You are responsible for your own destiny

The truth is that your fate is in your own hands wherever you go, unless you are literally forced.  You can always refuse that pill that’s been given to you that you know is bad for you or is wrongly given.  I encourage everyone to take responsibility and do what they know is best for their bodies.  Don’t be a sucker.  It’s up to you.  If you are an adult, then be that adult and don’t become like a child to these medical folks.  Don’t allow yourself to get kicked around.  Be active in your fate and you will be respected for it in the end, even though it may not be immediately apparent.

Why suicide isn’t worth it

Let me tell you what I know of suicide and why I think it’s not a good idea.  First of all, you do know that I have never committed suicide or I wouldn’t even be around to write this.  So I haven’t a clue what it would be like to be dead.  You can have whatever beliefs you want and that’s your business.  I will tell you what I know about attempting suicide.

I don’t know if there are truly any accurate statistics on this.  Records get fudged and a lot goes unreported.  But I’ll bet a huge majority of suicide attempts are only that, attempts.  Meaning that after you do something yucky to yourself, you end up alive and not dead.

I do have ideas as to why such a large number people survive suicide attempts.  I know about the human inner will to survive.  It’s raw instinct.  We are animals and our bodies instinctively protect us against harm.  This survival instinct gets stronger when we are in a desperate state, not weaker.

Do you remember playing baseball when you were a kid?  Remember how big a baseball diamond seemed when you were very small?  Remember your first glove?  I remember mine.  I only had one and I kept it for years.  The leather it was made of was incredibly soft and pliable, and it always seemed to smell just the same as the first day I got it.  It  protected my left hand when I made a catch.  I remember memorizing that I would have to buy a glove for my left hand and not my right.  It was a big deal, getting that glove.  I heard stories about kids that accidentally bought their gloves for the wrong hand.  I was determined not to do that.  I tried on lots of them at the store but most of them cost more than I could afford.  I have no idea where the money came from.  We kids got ten cents a week allowance.  I don’t recall ever doing chores like some other kids I knew of that had to do dishes and even laundry.  It was 1967 and in Boston that summer, baseball was far more important than anything else I could ever think of.

So remember the smell and feel of that glove.  If you never owned one, maybe you remember the first time you put one on at school or at a friend’s house.  Or maybe you don’t live in a country where they have baseball.  Then, just picture the glove and imagine the smell, brand new.  In 1967, I imagined being a great baseball star. I thought I’d be everyone’s hero and hit a home run that saved the day.

When I was a kid, I dreamed big.  I thought that even though I was a girl, I could be president.  I thought maybe I’d be a lawyer and win great cases and argue the law brilliantly with famous judges.  When I was really little, I thought maybe I could be a princess.  I would be so special that I could feel a pea in a bed even if it were covered in ten mattresses, just like the story my dad told me.  I thought about magic a lot, too.  Maybe I could be a magician.  Only I’d be a real one.  Not one that did only tricks. My magic would be real magic.  Maybe I’d have a wand, too.  I thought maybe I’d be a rabbi.  Rabbis didn’t do magic, but our rabbi seemed like a rather important guy.  He stood in front of the whole synagogue and sang all the prayers.  I loved his beautiful tenor voice, but I kept that a secret cuz I was really supposed to be praying and not thinking of it as music, or so I figured.  I didn’t tell anyone that sometimes, I secretly wrote down all the notes to the prayers I heard on music paper.  The prayers were in minor key or something similar.  I thought if I wrote down the notes, someday I could be a great composer and write music of my own that was almost as beautiful and haunting as those prayers.  I figured no one should know I had talent, cuz if anyone found out, I’d be sent to private school and have homework coming out of my ears.  All I wanted was to run outside, never do homework, and play baseball.

We thought we were being faithful by tuning in our radios and getting up real close and listening real hard.  We thought we’d never fail if only we could memorize every statistic.  Many of you already know what happened that summer, or, rather, into the next school year and fall.   We watched them all the way.  But the Red Sox lost the World Series.

I truly thought that the world had come crashing in on me.  I was nine years old and I never thought I’d ever be 21, or 30, or 55 like I am now.  The reason I thought this was because nine-year-olds, especially very sheltered ones like I was, don’t think that far ahead.  Maybe kids nowadays have a better conception of life beyond their yards or their neighborhoods or schools.  I sure didn’t.

