Ramblings

I am definitely in recovery as I am starting to sleep longer – for the past year I have been surviving on 4 hours sleep a night, which everyone will tell you is not enough, however my body clock seemed determined that I would wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and that was all there was to it.

I functioned fine, or so I thought. Then, last summer, 4 hours became less and one day, I went to work with no hours sleep and that’s when my psychosis became full blown.

I realise now I stayed in psychosis for quite a while last summer. I was only made aware recently of some of my actions which were appalling.

I don’t want to remember all I did. It fills me with shame.

I now find myself in a few situations that are tough to deal with; my return to work the hardest.

I am desperate to return see but my return is being delayed.

I am a little scared of returning to work truth be told, I am not sure if it is the aftermath of the psychosis, who I am or whether the effect of the depression but I am finding it hard being around people for long periods of time.

Reason being, I seem to be an outsider looking in to “normal” life.

I went out to lunch with my friend Miles today and I found myself looking at the people around me and trying to imagine their cosy life. You know, a life with no mental illness.

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I felt such an outsider, outcast doing this. I wish my life was simple. As simple as having lunch with a friend or a colleague.

I felt so alone.

It seems most people who have mental health issues have people around them, partners, families, to support them through their hard times.

Apart from a handful of contacts, I have no-one serious. It makes the journey that little, lot, tougher.

Sometimes though I wonder how the journey would feel if I had someone to help me cope with it. Would I feel guilt on top of the other negative emotions? Guilt of not being a different, happier person.

It’s funny, not a month ago, I felt happier than I had been in a long time. How do things go so wrong so quickly?

I am writing all this in the hope it will help me pull through this cycle.

Happy, a month ago.

I wonder where I will be a month from now…

 

Diagnosis

It’s time I accepted something isn’t right with me.

This past year has been amazing, up to July, when I lost the plot and suffered a couple of psychosis.

The diagnosis is Bipolar Type 1. Something I have fervently refused to accept since being back from Canada over five years ago now as I had never had any mental health issues up to then but I must face reality.

I have had six psychosis now since my husband left me and two depressions.

As I write, I am fighting another depression.

Things had been going good til my reality hit me: signed off work with long days of nothing to do, it soon drives you insane.

It did me.

On top of that, my new lover has been sectioned again, he can’t cope with the real world he said, and he was suicidal.

So he is now locked up an hour away from me and he is not fit for visitors. I don’t know what will happen to us.

Part of the depression is realising the damage I caused when I was in psychosis mode. The people I have upset, the relationships that have broken down. I am lucky work took me back as I sent some “interesting” emails to them during that time.

Being alone is weighing hard on me too. I realise I have no-one, no-one to help me in this journey called life. It’s really tough doing it alone.

Every day I am reaching out where I can but it doesn’t feel like it’s making a difference.

So BP1, what does that mean for me? How is my life going to be affected by this?

I am now taking anti-psychotic medication, via a jab every two weeks, should I be medicated for depression too? When does the darkness become too much that it needs medication? Can I even cope with life?

I don’t know what to do anymore. I let each day unfold, hoping it will be a better day but each night I am relieved when it is time to go to bed, another day over. Waiting for the day I will feel better.

Will it happen just like that? Will there be a day I wake up with a smile on my face again?

I had hoped never to experience depression again, I had hoped wrong.

depression

About Connection

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I have this innate need for connection I have realised these past few days.

Yet last year, I started a big clean up of friends which rendered me near enough friendless.

I needed space away from people to discover who I was, away from the criticisms, judgements, and other people telling me how I should be.

After a year of being a virtual hermit, I have discovered I need connections.

My connections currently are taking shape via new friends I made when in hospital, mainly through texts which suits me fine. You can always accommodate a text conversation, especially when you are in my situation, currently signed off work and with very little to do.

Yesterday, I feared I would be falling into a depression again. Which I want to avoid at all costs as it is the worst state to be in. Lonely and depressed.

