Friday, 21 December 2012

The phone call.......

ah you might think, you said you would get back to us yesterday, and you might think, why on Earth are you writing at this unearthly time? Well my friends, they are really for one and the same reason.

Rethink Mental Health contacted me to say that the Daily Mail are interested in writing an article about what it is like to be Isabella. Hmmm, I thought, and just why are they so interested in writing about a person who only has three 'safe' places she will go in the world, Sainsburys, my Doctors and the psychiatric unit? What is interesting about a person who cleans her home obsessively and then cleans it again? A person who is so full of grief and sadness that she resorts to cutting her body, drinking excessively and overdosing on her medication? Someone who has psychotic episodes and sees maggots, mice and guinea pigs?  A person who was once a pretty terrific teacher, and now can't walk down a street, who wont talk to anyone, and can only communicate via this blog? Well apparently, the above paragraph is why...... 

So why then did I not write to tell you this yesterday, and why am I writing this at silly o'clock? Because just at the moment that I realised that I was ridiculously happy that someone thought I was interesting enough to write an article about, I realised why (re: above paragraph).....

It is not great to be worthy of publication just because I have lost the plot, I have articles from teaching newspapers about how great my teaching was, that is what I want to published for. 

It would seem, whatever I do, I do it well; or at least well enough for the media to be interested in anyway, even being mentally ill.

So the moment of happiness was shortly followed by the bottom of my world disappearing and terminal gloom setting in. Of course I will be interviewed for the article, I will demand to see the article and insist on changes being made if I don't like it, but hell fire people...remember me because I was a great teacher, not because I am ill.

Much love x

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Ta dah.......

I have Christmas under control. That is, I have the tinsel, trimmings, excessive presents etc all sorted... oh yes, and that all in time for the end of the world tomorrow.

Christmas in my head, well that too seems to be under control. 

Tomorrow is Christmas for my youngest daughter and I. We will have a proper Christmas lunch, though I no longer eat meat, I think I have it all organised.

Dave the rabbit is all decked up in his house with sparkly lights, a snowman and a Santa, though I am not sure he has noticed.

Have cross stitched all the Christmas cards. Not sure if they will be noticed, or appreciated for the love and time they took, but that is ok.... I know how much love and time they deserved. I could have called this post, 'How cross stitch saved my life', it has, but a title like that may seem a little dramatic.

Have important phone call at 10am, so am off to worry pointlessly about it, and will report back to you later regarding it.

Much love x

 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

What goes up....

....must come down. Yup thanks for that Isaac Newton.

Truly, when I had just got used to the state of equinimity, it got dragged out like a rug from under my feet. No, I can't go into details, mostly as it would bore you, but also, I think I kinda behaved quite badly too. The good old, 'well I am mentally ill card", does not excuse all types of behaviour.

The past, as I have said before, is as it is, and has, in some way, to be accepted for being what it is. That is  not to say that past hurts do not continue to hurt, but they hurt less if you kinda get that no amount of intelligent reasoning is going to make them any different.

Right now though, hurts which happen do trigger awful reminders of the past, and that reader, is what happened. A small event triggered, what is called in the profession I am a patient of, a psychotic episode.

I am glad it is over, it was scary. Feel nothing today, a blessed relief.

Speak soon, keep warm.
Much love x

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

It's minus freeking two.....


oh yes, I know it is winter and all that but please, minus 2.......

Dave (the rabbit) has gone into a state of almost hibernation. He comes out of his house, sniffs around a bit, then either makes a nest in the throws on the sofa, or goes back to his bed. The heating thermostat is working, but hardly makes a dent in the overnight temperature. Many jumpers are worn (not by Dave), and he has daily fresh hay in his house, amazing what he can do with it, not quite macrame, but flippin' close.


I have  made one of those appointments, which seemed a good idea at the time. Off to the opticians for 8.50am. Huh, why oh why was that even an idea? But the headaches have grown worse to the point where all the mega drugs from the Doctor make no difference and it feels like my brain is either going to explode through my right temple or implode my right eye. Charming huh, I will spare you the rest of the details, but having cut out caffeine, cheese, wine (oh yes, this is serious stuff) and chocolate, the only  other option I can think of is either a brain tumour or I need glasses.

I have dealt with the brain tumour option, have been to neurology, and have to have one of those EEG machines for a week. Fortunately, as I have an extreme dislike for hospitals, I will have the electrodes glued to my scalp, and then leave the hospital, only returning daily to have the disc, which records my brain electricity, changed. Cool stuff, so that woman, you see strolling around Sainsburys, with wires coming out of her head is me.

So, what after the opticians does the day hold? 
I reallyreallyreally, have to wrap the Christmas presents for my children. Hate it, wont see them open them, have no idea what they like anymore, but gotta do it. Have made them all new stockings, and feel pretty clever about it. Think I will post one so you can see.......
Well, am trying not to descend into pit of self pity and gloom, after all, though the past was really truly crap, it is what it is.

If I accept what happened, and also accept that I cannot rationlise it, explain it or make it any different and that it just is what it is, then I can stop it haunting me. It is over. Of course there are times when flashbacks happen, and it has me by the throat, and there is little I can do about that, but on a day of equinimity (thanks for that word Gordon!) it is just not so bad. The overwhelming, all consuming pain in my chest, the one that wont go away, the one which only goes away when I cut, drink or overdose, it just aint around so often. No, there is no excitement about the future, but there is also less fear of it too. I just have a feeling that everything will be alright, not great, but just equininimously ok.

