Regarding recovery from ECT (electroshock “therapy”)

This blog entry is about ECT, otherwise known as electroshock “therapy, or, “shock treatments.” Shock treatments are still done to people. They are not a thing of the past. They are done in mental institutions all around the world. You may have seen in the media that this procedure has somehow been “updated” or “modernized.” This is totally false. In fact, the same machines are still used today that were used in the original electroshock procedure. The fact that people are anesthetized and even doped up does not make it “safer.”

That we know of, most people experience severe harm from this procedure. Deaths are under-reported. Suicides following this procedure are also under-reported. We have no evidence that ECT prevents suicide. In fact, quite the opposite.

One person who comes to my mind who committed suicide following ECT was Ernest Hemingway. The reason why I mention Hemingway is because he was said to be one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. ECT stripped Hemingway of his ability to write. His family later verified that Hemingway was indeed distraught over his discovery that the brain damage he endured had caused this inability. He had thrived on his writing. Now, he had lost that ability. He shot himself in 1961. Popular texts state he was “depressed,” but in reality, he had been damaged by the ECT!

Now all this is background info on what I wanted to say (for those “out of the blue” readers who happen to drop in).

I am asking myself what sorts of things I would want to emphasize if I were speaking to a group of people who were survivors of the ECT procedure.

I think first of all, ECT recovery is not a moral issue. I would never tell a person, “I did it, so you can, too!” I think there are an awful lot of do-gooders out there, maybe very well-intentioned ones, who have the idea that if they say this, they’ll instill confidence in people. The problem is, this doesn’t always work. In fact, often, the opposite results.

If I stood up in front of a group of people and rah-rahed my way through an overly positive speech, saying “I did it, so you can, too…” that would be obnoxious and unrealistic. I cannot predict anyone else’s outcome.

The amount of effort, energy, and resources, including financial resources, required for one person’s recovery may be vastly greater than those required for another. Some people are just plain lucky and hit upon the right idea the first time they try. Others try ten times before something they try clicks. This is not a moral issue, but an issue of pure chance. The roll of the dice.

I do not have the knowledge to state, “It is God’s will.” I do not read God’s mind. You do not read God’s mind. Assuming there IS a god, and assuming that this god does indeed have a mind and has a will, which is seriously a huge assumption here, I do not have any clue what God has in store for you, for me, or for the world, if anything at all. To claim that I do would certainly be grandiose of me.

Looking back, I know I did certain things that MAY have helped me heal my brain. However, these were not a moral issue. I don’t feel that I “worked hard” to heal my brain. I know what I did, I had to do simply because I was under the gun at the time. I was very scared of being put into the state hospital. So everything I was doing then, things that healed my brain, I did only to survive, to get my butt as far away from State as I could.

Much of it was pure luck. Stumbling on the right pieces of the puzzle. But even putting it that way is a little bit on a high horse, because that, too, isn’t quite how it happened. It truly more “happened” to me than anything else.

And with that, the only thing I can say is to let it happen.

I remember I let myself write. They saw it as child’s play, a girlish thing. A diary. Only silliness. Play time. But I can tell you that writing is the most powerful thing you can do. From my dialogue with Bonnie Burstow, who has observed and recorded survivors of shock, and is the daughter of a shock survivor, she has stated that people who undergo this horrific “treatment” then use writing as a fantastic tool to keep track of their lives.

However it is that you write, whether you type, write by hand, dictate, or use any other means of recording your words, your words are incredibly important. Your words are copyrighted the minute you write them down. Legally copyrighted. They are yours and yours only. Your words are an historic record of a unique and special life. Yours. And your life is not the same as any other life.

What you write today is not the same as what you write tomorrow, much as our thoughts change from day to day, hour to hour. If we record our thoughts, we have a record of them. They will not be lost, even if our memory cannot store them for now. Writing acts as storage. Our writing acts as the vital missing link.

Of course, my doctors, back then, didn’t know that. Good thing they didn’t stop me.

I suspect that for some, other forms of communication or ways to record one’s thinking might work better because we humans have vastly different styles of thinking. Possibly these include various art forms or other things I have not even thought of.

