Latuda Costs $1120.00

So… yesterday was awful.

It didn’t START awful. Like, I didn’t wake up already feeling like I should kill myself or blow up a medical building, but I ended the day debating both. I did neither, I promise.

So yesterday I went to see my old primary care doctor, because Kaiser is a piece of shit system that hasn’t afforded me the ability to see any kind of NEW primary care doctor, even though it’s April. I don’t know if I told you guys how hard getting this appointment was, so a brief recap was that I got accused of trying to commit insurance fraud. So, I already didn’t feel GREAT about going in, but I like my doctor and felt like she could throw me a metaphorical bone.

The appointment was as expected, except that the nurse that took my blood pressure and stuff also gave me a Peep… That was unexpectedly nice.

I had to field the normal questions, such as whether I’d lost interest in hobbies, if I still go out, etc. Every answer was, of course, overwhelmingly bleak, so I tossed in that I had a friend to help get me out of the house, and that mom also tried to get me to do things… seemed to make her feel better, even if it’s something of a mixed truth.

She wrote me a script for Latuda, which is an antipsychotic currently being used to treat bipolar depression. It’s not unusual for a bipolar to take an antipsychotic, and I’ve taken one before that was supposed to help with my irritability (it didn’t help with that, but it gave me some wicked nightmares). The reason doctors give out things like antipsychotics to treat bipolar depression, is because if you give us something like an SSRI there’s a good chance we’ll be stuck in a manic state, and they say that can be really dangerous. I disagree, on the grounds that my mania is the best part of my life… but you can’t trust a manic bipolar… we’re impulsive and irrational… so they say.

So I went back to work, but this headache I’d been fighting all day got the best of me and I ended up going home early, before I reached a point where I couldn’t drive. I went home and changed, and then went to the Kaiser pharmacy by the house. I hate that pharmacy… it’s full of weird people, sick people, and Kaiser employees that seem about as happy to work there as I am to have Kaiser Insurance. Still, I was excited to finally get something that could bring some spark of relief. My life has been so heavy and dark recently, that the spark of hope was blinding.

All my hope was obliterated when the pharmacist, who was quite unpleasant to start with, loudly said that my medication cost $1120.00 and that my doctor should put me on something cheaper. People in the back of the pharmacy gasped, and I… didn’t know what to do. She continued on about how Kaiser’s formulary is available online and some other useless facts that didn’t help anyone and just further embarrassed me. So, I just left. I felt like someone had just run over my dog and then blamed me having the audacity to own a dog for why they killed it. I felt like nothing mattered anymore. I was completely devastated.

In my stupor, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I mean what do people do when they’ve lost literally all hope of life ever getting better? Oddly enough, as often as I’ve considered and mulled over suicide, in this moment of absolute wreckage I didn’t consider that at all. I just felt lost and hopeless and like I was drowning. I cried all the way home, which wasn’t really that far, and then decided I should just talk to my mom. She was at a vet appointment for Ava, so I sat on her doorstep and waited for her to come home.

There were tears and stuff, but essentially she just told me to call my doc and see if there was an alternative medication. I did that, but it’s almost 11am the next day and I haven’t heard from the office…

My mom convinced me to try and make a mental health appointment with Kaiser again, so I did that this morning. Kinda.

This part of Kaiser really adds insult to injury. I’m at a place where I need to see a mental health professional. I don’t know how low OTHER people have to be to see a mental health professional, but for me it’s pretty close to rock bottom. Well, since I “self-referred” myself Kaiser won’t schedule the appointment until I have a conversation with a psychiatric nurse and convince her that I’m sick enough to see a doctor. The idea is that she approves the self referral. It’s just insulting, though. I’ve never had to convince someone that I needed a shrink before, and it makes me want to slit my wrists in a Kaiser building and spell out AM I SICK ENOUGH NOW!? all over their walls. Like, this is a shitty way to treat people who are crazy.

