Saying goodbye to my T, continued from where I left off, now having arrived at the library

As I have just stated, I am an opinionated person, and these are my opinions.  You don’t have to agree with me, though maybe you do.  You don’t even have to read this, though maybe you are curious about what is written here.   If you’re looking for an entry that’s written with perfect grammar and punctuation, and free of syntax errors, you’re in the wrong place.  It’s not that I don’t give a shit about this stuff, cuz I do.   It’s just that this stuff isn’t priority right now.  Living well is all about choosing what is priority and what isn’t.  Thinking carefully about this, and then making a decision.  And again, that’s my opinion and you don’t have to listen to me.

Okay, where did I leave off?  Emotional disorders…I stated that everyone can have disordered emotions when they are in a hurry and all folks have to do to order their emotions is to stop being in a hurry.  Enough said.  Well, maybe not.  There may be a difference between having an “emotional disorder” and having “disordered emotions.”  Naw.  This is just a figment of whatever.  It’s all words, anyway.

But there is a difference between having “disordered eating” and having an “eating disorder.”  Of this I am certain.  Who determines this?  Agreeably, the medical profession DOES give patients diagnoses.  This may or may not be a good thing.  I have heard directly from patients…about 50/50…that some patients feel validated by the diagnosis.  They feel that they have finally been listened to, that someone cares and believes what they say.  I felt this way.  Maybe because I had waited for so long, through the early 1980’s before Karen Carpenter, in such a tragic way screamed out to the world the words, “Anorexia nervosa….”  Anyway, another bunch of folks felt labeled by their eating disorder diagnoses given to them by the medical profession, and some were affected in a truly negative way.  They became their eating disorders, however subtly.

Maybe this should be re-done.  Maybe having an eating disorder should be self-defined.  In AA they say you should take an honest look at yourself and ask yourself if you are an alcoholic.  But I am rambling here.  If you are troubled by your eating and related issues, maybe you should take action.  I said, action.  And I said, you.  Not someone else.

Okay, more.

More about emotions.  Therapists and emotions, different theories of emotions, people and so-called illness and emotions, etc.

I have spoken about channeling emotions in my previous entry, how I want to channel my anger and put it to good use and become an activist.  I told my therapist today about this. I explained to her that I feel inspired by so many great activists in history such as Martin Luther King who saw so many wrongs in the world and sought to right them.  Precisely.  I have seen how people with eating disorders fall between the cracks.  I see how we do not have a voice.  We are silenced by the society, by insurance companies, by the mental health system, by the medical profession at large…and sadly, by many who mean well.  By silencing minorities within us, we are all silenced, and by this I specifically mean that writers who use female-specific language when they discuss eating disorders, thus excluding male sufferers, do us all a disservice.

I say this because feminism has for a long time been for all of us.  What, after all, does equality mean?  Equality is for everyone.  What benefits the downtrodden will benefit society as a whole.  What benefits the downtrodden will embrace our planet and strengthen it and sustain it.

I believe that anything is possible.  I believe that life is Maybe.  I have thrown Yes And No out the window and embrace this Maybe.  Is there a God?  Well, maybe.  I have God in my heart, but you don’t have to, and as many of you know full well, I change my mind faster than I can type.

I love my church.  It is a UU church.  UU is so Maybe.  Maybe my minister would agree, maybe not.  We don’t push our members to believe in a certain creed or a certain God and we don’t like the usual dogma.

Sometimes when I write here in my blog I get opinionated and maybe that can be defined as pushy, but maybe not, and if you were to meet me in person, you’d say that I’m not a pushy person.  Headstrong at times.  Stubborn at times.  Rude occasionally but in general I make a point of being polite and kind.  Extremely self-centered.  What the heck.  Can’t help it.  I’m a writer, after all.

I was talking about emotions and theories about emotions.  There is this theory that some people have, let me see if I can get the words right, some sort of intensity of emotions more than other people, or extreme emotions, and maybe these people can’t handle their emotions and therefore are immature or unstable or have boundary problems or act out or do self-destructive things or have bad tempers or addictions or are suicidal…all of the above folks definitely need therapy…whatever.

By some groups, these intense emotional states are called “extreme states.”  Again, whatever.  Words are words.

I’ve heard all the coping skills stuff and as I said in my previous entry I’m wicked sick of the therapy cliches.  I have no need for stress balls.  I was given a pair and never used them.  I have never put an orange into the freezer.  It’s a waste of good nutritious food.  I do not take deep breaths as a “coping skill” on a therapist’s command.  These are my lungs, thank you, I’ll take deep breaths for a doctor with a stethoscope for a damn good practical reason.  I am sick of coping skills therapy bullshit.  If I want to use coping skills, I’ll use what works, and they’d better believe that by now I know what works and what doesn’t.  I have long ago ceased the need for lessons.

Nor do I think some people experience more intense emotions than other people.  I think some people think more deeply.  I think some people spend time seeking meaning in their lives, and some people don’t really care.  I think there are times in our lives when we pause to seek this meaning.  I think there are times in our lives when we are stopped by something that makes us think.  I think some people are thinkers all their lives, and some people don’t ever pause to think.  This is very sad indeed.  They don’t have time to think.  They are in too much of a hurry.

I do like to think deeply.  I do want to sustain Passion in my life.  Passion involves deep thinking and it also involves channeling whatever emotions I am experiencing.  It might mean writing.  It might mean speaking aloud to someone or some group of people.  It might mean channeling a very deep emotion or strong emotion.

There is absolutely nothing “wrong” with me.   There is certainly nothing morally wrong with me.  I am not a sinner.  I do not believe in sin, though I have certainly made oodles of mistakes because everyone tends to screw up now and then.  No, correction: I screw up a lot.  That’ s what erasers are for.  I admit I have in my possession some really decent erasers.  I can’t stand the ones that smudge.

There is nothing psychiatric wrong with me due to my intense emotions or depth of thought.   Passion is a good thing.   I made it my goal not long ago to be more Passionate.  I made it my goal not long ago to sustain a constant and strong level of Passion in my life.

Maybe you will discover where your Passion is leading you.  If you are writing, write, and keep on writing.  I honestly believe that Passion is by nature creative and life-sustaining. I truly believe that leading a life of Passion will give a person a purpose, a reason to keep on living and growing and learning within their art.

So today was my last day of therapy.  We said goodbye.  I am not having therapy for a while.  I feel okay about it.

