.”

The doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me forget what the trauma said.

The trauma said, “Don’t write these poems.  Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.”

But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River convinced he was entirely alone.”

My bones said, “Write the poems.”

Andrea Gibson, T

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP.

Ever.

(Write the poems.)

Love and rockets,

Rage!

Frosty was a Junkie

“I’m a flea-bit peanut monkey, and all my friends are junkies.”

– “MonkeyMan, Rolling Stones

Hey, True Believer,

Hope that everyone’s week went fabulously.  Mine had an interesting twist, another lesson, this one about how Frosty the Snowman can only live in the cold, preferably the North Pole.  Well, it’s because if he hangs out in Freeport, he can’t find any heroin or suboxone to battle the ickys that inevitably happen when such a creature leaves the comfort of the death zone.

Let me get a little less poetic about it.

So many things, so many situations seem to be conditional, very transient.  There were a lot of people that I hung out with in prison, or on the streets or in the woods and they were great friends in those particular situations.  An error that I’ve made before and have made yet again is the false belief fueled and fooled by a desire that people who were my friends in the wilderness could still be my friends when taken out of their original context.  I let one of my junkie peeps come and hang out for a second.

What happened, well, the normal horror show, or rather, a show that would have been normal back when I was living in the ghetto in East Bayside, where it was all relative to what was happening outside of the window.  My friend lived for me for a while back then, and…

All I can describe it as is some sick code of the street, where you don’t question what someone else is on, and they don’t question what you’re on, at least if you aren’t sharing the same addictions.  I mean, I’ve written extensively about junkies, lived with junkies to the point of having no spoons back at the Vatikan that weren’t either burnt or bent or both.  But I don’t want my spoons fucked with anymore.  And more than that, rather, more that was in my consiousness concerning this fellow previously, but one that’s only to obvious to the outsider, the death factor.

And I understand that y’all think that it was absolutely insane to allow him into my space in the first place; I’d suffered that common delusion carried by loved ones of the diseased that I could save him, or at least provide him with a safe space.  Of course what I provided him with was a safe injection site.  Without the every-fifteen minute checks.

For the longest time this guy had used his lack of insurance as the reason he was back on heroin, but, it’s been three weeks now since his mother offered to pay out of pocket if he could hook up with a suboxone doctor.  And he hasn’t.  It’s as though, not only is he addicted to the drug, but to the lifestyle as well.

Of course, I’ve been communicating him via messaging etc, and he really doesn’t quite get it yet, and when he does, it probably won’t mean much to him.  He’s deep in the muck.  Unfortunately, (and I only realized this when he got here) the two times I’ve actually seen this guy straight were following a bid in county jail, from which he wrote the most beautiful spiritual letters.  Alas, when the holy man gains enlightenment on the mountain, and returns to the village to change the world, who do you think wins, the holy man or the village?

The village, bro.  The street always wins.

In conclusion, if you’re a drunk, before you go to AA, or while or after or if you don’t go at all, just get your doctor to prescribe you Naltrexone.  It works and you can still resent whoever you want.

Secondly, Ibogaine.  Legal in Mexico and Canada and everywhere else as a treatment for opiate addiction, but not here.  Why?  It’s a one-shot treatment, whereas suboxone and methadone, hell, you’re gonna be on that shit forever; that’s good business!

If they could make a buck off of curing opiate addiction they’d do it.

Wouldn’t they?

Scope out this viddy about the iboga experience,  love your children, and your dog (and their cats) and yourself, and be well.

For the revolution.

Love and rockets,

Rage

“On Maine, and Not.”

Hey True Believers,

Hope that this finds y’all well.  Things continue to evolve since I went through my final withdrawal from speed last July.   The article that I scribbled about over-prescription and abuse of amphetamines in the U.S. of A. is slated to come out in December.  Unusual for me, I’m also getting a bit of a backlog of words stacking up – I’m currently typing up “the Death Project” a piece on sparing your survivors the horrors of an unplanned after-death, and I’ve got more than enough material (alot of it from September 2017, when speed put a halt to my then-‘Freeport Story) for a good “Death of Freeport and the One-Trick Pony-towns of the old Business Model.”  Then there’s one on the Maine flag (Maine’s Bicentennial is coming up in two years, and the only Maine flag flying in Freeport is in front of the Harrangeeset Inn.),   and a big one, an update to the original “Opiatopia” piece that appeared in the Bollard a few years back, this one focussed on Fentynal.

