It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for August, 2013

How did this happen???

 How did this even happen????

(Note: Until I can edit both my site and my blogs, one very important disclaimer, nothing I say (and I’m NOT a clinically trained or credentialed medical and or mental health professional)  OR anyone says on the internet, should NEVER replace medical and mental health advice,direction and supervision from a trained clinical professional who knows you well, offline or a real life medical or mental health professional offline in an acute need for medical/ mental health issues and of course an emergency ) ***************************************************************************************************************************
How the HELL did this happen???? And what I learned both then and now and what I plan on doing, going forward….It’s been a week since I wrote my first blog on WordPress. I was pleasantly surprised of how overwhelmingly supportive people were, and if they couldn’t be supportive, for the most part they ignored it. That would be some of  my Facebook friends and peers  who were supportive and I made some new social network contacts which I’m grateful for.I did get some “hate” which I anticipated, in my private e-mail. I’m not surprised. I wish though some of those haters would’ve commented on the blog. Not because I’m trying to increase blog traffic, because my blog is so rudimentary and rough in it’s current state, that until I become more blog savvy, as well as do more self promotion, I don’t see myself getting any advertising revenue on it, anytime soon. While I hope to make a tiny bit of money from my blog, that’s not it’s primary purpose. As this blog goes forward, hopefully it will be apparent what I hope to accomplish with it.I would have though, approved the comments, that were “hateful” if they were put on WordPress. Add the fact I have cognitive disabilities and aphasia that make me the least concise person on the planet. My 1st blog literally and figuratively speaking, as well as I was, a trainwreck…And I don’t mind comments or questions both positive or painful. Not to mention there isn’t anything anyone could accuse me of doing, that I can’t help beat myself up for which I don’t love but I own it (although I do  get accused of some ridiculous crap I would never do, either). But if people learn from my horrible mistakes, but some of them just could not be prevented, in hindsight, it’s worth any type of dialogue my blogs will  hopefully will create.

As my “haters” brought up some good points, about how ego-centric my blog came off. And how that I should’ve never had children (I disagree, as most people do know me, including my kids themselves) . But my children were the purpose of WHY I wrote my blog. I wasn’t always that trainwreck that was raising my kids in a garbage can, figuratively speaking. And this one is the major reason why I plan on doing more publicly the activism, that I feel is so important that as a society we need to talk more about without stigmatization.

I did exhaust every avenue to get help for us. It should’ve never taken as long as it did for me to get Social Security Disability Insurance and the waivers I currently have, for help. That would’ve helped enormously had any of the multiple social workers and clinical workers who knew I was disengrating, pushed for an expedited hearing. Saying this hopefully to a vulnerable family will hopefully make them fight harder to get help that I couldn’t at the time, no matter how hard I tried. I have to wonder if other families disintegrated for the same reason.

   I think most people, realized my intent of my blog. While it came off mostly ego-centric, the purpose of it was that I hope to bring subjects such as suicide and hoarding into the public spotlight. As well as other mental health issues as mentioned above. Whether you agree or disagree, most of us have something. Eating disorders, chemical dependency issues, abusive relationships familial or personal,body image and self esteem issues. It also can bring up that while we think we have disorders that have no other victims, other then ourselves, sadly that’s just not true.

There is not many things we can do that hurts ourselves that we aren’t hurting others in the process. Especially the ones we love and love us. I would never ever intentionally hurt or harm my children. Or believed I was capable of hurting them. But I did end up hurting them. It was non violent. It was not intentional. But it was neglect, just the same.  Even though they knew it wasn’t normal and that I’d never purposely hurt them. My children have never been afraid of me, nor should they have been. But there are things that I cannot erase or apologize enough for, that I can’t take back of what they had to witness or live in. It was irrational. I’ve learned though and this is what I hope to help people who’ve lost loved ones to suicide or have been victims of neglect due to either mental health issues, chemical dependency, divorce, whatever, you cannot make sense of irrational acts or behavior. Big or small. What you can do though is bring awareness to them, in hopes of evaluation and treatment. Some people’s issues are too big to ever be cured or they don’t care. Those are the people who are in dire need of the biggest intervention. Those who harm others or themselves or both, but cannot see at the time, ever, what they are doing.

