Thursday, August 30, 2007

Had the blood test...

...this morning, now just have to wait to see my doc. The one I saw last night reckoned I was menpausal, because my last cervical smear test, though normal, showed 'some atrophying of the cells'. I was already quite overwrought and this news kind of tipped me over the edge. I became very tearful when I got home and poor Richard got the brunt of it. I took it out on him, having nowhere else to put my feelings. We had a very silly row. I could barely think straight, let alone argue coherently, and he isn't good at arguments at the best of times. So I managed to make him feel rotten as well as myself.

This doc didn't think my relatively early menopause had anything to do with the gynaecological work I had in my late thirties. That isn't what the other one said. If I knew I had got it when I was naturally meant to get it I would feel better about it but I can't help feeling that some kind of damage was done.

This doc said that some kind of HRT might be a good idea for someone of my age. I am putting aside any qualms I might have had about 'medicalising' a natural rite of passage etc etc, because frankly I am ready to try anything that might set me straight again, I can't go on like this!!!

I guess none of it is helped by having reduced the psych meds quite drastically...perhaps the severity of the symptoms is a reflection of the two processes going on at the same time.

I feel less overwrought and tearful today...still very tired, went back to bed in the afternoon and slept. Read quite a bit - a book on menopause that I already had in my shelves, and bought a new book about depression called 'Sunbathing in the Rain'. Things that need doing I am just putting off, I can't face it. My appetite was better today, managed to eat a decent lunch.

Take care everyone...Zoe.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Grimness extraordinaire.

Having a really horrible time. Hot sweats and flushes, a cold, aching back, insomnia, fatigue...I'm one big mass of symptoms and am now pretty sure this has something to do with my hormones. I am off to the doc's in a minute to request a blood test and have made an appointment to see my own doctor when she gets back from her holiday, but that isn't for over a week and I don't know how I will bear this till then.

I also feel very low and depressed. When I managed to drag myself down the stairs this morning I cried from sheer desperation. I am so sick of this. One week will be good and I think I'm over it, then I'm back at square one.

Richard is coming over tonight and I just hope I can refrain from biting his head off with the sheer frustration of it all.

Miserably, Zoe.

Monday, August 27, 2007

As I thought... wasn't that bad. It wasn't brilliant, but it wasn't bad either. In the end we had four hours with J. It was a glorious hot day after a fairly miserable week. It has occurred to me that maybe J would be happier just to see me on my own. I will probably offer to do that next time.

Anyway it seems he has settled well with the foster family. Maybe there are some loyalty issues for him. Perhaps I should let this go for a while and stop beating my brains trying to understand what is going on. So much I don't see or know about, but I do trust the foster family...they are lovely people.

It's Bank Holiday Monday, never my favourite day. It's just another Sunday when you aren't working. My Mum left late yesterday afternoon and Richard went off this morning. I'm slightly at a loose end but feeling a little tired in any case so maybe I should take it easy today.

I have remained on 500mg Sodium Valproate and the withdrawal effects seem to be settling down. I'm not getting so many hot flashes and I'm not seriously fatigued, however I have been having problems with insomnia...waking at unearthly hours of the night and lying awake. Now I am unsure if I am in menopause. I'm only 45 but I had some gynaecological work done in my thirties which seems to have affected my hormones: my periods have been irregular and a bit sketchy for some years now. I feel a sense of loss over that...I don't feel mentally ready for 'The Change' but I guess I may have no choice.

This physical stuff is tied up with my mental illness as well and a part of the incalculable losses I have incurred as a result of it. I contracted Pelvic Inflammatory Disease probably as a result of having the IUD (coil) - I would not have had the IUD if it wasn't for the bipolar which made me sexually vulnerable at times (and I had to have three abortions). I ended up spending six weeks on a drip in hospital after an operation to remove cysts from my ovaries and fallopian tubes which led to complications. As a result I have been infertile since I was 37. And the problematic periods since my early 40's.

So yeah I am a little downbeat today. I heard last week that I had got into the University I applied to, to do an MA. I think on balance I will go ahead with it this year, but opt to do the course spread over three years.

Take care all. Love, Zoe.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Aaargh! Disaster!

Oh dear. Well the contact was all set to go ahead as normal and then I got a call from J's social worker. He apparently did not want to go to contact. He eventually agreed to go for at least a couple of hours after his foster mum talked him round.