I’ve been in renewed contact with the regular contributers to the political prisoners blog  (Danny Fortune, Arline Lawless, Kenneth McDonald) and that, and the Flag piece, got me thinking about doing more historical Maine pieces.  Not boring shite but rather “Maine’s Top Ten Murderers,” “Maine’s Top Ten Musical Acts,” etc. you know?  The history of Maine, for so long a province of Massachucetts, is that of “Wild New England” (as the title of the book I once advised you to steal is called.)  It was New England’s Australia, where no civilized person would live, and a piece of real-estate claimed by both New England and New France, and ergo the site of some vicious Indian Wars.

I hated the One-Syllable State when I was a kid, and maybe the grass is always greener before you’ve gone out exploring, but, having gone exploring, I now have a different take on living in Maine.

Firstly, of course, Maine and Vermont are the only two States of the Union where I can still vote.  Hell, in Maine, even the incarcerated get to vote!  In this sense, I more of Maine than I am of the Union; in the other 48, I have rights similar to that of a resident alien.

Don’t worry – I still can’t run for office.

But, I can smoke weed, marry my buddy Stanley (if I was thus inclined) and even mark the “other” option under gender on my state id.

Note: although Mainecare (the state insurance) will pay for women-born-male to get hormones to grow more feminine in appearence, they WON’T pay for the doctor to cut off the dangler and construct a vagina. Is that wrong?

I really love the motto: “Think Global, Act Local.”   I’my not l just how humanizing the Global Village concept is, and, watching “Killer Women” one night, I thought, there must be Maine murderers more evil that the ones I know; why do I know more about English history and English criminals than I do about Maine individuals?  I thought that it might be cherry, especially getting a jump on the bicentennial nonsense that every peddler will try to monetize, to find out the Maine or New England equivelent of the top tens of “the Global Village.”  Feel me?

The flag is another issue.  It’s one of many states that just had their provincial seal slapped on a blue field; I believe I read that Maine has the 16th ugliest flag in the Union.  As I pointed out a paragraph or two ago, Freeport has only one Maine flag to be seen the length of Main St. (there are actually at least two P.O.W./M.I.A.  flags on Main street – are they still missing?) and most of the time you’ll only see it displayed in front of State offices, prisons, you know, happy places.

There is an older flag that’s kind of cool, and I’m gonna end with that for now.

220px-1901_Maine_Flag

I do want everyone to grok on this: should Maine replace it’s current provincial flag?

Be well,

Rage

 

 

 

On the Duality of Rage

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

– Mother Teresa of Calcutta

~

Hey, True Believers.

As always, it’s been a while, perhaps this time a bit more than I while.  To be honest y’all (and the first draft of the article is already in) I spent the last year abusing Vyvance, Despite my well screeched out history (you know, five OUIs, the Ward for the Criminally Insane at AMHI, with the dead chunk of right frontal lobe and all sorts of crazy Earth stuff) I got the amphetamine script in about 90 seconds.  Giddy-up!

I stopped taking the stuff in July (I just never refilled the script.  My provider still has no idea) finally started to come around in mid-August, and only now, in September, have I really been able to reach out of this cenobite cave, without an intense fear of… I don’t know!  I never knew.  Read the article.

But I survived.  I survived like, alot!  Like, tons.  Others haven’t, but I have.  Maybe  just to write about it.

And I swear, I always just wanted to write fiction.

~

“I never said I wanted a ‘happy’ life but an interesting one. From separation and loss, I have learned a lot. I have become strong and resilient, as is the case of almost every human being exposed to life and to the world. We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.”

