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BS: stay afloat while others don't

Donuel 29 Apr 20 - 06:20 PM
keberoxu 30 Apr 20 - 11:09 AM
keberoxu 01 May 20 - 02:12 PM
Mrrzy 04 May 20 - 08:42 AM
keberoxu 04 May 20 - 07:24 PM
keberoxu 07 May 20 - 06:56 PM
keberoxu 10 May 20 - 11:00 AM
keberoxu 11 May 20 - 07:35 PM
keberoxu 31 May 20 - 09:11 PM
Helen 01 Jun 20 - 01:12 AM
Mrrzy 01 Jun 20 - 10:22 AM
Mrrzy 04 Jun 20 - 07:50 AM
Donuel 04 Jun 20 - 10:39 AM
keberoxu 04 Jun 20 - 02:32 PM
keberoxu 05 Jun 20 - 03:08 PM
Mrrzy 05 Jun 20 - 04:46 PM
keberoxu 07 Jun 20 - 04:43 PM
Donuel 07 Jun 20 - 04:55 PM
keberoxu 09 Jun 20 - 09:34 PM
keberoxu 13 Jun 20 - 08:20 PM
Mrrzy 15 Jun 20 - 11:47 AM
keberoxu 25 Jun 20 - 09:00 PM
Mrrzy 26 Jun 20 - 11:13 AM
Helen 30 Jun 20 - 05:39 PM
keberoxu 30 Jun 20 - 09:14 PM
Helen 01 Jul 20 - 04:28 PM
keberoxu 01 Jul 20 - 05:24 PM
Helen 01 Jul 20 - 06:04 PM
keberoxu 02 Jul 20 - 03:59 PM
keberoxu 27 Jul 20 - 08:52 PM
Donuel 27 Jul 20 - 10:44 PM
Mrrzy 28 Jul 20 - 04:55 PM
keberoxu 30 Jul 20 - 11:53 AM
Donuel 30 Jul 20 - 09:52 PM
Mrrzy 31 Jul 20 - 08:08 AM
keberoxu 02 Aug 20 - 09:56 PM
Mrrzy 04 Aug 20 - 08:16 AM
keberoxu 05 Aug 20 - 09:53 AM
keberoxu 16 Aug 20 - 01:50 PM
keberoxu 18 Aug 20 - 11:13 AM
keberoxu 20 Aug 20 - 06:18 PM
Mrrzy 21 Aug 20 - 08:43 AM
keberoxu 23 Aug 20 - 06:35 PM
keberoxu 25 Aug 20 - 05:41 PM
keberoxu 27 Aug 20 - 08:03 PM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM
keberoxu 28 Aug 20 - 08:18 PM
keberoxu 28 Aug 20 - 09:26 PM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 10:46 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 06:20 PM

Sounds like you are stalled on a sandbar. While not technically afloat the sandbar keeps you up. Its better than sinking. The tide will help.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Apr 20 - 11:09 AM

Donuel, I read you loud and clear.
Thank you!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 May 20 - 02:12 PM

Today in the in-patient residence dining room,
my table was shared (social distancing and all)
with a fellow patient who has been here longer than I,
and who started out,
assigned to the same psychotherapist that I was assigned to --
and who also went through administration to switch clinicians.

This patient and I have two very different individual personalities,
and our interests greatly differ as well,
so we don't often have direct conversations,
even though we know each other well enough to speak to.

However, I broached the subject of terminating
with this particular psychologist here.
And we had quite a time comparing notes.
Although each of us took an entirely different approach
in attempting to make the relationship work,
then watching it break down, and giving up
-- it would be inappropriate to go into detail --
we both ended up with much the same impression
of this rather haughty-acting, remote, defensive personality
with which our former therapist confronted us in treatment.

We both think this person is in some kind of trouble:
putting up a front, putting on a performance,
and going on the defensive when
confronted about remoteness and manner.
And, although we two patients are very different,
we both found ourselves shouldering blame and guilt
for how badly the therapist relationship went,
which speaks to why each of us needs treatment, of course!

Each of us, in the formal process of changing clinicians,
had to go through a formal 'consultation'
in which a senior clinician, with whom the patient has no prior connection,
interviews the patient separately,
as well as a separate interview of the therapist.

And each of us two patients
had a different senior psychotherapist for this consultation,
and yet our consultant clinicians
agreed on the breakdown of the therapeutic relationship
and the accountability of the therapist.

This afternoon, for the first time since the initial interview,
my work begins with the new therapist.
We have a lot of catching up to do!
(I get a little weary thinking about it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 May 20 - 08:42 AM

Good conversation. And anything that brings those tears out is good. Tears serve an excretory function- nobody can be well while their brain is stopped up.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:24 PM

Yes, it's good to be making progress at last.
That obstacle in the first two months was a struggle to get past,
but hopefully a lesson was learned from it.
There are leaves on the trees at last,
after all those months of bare branches.
Hope for new inner growth as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 May 20 - 06:56 PM

The young man who plays the 'cello ...
well, he made his offer
BEFORE the coronavirus pandemic.
He is still here, I am still here,
but nobody has been very music-minded of late.
I don't think he has touched his 'cello since then actually.

