Late Night Ramblings of a Girl Six Weeks After

Six weeks ago today Jess died. You might remember reading the post I wrote on that day. In it I mention that she left me a letter. I’ve read and re-read that letter so many times and it’s only in the past few days I’ve felt like writing her a response. I actually went to visit her grave and read her my letter and the only other place I feel I should put it is on here for you guys to read.

One of the reasons I feel I should put it on here is because people keep asking me if I’m okay and how I feel now she’s gone. The letter should explain everything. I’m sure she’d think so.

Dear Jess.

Like you I’m having problems putting into words what I want to say to you. I bet your letter to me didn’t take six weeks to write. Mine has actually taken this long because I hated you so much for a time that I felt you didn’t deserve a response. I was furious that you’d left me, then even more so when people were calling me selfish and nasty for hating you even though you’d died. Liam called you a selfish cow and I laughed so much I broke down and cried for the first time since you’d died. I probably hated you for that too. You left me when I still needed you. In fact I will always need you. I sometimes cry when I think about you, don’t worry sometimes they’re happy tears.

Six weeks ago you broke my heart. You held my hand until the end and yet I still get shivers when I think of that moment. You were there and then you weren’t. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone but the way it changed you haunts me. Seeing up close how it changed and twisted you makes me realise how strong you were to keep smiling, playing jokes and watching Disney films. You, Doll, were the strength behind us all. I’ll never forget when they found candy floss under your bed and Mars bars under your pillows when they banned you from sugar. We laughed so much after.

You can’t say you hope your death won’t change me. You know I don’t have many true friends but I’m now scared of them dying on me. First Ben and then you. I hated that doctor who told us you had 12 months to live and then 2 months later said you’d be lucky to last the week. Your death has probably changed me for the better. I always think of you and push myself more because of you. You won’t have the opportunities I have. Obviously I’ll mess up but then someone says “Jess would be proud of you” and it makes me smile. My life was falling apart but I’m slowly muddling through it all. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real that you’re gone, six weeks feels like two minutes and then feels like years.

IMG_1546It feels weird talking about you in the past tense so I sometimes speak to you as if you’re Poirot. Yeah he’s settled in well and reminds me of you which is good.

I hope you’re okay on your big adventure and are not alone, I know how much you hated to be alone. Someday we’ll see each other again and I look forward to that day. Until then I suppose I’ll keep talking to your gravestone. Or the rabbit. Either way I’ll be able to tell you all the good, bad and rambly stuff.

Remember I love you and will miss watching films with you. I’ll miss everything as you probably will. Liam misses you too. I’ll also miss you making me read Le Petit Prince to you in French then asking me what it all meant.

I’m glad you didn’t suffer much in the end and no matter what I say I’m glad I was there with you till the end. You did achieve so much and you’ve made us all better people. We’re so proud of you. Go adventure Doll, I know you’ll always be there.

Good night for now and I’ll leave you with this…You’re now invisible because you’re essential.

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Disney Life Coaches

tumblr_na54q9PZvV1r8gu6zo1_250The other day while listening to my iPod on Shuffle ‘Beauty and the Beast’ came on. You know the one- Mrs Potts voiced by Dame Angela Lansbury beautifully sings it when Beast and Belle are waltzing around the ballroom. Listening carefully to the lyrics, while trying not to belt it out to all the people sat on the bus, it got me thinking: how good are Disney characters at teaching us lessons in life? We thought about it and straight away came up with a few characters, and in one instance an entire film, that have taught us lessons.

Mrs. Potts- Beauty & the Beast

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Mrs. Potts throughout the film makes it quite clear that any two people can fall in love no matter what the circumstances or the difficulties involved. She remains the mother throughout the film even when things, to us little children, seem unfixable. She teaches us that things can be fixed and that having friends really does help. It also helps to have a song and dance when things get rough. Subliminally I think she’s saying a cup of tea fixes everything. I mean why else would she be a teapot?

 

Raymond- The Princess and the Frog

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Oh Ray how you made me cry! Raymond is the Louisiana Firefly who joins Tiana and Prince Naveen on their journey to become human again. He’s in love with Angelique, who’s actually a star, which shows us you can love anyone sincerely. He helps his friends even though he hasn’t known them for long and along the way teaches us about trust and loyalty to our friends. In a way he teaches us that dying doesn’t have to be a sad thing, he gets to be with his love Angelique in the end.

 

The entire Lilo & Stitch film

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I seriously don’t know where to start with this film. The entire thing is filled with lessons. The biggest one being “Ohana tumblr_n9hcm6xNk71tfk1uco1_500means family, family means no one gets left behind. Or forgotten.” We all need family whether that be blood or friends. Lilo shows how even though Stitch screws up sometimes they are essentially family when it matters. Lilo doesn’t have human friends but she shows us that friends come from other places. Cat believes it teaches us that when you’re lonely adopting a pet will fix this. In that sense Lilo & Stitch teaches us responsibility.

