The good the bad and the utterly indifferent

I was going to write last week but I am going through rather a lot right now so I did not know where to start.  I just decided start is the operative word so here we are.  On Monday the 26th of February, I took an overdose.  No don’t run off it’s not like that I would warn you if it was.  It was an accident.  I was putting tiny pills in a pill bottle so I can get them easier due to my Caral Tunnel.  I was at the same time taking my nightly meds which were in, you guessed it, a pill bottle.  In fact the exact same type of bottle.

I turned away to get the water to take them turned back took bottle swallowed all the pills and then realised I had taken 41 Seroxat!!   At that moment I both laughed and was horrified for the same reason.  How do you get a Psychiatrist to believe you when you have taken an overdose before.  So I knew when I rang 111 I was fairly sure I would be off to hospital with the possibility of being sectioned under the mental health act.

So it took 45 minutes t get me into the ambulance as I had to walk to my flat door to get on the trolly due to the location of the doors here.  The two paramedics were lovely one Australian and one English.  They were leased I was amused by it all and asked me did I really have poor mental health and I told them I was a “high functioning” nutter which meant I am OK 75% of the day but the other 25% was well dodgy.     We went to Charing Cross A&E  which is an excellent place full of committed professionals and they were good to me.

There was the usual booking in which they did and then triage which was not necessary in my case as they already knew what the problem was and the poisons unit had given them instructions.  ut her in a cubicle do a workup of everything with attention to her blood pressure, headache or vomiting.  otherwise, watch her for six hours give her fluids.  A healthcare assistant came over and loudly said: “Is this the overdose”?

Now if you have ever taken an overdose you will get this immediately if not here is the ritual.  At the point where someone says overdose the reaction from people around you depends entirely on where you are.  If in a cafe chatting with a friend everyone will stop talking look at you and when you look at them they look away and carry on chatting.

When it is said in a busy Accident and Emergency department the reaction is the same as in the film An American Werewolf in London.  There is first the swish of heads then the stares and then the craning of necks to get a better look at the person in extreme sorrow to see if they know them. And finally, there is the realisation that although you have been waiting for 5 hours to be triaged the “nutter” is getting seen before you.  Then people start moaning.

I do not embarrass easily and I can be somewhat gobby (not a feminist term) but it’s quite often funny.  So I say ” It was accidental you know” really loudly to the healthcare assistant who goes bright red and says” Oh shit I am so sorry it was so loud I did not know if they could hear me.  Then everyone stopped moaning about the nutter and started smiling at me with a sympathetic smile of the ” poor love” type.  It is at this point that the divil in me as my mum used to call it comes up.  I wanted to say loudly “last time it was a real one”  I didn’t I mumbled it and one of the paramedics with me howled laughing.

When they said goodbye I was settled into a bed and proceeded to find their free wifi (which was an unknown thing by the staff.  I got online and told my friends and family what had happened and I was OK.  I could not call them due to the stupidity of Vodafone who gave me an upgrade in October 2017 but neglected to tell me to pay my bill and suspended my line the next day.  When the phone arrived it was lovely and I got online easier than I had ever done before but I found making a call or text impossible.  It stopped even that on October 25th.

So there I was with my unphone bored to poop.  So I did what I usually do when I am bored  I get creative,  So I took my phone and used the camera to make a film and I took some pictures of my hair at different angles to my head.  I had a full battery of tests and a catheter attached to some fluids as I was seriously dehydrated.  At 09.00am the psychiatrist and a CPN came to see me.

I explained what happened and he said “ok I think we can discharge you” whilst standing up to go.  The CPN looked a bit worried and he when he saw her face he said “she is no danger to herself or others by the fact that the first thing she did was call an ambulance and get help”  Got to love that logic really haven’t you.  So it was the first day of the big snow in London and I was wheeled out to the transport bus by two very charming and chipper young men.

They got me home, my carer was here and Morrisons had delivered my shopping.  All in all a successfully timed homecoming.  That was until I tripped over my carpet landed on my backside and had to call an ambulance with their bariatric cushion to get me up from the floor and into bed.  Bumps and bruises only but it was all quite hilarious to the paramedics who had been to help me up the last time I fell, one of who came from the small County Antrim town my cousins moved to.

So there you go I was told not to take any of the tablets I took for a while but I decided it was probably a good time to come off them as I had discussed their efficacy with my psychiatrist last time I saw her and they were not really working for me.  So it’s nearly 4 weeks from the day and I have not taken them.  I was really agitated last week but that was more about too much coffee than lack of Seroxat.  I have been up and down emotionally but I am keeping it under control.