Still, I’m sucking it up and I’ll do the fucking phone call… I’m not going to be happy about it. Every single fiber of my being wanted to tell the appointment guy that this is fucked up and I shouldn’t have to convince a nurse that I’m potentially suicidal in order to get an appointment with someone who can give me something for it. The thing about that is that I know that guy is just doing his job… so… I try not freak out on people who are just trying to live. Also, if you mention that this might be some kind of emergency, they just want you to go to an ER. I don’t need an ER right now… and actually if I did I still probably wouldn’t go to one… What’s the point of living if you’re just gonna rack up an incredible amount of medical debt to hang over your head for the rest of your life? Like… no… that doesn’t appeal to me.

We’ll see what happens.

The one thing about hitting a rock bottom, even if it’s not the lowest I can get, is that today doesn’t bother me so much. Work is still shitty, but why wouldn’t it be? I’m still fat, but I don’t care. My overwhelming sadness has been replaced with apathy. Somehow that’s still an improvement. I think when I get home I’m gonna spring and get my Adobe Creative Cloud… start reteaching myself how to make art with it. I can’t draw, but maybe I can restore some old photos or make a collage or something… just something. Cuz why not?

If yesterday didn’t end me, it just proves that it’s going to take something worse than losing all hope for life before I check out early.

Danny’s Memorial Show

The line for Danny’s Memorial Show.

Somehow, within just a week, a good friend of Danny’s put together a show to celebrate his life. I honestly can’t think of a better way to celebrate a great musician and a great man. 

I’m here now, leaning up against a wall on the smoking patio, just watching. It’s a weird atmosphere. I dunno what I expected. I’m not good at emotions, and I’m definitely not good with death, so my reactions are mixed. Still it’s fascinating to see a packed venue full of people that a person touched and how they’re taking it. I’ve seen crying, which was expected, but I’ve seen laughing. There have been hugs and drinks, smiles and distant stares.

It’s amazing how many people are here, even people I haven’t seen at a show in years. It just makes me wonder if Danny knew how many people he managed to touch, how many people have great stories about him, how many people are going to miss him.

I find grief interesting in the sense that people don’t often cry for the lost. More often they cry for the piece of their lives they lost. That’s ok. It’s not an inappropriate emotion in times of crisis. You can’t always differentiate between the two, especially when that person was such a big part of your life. 

Danny was not a major part of my life, and I’m sad about that. He was such a good person, and I wish that I’d known him better. You can feel the way he touched every life and how important he was to some people here. 

My friend Hannah’s band is playing tonight, and she was close to Danny. In spite of how strong she can appear, she’s hurting a lot. A lot of people have turned to her for support, and it seems like it’s taking a toll on her a bit. I hope the show is therapeutic  for her. She and and her husband brought every piece of Danny’s discography that they had, going back years to his first demo. I wish they’d sell copies… I’d buy one. 

Danny’s best friend and band mate is here, along with the rest of the band. He seems okay, but I know better than to believe appearances. I haven’t spoken to him yet, and I don’t know if I will. I’m not good at what to say to the grieving. 

The Denver music scene lost a good friend last weekend. And all you need for proof of that is to ask anyone here. Laughing, crying, drinking, or blogging via phone, we all felt Danny’s passing. I can only hope that with this loss someone out there might realize they have touched more people than they could ever know, and that they are cared about.

Scarlet Canary – Hannah’s Band. Look up their song Blink. Tonight will be the last time they ever play it live… and it’s worth hearing.

My Friend Danny

I want to tell you about my friend Danny.

I met Danny a couple years back at a show my friends were playing. I love local concerts, and Danny’s band, Resonance, was awesome. My first impression of him was that he was very hot. My second impression of him was that he also very nice, very friendly, and probably a really good guy. That opinion of him has never changed.

Danny is the kind of person that could make you feel important, even if you most certainly are not, especially if he sees you at a show. Danny loves his fans. He keeps in touch with them personally, knows them by name and face, makes a point of telling them how much he appreciates them coming out to a show, and even goes out of his way to personally invite people to shows.

