Day 13 – October 13th 2018 – Jeff’s Birthday!

Inmate release day for Jeff’s birthday. No words. Just pictures. Thanks to the breaker-outerers.

 

Day 12 – October 12 2018 Dissociative

Dissociative Behaviour Disorder

I learned from my shrink this morning that I may be suffering from this too. So many diagnoses at my age!

It does describe perfectly how I feel when I become a bully, and yell, get angry and all that.

It’s like I see myself from above, or below, or beside or wherever. I see what is happening, what I’m saying, or writing to people, and I don’t even know how to stop, like it’s coming from a place that’s not me. I just keep saying things or doing things, or writing things. I’m not saying that I’m Sybil or anything, but the diagnosis makes sense.

So because of my anger last night I’ve isolated myself all day.
It’s either passive or aggressive.
Or it’s fear.
Or it’s just easy.

People talk about the same shit in here. They talk about depression. I’m sick of the same conversations. My psych and my counsellor say it’s my inability to tolerate things. Like when I check out of meetings when they get boring.

I was never shown how to tolerate things. My dad never tolerated a single thing, especially lateness.. But I just don’t think I care.

I’ve had headphones when I leave my room so that even if I’m not listening to anything people will ignore me and I can ignore them because, you know, I can’t hear them.

My shrink says it’s because I’ve never really learned to grow up, to mature.

I want to go home but my shrink says I’m not ready. I don’t know why. I’m not doing anything different here. I hide in my room.

Most of the inmates have been here tonnes of times. One woman with kids and who’s only in her 30s says she’s spent 6 months in total out of the last two years here.

Isn’t that proof that none of this works?

I didn’t take any valium today. Tomorrow will be a different story. I’m catching up with friends for Jeff’s birthday. I will take all the valium.

Day 11 – October 11 2018

BP 105/70

They tell me to drink more water, all I hear is:

“Drink more coffee.”

We were talking last night about the good old days, when people with “mental illness” were just crazy and they were locked up in wards with other crazy people, or just in rooms with padded cells, and maybe just strapped to a bed. Before all this CBT and having to work on yourself bullshit came along.

It seems that, despite the civil right abuses and all that, mental illness was just so much easier back then.

The girls and Jeff came to visit me today. Wanna see?

It was everything I needed. The day started out great. I was on such a high and I knew it would end so I decided to ride the beautiful cloud for as long as it lasted. I was so surprised when it dissipated so quickly though. So I asked my unicorn to bring the girls, and my unicorn brought the girls, and they jumped all over me and changed my world for a while.

Still I wonder about real change. Lasting change. I am an angry aggressive person. You know those manic people who run or spend? Well I think my mania is my anger, the way I express myself towards others, the pride I feel in my ability to out-bully.

I find any other way of being quite boring, you see.

I don’t know how else to be.

I don’t know if I want to be any other way.

Others don’t like the way I am, though.

Not even in here.

Already, I’ve made enemies.

Someone tonight said to me:

Well you’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?

Well, maybe I am.

Day 10 – October 10, 2018

The one where I meet a real Russian!

BP: 124/60

My temperature is a little low. I woke up without a “wake up” knock because I didn’t take any Seroquel last night. I was trying a theory and it worked! And I don’t feel like shit this morning, either!

It’s funny, yeah, I thought working with animals, especially dogs, would be my everything. It’s the longest job I’ve ever had. But I guess it’s true what they say (for some), that if you turn your passion into a business, it just ruins it. I think I’ll keep this jewellery gig small. Maybe if there was Instagram when I was making jewellery things might have turned out different.

Today I’ve gone from a little manic, you know, when you think you can do ANYTHING IN ONE DAY, to feeling blue and melancholy. Nothing too extreme. But I guess that’s the lack of care.

So if Jeff and I are the opposite when it comes to dealing with stress:

Me – High Stress        ———————————               Jeff – More self-compassionate

Then how do we deal with this? I’m always on edge and he isn’t. Hmm?

I feel like he’s too relaxed.

I feel a bit relaxed when he visits. It was nice, I even called my mum and the world didn’t collapse.

But then tonight, there’s a new woman. A REAL Russian. She totally understands when I was telling the others that Russians don’t smile because they’ll literally send you to an asylum if you walk around smiling. So we’re all sitting around comparing disorders and deciding who’s got the worst diagnosis and I feel a bit shit because it’s not me.

