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BS: stay afloat while others don't

Charmion 29 Aug 20 - 09:44 AM
keberoxu 30 Aug 20 - 01:30 AM
Thompson 30 Aug 20 - 05:50 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 01 Sep 20 - 10:37 AM
Mrrzy 01 Sep 20 - 04:06 PM
keberoxu 01 Sep 20 - 06:12 PM
Charmion 02 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM
keberoxu 03 Sep 20 - 11:37 AM
Mrrzy 03 Sep 20 - 02:07 PM
keberoxu 03 Sep 20 - 09:56 PM
keberoxu 07 Sep 20 - 07:58 PM
keberoxu 15 Sep 20 - 09:34 PM
keberoxu 17 Sep 20 - 10:00 PM
Donuel 17 Sep 20 - 10:25 PM
keberoxu 17 Oct 20 - 08:19 AM
Mrrzy 17 Oct 20 - 05:15 PM
keberoxu 19 Oct 20 - 03:45 PM
Mrrzy 20 Oct 20 - 09:14 AM
keberoxu 20 Oct 20 - 09:38 AM
Helen 20 Oct 20 - 02:39 PM
Mrrzy 22 Oct 20 - 09:44 AM
keberoxu 22 Oct 20 - 06:56 PM
Mrrzy 22 Oct 20 - 10:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Oct 20 - 04:27 PM
keberoxu 25 Oct 20 - 04:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Oct 20 - 05:05 PM
keberoxu 25 Oct 20 - 05:16 PM
keberoxu 27 Oct 20 - 07:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Oct 20 - 11:19 PM
Mrrzy 28 Oct 20 - 06:29 PM
keberoxu 30 Oct 20 - 11:41 PM
keberoxu 01 Nov 20 - 04:05 PM
keberoxu 01 Nov 20 - 09:41 PM
Mrrzy 02 Nov 20 - 10:13 AM
keberoxu 03 Nov 20 - 06:45 PM
Mrrzy 04 Nov 20 - 12:06 PM
keberoxu 06 Nov 20 - 09:20 PM
keberoxu 10 Nov 20 - 10:38 PM
Mrrzy 11 Nov 20 - 01:44 PM
keberoxu 21 Nov 20 - 09:22 PM
keberoxu 24 Nov 20 - 09:12 PM
keberoxu 27 Nov 20 - 01:05 PM
keberoxu 05 Dec 20 - 09:40 PM
Mrrzy 06 Dec 20 - 09:57 PM
Mrrzy 22 Dec 20 - 03:38 PM
keberoxu 24 Dec 20 - 04:22 PM
Mrrzy 25 Dec 20 - 02:00 PM
keberoxu 26 Dec 20 - 02:32 PM
Mrrzy 26 Dec 20 - 03:43 PM
keberoxu 28 Dec 20 - 02:58 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Aug 20 - 09:44 AM

I, too, suffer from a sharp tongue and a tendency to shoot from the lip.

I have often read that personal remarks should meet a three-point standard: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind?

These qualities are highly subjective. My fact is the other guy's blatant lie or misunderstanding. I may think a piece of advice is helpful when the recipient takes it as sheer meddling. And kindness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Usually, when I have thought it through, I change the subject.

How about them Blue Jays?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 01:30 AM

Maybe someone can help out Charmion and me with this one:
my recall fails me, but I remember
learning THINK years and years ago.
What's missing here?

T is for, is it True?
H is for, is it Helpful?
I ?
N ?
K is for, is it Kind?

Important and Necessary, perhaps?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Thompson
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 05:50 AM

Good stuff.

Maybe, too, the secret is not to blurt out reactively from within your own prejudices, but to see the other person, and so sideline your own reactive boorishness. Hard to do, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 01 Sep 20 - 10:37 AM

"How about them Blue Jays?"

Charmion, should we not both stick to blue jays? :)


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

Hi, Andrew! Nah.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Sep 20 - 06:12 PM

Well, you can forget about the Red Sox, I fear;
the Yankees did quite a number on them this season.
Now the locals are eyeing the Boston Celtics,
pronounced 'seltics with an s',
to see if basketball will be any more gratifying.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM

I would much rather watch the avian kind of blue jay, to be sure.

