Archive for August, 2007


Possible Trigger Alert? Cutting Posts Are Always Tough…

It’s still summer here…well at least in the Northern Hemisphere. I think I have (or may have?) some readers in the Southern Hemisphere? Regardless, you there have better weather in your “winters” than we do in Canada!

So my question is, for those of you that have exposed scars, do you hide them with longer sleeves, pants etc… in warmer weather?

I used to struggle with this. I did one of my worst cuttings in the spring and it got stitched up in the ER/A&E (for my UK friends.) The woman who did it was wasn’t too bad. Not exactly aloof but not extremely uncaring either. I was very drunk and made small talk. I asked her how long she had been working there, how long her shift was and when she would be off duty. Can you believe?

Indeed. I didn’t give a rat’s ass that I’d cut myself. The only thing I knew was that I’d be sent up to the ward for (at least) another 72-hour hold. Yay. And by the way, this was hospitalization number five.

I wasted away for hours but at least they brought me breakfast? And they allowed me to go out for cigarettes. Unsupervised, no less. During that time, I called my boss who is the ultimate gem and she simply said, “Oh, PA…just do what you need to do and stay there. You have nothing to worry about and PLEASE take care of yourself!” Or something like that? This was a few years ago so my memory is a bit murky. But that was the gist of it for sure.

My favoured place of cutting is on my forearms. Why, I don’t know. I guess it’s just “easy access” as I am a very impulsive cutter. Pull up the sleeve, grab the knife and just slash! I know for other cutters they do it in other places. I will not speak for them and why but…? If you are a cutter and you have spoken to others, then you probably do know why.

But for those of you that have scars that are visible, do you hide them? When the weather changes and it necessitates a change of clothing, do you still wrap yourself up like it is winter to hide what you have done?

I wrestled with after that cutting. Again, it was an Emergency Room stitch and although it was a pretty good job, it still looked like a Frankenstein nightmare for a long time. As the warm weather approached, I didn’t know what to do. I bought a sports wristband that basketball players wear and used that to hide the messy job I had done. It still was a disaster and the healing process was slow.

Not too many people at work asked me why I was wearing it. I dress very casually at work. I guess (?) they thought I was just being strange and making some sort of bizarre sporty fashion statement?

But now, I don’t hide my scars at all. In fact, I’ll show them off to anyone I talk to about cutting. Again, I don’t give a rat’s ass. The ER stitch doesn’t look too bad after all these years but it is definitely noticeable. I mean, it’s a tiny snake with wee dots on both sides. It might never go away?

So I’m just wondering what any of you might think or feel about this? I understand that this is a tough and sensitive issue and I may not get any responses so that is fine. Even if you want to email me, as always, the door is wide open.

Love to all of you,

PA


Stats are down, time to make a post! Joking, I’m not a stats whore–but I should have more because I switched to WordPress after starting my Blogger blog. Import! All posts here from the very humble beginning last November.

Actually, I really don’t think I’m any kind of whore–just a flirt? Poor damewiggy just got a cannonball fired in her direction in one of my latest comments! Hopefully, she’ll be back.

So, I meant to post this last night but I had some female trouble. HA! That makes me sound like my period was giving me grief. No, no…I went down to my pub (again…’geez that place is like flies on shit!) The only question remaining is am I the fly or am I the shit? Anyway, I met this girl/woman (actually as time grew on more like a girl) which was indeed rare as my pub is men, men, men. Things were going along in a sort of interesting manner but…hmmm. I still wasn’t sure of some things (like completely of her sexual preference!) but keep going with it. Well, I found out later that she’d had about 6+ drinks and was continuing to drink. I had not had that much and was ready to go home.

Alright. Here we go. Five letter word across, beginning with “T.” Anyone else do crosswords? “Tease.” Let’s just say I’m not expecting my phone to ring anytime soon.

So yes, outpatient group done. I have to see Merlin tomorrow and I guess yesterday was my last scheduled day? I almost can’t believe how quickly it flew by toward the end but I guess it’s just like fleeting summers. And I did miss some sessions, again, due to appointments.

