Sunday, 31 December 2006

After my last post, Bryan from Kentucky commented... "I know our cultures our different but even the pirate should be advocating strict abstinence while trying to get you balanced. Sorry if that sounds sour, not trying to hurt your feelings."

First of all, no need to be sorry Bryan, it doesn't sound sour at all, it's a perfectly reasonable question. And in answer to your question, I'm pretty sure he would Bryan. He certainly often asks me about my drinking. I'm sure if I read the leaflets included in my medicines they would tell me to avoid alcohol. Unfortunately, like most bipolar folk I have a great fondness for mind altering substances. Around 50% of bipolars have some sort of substance abuse or dependence. For a real life experience visit Mrs P's current struggle.

I remember on my first visit to a shrink I was asked about my alcohol consumption. I guessed I was only drinking a bottle of red wine or 5 cans of beer each night and maybe a bit more at weekends... probably about 80 units a week. I was quite taken aback when the shrink said that I was close to the threshold where if I wanted to stop I would need be admitted to a hospital for detox. He had to be joking. I wasn't a down and out. I was a professional person. He also said I shouldn't be drinking at all with the medicines I was on at the time. Did I follow his advice? No. Taking antidepressants wasn't having any effect on me at all. Whereas I could feel the calming and relaxing effects of alcohol within 30 minutes. Over the following six months I was prescribed Fluoxetine, Citalopram, Venlafaxine, Lithium and L-Tryptophan. All with no benefit whatsoever, unlike alcohol which continued to relax me and satisfy some need within me. As I was no longer working I didn't even need to worry about being ill the next day. Were there any side effects from my alcohol therapy? Yes, after drinking excessively I did things I later regretted, tried to harm myself and others and also became known as a nutter to the local police.

Can alcohol be helpful? Well I think my mother actually cured her manic depression with alcohol. After being hospitalised with bipolar disorder in the 1960s, my mother started drinking heavily and then went on to develop full blown alcohol dependence. She spent the next 30 years despising the world and selfishly immersed in alcohol. But she never had another episode of clinical depression or mania. I'm sure I would do the same now if I lived alone. I would love to drink and get drunk every day and live in my own little bubble avoiding the outside world. Fortunately my wife keeps me on a short leash. She only lets me drink on Friday night and Saturday night. I have also devised a way to limit my drinking when I have one of those "lets go for it" nights. I never used to get hangovers but these days I feel hellish the morning after if I've been drinking red wine and subsequently don't like drinking it. So I've now trained myself that if I feel like having a real bender, I drink red wine and thus limit myself.

So to return to Bryan's original question. I think the shrink is happier now that I'm drinking about 30 units weekly instead of 100. It's not abstinence but it's a reasonable compromise.

And finally... I have just been reading about the 4 men arrested and charged with being involved in genocide in Rwanda. Britain has refused to extradite them unless Rwanda assures they will not be given the death penalty. Meanwhile in Iraq, Saddam Hussein was taunted before being hanged by masked men in a scene reminiscent of a lynching. Hanging is viewed as too barbaric for Peter Sutcliffe, Ian Brady and the Ipswich serial killer. We are a civilised country and these people have human rights. We invaded and devastated Iraq to improve their human rights. Unfortunately, even in the 21st century some animals are still more equal than others.

What a way to end 2006. Lets hope 2007 is better.

Thursday, 28 December 2006

After my last visit to the shrink I came home determined never to go back. I also decided to stop taking my medicines since they were useless. I had asked a while ago to try a period without pills, if nothing else I felt it would give us a clear picture of how I really was. Unfortunately nobody else thought it was a good idea so I kept taking them. This time though, I was miserable and felt I had nothing to lose. I had a long chat with my wife about it and we agreed I would wait till Christmas was over before stopping. However, over the next few days I began to feel better, my mood improved as did my confidence (I know what you’re thinking… that guy is so fickle… he’s not got a mood disorder, he is just a bloody prima donna… you may well be right!).

Christmas day was much better than I had anticipated. I forgot how much we had bought for each other on joint shopping trips over the past month. Mrs Mo had lots of presents (even if she had chose them herself rather than been surprised). We had Christmas dinner at the in-laws as usual. It was all nice enough but they’re pretty straight laced and old fashioned, so I tend to be a bit uptight and say very little. Irony and sarcasm is way over their heads and only offends them.