I am going to work on my character flaws.  I am going to make a list of them.  Maybe I should think of them as challenges, like the things that I am up against in life.  “Flaws” implies that I ought to be perfect.  Like I said, I don’t want to live Yes Or No.  I want to live Maybe. After all, Bush was Yes Or No and he got voted out of office a long time ago.

I need to work on Body Dysmorphia, but that’s kind of a biggie.  I need to work on shame.  I need to work on my tendency to discriminate against people based on what their age is, that is, I tend to judge people or make sweeping assumptions about people based on their chronological age.  I need to stop doing this.  I need to work on procrastination.  Like how long did it take me to return those CDs to the library?  Geez.  I’d like to read a couple of books that I feel are important for me to read right now.

I’m doing really, really well with spending less money and being conscious of my monetary situation, and at the same time not dwelling on it needlessly.  My eating is improving slowly.  I am doing well at being assertive with others and explaining to others that I am taking my time improving my eating.  I am amazed at how well I now know myself and understand what my shortcomings are.  I am amazed at how effectively my writing helps me.  I am happy that I spend less time and energy over-apologizing to people and annoying people by apologizing over and over.  I like that I am bold now.   I like that I stand up for my rights.  I have my Power and I am strong.  I make good decisions.

Okay, the library is closing and I might as well end this.  It’s as good enough a time as any.  See ya later.





Saying goodbye to my T

I am on the bus to the library and need to say a couple of things that just popped into my head before they ppop out and are forgotten:

Is there such thing as mental illness? Yeah. I do have an eating disorder Most likely any other mental illness I have ever been diagnosed with, including any mood disorder or thought disorder, including the label schizoaffective disorder or any other, or any symptom that I have experienced of these disorders, has been the result of malnutrition.

I have heard the term “emotional disorder” used by some people, mostly lay people. What is this? Everyone has emotions. Sometimes our emotions are in state of disorder. I would say this usually happens when we are in a hurry. All we need is to take our time. All we need is to plan fewer activities into our days, to take more time for ourselves, to think through each decision and put thought into our words and deeds, and our emotions will return to order. Being polite will make for a terrific day for the entire world around you. This is my opinion and I am an opinionated person.

The bus has arrived at the library and I will end this entry and continue writing where I left off, but within another entry. I will now send this off. See you momentarily.

Hermit Life

I can’t tell you how long it’s been that I’ve been holed up here at home, simply because I don’t want anyone to see my body.  I take the dog out and that’s it. I wear a gigantic down coat that covers everything from head to toe.  I don’t use the belt, just leave the coat as bulky and loose as possible.  It has a flap that I used to think was useless until I found that I can zip it up and flip it upwards to cover half my face, actually up to my eyes, and then I put a hat on down to my eyebrows.  I put on a pair of legwarmers to cover my bulging ankles (from edema).  I take Puzzle out, then we come in and that’s that.  Often, I keep the coat on indoors as well, cuz I’m scared some maintenance guy will show up at the door and barge in.  I’ve told you how those guys are.  I always feel better on weekends and off-hours.  I feel freer.  I can do whatever the heck I want and no one will bug me.  But I don’t get weekends off from being trapped in body dysmorphia.

When I showed up for therapy not last time, but the time before, with my face covered entirely in a scarf, and wouldn’t take it off for the entire session, my T looked so sad.  The corners of her mouth even turned down into a frown when I talked about how I felt about the chubbiness in my face.  I called this morning and told her I can’t bear to come in looking like this.  I can’t go on a bus today.  I can’t go into Boston today.  I told her I can’t bear the idea of her remembering me as a fat person.  I want her to remember me skinny.  When I was skinny, I went out all the time and didn’t worry about hiding my figure and didn’t change my clothes a zillion times because I was worried about covering up certain fat body parts.  I just threw on any ole thing.  The thing that concerned me most when I was skinny was what really should concern a person when they dress, in my opinion: the weather.

So I called my T.  She happened to pick up the phone.  I told her how I felt.  Like, crappy. She is so nice.  We rescheduled for tomorrow.

She said, “We have a lot to talk about.”  I wonder what that is.  I really don’t want any kind of pep talk concerning how good it is that I gained weight and how I’m still on the low side and have edema and how I should go have my weight checked, blah blah blah…Hmm…Maybe I shouldn’t show up if it’s going to be like that.  Another one of her lectures.

There is nothing more shameful than these “weekly weight checks.”  Trust me, nothing.  I am an adult now so leave me alone.

I wonder if she’s talked to anyone.  Like whom?  I wonder.  Maybe she’s plotted and schemed something to keep me in the system.  Day treatment or some other waste of time.  She’s definitely been talking to people.  Dang.

I need to go back to bed and wake up skinny again like I was before.  That will solve everything.  Everyone just bug off.

A Path of My Own

On Monday, I showed up for my usual 1pm therapy session with a letter for my therapist.  I had begun writing the letter as soon as I had returned from church Sunday afternoon.  I’m not certain when I had finished writing it.  Immediately before leaving the house, I made certain to weed out  sloppiness, repetitiveness, unnecessary cuss words that when overused, lose their value as shock or taboo words, verb tense inconsistency, and so on and so on and so on…in other words, I weeded out many of the errors you see here that I do in this blog in just about every entry I create.

Oh yes, one more thing you know I do here is that I contradict myself.  I say one thing one day, then another thing the very next day.  Well, of course.  There are two sides of the bed.  No, let me contradict myself right there. Most beds are four-sided.  No, let me contradict myself yet another time!  Beds are three-dimensional in space.  In addition to the four sides, there are a top and a bottom.  I have never heard of a person getting out of bed via the bottom of the bed.  How would I do this?  My bed has no hole in it. If it did, would I go through this hole to get out of the bed via the bottom?   Or at least no hole yet.  What kind of day would I have if I got out of bed this way?  Would the bottom be one of the “wrong” sides or one of the “right” sides?  What sort of blog entry would result?  Would it be the most contradictory blog entry yet?  Would it even make sense?

