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BS: stay afloat while others don't

Helen 20 Oct 20 - 02:39 PM
keberoxu 20 Oct 20 - 09:38 AM
Mrrzy 20 Oct 20 - 09:14 AM
keberoxu 19 Oct 20 - 03:45 PM
Mrrzy 17 Oct 20 - 05:15 PM
keberoxu 17 Oct 20 - 08:19 AM
Donuel 17 Sep 20 - 10:25 PM
keberoxu 17 Sep 20 - 10:00 PM
keberoxu 15 Sep 20 - 09:34 PM
keberoxu 07 Sep 20 - 07:58 PM
keberoxu 03 Sep 20 - 09:56 PM
Mrrzy 03 Sep 20 - 02:07 PM
keberoxu 03 Sep 20 - 11:37 AM
Charmion 02 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM
keberoxu 01 Sep 20 - 06:12 PM
Mrrzy 01 Sep 20 - 04:06 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 01 Sep 20 - 10:37 AM
Thompson 30 Aug 20 - 05:50 AM
keberoxu 30 Aug 20 - 01:30 AM
Charmion 29 Aug 20 - 09:44 AM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 10:46 PM
keberoxu 28 Aug 20 - 09:26 PM
keberoxu 28 Aug 20 - 08:18 PM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM
keberoxu 27 Aug 20 - 08:03 PM
keberoxu 25 Aug 20 - 05:41 PM
keberoxu 23 Aug 20 - 06:35 PM
Mrrzy 21 Aug 20 - 08:43 AM
keberoxu 20 Aug 20 - 06:18 PM
keberoxu 18 Aug 20 - 11:13 AM
keberoxu 16 Aug 20 - 01:50 PM
keberoxu 05 Aug 20 - 09:53 AM
Mrrzy 04 Aug 20 - 08:16 AM
keberoxu 02 Aug 20 - 09:56 PM
Mrrzy 31 Jul 20 - 08:08 AM
Donuel 30 Jul 20 - 09:52 PM
keberoxu 30 Jul 20 - 11:53 AM
Mrrzy 28 Jul 20 - 04:55 PM
Donuel 27 Jul 20 - 10:44 PM
keberoxu 27 Jul 20 - 08:52 PM
keberoxu 02 Jul 20 - 03:59 PM
Helen 01 Jul 20 - 06:04 PM
keberoxu 01 Jul 20 - 05:24 PM
Helen 01 Jul 20 - 04:28 PM
keberoxu 30 Jun 20 - 09:14 PM
Helen 30 Jun 20 - 05:39 PM
Mrrzy 26 Jun 20 - 11:13 AM
keberoxu 25 Jun 20 - 09:00 PM
Mrrzy 15 Jun 20 - 11:47 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 02:39 PM

At my last ever workplace i.e. before I retired, a group of people in a different area to mine decided to decorate for Halloween and went OTT (over the top) with dark and ghoulish props like pretend dead bodies and fake blood etc. It was set up like a murder scene. They were asked to remove a lot of the items because it was not good for workplace morale. I saw the display before it was removed. I realise that they thought it was a clever idea, but it wasn't appropriate for a workplace. Especially a government workplace with strict guidelines on what is or isn't appropriate.

As a result, I interpreted Mrrzy's comment in relation to the possible effect of dark and ghoulish decorations on our psychological state, rather than as potential tools for self harm.

Having said all that, I'm not into Halloween at all. It's mostly viewed here as an unwanted American intrusion into Aussie culture. Sorry!! :-D


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 09:38 AM

Yes, Mrrzy, I take your meaning -- seriously.
Well, this clinic, although it has to meet the accreditation standards of a hospital,
does not have a locked unit/ward.
That makes the place, I would say, vigilant after a different fashion.
This clinic has to have good close well-working relationships with the hospital at the county seat, up the road, which DOES have one or two locked units.

