Mental Health: Why I refuse to be labelled

Following my two, what the medical profession calls Psychosis, they tried to label me Bipolar.

I fervently refuse this diagnosis, and have found myself going against the flow from the medical profession but also from the mass of people who are happy to accept such diagnosis.

From my observations, being labelled seems to be a means of explaining your behaviour: I can’t help it if I (insert whatever behavourial issue you fancy) it’s because I am (insert whichever diagnosis).

I refuse to accept that because I firmly believe we are responsible for our own actions.

We react to ourselves, to whatever experience we have lived that makes us who we are.

Until we take responsibility for this, we are not going to change.

And so being labelled gives you this sense that it is ok to carry on on that path, without needing to question the deep rooted reasons why we are such. Worst still if you take the appropriate medication, all will be just fine.

There is a reason why you “misbehave”, why you don’t feel you fit in and you need to embrace it rather than deny or suppress it. This is how I became awakened.

I have found I need a lot of emotional stimulation, and so I have found ways to get this. Eg, the pages I have registered with on Facebook talk about love, self improvement/discovery, scientific stuff, posters that make you think.

I have found I have problems relaxing as my mind seems forever active, and so I have found alternative ways to relax. Eg floatation tanks and taking baths in silent, by candlelight, or listening to music whilst driving.

I have found I am a deep thinker, and so I have found ways to express my thoughts. Eg, this blog.

I have found I have problems sleeping for long periods of time, and so I go to sleep when I am tired and complement with naps when needed. I also now have little organised at weekends so I can properly relax.

I have found I get bored easily and I have a short attention span however I am very curious, and so I have found a variety of activities to get involved in which stimulate my needs. Eg, getting involved in all sorts of short activities.

I have found I had emotions stemming from experiences from the past that had been left not dealt with, and so I confront them, one by one as they arise. Eg, see previous entries in this blog, The man who broke me, My cross, etc, I talk to my parents regularly too about issues I need to resolve. Also issues at work.

I have found I lack confidence expressing myself in public, and so I am going to learn. Eg, I found a public speaking group in my town.

I have found I cannot exercise the usual way, and so I am looking for activities that will help me exercise as well as doing something else. Eg, learning to modern Jive, will also soon be getting a table tennis table.

I have found I get stressed easily, and so I have found ways to avoid stress in my life. Eg, I spent time organising my paperwork so I don’t spend hours looking for stuff, same with my wardrobe.

I have found I am over sensitive and have a lot of empathy, and so I have adjusted my life to only let in what I can handle. Eg being very selective of who I let into my life and the images that are displayed in my newsfeed, not reading the papers.

I have found I need to feel I am making a difference to this world, and so I am taking steps to make a difference to my world. Eg the Social groups I have created on Facebook, one which deals with getting people together and the other to tackle the litter issue in my town, volunteering at the animal rescue center, soon to get involved with “wellbeing” group at work.

I have found I need to know why I am here. And so I am looking at the options and what spirituality means.

Knowing yourself without labels is what enables you to thrive and adjust what needs adjusting so you can be a happy, balanced person. Not medications, which numbs your brain, nor listening to the experts or people who seem to know best, who have no clue about who you are.

Only you know who you are. It’s your job to make yourself better.

What is being awakened?

I have been talking a lot about awakening in this blog and am conscious that not everyone will know what it means.

I am still learning myself, lots everyday, but felt maybe it was time to explain it a bit more.

Being awakened means you are fully connected with everything. It means everything you experience, everything you see, every moment of the day and night has meaning.

That’s really the best way I can explain it to those who are not awakened.

It is a big take.  And so I am surrounding myself more and more by what makes me feel good, I have to, as I feel everything deeply.

My Facebook newsfeed for example is filled with positive or powerful thoughts, funny videos, heartwarming stories.

The music I listen to is mainly Electronic, loving Vocal Trance or Chillout, but also groups like Faithless, and others that have a very strong message to deliver.

And I started to choose my battles carefully. I will only pick subjects where I feel I can make a difference, others I will absolutely leave alone, because I know there are issues but I cannot, as an individual, make a difference and so I leave that in the hands of powers that be and trust them that something will be done about it.

Every day, I am learning a new piece of the puzzle, about me, and about the bigger picture. I am lucky to be exposed to enough information to help me on this journey, and not too much that my brain can’t handle. I have also learned not to worry if I don’t understand everything, the little snippets of information that matter get to my brain.

