Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's Getting Cold Outside

All my life I've had animals. And all my life I've tried to help animals, whether it's taking something in that the cats got and trying to save it, or taking in an unwanted pet that someone turned in to a shelter or one of the pet stores I always went to.

I've always had some sort of help or net to rely on in my life. My parents have always been there for us financially. I got a couple of jobs through a relative. Sometimes a company would just take a chance on me. Even the hospital that saved my life flipped the bill for me.

Whatever the case may be, I know I've had more than my fair share of help in life.

I've always had an inner struggle with religion and god and all of that, but that's for another session. I bring this up because on October 22, 2008 I was ordained by the Universal Life Church as a Minister. It didn't require much. All a person needs to do is fill out a short form on their website at and they'll ordain you. It's not like I participate in church activities or anything. But it's something I believed in and felt compelled to do. It keeps in the front of my mind things that I really want to do with my life.

Someday, I would like to start an organization that helps provide temporary shelter for the homeless and/or abused women. It would be something to help get people off the streets or out of their current living situation, help them get jobs, and all of the things that really so many of us just take for granted. Eventually, I would like to add on a shelter for pets to this organization. All animals need shelter, human and non-human alike.

Some of us have earned where we are in life, good or bad. Some of us afforded it. Others are trying and need a helping hand, no different than that given to so many of us throughout our lives.

Currently, I am working on a painting that I HOPE to donate to an organization like the ASPCA to be auctioned off and all proceeds would go to that organization. I'm not even interested in recovering my costs. Hopefully it all goes well and I will be able to do this over and over again.

So, this is a bit of an insight to where my mind has been as of late.

Something else I am currently thinking about is setting up a second PayPal account and gathering up donations for the ASPCA.

This is a hairy subject. I truly hope that I am not becoming one of those people that others see at the front of a store and think "Oh jeez. I just want to go in, get my stuff and go. I don't want to be bothered with all this." because the people that I interact with are truly awesome. And I don't want to build that association with my presence.

I also wouldn't want it to feel like when someone's taking orders for their kid's school-drive thing. I wouldn't want people to feel pressure or obligated to do anything.

I'll be the first to admit that when stuff like this comes up, I'm like "Oh man... Let me just go about my day. I do my own thing." especially when there are SO MANY scams out there. I mean, look at that whole LillyAnn thing. There is a LOT of scum out in this world. It's sickening.

Maybe you're asking right now "Why not just donate directly to the ASPCA or some other organization?" No reason. Certainly go right ahead. And hell, organizations like the ASPCA and the WWF even give out really cool stuff when people donate.

I guess what's going on with me is that I REALLY want to do something with my life that helps those in need. I HATE crowds. I HATE going out. Contrary to how I am on twitter and Plurk, I HATE interacting with people in person. I don't have much money to help places monetarily. But I do have a voice. And I do have desire and passion for helping those which are in need. And hopefully I have the artistic skills to help as well.

I guess I'm wondering what everyone's opinion about this would be. Would you go for a "Donate" button from PayPal, or if there's something else out there that can be setup? Does it scream "SCAM" to you? Or is it maybe just not your thing? Am I getting too preachy?

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shock The Monkey

We had been broken up for about a month, I believe.

It was a Saturday, midsummer 2006.

I hadn't heard from her at all. And something kept growing inside of me. It was getting harder and harder to go about day by day.

I had started taking NyQuil and Benadryl to ease the pain and stress. It wasn't doing much.

This Saturday, I just couldn't take it. It was overwhelming me.

I called her, over and over. We started talking, she was so cold. I needed her, and it didn't matter.

Before we started talking, I had gone over to the grocery store by me and purchased a fresh supply of NyQuil Gelcaps, Benadryl and Tylenol Simply Sleep. Something had to work. The cigarettes were no longer helping.

So we were talking on the phone, things were getting worse. I had Coal Chamber's cover of Shock The Monkey on repeat all day. I had taken a few NyQuil and some Benadryl. I think it was about four NyQuil and eight Benadryl. While we were still on the phone, everything getting worse I decided to take a few Tylenol Simply Sleep. Nothing happened. Nothing got numb. Nothing got better. So I took some more. And then more.

At some point, our conversation ended. Soon, music still playing, I started to feel some of the effects. It wasn't a numb tingly feeling. But things slowed down inside. I'm not sure that it was harder to focus. I'd say it was harder to snap out of focusing on one thing. I found myself staring at the speaker a lot, concentrating on still hearing the music, wondering if I was hearing any other sounds in my head.

