Inpatient Experiences and Nurses

I feel for nurses who work at psychiatric hospitals. I really do. It takes a special calling to be able to fulfill that type of nursing role. Sure, there’s less blood and guts, but the work is often thankless. Many times, the patients don’t want to be there themselves, and they tend to take their anger out on the nurses. This could be a verbal altercation or a physical altercation. As with all nursing jobs, the hours are bad, and the pay isn’t that great. There are many reasons why there is burn out among nurses on psych units, but that doesn’t excuse some behavior.

During my last stint, for example, I was intake room, and I could over hear the nurses gossiping about me from their station. They said, “The little psycho is back.” Yes, I had been there before, and yes, I was psychotic, that’s why I was there the time before. They said more, but I will leave those parts out.

The issue, however, is that this tainted my whole healing process at this hospital. I, basically, said what I needed to get home as soon as possible. I wanted no dealings with anyone there. I had lost trust in the staff, and I was extremely embarrassed.

Nevertheless, not all the nurses were like those nurses, who were there when I came to the hospital. When the hospital was discharging me, they couldn’t setup an appointment with my psychiatrist. They told me to call him, when I got home. To make a long story short, I had no medicine, and the hospital psychiatrist said I needed to get the scripts from my psychiatrist. Nurse D, went out of her way and got the inpatient doctor to prescribe partial scripts and called me to pick them up.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Thank goodness for good nurses! Also, if your burned out, consider a career change, especially if you are working in a psych unit. You could be doing a lot of unintended harm.

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My Compulsion

As the age-old interview question goes, “What gets you up in the morning ?” I have to internally scream, whenever this one is asked. The truth of the matter is that I’m not entirely sure. I’ve been through a whole gamut of “traumas” in addition to suffering from mental illness, and I just keep going. Recently, my therapist brought up the point that I was probably in the 90th percentile for resilience. Presumably, I should feel some semblance of pride. I don’t. The truth is I don’t always know why I keep fighting. I find myself repeatedly getting knocked down only to get back up again. All along, I think I have things, finally, in place. Nevertheless, the cycle repeats over and over and over again. Getting back up, sometimes, is more of a compulsion than a true strength.I’m not entirely sure why. Still, a couple of obvious reasons come to mind.

And, it’s an odd compulsion. It’s not a compulsion that I expect for others to notice. It is something I have to do for me. Part of it, I’m sure is, essentially, giving the middle finger to everyone who counted me out previously. As unhealthy as it might be, I feel a rage for people who tell me that couldn’t expect to work or finish college. I get irritated with people the idea that people expect less from me just because of what I “have” or what I’ve been through. Now, I don’t generally have to worry about people like this in my life too much anymore. It’s about proving the idea wrong for myself.

Now, the rest of my reasoning is a little more peculiar. I don’t, in fact, have as much will to live as others, but if I’m going to live, then I’m going to do it on my own terms. I have one life, and I might as well try to use it to accomplish achieving a normal life, until I run out of time.

If a person is going to have a compulsion, being resilient, is probably a healthier one to have. At the same time, I worry that I don’t when to give up, especially, considering I’ve been hitting a rough patch lately. Oh well, off to pull up on those bootstraps.

Riding the Manic Lightning

I recently was released from my second hospitalization in the last two months. I feel much more stable. At the very least, my hallucinations and mania are somewhat under control, and I am no longer delusional, which was a problem my inpatient psychiatrist had to break  to me. My low income retail job decided to have my back and let me both keep job and not count my absences for the hospital stay. I can’t say enough about how I appreciate them. Nevertheless, sitting ideally by “managing,” isn’t something I’m good at doing.

For better or worse, I will be starting my second college program in January. I have bachelor’s in mathematics already. I intend on keeping my part-time job and learning to play violin. Perhaps, I am biting off more than I can chew, but I always do. I, quite literally, don’t know how else to be. I aim high, and if and when I fall, I still have some goals left to work on.

I’m not depressed, and I’m not reaching full mania. Nevertheless, for days at time, I can think of nothing to quell my energy levels besides running through the snow naked. It’s not as bad as it was, but it is extremely irritating. My head feels like it is going to explode. I have to try not get irritated. I had as needed medications for this in the hospital, and they gave me a small supply of them for at home. They did not give me a whole month’s supply. It doesn’t look like my outpatient psychiatrist is going to be willing to prescribe them.  I’ve been dealing with mental health problems my whole life. I’m growing impatient. I’m truly not depressed, but at what point does a rough patch switch to the label of just rough life?

Productivity and Mania: The Tale of A Girl’s Financial Acumen

Sometimes, being a little on the manic side can end well, instead of the the alternative. Being manic makes me want to do a million things at once. A typical person’s productive day might be going to work, the gym, cooking, cleaning, and taking the kids out for an activity. For me it’s orchestrating a symphony of huge, often times financial, goals and trying to set them up now, now, now!

