All my dreaming last night was this:
Except instead of a man, it was birds. And stretched out over hours. Curiouser.
Hello! I put the, “Posts Page” as a sticky for two reasons: one is because I want to add a new page to the top and doing so would knock another off, so, that one was least commented upon, and could be deleted, another was because I’m a rampant egotistic and it was the one that was easiest cut. Anyway!
Here is an interview I did with BBC Ouch with my employer and long-haired Geordie Friend Mark Brown.
It was subbed, as articles are, and the original included references to not usually greeting people I interview with massive hugs and scaring the photography. I have no phone credit so had to use my browser and saw the photos. Bloody hell. Anyway, I love Mark!
I forgot to post it because I’m rubbish like that, but I also interviewed Valerie Mason John, who’s a teacher of mindfulness. I did some exercises and they photographed me shagging a pillow, practically. I’d never had anything to do with mindfulness before, and it was interesting. Do any of you have any experience of it?
This is a subject close to heart, close to my home, in fact. My granny, a strong, opinionated Republican woman from the Falls area in Belfast, was there that day in 1972. When it all kicked off, my uncles ran into the streets to find my dad amidst some minor, recreational rioting. They dragged him in and they watched the news unfolding with their hearts in their mouths.
Throughout the veins of the passing years, the anger at this massacre has throbbed on. The Army, at that time, were pretty much the police. It remained so even after the ceasefire. I grew up with British Army soldiers stationed outside the doors down the street, resting guns on their knees, chatting to kids like me. And I liked those young men, bewildered, mostly English, far from home, but I hated what they stood for, and I hated the police. Few in Northern Ireland trust the police, and it’s not just Catholics and Nationalists that feel that way. Bloody Sunday is part of the reason why my family got bricks thrown at their windows when they once made that 999 call. They were still the RUC in those days. Now that they’re the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and not the Royal Ulster Constabulary, it doesn’t make much of a difference.
The events of that day were a catalyst to the IRA in waging their war, and it was also seen as part of their justification. And growing up, if anything made me felt that I was a subject in a country that hated me and others like me (Republican Catholics), it was that event. It wasn’t the first, nor the last act of police and army brutality in my country.
The Saville inquiry has concluded what we have all known over these years: those killings were unprovoked murders. Those people were not armed. Nor (apart from one young man being a member of Fianna na hEireann) were they members of the IRA. And that is wonderful news for their families, who have always known this.
As to the effect on Northern Ireland, I don’t really fear this is going to spark a renewal in tensions or actions. Nobody, not even the hardcore Republicans, want to see a return to the bad old days. You might have the odd dissident group like the RIRA (IRA Original? IRA Classic?) and the CIRA attempt to cause some trouble, but they’ve already done so in the past few years, and have been roundly condemned by everybody. We just want peace.
Edit: never mind the other post, will put it on the contact page. Gist is, don’t contact me for selling or guest posts or anything promoting your product or offering me money for links because I’ll tell you to piss off.
So, it’s likely I won’t need to challenge the BPD diagnosis, given that I have seemingly proved that I have manic depression. Forgive me if I don’t crack open the fucking bubbly. It was never about my little bipolar card being taken from me. It was about not wanting something inaccurate on my medical records. Not having bipolar disorder was a relief. It was a release. I wanted that part to be true.
I am probably somewhat manic. This is what is said. On the phone from Robert to the social worker, from her. The kind of words I never wanted him to hear. There’s the crisis team. There’s Drayton, the crisis centre. You’re not alone, if it gets too much to cope with. I wanted to keep him from that world. It destroyed Rob (my ex Rob, alas he and Robert share the same name so it is often confusing) and I and when I see him I still feel ashamed, because I want to be cured and better. My social worker thinks Robert is good for me. She says he is playful, that he comes into my little manic world, that he wears me out. He is not worried. I am probably manic. Less so than I was due to getting a night’s sleep on Saturday that I needed. Saturday was an awful day. I told Robert the truth that I had been drinking in the mornings to calm myself down. He was disappointed and angry (I am a demon on drink, I am horrible to him) so I went to get that Zopiclone prescription at the midnight pharmacy. As I did I got lost in Piccadilly, somewhere I know well. I was confused and couldn’t understand what people were saying to me. Literally could not understand their words. Could barely speak myself because my brain was crashing so spectacularly. Distracting me from everything, getting me lost. My happy happy mood started getting irritable, I started punching things, shouting, started losing my balance, genuine falling over and screaming in frustration because I couldn’t even control my hands long enough to steady myself.