As to the decorations themselves, hmmm:
cardboard flat skeletons; big plastic three-dimensional skeletons;
inflatable pumpkins; plastic Jack-o-Lanterns;
some of the skeleton bones are hanging off of fake plastic chains that have been strung from the second floor landing so they
are hanging next to the staircase and the bannister ...
let's see: big phony spiders in big phony spiderwebs ...
I don't see any other hanging stuff,
I don't see how the phony chains, which look very breakable and lightweight,
could be used for suicide...

yes, interesting questions.
All these decorations came from the clinic itself, stored away in a box by housekeeping/maintenance from year to year.

Yes it's a good question, and
one that I had not thought through until this moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 09:14 AM

What about suicide hazards? I ask seriously. Depending on what is being used for decoration; my last place wouldn't have allowed most stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Oct 20 - 03:45 PM

The chief in-patient residence at this clinic
does, indeed, store holiday decorations of different types in its storage room boxes and such.

All the Halloween decorations came out yesterday afternoon,
and now the place is groaning under their weight, almost.
The Facilities/Safety supervisor was in the residence lobby
at lunchtime, evaluating the risk of fire hazard. Seriously.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Oct 20 - 05:15 PM

Yeah, mad is a lot better than apathetic.

Or maybe I should say angry, heh heh.

Les Barker said something like depression is just anger without enthusiasm.

Nice to see this thread back.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Oct 20 - 08:19 AM

I'm still in treatment at the clinic.
Will be for months more, unless something unforeseen occurs.
For now, it's all right.

Not sure, though, if I can manage to vote this year.
At this rate, probably not.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 10:25 PM

You sound pissed off. Thats what healthy people do when intimidation, or lack of communication or trust occurs. When you are sure you can trust yourself you can tell them where to go and go into the world, as diminished as it is for everyone now. Wise people can't be intimidated or harrassed or pissed off. Dissappointed maybe.
Anyway it feels like I'm trespassing on your diary.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 10:00 PM

Feeling like somebody pulled the plug.
Actually, when someone greeted me with
the how-are-you-doing,
what I told them today was,
I feel like the pencil that wants sharpening --
worn down to a nub.
Such fatigue and weariness.
And so, to bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Sep 20 - 09:34 PM

Meanwhile, back at the clinic ...
better not to dwell on the particulars of the latest drama.
Suffice to say that there is communication which the higher-ups ought to have passed on, about how we are required to minimize the risk of infection ON THE CAMPUS and in the common areas,
which, well, somebody in administration dropped the ball somewhere.

A certain percentage of us patients on campus just discovered said information/decisions this very week,
and these decisions went into effect here three months ago.
There are a select few who knew about this thing.
Nobody thought to tell the rest of us.
But it blew up in the last few days, and some of US blew up as well.
As in,
When were you going to get around to informing the rest of us?

It will sound so trivial if I spell it out. I won't --
i've said enough.
The worst of it is that failure-to-communicate thing.
These are stressful enough times for the healthy people.
We have people here with presentations ranging from
high anxiety to suicidal ideation, getting intensive treatment,
and some of us really, so to speak,
freak out when we get a nasty surprise like this one.

We feel betrayed and we wonder whom to trust, generally speaking.
Of course there are individuals on staff who are
universally trusted, because they have proven themselves,
like the very best of the nurses at the nurses' station.
One of the nurses who retired, this very summer, after working here for thirty-seven years (!),
said on her last day, to this small huddle of patients
who lingered around her, unwilling to see her go:
"You have my utmost respect." And we believed her.

It's those managers and coordinators and office administrators
who pass the buck and cover each other's you-know-wheres,
that's who we are upset with just now.
Things will be negotiated, they always are;
it's just that right now emotions are running really high.
Thanks for listening.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Sep 20 - 07:58 PM

It's a positive thing, apparently, when people come to group
and talk about suicide there for the whole meeting ...
as opposed to keeping the issue to themselves.

My only real contribution to meeting this evening
was to mention the despair that goes with a long-term pandemic.
Interesting how that dovetailed with the suicidality topic.
What gave me personally a moment of relief was that
one of the group members who had spoke resignedly about suicide
was able to move beyond resignation, with the new topic,
and express vivid rage and anger about the pandemic.
Maybe this is misguided on my part, but it seems to me
that where there is anger, there is, in a sense, hope.