It’s funny. Even though I found it so tedious and boring at times, I’m almost going to kind of miss it. I don’t know why because I really hated going! I felt a strange sort of–almost melancholy on the way home. Maybe because on my last day, my mood was good and I was acting up like the class clown as I had done during some previous sessions when I was feeling more “up.”

Maybe it’s also because the outpatient group was a reminder of my hospitalization earlier in the spring. I mean, it had its good points and bad points but there were times when we (well a gang of us) as inpatients had a lot of fun and laughs. At least I had some social contact back then–even if we were all a bunch of nutbars. Nothing wrong in that though. Yes, it could be this too.

Ha…and another reason to miss it? I won’t be seeing attractive Rec. Therapist anymore. Another one who I don’t think is going to call me. For those who haven’t been following along, I’ve been flirting with her almost since the beginning of the program and there was some…well, quite friendly stuff going on but as I left yesterday she simply seemed more professional than she had ever been with me and said that perhaps she’d see me walking around the neighbourhood (we live in the same area.)

Oh, the rejection! Crushed by attractive Rec. Therapist who initially said she would go out to dinner with me after I finished the program and then, the run in with bullshit, flirty, tease girl last night!

I’m just kidding everyone. Wow, after YEARS of trying to figure out how to ask another woman out on a date…well, I am no stranger to rejection! And believe me, it is still very hard for me to even try to get a woman to go out with me. They are very strange creatures and I know that sounds even stranger for me to say as I am one but well, perhaps I am “different.”

Okay, yes, I am–half the time I think I’m from another planet. Maybe that’s it. But seriously, I do find women to be, for the most part as I don’t like generalizations, very complicated. However, I don’t see myself as very complicated at all–at least in terms of being a tease and not being straightforward about being interested in someone. A flirt, yes; a tease I am most certainly not!

But maybe I am complicated beyond that. My track record with relationships does not please me at all.

I used to say that I was “laid back.” Ex-partner was like, “No way. You are not laid back!” I countered, “What do you mean?” She brought up a lot of examples of my anxieties and mentalness and I was sort of…oh…I guess I kind of see your point? But she didn’t mean it in a bad way–she was just terribly insightful.

So perhaps I am more “complicated” than I perceive myself to be? If the sky above parts in two and the sun turns purple and I actually ever DO find myself in a relationship again well–I guess we can find out?

Okay, maybe this wasn’t all too tripped out of an ADD post? Easy enough to follow? I can’t tell as by the time I got home and went to bed I got shite sleep last night and then had to go into work this morning–I am completely knackered. I can’t decide if I should have a wee lie down or zone out in front of the television. Or try and read some blogs as I am woefully behind on if not so many of you–ALL of you.

And I’d really like to try and get back into the med blog arena. Wow! Talk about being behind there! I used to be pretty on the ball with that stuff and even tried to write more pseudo-science-y stuff. I don’t know if any med bloggers still read me?! Well, there is one doctor who is a regular and one nurse showed up that positively thrilled me not long ago but crap…there used to be more. And oh, wait…Rob showed up recently–also an MD.

Okay, those last two paragraphs were a bit ADD. Scatter…scatter…


This is pretty funny.

Okay, PA is no stranger to anything. When you’re Bipolar you tend to live a rather “colourful” or “flourished” lifestyle at times–to say the least? God, anything goes.

So on the way home the other night, I stopped in to the corner store to pick up a pack of smokes. I also bought a wee vial of Royal Jelly…mmm…sweet…I don’t know if it does anything for me but it tastes nice.

I looked up and they had a bunch of DVDs . I asked if they were for sale of were for rent. I thought it would be nice if they were for rent. If so, much more convenient to rent there. Certainly better than me shleppling my ass down for my choices from blocks away.

So I looked up at the DVDs way up on the wall. WAY up. Yes, I am short. There were lots, yes but I couldn’t really see them. Why were they so up high?

Duh.

No. Beyond, duh.

You have all figured this out? What else is placed on high shelves that people can’t really see?

I finally got a closer look and yes. Indeed it was three large rows of p0rn! HA! Right around the corner from where I live–in this tiny little convenience store!

The small Asian said to me without batting an eyelash, “You want buy?”