I slept on Saturday. I woke up on Sunday, didn’t sleep that night, had an appointment where my social worker said I seemed calmer and I was. My sister texted me to ask if I was okay, and that, coupled with Robert’s angry disappointment, gave me a flash of what I must look like, what I could lose. So I took some Seroquel last night and slept again. I am calmer again today but realise I cannot stop shaking, still, and when I wake up, I start to shake and shake. My first reaction to taking Seroquel again was the need to vomit. So I had to take another 200mg. What to do.
What to do is the order of the day. I don’t want to start over. Medication? I don’t know. I said since I’m borderline apparently then I should have DBT. We both acknowledged it wouldn’t be helpful for me. Because, in my mind at least, my coping mechanisms are fine. There is fuck all wrong with me these days, except for mood swings. She agrees that they will not help that. I feel very angry. I don’t want this. I know things have been less than stable since I stopped taking medication. I was perpetually mildly depressed on it, but off it I know I have been unstable. I haven’t done much. I don’t get those creative hypomanias- I have loads of ideas but I can’t focus longer than three seconds to do much about them. I am two months behind in my book now. More than. I feel as though I am letting everyone down. And I don’t get help or at least try, I let them down, too. Everyone who has stood by in the past years. So many fucking years!
And I had Seroquel sleep, I woke up with a horrible headache, met Rob and now I am still shaky and know I’ll have to drug myself again, if I need to sleep. I only have four pills left, I threw the rest out and I’m sure I’ll ask for a prescription. The withdrawal was hell; I don’t know if I can go through it again, but natural sleep is hard and I don’t want to sleep because too much sleep makes me depressed. Right now I am crawling out of my skin.
My social worker thinks as long as I make sure I sleep I will be okay and that I don’t have to take medication if I don’t want to. If I get on a level I will still be discharged in September. She says a lot of people with bipolar disorder never come into contact with the community mental health team. So I can be out there in the world, too. I don’t know what the psychiatrist thinks but she said he’d be happy to write prescriptions for Seroquel so who knows. She thinks I have manic depression and says she expected this to happen, sooner, actually, than it did. But I don’t want it. I DON’T WANT IT. And if I take medication then it’s admitting it. I don’t want it. Somewhere, probably around the psychiatric appointment when once again I didn’t know what was wrong, didn’t think it was serious, was told it was not serious because I wasn’t in and out of hospital, I was pitched back into denial and relief, too, have spent the past few weeks saying, “There is nothing wrong” when people around me clearly disagree, looking at my shaking hands and kicking off my shoes to say, “I am fine”, and I was fine, I was happy and I am still happy, but I can’t stop shaking and I don’t want to be ill. Now I am back to the burning fucking rage I thought I had left behind, the horrible fucking knowledge that you can run, but you can’t hide. This isn’t fair. This isn’t fair. I probably sound a teenager, but it isn’t. I don’t know what to do, whether to take Seroquel regularly again and be an exhausted zombie or carry on and try harder.
Dressing up as clowns and playing Strip Netball at 6am is no penance for this.
I could love my life. I don’t know what to do.
Hello everybody not out on a Friday, like me!
There’s some bits missing at the end- I didn’t bother saving what I’d written but I do think I said, “Don’t forget to thank your psychiatrist, just don’t do it a week later standing outside his house”. OOH MATRON, MY SIDES! Then I was carried off by burly, naked men to the rousing strains of, “We Are the Champions”.
That’s me there- and yes! I am chubby and yes! I am very short, with a whited out face for CONFIDENTIALITY purposes (or by malevolently glaring lighting, or benevolent glaring lighting, depending on your perspective) performing (or reading, as it was) a bit from my Insane Guide stuff. I was very nervous as I’d never done anything like that before. Most of us hadn’t, I think we were all rather good considering! The only act I didn’t really like was the compere, as it basically revolved around antipsychiatry and telling people they were wrong for ever taking medication. The idea that mental illness is a social construction is a valid and worthy one, but lots of people there relied on medication to keep them functioning enough to roll their eyes at him. I was petrified though as the idea of a whole room full of people staring at me scared the shit out of me, and I wasn’t aware I was being filmed either, which would have made me throw myself onto the assembled spikes in the front row (not pictured). I wasn’t feeling too good that day! I’ve only just managed to allow people to take photos of me and even then it’s on the proviso that I don’t have to look at them. That also means I read my own BBC Ouch articles on my mobile browser with the images turned off.
Anyway! I had written a sizeable proportion of it on the day and also made a lot of shit up as I stood there (y’know what, I wasn’t aware it was mostly a comedy night until I got there, which goes to show just how organised I am. I was supposed to do two bits, but bottled out of one for that reason) so thanks to the chaps there for being kind and helpful to me, and also to the Independent for being kind to me. And my tights for not falling down, as I’d snapped the fecking elastic and was battling to keep them on my arse.
