Upcoming weather and other oddities

I am being very obsessive about the weather for the next week. The forecast constantly changes. We were supposed to have thunderstorms and lots of rain the day of the race. Now it is going to be 62 that morning and not raining at all. When will they change their minds next?

This morning I went out to my usual track where I run and discovered it was locked up. That is, no one was locked inside there, but they had locked people out. My guess is that there was a local “event” last night and they were worried about drunk people getting on the track. They have explicit instructions to stay off of certain parts of it. Are drunk people going to pay heed? Doubtful.  This is the first time I have seen it locked.

I immediately turned around and ran back to my somewhat starting point. I decided to run up the main drag and see how that would go. I went up and back, up and back, three times. I figured the distance was .75 miles. I was wrong! Actually, the distance is .9 miles.

Now the distance from home to the track is .8 no matter which route I take. I do have my favorite route, but…I keep changing my mind on that. I figure:

.8 +.8+ (.9 x6) = 7 miles.

If I run from home to the five-and-dime, that’s a mile. It’s a decent run, too.  If I run to and from the five-and-dime four times, that eight miles, five times, that’s ten.

The farthest I have ever run, ever, was approx 12 miles.  A half-marathon is 13.1 miles. I am positive I can run that far. See, the Little Engine That Could had the right idea, but I choose to tweak it a bit:

Not “I think I can!”

Instead, try this! “I know I can!”

Not that such tweaking is going to cause a major earthquake. However…….The mind can influence the body’s performance. Know what I can do? I can slow or quicken the pace of my heart while I am running. I tried this one on the treadmill, since the gym treadmills do not sent me obnoxious messages should I choose to “hold on” while running. Some do!

Try this one out yourself! Run on a treadmill and monitor your heart. You’ll have to be running for a bit to let your heartbeat settle. At first it is likely to quicken way up, but then it’ll settle into something medium, and then, after a couple of miles, slow itself considerably.

To make your heart go faster, tell yourself, while you are running, “Oh my god! I am so slow. I need to run faster!” Even without speeding up your pace, I bet your heart will speed up if you tell yourself that.

Now, try telling yourself, “Wow, this is really the bomb! So much fun!” Watch your heartbeat drop! Even without changing pace, it really will!

Now here’s the question: Does the body perform better when the heart is pumping fast, or does it prefer a more reasonable pace?

Probably, the answer is both. I think it depends on the context. If you are running like mad to get away from a mental hospital, running for your life, I bet the last thing you are going to think about is how fast your heart is beating. But I bet it is racing. This is useful, this adrenaline, to make you run faster. Fear does that to us. We might end up doing seemingly superhuman feats when we are truly pumped up like that.

However, if you are running a long distance, maybe adrenaline won’t be so great. From what I know, being super hyped up is not going to serve your body well over the long haul. I truly hope you do not have to run an entire marathon to get away from the nuthouse. I hope they give up trying to find you and then you can just hop into the nearest library, bar, coffee shop, whatever, and blend in with the crowd. Congratulations. Now, don’t turn around and run back.

The mind influences the body.  It does this 100 times more than the usual “therapist” wants to admit. Typically, they give you breathing instructions and tell you that will cure you. And then they’ll book the next three appointments for you to ensure you keep coming back and stay dependent and needy. Meanwhile they might ask you how your psychiatrist appointments are going. Just to make sure you’re still doped up.

I got an idea! When the therapist shows up, RUN!

Actually, what helps me run is remembering Maria, that therapist I had from late 2010 to early 2012. She forbade me to run on all costs, even threatening me that she will have me locked up if I walk the dog and god forbid, do something healthy! She wanted me to do nothing and pay for cabs all the time. Was she out of her head?

Oh. Yeah I think I answered my own question here.

So sometimes when I am running, I say to myself, “Screw Maria! Screw the nuthouse. I am free now! Screw em all, and especially screw the ones that claimed I couldn’t do it.”

I know I can, I know I can, I know I can. Run to that one. It has that rhythm, you know.

Race, April!

Race April 2015

I think this one is a 10k, but I am not sure. I am positive I can do it! I ran maybe 11k today. I need to check on the map because I think my pedometer is reading high. It said 7.8 miles when I checked it after my run. 10k is more like 6.2 or 6.3 miles. I never calibrated my stride, running or walking, just put in my height. I’ve been running every other day, about 10k.