It's the fellow patients who show no emotion about anything
whom I fear for.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 09:56 PM

Second time out, in truth.
In July, before several of us patients began
making classical music together,
I drove back to the apartment which I continue to rent,
in order to get some summer clothing
which I didn't pack out at admissions in late February.

Both times I was relieved to return to treatment.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 02:07 PM

Ooh, your first outing?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 11:37 AM

Spending the Labor Day holiday weekend here in the clinic,
and grateful for it.
After months of procrastination, however,
earlier this week I had to take my car
and get it serviced,
which meant driving out of town.
I was so relieved to get the car fixed and come on back.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM

I would much rather watch the avian kind of blue jay, to be sure.

Their performances take place free of charge in the tree outside our bedroom window, and are not punctuated by the stadium organ and snatches of rock music played at ear-busting volume.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Sep 20 - 06:12 PM

Well, you can forget about the Red Sox, I fear;
the Yankees did quite a number on them this season.
Now the locals are eyeing the Boston Celtics,
pronounced 'seltics with an s',
to see if basketball will be any more gratifying.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Sep 20 - 04:06 PM

Hi, Andrew! Nah.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 01 Sep 20 - 10:37 AM

"How about them Blue Jays?"

Charmion, should we not both stick to blue jays? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Thompson
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 05:50 AM

Good stuff.

Maybe, too, the secret is not to blurt out reactively from within your own prejudices, but to see the other person, and so sideline your own reactive boorishness. Hard to do, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Aug 20 - 01:30 AM

Maybe someone can help out Charmion and me with this one:
my recall fails me, but I remember
learning THINK years and years ago.
What's missing here?

T is for, is it True?
H is for, is it Helpful?
I ?
N ?
K is for, is it Kind?

Important and Necessary, perhaps?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Aug 20 - 09:44 AM

I, too, suffer from a sharp tongue and a tendency to shoot from the lip.

I have often read that personal remarks should meet a three-point standard: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind?

These qualities are highly subjective. My fact is the other guy's blatant lie or misunderstanding. I may think a piece of advice is helpful when the recipient takes it as sheer meddling. And kindness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Usually, when I have thought it through, I change the subject.

How about them Blue Jays?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 10:46 PM

Nicely fished!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 09:26 PM

Found it!


... cruelty is the worst of all human sins.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 08:18 PM

Neil Miller Gunn, more simply Neil M. Gunn, of Scotland,
is a writer whose book,
The Green Isle of the Great Deep, fascinates me.

"For love is the creator
and cruelty is that which destroys."

And he has written elsewhere, though I could not locate the quote,
that cruelty is the greatest -- hmm, what?
the greatest something ... evil maybe?

And the paradox on which I meditate, is that
honesty can be cruel,
and kindness, dishonest.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM

Here being the covid mess, not murrica in general.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM

Ooh *good* questions. Philosophers, chime in.

I don't consider myself unkind when I fail to respect people's ignorance. Especially nowadays, especially here in Murruca where respecting people's ignorance is how we *got* here.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 08:03 PM

I feel superstitious about posting this, like saying it out loud.

Before treatment I have messed up so many times
when interacting with people,
expressing myself, saying things that I can't take back.

I've been here six months and I've been working diligently
to allow others breathing space, not to crowd or frustrate anyone.
There have been corrections and feedback from fellow patients,
usually welcome and helpful.

I've been at the clinic long enough to see patients come and go.
More often I have seen patients leaving who were here when I arrived.
And there has been no shortage of conflict, drama, misunderstanding, disappointment.
I hope I have been successful not to contribute to much to the problems.
Sometimes I have to know when to hold my tongue, honestly.

There is a lot of talk, in treatment and at large, at the clinic
about honesty.
The people who chatter the most about honesty, in fact
are likely to be the people
who hurt other people with their big mouths and quick tongues.
They leave hard feelings behind them when they go.

Is kindness or compassion dishonest?
Is it dishonest to keep one's opinion to oneself?
I ask myself these questions nearly every day.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 05:41 PM

Reporting from the clinic, facemask in place
before the computer terminal.
One can only guess how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will keep us all, inside or outside the clinic, under siege.

