BINKY keeps telling me I'm "really mad" and I keep telling her I'm not. I mean, I'm not paranoid, not depressed, not anxious even and so what if I feel high nearly all the time? I'd taken heroin in the night and hadn't slept so when I went round Binky's at 7:45 this morning, I was a bit hyper. I was trying to think up names for my fabulous clubnight and she kept getting offended by my wonderful ideas like "
Slut Vagina". [I would never give my club such a vulgar name; it just seemed like a good idea at the time...] And when I took to recording random snatches of conversation. So for a while I was thinking of naming my star-spangled party "Are you on that toilet for long? Because I really need to go." ~~ I think that would be a brilliant name! The other top two favourites were "Gnome Brigade", "Dillory Pillory" and "Itchy Swines".
Grizzeller, the one guy in Binky's house full of nutty girls is in such consistently slow motion that if, for example, you wanted to visit the house at 9am and knew he'd be the only one in, you'd have to phone in advance at eight to give him enough time to shamble along the hallway and get the front door open. Now that is bonkers. I am not!
When I was talking to my very young and beautiful GP, Dr Lovelace about the inconveniences of psychotic breaks and happened to opine that "hearing voices is supposed to be a sign of madness," she quite inaccurately corrected me saying, "well, hearing voices is a sign of schizophrenia". Well yes, of course it can be that, but it can also be a sign of bipolarity, a sign of psychism (clairaudience) and a sign of nothing at all! I'm really surprised Dr Lovelace doesn't realize that 15% of bipolar 1 patients hallucinate. Hallucinations are not, per se, signs of schizophrenia. In this country we have a national Hearing Voices Network brimful with people experiencing daily extra-sensory perceptions and the majority of them claim not to be mad, and do not experience the symptoms of psychosis (paranoia, incoherent thought, great difficulty engaging with life).
The British Mental Health Foundation obviously know their stuff. Binky insists all her voices are absolutely accoustically real. Well many of mine aren't. When I really was mad they did sound exactly like invisible people speaking next to me, but nowadays they're more like random words precipitating from an idea-saturated atmosphere into my consciousness:
It is also common for people to hear voices as if they are thoughts entering their mind from somewhere outside themselves. This is not the same as a suddenly inspired idea, which people usually recognise as coming from themselves. These thoughts are not their own and would seem to come from outside their own consciousness, like telepathy.
This isn't precisely my experience, but it's similar.
When I tell Binky I may be "just a bit hypomanic" she says, "you've been hypomanic for two weeks now". And when I point out that hypomania is just very mild mania, she says, "then hypomania is mild madness". You see?! Every move I make I'm already snookered. That girl has been in the mental health system for far too long and she knows too much.
Then she takes issue with me for wondering aloud what is wrong with other nutters and why they act the way they do. Well that's just me being me, I'm afraid ~ always fascinated by what makes others tick...
Hey! I'm not doing Christmas alone with an Iceland sweet chili chicken pizza this year because I've been invited to Binky's for Xmas Lunch with all her cuckoo-clock friends. How brilliant is that?! We're even allowed vodka, which has been banned for the rest of the year after Binky got me to buy two half bottles, drank the lot and then ended up lying in bed throwing a near-delirious pity-party of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was really not pretty.
Speaking of alcohol, I idiotically went and wasted 95p on a can last night which I mixed with my Polish fruits of the forest drink. I had one single sip and now it's sitting in a giant mug untouched and untouchable and I don't know what to do with it now. I'm very much into the waste not, want not philosophy and cannot in all good conscience pour it down the drain. Like I've said many times ~ although yes, I did used to drink enough alcohol not to be consuming any nonalcoholic drink at all and to be getting daily blackouts. But on the other hand I never had that "once I start drinking I won't stop until I'm passed out cold" thang going on, like most alkies seemingly do. I was your archetypal "top-up drinker" ~ drinking to keep a moderate level of intoxication going through every waking hour. Not to plunge myself into oblivion. Even with the drugs, most of the time, I wasn't using gear in pursuit of unconsciousness, but as an escape from pain. Now that I'm no longer in constant psychological pain I feel far less need of the gear. See it's all deep, psychological and mysterious.