However there is a local chorus director (retired singer)
who comes two nights a week to the clinic -- he lives nearby,
and if I hear right, he walks here from his house --
to cheer up the patients with singalongs.
He has good classical-music credentials and experience,
so I got up my nerve and went in to the community room
where he was holding forth at the piano.
I let him stick to the piano,
and I did some singing --
Schubert, Schumann, Brahms.
I haven't made music like that in ages.
He was very gracious about my un-warmed-up singing.

I believe I just might have made a new friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 May 20 - 11:00 AM

Coming up to ten weeks at the clinic,
where admissions were suspended in mid-March
(I just barely got admitted before the pandemic restrictions).

Tomorrow, is the first week
that the clinic is processing possible new admissions.
Because this clinic is all about voluntary instead of compulsory,
right up to the in-person interview with the admissions director,
the potential patient can say No, and turn around and leave.
This week, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday,
there is a potential admission scheduled for each day.
Because this is a small clinic with a strong emphasis on
an extended therapeutic 'community,' in which
the patients contribute enormously to the 'community,'
the patients as a collective are watching this closely
and some of us have volunteered to assist, as we may, with
making the new patients welcome.

Because all of these first three applicants come to the clinic
from out of state
(one is from Texas which is a LONG ways from here),
each one must observe a two-week quarantine on the premises.
The clinic has hospital accreditation, albeit this place doesn't look like a hospital in some respects.
And so, with adjustments and adaptations here and there,
it is possible to turn the admit wing of the in-patient residence
into a quarantine area, and such has been done.
Three meals a day will be carried to the patients' little rooms.

I checked in, as one does, with an assigned nurse this morning.
She is one of the young healthy vigorous nurses
(some of the nurses are downright elderly), and
I commiserated with her about the extra work with the new admissions in quarantine.
I observed, "You nurses are going to be run off your feet, bringing them three meals a day."
And she laughed and minimized it, saying,
"it's not like we're breaking rocks!"


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 May 20 - 07:35 PM

Whew!
The clinic admitted a new patient for the first time in two months.
With the coronavirus orders and restrictions and everything,
first day of admissions is being done rather differently
than it was ten weeks ago when I showed up.

This young (30-ish) woman is a New York native, and as
we are not in New York and she is from out of state,
she must be isolated for fourteen days in the admit wing.
She can go from her little admit room
to the nurses' station on the same floor, and will do tomorrow.
But she can't join us in the dining room for meals.
And when she has therapy / psychiatry /social worker / clinical appointments,
she has to have the sessions remotely, using ZOOM.
I hope the two weeks are not unbearable for her,
it is so different than it was for me.

I am one of the volunteers who helped to welcome her today.
I've never done this before.
Normally on the first day, one of the patients will volunteer
to take the new patient on a tour of the clinic campus --
always it is a patient who is supposed to do this.
Actually, on my first day,
the volunteers were all signed up for patient-sponsor duties,
but the one who was supposed to give me the tour
went all space-cadet and never showed up ...
so an embarrassed member of the admissions staff
gave me a hasty tour, then handed me over to the dining room for lunch!

I've never forgotten that.
So I volunteered, fool that I am, to provide the tour,
so that the new patient today would have
what I missed.

Oh dear. I had a script to work with -- well, okay, an OUTLINE.
This had to be done remotely, as well.
The new patient is in her little admit room,
and she stayed there the whole time using ZOOM on her computer or smartphone or something.
The nurses' station loaned me a tablet,
since I have no smartphone or cellphone myself.
So there I was, marching around inside the residence building
carrying this tablet connected to a ZOOM session,
showing her the inside of the residence areas through the webcam
or whatever you call it,
and keeping a walking commentary running,
answering questions, and so on.
I was all out of breath when it was over,
and it ran maybe half-an-hour or forty minutes.

The poor kid! I hope I didn't embarrass myself TOO much
but she was very polite and good-natured about the whole thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 May 20 - 09:11 PM

The clinic has five 'newbies' now;
three of them stuck out their two-week quarantine
and are now circulating amongst the rest of us.
The other two are still in quarantine,
having arrived more recently than the first three.



Change of subject:
this is so hard, so very hard.
I can't say much.
Not happening to me, but to other patients.
These other patients have submitted complaints about, sad to say,
yet another patient who has been here for several years now.
The way this last patient is mistreating others
hits all of my deepest triggers.
The clinic's trouble-shooting protocol is slowly creaking its way
through the formal procedure.
As much as nothing has directly been done or happened to me,
I feel so fearful and angry and sad and distrustful and unsafe.