So I never thought I’d be 22.  It seemed like impossibility.  When I was around 22 I couldn’t imagine ever being the age of my parents and especially not my old wrinkly grandparents.  I suppose it was all getting clearer now:  Life was full of disappointment and bitter feelings.  I was never cut out to be that princess.

I sometimes thought about suicide.  I thought about it a lot when I was a teen.  I knew other kids thought about it, too.  I got past that.  But around the time of my 26th birthday, in fact just before, I guess you could say it was all a big deal cuz I tried suicide.

I have no idea what was going through my head at the very moment, that is, the moment I decided for sure, or what I thought was for sure.  I hear some folks seem to decide to act upon their thoughts suddenly, out of the blue, and others think about it all for a very long time before they do something like what I did.

I’d been thinking about it for ages.  The thoughts got very strong.  I felt that I couldn’t resist them.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  Do I tell someone how I feel?  Wouldn’t that mean I’d be judged? Criticized or chastised for thinking such a thought?  Or maybe I was just lazy. Got tired and wanted out.  I’m not really sure.

This is what happened: I did tell someone.  I told my therapist.  Told him how hopeless I felt and how I felt nothing would ever be better in my life. I told him I was scared I was going to do something very destructive.  Maybe even kill myself.  I remember that.

I suppose I wasn’t clear enough.  He didn’t get what I was saying, not at all.  He smiled at me the way he always did and said, “You’ll be fine and you are doing great.”

I left his office truly feeling like a failure. Great?  Me?  I had failed to communicate properly.  I didn’t get the point across, not that I actually knew what point I was trying to make.  Deep down inside, I felt something entirely different. I wasn’t in touch with what I really felt, only that I wanted suicide and not to feel anything at all.

I think I was pissed off at him for not making me better.  For his empty promises, the high prices he was charging my parents, and his lies.  I had gone to him for help with my eating disorder, and even though I was unable to see much past a few inches past my nose, so to speak, deep down inside I knew he didn’t know a thing about eating disorders.  I had known for a while what a faker he was.  It was rather easy for him to sit in his posh office and tell all his patients “You will be fine,” and then mail each of them his bill.

I suppose, though, he truly wanted to help me, but didn’t know how.  I guess he was doing his best and trying maybe a little.  It must be hard being a guru anyway.

Had I been able to step outside myself, maybe I would have seen that I needed to go elsewhere for “help.”  Maybe I would have taken action and done something to help myself.  instead, I walked away hopeless and bewildered.  It felt like there was no way out.

There is always a way out, by the way.  People who try suicide don’t see that door.  They only see the ones that are closed and off limits and see life as a big impossible nightmare.  I went home, and I don’t remember much else.

That was 30 years ago.  The whole reason I am writing this is to tell you suicide isn’t worth it.  Remember playing baseball? Remember learning how to slide into a base, that funny maneuver the players did while running the bases?  I’ve never been convinced that sliding into base gets you there any faster.  But you know that when you start to hit the ground, your body defends you.  To reach out and break a fall with your arms or hands is natural body instinct.  It’s one part of your body protecting the more delicate or important parts such as the stuff in your torso.  Have you ever noticed that if you see something threatening coming toward you, you flinch or back off or run away almost as if it were reflex action?  It is.  It’s that amazing will your body has to stay alive.

I call it survival instinct.  We tend to run faster when we are running for our lives.  We tend to rise to occasions and we wonder why and how we can do this.  Again, survival.

So you can bet no matter how badly you want to die, your body is going to put up a huge fight.  It’ll even get desperate.  Our bodies are often  smarter and wiser than we are.

I’ve heard stories about people that survived suicide attempts and what their bodies did to save them.  I’m not sure what happened to me that night when I was about to turn 26.  I had a memory lapse of sorts that started when I left off telling you and ended when I found myself in a hospital.

The part that sucked worse was after that.  I think it sucked worse than wanting to die and not having the courage to tell anyone.  I know it’s not right and people should love each other no matter what, but in real life it doesn’t pan out that way.  Unconditional love?  Not at all.

I guess the first person who phoned me once a few folks found out what had happened (it was a small town and word gets out) was that my roommate called me and told me my best friend had phoned for me.  My roommate told my best friend what I had done.  I remember my roommate’s voice over the phone: “C isn’t too happy. She’s not happy about what you did.  I gave her the number at the hospital so she can tell you herself.”

