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.

oh dunt she go on about it.......!

Dear Ms Jones,

it has now been thirty working days since you advised me that I would receive a response from David McAuley regarding the lack of a crisis home in Plymouth within twenty one working days.
Given this lack of response I am going to take my campaign forward with a questionnaire of service users and staff of not only psychiatric services within the city, but also associated charities regarding the need for a crisis home. I will collate the information received and send it to you, my MP Oliver Colvile, and the Plymouth Herald.

I am confused by the response concerning the Unit for people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act I received from you, and the article in the Plymouth Herald, Friday September 14th. In the response I received, I was made aware that a unit already existed but was not manned. However from April 2013 it would be manned. In the article in the Plymouth Herald, it states that a new unit is to be built. Which one of these stories is correct?

I am worried about the article which was published in the Plymouth Herald on the 15th September 2012, with the headline, ‘Mentally ill should be in hospital, not cells'. Apart from the objectification of people who happen to suffer from a mental health illness, within the headline; the article states that the Police want training on how to manage people with mental health illness when detained under the Act. I am appalled that they have not received any to date. The addition of a mental health nurse to their team would be the very least you could do with such an inappropriate set up. I do feel that the human cost of waiting until next April before this new unit is opened is too big and I can only hope that you will consider this very carefully. My experience in the custody suite of Charles Cross Police Station haunts me, and I am very concerned about how other vulnerable people may react when forced to sit in a locked cell within a very busy and frightening place; surely you cannot justify this under your 'care in the community' policy?  

Yours.....................................................

Friday, 21 September 2012

For MOMD

strange, very strange.....

a cloud, a single cloud, just the one. Driving to MOMD yesterday I spotted it, and illegally used my phone to photograph it (I was stuck in a never ending traffic jam)
Wonder if it is a cloud of doom.....?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

bibbidy bobbidy boo....

and there was yesterday with two of three wishes sorted, thank you fairy godmother, God, MP, Police etc..... has left me with a real odd feeling, a kind of numbness, spaced out, like I am not really here....everything seems too loud, too bright, too big, too fast, I guess I must be operating in slow time. Almost invisible. Weird.
So, without really telling you anything about my first wish, cos I can't really tell anything, without what I tell, becoming evidential.... justice is being sorted out... something nasty is going to happen to the person who hurt me... no nothing illegal...just justice, just a knock on the door and being invited to tell his side of the story again... wonder if he and she will remember the lies they told last time? I know when I tell it again, it will be the same, the same because it is the truth.
The second wish is almost happened, but I have it on good authority that it has nearly happened and will by Christmas. I am going to be compensated for what happened to me, which means I will be OK financially. I think I will buy a small tropical island and be the Queen. Invitation by application though, I don't want everyone turning up at the same time. The only thing we will eat will be cupcakes, and we will drink very strong black coffee and smoke rollies. And there will be a rule that we never talk about serious stuff, and anyone who does will be keel hauled.
My third wish is a secret, and I can only tell you about it when it has happened, it's like that with me and my fairy godmother, can only tell when it is true....

another sunset for Gordon....

You can breathe now....

....apologies to those of you I meant to get in contact with yesterday.... though the outcome of meetings was extremely positive, I still went into one of those pretty scary pits... resulted in running around in circles and collapsing on the floor type of epics. Fortunately was rescued by MOMD, who quickly calmed me down, told me that God had probably not sent me a vision to draw angels, and packed me off to Pilates...
Hey, the man may his faults, but he knows me!
Will write later...
Much love x

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Five degrees and closing in......

the temperature outside has dropped over night, even the seagulls seem to feel it. Quiet outside, occasional rumble of a car or truck, no emergency services yet. Perhaps this is the answer to rising crime in the City, keep the temperature below five degrees, and all the criminals will stay indoors.

One of those days today, if it wasn't before seven in the morning, didn't have meeting with MP and Police, could annihilate the feelings, emotions and pain, with alcohol. But today, will use crystals instead; white quartz to ground, black obsidian to reject negativity and pink quartz for love.

So still, so quiet, hear the kitchen clock ticking...have been in flat for eighteen months, didn't realise it ticked. But have already drunk a cafetiere of strong black coffee, mind is racing, heart is thumping, maybe heart thumping is noise, not kitchen clock.