Well, something was bound to trip my triggers in treatment,
and if there is one thing I don't feel, it is surprise.
But I hate that this troubles me so deeply.
Am I talking about my feelings? You bet I am.
My therapist has heard about my feelings,
my social worker, my care coordinator,
the nursing staff (Emergency Services),
the residential program manager,
other patients,
group facilitators, and on, and on ...

I was so happy and trusting here, until this came out in the open.
Out in the open is, of course, where it ought to be.
Some of this on the part of the problem patient
had been covered up for months,
which makes me even angrier and more distrusting.

Donuel spoke weeks ago of a sandbar.
Now I've got more of a
undertow/riptide going on.
No, I'm not going to drown, obviously,
because I'm not entirely at the mercy of the current,
to continue the metaphor.
I am buoyed up to the surface,
there are helping hands,
there are lifelines.
I am far from abandoned.

And it still feels like a nightmare
from which I am desperate to wake up.
Thanks for listening.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 01:12 AM

keberoxu, when you are in an undertow with other people around you who can talk you through it, help you to make sense of it, and advocate on your behalf, it's a completely different situation than trying to make sense of it all on your own.

Your triggers have probably been tripped, but if you evaluate your current situation, it may not be anywhere near as scary as previous experiences because of that support system and the increased knowledge and awareness that you have gained so far in your life.

I know I've said this before on Mudcat, but when I was in teacher training one of the lecturers said that learning is not walking around and around a circular path, seeing and doing exactly the same things over and over again. It's a spiral going upwards, so when you encounter a situation which you have been in before, you are different than you were previously.

Hopefully you have more awareness or knowledge, even if it feels like you wish you didn't, but every little bit of progress can help you to make better sense of each similar experience when it occurs until finally, hopefully you can walk through an experience with relative ease, recognising what is happening, and making decisions which have more chance of achieving a positive outcome.

By the time I was in a work situation 10 years ago and a bully was holding power over a lot of people, I recognised fairly quickly what the situation was, how the bully behaved, how his hangers-on behaved, why the managers let him get away with it, why other people did not complain about his behaviour, but also what actions I needed to take, and how much determination I would need, but also how it would affect me psychologically and emotionally, even if I won and he lost the battle. That's because I had encountered similar situations over many decades and gradually learned what I needed to know with each new experience.

It's a spiral. Onwards and upwards. Per ardua ad astra.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 10:22 AM

Buoy oh buoy, dearie!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 07:50 AM

Floating this thread back to the waterline...

I googled "buoy jokes" and found some truly bizarre humor. Have some.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 10:39 AM

Are you wearing masks?
You are fortunate to be insulated or isolated from some triggers in the larger outside world lately. In such a clinical enviornment one stressful person can seem magnified in significance.

Ha! Helen everythings a spiral over time from tiny DNA to the solar system's trip around the galaxy called the Milky way. As my hair gets longer it too is begining to curl. :^/


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 02:32 PM

In answer to the mask question:

If the entire congregate-housing complex, including the residential unit, had people who were ill, if there were active cases of people ill with coronavirus, then, likely, every person here would have a face mask.

The way that our congregate-housing clinic is complying with laws, orders, and requirements, is to ask patients not to leave the premises; and as patients continue healthy here, the patients restricted to the premises go mask-free.   

It is a different matter for staff. Staff do not reside on the premises; they commute to this congregate-housing campus from their homes off-campus. Staff are required to wear face-masks at all times on campus.

A recent exception has negotiated the social-distancing requirement. Two people who meet for an in-person consultation of some length, provided they have at their disposal a meeting space that is well ventilated, recently cleaned and disinfected, and has sufficient room for the two people to sit six feet apart or further: these two people, under these conditions, may carry out their therapy/treatment/consultation, as long as they stay apart, with or without masks according to their own choice.

The one time when patients in residence at this congregate-housing campus MUST put on face masks, is when circumstances limit the patient's treatment to in-person work in a smaller room. Thus, in a little office not as well ventilated, where the seating cannot be a full social-distancing length apart, both the patient and the clinician go through their treatment appointment wearing masks.

I can tell you that some of the clinic patients
are getting hard to live with for the excellent reason
that they have been separated from their families and loved ones,
unable to have them visit, much less to visit them,
for over two months now.
Phone calls and FaceTime/ZOOM just are not the same,
especially for patients who are parents of young children.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 03:08 PM

These days, in my treatment,
I am floating on a current of my own tears.
It's tiring, but
I have to trust that I'm making progress.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 04:46 PM

Not backsliding is progress. Even backsliding can serve a purpose, and thus also be progress. Hang in there, k.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 04:43 PM

Here at the mental health clinic,
the new-admissions side of business is gaining momentum
after suspension during two months of pandemic restrictions.
All five potential admissions, during the previous month,
accepted and were admitted;
three have completed their fourteen days of quarantine,
and are living amongst the rest of us patients
at the in-patient residence,
dining in the dining room with us, coming to group meetings, and so on.

