Sunday, 30 September 2012

I Hate Weekends

UKKKKHHH WHAT A WASTE OF TIME. It took me all day just to get up. Properly. I actually got up at around 6:30am because I know when I'm not going to sleep any longer. Then I watched some French crap and brooded. Then I switched to American crap: some Danielle Steel mini-drama about a beautiful woman with very fake looking blue-eye contact lenses whose ancient husband is terminally ill falls in love with another man. Halfway through I started leafing through a book, but it was still OK.

I tried going back to bed in the afternoon because I felt so ill but it was a waste of time.

My friend Pink is back in the nuthouse. Transferred back from the unit that gave her skin-grafts for third degree burns she inflicted on her leg by deliberately setting herself on fire. I cannot handle going in there today because 1 she is confined to her room with her leg in splints so no smoking and 2 I cannot face having a shower.

I keep forgetting I am actually (theoretically, at least) taking an antidepressant every single day. For what good it does me. This afternoon I started feeling desperate enough to go and hit doctors I don't know with a sob story about having come down from Manchester with a plane to catch and how I desperately need my Prozac (to induce a manic episode) or Dothiepin (to OD and hopefully die). I think I'd go for the Dothiepin because it's meant to be stronger than Prozac anyhow. Dothiepin is a tricyclic antidepressant, the only type that is worth ODing on. Because you really do go into the classical Danielle Steel drama style unconsciousness. Then you start fitting out. Which knowing my luck would attract my fuckwit neighbours, because fitting people can involuntarily scream. Then you have a heart attack and hopefully never come back. Dothiepin is now known as dosulepin, apparently: see ~ I would have got busted straight away asking for a drug that hasn't even bourne its own name for 20 years...

Well I don't want to die. I just want to get out of here because I am boiling hot. I have a dr's appointment on Wednesday anyhow. The "antidepressant" I mentioned being on is actually an antipsychotic (Seroquel). If I'd been popping real antidepressants I'd have gone star-rocketing up a long while ago. But Seroquel does nothing. It is only recommended for bipolar depression because bipolar people's brains are so fucked they cannot tolerate any normal drugs at all.

Well I've got to go. Sweat is running down my back it is disgusting. I hope your weekend was a hell of a lot better than mine.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Rebel Songs

I AM ONLY HERE because I had to go out to get methadone, and the internet cafe is on the way back from the methadone chemist. If I didn't have to go out, I would have gone back to bed already. I feel intensely sad today. I cannot face the world.

But I did find 2 musical gems. I was trawling the world gone by. Who would ever have thought I of all people would grow up into someone who hates the here and now?The past is my one refuge.

These are the 2 musical gems: both by Jeanette:~~

Jeanette singing Soy Rebelde in English: "I'M A REBEL"

JEANETTE: Corazon de Poeta in English

Why are all songs about rebels sad?
Here's Sinead O'Connor: REBEL SONG
~~which would have been better titled ENGLISHMAN


✔ ➝☨+*✔ ➝☨+*

Friday, 28 September 2012

Bugerlugs' Secret: How To Make Clothes Smell Ultra-Fresh...

BUGERLUGS, my fellow heroin-addicted blog-friend gave me a tip on how to make my laundry reek overpoweringly of Fabric Softener. Add an overdose of this to the powder-drawer during the last rinse; then it will reek overpoweringly of "blue". True to her word, the only brand that really works is Blue Lenor. My local Sainsbury's sells "x4 freshness" and x"7 freshness". Only the first of these was on 2x750ml for £3 special offer but I invested in the allegedly stronger one anyhow. I had to sit through the entire rinse-cycle with pen, paper and wristwatch, timing and numbering each spin so next time I can know exactly where I am in the cycle.

Because I was so paranoid, I ended up adding two capfuls each to the second and final rinses. The recommended dose is only a half or one cap. But I want everyone in the vicinity of my specially-treated garments to go into near-anaphalaxis, so I didn't mind wasting a bit on a second-last phase that was only going to rinse it out. You have to be absolutely sure you're tipping it into the very end of the wash, otherwise it'll only get drenched out leaving barely the faintest aroma behind.

True to Bugerlugs' word, only Lenor is potent enough ~~ and it absolutely must be blue Lenor. She has experimented with every other colour and nothing else works. By the time the final mind-blowingly extended nuclear-strength spin was done, it was too dark to creep into the yard to peg them out, and I was terrified that fresh air might blow all the artificial "blueness" away.

So they've been on my Ikea indoor hanger. They smell OK, but next time I'm adding ten capfuls, just to make sure. I want people's eyes to water when they go near me and I want my entire flat to smell like Valium Marilyn's place. She spends the twilight of her days in a beautiful top-floor apartment reclining chaise-longue-style in front of panoramic HD cable television. I keep warning her not to fall out with her son, who pays the cable bill, because without National Geographic, Discovery and Animal Planet, life as she knew it would be over...  And her flat reeks of fabric softener too...

By the way, Bugerlugs: there is a most unpleasant warning on the bottle saying never to use Lenor on bedlinen or children's clothes and never ever to add it direct to fabric, as anything treated with their product becomes highly flammable. Offputting or what? ??~!?

I'm still sleeping marathon hours. I was in bed by two last night and woke up midday-thirty (I spend no time lying in bed awake ~ that is just too depressing ...) So I got straight up, put something on German television that I couldn't understand. Felt pissed off. And was back in bed within twenty minutes. This time I dreamed a lot. I don't like dreaming. I went back to Park Meadow in Hatfield, where I grew up. Then I was up again by three, not at all happy to be awake. I always think: if you have nothing to write then write nothing ~~ and yet this is a daily journal. So that is my non-diary for today...

Next time, maybe I'll have laundered more clothes. So wow. Maybe there will be something exciting to add to the record...


When I was ten and my Dad got remarried, he and my new step-Mum brought two of her tapes back from their honeymoon...

"I'm a rebel"... this time with English subtitles...

"The sad boy of eight"...

✔ ➝☨+*✔ ➝☨+*

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

J K Rowling: Anxiety and Depression

J K ROWLING was on the radio earlier today talking about her forthcoming novel for adults. It will be (arguably) her eighth book for an adult readership, since Harry Potter seemed to be written for (and was definitely read by) adults too.

She said when she was younger she had "mental health problems"*. Strange how the language has changed: when I was younger they were called "emotional problems". She means anxiety in her teens; depression in her twenties.

See: anxiety is very common. So is depression. Together they mix like a cocktail from hell.

When I was younger, I used to think "you can't change everything in life, but you can change your attitude". Sometimes that helps. Maybe I can still help myself... I hope so.

Is it just me, or does this music sound really, really melancholy and sad?...



*When I was younger, "emotional problems" usually meant "reactive depression", anxiety and "neurosis"; the label "mental problems" tended to be applied to more "serious" illness: manic depression, "endogenous depression" and schizophrenia...

✔ ➝☨+*✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+*✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+*✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+*✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+*

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Anxiety and "Issues"

I HAVE banged up one bag of Lovely Heroin today and feel no better for it; I have one bag left. And don't even know if I want to take it.

Yesterday I felt horrible in the morning. Depressed and anxious. Then I took heroin and felt fine. All afternoon. Pinky asked if I was hypomanic. Come nighttime I felt OK and phoned my family.

All night long I slept deeply, only awakening once to pee out some of the three litres of lemonade I guzzle each day. I no longer drink alcohol at all.

So I got up at twenty to one feeling sour and blank and confused. Sometimes it pains me just to think.