I am absolutely not cultured, and, in a way, I think this is helping my journey. My brain isn’t bogged down with useless information.

I was speaking to the one of my friends I can talk about this last night, and after listening to me for a while, she said, sounds like you are reborn.

Yes, that is exactly how I feel. Reborn. My feelings are very childlike, I laugh easily, I cry easily too when I see something painful. I am starting to feel no shame expressing my feelings, to myself anyway, as I don’t feel the world, my world, is fully ready for me. If I opened myself fully, I will probably find myself alone, labelled as insane, as people tend to do these days when confronted with something they have no clue about.

It’s happened twice to me already, during my first two periods of awakening, I have learned my lesson.

And yes, I know I am taking a leap of faith with this blog, as a few people in my life know of it, but I am not scared. I think it is clear through my writing that I am not insane. And most of the people who know this blog address seem too preoccupied with their life to give it any attention.

One thing I need to be clear about, being awakened has nothing to do with religion. Absolutely nothing, although some religions have touched on the truth, none have got it right, and worst still, have created monsters who like to control people via fear.

Being awakened has nothing to do with fear. Everything to do with hope.

Being awakened is like the light has been switched on, and now I am taking time looking around the room, and seeing what is there, the bad, the ugly, and the good. Full awareness is not a bed of roses, far from it since you see everything, and frankly the world is a pretty messed up place. However, as I mentioned earlier, being awakened also means you have hope. For, if I feel this way right now, I am pretty sure a few people around the globe are feeling the same. In fact, I know they are as I come across them in the various pages I have joined on Facebook.

And although feeling disconnected at the moment, I know it won’t be long before, somehow, the awakened are called into oneness.

Deep stuff huh? Yep, pretty much, lucky for my “normal” life. I am so glad I have found my balance so quickly after my first awakening moments. Truly I am. Now I can finally enjoy life 🙂

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Little old me update

I have mentioned in a post recently that I had been a bit quiet on here and that was because I was doing some part of my journey in silence. This doesn’t mean my life has come to a halt. On the contrary.

I have been spending time getting involved in all sorts whilst on this self discovery mission.

Doing my bit: animal rescue

I have found the perfect place for me to volunteer to help with animal welfare: an animal sanctuary not too far from home which hosts a wide variety of animals that have needed rescuing, nearly all kind you will find in the UK. They welcome volunteers but do not rely on them, so the perfect place for me who is currently unable to commit regular time due to the way my life is going. I will be going there for the first time Sunday, after I did my health and safety induction last Sunday. Really looking forward to this, I will do whatever they need help with/I feel comfortable doing, perfect 🙂

New hobbies

I have also started Ceroc, modern Jive, lessons. I have always had a dream of learning Jive, I love the energy of the dance, and rhythm of it. I found they run some classes in the small town I live in and, thanks for a Groupon deal, I have enrolled myself for 10 classes extremely cheap. I had my first lesson last Wednesday and felt on quite a high after. I can see that my need for personal space will be a bit of a problem as some of the moves requires you to get quite close to your dancing partner, usually a perfect stranger as ladies are rotated, but it’s a thing I need to work on.

Bettering myself

I have found a ex actor in town who runs classes on Public Speaking. Something I have wanted to do for a very long time. As confident as I am with people I feel happy with, I completely lack confidence in front of other people. A lot of it has to do with the low self esteem issue I had been carried around with me, which, to some extent, I am still working on, and public speaking has always stopped me from doing some things I have wanted to do in the past. I am still awaiting to hear the details, but I am so excited that I might finally conquer one of my biggest fears 🙂

Connecting to what matters/people

I help a 12 year old with her French, the daughter of a FB friend of mine weekly, it gives me the opportunity to get close to innocence, which is what I see in children. Although I loath teaching french, I love spending time with her, and helping her feel more confident about french, it is one of those things that makes me feel real good doing. And as I am doing it for free, in exchange for help from her father should I need some, it is quite flexible and I don’t feel I have to go if I am not in the right mood but I always make sure I go once a week as I do not want to let her down.