She also broke my heart because I started teaching my self Russian on a phone app this week and it’s totes hard. Anyway, so she asked me why I want to learn Russian and I tell her it’s so I can read Dostoevsky in Russian and she tells me not to bother that not even Russians understand him.

I am so devastated that I’m not washing my face tonight.

Late night reading

It’s late; clearly my finest writing time.

I see a lot of sadness here. There’s a drug and alcohol section but it’s separated from us, the regular depressives. But even they are sad, managing their sadness, anger, frustration, loneliness with addiction.

Why are we so sad when we’re so much more connected than we have ever been? There’s a guy I mentioned before, T, he’s the one who hears voices, but I reckon that was due to him taking drugs and alcohol, or did the drugs and alcohol helps him quash the voices? I might ask him tomorrow, now that he’s in our ward.

I don’t remember many times when I was not sad. The Russians are meant to be sad too. Maybe they’re happier that way. Has our quest for joy and happiness mad us sadder?

Day 9 – October 9, 2018

The one where they teach us about self-compassion.

Studies have shown that entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs because they want to. But, the ones who remain successful are those who are self-compassionate in times of hardship or failure.

Wait, am I writing from my groups book? No, this is a thing I learned.

Is this why Jeff is so successful? Because he is self-compassionate? (I asked him this and he says he’s not always that way).

I don’t think I know what self-compassion looks like. I think it looks egotistical and self-congratulatory and I’ve forgotten the other word.

Here’s what self-compassion looks like on paper and to a therapist:

  • Respect – aka not thinking someone is a dickhead
  • Kindness
  • Being helpful
  • Empathy
  • Temporarily giving someone else priority
  • Being gentle
  • Giving a chance to be heard
  • Listening
  • Offering genuine, kind words
  • Showing genuine affection and support
  • Being non-judgementalThe definition of self-compassion on paper and to a therapist is: Acting the same way towards yourself as you would to others when they are in need.

All I want to do is scream into a pillow like an autistic child, but I don’t think they would like that here.

I do it anyway, and I don’t stop. I literally didn’t stop.

I put a pillow over my head (I think it was supposed to be under my head but it was my first time), and something very strange and primal came out, sounds like I’ve never heard, from a place I didn’t recognise. It just kept coming.

I remember this sort of depression, pre-diagnosis, pre-medication. It’s horrifying. It doesn’t make me feel better and I left a tonne of mascara on the pillow.

The only thing running through my mind is what a weird sound it is, also when will it stop, and will the doctors come and jab me with something or take me to a sicker psych ward.

They soothed me with Seroquil and i fell asleep all day until I soothed myself with Survivor catch ups.

My time here feel squandered. Some say “just rest” but I don’t want to. I want to do something with my time, finish writing my books. Finish reading some books. Otherwise it all feels squandered.

Word of the day: Squandered

Day 8 – October 8 2018 – I wouldn’t bother reading this

I came back and went right to sleep after sending a long message to Jeff.

They woke me up at nearly midnight to make me take my night meds. I asked if they could just bring it to my room but I guess this isn’t a 5 star psych hospital. I slept in my day clothing. I have been wearing my Jen Cloher t-shirt every day and, last night, at night. I’m still wearing it today.

The zip zaps. Here’s a reminder.

I feel like Jeff is treating me like a baby. He’s a good carer though. He tells me to take panadol, not valium. Panadol will fix my headache but valium will fix everything.

I thought it would be a holiday here, you know. I would go away to my lovely rest home (in Werribee) and I would read and write and detox and learn to see the world in a nicer way, my marriage might even be rekindled or whatever. I would finish my novel!

I wasn’t expecting fun. I was expecting a holiday with learning. But none of this is happening. I blog. I read a few pages here and there but mostly feel guilty that I don’t read enough. I have not written a word of my novel.

I hate taking the seroquel because it makes me take forever to way up. I feel like shit in the morning. Hazy, unable to think.

They’re talking to one another – Jeff and the doctors. They talk about the plan for me, but they’re not telling me much.

I zip zap in the meantime.

They tell me I might be here another 3 weeks. That’s 4 weeks in total.

I reckon it’s genetic. Look at my parents. Sadness, anger, aggression, drinking, anxiety, paranoia.

The shrink comes in while I’m still in bed, wondering if I’ll get out or not (I wonder this, not her). She tells me I’ll be on a new anti-depressant – Cymbalta. I have to watch for some side-effects in the first week – fever, excessive sweating, confusion, excessive nausea. Fun times to be had.

