IN WHICH GLEDWOOD talks on many a topic in a far happier way than yesterday... Then Barbra sings "Memory"...
I DIDN'T GO to the brainwashing meeting. I only rant, interrupt and express my wonderful opinions when I'm manic. Then I come down and can't face the meeting again. So I'm too depressed and paranoid to go. So I stayed in bed all day and got up at 4pm. I wasn't lying there skulking by the way, I was fast asleep and ignoring my phone. I've learned to ignore it's chirps over the few days I've had it. This phone has the loudest ring of any phone I've ever had. But it's a flip phone AND you have to press the button to pick it up. So I miss loads of calls just by fumbling with it. And I'm too stingy to ring anyone back. Or in too much of a bad mood (today).
I have to go down Morrisons to get a 54p 2-litre bottle of cloudy lemonade. It's what I'm drinking these days instead of alcohol. I did have yet another black cherry flavour cyder today. That makes 2 drinks in 2 weeks ~ oooh. Yeah so I had this drink. The cherry flavour was my attempt at switching from strong drink to soft drink. It was meant to be a crossover. Unfortunately I loved the taste so much I think I was addicted to that more than the alcohol. So now I'm on cloudy lemonade. The acidity of the lemons matches the acidity of cyder. So my teeth don't miss out on being rotted through the lack of drink.
I'm really pissed off with Buta my old drugs worker. Buta was the titration nurse. Titration is chemical torture where they "cautiously" give doses far too small and leave you in withdrawal for days on end at the beginning of your script. Methadone takes three days to reach a therapeutic level (meaning that your blood level is twice as high on day three despite no elevation of the dose) ~ this is yet another bad thing about methadone. It takes days to "go in". But it also takes days to come out again. Making it far, far harder to detox from. Now if heroin is notoriously hard to come off, why on earth give heroin addicts methadone which is EVEN HARDER to detox from? Somehow I get the feeling nobody cares at all for drug addicts. Soon as I can I'm going on Subutex. But yet again we have a problem, because methadone is too "sticky" to transfer over from without doing two days methadone-free ~ ie two days climbing the walls. With heroin you just need 18 hours clean. Everybody who has done it says you basically go on heroin for four days and switch off that. The only other option is dihydrocodeine (DFs), which is so weak it must be dosed four-hourly. I've found a source of dihydrocodeine, so I'll get enough pills for four days and use those. Why on earth the clinic won't switch you to dihydrocodeine I have never understood. But it's just more proof that they don't give a damn about their clients. They only care for their own jobs. I already have two copies of the "how to make a complaint" leaflet. The way things are going, that formal complaint will go out sooner rather than later.
So I'm depressed today. I think sleeping has a lot to do with it. As soon as I heard that loss of sleep is a "symptom and a cause of mania" and that excessive sleep counts the same for depression, I have been sleeping as little as I possibly can, so I can be happy. Also sleeping is the biggest waste of time out there. I was hong-donging to Chinese until the early hours. I've learned to tell the time. I do know the numbers, but I hardly know them fluently. And they're not pronounced the way their transliterated. Yī 一 one is pronounced "ee", wǔ 五 five is actually "oo", qī 七 seven is "chi"... Surprisingly I managed to follow Mrs Li telling me the time on CD. I was really shocked. I was so depressed when I listened to it this evening. I must have felt how "normal" people feel, who don't truly believe they'll ever get far, when hearing a person blabbering on a Teach Yourself Foreign CD. Utterly hopeless. I'm only abnormal because I believe in myself, at least as far as picking up blabbery foreign tongues is concerned. Like I said, intelligence doesn't come into language acquisition; perseverence does. Half a BILLION Chinese speak Mandarin as their second language and they learn it through immersion. If immersion isn't possible, persistence will pay.
Anyway they say you learn a language by it being babbled out around you, but I grew up in Welsh Wales and got nowhere with Welsh ~ mainly because the teachers at school had never learned a langauge in their lives; they merely grew up speaking Welsh from the cradle. So we were never told "this is a feminine noun; that is an irregular verb" just "it goes like this". Which is like teaching mechanics without ever naming parts of the car! Teach Yourself Living Welsh (as it was called) explained all this to me and I got an A grade at GCSE. Had I relied on our teacher I doubt I'd have got better than a C. It was always my ambition to join the mother tongue set in Welsh but I never managed it. I was too thick.
The beginnings of my decline set in when I was doing my A Levels at school. These are the exams you take age 18. GCSEs are usually age 16. I did try and concentrate but my language skills were awful. Essays riddled with mistakes. Years of "tuition" and yet I still couldn't remember which words were masculine, feminine or neuter. In English I did OK essays on the "texts" we studied, but it was only poetry I was truly any good at critiquing. Already I was getting depressed in this period. During term time I felt fairly OK; it was during the holidays that it hit me. Every exam I took I got a grade lower than predicted. Then I took a year out. Rather, wasted a year out. Was more depressed then. And when I did finally go to uni, I was very quickly depressed out of my mind. The shrink I ended up seeing asked me constantly whether I was hearing voices. That should give you some idea of the impression I made on people, because I wasn't going into that office trying to create any kind of impression good or bad. What he saw was what everyone saw. I felt so dire when on my own that I ended up sitting in other people's rooms. I had nothing at all to say. My presence was only accepted because as soon as I got into cannabis (which happened very quickly) I brought a lump of hash with me everywhere so everyone got a smoke. That didn't make anybody like me, but they at least tolerated me.
