Category Archives: Civil Rights

So, so very tired.

I wrote a poem.

On Being Bipolar

The hateful voice wants me alone;
                         he wants me to die.
I don’t know how he doesn’t see
                       that we are bound, he and I;
When I die, so does he

A friend suggested that perhaps the illness itself is the one who wants to die, as I want very much to live (especially if it’s sans illness.) It’s an interesting premise, and one I might use. I sort of pity it in that respect; but it is self-destructive to the point that *I* am self-destructive, and that’s crap I can’t tolerate.

I am supposed to do a 5K tomorrow. I’m supposed to be up at 6:30. It is currently 3:30 and I haven’t been able to sleep out of anxiety about the aforementioned 5K. I am afraid my family will ridicule me for it if I don’t go. Being fit (and also not fat, but less that in recent years as my activism has gotten MUCH more vocal) is an obsession in my family. Last year my stepdad bet my mom $50 that I wouldn’t complete it. So far this year I’ve already missed another 5K. But I’m so tired now…

I don’t want to go to Thanksgiving. I don’t want to be surrounded by family and especially by noisy nieces and one noisy nephew (though he and I get each other.) I had Thanksgiving at work and am a bit Thanksgiving-ed out, to be honest, especially as I spent ten hours at work today, and at least ten additional hours purchasing and preparing food in advance. Not to mention all of the planning and logistics I had to put in all month, on top of my usual work. I am just so wrung out. I just want to be home, where it’s quiet, hang out with Chihiro, and binge watch Netflix or something.

Only one resident thanked me for my hard work, though most complimented my cooking. (Which is amazing, by the way. Everyone wants my recipes for my turkey, sugar cookies, and pumpkin pie.) The other residents ‘thanked’ me in their usual way; eat everything, complain about dishes that weren’t made despite the metric fuckton of food present, and then demand dessert before I’ve even had a chance to enjoy my own plate. Half of them wandered off before I got around to dishing out pie because they were too impatient to let me finish eating. (I didn’t. I was tired of being hassled for pie.)

The case manager helped me a great deal today, but she was the only one, and she was trying to get other things done in the morning so she could just help me this afternoon. Some of the residents helped with set up/tear down, which I am also grateful for. Some staff helped with serving but disappeared as soon as it was time to clean up afterwards, which took me, the case manager, and a resident two and a half hours to do. I am *very* thankful for that, I was so tired I could barely stand up, and I spent ten hours mostly on my feet today.

Next week is a CARF survey, Wednesday through Friday. They’re a huge accreditation program whose stamp of approval helps us function. We’re trying to get my day programming certified, which means I will be put under a microscope. I haven’t had a lot of time to really prepare due to Thanksgiving taking up so very much of my time this month. My program is fine; I do a fantastic job, I commit waaaay too many of my evenings and put in long hours making everything happen. My groups are good and well attended overall, the work program is successful, and all of my ducks are in a row. I just want to get things ready by Wednesday to show off, y’know? I’ve been tidying my office which is in a perpetual state of “mostly organized chaos” and I’ve got a lot of pictures to hang up/rehang in the craft room. Oh, and the leaky spot in my ceiling opened back up today, due to a lot of melt from the snow over the weekend. I’m sure our maintenance guy will be *thrilled* when I tell him on Friday. He thought the leak was fixed. HAHAHAHAHA no.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fat Rights, Now

Going to the doctor is always *so* much fun.

So I had a manic episode Wednesday night/Thursday morning, likely from a combination of work stress and waaaay too much caffeine.  I finally passed out around 7:00 Thursday morning, after calling (emailing) in FMLA.  Been a month and a half since my last FMLA day, and I think I just went home early that day.  I really am doing better overall.  But it worked out, kinda, as I already had an appointment to see my primary care doctor today.  I hadn’t remembered to tell my boss or HR about it and was wondering how to sneak out of work for about two hours. >_>

So the main reason for going is I wanted to switch birth control brands to the one my insurance covers for free, instead of paying a $25 copay.  I’ve been duking it out with my insurance for a while, over multiple things.