Two more will complete their fourteen days this coming week --
one of them, tomorrow, I believe.

And we have two newbies being interviewed this week by Admissions,
and they will head for their quarantine this week if accepted.

The clinic's in-patient residence
had a lot of empty rooms/beds last month,
but if admissions continue at this pace,
it won't last long.

I have heard one of last month's admissions,
a man a little bit younger than I
with a spouse and children,
say that this institution is exactly the right place for him
and that he is inexpressibly grateful to be here.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 04:55 PM

There is a psych philosophy that equates tears and such as an emotional discharge that eventually rinses and rids the psyche of distress and angst. I called it curing emotional constipation but it works for many.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 09:34 PM

Update on my post dated
7 May:

going great guns with the local musician who comes to the clinic
two evenings a week to share music with the patients,
usually one at a time.

He has classical music education and formation on the same level as mine, so
we are like peers together.
We take turns -- he plays the piano and I sing,
then I play the piano and he sings.
And it's even okay when we each hit wrong notes and have to
stop and start over again.

He seems as grateful for the chance to
run through high-level repertoire as I am.
One of these days, I think facetiously,
I had better meet his good wife,
so she doesn't get suspicious about the two of us
away from her house!

But then, I AM a mental patient, after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Jun 20 - 08:20 PM

A moment of reckoning has arrived.
When the upsetting thing happened at the end of May,
I thought I had heard everything.
I was mistaken.

What is surfacing now, again, is not directly about me,
but about other patients in the in-patient population.
Something happened a year ago, which,
if it had not been hushed up in a particular fashion,
would have resulted in lawsuits and liabilities.
Now, of course, it is all coming out.
And I don't dare expose it here.
Again, it did not happen now, nor to me.
But there are patients who were here a year ago,
who are still here now,
and I tell you, some of them bear scars (metaphorically).

If I had known about this thing, when I came through admissions,
would I have accepted and entered treatment here?
Moot point now, it seems.

So much for the new-patient honeymoon phase;
it was sweet while it lasted.
Now comes the reality check.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 11:47 AM

Don't cash it yet!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Jun 20 - 09:00 PM

Don't let
they-who-must-not-be-named
get you down, Mrrzy.
I support you.


About me:
still here at the clinic.
As this particular state eases up on
businesses and local economies,
the department of mental health
is getting even more strict, curiously enough,
with "congregate housing" like this.

Used to be,
25 people, max, in a room;
now, it's a maximum of 10 people,
AND
they MUST wear masks, all of them.
This is inside the institution.

So, walking a fine line between
boosting the local economy
and
protecting the health of the citizens.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 11:13 AM

Good on yer, k.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 05:39 PM

keberoxu, your music collaboration is very inspiring. I'm interested to know which music pieces you are practising, just so that I can imagine your mini-sessions more completely.

This week I saw a news item on TV about the issues surrounding using face masks in mental health environments, mainly relating to the difficulties in making personal connection with people who are under stress or emotional difficulties while having half of each other's faces covered. I was only half watching it and I can't find the article. I'll keep searching for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 09:14 PM

Well, Helen, since you asked,
I just surprised him with Flanders & Swann's
"The Elephant," about the Elephant's Nursing Home
and being psychoanalyzed.
Of course he was familiar with
"Mud, mud, glorious mud," however
in the USA, few are familiar with much more of F & S than that --
so this was new to him. He was thoroughly amused.

We also went through
"Oh! quand je dors,"
words by Victor Hugo and music by Franz Liszt;
and last week at this appointment, it was
"Epiphanias,"
words by Goethe and music by Hugo Wolf.

The latter is comedy/satire, about We Three Kings, the Magi.
Goethe has it:
They like to be feasted when they visit,
they like to drink well,
and they do NOT like having to pay the bill afterwards!
And anyway, they are "Off to see the Christ Child,
The Won-der-ful" -- oops, wrong movie --
anyway, since there is no star standing still overhead,
they must get back on their camels and follow that star now.
Very funny little marching song.
But being a Lied, an art song,
it is much tougher to execute than it is to listen to.

We've also done Schubert's "Der Musensohn," I forget the poet,
a rapid bouncy song about the itinerant singer who goes from place to place
cheering people up with his singing, and one of these days
he honestly would like to get back home where
someone is waiting for him, but his MUSE keeps him wandering.

It's a welcome break from psychotherapy, I promise you!
(The food, however, is still first-rate,
so I always show up at mealtime.)


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 04:28 PM

Hey keberoxu, thanks for your music "Liszt". The only one I have heard of is the F&S song about mud.

I'm Lisztening now to "Oh! quand je dors". Beautiful!

I'll find the other ones too.

(I have some favourite Liszt tracks on a couple of CD's.)


