More Thoughts

I’ve been doing a lot of putzing around since I visited here last, and I enjoyed some of it, some has been quite boring. I haven’t been writing much and I’m not really sure why, except that I don’t always think I have a lot to say. Then again, maybe I’m just being lazy. I know I do a ton of thinking, but it would be almost impossible to write everything I’m thinking down, because for one, I am lazy. That’s okay though, because that’s me. I know, you all thought I was perfect, but I do have that one little flaw. For another though, I just do not type fast enough to keep up with all I think. I need to take a keyboarding class. Remember when it was typing class? Well, some of you don’t, I’m sure.

My pursuit of a new life, and “My journey to freedom,” have not diminished so much as they’ve run up against reality. There are abundant signs that all is as it should be in my life, and as I’ve learned, the Universe responds to the energy I put into it, not in my time frame, but as the Universe and the Creative Intelligence behind it deems proper. So I can be satisfied with the way things are going even though I’m not rich or famous, or traveling the world. Yet.

I wrote in my last piece about my medical tests, and one manifestation of my positive thinking is that my carotid arteries on both sides are perfectly clear. One was supposedly partially blocked, and although it’s common in guys my age, I didn’t believe that there was a problem, and it turned out that there wasn’t. Another manifestation which I hadn’t really thought about until just now was that back in the spring, I went to my cardiologist, and my blood pressure was up a bit. He had me monitor it for a month or so, but when I did, it was always high. Sometimes way too high. Before the month had gone by though, I had to see the PA at my regular doctor’s, and she started me on a small dose of an anti hypertensive med. As soon as I started taking it, my BP was normal. Better than normal. I thinkĀ  I got so worried when my BP got so high that my negative energy kept it up there, and drove it higher. Thus, to me, there is a place for medications and sometimes they are absolutely necessary.

It has been a while now since Robin Williams’ death, and I’ve refrained from commenting about it because I needed to ponder it and consider, really, how I felt about it. I mean obviously I, like every one else who is a thinking human being, mourn his passing, but it has a deep meaning for me personally in my journey because I think I know exactly how he felt, and how desperate he must have been for relief from his pain that he decided death was the only option.

I’m incredulous still that there was a question of whether he was depressed or not. How could someone who decides to die by his own hand not be depressed? It was also disheartening to me to find that in this day and age, people can still be so heartless as to call him a coward for what he did, but then again, it just emphasized how little folks really do understand about what a horrible, black, all enveloping monster, depression truly is. I’m sorry that Robin couldn’t take solace in his knowledge of what a truly beloved person he was. Even if he wasn’t always the happy, joking cut up he always appeared to be in public. I’m sorry that he couldn’t have talked with me, or the many like me who’ve suffered the black pain and managed to come out on the other side alive and better for it. I’m sorry that his pain was so deep that he could look past the hurt that his death would cause his family, where the knowledge of the pain my suicide would have caused my daughters was all that kept me alive. We all knew though, as we read about his issues with alcohol and sobriety that deep inside, he hid the tears of a clown.

So. Forgive me if I preach a bit, but I still find myself getting upset at the routine use of “mental health” jokes and memes in social media. I really only use Facebook, and I’m amazed at how thoughtlessly people who are usually thoughtful, and would never consider posting a joke about having, say, cancer or a stroke, post jokes about being bipolar, depressed or even schizophrenic and think they’re funny! I am far from politically correct, and I can take a joke as well as anyone. I can poke fun at my own episodes of mental illness because it can’t hurt me anymore. Neither can other people’s jokes, but not everyone who suffers from this disease has learned what I have, nor can they always separate the joke from what seems an attempt to shame them. Especially if one of the symptoms the person is suffering from is paranoia.

I’m debating what I should do. I want to “stick up” for people who may not be able to do it for themselves, but I don’t want to appear as though I’m turning into the PC police either. I think, maybe, that just a simple statement of my opinion is called for, because this is something that is dear to my heart, and it really isn’t any of my business what other people think of me. For someone who’s in the black cloud of depression, or maybe in a hyper manic phase, or hearing voices telling him to die, and that person is thinking that death really will relieve the pain, the jokes must seem particularly cruel, and may even be the impetus for someone to take that final, irreversible step.

Once again, writing what I’ve been thinking has clarified some things for me, and given me an action plan. I’m not sure why this is so important to me at the moment, but it’s been on my mind for a while. Stay tuned. I’ll let you (and me) know how it turned out.

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Mental Illness

I haven’t written here in a few days even though I committed to writing every day, but I’ve done some writing elsewhere that I’d rather not share in this “PG” rated forum. Be that as it may, I’ve stumbled across a couple of topics near and dear to my heart.

I just read a news article titled “US jails struggle with role as asylums.” The gist of it is that many folks with mental illness have little access to real health care, and often must get arrested for minor offenses, (usually committed as a symptom of the mental illness) and end up in jail rather than treatment. While in jail, these folks may or may not get evaluated or treated for their mental illness while there. This depends largely on whether the person admits to having an illness. Even if they do though, they may receive medication for the time they’re in jail, but are then released with no follow up, and so the cycle repeats itself. Except occasionally, some one becomes violent against others, or commits suicide.

Then, there’s an article somewhere, and in today’s internet world, space afterward for comments. They always seem to go like this: “My brother wouldn’t take his meds and he was homeless, now he’s in prison.” “My mother has bipolar but won’t get herself help, so we’ve given up on her.” “Dad can’t take care of himself, but he can’t get an appointment to see a doctor, and the system won’t help him.” “My sister is schizophrenic, but she takes drugs and steals to get the money, so we threw her out of the house. Now she’s homeless, but she won’t stop using drugs.”

