Friday, February 29, 2008

ocd/anxiety round one, me zero.

This time it’s not as good. I cannot blog now, everything is too new, too scary.

I don’t believe my meds are working, and Even though I look great, my brain has gotten OCD that makes Mr. Monk look normal.

I don’t know what to do for OCD. I am really at a loss.

Holly is a large part of it. I keep thinking the cat will get out, but I know she won’t. She is under a chair right now playing fort.

But this OCD, now I have to check every pill, count everything in the apartment, make sure nothing is missing. It’s driving me up a tree., I don’t know how people stand it. Add Anxiety to the mix, and I am just waiting for the old skull and crossbones to vaporize over my drink like it does in cartoons.

I cannot eat anything, I am living off cold cereal it’s the only thing I trust right now and I cannot even eat that.

I am afraid to leave the apartment. I don’t know why.

The doctor, if she knew, would put me in the hospital. I don’t want to go there, they don’t seem to help.

I don’t have the energy to get dressed even or brush my hair. This is depression with anxiety combined. Mixed states?

I just want to feel better again. Why do I think it isn’t going to happen???

Because this time it’s been since August, and it’s not getting better .I wish it would .

Addendum: The score is tied. I went out to get groceries since they are expecting snow and bought tuna for the cat and milk mfor me. I did it, and came home and the cat was asleep on the couch.

Iwent out. Ichanged my clothes, and did it. ONE small leap for me, one giant leap to recovery.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

another med change, for the best

P-doc changed the meds now. Cut everything in half, including Lithium.
So I am being tapered down.

She told me as she looked in my file on a Dell computer, and said 'so many meds". Lets try to cut them down.".

She is a smart lady, wearing a red and black shirt yesterday and dress pants. Well groomed and sweet.

I felt better yesterday, put on make up and a clean shirt and new jeans. It is visible the 30 lbs I have lost.

Still won't touch the Ambien, and spiltting pills for everything but it's getting better. I don;'t feel like a zombie now.

I just get nervous about Klonepin and Vistaril, and Haldol. Half does are easier to deal with.
I really like the pdoc. She seems to know what she is saying./doing. Everyone seems so happy there, unlike my old pdoc's office.

8 meds now, plus pain pills for back. My goal is to get down in the next 2 months to just lithium.

I just wanted everyone who reads this to know I really think I am taking baby steps finally on the road to recovery.Thank you alll for your love and support

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Helpful Hints on what to do during a panic attack

From Sweetpea, at Mood Garden. I have this list to be extremely helpful and valuable, so I am passing on this list should it help someone as it has done me.

as far as symptoms of anxiety, they do vary, and what you describe could be anxiety, but it sounds like i feel when I am mixed.

finding the trigger is very important, and you did great finding that and a coping skill!!

Here are some of the things I experience during full blown anxiety:

1. First and foremost, I almost always feel totally overwhelmed by it, paralyzed almost
2. looping, worrying thoughts
3. often includes an unfounded and unreasonable fear that something is wrong or that I have done something wrong
4. ringing ears, racing thoughts, jumping out my skin feeling, restless, but too overwhelmed by it to actually pace or anything sometimes, but sometimes I do pace or walk......if I am in a full blown panic activity can make it worse for me....maybe from adrenaline?
5. feeling like I cant breathe or I am gonna die

those are the top for me, although i could list many more ( i plan on doing this in my blog later this week, like i did for depression for today)

what I do to help it:

1. try to identify the trigger
2. call someone, PM someone, post here either in my blog or on the forums, IM someone, talk to Mickey
3. a breathing exercise that has really helped me is as follows :
inhale slow to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4, exhale to count of 4, hold
again to the count of 4......repeat until you feel some better....remember to do it
slow, you dont wanna hyperventilate....if you think you are hyperventilating, do
exercise while breathing into a paper bag
4. I immediately get rid of any noise....which noise is often my trigger....I put on a
meditation CD, or calming music
5. If you think exercise will help, walking is often good. Depending on my mood,
sometimes I put on music and kinda dance around to it, working some exercises
mostly stretches, since my muscles get really intense
6. hot bath, and dont forget all the good smelly stuff which really helps......actually
focusing on touch, smell, etc helps.....rubbing on lotion, I love bath and body
7. journaling, hand and furious, not worrying about punctuation,
grammar etc
8. did I mention aromatherapy? lol.........especially lavendar, peppermint, or
9. I forgot to mention anti anxiety meds
10. I also have a great herbal tea mixture that really is calming....I take one bag of
chamomille, one bag of valerian, one bag of sleepy time, one bag of tension
tamer, and one bag of apple/cinnamon (the last three I get at wal mart, the
others at GNC) I steep all of these in a huge coffee mug of hot water for about 5
min. and add a tbs. of honey.....just drinking something warm helps, but the
herbal teas do calm my nerves. It sounds like a lot but I dont think you can od
herbal teas lol

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Slip sliding away

don't know what to say. Holly has been removed because of my worries, I cannot tell anyone I am hearing voices, a constant baby cry....... over and over. I don't know if it is the miscarriage I had, or what.

My apt gets work done on it and I am afraid. My whole life I have never been afraid. Now I am. I am afraid I am going crazy, the doc is threatening me with hospital. All from some bad meds, I am sure.

I cannot eat. I am afraid of being poisoned, so it's just cornflakes and milk. Nothing else. Last week it was hamburgers.

I keep seeing things. In empty cars there are people. I don;t know if they are empty or not, until I get right on top of it and see it's a head rest that looks like a human head.

Then I see heads, seperated from the body. Too much time I guess at St. Peter Ad Vincula. I guess.

Am I going crazy? Are the gods destroying me first?

No one to talk to in the middle of the night or in the day, I am loosing friends at a fast clip. I cannot say what is going on in my head! But it's better than yesterday, so maybe tomorrow will be great. If only I could eat something, but everything in the house is poisoned.

I really am one of the looneys that need to stay on the path.

Gosh so true. Raise the blade, you make the change, you re arrange me til I;m sane.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Temporary Back ache.

pulled out my back and couldn't move to lift Holly or put food in her bowls. So she is at mom's and I miss her terribly.It;s not the same without the little girl. I don't feel like blogging and I just don't feel like anything. Anxiety off the chain, because no baby. I cannot walk, or go to the gym because of the bad. back.I wonder if my body plays tricks on me, no back ache but worry about Oncologist, back ache, stop worrying about Oncologist.

Catch 22. She is getting love at mom's but it;s not the same as her sleeping with me.

How can I miss the fuzz ball this much??

anxiety/panic attacks

This is a new emotion for me. How do other people deal with it? I notice if I go to the gym I am good, but what to do when it hits at home and I feel like I am crawling out of my skin?

Any words of wisdom?"

Much appreciated.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What I did for love part two

Since I wrote the first "What I did for Love" piece I have seen two more therapists, a gynecologist, and a GP. I also saw an Oncologist yesterday, which may be one of two things. The lithium I have been taking all these years have messed up my white blood count, or something more sinister. I don't know. I won't know til next week. 

The waiting is the hardest part. 

I just have to keep thinking positive thoughts.

More meds added to the cocktail. 


I don';t think they are working too well.

I have never had panic attacks like the ones I have been getting. But I take the script, ask the doctor the third degree on every drug.  Badger, questions, all will be OK.  Thank you for asking such detailed questions.  You seem to understand these drugs. 

Umm, it's a pocket PDR in my oversized purse. I have been studying. 

But I cannot help but wonder about the Gods destroying by going mad. I've been reading history lately from my bed, where I have pulled out my back on Wednesday.  Byzantium and Roman history. Fascinating stuff, albeit dry. 

Mad because why an Oncologist? Because my wbc is super high ,and platelets have doubled in 2 weeks? Maybe it's nothing. The man seemed nice enough, nice kind,   doctor.   He just seemed like the type of man you could take home to mom and she would kvell all over him. 

Dr. S. seemed to be worried about the platelets going up and the wbc.  He talked to my mother, the way people do when they ignore you.  He examined me, pounded on all my lymph nodes and I cried out in pain. Pounded on my back, and tummy.   Then they took 5 vials of blood (I am convinced doctors are vampires). And  then it was over. Wait for the results. 

But I want to get better. The suicidal ideation has passed, that to me is worth more than anything. I saw an over head pipe the other day at the gynecologist's office and told her it was the first time in a week I haven't looked at such a thing and thought about a rope. 

So I do things for wellness. I start a new therapist, and it looks good. Hurray.  

But I am scared. It's a lot to recall. My day planner has doctors every day. I am getting tired of it all. I want to work, to go out and meet people, not be crippled by the latest round of OCD which knocked me down and I cannot try to get up, but I am doing my best. 

I don't have a choice really. It's this or 6 feet under. I don't want to die yet. I want so much to live! 