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 05:24 PM

Flanders and Swann wrote "The Elephant" for
the singer Ian Wallace, who first recorded it;
the song may turn up on their Beastiary, or whatever that collection is, of their Animal Songs,
along with The Gnu, The Warthog, The Sloth, The Whale (Mopy Dick),
and so on.


Composers Schubert and Hugo Wolf are both Lieder composers,
and I haven't looked up online listening for those songs
but some of their songs, surely, can be listened to online.

Another one we looked at last night
(it was a busy half hour:

a French Mélodie by Ernest Chausson
called Le Colibri (The Hummingbird).

Right now, as I sit at the computer station,
it is thundering and storming outside.
I hope the power doesn't get knocked out
the way it did on Monday, two days ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 06:04 PM

I've found them on YouTube.

I have to admit that this style of song is not my favourite to listen to, but I appreciate the beauty of it.

I'm thinking about refreshing the classical music thread that I started. Wow! I thought I started it a few years ago, but it was back in 2006. The older I get, the faster time flies.

Classical music - what makes you listen


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Jul 20 - 03:59 PM

How fast fourteen years fly when you're Mudcatting, Helen!


Meanwhile, back at the clinic:
It was bound to happen. I have stuck out four months before
experiencing this for the first time.
Five days a week, a general meeting is held, by and for the patients themselves, although staff members frequently attend and are welcome to do so. Patients themselves chair/facilitate these weekday meetings. They are voluntary, no one is absolutely required to come [although the patient who is community-meeting chair is elected to that office during a term of time, and that patient had darned well better show up during their term].
I have not attended each and every weekday meeting, myself, during my four months here, so what happened may have happened already during that time and I was just conveniently absent back then.

It's not unheard of for a patient to get up and walk out, although it is discouraged.
The patient who did it today, however, lost their temper before walking out, so we witnessed an outburst of anger and rage during the meeting.
Well, this is a mental health hospital, after all, so why would this not happen?
I suppose the wonder is that I have not seen it happen sooner.

Nor did it surprise me which patient it was, and of course
I cannot divulge too much here. I can say,
this patient has been repeatedly warning us all of two things:
their issues with rage, anger, and temper, which they're working on;
and their growing frustration with certain conditions, let's just say
they are related to the pandemic lockdown restrictions and
an enforced separation from family.
This patient is hardly alone in that latter predicament.
Nor the only one with anger management issues.

It's just that the two combined in an explosive fashion today.
Nobody and nothing was hurt or damaged.
A few people were 'triggered,' not least the poor patient who stormed out.
It certainly made for drama, though.

I'm all right, as I could see this coming, for a start,
and I know how to stay out of harm's way.
I also grasp that in the long run this is a positive development,
and can be used in future to make things better.
The people who had a hard time with this incident, of course,
were the ones who tend to merge with other patients and
who have a hard time letting go once they engage --
some of these were shaken.

So we had fireworks, you might say, before July Fourth.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 08:52 PM

meanwhile, back at the clinic ...

there is actually a group, with the newly admitted patients,
forming of classical string players.
We do not have, sadly, a true string quartet.
That said, there are three now:
one violinist, one violist, and one 'cellist.
The three of them, when they get a free evening,
congregate after supper (and after the final therapy group meeting)
and they get their instruments out.

On one occasion I attempted something on piano with them,
and on other occasions I have simply listened to them rehearse.

At first there was a lot of sight-reading going on because
we didn't all know the same pieces.

There is an interesting arrangement of an existing piece,
the Bach concerto for two violins in D minor
-- or rather, of its opening movement.
Somebody took the second-solo-violin part,
and the bass line which the cello plays,
and did an ingenious merge, just with that opening movement:
the second-solo-violin part is transposed down an octave,
and blended into the bass line.
And thus, you end up with
a duet for violin and cello.
Not the same without an entire orchestra filling in the chords,
but still you get a spare, clean arrangement of the piece.
It actually works,
and every time the two of them play it, it sounds better.

There is also a Shostakovich Prelude, not very long, which is
a duet for viola and cello --
or, perhaps, a viola-cello arrangement of something different?

Anyway, those two players ran through that one.

Then there was the evening -- this was weeks ago actually --
when the violinist was not free, and the question came up, is there anything for viola, cello, and piano?   It's rare.
And predictably, what we came up with was an arrangement of a differently scored piece of classical music, and what a find we caught:


Opus 114 by Johannes Brahms -- VERY late opus number for him, he was an old man and a fully mature composer, at his best --
is scored for a trio of clarinet, cello, and piano.
And it is arranged with
the clarinet part played by the viola instead.
So we ran to a public-domain computer website
and printed the score and the parts out.

Being as it's Brahms, and ALL of us were sight-reading,
I suggested we attempt the two SLOW movements in the middle?
Well, my intentions were good, and it was still ...
erm ... in a way it was entertaining and fun, but
OH, how we butchered the Brahms! And we kept bogging down and getting stuck.

