Trust no-one

Since being awakened, I have started to have trust issues.

Not entirely surprising I guess after the man I love left me for my best friend I hear you say, but it goes deeper than this. I am starting to realise I cannot trust anyone, because people are human, and thus affected by all sorts of issues I know nothing about, which will make them behave in ways I have no control about.

I guess this is where my feeling of disconnection comes from. It’s ok though as ultimately the only person you can trust 100% is yourself, even if some can’t even do that.

I used to trust people at the drop of the hat, everyone I would meet could become my best friend. Now I am wiser. A very good thing as it will prevent the disastrous friendships/relationships I got myself involved in in future. And this attachment problem too. People come, people go and I am happy to accept that now. Such is the circle of life.

I trust my family though, that’s a plus. And there is one or two people in my life I trust as well.

The more I discover myself, the more I feel able to trust my judgement. Priceless 🙂

 

Mental Health – The Stigma from all Angles

I touched on the Stigma attached to mental health in a previous post, and something I experienced recently made me realise that ridding of the Stigma is a mammoth task.

A few days ago, I went to visit a friend I made when I stayed at a Mental Health ward recently – see post Psychosis – he had left before me and unfortunately, as I suspected, returned a few days after I left. I say as suspected due to my view on how patients are cared for in a Mental Health place, see post My Take on Mental Health.

As I was sat with him and a few other patients friends in the smoking yard, this woman came out shouting and screaming, went to sit on the ground some way apart from anybody else and started ranting to “herself”.

She obviously grabbed my attention and as I listened to her ranting, I realised she was in a similar position as I was when I had my psychosis. She was talking to someone (I suspect God) and was very angry, shouting that she couldn’t understand why this was happening to her, that she was an honest person and had never lied.

I looked back at the guys and said “poor woman”. Their answer? “Don’t mind her, she is loopy, she is a right pain in the arse, last night she kept us up til 5:30 am with all her screaming and ranting, she has no respect for anyone”. Shocked, I tried to explain to them that she probably couldn’t help when her ranting would happen and didn’t do this to be a pain. They wouldn’t have it. They being people with mental health issues!

So I gave up trying to convince them and went to speak to her. I sat on the floor in front of her and asked her how she was. Instantly, her behaviour changed. She started to talk about herself, her life, her passion for guitar, a little support group she got involved starting up which is now a registered charity and many other topics that blew my mind away.

All it took was for someone to listen. But no-one at the Mental Health ward, staff or patients, had bothered before. This really re-affirms my thinking that professionals have no clue and the Stigma starts with patients.

Today, I had another example of this via Facebook. Time To Change posted a little story of how Asda had removed a fancy dress costume from their shelves after they realised their mistake. The costume was “Mental Health Patient”. One of the comments was from a girl who said “How appealing, I will never shop there again”. There the Stigma just there. “Why not” I commented under her post, “They’ve made a mistake, acknowledged it and removed the item, I think they should be commended myself”.

When I started thinking about the Stigma, I emailed a few people who knew me at the time of my first stay in a Mental Health Institution in Canada and who were aware of where I was. I asked them how they felt. Of the 10 or so people I emailed I received answers only from four.

Here are the answers of those people who kindly agreed to reply:

“I can tell you what I felt although it probably won’t be too typical, because my best friend growing up was diagnosed with a mental health issue and on more than one occasion has been sectioned.  I felt profound sadness, helplessness, I wouldn’t know how to help or reach you. I didn’t really feel going in to care would help you, apart from stopping you be a danger to yourself.  I didn’t think it would ‘cure’ you, just remove you from society so you weren’t an embarrassment and a worry to others.  These feelings are just as you asked maybe not justified but they were my true feelings rightly or wrong”

“you had a broken heart, you were not crazy ever.
You were dehydrated, and under nourished and the mind becomes confused, happens to everyone. You could not grasp the reality of what was happening with those closest to you. A broken heart is not a broken mind. Your answers are inside you not from us. Walk in nature and spend enough time alone with no distractions to find.”
 
Mental health issues and seeking the help of professionals is a positive approach to taking care of your mental health.  Our mental health is so important – it is important to us all. (Perhaps even more important than our physical health and the protector of our physical health). We must all be vigilant about our mental health at all times.  Yes, our society can put a stigma on being in a mental hospital but we are so lucky to have hospitals that care for the mind and spirit.

I hope you are feeling better.  It is a process and must be cared for daily.  You have nothing to be ashamed of”

When I first heard you were going into care, I was afraid for you, my friend and what you were going through. I knew you would eventually “straighten out”, but felt bad that you were having such a bad time.

I was sure that being in care was probably a good thing, as I didn’t want you to hurt yourself (or others, although I wasn’t too afraid of that happening). When we are experiencing great grief, we don’t always think very clearly and can take actions we might regret later.
 
