Thursday, 27 September 2007

I should have gone straight to bed after my last post but I stayed up for "another drink"... or so I thought. I woke up the next day lying in bed fully clothed with a major hangover. I stumbled through to the toilet only to discover to my horror that I had soiled myself at some point during the night... yes... shit my pants. Fuck, this is grossly humiliating, even writing this anonymously I am thoroughly ashamed. Hurrying downstairs, my PC History folder revealed I had stayed up until at least 4:30am and the rubbish bin in the kitchen revealed a discarded 3 litre box of red wine. It was one of those "road to Damascus" moments...

My PC revealed pathetic and bitter "poor me" crap posted on my web pages. I searched my outbox and was hugely relieved to discover that I had not sent any malicious emails. I decided I was never going to drink again. I momentarily considered speaking to my doctor about the booze but immediately discarded that idea as they would probably think it was a ploy to get benzos. Anyway, I'd already decided not to ask for help again. I don't know if it was coincidence or not but over the next few days all the oedema left my legs and for the first time in ages I could slip easily into my shoes. I had no cravings, tremors or anything like that. Quite the opposite, my recent wave of increasing activity continued. I was back recording in my little studio.

For about a week, all was good in the house of Mo, despite my wife having a drink most nights. The weekend came and I thought "oh what the hell, I'll have a couple of beers". No problem. Then this week I actually went out of the house to do some shopping... and bought a bottle of wine. I had a couple of glasses one night while making dinner, then the same the next night. No big deal. Anyway, last night we did another little shop and I bought a box of wine. Now I know it must look like I'm heading straight out of Damascus on the bullet train but let's just wait and see.

I know it must look like I am in complete denial but unlike the last anonymous commentator I don't think I actually have an "addictive personality" if such a thing exists. I have never suffered any kind of withdrawal symptoms when coming off antidepressant drugs that many "normal" folks say they "go through hell" coming off. And I've been on and off most of them. Apparently nicotine is the most addictive drug but despite being a heavy smoker for over 30 years, I stopped smoking overnight while in hospital with a cardiac problem.

I have certainly "self medicated" (you can translate that as abused/misused substances if you like) in the absence of any alternative. Even the Pirate concedes that antidepressants are completely ineffective on me and although he will happily prescribe one if I want to try them again, he feels they are of no benefit to me. I have actually spent most of the past 3 years in bed, not taking anything and it's only in the periods when I have been half-way-up (like the Grand Old Duke of York) that I have used alcohol to reduce anxiety and misery. OOOOOPPSS!! I've just realised I'm protesting my innocence too much (alarm bells start ringing in head).

Anyway, back in the real world I'm getting much busier. I am now only sleeping about 7 hours and getting up in the morning and going to work in the studio. Although previously just recording, my writer's block has resolved and I am busily writing and recording an album of new songs. I have also been trying to change my ISP as I have found much cheaper alternatives to AOL. Unfortunately escaping from the clutches of AOL is about as easy as throwing off the scent from a pack of wolves only a few yards behind you and I am forced to spend lots of time negotiating with cyborgs on the Indian subcontinent who are doing everything they can to stop me getting my MAC to swap provider. The rascals!

Friday, 14 September 2007

Yesterday I met with the pirate (my red bearded psychiatrist) and told him how things had been over the past month. I told him how well I had clicked with my new OT (Frau Hoff) and how I had pursued various options with local mental health charities but had hit a brick wall at every stage. However, he seemed really pleased that I was out of bed and doing things. I explained how I had felt alienated by Truly Scrumptious (the mental health development officer) and her patronising style. However, the pirate was chuffed that I had been to see her. He seemed really pleased with everything, I was spending less time in bed, I had been to see some friends and was generally doing more. FAB. I asked about his previous suggestion of prescribing me Quetiapine but he declined to proceed with this while "things are going so well". Although I had brought a mood chart I had religiously completed over the past few weeks (at his request) he never asked to see it.

I explained how I had coped with our holiday in Spain by getting diazepam from a sympathetic doctor. I reluctantly took a gamble and asked if he would prescribe me diazepam as required. I knew it was a risky question and he immediately asked me about my alcohol intake, I was honest and said >100 units/week…. obviously labelling me as an alcohol abuser… I knew I had blown it… he said emphatically NO!... a BIG NO NO! I wish I hadn’t been honest or asked him as I presume he will now have written in my notes that I should never be prescribed benzos… probably “addictive personality”. I LOVE diazepam and lorazepam, they are wonderful drugs which make me feel nice, relaxed and chilled out.

