11 Weeks Later

Some of you may have noticed my last blog was a bit out there, and then I disappeared for quite a while. Well, this is going to chronicle my last 11 weeks and how it has helped me turn back into a functioning human being, well for the most part. Mental illness is very time consuming, especially when things are not going quite right. This is why I collect disability as I would never be able to hold a job if I asked to take 11 weeks off for hospitalization and intensive group therapy, it just is not a reality. I feel sorry for those that do have jobs and have to deal with this, as I am sure that their employers may not be very accommodating to their needs. So, here is what I experienced over the past 11 weeks. Spoiler alert – the inpatient part is the best.

The day after I posted my last blog, the mixed mania got the best of me and Chris and I decided I needed to go for an assessment at the mental health facility I was last admitted to. After my assessment, they admitted me to the high functioning mental health unit. I got there late to start with so by the time I got to the unit, it was almost 3 am but the fun was not over. As soon as you enter a unit, you get what is called a “skin check,” which is a strip search where they document all your scars, tattoos and injuries while making sure you are not hiding any contraband in the process. As I had been through it before it really did not bother me, just the fact it takes too long because I have so many tattoos makes it a pain in the ass. After that and a million more of the same questions, I get to my assigned room and try not to wake my roommate up and try to get a few hours of sleep as wakeup is every day at 730am when they announce it is time for yoga.

I like yoga, do not get me wrong, but at 730am I like nothing and no one, especially with a Doxepin hangover. I usually went back to sleep until they announced breakfast at 815am, which I wanted no part of either but used the opportunity to take a shower while everyone else was down in the dining hall. The first smoke break was at 915am so it usually timed out pretty well that I was out of the shower, dressed and had a cup of coffee ready to go when they yelled for a smoke break. Yes, the place I was at allows five 15-minute smoke breaks a day for patients. Guess they figure you are stressed out enough and taking your cigarettes away is not going to help that.

The rest of the day is standard, group therapy, group recreation therapy, group music therapy, group art therapy, lunch, dinner, exercise, visiting hour, smoke breaks, and some personal time scattered throughout the day. You are strongly encouraged to participate in all the groups, which I did attempt to do, but being there 15 days they started to repeat so I found other things to do. For some groups, meals, and exercise you got to leave the unit so I tried my best to participate in all of those. Damn, I almost forgot the most important times of the day, MEDICATION TIME! The nurses were cool and hunted you down with your meds if they needed to. They always made sure you had everything you were supposed to have, especially at bedtime.

My first roomie, Vladia, was cool. She was funny as hell too. She must have been on some hellacious sleep meds because she did all kinds of fucked up shit in her sleep. She would roll out of the bed, undress and use her pants as a pillow, be sleeping upside down, all kinds of weirdness. She was a good roommate though, we would chat at night before we went to sleep like two teenagers at a sleepover. She was there before me so of course, I only had her as a roomie for a few days, and then I was moved anyway because the room had a bit of an ant problem they were trying to resolve. I did not mind being moved, the room was hot as hell and I was being moved to the coldest room in the place.

My new roomie was cool, but a little meticulous. Why did they have to stick me in a room with someone with OCD who is a germophobe? And of course, my legs were swollen because I cannot keep them up all the time when in inpatient and my heel splits and bleeds on the floor. She literally flipped the fuck out as if I had Ebola, AIDS, the bubonic plague, and every other horrible disease you can possibly think of. Mind you, she stepped on the tiny spot with shoes and socks on. So of course, out of the kindness of my heart, I offer up a vein for a blood test to ease her mind. That was a mistake. They stuck me six times trying to get a vein. I do a better job myself, how do I know, because I have stuck myself and I can get a vein on the first try. Everything ended up okay, but they really made a bigger deal out of it than they should have.

My stay was not without incident of course. My last few hospitalizations have had some type of fight or violence started by me or I was a part of. This time I did not start it but was definitely an instigating part of it. It all started over the one phone we had use of for 24 patients. We tried to make a list and keep it fair, but some people refused to follow the list, so of course, it caused arguments. A fellow patient Melissa, lost her temper with the person on the phone as she was standing next to me, he threatened to beat her ass, I am bigger and of course, wanted to protect her and all hell broke loose. CODE VIOLET, CODE VIOLET, CODE VIOLET!!! That is the hospital code for a fight on the unit. Melissa was physically dragged to the other side of the unit by two patient care assistants, two more got in my face and made me go right with her and two more took the person on the phone to the other side. They separated us all the rest of the evening. The best part was, this all happened during the visiting hour. It was a busy visiting hour too.