I waited for C’s call.  I was dreading it.  I remember the “unit” had a pay phone in the hall.  Every time the phone rang, I jumped.  Finally, the call came and someone told me to pick up.

C’s voice was shaky.  She said, “Julie, I can’t be your friend anymore.  Don’t ever call me.  I don’t want to associate with you.  I hope you understand.”  I never heard from my best friend again and she was no longer in my life after that.  Poof!  Like magic, only real bad magic that sucked.

I learned much later that what went on between C and me, her dumping me like that, is a very common experience.  I was in the hospital for I think seven weeks and got no visitors. And that’s one thing that sucks bad about trying to kill yourself.

You survive.  Maybe you hurt yourself so badly that your body is permanently damaged.  You have to live with that.

You lose friends and people turn away.  It’s not their fault.  They just don’t know what to say, so often they say nothing.  I know it’s not necessarily okay or right that they do that.  I’m just saying it’s natural human tendency and that’s the reaction that many people get when they try suicide.

You also may end up on a psych ward.  Many of these places are nasty places if you have tried suicide.  I don’t know why people who try suicide end up scorned and blamed when really, they should be loved and cherished and made to feel as though they are worthy human beings.  But that’s not what pans out.  We don’t live in an ideal world.

When any doctor asks me if I’ve ever tried suicide, I’ll mention that time when I was about 26, and then I drop the subject.  I don’t tell doctors about some of the other times unless they pry and nag me.  It was all in the past and I don’t want to get bogged down in it.  I’m not all that hopeless as folks think.

Please, don’t act on your thoughts.  All I know is from my experience.  Your body will fight like heck to stay alive. And if you do make an attempt, for whatever reason, life really sucks bad after that.  I’m not really sure why that is, either, except the social part of course might be due to the stigma and secrecy of suicide.

Folks will tell you how selfish you are and they’ll be pissed off at you.  I know it’s not right, but I can’t change the way people are and the way the world is.  You get made to feel like the worst, most selfish sinner that ever lived, even though you aren’t a sinner at all.  Suicide is a no-win situation.

Just tell someone.  If they are like that therapist I had and they don’t listen, find someone else who will.  There are I think three billion people on this planet.  Someone is waiting to hear from you.

Let me tell you what I learned.  Remember that kid, that little kid I was who couldn’t see beyond her baseball field and beyond those harrowing Red Sox vs Cardinals games?   I never realized something.  I knew I had music talent, but what I didn’t know was that I was indeed capable of helping others.

I started doing this in little ways.  I found out I had strength I never knew I had.  If only I had known this before.  I can’t change the past of course.  But maybe, by my telling you these things, you will know that suicide isn’t the best choice.

Find someone who is hurting and help that person.  It’s rather incredible how strong you are, and if you have ever been so downtrodden as to think seriously about suicide, then you know you’ve been at a place where not everyone has been.  Your will to survive and not only that, but thrive, is incredible.

Of course, this is the kind of thing they should be telling us on those psych wards, not that we are bad people.  Of course, they should be there not to punish us for what a good majority of the world thinks is selfish and wrong, but to help us rebuild our lives.  Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case.  These things don’t happen behind locked doors much of the time.  I’ve always figured the real task of rebuilding comes later, when you are alone and have a chance to sort things through.

So please, start rebuilding now, instead of acting in haste.  You can do it.  You do have strength.  You can tap into that strength, your own will to live.

passing the buck? Again? Who is going to decide?

I went to the kidney doctor today.  It was a rather good experience I’d say.  Today was a great day to be outdoors, even if you had to ride the MBTA for a long time.   My Puzzle sure likes buses and subways.  We were up for an adventure.

So I got on the 57 bus.  I overheard folks say, “Gee, this is the worst bus in Boston!”  Guess they may have been right about that one.  It’s a nightmarishly   long route and the bus stops at every intersection.  Not only that, I’m talking about every intersection in existence in Brighton, which is part of Boston I suppose but pretends it isn’t.  The bus goes straight through Boston University and then out the other end, picking up every BU student that ever even considered going to school in Boston, and dropping each one off at a different stop, each stop being three feet beyond the last one.  Yep, traffic creeps along and is far more unpredictable than…than I am when I am in my crabbiest funk.