I have no clue why I got better from shock. I have no answers. I cannot fully say, “I got better because I did x, y, and z.” No way. Not definitely. Why? Because sadly, I have seen others who have made immense effort, even for much longer periods and have had much slower results. I know that writing helps. But I cannot say it helps in all instances. Nor can I say one method is better than another.

I can share this, though. I really did not expect to get better from shock. I didn’t see it coming! It happened very suddenly. I “woke up.” Poof! One day, spacey as usual. The next, better. I have anecdotal evidence that it’s similar with others. That one day you’re suddenly immensely improved. And that, too, seems to come out of the blue.

I didn’t even know that the spaciness was from the shock. I didn’t know it even after I got better! It took a long time. I really wondered why I had been so messed up, and why, for so long.

It might just happen for you like that, out of the blue, when you are least expecting it. When you have given up. Or nearly so. When you aren’t holding the door waiting for it to come waltzing in.  It doesn’t send advance notice.

Think of it as someone who comes knocking, a hungry traveler who has been wandering in the desert and has had no food for days. You do not know him. He knocks.

You don’t know him, but he means no harm. You didn’t do anything that caused this traveler to choose your door over the thousands he could have chosen. Open your heart. Open the door. Why?

Because he is there. Nothing more.

And that is about how it happens. Or, maybe, how it was for me. After that, I was able to resume my life. Not that it was easy, but I had my mind back at least.

So let me get this straight…..inconsistencies here

Recently, MIA published a blog by Dr. Lawrence Kelmenson on “Institutionalization.” I’m not going to discuss the particulars of the piece. Let’s just say he got a lot of flack over it. Finally, I got fed up reading it, sick of the bashing. I don’t like reading that stuff. I felt they needed to close it off.

Emily surprised me and told me she never wanted Kelmenson’s blog piece published, but they had gone ahead and published it anyway. She agreed with the commenters and felt that Kelmenson’s piece was “blameful.” “Blaming the victim,” she said.

So it’s okay to publish a piece that they don’t even agree with! Because it’s Kelmenson’s. Because it’s written by an MD! An “expert.” This is just too much.

It’s okay to publish something they find abjectly offensive but they turn me down because I am a survivor and they don’t want anymore of mine.

Most of my pieces are turned down. This is what happens when I submit. I wait and wait, and then, realize my piece was never seen, or never made it to their inboxes…Some excuses get made “Gee, we just never saw that.” So I resend. And then, nudge them. “Did you happen to get a chance to read it?” Seriously, I TRY to be polite about it even though logic tells me it sits there unread unless I nudge them. Of course, this is the way of the world. But I get the feeling it isn’t this way for others. Just some. Not all. You know, elitism.

So I send the ole “Hey, I exist,” email. Then, I get one back saying, “We never received it, can you send again?” email. Or I get a generic,”It was too basic,” email.

I have learned that it’s very easy to answer in that fashion about just about any piece. It’s a generic response. I got that response about a piece a while back that was far from “basic” and I knew it couldn’t possibly have been read since they had no clue what the content was when I inquired. No clue!

This is how a professor can tell if the students have done the reading. Ask. Ask about the reading. Ask about the assigned chapter. Ask about details. This is so obvious, and when I was in college this is how the professors could quickly learn if we had done the assignment. And this is how I knew, very quickly, that MIA editors had not read my piece. I didn’t have some magic way to know if an attachment was opened and I wasn’t being “creepy” as Emmeline accused me of. I simply inquired about particulars and discovered they were totally clueless. The only one who actually admitted to not reading the piece was Whitaker. THANK GOD for honesty.

So my recent piece, they still called “too basic” and “too personal.” I still wonder, though. They seem to have read it. Still, what is wrong with “personal” when all of Sera’s pieces are deeply personal and they publish her stuff over and over? Well…I am not Sera, I’m not famous like her, I’m not EMPLOYED like her, and they don’t like me.

I have tried far too much, far too long…And I need another venue since I have banged on this hopeless door that is stuffed already with elitism and favoritism far too much.

Has anyone out there restored their thyroid, or know anyone who has?