Their performances take place free of charge in the tree outside our bedroom window, and are not punctuated by the stadium organ and snatches of rock music played at ear-busting volume.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 11:37 AM

Spending the Labor Day holiday weekend here in the clinic,
and grateful for it.
After months of procrastination, however,
earlier this week I had to take my car
and get it serviced,
which meant driving out of town.
I was so relieved to get the car fixed and come on back.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 02:07 PM

Ooh, your first outing?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 09:56 PM

Second time out, in truth.
In July, before several of us patients began
making classical music together,
I drove back to the apartment which I continue to rent,
in order to get some summer clothing
which I didn't pack out at admissions in late February.

Both times I was relieved to return to treatment.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Sep 20 - 07:58 PM

It's a positive thing, apparently, when people come to group
and talk about suicide there for the whole meeting ...
as opposed to keeping the issue to themselves.

My only real contribution to meeting this evening
was to mention the despair that goes with a long-term pandemic.
Interesting how that dovetailed with the suicidality topic.
What gave me personally a moment of relief was that
one of the group members who had spoke resignedly about suicide
was able to move beyond resignation, with the new topic,
and express vivid rage and anger about the pandemic.
Maybe this is misguided on my part, but it seems to me
that where there is anger, there is, in a sense, hope.

It's the fellow patients who show no emotion about anything
whom I fear for.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Sep 20 - 09:34 PM

Meanwhile, back at the clinic ...
better not to dwell on the particulars of the latest drama.
Suffice to say that there is communication which the higher-ups ought to have passed on, about how we are required to minimize the risk of infection ON THE CAMPUS and in the common areas,
which, well, somebody in administration dropped the ball somewhere.

A certain percentage of us patients on campus just discovered said information/decisions this very week,
and these decisions went into effect here three months ago.
There are a select few who knew about this thing.
Nobody thought to tell the rest of us.
But it blew up in the last few days, and some of US blew up as well.
As in,
When were you going to get around to informing the rest of us?

It will sound so trivial if I spell it out. I won't --
i've said enough.
The worst of it is that failure-to-communicate thing.
These are stressful enough times for the healthy people.
We have people here with presentations ranging from
high anxiety to suicidal ideation, getting intensive treatment,
and some of us really, so to speak,
freak out when we get a nasty surprise like this one.

We feel betrayed and we wonder whom to trust, generally speaking.
Of course there are individuals on staff who are
universally trusted, because they have proven themselves,
like the very best of the nurses at the nurses' station.
One of the nurses who retired, this very summer, after working here for thirty-seven years (!),
said on her last day, to this small huddle of patients
who lingered around her, unwilling to see her go:
"You have my utmost respect." And we believed her.

It's those managers and coordinators and office administrators
who pass the buck and cover each other's you-know-wheres,
that's who we are upset with just now.
Things will be negotiated, they always are;
it's just that right now emotions are running really high.
Thanks for listening.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 10:00 PM

Feeling like somebody pulled the plug.
Actually, when someone greeted me with
the how-are-you-doing,
what I told them today was,
I feel like the pencil that wants sharpening --
worn down to a nub.
Such fatigue and weariness.
And so, to bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 10:25 PM

You sound pissed off. Thats what healthy people do when intimidation, or lack of communication or trust occurs. When you are sure you can trust yourself you can tell them where to go and go into the world, as diminished as it is for everyone now. Wise people can't be intimidated or harrassed or pissed off. Dissappointed maybe.
Anyway it feels like I'm trespassing on your diary.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Oct 20 - 08:19 AM

I'm still in treatment at the clinic.
Will be for months more, unless something unforeseen occurs.
For now, it's all right.

Not sure, though, if I can manage to vote this year.
At this rate, probably not.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Oct 20 - 05:15 PM

Yeah, mad is a lot better than apathetic.

Or maybe I should say angry, heh heh.

Les Barker said something like depression is just anger without enthusiasm.