It is always awkward, being checked in. Thankfully, the nurses accept my polite “No, thank you” to being weighed, though I have requested they flag my chart somehow so they know not to even ask, as it is very triggering for me and likely is for other people as well.  For some reason it doesn’t bother me when my psychiatrist does it, but he does it himself, never comments on it, and I know he’s watching for changes due to my psychiatric drugs, which makes it actually a medical necessity, as often weight change is the first sign that something’s not right with my meds, or my overall mental status.

Then came the fun part, where I explain what I need, and asked if there was any way I could also get an IUD put in, or a tubal ligation, as I have no plans to have kids, and launched into my list of why it is A Very Bad Idea for me to actually birth children anyway, as with my current medications, by the time I would realize I was pregnant, very irreparable damage would’ve been done to the kid’s brain.  Not to mention the horrible genetics I’d be passing down.  (And with my new boyfriend, *his* genetics are equally awful, so the poor hypothetical kid would never have a chance.)  She didn’t think my insurance would do both an IUD and hormonal birth control, but they might consider a tubal, as I am now 31 and now magically able to really decide what I want for my reproductive future.  Maybe.  I don’t know if it’ll be covered, of course, but she said she’d be happy to make a referral to a surgeon.  I’ll have to call my insurance and see what they would be willing to consider.  I’d rather go the IUD route than actual surgery, but either way, I just want that extra layer of backup, y’know?

I actually made my doctor cry, though, when I started in on my It’s A Bad Idea schpiel and she could see my overall level of frustration.  She’s really nice, I like her quite a bit, and felt badly when she got choked up.

Oh, the best part of my visit?  As I have been out of birth control for three weeks, and had *protected* sex about two weeks ago (I’m not an idiot) I still had to do a pregnancy test before she could actually prescribe me birth control.  As much as I knew it was a veeery low chance, I was still nervous.  She was happy with the negative, especially given how adamant I am about not having kids, and she prescribed it.

Of course, then the pharmacy discovered that while I had the correct *brand,* the little numbers after it were wrong, so the brand I switched to *still* wasn’t free.  Gotta call my doctor’s office AGAIN tomorrow to correct that.  (It’s supposed to be Junel Fe 1/20 and she’d written for like, Junel Fe 28 or something.  I couldn’t tell you what those numbers mean if my life depended on it.)

Seriously, someone shoot me.  At least my pharmacist found my pent-up-rage ranting against my insurance company funny, and she agreed with my frustration, as insurance companies rarely send formularies to pharmacies so they don’t know what is covered, either.  She appreciated my frustration with how the birth control formulary I received- that had to be mailed to me, as it wasn’t even listed on my insurance company’s website- only listed the brand names they covered.  No chemical information whatsoever.  So I had to do my own research to match the brand they’ll cover with the chemical formula I am presently prescribed, that works juuust fine, thank you.  Evidently the ACA only requires the insurances cover one brand of each compound, rather than just, y’know, paying for all of them.  UNIVERSAL PAYOR SYSTEM, PEOPLE.  IT IS A THING THAT WORKS IN QUITE A FEW OTHER PLACES VERY NICELY.  If only America wasn’t positively allergic to anything that smacks of socialism/communism, we’d have nice things, AND save money, and this last month of absolute nonsense of trying to change and fill a prescription wouldn’t have happened.

I also remembered to stop at a lab on the way home to get bloodwork done that I’ve been forgetting since February, too.  I was just full of medical compliance today.

…And did I remember to mention I have a boyfriend?  That’s a topic for another post. XD

3 Comments

Filed under Civil Rights, Fat Rights, Now

Feeling rather numb

I have a client who is anorexic, and actively dying. He was down to about 83 pounds the last time he was weighed, and he is just so sick. Hospice was scheduled to come in Monday to get him in the system and work with him- and us- about how best to handle his impending death, as he refused all treatment for his anorexia. As I was the second shift monitor of the clients in the independent apartments over the weekend, I spent as much time as I could with him, and was constantly checking to make sure he was still breathing when he went to sleep. He was simply a walking skeleton, and watching him move around made my heart ache in so many ways.