The other night, the cellist confided to me that although he has not practiced his cello part in the Brahms,
he did find time to pull up online sites where he can listen to the music, which of course he did not know before;
and he could see/hear that this is a beautiful piece of chamber music
and worth working on.

All this, in addition to the ongoing dramas of
treatment at a mental health clinic. It's a change of pace, anyhow.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 10:44 PM

I know the concerto well. Once a new conductor at concert time decided to conduct in 2-4 instead of 4-4 to give it some spontaneous energy but the orchestra instead thought it was 4-4 so they played it twice as slow. When the soloists joined in they too went at a lugubrious molassas tempo. There was no hope so I stood up and did my best Jimmy Durante imitation and yelled "Stop the music, stop the music... Now lets play the hell outta this thing, Maestro" then the conductor did a furious 4-4 and we began again. Most people thought it was part of the act.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 04:55 PM

Fascinating...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 11:53 AM

I concur, Mrrzy, fascinating on more levels than one ...

remember the patient who lost his temper and stormed out of a community meeting, which one is supposed not to do?
He is in serious trouble now.
I'm not going to say what substance he was 'using' but
suffice to say you're not supposed to use it, or other substances that compare to it.
He had been secretly doing so for weeks, right under our noses.
I'm not even going to specify if the substance is generally illicit or if it is legal past a certain age or whatever.
The point is, he is an in-patient resident living in close quarters with several dozens of other patients, and his actions affected us all, however indirectly.

Having avoided 'substance use' in general for the whole of my life, there is a lot about which I am ignorant.
I was just aware that this patient, always needy and dependent on interacting with others, was presenting in a way that was increasingly conflicted and complex.
With a change to his prescribed meds --
something that happens quite often in a clinic like this one --
he went through a downright euphoric period, and in fact he was insufferable for a while,
because he wanted the whole civilized world to know that he felt like life was worth living again, aargh, which is anything but considerate of fellow patients who may really still be struggling.

Then, with the improvement in his feelings and well-being, came the moments when he could no longer avoid looking at the really tough issues which were his excuse to abuse substances in the first place. And so, he took the path of least resistance, for weeks as I say, covering it up the whole time. And the way he presented, while hiding it, was a different presentation. His volatile temper got worse instead of better. However, instead of demanding attention and being needy, he became wary and guarded, holding people at arm's length or further. This is a troubling combination even to someone like me who does not know what to suspect.

Of course the patient population includes other recovering abusers of substances, and no one had been watching this patient MORE carefully than they had. One of them caught him out, not because he was obviously in an altered state, but because they caught him carrying a certain implement, and: "Is that a ***** ?"   Sooooooo busted.

Eventually these others will sort things out, but right now they are royally pissed-off with this patient, now that they can look back on the last few weeks and recall all the times they socialized with him and what he said, and how he said it, instead of coming clean.

This patient has not been discharged on the spot. He turned himself in, for one thing, after being caught out by his fellow patient. Other mitigating factors. This does not mean that he won't be asked to leave -- just, that it won't happen now if it does happen. First his case will go through a couple of weeks of reevaluation, for which there is a definite protocol and procedure. So whether he continues or whether he receives an administrative discharge, he will have the benefit of sustained, cooperative, care and attention from a whole integrated team of different specialists.

In my months here, I have witnessed this reevaluation process for two previous patients, both of whom were allowed to continue their treatment following the process; it was a wholly positive experience for both of these;
and for one of those earlier patients, whose parents had sort of dragged him here after years of having psychiatrists controlling him with addictive prescription meds, the reevaluation -- following a really scary "discompensation" incident -- was truly a turning point; now he is grateful for the attention that he received when his need was greatest, and he continues his treatment on an entirely different footing: not against his will, as when he was first admitted, but voluntarily and with gratitude and appreciation. That is a beautiful thing to watch, as unnerving as the incident was that was the catalyst for the breakthrough.
Time will tell, with this third patient, how things work out; and meanwhile the patient community is helping each other get to grips with the disturbance and the drama.

Although I am hanging in there, and my treatment is going well and I am working hard and productively at it, I'm starting to think carefully about life after treatment. Which I guess means that I feel safe enough to do so without doing it as an escape or an avoidance of reality. And only time will tell how that, too, works out.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 09:52 PM

With the absence of migraine agony, my life feels worth living even more. Perhaps too much for timid souls. I'm pretty sure total trust is not healthy. chant- 'it just doesn't matter'
May you dispense with the useless agony of your choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:08 AM

Your user fellow-inmate sounds as if they really need to be there, k, so good that they weren't immediately banned, imo.

