Thursday, 25 November 2010

Happy Soddin' Birthday

The weekend just gone I celebrated my fifth birthday - On the 19th November 2005, I was first diagnosed with Bipolar disorder 2. (I went for an in denial second assessment a few months later, and for £270 I was told the exact same thing). I had a birthday party to match the occasion - one guest, one balloon, non-alcoholic lager and a small cake (with three candles, as a woman I like people to think I'm a couple of years younger than I really am) and unenthusiastic paper hats cello-taped to our heads. I couldn't make he rational decision to listen to music or watch Catchphrase as both are equally important to me so instead I danced to Catchphrase. (See Pic)
The party started at 8pm and by 9pm I stopped the party, kicked out my guest and went to bed.
I simply can't wait for my tenth.

I'm starting to think Keith is haunting my blog, hence the apparition in the pic.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Neat gin, pet smells and cruise ships

I have a completely new understanding of single people now. It's late afternoon, on a Sunday, and I have no one to play with. The only person I've had any contact with today is Nail, who I parted with a couple of months ago and who has since moved to a caravan in a field hundreds of miles away (God am I that bad?) to - amongst other things -  have some space from one another. We've spoken four times already this morning. And skyped. The space is going well isn't it? To be honest were made for each other, but that can also have a negative effect. Two people with enough baggage to sink a cruise ship round the Med full of Thomas Cook blouses and scratch card winners who have already been to Benedorm and The Canary Island that year, can ultimately weigh each other right down. Mr Upstairs once asked me if we wanted to be referred to couple counseling aimed at couples who both suffer some form of mental health but I had to decline, I was in fact too embarrassed, we'd only been together for nineteen days. A friend who works for a publishing house recently asked if I'd be up for pitching a book about couples with mental health in relationships, but I feel like I need a happy ending first, or the book would end on a low "It's all over, there's nothing you can do about it, see ya"

So here I am, feeling like a bit like a Council version Carrie Bradshaw - drinking neat gin and smelling of guinea pigs. 

I'm one of these people who's hardly single. I'm not quite sure how it happens, I go outside single to put the bins out and come back in a relationship. I'm not one of these people who overlap, or as one of my favourite quotes as said by Julie Burchill "Put the hot water on before you get out of the bath" .  So I've never really understood what it really - as it not the Disney version - feels like to be at home, by self, once again, going through the phone to see which (girl) friend is a) single, b) within a five mile radius and c) hasn't deleted my number.

I'm off for a wander down Brick Lane. I think the large crowds, ironica dress sense, and over priced decaffeinated soya builders teas is just what I need to cure my Sunday loneliness. 55% on today, lets see how that compares to when I come back.

pics - my phone and one of the keyboards upstairs (in the room I shouldn't really be going in)


Thursday, 11 November 2010

Organised Chaos - When two friends with Bipolar get together

It's a week since I started my blog and I've had nearly 400 hits so I'm feeling good today. I've had many emails saying they're enjoying it - a particular one from the man behind moodscope this morning - it seems that many of us were taping the top forty on the brink of OCD back in the 80's.

I'm also feeling good today because I was expecting to have a hang-over, not because I drank my body weight in red - heavy, spicy, velvety, marry me - wine, I didn't drink anything at all, but my friend Becky came over, and between us and our medication we are Bipolar-bear and Tamaza-Panda and it was very unusual for us not to feed of each others symptoms and lose a whole evening (and the following few days) to medicinal liquor. It's a blessing hanging out  with other Bipolars - MDF groups are good (These are Manic Depression Foundation support groups, not a wood appreciation society, and by that I mean stuff wardrobes are made of, not porn) especially the last one I went to where someone was asked to take some time out because he was on a bit of a high and wouldn't let anyone else speak - only because for some people in the room this is the only time they do  speak, but friends with bipolar, although lovely, can be a dangerous thing, a bit like a couple of speeding cars that eventually lose control of the breaks and crash into each other. Becky and I did well!