Loneliness is a funny emotion too. How you can be surrounded yet feel lonely. How you can be alone and not feel lonely.

I had to dig deep yesterday because I was feeling so low – reached out to a few people I felt may be there for me.

Of course I have Richard now but he is busy with his life and keeping me entertained isn’t really his job. He has his own life and problems to contend with too. It wouldn’t be fair for me to put this on him.

So I found other people who can relate well with me, know of my journey, or part of, being sectioned themselves. One even said to call him whenever I wanted. Music to my ears having someone there for you at all time. His name is Miles and I got really close to him when sectioned at Ipswich. I am so glad we kept contact. Often in these places, you bond with people and as soon as they are discharged, they disappear. I guess they have their own life to rebuild.

My life wasn’t in shatters when I got sectioned so there isn’t much to rebuild, apart from the work situation which will come in due course.

No kids to re-introduce in my life, a home I love, yes I may have upset a few people when I was unwell but there is little I can do about it now. I have apologised when possible, the rest I can’t be chasing tails. Truth is people don’t care or want to know. I can live with that.

Lucky for the new friendships I have developed in hospital though, giving me the connection I so badly crave these days.

By newpaz

About Frodo, About Loss, About Grief

frodo-kiss

I woke up with a bad dream this morning, centered around Frodo.

His loss still affects me so. Grief is a funny thing, it never leaves you it seems.

Frodo left me too early and through no fault of my own yet I feel responsible for his death.

Partly a reason why I never wanted children. I couldn’t handle anything happening to them. It may come from being brought up with two disabled brothers, it may come from just who I am, a worrier or a carer.

Lately I have been thinking it has been lucky Frodo isn’t with me anymore as I couldn’t have coped with being sectioned and having to have him in a kennel all this time.

I feel I wasn’t in a position to look after him after my marriage broke down – how do people with kids cope? Yet they do, particularly sad this time of year where not every parent will get to see their kids for Christmas.

It’s pretty common now isn’t it, this broken family status quo?

My family broke down over 20 years ago and I am still not over it. As I blogged earlier.

My dog Frodo was my everything, and when everything fell apart, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to look after him. He couldn’t stay back in Canada either. Being back with me was the best solution my ex husband told me at the time.

Was it? I will forever feel responsible for not giving him the life he had before all went wrong.

I couldn’t live with that guilt towards a child.

By newpaz

The loneliness of Christmas

I have hated Christmas for as long as I can remember.

In fact, I stopped enjoying Christmas the day, many many years ago when I was still a teenager, my mum said we wouldn’t celebrate Christmas the first year after her father died.

Since, I have been escaping any ways I could. I have been lucky I have been able to afford holidays abroad, my favourite escape.

Not this year though, this year I have a boyfriend and he wants me to spend it with him and his family.

Perfectly reasonable request, to which I am looking forward to.

However, Christmas starts well before the 25th and lasts well after.

Christmas isn’t just a day to get over, it’s a season.

And I find it hard, particularly this year as I am signed off work, to watch Christmas unfold on my Facebook friends’ walls. The Christmas parties I am not attending, the Christmas lunches, the Secret Santas I am not counted in.

Friends with kids are busy with their kids as it’s school break. Friends with family are busy with their family.

And I? My family is far and broken. Even if I could be with them, it wouldn’t be with them all. I miss them all in this time of the year. Happy they all have stuff to do.

What about me? Feeling lonely.

I wish I had a family to warm up to at Christmas time.

 

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By newpaz

My life in Review

This is a letter I wrote back when I was sectioned:

To Doctor Agarwal and anybody else who may care to know my story:

My problem with Mental Health started some five years ago now due to two “incidents” that “woke me up”.

Up to then, I was your typical “Brit”, drinking far too much and living (mostly) for the weekends when I could get wasted.