Be gentle
Be patient
Start somewhere

These are all things she tells me, like I’ve never heard them before. I write them into my book, and I wonder if it’s to remember them, or to show her that I’m *starting somewhere*. Remember what my blog tagline says: Liar.

I have learned argumentative behaviours from my parents, apparently, over the past 49 years. I need to stop feeding the anger, apparently. Also, this is what anger looks like:

You start and build. If I stop building and reacting, the more I do it, the easier it will get. In my mind, I feel I’m losing control if I don’t react. Over time, I will handle it and won’t want to control things.

Physically step back in that moment.

If the Sad Bastards are overwhelming, I can walk away.

Listen. Don’t connect. Let go. Like a leaf flowing on water; let it pass.

Think happy thoughts

Don’t worry about it

She’ll be right

You just take things too seriously

She didn’t say this but that’s how her words sound to me.

BP 110/70
Standing  110/80

Zip Zip Zap
Just took my new cure.
30mg of Cymbalta.
Told one of the inmates about my new cure and she had this look so I asked her what her look was about and she said it was Cymbalta that sent her off the rails.

So there we are.

Three things I would like to say:
1. I like to write all of this then type it into wordpress – helps me remember. Helps me write better, I think.
2. We can order Uber Eats to here (go ahead, judge)
3. Why do I continue to put on make up every day? I like to hide my outsides, but I’m ever so open about my insides.
4. I stepped on my headphones last night while out of it. They work but are broken, so I ordered some new ones from Big W. The same but in pink, to arrive here, at the mental hospital. Just like Uber Eats!

Chrissie Amphlette was 53 when she died, not quite her 2nd Saturn return but it did get me thinking about how we forget about the 56-club and focus only on the 27 club. I dunno, I guess 56 isn’t interesting enough. Not like 27. But watch out for the 2nd Saturn Return. That shit’s for real.

It occurred to me this morning  – and this is super big for me – that artists (musos, writers etc) don’t become boring as they age. It’s not that *they’ve* changed. We have changed. Their audiences. It’s not that their art isn’t as interesting. We do. OUr expectations do.

It’s amazing some of the words that get thrown around here like: ECT, TMS – as though someone’s saying “you want a coffee?”

I should leave my room.

It’s 3:49pm and I have left my room three times, I think:
1.To get my morning meds at the meds window
2. To ask for valium
3. To see what was on the lunch menu.

I pass the Sad Bastards table and the Maco waves me over and says he’s happy to see me. He sleeps all day until they tell him to get up. Then he has anxiety and a panic attack and sadness and goes tot the common room looking for people. But I tell him I can’t stay. I can’t help him now. Maybe later.  I don’t have anything now. Just the Zip Zip Zaps.

I feel terrible. He’s reached out for help and I have nothing to give. No empathy.

See, #1 sign of being a psychopath.

I’m leaving the room to get my delivery. Whatever.

I don’t think I could do what Jeff is doing. He gets me stuff. He visits. He sees my parents. He buys me a little ruler so I can measure things. I couldn’t do it. See, also, #1 sign of being a psychopath.

Day 7 – October 7, 2018 – Day 2 of *The Weekend*

I feel hungover. I can barely open my eyes.

BP 120/70
No standing BP – it’s high enough

When I used to drink, I didn’t really get hangovers, not that I could remember, because I drank vodka with panadol chasers. Someone smart taught me that.

I’m not sure why I write down by blood pressure. I think I take some pride in my usual low BP (not like it is now,but when I’m not here).

Last night made me think of Survivor. You know how people start out with *plans*, but plans to be a different version of themselves so that the others will be *fooled*. But their true colours always come out, just like on Big Brother and the rest of the reality shows.

That’s me. I started out meek and nice, and now look.

I’m a mimicker. I pick on other people’s behaviour. There’s a manic woman here who comes out at night. I become manic. I’m the mob in mob mentality.

I was still awake at 12.30 last night, 2 hours after my night meds, so I asked for more Seroquel. That was a mistake.

If they give me sleep meds so easily, why won’t they give me day meds? Such a conundrum.

Today is Sunday, which is usually a no makeup day for me at home, but I feel it’s not right here. If I let myself go, even if it’s once a week. what else could happen‽ And anyway, I think I need the paint therapy that makeup gives me.

