Is it possible to recover from “mental illness”?

Is it possible to recover from “mental illness”?

Of course not. I don’t acknowledge that altered emotional or mental states is an illness. I do believe if you are unhappy now, you will most likely not always be unhappy. I do acknowledge that incredibly deep depression exists, but I don’t see that as a disease state nor have I known a single permanently depressed person. I have seen people stuck in the MH System, and still stuck. That’s a good reason why most people are still depressed, unhappy, and hopeless.  I wish they will move beyond their own diagnoses and realize there’s a whole world of possibility out there.

The other side of the hill

It is quieter now. People always want me to blog more about my new life here, but truthfully, I am wanting to keep most of what I do, and think about, to myself. I can tell you it can get crazy-busy many days. I never quite accomplish a day’s goals because I put too much on the list.

People want more photos and fewer words.  People tell me they don’t like to read. That’s one of the many reasons I got off Facebook. I am too much of a writer and can’t be satisfied relating to others via

🙂

It’s not my thing. I hope I never see “lol” again.

I’ll never forget the very first time I went to a chatroom. This must have been  December 1997. I watched the texts fly by and the conversation consisted of:

lol
ROTFLMAO
Really?
Idk. H wants to do the wii. bye
TTLY

I told myself right away this wasn’t my thing. Finally, I got up the guts to ask, “What’s LOL?” and someone told me. I can’t say I am fond of these silly abbreviations and when people use them I often ask them to clarify.

There was one very popular chat room for those with Dissociative Identity Disorder, or, rather, people who were totally convinced they had more than one personality. There was even some “littles” corner, so that gave people the opportunity to switch into their child personalities right when the chat started, talk baby talk, then return from their work break as intact adults.  I heard at the time that this is a neurological thing but is that still considered true or was someone overdiagnosing for profit?

If you see someone who is acting like Dr. Jekl and Mr. Hyde, there is most likely one of these things going on:

“He turns into an asshole when he is drunk.”

“He is alert during the day but does nothing but lie in bed all night.”

“He runs around in gym class but during English class he sits still.”

“He is fine during break but he can’t smoke in the office.”

“Why is that actor so funny on stage and so deadpan on a date?”

Okay okay I won’t go on even though I am having fun.

The times change. Funny how that happens. If we laugh now at 1980’s style hair and clothes and music, what will we say of the trendy magazines that teach you what “disorder”you probably have and how to “cope better”?

Jeez, will those articles please stop? We need to stop reading them and following what our hearts tell us to do.

I can tell you boredom isn’t in my mental repertoire. I am proud to say I enjoy many of the other emotions whenever I need to. I don’t cry easily anymore. I’m relieved of that. Some of the past weepiness came from drugs, but I also know I have far less to cry about now. Still, I am never bored. You could put me in a room with four white walls and nothing and I would sit still making up writing in my head. I don’t waste my brain too much. I am happy not wasting it on Facebook.

Are there any psych diagnoses in the Bible? “Good man,” “Evil man,” “angry God,” “loving God,” but these aren’t diagnoses.  From what I can tell, these moral distinctions do not imply permanence. We see time and time again, very good people doing wicked things. Why? We aren’t perfect.

They say Moses did a terrible sin, showing weakness in his leadership, by slamming down and smashing to bits God’s first version of the Ten Commandments. What the heck was so objectionable about that first draft?

I think that moment, that glimpse of an imperfect Moses, was left in there deliberately. Question Authority. And I will leave you with that.

Poem: The Gateway

I thought this up while walking Puzzle today:

If life is a race, then I am past Heartbreak Hill
The rest might very well go smoothly
By comparison

Then, of course, there’s the Finish Line
Which, contrary to what folks assume
Is not The End.

If every accomplishment is a job well done
Then, when the job is over
We grieve our loss.

If every loss opens a gate to liberation
Then sit with me for a sec
By that gate called Accomplishment, and watch.

Some burst through with finesse
They proudly stand winners
And await their awards.