After dinner we have to suffer the Queens speech. I loathe the royal family, where as the in-laws doff their caps and almost bow in subservience. We sit silently in front of the TV until the Victorian propaganda show is over. I know it’s unfair of me to criticise my relatives, as they invite us into their house, wine us and dine us and then refuse to let us help with any of the washing up etc. They are good people who are just from a different generation with different values.

Later in the day we manage to escape to my sister’s house. This is a much rowdier affair as although my sister is very neurotic and overprotective, she has two sons in their early twentys who are a pair of rascals and live life to the full. Dad and the boys are swigging lagers when we arrive and soon I’m in full swing telling funny anecdotes of how things were when I was a their age. We all have a great laugh into the evening. It’s only when we’re coming away that I realise how normal I have been today, how much like my old self.

We headed off to Edinburgh on boxing day to buy a new PC in the Christmas sales. I did something I haven’t done for over a year (no… not that… my libido remains lost) and drove the car. Like every shop on boxing day, PC World was absolutely heaving but they had a good system of issuing tickets to give you a number in the queue.

Mrs Mo was back to work yesterday so I spent the day setting up the PC and getting things the way I like them. Last night I was still feeling OK, so after discussion with Her Majesty, I have decided to stay on my pills meantime. No point rocking the boat when things are going well. I think I’ll also give the Pirate anther chance.

Insanely Me was asking if I could see another psychiatrist. Well, back in the beginning when I finally agreed to see a psychiatrist, I refused to see the Pirate as I already knew him and had paranoid ideas about him. So I initially saw a psychiatrist who looked like Ben Elton.

For about nine months, I did a regular 50 mile round trip to see Ben, who was very easy to talk with and seemed a genuinely nice guy. Unfortunately I didn’t get any better while seeing Ben. I live in a very rural area and he felt in case of crisis and for the long term support of a full team that I should transfer to seeing my local team (including at the helm… the Pirate). Although I didn’t want to, I felt that this was the inevitable conclusion of my delusions about the Pirate. Although I’ve never been comfortable with him, I must say things progressed much quicker with him. Unlike Ben, who was very cautious about increasing dosages and changing drugs, the Pirate tried me on various antidepressants and ECT over a relatively short period of time. So I seem to be stuck with him.

This morning I headed down to the health centre to get bloods taken for Lithium levels. The place was empty so I got taken straight away. I've got dreadful veins and the nurses always have trouble getting blood from me. Today she was unable to get it from my arm but eventually got some out of my hand.

Friday, 22 December 2006

I can't remember what I did yesterday. Whether I got up in the afternoon or just lay in bed all day. It doesn't matter anyway. I see the shrink today. Today is the last Friday before Christmas, known locally as "Mad Friday". So it's quite appropriate for me to see the trick cyclist today. Usually my wife manages to come with me by working extra time through the week and getting the last hour off at the end of the day. The shrink was only doing morning appointments today and her work won't let her off in the morning, so I went alone. I left early for the 2 mile walk to the health centre. I kept to the back streets to avoid seeing anyone I knew and nearly succeeded. Just before the health centre I saw a lady approaching me. It was my old schoolteacher. Not just that but I had also cared for her mother a few years ago. I presume the mother has probably died by now and I start to worry about what to say to her. "How is your mother?" or "Is your mother still alive?" or don't mention the mother at all and pretend she never existed? I'm starting to sweat as she approaches... get ready to smile and say hello... I look up and turn in her direction... she turns her head away and walks on by. Merry bloody Christmas! I suppose she's used to seeing me with hair and being smartly dressed. I'm nearly bald nowadays as my wife keeps my hair tidy with a #1 clipper because I won't go out to the barbers. I'm wearing a T-shirt, tracksuit bottoms and a scruffy old fleece. But probably the main reason she doesn't recognize me is because I look absolutely miserable, shuffling along head down. Not the bright and breezy, confident person she knew.
In the health centre they are playing Frosty The Snowman. I join a group of elderly people in the waiting room. They are waiting for the treatment room to have their hydroceles and varicose ulcers seen to. I'm waiting for the loony tunes room to see the trick cyclist. Unfortunately I'm 15 minutes early. Never mind, the record has changed and now Willie Nelson is singing Blue Christmas...

