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color exercise books

I chose this graphic to symbolize back to blogging.

Hi, I’ve haven’t posted since 2015. A lot has happened since that time. I quit my job, which put me in daily contact with prestigious people and the movers and shakers of our community.  I sunk into a depression. I  dug myself out of that depression, took care of my elderly mother, whom was my best friend. While I was taking care of her I was mentally fine. After she died I came home to no job, a lost of contact with the outside world and because of a car accident — no transportation.

But I’m here today to tell you that even if you do relapse, you don’t have to totally depend on psychiatric drugs to get well. At several points I felt that I needed to be stuck in a psych ward, and I was desperate to take any psychiatric drug. It felt like my heart was outside of my chest and pounding violently. I felt like crying or screaming, but no tears would come. I was super lonely. I felt normal only in the presence of others. I visited with our parish nurse, she suggested grief counseling.  I used my husband’s EAP (Employee Assistance Plan) to find out what they had to offer. After phoning the number a nice voice asked me some gentle questions. One of them was, “Are you thinking about joining your loved one?” No I wasn’t. I was just going nuts. She gave me the names of approved providers that the company would pay for three sessions with. I don’t know why, but first I made an appointment with a psychologist who had a good reputation in town for grief work. My husband drove me to the appointment. which was inside of a hospital. I met with her, took an inventory, I think it was Beck’s Depression Inventory.  I scored as severely clinically depressed. That physiologist urged me to call my medical doctor who worked for the competing hospital in town.  He wanted to put me on Prozac of Zoloft. I said, “No,” because I had taken both of those drugs in the past and they did nothing to help me. I also couldn’t sleep. I would lie awake at night, not daring to get up and do something as I didn’t want to spur a bout of mania.

I did decide to take some psychiatric medicine. I will elaborate on that.

(To be continued tomorrow)




Yesterday my husband and I visited the tax man. We filed an extention on our taxes, so now we are doing them in October.
Two years ago I felt like I had to explain to man who prepares our taxes why I was on disability. I was on in 2010 too, but not 2011.
I told him he was one of two people in this town who knew I was on disability because I never told anyone because of the stigma involved.
He said he understands about stigma because he wife is a social worker and that with the right meds I would be okay. My husband and I just sat there. Neither one of us told him that weaning off the means is what has enabled me to have a more “productful” life. (Productful according to the Urban Dictionary means: “Fully realizing the utmost capacity of productivness. Acheiving with success one’s abilities.”  or  “When you’re so productive you start creating your own words for how much work you’re getting done.”

There’s no way in Hell I’d have the job I have now if I was on psych meds.  (Time to make a donation to MindFreedom methinks.)

Oh boy, what to do when your friends are your enemies.

One of the best ways to write a book is to practice writing everyday. I’ve been thinking about writing a book for a long time now. I want to write about my recovery from mental illness. I want to write a book, but I’m not sure why. I used to think it was because I wanted to help others. I now feel like someone who is “passing” for a normal person. That most people who know me now wouldn’t ever even dream of my struggle with mental illness. I have a lot of things I ‘ve done in my life that I am ashamed of, and I don’t know if I really want to write about those things. I wouldn’t want to embarrass my children or my parents. So, I wonder if I really want to write the book. I keep thinking I need to be just a little more successful before I can write the book.

How successful to I need to be? What is your definition of success?  For now, my definition is that I need to be off disability and holding down a full time job with benefits and also having a little status in my community. I know I was actually successful before I was off of disability. And in this economy defining success by a full time job with benies, isn’t really the best thing to do. Why does anyone have to be a success by how much money he or she makes?  Well, I just want others to see, “yes, it can be done, a doctor can diagnose you will a “genetic, brain disease, give you so much mediation that you are doped up beyond able to function, and yet, you can recover and lead a “successful”, “normal” life.
Writing also keeps me sane. I remember once, when I had been very depressed and the psych doc had recommended that I go into a pych unit…that one of the “excerises was for me ( all of the patients to write down their feelings.) I didn’t do it, not becuase I was noncomplient, no, rather, I didn’t have any feelings. Later, a freind of mine said “you sould have written, ‘Today, I feel nothing.'”  Yeah, I should have. We also  had art thearpy and I made a little plaster puppie. When I go out of the psych unit . I had that plaster puppy sitting on the ledge by my fireplace. But, whenever I looked at it, it just reminding me of my time in the psych unit an dwhat a awlful time it was for me. One day I picked up that plaster puppy and threw it in the garbage.