Relaxing

I attend my floatation sessions twice a week now, I have decided to reduce it from three times to twice as it was taking too much of my spare time. I love going there, absolutely. It is my meditation time. I find it hard to meditate any other ways, in fact, I have given up trying, apart from music. But put me in a floatation tank and off I go..I am loving it. I have never meditated in my life and so had no clue what it did to you. Last Saturday my session was amazing, I absolutely needed it as I had an upset in the morning when I found out I couldn’t send some of my dog’s ashes to my husband via mail as Canada, where he lives, considered them prohibited items. I got so mad at Canada and everything it had taken away from me driving to the floatation center and within minutes of floating, it all went away and I was able to find balance in my thoughts again. Amazing the effect of meditation! Although from what I hear, the way I meditate is very different to others. People try to empty their mind, whereas I focus on thoughts as they come and let them go until eventually my mind is silent, usually a few minutes before the session is over. It works well for me though.

Doing my bit for mental health

I am getting involved at work in a group called the “disability and wellbeing network group”. This came about after I had enquired on how my experience with mental illness could benefit the company after I saw they had pledged on the Time To Change website that they will do their bit to help talk about mental illness. I am quite excited about this, as it seems the best conduit for my experience to help staff who may be experiencing issues and unable to talk about it to anyone at work because of the Stigma that exists. I have a lunch meeting with one of the organisers of the group this coming week to prepare myself for the big meeting in December. I cannot believe how lucky I am to be in a position to possibly help people at work.

Work

Work has been high on the agenda too in the last few weeks. I realise now that part of my “Psychosis” had a lot to do with work. I love my job, however the politics there were soul destroying and not too long ago, I started to think I should leave and look for something else. Luckily, there has been a bit turnaround there when the right people spoke to me at the right time and gave me hope that things will improve 🙂 – it’s a work in progress but I feel confident that positive change will happen and this company has the potential to become one of the best in the country to work for. They are also re-branding in the coming week….their new colour? Purple, my favourite 🙂 their new ethos? People 🙂

Family

I am still working on issues with my family and that is a very slow and at times painful process.

I am having chats via emails with my dad about issues that are still close to my heart and painful and hope one day to be comfortable with him. It is a long process as, as much as my dad and I can talk deep, he doesn’t seem to want to take responsibility for his past actions and cannot say simple words like…..sorry.

I am still working on my mum too, although this is a harder nut to crack as she has been badly hurt and damaged by life. But….I just had a conversation with her that turned a bit sour when she couldn’t understand why I would want to send Frodo’s ashes to my husband and the end was actually quite comforting. She said, “anyway don’t worry about what I told you, you can ignore it, all you need to know is I love you”.

My brother is also going through a bit of an upheaval at the moment, having told his wife he wanted to separate. Things had been going wrong with them for some time, in fact around the same time my husband and I separated, he announced that him and his wife were now sleeping in different rooms. So it’s been a while coming really. I had a long chat with him before he told his wife and I couldn’t believe how decent he was being for a man. Oooh sexist I hear you say but I have come across so many messed up men in the past few weeks that I had started to despair that all men may be too messed up to bother with these days. But not my brother I am pleased to say, despite the fact that he, out of all men, could be really hardened (something to do with his disability too). He gave me so much hope when I was listening to his plans and how he would make sure she was alright and had somewhere to live, no matter what happens. I love my brother so much….he is such an inspiration 🙂

Men

As for the men in my life, well, I have made peace with all of them in my heart. They haven’t necessarily made peace with me though, but there’s nothing I can do about it and I have learned to let go. My husband and I are fine. His father died two weeks ago and we had a nice little exchange. It was a tough time to be honest, but I was able to give him the support he might have needed from me. He has disappeared again since and that’s fine with me. He needs to move on and live with the decisions he has made and I am doing the same. 

Women

I am still having trouble dealing with the betrayal of my best friend for being with him but again I am happy to live with it now. What I can’t get my head around is how a woman, who is supposed to understand matters of the heart, could do something like this and be happy with herself. But, I have to remind myself she is a tortured soul herself, having been badly abused as a child/teenager. So her sense of moral is skewed and her desire to find happiness, in this case with my husband, might have clouded her judgement. So I am not so hard on her. Nor me. It helps.

Self discovery

I have discovered I am becoming quite a loner these days. And loving it. I get all the people contact I need in my line of work, and I love it, however in my personal life, I am feeling more and more disconnected from people, apart from a few special friends, some online and one in real life.