For most of my childhood and early adult life, I was my only victim (and I was also a victim of some severe bullying, daily from early childhood to adulthood for being fat and ugly, hence why I do  the weight loss surgery and size acceptance advocacy and this will be topics for further blogs)  when it came to self destructive things. I did have a tendency as an adult to hoard. Not as a child, at least that I could get away with. I come from a family that is almost compulsive, in being clean in every manner. My Mother is the “Martha Stewart of Minnesota”. She’s they type where while she can afford a cleaning lady, very rarely allows herself to do so, is the type to clean before the cleaning lady comes. My hoarding was NOT a learned trait. It was a component that when I go back and examine my life, I’ve always had a component where I was just “off” on something. I may have been able to raise my kids properly, keep my house clean, pay my bills, but there was always something out of place, until my nervous breakdown in 2007 and my suicide attempt in 2008. Actually earlier  as I’ve said then 2007 as I’ve said before in hindsight. I’ve had some components of mental illness my whole entire life.I DID tell people in Summer of 2008 that I was suicidal. No one did anything about it. My last blog was not written from an activist point of view, as this one is. My 1st blog  was written as a vulnerable mental health and medically ill patient and from the viewpoint of one. Things should have not just for my kids sakes, gotten so bad, but also for my own. While I hope to increase awareness with not only what can happen with lifelong bullying, painful medical issues, low self esteem and suicidal ideation. I told all my clinical professionals other then my Primary Care Physician that I was suicidal. No one believed me.       I struggled both with my last blog and with this one of having to say something both as someone who has mental health issues and did have a very serious suicide attempt in discussing the manner I chose and my mindset at the time. There has been a lot of movie stars for example lately overdosing on both prescription and street drugs and/or intentionally have committed suicide by other means. The activist in me loathes having to say the following but it does need to be said.

If you see someone struggling with life, try to show your support or if they aren’t willing to get help, get help for yourself in getting resources. Some people who are in more immediate danger, need an IMMEDIATE  intervention. For those who are though thinking of committing suicide or hurting someone else, PLEASE get help. One reason why I do this is I survived a very serious suicide attempt where my very IRRATIONAL intent was just to permanently peacefully go to sleep and never wake up. Others try or they try and succeed in committing suicide and/or homicide  in a very violent fashion to prevent from not “failing” in their attempts. Whatever the rationale is for someone who is suicidal and/or homicidal, it is true when people say it’s a very permanent solution to a temporary situation. Even with those of us who experience manic depression and it feels like we are never going to get out of it. That others are better off and we/they are better off being gone.That’s our irrational selves talking. Or when suicide/homicide is used by someone who’s in an irrational state to hurt others, in addition to themselves. One will succeed in that, if one tries hard enough. One will not however be alive to see the devastating consequences of what we or others  tried to do with the ones we love  when suicide and/or homicide  is used for any reason,whether we are in too much pain to bear or for revenge.

For those who are suffering though I  cannot stress this enough JUST GET HELP for yourself and your loved ones and there will be at the end of this blog mental health and suicide resources.  While I alluded to all the bad things that have happened in the last 10 years, some that were bad my whole entire life, there were some amazing things that happened in the last 5 years that I would’ve never got to witness, for whatever reason that is responsible for my not dying due to a serious overdose attempt, that I’m so GRATEFUL for. Even though there is a lot of bad and I am haunted by what I put my family and my kids through.

The absolute worst repercussion but I’m grateful I’m around to talk about it, is that my loved ones have to deal and suffered with the fact that I wanted to end my life. No matter how much I am going to tell them or anyone for the matter, that it’s irrational, it’s never going to make sense, that it had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with my love for them, we do have people we love that we leave behind for those who do end up dying or can never truly understand why we wanted to die because you cannot rationalize irrational behavior. It makes sense to those of us when we are irrational but it doesn’t make sense to those who can’t comprehend the depths of our suffering, because we have barriers with our irrational sides. We live life as a society, though and it should be this way, that human life has value (I do struggle I admit with those who are capable of being violent)  I can try to explain my viewpoint, as far as my mental health issues or some that I’ve seen, some hopefully will understand it’s never anyone’s fault though in the end for not being able to prevent a tragedy most of the time.

Even if you miss the warning signs and are a survivor of a loved one or friend who commits suicide or is violent to another. But it does no one any good to blame those of us who have tried to commit suicide and it doesn’t help the loved ones to blame anyone either themselves or the loved ones they lose. That just feeds more hurt and unhealthy behaviors. Awareness and intervention is the key to prevention. But sadly not everyone can be saved. People need to forgive themselves for those who’ve thought about it and/or attempted, and for those who are no longer with us. Shame and guilt is never going to be an effective method of suicide prevention, but at the same time if you tried to save someone that way in desperation, in the end, it could be helpful for healing to look at suicidal ideation as major debilitating illness and tragically the illness was more then the person could bear. I liken it to an emotional cancer. People who have suicide ideation and mental health issues do not choose this, just like those who have to survive losing a loved one don’t choose that, either. But the reason why I’m putting both suicide and suicide and/or homicide or other acts of violence, is what I’m about to discuss next…

