Driven by this command he pulled the lawnmower from his toolshed and started it up. He pushed the mower furiously up and down the sloping turf, eyes fixed on the lights in the sky. The next thing he knew he was waking up in city jail.
He had been naked and humming loudly to the aliens when he was found by police. The mower had run out of gas, so he was matching the vibration with his voice.
Jim had neglected to refill his medicines.
WYFP is our community's Saturday evening gathering to talk about our problems, empathize with one another, and share advice, pootie pictures, favorite adult beverages, and anything else that we think might help. Everyone and all sorts of troubles are welcome. May we find peace and healing here. Won't you please share the joy of WYFP by recommending?
Keeping Jim out of jail and on his meds has been the constant source of worry among his family and friends. When Jim is maintaining his regimen he's the sweetest guy. Intelligent and caring with a wry sense of humor, Jim is one of the lucky ones for whom medication has few apparent side effects. He doesn't gain weight nor does he suffer any neurological symptoms often associated with antipsychotics. His hallucinations and repetitive dreaming about war are kept almost completely at bay. He doesn't have the urge to drink.
Like so may others battling this type of mental illness, however, his compliance seems to runs in cycles. He's "feeling so much better" and "on top of the world". His meds are only clouding his feelings, he doesn't need them anymore. So, it's often on his best and brightest days, the triple home runs of perfect life, that he begins the shift from doing well to red alert. The changes are unpredictable and sometimes result in dangerous outcomes a week or two weeks later, ushering in continuous rounds of grief to friends and family.
This time no one waited for him to stop answering his phone and emails, let alone get himself arrested. His mother convinced him to see his doctor on the pretense of refilling a long since discontinued prescription for Xanax. It was his love and desire for this medication that set the stage for a 30 day stay in a private facility. His doctor was prepared and within two hours had convinced Jim he needed help. Soon was on his way in an ambulance, voluntarily.
Jim is fortunate to have private insurance paid for by his parents. Many veterans have only TriCare and the overtaxed VA system to rely on. Too often that translates into county jail or state prison.
"I don't need conspiracy and paranoia when Life is a Verb, man.Here is to hoping his next cycles are longer and longer still.