I have been crying over movies and TV shows I would normally not cry about.  So if I start to blub because someone’s family is killed then I tell my self  “shut up Caroline it’s an actor.  a good actor but it’s not real”  That usually gets a giggle and then I am fine.  The weird thing is I have been quite clear in my thoughts and actions.  I know the depression is still there and I need medication so I am still taking my Buspirone but I am looking forward to trying something new to help me keep on the level.

 

 

 

 

 

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The old ways

My thing when I was overeating was to order a large pizza a bottle of fizzy drink a tub of ice cream garlic bread and chicken wings.  It was enough food for 5 or 6 people but I sat and ate the lot on my own.  I felt awful afterwards bloated and gas-filled like a wet corpse on CSI.  I wasn’t hungry before I ate it and I was not hungry at any point after I ate it.  That was one of the problems.  I was never hungry.

I ate to fill a need food could never fill.  Not one edible thing on earth could fill the void.  I was not loved and I was sure I was unloveable.  The longest relationship I had had other than the one with my family was the 22 years I spent with my cat. I was self-destructive and long overdue for some therapy.

When I got to the truth of my life it took some time before I started to love myself again, if I ever did.  I continued to poison my body with food for some time after I recognised the trigger of my abuse.  I cannot pin down the day I woke up but I did.  That day I called my doctor and asked for some referrals one of which was to the Bariatric Surgery unit of St Mary’s hospital.

I had been given referrals before but I was not ready.  I had to hit the bottom of my cliff before I could see a way up again.  Once I make a decision about something and I commit I go all in.  The diabetes diagnosis was the push but the Atrial Fibrillation was the kick in the backside I needed

I started a diet on my own and by the time I got to the first appointment that they weighed me at I had lost 12 kilos. I was so elated by the news that I wanted to dance.  The time since then has been spent fighting for the help I need from Social Services through all of it I ket to my diet and fought them to get what I needed.  Finally, just before Christmas, I had a meeting with someone who seemed to know what was happening and made promises that I trusted.

So when I got a call from a Social Worker who had done my review before Christmas that they had given me the same care package I was happy right up until they told me about the restrictions they have placed on my supported time for “accessing the community” or socializing as we would call it.  The restrictions mean I cannot attend my hospital appointments or leave the house long enough for it to be worth going out.  I use a wheelchair and I need help to leave my flat which can take up to 45 minutes sometimes, especially if I am having a panic or the cab has not arrived on time.

So that day 11/1/2017 my depression which is reactive went from it’s daily slightly grumpy to suicidal in one conversation.  Now 15 days later I have sought the old ways to fill my aching soul.   I ate all the chocolate in my cupboard which included 3 packs of 6 supermarkets faux chocolate bars all in one go.  I also ate pizza for dinner.  It was pizza for one size but it was still covered in cheese. Oh and I ate 5 jam doughnuts for breakfast,

I am not disgusted with myself neither am I considering doing it again   I have done something I was incapable of doing before,  I have forgiven myself and recognised why I did it.  So tomorrow back on the diet happily so.  I have also given dealing with Social Services to my CPN.  I have also not been able to do that before,  hand over an important area of my life to someone else to sort out.  So maybe I am done with the old ways

A Poem about Mobile Phones

Phones

I drowned my phone.
I got a new phone on upgrade.

It would not call or send texts and then it died.
I am waiting to get the envelope to send it back.

I got a cheap phone as a substitute if I kill my phone again.
It does not work.

I have to send it back in an envelope.
I bought another phone as a replacement.

Its instructions were printed so small I had to use my jewellery magnifying glasses to read them and when I did they looked like they had been translated by a 4-year-old Chinese boy with a cheap English dictionary (my phone is Chinese).

Then I went to Youtube, home of all videos about electronics and I found a video about how to set up my phone
This was excellent It started at open the box and went onto how to get the ringtone you like and how to make a call.

I thought this is great.
Then my phone was a bit temperamental and would not switch off.

I looked at other videos about Unboxing which is watching people open their new electronics.
I thought Okay it’s harmless and no one gets hurt.

Then I saw another video “Is your phone a fake” I thought Okay just out of interest.
The answer is yes

Better out than in

Today I am 53 years old. When I was 13 I thought I would be dead by 23 of some grandiose act of selfishness that people would call accidental but was actually a long winded suicide like hitting a truck at 120 mph in a car.  I self medicated with alcohol and occasional drugs.  I was a very unhappy teenager.  My parents did not love me.  No one loved me.  No one would ever love me or could ever love me.

This of course was a horrible devastating lie.  But it was one given to me by my abuser.  If you tell your mum and dad they will give you away to a home because they won’t love you anymore.  If anyone ever finds out you did this with me then they will hate you because you are a disgusting thing filthy and smelly and everyone knows you are they can see it on you and they know it’s your fault because you wanted to do it,  you made me do it to you.

