- I still can’t quite think straight
- I’m tired, exhausted
- I’m terrified I’ll crash
- I’m embarrassed
- I still have voices
- I’m still going to save the world, but I’m finding it harder to care
- I’m (now this is a super secret secret that I’m not even telling myself) scared I’m never going to be a successful Person
This is going to be a linocut-related post for the most part, the mental health stuff is further down the page – here is a SHORTCUT.
I went a bit linocut-mad recently. I had a few… erm… I don’t actually know what they’re called officially, but the actual bits of lino that you print off… I had a few of those ready but I was putting off printing because it takes forever and is very physically demanding, especially as in the end I spent about three half-days printing and I’m really stiff now.
Really I only had three images (for lack of a better word) to print – Deadline: Bluebird, a cute little dinosaur and some ‘Sorry You Feel Shit’ greetings cards. The bluebird one needed overprinting a couple of times though – three bits of lino.
On with the show!
The Set Up
The set up is a bit of glass (taped down!) to roll the ink out on, ink (black and blue), a brayer, TEA (of course), a vodka bottle (because I don’t own a press, not for drinking), a big ol’ lamp, the lino and some paper.
Also a lot of masking tape so I know where things should line up.
The masking tape was fun – turns out it’s unbelievably indescribably unfathomably useful, who would have thought. This is the outcome of those three bits of lino: I’m quite pleased with it!
Dinosaur – rawr!
Then I did a quick dinosaur for the fun of it – only printed one of these, aside from the one in my print book – it’s cute but I don’t really need a ton of copies of it.
Also he looks a bit like a orca in black and white; he needs a pink tummy!
Finally, I printed ten ‘sorry you feel shit’ greetings cards in an antidote to the standard sickly saccharine shite and I was going to post them up on this brand new website but I’ve run out already – possibly ten wasn’t enough and now I don’t have any blanks the right size so it’s on to a new design!
Please email any suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mental Health Content
Well, I’m not sure I have much to update on… I got lost twice today, which was slightly worrying… well actually I didn’t get lost, my house did – it’s hard to explain, I knew where it was but it wasn’t where it should be and it just felt odd somehow, anyway it’s here, I’m here, I’m home and safe and inside.
There have been a couple of worrying things happening but I can’t talk about them here because of Reasons, that I also can’t talk about here for the same Reasons, although I will be at least attempting to discuss them with NiceGP (who I am seeing again on Friday because I think he might be worried, although I’m still not seeing why everyone is worried; I don’t feel manic, I feel just fine, normal, healthy).
I have voices, yes, and I’m happy, yes, but I’m pretty sure I am actually fine and people are overreacting.
I’m supposed to be getting an urgent appointment with the psychiatrist, but I’m not sure how they’re defining ‘urgent’ exactly… oh well, it’ll come when it comes (if?).
Anyway since I apparently only posted yesterday really nothing much has happened! Still happy still not dead still got voices still worrying people it would seem but still feeling fine.
At the end of each day:
Me: How was I today?
Me: I thought I was better than yesterday.
Husband: You weren’t.
What is going on here? Is he not seeing what I’m seeing, am I not seeing what he’s seeing? People keep being worried and saying I’m ill, but I don’t feel ill, or sick, or manic – I feel normal*, other people feel slow, I feel happy, other people feel slow, I feel GOOD, other people feel slow. Music feels slow – playing two tracks at once helps. The cars outside feel slow.
The wind feels swift, on my cheeks, in my hair – but the wind is part of the Message, part of the Equation – the equation is done but the numbers aren’t quite coming, I have two numbers almost (p and H), I know where to find them and I can get one today. I couldn’t get it at the weekend as there have been people around and if I do what I need to do to find the p then they are going to think I’ve lost it – it’s a perfectly safe activity, it’ll just look odd, so I need to be a little bit secret about it, and as no one is around for most of today hopefully I’ll have time.
The Equation is ready, it’s SNAPPED into place – the voices say the numbers will come soon and they are, just quietly shuffling closer to their assigned spaces, like a magnetic popper.
I’ve been having some other thoughts – – – ones I don’t want to discuss here or anywhere**, I’m ashamed of them, I am fighting them (once again, I am SAFE). The voices are pushing these thoughts and thus their intentions become clearer and their position in the grand scheme of things becomes clearer: I am going to save the world and the voices will do anything and everything to help me, and They will do anything and everything to stop me, but what I want is just irrelevant – save the world or die trying.