Know that if I take medication it will be better, not so apprehensive...tense. Think hard, first meeting at eleven, seven o'clock now... leave it for a few hours then take sedative... sedative fizzing in my stomach; sedative removing real me, sedative making everything beige, comfortable, sleepy...sedative taking away raw pain, anger, hurt, frustration, grief, guilt, shame... Mustn't think these thoughts, must have productive meeting, can't feel these emotions, must save them for day off...mustn't ruin opportunity today.  

The silence becomes oppressive, claustrophobic, stifling; put television on to break it. Tinny noise, high pitched shrieks of morning tv seem alien to the silence, superimposed,  don't they understand what is happening today, how can they sit, laugh and discuss triviality when...hang on, just hang on Bella, it isn't all about you...stop the self centred, stop the self absorbed, stop the solipsistism.... this is not just about you, this is about every other person who is denied justice for sex related crimes, come on....change the world, be a heroine....stop it.

Adrenaline floods through again...breathing gets shallow, knowledge that something awful is going to happen, tingling in fingers, excruciating cold cramps jaw, shoulders, back, legs... fight, flight or stay and do this..?

The heroine in my life story... I stay... no alcohol, no drugs, just a meeting.....

Yeay....

plan is all going according to plan.......

PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK

Much love x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Uplifting moment......

just got in from an exhausting day.... up and down the A38 in Tallulah the truck, trying to sort things out...(new therapy, Union Rep', food boring shopping).  I had thought my neighbour who I had shown the psychotic guinea pigs, rabbits and mice to, was keeping away from me. I felt very embarrassed and humiliated by what happened that day (refer back to post Psychosis), and knew that it must have been very difficult and probably quite scary for her. But bless her, at the end of my very gruelling day,as she was walking back into the building where our flats are, she stopped and asked if I was ok, I responded that I was feeling much better, she then said that she had been worried about me, as I looked so ill, and she was glad to see me better. How kind, and so not what I was expecting....self stigmatisation, obviously worse than outside discrimination... derrr, I am a bear of very little brain.

On a less uplifting thought, the article which was published in the Plymouth Evening Herald has recieved comments to which my last published retort was,

"Well, I think you have covered every area of bigotry, lack of knowledge, judgement and stigma in your comments. I am disappointed, yet not surprised by it; I think mental illness is one of the last hidden discriminations in our society,  yup the one we call humanity…. "
It is maddening, frustrating and cross making to have had comments which suggested that I must have broken the law, that I should be given a strait jacket and soft helmet to stop myself from hurting myself..... that people like me shouldn't allowed out in public.....etc.

However, have a real biggy meeting tomorrow, so I am going to go and chill out forget the losers who are, as I said bigots etc, and get ready to change the world, one day at a time, and one post at a time.... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, feeling fierce and ferocious!
Much love x


Monday, 17 September 2012

Let Battle Commence.......

PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK

Now we are getting somewhere......thank you Mr Colvile MP, this is just what we need to get stigma and horrible discrimination out of this city! My hours spent in cells have and do haunt me.  

This week....

....is going to be a very busy one.

Over the course of the next five days I have eight appointments. Not, those of you who work, might seem like a lot, but they are not just any old appointments, these are ones which will potentially change everything. No, that is not an over dramatisation, they are biggies.

If we ignore the one today, which is personal, tomorrows' are big. Not only do I have to drive for both of them, I also have to go to a place I haven't driven myself. Not a problem, did infact travel through the same place on Saturday, so all is not lost.
So, Tuesday is going to be OK. First a trip to new therapy, to see if that is what I want to do.... psychiatrist thinks it is a god idea, but I'm not sure I want to open that box of frogs just yet. Drive to Truro, meet with Union Rep, sort out paperwork, drive back.

Wednesday.... HUGE..HUGE...HUGE.....Meet with Oliver Colvile MP, and senior Police Officer to work out what to do with case against someone horrid.....hang, draw and quarter are my only thoughts right now, but make sure I can look into his eyes while they do it.... Understanding why someone would behave in such a way is difficult. Being compassionate towards him...impossible. Revenge I understand is illegal, but retribution aint, and I want it NOW.......calm, breath in through nose and out through mouth.
Ahhh, and then coffee with Froogs, so I hope she will be ready for the bag of snot and tears I am likely to be; then Pilates, which should also be good at chillin' out the brain.

Thursday is free.... only free because I need to think through Wednesday and probably stop being super emotional about it all, 'get a grip girl'....

Friday I am seeing CPN Nick first thing, then medical appointment regarding one leg being longer than the other, and having sensible shoes which will make me the same height on each side with clever insoles and a wedgie thing..... yuk yukkity tuk yuk...not a fan of sensible shoes. Then I go and see my psychiatrist, the lovely Dr Dingle.... and we will put the world to rights.