But we are living in a society that is becoming more violent and people are becoming more apathetic,

I’m thinking due to fear we as a society don’t want to face, these horrible tragedies for the most part because we are afraid of what will happen when it hits our homes, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. But that’s not going to prevent further tragedies from happening until we become a society that becomes more comfortable in talking about what’s hurting us, that we have mechanisms in place to protect both innocent and vulnerable children and adults alike and have  resources in place to evaluate and  help people who are both vulnerable or on the flipside are showing signs that they are capable of being violent. It shouldn’t be everyday news that kids are being abused if not killed by their own parents. It shouldn’t be on the news on a regular basis that children and adults go into schools and kill people or their workplaces and are committing either homicides and/or homicide/suicides on a daily basis. THIS CAN NEVER BE OUR NORMAL or something we just have to accept. Unless it happens to you or someone you love.We cannot wait that long it’s not being paranoid at this point thinking eventually that this is going to touch everyone of us, personally. Because it already has. But it shouldn’t have to get worse. It has to get better. NOW.  This is why going forward, no one is going to be able to shut me up about this.

What I’ve learned with my unique medical complications such as from my gastric bypass surgery, bad reactions from medications that while some of my issues are unique, there are components of all of our lives, that where while all of our dysfunction can be unique, usually someone is dealing with some major issue. We need to be able to talk about that more freely as a society. It’s harming  if not destroying children, adults and families alike by not talking about things we are ashamed of or that people are just too sick to be aware of or lack the foundation to care about the consequences of their actions whether it’s intentional or not. We cannot have a chance of healing and reducing the destruction and loss of life without removing the stigma and taking action and having global initiatives in prevention, evaluation, intervention to prevent this of at all possible.

Not all my blogs are going to be this serious or serious at all. I did make a statement in the beginning though. I realized last week, based upon my limitations and disabilities, there is so much I cannot do now. I am going though to refocus my energies, now, on what I can do. I can be a great activist for the issues that I’m passionate about. I’ve spent the last 5 years in  negative energies that I realize now were necessary for how painful they are for me, because of the love I have for my children and what I lost when I lost my ability to raise them properly. I also have realized I can personally mourn what I’ve lost in personal ability. Whether it’s the loss  to be a successful small business owner like I was planning 8 years ago, my ability to be able drive a car again, to be gainfully employed.

But as painful as my last blog was, it did give birth to what’s going to be my new reality and purpose is to function as a  badass but serious advocate who hopes to help people. I also can be funny, cute and charming on occasion if you can decipher what I’m trying to say. 😉 I also will be blogging about fun things as well, whether it’s observations regarding Facebook, Pop Culture and Celebrities, to name a few……

Now I want to know what you all  think???? And please if I forgot a resource, please feel free to leave me a comment so I can link it…. Thank you……
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What CRAZY looks like/My very 1st blog….

August 12th, 2008…. It’s around 3pm…

I awake, finding myself with one wrist restrained to a hospital gurney. On the other side of me is an aide reading a book. I’m still wearing the top I had on the night before, however it’s all cut up and there is vomit and what must be charcoal as I’ve never attempted to overdose, all over it.

The aide tells me I’m in E.R. of North Memorial Medical Center and that I survived what must have been a “possible suicide attempt”. I respond back telling her it was “a very intentional suicide attempt where I tried to ingest about a months supply each of Vicodin, Miltown and Xanax and while I wanted to die then, I learned my lesson, wanna live now and can I please go home?” She tells me that now that I’m up, a doctor will be in shortly.

I get moved to a medical ward on the hospital, later that evening. I’ve only been in this hospital 4 times as a patient. 2 of them were to deliver my children and once prior due to pregnancy complications with my son. The 4th medical admission, was an inpatient admission  almost exactly a year after my daughter’s birth, due to gastric bypass complications, and North Memorial didn’t have a bariatric surgeon associated with it. I had multiple hospital hospitalizations, medically from 2004 to 2008 due to gastric bypass complications. I had only one psychiatric hospitalization prior to my “only” suicide attempt which was 2 weeks before, when I went willingly but begrudgingly after giving up custody of my kids because I realize that I couldn’t take care of myself. Let alone them. That’s the short version. The long version will be unfolded in this blog.