So, there’s no point in complaining about the bus being late.  No one really does.  I suppose riders have given up. So they space out into their cell phones and gadgetry.  Funny, I didn’t see one passenger asleep on the bus today.  Often, I see some tired person nodding off and falling over or practically hitting their head on an adjacent seat.  I suppose their dreams wake them before they hit the bus floor…or the ground.  Dreams are often weird like that.  Mine were especially weird when I was a kid.  Kid dreams are dramatic and scary compared to the boring stuff adults dream about.  Our daydreams get like that, too.  Kids dream big and adults get scared about money too much.

No, you can’t have that, Junior!  It’s too expensive!  I suppose no matter where a kid is on the economic ladder, or, rather, where the kid’s parents simply think they are, every Junior in the world is going to get that line sometime in his life.  Some kids more than others.  A lot more.  But we are all equals, that is, equally helpless on a bus stuck in traffic.  I’d say the situation rather flattens the power our of whatever money anyone is making, cuz we were all late to our destinations.

I’d say around 3/4 of the way to Kenmore, I saw about six passengers dial their cell phones to tell their bosses or whoever was expecting them that the bus was running late.  Maybe they do this so the boss will lend them the company car next time.

And so the bus took an hour to get from Watertown Square to Kenmore Square.  This was not even rush hour traffic.  Puzzle sat in my lap….I’d say that was the best part.  Having the cutest dog in the world all to yourself for an entire bus ride, right in your lap.  Heaven.

Anyway, I arrived at the doctor’s office in Kenmore Square.  It wasn’t too hard to find the building, nor was it much effort to weave around, going up an elevator, through a parking garage, then through another building.  They told me to register at Cardiology even though I was seeing the kidney doc.

“Um, yeah, my name is Julie Greene and I’m here to see nephrology.  I’m kinda late.  Yeah, Dr. ____.  That’s G-R-E-E-N-E.  Don’t forget the E.  My name matters.”

Well, that felt darned good to say.   The secretary was in good humor.  “What’s your dog’s name?” she asked.

“Puzzle.  Her name is Puzzle.”

I got a bunch of smiles from folks today whenever I said Puzzle’s name.  That felt real cool.

“I don’t see you on the schedule.  What time is your appointment?”

“10:20.  Only I was stuck on a bus.  I couldn’t call you to tell you I’d be late cuz my cell phone battery is dead.”

“Could you tell me your date of birth?  I don’t see an appointment listed.”  She made a bunch of phone calls trying to track down my appointment and why it never appeared on the schedule.  I was laughing my ass off just then.  I realized that my appointment was actually supposed to be in Harvard Square, not Kenmore, quite a bit across town.  I had arrived at the wrong office.

I told the secretary I could not make any calls to reschedule with a dead cell phone battery.  But she said she was on the phone with the Harvard Square office just then.  “Can you be there by 12:20?” she asked.  I said sure i could.

We got out on the road, me and my dog.  I stuck out my thumb.  Along came a pigeon.  He stopped for us.

I asked, “Are you by chance a carrier pigeon?  Can you take me and my dog to Harvard Square?”

The pigeon answered in Pidgen English: “Yep, I can.  How much does your dog weigh?”

I told the carrier pigeon that for sure, Puzzle makes weight.  Now let’s not put any pressure on my dog and make her weigh in, okay?  It’s bad enough pressure for us folks with eating disorders to answer to the scale, even if that scale is in our minds.  I told the pigeon that my dog couldn’t possibly weigh enough for any kind of extra charges to be added to my bill.  But I shouldn’t have said that.  Pigeons will get away with murder.  Any city dweller knows that.  Charging a hitch-hiker?  Naw, not in my day, and no pigeon is going to charge a cent for my dog, either.  We’ll pay back the pigeon with good company and a few jokes.  That’s what I always did when I was a kid.  I was even good at it.

I mustered up my best hitch-hiker humor.  I decided not to talk about bread crumbs, though. After all, if the pigeon has an eating disorder, he might get “triggered” by such talk, right?  We’re not allowed to mention specific foods I suppose, just in case.  Pigeons are as ridiculously sensitive as people these days, especially the pigeons with ED.  You eat enough bread crumbs off the street and I think you will get brainwashed by MBTA bus fumes, anyway.