So the gods are driving me mad before they destroy me. So what? Give me the best you got , boys. I can take it. Just don't hit me in the you know whats- I don't own a pair. Just let me get better. I did it before when I stopped drinking, I can do it again now. 
I want to do it again. So many things worth thinking about.  And doing.  I've never skied for example. I haven't really seen Europe, I've never been on the West Coast past Santa Barbara. 

So I am on 9 drugs now. Take a little here and there and get better. The Haldol doesn't work as good as the Geodon, but it has less side effects. Klonepin seems to be working as well as Ativan, but i have to cut the pill in half. 

And so it goes. 

One day I hope to laugh at this as I have the perfect med cocktail.

But right now I would just like a shot in my spine, to make me feel better. I threw out my back yesterday and it's painful. But  I wanted to blog. And it should be better in a day or two. It's from the moving the other day. 

The way I see it, is those Ancient Gods keep throwing dodgeballs at me. I am hit a few times but I get to throw then back as well.  They aren't going to destroy me yet. 

Friday, February 22, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part

I AM waiting for results from a doctor. It's going to be 1 weeks before I know anything, and it's the waiting is the hardest part. He was very nice but I gather something is not quite right.

I am slipping back to depression, Unable to sleep. I had a nice run of normalcy, for 2 weeks, so it's time to crash.It's from the doctor. I have never been so scared in my life. 

Oh if anyone is interested, I am reading the Bipolar Workbook by Monica Basco. It's a keeper.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sleeping in the Bathroom

I am dreaming. I dream I am dead. I see myself, in the coffin, in the ground. Something comes out of my mouth, and ears. I wake up screaming, as I always do, praying I will be cremated. I realize I am alive. My heart is racing, my breath is fast. My cat stirs looks at me with her big copper eyes and closes them. It is 2:15 am.
I hear a knock and a doorbell ring about 20 minutes later. I look outside the window, and see a police car, the lights flashing red in the darkness. I realize the police are at my door. I don a bathrobe, and close the door, leaving the cat to slumber on my bed uninterrupted, and climb the steps downstairs to my front door. I am tired. I open the door, leaving the chain on. The cops shine their lights on me. Can we come in miss?
I open it wider to make sure they are police officers. They are. I close the door, remove the chain and let them come upstairs to my apartment. One starts talking to me, the other one takes the flashlight and starts poking around, “Don’t let the cat out! “ I scream.
“What the blue blazes is going on”, I want to say. The constable seems to read my mind. We had a 911 call that there were loud screams coming from this apartment. Are you alone?
Just me and the cat.
No other people, you aren’t hiding anyone?
He asks me to show him my neck. I do. I am fine.
Do you have a boyfriend?
Not at the moment
Did anyone hit you tonight? Hurt you?
No, I had a bad dream and woke up screaming.
The other cop tells his partner, no one else is here, and I checked, no alcohol. No drugs.
It was a bad dream. I dreamt I had died and there were worms. I am afraid of the worms.
They leave, assured that I am OK. And I am embarrassed. And wish the floor could swallow me. The love of my life was a constable, the one person who tore my heart asunder. I respect policemen, but they make me nervous.
I am on a ledge. I am afraid I am going to fall.
I drove home from my parent’s house the other night, with a notion I wanted to take the car off the road and swerve it into a tree. The whole way home a police car was behind me, passing me about 500 yards from my apartment. I was mad.
Last night was the worst. Earlier this week I noticed my hair was coming out from the Lithium, or the Tegretol or Wellbutrin I am currently taking. A visit to the hairdresser confirmed it; I have lost close to 40 percent of my hair. It was shorn - I lost over a foot. It had always been my pride and joy. Now it lay on the floor discarded. I spent the day after it was cut in bed, afraid to look in a mirror. It is hardly on my back now. I washed my hair today, more in the drain. It looks like I will be totally bald soon. At least my insurance pays for a wig.
I was too depressed to want to off myself. Today I felt good. And decided to try to hurt myself. I tried to get my boom box into the bathroom plug it in and drop it in the bath. To my dismay, it didn’t reach. I couldn’t get the blade out of the safety razor. So I did something I had promised a good friend I would never do. I went to an office supply store and got an exacto knife. And slit my wrists. Maybe with all the medication the blood didn’t come out. It didn’t. Or maybe I didn’t cut deep enough. It hurt like hell. I had a fantasy of perhaps saying “F**K You” in blood, I am mad.
I am PO'ed that I missed a promotion. That was given to a girl ten years younger than me who rumor has it slept into it. It makes me so mad, because she didn’t even swallow. I wanted it, worked as hard as her. It is not fair. Some people just have life fall into their laps and other people keep getting sh*t thrown at them. I am tired of shoveling sh*t. I am so tired. I want to sleep. I am so angry. Why do I have to have this?
A friend of mine, this webmaster who I have gotten to know through emails since Sept 11, has told me I cannot get well until I accept I am a manic-depressive. Bipolar. I cannot accept it. I am fighting it, I have been fighting since I was born, being shoved in foster homes until I was adopted. I fought back when I was raped, and probably lived to tell the tale because of it. I fought the entire time I was living in my car, after being tossed out of my folks house when a roommate blew my entire life savings up her nose, going to a battered women’s shelter to shower and change. I could probably knock the s**t out of Mike Tyson. Perhaps not.
I am getting more and more acutely suicidal. Do I want to hurt someone? No, but I want to scream. I have never tried to electrocute myself before. Would I have done it if the cord had reached? Yes. Would it hurt? Absolutely.
I have always fantasized about wrists and hanging. Obsessed. I finally gave into the fantasy, to that last taboo- and tried that. Obviously, it didn’t work, I am still here. Damn. Why?
A friend of mine, a wonderful man on the other coast told me if he had one wish in the world, he would wish that I could finish a novel, get it published, and live off the money from it, get famous, or slightly famous and live happily ever after. If he had one wish. He is a good friend. He could have easily wished that his children get full scholarships to his Ivy League Alma Mater. He could have wished for money, which I know he could use. He wished for me. He is one of the few people who have not left me during the last two months of hell during my leave of absence. Instead he calls me daily, letting me cry, as I rapid-cycle, up and down as often as 47 times in an hour.
And I repay him back by slitting my wrists. Nice one Susan. I should care. But I don’t I am in so much pain. I just want it to end.
Make peace with this? I went into this world kicking and screaming, I am going to leave it the same way. Why does so much bad things have to happen to me.?
Why can’t I be like everyone else? Why can’t I have the little white house and the picket fence and 2 children, 2 cats and a dog? Why can’t I be a soccer mom? All the women I know my age are soccer moms
I am a failure. I am the opposite of King Midas, instead of everything I touch turning to gold, everything I touch turns to s**t.
I want to curl up and die. I don’t care about work. I am sick from the medication. Is it worth it? Vomiting constantly, migraines, and hair loss? Rapid-cycling as often as 47 times in an hour? I lay down to sleep and I have nightmares? The sweats? I am keeping my apartment at sixty degrees and I still am sweating. Sleeping in the bathroom because I cannot stop vomiting. All to be normal?
But don’t we all want to be normal?


when it rains it pours

I saw 5 different doctors last week. I try to see the major doctors in Jan or Feb. One Gynecologist. One physical. One pdoc, one therapist. One more pdoc, the same one but had to get some more meds adjusted.

Now I am on Cogentin and Klonepin but Ativan has been discontinued So now it's 8 meds and a multivitamin

The good news is I was asked to give a lecture on my life and recovery for the state I live in.

The bad news is I see another doc today at 4. It does not look good.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

off line for a day or two.

Threw our my back yesterday and today it's a date with a heating pad. I;ll write something but it won't be up til a day or so.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

TS Eliot was right, but Feb is the cruelest month

I am beginning to think Eliot was right when he said “April is the cruelest month”.So has February.

This month has been strange, from abnormal cold and snow flurries. Which suits me because I really feel dead inside. Hollow. Maybe I cannot relate to Eliot’s Wasteland right now, but I feel more like one of his Hollow men. Not alive, shell shocked., stuffed with straw.

I guess it’s obvious I loved Eliot at one time. Before, years before when my brain was really good and photographic, I had to read Eliot for one of my English classes. That night I read both Prufrock and Wasteland, and the next day in class, I had them both memorized.

My brain worked really well then. It’s all gone now, destroyed by bad meds, and ECT.

I am living dead. I stay in bed or on the couch, not doing anything, just existing, My mind is blank, I stare at the ceiling or just listen to the sound of the cat’s breathing if she should decide to lie down next to me.

That is the only way I know I am existing, if I was on a different plane of existence I wouldn’t hear her breathe.

I decided I would try to catch pneumonia, so I could go to a different plane. I washed my hair, but didn’t dry it, opened the windows where it was 30 degrees F outside. I lay on the couch, and closed my eyes. Of course nothing happened, it was a stupid idea that only a blonde like me would come up with. Oh well.

But I heard one of my neighbors having a huge fight. I have a neighbor on the side, a young man, fresh out high school. I don’t know him very well, he works at a restaurant during the late shift, and when he comes home in the morning, he blares rap music out of his 91 Saturn.