The next evening I’m transferred to the psychiatric unit. I thought I was already in HELL and that’s why I wanted to kill myself. But apparently HELL  is the psych unit at NMMC. There’s a bunch of people screaming for no reason, a guy talking about wanting to kill everyone and a very kind nurse asking me what I want for dinner. “I want to PLEASE get the FUCK out of here. I’m NOT crazy like these people!!!” is my response. She kindly smiles and hands me a hospital menu and tells me I have about 5 minutes before it’s too late to order dinner.

(note: this paragraph I majorily digress) My last (and ONLY) hospitalization 2 weeks before was at Fairview University- Riverside, the sister hospital to where I had my gastric bypass which was at Fairview University Medical Center (more about gastric bypass, complications and the “fun” of those hospitals and E.R visits post suicide attempt, once labled, to be in future blogs) However, with my last admission through the psych E.R. at Fairiview, I had no prior psych history, no legal history and no history of being violent (which I’m not). Fairview has  multiple units designed to cater to different mental health issues. While I didn’t love the “5150”, put on me my 3rd day inpatient, there (it was on a Thursday, FUCK) so I ended up in that hospital for six days, my first time. My Russian psychiatrist with very poor english told me at the age of 38 1/2, that I was a Bipolar 2 (he was SO right about that but I didn’t realize that at first) prescription drug addict (that I still don’t believe, and neither did the chemical dependency psychologist,who assessed me) within the first 5 minutes of talking to me. ( I did abuse controlled substances  from the time I gave up my kids the 2nd time in 2 weeks)  til my suicide attempt but I was ACTUTELY suicidal, which I played down because I wanted to get out of the hospital and that didn’t occur until after this hospitalization.I didn’t really give up my kids until after my 1st psychiatric hospitalization.

Prior to that I didn’t abuse drugs. Even if I wanted to, I had my children. My kids lived in a “garbage can” basically because the last 2 years I had them, I was a very bad hoarder (more about that later)  I was also on a cocktail of psychotropics that made me out of it, as well as gastric bypass complications such as reactive hypoglycemia,pulmonary hypotension and severe anemia as well as the duodenal ulcers. I couldn’t afford anymore cognitive impairment with a young child in the house that would come from anesthesizing my pain with drugs. So even though I wanted to self medicate, I couldn’t let myself, I was already at a major handicap as it was and so were my children by my being physically sick and mentally detoriating. I started detoriating where others could see it in 2007 (more about that later) but I realize in hindsight I was a lot sicker then I was willing to admit, especially mentally, way before then. My biggest problems probably started after my 1st medical hosptialization due to gastric bypasscomplications in 2004 as I referred to before…

Back to 8-13-2008…….
However the psych unit at NMMC ONLY has 2 units. An intermediate unit where everyone is initally watched and assessed  and then a step down unit for those who are deemed not violent or a threat to anyone.

Later that night, I’m in my room and my roommate who while I didn’t know her well, I recognized her going to the same high school I did, she was a year behind me and we were both teased unmercifully. I also saw her throwing fits in the common area because she wouldn’t be given a new pencil to draw or that she couldn’t leave the intermediate unit. I had the bad luck of her being mad about something else. She isolated both of us in the room, started screaming and throwing herself in the room saying she was going to kill the both of us. Whether she was able to somehow lock us in the room, all I know is that she had been warned before she was going to go into the quiet room, of her tantrums, this time they warned her she’d be going to Anoka (the closest long term mental instituition).. By the time they were able to get 6 guards and get me out of there as there is no where anyone can hide in a psychiatric room in a hospital, I could barely breathe. They gave me what would be the last of any narcotics, which was 1 Ativan ( I got a whopping 1 Ativan and one Codeine while I was still in the medical ward) for the rest of the duration of my stay.

I wake up to find she’s been returned to our room and sleeping. I guess that’s what you get for being violent and death threats in a psych ward. That would shape how I end up behaving erratically in future medical admissions that were yet to come (Summer of 2010/Gastric Bypass Reversal blog will eventually be a-coming)….

Luckily, I say somewhat facetiously, I’m considered not a threat to a bunch of people and after lunch, I’m moved down to the step-down unit. I meet my new psychiatrist, Dr. P. who will continue to be short with me as well as play games with me the duration of my stay.

8-22-2008
It’s been a week since my suicide attempt. I find myself in a routine at the hospital. Morning meeting with psychiatrist begging him to let me know when I can get out and when I can go outside to have a cigarette. He says the same answer “we’ll talk about this soon, Lisa and no, you can’t go outside to have smoke”. Mornings start with breakfast, a group meeting about feelings, following an art class, lunch, free time, quiet time from 3-4 and then at 4 another group.

