Daily Archives: December 18, 2013

Why Do People Commit Suicide?

Good video, sad topic.

Although, I have tried to commit suicide in the past, I don’t know if I ever really wanted to die, but people do die. It’s a sad topic, but one I think is worth the talk.

Thanks Greengrowsdark for this video (http://greengrowsdark.wordpress.com/)

His Remains

A poem to my father’s trigger.

So far so good

Well I haven't been carted off kicking and screaming yet! It's nearly two weeks since I stopped taking the Quetiapine. I've decided to leave it a bit longer before I try and come off the Lithium or maybe I'll stay on it after all. Maybe it would be stupid to cut that out, especially when it doesn't give me any obvious problems. In hindsight I probably should have left it all until the new year. Maybe it would have been better to wait for a less stressful time. I could have been waiting forever. There's never a less stressful time. Trouble is once I get an idea into my head that's it.
Sometimes I feel so sick and I'm getting the most horrendous headaches. If I can manage to get to sleep at all I wake up every couple of hours. I'm sure it's just withdrawal symptoms and I'm sure they'll pass. I tried not to read too much on the internet about it. You just get loads of horror stories about shitty side effects of withdrawal that last for weeks. I'm just ignoring it. On the plus side I don't feel so groggy. It's as if a haze has been lifted. I've got more energy so I've been doing more. I also lost 6lb without even trying. I am definitely eating better and don't have the cravings for sweet things. I've actually been able to do a poo that doesn't resemble rabbit droppings...sorry lol, probably too much information there! My mouth feels normal instead of like the bottom of a budgies cage. My skin feels better, not so dry and itchy. My stomach isn't bloated and my feet haven't puffed up for days. I'd say definitely more positives than negatives.
It's how I feel mentally that's more important. To be honest I don't feel that different. My moods are still up and down and all over the place but if anything I feel more alert. I feel as if when I cry I cry harder and with more emotion and when I feel good I feel really good. Ok so maybe I've been a bit high at times but I don't see that as a bad thing. I know I've been a bit excitable and maybe a bit mouthy and my driving is atrocious but I don't think I've done anything that terrible! I'm relying on people to tell me if I get too out of order. My thoughts are running riot and are utterly ridiculous at times but mostly they're happy thoughts and at least I recognise when they are ridiculous. I'm being really careful not to do anything that will get me too excited! I'm trying to keep calm. In my head I want to do all sorts of barmy things but I'm managing to keep a lid on it. At least I've got the urge to do things. I wouldn't say I'm super motivated but I'm doing every day things without really thinking about it. I'm making the most of feeling ok......and I can't remember the last time that happened. 
Everything bad in my life I've put to the back of my mind. I'll deal with it later. 
I do feel scared but at the same time I feel strangely free. 
I told my care coordinator and she wasn't too happy but said she understood that it's my choice. She doesn't think what I've done is wise, especially when I've had so much trouble in the last year. She then went on about how unmedicated  bipolar can quickly get out of control and how I really need to keep on taking the Lithium and how I must contact her or the crisis team if I feel like I'm getting unwell. She said that it's great I'm feeling better right now but that it's too early to tell the true effect of stopping my medication. She said exactly what I expected her to say. 
Well I do feel like I have things under control. I do feel like I can cope with Christmas without breaking down. I do feel like I know what I'm doing and I do feel better than I did a month ago. 

Wednesday’s Quote: Jane Pauley

When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder the year I turned 50, it was certainly a shock. But as a journalist, knowing a little bit about a lot of things, I didn’t suffer the misconception that depression was all in my head or a mark of poor character. I knew it was a disease, and, … Continue reading »

Stigma Sucks!

And then just about the time I get to thinking the world is my oyster, along comes something that reminds me of how marginalized people like me really are in our culture.

Yesterday, it was a quote from some gun-rights nutcase named Larry Pratt, whose idea of gun control in the wake of tragedies such as the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut is to make sure the “bad guys” don’t have access to guns. And who are the “bad guys”? You guessed it: the mentally ill. And Pratt’s solution to the mere possibility of mentally ill people getting their hands on firearms is to put them all in jail.

Now, I’m as pro-gun rights as they come, but when this kind of crap comes from someone in my own camp, I am appalled. Not only is this sort of thinking ignorant, it’s downright dangerous, as it demonizes all mentally ill people as potential killers, and gins up hysteria based on nothing more than personal opinion. I think we have enough shit to deal with as it is; is it really necessary to talk of depriving a fairly large segment of the population of its Constitutional rights? And if so……will I at least be able to decorate my cell?