I went out to a Bob Marley Tribute band concert last night and became an observer. My friends wanted to chat with me but I would shut them off., saying I couldn’t hear them. I was happy to just sit and observe people. I think I will be doing more of those activities on my own in future. Funny, as I used to be quite a party animal in my wild, alcohol fueled days.

The problem with the world: Alcohol

The biggie. I am getting so disillusioned with human kind that they don’t realise how big a problem alcohol has become in their lives. Funnily enough, it seems someone in my company has the same idea: they have announced they will not pay for alcohol consumption at the Xmas parties this year. I applaud them…the rest of the staff however were appealed. There goes my sense of disconnection…Hey, I knew being awakened was never going to be easy, but, I don’t have a choice and am embracing life with my new eyes, and my old heart 🙂

Awakening

Music is still an amazingly important part of my life and I can never give it up. Never. What I listen to really focuses me on my awakening. Everything I feel has been felt before by the artists I listen to, and they are getting more and more varied as I am discovering new ones all the time.

DI.FM is still my favourite station.

The internet is a great source of information to find out more about this global awakening. I fell onto a video this morning from Spirit Science that confirmed most of what I have been feeling, discovering, realising but also explained so many things to me that I had no clue about. This is extremely important to me in my disconnection state. It enables me to stay grounded in the real world, as weird as it sounds. Just knowing some people out there get where I am is enough for me to concentrate on living a normal life on this earth. I wish we were connected properly, and I guess that’s part of the reason why I created this new facebook account, but I am happy that nothing may happen for a while so I must carry on as normal. Patience was a virtue I never had but believe you me, I now completely get it. And so I wait, while learning what I need to in the meantime. I know things will turn around. I don’t know how or when, but I know it will and that makes me happy, secure and feeling safe….and a tad excited at times 😉

I have reduced my medication too. It was already quite low mind but I have decided to half it. I thought of stopping it but decided to do what the doctors said, so I don’t get in trouble. And to be honest, the couple of times I had forgotten it, I started to feel a bit more excited, I know it was my reaction to stress at work mind, but still. I want to, I need to be as “normal” as possible at the moment. I don’t want to give anybody any excuse to label me “crazy” again.

So all in all, all is good in my world, I hope it is in yours too 🙂

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By newpaz

Little experiment

I don’t think my Facebook friends are ready or open minded enough to see the new me, the Awakened Paz. So I have decided to open a new Facebook account, as anonymous as can be whilst still being me and explore this awakening without boundaries.

In that account, I shall accept any friend’s requests I get and express myself any way I choose. It’s brand new and only opened today.

If you want to befriend me there, here’s my name: Paz Awakened. The picture below will help you find me…

May be see you there 🙂

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My Cross

I believe most of us go through life with a cross to carry. Something that we have done that will affect us for ever and will never lift.

Mine is my dog Frodo.

I have realised today that I will never get over losing him, for the simple reason that I am responsible for his death.

Unless you have experienced that magic bond that exists between man and his dog, you will never understand the strength of it. I had such bond with Frodo, and more.

When my husband and I split up, his behaviour started to change. I would find him shaking at the bottom of the garden after my husband and I would have a heated conversation. That had happened a couple of times when we were in Canada and I now realise he was feeding off my vibes.

When I moved back to the UK, I couldn’t bear the thought of being without him and within a month of me being back, my husband agreed to send him over. This is my cross to carry. If I hadn’t been so desperate for him, he would still be alive today. Because when he arrived back, he fed off my vibes all the more and as I went through depression, his health deteriorated fast. First he started to loose his sight, then he became a scavenger, he would jump on any food he could get his paws on. Until he discovered the bin, and he would regularly knock it down and help himself.

After he got himself sick one day, I decided to keep the kitchen door shut when I was at work. One morning though I can’t have closed it properly, probably not concentrating fully.

When I got home that evening, Frodo had been sick a lot, and he was lying on the floor, barely able to move. I put him outside for his piddle, which he did and then laid down right on top of it. This is when I decided to phone the vets and get him seen to straight away.

The next few days were tough. They decided to keep him overnight at first, on a drip. When I called them the following day to find out his progress, they said he was better but wanted to keep him overnight just in case. I went to visit him that day and I knew he wasn’t better.

All the while I had this little voice in my head telling me to prepare myself, that Frodo wouldn’t be coming home. I knew that voice was right.