Most of my morning group meetings my first week talk about being in shock that my life spiraled out of control and how horrifying it was to know I couldn’t be the best person to care for my kids. Because I had exhausted every resource to get help. Part of the problem is, I’m so medicated on new  added psychtropics, I’m kind of numb. At least during that morning meeting. Before lunch I’m told I have visitor.

It’s a law enforcement officer from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. I’m being served with papers saying that the State of Minnesota is looking to have me committed to Anoka State hospital which is our state’s insane asylum. Seriously? WHAT THE FUCK!!!!  No wonder why Dr. P. has been kinda mum on when I’m getting out.

About a day later, one of my social workers comes to see me. I was assigned a social worker, as in 2007 as I referring to is when I started showing signs I had a nervous breakdown, realizing that my goal of being a Bariatric specializing Certified Personal Trainer was never going to happen and that I was never going to be able to launch that business I had gone to school for in 2004 and got my certification in 2005. However by 2005, it was obvious, that physically I was too sick to work. A year later in December 2006 is when I applied for SSDI. It’s in 2007 though that it’s obvious something is really wrong with me. I give up on everything except my daily care of my kids and even that is at a bare minimum. I start failing Section 8 inspections due to having a filthy house in 2/2007, and it becomes problematic enough that while I am trying to keep what little is left together I’m failing miserably. My city’s housing authority’s inspector knew me well. I’d been on Section 8 for over 10 years.

Whatever it is, about 5 months later, in 2007, I find myself with  Child Protection Case AND an Adult Protection Case and a worker from each department. They schedule what they call a “manditory clean up” which meant 2 guys and dumpster which is put in the parking lot of where I live and almost everything is thrown out. This is though where I talk about hoarding on social media, such as shows like “Hoarders”. People who are hoarders do NOT have the mental capacity to give informed consent to have something like that filmed. I understand now better why I hoarded and I did hoard on and off most of my adult life, but nothing like 2007 and until I gave up my kids.”

My house had become a manifestation of my head. So much thought clutter and dysfunctional thinking. I know this now. I did not know this then. I did try everything to get help though to protect my kids as I saw myself sliding down into an abyss. The problem with hoarding is that it’s a dirty secret, like literally. Kids don’t tell. Adults don’t want to talk about it because of the shame. I figure if I talk about it now, and more in future blogs, children of hoarders will understand it’s mental illness that’s driving the hoarding, not a lack of love for their loved ones, especially their children. It was obvious to both my workers, that there was an attempt on my part for my children to have a home, Not just a place to live. That we were extremely bonded, all 3 of us. Part of my mental illness, prior to having suicidal ideation is that I made my kids my world and vice versa because I didn’t want such a cruel world to hurt them.

When I became suicidal and my son who was old enough to see me disengrate, couldn’t understand how I could abandon that way but I’m digressing, big time. But this needed to be said before I go any further. I have a lot friends on social media who’ve lost loved ones due to suicide but only a few are willing to talk about it. The stigma needs to be removed. I’m obviously not capable of realizing this at this point in my life. I loved my kids more then anything. I of course, still do. While I still remember things is when I need to say them and my hopes for those who lose loved ones to suicide, realize that it’s irrational. It’s NEVER going to make sense. But it’s almost NEVER about NOT loving the ones you leave behind. We are too sick in our illnesses and our minds play tricks that we tell ourselves those we love are better off without us. I was not and am still not a violent person. I just didn’t want to be in pain anymore, and I knew I wasn’t the right person for my kids to be with and I couldn’t handle the pain I was causing very unintentionally. It was NEVER about me not loving them enough.   Back to August of 2008…

So I meet with my social worker 2 days before my 1st commitment  hearing which would end up being 4 days after I’m served with those papers. She can’t tell me much other then I’ll be appointed an attorney to represent me. (My family is too busy picking up the pieces and getting my kids ready for a new life with them, new schools. So I’m on my own). I was on my own though, during my medical hospitalizations. You’ll see a recurrent themes in my future blogs, that is, that I’m definitely not concise, I digress A LOT, and I still haven’t made my peace that this is my life and my old life is gone forever as well as the ability to raise my kids in the best environment…..

