A Slow Decline

I met her shortly after becoming acquainted with my best friend. It was his mother, Lillian. She was a vibrant woman in her eighties who loved doing crossword puzzles, baking, and enjoyed a good laugh.

Every Christmas Eve I would have her and my best friend over for a small meal. I would sit and visit with them. One time my best friend was looking through some pictures of Lillian and myself when he noticed that in every picture his mother had a smile and others you could tell she was laughing.

I am not sure when things really began to change, but, I feel it was when she started losing her sight because of macular degeneration. She no longer could do her crosswords, bake, or even watch her favorite soap opera.

The time soon came that Lillian could no longer live on her own. The family had to place her in a long term care home. She really didn’t like it, of course I feel most don’t, but there were signs that something more was happening in Lilliam. She didn’t have the zip in her talk and she was having trouble recognizing people. I wasn’t long when she did not know her son, but, when I would go to see her, I would say, “hi mum”, she knew who I was.

There were days when after visiting Lillian that my best friend would come over and cry. His mother in her good days would never use expletives, but the Lillian in the care home would curse at the nurses, at her son. One time she bit a nurse who was trying to help her.

Dementia is a mental illness that many have never had to experience with, especially with someone they love. It seems that hollywood has no qualms about making fun of it, there is nothing funny about the disease. It slowly robs a person’s ability to be themselves, in their place it leaves a person hardly recognizable.

So dear reader, I hope that I am alive when they find an answer that can bring about some type of a cure for the mental illness.

I Can Handle This

 “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine”


In the late eighties I was a passenger on a motor bike going home from work. It was a bright August day in Ontario, Canada when the driver rear ended the car in front of us. The impact sent me flying causing me to land on my backside. I couldn’t move and I probably would have been hit by the cars passing by on the highway, but an ambulance stopped to help get me to the side of the road. Another one came placed me on a backboard to transport me to the hospital.

After the usual tests, x-rays and such I was admitted and taken to my room. I really do not remember much of the first night, but on the next morning a nurse was coming into the room with a tray of things. I moved to look at her, I shocked her and she dropped the tray. I asked her what was the matter. She said, “Mr. Bourne I just came from report and it says that you would be a quadra paraplegic”. When the physician came by he explained to me about my back, he told me that everything was ripped away from my spine. He also was amazed that I was moving around.

I told that to say this, it is a scary time again around here the positivity rate of Covid-19 is on the rise. Governments are trying to get a grip on things. I haven’t left my house lately not even for a doctor’s appointment.

I been thinking about an upcoming surgery for a hip replacement. At times I get concerned about it, questions coming to mind, like, “will I be able to walk afterwards?”. Things like that, things for the most part will never happen, so really there is no need to fuss about it.

Faced with a myriad of things sometimes it is difficult to find something positive to fixate on. Bad news seems to permeate from all corners of the world, not much good news out there. Oh, yes, sometimes there may be a story of human interest that makes me feel warm inside, but, they are few and far in between.

So dear reader, I remind myself I have been through some very tough times and lived to tell it about it. So, I will once again make it through to the other end of the tunnel.

I leave you with a final thought. Anne Murray sang a song some time back, “A Little Good News Today”. I have included it here. Hope you enjoy it! It is needed at this time!

A Re-Blog: Why Excessive Hand Washing Is Not My Main “OCD Problem” During The Pandemic — Overcoming OCD

What is it like to live with OCD in times of a pandemic? Well, every person has their own answer to this question and I think it is time to share mine. The other day, I was reading through articles about OCD in the age of COVID-19 and one thing I noticed was that the […]

Why Excessive Hand Washing Is Not My Main “OCD Problem” During The Pandemic — Overcoming OCD

A Re-Blog: 2020 World Mental Health Day — Women & Well Being

World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on October 10th. It was established October 10, 1992 by Richard Hunter. Hunter was the Deputy Secretary General of the World Federation for Mental Health. The top 5 warning signs: Long term sadness or irritability Extreme high and low mood swings Excessive fear, worry or anxiety Social […]

2020 World Mental Health Day — Women & Well Being

The Interview Moderated by Ashley L. Peterson – A Continuation

Once again I would like to say, “Thank You” to Ashley L. Peterson whose blog is Mental Health @ Home.

This is a continuation of the initial interview by Ashley , you can find it here.

As you read you will find I answer questions at great length, I truly did my best to pull back the curtain on my journey to great mental health.

After you have read the interview use the comment section to ask your own question. When I have enough I will gather them together using a post to answer them.