Pinky has been transferred from mental hospital to burns unit where's she's awaiting surgery. When she set fire to her pyjamas last week, she burnt her leg so badly she needs SKIN GRAFTS. She's right across town so I don't get to see her for a couple of days.

People keep confusing me. The things they say; the things they feel. I don't want to take any of it on board. Eg Pinks talks about me as if I'm seriously ill. I don't like that, and I do not believe it.  If I mentioned it at all in real life, I would say I'm "a bit bipolar" but she says I'm "really bipolar" which is no longer true. There is nothing wrong with me any more. Apart from that I'm my old miserable self.

Dr Lovelace, the GP, says I should not take on the identity of "schizophrenic". I would not want to associate with a condition I do not have anyway. I said my moods are who I am. But mental illnesses are not and never will be "me". Yes in the past I have parrotted ideas that I've read. But psychiatry to me is like a religion: an object of fascination, not belief.

I'm totally off tea. I started feeling panicky earlier today and that makes me feel I should be shot dead. Anxious people are useless people ~ incapacitated by misplaced energy that crushes the heart. I loathe anxiety above every other mental state. If I get anxiety back, I will kill myself. Caffeine makes all this worse. It's just like the after-effects of crack cocaine ~ another drug I loathe.

There is nothing much more to say. If I analysed it, I'd ask myself why I should blog about feeling crap. The only reason is that I would keep a journal anyway. Saying these things in public is confusing enough. I know some people think I should just kill myself.

My blogfriend Bugerlugs, who has a cyclothymic nature anyhow, went on a beautiful two-week break to North Wales but came back not just depressed but panicky on top. I held back my opinion that anxiety is the absolute pits of psychiatry, sheer living hell.

And when her GP prescribed Prozac, I kept quiet on what fluoxetine would do to me: make me agitated, angry and dysphoric and a whole lot worse. My last experience with an antidepressant (mirtazapine/Remeron) was catastrophic. I never want to go near anything like that again. The stuff I'm now on (quetiapine/Seroquel) is for bipolar depression. But it's also antimanic and antipsychotic. So it shouldn't set me off on a psycho episode.

I hope Bugerlugs is OK. She sounds better. Her biggest problem now is a furry pingpongball-with-eyes robo-hamster who's been on the lose for nearly a week. They're tiny, flighty and much faster than normal hamsters. So it's like trying to catch a wild house-mouse. Except roborovskis are even smaller and pingier. And when on the lose, they switch to wild mode and don't want to be picked up.

Ukh. See that theory that distractions improve the mood doesn't work.

I keep thinking about Bugerlugs and what I said about anxiety. When I make these sweeping statements I'm talking about me. If Bugerlugs put a gun to her head I would be gutted. I don't want Bugerlugs to die.

As for this heroin (the other thing Bugerlugs and I have in common, apart from uneven moods) ~ I don't know what to do.

Earlier today, I ended up turning the issue over in my head. Telling myself it is destroying me: I have to make a break from it sometime.

Then I tell myself I will stop tomorrow. But I'm not naïve. When I think I've spent too much money, I'm able to put my fixation on ice for some days. So I've done a few days heroin-clean. But that day, the day that I still have a yen for gear and the money to get it ~ that "tomorrow" never comes.

Last year there were many days when I had the money but not the desire to use. My worker was asking me last week what has changed between now and then but I don't want to talk to some drug-obsessed drug-clinic worker about my mental equilibrium. Last year I had an "elevated" mood for weeks on end. This year I haven't been so high. I tested myself, by using again, and the habit came back. It's nowhere near as intense as it once was, years ago. I can do a day or several days on just methadone without climbing the walls.

And I want, I really do want to be drug-free and that means methadone-free as well.

I'm also aware that heroin is doing my mental wellbeing no good at all. For years it salved my misery. But now, it either switches my mood so I feel higher hours later than when I first took it. Or it does nothing much at all. Whatever it's doing to my brain cannot be good.

For a long time I was averse to methadone because I thought it would damage my brain.

I know what I have to do. That is: to give up all drugs, prescribed and otherwise. Then maybe my brain could be OK.

My family have said that if I leave the drugs ~ all drugs behind, I should be OK. I never used to believe that. Mainly because I wasn't OK before I went on heroin, so I didn't assume I'd be OK afterwards. But I never even had the chance to try Sobriety out ~ never gave myself the chance.

This is my single goal. To live drug-free.

Maybe next year I'll have some news to tell you...

Until then I can't promise not to put up a whole load more miserable posts. Sorry.

Illustrated: I couldn't think up an illustration, so I went abstract; I found this graph by accident but it shows something I've long suspected ~ that heroin is far more popular here in Europe than across the Pond...

I wanted to put up SOMETHING... but what?
This is an old trance classic,
It has a PROPER VIDEO...

✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+✚✔ ➝☨+✚

Monday, 24 September 2012

Today I Met The Only Bipolar Girl I Know

... and she is fantastically beautiful.

I WAS down the Druggieclinic early because I'd gone to bed by midnight and yet somehow managed to awaken at 6am feeling crap.

A single cup of tea was enough to set me off all morning with Anxiety on top of Depression.

My Druggieworker wasn't in and there was no way I was going near the Group Session he always wants me to go to. I've attended the 12 sessions I undertook to do and no way in hell am I going near any groups again, except the legendary Nutter Club ~ the Dual Diagnosis (mental+addicted) support group that my own Consultant Psychiatrist cancelled. I'm writing in to tell him how he has disposed of my one source of support. Throughout Psychotic Break #2 (mid-January) last year Naomi, the group leader, was my single source of any practical help. Without her intervention, I might not even have got diagnosed.

My family, who live 100s of miles away never saw me, only heard me on the phone. Usually in the evenings when my mania was lulling ~ and a lot of online friends who know me via my blog ~ all said a lot of wellmeaning but seriously confusing things. People who knew me and actually saw me were in no doubt that I had completely lost my mind. One friend who hapened to phone me when I was in utter meldtown one morning, drove straight round with his wife, took one look at me leaving the house doing the best sane act I could manage ~ and burst straight into tears! I have absolutely no idea what was so upsetting, because I was feeling fantastic. They wanted to take me back to theirs but I pointed out that I was getting up each morning at 2:30am and wouldn't go back to bed for anyone. The psychiatrist told me after the fact that I should have been in hospital during that period. It's the most seriously ill I have ever been. I just could not help it.

Today I saw the only Drugs Worker who actually seems to care for me. This one comes from Germany. He checked my urine ~ only methadone and "morphine" (heroin) showed up. He kept asking what had gone wrong this weekend because I seemed down in the mouth and I kept saying I was fine. I keep my mouth shut and turn up my lips at the corners, as if half-smiling. I told him how much I'd gone off alcohol. So he added to my notes a breathalyser reading of zero. I told him how pissed off I was to be so anxious. He seemed not to credit how badly a single cup of tea can affect me. So I mentioned how, earlier this year, four cups flipped me out into hypomania, depression and paranoia for half a day. He mooted the idea of counselling but I told him I've had a lifetime's worth of that. I complained how four hours' interviews with the mental health nurse (more than two years ago and before I ever got the "schizoaffective bipolar" label) had left her with the idée fixe that it was some anxiety disorder that was bugging me. Despite my making the repeated point that I'd not had morbid anxiety for over a decade and a half, that I did not feel keyed-up, or a panicky grip round my heart. What I did feel was irritated, angry and overloaded with stress ~ an entirely different syndrome. When I'm anxious I want Valium. When I'm irritated, I don't. She gave me a helpsheet written for the me of twenty years ago! A person who wasted huge amounts of nervous energy turning over the same useless worries all night.

