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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.

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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 »

Today I visited a new blog, Wildflowers Movement.  I really like this quote in the sidebar:

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
-Anais Nin

Today I am feeling frustrated with myself.  I do feel successful in the fact that I am med-free and seen as a success by the general world, but I am so tired all the time.  I don’t know why. I wonder if I am not getting something type of nutrient that I need.

There is a big conference coming up, but I really don’t want to go because I dread the traveling and know I will get tired.  I used to love traveling.

To be fair, I do have a slight sore throat. I rarely get physically sick. Early this month I had a slight cold with an incredible sleepiness. I can’t remember the last time I was physically sick. I feel a few months ago and have some aches from that. I have been get massages, but I haven’t been doing the exercises that I should to build up the muscles where I fell.

I have a counseling session today. Three weeks ago I was supposed to write down what I have for self-esteem and happiness.

I think the whole reason I got into this depression and mental health fiasco is because I have low self-esteem. I was anxious and nervous and depressed. I went for help and the next thing you know I am on a roller coaster of prescription drugs…and ….read the beginning of my blog.

I really don’t want a second divorce, but I don’t want to live without sex. My sex life is pathetic. My husband has a low drive and he has hurt my feelings so much that I just can’t relax. I used to have a very high sex drive. He has rejected my sexual advances so many times…and now when he says he wants it…which is so far a few between, but when he says he does….I feel kind sick. He refuses to go for counseling for this issue. He has a counselor, but I don’t think he has brought up this issue

Well, this is supposed to be about me, what do I have to have.

  1. Someone who respects me
  2. food
  3. shelter
  4. health care
  5. alternative health care
  6. friends
  7. “social standing” or a place within the little group I respect….not the “blue bloods” or the “high class”.
  8. Enough money to cover my bills. Right now I don’t have that much. My biggest expensive are for a little efficiency apartment, my health insurance….yes, even if you are on Medicare you still have to purchase it, a supplemental policy and some prescription or supplements. This counseling session is $90.00 because Medicare doesn’t cover it.
  9. I was going to say sex…but heck, I lived with a low or nonexistent sex life for so long now, maybe I don’t. It’s more than just sex. I think the phsyscial touch is healing. I am not getting that special healing…sexual healing…like the song

So, what kinds of things do you need to be happy? If you are in a mental health system, have they helped you?

I went to a lady who studies energy. She said the chakra around my throat felt low or tight or whatever. She said that was the truth chakra…yes, I don’t let people know about my mental health history. And I don’t have the nerve to tell my husband that I am unhappy…well, heck..he knows I don’t live with him. But I don’t tell my friends and family that I am separated…..I do feel like I hide the real me. But you see, used to run around blabbing about myself to everyone.

I had to search far and wide to find this woman who will agree with my rejected of psych drugs.

I used to say I was treading water and that was okay because I enjoyed swimming. I wasn’t sinking or drowning and I wasn’t struggling.  Everything was okay. (See my February post about treading water and the stigma of mental illness here.

Well, today I met with a a person to give me business advice.

He said to me, “NG  you have been saying for months that you are doing a half-baked job, you just need to set your mind to it that you are going to really work and to an excellent job.”  He went on to say that I knew good from half-baked why did I continue to do a half-baked job?

I wanted to say, “You know, I know how to do a better job, but you have no idea how fast I have to run to just keep my head above water and now, well, now I am floating, and floating feels pretty darn good.”

I used to have an anxiety disorder. I used to be medicated.

Course if I really believed that just floating was okay I wouldn’t have contacted him for advice on how to improve my skills.

My customers don’t care what my problem is. All they care about is a good product, which I give them at this time. But I want to some day get off disability so I need to do an even better job so I can command more money.

So on the one hand I am asking for advice and my friend is telling me…you just need to set your mind to it and do it.  On the other hand part of me doesn’t really know if I can. I lack self-confidence. I think as long as I am not stressed out and medicated who cares….I am floating…and it feel so good.

And then someone on a listserve or group sends you a link of how the insurance reps can deny you insurance when you need it for a life threatening condition because you honestly forgot to tell them about some minor ailment you had treated and you wonder, “Why am I even trying to do this?”

Because I feel the disability it holding me back. I want to excell. I want write a books some day that say, “I was written off and look at me now.”

I miss what we had. Lots of good times. We had a little girl too

I miss what we had. Lots of good times. We had a little girl too

Today is an anniversary for me. Today is a reprint of a post I ran last year on this date. My current husband and I are separated. We are both trauma survivors and I thought we would be partners in this life. I thought we would be a team protecting each other from the this crazy industry and building each other up. We do protect each other. But my husband in private is a controlling man, who sees himself a notch above me. In this second marriage we both have achieved much in the outside world.

Here is the post I ran last year about how I lost the first love of my live.

I believe psychiatric medication had a huge hand in destroying my first marriage

I would have been married for 29 years if I had not gotten divorced.

I still miss my first husband. (I know that is probably a terrible thing to admit publicly because it would hurt present-time hubby.)

My first hubby was very nice. We were very, very young when we got married, but we were married for 15 years. For the most part it was a good, pleasant marriage. I had depression, but I had that before I married him. (Yes, I suppose it was the now-trendy “childhood depression.”)