April 2011, when I was living in Canada where I had moved to to provide my then “husband” of eight years the chance of a better job (he had been a pig farmer all his life and managed to bag a pig farm manager job for one of the biggest farmers in Alberta, Canada two years prior), one of my closest friend there, Wade, killed one of his mates after an alcohol and drugs infused day.

About six weeks later my husband unceremoniously “dumped” me for my then Canadian best friend, Vikki, a “free spirit” artist who made most of her money via her ex who had made drugs in his basement (she got half of the proceeds of their house when they sold up).

Due to those two “bombshells”, I quit drinking and smoking pot straights as I felt I needed a clear head to deal with the breakup.

This is when my problems started.

Alone, the other side of the world from any family or friends, unsure what I should do.

I decided to move back to the UK where I felt at home and we still had a house (which I had bought two years prior to free my then husband from tied accommodation due to his unhappiness at work so he could change jobs if unhappy. I also offered to fund him (£7k) to retrain into another vocation should he wish.

Before I carry on, I’m not rich (my parents are mind). I made my money thanks for buying a flat at the right time in the 90s in Reading where I lived and selling it at the right time soon after I met the man who was to become my husband (thanks to the tied accommodation business).

Since, apart from the Canadian move which ended up costing me some £30k, I have been quite careful with my money, trying to to fiercely financially independent so I don’t have to rely on others for my financial affairs.

When I came back from Canada, I came back to nothing but an empty house, two suitcases full of summer clothes (it was September) and £10k in my bank.

Our settlement was he kept everything in Canada (all our stuff) and I kept everything in the UK (all my stuff).

Back to the story.

After 20 odd years of drinking and by then I was smoking pot “blunt” (without tobacco) as I had quit smoking (on my own, as in unaided by nicotine replacement) on 15/02/2011, no support (most of my friends were hers), I was lost.

A doctor (incidentally called Dr Mashood), decided I should be sent to a Mental Health Institution (the best in Canada), there another doctor (a psychiatrist) decided I should be heavily medicated.

Two weeks later, when I wanted to stay as a voluntary patient after my section was lifted, he chucked me out with only 24 hours worth of medication. This is when my problems really started.

Basically, I was homeless.

We had tenants in our house in Thetford that wouldn’t leave unless the council gabve them a four-bedroom house (mine was a 3). My then husband wanted rid of me so he picked me up from the Mental Health Institution with all “my” stuff plus our dog to dump me at a Hire car so I could do a final road trip before flying home (the plan was I would take the dog, Frodo, back with me).

I took a break before driving down to South Alberta (splendid area) but, without medication, I started not to sleep and my problems started again, I was feeling even  more lost but this time in charge of my beloved dog, unable to cope with looking after him, let alone me.

within a week I was hospitalised again, this time taking the medication on offer (10mg Olanzapine).

Within a week I was well enough to come home, without my dog for the moment. And still homeless.

I flew to Paris first to meet my dad there (he lives in Bordeaux), so he could check how I was. The plan was I would go and see my mum after in Bordeaux where she also lives, but I couldn’t stomach it (I moved to the UK 14/02/90 to escape her. Things with my dad were tense too.

See, after the split I lost a lot of weight and my dad was adamant I shouldn’t eat croissants for breakfast for fear of putting the weight back on (!!!).

Long story short within a week of moving back in my house, I started smoking again.

Within six weeks I got my dog back and was working back where I was working before we left for Canada (Circle Housing in Norwich) thank god!

But doing a shitty job instead of what I used to and soon I started to suffer from depression.

Luckily the presence of my dog meant I didn’t kill myself.

Eventually, I decided to speak to my G.P [General Practitioner] about it and he prescribed anti-depressant which I was scared shit of (due to what I had heard about how addictive they were) but I took for about two months, long enough for the dark cloud to shift so my “joie de vivre” (thirst for life) took over again.

