Saturday, 31 March 2007

We've just had a couple of really nice days up North. Mrs Mo needed the break and I think she really enjoyed it. I blogged it extensively elsewhere so will not repeat it here. I just hope my baby's batteries have been recharged for her ongoing and thankless task.

"I needed the shelter of someone's arms and there you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs and there you were
With sweet love and devotion, deeply touching my emotion
I want to stop and thank you baby, I want to stop and thank you baby
How sweet it is to be loved by you, How sweet it is to be loved by you"

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Yesterday was a quiet day for us. It was a glorious afternoon and we spent it walking down by the river, watching olives hatch and floating down the current like tiny sailing ships on the surface before flying away. Surprisingly, there were no trout rising to this veritable feast. Still, it made me think about fishing, once a passion of mine. I think I'll get a ticket this weekend and get back into fishing after a long absence. It's a beautiful way to while away an afternoon in this part of the country. In the evening I made chicken in rosemary and garlic, I forgot to mention I have started cooking again.

In a couple of hours, I see Portillo. I'll probably agree to stay on the depakote meantime. I'm sleeping better and guess I'm as near normal as I ever get. After I see him we are heading north to spend a night at Pitlochry. We had planned to do a bit of walking but the weather forecast is terrible. It doesn't matter, it'll be nice for Mrs Mo to get away, even if it is for just one night.

In the past when I have closed my blog to the public, people have written and asked how I am. Not this time, just one person has enquired. I also found it a bit strange that I was asked to leave the Bipolar Planet webring within 48 hours of closing my doors. It's a bit like a mini version of my real world fall from grace. After years of working, playing, socializing and generally being the centre of attention, I was dismissed, written off and forgotten about overnight. I think my cynicism for the world has turned into a bitterness that I had hoped never to meet, after seeing it devour my mother.

Anyway, here we are and here is now. We are heading off on our wee holiday and what lucky dogs we are, to be heading out on the road and to be rockin' in the free world.

"Well if you ever plan to motor West
Take my way, it's the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on route 66"

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

"Been burned and with both feet on the ground
I've learned that it's painful comin' down
No use runnin' away and there's no time left to stay
Now I'm finding out that it's so confusin'
No time left and I know I'm losin'"

Mrs Mo is on holiday this week. We spent yesterday driving around, taking pictures of some local landmarks and had lunch at a nice little roadside cafe. We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun throughout the day but despite this, I was irritable and edgy. Oversensitive and ready to kick off at the least hint of criticism or disagreement.

Last night I slept right through to 7am. I woke this morning feeling deflated and lacking sparkle. I got to work on my strat and it all went pear shaped with too much lacquer rippling the new decal. I'm now sulking like a spoiled child. I feel the weight of apathy starting to lean on my shoulder, my little house of cards is collapsing.

"Take a dive from your ivory tower
And fall on everyone"

Sunday, 25 March 2007

“Jackie is just speedin' away
Thought she was James Dean for a day
Then I guess she had to crash
Valium would've helped that bash”

I don’t know if it’s in spite of, or because of the Depakote but I slept a good 4-5 hours on Saturday night. I also fell asleep on the couch yesterday afternoon and slept for over an hour! I am now beginning to obsess on crashing, it fills my thoughts. Just when things were starting to lighten up and spark off, it may all be going pear shaped now. The very fact that I’m thinking about negative stuff is a bad sign itself. But my head is still full of music and I seem to write a new song every time I draw breath, my little dictaphone is full. Why am I wasting the good times worrying about what’s to come? (….sounds like a line from another song)

“If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad”

Saturday, 24 March 2007

“What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours”

I’ve now managed to put things in perspective about my grand public debut. I know from my stats that I only have about half a dozen regulars, most of whom are in the USA. Hardly the same circulation as The News Of The World. Why on earth would people be interested in my vaccuous little world, never mind try and keep up with it?

I'm still awake most of the time, busy circulating my blues music and have also started work on a project guitar. I've stripped down an old Chinese Affinity strat and am going to build it into a classic American Beauty.

A “For Sale” sign has gone up in next door’s garden, Whackerman is leaving. Worse than that, he is taking the dog with him. That dog has seen me through some very difficult times. Got me out of the house and out in the countryside when all I wanted to do was lie in bed. Made me run and laugh in desperate times, when Lithium and all other treatments had failed. Shown me affection and devotion when I was a despicable wretch. In case you haven’t notice, I’m going to miss the dog. And no… we can’t have a dog ourselves, I’m too unreliable and inconsistent. I can just about look after our wee cat, who although even more peculiar than me, is fortunately a fiercely independent creature.