His girlfriend left him, I saw a U-haul in a parking space, and she was putting things in it, yelling that she wasted the last few months of her life with him, and he was taking her for granted, yadda yadda yadda.

On the other side of me, two doors down , there is a nice older man. He is living with a very nice woman he’s been through a divorce from hell. Earlier this week she left him as well.

Maybe there is something in Spring, at least earlier in the week before the weather went crazy and abnormally cold. Shed your winter fat, go to the gym, because summer is coming, the time of short shorts and bikinis. Shed a bad relationship. It’s as easy to do as shedding off the Winter 10.

Contrast to the new neighbor living below me. She is a woman in her mid 80s, and she and her husband have been married almost 60 years.

Her husband had a stroke, and is a nursing home. So she had to move from an upstairs apartment like mine, to a downstairs, so he can get around easier when he gets home.

I think it is wonderful to be married that long. But then, I don’t know. Maybe the secret to having a successful relationship is to share your soul with someone.

And the only person I can share my soul with is sleeping now, dreaming of fishies and birdies.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why I write

I don’t know why I write. Some people want to be doctors, some chefs, some astronauts. The only thing I have ever been good at is writing. It calms me, it embraces my soul, it makes me whole. Some think that racing cars, playing sports, is the be all to end all. But I cannot explain how I feel when I put a sentence on paper and it works. It’s better than food. It’s better than sex. It’s better than anything. The closest thing I can come to explaining is a great chef, who cooks a gourmet meal to see people smiling and enjoying and savouring every bite. Or an architect who sees the wonder in visitors eyes as they marvel at his buildings.

Emily Dickenson wrote “I write for myself and others”. I’ve always written for myself first, never been conscious of my audience. If I am happy with what I write that is paramount. If I touch someone else, that’s gravy. Gravy.

It hasn’t always been easy. I cannot spell for beans, so when I used an old typewriter, I had to write and re write. But something so romantic about hitting the little round buttons and putting a sheet of virginal white paper in between the roller, and then taking it out covered in type. Now I use a Macintosh, it’s the closest thing to the feel of an old typewriter. And I have use spell check, which is one of the greatest inventions to a writer since the fountain pen replaced a quill.

My life hasn’t been easy. Maybe eons ago my soul was asked for another round at life, to learn more lessons. This time it’s been hard, I have experienced the good and the bad. I’ve lived through things that would bring an ordinary person to their knees, but I am not ordinary. I’ve been blessed with an artist’s temperment and an unusual way to see the world, but I’ve also been cursed with Bipolar and all that implies. My relationships with people suffered, as I would rather be alone with my words and my books. Maybe that is why so many writers are drawn to felines. I am like a feline, independent aloof, and a lover of all fine things and fish. I can spend hours watching people go by me on the street, just as my cat can spend hours from her perch watching birds and squirrels go by.

In summary I would like to close with a poem by the late Raymond Carver. He was the subject of an aborted Masters Thesis, but this poem has stuck with me since I first read it, like a tattoo on my heart.

Raymond Carver

No other word will do. For that's what it was.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. "Don't weep for me,"
he said to his friends. "I'm a lucky man.
I've had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don't forget it.

Friday, February 15, 2008


The above story is being turned into a one act play for Off Off Broadway this fall. Sneak peak, while I deal with my meds. Let me know what you all think of this, I am getting 100 hits a day now, and need to know if this is do-able. Thank you.

;">span style="font-style:italic;">Samhain- definition. S A M H A I N (October 31st -Nov 1st)
The Last Harvest. The Earth nods a sad farewell to the God. We know that He will once again be reborn of the Goddess and the cycle will continue. This is the time of reflection, the time to honor the Ancients who have gone on before us and the time of 'Seeing" (divination). As we contemplate the Wheel of the Year, we come to recognize our own part in the eternal cycle of Life.

I know why I am here. They think I am crazy, don’t they? They want me to be normal. Don’t people realize normalcy does not exist?

You want me to lie down on your couch. No. Why? I do not want you, Mr. Viennese Head Thumper to get in my head. You want me to lie down and spill my guts, to tell you a nice story like Holden Caufield, or David Copperfield. You want me to say something wonderful, so you can write a paper, present it at your next Head thumpers convention and win some kind of Freud award. A silver cigar, or something.


I am here because people want to kill me. You know if I lived 400 years ago, I would have been burnt. For the very thing that I am about to tell you. I have died that way in the past. Can you not smell the smoke if you get too close? What they don’t tell you when you are burning, is that there are 2 ways to burn a witch. You didn’t know that? One is the humane way, not done so much for witches but for political heretics. You put a sack of gunpowder around their neck, so they die from that before the flames touch them. Or you burn. It’s painful. Do you know why witches were burnt? Because someone got the idea, it’s better to burn for the ten or 15 minutes it takes you to die on earth, than have your soul burn for all of eternity. Bloody Mary, Mary Tudor believed that. That is why she burnt so many Protestants at Smithfield. To save their souls.

Well now hers is burning. She knows how it feels.

So I am here because someone thinks I am crazy. I am not. If I was on the ”X files” I would have tons of fan mail. Do you think I want to see the things I see? Do you honestly believe that?

Oh my, then you need a shrink more than I do.

Is it a crime to see auras? No. To see past lives in people as you look at them? No. To see how they die, yes. That is a crime I am punished for continually. But am I breaking any laws? No.

Well, I can see how they will die in this lifetime. I can only see how they died in past lives. I can see they will be come back in the next life, unless they progress. So why am I here? Because of these visions?

Auras? What do you want to know about Auras? How long I have been seeing them? Since I was three or four. Good people had shiney ones. Bad people had dark ones. The dying have dark ones. I could not tell the difference until I was in my late twenties. I met someone, and he was a mess. I thought he was a God, he had a silvery aura, but it was black and silver. He followed Alistair Crowley. We walked down a street in New York and the dogs barked at him. I never saw anything like it. It scared me. One time a waiter didn’t wait on us correctly, he took out a match and said some horrid things on it. And lit it. I found out later the waiter died a few months later, his car flipped over , he couldn’t get out and he burnt to death.

I couldn’t save him. I wish I knew. But I did not know my powers then. I thought what was prophesized will take place. I did not know that some prophesies are warnings. I have since learned how to reverse magick, but it’s hard. Good fights evil, but … sometimes good does not win. Sometimes it’s a truce. Sometimes evil wins because good does not have the tools or knowledge to fight.

And sometimes evil recognizes good and wants to take it for itself. To claim it. Have you ever met a practioner of the black arts? I mean a real follower. It’s scary.

He tried to take my soul. I could have let him. I really could have. I was so tired then, and I wanted to die so badly. But my soul was not mine to give. It was promised to another. And you cannot give what you do not have. Can you?

Who has my soul? Oh that’s easy. My soul belongs to my twin soul, my best friend. . We swapped souls eons ago, and when I meet him again, we will reclaim them. The angels didn’t want us to swap like this, but we thought it would make our lives more difficult, therefore our karma would be better, and when we met again, it would be – my heaven.

They told us we might never meet each other again. One could evolve higher than another. Or go the other way. But I do not want anything to happen to his soul. I loved him so much. I miss him so much it tears me asunder.

I just am having problems with humans. This body does not work. I unzip myself out of it in the evenings, so I can fly to the moon and soar among the stars. Its so hard to come back. This reality this plane of existence is really limited. It’s so much better in higher dimensions.

And they send me to people like you because I see things.

What can I see in your aura? Well for one you smoke way too much. You stress. You drink too much coffee. It’s a muddy brown. You are not happy. You chose this field so you could try and make sense of your problems and your inadequacies. Your ticker is not working properly. You have a relatively new soul. You haven’t been around much, yet. So you listen to people’s problems and you are not in a position to make judgments. But you do. Someone who does your job should be around the reincarnation block more than twice you have. I don’t understand new souls. They judge too much. They expect things and do not understand the great universal laws. But you will. What goes around comes around, and every evil action you do will come back to haunt you 3 fold.

How many times have I been around this block? How many stars are there in the sky? I am sorry, for laughing. I lost count. I could have finished awhile ago, but for some reason, my soul is a bit sadistic. I have already achieved angel status, I want to keep learning more. So I keep coming back. Alternating lives. Male once, female the next. Sometimes I have been children, not progressing. Once I was an infant who died in labour. I wanted to know what that felt like. So I came back both as a mother who died in childbirth, and then immediately after, as an infant who died in childbirth.

But the last 500 years or so, I have to help other people. To save them from the darkness. It’s been easy, you radiate life, you give life. But now… I don’t know. I still do not know why I was burnt like that. I was a young witch, not a crone. I saw things. I don’t want to see things. Oh help me, I do not want to see things.