No, honestly…Some days, I say I am going to eat and some days I say I want to be get skinnier and have no food in the house, and so on.  So I might say in the entire blog entry…you know how I am…that life sucks and I hate humans and that nobody loves me and this apartment is freezing as always…I have a thermometer that proves it right here at my desk…see?  It’s only 76!  You know my deal.  And then I wrap up the entry and say that there’s hope.  Maybe I leave it at that so you won’t go away feeling bummed out like I am.  Maybe I leave it like that because I, too, wish deep inside that there was hope for myself.  Or maybe I leave it at that because it’s just plain a nice way to sum up.  It’s a nice twist, a surprise, just something that, as a writer, I find that it is maybe a trademark or mine, one of my writerly tendencies.  As a matter of fact, deep down inside, I have an optimist’s heart.  At least I do as a writer, and probably as a human being as well.  I think we all do.  I think that spark in all of us can get buried in some bad shit, but it’s there.  It’s there in everyone.

That spark is even there in people I’m pissed at.  It would be helpful for me to remember this.  Maybe I need to see that spark of goodness in these people, every single one of them, instead of repetitively going over and over every single shitass thing that has been done to me in the past, that is, over the years and years of being shit on.  Yes, it is true that I have been shit on more than most people have been shit on.  Why?  Because I am a shit magnet.  It’s not anyone’s fault that I am a shit magnet.  It’s not my fault.  I just came out this way.  I was born with it.  It’s not my parents’ fault even though they reinforced this thing in me by the way they acted.  They were just being parents.  Repeatedly blaming them, over and over is doing me absolutely no good.

My mother, it is true, has a lot of problems.  Maybe I should just use a general, vague term like “problems” and leave it at that instead of using the term “abuse.”    She does have the spark.

At the same time, just because she has the spark does not mean that I have to go over there and spend time with her.  Just because she has the spark does not mean I should forcefully purge all the anger out of myself.  I am incapable of self-induced purging, remember?  I’m not going to punch pillows or do scream therapy or hold onto a frozen orange or do psychodrama or any of that therapy bullshit.  I am not going to waste my precious library time (when I could be working on book #6) sitting around in freaking day treatment with a bunch of other mental patients five days a week in “group” talking about my mother non-stop or talking about how I’m going to use “coping skills” when I feel old angry feelings or memories pop into my head.

Actually, I have, over many, many years, learned about these “coping skills.”  This list of coping skills has been sitting around since 1997.  I have been wasting my time continuing to be talked to, talked down to, repeated to over and over, about coping skills.  I am blue in the face about coping skills.  Enough already.  I heard you the first time.  I learned years ago.  Don’t insult me.  My memory isn’t that bad.  I am intelligent.  My hearing is pretty good.  Sometimes, I play stupid.  You tell me, “How about a shower?” and I say, “Gee, I hadn’t thought of that, actually!”  Dang.  This is because I figure I don’t need your fucking run-of-the-mill insulting put-down advice, anyway, and the shower is a nice place to be absolutely alone, if I can stand the bullshit feelings I have about my body size and shape while washing myself, but let me not get into that right now.  You obviously don’t get that issue.

You see, when I got my strength back…maybe it’s been a month now…that I’ve had my Power and have recognized my Power…and no, I am not experiencing a “delusion of grandeur” (those of you with heads on your shoulders and a bit of common sense in you know this by now)…this Power has to do with WRITING and with WORDS…and with VOICE as well…I have my voice and a place in the world and I will use my voice…I will roar and the world will hear me…I speak aloud and it is important…ALL PEOPLE WITH EATING DISORDERS HAVE A STORY…YOU NEED TO FIND YOUR STORY…trust me…trust me…

At any rate, I realized, when my Power came to me, that anger is a feeling, and nothing more.  I realized this through writing about anger.  I felt angry at the hospital.  I told the hospital people this.  I filled out their survey last night, very late, and will mail it in today.  I was very specific.  I wrote down my phone number and said that the survey people could call anytime.  There was a place where you could write this.  I used the word “disrespect” more than once.  I feel a lot of disrespect more than anything from the human race.  From other people.  Period.  Strangers even.  Because of what I look like.  Because of stereotyping.  Etc.  I’ll get into this in a minute.  Just hold on.  I need to get back to the subject of anger because I have a few things to say about it.

Anger can’t hurt me physically.  Like, it isn’t going to break a bone.  The last thing I need is another fracture that will put me out of commission for a couple of months!  It doesn’t sting like an insect bite and you don’t need any kind of painkiller or allergy pill for it.  It’s not loud.  You can’t hear it at all!  It’s not like that dumb TV that was constantly blaring in September when I was hospitalized. Nothing like that.  You can’t sense it with any of the five senses and it’s not tangible or edible and has no size or shape.  It doesn’t commit a crime or a sin and it isn’t human or a god or an extraterrestrial thing such as a Martian or from any other planet or a Vulcan like Spock or anything else I saw on Star Trek.

So what is anger?  Anger is a feeling, of course.  Can we agree on this?  Are there “bad” feelings and “good” feelings?  Or can we say that there are “comfortable” feelings and “uncomfortable” feelings?

In the hospital, when I was just there, they told us that feelings were not bad or good.  They told us that some feelings were comfortable and some feelings were uncomfortable.  Actually, I decided that the first statement was definitely true.  The issue of feelings, of human emotion, was not a moral issue.  This is self-evident.  There is nothing morally wrong with having a certain feeling, whatever it is.  You can’t help having this feeling.  It comes into your gut.  If you end up breaking the law or doing something that is not right in the moral sense, such as stealing money from a homeless person while they are sleeping in a park, or…well, never mind…I am just sitting here trying to get creative thinking up a really, really bad thing you can do…and who am I to judge another person?  (Make your own decision what is right based on sound, careful thinking.  Take your time.  You’ll be glad you did.  This is what I learned.)…if you break the law, or do something morally wrong, then this is an ACTION.  Your actions can be moral issues but your feelings are inside of you and are not a moral issue.  They are not wrong or right.  They are not good or bad.   You experience them.  They are there.  That’s all.

As for feelings being “comfortable” and “uncomfortable,” this was verified by the group leader and people confirmed this by stating that when they felt an uncomfortable feeling they had “acted out” by either doing “destructive” behaviors such as “eating disorders” behaviors (restricting, bingeing, purging, overexercising, etc), or other behaviors such as cutting, punching walls, having a tantrum, and involuntary things such as panic attacks, sweating, or hyperventilating.  The list goes on.  Or they did non-destructive things, “coping skills they had either learned through therapy (laugh) or had picked up during their lifetimes, such as walking the dog, crafts, screaming into a pillow so that no one can hear, listening to one of those dumb (basically cuz I can’t stand them) relaxation tapes, counting backwards, calling a friend, taking a PRN, and so on and so forth.