The Interview

Moderator: Ashley L. Peterson


Continuation

What’s the process been like of establishing views that diverged from the religious beliefs you’d been exposed to?

To put it bluntly, it’s been hell. I dropped all my relationships with fellow ministers, stopped contact with fellow musicians. There was a long time to where I wouldn’t even open the Bible.

I have, still do at times, second guess myself.  Then I read some of the comments that people have left lets me know I am basically on the correct direction.

For instance, the gay life style was preached against, it was taught as a no-no. I now view it this way, they are humans, they walk, talk, pee, poop, the same way all of us do. I started re-visiting this attitude about being against them, I started making friends with those in the LGBTQ community. I still have those friends regardless what some people believe about them.

As life has gone on, has your ability to trust others changed?  What prompted that?

In many ways my trust in people has changed. Here is how I view it, People needed to trust me, some who told me about their sexuality, yet they have not come out. I have kept that trust.

Things really did start changing when I began to change. When I started dealing with all the issues that were at the base of my depression. Feelings of inferiority, shame, loneliness, and a chest full of others. After the death of my grandmother I was fortunate to have a Psychiatrist who showed compassion, actually listened, and started me on a regimen of medications.  Now I consider her a friend, she stopped and talked with me when I had a slight scare that sent me to the hospital for four days.

How has your physical health impacted your mental health and vice versa?

My physical health has impacted my mental health severely. I face it every morning, getting out of bed is usually an exercise dealing with pain in my hip.

I have dealt with pain since my teenage years, it grew worse after a motorcycle accident. That messed up my back for life. It has only been better after two periods of have cortisone shots.

There was a time when I was on different pain killers where they became ineffective. I had to change doctors. He looked at my history, he then said we have to change your medications. He explained to me that many pain killers when taken over a long length of time actually work against the body causing pain. I have later read and heard that this is the case. I take for pain at this time Tylenol 4 and a small derivative of morphine. They basically along with a sleeping pill allow me to have a decent night of sleep.

There are days when I think I should start the process of going to an assisted living facility.  Let me explain, I now have to use a cane, or my walker. It has left me so that many things I would normally do for myself I cannot accomplish. Fear grips me every time I need to use the shower, thoughts about falling breaking a hip courses through my mind.

Also, I am truly thankful for my best friend for he is the one who has prepared my meals. I cannot move well enough to manage pots, pans, etc., I also fear I wouldn’t be able to respond if there would be a grease fire.

Some may have noticed that I read and comment on their blog posts sometimes eighteen hours or longer. It is usually because I cannot sit up at great lengths of time. I start my nighttime routine early. Most nights I am asleep before 9 p.m.

So, it is a back and forth with my physical effecting my mental health, mental health effecting my physical being.

Has your time as a preacher shaped the way you tell your own story now?

This is a great question, one I have never thought about. It probably has, and does shape how I tell my story.

There are parts of my story that at this time grapple with because it involves someone who has died, but, has living relatives. I do not want to cause them any embarrassment or pain. I just have not come to an answer about how to tell that. Even without mentioning names it would be obvious to many friends, colleagues, and relatives if they were to come across this blog.

Also, I must consider at this time my own daughter and grandchildren.

[b] I re-read the first answers of the interview where I can see that how I write seems guarded. I guess it has been a learned response from over many years.

How have your hospital stays influenced where you are now in terms of your mental health?

Before my major stay in a mental health ward I was fighting with being bi-polar without any awareness of the fact.

I am thankful for those times in treatment, the group sessions, the one on one with my Psychiatrist for it gave me tools to fight with. The recognition of the highs, lows, and all the rest that comes with being bi-polar. I also know that if needs arise that I have the ability to go back and voluntarily admit myself. There are so many ugly myths about mental health care, some I think come from the days of sanitariums, probably through the eighteenth and nineteenth century.


So dear reader more of a glimpse on what I call “a journey to great mental health”.

If you are facing battles to keep your mental health great, remember, you are not alone!

Find someone to talk to, whether it is a friend, a help line, or your doctor. Do not suffer alone, there is help available for you! I have located a website that you can access for phone numbers of helplines around the world. It is called Check Point

A Re-blog: Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020 — My Brain’s Not Broken

*** I have tried several times to write a post about the subject of “suicide” but I deleted them because of the affects it was doing to my mental health. Below is an excellent article, timely, and informative.***


Suicide is a public health issue, and we’re here to talk about education, prevention and resources.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020 — My Brain’s Not Broken

Normal!