At yesterday's anti-drugs group we had a cheeky chappie with what are nowadays termed "mental health" troubles but what always used to be called "emotional problems" ~ from what he said, his primary problems appeared to be anxiety and depression. This might very well be the "vanilla" version of mental illness, but let me tell you, anxiety/depression is just about the most unpleasant psychiatric affliction going. It's much more unpleasant than manic-depressive psychosis and of course the doctors take anxiety far less seriously than psychotic illness, which makes no sense, as severe anxiety is far and away more intolerable than any psychosis I've ever experienced. The doctors never, ever take it seriously, and they will not prescribe anything for it, except drugs along the lines of Prozac ~ which always made me many times more agitated than I'd been before. Anxiety doesn't generally agitate me. When it was severe, I was frozen in terror. As the psychologists say, it's "fight, flight or play dead" ~ which is very true as I always played dead. Though I've never seen a person with an anxiety disorder fighting. If anxiety really did make you fight, the mental hospitals would be full of people with panic disorders under Section for fighting instead of "flighting", or playing dead like me!
Anyway this guy with the terrible affliction happened to mention to me something about confronting the issues that have caused or fuelled my past depressions. What issues is he talking about? Do I even have any? Binky says yes I do; I said, "do you mean my massively unstable self-esteem?" and she said yes. But post-psychotic trauma aside, I'm not sure I have the type of issues that a skilfull counsellor could tease out of me so that in the future I'm going to magically not be depressed. I'm not sure my depression is like that. If it were mostly issue-based then how come the first sign, and usually the most prominent symptom is massively increased time spent asleep? Can a thorny tangle of emotional hang-ups really make you sleep more? And how come half the time I actually feel better than usual? So my mood is now elevated ~ and what has become of my issues now? Are they actually making me feel happy? Or is another set of personal hang-ups doing that? Or is it just that when I'm on the hypomanic side simply more in touch with my own fabulosity and that's what makes me feel fabulous all the time? Because that's what I think is going on...
Righty-ho it's ten past six and I have to go to Iceland to get a sweet chili chicken pizza. Writing about it has made me wanna munch it! With cheese-flavour coleslaw as a side-order. I luuuurve cheese coleslaw! I barely slept last night and must catch up before I fall asleep at the screen...
What's happening with Sandy, this humungous great tropical storm they said might flood or flatten New York? Is it really that bad? And why, if it only made landfall around midnight London time. With the time difference currently a mere four hours, that means New York was OK until eight at night their time, so why close down the subway and the stock exchange all day yesterday? Also, with New York being so low-lying, I don't understand why they hadn't long ago built seal-up-able subway and road tunnels to prevent any storm-surge getting into them... I woke up yesterday morning feeling so incredibly repentant for having been too excited about the idea of a giant hurricane hitting a major metropolis and not having my thoughts with the householders and the businesses who will suffer because of it. I can sometimes be incredibly shallow and I really felt guilty for having not taken Hurricane Sandy seriously. Also I wrote a comment to my fellow-blogger, Syd saying "so you live in South Carolina? Isn't that the land of hurricanes?" ~ no sooner had I said that than that Sandy appeared and I was terrified that Syd would get blown away because of what I'd said.
So all isn't right in the world. I keep thinking of all those people in New York, New Jersey and so on who will be dealing with massive flooding and power cuts. I mean, it's disconcerting enough when the power goes down for just a couple of hours and it's candles time and no television but what happens when a whole metropolis goes down for days at a time?
I used to be in touch with a recovering addict named B Melons Lemonade, who was right in New Orleans and actively addicted to heroin when Hurricane Katrina hit, destroying not just the infrastructure of the city we all think about, but its drug supply network. B Melons was so traumatized by events that she went down with a pretty nasty case of PTSD which is by all accounts one of the nastiest mental illnesses going...
I pray that New York and everywhere else in the path of this so-called "Frankenstorm" will be OK...
Night-night everyone, wherever you are ~ and BE SAFE!...
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