It is not often there are out of control patients on the unit either but there were a few while I was there because the unit they should have been on was full. For those that truly cannot control their behavior, I feel sorry for, but for those being assholes on purpose, they can just fuck off in the other direction. We had an older woman that spent one whole night screaming at the top of her lungs how she is suing everyone and how everyone there was crazy but her, etc. etc. I think they shipped her out after the 72-hour hold just to get rid of her and her bullshit. Apparently, she said something to get herself put in there so she had no one to blame but herself at that point.

My last roommate came in as a transfer from another facility with what looked like a broken nose and a black eye from there. I really felt sorry for her because the woman screaming just freaked her out even more. She definitely did not need that after being at the place she was at. She was okay after a while and we got along good, no blood testing required.

After 15 days of medication changes and additions, the doctor felt it was safe to send me home only if I started their PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) the next day, which I did. PHP is six hours a day, five days a week of group therapy with an hour for lunch. It is a lot like being inpatient but you get to go home and sleep. They also keep a close eye on everyone in case they think you need to go back to inpatient. It is a lot like inpatient with DBT and CBT sessions and art therapy once a week. We also watched the movie Inside Out. If you have never seen it, it is good for a kid’s movie. After three weeks of PHP, you go to five weeks of IOP.

IOP is Intensive Outpatient Therapy, which is three hours a day, four days a week. IOP is a lot different because of the counselors. Ours was a trained EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist and introduced us to a variety of different techniques to manage stress and anxiety. As soon as I get my psychiatrist and therapist situation figured out, I am going to look into this type of therapy more and see if I can benefit from it better than just the DBT and CBT.

So, where am I after 11 weeks of all that? I feel really good! I went out for the first time by myself with a group of Facebook friends I had never met in real life before and had a great time, I am inspired to write again, I am ready to dive into any and all Satany projects I can, I just want to do things. It is a fucking shame it took 11 weeks but mental illness is no joke my friends. It will steal large amounts of your life, fuck it up, and not give it back. If you struggle with mental illness, do something at the first sign of trouble, do not wait as I did, maybe you will not lose 11 weeks of your spring and summer as I did.

In the Midst of Chaos

WARNING:  This is not like my normal blogs, major trigger warning as I am writing this in the middle of a mixed manic episode.

Mental illness sucks, plain and simple. As I write this, I am in the middle of a mixed manic episode. My brain is everywhere and anywhere. Just focusing on getting it out is a challenge, but something I felt I needed to do. I hope that sharing the chaos that is my thoughts and emotions will help someone who may think they are the only ones who have to deal with these exhausting episodes. My head has not been right for days and I fear I will end up in the hospital to bring me back to somewhat center.

I do not know if I want to curl up in a ball and cry, find the nearest sharp object and cut my arm to shreds or just go through the house yelling and punching walls. I am typically not violent with anything but inanimate objects. I know none of this is good, but what can you do when you feel out of control? I have enough control right now to sit down and get some of this out, but I have a feeling this will not last long. I am home alone until 11 pm and it is only 530 pm, too many hours to let my lack of control take over.

I know that my recent doctor visits are the reason my emotions have spun out of control again. My first breakdown was not long after I had my unsuccessful back surgery in 2016. From then on, my medical issues have been to blame for many of my institutionalizations. Right now, I could do 100 things at a time and still need more. I am typing, watching television and have music cranked metal of course, and I still need more things to do. As I type I get even more agitated because my fingers have recently started to go numb, making it difficult to do a lot of the only things I have left to do; type, write, color, paint, all of it.

Since I mentioned medical issues, I should probably elaborate so you all can get a sense of why I feel wound up in my head. First, the failed lumbar fusion on May 15, 2016, that simply kept me from being paralyzed but did nothing for my back and leg pain, weakness and numbness, which they are now blaming on my diabetes. It started before my diabetes was diagnosed so I am sure my back is the root cause. I recently had MRIs, CT scans, and x rays of my entire spine only to be told by my neurosurgeon, “there is nothing we can do to help, your last chance is pain management.” Been there done that and really do not want a nerve stimulator implanted in my side and spine. However, it may be an absolute last resort. I have degenerative back issues, which means all of this will only get worse. Fucking wonderful.