I'll have a Blue Christmas that's certain
And when that blue heartache starts hurtin'
You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue, blue Christmas

Who needs a psychiatrist with this sort of music playing. Aye, thats just what I need to hear. I start scanning the room for a short length of rope or any sharp objects. Unfortunately the only sharp objects are the corners of the zimmer frames in front of the old folks who I realise are now eyeing me with suspicion. I hadn't realised Willie Nelson had generated a few teardrops in my eyes. Now that is a serious problem. I know most people don't like labels nowadays and prefer to use euphamisms like "mental health issues" but as far as I'm concerned, crying at a Willie Nelson record is the hallmark of a severe and enduring psychiatric illness. I spend the next half hour listening to xylophones and bells and choirs singing about Santa and Rudolph. At times they seemed to be speaking directly at me... "You better not cry! You better not pout!". If those are the guidelines for Christmas then I am fairly certain that Santa Claus is not coming to my town. Nor does it seem that the shrink is coming to town... 15 minutes late now. I'm fretting and pondering about leaving when, as if by magic, the pirate suddenly appears dressed in black.

Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name.

"On your own today?" he asks smiling and leads me into his lair. He asks how I've been and what I've been doing. I tell him I've slipped back a bit and been spending more time in bed. He asks how much Mirtazapine I am taking just now. I remind him he stopped that in early November and I'm now on Imipramine 150mgs. "We can increase that up to 300mg" he offers. No thanks I tell him, I already think (or imagine) I'm developing urinary hesitancy and would rather not be catheterised for New Year. No, I'd rather sit in a pool of my own urine at New Year, like everyone else in Scotland. He asks what else I'm on (aren't medical records invaluable) and I tell him just the 1200mg of Lithium.

Next he asks me if I've had any more strange thoughts. Nothing new I say but I tell him I'm still unsure of his motives, I don't think he is genuine. Hmmm... but no offer of an antipsychotic. I just don't get it. I know I'm paranoid but... maybe because I admit it and have insight he thinks it's insignificant. More likely I think is that he doesn't believe me and thinks I'm putting on all my signs and symptoms, a complete fake. And then I think am I?

Next he asks what we're doing for Christmas and I tell him we're going to the in-laws. He asks what I've bought my wife for Christmas and I have to admit... nothing. We don't spend much during the year but when Christmas comes we usually push the boat out and buy each other loads of presents. Mrs Mo gets really excited about it all. The pirate dwells on this and keeps asking me why I haven't bought her anything. I tell him because I can't get off my lazy fat arse. He then starts repeatedly asking me why I don't go out and buy her something tomorrow. I stare at the carpet, determined not to cry and tell him it's cos I'm a lazy, miserable, bastard. Things wind up and I eventually manage to escape. All in all a really helpful positive session. It's great to know the support is there when you need it. I never want to see that twat again. Every session with the shrink is the same. I dread going. I hate it when I'm there. I always feel much worse afterwards. None of the sessions have helped me, the ECT didn't help me, none of the pills have helped me. Two years down the line and everything is the same. What is the fuckin' point. There is one thing I'm looking forward to... getting pissed tonight.

And on that happy note I'll sign off.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

I think I’ve plateaued at best but more likely slipping back down. I’ve done little the past couple of days but browse other blogs and leave negative comments, either taking the piss or disagreeing. All negative and nothing positive or creative.

Today I just lay in bed. Mrs Mo came home at lunch time and discovered there was a letter for me. It was from the NMC asking me to renew my nurse registration. It basically said, send us £43 and we’ll allow you to have full access to some of the most vulnerable people in society. So after the Mrs went back to work I got up. I’ve searched their website for guidelines on fitness to practice but only found how to report someone you’re concerned about, nothing about the mental health of the practitioner. Would I ever want to go back to nursing? Maybe if it was simply that, nursing, caring for people who were ill. I certainly never want to go back to the politics and bitching on the wards where much of your time is spent fussing or fighting over the staff. Nor would I want to return to the NHS, forgetting about standards and working my arse off to try and provide only the most basic care, praying there were no disasters on my shift and giving the handover knowing there were patients who still needed attention.
No, it’s been a few years since I worked in a clinical area and I never want to go back to that again. Unfortunately I received an excellent training back in the days when Kajagoogoo and Buck’s Fizz dominated the charts. Although I was trained to do my job well, by the time Britney Spears and S Club 7 were in the Top 10, an increased workload and decreased staff compliment made this impossible and I have no desire to do a job badly. The form has now been ripped up and will be joining the Christmas cards for recycling. When/if the time comes to go back to work I’ll probably be a van driver or something like that. Yeah, white van man that’ll do.