Keep warm, and much love x

Monday, 10 December 2012

The purpose of being Isabella.....

a period of reflection.

Over the past year, I have quickly descended the steps of what could be termed 'normal' behaviour and attitudes, into what is termed as mental illness or psychologically damaged . I am interested in this, but choose now to look forward and not to go back, this to the point where I will not re-read my previous posts in this blog.

I have been fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where I have been taken care of by mental health services, the NHS, and on occasions the Police Force. Not all of this care has been the way I feel it should be and you all know of my fight to change this. Big news I have now been invited to discuss the changes I have suggested and have been invited to meetings to form the Operational Policies, and look at the refurbishment of the Place of Safety suite in the City.

During the past year, I have been lucky enough to come into contact with some pretty amazing psychologists, psychiatrists, and of course my CPN, Nick.
During one of the sessions, it was pointed out to me that perhaps the 'healthy adult' Isabella was not who I thought it was. I had been told in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) that the teacher me, was the persona which was the one which was the strongest, and was infact the strong and healthy 'adult' me. The dithering, helpless, victim which was the persona which came through more often, could be helped if the 'teacher' me looked after her. Sounds kinda simple when put like this, however, when I choose to cut myself up, drink huge amounts of alcohol and overdose, the 'teacher' me is not about, not there to say, 'if you do that you will be in a lot of trouble, will have to stay behind after school and do a hundred lines, "I will not try to hurt myself, I will not try to hurt myself....'

That teacher Isabella is an act. It is a part I play in the theatrical performance of a school day. Every school day, I put on my costume, I play to a different audience each hour, same set, different script. I played it damn well, so well I won awards, given responsibility for curriculum, key stages, departments. But at three o'clock when it was over, I was nothing. I did not know what to do, where to go, who to be. Outside in the world of reality, not governed by school rules, regulations, lesson plans etc, I simply had no identity. I had no identity to the point where I wore my id badge to the supermarket, so that I was still a teacher.

I had tried to be the best daughter, not allowing reality to shade what was really happening. I tried to be the best wife, again, reality was that it was in an appalling situation. I tried to be the best mum, and I thought I did good at that. But these roles are again, as with teaching, just acts, UNLESS..... you know who you are and are confident and comfortable with what that is. 

So now, stepping back up the steps towards, what is at the moment just a period of stability, I dare not hope for more right now; I am choosing a different flight of stairs.

An extremely clever man pointed out to me that these were just roles I was playing, and that Isabella was in fact an empty shell. If one always tries to be what one thinks others want her to be, then infact she is nothing, at least nothing in herself.

This was a huge revelation, a massive relief. I was empty.... that meant that I could be anything I wanted to be. I could be a fascist, or anything else ending in ist. I could be ANYTHING....even a florist!

But it isn't like that, not really.

It is difficult to explain what it is like really, I can't quite find the right words. 
However, for instance I have posted about an old acquaintance wanting me to re-ignite a friendship with her. It was an unhealthy relationship, and I choose not to go back there, bit of a no brainer to be frank. But in the past I would have felt compelled to allow that relationship to continue, to allow myself to feel uncomfortable, victimised and sad. Not now. Is that the teacher Isabella making boundaries, making sure that behaviour is safe for me? No, I don't think so. I choose  not to surround myself with people who make me feel anything less than 'good enough'.

Good enough just to be me.




Saturday, 8 December 2012

needing a think and need your thoughts....

and so it came to be that on the 8th of December in the year of two thousand and thirteen, that Dave (the rabbit) and I are sat on the extremely uncomfortable sofa in my sitting room, waiting for the blasted heating to make an impact on the sub-zero temperature the South West of England is currently enduring. 

We are slightly concerned. Not by the weather, as that was predicted by the Met Office, but by another of those moral quandaries that sneak in when life was just settling into a comfortable, normal phase (and boy I love those, what a rest from the chaos in my restless brain).

It was my birthday on Thursday, and it was nice, apart from the Norovirus, but hey, apart from the brain shattering headache, my temperature being so high that I felt  I was in the mid tropics, the vomiting and upset tummy, it was a good birthday.

I have taken up cross stitch, now I know that I am diverging from the conversation, but I thought it was important to mention, as this is how I am maintaining the status quo. While cross stitching, my brain and hands are busy, so I am not thinking of anything else. I know, you are thinking hell fire, she is only 23 (ahem....45) what is she doing cross stitching? But I am a lot better for it, until last night.

A late birthday card arrived. A card from someone I haven't seen for a long time, Infact, a card from someone I have chosen to not to see for a long time. Why? Because they were horrid to me. The card stated that they would like me to make contact with them again, and left their telephone number. Well, it would seem simple would it not, just not to make contact with them, as 'they were horrid to me', but hell no. Apparently my reaction, which was to drink a large bottle of the finest white plonk the local corner shop had to offer, to phone the mental health helpline, and to cry furiously while sat in the car over looking the sea and contemplating the end of the world, was "wrong". Apparently, that person was not horrid to me, I am just "ILL", I am making "something out of nothing" and that their horrid reaction to me was my fault because I am 'ILL'.

The trouble with recovery, is that my brain is starting to work more and work better; I can argue, with myself, what is right and what just isn't (probably). Later I was told that maybe she had 'changed', well maybe, but maybe I am better off not taking that risk. After all my life has been ok without her (yes, I can hear you at the back laughing...ok, my life hasn't been OK, but her absence hasn't made it any worse!)