I feel wicked good about everything. Running for my life away from shrinkage was the best thing I ever did! My dad would be so, so proud of me! He was once president of Massachusetts NAMI but I’m sure he would be rolling over in his grave if he knew NAMI took bribes from the pharmaceutical companies.

I need to find the exact date, and how to sign up. This may be a full marathon (which I don’t want to even think about doing) however I am fairly certain there’s a 10k option and maybe 5k too. Some races do it like that.

New idea: Running a race to benefit charity

I have enjoyed running so much lately that I was thinking of running a 10k. I have been checking out where there are some in my area. I believe there will be a few next year in Montevideo, mostly after the weather cools. We are headed into summer now.

I was planning all this out during my run yesterday morning. I ran about 5-1/2 miles.  This was one of the many variations on the circle I often do.  A 10k isn’t much over 6 miles. I don’t run on consecutive days, that is, if I run Monday, I wait till Wednesday or Thursday to run again. I think I could run daily if I were to shorten my distances. However, I kinda like the long runs, so I am fine with going every two or three days.

I feel happier than I have felt in a long time. I am finally able to have fun again. After the abuse at MGH I never had fun at all. I’d try, but it always fell flat. Even walking Puzzle didn’t do it for me, though I took her out rain or shine anyway. As far as I can tell, Puzzle is thrilled with our new life here. I don’t plan to run with her, though. I take her to the beach sometimes for kicks.

So this is my plan: Run for charity. I don’t think the run I have my eye on is a charity run but one set up by a local athletic club. So I can run and have a fundraiser of my own. I’m sure there are entry fees but usually these are to pay the personnel involved. I know organizing races can be complicated. From publicity to making sure the road is safe there are many employees. I suppose among paid and volunteer employees would be the athletic folks themselves such as judges and those doing the timing and setting up audio systems, serving food afterward, passing out kits (bibs, timing sensor devices we tie on our shoe, etc) or cleaning up trash. I’m sure there are “sponsors” such as shoe companies and those companies that make sports drinks. Many races supply beer afterward too. The police (or whoever does traffic) have to see to it that cars are diverted. I’m sure just about every race has first aid people standing by.  That’s all paid for by entry fees and other funding. I’ve noticed some races are done by charities and they are not only asking an entry fee but to gather pledges for the charity. So it works much like a benefit walk.

So how about I do my own campaign? I thought of a few ideas:

1) Run to benefit an established organization I believe in, such as MindFreedom International.
2) Run to benefit an up and coming institution that has truly helped me directly. I’m thinking of Lauren Tenney’s “Talk with Tenney” radio show because the show serves the purpose of giving those affected by MH care a voice. It has been so beneficial for me to have my voice heard. It’s been an incredibly positive step for me.
3) Invent my own charity.

Do you want to know what this charity will be?  It would be a fund set up that people could apply to in various categories, all based on rebuilding lives for victims/survivors of MH care. I thought of the following:

1) A specific amount of money designated for education or vocational training. This means GED, college, and the like. This would contribute to tuition or books.

2) Necessary assistive technology to help people rebuild their lives. For instance, if a person is suffering trauma from psych abuse and believes he/she is a good candidate for a service animal to enable him/her to work, the fund would provide an amount to go toward the care of the animal or travel expenses involved in obtaining the animal, or something related. Or if the person has severe vision problems that resulted from psych meds, the fund would help pay for Dragon Naturally Speaking or whatever the person needs.  Dragon is one of the best software packages that enables a person to hear text on a page.

3) Relocating. Funding that would contribute to moving expenses or settling the new home.

4) Legal. Help to pay for a lawyer if you need one to get your kids back or if you are unjustly accused of a crime because of your psych background and are seeking defense, and other reasons.

The fund wouldn’t pay for medical expenses. The fund would absolutely not pay for further shrinkage, addiction treatment, or a support group. This is for advancing our lives past MH care, not for returning to it, which is a step backwards.

The focus would be rebuilding lives shattered by MH care. Rebuilding. That is, ourselves.

I see so many people in devastation and ruin. They feel they cannot and will never rebuild. It’s so sad to see. I want to give a hand to those folks so they can have a second chance just like I have had.

I will be 57 in less than a month. I’m kinda surprised to be alive, but truly delighted. I ask myself sometimes why I never gave up. Here’s one reason why:

Puzzle 8_15_14 sunshine

See ya!