"Over hills and meadows we'd stray
Just a boy and his dog
We were both full of fun"

Back on the bipolar frontline I can feel a change. I had a wee afternoon nap yesterday, no big deal, just a little 20 minute snooze. But sleep is my moodometer, a constant little guardian angel who keeps an eye on me and she never, ever lies. I think I may be starting to slow down a bit. I’m dreading this. My brief fling with happiness has been all too short this time. I’ve still got loads to do and I certainly don’t want to go to back to bed and rot like a worm ridden corpse under a duvet.

"It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will"

For those of you who think this impending change in mood is due to the change in my circumstances, think again. Like any normal person, I’ve been through all sorts of good and bad times without any resulting mental illness. This thing is in my genes and shifts independently of my environment and lifestyle. And when it shifts, it turns like the tide, a powerful and unstoppable force. Resistance is indeed useless, like pissing in the wind. The only good thing is that unlike a reactive depression where someone is devastated by their circumstances, when I go down I have no sense of sadness or desperation. I am just completely anaesthetized, numb, distant and in a state of “la belle indifference”. People around me are distressed and upset by my “depression” as I lie like a zombie in bed. But I couldn’t care less. I just switch off like someone pulled out the plug and although I have moments of despair, I’m generally psychotic and completely out of it like someone on an acid trip.

“If I was a butterfly, live for a day
I could be free just blowing away
This cruel country has driven me down
Teased me and lied, teased me and lied
I've only sad stories to tell to this town
My dreams have withered and died”

Friday, 23 March 2007

I've been identified. Someone who knows me has read my blog and deduced who I am. My anonymity has gone, my cover blown. I'm not sure what to do. I suppose it's no big deal. I mean I'm not confessing to commiting any unsolved murders or anything like that. Just confessing to being an inadequte, good for nothing, drunken arsehole. Everytime I see someone in Smallsville now, I'll presume they're thinking... "Oh there's that nutter. The guy who lies in his bed all day and on the odd occassion when he gets up, he sits around doing nothing but getting pissed and treating his wife like shit". Yup, that's me. The problem is, I've always been an intensely private person and never revealed anything about myself to anyone. I've always stayed in character and acted out my pretentious, little, comic persona. That includes to everyone, close family and friends. People see me as a shallow, superficial fool. It's only through the anonymity of the internet that I've ever expressed some emotions, some truth and even then I have been highly selective. I've spent most of my life trying to be the funny guy, trying to be liked. I've fought in vain against being an outsider, all I ever wanted was to be normal, to be part of things and to be accepted.
What tattered remnants of pride and dignity I have left are of no consequence but I have my family to think of. I have great nieces and nephews at school here in Smallsville who will have enough crap on their plates without the added bonus of "Your uncle's a loony... na na na na na!". I remember those halcyon days only too well.

Hmmm... I've locked up my blog from public view until I decide what to do.

"Our uncle he don't wanna know, he says
You're a disgrace to the human race, he says
How can you show your face when you're a disgrace to the human race?
No committment, you're an embarrassment
Yes, an embarrassment, a living endorsement"

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

"No sleep till..
Till Brooklyn
Till Brooklyn"

Even though I can’t sleep, I tried so hard to stay in bed so as not to wake my wife this morning. But my computer called to me, by 4am it got stronger and stronger and eventually I couldn’t resist, like a sailor called by the sirens to the rocks, I headed downstairs.

Even though I am flying on, recording loads of music and networking with other musos around the world, I’m still completely driven to do unproductive shit as well. I’m completely infused with ideas of musical success. Could I be the next big thing to come out of Scotland (well, thanks to phenothiazines, I'm certainly big) ?

Dr Portillo came to the house yesterday to see how I was getting on with the Depakote but I only got it on Tuesday so it’s too early to say. So far, no effect whatsoever. I’ve got to see him again next Thursday. He’s encouraging me to see a shrink again but there’s no way I’m going to see the pirate, I’m never setting foot on the Black Pearl again or else I’ll end up in Davy Jones’s Locker or worse still Davy will end up in mine!