Do you know what it is like to be in the fifth grade and see in a math class your grandfather will die the next day? And the death before that will be a goldfish? And the next day you wake up and your goldfish, Lennon and McCartney are floating on top of the bowl. One of them anyway. Paul was ok, John was floating. And John got flushed down the toilet by my mother, with a rest in peace prayer.

So, since my fish died I knew my grandfather would also. I went to school knowing this. The sky was ominous that day, the air smelled of ozone like it does after a good rain. There was no rain. None.

I shivered. I can still remember how still the sky was , and no birds singing. The clouds looked like they had been torn apart by a jagged knife. It was macabre. And that was the first time I ever heard that word. Macabre.

I went to school that day, and saw the death as it was a movie happening to me. I went home that night, and my mother got the phone call, and it was like seeing the movie again.

The worst is seeing people’s aura change as you watch them. You can see them before they will die. You can see if they are cancerous or not. What I do not understand, is if you see that someone will die suddenly, do you tell them so they can try to cheat this? Say for example, Julius Caesar. He was warned to beware the Ides of March , by both the soothsayer, and his wife. He chose to ignore it. Free will. Can it then be considered free will to cheat death if the warning is heeded? Free will. It’s a marvelous thing.

But I digress. Back to auras? I have a friend who has the most marvelous one. Bluey green with silver sparkles. Gorgeous. Oh Gorgeous! He is my teacher, and a good friend. I thought he was my twin soul, but I think he is a soul mate. Maybe I am wrong. A psychic sees things for others, there whole life they look at like a horse in Central Park- with blinders. Do you know the difference? I cannot explain. Someone who is your best friend someone you are even closer to than your soul mate. I wish my aura was as brilliant as his. Mine is light pink. No sparkles.

No I will not lie down. How do you know I am wrong. Let me ask you something. Just because you cannot see something , that does not make it false. I hear my heart beating, but I do not see it. Does that mean it does not beat?

I see the beauty in the world. Does that mean that if I see it and others don’t, that the beauty is not there?

Why do you write everything I say in that book? You know you really shouldn’t smoke those cigars. Did you know Freud died from those? He had part of his tongue cut out.

Oh you knew that. You are really upsetting me. I see your aura withdrawing from me as you write, getting darker. What are you writing? Can I see it?

“According to the DSM IV, this patient displays several personality disorders. She experiences delusions that she believes to be visions of the future. Client also details further delusions of seeing auras around people based on her perception of these people’s attitudes and personality. These colors manifest in her mind to suppress childhood trauma. A pattern of schizophrenia or possibly bipolar disorder (to be determined by testing and by drug treatment) exists in that she attributes other personalities to be those from past lives. An obsession of good vs. evil exists as client attempts to gain control over or emancipate self from schizophrenia – especially during moments of transition to different personality. These transition states manifest as client perceives a “being” trying to “take her soul.” Client has chemical imbalance – possible lack of seratonin. May need to be placed on Prozac, Zoloft and Depakote. CONCERN EXISTS as “evil” personality may manifest and thus exhibit homicidal behavior.

Recommendation: Drug therapy to inhibit bipolar disorder (or schizophrenia). Strict care and observation. Client should remain under chemical treatment until potentially dangerous, delusional behavior subsides. Immediate treatment necessary.”
One slight paranoia. She believes she hears things talking to her, and that people want to kill her. She believes in past lives. She sees auras that are not there. Obsessed with concepts that are alien to me, like good vs evil.
Recommendation, severe hospitalization followed by ECT to calm down, and frontal lobotomy to bring her back to a level where she can be with her family and friends and once again be a vital member of society. Slipped through the cracks as a child, must be fixed now and retrained. Immediately”.

No. That is not right. You can’t do that to me. Oh you are. Please. You don’t understand my abilities. You don’t understand what you’re doing. Please!? Don’t. I don’t want to go there. I don’t want you to do that , I don’t want to be like everybody else. You will take away my soul, I will die. Please Please…Tell those men in the white coats to leave me alone…. Don’t come near me, Oh why can’t you help me? Please? Can anyone please help me? Does anyone hear me? This life was not supposed to happen this way. I’m not ready to die. Please. I am not ready. ….

Happy Belated Valentine's Day

 It escaped me. Leave it to Liz Spikol to write a perfect Valentine column, and out me as an ice cream holic!

I love the art work took

can someone tell me how to post a hyperlink/

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2 am musings/loosing my sanity


The lunatic is in my head. The lunatic is in my head. My head, my head. I am hearing voices that aren't there. I am seeing things that aren't there. please let me sleep. please let me sleep.

Oh god, I am going insane. Gotta keep those looneys on the path. Am I going crazy?

Down on my knees til they bleed. Help me god, Jesus, please, help me, help me. Make me sleep so I can feel better. Please. Not one yawn. I am horrible, sinner, maybe that is why I am awake. Or maybe it's a fevered brain that is tortured. I don't know. I feel like I am in a straight jacket. I cannot breathe.

The moon is outside, luna, lunatic. me. the lunatic is in the sky- where the word comes from. Another hospitalization, no no no no no no I cannnot sleep. I cannot eat. I just want to sleep. The doc puts me on more meds, I vomit, I shake. My hands shake so bad I can barely type.

I have to calm down, but I cannot. I'm insane. I want to be sane again. My skin feels like it's peeling off. Turning inside out.


Stop my brain, please. Freeze it, take it out. Stop it please stop it please stop it please..before I turn into the lunatic on the grass.

Stop my brain stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop

One more doctor, down, two more to go this week

I hate doctors. I really do. MDs, PhD's, I hate them. One doctor yesterday. All the blood work. Now physical. Something wrong. White blood count too high. platelets too high. Something with the thyroid. Some other things. Pdoc wants a physical. Gynecologist wants a physical. Another sonogram. The only doc I haven't seen in my hospital is HOUSE. Now, I wouldn't be complaining over that, now would I?

But four docs in one week, 3 last week?

The new med cocktail has me not able to sleep. I use to be an Olympic athlete, in the sleep department. Now, four hours a night. i am hypomanic. I got up at 2 am and cleaned out a closet. How sick is that?

A friend from DBSA made a comment that I really am tough, I keep going one foot forward, 2 back. I try.. I try. Meanwhile it's another doctor today, no sleep for the last 2 days and I have become the lunatic on the grass.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

synthroid and color change

no, it's not your computer. I changed the color to a darker hue, and it matches my eyes.

Got back from the pdoc. I am going on Synthroid. Lovely, Lovely.

If anyone can tell me about this, let me know.