Sadly, I lost my dog soon after. He got into the kitchen bin when I was at work, ate a massive lump of cheddar I had binned and never recovered.

frodo

The “F” I have tattooed on my wrist is symbolic for his loss. Without him in my life, I would be dead, no doubt about it. F for Frodo. I am still and will always grieve his death. He was my only True Love.

Not long after his death, I started a Social group on Facebook (Thetford Social Group) which really took off and kept me aware at all hours and soon after I suffered another psychosis for which I was hospitalised.

Same again, six months later, although this time it was due to me giving my heart to the wrong guy (a nerd who was IT Manager for the RAF, American guy called Robert and who shattered my heart again last December) [on a side note thank god he is now back in the U.S.)

After the last psychosis, I started smoking pot again, and my life improved until I went to visit my family in France and had such a hard time with my dad I came back with depression (he still had major issues with my diet).

NEVER again do I want to experience that kind of depression.

I had been signed off work, with no pay as well.

Worst of all my driving licence was suspended.

Stuck at home with no income, every day I woke  up til I went to bed I wanted to die. I started drinking again. Bad move.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, last December, 24th to be precise, I decided to stop drinking for good (then), I had also disconnected from all “friends” and my life had improved to levels I could only dream of.

I had also completely changed my diet/lifestyle and lost a lot of weight in the process.

Best of all I was starting to love myself, really understand who I was and why and change what I felt needed to be changed in my personality, I grew confident and self assured. And loving it.

Unfortunately this self assurance gave me the balls to deal with issues I had with my neighbours which landed me in a Mental Health place (Southgate, Wedgwood) twice in the past three months, 1st time in July, second time in September, a week after I got back from an amazing trip to British Columbia Vancouver.

The thing is I don’t belong in this place, and I find it hard to keep my mouth shut these days. So I won’t be “safe” anywhere, Open Ward or PICU (whatever that means) [I have since found this stands for Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit] but I have learned to put my issues to the right “channels” instead of trying to deal with them myself.

Namely, CQC, Charlie (ward manager) and the Police.

Please discharge me so I can go back to my life which I love so much.

Pascale

 

 

 

 

By newpaz

End of Year Review – 2016

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It’s funny, many think this year has been harsh on me and wish me a better 2017, whereas I believe 2016 was a formidable year for me.

It has been the year I quit drinking for eight months, and in the process lose much needed weight.

It has been the year I started a new job for a great company and got a payrise within five months of starting.

It has been the year I fell in love twice.

It has been the year I launch frodo.global.

It has been the year I went back to Canada, Vancouver on holidays to visit my good friend Shannon, who I never thought I would see again after I moved back from Canada five years ago to the UK.

It has been the year I have finally found myself.

All very positive in my opinion.

Yes there was a bleep. A big bleep: it was also the year I got sectioned twice, Section 2 in July and Section 3 in September.

I suffered some stress related psychosis however and the only way the system works was by putting me in a mental health unit.

My experience there was atrocious at the hand and mercy of psychiatry, but I survived and it has made me more sure than ever that the system needs to be fought, those sectioning are plain wrong and barbaric and I can now fight the fight as I have plenty of ammunition through the mistakes they made with me.

My mind is clearer on the subject too, better able to handle any fights I have on my hands to reform a broken system. And fight I will as I NEVER want to find myself sectioned again. Too damaging, too disruptive, too brutal.

Let’s not forget I found love during my last sectioning either, and for this I will always be grateful. I never thought I would find the “right love”. Even with that Romanian I thought I had fallen in love with, things weren’t right.

This time around, things have never felt so right, it’s amazing.

So, as you can see, 2016 wasn’t a bad year for me, in fact I will remember it as my turning point year, the year I came into my own and became me.

2017

2017 is a mystery but with Richard in my life, the plans are looking good. I might move, frodo.global might take off, my life might change completely and utterly.

I have my complaints to the Trust and Social Services that need resolving, and possibly take up to the Ombudsman, I have work to go back to, I have holidays to be taken, concerts to go to, life to live to the max.