I visited Karen’s site at the Furry Monkey. (Karen won the medblog of the year award thing that Puddlejumper and I were in for). Now normally I hate poetry. I had a bastard of an English teacher at high school who when I first met him and he asked the class our names, when he heard mine he sent me outside to stand in the corridor for a double period. “I had enough trouble with your sister, let that be a lesson to you before you even start”. It was indeed a lesson. It was like pouring petrol on a fire and of course I did “start” and engaged in an 18 month battle until eventually he won the war, I gave up and refused to go back to any of his lessons in public humiliation which were called “double English”. I despised English, I despised Shakespeare and in particular I despised poetry. Mr Bastard fed us on a diet of pigs and pike courtesy of Ted Hughes and I never understood a word of it and never saw the point in a grown man spending his life writing shite. Mr Bastard was always raving on about alliterative phrases, like “the babbling brook”. I thought he was a babbling buffoon and even now he’s dead I can’t think of anything I liked about the man at all. I suppose he was a great local character and almost everyone (except me) looked up to him as a colourful genius. His son was in my class, a really nice funny and sensitive guy who unfortunately (and by strange coincidence) was manic depressive and sadly killed himself at a young age, poor soul.

Anyway, back to the poetry stuff. There are some poems on Karen’s site written by ordinary people and one of them called “Crabby Old Woman” had me in tears. It reminded so much of many old women I have seen in care who the world has forgotten were once pretty young girls full of life and enthusiasm. I was so affected, I sat down and wrote a poem and sent it to her site. Imagine me writing a bloody poem… have all my principles have gone out the window? Oh well, here it is…..

I used to be a nurse
But now I'm a patient

I used to be patient
But now I can't wait

I used to be funny
But now I'm peculiar

I used to be brilliant
But now I'm so dull

I used to be somebody
But now I'm a nobody

I used to be happy
I used to be me

Monday, 19 March 2007

"The wind is in from Africa
Last night I couldn’t sleep"

Last night I couldn’t sleep but I think the wind here was coming in from the Arctic and blowing snow with it. The house is cold and I am huddled up in front of a blank screen with a fleece and only coffee and the voice of Joni Mitchell to warm me up. Mrs Mo confiscated the diazepam after my night of abuse but has since returned it in a vain attempt to get me to sleep. I’ve not really bothered with it as I think it only starts to have a hypnotic effect on me when I’ve taken enough to start shutting down my respiratory centre. I think the lack of sleep is starting to catch up with me, I’m no longer buzzing, just quietly driven (like Lady Penelope by Parker) and burning out. However, I’m still infused with ideas of musical success.

Mrs Mo had a great weekend. She and her mates had a great day of pampering and at a health spa. I think the place has a loose interpretation of the word “health”, as apart from swimming and hot rooming, all they did was eat and gossip. She spoke enthusiastically about the three course lunch… meanwhile back in Smallsville I had a Scotch Pie.

A scotch pie (also known as a greasy pie) is a pastry allegedly filled with mutton (but more likely, ground up innards, bones, teeth and wool) fat and breadcrumbs. It is probably a more dangerous food item than a bird flu infected turkey but by God on a cold day a greasy pie is an incredibly warming and filling beast. There’s nothing like feeling the heat of it in your belly and the hot grease running down your face. It is also one of the few things, along with whisky and beef, which can be called “Scotch” rather than “Scottish” (if you want to be pedantic). A few years back when I was in health care, I worked for a while in an office close to a bakers. When I arrived, the health conscious staff survived a diet of lettuce, chick peas and cous cous. By the time I left I had converted them to a strict diet of pies, bacon rolls and stovies. They had all doubled in size but were a much happier crew.

Sunday was Mother’s Day so we spent the afternoon at the out-laws. Once again I was in good form and provided entertainment for the afternoon. Her dad is looking old these days and generally not so good. I think this is a huge concern for Mrs Mo. I’ve never discussed it with her (but probably will when she reads this) but I think she’s beginning to think the unthinkable. We went out for a meal on Sunday night which rounded off her weekend very nicely.

Dr Portillo phoned me yesterday to see how I was doing and to encourage me to get started on the depakote. I’m not keen to take any long term drugs again. I said I was still supersonic but was doing really well in focussing my energies. I had done the garden, recorded songs and got 75% in my OU assignment. It’s great to be achieving things after months of hibernation. My only real problem is the insomnia and even that is not a problem for me. It’s just that by prowling around the house at night I’m keeping my wife awake. I suggested that she get a prescription rather than me, maybe Temazepam? Nope… our survey said “EH OH!”. He argued that depakote is not like Lithium and can be used in the short term to manage hypomania. So I’ve agreed to try it in the short term and am waiting on the Smallville pharmacy getting some in stock. I think if I could just get a good nights sleep I’d be fine.

