Friday, 27 March 2009

I Need to Ramble On..Led Zeppelin

Sorry folks but I seems to have gotten off the hypomanic bus for the mean time. I do feel remarkably good after four and a half hours sleep. Yesterday, my book entered the design/production stages. That was quite satisfying. I look forward to the book appearing in print by about July.

I saw my consultant pdoc on Thursday. She wants me to stay on the low dose of lithium while I am still not sleeping well. I can live with that because it's only a tiny tablet. Different to the days when I took 4 x 400mg tablets. She also advised me not to do so much in the night when I wake early. That might be a hard one. She has also referred me to the physical therapy people at the the day hospital. That is a good thing. I just can't get a handle on my weight and I I need help getting a little bit fitter. It's good that I live quite close to the hospital and I can walk there. I await the first appointment.

There seems to be a surge of interest in matters bipolar on the interweb. I know of several new initiatives that are setting up websites. James Leard has set up bipolarblues, the subject of my last blog. Colin Spencer Wood is starting up something similar in a month or so. There are also a spate of groups on FaceBook with similar objectives. We have a powerful voice but I suggest that we don't spread ourselves to thin. We need one central vehicle for fighting the bipolar cause and that of fighting mental health stigma. Maybe someone could volunteer to set up one central website. I don't have the required skills but I know we have a lot of talented people in the bipolar community. I am curious how many bipolar folk and their loved ones are floating around in cyberspace. I seem to meet so many people on Twitter and Facebook.

I sense that there is a common will to really get on top of stigma. The way forward is to demonstrate that we can be contributing and talented members of society. We only hear negative stories about bipolar folk. This is not who we are. It doesn't define us. Society may not want us in the workplace, despite Government complaining that we don't work. It's time that the government realised how hard it is to get a job. Add to that mental health and age issues and it is nigh on impossible. I am a reasonably intelligent graduate with lots of IT experience and I can't get arrested. There is a huge pool of talent out there who won't work , who can't work or who aren't allowed to work. I tried very hard to find any kind of crappy admin job. It was bad enough trying for jobs that are paying a third of my previous salary. Having to grovel for them and not getting an interview most times made it worse. I am quite a modest person but I am worth three times most wipper snappers, regardless of being mentally ill and an old fogie.

If the government wants us back to work, do something about it. Making anti discrimination laws is absolutely futile. An employer doesn't have to employ you. They see your messed up employments history or see you are a bit too old for them. They do not not have to say why they excluded you. They just say they found someone more qualified. I don't know what the solution is. Positive discrimination is not a good thing and it is not generally popular. How about employing a complete workforce of the disadvantaged ? After all, the current workforce is made up of the advantaged in society.

I am really angry that I don't really exist in the government's eyes. I am not unemployed because I am forced to self fund myself. I don't qualify for any benefits. I have to run my life and manage my finances despite being bipolar and old in the tooth. I would like to bet that I manage my finances better than anyone who is younger and working. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

I must say that I am well supported by my consultant and my GP's. I was refused a CPN on two occasions. I am living in the community with no real support. No one is keeping any eye me. I go for days without human contact and I have become increasingly isolated. I survive quite well now I have found an online community, many of whom are in similar situations.

I recently watched the dvd's of "Takin' over the Asylum". It was an excellent portrayal of life in a mental hospital. That is not necessarily the story of all bipolars. The character Fergus was a typical example. Stuck with a label of Schizophrenia, a very intelligent, clever and qualified man was refused admittance to society. He ended up commiting suicide out of frustration. It is no wonder the suicide rate among bipolars is very high.

I think I have rambled on enough for one night. I hope there was some sense in what I have written. It should hopefully make you think.

1 comment:

  1. i just found your blog through someone i follow on twitter. i searched your name and am following you now. my 10 yr old son is bipolar, he has been on meds since age 4, and hospitalized several times. he has been in RTF since august, hopefully he will get to come home in june. i hear you with the being invisible-i wish our lawmakers had a CLOSE family member with mental illness-the laws would be changed then wouldn't they? i will be reading regularly even if i don't leave a comment every time. best of luck with your book. much love, angelia


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