When you are a small child and the person saying this to you is also a child only they are 14 and you are 4 and they are doing this to their stepbrother too you will believe them.  This belief will stay with you all your life or until you find a way to make yourself whole again.  Some survivors realise on their own that what happened was not their fault and people will not judge them.  Those are the lucky ones.

Others have to live with their abusers for many years until they escape as teenagers. Or die by their own hands unable to live with the horror of a life without love, safety and compassion.  It is the lies that poison your life even more than the physical abuse.  The lies that live deep inside telling you you are not liked or loved are not worthy of good things.

It makes you sabotage the things that are good in your life.  It either makes you a slob (who cares right) or a perfectionist (I can’t clean up today I will not be able to do it all the way I want it).  Then there is the acceptance of neglect.  Many young people abused within their community often accept the continuation of abuse by neglect long after their abuser has moved on to someone younger their acceptance of their worthlessness is total.

It leads them to push away the very people in their lives who love them unconditionally and who have their best interests at heart because How can they help they don’t know what’s in your head they just want you to be like them. They don’t love you anyway they just want you to be “good” so they get an easier life don’t they?”

NO they don’t They are heart broken to see the person they love destroying themselves.  At this point many of us turn again to self medicating with alcohol and drugs.  I was at my first stage of sabotage in my life as a teenager.  At 14 when a lot of my peers had their first steady boyfriends and their first sexual encounters I decided to loose my virginity.  Yes just like that as if it were an umbrella to be left on a bus.

I approached the person I wanted to loose it with (he was 17) and I told him that I wanted him to help me do this on Saturday night.  I told him this whilst actually on a bus to a music store in town to buy Lou Reeds Sally can’t dance album which I still have and love unlike him who turned out to be arrogant and spitefull.  He was quite shocked for someone who was supposed to be the coolest guy in the gang of cool guys.  Along came Saturday I can’t remember what we did before but I know it included a lot of alcohol and then the deed was done and I went home and woke up on Sunday thinking was that it!

This is how my life went from then on.  I had intimate but short interludes lacking in passion or romance with adolescent males.  I did not enjoy it how could I none of my lovers were experienced enough to know about the female orgasm and the fact that not all women orgasm during penetrative intercourse.  Why did I do it again and again then if it was so awful.  Because I was told that’s what you do when you love someone and they will love you if you do.  Naive yes, self destructive certainly, painfully sad yes it was so painfully sad to go from one to another without any hope of love and feeling this was the only way I could get love because my parents did not love me did they?

I stayed out all night I ran away from home. If I had been a teenage superhero my name would have been “Get the Fuck away Girl” A friend from school once told me that all the boys he knew in my year were scared of me.  I was unpredictable an sullen.  I put people down with my words and hated myself when I saw the pain in their eyes.

I was bullied by senior girls for 4 of my school years and as soon as the most senior year left the next one took up the cudgel and it went on for my whole school life. Right up until I left myself.  I had successfully built a wall around me and it was impossible to break for anyone. Or so I thought.

There was a girl one summer when I was 15.  She was staying on holiday with her aunt and uncle near our local park and we met when I was walking my daft Labrador (the holder of all my secrets).  My dog ran up to her and started barking and wagging her tail and sticking her head in her jeans pocket. She had liqourice.

We walked she made me laugh so much and she listened to me.  Not the way everyone listens but the way only some people do quietly not thinking in their head what they have to say next that is more important.   We talked about space and science she wanted to be a seismologist because she had been in an earth quake zone more than once and seen the devastation.

She made me interested in science and the world.  She was there for 6 weeks of the summer holidays and I told no one about her we met when everyone had gone home for the day. Then I fell in love one night and I was heart broken when she had to go home to her parents.  Of course I did not realise it was love at the time because I did not know what love was because my mind was warped so badly out of shape with my emotions.  I have never until now talked about her to anyone.

At 17 I took an over dose of Paracetamol and tried to kill myself.  I had been telling my mother for days how miserable I was and she had been I suppose trying her best to find out what was wrong with me but she had no understanding of what she was dealing with how could she, she did not know what had happened to me.  She did not know I had depression she thought I was just trying to use histrionics and emotional manipulation to get what I wanted.

So when I sat at the dinner table and took 100 paracetamol tablets right there in front of her she did not believe I was doing it.  It was not until my father arrived home and took one look at me that I think she even realised what was happening.  She went in the ambulance with me to the hospital and I had my stomach pumped and was kept in over night.  I could never discuss this with my mother in later years because she was unable to “talk” about difficult emotional things with out believing there would be an argument.  This attitude always meant that there was an argument.