Resonance turned into My Own Iris not too long ago. I went to their album release show. The build up to the album release show was brutal. We were on perpetual countdown on Facebook, and I was so hyped to go. I was not disappointed. It was a great time. They put on a great show, as always, and I left tired but happy. Danny was so excited to see me there, just like always.

My favorite thing about Danny is how when he sees people he knows, whether he’s met you once or a hundred time, his face lights up. He has the best smile.

Over the weekend, Danny killed himself.

I’m not claiming to know Danny intimately.
I couldn’t tell you his favorite band, color, or coffee drink.
We weren’t close friends that told each other everything.
But Danny touched my life, as he did so many lives.

This Sunday is a memorial concert for him. His friends in the local music scene put together faster than I’ve ever seen someone put together a show. Donations are the only fee, to help the family, and prolly to pay the venue since that definitely isn’t free… although if a venue were to throw a free show, it would be Hermann’s.

I don’t know how I feel about it all. Yeah, I’m sad for Danny, because he was a good guy and no one knew that he was in pain, but like… he outran whatever he was running from. I like to think that means he found some peace, even if makes me sad.

Also, as someone that thinks about suicide SO REGULARLY it’s always weird to me when someone I know does it. Like… why didn’t I? What was worse for them? What’s supposedly better for me? I dunno, but it’s a weird feeling. Like regret, but not.

Danny will live on forever for me through his music. It always spoke to me.
If you’re interested, here are some links.

My Own Iris Facebook

My Own Iris Website

My Own Iris YouTube Channel

My Own Iris Twitter

I’ll Miss You Danny.
I hope you found your peace.

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I’m Lonely

I went out with Cat last weekend. We just went to a 90s show. We invited an old coworker and we had a great time. Prior to that I had not gone out since I went to the ER back in December.  That would make sense if I were scared of going out after my ordeal, but that’s not the reason. The reason I haven’t been out is because I haven’t had anyone to go out with since then.

I used to have more friends; not a lot more, but more. I also used to not be afraid to go out alone. Even when I had more friends that I saw semi-regularly we didn’t often share interests, so I adopted the habit of going to things by myself. It was practical, because if I waited for someone to want to go to things WITH ME… I’d never go. I went to car shows, rock shows, museums, art shows, taverns, breweries, and even a club or two all by my lonesome. I would enjoy myself well enough. I liked it better when people went with me, but I didn’t let a lack of company stop me from doing anything that I wanted to do.

That was just a few years ago. Since then, I’ve stopped going places alone. I don’t know why. Somehow I grew uncomfortable with that and stopped doing things just for me.

Since my friends did not get better at going out to things and we still don’t actually share any interests, I just spend a lot of time alone, now. It’s kind of good, because I like spending time with the dogs, especially with Keagan being as old as he is and Kyrie having glaucoma and being as old as she is. Still, as much as I hate it, there are nights where the company of a dog just doesn’t seem to fill the social interaction void in my life.

I realized that I’ve been filling this space in my life with stuff… It only becomes apparent when I start impulsively buying everything I want on a whim… And when I start binging. No amount of Chipotle or comic books can fill the space. Trust me. I’ve tried. So I have a bunch of new comic books, a bunch of new video games, a Kindle Fire to replace my cracked iPad (which I totally didn’t need), and all the binging. It’s been bad, recently. It makes you notice… but what REALLY made me notice?

lonely

He was kidding. I know he was kidding.
We talk about this kind of thing a lot, because he lives on the other side of the world and he gets lonely, too. Still, he said it, and it dawned on me: that is EXACTLY what I am trying to do.

So what does it take to fill the hole of crippling loneliness? People? A best friend? A lover?
Maybe it just takes ENOUGH material things. Maybe once I get a Surface Pro 4 I’ll be so distracted by my hobbies that I’ll feel better…

Here’s my current hobbies:

  • painting
  • drawing
  • video games
  • handheld video games
  • writing
  • reading
  • comic books
  • computer games
  • remodeling the house
  • tv
  • collecting and watching old or banned movies
  • working crazy amounts of overtime

I really have enough hobbies that it SHOULD fill all the time. I shouldn’t have time to feel lonely between all the games I need to beat and the books I have to read and the art projects I’m planning. So how does it seep in?