I am wondering if anyone out there has restored their thyroid after it has shut down. That is, if you still have your thyroid but you were told to take the thyroid pill, and you did, but later, restored it to functioning. I am not referring to “natural thyroid supplement” such as thyroline,” which I see as a poor substitute and varying in reliability from reports I have heard. I mean restoring the thyroid so that it fully functions as a gland again. Do you know of anyone who did this? After how many years of believing it cannot be done?

I am wondering about seaweed as a means of restoration. Can seaweed help jumpstart the thyroid, even one that’s “forgotten” how to function, into functioning again?

I ask because I challenge the notion that a thyroid is just sitting there dead. It’s not dead tissue. It’s living tissue, right? It is inside your body, lazy, perhaps, but not dead tissue. So as I figure, it’s asleep, like that storybook character who was asleep for 100 years, then, woke up. Was that Cinderella? Or Snow White? The one who had Seven Dwarves tending to her while she dreamed.

So as I figure, the thyroid is asleep, but not dead. And if that’s true, it needs a way to wake up. IF this is possible, then, if it wakes up, it will then function again. And that does not sound impossible.

You do have other glands, and as I figure, since these other glands work with the thyroid, and they all work in a team-like functioning, interactively, they will even work with you to “encourage” the thyroid should it “wake up.” Think of how happy your whole body will be should this happen. Even after all those years. This is my guess.

All this personification is idealistic and not very scientific. Perhaps oversimplification. But I think science over-complicates most of life anyway.

So this happened recently. I have been eating a fair amount of spirulina because I need to eat non-meat protein. I can’t really eat too much meat in my circumstances and spirulina is a good source of many nutrients. It is also a good source of nutrients that are supposedly good for the thyroid.

I did not plan on any of this happening. There was a while that my thyroid levels seemed low. This was a long while back. For a brief time I raised up the thyroid supplement dose but then, brought it down. I don’t like the feeling when it is too high. In fact, I actually stopped it for about a week because I was annoyed at the “too high thyroid” feeling. For those of you who don’t know, you can stop it for an entire week and it will still be in your system, more or less. I’ve heard the level won’t drop off for three weeks, meaning that if you miss a dose you don’t have to worry too much. If you miss a lot of doses over a long period, you may notice, though. This is why the testing has to be done after a long period, not just a few days of being on it, and it does take time to “stabilize,” which is that nasty clinical word they use.

So then, this is what happened. I went back on this pill. The usual dose, without even thinking. Why should I even think about it? I’ve been on this stuff some three decades! Funny, though, toward night time I had that odd “high thyroid” feeling again. Like even that one dose annoyed the heck out of me.

The next day, I didn’t take it in the morning. I have heard that Spirulina will affect a thyroid test, but I have not heard that the seaweed actually affects your real thyroid functioning…Not that Western Med recognizes in a way that the public can easily access.

However, I have heard that people can indeed restore their thyroids. I have not heard this first-hand from anyone I personally know, so this is why I am asking you guys who are reading this here. Dr. Kelly Brogan states she did, but that wasn’t after decades of what I have been through. That was after a brief episode of Hashimoto’s following pregnancy.  Oddly, she talks about it all the time. She doesn’t actually say how. My guess is you have to pay her a bundle to find out!

 

 

Copyright vs Patent and Toastmasters discussion

I was looking around the internet and I found an old (very old) and closed discussion of whether the Toastmasters manuals should be made available in .pdf format. At the time, they were not, and Pathways was not yet even thought of.  The discussion, which I seem to have misplaced among my bookmarks, took place a number of years back on someone’s blog.

People were concerned…or shall I say, a few people were…about “misuse” of the manuals. I want to address the bit about “misuse” of written materials and why I think it’s not even relevant.

Let me state that written material, such as literature, is copyrighted. Gadgets, such as your TV or your plumbing, is patented. This is clearly differentiated and there’s a reason for this.

Patented products can indeed be misused. Some can. Some, if misused, can present a safety issue. You don’t want your three-month old to play with a plastic bag that’s part of a patented device, or part of the wrapper of it, that can possibly block his airway and then, cause a serious disaster. Plastic bags are not even relevant to copyrighted material.Books aren’t gadgets.