I tried calling her back several times. A few times we did talk. I told her what I had done. She was so pissed at me. I told her I needed her to stay on the phone with me, that I needed her help to get through it and work it out of my system. She said that I needed to get off the phone, call 911, and basically that she wasn't going to let me manipulate her. That was her thing, making sure nobody manipulates her.

The more time that passed, the more I felt the pills, and the more scared I got. I tried calling her over and over. I texted her over and over, telling her how weird I felt and how scared I was, and that I needed her to call 911. She firmly stated that I should stop and call them myself. I couldn't and wouldn't. I needed, or wanted, her help.

I was dying.

Eventually, there was a hard, firm, steady knock on the door. There's only one thing that knock means, the police showed up. I walked down my steps, I was a second floor apartment with steps that led down to ground level, opened the door, and several police officers were there. I walked back up the steps, my legs shaking, barely able to function properly. I walked to my bedroom, that's where I spent all my time in my apartment, and the police followed.

Before they arrived, I had gotten scared enough and remembered another time I took a few sleeping pills, far less, and got scared. I went to the bathroom and forced myself to throw up over and over, it wasn't helping.

So, the police arrived, and I was even more scared. I didn't know what would happen. I didn't know if my stomach was soon to be pumped, if they would arrest me and once I was well be thrown in jail, or what.

They asked me, standing in my bedroom, deflated mattress, computer stand and chair, what had I done and how much did I take. I told them, very nervously, that I had taken double the recommended dose of the Tylenol Simply Sleep. The officer asked me if I had taken any other types of drugs. I stated clearly that I hadn't and the only thing I had ever done was some marijuana about ten years ago, and that was only a few times.

He flashed his flashlight through my eyes a few times. I knew he could see that my pupils weren't functioning properly and I just wanted this to be over.

I went to put my hands in my pockets at some point. One of the officers did NOT like that and made it known. I quickly put them back to my sides. I'm always more comfortable with my hands in my pockets. They checked me for anything that I could use to harm them or myself and all of that.

The other officers were of course searching my apartment during all of this. They found the bottle of Tylenol Simply Sleep, and said that it looked about half empty. I don't believe I really gave an answer to this. One of them soon found the receipt in the trash and noticed these items had been purchased only a few hours ago. They counted the remaining Tylenol. I had taken 68 of them.

Soon they took me out to the ambulance, the officer had a firm grip on my arm, and I was taken to the hospital.

Before leaving my bedroom, the officer looked at me and said not to lie to the doctors at the hospital like I had to the police, so that they could help me. I understood.

I get to the hospital, I don't remember getting changed into that gown they give you, but I was in and out of reality a lot.

I remember being out in the open, on the stretcher still, some people around me, a lady giving me a HORRIBLE drink of charcoal and whatever else was in it. I sipped it at first; I can't stand bad drinks, so I have to sip to prepare myself for what's coming. That was just as bad of an idea.

She really wanted me to use the bottle they had given me to urinate in, right out in the open, just my gown covering me. She said if I didn't soon, then they would have to catheterize me. I've had that done before and did NOT want to go through that again. So now there was added pressure to urinate, which didn't help.

I remember now and then her voice would say "drink." and then I would again, but not much. Over and over "drink." When she would say this, it would snap me out of what I didn't realize was happening. Eventually, she said "See, you got a taste for it now. If you had just drank it to begin with, you wouldn't have to keep on tasting it." I had two cups of the stuff to drink. I think she only made me drink half of the second one. Then she put something else up to my mouth to drink. This time, and I knew it was going to be bad because of this, she forced me to drink it, and quickly. It was god-awful whatever it was.

After that, I was wheeled over to get, I guess, an ultrasound on my chest. I was finally able to urinate on the way there. I'm on the stretcher, going by people in the waiting area, some people staring at me as I passed by.

I get into the room, finally out of that stretcher and onto a table where this girl was going to do the examination of my chest. She had this look on her face that could only be interpreted as "Oh dear god." I still don't know what the result of it was. I don't have a primary doctor or anything. I couldn't see the screen from my position, and I never asked. But I do remember the look on her face.

Eventually I was taken to a room, my own room in the hospital of course, because I was a suicide attempt. So, someone had to stay on watch for the night. We stayed up so late watching horror movies on the TV. I'm sure she just wanted me to go to sleep already. I had an IV in me as well, which freaked me out. When I went to the bathroom, I saw all of this black charcoal on my lips. I must have looked like a train wreck to those people in the waiting area.