Others pass through more quietly
And slip out the back door, skipping the party,
Already thinking about the next race.

Rejection is so often a gateway to liberation

Rejection is so often a gateway to liberation. How odd that is.  Even loss, that, too, frees us up.

Friends of mine I once knew personally posted on Facebook that their house had burned down but that they hadn’t been home and it was really okay. And that they had insurance.

I mentioned this to someone that I know who does not know this unfortunate family and lives elsewhere on the planet. I said, “Do you think this reflects on the oddity of Facebook that a tragedy is taken so lightly like that?”

My friend said, “What do you think?”

I knew what was coming. How could I be naive?  My friend told me undoubtedly they burned their own home for the insurance payment.

That was maybe a week ago. I’ve thought about this since. Now I realize:

No more broken appliances.
No more worries about hiring someone to do the lawn.
No more property taxes.
The basement flooded last year anyway.

and….

We weren’t married to all that “stuff.” We are married to each other.

Every loss is a cause to rejoice. I think we need to realize this. Or I am beginning to.

Every “no” is a springboard to finding a “yes.” If everyone around us confirmed us where we stand now, then that’s just where we’d be stuck. “No” means we will move forward.

Many people find that’s true of being fired from a job, or kicked out of a school. I have looked back and wondered if being kicked out liberated me from that place. I remember feeling that way after I was fired from McDonald’s in 1977. Know why? Because I suggested maybe they could give their leftovers to poor people instead of throwing out perfectly good food. While getting fired and being told what a shit you are and that McDonald’s will keep you in a database forever so never even think of working for any McDonald’s again didn’t feel so great, I felt freed up after I’d thought of it.

I knew all along that I didn’t want to work for McDonald’s. I had applied to work there only because I was desperate for a job and never believed in the company. My next job was for a startup. I liked it a lot better. Know something? We gave away a lot of food there, too.

I also felt liberated because restaurant slavery work wasn’t a lifetime goal for me. Until I found the next job, I enjoyed the free time so I could work on composing more music, practicing, and preparing for my classes. I had recently moved and this was a good time to get to know my awesome roommate better.

There was a time in 2012 after I’d fired the abuser that I didn’t have a therapist. In fact, that was when I made all those calls and heard nothing but “no” for the next year. The ones who said yes knew nothing about eating disorders. The “too good to be true” one was a red flag from day one since he called me “Honey” all the time. It got worse from there. He told me about his ex-girlfriend in detail. And worse. And even worse, after I did the right thing and stopped going to him, and several people told me to report the guy, my own psychiatrist told me I was “delusional” for firing him. After that, I simply couldn’t find anyone. Three more didn’t know anything about eating disorders. I had called about 50 residential centers and places all around the country. You bet they turned me down. All that effort…and yet, being told “no” was just what I needed.

Is this what is meant by “a kick in the butt”?  I never saw any bruises on my rear end but it’s easy to miss things on your backside. Which might be for the better. I kicked myself good and hard.

That’s what it took–all that repeated “no” for me to realize I was far better off without a therapist running my life.  Therapy had limited me all those years. The process is said to be freeing, but after I looked at my life, I realized that this was hardly true. It was slavery.

Therapy was insulting. Diagnosing another person, whether pronouncing a person “ill” under the DSM, or even saying something like, “You have anger issues” is an aggressive power play. Anytime a person makes an implication of the other’s moral inferiority it is a move to not only separate the diagnosed from the diagnoser, but to elevate the one doing the diagnosing. It’s like saying “I have insight into you that you do not have.” And the diagnosed pays for this!  So even if a person might be said to “have insight into his condition,” this is not really what the diagnoser believes, as esteemed “helper” who puffs himself/herself up to be the more knowledgeable, more educated, wiser, and morally superior one. The diagnosed is a customer blinded by obligation.  Otherwise, we could all cure ourselves.

In fact, we can, and do cure ourselves. I see this all around me. The wounded heal. We can hope the same for what ails our society and the for the blue planet where we live.