– Isabel Allende

~

So I was in the shower this morning, dealing with this thought dragon, or that emotional distress cloud, and it occurred to me that, there was a part of me that had no problem ignoring the irrational, this part me that, despite my life-programming (or rather ignoring it) just keeps going, and never crumbles.

Now, the other side of me may be freaking out, and I usually am to some degree, but it’s lessening since I went off of meds. (Please note – many of you end up in the hospital when you don’t take your meds, with me, it’s quite the opposite.  Please don’t do anything that I may describe myself doing in an altered state at home.  Thank you.  and love one another.)  This freaking out side of me seems to be the hard-drive that was absolutely polluted with destructive, absolutely non-helpful software; stuff that was designed to keep a lad in a constant state of paranoia.  Some of my programming?

  1. Everything can disappear in an instant, people, places and things.  Nothing has permanence,  Be alert – you can end up in another family in an instant.
  2. Judgement.  Nothing that I did was ever good enough (and it was usually majestic.)  My father’s reasoning was that I should always have a reason to push harder, and further.
  3. Not being able to do anything good enough, what’s the point, really?
  4. And the macho, sexist, don’t-be=a-fag shit, you know?

And it just went on and on.. I mean, I now understand that if my father could have done better he would have.  He never wacked me or anything; he just created an outsider who trusted no one and nothing.  Not even his reality.

When drinking became a problem, the courts, instead of putting me on a drug, Naltrexone (available at the time), which eventually reset my brain to it’s pre-addictive state in only three months (no further dosing needed) sent me to a religious program, run by the same mix of folks you might encounter on the Warm-line.  I fit right in here, because, self-judgement was such a heavy program running on that drive, and in AA, I was encouraged to judge and inventory myself (without focusing on the other person – be he my rapist or my father’s killer – but only on my part) insanely.

(That’s a lot of bloody parenthesis.)

The long and short of this wacky tale, is that when I was younger, I truly believed that I was weak, stupid, useless, bound for nothing but failure.  Not good enough.  If you would have told my younger self about the danger and the adventure and the death and prison and on and on, I’m sure that I wouldn’t have believed you.  Back then I believed that I’d be the first to break, the first to fold, the first to cry.

But it wasn’t so.. I survived and survived and kept surviving climbing up and up and no matter how deep that hole was, I always climbed back up, truly astounding myself.

Was the programming wrong?  Was some mistake made?  Because it was a lie.

~

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”

– Muhammad Ali

~

I have always been worthy, and, there is a part of me, this other drive, this (could I say) “a priori” hard drive, that was never programmed with the trash that I was, and, despite the fear of the polluted drive, the other drive keeps on going.

What a fucking lie.  Hah!

My recovery, or, as Fuzzy Bear would say, my “transformation” from “Inventory Recovery (although, you never really recover, so, well, you can’t leave.) to the Practice of Simplicity started with me disputing the irrational using the simple mantra “No Judgement.”  Over and over, and it does go.  Is my mind gonna be my weapon or my handicap? (I got this from that record setting deep diving blonde.. what’s her name?)  How does my body feel? (Body check.) because if my bodys okay, then it’s my mind, and if it’s my mind, it’s always around irrational reactionary programmed beliefs whirling about in the infected drive.

Crazy.

So read the article when it comes out (maybe next month), or maybe I’ll just post the draft.  IDK, but.. I survived one more REALLY POTENTIALLY SUPER NOT GOOD thing, and I ttuly should have died.  Like 10 times or more.

Some of us live well past the age of 27, eh Lao Fan?

It’s the Invincible Gene, Dr. Freeman joked with me, along, long time ago. “Mystery Gene 17.”

~

“They should have killed us back on Mars when they still had a chance, cuz there ain’t nothing they can do about us now.”

–  Papa Rage,  to Lyssarian and to ‘the Lost Tribe’

~

In other news, now, I’m working on an article entitled “the Death Project.” and it’s about how to prepare for the death that you’ll never see coming, in order to let you’re loved ones grieve, without the salesmen of death related necessities, humming about when they’re about as rational as I was four months ago.  I’m already shocked at what I’ve learned myself so far.  Holy!