The following day I got a call from the vets telling me that Frodo wasn’t better and he was in a lot of pain as he didn’t seem to respond to the strong pain relief he was under. They said I should consider ending his pain…

I left work and drove to the vets, taking my neighbour with me – incidently the girl I had my “psychosis” at a couple of months ago. There I was faced by a very poorly Frodo, lying on his side, barely able to move….I am not even sure he knew I was there.

They told me it would cost around £1000 to try and find out what was wrong with him and they couldn’t assure me they could save him. I frantically called my husband to see what he wanted to do, should we, could we afford that money? He never answered the phone…

And so after cuddling him for a while as best I could without moving him, the vet put the liquid in his vains…

And I watched him drift off to permanent sleep….

I was on antidepressants at the time and the magnitude of what had happened didn’t really hit me until a few months after I came off the medication.

My psychosis in August started as I finally realised I had been responsible for his death, in more ways than one.

People can tell me as much as they want that it wasn’t my fault, that these things happen, even my husband told me he sent Frodo back because Frodo wouldn’t have lived a happy life without me. Yet, I know different. This is my cross. My decisions directly led to the loss of the being the most important to me in my entire life, my dog Frodo. Incidently, it was also Frodo who led me on my path to spirituality, some two years ago when I was lost after my husband and I separated, he became my guide.

I miss him so dearly. He will forever hold my heart, and remind me to be mindful….I have decided to keep his ashes so I can never forget…

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My Journey continues

I realise I have been quiet of late on this blog. This is because I have been doing part of my journey in silence.

I have realised that I needed to learn a lot more than I realised to continue on my new path and so my ideas/views are un-forming and re-forming. I have mentioned before, I don’t like speaking about things I don’t understand enough. And right now, I am learning quietly to understand my journey so I am better prepared for what awaits me.

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The Man who Broke me

A few weeks ago, I had my first ever Reiki session. I had been looking for various ways to help me process, chill out, meditate, sort myself out in other words and I thought I’d try Reiki.

The experience was pretty unexpected, I will admit. The night that followed the session, I broke down in tears when I got to bed, even though I had been feeling fine up to then, and as I found myself in the fetal position, I soon realised I was starting to connect with my inner child.

The lady who carried out the Reiki told me after the session that something bad had happened to me a long time ago and I had spent all my life building a wall to protect myself from pain and to be able to function, and that my wall had started to crumble. She said I needed to take it easy as I was very vulnerable at the moment.

Straight away, I thought she was referring to my first sexual experience, which had been really bad. But soon after I realised that I had it wrong. The experience I had tried to forget and protect myself from was my first love.

His name was Pierre, I met him on holiday with my parents in Spain. We had a magic month together in August when I was 15.

I don’t remember much of that month truth be told. All I remember is the heartbreak I felt when we went our separate way and the way he treated me after.

For a year and half after we parted, I wrote to him many times, 13 if my memory serves me right and not once did he answer my letters. My heart broke in millions of pieces.

I became obsessed with him. I even started to write a book of our story, my journey.

I found out a couple of years later when I managed to get his number, quite by chance, that the reason why he ignored me was he had decided we were too young to stay involved and we had to take our own paths in life without the interference of love (we lived the other side of each other in France) and so thought ignoring my letters was the best way for me to forget about us.

I have kept a folder I used to write my thoughts into when I was that age and recently decided to read it again. My heart broke when I read how 15/16 year old me struggled to make sense out of his abandonment at the time. I actually teared up and desperately wanted to hug the old me, a nice big tight hug and let me cry in my arms. This is when I realised it was this that broke me. Going through this immense pain and no-one to understand. Who really takes notice of a heartbroken 15 year old?

And so after this terrible experience, I started to protect my heart. I would never let anyone close enough to do this to me again. Except I did, many a time, because I was desperate to be loved. I looked for love in all the wrong places. I now realise it was because I didn’t love myself. If He, Pierre, could abandon me after such a powerful love we felt, I cannot have been lovable. So I wanted someone to prove to me I was by giving me love.

I now know you cannot love someone who doesn’t love themselves however, and so my search was futile.

My heart recently got broken into million of pieces again, when my husband and I separated and he chose to see my best friend instead.