This morning was a tea-induced aberration: I DO NOT HAVE AN ANXIETY DISORDER. Or a Cluster C Personality Disorder, as she wanted to believe. (I do like that nurse, but she's too clever for her own good.) The personality disorders questionnaires I filled online (always in (hypo)manic states, as I would not ordinarily bother with such crap) said I was schizotypal and borderline! Doesn't mean I have any personality disorder at all. If the symptoms come as episodes, as mine do, it's called an "illness". Personality disorders develop by the late teens, manifesting as constant personal characteristics ~ hence that label: "personality disorder".

Then I mentioned how anxiety pisses me off a hundred times worse than any other symptom ~ extreme depression, "voices", manic meltdown, whatever...How anxiety is taken as a sign of weakness, never ever taken seriously by any doctor and how all sufferers should be shot through the head ~~ purely as an act of kindness. Which is as much as I'm prepared to say on the shameful matter.

Back in the waiting room a beautiful woman appeared. She didn't remember me, but I remembered her. I remember her because we ended up in bed together. (Long story). She is the one person I've ever met outside a clinical setting who has bipolar disorder. I told her what happened to me last year. She went and described my big manic episode for me: completely over-excited and hallucinating/~~ etc. She'd taken a big overdose of her meds at the weekend: 80 risperidone pills. A real recipe for feeling totally shipwrecked if ever there was one...

Then I went out to score heroin. Yes I'm still in thrall to the Killer B. ("B" is what we call Afghan brown.) Now I no longer drink, it's the last of all drugs... And I wish I'd taken Rachel's phone number...

Illustrated: this is the Spanish singer Jeanette Dimech. But she bears more than a passing resemblance to R...


Jeanette performs her biggest hit (the title means "Because You're going") at the Eiffel Tower, Paris...

I luuurve this track, it's so entertainingly kitch ~ know what I mean..!

★ ☆ ★ ☆
★ ☆ ★ ☆
★ ☆ ★ ☆
★ ☆ ★ ☆

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Autumnal Already

SUNDAY EVENING: dark, rainy and cold. I can't wait to sleep tonight.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Judy Garland: A Complete Mess

I SAW A TV FILM called Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows first thing in the morning. My: was she a mess. I knew she had her pill problems, but didn't realize they were quite that bad. In the end she was taking 1600mg a day of Seconal, on top of heavy doses of (prescribed) amphetamine. Plus she was drinking heavily. Barbiturates like Seconal are supposed to magnify the effects of alcohol considerably. They also cancel out the jitterier side-effects of speed, so you get a double-high.

In the beginning she was depicted on speed giving a master performance: singing her heart out, gesturing, pinging across the stage, reaching out to audience members' hands etc. Then she put in an Oscar-nominated performance opposite James Mason in the 1954 film A Star Is Born ~~ and yet no-one wanted to hire her afterwards because by that stage in her career she was already considered unreliable.

In the end she was performing concerts in theatres for practically no money because she owed it all to the IRS as back taxes for movies made the decade before. Drunk, confused, forgetting what song it was, tangling herself up in the microphone wire. And booed off the stage in Australia.

Her poor daughter Lorna Luft (upon whose memoir the film was based) had to tell a family court judge that she wanted to be with her mom rather than her dad because her mother couldn't live without her. This was true, in the most literal way. The judge sighed and granted custody to "Miss Garland". And the drunken, drugged confusion continued.

Towards the end, Lorna, who is barely in her teens, is reduced to a state of nervous collapse and physical exhaustion and realizes she just cannot go on. So Judy Garland is left alone and drinking. One night she cannot sleep despite all that Seconal and so she takes several more. And is found on the bathroom floor, dead.

It was a pretty horrible story. Funny how when you see something close-up it doesn't seem in the slightest bit "glamorous". A lot of people do consider drug-taking and even drug addiction glamorous. The more you see, the less you like it. But many don't see the full details until they themselves are addicted. By that time your one comfort, that seems to give you life, is the thing that is killing you.


I wasn't trying to say yesterday that I thought my lovely label would get my any special treatment. Merely that I tick a box. So they would know what preconceptions to shove my way if I ever did get inpatient "care"...

Here's a furry picture of a cute koala.

Illustrated: the woman to the left in the second picture is Jacqueline Susann, author of the 30,000,000 copy bestseller about pillpopping, Valley of The Dolls...


MUSIC: Judy Garland sings THE MAN THAT GOT AWAY in A Star Is Born


Friday, 21 September 2012

Mental Issues

I SLEPT a long, long time on Wednesday night, but last night, although I went to bed exhausted around 10:30 I woke again at 4 and could not, and barely even tried to, get to sleep again. I had a plate of two-day-old "wild mushroom" stuffed pasta with broccoli and cheese beside me that I've been finding increasingly revolting. Partly because I was stupid enough to buy stuffed pasta even though I knew I had been going off it. Partly because I've lost my appetite enough to be able to go on just one meal a day for the past few days.

I made a mistake, by the way, in yesterday's depiction of a severe manic spell: the starbursting ideas I mentioned may be irrelevant. That I can vouch for when memories are examined under the steady glare of sanity. But at the time, everything seemed ultra-relevant and important and sparkled so dazzlingly it was all too compelling and THAT is why I got so lost in the blizzard of my ideas. It was absolutely impossible to separate wheat from chaff, to examine any one idea and most especially to think out a stream of consequences in stages. Which meant that when truly stupid ideas grabbed me (example: to take a flying leap through the upstairs window) the full folly of my compulsion never dawned on me until many weeks later. Which I still find really disturbing and I'm extremely glad my Dad brought me up NOT to be impulsive. If I had been an impulsive person, and had given in to just one of the deluded ideas upon which I thought at the time I ought to act out, I'd have got into trouble deeper than I could ever have imagined. I can just imagine Advocacy for the Prosecution painting me as the most evil person alive, when I was too ill to calculate anything and most especially to analyse or think out the consequences of anything further than one single obvious stage.

Books and websites say a manic person is extraordinarily distractable. That may be; but it felt to me like I could not keep my mind poised enough to focus on any single topic at all without every possible eventuality bursting out at me all at once so that I was swept so far away, I'd forgotten my destination anyhow. And found myself completely lost, but just as happy to be in the new place as wherever I had been, or been going... Couldn't say anything succinctly. And if there was an and, but or because in the sentence I seemed to get blown so badly off course that I'd start out saying one thing and finish saying many things utterly different and unrelated. The psychiatric social worker who interviewed me in the mental hospital, where Naomi, chair of the weekly Nutter Club (a dual-diagnosis meeting for drug-addicted people with serious mental issues) had driven me. Nothing to do with wanting to get admitted. I didn't want to go into hospital. All I wanted was somebody to bear witness to the state I was in, because I hadn't slept in days, hadn't been to bed for about 48 hours and counting and knew something about me was Drastically Different. My mood, for one thing, which was high and kept going higher, in complete contrast to the various shades of unhappiness and depression I had floundered in for years...