"Look into my tired eyes
See someone you don't recognise
Blinds that can't be untied
Oh this is slow suicide
Feelings that I can't disguise
And never will be reconciled
Oh something inside has died"

Friday, 16 March 2007

Isn’t it weird that when you’re feeling down, everything in the world goes shitfaced and your life just disintegrates deeper and deeper down that big black hole. On the other hand, when your feeling good, almost everything goes according to plan and even things outwith your influence pan out in the most excellent manner. Science says that it’s only natural that your good spirits rub off on other folk and it’s like a self fulfilling prophesy of good fortune due to your good attitude. Hmmm… maybe…. But it seems more than that , like some cruel twist of fate.

I awoke in good form on Wednesday, even so I reluctantly opened up my telecaster once again, ready to spend a day doing battle with the motherfuckin’ switch from hell…. but I realised immediately that it was in fact a left handed switch and everything was a mirror image of what it should be. I flipped the diagrams in Irfanview and set to. No luck, still bamboozled. I tore up the diagrams and looked at it carefully, building up a 3D picture in my mind. Closed my eyes, picked up my soldering bolt and wired the 10 joints perfectly first time.

Mrs Mo went to aquarobics at night and I took next doors mutt out for a long walk in the dark under the light of moon. We had 2 hours of simple fun throwing sticks under the stars. Later at home I won a tenner on the lottery. No scientific way my good humour could have influenced the numbers. You just got to roll with it when you’re on a roll.

Thursday kicked off tremendously. I got my mojo working in the studio and produced my first song for ages, all done and dusted in a day. Superb! You can listen to "The Gravy Train" at Bipolar Mo at MySpace

I had to give up on the chlorpromazine altogether due to palpitations, fainting and increasing peripheral oedema going from my feet away up above my knees. I reckon the chlorpromazine was making me hypotensive, a common side effect. I’m not really sleeping at all now and need something to slow me down and knock me out. Reluctantly I arranged to see a doctor. As I entered the health centre, a police car drew up and two big burly hairy assed dudes in full body armour got out and followed me in. Gulp… paranoia increases! My doctor was a young hippy girl, smelling of patchouli and complete with smelly afghan coat behind the door. Anyway, I tell her about how I’m not tolerating largactil and my cardio complications and can I have some benzos to tide me over the weekend. Her expression changes immediately at the mention of benzos, she looks scared. I think she presumes I’m a smackhead on the rattle (I have pressure of speech and am fidgeting nervously and almost leaping from the chair) trying to pull a fast one. Instead of checking my BP and doing an ECG which the puffin book of chlorpromazine would recommend, she asks if she can go and discuss my request for diazepam with another Dr. I notice a video camera on the shelf pointing at me… “Err, I’d rather not”, I explain the police presence, the camera, this other doctor I’ve never heard of and my paranoia. “We don’t prescribe these drugs willy nilly you know”. I tell her I know but I am a raving lunatic and if I can’t have them who can??? If these drugs are too powerful for hypomania when can they be used? What a twat. She insists on going away to speak to another doctor, keeps pushing and I eventually agree. She leaves for about 10 minutes. I explore the office, weigh myself… fuck 16 stones!!!! I was permanently 10 ½ stones from when I was 14 till I was 40. God bless antipsychotics, they really do turn you into a massive pie-eater. I check her PC, the active window has all my previous scripts up, I’m surprised to see I’ve had almost every psychotropic medicine on the market over the past three years. I resist the temptation to add Potassium Chloride and Cyanide to my current regime on the computer. I turn the video camera around and plug it out. I have a read through my notes, nothing very interesting, mostly paranoid letters I have sent to the practice, then sit and tap and wait nervously on hippy chick returning. Hippy chick comes back, says she has spoken to the other doc (who has never met me) and they have decided in their infinite wisdom to give me just fifteen 5mg Diazepam tablets to see me through to next week. I ask for a box of 28 in case I go hypersonic over the weekend, she says that is impossible as they only come in boxes of 21. She looks me straight in the eye with a slight blush as she tells me this bare faced lie. Lying is never a good idea with a paranoid patients and from that moment I write her off. Even Joe Public knows nowadays pills now come in boxes of 28. As a previous RMN and drugs worker I know for a fact Diazepam comes in 28s. She asks what I will do if things go pear shaped at the weekend. I tell her will manage my symptoms by getting blootered with alcohol. She tilts her head and gives me a patronising smile and whispers quietly “Now you know that really isn’t the answer”… (God it’s like Blue Peter meets the Waltons… she really has no understanding of my predicament and how things are, I could be thinking I’m Jesus by Saturday). I now seriously doubt that she is a doctor, more likely she is a recruiting Jehovah Witness who has sneaked into the surgery. I’m sure she’s about to take my hand and tell me that God is the only answer, so I snatch script for 21 and say “that’s great, thanks” and mosey on out of there.