Then today I was personally put in my place by someone who I’m sure meant absolutely no disrespect. Thanks to one of Dr. Awesomesauce’s inspirations, I was at the hospital lab to have blood drawn for a full series of thyroid tests; my last general thyroid level was normal, but he was interested in the fact that the numbers were higher than they’d been on previous tests, so he ordered the full-meal deal “whenever you feel like getting it done—there’s no rush”.

Well, now I was curious too because thyroid problems can cause such things as hair loss, cold intolerance, and depression as well as difficulties with weight. I have all of those things. Who wouldn’t want to know if such a simple thing was causing even some of those symptoms? Besides—and I know he knows this, dammit—I wanted to get it done because he ASKED me to.

So when I went in today to have the blood drawn, I had to go to the hospital registration desk first. The woman seated behind it greeted me warmly and was very friendly at first, even chatty…..until she looked at my paperwork, which clearly stated “bipolar disorder” as the reason for the tests.

I wished Dr. A had put something like “suspicion of hypothyroidism” or at least something medical, because no sooner did the woman see that 296.x diagnosis code than her whole demeanor changed. Suddenly she got an odd expression on her face and stopped engaging me in conversation, only asking me very short, clipped questions and avoiding even looking at me. Then we sat there in uncomfortable silence for a good 2-3 minutes as she put all the order information into the computer.

Of course, I had a pretty good idea of what the problem was and I could only imagine what she might have been thinking, even though she certainly wasn’t being rude and no one roaming past the desk would have been aware of the chill in the air. It was simply another reminder that I have a disease that a lot of people fear, and no matter where I go in life or to what heights I may climb, I’ll always be just another mentally ill person to some.

Needless to say, it was a reminder I could have done without. Thank God I’m in a really good place right now, because a month ago I’d probably have reacted badly……or at the very least, been totally butt-hurt for the rest of the week.

Yeah, stigma sucks. But I refused to let it ruin my day, and in fact went on to have an enjoyable afternoon with Will, who continues to do well and whose doctors continue to be optimistic. Besides, it’s Christmastime, my husband is alive and well enough to celebrate with me, and I start a new job in less than three weeks. It’s all good. :-)


Oh The Wind And The Rain

Two little girls in a boat one day

Oh the wind and the rain

Two little girls in a boat one day

Crying oh, the stormy wind and the rain

There are tens, if not hundreds, of versions of the song cycle “The Cruel Sister.”  This is the first verse of one version that I heard from Debby Saperstone, I think.  We were a duo back in “the day,” in and around 1976.  We sang and played in coffeehouses all over the Boston area.  She had an angelic voice, and knew all sorts of interesting variations on traditional British Isles songs.

The basic story of “The Cruel Sister” is that one of the sisters is being courted by a handsome suitor, and the other is jealous.  She lures her sister to the North Sea Shore and pushes her in.  In the above version, the unfortunate sister begs for help, promising the cruel one all of her possessions, and the cruel one pretends to extend an oar to help her, but instead pushes her farther in.

Then the poor drowning sister floats by a miller’s dam (how she got from the North Sea into the river is not explained) and the miller pulls her out, ravages her, take her gold ring, and throws her back in.  Poor girl!

The next scene is two musicians walking on the strand, who see the maiden float to land.  They make fiddle pegs of her little finger bones, oh the wind and the rain.  They make fiddle strings of her long yellow hair, crying oh, the stormy wind and the rain.  And the only song that it ever would play is Oh, the wind and the rain; the only song that it ever would play: crying oh, the stormy wind and the rain….

The power just came back on, after a few attempts that ended in darkness again.  That’s OK.  I have plenty of candles and a warm fuzzy dog cuddled up on my right side, where she always comes to rest.

Outside it is all stormy wind and rain.  Tree limbs are down everywhere, and the river is a-rahrin’ as they would say around here.  Hit’s a-wutherin’ ahtsahd.

Whar Ah’m a-livin’, ever-body yused’ta tawk lahk thees.  Sum on ‘em steel dew.  Ah ruther lahk hit m’seln, but hit’s hard own hem Yankee fowks ta ken it, tahms.

It’s my mother’s birthday.  My dad and I took her to the Japanese-Chinese-Fakese restaurant on Upper Street.  There are two main streets in Spruce Pine:  Upper Street and Lower Street.  So we’re in this restaurant, and at the next table was a family with two adorable little girls, chattering away in a language that they knew to be English, but I wouldn’t have called it that.  Hit was about lahk whut I writ uh-buv.