It’s strange how much your job makes your identity. I don’t know what I am now. When people ask “What are you up to these days?” I can’t say I’m depressed or I’ll get that look that says “Aren’t we all mate. Get off your arse and get a job”. I don’t want to say I’m on incapacity benefit or I’ll be classed as a scrounger. And with stunning, youthful looks I can hardly say I’m retired. Nor do I fancy saying I’m mad… take a step back then run! If I say I’m bipolar they’ll probably reply “I don’t care what you do in the bedroom, it’s just your job I asked for”. And I’m sure if I say I’m manic depressive the word manic will stick and they’ll think maniac, as in “axe wielding homicidal maniac”. Strangely enough, I think the most acceptable thing to say is “I’m on the dole” and I’m sure that will generate much more sympathy than any of the others. Better jobless than brainless.

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Still tired and lethargic... hmm... and still moaning. Why on earth anyone would want to read about somebody whinging and moaning? I don't know but here you are.

Anyway, I've been thinking about my diagnosis and I think the doctors have got it wrong. I'm not a manic depressive, I'm a depressive depressive... who occasionally comes alive and is immediately hammered with tranquilisers. How come the bring you down pills work quickly and effectively but the bring you up pills rarely have any effect at all? Isn't that weird, isn't that just like most things in life. Aye, merry bloody Christmas!

Well, although I lay in bed this morning thinking about such world changing stuff, I eventually got up just in time for lunch and a better lunch I couldn't have dreamed of... a piece n' sausage (otherwise known as a sausage sandwich) and a cup of tea. Good healthy Scottish cooking, not quite in the same league as the deep fried Mars bar but nonetheless, bliss. So nice in fact that I agreed to go out with Mrs Mo for the afternoon.

When she was out buying her dress on Tuesday night she discovered an amazing new device that she simply had to buy. The incredible appliance makes fat people thin... it says so on the box so it must be true! Yes, you simply slip into it and all your wobbly bits disappear and you are compressed into a sylph like beauty making you the envy of all who see you. Well, she tried the body suit on this morning and we took it back to the shop this afternoon. Quelle surprise!

Despite this mornings disappointments, tonight Cinderella did get to the ball (her works night out) and left me at home with the cat. I'm sitting at the PC and Bagpuss is on the couch. Boring? Not at all, we've already had some excitement. Half an hour ago we heard the catflap go and both leapt up in surprise... an intruder! We rushed to the hall, the flap whacked and looking through the window I saw another cat running off. So I have filled an old Squezy bottle with water and am now armed and dangerous should that beast return.

I suppose you think I'm going to sit here as usual getting drunk on red wine. Well I certainly am not, no, not at all. Tonight I'll be getting drunk on Caffrey's. Why Caffrey's? I'm sure any Scottish readers will know only too well how I chose my poison. Yes of course... it was on special offer at the Co-op. Buy one get one free. Hoots mon!

Friday, 15 December 2006

I've got nothing to say but it's OK.

Thursday, 14 December 2006

I slept on in to the afternoon today. Not one of those lovely long refreshing sleeps where you wake up rejuvenated and ready to go. One of those "my whole body is slowing down" sleeps where you wake up after 15 hours and feel like you've just got into bed. Hopefully it's just a combination of the miserable weather and the fact that I haven't been over the threshold this week.

I think I'll go and switch on the lights on the Christmas tree... maybe their magical radiation will enliven me... I'll just check first that they weren't made in Russia, don't want to get the wrong kind of radiation...

"Oh no! It looks like they are polonium lights!!!".........

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Well, after my last brief post, I turned the central heating up full blast, made myself a nice cup of tea, grabbed two peanut biscuits and plonked my arse down in front of the telly for an afternoon of sloth and self indulgence. The first thing that rattled me was the peanut biscuits, they were all that was left in our Ebeneezer Scrooge biscuit box. We’re not millionaires by any means but I’m sure there are folks out there struggling on poorer incomes than us that will be stuffing their faces with Kit-Kats, Rockys, Penguins and Breakaways. However, despite being handicapped with a chronic illness there was no chocolate biscuits for me today, I’m sure most of you are near to tears by now, so I’ll move on.