There were also other statements by commenters who claimed that a big part of the problem for mentally ill people in the jails was the obvious abuse perpetrated on them by the staff, principally the “guards.”

Now I have some experience with mental illness, as I was diagnosed with “Major Clinical Depression” 19 years ago this month, as fate would have it, and I’ve been treated for it with everything from meds to therapy to electro shock treatment (ECT). I’ve discovered what amounts basically to a cure for me, but I have to be wary and watch for the signs and symptoms of depression, because it can sneak back in if I let it.

It has taken me this long to understand how I can defeat this monster though, and many people just aren’t so fortunate. Maybe someone will read my blog, and discover that they too can get better without medications and what passes for “treatment.” That’s not to say if you have a mental illness and your treatment works for you, that you should give it up, but I lost faith in the conventional forms and I found what works for me.

Any way, that’s not really the point of this post though. What I’m talking about, first and foremost, is that families don’t seem to come together to care for a mentally sick member, at least not like they do for those with physical ailments. In the past, (I know I’m generalizing here) if someone had a mental illness, the family would surround him/her, make sure that person was cared for with a home, food, someone to watch over them, and their privacy was protected. The neighbors may have known that the Michael’s had a son who “wasn’t right in the head”, but nobody bothered them, and the son could live out his days as well as possible, in the loving embrace of his family. Obviously, there were circumstances where that wasn’t possible, or the ill person had no family, and these people needed to be institutionalized.

I’m not going to go into great lengths about the horrors that were uncovered in some of the institutions, but generally speaking, families took care of their own. When did that change? Why did that change? I realize this is a different world, but there are tons of stories about folks with cancer who are cared for by family, loved ones, hospitals, and finally hospices when the time comes. Why doesn’t that happen with mentally ill people? There are no people with cancer in prison for stealing to get the pain meds they need, because the meds are supplied to them as compassionate care. Why are schizophrenics or depressed folks locked up for stealing in order to medicate their pain? It’s partly because those who’ve never experienced that pain don’t believe it’s real. I’m not suggesting that someone with depression should be supplied with morphine, but the current methods and the current meds that screw with brain chemistry don’t work. If they did, there wouldn’t be so many of these folks committing crimes and ending up in jail!

Why are people with mental illnesses blamed for their own diseases? Why do their families give up on them? Why isn’t home care and more than just emergency hospitalization available to them? If I became severely depressed today, went down to the local hospital psychiatric ER and told them that, they would make me an appointment, or more likely, give me a number to call to make an appointment in two or three weeks, to see a psychiatrist who would ask me how sad I was and then prescribe an anti-depressant. Or, more anti-depressants. If I went there and said I was going to kill myself or someone else though, then they’d lock me up in a ward where I’d sit most of the day and stare at a TV. If I had been drinking before that though, then that would become the root of all my problems, and they would hustle me off to a rehab as soon as possible.

Some folks get so depressed that they literally cannot move from bed for days. What happens to these people when they have no one to care for them? If someone discovers them they might go to an ER and get IV fluids, but they’ll be sent back home again. Not posing a threat to anybody, right? My point being that if someone needs “help”, the way to get it is to act out.

Next, even though I’m a little biased on the subject, prison officers are probably the greatest mental health counselors alive today. They damn near live with the mentally ill, they have to watch out for their safety, as well as the safety of those around them. Prison officers, when experienced, have a very finely tuned sense of who the ill inmates are, and maybe more importantly, when they are “decompensating” and descending into their own particular brand of hell. Thus, the prison officer is often the first advocate for the mentally ill prisoner, taking all the administrative action required to get him treated. Every officer with a few years on the job has experienced some who are known to be ill and are caught in the revolving door of incarceration, release, no treatment, incarceration, release, on and on. Plus, as in my case, very often the prison officer learns first hand what depression feels like.

I don’t know what the answer is, and maybe there isn’t one. I do know that if you have a mental illness but are functional and can understand the basics, then the Law of Attraction can help. It did for me.

What does evil mean?

As a new “convert” to the philosophy of the Law of Attraction, I have some serious questions for the Universe.

A couple of days ago, a 22 year old man stabbed and shot to death six people. He injured quite a few more. All this was done as “retribution” for what he felt was women choosing inferior men to him as lovers, or mates. Clearly, the guy was delusional, and suffered from some severe mental illness. He did though, literally go insane, because a person would have to be insane to commit such violence against others.

According to the Law of Attraction, you draw to yourself whatever kind of energy you put out into the Universe. If you are happy and grateful, you attract more happiness, and more reason to be grateful. If you constantly worry, or are angry, judge people or hate based on superficial reasons, you attract more worry, are judged by others, and viewed not for who you are, but what you look like, say, or do. This kid was consumed by evil, that’s apparent. But why? How can someone attract so much hate and anger that they become evil?

By the same token, the Law of Attraction states that nothing happens by accident, and everything that comes to you, good or bad, you attracted somehow. What could the victims of this madman possibly have done to attract being shot to death in their twenties? None of them had really even started to live.

I understand the concept that good cannot exist without evil, and darkness must be balanced by the light. Are the lives ended by evil random events? I have to believe that there is some form of afterlife, and that the energy that is each person’s soul returns to the Universe and joins in the totality of it, where there is the ultimate state of bliss, and these souls just got released back to the Universe earlier than others. I have to believe that they are in whatever place Heaven meant to each of them, otherwise this makes no sense.

I know that the Universe does not make sense in human terms, and it operates according to laws that we are just beginning to have an inkling about the existence of. I also know the Universe has it’s own orderliness, and sense. I have seen repeatedly in a very short time how the LOA works in my life, and it is really simple for me to believe in the truth that it is. I want to understand the relationship between the light and the dark, and why the dark can seemingly strike at random, and so lethally. I trust the Universe will provide me a way to understand this better