 

I ran 5 miles today, no problemo…

What’s with this gluten free thing, anyway? I feel like a million bucks! Well, in fact, I wish I HAD a million bucks, too, but having all that money would turn me into a lazy and very greedy person, as I figure it.

So today, as I calculated, I ran for over an hour, just about precisely 8 km, according to Google maps. This is only my second time out.  What the f? How can I do this? Eight km comes to roughly five miles.

Well? I walk every day, don’t I? Been walking all along, several miles each day, as I figure it, sometimes more like six. I don’t smoke. Should I really be that surprised?

I went out, turned este (east) at La Rambla, past the yacht club (I doubt people have yachts here), past the pescado market a little fish place) and Indigo Atlantida (ristorante), till I got to Piedro Lisa, where I turned back on Sunday.  I took a good look at Piedro Lisa, which I think is a cafe or nightclub or bar, and decided I wouldn’t turn back. Naw, I wasn’t ready to.

I kept going. Kept running. I ran toward the sun, only it kept getting farther away from me. I couldn’t catch that darned thing. Geez.  I asked myself why the sun was both este and slightly sud from here. However, I realize that it’s coming upon summer here below the equator. So you’d expect it to be down our way, eh? I kept running.

I knew Piedro Lisa is fairly far down La Rambla, nearly into Los Toscas. That’s sorta the next town over. I figured maybe it would be too much should I attempt to go all that way.

You know that expression that says a certain town is so small that you shouldn’t blink while driving by, or you’ll miss the entire town. I can say that about Las Toscas for sure. I ran right by it! Finally I started to wonder, cuz I knew it sorta looked like I had gone into a more developed area then it kinda thinned out. I decided I’d better turn up toward the IB.  I turned left.  I had no clue how far I had gone, but checking Google maps later on, I noticed that the place I turned was at the border between Las Toscas and Parque del Plata.  Honestly, I had no clue.  I ran away from the ocean and found a street that looked wide enough so I wouldn’t be in the way of passing cars.  Turned out the street was under construction, so I had the opportunity to run on soft ground. The towns were beginning to wake up, folks headed for work.

I went past that Esso station. Estacion Las Toscas, it says. Then only a few stores, pizza places mostly, and I was outa the Centro of the town.

Road construction ended. I counted down the streets, realizing I was headed into Atlantida.  Calle 4B, Calle 3B, Calle 2B…Oh, whatever. We don’t have many street signs here. You gotta just know. Kinda like Boston, where you can read what the side streets are if you are lucky, but heck if I ever know what street I am on! I kept running.

When I arrived at the circle where I always get lost, I promised myself I wouldn’t this time.  I managed to find Artigas, which is the main drag in Atlantida. I ran past Supermercado de la Pedro, where I show up sometimes, past the Policio, past the Correo Uruguayo, and then onto my street. I didn’t bother with a cool down. Puzzle’s walk served that purpose.

Know where I keep my key? In my shoe. Tied in and tucked under the laces. Now and then, sunlight reflected off that key and flashed into my face. The key to mi casa.

Libertad.

 

My amazing treadmill run the day after the 2013 Boston Marathon at my gym in Watertown, MA

As I figured it, things were not going to be the same for runners for a while.  Not for any runner anywhere.  Not even on a treadmill.  As I saw it, a shadow had been cast on the sport.

For me, I thought of the Marathon runners, how each had trained for a year to run in this event.  Yes, a year.  I had heard that it takes a year of solid work, specifically training to run this very long distance that our bodies are not really designed to do.  I have heard that the half marathon, that is, approximately thirteen miles, is far easier on the body, whereas the full marathon is well beyond the scope of most people’s natural abilities.

Running is a solitary activity.  I say this because you do it in your head.  Or at least I do.  I have never done it with another person, and don’t intend to.  I cannot fathom it as a team thing.  I see it as something one person’s body does by itself.  It is not multiple bodies doing something in cooperation, as is synchronized swimming, a ballet troupe, or, say, a jazz quartet.