I wanted someone to vouch that my fluctuating mental state was real. And not an exaggeration or a lie. Because that's how I felt: that for years I had being taken for a liar, someone who felt it necessary to embellish my own experience and turn run-of-the mill depression, which millions experience, into something more fascinating. When in actuality I was doing all I could to downplay my increasingly extreme moods, lest I end up with a terrible diagnosis with a title like Bipolar, swinging round my neck, like a Gold Medal from Hell. Then of course the consultant dual diagnosis specialist told me I had "manic depression and schizophrenia". And despite my "elevated mood" and excitement, I was devastated. I had only just come to terms with the notion that I might actually be a manic-depressive junkie. Or worse still, if I listened to the voices who told me this: that I really did have schizophrenia. That's the only time I've ever got home after a doctor's appointment and cried. All afternoon long.

I don't consider myself a special case: especially crazy or confused or complicated. Every time I have found myself with one sickness or another: Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Psychosis ~ I have known another person who's had what I have, only far worse. Pinky is probably the most tangled and traumatized psychiatric case I have ever met. Her Borderline Personality Disorder is severe and it seems to me that at least 75% of her pain and suffering is caused by that, and not clinical depresion and not her enduring paranoid schizophrenia. She's now on TWO antidepressants: Venlafaxine (Effexor) on top of Mirtazapine (Remeron), both at maximum doses, which they never prescribe anyone unless they're truly in dire straits. Two weeks ago she was so upset, almost screaming in mental torment and agony. Yet there was nothing I could say or do that would make her feel any better. She only ended up in hospital because she did something impulsive and the police bundled her in there... Now she has a massive burn on her leg, which is at least second degree, because it's broken out in gigantic blisters. It's only bandaged, so she tells me, because another patient troubled to do that for her. (But how did she get hold of the bandage?) The nurses did nothing. She never even got to see a burns specialist for two days, because the nurses could not be bothered to care for her, even in the most basic way. She set fire to her pyjamas. Which to me seems to be another sign of the impulsivity powered by her Borderline Personality Disorder. Which fuelled her depression and psychosis, creating a complete emotional mess. Apart from being burnt, she seems about as well now as she ever gets; that is: she would probably pass as "normal" to most people. Less than a week ago she was definitely not "normal". Wandering about in a daze. Repeating her sentences over and over. Too frightened to go in the lounge, because she said the TV was talking to her directly and telling her what to do. I can cope with my friend, because she is my dear friend and has nobody elsewho can help her, eg withdraw money without thieving it from her, bring in cigarettes, without which she would go into true meltdown. Etc etc... What I couldn't cope with was the heavy atmosphere on her old ward. The other patients seemed extremely disturbed compared to times past when I've been on mental wards. Eg FOUR patients on one-to-one supervision. Tired-looking nurses stationed outside open bedroom doors, all in a row. I've never seen that much one-to-one "care" (though it's pretty obvious they don't care. Don't care at all.)

When I told the doctor how stressed I felt, she asked me whether Pinky had anyone else who could help her and I said no. That is the most terrible thing. Her best friend, who I named "Perky" committed suicide and we all thought that was the end of Pinky, but she survived, because she is a Survivor. She just hates being alive, because life has dealt her the most dreadful hand of anyone I have ever met. When a person who already has paranoid schizophrenia gets extremely depressed, to the point where they don't speak to anyone any more, they call that schizoaffective disorder (depressive type: my type is bipolar). So on paper, our diagnoses sound the same, yet our experience is vastly different. She has had far worse depression than I've ever had and for longer. Yes I have gone right down to the bottom, but I only stayed there for hours and days (in different episodes). Pinks has been depressed into stupor for months on end and had to have ECT. That's why I didn't see her as that severely ill this time round, because she was still able to communicate. People with extreme depression usually barely speak or even move at all...

O man yet AGAIN I end up on the same subject. I'm just finding it hard. Really hard to deal with this. I force myself to go visiting when really I don't want to go visiting at all. Now that she's in company of less disturbed people it's a lot easier. Over the years they seem to have tightened up their procedures so that only the very most desperately disordered (or dangerously deluded) people get admittance to a ward. No matter how upset a person might be, if they're not judged to be a suicide risk, or a danger to others, they probably won't get let in. No matter how much they beg, plead of cry, they are turned away. And the staff who do it know that if they misjudge a situation, they may well be the very last person that patient asked for help. Another sad truth is that psychiatrists cannot really help people who are "just" upset, or stressed past breaking point, or bereaved. Even if they're really, really upset and suffering intolerably. If it's not mental illness, doctors usually can't help. They can treat schizophrenia. Ordinarily they can bring down a manic episode quite easily. Clinical depression they can treat with a choice of over forty antidepressants, or mood stabilizers (there are four main ones) or antipsychotics (about 28 types) (quetiapine, which I'm on, is a treatment of choice for bipolar depression, because it does not elevate the mood the way antidepressants do ~ which can easily trigger a manic episode). If all else fails, there's always ECT. But no way in hell would I ever submit myself to that, no matter how bad I felt.

But my point is, I've seen extreme cases of psychosis clear up entirely within a few weeks. Yet people who come in to escape bad relationships, or bereavement or simply because they cannot escape loneliness and pain, probably will not be helped, and that's very sad...

I've heard people talking about antidepressants just "taking the edge off" the symptoms, but cannot relate to this. Whenever I've taken antidepressants for long enough, and it only takes about two weeks, my mood improves distinctly and depression vanishes completely. (Which kind of implies some chemical imbalance was the cause and disproves the notion some of my old drug workers liked to harbour, that I was only depressed because I was addicted to heroin). The problem tended to be that I became too hyped up and excitable (and sometimes, plain agitated). Then the last time, when I took mirtazapine, after the brief 7-day high I went crashing down, far lower than I'd ever been before I took the pills, and ended up in a terrible state for over a month. It was my old druggieworker who took one look at me and said "it's those tablets you're on" and sure enough when I stopped them I improved drastically.

The one single good thing about having a nasty label like "schizoaffective" is that if I ever do become seriously ill or desperate, I know that psychiatrists will take my case seriously because I've got the second most serious psychiatric condition there is. (Schizoaffective disorder is said to have an outcome worse than ordinary mood disorders, but better than schizophrenia.) So if I do ask for help, they turn me away at their peril. I've not only been turned away from the psychiatric Emergency Department in years past and told to come back when I was "actively suicidal", but TWO psychiatrists have summarily chucked me off their lists. The first time I had the impertinence to SMILE while recounting how dysphoric I had felt and I suspect that doctor (who had never seen me before; he was taking over another doctor's clinic at the University I used to attend) assumed I must have been stoned on cannabis. Which I was not. I was only reacting to his manner. I had the not-uncommon condition named "smiling depression". Most of my laughs and smiles back then were faked anyhow. The second time a medical student didn't seem to know what to make of me and so called in her supervisor, who was a notorious hater of junkies. He told me I was on so much methadone that antidepressants wouldn't help me anyway, which was an utter lie because I did get successfully treated with mirtazapine once. It was the second and third times I tried to go on it that I became hypomanic and all the trouble ensued... All that was BEFORE I got any diagnosis except depression, then CFS, then depression again ~ and I spent years knowing "something" else was wrong, yet no idea what it actually was... So any trust I had in psychiatrists has been long-since lost and even though my last one was a very good doctor, as a group, I don't trust them at all. Dr Lovelace is booking me an appointment with a shrink. As much as anything, I think I really should see one as it's been eighteen months since my last appointment and I can't tell Dr Lovelace that it happened in a methadone clinic as I don't want "drug addict" back on my notes...

