Apologies for the inconsistencies and irregularity of my recent posts this has been due to two reasons:
- My medication. Since I came out of hospital in the middle of February I have seriously struggled with the dosage and the regular time I have to take them. The dosage of quetiapine and eplim chrono I am prescribed each day is excessive and in total it equates to 1800mg. I’ve suffered bouts of forgetfulness, lethargy, nightmares waking with the pillow soaked, anxiety, impaired balance, a hazy foggy feeling and a gluttonous appetite.
- I have found it difficult to write my bipolar posts especially from my journal describing the time I spent on the psychiatric ward. When I read back through my journal it seems surreal to me, a distant dimension that I existed in at the beginning of the year. Sometimes it’s simply too difficult for me to except.
MONDAY 28thJANUARY 2018
6am. What a fuckin’ night! I hardly slept again waking at 12.30am, 2, 3, 4, and 5. This is all due to the feverish activity concerning the doctors, nurses and certain patients throughout the night making it difficult to get a good solid nights sleep, which (for me) is conducive to helping me deal with my bipolar.
It’s gonna be another long exhausting day.
6.10am. Blood pressure checked.
6.50am. Lights on! Just what I need in the morning – the brilliant blinding glare of fluorescent strip lights injected into my eyeballs.
6.51am. No eye drops coz I have too ask for them after it was confiscated yesterday by one of the nurses.
6.52am. Brush my teeth and wash my face trying to wake myself up in preparation for my breakfast.
6.55am. I walk back to my dormitory only to be hit with the sickening stench of defecation from patient number 5 whereupon I do a quick spin and walk straight back out.
7am. My morning medication time and a delicious bowl of congee for breakfast. I’m living the dream.
8.45am. Shower time, a daily cleansing.
9am. A lot of industrial floor cleaning has been going on over the last week in the psych ward and this morning all patients are confined to the lounge.
10am. A nurse has just told me that my case is being reviewed this morning and I will be meeting my case doctor around 1pm to hear my review details.
10.45pm. Myself and a few other patients are still confined to the lounge giving me an opportunity to write a few lines in this journal of mine. I smiled when I wrote “a few lines” coz I instantly envisaged a mound of nose candy and a rolled up used twenty dollar note.
I lay in my bed earlier this morning recollecting on ten years spent living and partying in Hong Kong, something my mind has been doing much of recently. The reason I’ve been doing this is a comparison between where I am today and where I used to be when I was drinking and shoveling copious amounts of shit up my nose or chewing diddlies like they were smarties.
Being in here is a humongous dent on my ego and pride, I feel completely embarrassed, ashamed, disappointment, I am better than this, a failure and a broken man.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts”. Marcus Aurelius
“There is something in sickness that breaks down the pride of manhood”. Charles Dickens
Truly great quotes that bring me crashing to the floor of the lounge in the psych ward as my surreptitious thoughts of drugs and alcohol combine with my false sense of grandiose feelings of pride and ego. I am naked with my bipolar and failings on show to all who wish to see, I wear the same pyjama’s or uniform as the other patients and no matter which walk of life we are from, in here we are all the same. Pride and ego is best left at the door as one enters, for on Psych Ward 7 no matter who you think you are, we are all equal.
Let me take you back to a Hong Kong ten years ago when I was DJing every weekend at Solas Bar on Wyndham Street, which at that time was one of Hong Kong’s top five bars.
It was exciting, hedonistic, vibrant, reckless, naughty, decadent, hilarious and only for the headstrong. A time experienced by our small select crew. I was the DJ, one of my closet friends owned the bar, dealers, bankers, teachers, company directors, more DJs and a myriad of hangers on, more aptly described as sycophants trying to penetrate the inner sanctum.
Next month I will be 5 years clean and sober light years from the world I inhabited ten years ago, and truthfully, I loathed and detested the clean and sober world at that time. I would look at this world and sneer telling myself with pride “they can’t do drugs like I can” and, “they would never survive in my world”. I took pride in my drug taking and with the amount I could consume gleefully boasting about it to anyone who would listen. Now looking back on it with clean and sober eyes, I was nothing but a lost insecure fool unprepared to burden myself with any responsibilities, self-medicating instead on drink and drugs.
One of the more difficult and revealing challenges I had to overcome as I embarked on my voyage of discovery regarding cleanliness and sobriety, aided humanly by the save helping hands of AA and CA. Was the stark revelation that most of whom I regarded as friends during my overly extended party period, were nothing more than what I will refer to as, “drug buddies”. Once it was general knowledge that I was clean and sober all the drug buddies disappeared as quick as they could sniff a large line of my gear. It amazed me who was and wasn’t my friend and I went from having an over spilling DJ Booth of drug buddies to fresh air. I can confidently state that 90% of who I regarded as friends quickly disappeared making me realise it was all about the nose candy. It hurt and took me along time to get over, but in the end the friends I had left were the friends that really mattered.