In the weeks following my coworker’s suicide, things have been said. No one saw it coming. It didn’t make sense. It would have made more sense if it was that weird guy we all know has emotional problems. How does one get to that point? Why didn’t he just talk to someone? All those things are curious to me.

I’ve thought often about suicide for roughly 14 years, now. I remember the first time I thought about it I was 13, and it was long-term planning. I just wasn’t sure I could handle being an adult. I’ve managed. I surprised myself. Still, I’ve thought about it a lot. I think about it at least weekly. I assumed that everyone’s thought about it at some point. Maybe I think about it more often than others, but surely I’m not the only person that thinks about it semi-regularly… right? Guess not. So… I’ve gotten to the point where it’s an option… why don’t I talk to someone?

Well the people in my life I could talk to are… My mother, which would result in a lot of yelling about what an idiot I am for thinking about it and then a lot of crying and her wondering what she did wrong. I could talk about it to Cali BFF. but all he ever says are Nihilistic things about how life is meaningless anyways. If I ever DO kill myself, I’m gonna add a blurb in my letter about how he was right and life IS pointless and thus I opted out of it. Maybe I’ll thank him for the input. There’s the Oregon BFF. I think if she were around I’d feel less sad, but I still don’t think I could talk to her about something like killing myself.

I mean who can you talk about that with? Who isn’t going to be instantly concerned? Who’s not going to freak out? No one. Maybe a shrink. They’re significantly less prone to having you locked up than people think, but I really hate paying someone to listen to me, to be honest.

My aussie friend, crippling loneliness guy up there, thinks I need to find a group to be a part of, like a gaming group or something. My mother thinks I need to volunteer somewhere so I can maybe find a husband.

I dunno what I should do.

I know that I keep getting up. I know that as low as I get and how many time I might think of killing myself, I’ve never REALLY tried it… although, a few of my drinking escapes could prolly be racked up to suicide attempts, no matter how unintentional they might have been. I don’t know.

I just… know that I’m lonely, and that people dislike me. I’m abrasive, and I can be crass. I am either silent or I’m in your face. I always think I want friends, and then I end up trying to get rid of them. So… I dunno, guys.

I don’t… know.

Can I Just Sleep Until I Die?

I’m trying really hard not to let this whole thing get to me… but it does. You see, the problem with hope and happiness, is that both can be crushed beneath any stray boot. It’s better not to have them at all, than to have them just long enough to make losing them painful.

Until this past weekend, it had been a year since I was intimate with someone. More than that, it’s been three or four years since I was even interested in someone. I’d reached a point where I was okay with that. I’d pushed friends away, and avoided romantic situations, and aside from bad drunken sex I avoided human intimacy. Everything was fine; that’s just who I was now, and it was totally fine. Yeah, there’s always a hint of crippling loneliness. I get tired of going out alone all the time. I get sick of seeing couples in the street. Even romance in movies and TV made me feel uncomfortable and gross. It’s all so unrealistic, and yet it always looks so nice.

Of course you don’t know in three days if someone is worth your time, but apparently that’s all you need to want more human contact in your life. Sunday was such a lovely day, and it seemed so wonderful to have someone that I wasn’t trying to push away. I was just being me, and letting him see that. It was freeing and lovely and I wanted more, so much more. I’d rather I’d never felt that. Now, that feeling is gone and has been replaced by regret and loneliness. There’s a hole in the center of my body that I had learned to ignore for so long, and now it throbs.

Feeling badly, as I do, I thought I’d treat myself to a cheat day. I’ve been dieting, and the night before last I clock a total of 460 calories for the day, so I didn’t think it would be a big thing to hit 1700 yesterday. Today I’m back to dieting… and food no longer fills me with joy. I ate exactly what I wanted last night and it didn’t do anything. So, not only am I wallowing in my own misery, but the one thing that used to bring me joy no longer does anything. I just felt sick after cramming that much Chipotle into my face. Whatever is missing from my life apparently can no longer be placated with a burrito.