Walking to California

2002-revised Feb 2008

This is too much. One month ago, I was sent home from work, on a leave of absence. The company said they would let me be out for up to six months , no worries.
I was Working for a company based in Manhattan, on Wall Street, that lost employees in the Trade Center, has been beneficial to some degree. Sometimes out of the most horrid of situations, a small, good thing, can happen, like the story with that title by Ray Carver. Being a rapid-cycler, even if there are no offices, and everyone is out in the open is ok, if someone walks by my desk and sees tears rolling down my eyes, as I stare into one of the 6 computer monitors on my screen, watching news wires from all over the world. People cry now. It is acceptable. It is blamed on 9/11 fall out.
It is March and Manhattan is healing. The stores and restaurants near Ground Zero are opening again. The new Mayor has been doing a great job of taking over the reigns left by his magnificent. predecessor. Only the stream of tourists demanding to see the site, the once majestic skyline now looking like a beautiful woman who has had her front teeth punched out, reminds us, as well as a daily report in the tabloids of another victim, being pulled out of what was once the World Trade Center. Time heals all wounds, and the part of me that was born in this great city, is amazed that is has become stronger, more unified from this.
I wish I could say the same thing for me. In some ways, I am stronger, in some ways not.
I have not been to work for a month. I did not plan on this, I went to the HR dept to complain about my new boss, and ask to be assigned to another department. Their response was to put me on a leave of absence.
The first few days were fun. I slept till nine instead of waking up at five. The employee assistance program was calling me daily to check up on me. I was hooked up with a new shrink, who seemed to be nice, an older man who strongly resembled the author John Updike. He listened to me, heard my story, and put me on a dose of Lithobid. And for a week it was fine. Then he would discuss raising the medication doubling the Lithobid and adding Wellbutrin to the mix. I started getting physically ill. But I was home, and that was great. I could stay in my pajamas all day on the days I did not have therapy and write. And as anyone who knows me , either from here, or in real life, my raison d’etre is writing.
I found myself rising and falling, going from very mild mania to very mild depression, but it was all good. I didn’t mind. I was coping. The depression wasn’t low, the mania, nothing more than what would happen to someone after a double latte at Starbucks.
Then it fell. Old suicidal feelings took over me. I haunt the train station here, waiting for a train to jump under. Too many people. I take the train into the city, and sit by the platform, waiting with the homeless, the prostitutes and the alcoholics. I talk to them. Maybe I don’t have things so bad. I have a roof over my head, and despite bad genes towards alcoholism, I have been sober for six years. I see all types go by, the businessmen and women rushing, always rushing in their 300-dollar suits and pristine leather briefcases. The traders, the lawyers, the vice presidents who are too low on the company totem pole to get a car service and take the train. The commuters from Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut.
My medication is adjusted, blood is drawn to be evaluated. I get on a first name basis with the lab technician who does this. I find out that she and I share a love for “The Simpsons”, and we discuss the philosophy of Homer (Simpson) while she draws blood 2 times a week. The lithium goes up again, that is not working, and yet a third medication, another mood stablizer is thrown in for good measure.
I get manic. I go to the doctor, in a manic state. He is surprised. Instead of coming in sweats and keds like I have been doing, I come in with a pair of linen pants and a silk blouse. My hair is perfect, and he has never seen me wearing makeup, or shoes, or even jewelry. I sit down, on the couch, crossing my legs, in a determined manner. All this is new to him, these are not the moves I make when I am depressed. And I start talking. And instantly he knows, I am not better. I am worse. I am higher than a kite.
I find myself calling a lot of old friends during this state. One night, I decide to call a very good friend of mine, who lives on the opposite coast. The next morning when I call him, I am witty, I am humorous. I am flirty. And I proposition him. He and I are good enough friends he knows something is wrong, the last thing you could ever say about me is I would do something like that. And although he is flattered, he tells me no, and talks to me. But I am off laughing, nothing can go wrong. Everything is lovely. I feel good. Every part of me feels great, it's like I am a Christmas Tree, all lit up and beautiful and I want to show everyone how bright and pretty I am.
The next time I see the shrink, he asks what I am going to do, and I tell him I am going to go to California to visit friends. That is ok, he says, but how are you getting there. Plane? How long do you plan on staying? Are you sure you want to fly out for what would only be a day or two?
I am going to walk. It’s only 3000 miles. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of days.
Uh oh. Warning.
“Susan, you know you can’t walk from New Jersey to California”.
I laugh. The doctor is sooo stupid! Of course you can. You can do anything when you set your mind to it.
“Susan, have you written anything lately”,
No. I cannot sit still long. Even sitting on the couch, I cross and uncross my legs rapidly, tapping my toes. I meet my parents for lunch later that day, I can’t sit still. I am ravenous, inhaling the food like I was a teenager.
I decide to clean the apartment, do redecorating. I wash the car. Finally one afternoon, after several days of only sleeping maybe two to three hours a night, I lie down for a nap. I am suddenly tired. I realize with all the extra exercise my muscles suddenly ache, and I start to count each aching one as I nod off to sleep. It is roughly four in the afternoon.
I wake up and it says six. It is still light out. Hmm. That shouldn’t be. I go to the kitchen, rummage in the fridge and see a school bus drive by. Huh? Six thirty ? In the sunlight?
I realize I just slept 14 hours. The thought saddens me, but I shrug it off, I was tired. I go to the kitchen table, glass of OJ in hand, and turn on my laptop. I have 40 some pieces of e mail. Wow, I have been asleep. I feel like I should write, and try to. But the thought of writing becomes insurmountable. Instead, I turn the button off, move the screen down, and decide, let me sit in the bed for a bit, and read. I have a doctors appointment soon, so let me just kill a few hours before I go.
I pick up a mystery by an author I like and start to read. I doze off, the phone rings. It is my doctor. I missed the appointment.
The thing is he calls me again, “Susan?” I don’t know anyone with that name. I look at my cat, and don’t recognize her. My head hurts. I’ve done it again. I crashed. The pendulum has gone back and forth, mania to depression. Always depression. Within minutes of my awakening, it goes back to that existential bleakness that becomes suicidal despair.
And during this time, I realize one thing. This time is going to be bad. Indeed, it is. Meds are readjusted, levels raised. I stop eating, and faint from it. I have to take a taxi to the doctor, and am admitted to the emergency room to get hydrated again. I beg the intern, please stop it. Give me something to make it better, or take me outside and shoot me. The intern is tired. There are real sick people here, not just some stupid person who cannot take care of herself.
Can’t they see that I am just as sick? True, I am not about to give birth, have not been maimed in a car accident, or bar room brawl.

I have not worked now for four years. I want to work!!

My heart is sick, my soul is sick. In the long run, bruises heal, stitches fade, bones mend.
A soul that is torn asunder by a chemical imbalance in my brain I did not ask for, does not heal as quickly, and the scars will be much deeper to assuage.
When will people understand?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

still dry

Idea wise for the blog, I mean. No ideas. Some vignettes, nothing worth noticing.

Got the shakes so bad from Lithium, cannot type. Bear with me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

on writing every day

dry. Tomorrow another med change.

Bare with me if ai am not posting every day. It;s hard right now.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Dead People Don't Bleed

(Written in 2002, re written Feb 2008)

There are no beds available,” my psychiatrist says. I look at him in amazement. I have not eaten in a week. I have not bathed. I have not washed my hair. For some reason I am afraid to touch it- I feel if I touch it I will lose my strength, like Samson. It lies in a scrunchie, askew around my neck. I have my first pimple since adolescence.
“We can put you on a waiting list, but the best way for you to get in is to be suicidal. And even then, the insurance companies push you out after 48 hours”, he continued, crossing his long legs and taking a sip from a blue coffee mug that simply says “Zoloft”, in white letters.
I wonder. I ponder. He knows that two nights before I was feeling suicidal and cramping, found a bottle of Excedrin PM and swallowed the whole thing, all fifty tablets. He knows that I awoke a couple hours later, covered from head to toe in vomit, all over my bed. He knows that I spent several hours vomiting on the toilet. He knows that a friend of mine came down the next day, 12 hours after the overdose, and tried to get me to eat. He knows that for 2 days I could not feel my fingers or my toes.
He also knows that earlier this month I decided to drown myself. I went to the town's lake, the place where I learned how to ice skate, leaving the window of the car open enough so someone could open it. The note was on the dashboard, in plain view; the keys were in my jeans pocket. I stripped down to my underwear - so it looked like I had a bikini on. I went into the cold dark waters, and kept walking. It was a harder thing to do. I thought the water would just fill my lungs and it would be over. No such luck. The water went into my lungs and I gagged. It was foul. Maybe my mistake was not wearing clothing. Clothing after all does drag you under. I held my breath, but it was just to no avail. I couldn’t do it. I stepped out the water like Venus coming out of her clamshell, went to my car, put my clothes on and sat there, looking at the calm lake. No one has ever drowned in it. I guess the lake did not want to claim it’s first victim. I turned on the engine and went home.
He also knows I have been haunting the train station, looking for a train to jump in front of. And every time I go, even if it is 2:00 AM there are too many people there. I cannot jump. It is not for naught that I have a leave of absence from work.
It seems that someone or something is conspiring to keep me alive. Who ever it is - I hate you.
I really do. I hypersleep, because the thought of spending another day just fills me with dread. Only one short month ago I was manic- thinking I was indestructible. In the four days of my blessed mania, I wrote slightly over 1000 pages of a woman having a nervous breakdown, hospitalization and - no ending. I don’t know how it ends. She can kill herself, or she can live happily ever after. I have looked at what I have written only a month ago, most of it is unsalvageable. But there are glimmers of genius in there, and not a lot that can be used, say 200 pages. Chucking 800 pages out of the hard drive does not seem to be so daunting. I made an outline, and put them elsewhere on the computer, on floppies and got to work.
Now with the depression, it is agony to write two pages. It is agony to read. My doctor has raised my medication - doubled the dose of lithium, and put me on Wellbutrin. I am hollow, like a chocolate Easter rabbit. I cannot think. I cannot eat. I cannot cry. I don’t feel real.
I was eating at a restaurant last week with a friend; I grabbed the steak knife at the table and was fingering it, pricking my fingertips with it. He grabbed it out of my hands, and gave it to the waitress. “Why?” He seemed to be saying.
“I don’t feel real”, I said. “I think if I cut myself, I wouldn’t breathe. I am not alive. Dead people don’t bleed. I want to see if I can bleed; if I can bleed I know I am alive.”
See, I don’t feel real. Its like everyone else is made of bone and skin, and I am made of silly putty. Silly putty does not bleed. I feel like I have no viscera. No emotion.
I just feel - I don’t feel. I called a friend of mine the other night. Someone who I could fall hard for. Someone who, if he told me to lasso the moon and place it in his back yard, I would do so just to see him smile. He is a very intelligent person- and is very spiritual. In his world, people do not commit suicide under any reason, because it messes up their karma. He has done past life regressions on people who have told him what it was like to commit suicide and how much it messed up their next lifetimes. I look at him, and admire him, his values and his faith tremendously. He is also one of the kindest, non-violent people in the world. A modern day Gandhi. When he found out what I had done, he tore into me. Ripped me to shreds. I should have felt it. At the time, no, I didn’t. His pain towards me was real. But if you are made out of Silly Putty, you can’t feel other people’s emotions, they bounce off you. Like an alcoholic, I remembered the next day, and the guilt and pain were overwhelming. How could I hurt one of my best friends like this?
But then, if I had succeeded in suicide, I would have hurt him more. Really? Yes, really. I would have hurt him a lot more. He was lashing out because he was frustrated, just as another friend, another real nice guy, who came down from NYC to see me, make sure I was eating, last week did. That one also tore into me. People don’t like suicide, and a suicidal person is not afraid of death. Everyone is afraid of death. Everyone but me. I have never feared the reaper; instead I long for him to claim me, singing to him with a siren song, but he never comes.
Thus, I came to the conclusion. People do not like suicide. It is a dirty secret. Someone attempting it should possibly be shunned. The reason - it upsets them. It is a thought that crosses everyone’s mind sometime or another in their lifetime. But most people do not know what it is to be suicidal, where the thought is with you 24/7, where a tape in your head sings, "You’re no good”, over and over again. Most people wouldn’t know what it is like to be manic - unless they took amphetamines. But the mania where you become godlike - that is something most will never experience. To hear voices in your head - again that is something most will never hear, unless they have taken illegal drugs.
There seems to be an understanding of mental illness- with the movie “A Beautiful Mind” playing in the theatres. Heck, they filmed it in the town I grew up and live in. There should be more understanding from health insurance companies, allowing a kinder, gentler hospitalization, and not turning anyone away who needs it. Someone like me, acutely suicidal should be able to stay there, instead of being told “there are no beds”.
I do not feel safe right now. Three people I know made me promise I would not try to top myself off this weekend. Or harm myself. I blithely said, “yes”, but the answer is “I don’t know”. Right now, I want to. Right now I do not feel safe. This scares me. They are wonderful friends - I care so much for each of them. But -
When the voices go inside my head, the tape plays over and over again that I am useless, worthless, and feeds on itself, the only relief seems to be to end it.
I feel like I am hanging by a thread. It is not a nice feeling. I really want to jump this time.