Where am I going from here? I don't know. I'm just trying to say, there is one good thing about having a horrible psychiatric label pinned on your forehead and that is if you need desperate help, you're more likely to get it fast than someone with a less "severe"-sounding label like "anxiety and depression". Even though anxiety and depression is far more horrible than any schizoaffective episode I've had. When my depression goes very low, I feel so dazed and out of it I'm almost anaesthetized. But the depression I had when I was younger was more horrible. I didn't want to die, and so I lived in terrible pain. I was a loner and yet I could not stand to be alone. So I would go visiting people who weren't my friends, get there and have nothing at all to talk about. So I'd sit in the corner, silent, wondering how anybody could think up any conversation at all. My university years were the pits. It's just amazing that I managed to make friends at all...

Well I have to terminate this long and rambling piece here. If you're wondering why so much psycho-talk, it's because I have spent so much time on mental wards visiting my friend, and it seriously started to do my head in... But I think I'm better and she's better now. So that's good. If I can only get my sleep and my mood back to normal, because it's still too low, then all will be FINE!



Thursday, 20 September 2012

House of the Mad, House of the Dead

I SLEPT FOR A MARATHON amount of time last night. 15 or 16 hours in one block. I ended up moaning at the doctor about all my "problems" yesterday morning. Because if I didn't, I had this feeling she would believe I was totally OK when I don't feel OK at all. Of course when I left the surgery my mood went shooting up for an hour or so. Then went low. Then high and low, wrapped around each-other like bindweed up a rusty old railing. I wasn't "manic". Just in an elevated mood. In fact kind of I felt like I'd been drinking, when I definitely had not. I also kept getting this tearful kind of feeling, yet felt happy at the same time. I have long given up trying to analyse stuff that doesn't merit the energy but there it is.

I've just done a 90-minute stint down the mental institution. I can barely face that place, the atmosphere is so sour. The atmosphere in the grounds is intensely green, fresh and restful, like most mental hospitals. It's only back in the wards that sheer barely-controlled chaos reigns. Last night Pinky phoned me from the secure unit, where she was only dumped because they had no other beds. Screaming and yelling in the background. That's a big reason why I didn't wanna go into a ward last year when I really was crazy. Because the mania fluctuated a lot, giving me relatively lucid periods, when I was well aware that if I did go in, I would be by far the most mental person on the ward. There were times when I literally could not keep myself quiet and yelled every syllable (and it was just broken-off syllables, not words) that swirled round my brains. Mental nurses are usually so tired and jaded they would probably affect to consider such behaviour attention-grabbing. Even though I only usually did it when I was totally alone and my mind at its most unfocused. Having somebody there at least gave some direction to my scattered, racing, totally disjointed consciousness.

If you're wondering why I keep on mentioning this it's because I want closure. There never is any closure. I don't understand what happend. Or why. What it means, where it's going. Or for what reason...

And that was the very worst thing: I lost my reason in the most literal way, in that I was unable to think anything through. If I tried to, I would get lost in a multiplicity of related ideas, that exploded into starsbursts, all glittering with countless new concepts until I was lost in a whirl of dazzling irrelevance. It was like tripping on a psychedelic drug that affected the intellect rather than the senses. Though I was hallucinating as well, I tended either to hear voices, usually from the ceiling, that said irrelevant things. Or isolated visuals would appear, like furniture that materialized from nowhere only to fade into space again, just as rapidly.

One time I decided I "wanted to watch television" where there was no television. So I just stared at a blank wall, and right on cue vivid abstract patterns and cartoon figures burst forth.

See: you don't need drugs to be tripping!

I can't remember how I got on to this train of thought, except that I have just been on that mental unit (that is VISITING) and the whole place was doing my head in, until they decided yesterday without warning to ship all the most disturbed patients to different parts of the building. Which caused weeping and screaming and all kinds of chaos, by all accounts. Two people in there have burns from setting themselves on fire.

It's very depressing when I think about it. So I avoid doing so. I have just finished Christopher Ciccone's Life With My Sister Madonna and am now reading Dostoyevsky's House of the Dead, about life in a pre-Communist era Siberian labour camp. That's the only benefit I get from feeling a bit depressed: my concentration span actually increases noticably!

Illustrated: this is exactly the type of thing you may well see when tripping on LSD (nothing at all like visuals from a manic episode, which tend to consist of voices, funny noises, words in capital letters shooting out of the walls and actual hallucinated objects (and some say they see people), if they do happen at all...

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Message from Princess Leia

I DID GO to Doctor Strangelove at 9 in the morning. My alarm went off at 7 to tell me to take methadone early so it would be going full-blast by the time of the appointment. I couldn't get to sleep again. I think I'm in a better mood than yesterday. But I still told the doctor the truth. About how STRESSED I get over PETTY THINGS. We somehow got on to the subject of "when was I diagnosed" and I went and told her about the time I was so manic that when I opened a book the words exploded in my face. I am always digging my own grave: eg when I happened to mention to a psychiatrist that I heard voices that summarized my own thoughts from a minute or two before. This is a KEYNOTE FEATURE of schizophrenia (as opposed to any other type of psychosis, including psychotic mania). Also my tendency to take things extremely literally so that when I read schizoaffective disorder had an "affective component" I visualized a bright yellow electrical component that regulated the trillions of volts zapping straight through my brain. Yes I could read most of the time. My main problem in mania was that my brain was going so quickly I could not take information in. One day I was in the back of a car. I couldn't remember where we were going and kept thinking we were en route to an illegal rave because I was "high on ecstasy" (I hadn't taken ecstasy for about ten years). I agree with Carrie Fisher: that the bipolar high is better than anything else, anything at all. More transcendant. More sublime. And much nicer than drugs. I have never taken a drug that kept me high for more than about twelve hours and even that required multiple doses. On mania I soared stratospherically high for days on end and the whole episode took months to wear off.

It is very good to feel high, but when I remember how mentally disabled I became it saddens me. Reading a book from the library called "Madness Explained" I realized my main problem wasn't delusions (I wasn't really "delusional" most of the time) or hallucinations, which tended to be exhillarating and beautiful, not scary. A few times they have really offended me, but never terrified me. No my main trouble was "severe thought disorder". That is what made my mind go totally incoherent for hours at a time. A state of mind that kept coming back every day in the mid-morning to late afternoon. Several times I went out of body, out of mind. I once stood on top of the Universe, higher than anything and everything except God. I felt blessed and full of power. When I looked up, and I constantly was looking higher, because I felt like I was flying and was going higher, I kept seeing spirals. I had a friend who used to put salt in spirals on the carpet when she was tripping on ketamine. And Spiral Tribe, the most famous illegal rave soundsystem of the early 90s, were into Chaos Music. And eyes everywhere were staring at me. I saw them staring out of the bottom of the screen every time I turned the computer on.

I once wandered into a McDonalds and had real confusion because everybody in there seemed to be talking and they were talking directly at me. Long, long lines and crowds. So I ignored them all and somehow got a double cheeseburger and left.

Here's Carrie Fisher (author of Postcards from the Edge; Princess Leia in Star Wars): "Unipolar' people or even people with no poles should envy me or any bipolar person because the upswing is the greatest ~ better than any drug, better than anything in the world."

