By Amara Lorch
Key Themes: schizophrenia, alcoholism, autobiography, empowerment, recovery
Musings of a Schizophrenic Drunk is a book about alcoholism and Schizophrenia.
The author, Amara, suffers a round of hospitalizations after she neglects her brain by feeding it too much alcohol. In her book, she shares her point of view from inside illness, and details some of her struggles in the healing process.
What happens in the mind of a person with Schizophrenia?
This book lends insight.
The description of Amaraís struggle with schizophrenia and severe alcoholism is both eye opening and, at times tragic. She beautifully documents her descent into insanity with an ability to maintain an observerís eye and a writerís voice that conveys the pain and confusion of her illness.
A must read for anyone who has been touched by mental illness.
Elizabeth Harrison, LCSW
About the Author
Amara grew up in the mountains of Colorado, competed nationally and internationally as an alpine ski racer, lived in the Ozark and Blue Ridge mountains, and now is a licensed arborist in Fort Collins, CO. Long days of hiking, biking, gardening, climbing trees, skiing, and relaxing by river banks leave images printed on her mind. In her writing and artwork, she shares these memories with you. Amara was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at age 28.
Chapter 1 Beef Jerky
Sitting at the bar, on the patio, we began to talk about beef jerky. Jimmy Teeís recipe is the inspiration. Yeah, itís Jimmy Tee who brings it up, but Iím glad he does. I just love beef jerky. Turns out he knows how to make the best batch ever. Iím intrigued. All he needs is a kitchen and an oven; and I have those things.
Begin: Beef Jerky
Cowboy hat covers a greasy mat of gray hair. Plaid snap shirt reaches out to untrimmed fingernails and down to old jeans. Scuffed boots with pointed toes are well known in the two bars of Laporte, Colorado for the dancing they do. Jimmy Tee would stand out and be remembered just for his appearance, but he takes it one step further and begins to talk.
When Jimmy Tee spins his yarns to sitter-byers in the bar they are transported in time and space to days and places where they can feel good, free, and adventurous. An empty stool by Jimmy Tee is always filled before Jimmy can buy his next drink. ďTell me a story, old timer; Iíll get the next round.Ē Jimmy got used to people saying that.
We have plenty of time to talk during our all night beef jerky dehydration sessions. As we share a 30 pack of Bud Light cans and checked on the meat periodically, he tells me story after story from his colorful life. He fell from a 120 foot tree, caught a 5 pound trout in a frozen mountain stream, sang with Hank Williams, and had a million dollars in the bank. Or was the fish 120 pounds, and was it 5 dollars in the bank. It didnít matter with Jimmy Tee; the fun was in how he told the story.
Only his closest friends were witness to the beef jerky sessions. And, since it was my kitchen and I was willing to stay up with him all night to ensure a quality product (and that the beer didnít go bad) I was given a copy of the recipe. Jimmy Teeís Secret Sauce.
I think the reason he only let a select few in to the inner jerky circle was simple: When word got out that he licked his fingers between retrieving beef from marinade and cleaning sauce before placing in dehydrator, sales went down considerably. It only took one brief visit from a distant friend for word to get out. Soon, the folks at the bar who were once willing to shell out five bucks for a bag had empty pockets when Jimmy Tee came around with his Jerky.
Jimmy crashed on the floor of the 15 by 15 foot trailer box that Phil, the man this book is dedicated to, was renting after his run in with the law enforcement folks of Fort Collins. Phil encouraged Jimmyís endeavors: Beef Jerky and drinking, and also tried to influence Jimmy to shower from time to time. Phil stopped eating the Jerky when he woke up in the middle of the night and, from a cracked eyelid on the couch, he saw Jimmy separating the jerky into piles on the floor of the trailer kitchen. Phil couldnít recall the last time he cleaned the 2 by 3 foot space, and there and then, he decided to get his protein from another source.
On our first sales trip to pedal the jerky, Phil, happily drunk in the back seat of my car described our crew as a hippie, a red-neck, and a cowboy. With this combination, we were pretty sure there was no one we couldnít sell beef jerky to in Fort Collins. The business class was the only market we didnít feel we had an inlet to, but, really, the business class doesnít eat that much jerky anyway.
The three of us got into the habit of drinking heavily together. Weíd pass bottles of cheap wine around the fire and empty case after case of cheap American beer.
One night I sat drunkenly blissed out on one of Philís trailers between the red-neck and the cowboy. Jimmy was talking about something and soon Phil and I realized that we could no longer hear him. We had discovered that we both spoke Spanglish and were engaged in a conversation that probably meant nothing in any language. But, we kept talking, mixing English words with Spanish words and just having fun.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 29 September, 2011.