2016 was full of excitement, 2017 is looking the same.

Onward and upwards, such is my life. I love it.

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By newpaz

A Brand New Love

 

Now a few weeks have passed since I fell in love, again, I felt it was time to speak about it.

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My new man Richard suffers from Aspergers. Now, I am not one for labels, as you will know from previous entries, however in this case, I understand what labels are.

I guess I never was one for labels because “they” want to label me Bipolar when I don’t believe I have this.

However, with Richard, I can see that there are some mental health issues out there that are real. His behaviour is certainly different to anyone I have ever met before and largely due to this “affliction”.

I find it endearing, however I will admit it is taking some real processing on my part to understand how this is affecting him.

It is fun though, because Richard can be read like a book, he is very genuine, honest and “laid bare” for all to see. Yes, he may lack social skills, however again, I find this endearing, no airs and graces with him, he behaves and tells it like it is.

Which also means his love for me is such a joy to experience. When he is happy, and he is a lot since we met, his care for me is nearly palpable, he wants me happy and well too.

We fit like a glove to each other’s personality, it is almost magical.

We did have a couple of bleeps where our baggage made itself known. We have both been burnt really badly in our previous relationship, by our marriages, and alarm bells would ring too easily if behaviour was similar to our historical relationships but by talking it through, we managed to get through it – the problem is we are living a long distance relationship of sorts as the hour drive between us and his early morning starts (he is a postman) means we cannot see each other during week nights often so we have to heavily rely on the technology at hand – texting and telephone calls.

It is so easy to mis-communicate by text though and we fell victims of this once or twice. Luckily we care this much about each other we managed to catch the issue before it snowballed into something damaging 🙂

I have now met one of his sons – he has three from his first marriage, ranging from 15 to 20 – and we got on like a house on fire – so much so that when it was time to say goodbye, I became really sad to let him go.

I am looking forward to meeting his other sons, one of which I have met already as he was the one who brought him in to the Mental Health Unit I was sectioned. I want to be part of this family. I never had children myself but I understand the connection/bond you feel towards your flesh and blood and I really want to be part of those children’s lives, albeit nearly all grown up. Richard has a lot of time for them and I would like to share some of this time in the future. Although I understand their needs to have me time together too and this is when the long distance relationship works a treat: it is giving us both time to build our own lives as well as connect together.

I love him with all my heart and that love is gratefully received, I am in heaven 🙂

By newpaz

A New World

Frodo.global is born! It has taken a few months, mainly while sectioned, to develop the original website with an old colleague, Tom, and it is now ready! It took one phone call and many messages to…

Source: A New World

By newpaz

A New World

frodo-global

Frodo.global is born!

It has taken a few months, mainly while sectioned, to develop the original website with an old colleague, Tom, and it is now ready!

It took one phone call and many messages to get it to where it is, a completely different idea from my original one too, however I am so pleased with the website.

Frodo.global came to me after I saw the advert for an elderly dog who had been passed on at a rescue place many many times because of her age.

molly

It saddened me so much I wished I could open a rescue place specifically for the dogs passed over, namely the elderly ones and the disabled ones. How could I fund it? Frodo.global was born.

It didn’t stop there for me though, the idea snowballed into a vision that we can change this world:

the technology is there, the riches are there, it is just a question of putting them together and, while in hospital sectioned in July, a patient came up with the solution, a charity called AWW – Abundance World Wide – and so Frodo.global became the platform for AWW.

The whole thing will be forum based to discuss problems by Country/town/issues with a view to finding solutions. Once solutions are found, another group will make it happen.

The funding will go to enable this and also to pay the people who work on the site and making it happen.

It’s a pretty simple idea, one that can and will work.

The hard work starts for me now to get the site to go viral so the Rich (and possibly famous) buy in to the project. Without their money, it can go nowhere.

Here’s hoping 🙂

By newpaz