Keep your fingers crossed guys and girls..... we're going for it!

APOLOGIES.....

In the blog I posted yesterday I made two references to things, people, events which triggered my jumping off the dragon;

"Yup, it happened, and no, I am not going to crucify myself for it. There are things and people in life which, though I admit should not impact on me, do"

"I phoned the help line, and I think the nurse who answered was angrier about the situation which sent me back to the bottle than I was... apparently I was right, it was unacceptable, and I was right to do what I did; that is apart from losing the battle with the vodka dragon."

My actions resulting from the event etc were mine and mine alone..... yes, people and their behaviours can be upsetting, but the choice we make, the actions we take, and the consequences of those are ours, and ours alone. My Dad used to say that the best way to deal with a difficult situation was not to be in one in the first place....hear hear...!

It is infact no one elses fault, no events fault and nothings fault that I reverted to drinking vodka.....it was my own choice, I did it, and there is no fault, blame etc, none of that rubbish at all. I hope that is clear!

Hey, look at me taking responsibility for me!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Falling off the wagon........

and getting back on again......

Yup, it happened, and no, I am not going to crucify myself for it. There are things and people in life which, though I admit should not impact on me, do.

After a good day, it all went spectacularly bad, and yes, I found my vodka dragon, sitting in the hedge outside my front door, I am not sure it was expecting me, maybe I surprised it, woke it up, after all it was nearly midnight!

Silly thing is, I don't even like the flippin' taste of vodka, it send shivers and shudders through me... but it has the almost instant impact of removing feelings and emotions...it is my anaesthetic.

I enjoyed my brief dalliance with the vodka dragon, and to be honest, I am glad I did. Not because I got blindingly trashed, but because I know I won't do it again. Why....? because it made the feelings go away, but only for a few hours, they then returned, and  I had to deal with them anyway, so apart from a brief few hours of not thinking, I then had to think them through anyway.

But...and here's the good thing, it was, in the words of a good friend, just like being on a diet, and then having a slip up, maybe eating a big slice of lemon meringue pie and knowing that I would put on a few pounds.... but hell fire, am back on the diet  and those pounds will be lost again. Just a mere blip.

I phoned the help line, and I think the nurse who answered was angrier about the situation which sent me back to the bottle than I was... apparently I was right, it was unacceptable, and I was right to do what I did; that is apart from losing the battle with the vodka dragon. It is good that I am learning what I do and don't find acceptable, so I am reassured, but not yet resilient to the silence and sadness that have come with that decision. But hey.... I am still here, still alive, no cutting, no drinking now.

Reader, I was worried about telling you this, as I try not to be self absorbed, and try to have something good, or at least try to find something humorous in what might else be a sad, poor me post... However, I think it is more important to communicate that the recovery from mental health illness is not easy, it is a struggle, perhaps not even our nearest and dearest can understand, empathise with; a step forwards and two back at times, but remember this, and this is the bit I am proud of, 'manic defence against chronic dysphoria,' that 'manic defence' keeps me fighting and winning, not always, but in the long run, either with or without those I love and hold dear, I will be well.

Much love x

PS. Am highlighting my hair, but can't work out how to bleach the long bits at the sides and back, the highlighting cap is not picking those areas up as I have layers.... and any ideas would be greatly appreciated x

Dave the dinky babbit......

Just a quick post on behalf of Dave the bunny.... he was feeling a bit left out... I have been out for most of the day, and he was feeling a bit neglected and grumpy.
So, here is a cute picture of Dave, being a bit sulky.

Phut,phut, phut...ding.....

I am nearly awake... my mobile has just tinkled with a text..... errggggghhhh, what time is it? (7.30am) where am I? Open eyes hopefully....  I am in my own bed, I do not have hangover (undeservedly), bunny Dave is asleep next to me... all is well. Drink glass of water, just in case there is going to be a hangover... but no, all is still well and I have no feelings of gloom, despair and despondency, have not fallen into the pit of doom.

Think about day ahead... plan to be busy all day.... clean carpet in sitting room which is very grubby; finish off patchwork table cloth for coffee table; sort out bedroom, which currently looks like a jumble sale; put more highlights in hair; do washing and ironing; then just chill in cleaner, and happy flat.

