Crazies: My buddies on the wards were more sane than these nutcases…..

Watch and laugh. Had this happened on a psych ward they’d all be forcibly medicated, sent to seclusion, and tied down onto beds. The staff would make rude remarks and say, “I can hardly wait till this shift is over. Are they all ‘asleep’ now?” Remember? I do!

https://patch.com/massachusetts/stoughton/hardman-out-town-manager-following-heated-selectmen-meeting

Insight

I am so happy! My new glasses JUST ARRIVED. I put them on. They needed no adjustment. I can SEE! My left eye sees very well with these. My right eye could use a bit stronger lens, but it’s so close to perfect! I can see the computer screen, too. I can look around the room and see so many things now. I’m sooooo thrilled. The fit is PERFECT, too! Kid size….Well, I always was kinda teensy anyway….

My peripheral vision is better and everything is soooo much clearer now. They even included a wicked cool glasses case. Puzzle is still Puzzle-looking. But the edges around everything are sharper and clearer. This means I will lose things less frequently, too! Objects are less likely to “disappear.” Oh boy oh boy, insight is everything. I have not seen this well for years!  Hey, I see you, too……

Great article on BED…..

Here’s the article, from the UK: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3278436/Binge-eating-hardest-addiction-beat-lifetime-blighted-compulsive-eating-woman-thought-d-beaten-relapse-again.html

My commentary: I find it ironic that the figure “34 years” is in there, since that is the same amount of time I had my ED. I had both anorexia and binge eating. You cannot stereotype people with this disorder and cookie-cutter treatment will fail most sufferers. The writer is correct that the literature stating BED is easy to treat is WRONG. BED sufferers generally do not respond to talk therapy. Talk therapy might relieve the loneliness and secrecy, but it often fails to solve the problem. Drugs can be effective temporarily but are not a good solution due to the risks involved with taking these drugs long-term.

As you can see in the article, the writer states that she got a rush from binge eating. Yet not all of us experience bingeing as all pleasurable. I sure did not! I never felt high from bingeing, nor felt a “rush.” By all means I never wanted to binge, ever, nor craved it. Nor did I do it because I felt “empty.” I didn’t do it to cope with feelings I couldn’t otherwise handle. ALL OF THESE ARE STEREOTYPES. If your binge eating doesn’t fit a stereotype, chances are none of the cookie-cutter treatments have worked on you, either.

Note that the writer came to terms with the REASONS for her binge eating on her own, not in a therapist’s office. She doesn’t mention going to therapy. It sounds like she white-knuckled it for a long time by using strict rules.

I think white-knuckling is okay to do as a temporary measure. Self-discipline, IF YOU CHOOSE YOUR OWN GUIDELINES, can help some people. Overly strict rules or rigidity will not work in the long run, and shouldn’t be considered a permanent solution.

I did the exact same thing as the writer did, for a while. I kept most foods out of the house. For a while I never stored anything at home at all. This included any type of flour and even kibble-type dog food. I also could not keep Tums or chewable flavored vitamins in the house. I couldn’t buy a dozen eggs nor more than one can of tuna, nor a sack of potatoes, nor a stick of butter.

My life was based on fear of the next binge, avoidance of binge-inducing situations, fear of food shopping. I didn’t go to social occasions that involved food.

Sometimes I would stop eating altogether for days on end. Starvation felt good to me, far better than binge eating for sure, and ended up addicting. This was in fact a form of rigidity. Sometimes I went on super strict and restrictive diets that caused disturbing weight loss.

I couldn’t get anyone to care about what was happening. Since mental health professionals have their own agenda, and my ED didn’t fit their agenda, it was ignored for three decades. Finally, right as I was ending grad school, I was finally able to get a therapist to notice. She and I worked cooperatively and I was improving, but sadly she got laid off.

Then and I was subject to a cruel and abusive therapist. I’d say it was narcissistic abuse. She was controlling and manipulative. I started seeing her late in 2010 and stopped March 2012.

Therapy abuse deeply harmed me. For a long time I wasn’t okay. I was shaken by what happened, and all I wanted was to be able to talk freely about her, and about how rotten she treated me. However, the friends I had then would not listen. They were good at changing the subject, telling me it wasn’t possible, or even telling me I must be psychotic.