And so, when I run, I daydream.  I go off places.  Many places.  Even when I ran at our track, called Victory Field, I loved to imagine I was ending my run at Copley Square, where the Boston Marathon ended each year.  Yes, I imagined not that I was the winner in first place of the Boston Marathon, but that I was one of the runners of the race that was completing, anywhere, really, it didn’t matter to me, only that I had made it to the finish and was congratulated, a wreath of sorts placed around my neck as I passed across the line.  I enjoyed this image every time I completed my final lap at Victory Field.  I sped up as I rounded the curve.  I told myself, “Julie, you’ve done it again.  You are a winner.”  Then, I’d leave the track, walk through the gate, and cherish that imagined wreath around my neck.

As I walked through Victory Field’s small parking lot, careful to avoid exiting cars so that they wouldn’t back into me, I’d imagine I was coming home from the Boston Marathon a winner, a protective foil draped over me.  Nobody would drive me home.  In fact, I was once in Boston’s Red Line station and saw marathon runners going home alone on the subway alone.  Yes, alone.  With that foil draped over them, the foil that told me they’d run the marathon.  The solitude of these runners made me so uncomfortable that I guess that’s why I felt the need to congratulate them.  Now, I realize that maybe what they felt inside was enough.  After all, they were going home.

Or maybe not.  It was hard for me to remember.  Were they going back to lonely hotels?  But as I left Victory Field, I changed the music to something else.  I turned it down so that I could hear an oncoming car.  You sure don’t want to be hit, to be so lost in a daydream and get yelled at by a driver, “Hey, watch where you’re going, idiot!”

I had to switch to treadmill running quite suddenly.  I guess it was November.  My fingers and toes told me to do so.  My body told me to do so.  When you are on your way home from Victory Field after a run and it isn’t even all that cold out, and you are convinced you can snap off every single frozen finger and every single frozen toe, and no daydream will cure that notion, it’s time to look for a budget gym.

I’m not sure when the mailing came.  My mailbox is barely big enough for a postage stamp to fit in, let alone a letter.  But along with the usual ads for tires for the car I haven’t driven for maybe thirty years came an ad for a gym called GymIt.  GymIt?  What a weird name for a gym.  It turned out that GymIt was the new budget gym in town that believe me, turned out to be the best gym I had ever belonged to.

GymIt is operated by a couple of brothers to my recollection.  The staff are always friendly and truly proud of the place.  So when I showed up the day after the 2013 Boston Marathon, checked in, and said hello to the very kind staff person at the desk, I decided I might as well throw in my two cents.  I said, “I’m not going to be daydreaming that I’m at Copley Square while I’m on my run today.”

I guess she misunderstood me.  She asked me if I’d been a runner at the marathon, that is, Boston Marathons of past years.  I replied, “Oh, no, not me.  I only pretend.  I daydream.”

She laughed.  “Oh,” she said.  “I get it.”  We both laughed.  “But you can pretend you’re at the London Marathon.”

“Perhaps,” I said.

“Enjoy yourself, Julie,” she said, waving.  They call me by name because they see it on my tag when I check in.  I headed off to the locker room, being careful to go into the Ladies’ and not the Men’s.  One of these days, I’ll make that goof, but I haven’t yet.

So once on the treadmill, I set my player to something I’ve been using lately by Podrunner.  It’s free running music you can download off the Internet.  I decided to use what I’ve downloaded from their “Intervals” training program by “DJ Beatsmith.”  Actually, I call him “Steve” when I talk to him in my head, because the other DJ’s name who does the Podrunner mixes is Steve Boyett, so I figure I might as well call them both Steve.  I talk to them both in my head while I run, not out loud, but to myself.  I tell them I can run faster than them.

Today, the guy to my right was running up a storm already.   You really should have seen this guy.  He was so into it, not that you could blame him after what had happened the day before.  He was throwing punches into the air.  I do the same thing, but only in my head.  I punch out anyone who ever called me Welfare scum.  Sure I do.  But this guy, he was really punching, really throwing his fists while he ran.  I thought that was cool.

So I began the treadmill.  Soon enough, it was going up close to the speed of 4.0, then over 4.0 as I walked.  I generally don’t let it go past 4.3.  See, I’m short, only 5’1″ tall.  So short folks like me can’t walk super fast.  But all the while, all I could think was that anyone who ever looked down on me was going to have something to reckon with.  Then, the music gave its signal to break into a run.

I knew that this particular mix would have me running for twenty minutes straight.  Given that I took a bit of a break in there, I knew that twenty minutes nonstop was perhaps at my age, 55, not something I should take lightly.  I knew I shouldn’t do this at breakneck speed.  At the same time, I’d done it a few times before in the past couple of weeks, and knew my capabilities.  How much could I push myself?