As my weekend is on Mondays and Tuesdays, I was at home on Tuesday when I checked my gmail and saw that something had happened, though I wasn’t positive what. A few frantic texts to coworkers let me know that he was in the hospital, and medical intervention was the only reason he was still alive.

We’re having an all-campus grief counseling session at 11:00 Wednesday.

I feel numb, and very much in need of a crying jag. I was trying to talk to my mom about it, but my stepdad interjected with a “I had a bad day. I don’t want to hear about your clients.” So I shut up and went to my room to cope with my emotions as best I could.

We’ll see how well I manage to hold it together tomorrow. I’m not confident that I’m going to be able to, but I’m going to try.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health Rights, Now

Holy worst weekend ever, Batman!

So last weekend was my first weekend as a DSW (Direct Service Worker) which a) means I’m getting paid less as I am responsible for less and b) am working hours and days where I am the only clinician present, though I am not acting in that capacity officially.

The 1-1 staffing wasn’t bad, as the client is presently in the ‘honeymoon’ stage with me, so he isn’t pushing his luck with me… yet.

Activity driving? GOOD LORD. We got lost going to the first scheduled event, and then we had a complete breakdown in the van as two of the clients got extremely angry with me and started yelling and calling me names, resulting in my scrapping of the backup “let’s get a beverage somewhere instead” plan and simply returning to campus. I misunderstood that one of the clients that isn’t “true” SIL (supported independent living) as we basically are providing him all the services as the cottages, but he just can’t live there as he terrorized everyone, and I didn’t think he could go on the SIL grocery shopping, so he was pissed at me. (This is the same client I was 1-1 with on Friday and Sunday. Those days? Complete angel. When I screwed up because it was my first day and I was confused? HOLY MOLY.)

In the interim, I had a client who has been decompensating all week and threatening suicide, again threaten it while I was talking to him, and then producing the bloody razors he’d been hiding him his room for self-harm. Razors confiscated, I called 911, and then had a 20-minute argument with the responding paramedics that yes, you’ve taken him every day this week and that is frustrating, but we can’t keep him safe on campus as we can’t very well lock him in his room and campus is not fenced in or anything, and yelling at me for wasting your time, and subsequently wasting MORE of your time, is not productive in any way. I had to get the program manager on the phone to yell at them, but I was holding my ground and wouldn’t let them leave without my client. This was immediately before the 6:00 outing, so those clients interested kept milling around, wanting to know when we were leaving, and looking hurt when I had to set boundaries with them that yes, we’d be going on the outing, but can’t you see I am presently handling an emergency?

I was a bit frustrated at how the cottage staff didn’t seem all that concerned about his threats of suicide. Sure, it’s a bit of a constant, but this isn’t attention seeking behavior as the paramedics insisted; he has attempted in the past when the voices are really bad and “torturing” him a lot, and they’ve been really bad, as he kept saying the “mental torment is worse than Auschwitz!” Yes, he kept referencing the Holocaust as an example of how bad it was in his head. (Sidenote: this client looks and sounds a lot like Lewis Black, including his overall intensity, so I was trying SO HARD not to break out laughing when he was clearly upset and needed help.) Sure, the wounds thus far have been superficial, but he has multiple extremely detailed plans that are 100% plausible, so FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TAKE HIM TO THE HOSPITAL ALREADY. After five attempts last week, he was FINALLY admitted. Hopefully they’ll tweak his meds and he won’t be so tortured anymore.

The final outing, to the Tim Horton’s up the street, took THREE trips, for seven people, so nobody killed each other in the van. And nobody wanted to just sit and drink their coffee and talk; everyone drank their beverages of choice and/or inhaled their pastry and immediately went outside to smoke, which took twice as long as the rest of the process. It would be funny if it wasn’t somewhat sad.

