Sunday, October 18, 2009

I am in the Bighouse

Well I am back in the nuthouse. Have been here 11 days now with no end in sight. I ask every day when am I getting out of here and so far the answer has been about 6 weeks from now. Not sure if I will make it through...I am dying of boredom. I am not allowed to go outside or leave the hospital at least at this stage.

So my day consists of mind-numbing group therapy sessions followed up with tons of mind numbiing questions from the staff and doctors. Are they trying to make me more crazy? I took an overdose of pills and that is how I ended up here and it looks like here I will stay for a while.

The only entertainment here is when someone gets out of control and gets dragged off the floor and tied down or injected with the sleeping potions.

Okay my 10 minute time limit on the computer is used up now. I will keep everyone posted.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm Bored...I am Chairman of the Bored

Yep I said it...I am bored. I suppose in the grand scheme of things that is a good thing...haven't been manic for a few months, the depression is lifting and mega doses of risperdal seem to have knocked the hallucinations out of me. I should be happy about that, right? Well, I am, I guess however I am used to my life being like a roller coaster ride. So what do normal folk do when their life is all calm? I seem to have no frame of reference.

So there haven't been any wild spending sprees lately, no crazy escapades, i actually sleep at night, don't sleep all day and when I enter a room I only see and hear the people who are actually imaginary friends if you know what I mean. So what the hell do I do now? How do I live this mundane existence.

Don't get me wrong, I am not asking for the madness to return any time soon. But I must admit life has become quite dull. I mean I actually read about the feud between the Jon & Kate couple, am totally addicted to watching Big Brother (want Kevin to win), today I watched the recycling guys go down the street and pick up all the recycling, I even did grocery shopping like a normal person would, bought normal food...not 23 lemons, 5 bags of chips, 47 rolls of paper towels, cupcakes, 2 carrots and one of everything from the impulse aisle. Grocery shopping just doesn't have the same appeal when you aren't crazy manic and hitting the all night grocery store at 3 am. And let me tell you, the people in the grocery store at 3 am are far more interesting than the ones who are there at 11 am. The other day I drank lemonade on the porch then drove to the library instead of driving to Boston, or Florida, or to Buffalo for chicken wings and coffee. Sigh!

A friend of mine who is bipolar always tells me he is enthralled with his madness. I used to find that statement quite bizarre, what with the havoc this illness can cause, but I think I am starting to understand his sentiment. I always dreamed of having some stability but didn't know it would bore me to death. I guess I am so used to all the drama that I don't do calm anymore...or don't do it well.

Well now that I have filled 20 minutes whining about my boredom, I only have 23 hours and 40 minutes to get through today. For those of you who think I am nuts for being worried about being stable, stay tuned, I am sure the next episode is right around the corner. Someone can remind me about this post when things spin out of control. Okay I have to run, the ladies are coming over for tea...just kidding, but I am going to weed the garden. Oh what have I become?


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Have I Influenced Anyone's Life?

I read a very thought provoking blog today written by a man named Darrel. It is here: At the end of the blog Darrel asks the question "Have I influenced anyone's Life?" Darrel's question inspired much soul searching in me. I am always questioning myself about does life matter, do I matter and what is the point of my life. Questions that are quite poignant to people with mental illness I think. Darrel mentioned in his blog entry that whether people smile or frown at him can make a difference to how he feels and who he is. Do we really have that much power? I have that much power? Insignificant little me?

I always thought it would be great to be remembered for some monumental achievement like finding a cure for cancer, winning a Pulitzer prize, inventing something that helps mankind...but maybe, just maybe it is the little things in life that matter the most?

I like to think I have had some influence on my family, friends, my immediate circle. I have no children but I have 8 nieces and nephews and have been a part of their lives. I see parts of me in all of them. They all have a great sense of humour, are quick to laugh, are caring, thoughtful and are all round good people. Could I have contributed to that in some little way? I would like to think so. I would like to think that I have lived my life in a way that could be an example to my younger relatives. I have tried to impart the little wisdoms about life I have picked up along the way. I hope I have helped them become loving people as much as they have helped me learn to love. I have most definitely learned from all of them. I hope they have learned as much from me as I have from all of them. They matter a lot to me so just maybe I matter to them as well?

I am blessed with wonderful friends, the best a person could ask for. I tell people this all the time...a few people have said to me you have to be a great friend to get great friends. I would hate to let my friends down or disappoint them in any way. They have shown me what a wonderful friend looks like. I look up to them and have learned from them. My friends most certainly have influenced the person I have become...just maybe they get the same from me in return?

