This post is bought to you by the letter B

Hello!  I’m back, broke and burned.  All of two days away, but still, why not announce it with outrageous derring do? Swash!  Buckle!

The trip to Broadstairs was a failure in terms of getting sleep, despite the opulent bed and relative peace.  I managed three hours on Sunday night and was awake again by 1.30am.  I watched a bit of a video and then went wandering by the sea in the dark, smoking furiously and getting lost.  I came back, I read some, then went out again for another walk.  I was the only guest there so I inspected all the other empty rooms and used the private toilet of one of them, feeling rather smug. At least, I hope the rooms were empty and I wasn’t just plonking myself down on a cold toilet seat being stared at by a small French family.  I did some writing on the beach.  The man who ran the place was lovely and made me a ham sandwich because every single shop for buying such things closed by 8pm.  He reminded me a lot of Rob’s dad, the kind of man whose gentleness radiates from them, who would be happy to spend a morning teaching you the intricacies of sheep shearing, who’d let you run your hands across the soft wool.

Robert joined me on Monday evening, since I thought it would be nice for him to see the seaside, too.  He hates sand, but he’ll have to overcome that phobia considering one day he’ll be buried up to his neck in it by pirates mistaking his bicorne for an insult to their people.  We walked to Ramsgate, a very English place.  I slept for an extremely fitful six hours on Monday night, and now it’s Wednesday morning at 4am and I’m awake again, after trying to sleep but having too many thoughts chainsawing through my head and generally feeling twitchy.

It wasn’t a waste, though, I did have a lovely time away.  The B&B was on a residential street, a rather generic looking one, but it backed onto the sea, across to Belgium, 123 miles away, or thereabouts.  It was owned by a cat called Merlin, who’s one of those thin, slightly ragged cats whom when you stroke him gives under your hands, you can feel the bones, he hasn’t got the reassuring mantle of fluff that younger cats too.  He was a big mouth of mrow.  I feel peaceful by the sea and it did calm me down somewhat.  Today on the beach we ran from a seagull the size of an airplane.   It was probably the same one that shat in Robert’s latte from a great height while he was gearing up to say something sarcastic.

Some photos because I love my camera.

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The best one was this, though:

It should be cock.

I spoke to my social worker via email to cancel our Monday appointment and found out that the GP won’t prescribe me anything to help me sleep as I have a history of overdoses and he won’t take the risk.  This irks me slightly as I have overdosed four times.  Okay, four times more than most, but twice was in my teens before I understood what overdosing was, and twice as an adult- one in the midst of a depression that made me believe animals lived in my walls and being at home made me feel unsafe and terrified, and once after I spent most of the year depressed then took Effexor.  I’m not an impulsive overdose-ee, and not at risk to myself.  Mentally, I am fairly cheerful, if not brain-buzzed, but physically I am falling to bits because of lack of sleep.  That combined with completely losing my appetite, bloodshot eyes, legs and hands that keep going numb, cold sores and spot outbreaks means I’m not a pretty specimen right now.  I’m quite irritable, which isn’t fun for Robert.  Make up helps the face, though, and it means I can pull off bits of my flaky skin.

I shall be throwing myself into work for the next week as I feel more enthused about writing and want to make £100,000 somewhere so I can have a houseboat.  And also really rather desperately need to do something with my life.

Quick hit: diagnose yourself with a bunch of shit

MyTherapy is running a three month free trial of their online diagnosis (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) software.   This has amused me greatly.  Differently Sane has already been playing with it and got “diagnosed” with about thirteen different mental disorders.  Robert and I played with it the other day- he got (deep breath): OCD, borderline personality disorder,  avoidant personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.  He concedes he has features of three of those things (borderline, histrionic and avoidance), but then again, everybody does.  It was very amusing scrolling down…down…down and howling while we read the results.  Robert has clearly swallowed the DSM-IV.  We should just punch him and see what he burps out.  “You bastard…don’t you wish you were as wonderful as I? DON’T LEAVE ME!  I’m off to wash my hands thirty thousand times”.

Suffice to say, he has never been in psychiatric treatment and it’s unlikely he ever will be.  Robert’s diagnosis is, “a bit odd”.  I found it interesting it was all personality disorders he got hit with.  Is having a personality a disorder?