Today I return to case management, which is MUCH more within my comfort zone, and today is the “Walk a Mile in my Shoes” event hosted by NAMI. I’ll be going along, I think, and I hope it’ll be a good day and not soggy raining like it’s been doing all week. I think it’ll be fun and the clients who were interested hopefully will have a good time.

Overall, having a weekend helped, though my weekend is Monday and Tuesday, and I spent Tuesday afternoon with a feverish, sick nephew, so that cut it a bit short. Ah, well. :/ He’s doing much better, but can’t go back to daycare until he hasn’t had a fever for 24 hours. Glad the family friend who watches him sometimes can come over and do so again tomorrow, as I think I was going to get the short end of that stick and have to stay home with him otherwise.

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil Rights, Mental Health Rights, Now

Huh. Never had to delete something that wasn’t spam before.

I got my first angry comment the other day. It was mostly unintelligible, to be honest, but it was railing against Health at Every Size, and Regan Chastain of Dances with Fat in particular. So it wasn’t even really MY hate response, it was more hers that got sidetracked on my post. Honestly, I think I’ve mentioned Regan once, maybe twice, so I’m not really even sure how I ended up getting an angry comment about her. Google search, maybe? I should’ve saved it for posterity, but my finger was itchy to use the delete button for the first time on something that wasn’t spam.

If I haven’t made it abundantly clear in this blog, I do apologize. I am a fat activist. I am a firm believer in Health at Every Size, and I highly recommend actually reading Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. It opened my eyes to a world where I don’t have to hate myself, and where I can be whatever size I am and still be healthy. I am not going to be convinced that it is a crock, no matter how much you rail at me about it. Believe me, my family does it enough just fine on their own. Also, I will not be persuaded by abundant scatological references. Telling me that I shouldn’t believe someone that it is okay with who she is, and insisting that she is more or less whitewashing the fence, with lots of colorful shit metaphors? Yeah, that one’s not gonna fly.

No matter what, I am going to be a fat person for the rest of my life. I am fine with this. Hell, I’m content with that, if not happy. I am fond of all of me, even the lumpy bits and the bits that jiggle when I move. I am most assuredly NOT fine with being told I should be ashamed of this amazing body that does so many amazing things, and being told that I should hate myself skinny. I have done enough of that to last a lifetime and thank god I came to my senses before losing any more of my precious time here on this planet.

My opinion will never be a popular one in my lifetime, at least not at the rate it is going. I will be verbally abused for the rest of my life by just about anyone; people who are cruel, people who are well-meaning but horribly misguided, and by people who love me and think they are doing what’s best for me. But none of that will change who I am or what I look like. None of that will change the research out there. Insisting that said research is like “the six articles that make a case for the earth being flat” isn’t going to change the fact that the dieting industry has been selling us a bill of goods for a long time. It isn’t going to change the fact that hundreds of messages about how I am not good enough because I am fat are being thrown at me every day. It isn’t going to change the fact that the diet industry is raking in $60 billion annually, and this number will likely only go up.

I guess what I’m getting at, is that my mind is not going to be changed about this, no matter what. Mostly unintelligible diatribes in my comment queue certainly isn’t going to do anything but amuse me for a minute, or piss me off, and will be deleted. You have a right to free speech, sure, but this is my blog, and it is a dictatorship. So feel free to go rant at Regan, as she posts her more interesting hate mail on her blog, so at least it’ll see the light of day, maybe. Or rant at me if you need to get it off your chest. But it will most assuredly not be published.

I am fat, and I’m ok with that. I’m more ok with being fat than I am with being bipolar, in fact, and that’s 95% of this blog. So please take your vitriol elsewhere.