I have never understood why doctors always feel that you should never be given any any drugs that make you feel nice or happy. FUCKING HORSESHIT! It always annoys me that a full blown registered disabled loony can’t get diazepam but a fuckin’ whinging chancer who smokes ganja does! I should have left it and went to a soft touch GP. Maybe another day. I will certainly never be honest again with a psychiatrist or ask for diazepam or my favourite drug lorazepam. Back when I was a nurse I used to regularly take (i.e steal) lorazepam to help me through a shift. I know abusing benzos is regarded as a bummer but it must be healthier than taking huge quantities of alcohol all the time. I have major GI upsets with alcohol, usually ejected out of my arse. Mood stabilizers (like lithium and depakote) and anti-depressants have never done anything for me.

Anyway, where am I going to go now? What am I going to do? First reaction is to have no further contact with the shrink. The drugs, ECT and the NHS has never helped me at all… I hate the NHS! I hate asking for any kind of help!

My plan is to leave all this crap behind me. My wife is now much more confident and independent. She is enjoying life with her friends and our roles have reversed… she looks after me now… she has really blossomed… she doesn’t need me , which is great!

I no longer want psychiatry, therapy, OT or any of that crap. I hate it. I just wonder whether to write them a cowardly letter goodbye now or have the courage to meet them face to face and say “no thanks, I’m off to be an independent loony”. The big decision is basically whether my my wife wants me to keep seeing them, will it make her feel better? I’ll do whatever she wants.

Bottom line….. I don’t wan’t any more "treatment" unless it makes my wife feel better.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

My little “rush” continued and I felt a big wave of positivity over the past week. I bashed on with my new website but unfortunately stayed up and got absolutely wasted on Saturday night. I spent all night drinking a box of red wine and wrote a lot of bitter, selfish crap about my life and the huge chip which resides on my shoulder. Fortunately, I dashed out of bed, hungover on Sunday morning and wiped it all. I have since tried to write something hopefully more objective.

I started work on a new track in the studio and I tried to visit some old friends (most of whom weren’t in) but managed to catch up with a couple and have some positive chat and reminiscences which was nice. All was going well with my little rebound high… well at least, until I fell back into the clutches of the mental health services. Fuck! I hate all this getting involved with institutions and asking for help shit. I don’t want it!

I met with my OT, “Frau Hoff” yesterday. Unfortunately, much as I’d love to hate her, Frau Hoff is really nice. A very honest, open, natural woman who seems very genuine and devoid of bullshit. I’d love to deride her but she is really nice and as I’ve said before treats me as a peer rather than some sort of lower caste.

I explained how SAMH (ironically their slogan is "Expect More!") were unable to provide me any support but had referred me on to Penumbra. Unfortunately although Penumbra describe themselves as “one of Scotland’s leading mental health organizations” they only provide services to 16-21 year olds in my region. Frau Hoff explained that I live in what is unfortunately known to the local mental health teams as the “Gaza Strip”, as following reorganization there are no NHS mental health day care services in my area so I have no access to mental health services. The only local facility was a “service user self-led group” which I said I would investigate. We also discussed the possibility of me joining the local community care forum to voice my concerns to the local regional council and health board. I said I would investigate the community care forum.

God was that a big fuckin’mistake! This afternoon I went to meet the local mental health development worker. Now don’t get me wrong, she was a really nice lady… but as soon as I mentioned I had a chronic mental health problem she began to whisper and smile and look at me like I was a sick puppy. I thought I was speaking to Truly Scrumptious...

I outlined the problems I had with the lack of local services and much to my surprise (as she is supposed to represent the concerns of local users) she leapt into a well rehearsed litany of how much was going on as regards projects in our area (probably to justify her post)… apparently some geek was coming to give a speech on integrated care pathways… there was a focus group on day care…. there were regular meetings with free lunches and transport provided. She never listened to a word I said…. I STILL CAN’T DIG DITCHES FOR FREE…. STILL CAN’T PRODUCE MUSIC… STILL CAN’T… oh calm down Mo. I couldn't cope with being involved with a professional do-gooder like that. Why can't these folks just stick to selling tea at the WRVS or walking dogs instead of waffling about a world that is so far removed from my reality and so far up their own arse. I am just not cut out for these nebulous and theoretical mental health services and all the crap that goes with them. The services here are very prescriptive with a strict criteria for their client group. Here in my rural area there is no flexibility for service or client. On the plus side, I should be able to access local services as soon as I am 65.