The effect on me of this news was pretty devastating. I had already been pretty upset by the last phone call. He seemed angry with me but I couldn't work out what it was really about. It had preyed on my mind for the next week. And now this. Just when I was so looking forward to seeing him. Now I am dreading it, to be honest.

Reasons? Oh, he is big now, he doesn't want to be called babyish names - like sweetheart or whatever. And he doesn't want to be smothered with affection. The real reasons? Well I know my boy pretty well and even I am stumped but I think it's to do with difficult emotions that he doesn't want to face and a need for some control.

He seems to want to make a point...and has succeeded although we are not entirely sure what the point is. I guess it's that ' I'm growing up, treat me with respect and even a certain distance'. The thing is that's not a problem for me at all. I can do that. I just want to see him. I experience that as a need and I have to accept that maybe, for him, it isn't. At least not to the same degree. He has his emotional needs met elsewhere now.

Anyway my immediate problem is coping with this. My mum is already here and I found her reactions really unhelpful. She didn't really react properly to the news, she just went straight into 'analysis' mode. Obviously she is upset, but she didn't express that. And her analysis was all over the place. It would have been better if she could just have expressed sorrow. Then at least we would have had some solidarity with one another, instead we just kind of rowed, and that within five minutes of her arriving. Can you believe it!

However the point is not how well my mum copes or doesn't cope. The point is, how do I deal with all of this. I've now got to deal with a prickly relationship as well as possibly seeing J only for two hours, depending on his whim tomorrow. Richard also has to be factored in. He doesn't handle conflict well. I have to be really careful what I say to him.

So although it isn't looking that good from where I'm sitting now if I just take it as it comes and worry not about the morrow it will probably not be the irretrievable appalling disaster that my brain is pre-programmed to believe will occur.

And the cat has had her 'dental' - one tooth out and the rest scaled and polished. I have to pick her up from the Animal Hospital tonight at seven. Thanks for hearing me...I feel better for getting this out. Take care all, Zoe.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Much better this week.

Since Sunday my energy has been much improved. After the grimness of last week it has come as a huge relief to be able to get active again. I have decided to stay on 500mg of Sodium Valproate for the time being. I have an appointment to see my psychiatrist early in September so if I need to talk about reducing then I will. I want to see myself stable and free from withdrawal effects before I reduce again, and largely, I am.

I've been able to get to my Fellowship meetings (Overeaters Anonynous and Dual Recovery Anonymous), went to see a good movie (Sparkle), seen friends, been to yoga, and been to the gym twice. Going again today. I'm starting to quite enjoy it! Richard has been on holiday so I haven't seen him, but I've coped OK with that.

I heard from the University that I applied to for the MA: School of Oriental and African Studies (part of the University of London). I've been accepted to start in September. Now I just have to make up my mind if I'm ready to start this year. I am leaning toward doing it...I like the idea of doing it over three years instead of two though, because I really do want to press ahead with 'the workplace' even if that just means a substantial amount of voluntary work for the time being.

I am looking forward to seeing my boy on Saturday. How lucky that the day was changed! If it had been last week as was originally scheduled I would have been feeling ill plus the weather was rotten. It is forecast to be better this weekend. We are taking him to Stansted Mountfitchet, the Norman castle.

Tomorrow the cat goes to the vet to have her 'dental'. Well at least I know what to expect this time. I will go prepared with plenty of reading material.

Take care everyone. Lots of love, Zoe.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

About 'Optimum Nutrition for the Mind'.

Patrick Holford started out as an experimental psychologist before he became a nutritionist as a result of a chance encounter. So he obviously has an interest in mental health - hence this book. He basically argues that mind and body are not separate. The book is fairly scientific and he refers a lot to studies and reports. There is an extensive 'references and resources' section at the back. This is quite useful when you need to know where to go next, where you can obtain certain supplements, how to find a nutritional practitioner, or where you can go for various tests. These are mainly based in the UK however.

Throughout the book there are some case histories as well as short questionnaires to see whether you are deficient in this or that. There is a chapter on addiction, bipolar, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, and depression. Complex carbs are important, amino acids (eg 5-HTP or Serotone) and the essential fats, Omega 3's and 6's. He also refers to helpful herbs and 'smart drugs and hormones'. He has an interesting viewpoint on Lithium.