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“I didn’t want normal until I didn’t have it anymore”
― Maggie Stiefvater,Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception

A Reblog: Hatred From An Unlikely Source – Internalized Homophobia — Overcoming OCD

Did you know that gay and bisexual man are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population? Or that LGBT+ are one and a half times more likely to develop depression and anxiety than heterosexuals? June is Pride Month and I think this is the perfect time to talk about […]

via Hatred From An Unlikely Source – Internalized Homophobia — Overcoming OCD

A Reblog: Some Surprising Mental Illness Statistics — Mental Health @ Home

While I know that people tend to be somewhat skeptical of statistics, I thought it would still be interesting to explore some of the stats that are out there related to mental illness. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) These figures come from CAMH in Toronto, Canada, on their Facts and statistics page. Mental […]

via Some Surprising Mental Illness Statistics — Mental Health @ Home

A Re-Blog: Psychiatric Medication Pitfalls — Blogger Community

I’ve spent much of my mental health posts discussing symptoms, treatments, breaking stigma, and ways to ask for or offer help. What I’ve been reluctant to address because there is so much stigma-and yes, many pitfalls- are psychiatric medications to treat conditions like bipolar disorder and depression. I am a firm believer in medication, when […]

via Psychiatric Medication Pitfalls — Blogger Community

A Re-blog: When Your Brain Is Drained – OCD & Mental Exhaustion — Overcoming OCD

Have you ever felt emotionally drained or had the impression that your problems are impossible to overcome? Have you ever had the feeling that you do not care about anything anymore and you’re just way too tired to do things that you used to enjoy? Well, I guess most of us have had similar feelings […]

via When Your Brain Is Drained – OCD & Mental Exhaustion — Overcoming OCD

Pain + Depression = ?

silhouette-back-pain-man-ache-

“I started feeling afraid of my own body, like it was a torture chamber I’d been trapped inside.”
― Talia HibbertGet a Life, Chloe Brown

I have had severe problems with my back since I was in my teens.  It would come and go, so I didn’t really feel to curb my activities.

Then in 1987 I was a passenger on a motor bike.  The driver on an August day ran into the back of a car.  The impact sent me hurling through the air to land on my butt.  The results were I tore all the ligaments away from my spine.

So, with that I have had prescribed at one time or another some strong painkillers, such as, morphine, Oxycontin, and fentanyl patch.  

Now mix in being bi-polar, this was before diagnosis, and I was a total sorry person.  There were nights where I didn’t sleep at all, days where I was totally buzzed on painkillers, so bad, that I couldn’t remember what I ate the night before.  Conversations took place where I didn’t remember them either.

Eventually I land in the Mental Health Ward for severe depression. I learned on that visit that I was bi-polar. That was step one.

It became a red alert with the painkillers.  I spoke with my family doctor and my Psychiatrist about coming off all the narcotics.  They told me I could do it from home or go through it while admitted.  I chose the latter.  That was step two.

I am in constant pain, this is something I have seldom wrote about on this blog.  I feel it could be helpful maybe for someone who is experiencing chronic pain.

So, I am not sure what to call it when you mix pain and depression.  Whatever the term would be, I just try to survive one day at a time!

The Crazy World Of Depression

carry-the-world“It’s okay to be crazy and scared and brave at the same time!”
― Kelly Epperson

Crazy Qoutes

There are those days when I think I just want to scream. Scream about what I don’t know, I just want to scream.

Then there are the days where I feel I could take on the world, have all the answers to life’s woes.  Reality though tells me that I don’t know what I am talking about.

Pills, pills, pills.  Take in the morning, take at supper time, take at bed time.  Green pill to get going, red pill to stop, I take more pills than I eat in calories.

Pardon me, but it is just one of those days that thoughts like these take over.  I try to stay positive in such a negative climate.

So, I will carry on, maybe tomorrow will be a day when the crazy world of depression won’t seem to be so bad!

Look For Blog Changes

New Pages

Over a period of time I will be making some changes to this blog. Adding pages that will cover different topics.  Topics like; Eschatology(The Study of Last Things), Devotional, In The News, (and maybe a page for Guest Posts).

Mental Health Page

My blogging about my challenges with mental health will remain and stay the same.

The new pages may not be for everyone, but I would like to start again on the very thing I have been studying since in my teen years, The Bible.  This will not be a page of bashing, the main topic will be focused on Bible Prophecy(Eschatology).

More Energy 

I am going to try to give my blog some more of my energy, try to engage more with you the reader .

So, I hope you will give me feedback on the things you like or dislike on the upcoming changes!