Daily Archives: June 21, 2012

The altered perception of mental illness

My anxiety and paranoia are off the charts again. I left the shop early because my stupid brain became convinced I looked hideous in a dress (yes I wore a dress in an effort to feel less butch and more feminine) and even R was judging me and I became super self conscious and paranoid. I was also worried about the sanctity of my safe zone.

Once home, I changed and felt good about myself for about a half hour.

Then a mirror told me the truth, that I make Shamu look thin, and now I am down in the gutter again. And before anyone tells me to stop shoveling food down my gullet and I won’t have anything to whine about…keep in mind I had kept the weight off and lost some before the Abilify. The damn anti psychotics do it to me every fucking time. My extra pounds come from an addiction to Dr Pepper, not food, I don’t eat that much because that would require me to cook.

And I drank just as much soda prior to the weight gain, so pardon me if I think the medication plays a large role.

I don’t know if I can hack this Abilify. The restless feeling, the lack of focus worsened times ten, the feeling of my skeleton trying to crawl out of my skin…This shit is supposed to be making me calmer, less paranoid, in a better mind frame. It is doing none of these things. I am pissed off and frustrated about it,too. Seems the only emotions I have anymore are pissed off and frustrated. One more med failure is not what I need, which is why I am trying to make lemonade out of lemons and tough it out to give it a chance to work some magic. It’s not working, though, at all.

A friend told me she just tells them what they want to hear when it comes to meds working or not working because they don’t listen anyway. I wish I had the ability to be passive and give up. I don’t. I am determined to find my magic bullet.

21 years, 20 some odd meds, and still no magic.

Now pardon me, my skeleton is crawling out of my skin and I must go chase it down.

A Little Slice of Sussex

The South Downs Way

Stop Press. It’s stopped raining.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, that’s no longer true – I’m sitting at home looking out at yet another June downpour, having just heard on the radio that the Met Office has coined a new term to describe the weather for the coming months: “an umbrella summer”. Marvellous.

River Ouse

Those quintessentially British summer calendar events, Ascot and Wimbledon threaten to be distinctly wet underfoot, and even our chance to shine as a nation as hosts of the 2012 Olympics look likely to be severely compromised by the prospect of relentless rain.

But we did have two whole days of the kind of glorious unbroken sunshine earlier this week that shows off the British landscape at its very best. So I grabbed the opportunity to pull on my walking boots to get out and improve on the kind of mileage I’ve typically been doing so far, and to get a better feel for the toll that walking an average of 22km a day is likely to take on my body when I’m on The Northern Way.

Which is, in fact, pretty much exactly the length of this walk – starting off by the River Ouse at Southease and ending back by Brighton pier, taking in a stunningly beautiful section of The South Downs Way en route.

If you’re ever in the area and have around 5 hours to spare (and in the unlikely event that it’s not raining) I can’t recommend doing this walk highly enough – you can find full details at The Saturday Walkers’ Club website; you’ll discover the kind of scenery that, according to cliche, will ‘take your breath a way’ or, if you’re anything like me, will make you laugh out loud at the sheer magnificence of it.

And in deference to that it seems appropriate to make this post predominantly visual. Which I’m sure will also be a relief for anyone who has made the effort to plough through previous posts, which seem to be gradually increasing in length to the extent that keeping all of this up on a daily basis whilst in Spain will be completely impossible. So here are a few images and as few words as possible to give a flavour of the walk.

From the photos I’ve seen of the Camino these tracks, pretty as they are, are likely to pale into insignificance in comparison to the huge stretches of Spanish road along The Way disappearing off into the horizon. Nevertheless, I think the views on reaching the summit of this particular climb can hold their own against some pretty stiff competition:

“This green and pleasant land”

Looking east to Lewes

A patchwork of fields

Heading South

Heavy traffic

A bit of a crop (and a very poor joke)

A splash of colour


The final stretch

Back beside the sea

And after 14 miles, I’m ready for a pint…

Filed under: Camino Countdown Tagged: Brighton, British, Charity, Countryside, Photograph, Rain, Rethink Mental Illness, Scenery, Spain, Sussex, The Northern Way, The South Downs Way, Walking, Wet

*Doink Doink*

Nothing much on my mind today besides the various and sundry permutations of snot — such are the joys of having a cold-ma-bob. Well, and I guess I am also loosely mulling on ways to be more peaceful in my body to help keep anxiety and depression at bay. I don’t have anything solid there yet, but at least thinking about the idea of it is a start. :)