2002-revised 2008

Scars on My Soul- My experience with ECT.

(Written in 2002, re written Feb 2008)

I have scars on my hands from touching certain people. Certain people, certain events have all left scars on my hands. " - JD Salinger

As I look back at my life, I feel a kinship to Salinger’s Seymour Glass. A grown up who would have been Holden Caulfield, had Holden not been suspended in time as a teenager. And one day when the pain of being with people, the agony of being different and feeling things stronger than others got to Seymour, he took a gun and went gently into that good night.

I hope when I do break I am stronger. I guess I am lucky, when the time came to break, I bent like a flower that bends with the rainfall.

I’ve been thinking a lot about people lately. About the good ones I ‘ve met and the bad ones. The evil ones. Yes, I have met pure evil, those that wished to hurt me by raping me, or beating me to an inch of my life. And all have left scars on my soul, like Seymour’s scars.

I have been out of the hospital since the end of December 2002 . I’m in recovery now. I’m supposed to be getting better, getting stronger. It’s hard. Last weekend I just wanted to destroy, to curl up in the bathroom and die. A few weekends ago I went to the train station and looked at the trains. But I didn’t jump. Or feel like jumping. It was if the act of train-spotting was enough. Indeed my carapace seemed to get stronger with each passing train. I finally left several hours later, went home, and slept soundly. I hadn’t been able to sleep without Seroquel since I got out of the hospital. That was the first night since then I slept without anything stronger than a glass of warm milk.

I went into the hospital on December 4. I didn’t want to go, I was given an ultimatum from work. It was like they put a gun to my head. "Hello Susan, well, you can either go to the hospital or you can get the sack. Which would you prefer?"

Let me backtrack. The human relations department gave me the ultimatum because it got so bad one night. I couldn’t jump in front of the train. I couldn’t be Anna Karenina. I didn’t have access to a gun -I had tried to purchase one to no avail. That left one method I never tried, namely because it frightened me. But the more I thought about it, the more it didn’t seem so bad. So one night in early December, when the pain was so horrible I couldn’t take it anymore, I took the belt from my green chenille bathrobe and an old kitchen chair and I went outside to find a nice sturdy tree in which I could hang myself. I found one, tied the belt like a noose around my neck and the tree branch, hiked it up, stood on the chair, and said a small prayer, looked at the moon and kicked the chair away.

I remember looking at the moon and how pretty it was, and how this didn’t hurt like I thought it was, it was very peaceful, like going to sleep. And I fell asleep ... And woke up with the branch on the grass, myself on the grass. I had failed and even worse, I had wet my pants. Talk about ignominy. I was totally abashed, ashamed, and I felt like a three-year-old who didn’t want their mommy to discover what they did.
So I went into the hospital. First I went to the local hospital’s emergency room. I was greeted by a nice older woman in her sixties who offered me a peppermint Life Saver as she typed my vital information into the hospital’s computer. Name, age, sex, social security, etc. She asked me how I felt right then, I said I really wanted to hurt myself. She asked me how I would do it in her office, I came up with several different ways. She looked at me. "You’re a pretty girl," she said. "Why are you in so much pain"?

Then two security guards came and got me and put me in the emergency room. Gave me one of those gowns that doesn’t cover your backside. I was given a chair to sit down, a blanket, and one of the guards stayed by my door for seven hours while the emergency room on call doc looked at me, a couple of nurses looked at me, and finally the doctor from the hospital came. During the time, I was treated to a turkey sandwich, which was delicious, and a carton of skim milk.

When the hospital doctor came, he asked me a few questions and then told me I better get dressed, I was going to be admitted to the other wing of the hospital. Two orderlies then came and got me once I was dressed and transported me to the mental care unit which is about three miles away, in the country.

About the hospital stay, what can you say, other than as hospitals go, this was a nicer one. My last hospitalization I had no insurance, so it was in the State psychiatric facility. This was more of a country club in comparison. The doctors were nice and I was medicated on different meds. But I was still suicidal. All I thought about when I wasn’t sleeping was how much I wanted to die. This perplexed the doctors. Surely the lithium, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and all the other meds should be kicking in. I got worse. I started to see things that weren’t there. No worries, add a bit of Geodon to the mix, and Seroquel to calm the OCD that was developing. Everything will be OK soon. Trust the doctors.

But I was still suicidal. The nurses were watching me. Fifteen days into the hospitalization with nothing getting better, I had been seen by a panoply of doctors and they sat down with my parents and decided that perhaps ECT might get rid of the depression.

Forms were signed, and a week before Christmas I got my first electroshock treatment. I had a total of six altogether. I had problems with my veins and had to get a PIC line put in to help make the treatments easier. The treatments left me feeling woozy, when they were done, it was difficult to get dressed again and try to remain "normal". I would try to eat my breakfast, but I just wanted to sleep. The first treatment left me in agony, I could count every one of my muscles. I remember in tenth grade biology class that a human has over 600 muscles. I felt every one of them that day. I couldn’t move. It was agony.

Only one other person close to my age was getting the treatment. The others were senior citizens. They looked at the young man Charles and I with understanding and pity. We were so young. Several told me their stories - they were depressed because their spouse of 50 some years died, or a child died, or a grandchild had been murdered. One lady had a husband at home who had Alzheimer’s and she was depressed over his care.

I just knew I would lie down, electrodes placed to various parts of my body and when it was over I could have a glass of cranberry juice. The cotton mouth I would experience was not akin to the type of cotton mouth you get when you drink.

My last treatment was the day after Boxing Day, December 27. I went home on December 28. On December 30, my beloved cat Cleopatra died. She was 16. I had her for 15 ½ years. About my despair on losing her I cannot bring myself to write. I miss her, I think I will always miss my gray darling. She was my best friend. It hurt me that I was so fragile from just getting out of the hospital - and now this.

I started an outpatient program at the hospital right after New Years. Nine thirty till two thirty. Some of it was good, but a lot of it I found to be not helpful. I was still weak from the ECT, I had problems recalling simple things. Ask me who the president was, I knew it was President Bush, but I thought it was the father, not the son. I thought it was a decade or so earlier than what it was. There were gaps in my thinking, I knew something horrible had happened on September 11, but I couldn’t recall what it was, despite the fact I knew people who died on that day. I would sit in group therapy, something which even when I am well, I have to admit I am not a fan of. I don’t have the personality type to be an effective patient for a group setting. I am too much the introvert. And that part of my personality was coming through loud and clear. I was not participating, or commenting to the other people. I couldn’t eat during meal times. I cried a lot. I asked to go for one on one counseling and was told the insurance company wanted me in this type of atmosphere.

Finally after six weeks I was discharged. I had made no progress, and the worst thing was I could not write. I realized I had to take the bull by the horns, and could not stay passive in my recovery. I had to be active.