Anyway, yes, there you go, then! I’m proud of myself for doing it and being a part of the evening, and once I got past the fear of defecation, I really enjoyed it. Thank you to Danny for uploading it, and here are more videos from the night, such as the Mad Hatter himself here:
I hope he uploads the John Hegley things and Amy’s Ghost, both who were amazing.
PS: Vote for Mark Brown as Mind Champion! Or not, if you prefer to vote for someone else. BUT VOTE FOR MARK! HE IS LOVELY!
I hid my last blog entry for the reasons I stated in the entry i.e paranoia! And edited another for the same reason.
I had a social worker appointment yesterday and apparently the receptionist told her to come down because I seemed high. I don’t think I did, I just didn’t notice the disabled access thing by the toilet so had a swing on it (and why not?) and walked around a bit. I am highly amused at this, though, I can imagine a big red button they hit behind reception when someone is being mental. The thing is, the line is so blurred these days. I mean, is that a bluetooth headset, or is that guy schizophrenic?
Anyway, my social worker thinks I’m getting (hypo?)manic, or am, and I had to beg off crisis team involvement. I like them as people, they’re lovely and friendly, but they eat into your day, you have to be in when they call, they don’t leave “Sorry You Were Out” cards like the Royal Mail do when they pretend to ring your doorbell.
She asked to speak to Robert instead, to see if he’s dealing okay. He is, and he is not worried about me. For a start, my temperament suits him and he appreciates hyperness and strangeness. He asks me to sleep but apart from that I don’t need him to care for me in anyway. He says his relaxed attitude is maybe wrong, but there you go. A prescription for zopiclone was pushed through my letterbox today- it’s a week’s script signed by the psychiatrist. (It was initially denied to me by the GP who thinks I’m “high risk” for overdosing, despite having done so only four times in my life, twice of those as a teenager) I don’t know if I’ll get it from the chemist’s or not. Part of me misses sleeping and the ritual of sleep and part of me likes not sleeping much, although I wake up and find more often than not that I am violently shaking. She also told him that the crisis team and crisis centre were available, should I need them, or he need them.
I’m not worried, either. Robert agrees with the social worker and I probably am a bit high (I have a few symptoms and it tallies with my past experience: racing thoughts, insomnia, talking a lot, impulsivity, I guess, non-stop fidgeting and have been more active and full of energy, productive in the sense of getting more than usual done and doing more, but not that creatively because I’m still having trouble concentrating, things or people going too slow piss me off and irritate me so sometimes I sound like Robert’s mum shouting, “Come on!” at him. and also really quite happy, though “grandiose” too, if my social worker is to be believed) but I feel good and I don’t want help, nor would I take any medication for it harder than zopiclone (and nor would the psychiatrist prescribe it, as he doesn’t think I have bipolar and nor do I most of the time. My social worker does). Although the background of white noise is annoying sometimes, and I keep getting my speech mixed up (and had a dark moment of panic last night when I suddenly realised one day my name would be on a gravestone with a number after it, as would Robert’s, but it passed quickly), I mostly feel a lot more positive than I have done in a long time. My next appointment is on Monday and no psychiatric appointment is scheduled so nobody is too worried and hopefully I won’t be pushed into anything. I just feel better and I’d like to carry on. Yes, lack of sleep is troubling and physically wrecking me but it’s better than sleeping too much, wasting the day and feeling depressed. I know I might become depressed but right now I’m not at risk to myself, I’m functioning (mostly) okay, things between Robert and me are amazing and he is not worried, so, that’ll do me!
Are you worried your psychiatrist reads your blog? Or social worker? Since I found out that my psychiatrist listened to the Radio 4 play and seemingly (though she may have been joking) based some judgments on it, I find myself wanting to write less openly here, and also undercutting anything bad or vaguely mental I feel with, “But it’s fine! I’m not saying I have any problems!” in case he reads it and thinks I’m exaggerating or something, or being self pitying. And now afraid that anything I say will be construed as, “that’s so borderline!” Jesus. It’s so stupid of me. I know that nobody who has ever been involved in my treatment approves of me writing this blog, so I hate the thought of any of them reading it and sitting there disapproving.
It’s very unlikely that they do, but these kind of stupid worries make me wish I’d been anonymous! It’s hard not to be self conscious. I oddly don’t mind strangers reading what I write but I do mind people who can make decisions about my life reading it. I’m going to start writing on my other blog (over here, updated today with a rant) about other things more often.