Dreadful as it is, I am steeling myself quietly for
a second spike in COVID-19 infection nationwide.
Is nationwide the wrong term?
According to different regions within the nation,
the infection rate rises and flattens differently.

Here in New England things have, I guess, flattened somewhat,
but the infections could so readily flare up again,
and such might yet happen in the near future.
I'll be an inpatient here for more months yet,
don't even have a discharge date at this point.
Wonder if I will be "in" or "out"
during the dreaded second spike in infection rates?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 06:35 PM

Well, the patient who got caught/busted
is headed for rehab, which is to say,
transferring this week to a different institution.
One characteristic of this clinic,
although "dual diagnoses" turn up in applicants and admitted patients all the time and indeed are welcome,
is that this is no detox place.
Before an applicant with "dual diagnosis" issues may be admitted here,
there has to be a successfully concluded detox/rehab elsewhere.
I don't know which institution is this patient's destination.

Sadly, we are counting the HOURS until we see the back of this fellow,
because, well, as much as the patient needed to be here,
we all need some distance from this person,
who has worn out their welcome and then some.
Very bad aftertaste for a lot of us.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Aug 20 - 08:43 AM

Keep on truckin' k!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Aug 20 - 06:18 PM

... and she misses us, as it turns out.
I never did get acquainted with her well enough
to ask what diagnosis she had,
for what she was being treated.

Having her e-mail address, I updated her with all the gossip since she discharged,
and I IMMEDIATELY received an e-mail response (she was probably using her smartphone to access her e-mail)
saying how badly she misses being at the clinic and in treatment and misses all of us!
Back at university, many of her classes are virtual
and she is spending a lot of time on ZOOM. Not very social.
And she is a fairly sociable young woman, and misses people.

She and I have since exchanged posts back and forth,
and we concur on how well the nurses do their work here at the clinic
and how under-appreciated their hard work is.
So when the chance arose, I told one of her favorite nurses
that I had heard from this former patient, and she was delighted.
When I told her that the former patient confessed
that she missed the clinic, and treatment,
much much more than she actually expected to miss it,
the nurse sighed knowingly:
"I knew it would be tough for her to adjust.
She has jumped from the fire-pit into the flames!"

Draw from that, if you will,
what conclusions you wish about
the presentation for which our violinist was here to have treated.
She is in another state at her university,
and it is hard to imagine how our paths will cross in future,
but who knows? Things might come to pass
in ways that I can't possible foresee at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 11:13 AM

The post in this thread dated 11 May describes
my volunteer efforts to welcome a newly admitted patient,
a big deal at the time because
this state was just coming out of the lockdown period,
during which clinic admissions were suspended for a good two months.

As it has turned out, the new admit described in the May 11 post
is the violinist in our chamber music group,
who ought to be safely back at university this week,
having discharged from the clinic.

We miss her, and her dry, deadpan sense of humor.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 01:50 PM

The 'first performance" thread in the above-the-line Mudcat Music thread section
will tell more about the performance
here at the psychiatric clinic,
which did happen and was well received, if far from perfectly executed.

The day after the performance, going to therapy and continuing
my usual weekday schedule of treatment,
my emotions, which are rather numb as a rule (depression),
were alive and kicking.
I think my therapist has never seen me as happy as I was in that session.
And then I had to sit through a patient-community meeting later that day.
Providentially, I didn't have to be in the meeting room.
The in-patient residence has provided a set-up to help with the meetings, which, before the pandemic and social distancing,
were in-person meetings with all the attendees crowded into one big room -- and these meetings happen five days a week, EVERY week.
Comes coronavirus and the attendant restrictions,
especially upon indoor gatherings of more than six people.

Now, at the clinic, these five-day-a-week meetings are
mostly in a "hybrid" format.
There is still a physical meeting room which is wired for ZOOM
and can have only a limited number of warm breathing bodies in it.
All the community members who have access to computers of their own
are encouraged to ZOOM into the five-day-a-week meetings from outside that meeting room.
And finally, fortunately,
the clinic facilities department had pity on some of us who can't ZOOM as we don't have computers.
A conference room, smaller than the meeting room,
was wired up for ZOOM with a computer and a large screen monitor.
And there, half-a-dozen people can sit in the room,
without computers of their own,
and ZOOM into that meeting without having to
cram into the big meeting room.

