White Light

Warmth washing over me, inside me. What is this? I’m no longer of the world I know, but I’m somewhere; I exist. Here, there is no more pain. No more screeching headaches. No more manipulative, lying, obsessive thoughts. No more lying voices. No more roller coasters, though I must say as a child, I loved them. No one tells you that adult roller coasters are an entirely different organism than those you ride as kids.

No more bad. Only a fluidity; a new ability to glide instead of limp and stumble. Instead of plotting my way along, one knee giving more than the other; one hip higher than the other, cock-eyed, bones rubbing against one another, pain searing throughout.

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There are voices here too, but not the usual voices that plague me. Not the voices telling me that I’m not worth it. I’m suddenly feeling that I’m golden. No more telling me I can’t do it. Oh, I certainly can do it now. Go ahead, give me a thing to do. Ask me to display an unforgettable feat. Because right now, I can, and I want to show the world. I want to show family. I want to show friends. I want to say look, “Are you sorry for calling me pill-popper behind my back? Have you any idea the damage you did with that? The heap of scrap and garbage I felt like?”

More voices. I look, hoping I’m in the right place. The spirits I sense here are the ones with smiles and something akin to fairy dust that flies and bounces around in the air as they move. There are songs; must be similar to the sirens and what the men, proud of their ships, would hear just before their destruction and demise. I’m not going that direction, where I can only imagine how dark it is. How dank. How frightening. I wonder about that place. Are they all punished in the same way, or does each have to live their individual hell every day? Customized terror and punishment, I imagine.

Does that mean I will have a customized heaven? I’m going. I’ve been tired. I’m floating away. I’m listening to the voices urging me along, telling me happiness is about to engulf and transform me. I see the angelic white light. This is the stuff of Sunday School classes. And I know now, I’ve made it. My proverbial thorn in the side is about to be removed and healed. Removed by God himself. I finally unclench my fist, and let go in sweet surrender.

EPILOGUE: The character above who you’ve come to know is Nameless, and she had it all wrong. I’m here to tell you about Nameless because she cannot tell you the rest of her story. You see, Nameless had been in the hospital for quite a while, complaining of hearing voices, feeling extreme anxiety and having frequent, severe headaches. So, the doctors in the facility agreed and decided upon a miracle procedure to help Nameless. Ice pick lobotomy. The nurses with their caring, nurturing voices, all dressed in gleaming white, retrieved Nameless from her room and told her how much better she would feel from that point forward. That she was lucky; that many of the other residents didn’t have the privilege of making their way down the long, white hallway with the magical door at its end.

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Nameless doesn’t recall much now, and she can speak even less, but if she could, she would tell the other patients not to go down the white hallway. That down there, they will project an ice pick into your eye socket. Nameless would tell them her headaches are worse now, that she has permanently black eyes that never recovered, and that she can’t remember her husband or recognize her grandkids. That she can no longer crochet. However, Nameless can’t even speak now.

The truth is, Nameless thought she was going to heaven, but instead came out having barely survived the depths of hell, only to live in that hell everyday, parked in a wheelchair in front of a window with a view of a parking lot while drooling, and utterly terrified of what resides along the other hallways.

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Stigma. Still.

This was found on FB.

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What are your thoughts?

I’m thinking we still have a long way to go regarding Mental Illness Stigma. Even my own husband laughed when reading it, and he’s seen me go to a mental health hospital three times. My point?

Is it that ingrained in our minds? Even minds that should know better?

Out

12.14.18 blog entry

Watching an HBO documentary called Out of Mind, Out of Sight. It is about mentally ill patients who have committed some sort of crime and are now in Forensic Psychiatric Hospitals. (These were once called Asylums for the Criminally Insane.) They interview patients and staff, get into stories of how these folks ended up where they are, and how some patients have even gone missing or been killed in these type settings. It’s a must watch because mental illness and the justice system are a community issue, not just that family’s down the Street problem.

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And for myself, mentally ill as I am, it scares me that I could end up in such a place. Does that ever scare y’all?

Three Identical Strangers

I’ve just watched a documentary called Three Identical Strangers, about triplets separated at birth who found each other at the age of 19 years old.

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I had no idea where the documentary was going, but it delved into nature vs nurture, and twins and triplets whose biological parents had some mental health issues, and their children studied years after. I should mention the kids were placed in completely different households – blue collar, middle income, affluent –  not even knowing they had identical siblings, all within a hundred mile radius. A set of female twins were in the documentary a bit as well.

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Bipolar and Schizophrenia were discussed (surprise), as well as suicide, all supposedly in the name of discovering, what is truly hereditary, what do we decide for ourselves, and – what I wonder and read about quite a bit – nature vs nurture.

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You might want to check it out, but please know it’s emotional.

The Secret Scripture

The Secret Scripture ~ March 19, 2018

So, yeah. Two things after watching The Secret Scripture with Rooney Mara, Theo James, Eric Bana and Vanessa Redgrave.

1. Glad I wasn’t a woman in early WWII.

2. Glad I wasn’t a Bipolar woman in early WWII.

The movie premiered two years ago (2016) and the book was written and on shelves in 2008, so I’m thinking I’m good to go ahead and say what I want here, but I guess just to be sure ~ spoiler alert.

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I am thankful I live in a time when women are treated better. I know there are still lots of #metoo type issues going on, but back in the early 40’s, a woman could be committed to a psychiatric facility by a man, not only in hopes of receiving genuine medical help, but also as punishment, or as a means of manipulation. But the character in the book would have none of it, continually repeating to herself,

“My name is Rose McNulty. I did not kill my child.”

She kept notes in her Bible in order not to forget her husband, her child, herself and the truth.

The other horrific moments she repeated those facts to herself was when she was about to undergo ECT treatments. Mind you, she didn’t really even need such drastic measures, but it was a way of controlling her. Some people did and still do require ECT. Back then, you’d be zapped and convulse for far too long, her character usually reacted to the volts for five minutes, only as a means of punishment. However, even if she had indeed suffered from Bipolar, the art of ECT was nowhere near perfected.

Maybe it’s still not perfected as I write this is 2018, but it’s much better, and many patients, along with their doctors, use it as a means of helping control Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Severe Depression. Now days, you receive anesthesia and a drug that relaxes your muscles. Electrodes are placed on your temples, and you receive a quick current. You wake a bit later, usually remembering nothing. You could possibly be confused for a bit afterwards. So, it’s effective for some, though many still lose memories. It would be my absolute last choice, but for those that it helps, that’s wonderful.

I’m probably scared of it because of movies depicting a severely screwed up Jack Nicholson flying over the cuckoo’s nest, and this book and movie, The Secret Scripture.

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Anyway, I still recommend Secret Scripture, by the way. It’s wonderful. Even with the sadness, there is beauty throughout, which is much like life, I think. Stellar acting. Top marks all around.

But yeah, I’m so glad to be a woman today, and I thank those who came before me and endured what they did in order that I may go to the voting polls and that women who are abused can receive justice, not just have their truths tossed aside.

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And I’m darn glad ECT is much more effective and safe now, and that it’s a choice for me, not a punishment, or something used as unnecessary treatment when a Lithium pill could solve the matter.

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