Problem one, how can I differentiate between what is a real and valid thought and what is just another of my loonie ravings?

Problem two, I think the thermostat on the heating is buggered.


I am sure that my absence has puzzled many of you who are avid blog readers and writers who find that that blog writing is a cathartic way to deal with lifes ups and downs, but for me I found that to dwell on what had been was unhealthy.... I make a tentative return..... BUT BE WARNED, I AM A LOT BETTER NOW... HEE HEE HEE (that was meant to be one of those slight scary vampirish laughs)

Much love x
 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Still here...

Hello All. I am still here, but in a dark place, and can't write about it. I am sure I will be back, and please don't worry. Much love x

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Weight gain....

...weight loss and medication.

If you slurp down a bottle of wine with a handful of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, beta blockers, anti-convulsants, sedatives and the other handful of Rennies....you will put on weight.

This may not be a great surprise to you, but it was to me.

I had always been at the biggest a size eight, and at  my worst, or smallest, a size zero. I had been treated for anorexia, my elders just told me I was naturally thin, but whatever, I was always small....well small in size, I am five foot nine and three quarters tall...hell yes don't forget that three quarters! It never bothered me, it was just the way  it was... I could eat anything I wanted, and did. Had four children, and always returned to my 'naturally' small size.

Had I done any Dr Google research, I would have found out that weight gain from the medication was inevitable, but there lies the quandary.... to be drugged up, feel better, and be fat, or not to take the medication, stay small but probably sectioned under the Mental Health Act?

After multiple overdoses, I have been taken off all the medication, apart from the anti-convulsants and sedatives, and tah dah.....weight comes off. Odd, I don't feel 'mentally' any different, but I am losing weight. Maybe the vegetarian diet? No, I don't think so, I have turned into a mouse, and generally eat cheese for my main three meals each day!

When I first realised that I had ballooned from a size four to a size eighteen, I was devastated....marched to doctors, demanded bariatric surgery, or at least weight loss medication. The doctor said it wasn't that desperate, but then she wasn't on benefits, with an ever shrinking wardrobe was she? Then stamped off to psychiatrist and demanded the same, except this time, blaming him entirely for having prescribed me this Augustus Gloop medication.

At the time, the increased weight, plus the pit of doom, plus outside pressure, made things a lot more difficult than they should have been, and I wonder if I would have felt a lot better if I had just been told that weight gain was  on its way? 

Anyway, I am not suggesting that you don't take any medication you have been prescribed, but I do suggest that you do some research and find out what the side effects of your medication are!

Much love x  

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Falling off the shelf......

...in the words of a dear friend.  

Do we all 'fall off the shelf' now and then,  all of a sudden become incapable of dealing with all the cr*p that is or has happened? I don't know, but I do know I have fallen of it, and am too flippin' tired to get back on. 

Exhausted and dehydrated from sobbing into the small hours, unmotivated to get back on the shelf, though without emotion and tears. BUT, this is different, this is not a spiral of self destruct, this is good old, common and garden grief.

Christmas, which may seem a long way a way to those of you who haven't counted, but is really just eight weeks away now, is a difficult time, and I guess that I am not sure how I am going to get through it.  

The intervening time is shot through with endless tv and radio adverts for the latest toys, gadgets and family games.   Stores are full of the same. It's all about the family being together, about getting the right gift, about the 'spirit' of Christmas. 

This will be my fifth Christmas without my girls, my children. I no longer know what they like, and so the gifts will be generic. I will do the best I can, but it will be difficult. I find it difficult to wrap the gifts, knowing that I will not be there to see them tear the wrappings off. MOMD has done the wrapping for the past few years. I find it hard to write the gift tags, not knowing how to sign them.... am I mum, or am  I just Isabella now? The day itself isn't as bad as you may think. We spend it with MOMD family. Away from this City, away from the temptation of just turning up and demanding to see them. Being busy is the best way to deal with it, and that is what I do. Alcohol might help, but I would be conspicuous by my drunkenness, and I don't want to spoil the day for MOMD family....I may get maudlin and cry....It's Christmas, eat, drink (non-alcoholic beverages) and be merry.

All self-help books,psychiatrists, psychologists etc say that in order to move forward we have to forgive ourselves for mistakes and choices we have made, for our past. 

I cant.

Much love x

Monday, 22 October 2012

It's ok......

....I'm fine, I just took a sabbatical from writing. I did explain, in the post before the emails to and from the NHS, that I was just soooo tired. Though writing can be a great help in sorting out life, the universe etc etc, just sometimes it isn't. I was finding that writing was bringing back a lot of stuff I had previously chosen to forget and that wasn't healthy for me.

However, due to public demand (!), I AM BACK... HA HA HA

So, how have things been?

I have been spiralling around my self destruct circle, but have come out a little more scarred, a little bit wiser, and a month older.

Have spent some time in hospital, and a while in Police cells, eight hours this time. I have to say that though the Police still haven't received any training on how to deal with the mentally ill who are detained on section 136 of the mental health act (place of safety), they really are doing their very best under very difficult circumstances. On suicide watch, I was checked on every fifteen minutes, and bless them, after endless cups of coffee and magazines to read (with staples removed, in case I hurt myself with them) a number of Police doctors, nurses and then the Forensic Medical Examiner, I was released at three in the morning. I cannot remember how many Officers came into the cell to tell me I hadn't done anything wrong, but they just had to look after me for a while, they all said that they were worried that this wasn't the place for me to be, but that there wasn't anywhere else for me to go which was safe. Being released at three in the morning I was to get a lift back to the flat in a patrol car, but MOMD was there to collect me, which was a surprise.

