It has been nearly two months since I last wrote a post­ and this hasn’t been me slumbering in idle emptiness, it is simply down to a combination of me trying to cope with my medication that at times, has overwhelmed me, and dealing with my bipolar.

A question often asked by my friends since leaving the psychiatric ward is,

“How long before you can stop taking your medication?”

“I will always have to take them” is my reply.

This has been my greatest struggle since leaving the psych ward, having to come to terms with the fact I will always need to rely on my medication to help me cope, function, lead a normal life and not let The Other Paul gain control of my mind and soul.

Yep! This is my life now, meds in the morning and meds at 9pm every night, or around that time. They govern me, dictate like a despot leader of an obedient nation or the quencher of Mount Vesuvius. If not, I will allow The Other Paul to slowly grow in strength coursing through my veins like an unstoppable virus after five humongous lines of whizz.

Over the last two months the thoughts to stop taking my meds has been persistent in my mind with my pride and stubbornness wanting to unshackle the cannon balls attached to my feet, and break free. I’ll admit I detest being told what to do but, I know I can’t be rash I need to remain pragmatic in listening to the doctors, my psychiatrist and the daily taking of my meds. If not I’d be the belligerent fool The Other Paul so desperately desires.

 

SUNDAY 27TH JANUARY 

MOOD: minus 4

Fucks sake! I eventually fell asleep at around 11.30pm last night because patient number five (who’s bed is next to mine) was being a nuisance, and kept me and the other patients in the dorm awake most of the night.

He has to use a urinal bottle into which he pisses six to seven times every hour. His normal routine is him clambering out of bed on my side then grabs his urinal bottle, and yep, it’s right over my fuckin’ head. Next he slowly begins to urinate which causes him pain so, he whistles like the sudden pain you feel from standing on a nail making you breathe rapidly through your teeth. His finale to this procedure is the lack of control he exerts over his bowels leading to flatulence and on occasions if I’m lucky he follows through then makes a hasty dash to the toilet. I feel for him but not over my head when I’m trying to sleep.

Awake at 5.30 this morning with shitty arse and his antics in full effect followed by my blood pressure been taken at 6am.

6.50am. I slowly maneuvered myself to the dining room for breakfast consisting of two bowls of congee, two boiled eggs and a small bread roll.

7.25am. I desperately want to sit in the dining room and fall asleep but all patients are sent back to their beds.

“WHISTLE – PISS – FART!

8am. I decided to go to the office asking can I be moved to a different bed away from shitty arse enabling me the opportunity to get some quality sleep. My case doctor said he will give me a decision by 9am.

8.30am. My turn for a shower. In fact I think I’m the first because I seem to be the only one awake. As I make my way to the shower room I noticed a drop of pooh lying in the middle of the corridor after shitty arses latest dash to the toilet. This man could easily get a job pebble dashing houses for a living only drawback being he only does one colour, brown!

9am. The doctor told me that they couldn’t move me to another bed on a different dorm because apparently there is a flu outbreak that they must contain. The compromise is that they will move patient number 5 to the corner bed leaving a spare bed between us with the promise it will be done by midday. Result!

9.25am. As I’m watching traditional Chinese music on the TV I get a strange unsettling feeling that I am part of a MK Ultra program or I’m having my mind re-programmed like Alex in a Clockwork Orange, accept it’s Chinese music instead of classical. I’m having me ball bearings jangled.

9.50am. I’ve took a quick peek at the clock in the dining room and to my dismay saw that it’s not even 10 o’clock. I sense this is gonna be a very very long day.

10am. I could fall asleep on a washing line right now.

10.30am. Why is it if we think about time it goes as slow as a snail and if we don’t think about time, it flies by. Yet time can only be time, nothing else, always remaining constant and relative. I ponder the thoughts, Does time really exist? Or is it simply a measurement that humans invented?

11.30am. I had lunch consisting of two scoops of mashed potatoes, pork in sauce and cabbage. If I close my eyes I can imagine I’m dining at the Hilton, maybe The Four Seasons or the chippy down the road from me Mums.

Midday. I speak with Cassie sat in the dining room on my own, well not quite on my own, I’m accompanied by the TV blaring out a Cantonese program in the background. We have a lovely chat for twenty minutes always bringing a smile to my beleaguered heart and soul, lasting most of the afternoon.

1pm – 4pm. The doctor has moved shitty arse to the corner of the room opposite me. Hooray! A much-needed rest is required and that is precisely what I get.

5pm. Dinnertime. Fish, cucumber and mashed potatoes followed by an orange.

6pm. I sat on my own in the lounge and somehow succeeded in watching a kids cartoon in English.

6.30pm. Greg turns up for a visit with a tuna melt and a hot chocolate from Pacific Coffee along with a few goodies. We sit chatting which is wonderful because I have very little form of daily communication, strangled from the outside world with only four numbers to call using the phone provided for patients in the dining room. The isolation on the ward bears similarities to the last ten weeks I spent as a virtual recluse in my own gaff and purposefully shutting out the entire world. Except on the ward (even though there are times my antipathy boils) I am being cared for and monitored which is something I am constantly reminding myself of. Whereas in my gaff I was completely subservient to the Other Paul. I was alone, and at the bottom of my dark deep well.

7.25pm. Greg leaves and for the first time I long to leave with him.

7.45pm. Over the last few days medication and meal times have become irregular, so it’s 7.45pm tonight for meds followed by biscuits and warm milk.

8pm – 9pm. I lie outstretched on one of the two purple sofas in the lounge room absolutely exhausted watching the Chinese channel RTHK trying my hardest not to fall asleep.

9pm. Medication time. To be the only Westerner on this psych ward is at times challenging, ilonely and a testament to my driven desire to control and harness The Other Paul. Good Night!