The reason for this interesting regional accent is that until the 1940′s more or less, the region was completely isolated from the rest of the country.  It had been settled by Elizabethan English, along with a few Scots and Irish, and when the Civil War came along in the mid-1800s they wanted no part of it and fled deep into the hollers (hollows).  The language took its own course and developed into a distinctive dialect.  With the ingress of roads and transportation other than mules, and the invasion of television and now the Internet, the dialect is being fairly rapidly washed out.  But as I heard tonight, it’s still alive and pretty much unintelligible in some parts.

When I first started coming to these mountains in the ’70′s there were many singers and storytellers among the old folks.  Not one of them had any teeth.  There was one champion storyteller, whose name I can’t remember right now, who kept a pair of false teeth in his shirt pocket in case he wanted to play the harmonica.  I guess the harmonica is hard to play without teeth.  After he was done with the harmonica, why, he took his teeth back out and put them back in his shirt pocket.

My dear old friend, mentor, and teacher Tommy J. Jarrell, kept his teeth in his mouth except when he wanted to eat, and then he took them out.  I’ll tell you more about him in another post.  He deserves his own–with music.

Well, the wind and rain have settled down, and it’s time for me to settle down too.  I’ve got a nasty cough, probably got into some dust and riled up my asthma.  It’s time to have a visit with my next-to-last bottle of Arak–the universal Middle Eastern fire-water–will somebody pleeeeeeze send me some more–hit’s good medicine, hit is.

Reasons to Live

Sometimes I write something to help others and it ends up helping me 🙂 

I am still here.  Still alive.  I really didn’t think I would be a couple of days ago.  I had it all planned out. I am not going to discuss those plans on here, but suffice it to say I thought it was a brilliant plan.  In hindsight, it wasn’t. And I am glad I did not go through with it.  I can’t say that I am less depressed or even remotely “well”, but I am a little stronger than I was.  I can fight this a little longer.  Maybe forever.  Maybe I am much, much more resilient than I think.  

I came across a beautiful post just a few minutes ago and I encourage you all to read it.  If you are feeling the way I am it will make you cry your eyes out, but it will make you want to live as well. 

One of the sweetest people I know emailed me today to ask if I was okay.  Someone I went to high school checked on me as well.  My fiance told me that he knows that I am used to having to go through these times alone but I don’t have to anymore because he will help me through it any way he can.  My toddler gave me a hug and kiss.  It’s these small things that are so monumental to me.  I am not alone.  I thought I was, but I’m not. 

I can’t make depression buy a plane ticket and ride off to a foreign land where it will crash and burn and never return.  I can’t always clear out the demonic voices I hear or avoid seeing the Shadow Men or faceless beings wearing blue jeans or any of the other out of place but so, so real hallucinations that I encounter on a minute by minute basis during psychosis.  I can’t pretend this isn’t a part of me, but I have to remember that it is not all of me.  I am still that good person that people used to know.  I am not all monster.  When I feel suicidal it is because I want to kill that monster that I think has consumed everything I once was.  But I am always hiding in there somewhere, like a scared little girl, and I want to protect her, not harm her.  She’s been through enough.  And she has three amazing kids and an understanding boyfriend and friends who care about her whether she realizes it all the time or not.  

So, I am still here.  And I don’t plan on changing that.  

Emotional Clean-Sweep

Why cleaning up my messes means so much more than housework. Why hoarding develops. How I’m digging myself out of the mess.

Child taken from womb by social services

Child taken from womb by social services

Have you seen this?

Officials have forcefully taken a woman’s baby from HER WOMB because she suffered a mental breakdown!!

EXCUSE ME?! Can they do that? Because of a mental illness? You’ve got to be shitting me?

If you don’t want to read it all, here is a snippet:

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is an Italian national who come to Britain in July last year to attend a training course with an airline at Stansted Airport in Essex.

She suffered a panic attack, which her relations believe was due to her failure to take regular medication for an existing bipolar condition.

She called the police, who became concerned for her well-being and took her to a hospital, which she then realised was a psychiatric facility.

She has told her lawyers that when she said she wanted to return to her hotel, she was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Meanwhile, Essex social services obtained a High Court order in August 2012 for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section”, according to legal documents seen by this newspaper.

The woman, who says she was kept in the dark about the proceedings, says that after five weeks in the ward she was forcibly sedated. When she woke up she was told that the child had been delivered by C-section and taken into care.”