Category Archives: Drugs

St. Jude, Pray for Me

“It’s 10:00. Time to get off the computer,” my wife calls to me as she heads to the spare bedroom. It’s become her own bedroom recently. Not because we’ve been fighting. Actually, I’m not really sure why.

Ayako comes from a land far across the sea. It’s a land where I used to live. Seven years of my life, to be exact. One reason we moved back to the States after our two sons were born in Japan was because I was slowly going insane. I couldn’t handle life in such a tiny, crowded land anymore. I was fed up with everyone gawking at me like a caged zoo animal. Japan didn’t make me crazy, though. I already was.

“Yes, dear,” I reply, the sarcasm dripping from my lips like the cheap, sugary syrup we buy at Walmart. Asako knows that I can’t sleep at night, that I have nightmares; nightmares that cause me to awaken in the middle of the night, body and hair drenched in sweat, screaming in terror at the demons inside my mind. That’s one of the reasons she took over the spare bedroom and made it into her own little studio apartment.

I slam the magnetic cover of the iPad and toss it down beside me on the sofa. Well, now I have no excuse not to spend time with God before bed. That’s what I wanted, right? I barely succeed in convincing myself.

I grab my Bible and a small stack of holy cards, all of which were blessed by my parish priest, and head to my private chapel. It’s not as elegant as it sounds. It’s actually my, our, walk-in closet. I keep my plastic bottle of holy water on the top shelf, out of sight of my wife, and my gorgeous redwood crucifix with the silver corpus hangs above the doorway.

Ayako doesn’t mind. In fact, I always let her know that I’m going in to pray (meditate, as I call it) so that she knows not to bother me. Even though she’s lived in the U.S. for five years now, Ayako can’t quite grasp the concept of spontaneous prayer. I use meditate because she can at least use it as a reference point to her Buddhist upbringing.

I close the closet/chapel door and fall to my knees. Looking up at the crucifix, I quickly turn away, not worthy to gaze at the sterling silver body of Christ.

I’m such a failure. I’m such a screw-up.

I don’t attempt to utter anything to God. This is a time that I need the Holy Spirit to commune with my soul. In complete silence, I gaze down at the tan carpet, St. Jude staring at me from the pile of holy cards. He is the one I want, need, to talk to. Yes, Jesus can help me instead, but I feel a closeness to certain saints, especially Jude, the patron saint of hopeless cases.

Like me.

Eventually, as my legs become numb after sitting in Japanese seiza position for too long, I stretch out my legs and recite the prayer on the back of the card to St. Jude. I speak each word carefully, each syllable coming from deep within the well of my soul.

I had given up black metal and death metal the day before. My Internet cyber-buddies and our metal club were still around, but I was long gone, a cyber-ghost in the virtual clubhouse of my former Order. Music by bands such as Watain, Djevel, Cannibal Corpse, and Serial Butcher was still pounding through my buddies’ elaborate computer speakers. I didn’t hear any of it, though. The Holy Spirit was the only thing coursing through my mind and soul at the moment.

You did it.

I gave up Satanic music. No, I’m not talking about the Rolling Stones or Metallica; if you Google “satanic black metal bands,” you’ll see that I’m not just another religious right-wing nutjob. There really is Satanic music out there. And it appeals especially to lone introverts. Like me.

Satan didn’t unleash the wolves of Hell after me; he is much too sly for that. Instead, Satan gouged a hole in my heart, one reserved for loved ones who pass away too quickly or for sweethearts who leave too suddenly.

I never even met these people, I try to tell myself. In time I’ll get over it. That’s what Ayako tells me, too.

Feeling a little better, I look up the list of Apostles in the New Testament to see St. Jude’s name. It gives me comfort.

I go to the kitchen and pop two Xanax. I’m sure that the demons will visit me at some point tonight. The Xanax will help.

But Satan is smart: He will send the demons in the early hours of the morning, after the Xanax wears off.

~topaz


Having a Bad Day

mental illness

Well, as you know from the title of my blog and from previous posts, I suffer from various mental issues.  Looking back at the blog post from yesterday, I’m like, “Did I write that?”  It seems so polished and… encouraging.  I’m not saying that I faked it or anything, but I’m not typically a motivating person.