The next day comes; I'm basically under 24 hour observation and all of that. Nurses change shifts, etc. This one girl comes in to keep watch over me, a similar look on her face to the one that did the ultrasound, but still a bit different meaning to it. It was almost like a "How could something like this happen" look, but not quite.

During this girl's shift, the ex came to visit. It felt like heaven to see her, and it felt like hell to see her in this setting. I didn't know what to expect. I don't really remember what happened or what was talked about, but soon it was time for me to be transferred to another hospital for suicide watch for a couple of days.

Before she came in, some horrible woman with a huge attitude came in, said I was lying about anything and everything and that I had to be put away in this hospital for weeks. I needed to get back to work so I could keep my apartment. She accused me of recently being at another hospital for the same thing. Sorry, but I hadn't even lived in New Jersey for that long lady. Some other guy eventually came in and talked to me. He was supposed to be one of those "Hey man, I care. I'm a mentor, blah blah blah" guys. He seemed self righteous to me.

He talked about how it wasn't really a choice for me and the alternative would be bad and all of that. He said that I wouldn't cooperate with them and that was why he was there. I told him I couldn't afford to go away for a few weeks or months, I had bills to pay. He said it was only for 72 hours. To that, I was like "Well, yeah. That's not a problem. I completely understand having to do that. That other stuff was bullshit that woman was saying to me."

Eventually the woman came back and said that she was wrong about the other hospital. Yeah, I know. She also had said that she didn't believe I made myself throw up and that my ex said that I lie about everything. She didn't apologize for those comments.

So, I go to the other hospital. I end up staying there, without medication, without seeing the doctor, without really anything for a week. The doctor even walked by me one time while I was watching TV and said "I don't know why you're here. It's not like I'm giving you any medications or anything." Well, he was the only one that could release me! Lazy, greedy bastard. You see, it wasn't exactly a free stay in that place, and they kept me longer than the 72 hours. It was about a week I was there. Not much longer, but it adds up.

There were other suicides there and drug addicts and people off the streets and all of that. Whatever. One dude had huge issues. After I was released, I came back to drop off a few packs of cigarettes that he usually smoked, instead of what we had there to smoke. I just dropped them off. I didn't go in to see him. It's not like we bonded or anything. I just wanted to let him know that someone sees him.

My ex came to visit me while I was there once, and we talked on the phone a couple of times. When she was there and we were talking with the counselor, well, it didn't go well. She was pissed that I dragged her in there to talk about all of this. After a bit, the counselor, who always had that same "Oh my god. How could this happen to someone." look on her face, told her that I begged them not to contact her because she would be so pissed about it, but she was obviously a connection to what I had done, so they needed her to come by.

Eventually the counselor left the room, and she started arguing with me and getting mad at me. Not that I don't get it, but just what someone that's on suicide watch needs, right? She soon left.

I don't remember if it was a phone call while I was there, or if it was after I got out, but we talked more, and she told me that honestly what I had done was probably needed in order for her to get past herself and see how she really felt about me. She made it clear that this was something that she would NOT tolerate and threats or attempts of doing it again would NOT work and I would be on my own. I completely don't blame her for that. That's how it should be. That's what's right.

We got back together. The medical bills started pouring in, and I had no insurance. I went to the first hospital for financial aid. Told them my work situation and all of that. They covered 100% of the hospital bill. I still had ambulance and doctor bills from that part, but I cannot even begin to tell you how it felt when she said they'd cover the hospital expense 100%. You have no idea how much that bill was. The other hospital covered 70% of what they charged me.

I'm still trying to pay down bills related to this.

I couldn't listen to this song for the longest time. Now and then I listen to it. Today I'm listening to it. The beginning notes of the song still shock me. They still put me back to exactly that moment. Later in the song, when things change up and get a bit slow or different, sends me right back as well.

I've listened to this song well over 300 times.

Some of the people at the hospital insist that I was trying to kill myself. The ex believes I was crying out for help and attention from her and telling her how much I needed her in my life.

I just know I couldn't let things stay as they were, and I needed a major change to happen.

We got back together. The relationship didn't change much. Some very major things happened during the relationship. We eventually broke up completely a few months ago.

One email said she hopes I come back to her one day, when we're both in a better place.

I don't know if that will happen or not.

But I do know she fills the holes.