Nice to see this thread back.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Oct 20 - 03:45 PM

The chief in-patient residence at this clinic
does, indeed, store holiday decorations of different types in its storage room boxes and such.

All the Halloween decorations came out yesterday afternoon,
and now the place is groaning under their weight, almost.
The Facilities/Safety supervisor was in the residence lobby
at lunchtime, evaluating the risk of fire hazard. Seriously.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 09:14 AM

What about suicide hazards? I ask seriously. Depending on what is being used for decoration; my last place wouldn't have allowed most stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 09:38 AM

Yes, Mrrzy, I take your meaning -- seriously.
Well, this clinic, although it has to meet the accreditation standards of a hospital,
does not have a locked unit/ward.
That makes the place, I would say, vigilant after a different fashion.
This clinic has to have good close well-working relationships with the hospital at the county seat, up the road, which DOES have one or two locked units.

As to the decorations themselves, hmmm:
cardboard flat skeletons; big plastic three-dimensional skeletons;
inflatable pumpkins; plastic Jack-o-Lanterns;
some of the skeleton bones are hanging off of fake plastic chains that have been strung from the second floor landing so they
are hanging next to the staircase and the bannister ...
let's see: big phony spiders in big phony spiderwebs ...
I don't see any other hanging stuff,
I don't see how the phony chains, which look very breakable and lightweight,
could be used for suicide...

yes, interesting questions.
All these decorations came from the clinic itself, stored away in a box by housekeeping/maintenance from year to year.

Yes it's a good question, and
one that I had not thought through until this moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 02:39 PM

At my last ever workplace i.e. before I retired, a group of people in a different area to mine decided to decorate for Halloween and went OTT (over the top) with dark and ghoulish props like pretend dead bodies and fake blood etc. It was set up like a murder scene. They were asked to remove a lot of the items because it was not good for workplace morale. I saw the display before it was removed. I realise that they thought it was a clever idea, but it wasn't appropriate for a workplace. Especially a government workplace with strict guidelines on what is or isn't appropriate.

As a result, I interpreted Mrrzy's comment in relation to the possible effect of dark and ghoulish decorations on our psychological state, rather than as potential tools for self harm.

Having said all that, I'm not into Halloween at all. It's mostly viewed here as an unwanted American intrusion into Aussie culture. Sorry!! :-D


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 09:44 AM

Oh, no, I meant where I was would not have allowed plastic inflatable anything or chokable-on spiders or anything I could have used to kill myself back when it was all I could think of, which is why I was there.

The ghoulish death stuff would have been great, though. When I was obsessively thinking about death I would have relished a societally-acceptable reason to do so, and especially to have others join me. As it was, it was isolating.

Hope your staff is monitoring, keberoxu, and that you and your fellows enjoy yourselves as much as you can!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 06:56 PM

The fake spiders, I hasten to explain, are too humunguous (sp?)
to fit in ANYBODY's mouth. They can be measured in MANY inches.
You might bust your jaw just trying to cram them between your teeth ...
(poor Senoufou!)

Well, something actually did get taken down, and
it wasn't what I would have stopped to think of:
there were "fairy lights", as they call them in the UK,
like Christmas decoration lights, on a long electric cord,
except these were orange with black Halloween decorative touches.
The patients who did the Sunday decorating
had wound the "fairy lights" around a stair bannister.
The lights are gone now,
and the bannister is once again un-adorned.

Human skull decorations in every conceivable size are sprinkled about, however,
and somebody could more easily choke themselves
on one of the tiniest skull thingies, now I think of it ...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 10:14 PM

Tell the admin. Better fewer naked skulls than fewer living heads.

But it sounds like fun, enjoy!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 04:27 PM

It looks like some of the cable channels have decided that wall-to-wall holiday movies is the cure for what ails us. I'm seeing ads about them starting this weekend. Most of those movies aren't worth watching, but every now and then a good old one pops up.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 04:51 PM

Well done, SRS. If you want to use this thread to push down the treacle, I'm all for it, thank you so much.

Hmmm. Treacle, and entertainment.

Two successes that come to mind are:

the Dormouse, in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
... "it was a TREACLE WELL."