My brain is in a constant fog due to my meds.  I also think it’s a long-term effect from last summer when I attempted to end my life (the first of two attempts that season).  I hit rock bottom — actually, the bottom fell out and I fell down even further.  I didn’t expect to mention this so soon on my blog, but what the heck.  Due to various problems and things that I was dealing with at the time and things that had been building up, one event triggered me to attempt suicide.  I drank about five margaritas, each with extra tequila shots.  I then stumbled to my car and swallowed a full bottle of Xanax — about 40 milligrams.

By the grace of God, I survived and suffer no physical repercussions to this day; however, I really think that the experience left me with a permanently clouded mind.  Even at times when I don’t take Xanax or my other meds, I still suffer from incoherency and mental aloofness (as my wife says, it could just be due to my being a male).

For the past couple months, my lower lip has been feeling numb to the point where it’s sometimes difficult to talk clearly, and there is a constant ringing in my ears.  (Which reminds me: I need to tell my doctor.)  Even if these are a result of my suicide attempts, I try to keep a positive attitude because it could have been A LOT worse.

You’re probably thinking, All that tequila and 40 mg of Xanax?  And you’re still alive?!  You must be fat as hell!  Actually, I’m quite tall, and my weight is proportionate to my height.  I believe, though, that God wanted me to remain alive to carry out His plan in me.  Why else would I still be on earth, typing out these coherent thoughts?

Anyway, I’m up and down.  Today happens to be a down day for me.  I am teaching a morning class during my college’s first summer session, and my mood was so bad this morning, and I felt so destructive and enraged that I almost cancelled my class.  All I can say is thank goodness for medication.

What made me feel destructive and enraged?  Last night I got tired of all the liberal crap that my “friends” (Ha ha.  Right.) on Facebook were posting.  I am very shy, quiet, and introverted.  I am not affiliated with any one political party; it depends on the issue.  However, I am pro-life and support other “conservative” issues.

Speaking of being conservative, I was pretty much “in the closet” about my political views up until yesterday.  I reached that breaking point, though, and felt the time was right to rant — which is something I never do on Facebook (I try to be as professional and benign as possible since I’m an educator).

After ranting against a “friend” who always posts pro-abortion propaganda, I lost it (my temper, that is).  I confronted him, and…

Nothing.

The ultra-liberal New Yorker backed off by stating: “I’m not getting into a debate.  You have your beliefs, and I have mine.”

Damn.  Talk about feeling like a jerk.

The Holy Spirit whispered to me and said, Topaz, you should have been the one to be cool and let it go.  Why couldn’t I do that?!  I was so angry at myself!  He is the baby-killing atheist, and I’m supposed to be the practicing Catholic who is also a fourth-degree Sir Knight.  WTF?  (Sorry to any Evangelicals reading this — we Catholics throw around potty-mouth words sometimes.  At least I didn’t spell out WTF.)

Hulk

O David Banner, pray for me.

When I get angry, it’s pretty bad.  I feel like a monster is inside me, and I’m terrified that it will burst out.  I know how David Banner feels when he’s about to turn into The Incredible Hulk.  Not a good feeling at all.

Yesterday I felt like I was playing the part of Super Christian.  Today, I am the polar opposite.

Welcome to my mind!

~topaz


Criminal Court Day

court

Hi all. I had to take some time off work this morning for my second appearance in criminal court. Yay! It involves a little incident that happened late last summer. I’ll fill you in at a later time.

I was leaving the parking garage and pulled up to the window to pay. A scruffy-looking guy with a pale face covered in pimples took my credit card and greeted me.

“You look amiss,” he said.

“Huh?” I was surprised that this guy was using a word like amiss.

“You look paranoid as hell, mister.”

At that point I came close to screaming at the guy. “I just came from criminal court, sir.”

“One more day. Then it’s the weekend. Just hang in there,” he said, handing me back my card and receipt.

Writer mode kicked in. “Well, sir, my life is in the balance. Right now, I AM paranoid as hell. But if I’m found not guilty, then I’ll be a happy guy.” I was so tempted to lie and say that it was a murder charge just to shut him up.

But I didn’t.

The attendant grinned at me and then I drove away.

I was so riled up that I popped a Xanax at the first red light.

~topaz