I just said, “Well, I can’t really see anything because I’m pretty short. I think I need a ladder…haha. I’m not quite sure right now but maybe later.”

She just went about her business and that was that.

I live in a nice neighbourhood. Quite. I mean, if I wanted p0rn, I seriously think that I would definitely go elsewhere–I mean, lots of places? Granted, what they are selling there might be shite but really, isn’t all p0rn shite?

Oh dear…now we’re going to get into a p0rn debate.

If you comment, could you please, if you type “p0rn” do so with a p, zero, r, n. Other people have typed it as regular English and I haven’t gotten targeted, however, I have altered the comments. I think WP is pretty good but nonetheless…

Oh, and just as another funny. I mentioned this to the guys I work with yesterday and when I told them that the woman said, “You want buy?” They were like: “You want bi?”

Shit. I missed that one. Well done. Usually, I’m more on the ball with our inane and yes, completely out of control behaviour there. My god…you think I’m crazy? You should meet the guys I work with.

Ode To Concerta


Starting Dose and Titration Makes Me Stoned as Hell
Everything Is Ridiculous and That’s Just About It
Can’t Believe I’m At Work; Let’s All Ring A Bell
This Poem is Right Stupid and Really Sucks Shit

…will respond to emails and comments when I can think…this only lasts a day so it’s doesn’t mean I don’t have ADD–just that my receptors go a bit haywire. Same with any new med you can take.

Oops.  Double negative? Right? Huh? See? Can’t think.

Work’s going to be a real gas today.


I’ve set up a new page (upper right corner beside “About.”) It’s a place where people can leave comments about “MP3 Of The Moment.” I just figured it was easier than people leaving them all over the place when my brain gets all wobbly and I lose track of them.

Gabriel…, if you read this, could you comment there the name of that singer and the song she sang that you liked/recommended? I can’t find the comment.

You see, everyone? Case in point.


Okay, so I got another “request” asking or basically telling me: “Post!” Sorry, kids.  I’ve been away for a few days trying to sort some things out.  So I’ve got a couple for you.  Here’s number one.

I went to go see Merlin #2 today and we’ve upped the Concerta/Methylphenidate to 27.5mg.  I think this is good.  I don’t think I was getting much, if anything, out of the starter dose of 18mg.  I’m not sure.

He asked me if I was doing anything like reading to test it out and of course, I have been.  Well, the reading has been typical ADD fashion.  I am skipping to the endings in impatient ways, not really sure of my retention and again, selecting several books and not really sticking to any of them.  And certainly not for any length of time.  I also told him that work is continuing to be a struggle and my concentration there is totally blown.

Merlin #2 told me that it should have kicked in by now.  Well, I know there’s the grand debate about prescribing via weight vs. brain effect.  I’m somewhere between an adult and a child in size at this point (well, okay…more toward the adult side of the scale) so if we go by weight, who knows? If we go by brain, who knows even more?

Another thing that has made me think about its effect is both my alcohol consumption of late and my mood–which both can be correlated–and taken separately.  I haven’t been able to find anything definitive about how alcohol may affect how Concerta works (or may not work.)  My alcohol consumption has increased and it has affected my mood slightly.  But so has the death of my cat.  Okay.  Depression can affect concentration.  AD(H)D completely affects concentration.

So what the hell to do? Well, increase the Concerta, stop (or at the very least work very hard to cut back on the drinking if you can’t bloody stop) and take it from there.  I can’t do anything about my dear, beloved dead cat but work through it.

In other med news, this is kind of funny.  I went to the “bloody boring” outpatient program on Monday and they had a psychopharmacologist there to speak to the group.  I swear, I had to bite my tongue at various points.  But I did blab on a bit about certain meds.  I didn’t want to get too technical as she seemed to have really “dumbed it down.”

I ran into her in the washroom afterward and she asked me what my background was.  Heh.  I told her that I was simply a “Psych/Neuro Geek” and liked to do research.  We had a really good conversation after that.  Much more detailed than during group.

*grin*


Yes, I couldn’t help a bit of a play on words of the Trick-Cyclist term. You know I want to be one.

So here are some pics of me in my cycling gear. I apologize if they appear a bit large on your screen as I tried to re-size them suitably but if I made them too small you might not be able to see them properly?

