As I mentioned, I have four journals from my most recent manic episode. They won’t let you have pens or pencils in the Local Friendly Mental Ward, so my journals are all written in magic marker. There are no dates and I didn’t write it chronologically. I toy every once in a while with the idea of trashing these journals but then there are times that I am drawn to them. It would be the healthier thing to trash them, I think. I’m not there yet.
I mentioned in my last post that I had a wish list for when I got out of the hospital. I wrote that “a simple, non-descript (small) deck of cards has to go in the purse. [In the hospital, I discovered that playing with the cards have a] calming effect, instantaneously. Remind me to pull them out occasionally.” There is a small deck of cards in one of my purses now. Another wish was “self-defense class after PHP.” I have yet to sign up for that one. I must have been terribly lonely, as I wrote, “daily calls from at least one non-threatening per day…will compile list at some point during PHP.” I never voiced that wish so of course, it didn’t happen. Obviously I was tired of the markers, because I wrote, “need non-descript, black ink, plain ball point pen.”
Of course, not all of my “wishes” were exactly within the realm of reasonable. Nice, maybe, but not reasonable. For example, I wrote of my old neighborhood that’s now falling apart, “KH razed for appropriate income-affordable housing– all current residents get to build from scratch with their choices. Financing must be [local charity] style. That is called real, appropriate, fair JUSTICE. I like a lot.” And I wrote, “Someone will have to hunt down day room furniture company. I want a blue-green-brown vinyl-covered settee, just like at [Local Friendly Mental Ward].” Another pipe dream: “Potentially purchase house down hill from us, for use as guest house.” And I wanted a big party, complete with drinks, our favorite pizza, games, people I worked with in college, and a magazine word search like we used to do at work. I wanted a large bowl of “chewies,” as we call them at my house, to be dessert for the party.
I have a note about yard planning, because at the time we had no flowers in our yard: “Roses on side of house, one bush in front bed. Lamb’s Ear under edge of deck.” At one point I took off my shoes in the day room and another girl stole them, so I wrote, “New sneakers needed. Order online.”
I had a plan about when I was leaving the hospital: “Go home, sleep a little, clean out a little. (but not day of, or day after. Give bad journal to J…need at least 48 hours of non-therapy time…Tattoo on feet. This is my gift to myself, for me.” I had notes about various people I wanted to get in touch with just because I hadn’t talked to them in a long time. I also wanted a new copy of Final Gifts and Wheel of Life, because I’d lent them out and never gotten them back. A note: “shop for [colored] contacts when we get home.”
There is no doubt that my thoughts were jumbled and I was incapable of speaking coherently during much of this time. But there were moments of clear lucidity in my writing at least. Of course, I can follow it because I remember the way I wrote it. But to look at the journals, they look like random rambling. And there’s a lot of it that’s way too private to share here. A journal is still a journal, after all.