And maybe that’s good. I have a friend I text perpetually and always, and I realized how depressed I sound when I talk about this whole three day business, so I doubled back with the affirmation: “Well, if it doesn’t make shit better, then I don’t need to binge eat ever again! Silver lining!” Maybe that’s true. It doesn’t feel important though. Life just feels so meaningless that I don’t even want to be awake for it anymore.

My best friend lives 1091 miles away…. my secondary best friend just moved 1281 miles away…. my back up best friend wants to join the Navy and leave, not that I ever see her anyway. My mother is miserable. My job is currently being turned on its head and shaken. It’s going to be winter soon, and I’ll have to contend with snow. The only bright spots in my life are my pets, and unfortunately you can’t take them to dinner and a movie, or to a concert, or discuss movies with them. I feel lonely, and I hate everything right now… but mostly me… I hate me so much right now, for getting all tangled up in false hopes and fragile happiness, and for being genuinely surprised when it all fell apart. What am I? New? No. I know better.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I was supposed to kill myself this year. When I was fourteen I made a plan. I was going to do my life better than my mom. I was going to be married at 24, and start having kids at 26. I wanted two kids, and to live somewhere with a beach. We’d both work so that we had enough money to have nice family vacations, and by the time the kids were done with college we’d have enough money to travel around a bit before we retired.
The backup plan to that was that if I wasn’t married and had no kids by 26, I was going to kill myself.

I didn’t. I’m still here, obviously. Life hadn’t been good up till then, but I thought that this year I might figure it out. I thought this would be the year I committed to weight loss, and got my house in order, and I’d make some new friends and just enjoy being me. None of that happened. I’m still fat. Down 13 lbs as of this morning and I have 127 left before I’m remotely happy. I actually have LESS friends now than this time last year. I finally got some work done on my house, but everyday I just debate getting rid of everything I own and living in my house with nothing. Still might.

Nothing got better. Nothing panned out.
I don’t think I’m going to kill myself… because I have to take care of the pets. I just… don’t wanna be awake for this part of my life anymore. Everything is meaningless, and all I want is to feel close to someone again… and I know it won’t be for a very long time.

Damn me for trying.
Damn me for not knowing better.
Damn me for getting so lost that I let myself hurt me.

I’m having a bad life.

Whelp, That’s Life

I’ve already reconciled that one day I’m probably going to kill myself.

It’s quite depressing, but probably true. One day, I’m not going to have anything left to live for. When mom goes, when all the pets move on, I’m going to have nothing to hang out here for. It’s not like I have a love life or a booming social structure to fall back on when everything has gone to shit. No, when the world feels like a cold, shitty place with nothing in it worth existing for, I have my mom and my pets. One day those will be gone, and so will I.

I got a promotion at work, and it really just made me want to cry. I got a raise, but I jumped into a higher tax bracket, so it’s not really that significant… I think I’m taking home almost exactly the same amount of money. Which is shitty. I don’t’ understand tax brackets, but they essentially make getting a raise feel completely pointless. Also, the job isn’t hard, but it’s a lot of cleaning behind the last person that had the job, and a lot of her mistakes pretty much make me want to curl up under my desk and just cry. When everything you touch is wrong, it really takes everything out of you.

I bought a PS4, because I thought my raise would be better news. I suck at playing Batman: Arkham Knight. Fuck the Batmobile. It’s so god damn hard to drive. I like Mortal Combat. It’s violent and mindless. I like streaming Netflix to my TV, too. It’s been nice not to have to watch TV on my laptop.

I’ve been thinking of taking up drinking. As a rule, I don’t keep alcohol in the house. I’ve been scared of turning into my dad for a long time, now. I think I’ve reached a point, though, where I don’t give a fuck anymore. Everything feels awful, and I feel very alone, so why not drink until I potentially feel better? Davy drinks almost daily. I dunno if he feels as lonely as I do or if he just likes to drink, though.