As I began to run, I chose a speed far slower than usual, under 5.0.  Suddenly, I found myself into a daydream, and I didn’t look back.

No, I didn’t look back.  I looked ahead.  I watched the road ahead of me.  I watched the pebbles.  I didn’t want to fall.  I concentrated.  I thought of my legs.  I didn’t think of my legs at all.  My legs were not my legs at all.

I thought far, far ahead.  I thought of a friend of mine, my friend Michael, whom I’d messaged with on Facebook the day before.  My friend Michael who does not have a home.

I thought far, far ahead, to Copley Square.  Ahead to Copley Square, to the Boston Public Library.  Here, next to the library there is a grate where the homeless men and women sleep, by night, by day, to warm themselves.

No, Michael won’t be sleeping there.  It is the day after the 2013 Boston Marathon and no homeless folk will be sleeping in Copley Square tonight, or anytime soon.

I thought far, far ahead as I ran on the treadmill, and the guy to the right of me punched as he ran.  I punched in my head along with him and said to myself, Michael, this one’s for you.

I didn’t notice that DJ Beatsmith, whom I call Steve in my head, had signaled me to stop running.  Or I guess I hadn’t noticed.  In fact, the music had changed over to another mix entirely.  I hadn’t noticed at all.  I kept on running, and suddenly noticed that I’d gone on much longer than twenty minutes; in fact, I’d gone longer than thirty minutes.  I had run nearly 5k.  I kept on running and then there I was, the steps of the library, the Green Line entrances, the smell of sausages cooking, everything.  I was there.  Copley Square.

To my left, there had been a cycling of treadmill users.  The two that had been there, two women conversing with each other had been replaced by two others who also conversed with each other.  I thought that was amusing.  The man to my right was about done with his run.  I wanted to tell him, “You rock, fella,” but I didn’t.  I figured it was unnecessary.  I mere nod of my head was enough.  Finally, I slowed my treadmill to a walk.  I wanted to spend some cool-down time.

I thought of the foil draped over me.  I thought of the blankets a homeless person such as my friend Michael might keep wrapped around him to stay warm on a cold night.  I have passed by that grate many times.  It is indeed warm there.  I slowed the treadmill further.  Michael, this one’s for you.

I passed by the desk and said goodbye to the GymIt staff.  I had to wait a long time for the bus that evening.  I didn’t realize that our town, Watertown, Massachusetts, would at the end of the week be at the center of the world’s attention.  In fact, right where I was standing at the bus stop, where our tiny shopping malls were, hundreds of cops, FBI people, National Guard, media people, the military would be all over the place, and it sure wouldn’t look like what I was used to seeing.  Sure, the atmosphere was tense.  But for now, the sun was behind me, a nearly empty water bottle was nestled in my hand, and a daydream ran through my head, as free as daydreams can ever be.

 

Oh how nice to take advantage of the fact that I fall between the cracks and get forgotten about

Get ready, folks, for a good laugh….

My ex-therapist thinks I’m in the hospital right now.  But she’s wrong…I’m not at the hospital.  I’m totally off the hook with her and I don’t give a hoot.

I had phoned the hospital not this past weekend, but the weekend before, asking about care, specifically a week ago, that is, Monday the 11th, because the Admissions personnel weren’t exactly in last weekend due to the storm.  I guess they decided the local Crisis Team should get in on the act.  I’ve told my blog readers all this before, but in case you’re just tuning in, I’ll recap.

I told those Admissions folks no way did I want the Crisis Team showing up with the bells and whistles of police, ambulances, sirens, uniforms, and the like, so they’d better call first.

Now at this point I guess they called, and we agreed there would be no “home visit” if I agreed to make arrangements for Puzzle’s care, and show up at the hospital the following day.  They said, “Call us tonight, and if you don’t remember by 8pm, we’ll call you.”

Did they remember?  Nope.  I phoned them maybe at around 8:30 or so, saying I was busy making a You-Tube.  I said I was using Windows Movie Maker, and explained that this was free movie editing software that came with every Windows computer.  I said I was making the You-Tube on request from a mental health website (not sure I mentioned the name of the website, but it’s healthyplace dot com’s Stand Up for Mental Health campaign) and I said the You-Tube was about empowerment and stigma and the advantages and disadvantages of “coming out” as a person with mental illness.