Great news is that the psychosis has not returned recently, and that though I am still vegetarian, and not eating anything red, as a result of my psychotic ability to see inside of animals, trucks, houses etc, this really isn't proving to be a problem, and I am losing weight, which is good!

The rest of it, doesn't really warrant writing about, except I suppose that I am still here. I wish I could say that I have had a moment of revelation and that I have made the realisation that everything is ok, but I haven't.

I had a great idea that I would spend some money and buy a road legal quad bike and have a mid life crisis, but haven't found one I like. Thought about buying a fishing boat and catching tuna, but not sure that is a great idea as I suffer from sea sickness.

But I am now looking forward. That is not to say that I am void of crisis, but as long as life stays very stable, I am ok. But don't rock my boat, send it off course, I end up in the whirlpool of self destruct, and it just isn't good.

Good to be back.

Much love x

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Too true.... not whining.... doing summat about it!

my response to their response regarding my response to their lack of response, and now they want a meeting....

This email was sent to my MP Oliver Colvile, and CC to David McAuley.


Dear Mr Colvile,

I have been invited to attend a meeting with David McAuley, as you will see from the forwarded email. As this is further to our conversation, and email correspondence, I would be pleased to be accompanied to this meeting by you as my representative. In addition my mental health illness has escalated to crisis point and I feel that I would need support from someone who understands my personal situation. My CPN, would be unable to attend the meeting with me, due to the nature of the meeting, therefore I would request that my partner attends with me.

As the agenda of the meeting will include the lack of training the Police have been given in the treatment of mentally ill people detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act, do you think it would be appropriate also perhaps for a member of the Police Force also to be present?
Could you let me know when you would be free to accompany me to this meeting, so that I may organise an appropriate time with David McAuley.

Many thanks

Their response (Plymouth community Healthcare) to my response.....getting a bit complicated now.

Thank you for your email.
 
David McAuley has suggested that it might be helpful to meet with you and discuss your concerns.
 
If you would like to meet with David McAuley, please contact his PA, Lynne Ferris on 01752 434722.  Please note that Lynne is away from the office today, but will be back tomorrow, Thursday 11 October.
 
I hope the offer of a meeting will be helpful in resolving your concerns.
 

My email response to bilge from Community Healthcare

I have read and then re-read your email. Either I am not grasping what David McAuley is stating or my mental illness is preventing me from understanding what is being said, or the following.....

The inability of David McAuley to manage funding for the POS facility has meant that it has no staffing. He is now stating that the POS facility is also in the wrong place, which was not previously mentioned, apart from a brief article in the Plymouth Herald. In these times of austerity, is it wise to create another unit. From a compassionate point of view is is kind to create another place from which detainees may have to endure the stress of being moved to Glenbourne after assessment
.
As Mr McAuley is obviously in touch with the Plymouth Herald, he will therefore have read the article, 'Mentally ill should be hospital not cells, says MP', dated September 15th 2012. Within this article it was stated by Oliver Colvile MP, that Police feel that the detention of mentally ill persons within cells rather than the POS facility, 'is an inappropriate way to deal with these people, that in some cases they make peoples lives worse, rather than better, and that custody officers should be receiving a higher level of training that is currently available'. What sort of training do you think is being alluded to if it is not a 'health issue'?  The article then goes on to state that the attachment of a qualified mental health nurse to the custody suite for assessment of detainees is seen as necessary. Do you wish for me, or Oliver Colvile MP,  to liaise between yourselves and the Police, in order for them to make a more direct appeal to you for direct training, and for the secondment of a qualified nurse to aid them?

When I worked for the Youth Offending Team as a team manager, I worked with trainee Police Officers. They shadowed workers for one week, and then gave a presentation of the work of the Youth Offending Team. Do you really see this as an appropriate method of training Police Officers in the work of the secondary mental health services? Do you think a week as a trainee officer gives an officer a thorough understanding of the multitude of mental illness, the symptoms, risks and vulnerabilities of those who suffer?

As for your lack of understanding of the need for a crisis house in Plymouth, as you know, I am campaigning to raise awareness of the need for one in Plymouth, but I will need to save my thoughts for that for another day.... I find dealing with this exhausting.

I can only presume that your response to my emails of concern shows a lack of understanding of the needs of mentally ill people when they are in crisis; and my intelligence and passion to see what needs to be done for those one in four of the Plymouth population who suffer from mental illness. I hope that you are one of the three in four who do not suffer from any form of mental illness..... it is not something I would wish on anyone.
 
I presume I may quote your email in my press release to the Plymouth Herald.

Please be sure, my work here is not done.... and as irritating as you may find me, I will be back!

Email from Local Community Care.....