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Nowhere in Bipolarland

Manic depression  Spike Milligan

The pain is too much
A thousand grim winters
    grow in my head
In my ears
    the sound of the
    coming dead.
All Seasons
All Sane
All Living
All Pain.
No opiate to lock still
     my senses
Only left,
     the body locked tenses

NO I DON'T FEEL that bad. I am sick and tired, that's all. And I have to see the ******g doctor tomorrow. I don't want to go. What will happen? It was originally a "gimme more quetiapine" appointment but Nurse Carol gave me more of that two weeks ago. I might as well hit doctor Strangelove with a request for more. I hope she doesn't put up the dose. And I don't want mood stabilizers. I had SIX MONTHS without even the faintest hint of mania or hypomania and they were the worst six months of my life. Apart from... well apart from most of the rest of my shit-for-brains existence. My worker had the gall to have a go at me for not attending group. Why? Am I really to say my true opinion: either give the junkies heroin or shoot them through the head. All junkies, all mental patients, depressives, bipolars and schizos in particular should be killed. Most of them long for death at some time. Often for many months on end stranded in lifetimes of desolation and waste and utter Vernichtungutter psychiatric nuclear winter. Death is the only true happiness. I want all people to be happy.

I just could not handle the idea of visiting a mental unit today. My friend is on a 6-month section. Involuntary Commitment. The whole set-up, the nurses, the gone-out psychotic patients, it's all too much. They would be so much happier never to feel or think or remember or ever be remembered.





Monday, 17 September 2012

Not a Good Mood

I HAVE BEEN not in a good mood all weekend. Every time something stresses me (and doing anything at all, or even thinking of, or worse, trying to think out something in stages does my head in) ~~ I flip my lid. And if someone else happens to be there I start yelling at them.

Today I am trying to stay calm. My druggieworker is not in. Duty fobbed me off by saying my script was not printed, said I couldn't make an appointment to see my own worker tomorrow but instead should phone first thing and ask for one then. I am trying not to be blazingly annoyed about this. I'm kind of starting to feel bad about everything but I'm not that depressed. I can still put on a Great Big "I'm OK" Act. So that's good:... ¿isn't it?

This morning I ended up googling "depression". I mean: what am I possibly going to find of any use over the internet except that exceptionally irritating quoted-to-death list of DSM Diagnostic Criteria that are no help whatever to anyone who has been depressed for more than a few weeks. The depressive state very quickly begins to feel normal and the "sufferer" will start to believe that their low mood is a justifiable reaction to a life of failure and in no way an illness of any kind. Even if they have been depressed before. Or had previous bipolar episodes. When I was at the lowest I've ever been I remember claiming not to be suffering; and yet I felt so bad that even the memory of my thoughts and feelings that week (and it was only about a week) left me traumatized for months.

I gave up drinking for about four days(?)~ or so until yesterday, when I decided to test it with one can of strawberry cyder (4% ABV: 2 alcoholic units) and a one-pint can of Skol, which I found unopened on the trek back home (3% ABV: 1.7 alcoholic units). I felt nothing, partly because I was so averse to the taste of beer it took over an hour to sup it. I used to get a yen for cold beer on hot summer afternoons. But this hasn't happened for years. I detest the taste of alchol and don't like the feeling it gives me, which nowadays seems to be a fatigued and heavy-limbed state with mild drowsiness. No "high" of any kind. Getting a "high" from alcohol, which is a cocaine-like feeling I had never experienced until last year and nothing at all like feeling "drunk", when I was already manic, is most likely a warning that (hypo-)mania is crouched in hiding around a very close corner. Or that I'm (hypo-)manic already. A small amount of alcohol was enough to set this off, and it never gave me the craving for more, because twice the drink never makes me feel twice as good. Simple law of the jungle, that one. And another reason why I don't think my drinking, which began as a side-order to accompany heroin, has ever rendered me a true dipsomaniac. I'm not sure alcohol has ever intensified feelings of depression, but when I do feel depressed, drink usually seems to do very little. Or nothing at all. I don't like it. Don't need it. And want to live a life without it... Mint n Lime is much nicer. Except the shop has already run out because I've bought every single carton from their fridge. So I tried Lemon and Lime, which was right next to it. And it's absolutely gross: with the artificial citrus flavour you got in the cheap 1980s-version of granulated "lemon tea".

I wanted to get rid of the following paragraph but may as well keep it in. Hey maybe somebody, somewhere will get a really good laugh out of it.

Yesterday I nearly blew my top because the ridiculous voice over on a tellyprog called "Planet Earth Live: A Lion's Tale". It was patently NOT live and if you tried to film wild lions live you would probably get lots of shots of golden furry ears poking out above distant tufts of grass, so I'm thinking of writing a sarcastic letter to Points of View over that one. And the voice-over overdramatized everything: "hyenas are the NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL; if this hunt is not successful, mother and baby may STARVE TO DEATH" it's a bit like giving a running commentary on a person trying to catch a train saying ONE TRIP, ONE SLIP OFF THIS PLATFORM and a HIGH SPEED TRAIN may SLICE HIM IN HALF!!! Then I took issue over the phrase "mortal enemy". Because it is "too Latin" and I thought "deadly foe" sounded better. I just checked the etymology of my own expression and sure enough it is Anglo-Saxon. Yeah yeah yeah and I should probably get a life yeah yeah there is nothing else to write about except that I'm freezing cold too much of the time and I have no idea why (being on methadone might well have something to do with it.) I wish I could think something else to post but I can't, so I'm going now. Bye.

Well that's about all. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered posting today. Does anything at all that I say here mean anything to anyone? Help anyone? Amuse anyone? Even ring true to anyone? I'm not so sure it does. Well I've got to go. I said I would come down that mental unit again and that place is starting to piss me off. One nurse in particular, and it has to be the one who opens the locked door for me, has a towering attitude problem. The other day she said "If want to leave now please hurry up. I'm supposed to be doing a one to one and..." blah blah blah. I should have told her if she's doing one-to-one care on somebody she shouldn't be going near the door anyway. Perhaps another nurse should get off her great fat arse and leave that goldfish bowl of a nurses' station they like to hide out in. Avoiding doing anything that might fulfil the definition of "work". I think a lot of them choose mental nursing over physical because they think it's easier. But when your patients are mobile plus raving mad, nothing is ever easy. Except, as I say, hiding in the nurses' station, avoiding them...

I have a doctor's appointment first thing on Wednesday. Maybe I'll actually tell her how I really feel, instead of putting on my big "I'm fine" act. Not that there's anything she can do except propose changing the medication to olanzapine (Zyprexa) which I don't want. Particularly as the stuff is notorious for causing the unfortunate patient to balloon out with weight gain. She could try and get me an appointment with a shrink, but I doubt it. Last time I ended up in General Psychiatric Services I saw a new doctor every single time. Not even a proper psychiatrist, but a doctor-in-training only there to work off their compulsory stint in a psychiatric clinic so that when they do get out of that place they can turn their back and never work with mental patients again.

Illustrated: horrible granulated "lemon" tea; the DSM IV etc., books for psychiatrists quoted ad nauseum in websites designed for patients; Fizz strawberry cyder, a nonexistent nurses' station in a nonexistent hospital (this is supposed to be the nuthouse in the Bronx, New York, but somehow I doubt any mental unit anywhere looks quite that shiny and clean... an ad for would-be psychiatrists on the issue of street drugs. We used to have a notorious doctor in this area who loathed druggies and routinely discharged them from hospital and/or chucked them off his list. There is no question that he contributed to my friend's death by treating her so badly last time she was on his ward that she refused ever to return. Then was found dead, having overdosed on every bit of medication she could get her hands on...


Not at all in the mood for this, but what the hell...


