invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

a new year and new beginnings December 31, 2008

this is what i do know:

1) i am a simple girl and cannot write as eloquently or intelligently as so many of you out there. i am (kinda) okay with this.

2) i am 35 and for 15+ years of my life I have been on/off psychiatric medications. not one of them worked long-term. many (too many) of them had horrific side effects and long-term side effects that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life, possibly.

3) Big Pharma is not there to help the mentally ill, cure us, or even make us feel better. Big Pharma=Big Money in their pockets. Whether it be a Prozac Nation or an Atypical Antipsychotic Nation, they do not want a Healthy Nation. In simple terms, they would lose a tremendous amount of money since psychiatric medications are their best selling drugs.

4) Doctors are becoming more and more corrupt. The Joe Biederman’s and Charles B. Nemeroff’s of the world are proof of this. Doctors in the mental health field seem to both listen and care less. We are becoming numbers, not patients. I know this from experience. A therapist who dozed off during our session (a session I was paying good money for!) Numerous psychiatrists that write multiple prescriptions without even blinking or thinking. with no warning of the drug’s side effects or withdrawal symptoms. We see doctors prescribing multiple medications to children while their brains are still developing and they are not willing to figure out what’s really going on with these children. It’s all about the quick fix regardless of the severe and damaging consequences.

5) We need more science. period.

what i don’t know and the rest, after some soul-searching, i have decided to travel my own path. i will figure it out along the way. i will continue to do my own research. i will try new things like meditation, yoga and supplements. and revisit things that have worked for me in the past, acupuncture, keeping an open mind. all in hopes of finding a balance. my center. i will continue writing as it the best form of therapy for me right now. i will attempt to face a past traumatic experience and figure out how to let it go. its grasp is still there after so many years and can be crippling at times. i will attempt to stop seeking understanding from those that may never understand and instead, live my life. after all, it is my body, my mind and i don’t know how long i’ll be here on earth. i need to make the best of my life, no matter how difficult it may feel or get at times.

i will seek more love, forgiveness and peace in the new year.

and i’m wishing a happy new year to all of you!

 

some humor (kinda) December 30, 2008

Filed under: antidepressants,big pharma — clementine @ 2:09 am
Tags: , ,

just a simple post. the last entry drained me a bit and i need to do some soul-searching, might be gone for a day or two…maybe not.

anyway, today i had to see my internist (can’t afford a psychiatrist) for a follow-up visit. i actually arrived early, i was feeling good. the birds were chirping. i didn’t have to wait for an elevator. i entered the cramped elevator and pressed 7, smiling and then the elevator stopped at the hospital level and a girl resembling a beauty queen or former cheerleader entered.

she kinda looked like this…

christen

except she was wearing a suit, toting a crate on rollers stocked full (almost overflowing) of Lexapro. her shoulder touched mine and my smile faded. i wanted to push her. punch her. but no, i was a good girl. she got off on the same floor and went a different direction. i was tempted to follow her and give her an earful but I knew she would just blankly stare at me and say something like….

“I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and that I believe our education like such as Lexapro, blow job, lunch on me, wink wink, South Africa and the Iraq, and everywhere, such as, Lexapro, here’s some pens and notepads, aren’t they pretty? and I believe that they should our education over here in the US, should help the US, or should help South Africa and help the Iraq and the Asian countries so that we will be able to build out our future for us. Gimme an L! Gimme an E! Gimme an X! Gimme an A-oh gosh darnit i forget the rest….”

448006532_08ae3095df_o

 

lost and confused

I just watched a video thanks to an entry at Beyond Meds.

*this video runs about 10 minutes and I hope you watch in its entirety-Dr. Breggin has some interesting things to say regarding children and psychiatric medications towards the end.

this video is powerful, informative and yet i feel… lost. confused. deceived. this video has triggered so many emotions. i don’t even know where to begin.

i’ll start with this. age 13. telling my parents i wanted to die over and over until….a trip to a psychiatrist’s office and i left with a diagnosis of depression. i have repeatedly discussed here my rape at 15 which i assumed only heightened my depression. it was so brutal, i blocked it from my memory for nearly 4 years. during my early 20s, i checked myself into a mental hospital because i wanted to feel normal. instead i was given dixie cups filled with medications and then kicked out because my insurance company would only pay for three or so days. at 30, five years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar. and I have seen several psychiatrists since then that agreed with that diagnosis.

after watching this video, my mind…is spinning. you see, I have ALWAYS believed I have a mental illness. and now, i question that. is there such a thing as a chemical imbalance? i believed so and now i have doubts. i cannot describe to you what that feels like. there are millions of us with a ‘mental illness’ and all we’ve ever really wanted was to be understand and loved unconditionally. unfortunately our behaviors tend to push people away or scare them. they may very well be incapable of understanding, therefore, getting too close is impossible. that has usually been my experience with some family members and some friends. if there is not a name behind this, like, mental illness (even with its misunderstandings) i feel i will never be understood, only by those that are either open-minded or like me. again, my entire life i have wanted to be understood. my sister has a rare disease. it has a name and people understand, they comfort her, doctors care for her. what if mine does not have a name? what if it is much deeper than i ever imagined? my gut and my heart are both telling me right now (and I should probably listen) I don’t need a label, I just need to live my life. (more…)