This is going to be the last time my heart gets broken…because now, finally, I love who I am. I don’t need anyone to make me realise I am worth it. I know I am.

The next person I choose to give my heart to, will hold it til death do us part as I shan’t settle for less. And I am quite prepared to be alone for a long time til this day come that I meet my soulmate. I am using this time wisely. I am re-discovering who I am every day, working on rebuilding that person who Pierre broke. Bit by bit.

One day, I shall be ready to meet him again. One day, I will be whole again. This is my journey.

Open Letter to a Psychiatrist

 

I got a copy of the Discharge Summary the psychiatrist, who I met once for an hour while at the mental health ward submitted to my doctor and I got a bit pissed off by what she said. I felt it needed addressing. This is the letter I am sending her:

 

Dear [Psychiatrist]

Re: Discharge Summary submitted for [me] dated 2/10/2013

I am in receipt of a copy of the discharge summary you submitted to Dr xx, copy enclosed for ease of reference, and part of its contents has me puzzled.

During my admission, you spoke to me once, for about an hour, at my last ward review when my section was lifted, yet apparently this was enough for you to make judgement on my condition, that you refer to as Bipolar Effective Disorder and also declare a lack of faith on how I intend to remedy this condition, ie quit alcohol for the foreseeable future, if not ever, and stabilise my mood without resorting to medication whilst dealing with issues which affect me.

I came across this behaviour before from a fellow psychiatrist in Canada, who, he too felt speaking to me for an hour, while I was heavily sedated the day after I was admitted, was enough to declare I was bipolar and needed heavy medication, and I have decided now was the time to put a few things straight.

First of all, I am puzzled how you can make such a judgement having spoken to me for only an hour. You know nothing about me, my past and what brought me there, yet you are happy to diagnose me. And for the record what happened to me on 27 August (by the way, you got the admission date wrong on your document, as well as the spelling of my first name in the summary) was a little more than a “brief manic episode”, speak to the Police Officers who brought me in and you might realise this.

And yes indeed, in Canada I have suffered two similar episodes, which I told this hospital about, but again you don’t know any of the circumstances. No-one can really understand what happened to bring me to those unless they have lived under my skin and know what has been going on in my life for the last 30 years.

I will try and explain a few things to you in the hope you might learn something your text books clearly didn’t explain to you.

You mentioned in the summary that I have “an understanding that one of the factors that sometimes contributes to relapse is that I stop drinking”.

First of all these episodes are not “relapses” they occur when I stop repressing my deep feelings by quitting alcohol.

You might have noticed in your line of business, or simply by looking around people in every day life, most people these days have various ways of repressing their feelings. Why? My bet is because they don’t know how to deal with the truth, which is they are not satisfied with their lives.

Some drink a little too often and a little too much, some play computer games for hours, some go to the gym or do a sportive activity to excess, some take drugs/smoke pot, some watch TV for hours on end, or work long hours, whatever is available to forget their lot.

I decided twice in my life to stop escaping myself. Simple. I don’t call that a relapse but an awakening.

The first time was semi-successful except I started to suffer from depression because my life was pretty shitty after my husband left me to pick up with my best friend, in a foreign country where we had just moved to and I found myself being forced to move back to the UK with two suitcases, an empty house and a little saving to start my life from scratch.

This was tough, I can assure you, and when the depression lifted, with a little help from light medication, I started drinking again, because that was the only way I knew how to cope with stress and also it gave me confidence to “fit in” again in the normal world – have you noticed how much alcohol is part of society these days? Pretty scary I’d say.

I soon realised I had started using alcohol to mask unhappy feelings again, this happened when I started dating the wrong chap, and I decided to quit for the second time.

The wave of repressed feelings hit me in the face like a ton of bricks. This time though, I decided to ride the wave.

It felt good actually, and I got over excited, started lots of worthy community projects whilst still processing 30 years of repressed emotions and I got burnt out. I started to sleep less and less due to the excitement, and started to behave in a manic behaviour. I actually spoke to my doctor about this a couple of weeks before the incident which brought me in. What happened that day cannot be easily explained and in fact, I don’t think scientific knowledge can explain it, but this isn’t something I am willing to discuss with you as I have little faith about your ability to understand such behaviour.