I can see Facebook posts I made even three years ago where the trauma was apparent, yet mostly, the friends I had blamed me, or just didn’t understand. I was going to a church at the time and people at the church were hostile to me, refusing to listen even when I begged some of them to hear me out about the abuse.

After I fired Maria I had a period of time I call the Two Years of Silence. I call it that because I couldn’t get anyone to talk to me, nor go to coffee with me, nor even engage in casual conversation. I was desperate to talk to anyone I could find.

My family was unhelpful. I remember during that time, out of desperation I called one of my brothers. I dialed the number and said, “Hello” and as soon as he heard it was me he said, “I don’t have time for you” and hung up.

My other brother at least tried. I give him much credit for that, but eventually he only blamed me repeatedly for what happened. Another thing he said a number of times was that I SHOULD binge because then I would gain weight. I couldn’t explain to him what I was going through. I finally gave up trying.

To this day I have no relationship with my sisters-in-law. I had one of them on the phone around the beginning of 2016 and she was so cruel and unsympathetic to me, telling me it was all my fault, that I ended the phone conversation in tears. I have made sure not to communicate with her since. I have a relationship with one brother, but I notice he quickly ends the conversation if EVER I mention the not-so-great “care” I had in the recent past that caused me so much trauma. I suppose he, like so many others, refuses to believe that the world is anything but rosy.

I have better friends now, friends who don’t shut me down. I had to divorce myself completely from the Rosy World people out there.

Some of my current friends tend to fall for conspiracy theories. I have to draw a line with that. Some of the theories sound plausible but others are simply just too much.

Antipsychiatry is not unreasonable to me, does not at all seem like a conspiracy theory. In fact, what people in the Movement are saying coincides with my own experience with mental health practitioners. As the writer of the article says, they may (or may not) be well-meaning, but good intentions doesn’t always mean helpful, and sometimes can deeply harm.

During most of the years I had ED and it was ignored by mental health professionals, I recall any mention I made of ED was brushed aside. I also recall being jeered at over the binge eating. I was told I had a bad mother. The bad mother theories persisted so much that for years, I conceded with these stereotypes.

This harmed my relationship with my mother. I believe the bad mother theories harmed my entire family. I know in my heart that my mom would not have suffered as she did, her life ended prematurely, had these therapists not used this stereotype on me. Mom is dead now and I have no recourse. It is so hard to live with this.

I didn’t have much chance to grieve, and what grieving I’ve done has largely been done alone. My brother (the one who’s trying) says he’ll send me more photos of Mom’s headstone. But I don’t have feelings for a stone. I have feelings about my beloved mom!

I remember wonderful times with Mom. Mom was a dancer and I largely inherited my musical talent from her. Dad was tone-deaf (oddly) but his parents and grandparents were also musical. In my immediate family, though, it was Mom and I who shared a musical ear. I suppose my brothers don’t know this, but Mom and I got quite competitive at games of “Guess that Composer.” She was amazing at this game, even knowing all those Italian opera composers, names ending in “ini.” She knew the German composers, too.

It was Mom who made sure I had musical training from an early age, since it was clear I had talent even before I could speak or walk. She told me that a family friend heard me singing when I was only an infant. The family friend pointed out to my mom that I had talent, and urged my mom to get me to music lessons.

Mom had a beautiful singing voice. She told me she was assigned to alto, but she was not an alto to my knowledge. Often choir directors did this out of lack of altos. We had a family friend who was an accomplished singer who had a true alto voice, and I recall being amazed at her singing. Then I realized that real altos are uncommon. I’d say my mom’s singing voice was only slightly deeper than my own. She kept it up, singing in choirs and dancing right into her 80’s.

Unlike other moms, my mom wasn’t a yo-yo dieter, nor did she berate me for pigging out on ice cream when I was a teen. She knew this was normal teen behavior. It was! I didn’t start my ED till well after I’d left home and was nearly finished with college.

Therapists need to stop blaming mothers for ED. They need to stop assuming we’re all bunch of rigid perfectionists. They need to stop assuming we’re spoiled.

Therapists should not push the “bad coping” issue on us if it doesn’t click right away. Maybe a few eat to cope with emotions, but most of us are not so-called “emotional eaters.” I believe this is pushed too much in therapy and in the media. I’ve noticed that such therapy has a bad track record. I know in my heart that BED success stories from therapy are few and far in-between. I know the statistics that claim therapy works are just plain skewed. BED in particular is very hard to treat, as the article above confirms.