The first is “Summer Attire.” Nice padded shorts, fingerless gloves and that’s about it. Gloves are imperative as blisters suck.

cycle_summer_2.jpg

The second is “All Weather Attire.” Well, perhaps not “All Weather” but a bit warmer: jacket, full gloves and longer pants. Note the lovely slightly reflective patches on the knuckles of the gloves? Also, reflective stripes on the jacket. The jacket is really cool. I love it. It has these string loops that you wrap around your hands so that the sleeves stay put underneath your gloves. It also has a bit of a flap on the back so it doesn’t go flying up all over the place. There’s also a small pocket there for essentials but you don’t want to put too much in it as you’ll be weighted down. It’s not completely rain proof, however but it will keep you somewhat dry.

The pants are really great, too. Very comfortable. I think they’ll keep you a bit more dry. I’ve never cycled in the rain.

And yes, I ended up in purple for both my T-shirt and the jacket–unintentionally. Purple is actually my favourite colour though.

cycle_winter_2.jpg

Now, if you’re not a cyclist and you’re wondering just what on earth is on my face, it’s basically a “smog mask.” It’s made for riders or joggers etc… for icky crap in the air to help you try and breathe better. Coincidentally, it also hides my anonymity for posting these pictures!

It’s made of neoprene and has a removable carbon fabric filter attached with velcro that can be replaced. It’s got straps that you place around your head also with velcro. Then, you pinch this little metal thing over the bridge of your nose to make it fit properly on your face. The mask is washable.

It’s also kind of fun because it sort of makes you look like this mad, cyclist thief that might break into your house at any moment and perform dastardly acts! I’ve had a lot of people look at me rather strangely when I’ve been riding around wearing it as they have no clue what it is.

Also note prominently placed, my bike pump that went “missing” from the storage shed. Boy, am I glad to have that back! It’s got a nice gauge on it to tell you the proper pressure and fills your tires quite quickly. It beats those awful hand pumps. Granted, you can’t travel with it in case you get a blowout and need a quick repair job but who cares?

I haven’t been cycling in what? A year? The last time I went out, I noticed that I was a bit wobbly because of my meds. No Tour de France for PA! Well, no Tour de France for PA regardless of meds!

I should go out and was thinking about it today. It’s a little cool though and I’m already freezing outside. I know, excuses…excuses… Cycling is good for you and even though my health hasn’t been the greatest I should probably try. The nice weather will be disappearing soon…

I never really found that exercise helped with my mood but again, it would at least give me something to do with myself. I’ve got a lot of things to do around the apartment but lots of time this weekend.

Attractive Rec. Therapist said a good motivation was to at least put on your clothes for an activity even if you felt like doing something but were wavering because you felt like crap. She’s even done it herself she told me! Well, I did that at least. And I could pump up my tires as well?


My Canadian ex-pat friend who is a teacher in London is back for the summer. After a few scheduling conflicts and me feeling like shite, we finally managed to get together for lunch the other day. We had, however, spoken on the phone.

I had given him the rundown of my meltdown as I never emailed him about my break up with ex-partner, my subsequent moving out, hospitalization–all of it. To be truthful, I was still rather upset about this incident that happened when he was back here last Christmas. And in that post I wrote, he did apologize even though it wasn’t his fault. When he returned to London, he sent a mass email to a bunch of us back home in Canada and copied on the list was one of the individuals responsible for the catastrophe that happened–despite him telling me he never wanted to see her again. She has a long history of really messing with people. I have learned to stay far away from her.

I was also disappointed that my friend did not stand up for me–I just received an apology the next day. Perhaps that sounds a bit immature but I know if something was happening to someone I cared about I would step in and do something.

Anyway, when we met, he told me that things had been “getting a little out of control lately.” He had hinted on the phone that his alcohol consumption had been rising. Hmmm. How interesting and timely we have this conversation now? And also another point of interest–this friend of mine is not a big drinker. Odd.

He also said that he had been doing some “stupid things.” At first I thought perhaps some risky sex? My friend is gay so I thought perhaps he had been picking up some guys in clubs and fooling around a bit much? Nope. Then what?