I switched on the telly to see what my choices were for this afternoons viewing. Flicking through the channels there’s Doctors, Snooker, The Price Is Right... (oh my God!)… a couple of old movies (both halfway through)… but don’t panic, we’ve got Freeview as well so… Eight Simple Rules, Home Improvement, 3 music channels offering me Britney, J Lo and the wonderful guys that are Il Divo (puke). Fortunately things come back down to earth with the cardboard set of QVC where they’re selling a chocolate fountain for only £29.96… wow… but wait... Bid TV are selling a vaccum cleaner for £19.99 (obviously very high quality), Price Drop TV are selling a 24 piece dinner set for the unbelievable price of £6.99… surely only the finest bone china. Although I’m sure there is plenty more tat and absolute crap to come, I resist the buying urge and switch the box off, groan and make my way back to my now pristine workstation and log back on to the interweb thing.

I wonder what I’m going to write about now… and then my mind goes back to last night… of course… shopping. In particular, women shopping.
You see, if I’m going shopping, I decide what I’m going to buy, I go to a shop and buy it. However, things are very different with Mrs Mo.
If I can no longer fit into my beige chinos, I’ll go to the appropriate shop, try a pair on and if they fit I take them to the checkout and pay for them. I will wear those trousers lots of times, sometimes other guys will be wearing the same but I won’t notice, never mind care.
If Mrs Mo is going to a night out however, she needs to buy something new! You see someone might have seen her in that dress before (and probably taken photographs and had enlargements hung all around tonights venue). So off we go to the shops. Once there I’ll innocently ask “what is it your after?”. Invariably she’ll reply “hmmm… I’m not sure, I don’t know”. She’ll spend about two hours looking at trousers, skirts, dresses and suits. She’ll pick things up and look at them for about 5 minutes then shake her head and mumble “nah”. Eventually my continual loud sighing will provoke her in to taking two or three items into the changing rooms. Of course as soon as she is inside, I will realise that I am standing alone, surrounded by women’s lingerie and several old ladies are scowling and tutting at me. After about 45 minutes Mrs Mo will shuffle out looking dejected and when I ask her what was wrong with the blue one, she will of course reply “it made me look fat” (as if it were the dress’s fault). This will be repeated in several shops until we’re both tired and angry and then we’ll leave with nothing and drive home in silence. Once home all her clothes will be dragged out over the bed and there’ll be a huge cafuffle about what she’s going to wear now, but eventually she will pick something and then we will all be happy.
Well, that’s the usual carry on. Yesterday evening she was going to buy a dress for her work’s Christmas night out… aaaaargh!.... but because I’ve been unwell she decided to go with a friend….big sigh of relief… I’m saved from the shopping trip… hooray!
Now you’d think I’d be happy… but no… I was furious… unbelievably… unbeloodylievably… she bought the “perfect dress” within the hour!... Women!!!... I was speechless…. Grrrrr…. where did I leave my GTN and those diazepam tablets?
Just time to share a couple of things I've came across on the web.

First of all the BBC report that doctors in Glasgow have been helping smokers to quit by prescribing them Viagra! What an incentive, a really hard offer to refuse.

And secondly a short film about the joys of driving in winter...

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

By Royal decree, Her Majesty (Mrs Mo) requested that the area around the computer be tidied up and any materials we no longer require be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way, before Christmas if possible. In actual fact her precise words were “Get that pile of shit cleaned up… Today!”. As you can probably guess, I didn't marry her for her looks or her money but for her subtle charm and eloquence. I looked at the teetering piles of CDs intertwined with papers, precariously held together by a tacky glue made of long since spilt coffee and felt another wave of depression coming on. I was about to phone the Samaritans but remembered they only operate in the evenings. I then foolishly considered phoning NHS Direct before realizing that would just make things worse. There was nothing for it but to tidy up my precious belongings, otherwise known as “that pile of shit” this morning. It’s strange how stuff that only occupies about 2 square feet suddenly grows to cover over 20 square feet of floor space when you try to sort it out. The first temptation is just to move it all to another room until you realise that at some point in your life you will have to part with that empty Neil Young CD case as the CD itself has now been lost for years.

