Tales From The Shelter – 35

October 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm 2 comments

It is, to say the least, interesting to live downtown after 25 years on a small island and prior to that, six years on the Saanich Peninsula.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be hanging my hat in downtown Vancouver!!!   But then again, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be homeless.  Same goes for the other women on my floor.

Sanity is a precious state, as well as physical health and spiritual well being.  If you’ve ever been where Blanche Dubois from a Street Car Named Desire has been you’ll fully understand the sanctity of mental health.  Once those neurotransmitters and synapses start misfiring or crap out all together it’s like the physical equivelant of being in a wheel chair.  The legs (the mind) don’t want to cooperate and it’s a futile excersize trying to walk or run.

On a bad mental health day I can’t write.  A recent example would be a cover letter I designed for possible employment.  It read, “Dear John, You have and I can if there’s possibilities to do so”.  I had someone in management here check my letter first, thank gawd, and it went through about four drafts before I got it into acceptable shape.

If I try to read on these days it’s a given that suddenly I’m dyslexic where I never was before.  Very strange.   The first page gets a good going over about 4 times until I finally give in to the fact that I can’t comprehend or concentrate on the piece.  I haven’t read a book in about ten years.  This has been quite an adjustment for someone who used to have four or five books on the fly at any given time.

That’s a small glimpse into mental illness.  The manic times I cherish as it’s a high so mighty you feel like you’re sitting next to God him/herself…hard to explain, but everything’s just fine , glorious, blissed to the max and oh my gawd, I’ve never had a drug that could replicate the feeling.  Whoever does would make billions.

The depressive times…ugh, let’s not go there!  I’d like to find a head bandage so when I’m down people can actually see and associate an illness happening.  As it is there’s not much tolerance by too many for being in the crazy zone.  It’s like the guy with the heart attack….he looks good but isn’t working and people can’t fathom why he isn’t back on the job despite him having a quadruple bypass.  Well, let me rephrase that or come up with a different analogy because a heart attack victim seems to get more empathy and understanding then a person who’s mentally ill (gawd I hate that term!).

Anyways, I am stable for now though facing medication increases as am slipping into depression owing to lack of my own housing and work I’m capable of doing.

I keep saying, ‘Something’s gotta give’, and I hope it’s my own apartment before I end up on the psyche ward again!!!!!!!!  Shall I call it ‘The Gordon Campbell Suite?”.

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Entry filed under: Political Humour. Tags: , , , , , .

Tales From The Shelter – 34 Tales From The Shelter – 36

2 Comments

  • 1. Kim  |  October 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Hang in there! My best friend is bipolar and she will never work again, but she is able to maintain eqilibrium with the right meds. although it took years to find the right mix for her. Now she is able to look after her farm and find joy in creating artwork, the most beautiful work.

    If we can get society to recognise that homelessness is no treatment option for mental illness, disability, or otherness, then we will have won the battle. Just keep writing, you have an appreciative audience.

  • 2. harpervalley  |  October 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    thanks kim. i do know i’ll be able to work part-time…that much i can handle. ah yes, the meds….hit and miss, hit and miss, however i seem to be on an effective combination right now (until they crap out on me , which tends to happen).

    when bill van derzalm was premier he did away with most of the mental health facilities and treatment centers to help pay for expo ’86…this is the single largest reason why vancouver’s homeless population grew so much. while the ndp reinstated some things during their short tenures it was difficult to play catchup……and now, of course, we are dealing with the olympic hangover and all the people who moved out here, with their varying addictions and illnesses, hoping to get work.

    no wonder gordon campbell’s rating in the polls is at rock bottom 9% (besides the HST). too many politicians don’t have social infrastructure included in their plans for mega projects.

    think, boys, think!


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