Huckleberry Finn was likely once copyrighted but is past its copyright and is now in the public domain. It is not patented and a patent on it is not relevant. Can the book be “misused”? I don’t see it that way.

It can be interpreted any way a person wants to. This is actually a risk that a writer takes. As a writer myself, I’m well aware that after I write something, I am taking a risk, even as I write these words, that someone out there will mis-read what I am writing. This happens frequently. Although it is my responsibility, if I want to prevent this, to be clear  while I am writing, it’s not completely in my hands what happens after I send my writing out into the world. After I send it out, I cannot control the actions of other people. This incredible acceptance is also part of my responsibility as a writer, the knowledge of not knowing.

The manuals are very very good, well written, very well planned, but certainly, no one can control the actions of those who read them, and why should we? Why should anyone control the actions of another? There’s no such thing as use or “misuse” of good literature even if it’s a terrific and classic how-to manual.

If I had written the Toastmasters manual, and I found out a junior high school teacher found it useful to use in her classroom, then wow, I’d be tickled pink. I’d be delighted that this teacher had used my book to open the minds of kids, young people who otherwise would be too young to join the Toastmasters program. In fact, introducing them to the program at an early age might inspire them to join when they got older. I don’t see this as misuse at all.

How about you?

Social media blast….outside the box

I have this idea as to how to publicize my business that is outside the box as can be.  I hope to hire survivors and anyone else who is strapped for money as a way of helping them get cash.

Here is how it works. I will need my business publicized. I will need it “shared” on social media. This means put up on social media pages. A lot. This mean sent out in places I cannot send out myself and to people I cannot otherwise reach. This means reaching a wider audience I would normally reach or reaching people in ways I would not otherwise reach them.

Given that friends usually claim they’ll help out but never do, or get shy about helping out, or back out of commitments for valid reasons, or  don’t have time, or don’t have energy, or have sick parents, or for a variety of reasons, I’m going to offer an incentive. I feel I should offer a non-loaded incentive. What do I mean by non-loaded? Loaded means “strings” attached or a “commitment.” People hate that and refuse to make commitments at all. My experience is that people will run in the other direction as soon as anything looks, smells, or tastes like responsibility.

However, what about a one-shot deal that pays money? A one-shot easy cash payment? This would not be a steady job, but would be an agreement that the person do the short-term task, and then, get paid. Money doesn’t have a personality nor say anything at all…no strings…it is just cash.

Furthermore, I would only offer the incentive when I had the cash on hand to pay a person. This would not be a continuous offer since I do not have a continuous cash flow. No one does.

So I would offer a person cash (paypal) for “sharing.” Now most people have their friends “share” and their friends share, right? But in the past, and for years, I’ve asked and asked and asked and what happens? My projects fall flat. Every time. And then what? They flop totally. Remember? No donations. No sales. No posts on a forum I worked my ass off to create. Nothing. I give up soon and end most of my projects in utter disgust because I can’t get enough people interested or excited about my projects and because of the obvious non-excitement and expectation that my project, whatever the project is, will invariably fail, and never mind the rude remarks as to such, I drop the project.

I have noticed, also, that within groups that expect me to fail, or include me only as tokenism, I can’t get very far, but in groups that include me, I succeed just like any other member, and sometimes, exceed expectations.

I need to do this incentive to ensure sharing and promoting really happens and get a little more aggressive to get the business off the ground.

 

Idea…..

I have been thinking since I was rejected from this teaching job I just applied for (and not told the reason, of course!) that applying for more jobs is likely fruitless. The “home business” idea still might work. Obviously, selling on ebay was not a very good idea since my heart was not into selling stuff anyway. It doesn’t seem particularly meaningful nor have anything to do with doing good in the world.

But the life coaching business, what if I kept that, and tweaked it some? I don’t want to do life coaching per se. That is basically being a shrink in disguise, plus if you call yourself a life coach you are by law a mandatory reporter. I do not want this! While I had the training I don’t have to use it. The school broke its promise of “instant career,” which was overblown and unrealistic. No one in the class ended up with an “instant career.” The only ones who are doing coaching were coaching already or close to it, sorry to say. No one has managed to get off the ground from scratch that I know of. A little birdie told me even though I got off their Facebook page.