So Puzzle and I got a ride via pigeon all the way to Harvard.  Needless to say, it took the exact same time as the T took.  I do love daydreaming.

I’ve been to that building before.  I tried to remember the name of the street where I was supposed to get off.  “Oh, it’s Dale Street, or Duncan, something like that,” I told the bus driver.

“Oh, you’re talking about Dana Street.  It’s up ahead one stop.  We’re almost there.”  I sat back down and yet another person asked me Puzzle’s name.

“Puzzle,” I said.  “Her name is Puzzle.”

“She’s so cute.”

I arrived rather early, or, shall I say, early for the rescheduled appointment.  I was surprised…they must have had a cancellation, cuz I was in the office lickety-split.  It wasn’t so fortunate that when the doctor came and knocked on the door to enter, Puzzle let out a ferocious noise   so loud that it shook the entire building.  Now that’s quite something, when you think about it, cuz Puzzle is tiny enough to ride on a pigeon free of charge.

I popped into the hall.  “Sorry,” I said.  “My dog and me, we live in an apartment.  Apartment living, you know.”  Not that that makes much sense.  But it does, when  you think of it.  If you say something enough times it’s gonna be ridiculous anyway.  That’s common sense for ya.

So I had this long-awaited appintment with the kidney doc.  He asked a lot of questions and looked over previous lab work.  He said that today I will have to give yet more blood and pee in a cup, too.  I told him I was eager to donate some piss as soon as possible.  “I’ve been on the T. So I’ve got plenty,” I said.  I didn’t want to admit I’d bypassed Park Street Station via carrier pigeon or…well, if I had, I might have left there with a few security guards hanging round me, heading me off to the psych ward.  Not that again. So I didn’t admit it about the pigeon.

You know something?  I heard that some folks get all weirded out over peeing in a cup and they get inhibited so much that the darned piss won’t come out.   They even work up a sweat over it.  They have more sweat than piss.  Funny, no one asked me for a sweat sample.  But don’t sweat it.

He asked me some more questions.  When I arrived the nurse had taken my blood pressure.  It was something like 150/83.  So the doc took it again and it was more like normal for me.  I don’t recall what, but the docs call it “unremarkable” I suppose, in their doctor language.  I don’t know how to say “unremarkable” in Pidgen English, but I wasn’t too worried about any kind of language barrier just then.  After all, the flight was long over and Puzzle and I  had disembarked.  Time to quit daydreaming, I reminded myself.  Puzzle slept in my lap, dreaming for real during my entire conversation with the doc.  I suppose doctor language, like most human language, isn’t too interesting for a tired dog.

So you all may be wondering what the doc said about my going back on Topamax.  That’s the pill I take for binge eating.  When I was in the hospital, they took me off of it.  I found out that it was psychiatry’s decision, so I dont’ put much stake in it or think it made much sense.   I was able to clearly describe why I needed this medication and that I felt the risk was worth the benefit.  He did seem to understand that binge eating is serious stuff.  It’s not the same as eating a little too much.  Binge eating is overkill and it’s gonna kill me if I can’t get it to stop. So he understood that binge eating is not a good thing.  He did understand my frustration over being told that it’s “good to binge so you will gain weight.”   Binge eating is destructive and horrible.  It will only make you die or give you a miserable life.

But I don’t really think I got my point  across.  He wants to wait and get psychiatry on board with this.  Dumb me, I went along with it.  I think I should have put my foot down.   I need this medicine ASAP.  I begged to get this appointment so I could start it back up.

The doc said yes, it’s possible to take it but at a lower dose than I’d taken it before.  I’m fine with this.  Just get me back on the stuff right away and no more delays!   He said I guess the concern is that given the way my kidneys are, Topamax could cause problems with one of the electrolytes, chloride.

Um….I think binge eating is messing with my life badly enough.  Every time I binge, my electrolytes get so whacked up that both legs cramp up even partway through all the food I eat.  Then I try to lie down, and the leg cramps and foot cramps and sometimes hand cramps are so bad that I scream.  Never mind the blackouts.  And the fact that I can’t sleep all night.  And the fact that I missed three days of my day program due to sickness from binge eating.  The program folks told me I’d missed so much that they had to discharge me.  The other night, my whole abdomen was so stretched I was convinced I would burst.