Which reminds me of another thing I did during that time period. I had a job in which I thought people picked on  me and treated me unfarily. I had the phone numbers of my colleagues written on a piece of paper. One day I picked up that paper and held it over the sink as I lit a match under it and watched it burn.

Merry Christmas!

If you have read my blog in the past or have just stumbled upon it, I want you to know that recovery IS possible. I am totally weaned off of drugs. My goal five years ago was to write an autobiography about how I was written off as disabled, almost a “throw-away.” Many, especially the professionals, thought I should be on meds for the rest of my life.

I am a successful person now.  Success is in the eye of the beholder, but I am willing to bet no one in the town I now live, would ever guess that I have a mental illness or that at one time I was basically a drooling fool. Drooling because of the meds!

As I said, I thought I would write an autobiography, but I am still to scared to do it. I feel 90 percent recovered. I head up a small non-profit agency and I am an artist. At this time I don’t make enough money. I am scared that if I went public with my story, I might need future employment. Will employers not really want me?

I will give you an example. I have been very, very busy so I wrote a generic email and blind carbon copied it to several of my friends. In the email I said that I was too busy to put up my Christmas decorations and that we didn’t have electricity for the part of the house that we wanted to put the decorations.  Well, a friend who knew me from my depression and bipolar mania days wrote back to say she was so sorry that I was feeling blue.

Blue!  I was busy, busy, busy. I’m wasn’t sad, blue or depressed.

Now this person was/is a very good friend who stuck with me through the worse. But I suspect she will always see me as mentally ill. We never see each other any more. We met in the days before Internet and we live thousands of miles apart.  I guess I haven’t told her about my long journey off the meds. She saw me at my worse. To be fair, she doesn’t know about the new me.

But the fact that I my busyness was misconstrued for the blues as why I had no decorations was revealing to how people view you once you have been labeled as mentally ill.

Henry Emmons, MD

Here is an interesting article about a doctor who uses holistic approach to help people diagnosed with mental illness. His name is Henry Emmons, M.D. and his website is Partners in Resilience

Capturing Calm

A Minnesota psychiatrist and author is trying to shake up how people think about mental illness.

By MAURA LERNER, Star Tribune

In psychiatry, “we focus almost entirely on what’s wrong,” said Emmons. “I began thinking about joy.” And about how he might help patients in the midst of life’s setbacks get it back.

“Henry takes the perspective that depression is a holistic disease,” said Lori Knutson, executive director of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in Minneapolis, where Emmons works two days a week. “It’s not about mental illness. It’s about mental health.” Read the rest of this entry »

Lately I have been really tired. About two weeks ago I started taking Vitamin B-12.  Vitamin B-12 is not found in vegetables and I had been avoiding meat.

An explaination of vitamin B-12 from Wikipedia:


Ultimately, animals must obtain vitamin B12 directly or indirectly from bacteria, and these bacteria may inhabit a section of the gut which is posterior to the section where B12 is absorbed. Thus, herbivorous animals must either obtain B12 from bacteria in their rumens, or (if fermenting plant material in the hindgut) by reingestion of cecotrope fæces.

Vitamin B12 is found in foods that come from animals, including fish and shellfish, meat (especially liver), poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products.[30] One half chicken breast provides some 0.3 µg per serving or 6.0% of one’s daily value (DV); 3 ounces of beef, 2.4 µg, or 40% of one’s DV; one slice of liver 47.9 µg or 780% of DV; and 3 ounces of molluscs 84.1 µg, or 1,400 % of DV.

