Category Archives: Mental Illness

Death and a New Direction

Grief 2020

Grief 2019

Hello all you lovely people. I lost my password to this blog and was too out of it to find it. That pretty much prevented me from posting. The good news is that I stumbled across it the other day. The date next the user info was 2010. Wow! I’ve been at this blogging thing, off and on, for 10 years.

A lot has happened since my last post which I think was in May of 2019. Some good and some pretty damned horrible. The most horrible thing was that my beloved daughter died at the end of July. To say it ripped my heart out with a rusty chain saw would be an under statement. 😥

To those of you who are familiar with my writings about my daughter, you are aware that we had an extremely rocky relationship. She was mentally ill and refused any formal medical treatment. She self medicated with alcohol and some pretty hardcore drugs. I hadn’t heard from her in almost a year.

In mid July her ex husband informed me via Facebook instant messenger that she was in the hospital. (He didn’t have my phone number) Thank God for instant messenger. What he didn’t tell me was that he found her unresponsive with her eyes open.

I immediately hopped on a plane and flew up to Boston to be with her. It turns out that she had been sick with a bad cough for months, but refused to go to the doctor. During this time she had been drinking alcohol non stop and refusing to eat. As a result her weight had ballooned up to over 250 pounds. Her normal weight was about 160.

She had some kind of horrendous lung infection that spread to her other organs. They threw words at me like septic and ascites, which I think means free floating fluid in her abdomen. They tried suctioning the fluid in her lungs repeatedly, but they filled back up within a few hours. They were pumping her full of every kind of antibiotics known to man but it just wasn’t working. After 2 weeks they looked down into her lungs with a camera scope and saw that her lung tissue was completely destroyed. There was no coming back even if they beat the infection.

At this point I had to make the most difficult decision that anyone has to make for a loved one. The doctors told me that even if they put her on full blown life support she was so sick that she would only last a few weeks. So I asked the doctors to take her off life support and switch her to “comfort care.” I guess that’s what the medical staff like to call it. Doesn’t sound as dreadful as “give up and let the patient die.”

They did this at 5 p.m. Without the tube down her throat she was able to talk a little. At one point she asked “why is this happening to me?” I didn’t think it was the time to tell her about all the things she had done to her body. I just told her that she was very sick and that I was there with her.

I kind of went to this other worldly place. I didn’t have any sensation of time passing or any need to go for a walk or even use the restroom. It was really weird. I sat with her holding her hand from 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. Then she sort of breathed out in a huff and that was it…her last breathe. I put my head down and cried for the first time since this all started.

Things were sort of a blur after that. The nurse came in asked me if I was OK. How do you answer a question like that when your child has just died? Maybe they thought I was going to start screaming and ripping my hair out or jump out the window? A doctor came in and did the official time of death and whatever else. I was in shock at that point which was kind of a blessing. Total physical, emotional and spiritual overload.

Somehow I managed to order an Uber to go back to my hotel. I sat there in the back seat looking out at the growing dawn. Even as grief stricken as I was it occurred to me that in a way her passing was kind of a blessing. She had been profoundly unhappy for so long and wasn’t suffering any more. I will wish to my dying day that she had found a way out of her abyss of suffering that allowed her to remain alive and be happy.

So as far as new directions…..floundering around in grief for the last few months I’ve realized some important truths. Truths for me anyway. 1) life is a gift and it’s pretty short. Don’t put up with bullshit, negative people, etc. 2) Today is the day to start doing what you want or dream to do because tomorrow may not come. 2) Tell everyone that you love…that you love them. Don’t assume that they know. 3) It’s time to take myself seriously as an artist. It started out as a hobby, but it has morphed into a full blown love.

The picture above is a painting I did to express grief through art. It’s not totally original content. I searched Google images for “grief” for ideas.

So that’s all for now folks. Love to all and as always…thank you for listening.

I’m Back in the Saddle!

Hey guys. I took an extremely long hiatus from blogging. I blame it on a bout of bipolar depression which has greatly improved..thank you Universe. That was getting old.

Also I got engrossed in another form of creativity..oil painting. 💕

Melancholia. Oil on Canvas 24 x 36. (This is an original work created and owned by me. Please do not copy or use without my consent)

 

Is the Desire for War a Form of Collective Mental Illness?

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.
Lyrics – Country Joe and the Fish

I went to see that movie American Sniper last night. It was a rather sobering experience. But how much more sober can you get than stone cold? Who knows? If you haven’t heard about this movie it’s based on the biography of Chris Kyle, a sniper who did 4 tours in Iraq. He is known as the most lethal sniper in American History with 160 confirmed kills. He made it home alive and was murdered by a troubled veteran he was trying to help.

I’m not even going to go into the nasty debate about whether he was a hero or a coward. My opinion is that he was a soldier doing what he thought was the right thing to do to protect his family and country. He didn’t start the war – he just did what he had to do.

That being said, I’ve been pondering the whole war conundrum. I laid awake much of last night thinking about it. In a way we treat our returning warriors the same way we treat people with mental illness. We sweep it under the rug and pretend the problem doesn’t exist.

Those caught up in the war machine seem have the same mental kinks as people who are mentally ill and/or have mental illness or substance abuse problems. “Oh this is just affecting us, no one else has to deal with it, and we’re handling it just fine.” Hogwash!

As I look back over my life I can see that war has tainted my entire life. I was in my mid-teens when the Vietnam War was going on. I faced the fear that if it continued for a few more years that my brothers would have to go. I was the oldest in my family and female, but my girlfriends had older brothers that were sent off to Vietnam. They came home in a box. One of those brothers was the first boy I ever kissed. He kissed me the night before he went off to boot camp.