In a treatment centre once I traced my first erratic drinking behaviour back to aged twelve, where I put on my mums wedding dress, poured some Thunderbird into my Paddington bear flask and went to local rec, and threw up in the sand pit. Someone called my mum but she was at the time agoraphobic and couldn't come and get me so I stumbled home, a twelve year old in an oversized wedding dress, drunk. A few years later I went back to that same bottle of Thunderbird (my parents do not drink, both of them lost parents/siblings to alcoholism) and poured myself a mug (I was a teenager, drinking booze out of mugs was the done thing, as well as smoking menthols thinking your parents won't notice it) except what I failed to remember from nicking it the first time was that I'd filled the rest of the bottle up with water. Where was that sand-pit when I needed it that time?


Pic - Nail's Synthesizer Wendy

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Kerry does Kernow

I have fled the busy streets and accidental killings of the East End of London for the calm serenity of the Cornish countryside. Basically I am in a 1950's static caravan in a place called Constantine with pubs - 0, shops - 0, Shoreditch twats - 0, you can't even get a phone signal to call 999 and even if you did they wouldn't get to you until the following day because they're in their depth of water colour paints and nettle jam straining.  I came here on bonfire night - the scariest night in East London because you can't tell the sound of fireworks from the shootings. I have come to stay with Nail, who fled our nest a month ago to come for solitary shelter to work through his long standing depression and alcoholism without the distraction and expectations of the capital (The nearest off alcohol tender is a post office, a half hour up hill walk through some woods which closes at 5pm). It was at the time we seperated from a beautiful but very thorny relationship of almost three years that I was asked to write a feature The Effect of Alcohol On Relationships for Speak Out magazine, which I will upload once it's been released (or I'm in the shit). 

I can feel the difference in my mood already - I have slowed down. This didn't happen straight away, oh no, I spent the first day (and night) pacing up and down the six square foot lounge area asking Nail repetitive, non matterable (as in, they really don't matter to anyone else, except me) questions -"What time do we go to bed..  Why don't you put everything on this side of the room on that side of the room.. What do I do if I see a ghost.. What time to the sheep outside go to bed.. etc..) and he glazes over like he trained himself to do a long time ago, probably when I woke him up in the middle of the night, on our first ever night, to ask if he was scared of fairground rides and which ones and why and, and.. But here in the countryside I eventually slowed down. And those sheep go to sleep as soon as the sun does. And they are fucking awesome - I went to introduce myself on the first night and they just looked at me, as if to say "It doesn't matter who you are" and I thought "Wow, here's a group of living beings that do not judge me". I told them that I was going to be staying in that  caravan and if they needed anything they should ask. They didn't tell me to sod off and mind my own business. I told them about something I did once that I've never tell another human being and again, they didn't turn away, not even a look of disgust. I even told them a really shit gag from my stand up days. Still they looked up at me, waiting for something else. 

I have decided I want to be a farmer. I have also decided (and this is what I earlier referred to as Multiple Personnel Disorder) that I also want to be a caravan dealer. I know I'm in deferment of my postgrad in Psychology due to, ironically, psychological reasons, but I really do think I'll make a shit hot Don Ammott - and a farmer - alongside my cross dressing Action Man design business - and of course my on-off journalism. Here I am, 35 and still don't know what to do when I grow up. How I envy these people who work 9-5 in HR who do the same thing at the same time with the same people everyday, and don't feel the need to aspire to anything else other than quiz on Tuesdays, late night shopping on Thursdays, mums on Fridays, and his mums on Sundays. 

Meet Hayley the sheep, above.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Moodometer goes up!

Moodscope calculated me at 80% today! 

It's amazing what a a stint of obsessive cleaning (yes, I even polished the bog brush again), ruthless internet shopping and a strip of co-codamol can do (though don't try that at home, I have a genuine foot injury - I sprained it recently - but I have no recollection how. Neither do I have any recollection of the weekly shop I opened the fridge to the following morning. I guess there are some advantages to being on a high, just wish the come down wasn't so f***ing horrific! I made Mr Upstairs (my Psychiatrist) promise me that when they invent a bipolar pill that retains the highs and abolishes the lows he's gonna be the first to get his prescription pad out). Yay!