I feel like I may be “smarter than the average bear” about mental illness and acceptance of others who need help from counselors/psychiatrists as I suffered depression for years and had a break down in my late 20’s.
But I also felt a need to distance myself from you after you wouldn’t listen to reason about getting more sleep. Lack of sleep is one of the most toxic things one can do to kill brain cells and it makes one unreasonable. 

So, although it pained me to do it, I did withdraw from you (as you pointed out to me), knowing that you wanted to be “fixed” and no one could fix you until you had faced the demons/issues in your life that you had indeed been running from for too long.

As much as you were looking for someone to make you happy and feel better than, (or group or activity), you needed to take that down time and depression and just deal with it. I’m certain it made you stronger and and that’s a large part of why your happier today.”

 
Food for thought don’t you think?
 
Shame, fear and hopelessness seem to be emotions that go with Mental Health issue.
 
I will clarify that these days, I don’t feel ashamed of what has happened to me, and going into a Mental Health place was the best thing for me at the times. The only fear I feel is the reactions others may have towards me when I return to work, as I have been away for a month now and my immediate colleagues now know where I have been, others won’t know and really, short of sending an email to everyone (which I will not do), I am not sure how I am going to deal with this situation. 
 
With regards the hopelessness, this is the main issue for me. How do I break this barrier down, which keeps people away from you when you need them most.
 
Educating people is the answer, I know it. Because people who have never gone through it will never understand what Mental Health issues are about. I heard recently someone talking about a friend of mine who has been labelled as suffering from multiple disorder that “he isn’t helping himself”.  I have suffered from depression once in my life, and believe you me, we know damn well what we should be doing, however, we are unable to function properly.
 
And one more thing – why is it ok for some people to suffer from Bipolar (or manic depression as some prefer to call it) and not for others, example:
 
Stephen Fry – respected
Britney Spears – poopooed
 
Empathy is the key word here, not sympathy, however as most people have never experienced Mental Illness directly, most are unable to give empathy. So it’s sympathy if it touches someone they like and lack of it if it is something they don’t.
 
As I said at the beginning, mammoth task changing this Stigma. Still, I have hope 🙂

The Law of Attraction

Recently, I have realised a lot about the Law of Attraction, as my previous postings will show you.

The principle is if you want something you put it out there and “the universe” gives it to you.

I started to understand how positivity worked a few weeks before I came across that law, although I had heard about it before and didn’t really believe its power. Thinking about it this morning, its power had started to work for me when I became free of the chains that tied me and became truly positive, without even realising it was that force which was at work.

However, since, I have learned that you need to be clear what it is you want to be able to get it. For instance, if you want a specific car, you need to write down the exact make and model, colour, even add a picture of an example car, and think about it every so often, and eventually, somehow it will come to you.

I am a bit stuck with that Law. Because, really, I have all I want. Yes of course, I would like a better car, better paid job, better something or other, but “things” just don’t matter to me.

This morning I wrote an entry about all I ever wished for was happiness. Pure and simple. Or is it?

When I had my Psychosis, on the evening of the main event, I realised I had got my wish, I was starting to feel truly happy. And I said to “God” or whatever you want to call this higher power, that I trusted him to know what it was that would make me happy. Because he would know me better than I knew myself.

My wants are bigger than any material things could give me. As I said above, and in my earlier post “Happiness is a mental illness“, I am very happy I have what I need to be settled. It’s the rest of the world that worries me. It’s what’s happening to this planet, its nature and its living things (including people of course) that worries me. Not which car I am going to be driving or whether I will meet the right man for me.

For me to be happy I’d need to know, feel, see that things are changing for the better, that the homeless are being looked after, that abuse stops, that everyone has access to food and water, that this planet isn’t doomed.

And I said to this higher power that evening that I knew there was nothing I could do to make a big difference, enough to make me happy. However, I said to him now I have faith, faith that things will get better. And that job, I was happy to leave with him. Afterall, it’s his job.

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My Take on Mental Health

I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently had a Psychosis and that my stay in a mental health ward was a real eye opener.

When I lived in Canada, I suffered a couple of Psychosis too and stayed in one of the top hospitals there, The Centennial Centre, and another smaller ward too south of Alberta.

After my stays in Canada, I had a lot of thoughts about mental health but I didn’t want to talk about it until I was sure of my thinking, this latest stay has confirmed a lot for me: most professionals have no clue how to deal with mental health issues.

All they seem to do is give you medications to control whatever mental health issue you have experienced, wait til the meds work (this can take weeks, and months even) and send you on your way. To see you again next time you loose the plot, and so the cycle starts again, different meds, different dosage and off you go.

Am I really the only person who sees the problem here?

Every single patient I have come to know has one big issue: inability to deal with something they have experienced in their past.