I was disturbed by this.  I thought about it and early on, I spoke up.  Actually, I concluded that the statement that feelings are decidedly “comfortable” or “uncomfortable” to varying degrees (maybe there is a difference between, say, “peeved,” “annoyed,” “angry,” and “in a rage), is a bit psycho-bullshit.  Let me explain.  If you reject this statement, and make up your mind that by all means feelings do not have to have anything to do with comfort, then a whole new world opens up.

Don’t ask me what happened to me exactly.  I do know that I rejected a lot of stuff.  I rejected a lot of traditional psych stuff suddenly.  I opened my eyes and saw it for exactly what it was.  I realized what it meant to have this illness 32 years and to be in therapy for 31 of those years and get nothing out of therapy.  That is, writing about myself would have done the exact same thing or more.  Like journaling or writing my books, any and all of them (the fiction ones, trust me, they’re all about me…it’s a given), and here in my blog, too, it’s self-discovery, like a non-stop memoir or personal essay or journal entry, depending on the day…



Anyway, I worked this out early on, that feelings are feelings and if you reject that they don’t have to have a comfort level, they become this thing you can channel and actually put to good use for your own benefit.  Every feeling you have you can use to shovel out a path for yourself, a path into the future.  And this is exactly what I did.

Actually, I did this not only because I wanted to do this, but it was essential that I do this to survive at all.  I had to eat to stay alive and not to die.  I needed to have this path, because I needed to have a direction in which to walk.  What would I do without a path?  I would not be able to walk anywhere.  I would become frozen in time.  I needed a future, something to want for myself, some reason to live, some reason to keep on eating, even after I left the hospital…especially after I left.  I kept on saying this, even out loud I said this.

I needed my anger.  I needed my anger.  My anger is energy.  My anger is movement, continuous, flowing.  It needs direction.  It needs to be roped in.  Channeled…funneled…When you do this, it’s more concentrated and more powerful and forceful…laws of physics I guess.  But it which direction?  There were so, so many dimensions of my life, so many questions, so few answers.  So many times in the past year I had thought I was at some kind of turning point.  Had I been?  Was this really an important question to be asking, right here and right now?  Was “turning point” only a label, some artificial map point or writerly nonsense thing they stick into novels just to make a decent-looking plot?

Channel my anger…I looked around me and saw the kids…or at least mostly kids but quite a number of adults as well…many ages…folks, all of us…we’d all fallen between the cracks.  I certainly had.  I’ve done so much writing about this, especially recently.  I saw it for the first time in the kids, in the world in which they lived, how by all means their schools had completely failed them.  This was inexcusable.  An atrocity.  The schools need to be number one.  Even more than parents.  Parents are flawed and this cannot be helped.  There are between one and four parents if you include step-parents.  There is a whole school, well, a lot, lot, lot of adult school people compared to the number of parents, and these are professionals with professional training who should know better than to let these kids down.  The medical profession, too…had failed some…not all…of these kids.  The adult world in general…by definition…me too…kids are kids…seventeen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen…let’s face it, these ages suck for just about every kid.  How many of them are happy?  How many of them truly feel understood by the world?  There are a handful, a small handful, that enjoy these years.  Like a couple.  These are put in front of the photograph, on display.  The rest walk down the street, kick stones, and wonder what life’s about, and if it’s worth going on at all.  Maybe sixteen will be better.  Maybe seventeen.  They’re not even in the picture.  They didn’t show up for the shoot.

I just have to do something.  For all of us.  For everyone, young or any age, with an eating disorder.  We fall between the cracks in any dimension.  I started right away, right then and there.  I strengthened myself.  I had my voice, my Power now.  I spoke up.  I made mistakes, lots of them, but I thought out my decisions and tried to do what was right, to channel my anger and act and make good decisions, right what was wrong in constructive and creative ways.  Sometimes it meant just smiling at someone and telling them to have a nice day, or good morning or something like that.  Many times it meant doing what was right by being a good example.  Many times it meant breaking unit rules to do what was morally right.  Contradiction?  I don’t think so.  I’ll get back to this.  Often, it meant doing lots, lots, lots of writing.  It meant doing lots of speaking aloud, speaking audibly and clearly, getting certain messages out loudly and clearly (I don’t mean shouting, just making sure I spoke so that I was enunciating and not mumbling).  Sometimes, I had to do this by using subtleties and hints.  Why?  Because I was in my own way, encouraging people to question the unit’s message, which was to blindly do as you were told and be submissive to what the unit staff were telling you.

I feel strongly that people, that is, patients, should speak up and question everything about their treatment.  There is nothing wrong to doubt something.  If you are being given a medicine, ask what the name of it is, and the spelling of the medicine and the name of the brand name and generic(s) associated with it.  Get a printout.  I don’t mean the dumb nursing printout that only tells you three or four side effects.  I meant the entire drug insert that comes with the bottle.  Demand that you get this.  You have the right to this.  The staff DO have Internet access.  Don’t let them bullshit you.  They do.  The Internet does have ALL these bottle enclosures that pharmacists can give you.  If they say they do not have time, tell them to make time ASAP.  Trust me, 99% of doctors and nurses don’t have a clue about drug side effects.  Sad to say, you are the one who is going to have to look these up on the Internet.  Most of them do know about interactions, at least the more serious no-no’s in terms of interactions.  Pharmacists definitely know these interactions and many pharmacies these days won’t even dispense drugs that produce serious interactions without doctor’s approval for whatever reason.  Another idea is to call a pharmacist from the hospital phone (I just thought this up).  These people not only have instant computer access but they are drug gurus.  Not only that…if you are going to take this a step further and look into studies that have been done on particular meds, ignore the studies done by the manufacturer, or take these studies with a grain of salt.  They are probably fudged.  It’ll be tough, but try to find independent studies.  Take message boards with a grain of salt as well.  You have to “interpret” message boards.  Again, tough.  How credible is this person?  What kind of message board is this?  How often do you see this side effect mentioned?  When I saw the side effect of ataxia, that is, effectively “swaying” from Trileptal mentioned over and over and over at every single message board I saw, I realized that the manufacturer downplayed this side effect and also the representatives effectively downplayed in their sales pitch to doctors about the frequency that this side effect had occurred in patients.  Google weight gain and Zyprexa on You-Tube and you can find a former drug sales guy talking about how he was told by the company to lie to doctors about weight gain from Zyprexa.  Let me not go on.  Get the drug insert and don’t take no for an answer.  And okay one more thing.  Talk to other patients, too.  Other patients are a great resource and they’re right there.  I’m not saying to freak out over side effects, no, not that at all.  But you do need to beware of them.  And you need to let people know that by all means, you are a worthwhile person and have a place in this world, not a lowly person on the bottom of the huge totem pole called Mental Hospital.