Tape The Top Forty

4,500 records in my flat and I tend to listen to the same three over and over again! I think I'm reverting back to when I was about nine and had, only three cassettes and I'd wear the batteries down on my walkman out by rewinding the same song over and over again. As I recall I had The Muppets Album (every household should have a copy, even if Hugga Wugga did have strong undertones of a Porno soundtrack), BBC Theme Tunes and Mike Reeds Top Forty. I think there was a Mini-pops Album floating around somewhere but having pictures of four year old girls caked in make up sporting bikini's on the cover I think my mum banned me playing it. The good thing about the Top Forty is that you were your own DJ - you taped the Sunday charts. The thing that p***ed off thousands of kids all over the country however is that Mike Reed didn't shut up, and you had to hold your finger ready on the pause button (usually simultaneously with the record button) and press down the millisecond he started to talk towards (but never at) the end of the song, and then repeat the drill in reverse when the next song comes on. This method wasn't good for an anxious child with OCD tendencies and often resulted in the tape reel wrapped around my Girls World head (Another toy my mum should have avoided getting me to keep up with the other mums - to every other little girl they provided hours of hair and make up fun, to me it was a head missing a body and I thought Santa was out to get me). To avoid the whole Top Forty tantrums I should've just waited for the next Now Album to come out. 

Ironically, following Mike Reeds recent bankruptcy, I'm buying his old 7inch chart hits off him in bulk  from whom I call 78 Man  at Broadway market in East London on Saturday mornings. He has a good 78rpm collection as well thousands of random albums to sieve through.

But I'm currently just listening OMD Architecture, Pixies Bossinova and Now, The Christmas Album. I know it's only November, but then some people start drinking at lunchtime.

The photo is of a latex print of vinyl. Another pointless but satisfying hobby.


I wanted to write my first entry in a good mood but I woke up this morning literally swearing at the world, and since the door and curtains were closed the words just bounced back at me, therefore it was me that should go **** myself on this beautiful morning. 

I've recently subscribed to this website 
It's a daily mood recorder. Everyday you get a list of questions and it translates your answers into a score and records it on a graph so you can monitor your moods. Every morning you get an email reminder, and it's free! You get feedback and advice though it's automated feedback and reminds me a bit of Shazam - when you dial 2580 and hold your phone up to the speaker and it detects the song. When this first came out I thought there were music nerds were at the end of the phone and so I sang a song into it. Of course it didn't detect it. Todays score was 18%. I swigged this mornings medication with last nights wine and went back to bed.

On a happier note! I'm glad that I'm able to detect my mood, sometimes I have no idea where I am on the moodometer levels. My Psychiatrist told me I suffer mixed states which I'm interpreting at being high and low at the same time - it's both confusing and exhausting. My lows often surface in many other ways - my face for example - if I'm low I paint my face with enough make-up to become an Avon representative. I don't acknowledge this and it takes other people to (once including my boss who told me to tone it down - I worked in an all male psychiatric prison at the time). I also drink more or double my meds or both, however, on an up day I also tend to drink more or double my meds or both, so unless I'm pretty stable I tend to be out of it a lot of the time. I'm writing an article Dual diagnosis and self medicating for a magazine which I'll upload when it's finished. I also have to wait for other people to tell me what mood I'm in, which is embarrassing, it feels as though someone is having to spell my own name for me or something. So! At least I had that conversation with myself this morning, it's a bit like playing playing Guess what I'm thinking with myself, a nice break from playing naughts and crosses with myself I suppose.

On the subject of games I'm going to leave it there, I'm completely obsessed with Catchphrase at the moment and it's about to start, and I wish Roy Walker would wait for me at the school gates and tell me he is my father, a fantasy I started aged six when I wanted Debbie Harry to do the same thing. But then if I was coming out of infant school aged thirty five I think I'd have another problem!