Darrel mentions in his blog being influenced by strangers. I have been affected by strangers...a sympathetic smile, a compliment, help in a time of need, people reading what I write, listening to what I have to say. Last week a lady behind me in line at the store gave me 3 cents so I wouldn't have to break a larger bill. A simple kindness but it meant the world to me that a stranger would help me out for no reason other than their desire to be a kind person. Also last week a little boy ran back to hold the door for me and the other day a stranger watched me head into the mental health clinic and offered me a beautiful and encouraging smile...and that was just last week. Many a time a complete stranger has restored my faith in mankind. Do I wield that kind of power? Did I have an impact on the man in the wheelchair that I helped when he was stuck?, on the woman whose child held the door for me when I told her how wonderful it was to see such a well mannered and caring child?, to the little boy in Africa that I sponsored?, to the friend I lent some money too? Could my seemingly inconsequential acts of kindness influence others the way their little kindnesses influence me?

I have learned so much from people with mental illnesses like my own. I have learned from people who have shared that they too struggle with mental illness. I have learned in person from talking with these people but have also learned through bipolar websites, blogs, email with other folks who struggle and also from caring doctors and counsellors who have helped me in my time of need. I truly believe that people with bipolar and other mental illnesses are some of the funniest, most compassionate, caring and vibrant people I know. I try to educate people about mental illness, try to offer others hope even when I don't feel much myself, try to help others in their time of need. Could I have influenced someone the way they have influenced me?

So Darrel your blog entry has influenced me...IT MATTERS! It reminds me of a quote that I once thought was trite: "“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.” It is becoming less trite to me by the moment and making me realize that we may be only one person but we all matter and all have something to share. We influence others as much as they influence us. So the point to all my rhetoric is yes I think I may matter. And you all matter, probably more than you will ever realize. Try to remember that on the darkest of days.

Someone needs you.

And to Darrel, thanks for the heads up that we can influence others and for the thought provoking blog entry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Remember You All

Dedicated to the memory of
Mr. H.,
and the countless others who fought valiant battles but whose light was extinguished too soon. The illness took your life but not your memory.


this illness, so much that it has taken
it has left me weak, lost, and forsaken

i cannot fight the mighty tide
nowhere to run, no place to hide

i try to flee it hunts me down
i try to fight, it tries to drown

i struggle and i try to swim
my light is fading, getting dim

i search for any beacon in the night
there is no hope, there is no light

i am tossed about and set asunder
will it ever stop, i doubt, i wonder

i glance about and you appear
please hold me close, please draw me near

you are so good and always there
i know you love me, know you care

you reach for me, offer your hand
provide a safe place for me to land

i want to take you up on your kind offer
accept the encouragement and smile you proffer

but all that i survey is dark
it takes a toll, its left its mark

please listen to my every word
this story of mine it must be heard

i start to drift, you are still there
have no doubt, i know you care

i reached for you but lost my grasp
sorry you will witness my last gasp

i fought the beast with all my might
it wore me down, i lost the fight

it seems today that i will die
but rest assured at peace i lie

i fought the battles, lost the war
so now i knock at heaven's door

my spirit was broken, torn and shattered
but please tell the people that my life mattered

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Medication Merry Go Round

Well I started taking Lamictal today....again. I tried taking Lamictal two years ago and it made me blind, made me trip over my own feet and slur my words. Apparently these are not alarming side effects to my doctor who in his infinite wisdom has decided I should try taking Lamictal again. Yep I have officially tried so many different medications that they are now recycling them...and sadly enough I am desperate enough to go along with this wacky plan.

Sure I listened to my doctor give his speech about how I might not get bad side effects this time and how last time I took Lamictal I was also on 7 other medications, and after all my sight did come back didn't it? blah, blah, blah. Somehow I am not really convinced by his optimistic thoughts on the matter. However things have been so awful lately that I am willingly taking a pill that made me unable to see and made me appear like I was drunk or something. How scary is that?

So what is worse the illness or the cure? I can't believe with all the side effects of psychiatric medication that anyone stays on their meds. I have said it before and I will say it again being nuts is not for the faint of heart. The medication sheet that came with my prescription lists the known side effects of this medication: dizziness, headache, blurred/double vision, nasal congestion, lack of coordination, shaking, tremors, muscle weakness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, painful menstrual cramps, difficulty sleeping and abdominal discomfort. It also says to watch out for a rash that can be fatal, behaviour changes including thoughts of suicide, bleeding, black/bloody stools, vomit with blood in it, bloody urine, yellowing of the eyes and skin, chest pain, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body. Gee what I wouldn't give for a don't ask, don't tell policy right now. I think I have tremors already, no wait, I am just shaking with fear. I can't believe they let people take these medications and can't believe I go along with it...but I am sure this medication will make me feel much better. ah ha ha ha ha

So wish me luck on my journey, I think I am going to need it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Am Going to Die Anyway...Does It Really Matter When?