Other things: Ask questions every step of the way.  Question everything.  This is illogical so why are you doing it?  If a rule makes no sense, get together a bunch of patients and ask that it be changed.  Insist that if a decision is made about you, that it is put in writing, and that this piece of writing is put in your chart, especially, of course, if it is one that you have been waiting for and hoping for.  Stick to your guns.  Also, if you hear some theory or something that you don’t agree with in group or that doesn’t make sense, or if you have another idea, speak up.  Don’t take their bullshit as god-honest truth.  There are other ways of doing things besides “conventional.”  There are people out there who recover from eating disorders in very unconventional ways.  I am looking into alternatives because this “team” approach isn’t working for me.  Conventional-type hospitalization didn’t work for me.  What worked for me was to throw out most of what they attempted to throw into me and cast before me a path of my own.  I did this through my writing.  I think the smarter staff realized that this was happening.  The less smart ones may have sensed it only subconsciously and maybe that was the reason for their extreme hostility toward me.  In the end, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I left.

I have knocked on doors.  Doors have opened and doors have remained closed.  I have taken all sorts of turns in this crazy maze.  I have gotten lost and and then found again, but actually, you are right where you are sitting, right here, right now, so no one is ever lost in time or space.  Even if I get out of the wrong side of bed, I am still out of bed anyway, and can find my way to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee, and Puzzle will want her walk no matter what the weather is like.  So everything is just fine with the world.

So I left inpatient, and walked out into this fine world.  The weather was awesome.  I didn’t feel so great.  I had the headache from Hell.  I had felt wicked shitty for the past few days.  No, not freaking tension like the staff was telling me, nor was it the fucking “fluorescent lights,” this too, is complete BS for god’s sakes, I have fluorescent lights at home that have never done this to me, and I do have this “dry air” they are trying to tell me is causing it from my useless heating panels…So I got the precise answer shortly after boarding the bus, on this gorgeous day, this perfect day for a hospital discharge, this inviting day…and as a matter of fact, I had just finished telling the cab driver that if he ever needed to send a kid to eating disorders treatment, he should send the kid to the place I was…

So I get onto the bus.  It’s so damn crowded I can’t move, but I’m lucky and get a seat.  Like a minute later…I swear the bus stopped (verb tense disagreement here) at every single stop!…anyway, I got this gigantic foot cramp.  I am absolutely not kidding you.  Wicked painful.  I thought I would never, ever, ever walk again.  Naw, exaggeration.  I’ve had them before.  What I didn’t know was if I could unkink it before my stop came.  It was so painful and there was no room to stretch out my leg to try to flex it or do anything fancy to get it worked out.  Dang!  Have I mentioned this before?  Of course I have.  I mentioned the nosebleed as well, didn’t I?  The one that went on and on and bled and bled…that I got just after the foot cramp?

It all came crashing in.  The realization.  I was just in the hospital.  I had asked for water over and over, said I was thirsty, and they were too busy to get it for me, this went on for two days…my blood hadn’t been tested…even if it had, of course would anyone have taken note of it?  Probably not.  The NP never read my chart, rarely even opened it.  I don’t know…bummed out…disillusionment…uncertainty…doubt as to how to think about my whole experience at the hospital and what my opinion was and how I should judge my experience and what I should do and think and act and react.  It was a negative…only part was positive and that was that I knew that self-care was very important.  Hydration was essential.  Another thing was the realization that there was one heck of a lot more baloney going on over there than I had originally realized.  I had to re-do my thinking and re-think everything and make some decisions.  I had all the time in the world to do these things.  I have a lot of things to do, a lot of writing and a lot of speaking up and thinking for myself from now on.  No one, no one is going to kick me around ever again.  Julie Greene is coming back.

Hydration…getting back on Impramine…had to do it for eating disorder reasons…doing what I need to to care for my body.  It’s been really rough, and it’s hard cuz by default it’s tough for anyone to self-care when you’re two or three weeks out of inpatient and alone, alone, alone to the extreme to the point where I have gone for days and days with no human contact or even a word with another human, not a polite hello or in passing on the street or a glance at a cash register or even the phone ringing with a recorded human voice on the other end asking if I needed my gutter cleaned.  Nothing.  But I have my Sundays when I go to church and this is good.  And my writing.  Not seeing people is temporary.  It is not exactly the most healthy option.  It is healthier than being around negative people who are going attempt to run my life.  It is also a lot healthier than wasting my time becoming institutionalized all over again in freaking day treatment.  Ugh.  Or backsliding as a result of wasting my time at a so-called clubhouse, or any other mental health institution.  Reminds me of the passive, overly drugged person without a voice that I was when I was younger.  I am no longer that silenced person.  I do have my voice now, and you will hear me from now on.

I have looked into a host of alternatives, some of which I have mentioned and some I have not.  I have looked into some that are free or inexpensive.  I have looked into some others that turned out to be ridiculously expensive, like you wouldn’t believe, and I had to put my foot down.  I felt certainty and then second thoughts and signed nothing so far.

Except I did write the letter to my therapist.  I fired her.  Thursday is our last session.  This was a decision I made last weekend.

“Fired” is a word with bad connotations.  I made the decision on my own and we, together, agreed on it.  Where from here?  I’m just not certain.  I have signed nothing.

Writing is something that helps.  I know this.  Writing has helped me since the day I learned to write.  I wrote my first book at age seven.  Now, I have always said that my first book was the one I started when I turned 40, haven’t I?  Nope.  Here is another one of my contradictions, you say.  Well, I just remembered this recently.  I’ll tell you someday.  Or maybe I already have.  Maybe I’ll just bore you and be repetitive.  Another character flaw I freely and unashamedly admit to.  I think sometimes it’s okay to say something more than once if you say it a little differently to make a different point or use the information for a different purpose.  I guess I’m talking like a writer now.  What gets boring is if a person goes on and on, like when I keep on harping on Zyprexa and weight gain…I mean geez, enough already!  Besides, I went way, way off-topic when I went on that rant, didn’t I?