Eggs are often mentioned as a good B12 source, but they also contain a factor (avidin) that blocks absorption.[31] Certain insects such as termites contain B12 produced by their gut bacteria, in a way analogous to ruminant animals.[32] An NIH Fact Sheet lists a variety of food sources of vitamin B12.

While lacto-ovo vegetarians usually get enough B12 through consuming dairy products, vegans will lack B12 unless they consume multivitamin supplements or B12-fortified foods. Examples of fortified foods include fortified breakfast cereals, fortified soy products, fortified energy bars, and fortified nutritional yeast. According to the UK Vegan Society, the present consensus is that any B12 present in plant foods is likely to be unavailable to humans because B12 analogues can compete with B12 and inhibit metabolism.[33][34]

Claimed sources of B12 that have been shown to be inadequate or unreliable through direct studies[35] of vegans include laver (a seaweed), barley grass, and human gut bacteria.
[edit] Supplements

Vitamin B12 is provided as a supplement in many processed foods, and is also available in vitamin pill form, including multi-vitamins. Vitamin B12 can be supplemented in healthy subjects also by liquid, transdermal patch, nasal spray, or injection and is available singly or in combination with other supplements.

Well, I continue to do well. The other night I went to an art show. All the work was by disabled artists.  I ended up talking to one person in paricular. Well, I reveiled some of myself to her. She think meds help people. I told her that meds had ruined my life…well, almost ruined until I weaned off of them. She said she know several people that have been helped by meds. And several people who got worse when my doctor took them off the meds.  I wanted to say that probably the people who went of didn’t wean off correctly, but I didn’t.

Good morning.

I have taken a break from posting and reading the psychiatric survivor blogs.  I am doing really, really well.

Sometimes I think about writing a book, a novel, about my experiences.  Sometimes I think about running as far as I can and never telling anyone about my past.

I am not sure if I will listen to this show or attend a winter sporting event.

I received an email from Mindfreedom about their radio programs this Saturday, Feb.

Here is some information from the email:
Your calls are welcome *this* Sat., 13 February 2010

Lauren Tenney and Jim Gottstein are guests on next
MindFreedom Mad Pride Live Web Radio show!

Listen and call in live, with host David W. Oaks.

Guests are both psychiatric survivor activists:

JIM GOTTSTEIN of Alaska is an attorney and president of PsychRights, a
public interest law firm that has made waves to change the mental
health system throughout the USA.

LAUREN TENNEY of New York fights for silenced psychiatric survivors
she calls the “De-Voiced.” Lauren works with groups such as We The
People and Opal Project. Lauren is also building bridges between the
academic and activist worlds.



MindFreedom Mad Pride Live Free Web Radio

WHEN: *THIS* Saturday, 13 February 2009 – 90 minutes.

USA: 11 am PT, 12 noon MT, 1 pm CT, 2 pm ET
London: 19:00 * Berlin: 20:00 * New Zealand: 8 am

AT THAT TIME CLICK HERE to listen free and call in LIVE:

Your live calls, questions, comments, are welcome!

Call-in Number: (646) 595-2125.

Can’t get to a computer that day? No problem!

You can now use that call-in number just to listen, like a
teleconference. Because of the high number of calls, more lines were
added, though we may hit capacity. This feature may change in future.

Hi Fellow Bloggers,

Wow, it is November already!. I have been doing pretty well. I feel integrated into society and some parts of my life are good.  I would say I feel that I am 95 % better or self-confident. I have applied for a couple competitive jobs and came in a close second. I still have my moments and I am still on disability, but I am working my darndest (is that they way you spell that?) to be confident that I can do it by myself.  It is just the health insurance thing that really scared me. I don’t want to lose Medicare without another insurance in place first.

I haven’t gone to yoga in months and I haven’t been taking my high blood pressure medicine. I am at goal with Weight Watchers.


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