Oh dear…suicidal thoughts and gestures. He also told me these were either the same or similar to when he first came out. I did not know about this from his past. Now, nothing too serious and I did not tell him the knowledge that I have of methods. Not a good idea to plant seeds in potentially fertile ground. Nonetheless, I counseled him to please be careful. I don’t believe or feel that he needs professional help but still.
We talked about a lot of other things to do with his life–and mine. A lot of complicated things…our emotions, our lack of self esteem, our sexuality, where he was in his life now, how things had progressed for him and where his future might lead. I said to him that the last time we spoke, his personal life was a bit up in the air as far as he was concerned but now, it seems like he has reached a pivotal point. Prior to this, his career has been the most important thing and he has travelled first to the US and now to the UK in order to obtain it. He told me that he felt he was always running away from “something.”

I said to him that may be the case but only he could decide that for sure. In a practical sense, he couldn’t obtain work here so he needed to seek it out elsewhere. And as a result of the travel, any kind of relationship would have been very hard to maintain. But now that he may be staying in London, that might be able to change? However, one thing I was sure of (and I did tell him this) was that he was in the middle of a lot of introspection right now and even though it was painful, it was good. I told him that he would come out the other side with a lot more insight and that would also be good.

When we parted (and we’ll surely see each other again before he leaves) I told him that if he ever wanted to talk about this further, at any time please just contact me. God, if there is anyone who understands this it is me.

My friend is probably the biggest Madonna fan out there. In fact, he won’t allow me to dislike her. That’s okay, I do like her so it’s alright. I guess I’ll throw up a song for him.


Oh good heavens! I mentioned in yet another “post” I’d written in my last posts comments section that Merlin and I decided to ditch the Imovane/Zopiclone in favour of just sticking with the Seroquel/Quetiapine as I was having problems getting my arse out of bed in the morning.

Well. I haven’t had a night like last night since my enormously disastrous Effexor/Venlafaxine days. The only side effect that was missing was the nocturnal orgasms. I know…you all think it’s great, right? Well, combined with the others–not so. And I’ve had them before meds anyway so no biggie but again, the problem was with the combined side effects.

And this time, I think I got a new one that actually fits with one of the old ones?

So here we go. Extremely bizarre dreams but thankfully not as horrific and disgusting and full of gore as evil Effexor. Like I said, nice to have an orgasm while dreaming about people getting torn to shreds and bleeding all around you due to a train wreck. Yes, very sexy. Although probably the best dream I had on Effexor was when I had invented this very strange way to–wow, it was so warped but it involved physics (which I know nothing about) and a way to time travel and other things so I could “fix the world.” That makes no sense but the dream was so convoluted, I can’t even explain it. That’s the best I can do–sorry. But all the top scientists in the world loved it and me. Yay for me.

Anyway, probably the strangest dream I had last night involved me trying to assist the police in my dead Grandmothers homicide. Okay, my Grandmother died last fall and she wasn’t murdered. She died of presumably natural causes but an autopsy wasn’t done as it wasn’t standard procedure where she lived.

Then the Sleep Paralysis kicked in as well–more than once? This is quite a lovely feeling (sarcasm.) Now, I’m not fully awake when this happens. But even still, it is quite unpleasant. Especially after your dream content. If you look at the link (or not–I’ll just tell you) it says that this can be accompanied by Hypnagogic Hallucinations. These I’ve never experienced but I’m pretty sure I did as I saw, felt and heard my dead Grandmother speaking to me on the end of my bed. She was wearing a really ugly green patterned dress too. Definitely not her style *laughing*

Apart from that, lovely night sweats–ditto on Effexor. I certainly should be fully prepared for menopause after going through this so many times now!

I guess that’s it for the Effexor stuff. I had multiple awakenings throughout the night too. Ugh. I don’t even know how many.

It’s very odd as I normally do not remember my dreams but it seems that with some meddy-meds it might be a different story? And I do kind of wonder if benzos and hypnotics somehow might do a number on me. They are CNS Depressant drugs and can muck with your short term memory but…? However, they’ve never actually nuked my memory in any other way. And prior to taking them I’ve always had problems remembering my dreams as well. So let’s rule that out.

