It’s May 7 2020 – what feels like day 8 gazillion of this lockdown/quarantine – whatever the politicians are calling it. I’m calling it stir crazy.
Mental health is a huge thing. Really huge thing. And I’m not afraid to admit that I struggle with it – a lot. I have PTSD going back to some rather traumatic incidents in my youth. It’s not worth discussing now. It’s not going to change anything. I’m coming to grips with it in my own way. I also have bi-polar 2 depression. My manic stages manifest in bursts of energy. It manifests after several days of sleep deprivation. Usually more than three or four days without any sleep. Five to ten days with sporadic few hours of sleep. Or, the worst one – ten days – no sleep – and I went entirely off the deep end. It was a bad time. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel some of that same panic and dealing with a whole lot of insomnia since all this started – for me – on March 18, 2020.
March 18 2020 – at noon – was when we got the email at work, that stated we would be closing for two weeks. By the end of the day, at five o’clock, we were told it would be a month. Now, almost two months later, we’re being told “until further notice.” Being a government employee, I am getting paid my base salary and my medical insurance remains in tact. But, I’m stressed. I’d rather be at work. And I could be – but not at my own location. And I just can’t do that. I can’t handle a change of going to a different facility – not knowing all the players – and dealing with the stress that comes with working with the public during all of this. I think it would be more stressful on me than sitting home is – and I would be in a manic phase before long.
My manic phases manifest in a sudden burst of energy – lasting a day or two – and usually involves me taking on some big project that I probably have no business doing, considering my physical limitations. Moving furniture – things like that.
And while I’d love to say that MMJ is the cure all for this, it’s not. It lessens the severity of the manic phases, and in some cases, it can completely alleviate it by knocking me out. The problem is figuring out when it’s just too late for that. I don’t know where that line is yet. I am only recognizing the signs once it gets to be too late. I have to get better at reading those signs. But, insomnia is no joke. It’s the one thing that I am – sadly – still reliant on #BigPharma. Unfortunately.
Anyone who knows me – or if you have read this blog – you’ll know that I had a really bad experience with Gabapentin and it has turned me against #BigPharma forever. I will never forgive them for the wreck that they turned me into. #FuckBigPharma. Unfortunately, I am still on Elavil and Vistaril. I am also on a high dosage of Ferrous Sulfate (Iron). I have a serious iron anemia issue. One that landed me in the hospital August of 2019 for five days. MMJ doesn’t cure everything.
Medical Marijuana does help – a lot – with the PTSD, the anxiety, the depression and calming the manic phases. It doesn’t do anything for the anemia. And with this Covid shit, my anxiety and depression have been hitting into high gear. I am not cut out for this kind of life – sitting home – not working. I can’t do it. It’s just not me. The weather hasn’t really been great to get out on the bike – not to mention I couldn’t wear shoes for the past month because I broke three toes on April 9 2020. It’s been a good time. But, not really.
We’re hearing that we won’t be going back to work until probably sometime in June, on some limited basis. I don’t foresee courthouses reopening fully for a long time to come. At least through winter 2020-2021. They don’t know how this Covid-19 is going to react come regular flu season, and I have very little confidence that there will be an effective vaccine. It is impossible to social distance in a busy courthouse – especially one as small as the one I work in. We do the highest volume of work, in the smallest square footage. It’s crazy. On a slow day, we have over 200 cases on. On a busy day, there can be 400+ people. And with only four courtrooms, we’re busy.
It’s funny to think about working in a courthouse and being on medical marijuana. I used marijuana as a rebellious teen. Not a whole lot – I certainly wasn’t a stoner – but I experimented with it. It’s almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t. There are a few, but not many. Anyway, after getting a job in the criminal justice system, I stopped doing it. It just seemed to be counter to what I was doing with my life. I don’t get drug tested, although every time a contract comes up, there is some grumblings about drug testing employees. Now, with so many states legalizing it recreationally, and having people on it for medical reasons, including myself, it is really counterproductive to test, with the exception of some jobs. I certainly don’t want someone driving an 18 wheeler (like one of my kids does) on weed. I don’t want a cop out there on it. Or a fireman. Anything that has to do with mass public safety, I don’t want them on it – at least while they are on duty. I believe it should be legalized anyway.
I also had to change my line of thinking when it came to marijuana, after hearing the “reefer madness” thought process so much in courtrooms. I work with an ex cop – and he is full blown reefer madness – gateway drug (bullshit!! Oxy and fentynal are the gateway drugs). And, don’t even get me started on how much worse alcohol is than marijuana. But, 30 years in courtrooms, listening to prosecutors talk about how bad marijuana is, you believe it – hard. And it takes a lot to change that thought process. That’s why it took me a year to finally agree to try it.