I was hoping for a gigantic list I could laugh at, but it failed me by only diagnosing me with two things I have been diagnosed with before: bipolar disorder type I (most recent episode hypomanic, which I don’t think is accurate) and avoidant personality disorder (actually, I’m not sure I have been diagnosed with this.  A suggestion is not a diagnosis, but it’s in my records somewhere, and if I had to “pick” a PD that most fit me, it would be that one.  BECAUSE THAT’S HOW IT WORKS, YEAH?)  And I was really honest with it!  I was crossing my fingers that it would tell me I was an alcoholic psychopath with schizophrenia and a giant penis.

I think the thing that might be scuppering a lot of people is the, “how much harm does this do” question, as it would have a subjective response.  “Severe harm” could be hospitalisation to one person, or to another it could be not going out for a week.  It depends, it’s what deviates from normal.  That said, Robert clicked “mild or no harm” for most of his and still got spewed on.

Anyway, have a play and we’ll all link arms and storm a mental hospital with the print out results shoved in our pockets.  For the love of god, do NOT take the results seriously- it’s an automated computer programme that has the ICD-10 on it, it’s not a substitute for an assessment, and just because it uses the clinical terminology, it doesn’t mean it’s any more worthy of being taken seriously than one of those silly little “what personality disorder are you?” tests that fly around on websites like Livejournal.

I have booked one night away in glorious Broadstairs in Kent in the hope that the fresh coastal air might calm me down and help me sleep for more than a few hours at a time.  I’m mentally okay with it, if not somewhat very snappy, but physically, my body is packing in somewhat.  C’mon one night’s sleep.

Another One Bites the Dust

Rest in peace, Moira Stewart.

How sad and limp she is, unlike the real Moira Stewart, who neither withers, nor dies.

I kind of forgot you existed until I witnessed one of your leaves snap off and dissolve into dust.  May you find joy in Spider Plant Heaven with Brian May.

Back in his carefree youth. I clearly didn't even care enough about Moira Stewart to take baby photos.

I give up on plants.  You can’t trust them not to die, especially if you don’t water them or, when you do, experiment with feeding them Diet Coke thinking the sugar might be helpful, then remembering Diet Coke doesn’t have sugar and that you’ve probably just given your plant cancer.  Which may have contributed to the death of Brian May, as this was a repeat experiment that I had forgotten I had performed once already.   I am the Mengeles of the Plant World.

Thank you for the responses to my quick-aye-right previous post.  I think I will at least ask for an explanation, partly out of sheer curiousity and partly because this is my life and I don’t feel it’s accurate.  I also think someone had a point when they said if I took something positive out of it, should I really kick it up?  In that sense, I don’t know.  I’ll give it a month and see how I feel then, if I am still curious, or if I am fine enough off medication (I won’t be discharged until September which gives me a few months to see if I flip out.  My recent depression doesn’t count, really) to maybe envisage a time where I don’t have to see a psychiatrist again.  I didn’t ask to be discharged due to this, by the by, it was something I raised a while ago, but my not being on medication or really receiving treatment meant that I thought it was kind of pointless to continue and I’ve been with them for almost four years, which is a really long time.     I don’t need that level of support anymore and they’re understaffed as it is!

So!  I’ll ask at least.

It’s 8.08am right now, and I’m awake and have not been to sleep.  I’m operating a kind of day-on-day-off policy when it comes to sleeping.  Not sleeping very much at all, but my body seems to have adapted.  First of all, I was sleeping far too much and then still feeling so exhausted I went back to bed four or five times a day, then I slept less and less and was so exhausted I couldn’t function and wanted to kill myself and could barely move, and now I’m sleeping lesser still but am not that tired at all and don’t need that much sleep.  I took some Seroquel the other day because I thought that forcing myself to sleep would be a smart idea.  I did sleep but I had some strange sort of shaking fit upon waking.  So, bollocks to Seroquel.  I am physically rather shaky, my insides feel strange, I do feel “strange” in general (and if I didn’t I’d say I did anyway just to overuse the word gratuitously in this post), a little bit…STRANGE!