"I write further to your email dated 25 September 2012, regarding a response to your concerns about a crisis house in Plymouth.
I have been advised as follows and I hope this will answer your concerns fully. Please accept my apology that our first response did not answer all of your concerns.
David McAuley, Locality Manager, has advised that we currently have a POS facility, but it is not fit for this purpose as it is located at the end of Glenbourrne unit in an isolated part of the building some way from the wards. Furthermore the facility has never been resourced in terms of staffing and this is one of the improvements we are working to address.
David McAuley appreciates your concerns regarding the need for training for the Police, but clearly this is not a health issue and would be a matter for the police to address. However, as a servcie we would be very happy to work with and support the police if they requested this. Previously, we have provided some awareness training and we have an agreement that trainee officers may have a placement with ourselves.
Plymouth Community Healthcare CIC is not currently commissioned to provide a crisis house in plymouth. As far as David McAuley is aware, there are no plans from our Commissioners to consider this at the current time. David McAuley is very aware that there are some views that this would be a valuable resource and would support addittional investment into this should it be made available. However, at this time, the provision of providing a Place of Safety Suite has been considered the priority.
Once again I hope this answers your concerns fully and apologise that it was necessary for you to come back to us.'
READER... JUST TO TRANSLATE POS = PLACE OF SAFETY, CURRENTLY CELLS AT CITY CENTRE POLICE STATION

Monday, 8 October 2012

Don't really know how to say this.....

in a positive way, just I don't feel positive.
This is my last post. Not because it is the end of life etc, but just because I am exhausted. Exhausted trying to make sense of it all, and just too tired to keep my eyes open for longer than half an hour at a time.
Thank you for support, comments and care.
Much love x

Friday, 5 October 2012

Psychosis part three....

...past few days have been more than odd. Decided after wobble with flashbacks into childhood, that I would take prescribed diazepam and remove all thoughts and hopefully therefore flashbacks from swamp of brain.

Day one; sit on sofa, diazepam is working.... no thoughts at all, love this. Mouse appears from under book shelves and runs under table. Sit still and let mouse have sniff around...it loses interest and goes back under shelves. Nothing happens... no thinking, no nothing...grand. Mouse reappears from under shelf..... scuttles back then reappears with two more mice... I move legs onto sofa. Three mice wander around sitting room, exploring. Obviously bit pissed off there is no food, they go into kitchen. Sit very still.... I have no problem with mice, I mean I know they can be unhealthy if they get into food, but can't work out how they can, so no problem.
(Dave is on the sofa, pretending to watching some dreadful antiques programme, but is really asleep.)
I get up off sofa to make sure mice are up to no mischief. The mice are on the kitchen floor and they are broken. I can see through their fur and into their bodies. I can see the muscles, the blood flowing, the bones. There is grey fur on the floor, but the mice are black. The mice are still moving around without any care, but I know they are broken and I can see through them.
I know that you can't see through the fur and skin of mice and see what is happening inside of them, but I can.
Cry, and know that I probably will never stop.... of all the things that could happen to me.... my brain is turning into a side show, I know it can't be real, but there it is in front of me. So frightened

Take another diazepam.

Day two... CPN Nick is coming. Tidy all surfaces, spray polish in the air, plait hair, and put mascara on.... got to look like I am coping with a) housework b) personal appearance.
About ten minutes before he arrives mouse comes out from book shelves. Decide to ignore it, and not get involved. However, find humane trap, place yummy bit of Brie in it, and put it in void under fridge.... there are mouse droppings down there... just don't know if they are 'real' or not.
Make food, that is another thing Nick checks, that I am eating. Decide to make dahl. chop up onions, chilli's and garlic, fry. Add several types of lentils and tablespoon of garam masala. Decide to add the remaining chicken soup I had made on Monday as stock. As I add it, the pieces of chicken in the soup are definitely mouse... they are not chicken at all. I throw up.
Now mascara is streaming down face, kitchen is covered with vomit and all through my hair too. Need fresh air... sit on step outside, try not to think, throw up into hydrangea bush. Breath, breath, breath.... stop thinking. Look up and large truck passes, I can see through the outside of the truck body and into it. It is full of people with no faces, they are made of brown hessian. Go back to flat, shaking... pass the poor woman who I showed the psychotic guinea pigs to a few weeks ago, she asks how I am...but I think she knows.
Nick arrives. He looks for mice, but can't see them. Cannot talk to him, sit waiting for the mice to come back. He drinks his tea and leaves.

Take another diazepam.

Decide to do some cross stitch...yes, I know cross stitch...but I am not well. MOMD comes to get me to take me back to his place. We stop at Lidl to get something for dinner. He wants to get some meat and pan fry it....every piece of meat I see is mouse, feel very sick, grab some spinach filled pasta and leave.
Try to explain what is going on, but know that I must sound delusional, oh yes, that's right I am. Try to make it sound that I am not delusional and that this really is happening, but he can't get it, who could?

Am approaching today with concern..... 

Much love x

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

So I'm still here then.....

I found that when I needed to stop drinking vodka, the only way I could do it was to have a bottle of vodka near me... that safety, the knowledge, that I didn't have to panic because there was no vodka, it was just that I was choosing not to drink it. When I have previously given up smoking, I have always done the same, always had a packet of tobacco and rolly papers to hand, just choosing not to smoke. In life it is the same, I choose currently to live it, but I have a box of pills which means that if I choose not to do so, then I can stop living quickly.

It is the safety of knowing that I can do this which means that I continue. I can weigh up how far I have come, how far I have to go, and make the choice, to stay and fight or to give up and leave.

When I was young, I was told by an important adult in my life that he was going to kill me, that no one would notice that I had gone, and no one would care... because I was such a bad person. He would hold me several inches from the floor, against the wall, by my neck... squeezing gently and whispering his hate for me. These aren't things a girl forgets, not even forty years on.  These are things that as every day goes by, I remember again, and again.