As Providence would have it, that day's meeting had low attendance
and I had that little conference room ALL TO MYSELF.
Which is why I felt free,
when all my buried anger came to life,
to sit there, with the door shut, and the ZOOM link on 'mute',
and shout SHUT UP! SHUT UP! at the ZOOM screen when
certain people who shall not be identified
were hogging the meeting time and doing all the talking.
The fact is that I am terrified of presenting my anger in front of others.
Had there been fellow patients in the room with me,
I would have kept my big mouth shut
and I would have sat there seething.

But I had the room to myself for the whole meeting,
and I could sit there insulting the meeting speakers
and talking furiously to myself
and letting the anger vibrate through me
without letting anybody else see how nuts I am.
It was simply wonderful.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 09:53 AM

Should you feel remotely curious about
Schubert's Trout Quintet,
the song "Die Forelle" on which it is based,
and the god-awful lyrics to the song,
there's a thread above the line titled
"my first performance in thirty years"
to document the musical side of things.

If we are actually going to perform with this violinist,
we have barely seven days to do so, as it turns out;
she's very young, she was admitted in May after school let out,
and the plan all along was for her to spend the summer in treatment
and then discharge in order to go back to school.
Which starts, if I hear right, very shortly.
So the best we can do:

is to organize a little performance here in order
to send the violinist off and say goodbye and good luck.
Still don't know if this will happen or not.
But we rehearsed at length this past Sunday,
and we may not be ready for prime-time
but we can probably get away with an
in-patient send-off here.
Oh, my nerves.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 08:16 AM

I tend to enjoy things that might cause apoplexy...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 09:56 PM

Tonight the four of us got together around the grand piano
and had at the Trout Theme and Variations again.
God help me, I sound SO BAD
and they are so nice to me.

The violinist discharges in about ten days' time to go back to school. So if we are going to perform this thing here, we have to do it soon, before we lose the violinist.
Don't know if it will happen or not --
but the violin player is game, and she will talk to somebody.


OH! I didn't tell you about the Trout?! Sorry ...
It's the Forelle Quintette, Forelle is German for Trout.
Franz Schubert. First, he wrote charming music to a truly atrocious poem
about how sorry the poet is to see the angler hook the trout.
Then, he took the charming tune and music
and wrote a theme and variations on it, with NO singing:
violin,
viola,
cello,
double-bass viol,
and piano.

Well, we don't have a double-bass player.
It's just the four of us.
So I play the piano part in one hand mostly
and in the other hand I alternate the double-bass bass line
and the rest of the piano part.
The classical music purists would have apoplexy.
But this makes it possible
for the violin, viola, and cello players, my fellow patients,
to play this spirited music,
and it's worth it to see them enjoying themselves and each other.

We're just doing the Theme and Variations which amounts to
one internal movement out of five movements total:
the entire Forelle Quintette is a long difficult piece,
especially hard on the seated rear end, I can tell you.
But this one movement doesn't last long
(for all the hard work we put into it)
and it's easy on the audience's ears
(if we don't utterly butcher it, that is).


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:08 AM

Your user fellow-inmate sounds as if they really need to be there, k, so good that they weren't immediately banned, imo.

Meanwhile in other news my son is, as I write, in front of a magistrate for a decision on whether to commit said son involuntarily for longer than the 3-day hold he's already on. That is the independent evaluator's recommendation, and my fervent hope. I am also [after 5 1/2 months] no longer Completely Fine... Considering going back on meds. Sigh. It was a good run, though, and I do still feel *mostly* fine. Some physical zoominess akin to overcaffeination [I consume no caffeine but chocolate], my [mental? Metaphorical?] hamster seems to be getting out the exercise wheel again [I have named it Scaramouche], overuse of brackets, difficulty working on anything tedious... But I have been worried sick about my adult child, too. If he actually gets committed I will feel a lot better, and maybe it will all Just Go Away.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 09:52 PM

