I found myself letting this song run through my head the other day and just comparing it to so many things, real, imagined, & otherwise.
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher, tell me what’s my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me
Read more: Gary Jules – Mad World Lyrics | MetroLyrics
We’re about 2 months into school now and I’m just now getting used to a schedule (it just really got into place, with a part time job added to the mix) but also to the people around me. There’s been a lot of adjustment and change – I’d venture to say the most I’ve experienced in 9 years. There’ve been a few difficult moments, but only moments, mainly in concentration. That’s what the first part of this post is about, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
It’s always hard to go into a situation where you want to achieve big things and want to do your best but don’t know anyone around you. If you push too hard, people may believe you are cocky and abrasive and on the other hand, if you are too relaxed then you can be seen as a slacker. There is also a somewhat frenetic pace to the more difficult courses so there is a pressure there to accomplish things quickly. I’ve realized I’m behind most of the younger crowd when it comes to the use of things like scientific calculators, so my electronics class is really difficult for me in some ways.
By about the 4th week in, I was REALLY stressing, because at one point I remember just starting to blank out – the instructor was suddenly speaking Martian to me….nothing, and I mean NOTHING was making sense. I was lucky enough to have a great discussion the next week that made me realize that
- It’s been over 20 years since I’ve been in a classroom situation
- It’s going to take a little time to get back in that swing
- I was concentrating on trying to “maintain” that 4.0…there’s time.
- re: #3 In all my years of working, not once has someone asked me what my GPA was
- and finally, school itself is a skill, and takes a while to resharpen.
I was fine with that last one for sure, and it helped. But there was something else bothering me, because concentration itself has been showing to be an issue at times, as well as memory.
I had an appointment the next week with both my dermatologist and my psychiatrist. I’d had some skin breakouts of not only the lichen planus but also really dry skin patches and had to have them checked out. Psoriasis – stress related, but egging the auto-immune disorder on full blast with blotches and patches, was getting me. But it was a discussion with my dermatologist that REALLY set me off this week; the 1st of 2.
My dermatologist prescribed 3 different creams that, once turned into the pharmacy totaled up over $160 that I frankly just couldn’t afford. I was pissed. I’d already had one doctor tell me that I could take Neosporin and Lotrimin and make a “poor man’s” version of one cream…
Strangely enough, the next day I was in Walgreens and for grins, Googled “psoriasis” and “sebboratic dermatitis” and found a 1% hydrocortisone with extra moisturizers specifically made for these two conditions right there on the shelf for a whopping $6. I started using it that day and within 24 hours the conditions on my face had lessened dramatically….. and I was $154 richer in my book.
We began discussing the medicines that I take on a regular basis – you know, as part of the normal & general conversation your doctor has with you. I came to find out that yet again, the “cures” I’ve been given have failed me in a different way.
As it turns out, the complaints that I’ve had of concentration and cognizant function at times are very real.
When I first started taking Lithium in 2009, I thought I’d found a miracle for helping me with evening out the mood swings of bipolar disorder. What they DIDN’T tell me then was that it was something that held a high risk of triggering an auto-immune disorder with my skin. And even worse, they DIDN’T tell me that it would cause concentration problems in the future – and now I’m PISSED. It was never discussed. I NEED to be able to use my brain quickly and I’ve always been a pretty smart guy…but at times now I find a “thickness” I find myself not able to describe with any other word.
I feel somewhat robbed. I feel somewhat duped and the worst part of it is, I don’t know what my recourse is. But I will be looking into it.
I will say, my plan is to get off the lithium. I know it’s a weight-gainer and I’ve remained up & down on the weight by 60 pounds (after taking off 130) and I’m done with that. Especially as I age, it’s not something I intend to keep battling – I have too much to get done. I’m mad. I look back at my sister’s condition in the few years before she passed away and I wonder just how much worse her condition was made by the multitudes of medications they had her on. She literally had a suitcase of pills that she took every day.
All in the name of medicine, right?
My goal is to be off all of the medicines this year. I feel that I have gained the controls on how to handle things naturally, and I also feel that this medicinal approach has completely arrested me as an artist, as a man, and as a human. “This”, well….this is just who I am.