I need to call this doc and make sure he rethinks it all.  I have never even met this shrink.  My appointment isn’t until the 13th.  What if she’s one of those that thinks binge eating  is good for me cuz it’ll make me gain weight?  Most doctors have no clue.  I’ve been fighting this for 34 years.   The kidney doc even said he was pleased with my weight the way it was.

Please, no more holdup.  If this was meds for migraine or toothache or an antibiotic, would they be making me wait this long?  I doubt it.  I heard toothaches can kill you.  Well, binge eating will definitely do that to me.

Not only that, but when I asked him about dietary restrictions, he said, “Just eat healthy.  Don’t  binge.  That’s the important part.   And don’t restrict.”  Okay, doc, what’s the holdup?

Otherwise, my day was fine.  Puzzle will sleep tonight and I will fight off foot cramps.  Maybe I should hitch a ride somewhere far, far away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

and if I were to pretend…

If I suppress how I feel, try to ignore it and smile at everyone all the time…What good would it do? It would be like I was lying and faking my way through life, just like before. For sure, it`s a lot easier now, because I am no longer in such bad nutritional state, to be pleasant and considerate and thoughtful. Malnutrition is a breeding ground for crankiness. So I am much less cranky than I was before. That`s a super good thing. I`m rather proud of myself for being eager to learn (although rather along in years) the ways of humans and how to interact with them. We tend to be a difficult lot.

I know I`m not perfect and I can`t expect others to be, either. I can`t be so demanding. There`s no such thing as fairness in life. A lot of it is random, or so it appears. You end up in the situation you are in because of luck and timing and red tape for the most part. All we can do is live our best and survive.

Julie

A note to those offended by my actions

I got criticized by a reader for my unfair actions toward Mount Auburn.  I assume this reader isn’t the only one who is thinking along these lines.

So to clarify….

How is refusing medication that will seriously harm me harmful to the ones having tried to give it to me?  Many patients don’t even know the names of their medications or even care to memorize them.  If I had truly wanted to be in any further danger than I already was, then surely I would have taken those pills, and not even cared.  I can remember every med I’ve been on and how I have reacted, not only that but I can remember remember the reactions that happened over the past three and a half decades .  I remember why I was told not to take certain meds and having discussed them at length with doctors.  Please, allow me to go through this and sort it all out.  No one else but me lives in my body.  I know that when I refused certain meds I did so to save myself.

I did, in fact, try to thank all of them.  When I did so, most did nothing but spit in my face.  I was shocked.  I was truly trying to express gratitude to these doctors and nurses and other personnel.  One of the hardest things about being there was that the times I attempted to express thanks and gratitude I was given the cold shoulder, as is my words meant nothing, as if I were trying to kiss their feet and as if what I was saying was a complete lie.

At many points during my stay I spent lengthy periods composing thank you notes. I wanted them written just so, and it took great effort on my part.  Most of these were flat out ignored, or dismissed as mere crazy talk.  I felt hurt and rejected.  Anyone would.  The ones that took me seriously and actually listened received my words of thanks rather gracefully.  They know who they are.

I still have one thank you note in my computer.  I showed it to Dr. Roy rather than reading it to him, to save time. I am having trouble getting his horrible reaction out of my head, that awful sneer.  It’s something you just don’t forget easily.  I also tried to thank the psychiatrist, the one who goofed the meds.  He, too, turned his nose up at me.

Over the eleven days that I was inpatient, I felt a growing sense of worthlessness, but I realized that if I could escape this situation as soon as possible, I could restore my self esteem.  I felt that my newly found feeling of value as a human would be destroyed if I continued to allow myself to continue to be called a liar or crazy.  I begged them to listen and show respect toward me so that I wouldn’t leave in an angry frame of mind.

Please, allow me to feel what I feel.  I feel rage.   I acknowledge my rage.  Is it a problem?  Probably, only because rage is often destructive.  I am making every attempt and not allowing my own rage to destroy me as it did when I left Mass General’s psych ward two years ago.  As they say, that was then and this is now.  I don’t need to prove anything to anyone and that’s one way I’ve grown.

Julie

I have added two new pages to this blog, and renamed another

There was a page called Julie’s Way of Life.  I changed that title to Julie’s History.