Naturally diet is key, but Holford is good at understanding that every individual is different and has different needs. This is what is ignored largely in psychiatry...if you are diagnosed bipolar you somehow get thrown in to one homogenous group and treated accordingly.

I don't think he is too dogmatic. He gives you ideas that you can try. If one doesn't work you can try something else. It's about learning to trust your body. I find his viewpoint liberating and refreshing...but then I guess I would, wouldn't I? Anyway I'm doing pretty well on the Low GL Diet (Low Glycaemic Load). In terms of sorting out my food obsession and getting rid of cravings it's worked better than anything else ever has. I had a feeling my blood sugar must be up the creek and my eating really was pathological at times.

It's quite a big thick book with a lot in it. Pretty good value for money. There is also his website 100% Health though I caution suggestible people like myself not to go too mad buying the latest 'must-have' supplement unless you can afford it! But there are lots of interesting articles on there, some of which you have be a member to read. I'll be back soon to write my latest news. Love, Zoe.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Better day.

My beloved cheered me up. We went for a long walk up to Highgate Wood...God I so needed that. I needed to feel half human again. Still not 100% but I have started to understand how it must be to have a chronic physical illness or disability so that you can't take things for granted such as being able to get out of your house every day.

I decided today to just go back to 500mg of Sodium Valproate (I had been down to 325mg) for the time being and just see how I go with that. What's the big rush! As it is I've moved very fast, faster than many of the experts would say is wise to go.

The muscle aches and headaches are gone though. Now I am dealing with tearfulness and depression, some anxiety, hot flashes and excessive sweating, mainly on my face, and the dread fatigue, definitely the worst symptom of the lot. But I read somewhere that sweating is the only way the body can get rid of some chemicals so maybe that is a good thing.

How I would have managed any of this without having access to the Internet is anyone's guess. By far the most valuable insights into withdrawal come from those who have experienced it and I don't know of anyone IRL who has gone this route. Most psychiatrists are worse than useless when it comes to this stuff. They haven't got a clue.

Last week I added a Vitamin C tablet, Selenium, and Evening Primrose Oil capsule to my already extensive list of supplements. I have got Patrick Holford's 'Optimum Nutrition for the Mind' and it makes a lot of recommendations but I just can't get everything.

According to him I may be a 'histadelic', meaning someone with genetically high levels of histamine in their blood. It sort of fits, although not the bit about 'rarely gains weight'. However since I've been on the GL diet (Low Glycaemic Load) cravings are out of the window, I can go for six hours happily without a meal and for the first time in a very long time I feel completely in control around food. I'm also an ex-coffeeholic and an ex-smoker...I gave up in May 2006. I used to crave sweet things. It's all history.

Actually my appetite is not huge right now. That is down to the withdrawal. Today Richard and I went to the Farmer's Market and I made sure to get cabbage, green beans and carrots...made a lovely soup later when we got back from our walk. Plums are gorgeous at the moment and English apples just coming into their own. I love to buy and eat seasonal and local, it makes an enormous difference. Also, organic wherever possible.

Well enough of my ramblings. Take care my dears. Love, Zoe.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A horrid week and a beastly day.

Oh dear. Chronic fatigue. Hot flashes. Very emotional and tearful and full of loss. So tired i can hardly write and confidence all shot to bits. Have been reading a lot of other blogs and feel overwhelmed by others' gifts and my own uselessness. It's bollocks I know, but I'm depressed. And very very tired.

The cat won't eat her food because it has antibiotic crumbled into it. I could have seen that coming...

I have little else to contribute to the sum of human knowledge or achievement right now. But I thought I had better check in. Take care all...Zoe.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Humdrum and so-so...

...but I did have slightly more energy today. My body is adjusting to a more normal level of sleep after about two years on Seroquel. Also, Seroquel zonks you out the whole night - now I wake in the night some, but feeling half alive in the morning is a good trade-off. Still a bit depressed but not as bad as yesterday. Getting the odd hot flash and no longer sure if it is withdrawal or the goddamn menopause!

I went up to Muswell Hill and made a beeline for the two health shops...bought a calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement, a vitamin C, some Evening Primrose Oil capsules, some hemp oil and Selenium with A, C and E. Also some tofu and oats. My breakfast these days is usually porridge with grated apple and berries, some soya yoghurt and a tablespoon of ground sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds, as recommended by Patrick Holford.