Discworld, courtesy of Sir Terry Pratchett.
Many many layers and facets has the Discworld.
On the one hand, you have got four elephants standing upon ... erm ...
what are they standing upon again?
The back of a cosmic tortoise?
Or is the tortoise on the backs of the four elephants?
You must realize, fellow Mudcatters, that
here at the mental health clinic
I have no Discworld and no Terry Pratchett books so I can't look it up.
But then you have Ankh-Morpork and environs,
where there are not merely treacle wells,
but TREACLE MINES! Remember the treacle mines?

I'm wondering if Pratchett didn't start with
Alice in Wonderland's Dormouse, and decide,
Well, if Lewis Carroll can write about treacle wells,
then I shall write about treacle mines. So there.

And I end with the recollection of the sleepy dormouse singing
twinkle twinkle ...
twinkle twinkle ...
twinkle twinkle ...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 05:05 PM

I did pick threads where there was actually something to say, otherwise it would be as bad as the one being pushed down the page. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Oct 20 - 05:16 PM

But hopefully they are treacle-free threads to begin with.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Oct 20 - 07:48 PM

In spite of everything, I cast my vote amongst the other early voters in my town.
I had a weekend to drive from the clinic back to where I live,
so I looked up the early-voting schedule for this year's election
which schedule can be referenced on the Internet.
Turned out that early-voting hours had been arranged
for Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning!

So I showed up at Town Hall, duly face-masked,
and there was a policeman on duty by the voting booths.
I filled out my ballot and signed the official envelope, and I was done.
Then headed back to the clinic, which feels more and more,
these days, like my home, than my apartment does.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Oct 20 - 11:19 PM

That vote should give a hefty boost to your psyche!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Oct 20 - 06:29 PM

Good on yer keb!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Oct 20 - 11:41 PM

Well, the predictions of a second pandemic spike
appear to be coming true,
and the clinic administration and staff
are talking about another
'shelter-in-place' -- in other words, another lockdown --
before year's end.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Nov 20 - 04:05 PM

Well, the laugh is on me, this time.
I am in my bedroom here; I let myself into the room using my room key on its keyring with the little plastic room-number tag.
So I have not locked myself OUT of my room,
as I am in my room, however:
I can't find the key.
I'm taking the room apart, I know the key is here SOMEWHERE,
but can I find the key? NOWHERE.
Emptied and shook out all the tote bags, handbags, luggage, pockets of everything ...
the only thing left to do is to strip the linens off the mattress, and inspect the stripped bed and the sheets, spread, blanket, pillows and pillowcases ...

I just picked up the room phone, and reported to the nurses' station
that I'm in my room and I can't find my room key.
Do I ever feel STOOPID.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Nov 20 - 09:41 PM

... and, in fact, it was only after stripping the bed
that I looked at the mattress sitting loosely
in an ill-fitting wooden bed frame,
and saw the key lying inside the wooden frame,
above the floor.
I had of course crawled all over the floor looking there for the key.
No wonder I couldn't find the thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Nov 20 - 10:13 AM

I am reminded of my nephew losing his keys and not finding them though he had taken the cushions off the armchair he'd conked out in and thoroughly searched, then months later picked up the armchair to carry it upstairs and it jingled. The keys had fallen through an invisible and impalpable hole and were *inside* the armchair, not just under the cushions.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Nov 20 - 06:45 PM

Oh, the drama ...
in a way, it's remarkable to have been here for eight months, and not have previously witnessed what just happened.
We were having supper, some of us, in the dining room, when one patient collapsed, hitting the floor practically head first, and really hitting their head HARD on the floor.

It was a seizure, of course, and a bad one.
The ambulance just pulled away from the clinic, taking the patient to the ER and possibly a hospital admission. It took the ambulance a while to get out here. In the meanwhile the dining room was cleared, we all have our dinners on trays so we could pick up and empty the room quickly; it was simply to give the patient some privacy while about four nurses held the person steady and saw to it that no further harm was done. All the way down the hall, away from the dining room, I could hear the person's heels drumming heavily into the hardwood floor of the dining room.