I blame the pysch-industry for the failure of my marriage. I blame them for doping me up. I blame them for what I now believe was medication-induced mania.

I did some things I am ashamed of when in manic states. I first made a comment about the crazy things people do on Susan Benard’s Bipolar Wellness Writer blog. Susan doesn’t think mania causes a person to do anything against their own moral codes. You can read her post about that issue here.

Hubby hated that I took medication. He said the medication made me into a zombie. Words that still bring tears to my eyes are, “I am sick and tired of being married to a zombie!”

I thought he was cold-hearted at the time. I thought he didn’t realize that that the medication was similar to being in a wheelchair. Would he say the same thing to a woman in a wheelchair I wondered?

Hubby hated my psychiatrists. Not at first he didn’t. The first time the psych-doc diagnosed me as bipolar he asked me to bring me hubby along. Hubby told the doc that he had known my father, and my father had problems getting “worked-up” and letting things go.

At first hubby was supportive. But as time went on he became angry. I asked him to help me with my cocktail of meds. He refused saying, “I’m not going to be your baby-sitter.” That hurt.

I wasn’t getting better, I changed doctors because I believed he was incompetent in finding the correct med for me. (Now I know there is no such thing as the “correct med.”) We also had to change insurance to do this. The next doctor tried to talk to hubby on the phone. She told my hubby that I was a very, very sick woman. I don’t know what else they talked about. All I know is that after that conversation those two hated each other. At a latter appointment she didn’t have much good to say about him.

I remember phoning the doctor and screaming into the answering machine, (we didn’t call it voice mail back then) I screamed into the phone that I loved my husband, he was a good man, and how dare she talk about him with disrespect. The doc phoned me back in a soothing voice and said that I was absolutely correct.

While still married to my husband I would cry to my doc and say, “I just want my husband back.” She gave me some advice…but it was bad. (it was obscene, actually, and it turned him off big-time.)

After my divorce my mother told me that hubby said he could put up with my depressions, but not the manic episodes.

When my husband and I separated. I went to my mom’s. I phoned my doc and she replied, “What a Godsend!” I was sitting at my mom’s thousands of miles from our home, missing my hubby and she thought it was a “Godsend.”

My first husband thought I was beautiful and intelligent. He was interested in what I had to say. He was proud of me. I was proud of him. Years later, my heart still jumped when he walked into the room. Pride still welled up inside of me when he achieved an accomplishment. I can count the number of times he insulted me on one hand. He hardly ever said anything that would hurt me on purpose. Whenever I went out in public, I would proudly show off my husband. Or if I were with people who were in his circle of friends, but not mine, I would proudly say “I’m “hisname’s” wife!”

Sometimes I lay in at the edge of my bed at night and a tear will roll down my check. I miss him so bad.

(May 24, 2009 – Some of this pain has gone now. I go in and out of missing him. My second marriage is not good and I am separated from my husband right now. )

P.S.

May 24, 2009 – Last year there was a discussion on why  bipolar people and others diagnosed as mentally ill need to take responsibility for their actions during their episodes.   A fellow blogger and my friend, Duane Sherry said,

“We say that all people are due civil rights, and that NAMI and the TAC have no authority to insist on ‘medical compliance’ – our own healthcare is our business.

And it certainly is – as long as we continue to take responsibility for our own actions. The moment we stop, is the exact moment that we lose our rights.

If a person is unwilling to do so, then they will be seen as ‘unable’ to do so, and they will quickly be made ‘able’ by persuasion, coercion or legal force.”

You can read the discussion on Bipolar Wellness Writer’s “The Disease is NOT the Person post.

See my comment and what sparked the discussion on Bipolar Wellness Writer’s post, “Dealing with Mania and Hypo-mania”

Her post on April 25, 2008 was about regrets, forgiveness, and letting go of the past. Read that here under Inspirational quotes.

PJ of Spin Original posted that she no longer believes she is or was bipolar. She had many problems or issues that needed to be worked on. She does believe that the medicine stabilized her for a while although she gained 50 pounds.

Read her post Biploar No More here.

Warning: Never quite psychiatric medications cold turkey. You can suffer painful, physical withdrawal symptoms as well as cause a rebound effect that will mimic psychiatric problems. Read more on Duane Sherry’s Discover and Recover blog on his WARNING tab.

Hi,

Lot’s of alternative mental health bloggers know that essential fatty acids are important for our mental health. I take usually take 3 capsules of fish oil every night. Currently I am taking Swanson EFA’s Superior Essential Fatty Acids. It is a combination of flax, borage, and fish.

Here is a link to learn more:

DHA and Depression-Studies from the Franklin Institute
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health associated the increase in depression in North America during the last century with the decline in consumption of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) during the same period.

They also pointed to lower rates of major depression in societies that consume large amounts of fish, a key dietary source of DHA. North American and European populations showed cumulative rates of depression 10 times greater than a Taiwanese population that consumed a lot of fish. The Japanese, whose diet is rich in fish, have a significantly lower prevalence of depression compared to North America and Europe.

Since I just posted that Ray wants his ETC to stop, I thought I would post this. She does a good job of explaining what it is like.

Krista Tippett of “Speaking of Faith” is doing a story on depression.  I usually like her and her show. 

You may listen and read “The Soul in Depression” here.

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