Being ill, feeling ill is not a lot of fun. The worst of it is not knowing how long this is going to go on for. Sorry to be such a drag! Lots of love, Zoe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The crash...

A difficult conversation with my son, who doesn't live with me, and then going to the community which turned out to be full of families...was all it took. The loss and grief kicked in quite badly and I just spiralled downwards despite the lovely setting and being near the sea with all the life-giving sea breezes. Feeling apart, stigmatized, not a proper parent, not even a proper grown up, the insecurity was such that I haven't felt in a while. We all know that comparisons are not where it's at but sometimes we can't help falling prey to them I guess.

I felt tired a lot as well and spent a few hours in the day sleeping. Didn't feel sociable, only wanting to eat and sleep. Needing to get up several times in the night to pee...thinking that might be down to one of the supplements I'm taking but have no idea which.

Richard stayed the night after we got back and I was glad for that but after he left this morning I predictably felt worse again...very tired. Couldn't face going to yoga, after my morning abdominal exercises and breakfast I just wanted to lie down again. Spent a lot of the day sleeping or dozing, couldn't even read, listened to the radio. Finally dragged myself out to the nearest small supermarket to get the essentials. Need to start the cat on antibiotics tomorrow so she has to have her favourite foods. I will need to crumble the pills into it and just hope to God she will eat it. For her bad teeth.

Feeling a bit better and livelier now it's evening but that is always par for the course when I'm low. Cut my meds down by one quarter today...375mg of Sodium Valproate. Take care all...Love, Zoe.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bit tired today...

I think the poor people's vet yesterday wore me out a bit. I am looking forward to our little mini-break tomorrow. The weather forecast is pretty good too. At last we're getting a bit of a summer.

I have now acquired 'Optimum Nutrition for the Mind' by Patrick Holford which someone mentioned on the website 'Alternative Mental Health', in one of the testimonials on recovery from bipolar. He actually trained as a psychologist and became a nutritionist almost by chance... He founded the 'Institute of Optimum Nutrition' which is in Richmond, London. I thought ooh, I will go there instead of doing the MA but actually it's not so simple...for one thing it's even more expensive than the MA and secondly you need chemistry and biology A levels or their equivalent. Which makes me think the science in it might be more than I can take.

There's a season of documentaries, plays, series and other programmes on India on the BBC at the moment. Not sure what it is commemorating...oh I guess it's 60 years since Independence? but it's really good. There's a lovely series about the Ganges, beautiful photography...I spent two years in India when I was in my late 20's. Unfortunately it was there I had my first breakdown. Of which, probably, more later.

I will need to fill you in on my background. In case anyone thinks I'm one of those rather annoying people who has one episode of depression and then dines out for the rest of their lives on it I will just assure you that my psychiatric CV is pretty impressive by any standards. 23 least 18 of them on a section (enforced).

Take care everyone...back on Tuesday! Love, Zoe.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Have I EVER felt as well as this?

To be honest I thought 'optimum health' was something only others were entitled to. Hard though I tried, and God knows I tried, I couldn't see myself ever achieving fitness, vitality, a healthy weight and boundless energy together with a stable mood and an optimistic attitude. You know what? I might have to think again.

I'm only at the beginning and am still quite a way from a healthy weight or good fitness but I swear since I started on the Holford Diet and began shovelling down the supplements (no don't worry Paul I do research it first!) I feel at the top of my game. I feel so light. I am completely free of food or caffeine cravings. I can go five or six hours with little or nothing to eat and my blood sugar stays stable. My appetite is under control!!! Aaaah, Eureka!

And last week's withdrawal roadshow is as if it had never been!

Today I took my poor suffering feline Amber to the poor people's vet. Aargh! We had to wait in line for three hours!!! I kid you not. The place was full of dogs! And of course the vet could not take her tooth out on the spot...we had to get booked in for 'a dental'...she needs plaque scraping off her teeth and heaven knows what. She had her first of two vaccinations...and I was given some antibiotics to start her on in a week's time, for the teeth. Poor baby.

But a situation which might in former times have had me climbing the walls was bearable...I made the best of it. Irritability levels were low despite some moderately annoying people. I sat quietly and read when I wasn't observing the scene. It sure was an experience...not unlike the dole office with animals or, indeed, Accident and Emergency at an NHS hospital. With animals.