 

Kuzco- The Emperors New Groove

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Cat here as Natalie doesn’t know the awesomeness of this movie. Ok, there is possibly a lot I could say about this film. Kuzco is a selfish teenager, although he won’t admit it and to give a gift to himself he decides to build himself a summer house on top of someone else’s home. Pacha- the father & husband of the family living there tries to persuade him to move his holiday home to another place, Kuzco being Kuzco only thinks of himself and refuses leaving this family only a few days to pack up their things.

Lesson 1- listen to people and take in their needs.

Lesson 2- If a Llama says they are actually a person help the llama.

Lesson 3- Learn how to speak Squirrel.

Lesson 4- If you are building a secret lab it’s fun to build a rollercoaster to said lab but only use one lever to get into secret lab

Lesson 5- Always label potions correctly.

 

There’s obviously more characters that teach us important lessons in Disney films but we’ve chosen the few that straight away popped into our heads. Whatever films you learn valuable lessons from are very important, no matter if they’re animations aimed at children or films for the general market.

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Here we leave you with an entire song that’s basically one big lesson… about learning to fight…

 

World Mental Health day- Late Night Ramblings of a vampire who’s been to a mental hospital

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Talk like a Pirate day, (for those of you who need educating, that’s the 19th of September) I ended up in hospital for mental health reasons. I decided this World mental health day (Well the night before W.M.H.D), while freezing my hands off writDW headbanging this thanks to the cold nights, having to stop in my parents conservatory and I can’t find my gloves to go under this quilt (they came to the conclusion me stopping with them was a good idea, it may be a good idea but in the conservatory in the middle of winter, I’m on anti-psychotics so those penguins must be real). But I decided I’d have a go at telling my experience at stopping 17 long and frankly boring days. I did mention before leaving that with all the waiting we had to do no wonder people in there were going crazy; also I’d go crazy just with lack of things to do.

 

I didn’t end up in there fMonstersor pushing too many people off planks or going insane and over dosing on Krispy Kreme’s offer where you got a free donut if you showed up dressed like a pirate, looking back though they, especially the latter, might have been a good option. I didn’t get properly hospitalised till the Sunday (Talk like a Pirate day was on Friday). In these hospital trips I had to spend about 6 hours in a waiting room, which yes I know for some people 6 hours is nothing, trust me been there when I had a broken nose, but it could seem like eternity. Especially when you have creepy people coming in and out, injured Sunday footballers coming in with probably nothing more than a sprained ankle and a family you swear was the Spanish mob, and that’s just what was happening outside of me.

It’s hard to explain to those healthy people, but imagine you are in severe pain. Try distracting yourself from it, now on that weekend that’s sort of what I was feeling. Just not physical pain, you can easily walk into an A&E screaming in pain telling them what’s hurting, my pain I couldn’t exactly pin point. Bipolar you have highs and lows, my low was at an all time and if that wasn’t bad enough I had an hallucination voice that was a female constantly screaming in pain in my head, I had told a therapist later that I could imagine a woman burning, now I don’t know if that’s just because I’m a Supernatural fan and my mind was reminding me of the first episode of season one or what but it was horrible.

Another thing what is hard to explain to people is how I saw myself during those times… The Fault in our Stars quote, “I’m a Grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimise the casualties, okay?” That’s basically it, I know seeing a mental health patient compare herself to a terminally ill cancer patient is strange and to some people wrong but that’s how I see it, it’s why I sympathise with Hazel so much. I may not have a tumour killing me but there are days were I see my mental illness as the grenade and the statistics haunt me. Being Bipolar, there is a 50% it will kill me (well statistics say I will kill myself but it will probably be the bipolar that caused that). The medication just becomes something that is keeping you alive, with out it the illness will take over, so when it feels like the illness is taking over with out the medication, the right thing is to take more right?

Infecting

 

I over took medication, that’s the reason I was told to go to A&E. I didn’t overdose. There is a difference. For me to have overdose I’d have had to have taken a certain amount, I was close to taking it but I’d have to have taken 1 or 2 more tablets,Numbed also there would have had to be suicide in mind.

With the severe pain thing in mind, I just wanted things to stop, for the world to stop, for what I was hearing and feeling to stop. I took the first lot of tablets that didn’t stop anything that I was feeling so I took another lot a few hours after and then another lot after, meaning I took about 6 tablets. It was the doctors on Sunday that wouldn’t let me home deeming it would be a risk putting me anywhere I had access to medication.