It is funny how the negative stuff stays with me, and defines me more than the good stuff. It doesn't matter how many times I am told I am loved... I know it can't be true...that if that person knew me better, they would know I am a bad person. Don't tell me I can write, because a defining person in my life has told me I can't. If you tell me I can write, I can only presume that you are not as good a judge of writing as him, and I know my writing is poor. I have been told so.

I ask MOMD to make me better, he squeezes me tight, tells me he can't make me better, but that he loves me.... I know he is right, I am not ill.... I am bad.

Can I challenge those deeply held beliefs that my life is valueless, that it will not be noticed if I am dead, that no one really cares about me, no one would miss me if I was gone?  These are defining beliefs about myself which have never been discussed.... can I challenge these beliefs if I see my life as disposable?

Therapy, therapy, therapy.... opening up those boxes of memories which I locked shut and sunk deep into the deep channels of my sea. Boxes, so old are rotting, the contents slowly polluting the ocean. Can any therapy truly work while that is swilling around in the dregs of my brain... 'it is understandable why you think that way', the therapist says... is it really?

I remember the Police women who looked after me when I had been assaulted earlier this year... 'do you think your behaviour is normal?' they said, no it's not f***in' normal, it's not normal to be assaulted... it's not normal to think that I deserve to be assaulted, because I am bad. 'We are concerned about the lacerations on your arms', umm... I made the 'lacerations' on my arms because I hate myself because I am bad. 'You need a psychological assessment, because we don't think you are normal', no, let me save you the time, I am completely normal... but I am bad.

It is exhausting to be me today, I haven't got anything to do, so think I will watch some rubbish television, crawl under my quilt and take a diazepam...yes, just one! It is difficult to have a busy brain, an enquiring mind and nothing to do with it.... oh apart from writing my blog... best be sedated and stop thinking.

Much love x

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Manic Defense against Doing Anything Useful.....

....or procrastination!

Oh yes, the electricity is now working. Washing machine is doing its thing, chicken soup bubbling away, should be ready for lunch, coffee pot percolating away and I should be writing my book proposal for all those publishers queueing up for first look at the manuscript.

 However, I am not doing that, I am doing anything other than that...that'll be Isabelle Procrastination Nutts sat on the sofa looking at Facebook, checking her email account, reading the news on the Independent on line then? Yup... all great intentions float out of the window.

I have got to a really tricky part of the proposal, the marketing of my book... who will buy it... how to market it, what makes it different from all other similar books, who is the competition etc etc... Oh I don't know, and I really don't care.

Everyone will buy the book because it is brilliant.
Everyone who reads my blog will buy it, everyone who reads my blog will buy one for their best friend for Christmas. 
What makes it different from all other books? It is a work of genius, I wrote it.
Competition? I don't know...show me where they are, I will kill them, and burn their books.

And, that is the problem.... for every one step forward, I seem to take twenty six back... the 'I can't be arsed' of depression, the 'I'm going to die' of anxiety,  the 'oh my god, there are maggots climbing the walls' of psychosis, the gut wrenching grief of not knowing my children.... it is exhausting, I am exhausted of all of it. The 'severe and enduring mental illness', it has the better of me today. It crept up behind me and grabbed me at lunchtime. I want to crawl away, somewhere dark, and just not be anymore, just to stop all of this, and not be, just not be please.

The magnitude of what is wrong, is greater than the hope I have, that it will ever be better. Not just that I will be better, but that EVERYTHNG will be better... and I am exhausted by the lack of hope, the inability to differ between real mice which inhabit my flat and the ones which in their multitudes climb my bookshelves, crawl across the floor in groups, climb over and through the traps I put to catch them, the psychotic mice. Being in a state where I can no longer differentiate between reality and psychosis is very frightening.

About ten years ago, my psychiatrist has admitted, I would have been admitted into psychiatric hospital, and I would probably still be there now.... on days like today I think it would have been a better idea than this.

IMPORTANT STUFF.....

..have created a web survey about the creation of a Crisis House in the City, please can you have a look and fill in if you like.... Many thanks, and all comments will be used to make survey better before it goes out to 'service users' or patients, secondary mental health service workers etc.....
Thank you!

CLICK HERE PLEASE!

Oh blinking grumble.....

oh yes, in terms of things, things are ok really, but what a way to start the day. As Tallulah the truck is off the road for a week or so, MOMD is dropping me back to flat super early, well before 7am, which for me, after having taken five tablets to get to sleep is cruelly early.

MOMD thinks it is funny to sing 'if you're happy and you know it clap your hands', loudly at me, while I am grumbling around trying to put pants on the right way round, and drink enough coffee to get me conscious for drive back. It is not funny, and is the only time recently I have felt cross enough to maim him with my house keys (I didn't but it is a plan). Best thing to do before 7am is ignore me, as I will ignore you.

Getting back to the flat, I stuck my electric key into meter as it was running on 60p of emergency credit, the meter started twittering and flashing emergency codes at me, and refused to acknowledge that there was any credit on my key.... hmmm... can I run the flat on 60p of electric today? No, not a chance have washing to do, coffee to brew etc.

Phoned electric company. They are very sorry, but I have to go and put more credit on the key and get shop to enter code to get the £10 credit I put on it earlier... It is raining, I look like a zombie, walk to shop, they enter code, I give them a pound more credit. Slosh back to flat through puddles, and near daylight, thinking, 'it will be ok, I can have a shower and a huge pot of coffee when I get back'.