8-26-2008     So I have my 1st commitment hearing. I get picked up by someone from Hennepin County’s Sherriffs department.It’s my first time briefly outside in over 2 weeks. And basically I was outside from the hospital to the police car which I was escorted closely by the officer which would be my ride there. My court appointed  attorney can’t shut me up in the 5 minutes we are allowed to meet before my hearing. I want to fight the commitment, so it’s not a permanent part of my record. She says that isn’t going to happen, that best I can hope for is a “stay of commitment”, which means while I’ll temporarily be a ward of the county, it will prevent permanent commitment to Anoka and a total loss of my freedoms, permanately. The rest of the hearing is a blur. Then I’m escorted to a locked small waiting room for hours before I get a ride back to the hospital.

8-29-2008    My official commitment hearing takes place. I relent and allow Kimary to push for the “stay of commitment”. I also realize when they grant it, life as much as it had changed, would change even more so, once this is granted. I’m not committed, but I’m made a legal ward of the State of Minnesota for the next 6 months
.
September 1st -15th, 2008
I start to disengage while still at the psych unit at NMMC. I don’t participate in groups and don’t want to get out of bed most of the time. I find out my social workers are looking for group homes to place me in. I look at 2 of them. The first one is ideally in Plymouth, where my kids are but it’s not a great fit. It’s a group home for mostly men who have chemical dependency issues. I would be required to attend AA/NA meetings almost everyday, and well, I’m not alcoholic and I’m not a drug addict (which is in hindsight a miracle given how addictive my personality is, more about that later) but because going to some kind of addict’s meeting is required, it’s deemed not a good fit for me. The group home that my social worker wants to get me in, and that is the 2nd one I see, I do get in, but I have to wait for a bed to open.

Days go by, and I’m warned if I don’t start participating in groups, they will try to have the “stay” overturned. So I start going to groups again. I finally find out which would be my last week in the hospital. I get out on 9-15-2008 and I’m allowed to go outside as well as spend the night at my parents house, before being required to be dropped off to 90 day inpatient intensive behavior treatment group home the next day.

My Dad on 9-15-2008, my day of discharge from NMMC, comes and picks me up and wants to kill me when he finds me in front of the hospital smoking a cigarette (I conned my social worker into stopping at a convenience store when looking at the 2nd group home but was too terrified to try and smoke while in the hospital). I could give a fuck less. I’m outside and have VERY temporary freedom until I’m dropped off again to the group home, the next day. My psychiatrist right before my relase gave me a “goodbye gift” of 30 day prescription of 1mg of Klonapin, to take twice a day…Well I couldn’t say it then, but um, FUCK YOU…

By then, I’d been in the hospital for 35 FUCKING  DAYS..Couldn’t smoke, couldn’t go outside, couldn’t choose what to eat. Was not believed most of the time that the meds I was put on were making me sicker, physically. (that would be proved in my continual need for medical hosptializations as my ulcers got worse) while in the system.

9-16-2008 to 12-16-2008
I’m now in a group home that is supposed to provide 90 days of intensive behavior  treatment. I learn a lot about different mental illnesses. But like in the hospital and this will be recurrent theme while I’m in the system that most people who end up in places like psych wards for such a long time, and group homes, have never had a fully functional life. I managed a household at one time, with 2 kids, kept a job for a long period of time, owned my own car, and lived a fairly functional life. There wasn’t a lot of chaos in my life or my children’s life, believe it or not, other then the horrible hoarding, near the end. We lived a fairly quiet, loving and peaceful life. So my life is unrelatable to both staff and other patients. There is a few of us, but we are in the minority. I end up having to find the few good things of what’s to be of my new life as a ward of the state. I have more freedom then I did in the hospital. I can smoke both outside and inside the group home (there was a designated smoking room and yes, it was disgusting). We get to go though also on nightly activities. We also have cleaning assignments. We only have 2 group meetings a day, weekdays and only one a day on weekends.

I’m also in this period of time, served again, with papers for an unlawful detainer. I paid my rent for August of 2008, of course, even though I knew I was acutely suicidal. However my “stay of commitment” and lack of income, also lack of being ability and lack of viable option,  to move back to my old apartment,not to mention until I’m put on General Assistance, I have NO money. So I get an UD for unpaid rent. I’m lucky they didn’t sue me for damages. Somewhere within the 1st 2 weeks at the group home, I’m allowed to go back to my old apartment. And I want to DIE again. I can’t believe my kids EVER had to live there in all that clutter and filth. My parents and my son did try to clean up my apartment. And because I was actually a good tenant, the 6 years I lived there with them, they didn’t sue me for damages, only for unpaid rent. However I was kicked off of Section 8 for both unpaid rent and the hoarding. Which would ban me from being able to live in any type of HUD housing for the most part, for the next 5 years. That was in 11/2008. My Section 8 ban ends 11/2013.