Six years ago, I sat on a trial where this dude was busted getting a 40 lb shipment of weed. Spent two weeks in a courtroom with a huge box of weed. And I remember thinking at the time – what the fuck dude – really? I mean, he had a wife, kids – and he ended up in jail for it. My problem with illegal weed is you don’t know what is in it or what it was grown in. Pesticides. Soaked in formaldehyde. I just don’t trust it. That’s part of the reason that I went the medical route – I mean – I don’t live in a state where it is recreationally legal yet. And if I am ever caught with it, I have the legal protection of it being prescribed. But, I would like to see it legalized and regulated.
So, being on MMJ and working in a courthouse can have a few funny moments. Depending on my pain level, I may use my vape or smoke in my car before going into work if I don’t have any medibles with me. I did that a few months ago. And I was assigned to a criminal court.
Before court starts, the prosecutors will talk with lawyers and self represented parties in an effort to resolve the cases with plea bargains. So, one morning, I was in a lot of pain – it was a really bad – hard pain day. I went out to my car and sucked on my vape a bit. Then I went to my assigned courtroom. As I sat down in my chair, there was a prosecutor standing next to my desk, and as I sat down, he called up a self represented person, who was there for – yeah, you guessed it – a possession of marijuana charge. Prosecutor could smell weed and he was convinced that it was the dude. Dude was denying it from sunup to sundown. But, that prosecutor was not convinced. Gave him a 10 minute lecture about showing up in court stoned. I am ready to die in my seat, listening to this. I’m like, dude… if only you knew who was the one who really smelled like weed…
I don’t hide the fact that I am on MMJ, but I also don’t advertise it. If it comes up, it comes up. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. We were talking about it in my office one day, and someone mentioned having a relative who had to go 30 miles away to the dispensary. I’m like, dude, there is one up the street from here. In CT., you have to pick a dispensary and stick with it. You can change once every 12 weeks, if you want, but you have to have a reason. I chose the dispensary closest to where I work, as opposed to the one in the town in which I live simply because I can make a dispensary run on my lunch hour. CT has hard time limits on dispensary hours. I can get to the one near my work, stop at McDonald’s for lunch, and get back to the office and still have time left in my lunch break. I didn’t want to take the chance of getting out of work late and not being able to get to the one in the town I live in because of the stupid limited hours. If the state allowed them to be open later, it wouldn’t be an issue.
Then again, CT is so stupid, they won’t let the dispensaries call the various strains by their street names. We literally have a web page that we have to go to and look up what we are buying and if it is good for whatever you are on MMJ for. If you are on MMJ for a PTSD that manifests with hallucinations, you don’t want a strain known for panic / paranoia attacks. They are literally putting lives in danger that way. But, you’ll find out by reading these pages as we go along that despite being born and raised here, I absolutely despise this fucking state. It sucks. CT., where nothing makes sense. That should be the state motto.
It’s 12:30, May 8 2020 now. I should try to sleep. Since this started, I basically have been living on the couch. Husband is still working, and he gets up at five a.m., and since I don’t need to get up, I have been watching tv and sleeping on the couch. It’s just easier for me and for him. It’s better than having me toss and turn because I know I don’t have to get up and my anxiety is through the roof anyway. UGH!!!
In other news, I’m probably going to take a weekend, hopefully it will be warm enough soon, and ride the scoot up to Maine. Mother hasn’t seen me on the bike yet, even though I’ve been riding since 2016. Truth be told, she tried to dissuade me from getting the scoot. Little did anyone realize, getting on the bike makes me feel better than anything else. I love being on the bike. It’s so freeing – so exhilarating – and peaceful. Give me a good road and I can just go for miles, listening to tunes and just being one with the bike and the road. I love riding through state and federal parks – riding through the wooded areas – it really is awesome. Peaceful. You smell the trees. Hear water in brooks, rivers, streams. I love it so much. Hell, I even enjoyed riding down to DC, even in the pouring rain. Just because I was on the bike. It was nicer riding to DC and back in good weather.
So, if we get some 70* days, I may leather up and ride the scoot up to Maine and surprise mother. If it turns out that I don’t go back to work until mid-June, I will definitely get up there. Leave on Friday, come home on Monday. And, Maine recognizes my medical marijuana card, so, Yay!!! I can go to a Maine dispensary up there and poke around, see what I see.
My oldest son is leaving for Syria in June, for 9 months. He’s in the Army. Momma Bear is not happy about it. I went to see him in February in North Carolina. Husband needs to go down and see him before he leaves. He’s planning on going Memorial Day weekend. I’m good with that, too. I have to stay home for the animals. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t be out on the scoot if the weather is good. Hopefully, more stuff will be open by then and I’ll actually be able to take a ride to one of our many hole in the wall, roadside restaurants that we have here. We have some good ones. And I am looking forward to getting out to them.
Well, I think I will try to sleep now. It’s time. Hopefully, I will get a few hours of straight sleep. At least three or so. That’s usually all I can hope for as far as straight hours of sleep. Wish me luck.
Have a high day!