Hurricane Matthew Update

For those of you who don’t know, I live in South Daytona, Florida, directly in the head-on path of category 4 Hurricane Matthew.  Last night, I was forced to evacuate my home.  My dad helped me try to quickly  prepare my home as best as we could before fleeing for safety.  Both time and funds were insufficient to board up my windows with plywood, but we were able to get the sandbags in front of the doors to help prevent flooding damage.  I’m currently safe, staying with some family in The Villages, Florida, which is located in central Florida.  

A total of 180 shelters have been opened.  23,000 people are in shelters now.  

All of the bridges in St. Johns Counties are closed.  All of the bridges in Flagler and Volusia counties are also closed.  

Flagler County and Coastal Volusia Counties have gotten the worst  of the hurricane so far with storm surges, flooding, and wind gusts of about 100 miles per hour.  

There are a lot of downed trees, power lines, and

Three people in Florida have lost their lives and this is the most updated information available.  Two in Port St. Lucie and one in Volusia county: a woman died when a tree fell on her.

So far, there’s been two in Port St. Lucie and one in Volusia county.  The Volusian woman died when a tree fell on her.

 It’s still really bad in Daytona Beach and Daytona Beach Shores.  I don’t know if my house is still standing, but I’m physically okay. Right now, our area doesn’t have any power.  The majority of Volusia County does not have power right now.   

More than One Million Households Are Without Power.  

Some of the neighbors’ boarding up their homes with plywood and placing sandbags near the doorways to prevent flooding: 

img_2665 img_2663 img_2662 img_2661

My home is surrounded by several massive trees that could have crushed my roof; I have no way of knowing what’s happened.  The news images we are seeing are showing homes which have been crushed by trees.  The roofs have been compromised, crunched in, peeled back, or are missing altogether.  

Trees have been ripped out of the ground; street signs, stop signs and fences are pulled out and down. There’s a curfew in Daytona-you can’t be out there they will charge you with a misdemeanor if they see you, that’s how dangerous it is. My mom is still in Ormond Beach, she couldn’t leave!

I don’t know about the other counties, but there’s a curfew in Daytona for tonight.  You can’t be outside until 7 a.m. tomorrow morning as conditions are too dangerous.  The Volusia County Sherriff’s Department will charge you with a misdemeanor if they see you–that’s how dangerous it is.

My mother was forced to remain in Ormond Beach as she was unable to travel with my youngest brother, Mark.  Mark has severe autism and it is too dangerous to travel with him.  He trashes and has fits in the car, so traveling with him in inclement weather would only treble the danger.  They have been without power all day.  

Because the Volusia County bridges are still down; no one is getting to the mainland anytime soon.  There is some major damage done to the peninsula.  I will be updating as much as I can via the blog.

It’s very difficult not to be overly anxious about the condition of my house.  I naturally cycle through anxious thoughts and overwhelming anxiety about the most mundane, basic shit.  A natural disaster–one involving my home and a large amount of uncertainty–is simply too much to handle.  

Also, I don’t take trips.  Period.  I don’t take vacations or go places because I don’t enjoy them.  I don’t like traveling; it’s simply not pleasurable for me in the way that it is for many people.  Being exposed to new experiences and different people and places is pure torture for me.  Part of what keeps my bipolar moods from flaring is maintaining a repetitive, simplistic, pared down routine.  Surprises and disruptions cause big problems for me and can trigger a bad episode.  

It’s taking everything I’ve got to keep myself from breaking down and trying to “behave” like a sane person.  It’s only been about 36 hours, I guess.  

Overall, I’m feeling very triggered and irritated.  It’s at times like this that I am reminded that certain members of my family still don’t and (and possibly won’t ever) acknowledge that I have a legitimate mental illness.  

Bipolar disorder mood scales. We should fear less and get more educated. This disorder can be managed in any stage.:

It’s not just the sensitivity to my condition (Bipolar I).   Before we got on the road, I was part of a very hurtful and annoying conversation around whether or not a certain medication was warranted for me:

I was to ride in the backseat with two large dogs on our evacuation trip, and a joke was made, asking if I had any Xanax to take in order to “get through” the trip.  I replied that unfortunately my anti-anxiety medication prescribed is laughably ineffective: an antihistamine.  I actually could benefit from a PRN like Xanax or Klonopin, not just for the trip, but on the regular, for my life.  Unfortunately, because I am treated for my bipolar disorder through Stewart Marchman behavioral health, they are unable to prescribe any controlled substances which, of course, is just what Xanax is.

When I said all that aloud, I was sort of rebuffed in this way: “Well, Xanax is sort of fast-acting medicine, for when you need it to calm you down right away.”

WTF?  I felt so misunderstood in that moment.  I already take medicine to prevent the HIGHhighs.  I take medicine to prevent the LOWlows.  I take a medicine to prevent the PSYCHOSIS.  I take a bullshit medicine for my situational anxiety. 

Stigma: Your Who Is Not Your Do -the stigma that comes with being #bipolar and mentally ill. Her Heart Her Home:

So, that is exactly what a PRN is.  A medicine you take AS NEEDED.  I just explained I have fucking anxiety CONSTANTLY with occasional EXTREME bouts of it triggered by ANYTHING, crises or everyday event.

I then explained that and said offender replied that they would have given me one of theirs if they had them on them, but, alas, they did not.  I said that I needed to have a legitimate prescription, that that was the whole point, that I legitimately needed it, not that I should be bumming one off a neurotypical person.    

I’ve never felt so alone.  

Bipolar Disorder - What It Is and How It's Treated: Infographic - Living With Bipolar Disorder - Everyday Health:

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