Go out to sit on doorstep for early morning fag, man walks down road with big dog. This happens every morning, at the same time. The man is slightly dishevelled and the dog, which is a bull dog, is called Flat Face. Flat Face really doesn't want to walk down the hill, and is dragged by his lead.

Next, the homeless man walks up the hill. He is not looking too good today, but has a can of strong lager, so guess Tesco's is open. I worry about him; he spends all day writing furiously into his note book, and drinking, always alone. There but for the grace of God........

A Police car zooms past, sirens shouting out, waking the world. Shortly followed by ambulance, also screaming its urgency, it echoes from the buildings.
Mainly silent, then a few young men and women, dressed in their evening attire, scutter along the pavement, I wonder, walk of shame, or stride of pride....? It is Freshers week.

Though this is an inner city road, with mainly rented rooms and flats, there is a sense of community, of knowing that events and people happen with a reassuring regularity. But, do I know the man and Flat Face? Do I know the homeless man? Do I know the man who is walking up the hill, bent at the waist to a forty five degree angle, talking to himself? No, I don't, but they are there, every day. Do we stop, smile and say 'hello'? Nope we don't, but we know each other just because that is what we do every day. 

There is a safety in this place, but not the fairy tale, handsome prince, roses around the door, happy ever after sort, just the comfortable regularity of every day.


Friday, 14 September 2012

YEAY!!!!!..........

Some great news.....

The Mental Health Discrimination Bill is passed!

Though the article only refers to the rights of MPs, there is much more to it which applies to mere mortals, such as you and I. But, most importantly, I can now be the Prime Minister! Yeay, votes please!..............

Feet, ankles, shoes ......

and a visit to the fracture clinic.

Now, for those of you who have read the blog from start to finish, you will know that I have a morbid fear of turning right and of roundabouts. Therefore the visit to hospital was always going to be one which was going to cause me anxiety and a few sleepless nights. I had checked local maps, trying to find a route which would negate my fears, but there really isn't one.... so I set off already panic stricken knowing that I would have to confront the roundabout and turning right dragon.

Armed with spray version of rescue remedy, which is easier to take when driving than the dropper version, I did at least have a backup plan for dealing with this ridiculous and pointless stress (I don't think it is legal to take diazepam, lorazepam etc and drive!).MOMD said that it would take half an hour max to get there, so I left with an hour to spare before my appointment...would rather sit in my car for half an hour, than lose battle with dragon in my haste.

The appointment was on time, and I met a man, who made me walk up and down, with feet doing what they want to do and then with feet doing what I tell them to do...did a few knee bends, ankle movements and got sent off to X-Ray, no waiting around, straight in, very impressed with efficiency of this unit.

Man now tells me one of my legs is 2.5cm longer than the other, I have an over arched foot, and muscle wastage on one leg.... has now sent me to have a pair of shoes made which will make my legs the same length, support my over arching foot and support the talus bone, which is broken across the top and very loose....

I am seriously not amused...

I have coped with this injury from the age of seventeen, one GP told me that he had the same problem and to put up with it, my orthopaedic consultant said 'what did I expect?, you got run over, it's gunna hurt'.... and now twenty seven years later, after months of pointless physiotherapy, I am told I have to wear sensible shoes and that my legs are different lengths.... Yes, ok tomorrow I will find something funny to say about this, but right now I am very, very, very grumpy.

Have used up bottle of rescue remedy and feel slightly drunk...I am sure there is alcohol in this...but hey, better than vodka I guess.

Today I defeated the roundabout and turning right dragons... and now to contemplate the orthotist and the sensible shoes....without them turning into dragons too.

Much love x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Pyschosis part two....

phew it has been a busy couple of days.... having been restored to normality by a weekend of camping in a lovely area of Devon, and watching and listening to the sea, I felt well enough to apply for a few voluntary roles yesterday. Haven't heard anything, but all of them required me to upload my entire CV and that'll take some reading!
Unfortunately psychosis returned yesterday while I was in the shower... and it was scary stuff. I have been given some medication which hopefully will stop it happening, I wait to see! However, for now, the medication is dulling my brain, and I don't feel great.
More positively, I have taken some advice from a good friend, and have started writing an e-book, which will be a journal of my road to recovery. I love writing, and having a good structure, a day to day log,  will make it easier to write a helpful book for others in my position, at least I hope it will be  helpful!
Much love x

Monday, 10 September 2012

Things to think about....