This information, all about “movie editing,” “software,” “You-Tube,” and the like rather overwhelmed this crisis worker.  Keep in mind that most of their clients are not computer savvy, don’t have online access, and may not even know how to “keyboard,” as they put it, and often don’t have interest in it and don’t understand the value of it.  So this crisis worker probably thought I was as together as can be.

You-Tube?  Yeah, Julie’s fine.  So everyone promptly forgot about me.  Which was just what I wanted.  And to tell you the truth, what I needed.

So I think my CBFS worker thinks I’m in the hospital.  My ex-therapist thinks I’m in the hospital.  How nice to have “disappeared.”

My psychiatrist phoned me, I think Wednesday night, saying, “Let me get this straight.  You decided NOT to go into Walden?”

I can’t recall what I said, but I told her I had an appointment with a new T on Saturday, and that I would go to that appointment, and that was that.  Apparently, my psychiatrist, Dr. P, didn’t phone anyone to inform them of my “decision.”  Good.

Meanwhile, I signed up for a 5k not long before all this came about.  This race is at the end of April.  I told myself, “Yeah, Julie, fat chance this’ll pan out.”  But I seem to be following through.  I went to the gym Thursday and yesterday and ran quite a bit.  I surprised myself at how well I was able to run.  I felt strong and steady and happy and natural and felt no strain or soreness whatsoever.  Yesterday I completed three and a half miles of combined running and walking, mostly running, and whatever walking I was doing was very, very fast, or at least fast for someone my height.  Is it a myth that someone with short little legs is probably going to walk slower than someone with longer legs?

There is no reason I should have a crappy life.  Why should I accept this lot?  Why am I taking these “low expectations” everyone seems to be heaping on me?  Why not reach for the stars?  I am not scum, and I refuse to be spat on any longer.  Move out of the way, you fuckers.  This race is on, and I’ve got your number.

Running goals achieved: one mile in 11:56, also did nine laps today, feel great

I must be the slowest runner on the planet.  I figured it would be another month before I got past the 12-minute mark, but I accomplished that today.  I surprised myself on my very first lap when I finished in 2:44, my fastest speed yet.  No, I wasn’t sprinting, just going along at what I assumed was my usual pace.

When I started back running, I did a lap in 3:15.  I figured I’d never get past 3 minutes.

Then, I figured I’d never be able to do two miles.  After all, I’d done my mile so fast, so surely, I was burnt out.  So I started off mile #2 nice and easy.  Laps #5, 6, and 7 seemed to go by without much effort.  I did 8 and it wasn’t hard, so I figured I’d tack on one more today.

Welcome, ninth lap.  I wasn’t exhausted at all, just satisfied knowing I’d completed a couple of neat new goals.

Then I came home, got Puzzle, and we zipped around Watertown, had a blast.

PS:

I added to the last post that no, I was not going to stop the meds.

Service dog AND meds.

AND running.  Yeah, I started that, too.  Just a tiny bit.  I’m being super careful.  Not with Puzzle, either.  I can’t run on the street, only on the track where it’s soft.

Oh, by the way, I heard they are going to re-do Victory Field!  What does this mean?  Will the track be even better?  Will it still be 1/4 mile around?  Will it still be absolutely gorgeous at sunrise?  Will the ninth lap still be just so awesome? Will I ever be able to do nine laps?  Thirteen laps like I used to?

I promise myself no more than thirteen laps.

So far, I have run four laps, one mile.  Cool.

Well, gee, sometimes the music gets real decent and I just have to fly.

Some documents I found on my computer

I was “filing” a couple of things in my My Documents folder and found a bunch of documents I’d written and saved.  There are 13 of them, or more if I find more that were labeled unclearly.  The first of these documents was written May 5, 2011, and the latest I wrote today.  This latest one contains a copy and paste blog entry I wrote and decided not to publish.  It is saved in my drafts folder.