It must have been so painfully hard for them not knowing what it was that made me so unhappy.  The Psychiatrist and social worker did no better because my parents thought I was “playing up” and the social worker agreed with them.  Had there been someone trained in abused children they would have spotted all the signs and maybe things would have been better.  Then again they could have been worse.

It was around 2004 when I was having therapy for my depression and over eating that I admitted to someone I had been sexually abused as a child.  It was then that the flood gates broke and my heart which was fit to burst was opened and freed.  My father had died by this time and our relationship had been very good for the last years of his life.  I never told my mother about the abuse.  Why would I want to fill her with the pain of knowing what happened to her child and the self blame that went with that because she had placed me with someone she trusted who had abused me.  Instead I counted to ten every time she pushed a button and laughed instead of screaming.

How am I now today on the day I am 53.  I am medicated for my depression which works most of the time.  I have decided I am so crap at relationships I don’t want one until I have only hand baggage to deal with as the rest is happily in storage having been aired dry cleaned and moth proofed up the wazoo.

If any of this has switched on a light for you please show this to who ever you think needs help.  To go back to my mother and her favourite saying when I was ill as a child  “come on better out than in”

The Hollywood sex law

I got up the other morning and whilst shuffling my way to the toilet I knocked over my toothbrush from my night stand. I decided I would grab it on my way back because when your joints have been immobile for 10 hours they don’t tend to want to go very fast first thing and when you are on your way to the toilet anything other than the house being on fire must not delay you!

So on my way back to bed I see the toothbrush and bend to pick it up. This was my first mistake. When you have a number of conditions it’s easy to forget one or two of them if they have not reared their heads in a while. It was when I bent down and I got horrendously dizzy I remembered I have BPPV (Benign Peripheral Proximal Vertigo). I fell forward onto the side of my bed and had that moment of pure joy when I realised I was safe.

That’s when my hip locked and I started screaming. I did this for some time before I manage to get comfortable again. It was locked most of 3 days and when unlocked yesterday evening I managed to do something to my knee. So the title of this is the Hollywood Sex law which was told to the movie people during the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s that if they were going to have a couple in bed together both actors had to have one foot on the floor. And that was how I spent the last 4 days during the day time!

Personality disorder

So the months since my last contact have been heavy both physically and emotionally.  I have had the worst depressive episode in my life and needed new psychiatric input. Depression means all things to all people.  It is not a one size fits all, “Oh I eat chocolate when I’m depressed” because if that was the case then we would all be off down the shop for a Kit Kat>. Back to work the next day colleagues inquiring how we were after our depression telling us about theirs last week when their husband walked out and how the Mars bar really works for them.

No food cures depression. Neither does alcohol or drugs (yes even prescription ones). But the legal ones do help you to cope better and therefore have less depressive episodes. I have been taking Paroxitine for at least 14 years now and they have not helped at all. The only effect I get is when I have not had them for 4 days then I am homicidal yes Homicidal Not Suicidal. I cannot control this so it’s a bloody good thing I am morbidly obese and have osteoporosis or I would be England’s most notorious killer, “you know that Caroline Carney well I read in the paper she killed 4 people and chopped them up in her wet room then put them in bin bags which her carers put in her wheelie bin.

The only thing that stops me is I am too exhausted by my other physical disabilities to bother. I am my own worst enemy I sabotage my life better than any enemy has ever done or ever could and then I do not ask for help until it is so bad I am just under the radar for sectioning under the mental health act. I have been this way most of my adult life but very few people know about it. People see me as lively say what you think person who gets things done. This is true I am that person but I am also the stay inside don’t tell anyone the dark is pouring in on you person.

I am the eat lots of food make yourself as unattractive as you can so a relationship with anyone is less likely because you cannot bare another broken heart when you fuck it up trying to be everything to the poor human who just’s wants you to be the you they met in the pub who was funny and kind and warm to be around. Instead you turn into the “Got to make this perfect” you who is controlling and reluctant to receive anything good from others. Of course there is a reason for all this and I know what it is but I don’t feel like talking about it now that’s for another day when I am stronger and less down on myself. No, today I am too vulnerable for that.

So finally I get to the title of this bunch of emotions. As I have managed to fuck things up over and over again in the same way I am now considered to be the proud owner of a shiny new Personality Disorder. “Which one” you shout wishing to put me in a category and tell yourself you always knew there was something wrong which is bullshit as you really had no idea. Some people will be nodding their heads and saying to others ” Ah a personality disorder” they are the ones who do not have a personality let alone one interesting enough to be a disordered one.

So I journey now into the world as if I have been given a new tattoo only this one is inside me and I may refer to it or not in much the same way as I do the one on my leg I got for my 40th birthday only this new one is not visible and is less likely to have people laugh when I tell them about it!