The whole world looks so different to me. But there is one difficulty. I have friends that are not moving so fast. Am I the only one who has to let friends go sometimes? In fact, probably more times than I care to count? There you see...that's a true life confession. It sounds bad doesn't it? Loyalty is prized where friendship is concerned...does that mean staying with friends long after you have ceased to have much in common?

Lots of love and healing...Zoe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Energy levels good... good in fact that I did a yoga class as well as the gym today plus a 40 minute walk. I feel so much better. When I wake in the morning I feel alive. How long since I could say that? Excited at the prospect of another day! No grogginess from the Seroquel. Nor do I need to rush for the caffeine. I am off all coffee and tea...I drink various forms of barleycup, rooboish and herbal tea. It makes it easier to get the requisite amount of fluid into the body in a day...because coffee etc is diuretic. Also I have a feeling that my coffee addiction was making it harder for me to lose weight.

Yesterday I ate very lightly because what I ate seemed to just keep me going, without craving. This is what the Holford Diet promises. It does seem to be working.

A bit worried about the cat. She hasn't touched her food today and doesn't seem herself. I guess it's the bad tooth that's troubling her...I'm a little apprehensive about the trip to the poor people's vet. But I have been researching pet insurance and it is impossibly expensive. It would be so much nicer if we could just go to the lovely vet down the bus trips with cat-in-a-basket and long waits at the RSPCA. I don't want to traumatise the poor girl...

Richard and I are going to an ecumenical retreat centre (which welcomes all) in Bradwell-on Sea, Essex, on Saturday. Looking forward to it. Just for three days. We have booked a twin room and we get full board for only £19 a day (unwaged)...seems like a bargain. Everyone chips in and does the chores. I have friends who have been and liked it so if it's good I will go back.

I bought a pill-cutter today so I can dissect my tablets. Still on 500mg Sodium Valproate and will remain so for a few more days, then start shaving a bit off! Doesn't seem very scientific but will have to do.

OK my dears. Better send before the 'puter packs up...Love and healing, Zoe.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Symptoms all least for now.

The last three days my energy has picked up. I am no longer having hot flashes, muscle cramps and headaches. In place of the seroquel and sodium valproate I was on there is now quite an impressive row of supplements. OK, an exhaustive list. First thing in the morning I drink about 100mls of aloe vera gel (Forever Living Products). I also take their Bee Pollen supplement, for energy and a general tonic, and their Vitamin B12 plus Folic Acid (I am vegan, so this is doubly essential, as I understand B12 can be depleted by Sodium Valproate). I take a cinnamon tablet (supposed to be good for blood sugar levels). From Higher Nature I take an a-z multivitamin and mineral formula. I also take their 'Serotone', also known as 5HTP, supposed to be good for mental balance/mood. I take their HCA as well: it helps curb your appetite so you eat less. And their Chromium...which seems to help a few things to do with insulin, blood sugar levels and so on. Phew!

I am still on 500mg of Sodium Valproate and will remain so at least for a few days more before I start tapering that off as well. Thing is I didn't ask my doc for some smaller-value tablets which I should have. All the results from my blood test for thyroid, blood sugar etc came back plum I'm not diabetic or owt like that. That's a relief. Maybe I need to get to the GP and ask for those smaller-value tablets. I gather that the prevailing theories on coming off drugs say that tapering is essential and I am aware that many folks take many years doing it.

Anyway, a great relief to be up and about again. This morning I had to take the cat to the vet to get her checked over and buy some industrial-strength flea treatment. The supermarket variety has manifestly failed and I (never mind her) am getting bitten to ribbons. Even found the damn things in my bed. So have been (on vet's advice) washing all the bedding in 95 degree hot water and spraying all the carpets with this stuff he recommended. Also she has a bad tooth, looks quite nasty so I will have to take her to the poor-people's vet on Thursday morning to get it taken out. The local vet is awfully nice, but so are his prices.

Went to DRA yesterday: Dual Recovery Anonymous. Found it quite difficult. I wonder if the changes in me are such that I will find I need to move on from DRA and also certain friends. I hope not, but it is the way of the world. It won't be the first time. I found that nearly everyone there seemed to be in a lot of pain. I felt a bit overwhelmed by it...and I didn't share, because there wasn't time for everyone and I quite honestly felt they needed it more than I did. I don't feel completely at home in OA either because a lot of the people there seem to have more of a problem with food than anything else. For me I think the psychiatric disorder probably came first. However I like the Twelve Step emphasis on getting straight with one's Higher Power. The recognition of a spiritual dimension in life. I seem to need that. Although I have been doing less praying's hard to pray when you feel ill. I don't want to bother God too much with my nonsense.