I found a support group via the NAMI website that is about 20 miles away. It meets every Friday night. I would like to say I go every Friday but I am not that diligent. I go every other week. I went back to work. This was the hardest thing for me. My brain is barely functioning, and I am still suicidal. Some nights I still go to the train station, and look at the trains, thinking about jumping. But I don’t. I’m in recovery. Sometimes I think of OD’ing on my meds, but I don’t. I’m in recovery. The feeling is strong. I try to stay afloat. It’s two steps forward sometimes, three steps back. I’ve developed bulimia again, something that I haven’t had since I was a teenager. I have OCD now, in little snatches, and at work a mild case of paranoia. The Kinks sang "Paranoia, will destroya", and I just have to keep saying to myself, it’s all in my head. The suicidal thoughts will go away. It’s all in my head. The thoughts about wanting to hurt myself, all go away, I am in recovery.

Right now I have to go to work and make sure I stay afloat. I am in recovery.

I learned I have some real good friends who stood by me when I needed them. I had other friends who I lost because it was too much for them to deal with. I miss them terribly and blame myself, even though I know no one is to blame. I guess when the chips fall you learn who really do care about you. And for them, I have to get strong again.

I adopted a new cat, Holly, in February. I couldn’t take living by myself without something in the apartment. She’s a young cat and we are becoming fast friends. I still miss Cleo. But there is room in my heart for two cats.

I slept like a child. I dreamt that night, of the flying dream I haven’t dreamt since childhood. I must be getting stronger. I soared to the heavens, that must mean something.
Heavens. And Hells. The inner turmoil that comes with being up and down. A year ago this webmaster told me I wouldn’t get better unless I accepted that I have bipolar. At the time I didn’t want to accept it, I loved the highs and the lows gave me creativity. The problem was the lows were getting lower and lower and I was starting to embrace suicide. My attempts were becoming more lethal. But I didn’t want to be compliant. I didn’t want to take my meds, they were taking away the highs. I didn’t realize they were also giving me the crashing lows. I was playing with fire and getting burnt. My life was hanging on by a thread. I can see that now. I didn’t need drugs or alcohol to help me deal with my moods, I was getting high off of being high and low. The highs made me feel like God. The lows made me feel like a tortured poet.

I was killing myself by not being med compliant. It hurts to say that now. I was hurting myself by not wanting to get well. It was a joke to me, so what if I was off work on medical leave for eight months? I got to write everyday. I slept till nine and wrote till midnight. I could be a hermit and isolate. And I had those lovely demons that only I could hear. My Muse.

I realize now my Muse was killing me. His sweet siren song was destroying me as surely as Odysseus had to chain himself to the mast not to hear the sweet mermaids sing. The mermaids were singing to me, their songs weren’t waking me up as I drowned in the madness of my mind. Instead, they were causing me to drown in my own made lake, the route I was going was taking me more and more into the inner workings of my mind. The dragons I was fighting, self pity, self despair, fear and loathing, were winning. I was on a one way course to Hell, literally and figuratively.

It’s been hard to realize the things that you love the most can hurt you.

During this time one of my best friends, Chris Brown, died tragically in a car accident. I miss him terribly. It is with love that I dedicate this article to him and his memory.

Something coming!

Something will be up by Sunday. EST. Thank you for the kind comments. They were food for my soul. 

New med change and 2 days no sleep, I slept 14 hours on Friday/Sat am. 

Right now the new med cocktail is 

and Lamictal next week. 

Plus Nexium and vitamin pill

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out

There is a line in Oedipus that goes like this;

"Let all come out however vile
However base it be, I must unlock the secret of my birth.
The woman, with more than woman's pride,
is shamed by my low origin. I am the child of Fortune,
The giver of good, and I shall not be shamed.......
Born thus, I ask to be no other man than that I am, and will know who I am."

One of the things I am working on in therapy is dealing with my birth mother. It is difficult. I have known all my life about my birth mother's faith, the adoption agency only allowed adoptions from that faith to parents of the same. I never knew much else about my nirth mother. It would make me wonder all the time, I was the child with the fair skin that couldn't tan, blonde hair and blue eyes. The only other person on either side that had blue eyes was a paternal grandfather. My sister on the other hand, resembled both sides, and didn't get the kind of stares i got as a child. 

When I was 20 I had to go to court to open some records regarding a physical problem I had. I found out the problem was heredity, and that was that. And it was then I learned my birth mother was a child when I was born, a mere 13. And had it been legal in the year I was conceived, I would have wound up down the drain and not been born. As is, I was conceived on New Year's Eve by a drunken sperm that swam up the Charybidis, and hooked up with an egg that was drunk too. 

That was enough information. I didn't want to learn anymore. I recall going back from my mother's house , driving back to school and drowning my pain in a few brewskis we had in the dorm room.

I kept that information close to my chest, carrying it around like an albatross for the next score. It really was no one's business, and somehow the pain was my own and I didn't want to share it with another soul. 

I consoled myself with the Oedipus quote. It was my fault for finding out the secret of my birth, it was my fault for treading on the carpets after I was egged on to do so. I deserve anything and everything the universe would throw at me. 

Fast forward to September 16, 2001. I spent the night before in a hotel I love, 3 blocks from the Empire State Building. Lovely Art Deco, it was home to Tesla in his last years. I had a view of it all night long, from 4o floors above street level and sat on the bed with the window blinds open staring at it al night. Petrified that an airplane would hit it and I would be dust. Afraid to put on my pajamas in case I had to run down 40 flights of stairs to the street. It was strange being in the city so close after 9/11. Everywhere I saw missing people flyers. At Grand Central. On the street. Over the newspaper recepticals. But what was strangest of all was the city seemed to be going in slow motion. Normally it goes manically fast, but that day every thing was slow, people were smiling and talking to each other, and even the taxi I flagged down stopped and the driver got out to open the door for me. Is that a NY Miracle?

The social worker who greeted me that day was tall, elegant woman in her 50s. She shook my hand, and ushered me into a cramped office cluttered with papers and manilla folders.

She sat down crossing her long legs. I noticed she still had sneakers on, the fashion of working girls in the city. Go into the city in Keds, change at your desk to pumps. She obviously hadn't changed yet. She asked if I wanted a cup of coffee, I could tell it was an excuse for her to get one. I declined, but she went out, coming  back a moment later with a mug, and sat back down again.

"Ok, Susan, you asked a few months ago for the records your birth mother's social worker kept. I can not let you have them, but you can write anything you want on this pad here."  She passed me a pad and pen. And then it began.

"Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out', said the Emperor Claudius shortly before he died. 

I should have never gone into the city that day. I should have ran out the door and flagged the first NJ transit train back home. Ran , not walked. What she said grew more and move vile, more accursed to my shell like ears, as she put a box of Kleenex in arms reach and stopped occasionally as I sobbed. 

My birth mother's age was known to me for one score. There was no mention of the father, they were not sure who the father actually was. The social worker who checked on my mother when she was carrying me could not get anything out regarding that. 

But she interviewed my birth mother, and her mother, over several months until I was born. This is what I learned. My mother was the youngest  of 5, 2 sets of twins, identical and fraternal.  Almost everyone in the family tree had problems with drinking. The social worker turned around in her chair, and said "Alcoholism runs in this family. Do you have a problem with alcohol, dear?". I told her I was in AA and had a long run of sobriety. 

But I told her I wish I had known that since I was a child.  I would have never, ever, had one drink.

She paused for a minute, got me a glass of water and continued. On my birth mother's side of the family, everyone, except my birth mother had problems.  None of the siblings had graduated High School, but it was her dream to do so That was why she was giving me up. Noble. More things, it just kept coming out like torrents and waves from a hurricane. 

All the sibs had mood problems. The girls were considered "high strung" the boys were known to the cops for drinking and fighting. What struck me were the aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles. All who died, either died by heart attacks or their own hand. those who died by their own hand, all died by the time they were 40.  Most did actually die by their own hands. There were some great uncles and aunts and grand parents who had been lobotomized in the 1950s. 

She looked at me with those big brown myopic eyes and said- "I am so sorry. It says here that most of your family was schizophrenic".

She stopped and handed me another Kleenex. I didn't want to hear anymore. It was in my genes. It didn't matter that I learned that day my mother and her sibs were all blonde and blue eyed. That is where I got it from. It wasn't anything I could change, just like I could not change my eye color. I take that back, I can change my eye color and hair , but what was in my genes made up my soul. 

For a while when I was in college I use to imagine my life was controlled by the Greek Gods. (This is what you get for too many semesters with the Classics). They would play with me, deciding what turns my life would take until they tired of me and dropped me from their warm clasp. Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos cut the thread and I would return to dust and sleep. They alone would decide what would happen to me in this life. I don't believe  it anymore. You make your own fate, you control your own destiny. If my life was subject to the whims of something more powerful than me, I would be dead now. I would spend the rest of my life in an asylum measuring out my days by coffee spoons. 

I am blessed I had a good childhood and if there is a curse on my house, I have escaped it thus far. Nature vs. Nuture, I am proof of the latter working harder than the former. If there is a curse on my house, it won't catch up to me. But I will be running so fast it won't find me. 

Too Many Doctors?