This may all be temporary anyway–let’s hope! It’s a med change so freaky things can happen as you adjust. I was just very surprised that I went back to some of the things that happened only with Effexor and never with any other drug. And those side effects (especially the crazy nocturnal orgasm haha) are very,very rare. When I told some of my doctors they were like…wha’? No way! I think the only one who seemed kind of keen on it was my neurologist who again went all “limbic system” on me. I just hope he wasn’t too enthusiastic about my orgasms…

And no…I still couldn’t get my arse out of bed this morning…


So I’ve come with a new diagnosis for the DSM-IV or the ICD-10. It’s called Post Relationship Stress Disorder. Or maybe Post Relationship Surprising Depression. I can’t figure which term I like best.

I went out with ex-partner on Saturday. We had been in pretty much constant contact after Mozart died. I suggested that maybe we go out since we hadn’t seen each other in a while. Fuck. I mean, after the whole trauma of him dying, could we really leave it at, “Well, see you later?”

I am still truly surprised that ex-partner and I have remained friends. She’s the only person that I’ve been able to do this with after ending a relationship.

I’ve gone over this before but for those of you that don’t know, ex-partner and I were basically and always, “just friends.” At least for me. Perhaps not for her. I don’t know. I did try in the beginning. But in the end, I became rather mental and descended into a strange silence, more so than ever and things disintegrated quickly. The truth was revealed, from my perspective–again, I only felt a friendship, nothing romantic.

We broke up via email.

Even though we lived together.

That’s how well (or not) we were communicating.

Okay, that’s just the background–roughly.

So, Saturday was great. I mean we get along now better than we did when we together–or at least during the middle to latter stages. Maybe it helps because time has passed so there is more to talk about. Realistically, it’s probably because we were always just friends.

Crap, when we broke up, I was so fucked up, I was cutting preceding it, then I was suicidal afterward. I wanted to go into hospital the week before I moved but she said that at first, it was my choice but then–no, she needed me to move as it had already been too stressful with us living together for a month.

Fair enough. I mean, what could I do? Short of pulling a really nasty stunt which wasn’t the direction in which I was headed (I was headed in another direction–I know this is cryptic but let’s just say it was not a “cry for help” direction) there was nothing I really could do. So I moved. And ex-partner was great. She did a lot of my packing because really, PA can barely pack her own lunch. Ex-partner got all the boxes, did most of the work… She even gave me a lot of furniture.

So yes…last Saturday, great night. She dropped me off and I felt incredibly sad. A void. Probably the death of Mozart too?

We were a family. Even though ex-partner and I kind of fell apart, I miss her. I’m glad that we are friends but I miss the companionship. I know I can’t and couldn’t give her what was required for a romantic relationship and for whatever reason(s) everything bloody well went kaboom but shit.

So I said earlier that I’ve slipped into a few down days. This may be a bit of “why?”

Another reason and I am really fucking pissed off is that I’ve jumped right on the self medication train and I can’t get off. Well, I can but for anyone who’s ridden it, it’s really, really hard. God, I haven’t don’t this in years! I swear, I just want to shoot myself.

No, really. I do. It’s a good thing that guns are hard to obtain in Canada. A gun and PA would not a good marriage make. Not that the suicidal thoughts are that intrusive. But they arise every now and then. They are not at a critical level. Do not worry. Again, I know what to do. I did it in the spring. But I doubt it will get to that point.

Granted, I am rather fucked at the moment. My functionality is quite impaired. I can not do very much at all. I can feel the Depression enveloping me but I am fighting it with every fibre of my being. Wow, thank $DEITY for my meds as honestly, without them, I would have done something very bad now? Possibly? I’m not quite sure as I can’t quite gauge the level but again…I can feel it creeping.

I’m not scared at this point but I am disturbed.

And I know. I need to stop drinking. No lectures, please? Like I said…I’m already pissed off at myself enough.

I’ve got, I think, I good MP3…eh, I’ll throw it up anyway…never was one for much 90s stuff but it makes me think of a fellow blogger. Who’s a real sweetie.

“Fell On Black Days” by Soundgarden.