Archive for October, 2011

Succinct and Extremely Bitchy

October 13, 2011

According to Mary Portas, advisor to the government on something or other, ‘If I were PM I’d bloody restyle all those women. (An account of the interview can be found here: .) ‘I mean, the female cabinet, what an ugly bunch. I would restyle them. Do you know, I could not look at them. I couldn’t look at them! I go in for meetings now and they do dress up for my meetings, but I just want to go, ‘Pleeease. No. Not that necklace. Not that skirt.’

Charming. She goes on to say that what women in the cabinet need is ‘a bit of sex and glamour’. My suggestion to the delightful Ms. Portas is that she should get hold of a dictionary and look up the word ‘Conservative’.

What kind of a moron would appoint someone like this to a position of government advisor?

This kind, perhaps?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Time Passes

October 12, 2011

Heavily medicated, on the edge of sleep. I have no particular desire to wake up. A passing thought: ‘IE’ used to be the sound that witches made when they were being burnt at the stake.  Now it is an Internet Browser.  How far we have come.

RIP Steve Jobs. Nothing much else to say. Well, there is but now is not the time.

Au Revoir, mes amis.

In a Single Decade

October 11, 2011

You see ghosts. You hear voices. Everywhere you go the air is a mass of whispers around you. Panoramic stories unfold inside your head. These things are attributed to creativity and a good imagination. You use them to write stories that win praise from teachers and parents and friends. You win prizes. You pass exams. You are a success.

You grow older. You leave school and then college. You see ghosts. You hear voices. Those stories are still growing inside your head but you are too exhausted to write them down. They terrify you. They keep you awake at night. You are referred to a consultant psychiatrist. You are hospitalized and medicated. These things are attributed to a psychiatric disorder. There are no more exams to pass. You are a failure.

Don’t Believe Everything They Tell You.

October 6, 2011

I make a conscious effort not to surrender to the potential for misty eyed nostalgia that exists for good or ill within us all. Mine is just beneath the surface, always ready to bubble over. This is why I must be firm with it, ruthlessly suppressing any trace of it.

Today though I decided to succumb to it. I read an article about the ‘actress’ Joan Collins who feels that the ‘youth’ are lacking the moraL fibre of their parents:

And this comes from an actress who has had numerous extra-marital affairs and starred in films entitled ‘The Stud’ and ‘The Bitch’. Does anyone mind if I look elsewhere for moral guidance?

The article made me think of my school friend Cally (diminutive of Caroline.) In spite of her angelic blond haired, blue eyed appearance she appeared to be precocious in all the wrong ways. She told us in forensic detail about her sexual exploits with the boys on her estate. The other member of out trio: Rachel and I listened to her, wide-eyed, both fascinated and disgusted. We were, after all, good Catholic girls.

Years later I met Cally again. To my surprise she was studying languages at Bradford University. I reminded her of the sordid tales she used to tell us. She replied ‘You didn’t believe all that stuff, did you? I made it all up. With a little help from Jackie Collins.’

The Miracles of Medication

October 2, 2011

Re: coming off (most of) my medication. I am currently on a cocktail of psychopharmacological medication: zyprexa (an anti-psychotic medication), velafaxine (an anti-depressant medication) , lorazepam (a minor tranquilliser), and zopiclone (an hypnotic). I don’t know how it came to this but the pharmaceutical companies make an awful lot of money out of me. I will document my efforts to wean myself off (with a little help from the medical profession who got me into this situation in the first place (with more than a little help from me. I did, after all, embrace the sick role.)I never got any great pleasure from the benzodiazepine. The public thinks these drugs are used sparingly.

The public, as always are wrong. During my last hospital I was switched, without explanation from one minor tranquilliser to another. From valium to lorazepam. Theodore Dalrymple doesn’t have much faith in this class of drugs, they dull the mind, they empty in of thought. is this how people think? Is this why they ask me to take their thoughts away? No, Doctor Daniels, they ask you to take their thoughts away because they are psychotic and you are a psychiatrist and that is your job. Intrusive thoughts are a primary feature of psychosis. I hope you are enjoying your handsome NHS salary along with your ten years worth of extra retirement. Psychiatrists get ten years over and above other medical specialisms).

So it seems that although they have been discredited, they are still, widely prescribed. Although they are recommended for short term use only, they are often prescribed on a long term basis,

Lorazepam is a little blue pill that in hospital the nurses seemed to be handing out like smarties. Every one was on them. (I’m surprised you are unaware of this as it has been pretty extensively covered in the press.) I was ‘written up’ for them as soon as I arrived there and have been on them ever since. I have come to rely upon them. I hesitate to use the word ‘addicted’. It sounds so melodramatic and is often used inappropriately. but then I remember what happens when I tried to withdraw on my own (against medical advice) night sweats. hot flushes so intense they made me think I that I might be experiencing early menopause. Skin prickling, burning up. Those withdrawal symptoms pursued me even in sleep for I had the most horrific nightmares. I don’t think I can face what is coming. I am certainly physically dependent on them. Are they my lifeline, my only link to sanity? Anxiety a deliberate understatement. A friend of mine in hospital not given to hyperbole or melodrama called it ‘grade 1 terror’I am afraid of everything, the world itself terrifies me and we all know there is only one cure for that.

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