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil Rights, Fat Rights, Now

Blog for Mental Health 2014

So I just found an interesting little thing on WordPress. There was an article entitled Mental Health Bloggers Widen Their Support Systems on WordPress.com that I noticed on my homepage, so of course I was curious and clicked on it. As a result I discovered A Canvas of the Minds, which is a whole team of mental health bloggers. Just the sort of thing I’m totally into! I’ll add links to the blogroll later. Anyway, there is a thing called Blog for Mental Health 2014″ which is to help eradicate stigma and raise awareness which is… pretty much the entire purpose of my own blog, so taking the pledge is easy. Ahem:

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

There is even a badge, which I may or may not have any success with adding here:

art by Piper Macenzie

I love being included. I often feel sort of left on the periphery, so being able to connect with other people here is awesome.

5 Comments

Filed under Mental Health Rights, Now

I’m surrounded by armchair psychiatrists

So Monday morning/afternoonish, I was in a bit of a funk. I’ve been having trouble falling asleep when I want to and staying asleep (more the second bit,) and so I end up needing to sleep later but my nephew (who now lives here) is Very Two and Very Loud at obscene o’clock in the morning, so… yeah, not sure about the overall quality of my sleep in the last few months. I had been having weird dreams and woke up unsettled, and then watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and felt even MORE unsettled. I’m starting to think Harry Potter is a bit much for me, to be honest. My brother has all of the movies except for The Deathly Hallows 1 & 2, and my nephew loves Harry Potter, so he’s equally as likely to be watching that as he is to be working through the Pixar collection. I watched my nephew for an hour or so while my brother went and talked to a general manager somewhere, and finished out the movie once my brother and nephew left for a while, and just felt unsettled, and a bit angry.

Lately, it seems that everybody around me- my parents, my mom’s therapist, my boss- knows more about my mental illness and what I need, than I do. It feels an awful lot like what happens when other people who make my fat their business, and doubt my own experiences as a fat person, so I’m going to go with the idea that I’m being completely ignored because clearly I don’t actually know what’s best for me. It’s rude, it’s demeaning, and it makes me feel like I’m incompetent and need a guardian appointed by the court or something.

It just keeps coming up, different variations of the same theme; I’m not pushing myself enough, I’m not really that sick, I give up too easily, I could do more if I wanted to and I just don’t want to. I wish I could let some of these people spend a week in my head and see how well they manage. I’ve actually gone more than a month since missing any work, which is a goddamn miracle and hasn’t happened in YEARS, but I’m working around 28 hours a week because more than that and I had problems. I wonder how I’ll handle a 40 hour week, but as I doubt I’ll be doing quite the same amount of physical labor, and I’ll hopefully be making more than minimum wage, I think I’ll be able to handle it. I can handle mental exhaustion far, far better than physical exhaustion, for one, and for two, just about every other career field in the world is less in-your-face stressful than customer service.

Being physically busy does quiet my brain a bit, so that’s nice, but as soon as I slow down the noise is back, which is part of why I’m having trouble sleeping. I’m struggling to process through a lot and so much has changed. I’m not going to group anymore, as it was mostly a waste of my time. I’m halfheartedly looking for another support group but I don’t really get anything out of the format. I tried, and I’ve genuinely tried in the past, but it just doesn’t work for me. Of course, this is another thing that everybody else knows more than me about how I can handle it, and I just didn’t try hard enough, or participate enough.

It’s like religion all over again. I walked away after being told one too many times that if I just had more faith, God would heal me of my mental illness. My every failure was because I didn’t have enough faith, even though I was pretty damn sure I was as faithful as I could be. It wasn’t the lack of faith, it was how nothing on the other end was changing. I was being blamed for being sick and not fixing myself… and it’s happening again. It’s my fault that I’m still bipolar. If I’d just do what everyone else knows I should be doing, I’d be better. I’d be employed and get to live independently again, get my cat back, get my life back in order, but I’m not doing what everyone else wants, so I deserve to suffer.

2 Comments

Filed under Civil Rights, Fat Rights, Mental Health Rights, Now