I added two new pages.  You can access these pages by going to the top of my blog, at the top header area, where you see the names of the pages.  The new ones are the one called Julie’s Writing or something like that, and a “child” page under it about rewriting your life.

The page about my writing is a history of my writing to date. I left out plenty of stuff of course but the essentials are there, how I defied the docs and went back to college and got my bachelor’s and then master’s degrees, all that is in there, and more.  I bring the reader up to the present time just about.  I spoke of my blog, that is, this blog, in that piece, about how this blog has grown.

The pen is mightier than psychiatry.  It surely must be.  They weren’t kidding when they said there’s such thing as poison ink.  None of psychiatry’s drugs and none of their lies are as powerful as the written truth.

Love you all.

Writing to heal myself…Rewriting my life

Writing is incredibly healing.  It’s amazing.

In fact, it works very well and is most likely more effective than anything else you’ve ever tried.  Or most anything else.

Being loved and giving love in return is healing.  Loving your dog is healing and your dog will love you, too.

Taking good care of yourself in every way you can is  healing.

So I’m saying that we all need love in some form and we all need to be kind to ourselves.  If you are loved and surround yourself with people who are kind, you are more likely to take good care of yourself.

But I kept asking myself, “How do I heal myself from all the abuse?” I’m talking about these feelings I simply can’t get rid of.  Feelings of being pissed off at the abusers and not even being believed by many that this abuse took place.  I’m talking about feeling helpless to change what happened or to help anyone else should they be caught in the same situation I was.  I feel frustrated and I feel stuck.  I feel like I can’t move on from it until something is resolved.

Have you ever felt this way?  Oh, I’ll bet you sure have.  Maybe you were raped or had some type of violence done to you.  I’m 55 years old and female, and I can only imagine that most women my age have experienced rape in their lifetime.  Maybe it was many years ago.  There’s not a damn thing you can do about it.  You can’t erase it.  You can’t undo it.

I am realizing that I can’t undo what happened to me.  I can’t make it not have happened.  I can’t make these folks write me nice letters of apology and even if they did, would it change anything?  Most likely not.  It would only be lip service anyway.  Some victims bring in the law and justice is done, but I also know that the law can’t touch these abusers most of the time.  Not now and certainly years ago, bringing in the law was fruitless most of the time.  Police and other lawmakers are busy doing other things and can’t be bothered.  Let’s face it.  This is reality, like it or not.  I can’t change this right now and I want to stop beating my head against the wall trying to do the impossible.

There is one thing I can do, though.  I can write and heal myself.  Of course, you’ve heard (or rather, read) me rant here in my blog.  That’s been unproductive for me.  I still feel like I’m “ranting” and not really healing.  The idea of writing to heal is a little different than me sitting here spewing off and driving all of you nuts.

This writing I’m talking about is going to be a “project,” I guess.  It will have a beginning, middle, and end, as do all projects.  Call this some sort of “frame” if you wish.

Remember when I was writing The It Notebook?  That was truly healing for me.  But this is different now and over two years have passed since I made that document.

I am doing this project entirely on my own and it’s been entirely my decision to do it, not some instructions from some mental health professional or anyone else.

They say you should have “distance” on an event before writing about it.  I say, bullshit.  Life is far too short to wait any longer.  If I continue to procrastinate and wait for some “end” or “resolution” to the story…well, you can’t write when you are dead, right?

Your story is ongoing and continuing even now.  I do know that my present self has a say in what I write about.  My present self has a perspective that’s different from the past self, the abused one that was kept in the dark about what was going on.  I am still piecing together what happened, of course, as people reveal to me,  “Julie, while you were going through this, I saw _________” and I get yet another piece of the puzzle into place.

Your story is ongoing and continuing even now.  You can rewrite your life.

I repeat, YOU CAN REWRITE YOUR LIFE.  I’m serious about this.  Change the words and you will change.

I have always wanted to start a writing group for people with eating disorders, just us.  Well, this will indeed happen.

You can rewrite your life.  You can do it.  Let’s begin.

The pen is mightier than antipsychotics

So….I have told you that i reported Mount Auburn Hospital to the Commission for Disabled Persons.  I’m not sure the report is really going anywhere.  It’s “on file.”  Meaning nothing will be done, but we’ll see.

I had to spell out all the medications, as I said.

