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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

I Have Been Unfair to Euterpe

I saw in Euterpe my own very-worst horror:
someone who does not recognize her own addiction
nor what that addiction does to her loved ones.
Euterpe is not that way.

The unflattering portraits I have so far painted of her are now quite clear to both of us my projections onto Sarah of other addicts I have known. "Kit" - not his real name - was like a brother to me, but it got to the point that he couldn't hang out with us friends so he could stay by the phone in case his dealer called.

Sarah is not like that in any way.

Tomorrow I'm going to buy her a couple rolls of film, then she, I, my SLR, my 55 mm lens, 110 mm telephoto lens and my 19 mm to 35 mm zoom wide angle are going to out out to shoot some bridges, railroad switch yard, river-going ships and grain elevators.

I'm going to lease her a desk at NedSpace, which would give her a safe place to get out of the rain when I'm not around to let her in. All of my negatives, my color positive slides and my prints are in storage in Vancouver British Columbia. I've been un-explainedly hesitant to permit my mother to pay to move that stuff to me here in Washington.

Among the reasons is that I really do want to move, there's not much room in my tiny one-bedroom, but Sarah likes it here, and I like it here when Sarah is here.

So I'll have all my negatives and my slides scanned, then Sarah will resize, crop then print them. A Whole Bunch Of People Who Know The Difference has assured me that the photos I have already taken would win awards all over creation. What I need but have not got is that resizing and cropping.

It happens that I own quite a nice mat board cutter; NedSpace's Hot Desks would work well for cutting mattes. We'll put laser prints in them, but after I select not so much my very best photos, but some harmonious groups of twenty or thirty, then Sarah and I will rent a darkroom in Portland - by the hour - then she and I will prepare Ilfochrome - formerly Cibachrome - color positive prints from my color positive slides.

I've already shown some of my portfolio to pro photographers here in Portland. To a man they were all over me like cheap suits to show my work in the Pearl District's many fine galleries.

It's not hiding her needles that will get Sarah clean. It will be giving her a reason to live, to hope - and to develop her own life, independently of my own.

Far, far worse then her Heroin Addiction is her Benzodiazepine one - Xanax specifically, but there is also Ativan. If Sarah goes more than just a very few days without any anxiolytics, she will have a Grand Mal seizure and could very well die just by falling down a staircase.

Sarah got hooked on Benzos by an ignorant Psychiatrist. While Ativan and Xanax are both indicated for Anxiety, to give either one to a patient diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a Crime Against Humanity. Take Xanax for you always-on Anxiety and in no time at all, you'll be selling toothless gumjobs down by the railroad tracks. I've know just that to happen to lots of others.

Far, far better for Generalized Anxiety Disorder are certain specific brands of completely non-addictive antidepressants.

The seizure problem is easily fixed by CBD oil, and extract of Industrial Hemp. Sometime soon visitors to our happy home will be completely convinced she and I have a Zillion Dollar Grow-Op, but in reality, all that you can do with hemp is make tough rope and durable paper.

The FDA has already approved a specific brand of CBD Oil for the prevention of the very worst kinds of seizure disorders.

And just a few days ago, the United States Congress passed legislation to legalize the cultivation of Industrial Hemp. That All By Itself will cut Opiate Deaths right in half.

Sarah's Heroin is not a problem to the extent she can get it reliably. This has already been demonstrated round the world by licensing certified addicts to purchase Heroin at pharmacies. The problems that Addicts get are Hepatitis and HIV, the Blood Sepsis that Sarah is now being treated before, and impure or not sufficiently cut Heroin, and just the last few years, the substitution of small but inaccurately-measured quantities of the far far more powerful Fentanyl.

Sarah practices self-injury with a driven, mindless obsession. She asked me to hold her hand when I see her do that, but when she lets my hand go, she goes right back to repeatedly pinching Just One Spot on her skin until the lacerates it.

My dear friend Chelsea Baumgartner recommended Replacement Therapy: give Sarah something else to do with her hands that would actually benefit her to do it obsessively. Tomorrow I'll teach Sarah Origami. Rod taught me how to knit a week ago; a few days practice and I shall teach Sarah to knit as well.

There Are All Manner Of Ways To Induce A Dope Addict To Get Clean. No one ever holds out hope for the addicts in their own lives; for me, it was all the recovering addicts I've met at rescue missions that lead me to regard Sarah's prognosis as exceedingly good.

Sarah feels really bad to have missed Christmas Day with Rod and I because she was "Working Nights", that is, blowing Johns in South-East Portland. But now she has a secure supply of her Dope, and she made plain that she's diligent about scheduling her doses as well as measuring out her doses in an accurate way.

For at least the next three or four days, Sarah will be just as level-headed as Pope Francis.

That Sarah earns $150 each time she has a "Date" does not threaten me in any way. For us both, it's not about the sex but the love. She services her Johns as if she were pumping gas for their cars.

It happens that the vast majority of Swing Club members are married.

And I am already a member of one such Swing Club, as is Sarah. Quite likely she and I have already crossed paths at South-East Portland's Oregon Theater.

I was a Boy Scout; once a Boy Scout, always a Boy Scout. The Scout Motto?

"Be Prepared"

Or, as Ann Landers - Dear Abby - said:

"Suit Up Before You Play".

Walking On The Wild Side,


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