Surely even a medical student noting my history of ischaemic heart disease and a recent prescription of chlorpromazine resulting in palpitations, fainting and oedema would have done an ECG, or at least checked my BP and looked at my pitting oedema. Surely a real doctor would know not to lie to a paranoid patient. She just seemed totally fixated on my request for diazepam. Am I being too critical? I guess me and the NHS are just never going to get on.

Thursday evening I went to my pals house and recorded the drums for my new blues album. The rest of his band were there and it was weird to be out among folk again. However, I was really buzzing so was happy to hold centre stage, talking incessantly and joking and capering about. Sometimes things like pressure of thought and flight of ideas can be most entertaining. I had a good drink when I got home and took 5 mg diazepam before going to bed. Hmmmm… couldn’t sleep, so got up and started drinking again, taking a diazepam with each beer. By the wee small hours I’ve had 40mg diazepam and a gallon of Stella with absolutely no effect. Mrs Mo appears in her goonie, furious. A huge argument ensues and I go to bed like a scolded child.

Yesterday she had a day off, so we went shopping in Edinburgh, still not really talking. Hopefully she will be in better fettle today as she is going away with her pals for a day of pampering at a posh health spa, I’ll have to remember and go and wake her up about 7am. It’s now daylight outside and the birds are chirping merrily. Thank god I’ve had an uneventful night.

“Let the midnight special shine a light on me
Let the midnight special shine a light on me
Let the midnight special shine a light on me
Let the midnight special shine a everlovin light on me”

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that I started (once again, yet) another page on MySpace featuring my music. Well I’ve been busy networking with it and it’s already starting to blossom with the first “fans” asking when a CD will be available...pmsl. I’ve written some new stuff recently and recorded a couple of guide backing tracks. My mate is hopefully going to record the drums for me on Thursday night. I’ve been thinking about ideas for an album cover so have been busy spending ages, trying to get to learn the basics of Photoshop but have now written that off as way over my head (I wasted 2 hours simply trying to view a histogram!). I’ve now downloaded Picasa the simple photo editing software from Google and it is right at my level. Duh!

I went for yet another walk by the river yesterday. However, I quickly got out of breath and kept having to stop due to palpitations. It was all a bit scary, being out in the middle of nowhere with that sense of impending doom. On the plus side, I did come across some interesting fungi.

I’m still plodding on with my OU stuff but am now getting out of my depth and having difficulty understanding the maths and the concepts. I spent a fair bit of time this afternoon trying to fit a new switch to my Telecaster. The guy on Ebay sent me the wrong switch but eventually I got it mounted in a kind of Heath Robinson fashion and then spent ages trying to get the wiring sorted out. Eventually I kinda collapsed, faint and breathless. Mrs Mo was concerned and wanted to phone a doctor but it was 6pm and attempting to get service from the (literally) sick joke that is NHS24 would only have exacerbated things. I lay flat for an hour and eventually things resolved. I think that my collapse and yesterdays palpitations are probably down to the chlorpromazine making me hypotensive. I’m going to try and cut it out during the day and just take it at bedtime. After all this evenings carry on, we went to bed early but now I’m back up again. Can’t sleep. Oh, I have just discovered I can watch live TV on the PC. I was adding Google stuff to my homepage and found some TV gizmos. I’m off to catch the news now before checking the cupboard for Temazepam.

“I get up and nothing gets me down”
(Lee Roth)

Sunday, 11 March 2007

I’m still overactive and not sleeping much. Now 4 hours sleep might be OK for your average Joe but my very nature is that of an obnoxious slob and my norm is about 8-9 hours and more like at least 12 at the weekend. I woke reluctantly and certainly grumpily, early this morning. It was still dark but through the faint orange glow of the streetlight seeping through the curtains I made out the silhouette of an old man at the end of the bed holding a scythe and an hourglass… what the fuck does he want… am I dead??? Oh no… he’s a bloody metaphor signalling yet another birthday... shit. Forty seven years ago I was dragged from my mother’s womb (very much against my wishes by all accounts). I was born in “the big”.