Saturday, 15 September 2012

After the Mental Unit

I HAVE TO POST THIS in a hurry as I have frozen raw Porkshire Puddings from Iceland on me, and when they melt they go liquid and get everywhere. I once put a cupcake full of shampoo in the oven by accident.
(Don't ask what shampoo was doing in a Yorkshire Pudding foil.) It looked exactly the same as a melted Porkshire Pudding. I have given up drinking for about three days and I don't miss it. Polish Garden Party Mint n Lime 2 litres for £1.19 makes a fine replacement for nasty street drinkers' white star cyder. Which was so gross I had to buy lemonade or tropical fruit juice every single day. Anything to mask that rough flava.

My mind is in a tangle of crap today as I have just spent about two hours down the mental hospital being pursued by the Mad Pole who keeps blowing kisses at me. I am going to get her some Sheer Cover makeup if I can find it, because someone slashed her with a razor. I watch the 5am infomercials. I know what works best. Pinky is still going nuts and her mood is very switchable or "labile" as they like to say. Some of the nurses in that hellhole are real bitches. Also I noticed that since they like to let barely anyone in these days, the inmates are far madder than they were a few years ago. Everyone there seems to be psychotic, which wasn't the case some years ago. You used to get a mixture of manic, depressed, schizophrenic, paranoid and personality-disordered. Only a tiny minority were in there for "neurotic"-type problems (eg anxiety, anorexia, OCD). Now they're all raving mad. Wandering about looking confused and shoeless. I pointed out to Pinx that nobody in there was manic this week and she said yeah. That's because her friend Marge, the most manic person I have ever met, just got discharged. Which is kind of a shame. I would really like to have seen what she is like when she has her sanity back, because when that one is mad she speaks just about every random thought that pings through her head as if it is truth. Which made the idiots at the Reception Ward believe she was tripping on LSD. Strange how they want to believe that, but they won't believe she has had Jesus's baby. Or Sting's baby. Or that it's dangerous to smoke outside because there are snipers on the roof. I really can't imagine Marge tripping on acid. That would be complete overload.

I went into near-meltdown this morning over a pair of £1 foam headphones. Pinky kept insisting they were on sale at the pound shop. I tried numerous different pound shops and could only get £1 in-ear rubbery ones. Pink said these would chafe her ears too much. So I got another foam pair, the type with a headband connecting them together but she said those were the wrong type. So I'm taking them home to wear when TV Licence Paranoia strikes too hard. Mumzy said she will get me one. Next week. I hope she remembers. Otherwise I was just going to get one myself. When I get round to it... If you do watch TV without a compulsory £145.50 ($236.04) a year licence, you have to live like you're under seige and never answer the door because inspectors will keep coming and sending threatening letters from their Investigation Department. I did go about three years in the same address without any licence and their letters never bothered me, so I don't know what I'm so paranoid about now. Since I discovered the reason German TV is so good is because it's funded by advertising AND a €215.76 a year licence (£174.46; $283.03 US) I feel less averse to the principle. In countries where there's no licence, subscription TV tends to prevail. So you still end up paying. Germany has about 110 free-to-air channels, about 70 of which are worth watching. Britain is in the worst of both worlds because the best channels are all on Sky, which costs about £240 a year. That's about $400.

And my mood is slowly dipping down. That's why I keep flipping my lid and yelling about the pettiest of things. Like having to go out of the house to do anything at all. It took me about four or five hours to get it together just to collect methadone yesterday, because I just didn't want to move. Then I wanna get home as quick as possible afterwards. Because the outside world is full of crap. Plus there was a Judge Judy marathon on CBS. (Yes you can get CBS here, but I'm sure it's nothing like the CBS in America. One reason I was so pissed off to move to somewhere with only cable TV lines and not even an aerial is because Virgin cable don't even cover CBS Drama or CBS Reality, the 2 channels I used to watch the most... plus for one year they charge MORE than it cost to get Central European telly free for ever!) I have been trying to listen to the radio instead. I am the type of person who has TV and/or radio blaring in the background constantly because I hate the sound of silence. What am I saying. I cannot hear silence. Nearest thing I get is the ringing in my ears. Plus I want to read some intellectual books again. Like Anna Karenina, which is kind of like literary Dallas except no oil and aristocrats and royalty instead of billionaires. But the cheap edition I got has such tiny print it's exhausting trying to follow it. I have a hardback edition but I left it back chez ma famille.

I saw two baby squirrels in the mental hospital grounds. Eating nuts on the concrete bollards. How come mental institutions always have such a restful atmosphere in the grounds. You have to get right into the heart of the wards to see how everyone is going completely cuckoo. The ward Pinky is on has four or five people on one-to-one care (that means a seriously bored nurse sitting on a plastic chair outside their open room). Pinky isn't even allowed a mobile phone charger in case she strangles herself with it.

Well I have got to go. These Porkshires will be swilling all over the place if I leave it a moment longer. Yorkshire puddings are little cakes of batter that rise spectacularly in the oven. If you're bored of American-style crisscross fries, they make a good alternative...

I hope your weekend is less confused than mine. My head is humming with crap, all the time I've spent on that mental ward this week. Other people's insanity is seriously bad for your health!

Illustrated: Yorkshire puddings are made of whisked-up batter; the compulsory UK television licence funds the BBC; cute baby squirrel...



Friday, 14 September 2012

Ear Infection Gone//etc...

I SUPPOSE I had better write something. I saw a nurse yesterday. A nurse empowered to prescribe. Who looked in my ear and said the infection had gone. She then queried whether I had ever had a perforated eardrum. Which is precisely what I had suspected LAST time (in June) when 2 doctors told me no it definitely wasn't perforated. Even though the thing that eventually cleared the deafness was me burping/hiccupping/whatever with my mouth closed. Which cleared my eustacean tubes (mysterious piping leading from ear to throat) and BANG! ear is totally clear. Which implies the source of the problem was on BOTH sides of my eardrum. So yesterday I popped my ears deliberately and there was a slow whoosh and about 90% of my hearing came back. No way can you clear an external ear problem by doing that, unless the eardrum is perforated. Or, possibly, that popping your ears causes the eardrum to bulge out so far that it actually clears a space in the outer ear canal. Which I consider highly unlikely. The tinnitus is getting quieter and quieter. I have had constant pinnng-piiiiing-pIIIIIIIIng!~~ in my ears since age 17. So I don't let it bother me.

All that is bothering me now is that I feel so down. Kind of physically down. That I have given up drinking all together. Yesterday I had one can of wussy strawberry cyder. About 4% ABV in half a litre is only 2 units. So it's hardly hardcore drinking. And that made me feel heavy-limbed, stomach-achey (because strawberry cyder was breakfast) and generally crap.

Plus my friend Pinxx is confined to a mental unit. Where a blonde Polish schizophrenic got really obsessed by me I'm kind of regretting ever giving her time of day. She says she can tell I am bipolar by the way I move my body (too fidgetty). Also that my parents split when I was very young and I have never got over it. Although it was Pinky who told her I got "really manic" (I would beg to differ; Pinky has never seen me "really manic". When I'm "really manic", which I haven't been since spring 2011, I'm usually too incoherent to leave the house.) Anyway that second bit of information: WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? Is she demon-possessed? Or just very perceptive. I once read somewhere that Schizophrenics are extraordinarily perceptive. Just as many manic-depressives are said to be abnormally creative and clever.

My Mum is on the phone. We are talking about Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Did you know the character of the State Prosecutor Porfiry was the inspiration for Colombo? The way he says "can I ask you just one more question: a simple man like me wouldn't understand this, but HOW DID MUD FROM THE SCENE OF THE CRIME GET INTO THE TREAD OF YOUR SHOES?" blah blah.