As the time grows closer that I’m going to “graduate” from my temporary initial group home, my social worker starts looking for a group home for a permanent placement, She finds one that considered decent in the beginning of 2008 and I move there directly from the other on 12-16-2008.

12-16-2008 to 12-31-2009
I learn more then I ever want to about Mental Illness at this group home. I’ve already been in the system and really not ever alone for 4 months now, because even when you are outside, there is other people. One of my roommates as there is 3 people to a bedroom in this place has both Multiple Personality Disorder and Paranoid Schizophrenia, my other roommate just has BPD2 and Paranoid Schizophrenia. J, the 1st person I was referring to, was very social depending on what personality you were dealing with. “M”, was very quiet, however she practically NEVER left our bedroom. “M” if she would talk, which was rare, could somewhat relate as she had adult children. However that’s all I knew about her. There were 4 houses in this group home in South Minneapolis and about 70 residents. Some people realized their illnesses, some didn’t. Most of them had been in the system most of their adult lives, if not since they were teens. Most of the staff was shocked by my particular situation which they had never heard of.
Most people don’t get nearly committed at the age of 38 1/2 or give up custody of their 5 1/2 year old daughter who’s never seen her mother function normally and their 15 1/2 year old son who saw his mother disengrate physically and mentally…….

Because I participate a lot in the weight loss surgery community, still.
People believe I had a lot to do with my complications, such as my vitamin deficiencies. This is probably the 1st time I’m going into such detail, as fact is once I was on my “stay of commitment”, I was court ordered to take all medications that a psychiatrist or ANY medical professional deemed necessary. Which also meant vitamins. It also meant if I missed a med pass of Tylenol, my group home could control how much freedom I had. I had several medical hospitalizations, and honestly while I purposely wasn’t trying to make myself sick, I had freedoms, I wasn’t used to. The food at NMMC and both group homes was absolutely awful. I had $100 to live on a month. The food, that is if I could eat, at Fairview University Medical Center, was awesome. I also once I got out of the hospital started seeing my old psychiatrist who put me back on either Xanax or Valium, my choice, he would not ever allow me to be put back on Miltown (now known as Equanil) like ever again.

I was not allowed to be on pain medications other then inpatient admissions and after falls that landed me in the E.R, as even though I still had gained almost all my weight back (almost 100 lbs) I still had reactive hypoglycemia,  pulmonary hypotension plus the psychotropics at almost 225 lbs. I also had a need to infused with iron and “banana bags” as well as Protonix for the ulcers. Even the staff at the group home was perplexed by how medically fragile I was given how fat I was again.

I learned a couple of valuable things. Don’t date anyone you meet in treatment or a group home. I actually ended up dating a guy who was in the behavior treatment center I was. He was a nice guy, but he was also a MH “frequent flyer”. I also learned if you miss a tylenol pass one too many times, that was enough for the nurses to restrict my inability to be away from the group home from 4-2009 til 12-31-2009 for more then 4 hours, as prior to that, I was allowed to have my meds packaged and could spend an occasional overnight somewhere else. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned, and it sticks with me today, is that safety is definitely not a guarantee wherever you live. However the most dangerous place til then was not my neighborhood but the group home. I learned how NOT to be come a victim but maintaining a sense of dignity because I wasn’t going to become a violent perpetrator to others, even though I did live in constant fear which wasn’t irrational given my circumstances.

In August of 2009, I finally had my hearing for my appeal for SSDI. I won both on medical and mental health disabilities. In fact, the judge told me at the hearing he was appalled it took so long and told me at the hearing that I was going to be awarded SSDI, that he was ruling in my favor. I had a young vulnerable child in the house at the date he established me disabled.I had multiple medical diagnosies and a few psych diagnosies.  With all the workers in the last 2 years I had my kids, was exposed to, NO ONE thought to press for an expedited hearing. My next blog I will address probably why I’ve made my peace with this. But why I advocate, as this could have helped both my kids and I enormously of not having to go through some of the stuff we did. This is why I’m going public with something that’s so humiliating not only to me, but my family. But I’ve helped other people when privately sharing this. My hopes is that it will other people…

Time goes by so slowly. Especially when you life does a “180”, like mine did. Even though I was so medicated, the fighter in me, couldn’t make my peace that this is what my life had become. In November 2009,  I started getting SSDI and was put on Medicare. My psychiatrist realized the enormity of the damage that being on the quantity of psychotropics was doing to me and started weaning me off of the Seroquel,Depakote and the Zyprexa I was on. I was prior to November of 2009, 2000 mgs of Depakote,800 mgs of Seroquel, 60 mgs of Zyprexa, 600 mgs of Zoloft A DAY. I was also on acetaminophen for pain and ONLY acetaminophen, as Lyrica (I’d been diagonsed with Fibro by then) and Neurontin didn’t work. I was also on 200 mgs of Topamax (for Migraines since puberty). That’s an ENORMOUS amount of medications to be on that effect people’s ability to think clearly. On top of a diagnosis of BPD2. However once I got Medicare, he wouldn’t be able to see me anymore. I also had him take me off the benzodiazepine I was on. The little Valium or Xanax I was on, didn’t work effectively, it wasn’t worth being prescribed it.