When they hospitalise you they can do two things, well in my case three but we had done the 3rd before but that after a week I was hitting my head against a wall- and in that place I was allowed my MacBook. 2 things they can do- informal admittance or sectioning (which means you get some of your rights taken away) My case I was an informal admittance, meaning I chose to go into hospital, although I didn’t want to stop in for that long and I soon started to wonder why I had chose to go in the first place. If they had told me in that little room in A&E were I stared mostly into corners trying to keep up with the constant stream of, “What do you want to do?” that I’d be subjected to a timetable that was carved in stone, no laptops or expensive electronics and chargers had to be given in and if you wanted your phone charging you had to give your phone to the office? I may have gone for the place that made me want to bash my head in. (This is the reason I found my time there insanely boring once I started to get better I live by my MacBook)

When I got there- via taxi, massive issue considering I have a fear of taxis so another question they had to keep asking me was, “Will I jump out?”- It was scary; the whole world got squashed into this ward. It has two small gardens- one that was full of smokers, the other one I used just to get away from people. They occasionally wondered out there too, public spaces, go figure… I got my own room with a plastic mattress and even a plastic covered duvet. Guess what? The walls weren’t padded and there were no straight jackets! Sorry to disappoint you but they don’t use straight jackets anymore… also I found out on my second week there that the staff won’t had out mallets and tranquiliser guns.

As I arrived at night I didn’t get to meet many people till the next day.

Fear yourself

At breakfast it became evident it was sort of like school, 5 circular tables full of different people. The people you sat with were the people you soon came close too and sat with every day, even though it took a few days for the relationship to get to a social level, for before that point it was mostly eye contact. For me one of the first conversations I had with a patient I had was with a woman who came in about the same time as me and the conversation was about her teddy bear, that she came in hugging… she was discharged before me so she happily laughed while I grumbled about how life wasn’t fair. It was hard to see how a woman who looked scared of her own shadow could have been in a better state than me. I have to admit I was also a bit peed off that she came in with a teddy and I hadn’t come in with something to hug- that was corrected the next day though with a cuddly squirrel.

People were in here for different reasons, some were more evident then others, one lady I made friends with was just in there for holiday. No idea why you’d want to go in there for a holiday, but then if you are happy with watching daytime tv aHallucinationsnd having a strict regime with (not so good) meals, it’s the ideal place for you! If you crossed a person who was talking to themselves looking distant, chances are they were in for mental health. There were also people in this ward in for rehab, so chances are they could disappear as they went into withdrawal. There was one case waiting in the line to get medication where one of the patients was asking another to go to the shop to get him some beer. Thankfully, it didn’t end in violence, although striking up a fight in front of a room full of staff with medication unless you had a low IQ that’s not a good idea.

One thing I loved was the staff. It wasn’t all cooed voices, caring too much; thankfully they treated us like real people. Things I hated, I think I mentioned this 3 times already the timetable. There were 3 and ½ meal times and 4 drink times. For a place that people were supposed to remain calm and sane in, they promoted a lot of caffeine, offering tea and coffee at every meal time and drink time. I did start making a theory that the amount of caffeine through the day was to keep patients awake just due to the amount of medication that had the side effect of tiredness.

  • 8.30 Breakfast (meaning you had to be up before and dressed- difficult thing to do if you are used to getting up at 10, very high quality breakfast every day you have the choice between cereal and toast… there is a lot of toast in this place, if there is a bread shortage this place will go down in flames.)
  • 9am- Morning medication (Also if you weren’t up by this time you’d be woken up by staff. This is where you got a catch up on the latest gossip as you cued outside the treatment room… then you silently cursed if someone was in front of you had to go in and have a full work up- blood pressure readings done etc)
  • 10am Morning drink (A.K.A The first official caffeine dosage, well breakfast counted to properly waking me up this was an added extra)
  • 12pm Lunch (Hospital yumminess *Sarcasm*)
  • 3pm afternoon drink
  • 5pm dinner
  • 8pm evening drink + supper (A.K.A Hot Chocolate Tiiiime)
  • 9.30 pm nighttime drink
  • 10pm night time drug time (If you had sleeping tablets or like me the boringness of your day tired you out you were asleep shortly after this.)

 

Ok I know this wasn’t a hotel, holiday experience but I told my GP (Not the psychiatrist he’d have kept me in if I told him this)- the same one I told I’d rather rip out my ovaries than have kids so she knew how troubled my mind was- I wouldn’t plan to go back. The fact I nearly told one of the patients who I had a theory was in there due to mood issues that this wasn’t a hotel when she started using colourful language about being woken up. It wasn’t all bad either for patients like me I could go out after seeing one of the nurses just as long as I gave details on where I was going and when I’d be back, in simple terms the staff there were like over protective parents. You had to call them if something went wrong blah, blah, blah.

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It did its job I’m now in a better state than what I had been- I even got to the state where I was actually begging to be discharged. It was pointed out to me though, although being happy would get me points, I was bipolar so if I over acted it they’d assume I was going manic (Ultra happy) and I’d be kept in. So, if you ever ended up like I did in hospital, take all the advice you can get, even some from the patients who have been there what to them feels like years- one woman had been in and out of their for 20 years, I think I would have snapped at the 1 month point and ended up on a more secure ward so 20 years? That woman deserves a medal or something… happy sticker maybe?

Art work seen in this post is some of mine what I did in the ward (rest of my art work available on www.nightmarecat.co.uk– weirdly I plastic bags and cables were not allowed in the ward but I was allowed to keep pens and pencils… still trying to figure that one out…