If I wanted to, which I don't, I could not tell you much background on this patient, as I cannot do with many of my fellow patients. Part of being in long-term residential in-patient treatment here, is that one tries to be considerate and discreet. It's a delicate balance between privacy and secrecy. I was not aware that this particular person had a condition that included seizures in their presentation, although it had come out that this is not the person's first hospitalization.

Such diversity even within what is a small clinic and a limited number of patients. Obviously some of us have really serious chronic issues and have much to endure, with a lot of suffering in our pasts. And we all have such different ways of living with ourselves. I don't see why the patient who had the seizure, won't be welcomed back in time, because this patient was working hard at treatment and is not ready to end treatment -- and had not done anything wrong. On the other hand, there are dual-diagnosis patients included, and a few of these people, coping with addiction as well as other conditions, can be remarkably self-involved and waste a lot of time, their own time and others' time as well. Only this week I watched two of these acting out. One turned out to have alcohol in their bedroom, definitely a violation of the rules, and has been discharged and packed off to rehab. The other one doesn't abuse substances in their bedroom, but they are so demanding and hostile towards the nurses that they are just impossible to reason with -- if this person stays the course, I will be surprised.

Stressful times for us all, and humbling to take notice of the situation in this clinic where some people are at their most powerless and vulnerable. That's enough for the moment ... thanks for listening.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Nov 20 - 12:06 PM

Seizures are terrifying to witness and must be awful to recover from.

Stayed up till after 3 last night, got up today and listened to all of Waiting for the Hero by our own darlin' Anne Lister / Tabster, and wept absolute buckets. Now I feel better.

...and teach my children's children to love my father's enemy...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Nov 20 - 09:20 PM

My needed service to my car could not be done all at once.
The trip away from the clinic, detailed several posts back,
was the first installment.

This weekend into Monday (first thing Monday morning) is
the second appointment to have my car serviced.

This time it is a manufacturer's recall for defective safety-belt mechanisms.
Not something I want to take chances with.
Also we will fit in part of a service-schedule tune-up and check-over.
Then, if all goes according to plan,
I pay my bill, get in my freshly-serviced car, and drive
STRAIGHT back to the clinic on the other side of the state.

The scariest part, after all, is servicing the car
so close to the Boston area -- near where I rent/live.
But a little bit of relief came my way today.
Massachusetts has just altered their INTERPRETATION of metrics --
not the numbers themselves, mind you, those stay the same,
but the INTERPRETATION has been altered.
And this more subtle and refined, less "blunt-instrument" calculation
results in an interactive map of Massachusetts municipalities
which still shows all the numbers and percentages,
but changes the color coding around.
Grey/White for a number below a certain ratio, the least infection.
Green for a low number/ratio.
Yellow is higher.
Red is highest.

On the old map, my residence town,
as well as the town where the car is being serviced,
both were RED.
On the new map, they are both yellow, not red.
So, nobody is lying to me or concealing anything,
but the interpretation is more flexible.

I listened to an ALL-THINGS-CONSIDERED broadcast with
a little piece inserted for the Massachusetts area
from the station hosting the NPR broadcast.
And the little Massachusetts piece explained
that the number of new cases of COVID-19
is now being balanced/ratioed against the population of each community,
which interpretation was not being used before.

So the coronavirus is definitely out here,
but it's easier to see which areas have more concentration
and which towns still have mostly test-negative citizens.

I'm posting this update from the hotel where I am staying
near the auto service department/center
where my car will be fixed on Monday morning.
Of course it will be a relief to get back to the clinic --
and even greater relief, all told,
should my car be so thoroughly serviced
that it will be several more months
before it needs attention like this again.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Nov 20 - 10:38 PM

Well, the recall replacement parts order had yet to be delivered.
The car got the oil changed and stuff.
The recall service must be scheduled in the future
after the parts arrive at the service department.