I have yet to meet a person whose moral character was so flawed that there was no possibility of change. I have felt incredibly stuck myself and in an impossible and irreversible situation but even that extreme shittiness changed.  Even when those around me were naysayers who had no faith in me, and said “no” over and over, I hung on. I have no clue what kept me going since all I saw around me was gloom and hopelessness.

By all means, I know that even the worst human we can think of should be given a second chance. Anyone can cast off the baggage.  I have seen incredible turnarounds. I think we need to realize that turning life around is what usually happens, as all around us, the seasons turn.

I was just kicked out of something, given the boot. Wow, I feel terrific realizing just how much this frees me up. For a change, this isn’t some human entanglement. It’s one of those unpleasantries that happens to even the most agreeable and law-abiding people. Time to cut off the red tape and recycle it. Tomorrow, if you are up early enough, you’ll see me flying by, and know me by the red ribbons in my hair.

Celebration.

Racism, yes or no

I don’t know how anyone else feels on this, but I want to ask this. Are there degrees of racism? Or are there only degrees of how one expresses it? I suppose in a court of law, “consequences” are also weighed heavily.

I read recently about microaggression. To me, I felt acknowledged when I read this. I knew that those subtle racist remarks that come out of people’s mouths and are present in their actions reflect just as deep a hatred as lynching.

There was a joke a while back that was rather revealing, even though many found it funny. It went like this:

“I like blacks, I like Jews, I’m fine with homosexuals, but dang, I hate the Italians!”

Truth is, if a person hates any group they are racist and hate everyone, even groups they claim to be welcoming to. Who are they kidding? Within this lies the bond between the Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement.

So here’s a story.

I met a guy a long time ago and we had a very brief but intense romance and were hoping to meet. This lasted about six days and afterward I was glad it hadn’t been any longer than that.

I ask myself now why it went on for that many days until I knew he was racist. Wouldn’t this be reflected in other actions as well?

It was. I found it intolerable when he told me, “I’d never date a fat person.” Seriously, that’s what he said. Later on he suddenly said some horrible things I won’t repeat due the content but it wasn’t subtle. I’d heard him say questionable things before and kept telling myself, “Naw, I must have heard that wrong. He couldn’t have said that!” I hadn’t heard wrong at all, but I didn’t want to believe nor accept that this too-good-to-be-true guy was just that. Not truly a person I’d want to be with.

After it was all over, I was relieved. I told myself, “I wonder how he would have reacted had we gotten serious and then I told him, ‘I am bisexual.'” He’d freak. If he hates one group he hates anyone not like him.

Sedatives should be the last resort for insomnia, why is it now not only the first suggestion, but the only one?

So I got in touch with a doctor online regarding insomnia. I had been making progress for a while, assumed that progress would continue, however, it isn’t. I contacted a doctor and presented severe insomnia as my problem. I didn’t mention any other problems one might associate with seeing a shrink such as “depression and anxiety,” since I am not suffering from those things.  I did mention that I had been taking a thyroid pill for hypothyroidism.  Guess what he said? This was NOT a shrink, he was an endocrine specialist.

First, he said I HAD to see a shrink and get a sedative. No questions about anything physical that may be happening with me, no questions about diet, no questions about what I do nor even when I go to bed or if I eat breakfast. No questions about whether I take “medications.” Or drugs. Or weed.  Oh, he also said it was doubtful I had a thyroid problem.

I was allowed a followup question so I informed him that I take thyroid because I was tested a long time ago by a blood test and that I did indeed have hypothyroidism and have been taking a pill for it. I told him I had already tried “sedatives” and these had not helped but made things much worse.

He said it was doubtful I had anything physical amiss. Go to a shrink and get a sedative. Great answer. I demanded my money back.

This is in a nutshell the kind of medical care I got from the USA, that is, noncare.  I figured since the last time I saw the kidney doctor he didn’t examine me, then I might as well get a fake doctor online. This one did about the same thing, didn’t even consider anything but their fucking worthless pills. Okay, you guys will be very happy that taxpayers didn’t have to pay for what just happened. Maybe taxpayers need to bang down the door of Adam Segal, MD, who is taking an awful lot of your hard earned money, and demand that he refund your taxes.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and how this relates to us all

One man’s trash is another’s treasure. Of course, this is one of the most beloved sayings of all time.