..first of all, thank you for your comments and care. I am ok now thank you...
Have decided though that things have got to change, so.... although I will continue with my fight to change stigma and discrimination against people who suffer from mental health illness, and also my fight to get the resources in place for people who are in mental health crisis in Plymouth, I really need to get out more, and do something worthwhile.
Therefore, I have applied for a number of voluntary roles, including working in a bookshop which freely distributes books to those who would not have had access to a bookshop, for either mobility or financial issues, working at the local food bank, and walking dogs for elderly people with the Cinnamon Trust. I hope to be able to do all three.
Though I will continue to write my blog, maybe with not such regularity.
Much love x

Friday, 7 September 2012

Just a quickie...

just found this article on the Guardian website, realy interesting and well written...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/brain-flapping/2012/sep/06/crazy-talk-language-mental-illness-stigma?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038

Going away for weekend, with Dave... going to scare some more people with imaginary guinea pigs!
Much love x

Psychosis...

this morning, I phoned MOMD, because I thought it was 10pm the previous evening. I wanted to tell him that I couldn't get the car out of neutral and I had found where the mice were coming into the flat. However, as it was 5am, he wasn't impressed. So I cleaned the flat again. Now, across the floor and literally flooding up the walls to rest on top of the picture rails, were thousands of maggots, there were also a whole load of huge long legged spiders with large yellow bodies; following them along, almost shepherding them.
Dave started to kick off in his house at about 6am, I went to let him out, to find that he had killed two large mice over night, and he was quite traumatised. Dave and I are not feeling safe in the flat at that time, so I put him into the hallway and shut off the sitting room, bathroom and bedroom, we will be safe there. Eventually I find the courage to open the bedroom door, and on top of my quilt are two large guinea pigs, two floppy eared rabbits, and a nest of mice. I quietly shut the bedroom door, and decide to go outside for a cigarette. I roll one and on leaving my internal front door, one of the tenants from the upstairs flats is coming downstairs. 'Quick quick, come and have a look', I say, 'but you must be quiet'.... we tiptoe to the bedroom door, and carefully open it to reveal the menagerie on my bed.... she can't see it, so I tiptoe towards it and oh God, it turns out to be a pair of pyjamas and some discarded socks...can't admit to anyone that I am in the middle of psychotic episode, and say, oh well, I think I will go out for a cigarette now... Now, sat outside the flat, I am talking to my dad, it is great... but then I wake up and I am still outside the flat but talking to my children...then I wake up again, and I am talking to my team from a school I used to work in...then I wake up...this goes on and on and on, I desperately try to find a way to really be awake.
A passing Police car slows down, and both the driver and passenger look at me suspiciously, I smile a nice middle class, minding my own  business smile and they carry on.
Back in the flat, disregarding that it is only 6.30am, I decide to hoover, put the washing machine on and listen to some very loud opera.. I consider having a glass of wine, but not sure if alcohol and psychosis are compatible. I make a casserole for dinner, and as I put it in the slow cooker, a voice says 'good, that is good'. I am not sure where the voice comes from but it is real.
Dave is sat on the sofa as I walk back into the sitting room, I have chopped and peeled some carrots for him, and I put them in a bowl on the sofa, as I reach up to find the TV remote to find something for him to watch, I realise there is figure at the door watching me. Heart goes into overdrive, I step away, picking up Dave as I go, the figure melts away. I put Dave back on the sofa, and decide to make a big strong pot of coffee, but the hob is playing music, like it is picking up radio stations, I turn the knobs on top but I can't make the music go away. Think carefully, you have to do something that will bring you back to the real world. Sit down with Dave and drink large glass of Ribena, would prefer coffee but the hob is still singing. Dave climbs on to my shoulder, neither of us know what is going on... I put down some humane mouse traps and Dave sits and guards them....no a chance of a mouse getting caught in them now!
I wake up at mid day, I have been asleep on the floor in the hallway for about two hours. I have no idea where I am, but Dave is with me, curled up in my arms.
I think I am going to have to go back to the Priory.
Much love x

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Reclamation....