I haven’t seen my friends in weeks. It’s not that I don’t know where they are every single Friday, I just don’t care to see them. I don’t like karaoke, and I definitely don’t like Pitcher’s. I was invited to go to RenFest with them this weekend, and while I would like to go to RenFest… I don’t really want to go with them. Between shitty jobs, shitty men, and the melancholy of adult life, in general, I don’t feel like hanging out with people.

In particular, I don’t want to see my friend that just broke up with her boyfriend. The whole world knew that he was a worthless piece of shit. He just was and he aspired to be nothing else. It’s not our fault that she wasted two years on him. It’s not our fault that somewhere in all that time she didn’t look at her life and wonder why after a failed marriage she was dating someone ten years younger than her with no future. That’s not my god damn fault, and I don’t want to hear about what a shit he is, when I already knew that. It’s not news to anyone except her.

I think I might just stop having friends… I already do most things alone anyways… Friends just disappoint me and irritate me… I can’t rely on them. I can’t be sure I’m going to even enjoy their company… so what’s the point?

Maybe I’ll snap out of this. Maybe I’ll wake up some day this week and realize that life is beautiful… but i doubt it.

Life is pretty meaningless.

Day 2: Feeling Better, But Still Down

So yesterday, being the shit storm that it was, I had a small breakdown at home. It wasn’t pretty, but I didn’t throw my life away and kill myself or something, so I call it a win.

I did find out that I have a really good friend and someone I can talk to. He’s my Cali Bestie. I’m sure I could have called any of my besties and gotten a good response; they’re good people. Still, I don’t like how Bird reacts to things and I don’t like bothering Hippie. So, when I was sitting at home last night being overly dramatic and wallowing around in despair, I text Cali. I don’t like bothering him, either, but with how depressed he’s been recently I thought he could at least commiserate with me. He did more than that, and I can’t thank him enough. It’s amazing how much easier life is when someone just understands, at least partially, where you’re coming from.

So, I binge-watched Friends, cuz that’s available on Netflix now, and I love Friends… and I ate the last of my chicken casserole in two ridiculously portioned servings.

This morning I didn’t feel better. I mean, I didn’t feel as bad, either, but I didn’t wake up feeling refreshed and renewed and super good about my life. I woke up in a sense of malaise. I’ve decided to just start over today, though. I can’t fix the past shitty year of shit. I can’t go back… but I can implement some better work practices, get on my vegan month train for real, and just truck along.

I’m thinking of purging a bunch of things… Reducing the clutter in my house would make my home more enjoyable, anyway. I feel like all I do is throw things away, though. It’s like there’s a junk generator in the pit of my house and it’s just working its ass off all the time… But I can get rid of some books, and some movies, and my old TV, and this and that… some clothes, I’m sure… Blankets… It would also make my house easier to reorganize.

We’ll see what happens.
The important thing, right now, is to get through year end at work… then I can use my weekends and evenings to focus on my home…

I’m not positive. I’m not upbeat. I’m not seeing the bright side of anything. I’m just doing the best with what I have right now… and hoping that’s good enough to get me through.

This is a hard year for me. When I was 13 I decided that if I made it to 26 without a husband, kids, or a really great career that I would just kill myself and save myself the shame of living a life of regret. I don’t have a husband, or even a boyfriend. I don’t have kids, just way too many pets. I don’t have a good career, just a decent-paying job that’s trying to crush my soul. So maybe I should have killed myself on my birthday, like I’d planned 13 years ago. That thought’s always in the back of my head.

I can’t, of course, kill myself. Not until all my pets have died and I have a clean house… Based on how lazy I am and how old my youngest dogs are… I’m gonna be around at least into my late 30s… Which is oddly depressing, but at least it’s a fail-safe. I’d hate to regret killing myself. You can’t take that one back, can you?