Usually it’s abuse related, but it could be anything their brain and heart haven’t been able to come to terms with. There lies the disconnection, you can rationalise your thinking as much as you want, if your heart doesn’t follow suit, it ain’t going to happen, And so they go through life feeling more and more tortured, mostly trying to repress this ache they feel, self medicating with alcohol and/or drugs until eventually, the brain can’t take it no more and something snaps.

This, to me, is what mental illness is about.

I have so far only heard of a handful of people who genuinely can’t find any reasons why they are depressed, I guess that’s called clinical depression.

So my rocket science answer? Talk, get it out, process what has happened that makes you feel so messed up, find a way to deal with it. STOP TRYING TO REPRESS IT, it won’t work. It cannot work. You need to get rid of the shame, guilt, fear and anger that tie you down. Trust me. Meds are good to calm you down a bit, enough so you can start processing safely but they are not the answer.

During my stays, the only good counselling I had was talking to other patients about their experiences that got them there. Slowly but surely I started to realise that is the best councelling in the world, talking with people who have experienced similar situations, found how they coped, or didn’t as the case maybe. Realising you are not alone is the first positive feeling coming from this, and then giving each other a different perspective on the problem another. A problem shared is a problem halved, the more you share the smaller it becomes.

I get so angry with the medical profession because they just don’t seem to understand the basic.

When I left the hospital last Friday, I had a chat with my primary care nurse, a great woman who gave me all the support I asked for. I told her I found it amazing that in my two weeks there not one professional talked to me about my psychosis itself. She said it was because they didn’t really understand it. I got very confused what they were doing working in a Mental Health ward without knowing exactly everything there was to know about mental illness.

And then I thought back to my stay in Ponoka, same thing. No-one there talked to me about Psychosis, even worse there, after an hour of chatting with me the day after I was admitted, the Psychiatrist doctor decided I had Bipolar. AN HOUR would you believe?? And straight after I had been admitted and pumped up with medication. How many diplomas do you need to fuck it up do you reckon?

Misdiagnosis is king in Mental Health. People finally relieved there is really “something wrong” with them go home “happily” thinking “well there you go, now I know what’s wrong with me, I shall just take those meds and everything should be alright”. No they won’t, they will never be alright until you process what has got you there in the first place.

My first Psychosis happened shortly after I stopped self medicating with dope and alcohol. Once my brain became alive again, I got floaded by thoughts and emotions I had repressed for over 20 years.

I’ll tell you what was wrong with me. I had a negative experience sexually when I was young and I let the shame, guilt, anger build inside of me, as it was, had to be, a secret.

For many years this repression affected my relationships. I could never ever find happiness with anyone and I thought it was because of this. Sometimes I would tell my partners and it kinda gave me Carte Blanche to not get intimate with them. I would only get intimate after drinking, when my barriers fell down and I could relax enough to have sex. And eventually that died down because sex, as fun as it may be, doesn’t give you the emotional connection needed to make love. And so relationships messed up eventually.

During my first psychosis, I actually opened up about that negative experience. Directly to the person concerned. And do you know what? He felt as shit as I did about it. And I was then able to forget about it and put it down to experience. Sometimes you make mistakes in life and you need to learn from them. No Regrets now. Such a liberating feeling.

The “Psychosis”, which looking back, lasted a few weeks, enabled me to open up without a care in the world to all sorts of people about stuff that had been bothering me most of my adult life.

My mother’s adoration for her (dead) brother, who I knew had abused his daughters, she got to hear how I felt about this man. Since then, not one word about him. Phew!

My dad “abandoning” us when my mum and dad split up. Him and I are so close now.

I still have two major issues I need to deal with, one concerns my mum and the other, God. God incidently was the subject of my last psychosis.

I got angry with him.  How dare he give up on us so easily. How dare he punish Adam and Eve so dramatically that we are now left with such a shit world that nature and animals are starting to suffer, how dare he let people abuse people, even more so defenseless beings and nature?

I have found my connection to God and I won’t bother trying to explain it to anyone. If anyone is curious, I will just say, “Can you explain love? but you know it exists right? well the connection to God is just like that, you can’t explain it, yet you know it exists”. I have also decided that there is no point looking for God, just as there isn’t looking for love, he’ll find you. or not as the case may be. Funnily enough, you have heard it say many a time that God is love.

I also get angry about this Jeebus story, but that’ll be a post for another time.

Oh and I like to call him God because it reads Dog in reverse, and I love Dogs, without a shadow of a doubt, yet I can’t explain why.

This was what my Psychosis was about: on the morning I woke up, I was angry at God and I wanted to prove to him that he made a mistake, people are worth caring about, people are worth saving. Apart from abusers. They can go to hell. I don’t care what excuses they have to be taking out their frustrations on other beings in such ways. We all know the difference between right and wrong. Whatever your beliefs are.

freedom