Meanwhile in other news my son is, as I write, in front of a magistrate for a decision on whether to commit said son involuntarily for longer than the 3-day hold he's already on. That is the independent evaluator's recommendation, and my fervent hope. I am also [after 5 1/2 months] no longer Completely Fine... Considering going back on meds. Sigh. It was a good run, though, and I do still feel *mostly* fine. Some physical zoominess akin to overcaffeination [I consume no caffeine but chocolate], my [mental? Metaphorical?] hamster seems to be getting out the exercise wheel again [I have named it Scaramouche], overuse of brackets, difficulty working on anything tedious... But I have been worried sick about my adult child, too. If he actually gets committed I will feel a lot better, and maybe it will all Just Go Away.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 09:56 PM

Tonight the four of us got together around the grand piano
and had at the Trout Theme and Variations again.
God help me, I sound SO BAD
and they are so nice to me.

The violinist discharges in about ten days' time to go back to school. So if we are going to perform this thing here, we have to do it soon, before we lose the violinist.
Don't know if it will happen or not --
but the violin player is game, and she will talk to somebody.


OH! I didn't tell you about the Trout?! Sorry ...
It's the Forelle Quintette, Forelle is German for Trout.
Franz Schubert. First, he wrote charming music to a truly atrocious poem
about how sorry the poet is to see the angler hook the trout.
Then, he took the charming tune and music
and wrote a theme and variations on it, with NO singing:
violin,
viola,
cello,
double-bass viol,
and piano.

Well, we don't have a double-bass player.
It's just the four of us.
So I play the piano part in one hand mostly
and in the other hand I alternate the double-bass bass line
and the rest of the piano part.
The classical music purists would have apoplexy.
But this makes it possible
for the violin, viola, and cello players, my fellow patients,
to play this spirited music,
and it's worth it to see them enjoying themselves and each other.

We're just doing the Theme and Variations which amounts to
one internal movement out of five movements total:
the entire Forelle Quintette is a long difficult piece,
especially hard on the seated rear end, I can tell you.
But this one movement doesn't last long
(for all the hard work we put into it)
and it's easy on the audience's ears
(if we don't utterly butcher it, that is).


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 08:16 AM

I tend to enjoy things that might cause apoplexy...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 09:53 AM

Should you feel remotely curious about
Schubert's Trout Quintet,
the song "Die Forelle" on which it is based,
and the god-awful lyrics to the song,
there's a thread above the line titled
"my first performance in thirty years"
to document the musical side of things.

If we are actually going to perform with this violinist,
we have barely seven days to do so, as it turns out;
she's very young, she was admitted in May after school let out,
and the plan all along was for her to spend the summer in treatment
and then discharge in order to go back to school.
Which starts, if I hear right, very shortly.
So the best we can do:

is to organize a little performance here in order
to send the violinist off and say goodbye and good luck.
Still don't know if this will happen or not.
But we rehearsed at length this past Sunday,
and we may not be ready for prime-time
but we can probably get away with an
in-patient send-off here.
Oh, my nerves.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 01:50 PM

The 'first performance" thread in the above-the-line Mudcat Music thread section
will tell more about the performance
here at the psychiatric clinic,
which did happen and was well received, if far from perfectly executed.

The day after the performance, going to therapy and continuing
my usual weekday schedule of treatment,
my emotions, which are rather numb as a rule (depression),
were alive and kicking.
I think my therapist has never seen me as happy as I was in that session.
And then I had to sit through a patient-community meeting later that day.
Providentially, I didn't have to be in the meeting room.
The in-patient residence has provided a set-up to help with the meetings, which, before the pandemic and social distancing,
were in-person meetings with all the attendees crowded into one big room -- and these meetings happen five days a week, EVERY week.
Comes coronavirus and the attendant restrictions,
especially upon indoor gatherings of more than six people.

Now, at the clinic, these five-day-a-week meetings are
mostly in a "hybrid" format.
There is still a physical meeting room which is wired for ZOOM
and can have only a limited number of warm breathing bodies in it.
All the community members who have access to computers of their own
are encouraged to ZOOM into the five-day-a-week meetings from outside that meeting room.
And finally, fortunately,
the clinic facilities department had pity on some of us who can't ZOOM as we don't have computers.
A conference room, smaller than the meeting room,
was wired up for ZOOM with a computer and a large screen monitor.
And there, half-a-dozen people can sit in the room,
without computers of their own,
and ZOOM into that meeting without having to
cram into the big meeting room.

As Providence would have it, that day's meeting had low attendance
and I had that little conference room ALL TO MYSELF.
Which is why I felt free,
when all my buried anger came to life,
to sit there, with the door shut, and the ZOOM link on 'mute',
and shout SHUT UP! SHUT UP! at the ZOOM screen when
certain people who shall not be identified
were hogging the meeting time and doing all the talking.
The fact is that I am terrified of presenting my anger in front of others.
Had there been fellow patients in the room with me,
I would have kept my big mouth shut
and I would have sat there seething.