Anyway, in the midst of all this I came across a poem I wrote for my GP (family doctor) a couple of years ago. I was profoundly tired and lethargic at the time and having lots of physical tests done. I didn’t feel down, sad or weepy at all just knackered. At night however, I felt strange when lying in bed. I was unable to describe this strangeness to the doc but said I would make a note next time it happened. The following night I got up and wrote the following poem…

Shapes take on great significance
The picture frame holds more meaning than the painting
A spiral staircase has immense power
I am nothing

Time stretches like chewing gum across the galaxy
Childhood, only a dream in a previous incarnation
Death races towards me
But I am nothing

Dreams and reality meld in a whirlpool of consciousness
I am lost in a maze of concepts and ideas
I see all sides of the circle

I was obviously completely off my rocker when I wrote it and it’s hard to believe I was still working in a professional capacity at this time. I took it to my GP as if it would explain everything… and unfortunately it did, although not the way I intended. I refused to see a psychiatrist until some time after this when I broke down at work and it was obvious even to me then, that I couldn’t cope any longer. I was taking beta blockers for a heart condition at the time and I’m sure they contributed to my nocturnal confusion.
Anyway, beside the poem I found the Lucinda Williams CD I listened to constantly at that time, when I was spiralling down into the big black hole…

If we lived in a world without tears
How would bruises find the face to lie upon
How would scars find skin to etch themselves into
How would broken find the bones

If we lived in a world without tears
How would heartbeats know when to stop
How would blood know which body to flow outside of
How would bullets find the guns

If we lived in a world without tears
How would misery know which back door to walk through
How would trouble know which mind to live inside of
How would sorrow find a home

Saturday, 9 December 2006

The shrink was in good form on Friday afternoon, he gave me his full attention and only played with his palm pilot once. He started off by thanking me for my letter which he got earlier in the week in which I described my experience of delusional perception and my paranoid ideas about him. Much to my surprise he didn't frown and express concern at my psychotic state, nor did reach for his prescription pad and start writing Olanzapine. Instead he said he was really pleased that I had sent him the letter and then sat there beaming with delight as if I had sent him a Wii console for Christmas. Maybe he has never had a letter before? Anyway, he quickly moved on to ask how I'd been over the past week and the fact that I was mad was never mentioned again. Very strange. I told him I had been a bit down at the start of the week but all in all I was much better and happy to be back on planet earth. He asked if I'd given any thought to going back to work... my jaw dropped and I frantically explained I had got ill health retirement from the NHS and didn't feel able yet to do any type of work... I must have turned pale as he quickly assured me that he just wondered if maybe in the future I envisaged perhaps doing a few hours at something. Fortunately he soon decided to wind things up, we had the obligatory nice "comfortable silence", I'm never sure whether I'm supposed to get tense and burst out with some revealing statement to break the silence or if it's just his polite way of saying piss off. I presume the latter and as we're getting ready to go he says "have a nice Christmas" and then the palm pilot makes another appearance, "I'll see you again in two weeks" he says. I'm a bit puzzled about the "Have a nice Christmas" followed by "I'll see you in two weeks" which is before Christmas. What with that and not enquiring further about my previous psychosis I start to wonder if it's some sort of psychological ploy, or perhaps the shrink is mad too, or maybe he's just been dabbling in too many drugs. Hmmm.... anyway, appointment in two weeks... "That's mad Friday" I reply then wonder if I'm allowed to use the word mad with the shrink as it is very un PC (Oh... in case anybody doesn't know what "mad Friday" is, it's the Friday before Christmas when all the factory workers finish at lunch time for the holidays. It's an accepted tradition that everyone heads straight for the pubs, dons party hats and drinks at a furious rate. By mid afternoon the entire population is absolutely sozzled. I think a lot of folk look forward much more to mad Friday than Christmas itself). Anyway, we say our farewells and once more I escape the clutches of the pirate.

On Saturday we took the neighbours dog out for the afternoon and threw sticks until his mouth could hold no more...

Perhaps we should try and teach him the "drop" command. Despite it being a bitterly cold day, (you can see the frost on the grass) we stayed out for ages and by the time we were coming home it was pitch black. Fortunately at night time the hound from hell's eyes turn into amber flashlights...

Once home we had an Indian takeaway and I laboured my way through some of the wine we had bought with the Threshers voucher. Subsequently I snored like a pig all night and woke up this morning with a swollen uvula (Oooohh matron!!!) and a hangover. While I lay around feeling sorry for myself, Mrs Mo headed off to see Cinderella in Edinburgh with her pals. She had areally good time and thought the pantomime was excellent.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

After spending most of the week in bed, Lazarus finally rose from the dead today. I got up, had a long soak in the bath, shaved, dressed and was soon ready to face the world… well not quite… but I was ready to face a walk alone in the woods.

The leaves have all but gone from the branches now, but as one cycle ends another begins.

All around the forest floor the first snowdrops are beginning to shoot. Soon they will be everywhere, it’s the abundance of spring flowers here that gives this woodland it’s name… Springwood.

