I’m just not there yet.
And that’s why I postponed my trip to New York City, where I was going to meet with book publishers and get some mentoring for my upcoming novel/tell-all/screenplay. Heck, it could even end up being a sci fi flick. I have no idea.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night, giggling about how I could portray the vixen if I were to give it a sci fi tint. Could be great fun.
So, who knows.
Also, while I’m not feeling so hot this past week or so about life here in the Quad-Cities, overall things have improved tremendously in terms of my outlook about that. But understand: All the money and material things in the world – even your childhood home – do not fix the pain a person feels when people you trusted violate it. People you thought were there to PROTECT you, not HARM you.
Such people are creepy.
So, I’m trying to forget. Writing a book about all of it isn’t going to help right now, when I finally feel like things are turning to a degree of normalcy.
And I’ve reconciled with my brother, which is huge.
I’ll say this as a book teaser: I truly believe the corruption problem is so bad where I live, that before it’s all over with, even if it takes three years, half a dozen politicians and public officials from this region will be in prison. And I’m not just talking about my personal experience or my knowledge garnered from years in the news business in the Quad-cities. There are LOTS of people who have had experiences like me. And we are connecting, let me tell you.
And, yes, we ARE called “victims.” Officially.
Lengthy, expensive process applying for Medical Cannabis Card
Now, where I won’t play the victim is in the truth that I have been sliding back down the alcohol slope. So that is why, today, in part, I just landed in…(drum roll, please, cue “Rainbow Tour” chorus)….DENVER!
Indeed, the mile-high city. And of course I’m going to get high. Well, not high, I’d rather say “treated.” In a very serious, controlled manner with strains specifically used to treat chronic PTSD. That diagnosis recently allowed me to apply for my Illinois Cannabis Card after consulting with my therapist, my doctor, and a physician in Chicago. I had two visits with the Chicago physician, who reviewed records provided by my therapist and doctor in the Quad-Cities.
It’s an expensive process. The card, valid for three years, was $300 in and of itself, paid to the state. There also are fingerprinting fees, and of course all the doctor’s fees.
The Chicago doctor spent quite a bit of time with me and asked several questions before qualifying me. He enjoyed hearing about my trip to the American College of Physicians conference in San Diego last month and said he went to it a few years back.
He also was glad to see I have had 100 psychotherapy sessions and continue to be in therapy, now for two years. I get professional psychotherapy for an hour twice a week at SouthPark Psychology in Moline.
While SouthPark Psychology does not take Medicare/Medicaid, I urge anyone with any sort of struggle to seek out their therapists if they have private insurance or can afford to pay out of pocket (which I did for a long time, and considered it money well spent). The place offers a level of mental health care that is just miles above the “big two” in town. I feel sorry for people who “give up” on getting better due to the poor care they receive from substandard Quad-City healthcare providers.
The dishonesty from hospital officials over the proposed Bettendorf psychiatric hospital is appalling. They are denying sick people who need immediate care, and they should be fined by a government agency.
Or, let the free market fix it — give people more choices. The local hospitals’ crafted, nonsensical explanations for opposing this hospital is not fooling one. single. person. Not one. Well, maybe their employees, who I’m told are bullied to support the propaganda.
I understand the hospitals are in a bind due to the state of Illinois not having a budget in nearly two years. That’s not the free market’s problem, nor is it the problem of people suffering from mental illness. They deserve choices in healthcare and the best healthcare they can find.
Shame on both local hospitals.
‘Marijuana maintenance’ kept me sober first year
I have been writing about medical marijuana since way back in my Healthline days. In the beginning, I was very much on board with it. For my first year of sobriety, I did do what is known as “marijuana maintenance” for 9 months after 90 days completely sober from everything but caffeine. But then I quit the marijuana, too.
At first, I feigned for it. Then I got over those feelings (because don’t kid yourself, marijuana IS addictive) and I especially enjoyed having clear lungs and a sharper mind. That said, I was getting some medical marijuana off the street during that year that did not make me the least bit high, dull my sharpness or cloud my mind. What it did do was turned my mind down to a normal level, allowed me to focus and just sort of surrounded me with quiet, if that makes any sense. I would love to find that exact strain again.
The problem with getting marijuana off the street, beyond the legality part, is that you just don’t know what you’re getting. All these different strains of marijuana are like pharma drugs, in a way. You’re not going to give an upper like Ritalin, for example, to a kid with a heart condition.
Marijuana and mental illness in general really don’t seem to go well together, research has shown. And yet most every state that has approved marijuana medicinally for PTSD, which is technically a mental illness.
I have a contact in Maine, Dr. Dustin Sulak, who is sort of “the national authority” on medicinal marijuana. I have interviewed him several times and he is very knowledgeable. He created a website called Healer that I wrote about not too long ago.
Taking a cue from fellow PTSD sufferers, addressing booze issue
Between my Facebook groups and all my recent traveling, I have met so many people with PTSD who are saying they have found relief with medicinal marijuana and are thrilled to be off the benzos.
The benzos. Yes. I’ll be thrilled to be off them, too. They’re just harsh. And sometimes I wonder if they led me back to booze, as they are alcohol in a pill, after all. PTSD and alcohol notoriously are a common, horrible mix. Like “throwing gasoline on a fire” a cop told me once.
I’ll end with a little something about my drinking. While I did get back on the wagon when I returned from Florida, I fell off it again in Savannah, Ga., and again in San Diego. And then I took the bold move of going to bars a few times in the Quad-Cities and even buying beer and Rumplemintze for at home.
We’re talking full-blown booze relapse. Who am I kidding.
And I’m done. Day 1 of sobriety began at midnight this morning. I always said I don’t believe in “turning back the clock to zero” on sobriety after a relapse – I did have almost three years of sobriety after all – but the fact is, I need to look at the booze as the ugly problem it is.
I make it no secret I’m not a fan of AA, but that’s mostly because I don’t like the meetings. There’s a lot of brilliance in the Big Book. And I always said, I NEVER had a moment’s hesitation with step one: I am powerless over alcohol.
At least once I drink it. So, I can’t.
How about some prayers that I make it all the way through my Denver trip without even taking a sip? I think it’s going to be easy in cannabis country and there should not be any excuse for it to happen even once.
I can do this. Again.
I’ll keep you posted, and I’m going to be completely honest about it.