December of 2009
Right after my birthday which was 12-2, and the 2nd birthday I spent by myself at a group home, an incident happened. A newer resident who’d been hogging the one and only television with cable in the group home got in my face and started screaming at me as he said I could watch a show and he had hogged the tv for like the last 10 hours. I still backed down, but was upset as one of the staff members was nearby,could hear him, and did nothing about it. I did end up filing a grievance with the State Omnibudsman of MN, as while I was lucky he didn’t hit me, he had hit other people, and other acts of violence by residents were not taken as seriously as they should have been by the staff and owners of the group home. The group home also had a horrible problem with mice. It was freezing cold in the winter and boiling hot in the summer. It now had also made me public enemy #1 to most of the staff and the owners of the group home.

December 29th,2009
I go to call on my cell phone to check my balance on my checking account to see if I have enough money for a pack of cigarettes. To my delight, I have a balance of over $9700 in my checking account. I finally got my  SSDI  backpay! YAY!!! I call my family, give some money to my sisters, my parents and son won’t take any, buy myself a netbook and go to the library to go on Craiglist, as I want to find a place to move to, A.S.A.P.  Other then my family, I don’t tell anyone that I got my backpay. I go to the library and find a condo for rent. IN PLYMOUTH. YAY!!! I call the guy, we make arrangements to meet on 12-31-2009 as I ironically have a dental appointment in Plymouth and I can conveniently take a taxi to meet him.

12-31-2009
I go to my dentist appointment and take taxi to the condo. I know of the complex I had lived there 17 years earlier with my son in the building next to it. It’s a studio with an indoor and outdoor swimming pool on the grounds and I’m 2 miles away from my kids. I write him a check,happily for $750, as he banks at the same bank  I do, he gives me the keys, I take a cab back to the dentist office. I take a medi-cab back to the group home. It’s late afternoon but most staff is there.

I go to see the manager of the group home to address my concerns about safety,mice, the horrible food and my inability to not leave the premises normally for more then 4 hours unless I have a medical appointment and throw in ” you should probably know I’m moving”. She asks when. I tell her “tomorrow”. She tells me to tell the nurses. I tell them that. They are like “you can’t”. I’m like “I SO can”. “My stay of commitment expired almost 8 months ago, and as of tomorrow I can do whatever the FUCK I WANT TO!!!!” “HAPPY FUCKING NEW YEAR” and I walk out of the room . Because the next day is a holiday, I end up renting for $200 for 4 hours (A fucking bargain, if you ask me) to move me on 1-1-2010. I tell everyone who comes in to my sight that I’m getting the fuck out of there.

1-1-2010.     I move into my cute little condo. By myself. After 16 1/2 FUCKING MONTHS IN THE SYSTEM… I’M FREE…               AND THIS IS NEVER EVER GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME AGAIN….NEVER!!!!!

This will be the longest blog I ever write. It will hopefully explain as well as futher blogs, why I am a medical and mental health activist who both exists in size acceptance and a supportive long term weight loss surgery peer. It will explain further why I think there is a need to talk about taboo subjects such as hoarding and suicide. And I’m advocate for anti-bullying, both children and adults. I don’t believe it was a coincidence, that there was 3 of us alone, on that psych unit from my high school who were horribly bullied our entire childhoods at NMMC with serious mental health issues as adults. Oh and note, I use the profanity. A LOT……The “eff” word” is my best verbal friend…..          Not all my blogs will be serious though. I’ve lost a lot, I also have gained an enormous amount of insight. But because of my medical and mh disabilities, I’m not very concise, I don’t think or express myself in a logical sequence of order. You can pretty much guarantee there’s no such thing as grammar and sentence syntax, with me. It’s not because I’m lazy. It’s because I have had too many health issues that have caused major cognitive damage and aphasia. But I still have managed to retain my sense of humor so my blogs with be a mixed bag of sorts.As I pretty much have an opinion on almost everything, and I’m not afraid to share it with anyone….

To Be Continued…..

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