It took twenty years from first seeing a psychiatrist to getting full bipolar symptoms. In the beginning I only got depressions. Then I started over-reacting to antidepressants, so I got called "manic" by somebody with two manic-depressive relatives. Eventually my mood started swinging on its own. Only the depressive swings were vicious. The highs were really nice. But then I went on heroin, which blanketed my mood to a flat-line so I thought my depression was cured. Then I went on methadone. But the methadone days were so intolerably low I continued using heroin for years while being scripted methadone. Eventually mania did break through so voraciously that heroin would no longer stabilize me. (Though I have to say this only began when there was a drought in the heroin supply and so no chance of scoring anyhow.) Ever since I went manic last December my moods have been all over the place. Deshane says I have the so-called "negative symptoms" of schizoaffective. It means I just cannot engage myself with many aspects of life. Yes I can do Chinese obsessively. I can do things obsessively. ButI cannot do many things normally. As a plate-spinner I'd have one plate going better than anyone else. But the other six spinners wouldn't even have plates on. Let alone wobbly ones. So this is how I run, or rather don't run my life. It's still in utter chaos but I won't go on about that. How did I get back on to mental health? Oh yeah because the clinic are trying to damage it by forcing me into abusive coercive brainwashing bullshit groups. Well I'm not going. Bar one next week which comes directly after my appointment I've had it with their punishment group.
Buta did tell me there was a way I could go to rehab for stabilization, not detox. Which means I could cut down my dose down to 70mls in about two weeks. I'd be up for that. In order to do this I would need to do their rehab group. I don't mind the idea of that one. Hopefully it wouldn't be full of people on a prison-swerve. The bog-standard group I was pushed into attending was for people who had been caught shoplifting. They only went under duress, because if they failed to attend more than a couple they'd get chucked in prison. Well they're lucky. I'd rather go to prison than do those groups. But what option do I have? The ways things are going I'm going to end up in the nuthouse anyhow. Guess what that CRAP they were prescribing me was actually CAUSING my anxiety. The anxiety I took street-bought Valium for. (Very infrequently, it has to be said; but one pill dirties up the test for two weeks.) So I'm OFF the pills and paranoid and depressed as a result. ALL I NEED IS A DOCTOR TO PRESCRIBE THE QUETIAPINE I WANT. But the NHS has let me down yet again. I don't even have a psychiatrist. They have transferred me from a consultant I knew and respected to no-body. My paperwork appears to have fallen down a black hole. So I'll probably only get quetiapine in the nuthouse. I could do with a break anyhow.
Why they just won't prescribe it to me I have no idea. Oh yeah because I used to have a doctor and now I don't. Will someone explain that to me please.
Well I've got to go. EastEnders is on. And they're doing prison scenes on Coronation Street. I love women's prison dramas. Why on earth did they cancel Bad Girls. When I lived with Lona, who kind of had mental health "issues" of her own, the two programmes we watched together (apart from EastEnders) were Bad Girls and Footballer's Wives. Footballer's Wives eventually got Joan Collins then they cancelled the entire show! It was the only thing about football (apart from the World Cup final) I've ever enjoyed watching. And the world cup final was more entertaining for France getting boo'd and Italy getting cheered. Because the French and the Brits hate each other ~ in a loving sort of way. Britain and France have almost equal populations. They have about five times more land. We have a superior language. They have high taxes for the rich, spectacular natural scenery and far better food. We have London. They have Paris. The best parts of London are far superior to Paris. They have Galleries LaFayette (all perfume and women's clothes). We have Harrods which sells just about everything. Harrods' pets department sells axotlotls and fishtanks connected by swim-through tubes. Their hifi department is amazing. It's the stuff you'd buy naturally if you had a proper income.
Did South Africa win the last world cup? I thought the African teams were only in there to make up numbers. World football is usually Europe vs South America. I feel sorry for Americans having to watch American football (a very camp version of rugby) and baseball (glorified rounders). Football is more versatile than American football because it can be played on just about any bit of flat ground with a ball. No special equipment required. I was actually quite good at football. When I troubled to make an effort at playing. Which I did about three times in my life. The main reason I hated it was that I was "supposed" to like it. Also I loathed all team sports in childhood. And I hated ballgames. Rounders/baseball is the worst. You're supposed to hit the stupid thing with a glorified pea-stick! No wonder I always missed. Most exciting thing about playing football at school was deliberately running to the opposite side of the pitch and avoiding the ball at all costs. The only sport I enjoyed was crosscountry walking (though we were supposedly running). The only sports I was any good at were the hundred metres sprint, the high jump, long jump and triple jump. Everything else I was crap at.
I can't remember where this post was going. Why am I watching Coronation Street? Oh yeah because of the women's prison. Best women's prison drama of all time was Prisoner Cell Block H (known by other titles in other countries; it's the 80s Aussie drama by Grundy Television). My favourite episodes were when Meg Morris (formerly Meg Jackson, until her husband was murdered with a pair of scissors by Chrissie Latham) and the governor (both the kindly witch old one Mrs Davidson and the lesbian gym mistress type... Ann Reynolds (not that I just looked that up on Wikipedia).
Oh cripes it's late I've got to go. Dà hǔ tóu fēng 大虎頭蜂！
(Say that to a Chinese person, I dare you. They'll laugh aloud. It means "giant tiger head wasp!")
Illustrated: beautiful sleep; "green" ~ yucky noxious methadone; the Welsh language; not tits and bums but manic-depressive mood swings; Joan Collins and Zoë Lucker in Footballers' Wives; cockney Chrissie Latham from Prisoner
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Barbra's vocal knocks Elaine Page's effort out the window!
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