Back at the clinic and having a very rough evening.
Dis-regulation, they call it here.
Miserable, I call it.
I just read that Sinead O'Connor, having planned a tour,
has called the tour off in order to enter in-patient treatment
for trauma and addiction.
If she feels any worse than I do right now,
then she needs help very badly.
I hope she gets what she needs.
I hope my treatment works.
And gets to me feeling better before the end of everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Nov 20 - 01:44 PM

Getting help is always a sign of strength.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Nov 20 - 09:22 PM

Back at the clinic, and had supper in the dining room.
Mashed potatoes:
the potatoes had been chopped up with their skins/coats still on them, and although the mashed places were creamy and even, lumps of solid potato from the big chopped-up chunks were still in place ... with the torn-up potato skins still attached. Which made the mashed potatoes even more tasty.
The green beans may have been frozen, but they certainly did not come out of a can/tin. They had been steamed, and the haricot beans were thoroughly cooked without being wilted and soggy.
Whatever cuts of beef were ground to make the meatloaf were extremely lean cuts. The seasoning was savory, and the ingredients had just enough fat and starch to make the meatloaf even and light, without making it too greasy.
One of the simplest and most delicious dinners of my long life.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 24 Nov 20 - 09:12 PM

It's unbelievable what you can get used to.

The patient who is prone to seizures has
a strange tendency to have them at suppertime
in or around the dining area/pantry/common area.
It happened again tonight,
and there were one or two nurses there right away.

It's just so weird to be sitting there eating a fish supper
and suddenly,
I hear the hammering of feet kicking the floor
as the patient goes through another episode...

I picked up my supper tray and walked my dinner
to my bedroom
so as not to listen to the percussion serenade.
That sounds terrible.
But again, it's unbelievable what you get used to.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Nov 20 - 01:05 PM

Just overheard what I can only describe as a temper tantrum;
I'm sitting at the computer lounge in the residence breezeway/"Connector"
which is like a concierge station,
one can hear everything in both the new annex and the old building.
And somewhere very near the breezeway,
another patient made a scene.

Now, this is NOT the same as a seizure!
We all have witnessed enough of those in the past month.
No, this was somebody who flopped down on the floor
and bawled like a very small child.
Suffice to say that the patient
is NOT a very small child,
just behaving like one, inside an adult body.

I have to hand it to the nurse.
She was thoroughly professional with this adult patient,
talking in a calm cheerful voice,
letting the patient speak about what they were bawling about,
listening and encouraging the person for several minutes,
and then saying in the same calm cheerful voice:
"NOW, GET UP."

Let me tell you,
the nurses work hard for their money around here.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 09:40 PM

It's been a challenging week.
I have been expressing my anger and my attitude that
sometimes this place feels emotionally unsafe.
I get a lot of push-back.
I have not backed down yet.
However, I am discouraged enough that I have gone silent now.
I am being extremely careful now of whom I speak with.

I have to be here through the holiday season pretty much.
But I am already considering how much longer I can tolerate
living in a place where every luxury is available,
and everything you want may be asked for,
but you might have to take your business elsewhere
to find what you really need for your treatment.
From now on I have to take care of number one,
and let others go their own way.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 09:57 PM

Careful is good. Stifled is not.

I am beginning to think carbs which are not in chocolate put me in a bad mood.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Dec 20 - 03:38 PM

I wish things were not as they are, sometimes.

Took my younger son, the one with all the issues, some solstice prezzies.

No thanks, not even a smile. He accepted them, though.

But I would have liked an acknowledgement.

And I would have loved a gift.

Sad, but not *depressing* so that is something.

And the quarter of a Valium before seeing him helps.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 24 Dec 20 - 04:22 PM

This is one heck of a mixed blessing of a holiday season.

Our patient population has no shortage of adults who cut themselves.
I venture to say that there are some self-harm patients histories
that I don't even know about, to add to the ones I do know of,
since I'm not in a position to be well acquainted with all of us.

This week, however ... of all the distressing incidents here
during my months in treatment, this puts everything else in the shade.