Today, I  had the nagging urge to go outside. I felt cramped staying indoors and needed air, sun, and a wider world. I took Puzzle out for a walk. We took our “usual” route. You know you have been living in a place for long enough when your dog ends up having a “usual” route.

After we did that, I decided I myself needed more. I don’t know about Puzzle, but I sure wanted more outdoors. We ran into “boyfriend,” whom I have yet to be able to capture on camera. I had my phone with  me, right in my pocket. I told myself, “Now’s my chance.”

Well, dumb as it was, I’d turned the screen down to the lowest, not “auto,” so I couldn’t see the screen at all. I promised myself next time I bring my phone with me I’d better set it so that I can see it. I gave up on trying to find the camera button even though I know right where it is. Puzzle started playing with Boyfriend. Often, she just gives him the cold shoulder, whatever that is since Puzzle’s shoulders are inevitably as warm and cuddly as can be.

I was headed toward the beach. We had almost reached La Rambla but something caught my eye. I suppose that might not be a good term for something larger than needs to caught by an eye, but smaller than the elephant in the room.

This was a rather large branch that someone had discarded, and left to be picked up by the rubbish folks. It looked like they’d been down the street already, raking it up clean. You could still see the fresh rake marks.  The branch missed the trash collection. But it didn’t miss me.

I decided that One Man’s Trash is Another’s Treasure. So literally true. I broke the branch so that it would fit into my bag. I took only my share and left the rest for another scavenger.

I’ve got a blazing fire going now, perfect for laundry and warming me up. That worked just fine. I recall now, my thoughts while returning home. I thought, “How does this simple saying apply in other ways to our lives?”

What is valued in one culture is thought of as useless in another. Do you know that scavenged pine cones here can be sold for a price? Even hot water is sold by the cupful. For mate, for the passersby.

One day, I was in a second hand shop not far from here, and I spotted one of those metal pot veggie steamers. The ones that fold up and are sold in most every grocery store in the USA. Yet you won’t find one here. I told the shop owner that this was a treasure to me. He wanted to know what on earth it was for. He had no idea why anyone would want it and was selling it in hopes that someone would. We became friends after that, and Puzzle knows his dog, too.

Have you ever been to an animal shelter? That dog you see (the one with the waggly tail) or cat who looks up at you right now, the one discarded because someone didn’t want to pick up a doo doo accident, is The One who is going to save your life.

Do you feel neglected, unwanted by those around you, not valued for who you are and for all the wonderful gifts you have to offer? Has society thrown you aside? Put you on disability and called you useless waste?  Someone else is waiting for you right now who will take you into their arms and treasure you. There are no hopeless cases. I have yet to meet one.  You are golden. You are someone’s love. You are beautiful.

Why is the NG tube used for people with eating disorders?

Why is the NG tube used for people with ED? I have always wondered about the logic of it. I’ll tell you a story to illustrate my point.

I recall when I was tube fed at Walden Behavioral Care’s Alcott Unit I sure hated it. I felt it was like torture and didn’t see the point in it.  Maybe it was a control thing. I don’t know. I weighed about 95 pounds at the time they put it in. Know what I weigh now? I haven’t weighed myself but I’d say 98 or 99. I’m short and people who know me in person say I look fine.

I had the tube put in in March 2010. They made you continue to eat while it was in. You had no control over what went into the tube itself. They poured tube feed into a large sac above your head (or above mine) that was slung up onto a pole. Tube feed is high calorie stuff that’s supposed to be easy to digest.

The tube itself was over 18 inches long if I recall correctly. They inserted it into one nostril and the tube went all the way down into my stomach. So it had to go up, then curve downward and follow my esophagus down until it went through the opening into my stomach.

