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 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...... 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.'

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 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 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.


..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!


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