The best-laid plans of mice and men go oft awry

Posted: 06 October 2018
Updated: 06 October 2018

I have shelter, food & most things I need

Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a base, to be securely on the path to healing, I need the following things:

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Food
  4. Shelter
  5. Sleep
  6. Clothing
  7. Bathroom
  8. Medicine and vitamins for coping
  9. Personal safety
  10. Security of my property
  11. Medicine, vitamins, and other therapies for correcting my medical problems
  12. Dependable resources

I have most of the things I need

Some wonderful, kind, and generous people saw my homelessness and my despair, and they have gone out of their way to support my recovery. Because of them, I have water, food, shelter, sleep not interrupted by thieves or rain, clothing, a 24-hour bathroom, most of the medicine and vitamins I need to cope, personal safety, security of my property, some amino acids to help me heal, and the ability to depend on those resources.

They are assisting my efforts to earn money

We are already working together to use my skills to earn money, while being realistic about my limitations. We know that I cannot do much now, but we know that as my ability to cope increases, my ability to earn money will increase. Therefore, we are actively doing things that improve my ability to cope.

One of the most amazing and rare things they are doing should not be rare: they believe me. They believe I have a medical problem. They believe that these coping medicines help me cope. They believe that the changes I want to make will help me. With most people, when I talk about my medical issues, my current medicines, and my plan, the people try to convince me that I am wrong and that they know exactly how to transform my life. With most people, I must justify my actions and I must essentially apologize for being alive. When most people ask me what I need and I tell them, they respond by telling me I am wrong.

But, when these compassionate people ask me what I need and I tell them, they immediately work with me to find a way to get what I need. You cannot possibly understand how much I value this cooperative relationship. For eight years and eight months, almost everyone in my life and almost every person I have met, has attacked me, ignored me, shamed me, refused to help me, called me a liar, called me lazy, or told me I am wrong. I have a handful of friends who have never treated me that way, but literally thousands of people have consistently treated me disgust or contempt.

This situation has a real possibility of working because we have a cooperative relationship. They have taught me about resources that I didn’t know existed, and they have found creative solutions that help me. That has only been possible because we work together. If they treated me how most people treat me, then they would try to use their power (food, shelter, knowledge, medicine) to control my actions, to take my liberty, and to force me to do the things they believe will heal me. They have not made their support conditional, for example, on me obeying their order to live in a specific place and obeying their order for me to pet horses.

Because they seek a cooperative relationship with me, we are already doing things that help them or earn money: specifically, me teaching English and me teaching at least one person how to sharpen knives. And things will improve as I get stronger.

I am only missing a few medicines

Currently, my coping medicines include modafinil, bupropion, alprazolam, and diazepam. Those are the four most expensive medicines I currently take, and those are the medicines for which I need a little more support. Because of my new knowledge about my exact medical problems, and because of my research, I want to change many of my medicines. I certainly want to stop taking diazepam, and I would like to stop taking alprazolam. They are not bad, but both of them slightly reduce the benefits of modafinil and bupropion. They are effective anxiolytics, however, and I have not had any time to find an alternative. My hope is that the alternative is less expensive. Modafinil and bupropion are similar but not identical. Nevertheless, it is possible I might be able to replace the two medicines with only one medicine. I need to do more research. Ideally, I would be able to talk to a specialist for all of these changes.

I need the four coping medicines above (and then their replacements), and I need medicine to correct my neurological problem: downregulated 5HT2A. I have found dozens of studies about this receptor, but I still have not found the slightest hint that doctors have studied the problem of downregulated 5HT2A and how to correct it by upregulating. I have found some medicines that we know upregulates 5HT2A, but each one seems to have a problem. One of them, for example, causes irreversible damage to the hippocampus, so I don’t want to take that. I really want to find a specialist who studies this receptor and hopefully learn some useful things. In any event, whatever therapy I use, it will cost money.

Because of the new support, if I can have stability and have all of my coping medicines, vitamins, and amino acids, it is plausible that I could reach a point where I am coping well enough to earn the money to pay for my coping medicines, vitamins, and amino acids. Until then, however, I need help with these last four medicines.

Medicines and costs

Medicine1 box isMXNUSD
Modafinil9 days$716$38.60
Bupropion5 days$289$15.58
Alprazolam30 days$595$32.08
Diazepam20 days$339$18.28

Inventory and money

Medicine inventory

MedicineDays remaining

Available money

Mercado Pago$66
Store credit$14

If I buy bupropion on Mondays, I get a discount. Last Monday, I ran out of modafinil. Because MXN$716 was 70% of my money, I balked at buying it. On Tuesday, I woke up at my normal time, but by midmorning, it was clear that my symptoms were getting stronger: I slept most of the day and I had difficulty eating. Tuesday night, I resolved that on Wednesday, I would walk the 550 meters to the pharmacy and buy the modafinil. I knew it would be a challenge, so I made that my only goal for the day. On Wednesday, I used every coping technique and I focused on only one goal: walk 550 meters and buy medicine. Eating was almost impossible and I slept a lot, but I made it at 8:30 pm. Thursday was a recovery day. I didn’t return to the level I was at on Monday until midday on Friday.

I feel discouraged, week, helpless, and hopeless when missing just one day of medicine completely disrupts three-and-one-half days.

This can work

This situation is arguably the best opportunity for recovery I have had. Having supportive people near me is a tremendous advantage. Please join me, my three friends in the US, and my new friends in Mexico to ensure that I can break the cycle of poverty.

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