We partied like rockstars for two, three, four days until our bodies and minds could go no more always with an abundant supply of alcohol (mangled trips to the nearest Seven-Eleven for bottles of Sol), pills, weed and the ever prevalent; nose candy (cocaine).
What a drug nose candy is ! I fuckin’ loved it and, I still do. My problem was a word that was completely alien to me, moderation. I had an all or nothing attitude. I could never understand a person who would put half a bag in their pocket saying I will save that for next weekend, then go home.
What the fuck? Are they mad?
I was never able to do that or have that resilient self-control. Instead I resorted to getting the last grains out of a ripped bag by licking it followed by sticking it in my mouth and chewing it, sweetened only by a swig of a bottle of Sol. Next I’d pick up my phone sending a quick text for another two bags and that moreish feeling of a thirty minute wait, felt like two days.
I need a fuckin’ line quick!
When it comes to the “Devil’s Dandruff” (quite an apt nickname/street name especially relating to myself and a certain doomed few) it changes people similar to vampires who need blood to survive. Because once you have your first line of the day or night that moreish craving infects your body and mind leaving you almost instantly wanting more, and more…and more. You can also drink like a fish.
It’s a dirty filthy drug that changes people turning them into:
- Deceitful morons
- Selfishness beyond belief
- Repetitive gibbering idiots. “You told me that five minutes ago!”
- Excessive gurners. “Do I look like I’m off me head?” “No you look fine”
- Eyes as wide as Marty Feldman’s
- Unable to communicate in any simple logical form
- The need to pass the bag baton on the continuous toilet relay
- Indescribable paranoia
- Lonely hermits shoveling shit up their nose hating the world
- Having 24 hour blackouts. The next day you ask what happened with people shaking their heads in disgust
- It’s not fun anymore, it’s abuse
- Experiencing “the fear”
- Zombies with a sudden need to stare aimlessly at their phones
- Omnipotent super beings
- I feel like fuckin’ shite I’m never doing it again. Yeah right!
- I’m not an addict. I have it under control.
Yes! I will honestly admit that I was all of the above made transparently obvious once I got clean and sober after making one of the best decisions of my life, getting my sorry arse to AA and CA.
Towards the end my drug taking and alcohol consumption it had turned to abuse, I hated the world and everything in it. It was everyone else’s fault but never mine and, I wasn’t a very nice person. I was now taking it everyday of the week on my own and all the money I earned from DJing I spent on gear.
I could never get home coz I was too fucked up to face people and ended up sleeping rough in Wan Chai, the red light district of Hong Kong. I remember one low point when I had fallen asleep in a doorway down an alleyway somewhere in Wan Chai. I was suddenly awoken by a noise next to me in the doorway on a sunny late afternoon, somebody had poured beer over me and next to me was a brass getting fucked by a big fat Westerner, I turned my back on them curled into a ball and fell back asleep.
Ten years ago in Hong Kong was a truly special time, a wicked buzz but that time is over and is no comparison to today. Even though I am sat in a psychiatric ward writing these words, I know next month I will be five years clean and sober, and that in it’s self empowers me with the strength to be a better human being.
Midday. Cassie calls but I couldn’t speak to her because I had to take the call in the busy office with too many prying ears. I love you baby.
1pm. My name is called out over the tannoy system asking me to report to the office where I’m told by a doctor that they have decided to move me to one of the quiet dorms and the exact one I’d hope for.
Locker’s changed, move done, I’m in and no more Mr. Shitty Arse.
1.15pm. I can’t wait to have a kip on my new bed.
4pm. I hear my name over the tannoy system again asking me to the office, so with bleary eyes I make the short walk there. I stand at the door where I can see my case doctor before being ushered in by a nurse to a chair opposite him (my case doctor). He proceeds to ask me the usual questions takes a look at my mood chart and tells me my meds are going to be increased.
5pm. An interview with a professor of dreams who asks me loads of questions that I’ve heard countless times before from past shrinks and counselors but done in a defamatory, disrespectful and skeptical manor (which he is entitled to). I obviously didn’t answer them how they should be answered in the textbook or to his liking, upon which he rudely terminated the interview. Well that’s never happened before! Apparently all bipolar or mental illness patients react in exactly the same way to medication and therapy, I find this thesis utterly erroneous.
5.15pm. I return to the dining room to eat my dinner of two mashed potatoes, fish and cabbage.
7.30pm. We have our biscuits and warm milk after medication for certain patients had been administered.
9pm. I take my nighttime medication, which has been increased to 400mg of quetiapine (quick release) at night and 400mg of (slow release) in the morning.
9.15pm. I lie down on my new bed with a nice soft mattress and no annoying plastic piss sheet. The doors to my new dorm are slowly shut, the sound of silence. Good night!