I cannot comment on the article, but if I could, I’d thank the writer for her honesty and her statement of just how much ED disrupts a person’s life.

I’m recovered now, but therapy did not do a thing to help, instead, it deeply harmed me. I ended ED on my own by ditching all the lies I was told in therapy. I’m not a stereotype, my mom was not a stereotype either.

Therapists need to be aware of the harm they are doing, and stop harming or quit the business. Joining the antipsych movement has been helpful to me. It has opened my eyes in wonderful ways. It has helped me recover fully from ED.

Becoming an activist means I take the focus off whatever is going on inside, and focus instead on helping other people. I do many things in my community that are helpful to others. I try to warn others through telling and retelling my story.

Activism has given me back the passion in my life that therapy and drugs had squashed for decades. My life is full now and there’s no room in it for ED anymore. I am me again. I love that person. I was a  short little girl with glasses who always struck out on the baseball field, but aced all the math tests. I still the same me, but now nearly 60 years old. I am so proud of myself, and I know my mom would be, too.

Blind date, truly blinding 

So please tell me why these sex-starved assholes can’t start a conversation some original way? They say Hi sexy, or some other idiot thing. Or they are too giddy and anxious to get a lay. So no intro, just,  Do you cuddle? I wrote back and said,  No, not with complete strangers.  Oh, joyous conversation stopper! 

So one of them gets all piggish and pushy and I go to meet him telling myself He will be an asshole for sure.  No,he wasn’t. He was a no-show. God bless the ones that don’t show, no need to fend off the slobbering. Good riddance !

Dear boring men on ok cupid….

Dear Men on Ok Cupid,

First of all, if you’re going to send a message to a potential partner, at least put some thought into it. I’ve gotten so many messages saying “Hi sexy” I wonder if this is an auto-response. Please be aware that not all women want to be called “sexy.” Would you walk into your local bank and say that to the bank teller? You won’t get a loan that way!

If you’ve clearly not even read my profile, why are you contacting me? Show me you are truly interested, that we might have a few things in common.

If you live far away, and are faking it that you live nearby, quit trying right now and read the Terms of Service.

Don’t live your life on OK Cupid. I’m not going to be too impressed if you clearly do. I’ll assume you’re a loser. Get a life, live it.

I’m tickled to see some of the same losers on there that I saw a year ago (I was under a different username). One I blocked just to make sure he doesn’t bother. He was listed as “online.” Okay, dude, you STILL haven’t found someone? I didn’t expect you would since you acted like an asshole anyway.

Then there was the guy who claimed he was 65, but looked no younger than 85. And a year later, he’s still living his whole life on OK Cupid, unable to find someone. Still. Hey dude, I’m surprised you are not dead! Get off the thing and take care of your health because when I met you you looked quite terminal. I hope you are not still driving…..

Then there are the ones whose second message is, “Do you like to cuddle?” Oh boy, I do! With Puzzle! Not with a complete stranger! Thankfully that gets them off my case now.

What am I looking for, and will I find it there? Not likely. Not at this rate. Never mind Mr. No Show. Maybe I need to quit before i am bombarded with even worse specimens of potential dates.

 

Recommendation: STAY AWAY FROM BIG BANKS! Bank local!

This is especially true if you are poor. STAY AWAY from banks such as Bank of America, Citi, and any of the major banks. Bank local. Why? The major banks will screw you and they won’t care. The smaller local banks are less likely to do so (though they might).

I thought I’d share what happened to me. I had worked SOOO hard to get my credit score up by paying down all my credit cards. I have been forced into having multiple credit accounts because it’s the only way to have a credit cushion. If you care about credit score you need a cushion. I was doing well, got the whole thing down lower than 80%, was paying bills 100% (still do), and never missed a payment. Then, I had a large vet bill to pay. I had to max out the “little” credit cards I have, barely able to pay the bill. I’ll never forget that embarrassing day at the vet. I did not use the Big Bank Credit Card (which I have used very close to its upper limit anyway).

As expected, since I was using up that cushion, my credit score dropped. Down down down to the pits. FIFTY POINTS!  Then, I had that seizure and during that time I went to pay a bill as usual BUT I had it set to the wrong “pay from” account. Oops! When you have a seizure it’s hard to think straight for a while afterward.