Which brings me to the point I wanted to clarify. You “somehow doubt” that I know what I am doing. Which is to manage my drinking sensibly whilst dealing with emotions I need to deal with – you cited issues with my mother but it runs much deeper than this – and not to use mood stabilising medication. You even suggest I should take medication long term, if I remember correctly at the ward review, you mentioned something about “for life”.

You met me for only an hour – and yes granted, you may have had feedback from the other professionals I spoke to, namely my primary Nurse and the Psychologist that I requested to see during my stay – yet you feel you know me enough to pass such judgements. Worst of all that I should be on medication for life!

I just do not understand why Psychiatrists’ answer to everything seems to be medication. I got exactly the same from the psychiatrist I had the displeasure to deal with in Canada.

Is that what they teach you at school? Meds are the answer? I was really hoping they’d teach you a bit about human spyche, enough that you’d learn it takes time to get to know a complete stranger to be able to fully grasp what might have gone wrong with them emotionally to then put them on the right track.

And no, that doesn’t mean which meds will numb them enough to function again in society. It means helping them process their feelings properly, feelings which usually range from fear, shame, guilt and anger, depending on what has happened to them to get them there (most likely some kind of abuse when they were younger).

Really not rocket science this, but apparently judging by what I observed during my stay at the ward, you professionals don’t seem to have a clue.

Patients there were really left to their own devices. I got the support I needed because I asked for it. Oh yes, it was there, but it seemed you guys concentrated on finding the right meds, rather than really getting to the nitty gritty of speaking to the patients on a regular basis to find out exactly what was in their heads, what happened to them to make them mis-function and how they may be able to deal with it, what support is available etc.

I believe mental health wards are the best place for people with mental health issues, however, they need help once in there. Yes granted, medication can help regulate inappropriate behaviour, but talking is what is needed more of.

I met a fellow patient today at Tesco [girl]. A lovely girl, I was very fond of her whilst at the ward. I recognised only too well the signs of over medication when I saw her. My face lit up as I went to say hi and hug her – she just looked at me spaced out. I managed to have a normal conversation with her, but I knew this wasn’t the real [girl].

Is this really what you are trying to achieve? I sure hope not.

Anyway, I needed to say my piece, for what it’s worth. I might or might not have a stay at the mental health ward again in the future, but it really doesn’t worry me. I know it’s not the end of the world, and sometimes, a place like this is the best place to be to process emotions, because, apparently there you are left completely alone to deal with your lot, and there’s plenty of fun activities to join in when the mood takes you. A great place to holiday I have decided. Shame about the stigma attached to it.

Please feel free to comment, clarify your thinking should you wish to.

Yours sincerely

Daring to live my dreams

There is one thing I have mastered the art in, so far, and that’s following the signs along the Road, as Madonna sung in Ray of Light.

Two years ago, after my husband and I separated and I was having, what I now know to be, my first awakening, I laid in bed one night, wishing so hard to sleep and wake up on the private Island my husband and I spent a few days after our wedding on Zanzibar. I wanted so badly to find us back there and with our beloved pets.

That was two years ago. A week ago, while floating in the floatation centre, they played a CD called Sleep and it started with the sound of waves softly crashing back and forth on sand, my mind went straight to that island again. By the time I reached the relaxation stage, my mind was fixed on the thought that I wanted to be back there again, I was then able to drift off for the rest of the session.

There was no place I wanted to be but on my own, on this private, semi-deserted island for Christmas.

I checked the prices and they were well out of my league, however, I decided to contact the Island, explain the situation, that my husband and I spent our honeymoon there some 10 years ago and we absolutely loved the place, and that unfortunately we are now getting divorced and I had had a hell of 2 years of emotional stuff to get through, that I was finally there but in dire need of a complete break before starting my life again on a better footing. I asked if they would kindly offer me a reduced rate.

I wasn’t expecting the reply I received: they drastically reduced the rate for me and remembered me very well from back then and “can’t wait to see me” they said.

And so last weekend, I booked the plane ticket.

I don’t do Christmas see, I haven’t got kids, my family is split, Christmas has become a chore. There is no place I’d rather be but my favourite place in the world: Chapwani, here we come 🙂

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Me at Chapwani, reading one of my favourite books, The Life of Pi, which incidently, I discovered there from their little library.

 

And all the while I was doing all this, I was thinking of that little card I found, mentioned in my Signs from Above post….I have started to follow my dreams…god knows where this will take me!

By newpaz