I should have went straight home... BUT.... despite feeling miserable and close to tears I went to the local user group... I walked in to the communty centre, found out which room they were in... walked in through the door and took a look... I was probably way out of order expecting a loud colourful group of crazies.... but there was a group of about 7 or 8 middle aged people, drably dressed in black sitting silently round a table, looking miserable. I turned straight out and walked home absolutely dejected. There is nothing here for me. My future is lying in bed and watching daytime TV.

Never mind… tomorrow I see the Pirate!

Friday, 7 September 2007

I've felt much better since getting back home from Spain. It's nice to be back in the house and away from people. It's strange how much I've changed over the past 3 years, from being grossly extroverted and gregarious, to now living like a hermit and feeling really uncomfortable in the presence of others.

Anyway, over the past couple of days I've become much less stressed, not taking diazepam and have actually been pretty busy. I've just discovered Google Page Creator which offers 100Mb free webspace and an intuitive WYSIWYG web site creator. You can also use your allocated 100Mb to store JPEGs, MP3s etc. It's absolutely brilliant and is totally free with no downside, no ads or any other shit thrown in. I highly recommend it. I've started building a website to compliment this blog with some outline information about myself.

As usual I'm diving in full of enthusiasm, giving it 100% input but know from experience, like everything else in life, I'll quickly become disillusioned and probably drop it. I've had websites and blogs in the past which I've invariably deleted after feeling I have revealed too much about myself or offended someone. Anyway, at least I'm busy doing something. I'm still sleeping a good 8 hours so it's not like I'm going manic or anything. Maybe it's just a little rebound lift after being a bit stressed out.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Well, off we we went on holiday to Mallorca. I got wound up on our 100 mile night time drive to the airport. Would we get attacked by neds at the traffic lights in Dalkeith or Paisley? Would we make our flight on time? But the roads were empty as we travelled through the night between 2:00 and 4:00am. I took a Valium when we arrived at the airport then another before we got on the plane. Although the sun was beginning to rise, it was cloudy and raining as we taxied onto the runway at Glasgow Airport at 6:45...

Two hours later we were descending over the olive groves of Mallorca and stepping out into the scorching heat...
We were staying at Cala D'Or, a quiet resort on the east coast of the island. We've been there before, so knew what to expect. No alarms and no surprises. Just nice quiet sandy bays and lots of restaurants.

We'd booked at the same apartments, Cala Azul Gardens to reduce my anxiety. Absolutely beautiful roomy apartment, first class, couldn't fault it. Nice roomy place with lots of sunbeds and plenty of space to stay back from the pool and the crowds.

There was a guy by the pool with the most amazing tattoo. The cross of truth and justice from Cape Fear. Despite the intimidating appearance, he was really nice and only too happy to let me take a pic. It is the best tattoo I have ever seen.

Once we got settled in to the apartment I calmed down. It was nice to spend time with my wife. Just the two of us relaxing by the pool, no phones, no visitors, no hassle. We got into a nice little 3 point rota; we lay by the pool, had a swim, had a beer, then started again, lie, swim, beer. I even read a book! Something I haven't done for a long time.

But as the week went on I started to become more and more anxious. Getting really wound up in restaurants while waiting on meals being served or waiting on the bill. I didn't like being amongst people, especially people shouting at their children and treating them like shit. 5 days was enough, I scraped through the last two days with increasing doses of Valium. As well as being a pathetic twat, I'm a real home bird and I don't really understand why people like going on holiday. It's nice to be places like this...

... for a day... or weekend at most. But that's enough for me. By the end of the week I was frantic to get home and my final panic was when our flight home was delayed for a couple of hours but soon we were up in the sky again. Strangely enough, I love the flight itself, I have no fear of flying, just getting checked in on time etc. Now we're back... home sweet home!

This to me is truly paradise. We are not millionaires but we are truly blessed and incredibly lucky to have a nice house and garden in a beautiful part of the country. This is what is really bizzarre. We have this wonderful carefree life that most people would give their right arm for and yet I am depressed. I know there will be people reading this living in poverty and misery with desperate problems. I can sit on my arse in that garden above all day every day and I still feel like shit. Now that is crazy and grossly unfair. I am truly sorry.