I corrected the problem IMMEDIATELY. However, this meant a reverse payment, which unfortunately, I’m still paying for. Yep, being punished for caring for a sick doggie and having a one-time seizure.

Big Bank is holding now holding onto my payment that I made a long time ago. It’s now been over a week and they have not released the money. I have written to them, called twice to assure them the payment has left and cleared the account, and still, NADA.

I explained the reason for the credit score drop and also the reason why I goofed the payment. Is a person allowed to be HUMAN?

Human error happens to the best of us. A wrong social security number means goofed billing. A wrong address means missed mail. Yet how many times has this been done to us? Consumers do not retaliate. And this is the exact same error! Human error. A mistake made because I wasn’t feeling well.

So FINALLY the woman on the phone (who was speaking WAYYY to fast, I kept reminding her but she continuously forgot, never mind I honestly cannot understand the accent, and I am not hard of hearing…) finally admitted to me she was clueless as to why my credit score dropped.

I stopped her and reiterated that I am well aware that it dropped due to a very large vet bill. Would it be better that I did not pay, and allowed my dog to die of infected teeth? And I am new in town, unware that the vet I went to is more expensive than the others (serving the wealthy, apparently). I entrusted Puzzle’s care to them and they did a good job. (At this point I will look for less expensive vet but then I was kinda cornered into the situation…)

I told the lady that I had explained this to their personnel ages ago, and explained the goof I did requiring a reverse payment. And I had thought this was all cleared up ages ago. This is ruining my credit score which has already been hurt by the vet bill.

Then she FINALLY admitted, “I don’t know why they’re holding onto your payment.” I asked to speak with the personnel above her in the “payment department” whom she should have referred me to in the first place.

However, these people are there to pat us on the back and assure us they’re on our side. They have yet to demonstrate this to me. This one tried the pat on the back approach and apparently was only feeding me lines until I realized I needed to go over her head.

They aren’t reading this, I’m sure. But you guys are. Remember this: Poverty may or may not suck, but either way, persistence always wins out.

Why do you “need” a doctor?

I don’t understand these folks that claim to need doctors. Even people like me who have supposedly hopeless conditions (kidney disease) are better off without slavery to doctors. I try to challenge people on this: “Why do you need a PCP? Why do you need a specialist.”

Usually the answer is “because I need prescriptions.” But I ask myself if there’s something more to this. Often, along with this dependency comes a need for guidance, need for assurance, need for affirmation and advice, even need for appointments (especially if one is unemployed and “bored”) to fill the empty time.

What if you broke free from this and had all the time in the world? What would you do with the time (think up something productive, please!). Not only does doctor-dependency comes out of boredom from unemployment, but from loneliness also.

Imagine having actual friends who aren’t people you PAY to see. Imagine having a give-and-take that comes with real friendship. Imagine making your own decisions and not relying on advice-givers who don’t even give a shit about you (let’s face it).

It’s not so easy to break free of doctor-dependency and chronic advice-seeking. It’s as hard as leaving an abusive spouse or walking away from a religious cult. But leaving the cult of neediness is possible. Yes, you can!

Look through the job openings in mental health and you will see the reality……

I gotta laugh at the job announcements. I checked through some of the Renfrew ones. Renfrew is known to be the creme de la creme in eating disorders.

“Knowledge of eating disorders preferred.” Huh? Are you guys as shocked as I am over this? This is in all their ads. And haven’t we seen this ourselves? Hirees who know nothing about ED on the floors, totally inexperienced nurses, and even worse, doctors and social workers who don’t even understand the so-called “disorder” the patients have. This is Renfrew, which is considered top-of-the-line. The others are pretty bad that way, too.

A peer respite for ED makes so much more sense. All peers will be hired not based on “training” but based on their own lived experience. I am saddened that it is rare anywhere in MH that the true definition of “peer” is honored. Mostly, they hire if you have a driver’s license, car, and a cell phone! I am saddened over this and hope someday things change.

Aryurvedic herbs rock, psych drugs pale by comparison

Ask any doc about Aryurvedic herbs and he/she will shrug and say nothing. Whether they are aware of these herbs or not, they should be. They “work” ten times better than any psych drug I ever took.

