Thursday, January 29, 2015

10 milligrams of defogger

So I've been on Citalopram for about 2 and a half months because I was professionally diagnosed as depressed.
I was also in therapy...catch 22. Therapist says get drugs to "help" whatever that meant and the Dr. (who is so NOT about drugs) says "go see a therapist."
Me? I just didn't want to be sad anymore. I wanted to start calling on friends again, I wanted to go hang out with people...I wanted to stop crying when no one was looking!
I liken the drug effect to that of your windshield defogger. The windshield is all foggy but you're pretty sure of where you're going. If the familiar route hasn't had any surprise detours, or if a child/car doesn't suddenly appear in front of you, you SHOULD be able to navigate the journey ok.'re at a disadvantage!
Citalopram, for me, is the defogger. It allows me to make a decision or an action based on accurate information instead of foggy, cloudy or obscured surroundings so to speak.
My friend whom I've nicknamed The Undertaker with his joyous permission, is on a 4 mind bending drug cocktail to try and achieve the same result as mine.
His SRO basement room is 12 foot by 6 foot. He stands about 6 foot 5 and because he's in the basement, he shares with the building's water pipes that hang menacingly from his ceiling. He tells me that he feels crowded.
No shit!
His view from the only window is of a dumpster in the alley. He has long given up trying to count how many times each night the lid crashes down as humans scavenge. That he can handle he says. It's the not too uncommon verbal arguments that erupt as these humans argue boisterously over who gets what from the bin if 2 arrive at once.
All this can be yours for $525 a month.
He used to have between 40 and 60+ seizures a day and "they" don't know why. His head has been cracked into by surgeons more times than I've had oysters, lobster and caviar combined. He thinks 12.
Suddenly about 2 years ago, the seizures stopped. He's a month older than me...and English.
The Undertaker ( you'd agree if you saw him) is one of the most well read, intelligent people I've met in a long long while.
His cognitive library of literature and history is impressive! Name a film and he can tell you who was in it and when it was made. He's not often wrong...I challenge him with google. He has no computer or phone.
His bed, in the middle of his spacious room, has FULL bookcases immediately to the left, right and acting as a headboard. He calls it his cocoon.
Behind these...against the walls, he has book cases.
Sorry...British brain. Book SHELVES.
You may recall that this is the same man I took for a "kiss me quick" lunch at A&W a while back and afterwards he went on and on about it being such a rare treat. Today I took him to a roadside burger joint. The man almost needed a cigarette after his 1950's style burger and fries.
If you saw my friend lurking around the DTES of Vancouver, you just might clutch your purse or draw your child nearer...hell, you may even cross the street.
That would be a shame though. He'd enrich your life in about 6 minutes if you'd let him.
I gave him a mitt full of tokens from Save On Meats in Vancouver. You trade the tokens for a breakfast sandwich. Some Vancouver cops hand them out as do we and many other people. (go online to purchase some, you needn't be in Vancouver, they'll be given to responsible people who in turn will hand them out to hurting humans)
Anyway, The Undertaker stood outside the joint eating a sandwich and bought other hurting people a bite. Imagine that huh? This guy has to take meals at local churches and shelters because his money is spent on rent and he STILL shares his lottery winnings!
Tell me again why I moan?
Let me go on a tangent if I may. Don't you DARE tell me about that bullshit about everyone having the same chances or how everything will work out if you just believe that it will. You NEVER hear anyone say that unless they have work, shelter, money, family ,friends and sanity. I have yet to meet a sex trade worker operating in her dream field or a wealthy junkie. THERE IS NO LEVEL PLAYING FIELD!
End of rant, comments welcome. Don't be shy!
You recall my friend Carol? She told me that her mother always told her that 2 wrongs don't make a right among other things. She too lives in a nasty SRO hotel. She was confronted with 3 girls shooting dope in her stairwell. They told her to piss off as she tried to chat with them...anyway,  I'll paint a picture of her:
She's 51 and the gods of good looks stuck her cruelly between Geddy Lee and Bryan Adams with a touch of Steve Perry as remorse. I really like her...don't get me wrong.
Her teeth are goblinesque and her hangs defiantly from a sweat stained baseball cap of some crappy beer.
I'm not sure if she has a figure because her pants are 3 sizes too big and her t-shirts would fit a football player. Bless her hard working, bottle picking self, her hands look as if they've been out at Sea pulling in lobster traps. You get the idea yeah?
I really like her! Love spending time with her! She tells so many stories, the good, bad, horrific and joyous.
Like the time she stopped near a coffee shop to pick up a few butts and a couple going in asked her to mind their dogs. She likes dogs. She told me so.
When the couple came out, they handed her a large coffee, a pastry and bid her fare well. Carol told me "I couldn't believe how kind they were, they didn't have to do that."
Or the time a guy on a Harley shouted at her from curb side. COME HERE! She went over and he said that he had noticed her many mornings looking through trash cans. This was his way to work. He handed her a $100 bill.
She said that she started was the week before Christmas 2013.
Then there was the woman that asked her for $5 and when she said that she didn't have it, the woman beat her breaking her nose and 2 teeth. This is when Carol told me that 2 wrongs don't make a right.
So...I have a job, family, home, friends, support and a few coppers to rub together...I'm on citalopram for however long "they" think I'll need to be and I'm still looked up to in spite of many small mistakes and few grievance ones.
But maybe, just maybe...if I didn't have all of that support, many people wouldn't look at me on the street either.


  1. This post makes me cry. Not in a bad way. In a "Life is both cruel and beautiful" kind of way.

  2. Amazing blog brother...I felt like I was with you, it was so vivid. Thank you for what you write...inspired.

  3. You are one of a kind. GOD Bless you brother.

  4. I like the de-fogger reference. My experience was similar. I described it as being lifted out of a valley so I could get a much wider perspective... So even when I went off medication later, I had a better, clearer idea of what I was navigating... Having been lifted out of 'myself'.