NO NO NO, the key still doesn't work... sit in puddle of gloom and rainwater, damp feet, and darkness, now plotting the death and demise of Scottish Southern Electrical Company. Attempt to call them back but mobile is now out of credit. Attempt to calculate how much energy is used to make pot of coffee, weigh it up against the cost of a hot shower... feel too much doom to attempt either.

Consider whether this is just a mere challenge, or whether this is in fact the end of the world and that I will probably just have to sit here and await certain death through hypothermia. Decide that it will have to be the second option, as I don't have the energy for a challenge right now.

My mum always used to say that everything was better after a warm bath and a full tummy, decide that she is wrong and make huge pot of coffee. Wait now with trepidation for electricity to stop working....

All I have to do is walk back down to the shop, in the pouring rain, get some phone credit, and phone the blasted electric company, but it is a challenge too far... I will sit here in the near dark and wait for someone to rescue me...not that anyone realises I need rescuing.

Realise that I am being stoic, heroic even,I haven't considered drinking, cutting myself, or overdosing because of the situation, and sit on front doorstep and have a fag in celebration.

Much love x

Monday, 1 October 2012

The moral quandary......

last night MOMD and I watched an American cop series, well episodes one, two and three on his clever television box thing which means that you can watch programmes on 'catch up', or 'on demand', whatever that means. It was about a team of Police officers who took bribes and were physically violent towards gangs, suspects and even themselves, but who also managed to save a young girl of eight who had been captured by a paedophile, and thus began my thinking... the moral quandary.......

In life, I believe, the majority of us try to do the 'right thing'. We look out for each other, stay within the law, put our recyclables in the recycling bin, keep the loo clean, you know what I mean.... some of us pray to our god, which ever that god may be, and some of us use that faith to keep us going when times are bad.

My realisation that I am doing ok, has come at a time when I have had to call upon not only my God, but other resources to help me. Yes, at times, I have been on my knees asking for help from God, telling him that I cannot do this on my own, that I need him to help me, and yes, those asks, or prayers have been answered.... I am doing ok. But I have also burned photographs of those who have hurt me, I have used crystals and salt to keep negativity out of my home, I have called upon angels to protect me.... and I wonder about this... this is my moral quandary.

Is the right thing to do, my way? Is this a Godless path that I am following? Is it alright to feel a sense of revenge when I burn those photos? Is it alright to feel protected when I have a whacking great black obsidian on the sill above my front door and salt in lines around my windows and doors? Is it ok to call upon my angel to protect me from the day? Or is this the path of the Devil and should I just be praying to God, and knowing that I will be ok?

But I am doing ok, I feel, dare I say it, 'happy', or at least content. I have challenged my fears, my uncertainties (you can get all this in my book, when eventually published), and have swallowed, in the words of a friend, a big cold glass of man the f**k up. Would I be feeling any the less 'sorted' if I hadn't followed any of the less conventional routes to being the way I feel this morning? Or is it all ok, perhaps my way is not morally wrong.

1. I am not wearing a big black pointy hat, I am not attending a coven.
2. I do not call upon the Devil to help me.
3. I use three main crystals to help me, and I know when they are tired, when they need cleaning and re-energising.
4. My meditations to call upon my angels to help me, are pure, and without negativity.
5. My prayers to God are specific in my needs, in what I need help with. This helps God out, he has billions of people to sort out, if we are specific with our needs and upsets, he knows much more quickly how to help us, how to sort out what we need help with.

But, moral quandary..... is it ok for us to use all of our resources to help ourselves when we are in the pit of gloom, or is it only right to ask for Gods help, in the knowledge that he will look after us and that everything will be ok?

Much love x

Saturday, 29 September 2012

P.S....

...bit concerned, haven't seen Flat Face and owner for three days now... can't call Police for welfare call, no idea where they live. Hope they have gone on long tropical holiday....

Whoooo hooo......

...at last a sunny day!
Have managed to get to Aldi and get weekend food shopping done at crack of opening time, and huge chicken is now roasting, hope to make it into many meals lasting well into next week.
Have had to pause and think about what I am doing. Without a doubt it is worthwhile, and is worth sticking at, but I have to take some time to sort out me as well.

I have realised that;
1. I am no longer spending day feeling doomful.
2. I am no longer spending parts of day planning my death.
3. I enjoy being on my own.
4. I can't please all of the people all of the time.
5. I probably will buy that tiny little cottage...with no parking...with garden which is hidden at the back of all the other gardens, with a broken ceiling in the main bedroom, and a tiny second bedroom which will probably just about get a single bed and a tiny chest of drawers in.
6. I am not the worlds best girlfriend or a pretty princess, and that is ok.
7. That I will have to take my car off the road for a week or so because I can't afford tax and insurance right now, and that is not a failing in my financial management, that is what it is like to live on benefits.
8. It is ok to live on packet noodles and instant bovril drinks, no it may not hit all major food groups, but I am not going to die, or suffer from malnutrition.
9. The work that I am doing on my e-book is going well, but it is not going to make me into a multi millionaire, and most people will never hear of it.
10. Many people whom I have allowed close to me in the past, will no longer be taken so seriously. I have to protect this me that is getting well. I do not want to be considered to be a 'project', 'poor old Isabelle.....we love her but she is a bit odd', nope that is out.
11. I find that though I confront discrimination and stigma, it still hurts, so I keep away from those who choose not to understand, and that is ok, infact, that is good.

So, for a while, I am choosing to be not pleased with myself, not arrogant about my progress, but just quiet and still, and let it be as I need it to be.

Much love x

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Just a moment.....