Was the book I wrote at seven indeed a book?  According to Nano, National Novel Writing Month, it wasn’t a book, because it was far from 50,000 words.  Maybe it was 50 words…????  But wow it was therapeutic.  I stapled it together.  Kind of.  It was bound.  Kind of.  Never mind.  Writing is writing is writing.  It was memoir.  A story about a car accident I was in.  I must have known about how to write a “hook.”  Those of you trained in writing know about a “hook,” the first sentence you are supposed to start off with (but who writes these so-called rules?) that brings in the reader with a bang.  My first sentence was, “Our car flipped over.”  My second sentence was, “And we got out.”  The rest of the book is about everything that happened AFTER the accident.  This is not exactly juvenile literature, mind you.  Let me say that “we” didn’t include me.  I was stuck in the “way back” of the station wagon and trapped back there.

One thing I do remember is this:  There was really no way out of the way-back for me.  It was a three-dimensional space.  We exist in three dimensions, so there was the floor above me, the ceiling of the station wagon, on which I was seated, below me, the two windows on either side, a bunch of suitcases sealing me off from the front of the car and no way for me to get past them, and the rear swinging exit thingy.  I guess you’d call it a door, which swung to the side.  Everything was wrong and backwards and topsy-turvy for sure.  They’d gotten everyone out but me.  The front windshield had smashed but no one got hurt from that.  My grandmother, knowing her, was probably going, “Oy, oy,” over and over.  Sometimes she was resourceful and incredible in a crisis and sometimes she’d just lose her head.

So what does my mom do?  She found this tiny space, this space that was about three inches wide, sticks her hand into it, and tries to pull me through it.  Is this body dysmorphia projected onto me, or what?  No seven-year-old is three inches wide.  Was I supposed to not eat honey for a month, like Pooh Bear when he was stuck in Rabbit’s hole, so that I could fit through this three-inch space that my mother expected me to fit through?

Like I said, you should really question everything you see around you, especially the way you are treated and expectations that others place on you.  If you see something that doesn’t make the least bit of sense, in other words, that is illogical, speak up.  You have a voice.

Logic, in fact, prevailed.  Common sense.  You know what common sense was?  It came from a complete stranger.  I watched him walk toward the upside-down station wagon, toward the way-back.  It was a simple act of kindness toward another human being, an act of courtesy, something that is done time after time all around the world.  He opened the door for me.

So a door was opened for me, and doors continue to open for me.  Many don’t open.  Sometimes I get frustrated knocking and knocking with no results.  Well you know something?  What did I do when I was a kid?  Well geez!  Nobody’s home!  Don’t keep on knocking!  Just leave an envelope and go on.  If you don’t get your collection money at that door, maybe the next customer will pay the bill.  Eventually, the collecting is over and you’re tired.  You put all the bills and coins together and call it a day.

Actually, I never was a paper girl.  Well, I was.  For two weeks I subbed for someone.  It was my brother that had a paper route.  Times have changed…sometimes as an inpatient I used to tell the younger patients about the sixties when things were different, when cigarettes came out of machines, when music had scratches, and about my first record album that I ever owned, and how my parents didn’t allow rock music in the house, and we had only a black and white TV and a couple of TV channels.  We had a “party line” for our phone service for a while, too.  I guess most people did.  Most of the patients there were born in the 1990’s and could barely remember a time when we didn’t have the Internet.  I enjoyed being entertaining and telling stories about to some of them was long, long ago.  Some were rather amazed that my grandmother, the one that said “Oy, oy!” at the car accident, was born in 1900, and the other one was born in the 1800’s.  To tell you the truth, both of them said “Oy” a lot.  But I could tell them apart.

So I’m well into 54 now (and thankfully not a mom or a grandmother, I kind of like the simplicity of it all) and well out of 53 thankfully, therapistless as of 2pm tomorrow, with a lot up in the air…well, no, most things are not in fact in the air but attached to the ground, when you think of it…there are clouds and planets and the sun and stars and such in the air, and of course air itself…so…maybe everything is therefore grounded and I needn’t worry.

It feels decent being on the ground.  I’ve got a nice place to sit, and I think I’ll stick around for a while.



Changing myself and the world

On one hand, I wrote this today:

“March 10, 2012

Disgusted with waist size increase ___ and only ___ weight loss.  Just so gross.  Legs are disgusting.  So ashamed of my fat chubby face.  I feel dead inside.”

Here in my blog, I tell it like it is, and this is what I wrote, like it or not.  This is how I live my life from day to day.  I can and will change this but right now, this is the reality of what I live with and right now these are my feelings.

On the other hand, I am making some very positive changes in my life.  I decided to change therapists.  I have an excellent therapist for whom I have a lot of admiration but this is not working.  I went sharply downhill when I started seeing her (the end of November 2010, right after National Novel Writing Month) and life has been shit this whole time.

My feelings are mixed about the future of therapy.  Quitting entirely is the route I had originally thought I would go, but decided to try someone else.  I have decided, though, not to drag things on and on with my current therapist and to end as quickly as possible.  Of course I have no one lined up to replace her next week but as of today am sending out e-mails, and will be phoning people Monday.   I am taking advantage of free introductory sessions.  I am looking into anything out of the ordinary.  One of these is acupuncture.  I am contacting a couple of nutritionists as well, but I am not interested in nutritionists who talk out of textbooks and prescribe traditional “meal plans” that I am supposed to follow like a mindless robot that has no brain.  I am flat out doing away with these weekly “weight-checks” and will no longer tolerate this outright humiliation.  I have tried 12-step four times.  I have mixed feelings about it all.  Just mixed.  I will look into it and will also look into Smart Recovery and get a bunch of books on different approaches.  I have a list of books I want to read.

I am anything but a mindless robot with no brain.

I now see through my T’s reasoning in getting me hooked up with DMH.  It was not for the purpose of “help” like I had originally thought.  My T was actually thinking ahead and in her mind (so I speculate) thinking that if I had DMH, it would be easier on the paperwork to force me to give up my apartment and move into a group home!  This would mean losing Puzzle!  Right now, actually, during Thursday’s session, she again threatened that if I starve myself again, she’d send me to the state hospital.   DMH involvement makes it a lot easier for this hospital admission to take place.  This was her plan all along!  Oh my god!  Now I’m stuck with this useless, irresponsible DMH person who is a complete appendage to me, and an “easy in” to the state hospital system.  Oh, shit.

