16 Shots. One Minute and Ten Seconds.

It is a shame to have our public servants do so little for us, much less murder us in cold blood. It may not be all of the police, but the ones who are good to people should be angry that these individuals are abusing their power, and they should speak out against them. So far, not a whisper.

Recently in Sacramento, an individual named Joseph Mann, who had a mental illness, was shot 16 times at a distance by a police officer. His family was hoping the police would be able to detain him and take him to the hospital for psychiatric treatment. Mann had a knife and was acting erratically, however could have easily been detained by the amount of officers on scene. Instead, 16 shots rang out, and Mann is another person with mental illness who is dead.

16 shots to kill a man. 16 shots to kill a woman. It could be any of us who have mental illness.

In 2014, Mark Wisley spoke the words, “We called for help, and they killed my son.” In Brunswick, North Carolina, a teenager named Keith Vidal, who struggled with Schizophrenia, died at the hands of a police officer. It was quoted that the officer said, “We don’t have time for this. Tase that kid now. Let’s get him out of here,” even though the first responders had Vidal calmed down. All he had as a weapon was a small eyeglass screwdriver. Instead of being transported to the hospital like the first responders were prepared to do, he was shot and killed in his home in front of his family with no remorse from the last responder, an officer only there for one minute and 10 seconds.

“We don’t have time for this.” I take this personally. You don’t have time for ME, right? You don’t have time for US?

According to the Virginia-Pilot, Virginia, my home and current home state, is officially the frontrunner in police-on-mentally-ill violence. Also, as of this year, the Washington Post states a quarter of fatal police shootings are against the mentally ill.

16 shots at a distance in front of family. Sacramento. Joseph.

We don’t have time for this. Keith. 1 minute and 10 seconds.

I am still not taking that disturbing light away from racial deaths at the hands of the police. Mental illness chooses no race in particular and owes no one mercy. Joseph Mann was African American man and Keith Vidal was Caucasian teenager. I can list more incidences like Mann and like Vidal and so many different races, genders, and sexualities. I’ll correct myself…mental illness chooses anyone, and it can get us killed.

The Anatomy of… [Self-Harm]

The Anatomy of… [Self-Harm]

I almost died once. I think everyone has.

But one time, I almost died, because I isolated myself enough. Because I lost touch enough.  I wasn’t going to physically die. I was afraid of catatonia. I was afraid of permanently losing touch, unable to speak or do things on my own. It could happen, right?

Continue reading “The Anatomy of… [Self-Harm]”

What I Can’t Afford

What I Can’t Afford

Sometimes you wake up in the morning feeling empty and depressed as hell out of nowhere. Then suddenly it hits you. Depression has been there all along. Maybe for longer than you initially think when you wake up. But it has been ignored, because sometimes you can’t afford to spend time being depressed.

First, the important question: why are you depressed? Anxious? You aren’t under any significant amount of stress. You haven’t really lost contact with your friends, but as the cosumption progresses, you do. Things that make you happy lose all meaning. You cannot breathe without holding yourself as if you’re attepting to keep your insides in, wanting to make a noise of pain deep from your throat. You squeeze your eyes closed, wishing the tears would finally come out.

You have started to lose contact with hobbies you used to love. You quit talking with friends past “small talk”, if at all. You “check out” on the couch with a movie playing, only you’re staring at the wall until the credits are rolling. It’s not strange. It has happened before. I physically hit my body, as if it’s going to will the emotions out of me. You know once you cry, you’ll feel better. Once you make that noise deep in your throat, it will be okay. You need to let it out or you will suffer. That’s one logical way of looking at it.

I don’t have a therapist, but I’m getting one. I have a psychiatrist though who wants me to get a therapist. He says it will help me “open up”. Fuck. I can’t even open up to myself much less another person. How is this going to work?

I have Bipolar Disorder. When you have Bipolar and are depressed, there’s little you can do for folks like me. I have terrible reactions to TCAs and SSRIs (they cause manias/hypomanias/mixed states for me). My psychiatrist tries to use antipsychotics in the place of anti-depressants, which actually works sometimes. Frankly, he’s a genius. He has me on a collection of medication with nasty side effects which sucks, but he is smart. I trust him with my life. He recently added buspirone, generic for BuSpar/Buspar. I just call it buspar. It’s simpler.

The buspar was supposed to help my anxiety short-term and depression long-term. It has been three weeks, and I still have panic attacks almost daily, and I still want to die. The highest dosage worth working is 60mg. I’m at 40mg. I’m going full throttle, balls to the wall, all the way to 60mg before I just give up, and it becomes time to try a different kind of hell.

I’m doing what I have to do. I will suffer, but I will pray for relief, and relief always comes into my life some way. I may want to die, but I don’t think I could ever hurt myself to that point…

…But fuck, I hit my own head so hard I feel like I jarred my brain. I couldn’t stand the feeling of being all bottled up. I want to explode. I want to let it out. I want to write this then fall apart completely, because it means I can piece myself together again. I know how to do that, because I’ve done it so many times.

But right now, I can’t cry. I just hold myself and breathe in and out strangely.