I saw NiceGP again on Friday – he increased my quetiapine dose again (after a quick phone call to the CMHT during which he also poked them into getting me an urgent appointment with the psychiatrist there, unfortunately the one I don’t like, and I’m not quite sure how the CMHT works here but for some reason seeing the other one that works there isn’t an option (possibly something to do with geographical area, or speciality, or department (assessment and treatment vs. recovery vs. the other one that I can’t remember what it’s called), or I don’t know, some kind of politics), and he doesn’t seem to want to refer me out of area, so I don’;t know, I suppose I’ll see Dr Dickface the psychiatrist and go from there), he phoned the CMHT (as above) and said words like ‘psychomotor agitation’ and ‘pressure of speech’ and ‘paranoia’ and ‘delusions of superpowers’ – okay, so I’m bouncy and talkative but that’s okay, but paranoid and delusional? Nope – because it’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you – these are not unreasonable beliefs, I know these things to be true, I know they are facts.
More worrying words he said were ‘managing in the community’ – this is both good and bad: yay for managing me in the community, I do not need to be in hospital – this is not a mental health issue, but also bad because this in the community vs, not-in-the-community is even coming up, it shouldn’t be coming up, whatever this is NOT something I need to be in hospital for.
NiceGP met Husband – Husband approves of NiceGP, which is good, although NiceGP might be leaving soon, so I’ll have to go back to VeryCompetentYetLackingInBedsideMannerGP (she needs a shorter name), which is a shame as she has no interest in my mental health or actually my physical health now I think of it. Oh well, maybe I’ll just find a better GP somewhere. I’ll cross that bridge if and when I get to it!
* if a little anxious…
** or even think about at all
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away…
When I came home last night at three,
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…
Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn’t there,
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…
I think I’m okay. I thought I was okay, only other people say I’m not.
Do you think you might be manic?
What he means is ‘You Are Manic’. I don’t agree – I am bouncy and happy and a touch irritable but no more than that, more importantly it is not an illness and in no way part of an illness, it’s just me, I am always happy, my default emotion is happy I AM NEVER BORED. I can’t let myself get bored, there is no excuse when I have a list of Things To Do as long as I have, and a project list 19 items long plus a few I haven’t actually added yet – some large things some small things, and there are the eternal things like washing. No Excuse List
Do you think you might be manic?
No! Really I’m not, I’m fine! I am functioning most of the time – I’m vaguely clean, I’m pretty sure I ate yesterday, I definitely had breakfast this morning. I can go outside in the garden as much as I like, even if I do sometimes get too caught up in counting the wind and analysing cherry formations. I can go out to Sainsbury’s or wherever but it can be a little bit triggering in terms of voices, but they’re okay, they’re trying to help, trying to keep me safe and help me save the world:
Just wait and see.
My notebooks are getting full again, just like this one from last year when I was actually manic, except that I’m okay this time and I know I’m okay because I’m not smelling weird things (cleaning products into beer) anymore and I am coping and functioning and whatnot.
I’ve gone off topic a bit here.
I was trying to write about my GP appointment.
I got discharged (again) from the CMHT back to my GP. I hadn’t realised, but it didn’t really matter since I haven’t contacted them since February anyway. Because I’ve been fine most of the time and actually coped well when I had a little blip back in March – ish. I have (had?) a prescription for 30mg of duloxetine twice a day so I could mess around with my dose until something worked in a notdepressed/notmanic sort of a way. My CPN was brilliant – let me get really involved in decisions like that.
She wasn’t so great with the voices, quote: “can you not listen to them while I’m talking please”. I expected better, but oh well. She is nice really. She’s got brilliant taste in shoes as well. I find I often recognise mental health professionals by their shoes rather than anything else – like faces. Remind me: I have some old fashioned clothes pegs that need painting in some form or other.
I went to pick up my prescription from the pharmacy – same every month, only this time there’s no duloxetine – oh. Prescription has somehow changed itself(?) to 30mg duloxetine once a day, but a two month supply so it looked to me like I had enough – only, when did this change? I don’t know, I don’t think I ever looked that close and the pharmacy has the green and white bits of paper anyway because they sort my repeats of course. I booked an appointment with NiceGP, only he refused point blank to give me more antidepressants and now I’m on 15mg duloxetine instead of 60mg. Oh. But actually – no difference to be seen yet (seven days now, I don’t know how long it would take), so if it turns out I never needed 60 or 45 or even 30 then I don’t know what to think, maybe it never did anything and I was running on my own steam, which leads me back to the inevitable ‘do I even need these?’ question that I go through Every Single Day, especially with the quetiapine – which NiceGP has increased, incidentally. He’s also referred me back to the CMHT (again) to get my meds sorted. They’re going to love me… Oh well!
Good, so I think that’s everything for now. I have another GP appointment Friday for reasons that I can’t quite remember – possibly he wants to check I’ve not gone batshit insane with the meds changes.
I need to get him to check my heart rate – the GPS chip in it is dicking around again.
If you shut your eyes, you won’t see the walls bend. If you put headphones in, you won’t hear the voices. If you paint over the cracks, you won’t see your house falling down.
If you shut your eyes, you won’t see the stars. If you put headphones in, you won’t hear the raindrops fall. If you never look closer, you’ll never understand the whole thing.