Positive:  My contact person at Chipmunkapublishing has written to me to tell me that he’ll be sending me a big file, the proof of my paperback, on Tuesday.  I’m sure he’ll be e-mailing me with more information on this as well.  I was so pleased to meet him when I was in London in November.

Positive: After a lengthy search, I finally found a decent deal on plane tix to London in July.  I booked flight and lodgings both and will again be seeing my publisher.

I will be flat out broke and in serious debt for a long time.  It will get paid off.  It will get paid off.  It will get paid off.  And debt cannot harm me physically so long as I have a roof over my head and food on the table.  I do have low-income housing and I do have food stamps and there are food pantries.

I have a lot to do today.  I feel positive. I am looking toward the future.  My eyes are placed on my head in such a way that they face forward, not back, always looking in the direction that my body is headed.  I think this is telling me something.



Human beings are two-faced liars

4am.  Pounding headache.  Half a painkiller tablet from a tooth extraction a year ago.  I gulp it down with a mugful of water. These interact with my antidepressant and make me sleepy.  Too sleepy.  This is so wonderful.  I must use these pills sparingly.  I don’t have many.  I will be asleep for at least three more hours.

If life isn’t going to be fun…if life is actually going to be nothing but hell…I might as well spend all my time sleeping, anyway.  Just stay in bed.

8:30 I am awake, and still despise humans like I did yesterday and every day since god knows when.

I fight and fight, but the people who are supposed to be behind me and encouraging me and supporting me, like my T, I don’t know…I don’t know what to think.  I told her all this stuff when I went in to see her yesterday, like about my ambitions, and how much better I was doing, but I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face, again and again by her and everyone else who is supposedly “treating” me.  They just put me down in every way they can.

Yesterday, she said if I starved myself one more time, she would put me in the state hospital.  One hell of a lot of sense that makes.  State hospital?  Great place to rot for the rest of my life.  I will rot at home, thank you.

No point in seeing my primary care doctor today.  She will only make me feel miserable.  She wants me in the state hospital, too.

If someone makes you a promise, if will be broken.

“I love you” is conditional.

“I want to get to know you” means “I want something from you” or “I want to control you or take over your life.”

“I will never leave you” is an outright lie.

Whatever a person says to your face, assume they are saying something quite different about you to another person behind your back.

Friendship is a scam.  Most of it is cheaply made and falls apart after brief use.  Don’t fall for this rip-off.

I have been in disguise.  Wearing everything I can to hide my body.  Scarves wrapped around most of my face, the bulkiest layers I can find.  This is the only way I can walk out my apartment door and feel okay.  Even answering the door or going to put out the trash.

People stare and laugh at me and I really don’t care.  There is no dress code in this country.   I sat on the bus and listened to people laugh and joke that I looked like a bank robber.  They didn’t realize I could hear them.





What a contradictory situation!

As I have told you, my T told me stuff yesterday that absolutely floored me, namely, the talk of sending me to the state hospital.  Before my admission to Walden, I heard from a source that I thought was reliable that it was practically impossible to get into a state hospital, as admissions were basically closed.

However, while I was at Alcott, I found out that this was not the case, that eating disorders patients were in fact still being sent to state hospitals, and what was true in 1997 (that I knew of then) is still true now: no eating disorders treatment exists in state hospitals…still.  Eating disorders patients are being mixed in with patients with other illnesses and have to follow rules that suicidal and homocidal patients have to follow.  These are very strict rules regarding sharps, such as use of pens and pencils even.  In fact, the “waiting period” may be quicker than I originally thought, that is, the period between original “commitment” and actually being transferred from regular hospital to state hospital is perhaps a month, I’m guessing.  That’s a short, short, scarily short time to weasel out of a commitment.

Perhaps the time to start taking action is NOW.  But what kind of action should I be taking?

I did speak with P, boss of my useless (as I have previously stated) DMH person who does nothing for me.  I stated to his face that she has done nothing for me, period.  What more could I say?  The ball is in his court.  If I am in the state hospital and she is going to be my worker while I am there, the situation is going to be pathetic.  I won’t be able to get anything that I need.  I can picture it now…three-week wait for the proper shampoo.  This is going to really suck.

But of course the object is not to end up in the state hospital in the first place.  I will need a good person from DMH to advocate for me and I don’t know if they have such people or if it’s their job to do such a thing.  I don’t truly think they have grounds to put me in the state hospital.  I am not suicidal or homocidal and I have such a strong commitment to helping others, making a statement, telling my story, and changing the world.  This is so pathetic.  I won’t even pass the initial screening.  How can they do this to me?

I think they, mental health professionals as a whole, feel incredibly threatened by me.  They are shaken to the core.  I will not take shit from anyone.  I am going to turn the entire mental health system upside-down.  I have a big, big voice now.  I can write and speak.  I make sense.  I make an impact.  I take chances.  I step forward.  I have risen.  World, watch out.

I think they want to do away with me because they are so threatened.  Just put me away to shut me up for a long, long time. So that I can’t write in my blog.  So that I can’t write my next book.  So that I can’t give readings and I can’t speak out.  They are trying to make me lose my Power, trying to steal it away from me.  This cannot be done.  My words are everywhere and I am Googlable.  I am right here, right now, in my words.

They are absolutely fucked and I am no longer going to sit by and watch shit happen and do nothing.  I made this commitment to myself when I joined the church.  If I see something happening, some wrong done to a person or group of people, especially those who are downtrodden, I will speak out.  I will do what I can to personally not do harm to the planet, and in thus doing, I am caring for my body and my personal surroundings and my soul.  I will do what I can to come to the aid of those who I feel I can help, especially people with eating disorders, even though in my so-called recovery I may be far worse off and have far fewer chances of any better life than they (though this in fact cannot be predicted), because I do have something to give, and I am committed to giving everything I have, and it is through this that I feel I have a reason for eating well and continuing on with my life.

Having come to these conclusions, and not having known these things prior to my admission to Alcott February 8, Wednesday, when by some miracle I stepped onto the #70 bus, the same one mentioned in the Epilogue of my memoir, This Hunger Is Secret, and dragged myself into the Admissions Office, and still being committed to these things, why the fuck are they thinking of sending me to the state hospital?

And why the fuck are they stating that I owe Alcott an apology, when it is in fact Alcott that owes me an apology, for reasons I have stated over and over and over in here?  I think I am finally, finally, finally not dehydrated.  But it has taken a while.