Let me make it clear that these documents are part of a historical record.  Most of them are in the form of letters to my T, and many of these letters I read aloud to her.   I wrote the official letter to my T stating that I was firing her on March 11, 2012, my dad’s birthday.  I saw her once more and now she is out of my life.  Of the documents that are not letters to my T, three I labeled “Dying Wishes” and put them in a separate folder.  These were written last July, last October, and then again in December.   There is a letter I wrote March 6, 2012 and CC’ed to a number of people regarding how dumb it is to put me in the state hospital.  There is a statement in July I made not addressed to anyone in particular about refusing to have a feeding tube put into me and refusing to be hospitalized for the purpose of weight gain.  The document I wrote today has two components: a copied and pasted letter to a friend, and today’s unpublished blog entry I mentioned a second ago.

I was thinking of putting these documents, in chronological order, up here and thus made public.  I believe the last one, written today I will put up here in a bit.  But maybe not.

I have to think about how people are going to react to these documents.  Though I do like to stir things up, I think putting them up here is going a step too far.  It would be irresponsible for me as a writer, specifically, blogger, to portray such a grim picture of despair and hopelessness worse than I already have.  What if it rubs off on someone?

I mean, what am I supposed to say?  That there’s hope for you folk out there but no hope for me?

I don’t think it would be right to say that there is hope for everyone, you can do it, never give up, the way a lot of websites do.  Why?  I’d be bullshitting.  It is my responsibility to be honest.  I don’t want anyone to become anorexic and the last thing I want is to encourage anyone to do the things I do.  I think that this is clear if you read what I say.  My desire to be thin is destroying me.  I don’t want to see you destroyed or on the destructive path I’m on.

That said, I don’t want anyone else to think that because I am driven to die, that anyone else should be.  And if you are, please read this page:

http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

And check out this list:

http://unsuicide.wikispaces.com/Online+Suicide+Help

I have never seen this second page before, but I notice that the first link I provided recently updated their page.  I’ve gone there a few times and read it, and it helps.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve “changed my mind” at the last minute.  A lot of it was had something to do with my dog, Puzzle.

My dog Puzzle loves me unconditionally.  Let’s face it, humans never do, and never have.  Never throw yourself into the arms of another person, because it will either totally suck, or they will dump you and leave you raw and bleeding.

I had a “wake up call” recently, thanks to Puzzle.  I’m not sure what to make of it.  The problem was that once I woke up, I had to stay awake, and I can’t do it anymore.  I have had more wake up calls since leaving therapy mid-March than I had in the entire 31 years of being in therapy.

What I saw in these documents, all stored in My Documents folder, all labeled by their titles, is a steady pounding of making myself die.

I don’t want to be this way.  I didn’t ask to be this way.  I’m not doing it to control anyone else or play games.  There are a lot of “normal” people out there that have a death wish.  Everyone has one, but most people’s is so tiny that it only appears in nightmares on very rare occasions.  My death wish is fucking huge.

It would be one thing if this lasted a couple of weeks, or a month.  But no, it has been right here and of unbelievable intensity for a fucking year.  More, actually.

I have heard of four-year-olds that are suicidal.  They are wired that way.  What do you do with these kids?

And so I am 50 years older than these kids.  What do you do with me?  Is there such thing as non-retractable suicidality?  What the hell do you do with these people?

Well, most therapists won’t take them on, for one thing.  Liability.  You can discard them by putting them into the state hospital.  I suppose that’s where many end up once their insurance runs out.

Again: unwanted, unloved, rejected, excluded…which feeds into the suicidality.  Lovely.

The rest are dead.

I am not dead.  I am running for my life.  I am scared of the state hospital.  I repeat, these places are not hospitals.  They are dumping grounds.  They are prisons.  Buried alive.

The state hospital systems were built as humane alternatives to imprisonment.  People with mental illnesses were being housed in prisons and put in chains.  Someone decided this was wrong.  But the state hospital systems went astray long, long ago.  They are being closed down for this reason.  Condemned.  But people still end up there.  What do you do with the disposables?

Some, the lucky ones, run for their lives.  I am running.  Many are still running.  Some ended up in a safe, positive place.  Not a hospital or institution.  They found a safe place to build, or rebuild.

I have no clue how to do this.

So I guess I’ll just keep running.  I’ll run out of steam eventually, and then whatever happens, happens.

Hello, month of May

I must say, I am still feeling fairly decent, knowing that the hell I went through in April was not “me being sick” but something done to me by the chemicals meant to treat “me being sick.”  And now, I’m doing less chemicals, so I’m happy about that.