I lost a toe, not to diabetes, but to the wonderful MRSA, I have colonized in my system. I had a bone spur making a hole in the bottom of my toe and seven surgeries later, I am now missing the big toe on my right foot. I used to love wearing flip-flops, well fuck that. Over a period of five months, my surgeon tried to save my toe, I even spent five weeks in a nursing home on IV antibiotics and getting physical therapy to try to keep my damn toe and October 29, 2017, I lose it anyway. At least I dressed it up with a funny tattoo. I then required surgery to remove large fibromas from my other foot and spent six weeks off it only to break my ankle the week after I started walking on it again. It never healed right so I am supposed to wear a brace, which of course I do not because I hate it. So I walk funny because of the missing toe, huge scar on the bottom of my foot and the fucked up ankle, oh wait, add in the numbness to all that. I also have cervical spine problems that affect my balance, so I stumble around like a drunk most of the time and fall frequently. Spent two weeks institutionalized after the toe was lopped off.

Shit, I do not even know where to go next. Maybe my diabetes, which is continuing to get worse, thanks to one of my psych meds. I already take five pills a day and insulin for it so it will be interesting to decide what they are going to do to fix it this time. More pills? More insulin? Hell, I take 15 pills at a time, what is a few more. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, nerve problems, fibromyalgia, diabetes, bladder issues, mixed manic bipolar 1, depression, anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. That is too much shit and too many meds. I am not fond of people, do not do crowds, traffic, or freeways, and really do not leave the house much. I leave to go to the doctor and shop, that about sums it up. I bitched about spending $54 on shoes, yet they should last forever for as little as I will wear them.

It took over five years to finally diagnose my mental illness correctly and put me on meds that help somewhat. Even now, they do not work when my brain goes into chaos mode as it is now. As much as this is helping, I cannot make this a 20-page dissertation just to keep my hands busy for the next six hours.

I do not want sympathy at all, hell no. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts and why my brain is so chemically imbalanced and that I am in a state of losing complete control. I want other people that go through this to understand they are not alone and asking for help does not mean you failed. Knowing when to ask for help is half the battle I think. Right now I am asking for help and I may go away for a week or two, but I know when I come out I will be able to center myself and tame the chaos once again…

DILLIGAF

For those of you unfamiliar with DILLIGAF, it means “do I look like I give a fuck”. For me, this is how I feel about many things, especially when it comes from misinformed vermin that simply want to be difficult. I try to be somewhat smarter than the average person, but it seems more and more people just simply want to embrace being ignorant, or stupid, whichever fits the situation. I know this is not going to be a well-liked piece, but to refer to my title, DILLIGAF?

Being a Satanist, I think the DILLIGAF attitude comes from the pure ignorance and hate from outsiders. Part of being a Satanist is embracing being a loner and simply being a rebel. That all lends itself to not giving a fuck right there. There is so much out there about Satanism, yet people still hang on to the Hollywood stereotypes thinking we are all descendants of Richard Ramirez because he drew a pentagram on his hand. They think we spend our weekends carrying out some LaVeyesque sideshow where naked women run free and the neighbor’s kid is roasting slowly on a bed of carrots and leeks in the oven. I am honestly embarrassed by many of the ritual images people Google and end up believing that is what Satanism is.

I am just going to put this out there and everyone can take it for what it is worth. I am NOT a fan of the Church of Satan or Anton LaVey and am slowly losing any admiration I have for The Satanic Temple. The Church of Satan is old school, Anton LaVey is old school, and this is 2019, get your head out of your ass and stop swinging from his nuts and following The Satanic Bible like Christians follow the Holy Bible. The old days of shock and awe are over with. Stop being elitist twats and come down from your ivory towers and embrace what Satanism really is. Satanism is maintaining individuality while still being a contributing member to society and your community. (Sips Coke loaded with Grenadine even though I am diabetic, well you know what I say…)

The Satanic Temple has developed a modern, cohesive list of tenets that are easy to embrace by any Satanist. However, that is where my love affair with them ends. While I agree to the separation of church and state, programs like After School Satan are not beating them, they are joining the religious sect that has these religious afterschool clubs. It turns into they did it and they did it, so it is okay. How about petitioning the school boards instead to remove these programs because they clearly violate the constitution as to religion in schools. Many spectacles that TST perform in the name of change can be done much less like a sideshow and more like grown adults trying to create change. I for one am happy to see that Jex Blakemore left the organization and is fighting the good fight against unconstitutional abortion laws. Maybe Lucien Graves should look at what she is doing and stop staging B-movie-like protests that do nothing but make Satanists look like fools.