 

the united states of tara December 29, 2008

Filed under: entertainment news — clementine @ 8:56 pm
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Showtime has put the entire first episode of The United States of Tara on its website.

tara

To access the episode, click on this link, and then click “Watch Now”

enter the password: tara

The comedy, which stars Toni Collette as Tara Gregor, a woman with multiple personalities, was created by Steven Spielberg, and developed by Diablo Cody of Juno fame. The show will officially begin airing January 18.

I just finished watching it and really liked it. a lot.

 

happy post

Filed under: fun,happiness,love — clementine @ 12:01 am
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wow. okay, it’s been 3 months since my first happy post. what does that tell you. anyway, this is one of my all time favorite videos.
it’s a tearjerker but also makes me very happy!

 

addictive behaviors anyone? December 28, 2008

Filed under: life,mental illness,peace — clementine @ 10:47 pm
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First of all, I feel compelled to say, I do not like labels. Bipolar, Alcoholic, Drug Addict, Anorexic, etc. I say this because I am at a point in my life where I do not want my illness to define me. On the other hand, I have always felt my life-long illness needs to be recognized and dealt with. Enough with this, my brain cannot go any further with this topic right now.

However, tonight, I am wondering why I continue to see patterns of addictive behaviors in my life. First of all, what defines addictive behaviors?

Any activity, substance, object, or behavior that has become the major focus of a person’s life to the exclusion of other activities, or that has begun to harm the individual or others physically, mentally, or socially is considered an addictive behavior. A person can become addicted, dependent, or compulsively obsessed with anything.

Twenty years ago, after my rape, it was alcohol. I drank until after the last call, begging the bartender for just one more. I was that girl. and that led to sex with nameless, faceless men. Those ‘addictions’ went on for several years. At one point I found myself attending AA meetings. I got nothing from them. I could not relate to anyone in the room. I quit after 6 months and guess what- I did not turn to the bottle. Nope. Exercise. excessive exercise. and then I got bored with that. Onto something new and a bit odd. In a bad, depressed state living with my parents in their furnished basement…my new addiction? Television. A highlighter and the TV Guide became my new best friends. I would highlight in that sweet little TV Guide every show I planned to watch that day. and the next day. and the next. Soon I moved onto cross-stitching. That lasted about 9 months. Then it was the internet. mid 90s i think. online chat rooms. staying up all night. sleeping all day.

When my sister got sick with an incurable disease, I researched it like a mad person. I spent hours, days and weeks reading stories and articles, trying to figure it all out and I could never quite put the pieces of the puzzle together.

In 1998 I began my career in the film industry. Work became my addiction. I secretly loved (and still do) the 12-19 hour days. the drama. the magic and everything else that one finds in my line of work. However, when I’m not working, for example, the film shoots for 2 months and I might be off for a month or so. I have to find something to fill the time. Let’s see, there was eBay, buying and selling constantly. Online social networks. Friendster then Myspace and now Facebook. For the past three years, on and off, blogging. books. dvds. and organizing them in alphabetical order. Oh, and I cannot leave out shopping. If the money is there- I spend it. And then I usually end up selling whatever I bought to pay bills. recently, my addiction has been word games: Scramble, Scrabble, Pathwords, all found at Facebook and highly addictive but now I’m tired of them and looking for something new.

And now my addiction is fire. no, please do not call 911. i am not an arsonist. i’m talking about this kind of fire:
dsc005031

I believe in healthy addictions but I also know they are escapes and that is my problem tonight. How do I stop escaping and just be, find peace, my center. and, is this part of my mental illness?

I’m open to suggestions or comments but let me tell you this first. I am flat broke, hence the donation button on my page. That cancels out yoga, acupuncture, therapy and anything involving money. I should also note my swain is/was a practicing Buddhist. He has tried to teach me breathing exercises and meditating, however, I cannot focus for more than a minute or two. racing thoughts maybe? avoiding something painful? i simply do not know.

 

this is goop

Filed under: change,life,peace — clementine @ 11:38 am
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a few months ago actress, Gwyneth Paltrow started a website called GOOP. Some might be thinking who cares about an actress and her stupid website. But I hope you will see Gwyneth as a human being just like us and check out her website. Especially the BE section. There you will find Q & A’s from people like Deepak Chopra, Michael Berg of the Kabbalah Centre, Episcopal priest Cynthia Bourgeault, Sufi Shaikh Kabir Helminski, and New York psychologist Karen Binder-Brynes.

I signed up for the GOOP newsletter and have found some things to be very helpful and inspirational.