You want to sleep better? There are a host of herbs to try. Want quicker thinking, better memory, help with cognition? Yep, there are herbs for that, too. Want to feel wide awake in the morning, not groggy? How about gaining or losing weight, or adding some punch to your workout?

Do psych drugs do all that? Yes, but the price is heavy, folks. You might feel great for a couple of weeks, but slowly, your body is breaking down from the damages these drugs cause. Not only that, many of these drugs are next to impossible to get off of. (They refuse to admit “addicting,” or at least “habit-forming,” instead, they say, “withdrawal symptoms.” Oh please!)

All these drugs break down your body and make you sick. The antidepressants in particular cause nerve damage inside the brain and also POSSIBLY in similar fashion to the periperal nerves. This is why so many who took anti-d’s end up with “fibro.” All fibro means is that the doc can’t explain why you’re in pain, and wants to dismiss you with an incurable diagnosis.

How about getting of the pharm, for starters? But sometimes, you just can’t say that directly because people get offended and start to defend why they “need” the pharm. So I try to resist blurting out, “Okay, you’ll feel so much better if only you stop the damn drugs!” Some folks aren’t ready to hear that and insist all they need is a “better doctor.”

I hate to say it but won’t the “better doctor” just say the same thing? “I don’t know why you’re in pain, maybe it’s all in your head!” And onward with the drugs and games. If any doc was worth his salt he’d get a patient off drugs. Except that means losing a patient. Oops, no more sicko.

I’ve never heard of anyone addicted to Aryurvedic herbs. They are said to not be habit-forming BUT they are powerful so you have to be careful not to take too much. I wish doctors would just send patients to a knowledgeable herbalist. Doesn’t it say in the Oath that you’re supposed to admit when you don’t know? And send the patient to a qualified specialist? Yes it does.

It takes a certain amount of humility to say, “I don’t know.” It’s almost a learned skill. Just like saying you’re sorry, which by the way is the absolute bomb of a thing to say. Next time you screw up, say you’re sorry and watch the positive reaction. Hmm…There are indeed a few folks out there that truly need to learn this. Apologize. It’s not gonna diminish your expertise, nor squash your character. In fact, I think it shows a lot of strength to know one’s limitations and admit fault when appropriate.

I wish Tom Alkoff had told me flat out back in 1983,”I’m willing to take you on as a patient, but I definitely do not know what I am doing treating eating disorders.” Instead, he lied to me, lied to my parents, and had all of us wrapped around his little finger for a year till I figured out he was a HUMBUG who was grasping at straws.

Never mind. My overdose told him that, plain and clear. It would have been a more effective statement if they’d actually lost me. But…had that happened, I wouldn’t be here now to tell the story and the story of the next couple of decades that I was screwed by more ignorant doctors.

Ah, we go from one to the next, hoping “This one will be THE ONE.” But no, that isn’t a good approach. Going to them for The Answer will never work. Because it’s already there, inside you. Get rid of slavery to doctors and you will find it.

You are the one. You are the one who can help yourself. Empowerment doesn’t mean better doctors. Empowerment means MAKING YOUR OWN DECISIONS. You don’t need their permission to think, walk, talk, associate with whomever you want, spend money (even taking a gamble on a cure that may, or may not work) or traveling. You don’t need their permission to buy herbs and try any you want. Yes, you are free to choose, we all are, only the docs enslave us and boss us around like we don’t know a thing. Break free!!! Stop identifying yourself as “patient of doc so-and-so.” You are not. You are you.

Finding other venues besides friendship

I used to feel hopeless because my friends shut me down and didn’t let me tell the story inside me that was dying to get out. Our conversations were friendly enough but as soon as I got to the abuse story they ended the conversation. I noticed this many times and wondered why it was happening. What made them so uncomfortable? Did it spark something inside themselves? Or were they so scared of “Julie going on a rant again.” I used to ask myself where I could take these stories if my friends continuously rejected me. The more rejection I got, the angrier I got.

I had no desire to take these stories to a therapist’s office. I didn’t think being abused in a hospital was a disease, so why should I ghettoize myself?

I found the venue of public speaking and this is where I bring the stories. I find this deeply satisfying. I tell the story in a way that people in the audience can relate. Afterward, someone invariably comes up to me and says, “Me too.” Or says how much my story moved them. My hope is that by continuing to tell my story and living well I can prevent others from falling into the trap I fell into.