While I am just putting it all out there, I might as well touch on the bitches, the “real Satanists” as they call themselves. I am frankly tired of hearing, “You are not a ‘real’ Satanist because you do not do this or that”. Being a Satanist is being an individual, which means I do what the fuck I want. If I want to open a soup kitchen for the homeless or have a feminine hygiene drive for the local women’s shelter or simply donate money to another Satanist in need, that is what I am going to fucking do. I care about my community and the people in it. That by no means is indicative of me being a sheep, it is just being a caring human being with some empathy and common sense. I have been the recipient of help from the Satanic community and now that I can, it is time to pay it forward when I can. Again, I do what I want and well, you know.

With all this being said, I still give a shit about people. Just because I do not like your brand of Satanism, whether it be atheistic or theistic, LaVeyan or TST, I am still going to treat you like a human being. I love the fact that the United Aspects of Satan does not experience all this grief and strife. Members of UAoS are some of the most laid back, down to earth people who have great ideas and work as a community. I do not know if it is the vetting done by Damien Ba’al or just the nature of the organization, but it has a much different feel than CoS or TST, which I want nothing to do with. I even get along with Christians if they are not crazy, fundie, Westboro Baptist type Christians. I have a foodie group on Facebook called C.A.S.T in the Kitchen that is a mix of all religions and non-religions and it is great. I do not take issue with any person until they take issue with me and once you do you can as DILLIGAF, and the answer will be fuck no! Oh and for those that do not like Ghost, you can kiss my fat ass, too! 😊

The Baphomet Principle: Self-motivation balanced with compassion and reason, in all things. ~ UAoS, Damien Ba’al

satanist in pink

The Satanist in Pink

Although pink is not one of my favorite colors, I felt it be the best way to describe being a Satanic woman. To outsiders, saying one is a Satanist more than likely conjures up visions of witches dancing around a cauldron on brooms, cackling and spreading curses over the townsfolk. These are just more items in the long list of misconceptions and Hollywood propaganda that has been attached to Satanism. While Satanists do not set out to be accepted by outsiders, it is nice to be able to have pride in who you are without people coming at you with torches and pitchforks.

Anton LaVey organized Satanism and rolled it out to the public with his own unique style. LaVey had some great ideas but should have stopped with The Satanic Bible. Many Satanists, much to the dismay of devout LaVeyans, do not pay much attention to the “magic” portion of TSB. He could have called it anything but choosing to call it magic makes the skeptic Satanist pass it by. He could have left it at rituals and ceremonies and maybe the skeptics would be more interested. It all boils down to things that your typical Satanist would refer to as rituals also or to the rest of us, simply meditation. Meditation is a wonderful way to re-center oneself, especially if anxiety or stress is high.

Back in LaVey’s heyday, he did a fairly good job of hiding his misogyny. He didn’t, however, hide the fact he viewed women as objects. All one must do is look at the pics of naked women displayed on his altars and see that women were used as objects. With LaVey’s history as a circus performer, you can almost see him dressed in a tuxedo barking the highlights of the “Altar Lady”. It is not at all flattering to women if you ask me. You never saw any naked men up there now, did you? Now that would show some equality, or just do not put any naked people on an altar and just focus on the substance of Satanism instead of the pomp and circumstance.

LaVey completely went off the edge when he wrote “The Satanic Witch.” It should be a manual for misogynists. His quotes are so offensive that nearly every woman Satanist I have encountered agrees that it is absolute garbage. Women struggle for equality in Satanism and here comes Anton with his flaming arrow to shoot that all down. Now I am not saying that all LaVeyan’s have embraced the ideas of “The Satanic Witch”, but if they follow LaVey like they are a Christian and he is a god, they believe women should be in the kitchen baking cookies and not asserting themselves in the Satanic community.

I have so much appreciation for those in the Satanic community whose organizations have women in positions of power, for lack of a better word. These organizations give women the opportunity to invoke their own unique ideas and experiences for any number of things. Satanic women are unique in that there is still not a lot of us comparatively. I am not sure if it is harder for women to openly admit to being a Satanist, which is understandable as the Abrahamic religions look down on women as well. If they are raised in a religious household, I could understand how hard it would be to not only voice their opinion but voice the fact that they are Satanists.