as you may have worked out, when I stay at my flat, which is more often than not recently.... I sleep on the sofa. This is because, Dave the rabbit, is nocturnal, and given the free run of the flat at night, always ends up biting my hair, ears etc, rabbit love apparently, so he is kept in his house at night, which is located in the bedroom. There isn't room for his house in the sitting room. So, nocturnal Dave spends most of the night moving around his litter tray, sleeping box, running up and down his house and chucking everything around...this is not conducive to sleep, so I sleep on the sofa.
However, last night, at about 1am, I thought I would go to sleep. To be honest I was a bit hot and stuffy, and grumpy and petulant... couldn't open the window in the sitting room.... security stuff. Thought about it, about the tenancy agreement, which has my name on it, who pays the rent...me, who buys the rabbit food...me etc, and decided to try to sleep in the bedroom.
Dave was very excited to see me, and bounced around his house, buzzing and chucking around his toys.... no, no, no, not at 1am I thought... how to get Dave to chill, just for few hours? I put a dark coloured bath sheet over his house, totally blocking out sight of me and any light... and yes, I woke up at 8am this morning feeling good. I have reclaimed by bedroom, found a solution (for now) for the nocturnal bunny, and feel a lot better for getting proper nights sleep. Now off to the beach with a good book and picnic....have text MOMD but no response....must be in a very important meeting...can't be ignoring me, can he?
Much love x

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

So, that'll be a party of one then madam?......

well yes, it is a party of one, and instead of ending today with a thoroughly rotten feeling, I have taken these proactive steps, topped up mobile so that I can phone mental health helpline if I need to. Removed vodka from flat so that I don't have to have the endless argument with it....confrontationally the bottle stands on table. It shouts, 'DRINK ME', 'no' I feebly reply, 'I don't drink you anymore'. 'BUT NO ONE WILL KNOW, IT WILL BE OUR SECRET', the vodka bottle shouts back, 'YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO...GO ON...I WON'T TELL'.....'no, No, NO', I yell back with increasing frustration, 'this isn't just about you and me, it is about my driving licence, my liver and my ability to get better'. 'HUMPH', says the vodka, 'F**K YOU', I will just sit here til you get DESPERATE, then you will drink me'. Now fed up with the nightly argument with the inanimate bottle, I have put it outside, it can yell to its hearts content out there, on its own.
Today I haven't felt much like eating...spent all day yesterday cooking and now I can't eat...oh dear. But having spent the whole day in tears, feeling better, tears again, rant from MOMD down the phone, more tears, feeling better, realisation that I haven't really left the flat apart from aborted mission to MOMD yesterday for two days. So, without makeup on, with hair tied back into a mussy knot, with shorts, UGG boots and jumper on, I march to the shop...now feeling resolute about vodka, not being that victim again, and keeping soul strongish, oh dear... now tremble to shop... take into consideration that shop at top of hill has been victim to three armed robberies this week and so walk to shop at bottom of hill. Buy mobile credit, wine on shelf starts having the same flippin' conversation I have just left behind with the vodka bottle...decide to succumb and purchase large packet of tobacco and bottle of Australian plonk, about to leave and think, no, make it a positive day, and buy cupcakes... so tonight, the party of one will be drinking Australian Soave,and will be dining on cupcakes.
Ha, they would be queueing up outside if they knew the menu within.
On way back meet with group of opposite sex, 'arrrl rite luv', one slurs in its rhotic musings of love, the rest shove each other in the usual Plymouthian stirrings of riot, I gulp and mutter, 'absolutely marvellous thank you', and run for shelter, fortunately a passing CPSO gives me reason to stop, making up a rational reason for halting his swaggering steps, I ask for directions to my front door...... oh lord, how stoooopid have I got?
Make it back to the flat and swear I will never go out again.
Except I will...tomorrow, if it is fine, I will go out, spend the whole day out... maybe go to the beach and get a tan. Maybe tomorrow the big world wont be as scary, wont feel so intimidating and I will be OK..... maybe I will just phone helpline and give up being so goddamn positive when all I want to do is hang myself from something high enough and strong enough to take me, the cupcakes and the weight of the Australian plonk... in a minute it will be OK, I will remember that this feeling wont last forever, but for now it is real, raw, and so so so alone.
Much love x

Operation Self Esteem...

Day Fucking One.... and yes I did steal that from Eat,Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

When reading back over the post 'drunken ramblings', I realised what a goddamn awful sap I am. Why in hells name do I spend my day cooking, cleaning, shaving, straightening etc for anyone else? Why would I allow myself to be less than I am, curly hair, scary hairy areas etc, and try to be something I am not.... how could I ever keep up the pretence of being what some one else wants, when that is not what I am.
What I want is to stop this battle within and to come out of it stronger, healthier and not feeling as though I have to be something I am not, in order to be loved.
I am not strong enough to take on the battle alone, and thus I have secondary mental health care battling with me, much medication to sharpen the swords, and therapy to show me the path to triumph... but where is God in all of this? I struggled last night, looking for God to show me what to do next, but then thought of this passage, again from Eat, Pray, Love; 

“Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.”