OK guys, gotta go and wash this dye off my hair. Love and healing vibes go out to all of you...Zoe.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Feeling better...

The leg cramps are definitely better today. Physically there is only really the overwhelming fatigue. Mentally I feel quite upbeat...I feel sure my body and mind are responding well to my very careful diet and well-researched supplements. It is as well that I am independent and self-contained. I can handle a lot of my own company. I like to be quiet on my own. This over the years has forced me to build up a lot of inner resources. However that all said I am extremely grateful for a few things: the internet and the websites on psychiatric drug withdrawal and surviving psychiatry which are of huge interest to me at the moment. I am also using the net to research and order nutritional well as Patrick Holford's book, the GL diet.

The other things I am grateful for are Overeaters Anonymous and Dual Recovery Anonymous. They have provided further vital signposts down the road to wellness and wholeness. My house and garden which is utterly idyllic: in some amazing twist of fate I was supplied this place by social housing, yet it is my little piece of heaven, my retreat, my haven. Lastly I am so grateful for my partner of eight years, Richard. A link to his website is on the left, though it has nothing about psychiatric drug withdrawal on it! Some people are just desperate for publicity!

But my 'puter provides the much-needed fly in the ointment. It has a mind of its own. And I am no tecchie. Richard has saved my life, OK not literally, but figuratively...on numerous occasions. Once I only met a Uni deadline because of his last-minute mercy dash to save me from myself. I would like a 'puter that doesn't disconnect as and when it pleases. It's my connection, my service provider, or is it that we don't have genuine microsoft thingy.

Enough griping though. I need to send this now in case it does the dirty on me again like yesterday!!! Love to all survivors and determined warriors...we will get there.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Oh hot damn, my 'puter disconnected taking with it a substantial chunk of text, hard-wrung from my fevered, withdrawing brain. Blast! Bipolar blast! But you don't want to know about these mundanities...what you want from me is original psychological or philosophical insight! Right? Nope? Oh.

Well I did tell you in detail about my less-than-inspired day, pottering feebly about the house until I could stand it no more and went out to potter feebly down the road. Met an old uni chum and was a bit embarrassed...because I'm not really that well and am having trouble holding up my end of a conversation. Because I feel self-conscious and wonder what she is thinking...

It rained and I slumped against the bus windows, my spine seeming to collapse under the weight of what it is carrying...I need to lose 40lb and it doesn't want to go quietly.

Perfect end of a less than perfect day...'puter up to its usual tricks. But at least I've checked in. Love and healing vibes go out to recovering loons everywhere...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mama never said there'd be days like this...

I am 'writhing carefully'. Hi to all the members of my brand new family of psychiatric survivors and withdrawers from psychiatric drugs. It is this that brings me to this blog. I was on 1500mg of Epilim and 150mg of Seroquel. I never lost my very healthy scepticism about these drugs, but I was frightened into taking them by the fear and dread of (yet) another breakdown. My body has been in the wars. I gave up smoking over a year ago and am now turning into something of a born-again health freak. Well it's a case of having to. And now with the withdrawal I am discovering more new stuff each day.

I found Gianna's blog at her website Bipolar Blast and have been inspired to start writing myself. I already have a blog at Moodgarden but you have to be a member to read it and the truth is I do not feel free to share anything there as I am concerned that others may be upset by what I am doing. So many people unfortunately buy into the psychiatric myth of happy pills, calm pills, stable pills...and the rest. My best friend is on a cocktail of the blessed things for unipolar depression and as a result is a lot iller than I've ever been with anxiety, dread and recurring depression...yet her presenting illness should really have been easier to treat if anything.

I know I don't need these things because I am taking charge of myself, of my body and of what I put into it...that will deal with the mental stuff and the spiritual stuff is between me and my Higher Power.

I want to throw my two penn'orth into the ring...nothing like a nice mixed metaphor is there? and say along with Gianna and all her friends we are survivors on the road to freedom. Freedom from enslavement to someone else's idea of who we are and what we should be.