Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Recovery Story

I had my first bout of mental illness in prison in 1987.  I had just finished a computer programing class but I was also running a gambling house in the east wing of the prison.  I had money and street clothes as the allowed us to wear street clothes in the east wing even though I did not want to be in the east wing.  I liked the south wing.  There I had a partner to run my gambling house.  Things were not going good for me in the east wing.  My ex-wife was bothering me they asked me to up the limit on my gambling house and I did. One of the guards that I knew previously from south wing when I was there a few years earlier wrote me up for gambling.
Everything that was going on it made me mad and of course I fought it the charge of gambling and was found guilty.  I was sentence to three days in the hole.  I was still angry when I went to the hole and the next thing I knew I was on another wing.  I did not know what was going on.  I broke open my razor and tried to commit suicide.  All it did was scratch me.  The guard that wrote me up said he did it for my protection because I had raised the stakes in gambling and he thought one of the players would hurt me.  I did not know this when I fought the case.  I told the guard on this new wing that I had tried to commit suicide.   They sent me to Cannon City to a doctor.  He asked some questions and at first was going to say I had a mental illness then he changed his mind and just thought I had the breakdown because I was not sleeping. He put me on Halcion to sleep.
I was there in the infirmary and he asked if I would like to go back to Buena Vista or where I would like to go and after watching inmates there behind the walls I said here.  Now my friends back at Buena did not understand what happen to me they thought it was because of someone on the streets and they still would stick by me.  Although I had to figure out what happened to me.  I did not feel the same way I did before.  I wasn’t the same person.  I stayed behind the walls until my appeal came through.  I told my lawyer on the streets that I just wanted a deal where they would leave me alone and I would plead guilty.  It was only supposed to be a misdemeanor if I took it back to trial although I had already had done two years.  I just wanted to be left alone.
I was going to leave the state and go back to Portland, Oregon although a computer class came along that was accelerated.  So I signed up all went well until it was time for finals and then I had my breakdown and ended up at the state hospital.  I did not know where I was at.  I had sat in the county jail without medication for six months.  I was insane.  I finally received medication when I was at the state hospital.  After a while not going to groups or understanding mental illness I talked the doctor into taking me off the medication.  They transferred me to another ward after three months and there is where I had my last full breakdown into mental illness.  The doctor there put me back on medication but my arms shook or something would be wrong with the medication.  He was ready to give up on finding me a medication and he tried an older drug called moban with a side effect medication called kemidrin.  The worked as I got better I started thinking about my future.  When one of the people who worked there asked what I would like to do with my life I said I wanted to learn computers.  She introduced me to somebody in vocational rehabilitation and he taught me computers on his computer and I was going to school and learning typing from scratch and math and all the subjects I needed for college.
I was being sent back to the original ward where I asked the doctor to take me off medications when I was there I asked to be sent to the Circle program for drug and alcohol abuse. He sent me there and then I was able to get passes to stay at my mom and dads and I enrolled in college.  I was able to go to school half time.  When I first started college I had a relapse because my medication was too low.  I have had no problems since then.  I received my bachelors and my masters.  I was finally taken off moban and put on Geodon and now I work and the only problem I have is stigma

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