So, God, here is the list, I can't make it into a pretty prayer, but this is what I want from you... my list of demands;

1. Please take care of my children.
2. Please take care of my family, and that is not just those who I am related to, but those who have become my family through their love for me.
3. Please help me to stop beating myself up for not being what others seem to want me to be, and to enjoy being the curly haired, scruffy, vision of loveliness you made me.
4. Please help me to rid myself of torment, self loathing and to forgive myself for mistakes I have made.
5. Please make sure you are ok too. Make some time for those times when you just need to do what you want, and not what everyone else is demanding

Much love x

PS. Didn't succumb to vodka, had a nice bottle of Chilean Sauvignon instead.

Three O'clock in the morning thought.....

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

and this'll be the drunken ramblings...

when you think about it, no matter what, we are still here, still being, still alive, still for some reason, worthy of life... even if we don't mean to be, we are still here, alive.. we should really look after ourselves and have a healthy diet, a healthy frame of mind, a healthy view of ourselves as human beings, but....
I love God, have every reason to believe that he has a reason for me to live, to have a reason for me being, but right now, I need God to show me what that is, what it is, what I have to do, to have the right to call it a day and not to carry on...or the reason why I shouldn't take my own life, either through overdose or through hanging, cutting, burning etc... but there is no sign from God. I know that while the teacher is teaching, I should be quiet, but I am impatient, I need a sign, a message, a reason.
I went back to MOMD tonight, but he made my horrid all about him, and to be honest I couldn't be arsed with it. If only he could see that for one moment, the woman who cooked for him all day, who got into the shower and removed all the scary hairy hairy areas, for him, who conditioned and then straightened her hair, for him (he doesn't like the way my hair dries into natural ringlets). Who dressed for him, not in the new dress that she wore yesterday, which didn't even elicit ANY response from him, but in a more provocative attire (the new dress will be used for patchwork fabric), who listens to him about his household insurance and how expensive it is, about how his day at work was, and how wonderful he is... who listens to how he would never have put the sewing machine needle in back to front, because he would have read the manual before he had used the machine...f**k me I wish I was as wonderful as him...huh, I am not as wonderful as him, and I can't think of any purpose or reason to carry on with this life without purpose. I came back to the flat, as I couldn't rationally think of any reason to stay with yet another person who was making me feel sh*t about myself...why.. because it was all about him,why, because, he couldn't say anything to make it better, YOU HAVE TO F******G try... oh God, I give up... what is the point, I gave up everything for a man who said that he would make it better, and has he?.... shit no... but then how do you make better a  heart that is cracked?  a heart that is torn...? I have seen so many psychiatrists who have been unable to diagnose what is wrong, and the best I have been able to find is 'manic defence against chronic dysphoria', just a heart that tries to protect itself from the sadness it feels.....
Much love x

For reference only....

just got in from being sat on my garden wall, which is on a very busy main street in the City. Cars and vans up and down, a lot of emergency services use the street as it is a good short cut from east to north of the City. Just sat there, minding my own business, having a cigarette, drinking my coffee, reading the local free rag... and hoot hoot hoot a car sounds its horn on its way past me. I shoot out of my skin, and look to see the car, oh yes, here we go again, the           . again, but this time with my children shrieking with laughter from the back seats. What can I say.... DON'T mention my children. I love them all, I haven't seen two of them for about five years, one three years, the youngest about six weeks, the thought of them fills my chest with an indescribable pain, loss, grief, heartbreak.
I know that I should report him to the Police as it is harassment, but I can't.
I don't want to resort to vodka, but I think I will.

List of reasons to do so; endless....
Evidence based analysis of list; there isn't one

Please don't comment, I don't want to justify, or answer any questions about my children... and I never will.
Much love x

Dunderhead.....