“The big” was a bed settee in our living room, two floors up in a dour grey tenement out in the wilds of Pollok, a grim, poverty ridden, housing scheme on the south side of sunny Glasgow. As in any good Catholic home, the bedrooms were full of small children and my parents slept on a pull down sofa in the living room. This was not any kind of altruistic gesture; the coal fire and the TV were in the living room. Throw in some whisky and cigarettes and you are in near wild heaven. I guess “the big” was short for the big bed. When we were small, on winter mornings we would beg to be allowed into “the big” to roast ourselves on the heat radiating from my father. I use the word “morning” loosely as, thanks to our strong relationship with alcohol, mornings had a habit of creeping into afternoons in our house.

Me as a baby

Anyway, just after midnight 47 years ago, my dad sat drinking tea and smoking cigarettes (codes of hygiene and medical protocols were still in their infancy back then) in front of the coal fire at the end of “the big”, while the doctor eased me out into this big beautiful world. They had planned to call me Marie Louise, the sight of my penis must have been a great disappointment to them (this was set to be a recurring theme for women throughout my life). Joseph Benedict was the back up plan in the bizarre event that I was a boy. However, they finally decided to name me after the family doctor who had delivered me and all my siblings. I’ll spare you my real name. All you need to know is that the doctor had a very unusual and effeminate name, I have only ever met one other person in my life with the same name, poor sod. Anyway, it was a blessing in disguise. Although my grandiose mother found it romantic and artisan, in the real world it was a bit like “A Boy Named Sue” and I had to make or break. Unlike the song, I didn’t learn to fight but I learned to make people laugh and soon had the hard men and the bullies laughing in the aisles. A talent I have exploited throughout my life.

Time is like a cruel, heartless psychopath. In one quick, cold incision it cuts away so many years and before you know it your life is all but gone and you are left facing the grave and writing your own epitaph before you’ve even had time to start drafting an outline script for a life you will never experience.

Suddenly it’s a cold grey day in 2007 and we’re spending a dour Sunday afternoon shopping in Galashiels. It’s not all bad news though. I am apparently “a bit up” which is good news. In Tesco the bargains are too good to resist… headphones £5.27, 256Mb MP3 players only £4.97… my trolley was quickly filled. Unlike Stephen Fry in his “emotional journey of self discovery” I did not buy 30 MP3 players, I just bought one, but then again apparently I have some sort of schizo-affective disorder whereas he is just a self absorbed upper class twit. Sheesh, I shouldn’t be cruel, QI is my favourite TV prog and twat or not, there is no denying Stephen is a very funny man.

Once home I buy some more guitar stuff on ebay but I don’t overdo it. I have the money, I am not in debt. Nor manic!

Well, another milestone has passed. Despite donning my asbestos suit this morning, I stepped too close to the roaring furnace atop the cake and sustained third degree burns to my face and upper body. Never mind, Flamazine has been applied, Pinot Noir and Stella Artois have been taken to soothe the pain and another day has passed in the life of Mo.

"And now the times are changin'
Look at everything that's come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six-string
I think about ya wonder what went wrong "

Friday, 9 March 2007

I saw Portillo this morning and he read my letter. He said he viewed bipolar and schizophrenia as very much overlapping entities, almost part of a continuum, and didn't want to get wrapped up in DSM diagnostic pedantics. I thought that was a wierd thing to say. I confirmed my decision not to see any more psychiatrists which he grudgingly accepted. Anyway he commented on my restlessness and foot tapping and noted the largactil (Thorazine to the yanks) wasn't doing much for me. He said he'd spoke to a couple of shrinks (one was Dr Elton) about me and both felt largactil was appropriate but my choice of 25mgs was too low a dose "for a man of my weight"... indeed! They suggested I up it to at least 50mg 2-3 times daily. Both shrinks also felt I should try depakote and Portillo wanted me to start this as well. I declined, saying that how would we know if any change was due to the increase in chlorpromazine or the depakote? We agreed I would try a week on increased chlorpromazine and before starting depakote. Portillo is not keen on me being on chlorpromazine as my liver is a bit iffy. He is going on holiday today so can't see me for a couple of weeks but says he will phone me next Monday to sort out my medication.

"All my life I've never stopped to worry `bout a thing
Open up and shout it out, an' never try to sing
Wondering if I've done it wrong?
Will this depression last for long?
Wont you tell me where have all the good times gone?"