I like to think I have a good head on my shoulders, and I tend think, this may be the only reason I don’t fall flat on my face more often than I do. Instead of my goals always being towards spending money on physical items, it can be spending towards other financial goals. I’m very obsessive with checking my bank account. I’m obsessed with checking the latest financial products. I’m obsessed with my Fico score. (Yes, I check it multiple times every day, and yes, I know it doesn’t change that often.) I want the best savings account. I want the best deal on my car loan. I want the best credit card offer. I want to see just how much I can push the credit card companies I work with to increase my credit limits or lower my APR. Just which student loan repayment option is the best? Better calculate that by hand before applying! I,also, calculate my own tax allowances by hand. (You are doing yours wrong. I can guarantee it!) Sometimes, I hit a stroke of genius, and I save a ton!

The problem is that I pay for these higher productivity states, if that’s what they should be called. Sometimes, I tip over the edge, and I’m not just productive. I’m down right dangerous. I think I know what I’m doing, and normally, I do. I’ve got the right idea stuck in there somewhere. The problem is my mind is moving too fast to keep up with what I am trying to accomplish, and I make major errors, which leads terrible turnouts. Even when that situation doesn’t occur, the end of productive stage isn’t so fun. It’s an obnoxious state of headaches, irritability, and an unreasonable dose depression.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to be able to have an extra productive day every once in awhile, but I think I’d rather pass on the aftermath.

How to Fall into an Abyss

Long ago, or maybe not so long ago, I faced what many consider a generous amount of tragedy and trauma, but at the end of the day, I was tough broad. I still am. There was no stopping to feel sorry for myself, and there was certainly, no offering up my problems for others to handle. Even if I had desired this, I didn’t have the time. All I could was put one foot in front of the other, and that is exactly what I did. Until, I lost control. I must have fallen asleep at the wheel, but in any case, my life was never quite the same again.

Gradually, time passed. My quality of life grew. I started to achieve, at least some, of my dreams. What else could someone faced with my fate ask for? Nothing, is the correct answer.

Nevertheless, my mind has always been titillated by the most basic ancient of questions. Questions of meaning. Questions of purpose. Questions of Truth. You get the idea. During the period where I was becoming more “stable,” I had focused my energy on asking and answering deeper questions about myself, but then I made a mistake. I focused my mirror to the outside. The more I looked around I found darkness and chaos. Where I expected to find meaning I found the deep void of nothingness. In attempt to reorient myself, it is as if I had absorbed part of the nothingness into my core. My humanity being as important as pretentious metaphor pointing at nothing.

I will crawl out of this. Or I will not. Those are the only two options.

I Want To Get Off This Merry-Go-Round

There’s nothing more annoying than someone comparing mania to being able to be on drugs legally and organically, and the problem, ironically, isn’t that they are wrong, in everyone’s case. The problem is that, like with drugs, there such a thing as feeling “too good.” You will lose your damned mind. People, quite simply, aren’t meant to peek behind the curtain and feel like a god. We are not gods, and so we must always, be grounded. If a god must pass by our way, we must pray that we only view its backside.

As for myself if I had to choose, I’d rather be mildly to moderately depressed, chronically, than manic. Other bipolar people’s opinions would differ. Maybe, this is due to the fact I more used to being depressed, and that’s a fair statement to make, but I would have to say I am in much more control of myself when I am depressed than when I am manic.

That being said, mania has its advantages. I have more energy. I need less sleep. I get more done. I’m more organized. I partake in more goal organized behavior. That being said, it has a lot of disadvantages. I don’t know when to quit. I can’t physically sleep, even when I need it. I think I know what I’m doing when I don’t. I think I’m being rational, when I’m not. I do dangerous things. It’s all quite a mess really.

So like I told my therapist, if there is any way I could back to my normal depressed self, my chronic existential crises, and my general disdain for life itself, please help me out with that. Feeling balanced, is always the dream, of course, but if that is too lofty of goal, I would certainly be willing to make a compromise. This merry-go-round is the worst carny ride ever.

Rant: Quit Using Mentally Ill People’s Lives as Tools

I find the way people like to describe the lives of the “severely” mentally ill people quite annoying. So this post, is going to be part rant and part me trying to me trying to make a point. Come, Alice, follow me down the rabbit hole.

People just love to romanticize those who were considered either highly creative or intellectual masterminds from the past who, also, ended up being severely mentally ill, by today’s standards. The tortured artists. The brilliant yet broken scientific minds. Famous examples include, Van Gogh, Isaac Newton, Ernest Hemingway, the list goes on. These types of people are romanized and appreciated for their genius. Their life stories are told as, if they were some type of Shakespearean tragedy.

Moving forward to today, where we have modern medicine. In this political climate, the mentally ill are seen as nothing but pawns in polarized political debate. While shootings are always truly tragic and terrible, it is sicking how obvious it is that news anchors are only paying lip service to feeling actual emotions for the victims. Instead, they are, quite simply, just happy to have yet another argument about guns vs. mental health.

My simple point is this: society cannot have it both ways. People cannot use mentally people’s lives to fulfill their personal needs for quaint stories about “tortured geniuses,” meanwhile posing the question where society would without its “misfits,” and then, turn around and turn us into the boogeyman. At the same time, they seem to forget we are all real people, facing real pain.

Imagine going into surgery. The surgeon says, “Luckily, it’s modern times we have anesthesia. It has a good chance reducing the pain of me cutting out your appendix. A minority of patients even sleep through the whole surgery! You know, you’re really lucky it’s not the 1950’s.”