My idea is this…..I want to tweak Nuthouse No More, probably change the name, also, to reflect the broadening of what I hope to do. I have an idea of how I can change it, what I want to change it to, and more on the theme of it and what issues I want to cover.

It makes sense to me that in these 60 years of life I have achieved things that by all means were not supposed to happen. What if I were to assist others in achieving the same things that actually appeared to be miracles?

They were not miracles. They simply involved common sense, which people, that is, YOU, do have, but sometimes we are so distraught that we fail to use the common sense we already have.

I recovered from ECT-induced brain damage. The damage had been significant and lasted about 18 months, but I did recover.  It took me years to realize that this doesn’t happen too often. Not only that, but observers have noted that my  memory and cognitive ability are still excellent. How did that happen? Can I show another person or guide someone who has been damaged? Is it possible?

I recovered from a knee injury that had led a doctor to tell me I’d never walk nor run again. How did that happen? Can I help a person overcome a similar injury by defying a medical doomsday prediction?

I am alive and my kidneys do not work. This is a quiet miracle right here. Can I help others that choose alternatives to dialysis without getting myself into serious legal trouble?

I used logic, intuition, and common sense to overcome my own eating disorder.

I do not ever get writers block. Can I help other writers with this?

I do not get stage fright and am a dynamic public speaker. Can I help someone who fears speaking in front of others get over their fears and even look forward to giving presentations?

I walked away from psychiatry. And you can, too. Can I help others do this? This was Nuthouse No More, but more can happen with the business to broaden potential clientele, and I don’t necessarily have to do “coaching.” I don’t even want that.

I signed up for a marketing class. This class cost me a tiny fraction of what the coaching class cost me, focuses on home businesses, and is designed for people who are just trying to get their businesses off the ground. I believe the class will be of great value to me and will not be a scam, as I have taken classes from this organization in the past. This will give me a chance to bounce my ideas off of other students and also to run my idea by the instructor, whom I assume is an expert in the field.

Considering the cost of the class, it is far lower than any possible individual “counseling” might cost, even career counseling, and would certainly be more worth my while than lengthy and insulting “training” I do not need for a dead-end, low-paying cashier position. I suspect most of those “voc rehab” programs are day treatment in disguise designed to keep you out of the workplace, anyway.

 

 

 

I’m back…As the usual devastation from employmement rejection only gets worse

It has been about 2-1/2 years now of this horrible roller-coaster ride. Hopes up, hopes dashed to bits. “This time, it will work.” It doesn’t. “This time, I will be hired for this wonderful job.” I don’t.  “This time, for a change, I’ll be seen for my potential and what I have to offer.” It doesn’t happen and I get nothing but age discrimination and another rejection, or worse, total silence.

I’ve considered relocating to an area where jobs are not so scarce. However, since it took me 10 years to find a place with NO NEIGHBORS that is actually quiet and doesn’t have rats, I can’t see leaving this place and risking ending up with screaming neighbors again or some other problem just for a job that might not last more than a month. I would not relocate to work a menial job such as cashier, which I am just not meant for, anyway.

Is anyone hiring that wants a smart person who actually THINKS and works hard? Who works independently and has ambition and drive? Who can do her own goal-setting and doesn’t need a cookie-cutter approach nor needs to be told what to do all the time?

My stuff on ebay did not even come close to selling. I took it down and am giving up on that. Priced any lower, I would lose money considering I pay for the bus and pay to send the stuff to people. Ebay is an lie. A sham. That I know of, smaller sellers don’t sell on it, they list and other, larger sellers bump them down to where their stuff isn’t even visible, and then, the small sellers give up just like I am, despite Ebay’s false promises of making a little cash. Don’t even bother. Times have changed.

I don’t know what to do anymore. Of course, posting this puts me at risk for another scammer like the one I encountered in February to come along. Yes, I am aware of the risks at this point.