...just want to scramble onto my soapbox......

It takes a certain amount of moral courage to stand up and say that which the silent masses know, but do nothing about, and a certain self belief to do so.......

To rise up against the NHS and the Police Force, both major institutions in this country, takes not only intelligence and nerve, but also requires the passion to do so, the ability to keep doing it when it appears nothing is happening, to continue when it seems isolating....and why? Because it is worth doing. Because it has to happen. Because every day somewhere in this City, someone, somewhere, needs those missing resources.

Yes, there has been publicity, and yes, that is important... I wonder if the conversation between the head of Plymouth Police and Oliver Colvile MP regarding detaining mentally ill people in cells when they need 'a place of safety' (Section 136, Mental Health Act 1983) would have happened if I hadn't bought it to his attention? I wonder if the resulting publicity did anymore than provoke the usual bigots who comment on articles in the Plymouth Herald to state that mentally ill should be cells, should be given strait jackets and head protectors to stop them from hurting themselves....if the article did little more than objectifying those with mental health illness... I don't know, but I hope not.
What I do know is that I don't start something without the intention of getting my own way... yes, maybe my idea of a naked protest across Plymouth was a little more than courageous, probably bordering on daft, and would have got us all locked up...but it is that passion that drives me forward...

The frustration which comes at times, can stop me. Why don't others see this as a priority? Why can't others see what damage is being done by their lack of urgency, their lack of prioritisation? But we are one in four, that is a quarter, and I guess the three quarters, don't know what it is like to be in that other quarter, and I am not alone, I am sure, in hoping that they never become the one in four that they currently are not.

So, onwards ever onwards, no I don't need a troop of cheerleaders with their pom poms, shouting that I am doing good.... I don't need a parade of naked one in fours waving banners in the air... I just need to remember what it was like to be sat in a cell for hours, what it was like to be dropped back at my flat after forty eight hours of assault, physcological assessment and then forensic examination, to know that this is right, and I will do it. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Dear Jo....

your comments...words mean a whole heap to me.
It is another cruddy day in Plymouth, dark clouds loom, winds and the occasional crash of rain put pay to... I would love to say a fruitful day, but today is not one of those.
I would love to write to you with words of hope, wisdom and 'everything will be alright' but today it just aint, well not for me!
YES THIS IS MEGA SELF PITY...YES THIS IS SELF ABSORBED...YES THIS IS NOT GOOD READING......and yes this is the way I am feeling today
Much love x

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Humph....

....what with everything going so swimmingly well... assertive emails on their way, and dinner made... sun shining, flat spotlessly tidy, washing done and airing... I have collapsed into a grumpy pile of humphiness...
So, so, so tired, and this afternoon I have to go and view another property, thankfully MOMD will meet me there, but humphiness is the way it is.
Viewed three flats yesterday, and for one reason after the other, none of them were right... of course I needed bathrooms, kitchens, and flooring replaced, coving and ceiling roses were wrong...fitted cupboards and wardrobes weren't right...MOMD totted up the cost of replacing these things and the resulting offer I could make on the place, taking into consideration my fussiness, made it just silly. I find looking for somewhere to live very tiring, both emotionally and physically. I have to be able to see the potential of each place... to be able to see myself dancing around with nothing on but pants, and a  paintbrush holding up my hair, to feel comfortable, confident and safe....
Where would be safe? I gave each of the estate agents a list of where I would not live, the resulting emails were filled with details of properties in only the areas I had said I couldn't live. I want flats or houses with two bedrooms, so why are the attatched properties, one bed or three bed? Grrrr......humph.
There is nothing wrong, and I need to stop this..... maybe tomorrow wont be a humphy day.
Much love x

Monday, 24 September 2012

Questionnaire.... please send me any thoughts on changes to made...

CRISIS HOUSE FOR PLYMOUTH….?
Though secondary mental health services within Plymouth are excellent, they could be greatly improved by the provision of a ‘Crisis House’.
What is a ‘Crisis House’? - Crisis houses offer intensive short-term support so that you can manage and resolve your crisis in a residential (rather than hospital) setting.
What is a ‘Crisis’? - A crisis is considered to be when your normal methods of coping are not working, resulting in a rapid deterioration in your mental health that results in a need for psychiatric professional involvement.
Why could mental health services be improved with a Crisis House? - At the moment when a service user is in crisis, they are likely to be helped by the Home Treatment Team. Though these daily visits are helpful, when a service user is unable to cope at all, a greater level of intervention should be available, without it becoming a need for hospitalisation. Therefore, a residential setting would be more appropriate, here the service user could get help from a trained person at any time of day or night, when needed.
So…. A list of questions… your answers will be used to create an idea of whether people think this it is  a good idea for Plymouth to have a Crisis House. Just circle your answer please
1.       Do you think you would use a Crisis House when you were finding it difficult to cope? Y/N

2.       Do you think it is important to have qualified staff present all the time? Y/N

3.       Do you think the Crisis House could be run by volunteers, who would perhaps not be qualified, but would be trained? Y/N

4.       Do you think it would help to have organised activities such as art therapy, music therapy available? Y/N

5.       Do you have any other ideas about the Crisis House? How it might be run, where it might be etc? or anything else you think would be good to know? Please write them in the area below.

 






MANY THANKS FOR YOUR HELP…. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE SAID AND CIRCLED WILL BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY AND USED TO FORM AN IDEA OF WHAT WE WANT AND WHAT WOULD BE HELPFUL.