I feel good, mood-wise, cheerful, bouncy, bigger breasted, which isn’t good, they’re too big as it is, distractingly large.  I’ve been productive-ish in the sense that I’ve been sorting some stuff out but now need to direct my energies to other things, the things I’ve been trying and failing to do for months due to being depressed.  My concentration is still fucked and I’m still having trouble staying on one topic for more than a second (which led to me asking Robert earlier if he’d ever wear nappies- I think we were talking about Korea or something) and am having racing thoughts (or at least, what I was told were racing thoughts in the past- voices, music, babbling incessantly in the background and sometimes a “tch tch tch” rhythm that keeps going and might have made me look like a mental on Upper Street earlier when I was vocalising it quietly),  which is a hinderence but hey-ho.  I’ve read over this a few times and removed stuff, I commented on the Facebook page earlier that I kept having trouble with words: instead of feet I wrote fleet for flippers, slippers, then of for on and off and such. I always tell Robert I want to fuck off somewhere quiet because my brain is so noisy often and I wonder if a quiet place will help, I want to go to a quiet place that’s beautiful so have been looking today for flights to the Isle of Man but I have feck all money and no overdraft, which is wise, really.

It’s difficult to tell if I’m behaving in any odd way or not because Robert is extremely strange and has a very high standard of what odd behaviour is:  this is him on my window sill at 4am:

Starkers

Absolutely naked, and it’s a busy main road in London.  And dancing!

I don’t think I am anyway, and don’t really care either!

I went out on Monday night (someone told me they missed me, it must have been a while since anyone had seen me be sociable and talkative and uninhibited) and discovered that in The Great Haze of 2003 (most of which is utterly, utterly lost on me), I walked around a country house in front of everyone without knickers.  I do not recall this, at all, and I wasn’t drunk.  I plunged my head into my arms keening somewhat.  It wasn’t that it was a particularly OH MY GOD thing to do- really, it’s on the level of most peoples’ drunken weekend antics- it’s just that I do not remember it, at all, and I was surprised balloons and streamers didn’t appear from the sky while a bell ding-dinged and lights danced around his head as a rotund, ear-drumming smashing American voice boomed, “ALEX SARLL! CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’VE JUST TOLD SEANEEN THE 1 MILLIONTH THING SHE HAS NO RECOLLECTION OF DOING!”  Smile, smile, clutch that rose bunch to your chest as though it were the ashes of your mother.   I had that cold, sickening fear when he said it, because it frightens and upsets me just how much of my own life I don’t remember.  I don’t even have the excuse of alcoholism or drug addiction- it’s just… gone, obliterated by my more extreme states.  It’s no wonder my flat is filled with sentimental crap and almost every birthday card I’ve ever received, I need these little slips of history to finger gratefully, to remember.

ANYWAY!

Since my little mind has now been trained to be ultra-viligant with mood changes (and coming off medication even more so), I’d wonder if I am slightly hypomanic, or maybe I’m just feeling normal.  I don’t know because I’ve forgotten what normal feels like.  I’ve been on medication for four years, and before that, I was completely mental.  Quite a lot of what I think could be hypomania etc could just me, well, me! Who knows? And I expected some instability coming off all medication because… well, you would, wouldn’t you.  I’ve been recording my progress in this blog for three years, but this is the real shit right here, the real challenge.  I decided to come off medication before the psychiatric appointment, but I think he would have withdrawn the prescription anyway as he doesn’t think I need medication.  I gave it a fair go- I gradually dropped a few medications for reasons of side effects (it’s not being OH LORD IT’S TOO MUCH, I do genuinely seem to be unusually sensitive to pills) and kept Seroquel going for years.  It all did help, but I couldn’t deal with the dead feeling anymore.  And because the psychiatrist and social worker don’t think I need medication anyway, I have no-one roaring, “TAKE YOUR MEDICATION!” in my face, which is nice.

Either way, I’m in a good enough mood so it doesn’t matter.  It’s a pleasant change considering that the past few months, bar a week or two, have been exercises in dumb depression.  HOORAY!

Once again, thank you for your advice and kind words.  I will ask, and if I disagree, then challenge it.  I don’t hold out much hope that the diagnosis would be changed, but I’d still like to know why it stands anyway.

I really do have to bugger off for a while now and try to attempt to focus a bit, so take care!

P.S:  I finally updated my blogroll, sorry it takes me forever!

x

EDIT: Apopos of nothing but I just remembered my mum the first time Rob came over a non-funeral related visit and she offered to buy him a TV.  She has mad periods and is massively generous in them and buys a lot of stupid shit which is why she’s in horrendous debt.   But I don’t know how she thought we’d get a TV over to London.

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