I have been asking myself this question all week. I have been spiralling downward for a few weeks now. I have been dealing with chronic sleep deprivation, depression, wicked bad side effects, less than helpful doctors, being unable to work, financial difficulties, out of control anxiety, and medication after medication that just doesn't work. Except for 4 short months I have not been stable in 7 years. I am done, I give up, I don't want to play anymore.

So back to the question. We are all going to die and does it matter when? How much does a person have to take? Does a person have to live a miserable existence when they are just going to die anyway? What is the point? Why bother? Why fight and struggle your way through a joyless life and then just die anyway? This is what I torture myself with. These thoughts go over and over in my head.

Then the guilt thoughts start. I am just feeling sorry for myself. There are people who have it much worse than me. People who are in much worse pain. People who live a bleaker existence. In the end I feel guilty and I don't want to live my life.

There is always the guilt of those that would be left behind if I decided to end my life. My family would be devastated. My parents of course, and I am very close to my nieces and nephews. This has stopped me a few times when I was on the brink. At other times I had convinced myself that if they loved me like I loved them they would want me to be at peace. I have had conversations with my family letting them know that if I was to die by my own hand there was in no way anything they could have done to prevent it and they should have no guilt because it would be only about my pain. I suppose for them this would provide little solace, so I suppose when I died would matter to them. My mother several times has said to me if you are going to kill yourself can you wait until after I am gone.

I find it somewhat ironic that if people had a pet, say a dog or cat that suffered as much as many of us with mental illnesses do they would let that pet go. They would allow that pet to have an end to their suffering. We cling to people though don't we.

I have thought about what I might miss out on if I didn't live to old age. I don't think I would miss much experience wise. I have already decided not to have children because I don't want to pass on this illness and don't know how great a parent I would make with having this illness. I travelled quite a bit before my illness really got its grip on me. I had a good career for a while but never will again. My financial future is severely limited now so there aren't any great adventures in the future out there waiting for me. I don't think I would miss much.

I suppose in little ways it can matter when you die. I started to overdose on pills a couple of nights ago and about 20 pills in I realized that if I died that night my brother wouldn't have a babysitter for his kids. He is working second shift until the first week of August and can't get a babysitter that will look after his children until 2am so I have been doing it. I had this moment of clarity in the middle of my suicidal moment where I decided I couldn't die because I had to babysit until August. I am not sure if that is rational or crazy. Oh and I had a whopping headache when I woke up the next morning.

There is always the big picture to think of in deciding if it matters when you die. Whether a person believes in God or not...and whether God is a vengeful God or not. Whether it is a sin to commit suicide or not. I think about that a lot too.

So essentially whenever I get depressed I guess I justify my suicidal feelings to myself by saying I am going to die anyway, what does it matter when. I am not sure if other people do that too. The professionals all think feeling suicidal or committing suicide is a sign of insanity. In my opinion it can be a very rational decision to end a very awful life...but of course what do I know. I am nuts.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


n you drive faster than a speeding bullet, think you can leap tall buildings in a single bound and speak faster than most auctioneers

n you talk to god and he talks back to you

n waking up at supper time is getting up early

n there are more pills in your head than there are in most pharmacies

n going to the hospital means a ride in a police car

n you are unhappy with your mood but know it is okay because a new one will appear any minute

n you have had more jobs than you have birthdays

n going to appointments is your full time job

n you have the psychiatrist, therapist and crisis line on speed dial

n 20 minutes is a good nights sleep

n you ask does this medication make me look fat?

n you are never lonely because you have the voices in your head to keep you company

n you use credit cards to make payments on your other credit cards

n you take frequent trips to club med...icated

n you go out 18 nights in a row then don't leave the house for a month

n you make 8 quick right turns on the way home to make sure no one is following you

n you see dead people but you don't have your own talk show or psychic hotline

n you know you are the queen of England but people don't bow to you or call you your majesty

n your medicine makes you want to scarf down sugar right out of the bag

n when people greet you they don't say hello, they say how are you feeling? or are you taking your medication?

n people like hanging out with you because it makes them look normal by comparison

n you make the energizer bunny look lethargic or make a turtle look zippy