So meanwhile, I might as well write about what happened.  Why not?  There sure was enough drama in 11 days…and the bit of time before…to make a nice exciting story.

Might as well get writing.  If you can’t stab em from one angle, try another, right?  Of course, I can’t say “stab” or they’ll lock me up.

I filed a complaint with the Commission for Disabled Persons

I complained about Mount Auburn Hospital’s treatment of me today, just now, to the Commission for Disabled Persons.

I had to do it over the phone.  I felt like kind of an idiot, but I did it.  I told about the threats and how they tried to give me the wrong medication.  How I got accused of being uncooperative because I refused the medication that was an error in the first place.  And about the sitters who should never have been there.

People, if you are ever mistreated in a hospital, do report it.  I feel better now that I did it.  However, I don’t think my report will go anywhere.  It’ll just be on file.  That kinda sucks.  I really felt rushed.  She wanted me to spell every med, fine, I did, I know how.

Lotsa folks, including nurses, don’t know how to spell the medications.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been asked to spell “Imipramine,” and then the nurse asking, “What’s that for?”

So I’m glad I’m not on that one.  I got sick of spelling it for doctors and nurses.

Are you laughing yet?  I dread doing the other reports I want to do.  Only I have to call the same agency, and i don’t want to get the same person cuz they will think I’m complaining for the sake of complaining.

On the phone, put on “hold” forever…gee, I think I “hear music,” must be a hallucination, right?

Unfortunately, the nephrologist’s office just phoned me and they moved the appointment to tomorrow.  I feel like I’m gonna die inside, but I’ll wait another day.  At least they are not rescheduling for a week from today.

It really is rather uncomfortable physically.  I was unable to do much all night except lay in bed in pain.  Not a chance at sleep.  I couldn’t get comfortable in any position.  I had been wondering how on earth I was going to tolerate the bus ride anyway.

And it’s not like seeing this doc is going to bring instant relief anyway.  It only means waiting one more day to get permission to restart Topamax, so this binge eating will stop.  The sooner I can get back on the med, the better, as far as I am concerned.  I am lucky that it kicks in fast for me.  I won’t have to wait weeks or a month, but it should be a matter of a week, possibly less.

I’m crabby and miserable inside due to physical discomfort.

I suppose it’s good that I won’t have to walk outside with my belly looking like this anyway.  I generally don’t go out when I’m stuffed.  I stay inside and hide, sometimes for days.  It usually takes about 24 hours before I feel normal again after a binge, or often longer.

I tried to tell them not to take me off Topamax while I was in the hospital but naturally they didn’t listen.  Toward the end of my hospitalization at Mount Auburn, I pretty much dropped the subject because these folks obviously were determined to shut off their ears to anything I had to say.  All I wanted was to get the hell out of there alive.

So I left, minus Topamax.  Just took my chances cuz I wanted my freedom.  I had no other choice.  You can’t “test the waters” while you are in captivity as far as meds for binge eating go, to my knowledge.

They can put you on a med for binge eating while you are in the hospital but you will never know if it is working or not until you are free and on your own.

They didn’t give a damn about binge eating anyway. I doubt they even knew what binge eating is.  And I tried to tell them about it but of course they assumed I was nuts and didn’t know what I was talking about every time I opened my mouth to say something.

I really didn’t want to admit it, but I’ve been suffering with this almost daily for over a week now.  The physical discomfort is bad enough, worse than before I had the kidney damage.  Every time I’ve binged my hands have cramped up.

No, I don’t throw it up.  Wish I could.  Instead, it sits in my belly, sits there and sits there.

I had to abuse laxatives today just to force it to pass out of me faster, to relieve discomfort.  Sorry to be gross, but that’s reality.  If I hadn’t, I suppose everything I shoved into myself would be backed up.

I often think something’s gonna burst in there. My whole abdomen feels stretched to the limit.  Well, no, not to the limit, but past the limit, way past it.

I’ll betcha anything this bursting does happen more often than is documented.  People die and they assume “heart attack” but without an autopsy, no one will know.  That’s why I told my minister that if I die someone should do an autopsy.

If something does burst due to binge eating, then the world should know at least that yes, this disorder kills, not that it isn’t obvious already.  I can see why lots of people commit suicide over this, too.  You know what happened to me when I was 26…the jerks weren’t listening then, either.