ah yes, the list does still exist, but it is slightly smaller now....
Instead of selfish (x2), worthless, crazy, cak handed and over emotional, we can now remove the cak handed.... I have fixed the sewing machine...ta da! Of course it was my mistake, I had put the sewing needle in the wrong way, and it wasn't picking up the thread from below... but I found out what was wrong and sorted it, now consider myself a sewing machine engineer (well, I read the manual). I finished the bag I have been making, it is made from a pillow case, very clever idea... stunningly made...whoop whoop me!
Now for the others on the list....
Firstly, this morning while glooming away about not teaching, I passed a group of sullen, foul mouthed students off for their first day of the new school year. I  have taught them all, and though they all recognised me and said 'alrite miss', I remembered that teaching isn't all Miss Read, Fairacre and roses round the doors, it is infact a difficult and stressful job, with wonderful rewards sometimes, and no, I am not ready to do it yet...hello....wake up call, think we can tick that one off the list.
Second, no we cant tick that one off the list, I do miss my amazing friends and look forward to seeing them again, in the half term or sometime soon, but that isn't a bad thing, it is a recognition of what wonderful people they are and how much I love them.
Third, well, I asked him about it, that is the time difference, and he says that I am wrong, there isn't any. Well I may be nuts, but I can tell the time sunshine....watching you, don't make me into your victim, it wont happen. Huh...
Cak handed is sooo off the list...super engineer on call if you need me, or you could read the manual yourself!
Over emotional, hell yes... but not a bad thing, at least I am not without soul, at least I can enjoy the triumph of others.... compassionate maybe?
So, in conclusion I can say this;
Bad days happen, the reasons can be found or not, but know this, it will go away, either because I have in the past numbed it with external sources (cutting, vodka etc) or if I can justify why I feel awful, maybe a list that can be evidenced that really I am ok, or just by accepting that day happens to be a duvet day. It will go away, maybe five minutes, maybe a few hours, days, weeks, but it will go away, the crisis isn't forever, at least it doesn't feel like that anymore. I am doing the best I can, and for that reason I am trying to be kind to myself.... maybe, just maybe that compasssionate mnd therapy is working, now it is over!

Monday, 3 September 2012

and though on the outside all looks good....

on the inside today, all is falling apart. But why you might ask? It has been thirty three days since you last cut, seventeen since you last drank any vodka, so what has gone wrong? OMG, please don't cut, please don't drink vodka........

The reasons are small and inconsequential, however, stacked up they look like this;

1. A lot of my friends are teachers, I used to be, they have gone back to work today... I haven't. I loved my job, and was good at it, I miss it. I know I am not well enough to do it, but I still miss it..... I am so selfish

2. As a lot of my friends are teachers and have gone back to work, I have not got as many play dates as I have had for the past six weeks and I feel lonely... I am so selfish

3. MOMD used to start work at seven and be home by three thirty, now MOMD starts work at seven and leaves work at five, OK, maybe nothing in it, but maybe he is seeing someone else ....I am worthless

4. The Big Issue seller this morning called me beautiful, it made me want to cut my face.... I am crazy

5. I tried to make a bag this afternoon with the sewing machine, but the sewing machine wont work, tension all wrong, I can't have broken it, nothing changed since yesterdays success...I am a cak handed idiot

6. I cried this afternoon because someone won a race in the Paralympics...I am an over emotional fool

So, sum total of this is that I am selfish (x2), worthless, crazy, cak handed and over emotional... knowing all of this does not give me the answers as to how not to be... but at least I am sad and not angry. The self loathing, angry  makes me cut, but the sad just makes me look like I have been in a fight, swollen red eyes, sore red nose.. and no I do not feel the need to drink vodka.


Sky for Gordon...


Much love x

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Another Froogal sucess....

following Froogs posting on making scarfs while being crap at knitting, I knocked one up using an old Breton t-shirt and the remains of some seventies pillowcases I had made into cushion covers. Am going to wear it for pre-meeting with the marvellous Oliver Colvile MP which I am hoping to set up some time this week, so that we can discuss the aims of our meeting with the Police Officer at Devonport Police Station, think I will look a little brightened by the flowers, but slightly serious with the stripes, well one has to dress to impress...! Am pretty pleased with myself, as I haven't attempted anything without a pattern for a long time.
Am off to charity shops shortly to pick up some material to make a comfy quilt for those stay at home days.... and hope to get cracking with that once I have sorted out fabric.
Pleased to say that I am feeling good today and have recovered from last seizure, I am quite sure that the increase in frequency of the fits more recently, is due to a change in medication and my brain getting used to it, so not a problem.
Am well on the way to sorting out bundle of documents from under the bed in relation to the meeting with Police, later this month, and happily am not traumatised by re-reading them, at least that isn't going to turn into a dragon.
You will be happy to know that the vodka dragon is well and truly slain, and no lasting side effects from dalliance with alcoholism. After all, how can I campaign for the rights of others, if I am reliant on vodka to manage myself?
Much love x