Today is also flush day, my day without Pristiq. It’s a big deal, apparently. Pristiq is like Effexor to come off. They write books about it. Yes, really.

So today will be more brain zappy than the past few weeks have been. My shrink has been weaning me off Pristiq for a while so the zaps have been minor. They will probably be major today and the next few days.

When I took myself off Effexor for 5 days a few years back without telling anyone, I got brain zaps and body zaps and thought I was going crazy. I googled it, and it’s a real thing.

How do you explain brain zaps to someone who has never experienced them?

Here are some ways:

  • Imagine a plastic zipper and it’s continually being opened and closed for a millisecond, then for a second, then 1.2 a second, then 2 seconds. Imagine this in your ear, continually, all day and all night. Now imagine it inside your head.
  • You know those mosquito zappers that people have outside in summer? Imagine one of those going off in your head every 3 seconds, maybe less, but at a slightly lower decibel.

Here’s a sort of example. It’s duller than this but just as constant.

Still on the mood stablilisers – they’ve been working such a treat – so I should be nice and lovely for when Jeff comes to visit later with my baby fluffies.

Right now though – sleepyville.

How many coffee pods does it take to wake up a mental patient?

No, really. How many?

Saw my baby girls and went down to  Werribee river or somewhere. They’re just been brushed out and cleaned up and both Honey and Peaches got filthy in the water and they all got full of burrs and grass seeds. Yay for Jeff’s Sunday night!

We had awesome burgers, fries and onion rings from the Truck Stop Deluxe. Yummmm.

It ended badly when we got back between me and Jeff. I won’t go into it. It was just shit.

Zip Zap Zip Zip.

 

Day 6 – October 6 2018 *My First Weekend*

I’ve been thinking this morning about some of the group sessions, about values and goals.

Values don’t have steps or end dates – they might change over time but that’s it. Like, I value music, but I don’t want to make it (that’s a goal) but I do love to see live bands, and that really makes me happy. Another one of my biggest values is creativity. I like to surround myself with creative people. I also want to write. So my goal associated to that value is to write. My current SMART (yawn) goal is finishing the book that is practically finished. So the idea is to chip away at the goal until it’s done.

Now, because I’m such a sad bastard thinker, all I can see between the desire and the goal is a hundred million mountains, and I fucking hate climbing anything. So they keep telling me that it’s about chipping away at the mountains.

It sounds like my only options are to climb the mountains or to chip away at them. Is that right? No, really, are those my only options? Can someone please tell me.

I feel guilty not being productive with my writing in here. I mean, Van Gogh was at his most prolific while crazy and in asylums. I haven’t looked at a work of my book. It feels like a hundred million miles away.

Jeff is coming for lunch today. He’s bringing me faux pho (rice vermicelli salad with grilled pork from the Pho place in SUnny Sunshine). He’ll then take me across to the shopping centre so I can get my nails done. I thought getting tid of the SNS would be a good idea, but, for real, my nails are and have always been shit, so I am getting them coloured!

There are no group sessions on the weekend, so maybe I’ll chip away?

Jeff’s visit was so nice. We went to the plaza and I got my nails done and got some salad mix so I can have something healthy if I don’t feel like eating the meals.

He tells me that he’s spoken to the doctor. I may be in another three weeks. But I can’t imagine ever leaving.

Jeff and Genn got to see Jen Cloher at the Spiegeltent!

PM – My nurse didn’t talk to me all day and I didn’t get my evening BP checked. I told you he was a CUNT!

However, there are things I’m really glad about:

Jeff got to go out with Genn to see Jen Cloher. Sure I would have like to have been there but it’s okay. It’s people like this that make me happy to be. So much talent.

And then, because I’m feeling good and, you know, a bit fun, frisky, I decide to hang out with the Sad Bastards.
I get confident
I get loud
I get sweary
I laugh
I joke
I say things people don’t like
I get told off for being offensive with my sweariness (and blasphemousnous, I guess)
I get told off for being loud

I just wonder, I really do, especially after seeing so many of my future selves in here, if I am am ever going to win this battle of trying to change how I am.

Because, let’s face it, if it wasn’t for the others, I wouldn’t give a shit how I am.
I just don’t see a different future, and the attempt to change is so exhausting. This is how I look like after a day of trying to work shit out and, finally, to be told to shut up and I take some white pills and Seroquel.