I think I am in the minority as I am openly, and very boldly, a Satanist. I hid it for most of my life, as of course there is a stigma attached that some just do not want to have to educate people about. Once I finally decided to openly admit I was a Satanist there is no stopping me. This is how the Satanist in Pink was born. There are not a lot of resources for women when it comes to Satanism, and I want to change that. I want to be able to provide the information and knowledge to help Satanic women be openly Satanic women without fear of ridicule or worse yet, deal with the misogyny that has existed since the first organization of Satanism by LaVey in the late 1960s. I want all women to be proud Satanists like I am and have the Satanic pride and nothing to hide.

satanist in pink

From Edgelords to Emos…

As far as Satanism goes, you can find a variety of groups on Facebook ranging from the edgelords and emos to legitimate groups that share ideas, philosophies and the take on the latest goings-on in the world. Satanism is not about gory pictures, tasteless pornography or images of trampish nuns holding a Holy Bible covered in ejaculate. For those of us that try so hard to distance themselves from this childish shit, it makes seeing these types of posts even more frustrating. While I am not a fan of the ideals of theistic Satanism, I would rather see someone going on about praying to father Satan than some overly Googled image of a burning church with a couple of Hot Topic shoppers standing in awe like cavemen when they first discovered they could burn things. I know to some I may seem like I am trying to act like I am better than these emos and edgelords and the truth is, I am a better representation of a Satanist.

What is a better representation of a Satanist? A better representation is a Satanist that stands true to be an individual and not follow the image Hollywood propaganda has put forth. The problem with being a Satanist is that just mentioning the word gives the average person a vision of a group of people dressed in black robes dancing around a fire roasting one of the neighborhood children. While it does not matter if people accept Satanism, it is much more conducive to start a truthful friendship or relationship with someone without them thinking you are going to sacrifice the family dog. They do not have to like what I am, but I want them to know what I am not, and that is a sex-crazed, perverted, psycho/sociopath. I have been lucky thus far in that those surrounding me have accepted what I am and treat me as they would any other person, even if they do not agree with what I believe.

I believe Satanists are unique in that they have found a way to maintain their individualism while still being able to socialize with other Satanists and share common denominators. The current state of elitism hanging over both the Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple is frustrating. While I understand that CoS is not about activism or political matters and The Satanic Temple is all about them, there is still the common denominator that they are all atheistic Satanists. I myself am not all about the “in your face” activism, but I do believe that in order to make a difference and embrace the Baphomet Principle (self-motivation balanced with compassion and reason, in all things), one must try to contribute to the betterment of society even if it is from behind the scenes or an anonymous gesture. We should also look to help our Satanic community members when we can, physically, mentally or emotionally. Helping the outside community should also be admirable if it is not done for the prestige it may hold.

Like many Satanists, my first taste of Satanism came from The Satanic Bible. However, I was never about the magic and ceremony that LaVey promoted being the showman that he was. To me, it smacks too much of being like a Christian church that everyone dresses up and repeats the same words just to make a spectacle of it all. Being a full-blown skeptic, the idea of magic also never appealed to me much. While LaVey defines magic as “the change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will, which would using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable,” I do not see any situation changing with the addition of “magic” to one’s own will. The strength of one’s will is what changes situations and events, not some magic conjured up in someone’s head. The idea of magic also makes it seem like Satanists have some supernatural powers, like witches supposedly do, which I want nothing to do with. My skepticism runs deep. Show me a picture or it did not happen or does not exist.

Being a “Ba’alean” Satanist is what fits me perfectly. I do not want magic, I do not want to dress up in capes and have some magic ceremony, I do not want to treat other Satanists like I am “real Satanist”, cringe, and they are not. You can be an individual yet respect the path of Satanism of others even when it is different from yours. You can agree to disagree, but far too many times, this does not happen. CoS will revoke your membership if they find out you are a TST member, what kind of shit is that? Many Satanists I know personally have embraced ideas and ideals from both camps. I do not see any issue drawing from both and even representing a third. Damien Ba’al and the United Aspects of Satan is a beautiful example of being able to blend different ideas and ideals and produce a cohesive flavor of Satanism that fits people who are accepting of others, not out to play the “real Satanist” game. The Baphomet Principle, mentioned earlier, is simple yet all-encompassing and provides a Ba’alean Satanist with a platform to evolve from.

This has all been building up with me and finally overflowed after joining a Facebook group that seems to feature 99 percent emos and edgelords without an intelligent conversation to be had. I understand people can do what they want with their groups, but it frustrates me that people in the group are in other legitimate groups that I own or admin. It makes me wonder if these are “two-faced” Satanists that put up a front as to not get kicked out of a group but really fall into the emo and edgelord category. You see them posting semen-coated nuns in one group and then liking intelligent posts in another group. I guess I am just more involved in my Satanism than to go promote the image that fits every Hollywood stereotype of a Satanist one can think of. I may also sound petty, but I know how hard I work to portray what I think a Satanist should be only to have some mindless fool go posting pics of burning crosses, churches, and Bibles. Maybe I just take my path of Satanism too seriously, or do I?

satanist in pink