Once through the woods I made my way along the River Teviot which was running high and dirty. Just a few seconds after I took this photo, a brilliant flash of electric blue shot out of the bank and across the water, the first kingfisher I have seen for ages. I carried on and climbed the steep slopes up to the ruins of Roxburgh Castle and looked across the River Tweed to Floors Castle.

I made my way home listening to Love, George Martin’s reworking/remixing of the Beatles greatest hits. It’s a bit weird with various samples dropped in here and there, especially when you know the originals so well. I was surprised to notice that even in the vocals played backwards that John Lennon’s voice is profoundly distinctive. It's interesting to listen to a couple of times but I think I'll stick to the originals. And if my “regulars” are wondering… yes I am listening to music OK again. Surprisingly the only track to upset me wasn’t Eleanor Rigby or Yesterday… it was an up tempo song…

When I was younger so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors

Hmmm... well, that’s the end of the tourist guide and the record review, now, down to the nitty gritty. I see the trick cyclist again tomorrow afternoon. I wrote him a letter describing my paranoid ideas about him, I’m not sure how he’ll respond. Although I said that was my only psychotic experience, just after I posted it I remembered other stuff that was going on my head at the same time. I think I’m all right now… but then again I’ve thought I was all right since day one. Whatever he decides, I am definitely not taking Olanzapine again, I put on three stones (42 pounds) the last time and have never managed to lose it (absolutely nothing to do with the Mars bars and biscuits of course).

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Blues day
Pay your dues day

I’m a bit down just now. Not real down… it’s not down to my bipolarity but down to my personality. I think my “clinical” mood is better and I’m just in some kind of a childish sulk.

I’ve always been a loud mouthed smartass, thinking I was hilarious with my sarcastic comments while all the time probably hurting people acutely. On Sunday night I logged into my old chatroom/quiz and seemed to be back on form with my quick fire “humour”, making puns and making fun of the others. It was only at the end when I noticed that half the folks had gone early, I realized I had probably offended some of them. And to add insult to injury… or to be precise… injury to insult… I chewed on a toffee and lost a large filling from my tooth!

I was fortunate to get an urgent appointment first thing on Monday morning. I didn’t see my usual dentist however, who is a rather serious, quiet man. Instead I saw a lovely young lady who was very skilled and very chatty. Afterwards she smiled as I thanked her for seeing me and not hurting me… and for being a much better conversationalist than the quiet man. At this point her face froze and I knew I had got it horribly wrong… was she his wife? His daughter? Or just a professional and loyal colleague? Either way, I quickly paid my bill and left… well I say quickly, the machine kept my card in for ages, it was like waiting for toast to pop up. And yes, Mrs Mo let me have my credit card for an hour!

I hurried home and crawled into bed feeling like shit… those folks last night and the dentist this morning. Then I started to think… what a damn cheek, I insult people, then instead of wondering how they are feeling, I wallow in my own self pity. That’s rich. How bloody selfish of me.

So , no I’m not really down, not that horrible, vacant, detached on another planet kinda down. Just your everyday self pity.

Monday, 4 December 2006

There is a line between me and the human race
A line so thin I can see right through it
And yet so thick we shall never touch

Friday, 1 December 2006

I've had a look at quite a few bipolar blogs tonight (01:37 ...hic) and been surprised at how many bipolar people rate Catcher In The Rye as their favourite book. I remember reading it when I was about 14 and while I enjoyed it, I never felt like it was one of "my" books. My (bipolar) mother had used it as her course book for evening classes she attended one year and she constantly raved on about J.D. Salinger like he was the new Messiah. I couldn't help but loathe him. Maybe I should read it again, now I might be more objective.

From something I hate, to something I love. I am constantly amazed by the Radio 2 promo video featuring Elvis and his band. Those of you outside the UK who haven't seen this should give this a look. It is an absolutely brilliant piece of work. I don't know how they did it... and I don't want to... I just love watching it... it's great!

And finally... something you may have seen in the US but not in the UK... don't you just want to make her wish come true...

I'm really sick of the newspapers, TV and web repeatedly showing that dreadful picture of the late Alexander Litvinenk in his last few hours. I know it was his own wish to have it shown, initially to raise awareness of his terrible situation and to that end it has definitely served it's purpose globally. But surely now it is time to treat the man with some dignity and respect and remember him as the man he really was.