She's still alive, as best I can make out, but she seriously attempted to damage herself permanently --
she did it with a knife that she got her hands on someplace.
Having harmed herself, and shortly afterwards the nurses got to her --
she was being closely watched already --
the ambulance was called, and off she went to the county seat,
miles up the highway, which has
a big full-service hospital with one or two locked units.
She has been there since Tuesday.
And I reckon that she will not be back here, very unlikely,
as her actions are a violation of one of several things that
one agrees not to do upon admission:

substance use, especially NOT to give substances to other patients;
sexual relations with other patients;
and self-harm, that one agrees that if one feels the urge to injure themselves, one goes to nursing right away and speaks up,
rather than actually cutting themselves.

Seriously, had she since died, the whole patient population would have heard about it, because news is travelling like wildfire, and so are
all manner of rumors, some of which had to be squashed
by announcements during community meetings.

So it's anyone's guess what happens after release from the locked ward at the big hospital:
will they send her home to her relatives?
will she go into a state institution (she's already been through that in her history)?
transfer someplace different?
But after this violation, I fear we have seen the last of her at this institution.

To add insult to injury,
there are fellow patients in patient government office positions
of maximum exposure within the collective of the patient community,
who are passing judgment on this, their former fellow patient.
Now things are already ugly here amongst the patients,
there are developments over the past two months which
I thought better of reporting to this thread,
because it's too sickening when patients bully each other verbally or in any other fashion.
But the verbal aggression in the patient community is getting so bad
that I have dropped out of patient government completely after
finishing a recent term of service.
It's the first time, since the month of my admission,
that I have not been serving in patient government committees in any way, shape, or form.

So I have stayed away from the (admittedly voluntary) community meetings and the group sessions.
But my fellow patients know me well enough from my past service,
that when I interact with them in the common areas of the patient residence,
they will volunteer the latest updates, I don't even have to ask.
So I am hearing second-hand, at best, about
how the community meetings are being dominated by fellow patients
who are highly opinionated, strongly biased, deeply insecure,
and who compensate for their insecurities by dominating every conversation.

And this week, when fellow patients speak up in support of the unfortunate former patient who cut herself and
is now in hospital,
OTHER patients interrupt them, shout and scream at them,
pile on to them, and overwhelm the entire proceedings with
their opinions about the hospitalized person's commitment to treatment --
as though this troubled person were attacking this institution on purpose,
and not acting from a sense of utterly desperate isolation,
which is my take on what happened.

I don't have to show up and listen to something so contemptible, I tell you, I really don't have to.
There is a culture at this clinic which doesn't just allow patients to verbally walk all over each other,
it rather promotes their doing so.
I have seen it happen too many times during my treatment here.
And that is one big justification for my disengaging from the patient community, as a collective,
and stepping away from patient government service.

It's roughly ten months I have been here,
and I have declared at periodic intervals that
I question the emotional and psychological safety of
the patient community at this institution.
The utter tragedies occurring this week --
I won't even speak of the OTHER patients who resorted to self-harm and who went to nursing for help recently --
serve only to confirm that something is,
to quote Shakespeare,
rotten in the state of Denmark.

The things that are good here, are very good indeed.
But the things that have gone wrong are inexcusable and indefensible.

No, I'm not running away this time.
I'm going to keep a low profile during the holiday weeks, staying here and staying in contact with staff as required,
and I'm going to take advantage of the holiday period
(when many of the clinical appointments are canceled anyhow)
to think long, hard, and carefully about
how my treatment ought to transition and step down
and get me moving back into the outside world.
Because, so help me, I deserve better than this.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Dec 20 - 02:00 PM

Yes, k, indeed, you certainly do.

Have strength. You are worth it.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Dec 20 - 02:32 PM

My depression is suddenly worsening.
Nightmares have replaced nighttime dreaming,
and all the nightmares point to the helplessness and despair
that are presented in depression.

I'm afraid it will take something more than
a change in my dosage of meds
to intervene with my depression.

I am confident that I will survive this crisis,
but I am not so confident of how
my relationship with this instution will survive this crisis.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Dec 20 - 03:43 PM

Oy, k, wish I could visit you!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 02:58 PM

I'm feeling better now.
There were a few rough days and nights,
but I am back on form.
Most likely will not need to increase meds dosage.
May be saying this too soon,
but feels as though I have bounced back,
and am not stuck.


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