bluer than you were

At 16h00 on Sundays, Galadriel takes over my phone to say, “This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will.” Obediently, I go and put the trash out, because she’s right, I’m the only one who will. It amuses me a bit.

That was Sunday, this was Monday:

Shrink one: We are thinking of switching you to an Olanzapine/fluoxetine combo. It was never an option with you having to buy your meds (it costs R3, 000 per month) but shrink two can motivate for it through the state.  

That was by email and apparently I won’t have any trouble getting olanzapine because of the long list of drugs I’ve already tried. It’s Tuesday today and I just walked along the beach accompanied by the dry heaves of an empty stomach for no apparent reason, I hadn’t even swallowed the pills yet. Tomorrow will be my first trip to ward 13 alone.

Can’t seem to think or write much at the moment.

Walking Around
(Pablo Neruda, translated by Robert Bly)

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.

I don’t want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don’t want so much misery.
I don’t want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That’s why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling.

Published by


battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

35 thoughts on “bluer than you were”

  1. Good luck on your trip. Just came back from trip to see my dad with the kids to find a burst hot water pipe. No water until we figure out how to fix it… Hope the new regime of meds help fix you. Drive safe.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Panicked & called the plumber but now that I’ve googled it I think we (Thomas) can fix it. Most expensive item is the proper tool to cut the pipe b/c of course it is in an impossible spot to reach. It’s Ginny who may have to birdbath in cold water before work. Don’t you just love it? If it’s not bipolar, blood clots or cars breaking down it’s something else.

        Good luck with your trip to Ward 13. Strongs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It is hard to go places like that alone.

    If you do not find anyone to accompany you by Thursday, then know we are with you in your pocket

    ….as long as your cell phone works in that place…..or as long as we can get reeeeaaaalllyyy small 👭 and you can stuff us in your pocket.
    Annie 💕💕💙💙👭🌺💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish the Lady Galadriel would spare time from looking into her mirror of water, and remind me to put the recycling out. We’re awash with empty pop bottles.

    Ward trips can be awful. I asked my husband to go with me to an eye appointment, as the hospital carries a shedload of crappy memories from ward stays. I like Annie’s idea of us travelling in your pocket. Reach for a hanky, & hear some murmuring? It’s not psychosis, just us, chatting.

    The Neruda poem is fab as always, there’s a few people I wouldn’t mind (briefly) terrifying with a cut lily. I’d add it to my bucket list, if I had one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the ‘like’ Blah…. best of luck to you, if anyone else did the ‘Medical Suck it and See’ that we have to go through with meds, it would be like doing a pub crawl through Hell… So I salute you and I hope you find the right beneficial poison for you. ~ P ~

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thinking of you!!!
    I took olanzapine (for mania) and it helped….all these meds affect us in different ways, as you know… and dammit, I’m hoping it will help you in the best way possible.

    If I was over there, I’d go with you to Ye Olde 13 in a heartbeat, clutching a copy of this to pass the time:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Keep us posted on how it goes with that prozac/olanzapine thing. I’ve never tried it but if the lithium experiment fails and you don’t have side effects like growing a unicorn horn..I might toss it out to el shrinkpo.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an amazing poem. I want to read it and re-read it again. Olanzapine was the best drug I ever took. I felt better than I had in decades. For 2 months last year. Happy, an enthusiasm for life. But…… side effects. Bloated from water retention, I could barely walk on my swollen feet and I looked like the Michelin Man. I vaguely heard my doc saying things like…. dangerous…. high blood pressure…. stroke…. diabetes…… die. But I was far too happy to worry about such things. But he stop olanzapine and then life turned to shit again. So I’m excited for you to try it. And hopefully… no fucking side effects, hey. ((hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t believe they tried clozapine before olanzapine, or is it the olanzapine/fluoxetine combo that’s new? Which leads me to another question – have you ever tried typical antipsychotics such as haloperidol? If you’ve tried everything else it could be worth a try?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t try olanzapine first, because of cost – I haven’t always been on state healthcare. Typical antipsychotics – I’ve tried chlorpromazine. There’s some interesting research in using clozapine monotherapy for bipolar. Olanzapine and fluoxetine are the next option, if the clozapine doesn’t cut it. And of course, ect.

      Tell you what though, I don’t actually give a fuck what I take anymore, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok, I just thought Clozapine was the BIG guns and that Olanzapine was a third or fourth line treatment. I didn’t know it wasn’t funded in SA (no idea if it is here tbh. I’m still failing at Seroquel).

        Liked by 1 person

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