Several months ago, it was easy. I  saw the pdoc once a month, the therapist every 2 weeks or so, the GP once a year and the Gynocologist once a year as well. 

Vet as needed. 

Now it's specialists and different doctors among different doctors. For the gyno, it's a mammo every few weeks to check on dark shadows and a lump I have on one breast. Don't know if it's cancer, lets just keep watching it. 

Then I see the gyno every 2 months to explain the mammos to me. Then she orders an ultra sound, and it's back to the hospital for that. For the breast and ovaries to see why I am getting my period every 15 days or so. 

I have my physical. She wants me to go to a cardiologist, there is something tinky in the heart t hat wasn't there before. Thanks to Geodon my heart is wonky.

And now the new pdoc wanted me to go to another specialists. 

I got my doctors mixed up. Too many little cards they give you when I write it on the calendar
So today I thought I was going to Philly. I am not, it's the regular doctor at 2, specialist next month.

So what I want to know today is how many other people get confused by their doctors and how to you keep them straight?.

Or is it too many doctors? I honestly don't know. 

More Medical rants

I have not slept in a day and a half. 

Two of my meds ran out, and the new pdoc refuses to renew them, here idea is to wean me off them. 

Not go cold turkey, I tell her receptionist this morning. Wean. 

She refuses to give them to me, they are anxiety, and I still have Seroquel and Haldol, I should be OK. 

So what to do? '
Wait til tomorrow and see how you feel.

My skin is crawling inside out. My heart is racing. I cannot stop the thoughts, though I know how to. All I am doing is taking one seroquel, one haldol and hoping it will calm me down. It didn't. I need to sleep. Tylenol PM, downing like Pez candies. Lie down and sleep for 20 minutes. Wake up, urinate, and try to sleep. 

Anxiety off the chain, cannot breathe, feels like my skin is moulting. 

Like the alien that comes out of John Hurt's stomach.

Just turning inside out, Ugh I hate this, is this what going crazy is like?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

feeling blue, seeing stars

I usually don't get angry. I usually don't get mad. I usually stuff those feelings. But the last couple of days, I have been feeling anger. 

Angry as hell.  Then it went to numbness. Lethargy. 

It's like this quote by Emily Dickenson

"This is the hour of lead,
Remembered, if outlived,
As freezing persons recall the snow,
First chill, then stupor, then letting go".

I am confused about the whole blogging thing. I have spent hours, no days reading other blogs. Some are good, a few of the great, and a couple blew me away and left a hole in my heart as if I could write as good as they can, and am I wasting my time. 

My ex use to tell people I was a better writer than he was. I don't know if that is true,  i suspect it is, but he had the discipline which I am lacking to write. I feel comparing me to him is like comparing Kilgore Trout to Vonnegut.

Maybe that is true. I do know I am a mercurial writer. If I am not inspired by the Muse, I cannot write that day. Hubby plodded every day. I was never a plodder. 

My first Creative Writing professor told me the same thing. He had a room mate in college who wrote every day several hours a day, plodding along. He had 10 novels published. They were forgettable, the male equivalent of Chick Lit. My professor on the other hand, was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. His prose jumped off the page, his poetry left me weak in the knees. Because of my schoolgirl crush o him, every guy but one I have ever dated has been a writer. 

I feel like all the joy has gone out of my life, and I am just breathing air but not making  oxygen, and turning into carbon diaoxide, like trees do. 

I understand Hemingway felt the same way. I've heard from several sources, including living ones, that when he read Faulkner's  "Sound and Fury", he threw the book against a wall and never spoke to Faulkner again. He did the same with Steinbeck. He never did it with Fitzgerald, instead makijng a comment when he read "Tender is the Night". Well, Fitz finally wrote something readable. 
(I personally think The Crack Up is Fitz's magnum opus).

I also have heard a first hand account he was personally happy that Fitz hated working in Hollywood writing screenplays with Christopher Isherwood. 

Is this irrational behavior part of bipolar? Or is it me hitting a brick wall?

The only thing I have wanted as an adult was to get a PhD and teach. That isn't going to happen. Next dream. Wife and mother. That isn't going to happen either. Stick a fork in me, I am done. 

What is left. To be a writer. To write the Great American Novel.

I am bone dry. I cannot seem to do it. I am a hack. Not a writer. 

The weird thing is, maybe I am and I don't see it. I once played a game with hubby. It went like this:

If you can write a book and have it published in your lifetime, but 10 years after you are gone the nook is no longer in print, or write something so good but it doesn't sell in your lifetime but lives on for decades, if not centuries after you are gone, and they even make Cliff Notes of it, would your rather have the first or the later?

Hubby chose the first. I went to the second every time. Let me be like John Kennedy O'Toole. Let me be like Van Gogh.

If I cannot carry my DNA to the next generation, then maybe I can do it with my prose. 

I just don't think I am good at it anymore. 

maybe, or maybe I just hit a wall and it's been so long I don't remember what it is like. 

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mad as hell and can I continue to take it anymore?

I should write something, but there really isn't a need to blog every day. Maybe there is. I don't know.

I am still over the moon about the Giants winning yesterday's Super Bowl.

But reality has to set in.

After the Super Bowl was over, and our team won, all the neighbors gathered outside and started a block party. They were putting food on car trunks and hoods. 

I had no food to offer, but was welcomed and spent a bit of time outside, scarfing  down a few wings.

Eventually I went back inside, put on my sleeping clothes and curled up on the couch. I found myself cycling down hard, so I watched the Puppy Bowl with the kitten half time show, thinking their cuteness would bring me back to the middle, some state of equilibrium.

It did, but there is only so much cuteness you can watch. Like sugar, you can OD on cuteness. I changed the channel to a shopping channel because it's white noise and fell asleep on the couch. 

And woke up early in the morning by a baby striped tiger in a pussy cat's body. She was rubbing against my bladder. 

I am incredibly sad today. Could it be let down form the game? I turned off the shopping channel and the next in line was Montel. Haven't seen this guy in years. He has a family on who are complaining about their mother, a woman who appears to be in her 50s. They tell Montel that she is fat, and lazy because she is always sleeping and depressed. 

Turns out that mom is bipolar, something the family doesn't want to admit. She is on a med cocktail that would put anyone to sleep 16 plus hours a day. All the meds she said she was on, I've been on, and most of them are enough to knock out a horse. 

I wish I lived in the Jetsons time, where I could go through my TV and slap these people silly.

Like the mom wants to be medicated? They think she does.

They think she can get better if she just tries, because there is really NOTHING wrong with her that a little hard work won't cure.

Oh this is the story of my life.

I was supposed to go to a Super Bowl party last night but  did not want to go because my siser would be there and she thinks this way. There is nothing wrong with me, I just need to get off these meds and find a nice 9 to 5 job and I will be Ok. What she doesn't realize is that I want to work a job and collect a paycheck again. She has a successful job in the city and makes six figures. She goes to trendy restaurants, buys designer labels and spends more in one night on a meal than I do for my entire budget for the month. She makes me feel like the biggest f**k up ever existed. 

The schizoaffective and other Axis 1 diagnosis, don't exist. I am just saying things and doing things to get attention. People don't hear voices and see things unless they are in the Bible. 

Does she not realize that if the cops had come a month earlier, they would have seen aluminum foil on the windows and blinds? I didn't put them up for attention. I didn't tell anyone I did this either. I felt like my brain was crumbling and this was a last gasp to keep sane.

My new therapist, who I adore, told me last week I need to get mad as hell about this illness. I never have gotten mad as hell yet. I've been stiffling my emotions, stuffijng them in so tight they cannot breathe.

Mad as hell. Like the scene in Network. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore".

I've been getting mad the last couple of days. Mad at this illness and what it has cost me. Any chance for a normal life. Any chance for a husband and children. I don't know if I will ever make peace with that, not being a mother. 

It cost me a PhD and some great jobs. 

I AM NO DIFFERENT THAN ANYONE ELSE. It's done this to other people. Cost them dearly. Can ruin their life.

And I am pissed about it. I don't want my life ruined anymore. I don't want anyone to have their life ruined by bipolar! 

As for the creativity that comes with the illness, the genius, you can have it.

My creativity is bone dry. I cannot seem to write anything decent anymore.

Maybe it's a good thing I am getting mad.

Maybe I should go to the window and shout like that scene in Network. Maybe the guy who wrote the screenplay from Network should practice what he preached and not offed himself.

Or maybe I should just go back to bed because this new med cocktail is making me beyond sleepy.

I don't know. I blather on. I don't know . Thank you for listening.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Giants won!

The Giants won! The Giants won!

Some teenagers are outside my apartment with fireworks, but who cares? 

Giants won! 

It makes this Jersey girl happy. 
Umm, they play near me!

And if football isn't your cup of tea, check out the Puppy Bowl on the Animal Planet channel, with the kitty half time show. 

So darling, so cute you might get into cute overload.  But they are so cute! 

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