That’s where I’ve been.  I have no idea who reads this bloody thing, if anyone does.  I always feel, whether I’m blogging, or penning an article, that I’m just rolling up a scroll of clever scribbles, placing it in a bottle, corking it and tossing it into the tide with a prayer. Then it’s gone.  When I push send, that burning need that I felt to write those scribbles finally dissipates.

Aieeyoh!  Cheese at Christmas Rage.

Hey, I swear, I’m not nearly as crazy as I really am, I promise.

And Kosmo’s paying a visit today – I’m thinking he’s got mystery gene 17 as well.. and CeCe and, well, Lyssarian and her Sisters of course.  Well, and you too, Mabon phoenix.

I apologize to anyone that I was probably a bitch to in this past year, and to all of you whose events I missed without a call, after promising to show, and on and on.  I was really out of it, like major grotty gnar-gnar no no bad, brother man.  Ghastly, I swear.

But,

What a sweet day, it is today – I bet their marching in P-town.  Okay.  I’ve got to call the cracker factory, where one of my peeps is currently being treated, and see if she can take calls or visits yet, and then Kosmo’s coming, and he’ll be filthy with information for a future piece on Fentynal on the Street.  Then I’ve got to do a little research for the next section of the “Death Project” dealing with cremation, direct or ceremonial, and all the laws surrounding it.  A-ho.

I wanna record a song today too, or.. shit, I really need to put those viddys of J-Tak together.  Speaking of J-Tak, bloody Tia was supposed to be around this morning to FB about drugs and J-Tak and PTSD.

I mean, there’s more stuff and more calls.  And, I know, I know, I really should call you, and I will, it’s just a bit grotty after blowing you off for this long.  But I do love you. Ugh.  Alright. I’ll call.

~

“Simplify, simplify, simplify.  You’re only mission today is to save yourself.  Simplify, and save Robin.”

– Anna Gardener, this wonderful white- councilor at Homeless Health in P-town, 2011.

~

Let’s finish on a high note true believers, something I shared with my daughter, Lyssarian, who’s religion is Love.

“I have loved in life and I have been loved. 
I have drunk the bowl of poison from the hands of love as nectar, 
and have been raised above life’s joy and sorrow. 
My heart, aflame in love, set afire every heart that came in touch with it. 
My heart has been rent and joined again; 
My heart has been broken and again made whole; 
My heart has been wounded and healed again; 
A thousand deaths my heart has died, and thanks be to love, it lives yet. 
I went through hell and saw there love’s raging fire, 
and I entered heaven illumined with the light of love. 
I wept in love and made all weep with me; 
I mourned in love and pierced the hearts of men; 
And when my fiery glance fell on the rocks, the rocks burst forth as volcanoes. 
The whole world sank in the flood caused by my one tear; 
With my deep sigh the earth trembled, and when I cried aloud the name of my beloved, 
I shook the throne of God in heaven.
I bowed my head low in humility, and on my knees I begged of love, 
“Disclose to me, I pray thee, O love, thy secret.” 
She took me gently by my arms and lifted me above the earth, and spoke softly in my ear, 
“My dear one, thou thyself art love, art lover, 
and thyself art the beloved whom thou hast adored.” 

― Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Dance of the Soul

I love that, don’t you?  At any rate, peace and love and rockets, my sisters and brothers, cats and dogs.  Let’s do something different today, just one thing.  For whatever reason, I danced a lot yesterday, here by myself in the sanctuary.

When was the last time you danced, cuz, it’s kinda wicked. Like, in a good way.

Go get shot by love, soldiers!

Peace,

Rage!

Shit..I know.  I’ll talk about Kay, and the American Dream software that so many of us were programmed with back in the seventies.

Okay, forget that.  For today.

Sic Semper Tyranis!

Love you, kiddo.  Simplify.  Love yourself today.

We both made, it, right?  We’re still alive today!

Phew!

Be well,

Rage