But I would love to let anyone out there who is a person who hires others just how it feels to be rejected. Just how it feels to be on this job search and be told “no” over and over. Just how it feels to be an older person and watch in horror as younger, sexier-looking women get chosen by male bosses for obvious but not very legal reasons. This happens when you are older all the time! And this is likely why “cashier” job did not hire me.

I wish employers knew what it feels like to be kept hanging for the longest possible time. Yesterday this one employer said “by the end of the day.” Guess when the notified me? 12:01am. Yep, just past midnight. I’m furious. Was that really necessary?

Okay, just to say you didn’t give me the silent treatment, but it DID suck to stay up waiting and waiting, then, go to bed disgusted, then, wake up to this today. Not only that, the letter said, “unfortunately, we’re going ahead with the application process…” which is bullshit since there’s no further application process, no further interviews nor application requirements, which I knew already. They hired the younger applicants, such as less qualified college-age applicants, and they did not hire me because I am 60. Only obviously the scumbags did not want to admit this in the email. “Because of our company needs.” Yep.

Warning: Don’t be scammed by “Disability Services” call

This call comes from the following number and may come from some other number: (617) 829-8454. I believe it’s from Quincy, Massachusetts. The person calling has an accent and claims to be from “Disability Services.” If you let him continue he will say he can “get you on disability” or “get you disability payments” if you give him your information.

If anyone is dropping in out of the blue and has found me here, know that this call is a scam. It’s not the government, it’s not a real “service.” It is a scam to get your information. It has nothing to do with a disability, not an ADA empowerment group, nothing like that. Possibly they’re not even in the USA. I don’t really know who the heck they are.

However, do not fall for such things. Don’t give out your info over the phone. If they were REAL disability attorneys, they would NOT call over the phone like that. They would not make cold calls. That’s what that type of contact is called. Cold calling. Calling people you do not know to sell stuff to them. While attorneys exist to help people get on disability, these attorneys generally do not call people and that I know of, they don’t even send out mailings. They just have ads in Google and searchable websites and let people find them who are looking for that sort of thing. People who are specifically in the market.

Now you may be wondering what to say to these fools. I didn’t say anything much. I said, “Send it in writing. Goodbye.” I hung up immediately and did not waste a bit more time with them. I didn’t waste time waiting for them to “take me off your list,” nor haggle with them over particulars, nor fuss, nor spend any further of my precious time on them. Please do not waste your time on scammers. Hang up immediately.

Do I have worries about them sending mailings? Are you kidding? They will not send anything in writing. No worries. If they do, I might not even have patience to wait to get it to recycling. It might go straight to trash. Torn up and deleted with the coffee grounds and dog poop.

We got rid of horse and buggy laws, so……

It’s the job of an editor to comb through a manuscript and get the junk out of it, that is, get the superfluous writing out, reduce flowery language, omit the errors, and tighten up the sentences. If conflicts exist, editors fix these, too. Two or more editors may discuss an article, or, they may hand a piece back and forth with the original writer. These procedures vary from publication to publication.

Lawmakers are supposed to do roughly the same with laws. They comb through laws and see if any outdated laws are on the books. For instance, are laws about parking your horse and buggy still on the books? Do these still need to be there? Do we need to add laws about not texting while cantering? Are there two laws that say roughly the same thing…but not quite? Does a state law conflict with a city ordinance?

Outdated laws, such as where to park your covered wagon and how many children are allowed on a horse in the city streets are outdated and need to be taken off the books. A horse and buggy would likely not survive on most Interstate highways as it is. Do you take a pony on the train? Do you take a pony on a plane? Not if TSA has its way, and I don’t think a pony will pass as a service animal (though I am sure it has been tried….).

Are you guessing which AMENDMENT I think needs to be “updated”? Do we need rifles anymore? Do we really need a “militia”? Are the British coming, and do we see the “whites of their eyes” anyway?

People are so busy updating their devices and software instead, they have their noses in their cell phones…I don’t think we need a militia at all.

In my opinion, if you want a really, really powerful weapon, WRITE. Use words. Write and speak. We humans are blessed with the beauty of language and communication. Use your words to tell the truth. The truth is more powerful than any other weapon out there, and it outlives anything.