Well I've got to go.

Does any of this have any consequence? When I read back through my terrible blog, it all seems dastardly dull beyond words.........

Illustrated: tinnitus (I've never tried this product but I seriously doubt anything would work, except possibly ginko biloba); Fyodor Dostoyevky ~ a cheerful soul...

IF YOU THOUGHT all German music was techno and Ozzy Osbourne headbanging crap, you'd be wrong. What the music channels actually advertise is like this: Alpine Folk Music. Which is far catchier than Anglo-American folk. Don't ask me why there's a windmill in the background: windmills are mostly from NORTHERN Europe ~ East Anglia (in England), Holland (of course) and Northern Germany ~ where it is FLAT. The Alps are MOUNTAINOUS. Akhkkkkk....


Monday, 10 September 2012

Message from the Centre of This Sweltering Universe!

LONDON seems to have been swelteringly hot the past few days. I don't know if it's because I'm ill with my bad ear, or because I'm on methadone, or both, but my body seems to think it's at crisis point with all this heat. A couple of days last week I got so hot I was wandering the house in just socks and undies ~ yet STILL so hot a river of perspiration was pouring down my back and I felt like I was about to expire!

I'm still hooked on the heroin, but not as badly as before... taking it once or twice per week, but the days in between I'm feeling flat and dull. They say that's par for the course with methadone therapy but I don't know. My mood has been settling down and creeping downwards, causing me to suspect depression was crouching round the corner ready to ambush me... Until today and an antidrugs group with an old acquaintance from the former Nutter Club ~ by far the best antidrugs group run by the methadone clinic. Jane and I are writing a letter to the Consultant Psychiatrist who had a hand in closing the old Nutter Club (a dual-diagnosis meeting) down. We're going to try and push for it to be reopened. It was the ONLY source of support during my psychotic break last year. Without it, I might not have even got diagnosed, as it was Naomi, the moderator of that Group, who pushed for me to see a doctor. She even drove me across the Borough to a mental hospital's Emergency Reception so that medical professionals could FINALLY see me in the Manic Moods I had long been complaining of. And it worked. They wrote a report, which my psychiatrist saw. And then he gave me a diagnosis I didn't actually want: "manic depression and schizophrenia" (ie bipolar schizoaffective disorder). I was so upset about that, I went home and cried...

I've certainly been getting my money's worth out of the Astra 1 satellites and their Central European entertainment... My tellybox is programmed to receive multiple satellites, if you use a motorized dish, or one with multiple pumpumms. So when I press the wrong button, hosts of exotic TV stations suddenly appear from far-out weird and wonderful locations named things like Nile-sat, Türk-sat, Hellas-sat, Hotbird... how evocative. Being in touch with the rest of the world in my own living room is so exciting. One of the best new channels is CCTVF ~ Chinese state TV in French. This particular chaîne de télévision has a more involving mix of entertainment than CCTV in English. There are some very entertaining soap operas. Just about every episode a character seems to wend their way into hospital. China is a Communist (or at least Socialist) country and yet education and healthcare are not free... How on earth can this be? I long to be able to understand the history, politics and outlook of the Chinese Nation. For example: why the Cultural Revolution? And what was it all about? It's my goal to perfect my French and German (hence the new tellydish) and to pick up Chinese and Japanese. I long to be able to read East Asian texts in the original. I want to know what it was like for "intellectuals" living through the Cultural Revolution. And I want first-hand accounts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki... And what did they do to clear up the radioactive wilderness of those great towns so effectively that today they have populations of hundreds of thousands who appear to pass their lives in atom-bombed locations in relative safety...

It took me about five days to do this, but I've finally pruned all through my new German satellite TV channels, reducing the number to 69 by, removing home shopping, adult channels (which usually broadcast a still picture of a reasonably attractive woman sprawling over a series of premium rate phone numbers. In the late evening the girl suddenly has her tits out. But that's as "adult" as it gets. There were also a few music channels that appear to be offering compilation CDs 24-7. So I kept about 3 or 4 genuine music channels, a couple of kiddie ones and 3 or 4 religious channels (Bible TV, Catholic TV etc).  Where channels were repeated over regional variations I picked the most exotic region, eg WDR Cologne, Pro7 Switzerland, RTL Austria, Southern Bavarian from deep in the mysterious Alps (instead of Northern, from the foothills) and so on. I get something like 20 or 30 BBC1s ~ that carry general interest programming of high quality plus regular national and local news bulletins. English satellite channels never carry the evening news.

Every single keyword that appears time and time over I have looked up and written down and I'm trying to memorize the vocabulary lists. At this rate I'll be picking up around 2000 new words a year, so within 18 months my German should be pretty good.

I forgot to say re the German TV licence (yesteday), not only does German television have more than double the income from licensing the BBC has, but the State-owned TV channels also carry advertising, meaning they are swilling in money. There are probably more than twice the number of television jobs going for actors in Germany compared to the UK. Last night I saw an incredibly atmospheric and wonderfully filmed and produced police drama called Borowski and the Silent Visitor about a heroin-addicted "working girl" with a toddling little boy who is obviously the sunshine of her life... until he mysteriously vanishes from her 20th-storey flat. Turns out the postman, who has masterkeys to every apartment in the building, has snatched her kid and the WOMAN, the victim, ends up in a police cell, having a fight with a "thrusting young policewoman"... and then she does eventually get her little boy back. But not before she very nearly takes a flying leap off her balcony...

Now it's a hot day and I've got a carrier bag full of frozen food from Iceland waiting to melt on me, so I must go and P-I-NNNNG..!! I hope you all had a charming weekend... and, sorry Bev, but I never did a post on my bedspreads. Only news as far as they're concerned is the heavy spraying they got with Blue Febreeze last night. I washed clothes dowsed in treble the recommended dose of fabric conditioner yesterday, hung them out, and in they come smelling of nothing more exciting than the acres of Fresh Air that get into your clothing from a good airing on the Washing Line... why is this? How do you manage that Fabric Softener Overdose aroma that you talked about, Bugerlugs? What brand do you use? Is it ultra-concentrated? Do you put it in the watery compartment to the right of the powder drawer? Do you line-dry your clothes? This gets rid of all the smell from mine, even when I've doused them in THREE capfuls of Jeyes' Easy; how do you keep your aromas in? PLEASE leave a comment explaining all...

And PS Anna Grace I am not, and never have been a woman. Someone is having a laugh. I DO have a Roborovski Dwarf Hammy named after me, owned by Bugerlugs. She thought her Gledwood was a boy, until Gledwood gradually got tubbier and tubbier and one day gave birth to tiny, wriggling "baked beans with paws"... robo-pups! If you go to Bugerlugs's page you can see my namesake ++plus++ Entertaining Babies rambling like the clappers on their wheel...!

PS this is my name in Chinese Gēwō 鴿窩 (traditional) 鸽窝 (simplified characters) it mean's "Dove's Nest"...

PPS I've found an excellent poetry blog by a lady named Ruth Johnston. This girl really has something... Not only is she an A-grade poet, but she was born in Finland. English isn't even her first language!

Illustrated: Dual Disorders Recovery Book for addicts with psychiatric issues ~ I'd love to get a copy of this; Chinese soap; Brit comedian Vic Reeves; Borowski und der Stille Gast: der Entführer (the kidnapper-mailman! Who looks like Vic Reeves); a golden hamster ~ my tubby lookie-lykey!!

MUSIC: I didn't used to like derivative ravey pop, but I luuurve this tune...

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