But I had the room to myself for the whole meeting,
and I could sit there insulting the meeting speakers
and talking furiously to myself
and letting the anger vibrate through me
without letting anybody else see how nuts I am.
It was simply wonderful.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 11:13 AM

The post in this thread dated 11 May describes
my volunteer efforts to welcome a newly admitted patient,
a big deal at the time because
this state was just coming out of the lockdown period,
during which clinic admissions were suspended for a good two months.

As it has turned out, the new admit described in the May 11 post
is the violinist in our chamber music group,
who ought to be safely back at university this week,
having discharged from the clinic.

We miss her, and her dry, deadpan sense of humor.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Aug 20 - 06:18 PM

... and she misses us, as it turns out.
I never did get acquainted with her well enough
to ask what diagnosis she had,
for what she was being treated.

Having her e-mail address, I updated her with all the gossip since she discharged,
and I IMMEDIATELY received an e-mail response (she was probably using her smartphone to access her e-mail)
saying how badly she misses being at the clinic and in treatment and misses all of us!
Back at university, many of her classes are virtual
and she is spending a lot of time on ZOOM. Not very social.
And she is a fairly sociable young woman, and misses people.

She and I have since exchanged posts back and forth,
and we concur on how well the nurses do their work here at the clinic
and how under-appreciated their hard work is.
So when the chance arose, I told one of her favorite nurses
that I had heard from this former patient, and she was delighted.
When I told her that the former patient confessed
that she missed the clinic, and treatment,
much much more than she actually expected to miss it,
the nurse sighed knowingly:
"I knew it would be tough for her to adjust.
She has jumped from the fire-pit into the flames!"

Draw from that, if you will,
what conclusions you wish about
the presentation for which our violinist was here to have treated.
She is in another state at her university,
and it is hard to imagine how our paths will cross in future,
but who knows? Things might come to pass
in ways that I can't possible foresee at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Aug 20 - 08:43 AM

Keep on truckin' k!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 06:35 PM

Well, the patient who got caught/busted
is headed for rehab, which is to say,
transferring this week to a different institution.
One characteristic of this clinic,
although "dual diagnoses" turn up in applicants and admitted patients all the time and indeed are welcome,
is that this is no detox place.
Before an applicant with "dual diagnosis" issues may be admitted here,
there has to be a successfully concluded detox/rehab elsewhere.
I don't know which institution is this patient's destination.

Sadly, we are counting the HOURS until we see the back of this fellow,
because, well, as much as the patient needed to be here,
we all need some distance from this person,
who has worn out their welcome and then some.
Very bad aftertaste for a lot of us.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 05:41 PM

Reporting from the clinic, facemask in place
before the computer terminal.
One can only guess how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will keep us all, inside or outside the clinic, under siege.

Dreadful as it is, I am steeling myself quietly for
a second spike in COVID-19 infection nationwide.
Is nationwide the wrong term?
According to different regions within the nation,
the infection rate rises and flattens differently.

Here in New England things have, I guess, flattened somewhat,
but the infections could so readily flare up again,
and such might yet happen in the near future.
I'll be an inpatient here for more months yet,
don't even have a discharge date at this point.
Wonder if I will be "in" or "out"
during the dreaded second spike in infection rates?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 08:03 PM

I feel superstitious about posting this, like saying it out loud.

Before treatment I have messed up so many times
when interacting with people,
expressing myself, saying things that I can't take back.

I've been here six months and I've been working diligently
to allow others breathing space, not to crowd or frustrate anyone.
There have been corrections and feedback from fellow patients,
usually welcome and helpful.

I've been at the clinic long enough to see patients come and go.
More often I have seen patients leaving who were here when I arrived.
And there has been no shortage of conflict, drama, misunderstanding, disappointment.
I hope I have been successful not to contribute to much to the problems.
Sometimes I have to know when to hold my tongue, honestly.

There is a lot of talk, in treatment and at large, at the clinic
about honesty.
The people who chatter the most about honesty, in fact
are likely to be the people
who hurt other people with their big mouths and quick tongues.
They leave hard feelings behind them when they go.

Is kindness or compassion dishonest?
Is it dishonest to keep one's opinion to oneself?
I ask myself these questions nearly every day.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM

Ooh *good* questions. Philosophers, chime in.

I don't consider myself unkind when I fail to respect people's ignorance. Especially nowadays, especially here in Murruca where respecting people's ignorance is how we *got* here.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM

Here being the covid mess, not murrica in general.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 08:18 PM

Neil Miller Gunn, more simply Neil M. Gunn, of Scotland,
is a writer whose book,
The Green Isle of the Great Deep, fascinates me.

"For love is the creator
and cruelty is that which destroys."

And he has written elsewhere, though I could not locate the quote,
that cruelty is the greatest -- hmm, what?
the greatest something ... evil maybe?

And the paradox on which I meditate, is that
honesty can be cruel,
and kindness, dishonest.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 09:26 PM

Found it!


... cruelty is the worst of all human sins.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 10:46 PM

Nicely fished!


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