I had to eat with that tube in. Apparently, there are tricks for making it more bearable. Other patients taught me these things. The staff didn’t give a hoot. So another patient told me I should ask for a certain pole and a certain pump because these were more manageable. She was right on. As for eating, other patients let me know about the veggieburgers. For whatever reason, they won’t go down well with a tube in the back of your throat. I found out the hard way and then I learned and laughed with other patients. They knew, the staff didn’t.

If you ever made the veggieburger mistake, you found out. This is what happened to me: I took one bite of that burger, a tiny one, and then tried to swallow it. The tube yanked inward. This meant it was taped to my cheek and then, yanked further into my nostril. You bet that hurt! Then it kept doing that over and over throughout the  meal. OMG I could hardly keep from screaming but I was in the dining room with 20 other oppressed patients and we’d been firmly told to shut up and not complain.

Never mind digestion. The tube feed wreaked havoc. For the next nine days, my life was a constant fart. I was so embarrassed and hoped from minute to minute that no one noticed. No one said anything. Who else was farting constantly as I was? I felt like I was binge eating!  Constant bloatedness, constant feeling of “OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL DID I EAT?” I was never comfortable, always burping and farting.

Now, did this do me any good? No. No no no no. Forced feeding is torture under international law. I can attest to that!

So I figured out that the urine-colored stuff they were giving me from time to time was Pedialyte. I asked why. They said it was for hydration. I said, “Well, then, can I drink it instead of having it put in via the tube?” There was a quart of it right there that they were about to put in. I said I was so thirsty that I’d love to drink it. They said no. Against policy or whatever.

So let me get this right. I was no allowed to ingest something that I was perfectly capable and more than willing to ingest so that they could keep full control and power over me.

I believe the NG tube wasn’t designed for this. If a person can chew,and swallow, and if the person has a perfectly fine esophagus, why tube feed? If, on the other hand, a person has had extensive jaw surgery or cancer that affects their swallowing ability, then the tube might make a little sense if there are no other options.

In more dire medical situations there are other ways to artificially feed someone. A person can be fed via IV, but it’s not a usual IV, it’s a very long line and it’s somewhat of a risky procedure. If a person’s stomach absolutely does not work, then a tube can go straight into the intestines.  We hope that these various situations are temporary.

A person needs to taste and enjoy their food, chew it, and marvel at the miracle of it. A person needs real food. We learn to eat and choose our food based on taste and texture, since these are our body’s natural way to decide what is right for us.  Tube feeding denies us that choice, denies our ownership of our bodies, and gives up our rights to some other person who decides for us. I cannot see that tube feeding is conducive to helping a person get over an eating disorder. In fact, it fosters dependency. It makes the ED hospital that safety net for patients that in fact does patients a disservice just by being there.

“I can starve now, get myself very close to death, and not die since I’ll be rescued anyway.” Do I see the revolving door syndrome here?

I was fed up finally. I pulled that tube out one day at 3am. I was so relieved when it was out and felt much better. My tube feeding experience strengthened my belief that forced care was totally wrong.

What do you think?

Zyprexa and any drug cannot be forcibly given for an off-label use

I just went through the papers posted at Psych Rights. Jim Gottstein won the case against Lilly stating that promoting off-label use of Zyprexa for the purpose of gaining more profits was a criminal act.

So that was my situation. Zyprexa’s label use is schizophrenia, short-term for psychosis, and short term for acute mania. Not anything I myself ever had.

Zyprexa can’t be forced upon someone for some vague claim of “danger to self.” I was not suicidal at all, which they knew all along.

Zyprexa can’t be forced upon someone to get them to gain weight.

Not legally. But it happens and it even passes in court. How can they get away with this? Easy. They lie.

They knew why they wanted me on Zyprexa. To shut me up. To disable me so much that I was no longer capable of writing. They claimed I “needed” it and couldn’t live without it. I was not a danger to myself. I was a danger to them and they needed me to quit telling the truth so they could continue propagate their lies.

Happily, I avoided all that nonsense and am free now. Phew!