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Dr Portillo phoned me yesterday evening. He was a bit dubious about my account of being refused access to the CMHT as he has a copy of the Pirate's "our door is always open for you" letter. Although unhappy about my "dial-a-script" request, he prescribed me the chlorpromazine I had asked for on condition I agreed to see him on Friday. He was going to phone the CMHT this morning and kick some ass.

I was awake most of last night so poor Mrs Mo didn't get much sleep either, though I did managed to stay in bed from 1-5.

I spent the morning farting about on the internet. Mrs Mo brought the largactil home at lunchtime which I immediately downed. I slept soundly all afternoon. I feel much calmer now. My phone tells me the CMHT phoned me this afternoon. I know Portillo will try and persuade me to see them on Friday. I won't be able to formulate an argument. Although here in blogland I may appear to talk easily and fluently, I am not so eloquent in the real world. These posts take me some time to write. In real time I tend to answer uncomfortably and slowly in monosyllables. So I have prepared a statement for Friday...

I’m not very good at answering questions at interview so have prepared a spiel to outline how I think things are with me.

I don’t believe I have or ever did have a mood disorder. I don’t have any subjective awareness of mood. No sense of depression or elation but simply note my affect by observing my level of activity. I believe I have paranoid schizophrenia.

When I first went mad I had paranoid ideas about Dr Cardiologist trying to destabilise my brain. I later believed that my brain had been interfered with and that my neural pathways had been knocked out of alignment.
I was reluctant to engage in treatment as I felt there was an organised and concerted effort by NHS Trust to undermine and humiliate me. In particular I refused to see Dr Pirate as I believe he has been sexually attracted to me for many years and wishes to dominate me. I had also recently experienced an episode of delusional perception involving him.

After persuasion by friends and family I eventually agreed to see Dr Elton who despite my initial refusal soon referred me on to Dr Pirate. I knew this would happen, as the ultimate aim of all parties within NHS Trust was to get me into Acute Unit and humiliate me. Rather than refuse, I decided to call their bluff and get it over with. Sure enough Dr Pirate soon had me admitted to Acute Unit and sure enough the staff looked on me with disdain and avoided all contact with me. They reported to the team “there’s nothing wrong with him, he just lies in bed all day”. How very astute. Unsurprisingly I was not given adequate muscle relaxant during ECT despite increasing voltages and broke a tooth as well as injuring my back. At this point I refused further ECT.
Drugging, electrocution and interrogation had no beneficial effect on me but still they persevered with different antidepressants until finally I refused to continue in the charade.

I’ve always thought I was psychotic but I thought psychosis and insight were mutually exclusive. I therefore narrowed my condition down to some sort of hysterical psychosis or inadequate personality disorder. Psychopath seemed most likely and I settled for that. However, on Sunday night I saw the film about John Nash and immediately recognized myself. I am now convinced I have paranoid schizophrenia. I was going to ask you for an antipsychotic to try and prevent further disintegration of my personality but I knew you would refer me to a shrink. To save time I did as suggested by Dr Pirate in his letter and contacted the teams but was denied access as the mental health network computer says I don’t exist and have never been seen by any psychiatrist.

The bottom line is, I accept that I am mad but the mental health teams have done nothing but fuel my insanity. There is no way I will see them again. I had a lucky escape from Acute Unit. They are in a position to do what they like to me and I can’t complain as anything I say will be dismissed as a delusion. I am well and truly fucked.

Monday, 5 March 2007

I'm starting to freak out a bit here. I got a bit more desperate by lunchtime and tried to phone my old shrink Ben Elton. His cheery secretary was very pleasant until she said.. "can I ask what it's in connection with?"... "Yes, I'm a patient"... sudden change of tone "Oh, I'm afraid he's not available". After this mornings fiasco I ask her to check my records to see if I'm currently assigned to any psychiatrist or team. After some security questions, d.o.b etc. she checks for my details "No we have no record of you here. Have you ever seen anyone from the mental health team before?". I explain my history and the psychiatrists I've seen. "No you don't have any records here, you will have to see your GP to be referred. If I can be of any further help please don't hesitate to call back". Why would on earth would I want to phone her back? Further help? Perhaps if I wanted information on "How to be unhelpful" from the latest edition of Secretary Weekly.

I phone the health centre to see my GP, Dr Portillo... the smiling cyborg answers... "Now, the first available appointment is on Friday, will that do?"... FUCK OFF!!! I think.. but reply "No thanks, I'll just leave it for now".