I just did my budget and found out I’m more broke than I thought I was.   I went into the red last month.  At best, it will take not a few months, but two years to pay off my credit cards.  Every time I board Puzzle, it wipes out all my progress and then some.

So I showed up at the gym Sunday, anyway, and I was going to re-do my membership, and now I’m relieved that the membership person wasn’t there.   The guy let me go in and work out for free.

Wow.  Where have I been all this time?  Sitting here doing literally nothing for a month you’d think I wouldn’t be able to do a darned thing over at the gym, but I kinda surprised myself.   I had a good time on the treadmill and then did the elliptical for a bit.  I can’t even begin to describe what it was like to be exercising again.  I walked on the treadmill faster than I can walk with Puzzle, and the exercise on the elliptical, I must say, is much more vigorous than walking.  I wondered if I’d really experienced any joy at all since I was told to stop running, period, last May.   Maybe that’s why afterward, I crashed real bad, just thinking about the fact that it was maybe a year ago that I was running up to five miles a day.

The acupuncturist said  that they can do things to help me with my knee and I might be able to run again.  You know, I never got a second opinion last year.  I resigned, threw in the towel, gave up.  It was completely horrible when my T told me how great is was that this had happened, because it would slow me down.

I never, ever justified what she said.  Looking back, when I was running in the fall of 2010, preparing for my first (and I hope not only) 5k race, I felt damn good.  I ate fine.  I ate a lot, in fact.  Go back and read my entries, things I said about how proud I was to have a strong body.  The T I had didn’t force me into these babyish “weekly weight checks,” in other words, I was treated like a responsible adult…say what?  I am an adult.  Then I switched therapists.  My new T didn’t understand my running, and immediately went under the assumption that I used my running to overexercise.   I guess “running” equals “overexercise” and “yoga” equals “recovery exercise”?  How cliche.  I don’t like yoga.  I took a yoga class once and felt fat and bored.  To each his own.   So when I had to stop running, she kept pushing the yoga and “healthy exercise” on me.

So, let me get this straight.  She, and a lot of other ED specialist types, claim that yoga is something you do after you are recovered, and running is something you did when you were sick and burning calories.  This is a gigantic assumption and blanket generalization on their part, don’t you think?  If I had a therapist who was a runner herself or himself, it would be a whole different ball game, don’t you think?  Only a runner understands the magic in it.  When I was running, I left behind weight, body size, and calories, and spent about thirteen laps kicking ass in the sunrise.

So in December, when I ran my 5k, my T never, ever understood.  And then I crashed.  How could this relationship have possibly worked at all when there was such misunderstanding right from the start?

I used to bring my lunch to her office and eat it before our sessions.  Nice timing, cuz the sessions started at 1pm.  I found out later that she assumed I was being deceptive and that I was throwing up in the bathroom right before our sessions.  It took ages to straighten this one out.  No, I wasn’t overexercising, no, I wasn’t throwing up, in fact, I was doing damn well until she started not trusting me, not respecting me, putting me down, and treating me like a child.  I started therapy with this woman in November 2010, and even in March and April of 2011 she still accused me of lying about being unable to vomit.  So now I get why this therapist was not much use to me.

As I said in my comment to John (see sidebar) I plan to write an article about “informed consent” in care.  This would cover the issue of trust as well, because it goes both ways, don’t you think?  “Informed consent” means a lot.  It means stuff like knowing why you are being given a med and knowing all the side effects.  So if they’re giving a patient Seroquel and telling this patient it’s for anxiety, but behind this patient’s back they’re thinking, “Gee, it’ll increase his/her appetite!” well, the patient needs to know this motive.  I’ve thought a lot about this one.  If it’s “for my own good” then by all means, I deserve to know.  I believe a patient should know what he or she weighs and that this should not be kept hidden.  I could go on and on about this.  When I write my article, I will present a good argument that treating a patient with respect and dignity means informed consent, honesty, and trust.

So anyway, I’m going to figure out how to join the gym and wiggle my way into paying as little as I can.  Or maybe I can find an elliptical machine, that is, one that won’t break down and is okay with my body (most are awkward for me and I can only use certain kinds) for very, very cheap.  But of course it has to fit into my postage-stamp-size apartment.  Gee, that’s tough.  Maybe I can get super good aerobic exercise flipping what remaining pennies I still have.

I’m going to take Puzzle out.  Maybe if I put on some Dave Matthews, I can work up a bit of speed.