The Abilify and Klonopin I take pretty much mutes the Tourette as well as controls my Bipolar. But, with my recent change in health – and pharmacy – care, I got a batch of really crummy generic Clonazepam. I’ve always taken generic, never the holy grail of the poll with the actual “K”, but this stuff is shit. TEVA! Need I say more?
I don’t know if I’ver ever blogged about TS. I used to write and publish about my experiences with it and I thought it was the worst thing I could ever have when I was a teenager. Then I thought Bipolar was the worst thing to have. Now I don’t think of either as negative, but ticcing is physically painful and disruptive, and not a good disruptive, at least for me and at least not right now.
So, I have new a new (or any) healthcare scheme. Not under the Affordable Care Act, which leaves out so many other alternatives. It’s a program for Artists in New York City for very low-cost care. I put in my time a few weeks ago for my initial psychiatric intake: urine, bloods, vitals, nurses, psychotherapist and a psychiatrist. Oh, and the pharmacy, but that is another story.
I really only need prescriptions, nothing else, I’m doing just fine, thank you. And I know other folks in this healthcare scheme who only have to see a shrink for 15 minutes or less a few times a year to secure their scripts. But New York University-Langone Medical Center oversees this place now. Not a bad things, but now there is mandatory psychotherapy for all new folks at the outpatient psych clinic. Also, probably not a bad thing for folks who need psychotherapy. But, I’m not one of those folks.
I went to my first therapy appointment earlier this week. Very nice psychologist, young woman who is eager to practice on/with the folks in the program. She told me I couldn’t get meds if I didn’t do therapy.
I thought I was done with therapy about this time last year. But talking can’t hurt anyone and I really know how to flap my lips.
I went in on Tuesday, she conducted her mini mental status examine while I jabbered, not too much and not too little. Yes, I get enough sleep, yes, decent diet, some exercise, walked here actually, yes, always take my meds — never miss then in fact. After scheduling another appointment I was allowed to go.
I know 30 minutes of therapy every month won’t hurt anyone (unless they have a bad therapist!), but the fact that it’s mandated disturbs me. I’ve done 20 years of psychotherapy and, in psychiatric lingo I’m highly medication compliant, and have been stable for a long time. “You’re in remission,” this doctor told me. “No,” I said, “I’m recovered.”
“There’s no time like the present to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Comparisons between what we know now versus what we knew then reveal that, indeed, our understanding of the disorder has come a long way. Though it’s impossible to trace the first case of bipolar depression or mania, much is known about the evolution of its identification and subsequent classification and naming as manic depression—now known generally as bipolar—and about those specialists whose breakthroughs have contributed so much to our present-day treatment expertise.”
…from the rad mad, anti-psychiatry group:
The Icarus Project [TIP] is looking for someone in New York City with a strong background in social justice as well as organizational administration and development who can help us rebuild our organizational structure. TIP is a radical mental health support network and media project that hosts a 12,000-member strong community website, develops publications on mental health, helps people start local support groups, offers popular education, and much more. We are a beloved community for thousands of people who are not only alienated from the mainstream psychiatric system, but who believe that the people who struggle with mental health issues have an important role to play in changing the world. We are currently in the process of building an advisory board and expanding our programming. We are a non-profit project with a fiscal sponsor. We do not have our own 501(c)3 status.
We are initially hiring for a 6-month commitment at 20 hours per week. Ideal candidate can start November 1st. You will have the opportunity to stay on long-term and become a co-director if you are the right fit. You will be working in a decentralized collective with one Icarus staff member in NYC, and the rest scattered across the US. People of color, queer, transgender, and gender variant people, people with disabilities, working class people, and people with lived experience of mental health challenges are particularly encouraged to apply.
See full job description and how to apply here.
Writing my annual birthday/World Suicide message is getting “old.” I guess because I no longer find myself in the very dark spaces I once occupied. I feel so distanced from that person who was not-me for 42 years.
Now, at 50 years of age, and living happily, healthily, and according to my own needs and desires, I am no longer at the mercy of an unpredictable and invisible illness that torments and controls me. Rather, I control my illness.
It’s still very poignant to me, reflecting in my 50th year on World Suicide Prevention Day that I survived. And that my 37 year old, 39 year old, and 42 year old selves felt the need to kill the pain by killing the person. MY person. But that was the Stephanie who was not-me.
Folks ask me if I regret those 42 years. I don’t and won’t live in regret, or lament regularly what I did in the past. I will live for the moment and take everything day by day, eagerly approaching life — and myself — creatively and with great care. Because I AM me.
Posted in Suicide, Uncategorized | Tagged birthday, happiness, health, mental health, mental illness, self-care, September 10, Stephanie Schroeder, Suicide, world suicide prevention day | Leave a Comment »