I write the following letter to Portillo and take a very paranoid walk 3 miles round town to deliver it...


Can you prescribe me Chlorpromazine 25mgs tds (the trendy antipsychotics don’t agree with me).

My thoughts are screwed up and I’m paranoid and not sleeping much.

I tried to contact Dr Elton as Dr Pirate suggested but CMHT1 refused me access as they have no record of me existing. I also phoned CMHT2 this morning but they didn’t know if I was on their books either and said they would ask if one of the doctors would phone me but it “could take days”.
I can’t get an appointment with you till Friday so haven’t bothered making one.


I then started to wonder if my psychiatric involvement had all been in my imagination but found this letter in an earlier post.

So I definitely have been seen before. I've just taken 5mg Diazepam but daren't tell anyone this or I'll be classed as a benzo abuser and never be allowed any again.

The NHS is a pile of fucking shit and I never want to speak to a receptionist or see a shrink again.

"I hear my inside the mechanized hum of another world
Where no sun is shining, no red light flashing
Here in this darkness I know what I’ve done
I know all at once who I am
I’m a bookkeepers son, I dont want to shoot no one
Well I crossed my old man back in Oregon
Don't take me alive"
Tried to watch "A Beautiful Mind" last night. Found the ECT scenes very distressing, like seeing myself on the table. Did they really do that to me? Had to turn off the TV when it got to the bit where his wife finds it tough and smashes the glass as he sits lost in his delusional world. I saw me. I saw my wife. I don't want this. I'll do anything to make things easier for my wife. My thoughts are screwed up just now and I'm a bit paranoid. I think I should be on Largactil before my magnetic field changes and I switch polarity. I phoned the mental health team this morning and asked if I could see a shrink. "Are you on our register?". I explained about last seeing the pirate in January. "Yes but are you still on our register?". Fuck! How would I know? I don't have the register, she does. "Do you want me to try and arrange an appointment and send it out to you or do you need to see someone soon?", I explain I will probably change my mind so the sooner the better. I think it must be some kind of test or torture. Maybe it's just after refusing to engage they are playing sour grapes on me. Anyway she says she will ask a doctor to phone me but it could be a few days. I have written down what I need to say to the shrink as I will forget. My memory and concentration have left me.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Let the good times roll!
All is well in the land of Mo at the moment.

Mrs Mo is much improved, back at work and happy. She is out with her mates tonight at a charity gig. So I am spending the night at home with Lucinda Williams and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Outside there is a total lunar eclipse and the moon is pink! It is the most amazing sight. Ironically the beautiful colour is all down to the pollutents in the atmosphere. I saw the last one 7 years ago at 4am! Not because I was keen but because I was working on night shift at the time! It was much more spectacular, blood red/claret, maybe there was more/less pollution then? I tried to take a picture of it earlier on with my crappy little camera perched on a chair and propped up and angled with a TV remote control. Despite the poor equipment you can still see the eclipse about to happen....

Anyway, I have been out on the patio lying in the gutter "looking up at the stars" with Lucinda singing to me sweetly through the window, amazing! I can almost imagine I am in the deep south... apart from the fact that it is bloody freezing outside here and there is a distinct lack of bucking broncos, in fact not even a hedgehog to be seen at this time of year.

Good news... my first OU exam is done and dusted.
Bad news.. my strat is out of stock... >6 weeks delivery. Hmmm.... maybe just as well. I lost the end of my middle finger today, tore off while trying to wrestle a stick from a dog's mouth. Never mind, I'm still happy. I went to start recording some new songs a couple of days ago and found a shed load of stuff on my digital recorder. They're mostly cover versions but I don't have the faintest memory of ever recording them. I thought I had spent the last two years in bed in a virtual coma, well, I must have got up at some point, probably early on before the days of the pirate. There's one psychotic song I wrote when I was mad which I must post on here next time.
In my quest to swap the virtual for the real, I cleaned out my Google Reader today, unsubscribing from everything. So all you folks have disappeared off my scanner... "au revoir mes amis". It was surprisingly quite an emotional "Delete" but hey, you've all got lots of contacts and there is a sadly ever increasing amount of "new kids on the block" on Bipolar Planet (listen to me, 3 months in the circle and I think I'm Moses with the 10 commandments!).

Anyway, back to the selfish stuff. Today we went for a long walk and I took some pictures....

I'm really pleased with how these pictures came out. Obviously it's 99% Scottish landscape and 1% photographer's technique. But my 1% helped and made me feel good. I did something positive!