During that era teenage trouble making was a death sentence if you were boy from a blue collar family. The judge gave them a choice “jail or Vietnam.” Stupid boys chose Nam. I would have much rather they went to jail, but I was a 14 year old girl, my say didn’t matter much then. It probably doesn’t matter much more now. I just have a wider audience.

After my girlfriends lost their brothers, we three musketeers decided to wear black arm bands to school. We got in all kinds of trouble for it. Being teen aged innocents we didn’t know we were protesting, we just knew that our guys died and we were sad and very angry. We had to stay after school for detention every day that we wore those arm bands. Funny thing was no one ever tried to confiscate them. If this happened in the present they probably would have them confiscated. Can’t wear or carry anything to school that might offend someone nowadays. I don’t remember how long we wore them and when we stopped either. How odd. We drifted apart, life goes on I guess.

Fast forward to when I was 18 years old. I fell in love with a Vietnam vet who was one of those who made it home in body but not in mind. My mother hated him and knew he was trouble. She finally told me to not talk to her until I was finished with him. She was right in a way. He was trouble because he was troubled. When we walked down the street he was constantly scanning and looking around at trees, roof tops, alleyways. I thought he was just unusually alert. What did I know about soldiers and PTSD? My dead friends don’t talk about that. 6 months later he committed suicide by cop. Meaning they tried to arrest him, he said “you’re not taking me alive” and boom he’s dead.

So at the tender age of 14 I learned that I was not invincible. People die because of other people’s decisions, shit happens. Should children have to learn that? I don’t know but there are children all over the world in war zones learning this every day. Are we better for it? I don’t think so. But that’s just my opinion among billions of others.

Is there a Video Blog for Real/Mature Women?

Since I’ve been so sick and under the weather from grief at the death of my grandson, I’m running out of things to do that don’t involve much moving at all or any heavy breathing. Come to think of it I haven’t been capable of doing anything that involves much thinking either.

A few days ago I found myself incapable of doing anything more strenuous than lying on the bed and watching the screen saver on my computer cycle through.

Yesterday I started trolling YouTube to find things to laugh about. It’s great for my chest and sinuses to laugh because it sends me into a coughing and sneezing fit that really get things going in the snot department.

One thing I noticed is that there are tons of videos entitled “watch this it’s the funniest thing ever.” Many of them are so not funny at all… it’s almost but not quite funny. Maybe I don’t get it because I’m not a generation Xer or a millennial kid.

I even found a slew of videos called “nut shots.” These videos are made by a select group of young men who are doing us all a favor by removing themselves from the gene pool. They set up ways to have themselves get slammed in the nuts and catch it on tape. One guy sat at the bottom of a skate board tube with his legs spread and had a friend roll a bowling ball down the slope and into his crotch. My faith in coming generations was severely damaged by this.

Then there all the beauty tips by young girls and teenagers. Example: “How to grow your hair long.”

Hi, I’m Tiffany and I say “um” every fifth word, I’m going to tell you how to have long hair. It’s like totally rad, like what you do is not cut your hair, like for a really long time. And then you like run your fingers through your hair 15 times a minute and purse your lips. It’s like totally cool and it really works.

And while I let my hair grow, I’m going to show you how to put on lip gloss. What you do is like (zoom into close up of a container of lip gloss) stick your finger in the lip gloss and like smear it on your lips. Then I’m going to show you how to put on makeup. (More close ups of various drug store make up products)  You like spread this foundation all over your face, it’s probably good to have the color match your face. Then you put on eye shadow, eye liner and mascara. It’s so cool see here I am without makeup (close of up of beautiful flawless 16 year old skin, followed by close up of a girl who now looks like the whore of Babylon.)

Maybe there needs to be a video blog made by and for women who are looking at 50 in the rear view mirror? Without make up on a bad day, especially when I’ve been sick for 2 weeks, I do a good impression of a corpse in a coffin. My lips are shriveled up and cracked. My nose is chapped. I have dark circles on under my eyes that would scare off a raccoon. Will running my fingers through my hair and talking like a valley girl help? Probably not.

 Mental Illness – A Crime Punishable by Death

Rest in Peace, Christopher

Rest in Peace, Christopher

When did mental illness become a crime punishable by death…without even a trial? That’s what can happen to a loved one if they live in the frozen North of our great country. I’m so angry that I’m having extreme difficulty putting it into words.

My grandson has been struggling for years now. His latest residence was a homeless shelter for veterans in Boston. He got in some kind of disagreement with them and they threw him out, in the middle of the night, when the temperature was in the teens. If it was that bad why didn’t they call the police? I’d rather my grandson be in jail than in a funeral home waiting for us to bring him to his final resting place. There are not enough tears in the ocean to shed at this travesty.

Many of our young people are behind the eight ball in multiple ways; inner city crime, emotional disorders, mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness and many more problems. Most health care professionals have no training in treating people with alcoholism and mental illness together.

Many will say “we can’t give you any medicine for mental illness because you are drinking.” I’m sorry, but that is a big giant load of horse crap. Maybe if they gave someone a valium they would calm down, go home, if they have one, and go to sleep, instead of wandering the streets, and even dying on a park bench or a train station. Are they afraid of liability issues? I wonder.

So my grandson is laying in a coffin now. He slipped through the cracks. But can we even call it a crack?? It’s more a huge fissure that’s getting wider every day. Pray for our children.

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