I am still waiting, patiently or not patiently, for the Imipramine to kick in.  It has not.  Tomorrow morning the temps will go down to 28, and I hope to get out early wearing my usual bulky no-show down coat.  I hope to get to Goodwill first thing, and buy a very, very bulky waist-free spring coat, the bulkier and less revealing the better, something I can hide in, and it would be great if the coat had a hood to hide my face in as well.  Something that covers my entire thighs, and hopefully is well below the knee.  It’s getting up to 56 tomorrow, and 62 on Thursday.  I won’t be able to get away with the down coat much longer.  What I love about this down coat is that when I stuff the large pockets, my bulging stomach is completely hidden.  If the Imipramine kicks in right this second and I never binge again, it will still take a long, long time before my huge stomach is gone.  I have a lot of hiding to do for quite some time, folks.

Yes, it is contradictory, my shame.  You know that I am very “out” about my eating disorder and really don’t hesitate to tell people.  So many years have passed.  But when it comes to “fat stomach”….I have my limitations.  This I choose not to walk around putting on display.  I will talk about it and that is enough display, much, much, more than most folks do, and I must say it’s extremely daring to do what I do.  I write it all down for a reason…and might I add that my T questions that I bother to write down what I go through following a binge, rolling around in pain on my bed for hours?  She questions, for  instance, that I mentioned the gory details…I think it’s important, that’s all.  Why sugar-coat?  Why use euphemisms?  There is nothing worse than avoiding the subject.

I plan to write some sort of letter, e-mail that is, cc my minister, our minister intern, my therapist, and the social worker at the hospital.  I’m not exactly sure what this e-mail is going to say.  It’s going to touch on a lot of things I’ve stated over the last couple of days.  Yes, I am angry.  No, I do not belong in the state hospital, this is the most ridiculous idea I have heard and it shocks me that it has been suggested.  I have been bingeing, massive bingeing, for an entire week, and I don’t see an end to it.  I do plan to ask for help.

This is what I am going to do with the audio posts from my inpatient stay

I have posts I did from February 9, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, and 20 that are audio posts phoned in from the Alcott unit while I was there.  The social worker told me that blogging, even done over the phone, consisted of “online access” and therefore I was not allowed to phone into my blog anymore.

Of course, this was not the actual reason.  They were scared of what I would say.  I was, after all, an out-of-control mental patient with poor judgment and a poor sense of morals, right?  Can’t be trusted for a second, right?  Tells huge lies, right?  Might get angry and say anything, right?

Today my T told me I owed the unit an apology for blogging while I was there.  She said this to me, and yet she herself had not listened to the posts.  Not a single one of them.  Not one.  How dare she say that I should apologized based on no evidence.

I went back and listened, finally, to every single one of my posts in entirety.  I told my T today that I never name names.  I was concerned that perhaps I’d let one slip by.  No, I hadn’t let any names slip by.  Most of the posts talk entirely about myself and my physical or mental condition and how I am responding to treatment.  I read journal entries, some of which have nothing to do with Alcott or the patients or staff there.  I talk about a couple of things that happen there that make me angry in general terms.

I have my doubts about the entry from February 13.  In it, I am very critical of specific people and I use judgmental words.  I do not name names, of course.  In the larger picture, the things that I talk about in this entry are less important, really, than the content of the other entries.  I talked about the phone controversy which was fresh in my mind from the night before.  That was the night that I had reported the three nurses.  This is all stated more accurately in my post about the Five Fundamental Rights that I did last night or yesterday sometime.  In the Feb 13 post I did not lie or exaggerate about this incident.  I go on to use judgmental language about a couple of other staff.  These are not nurses, nor are they counselors.  I do not name these staff, of course, but still, I am not happy that I have done this in this audio post.  The February 13 post is the only one that I am not happy with.  I will most likely take it down.  I do not feel, however, that the post was in fact offensive to the unit itself nor did I harm anyone.  I was stating my opinion and observation.  Patients often state opinions and observations far worse.  It is part of their job to absorb this and take it all in, to let it go, or perhaps, to learn.  I do not plan to apologize to the unit.  I do not plan to apologize to the unit.  I do not plan to apologize to the unit.  I do not plan to apologize to the unit.

They denied me my telephone rights from the moment I walked onto the unit, before I even blogged once.  They claimed that I was medically stable when I was released, but I think it had been days since my blood had been tested for dehydration, or tested at all.  There is no question in my mind that I was dehydrated the last two days of my stay, and at the time of release.  I came in and told them what my “behaviors” were.  My behaviors are restricting, completely not eating for long periods, and massive binge eating.  They fed me and repeatedly monitored me for purging behavior, saying it was “the rules.”  They restricted my water intake.  After a big fight, I finally had this restriction lifted.  After this, access to water was very, very limited anyway.  They gave me no treatment for binge eating.  They fucking owe me an apology.

There is more.  There was this huge other issue going on that, to tell you the truth, I can’t tell you about.  It has nothing to do with me really.  Something was going on.  It’s not my place to talk about it specifically here or in a public platform, just not an okay thing to do.  I do what I believe is right.  If I see something happening that I believe is an injustice that is harming someone or a group of people, I speak up.  I encourage everyone to look into your souls about things like this.  It’s never really cut and dry.

Like if you see someone beating a dog.  What do you do?  Take the person aside to some corner somewhere, and beat them up yourself?  Call the police?  Shoot the person?  Get in-between the person and the dog and try to take the dog away from the person?  I know plenty of reasonable people who would have chosen #1, but I don’t think it’s the best idea.  So you’ve beaten them up.  Now what?  What have you proven?  Call the police and who knows if they will come.  Don’t shoot the person.   That could get complicated.  As for the last possibility…What you need to do is to call the cops, just my opinion, tell them what is going on, ask to connect to the animal control officer.  This is the one who handles this stuff.  Meanwhile, the cops are there.  You have done what you could about something you knew was wrong.  You didn’t just walk by.  Same with me.  I saw something was wrong.  It wasn’t cut and dry.  I looked into my soul.  I did something.  I spoke up.  And that’s all I want to say, and can say, about that.

So back to my audio posts.  I will add summaries.  I will remove the audio from the 13th, and leave the summary.  I should add that the sound quality of the audio post on the 13th isn’t that great, anyway.  Probably it was the phone connection, or maybe it was a lousy phone.  Psych units always have lousy phones.  Some of these entries are really poignant, by the way.  I love the way I read my journal entries aloud.  They are a historical record.  I can’t forget this.