With the absence of migraine agony, my life feels worth living even more. Perhaps too much for timid souls. I'm pretty sure total trust is not healthy. chant- 'it just doesn't matter'
May you dispense with the useless agony of your choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 11:53 AM

I concur, Mrrzy, fascinating on more levels than one ...

remember the patient who lost his temper and stormed out of a community meeting, which one is supposed not to do?
He is in serious trouble now.
I'm not going to say what substance he was 'using' but
suffice to say you're not supposed to use it, or other substances that compare to it.
He had been secretly doing so for weeks, right under our noses.
I'm not even going to specify if the substance is generally illicit or if it is legal past a certain age or whatever.
The point is, he is an in-patient resident living in close quarters with several dozens of other patients, and his actions affected us all, however indirectly.

Having avoided 'substance use' in general for the whole of my life, there is a lot about which I am ignorant.
I was just aware that this patient, always needy and dependent on interacting with others, was presenting in a way that was increasingly conflicted and complex.
With a change to his prescribed meds --
something that happens quite often in a clinic like this one --
he went through a downright euphoric period, and in fact he was insufferable for a while,
because he wanted the whole civilized world to know that he felt like life was worth living again, aargh, which is anything but considerate of fellow patients who may really still be struggling.

Then, with the improvement in his feelings and well-being, came the moments when he could no longer avoid looking at the really tough issues which were his excuse to abuse substances in the first place. And so, he took the path of least resistance, for weeks as I say, covering it up the whole time. And the way he presented, while hiding it, was a different presentation. His volatile temper got worse instead of better. However, instead of demanding attention and being needy, he became wary and guarded, holding people at arm's length or further. This is a troubling combination even to someone like me who does not know what to suspect.

Of course the patient population includes other recovering abusers of substances, and no one had been watching this patient MORE carefully than they had. One of them caught him out, not because he was obviously in an altered state, but because they caught him carrying a certain implement, and: "Is that a ***** ?"   Sooooooo busted.

Eventually these others will sort things out, but right now they are royally pissed-off with this patient, now that they can look back on the last few weeks and recall all the times they socialized with him and what he said, and how he said it, instead of coming clean.

This patient has not been discharged on the spot. He turned himself in, for one thing, after being caught out by his fellow patient. Other mitigating factors. This does not mean that he won't be asked to leave -- just, that it won't happen now if it does happen. First his case will go through a couple of weeks of reevaluation, for which there is a definite protocol and procedure. So whether he continues or whether he receives an administrative discharge, he will have the benefit of sustained, cooperative, care and attention from a whole integrated team of different specialists.

In my months here, I have witnessed this reevaluation process for two previous patients, both of whom were allowed to continue their treatment following the process; it was a wholly positive experience for both of these;
and for one of those earlier patients, whose parents had sort of dragged him here after years of having psychiatrists controlling him with addictive prescription meds, the reevaluation -- following a really scary "discompensation" incident -- was truly a turning point; now he is grateful for the attention that he received when his need was greatest, and he continues his treatment on an entirely different footing: not against his will, as when he was first admitted, but voluntarily and with gratitude and appreciation. That is a beautiful thing to watch, as unnerving as the incident was that was the catalyst for the breakthrough.
Time will tell, with this third patient, how things work out; and meanwhile the patient community is helping each other get to grips with the disturbance and the drama.

Although I am hanging in there, and my treatment is going well and I am working hard and productively at it, I'm starting to think carefully about life after treatment. Which I guess means that I feel safe enough to do so without doing it as an escape or an avoidance of reality. And only time will tell how that, too, works out.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 04:55 PM

Fascinating...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 10:44 PM

I know the concerto well. Once a new conductor at concert time decided to conduct in 2-4 instead of 4-4 to give it some spontaneous energy but the orchestra instead thought it was 4-4 so they played it twice as slow. When the soloists joined in they too went at a lugubrious molassas tempo. There was no hope so I stood up and did my best Jimmy Durante imitation and yelled "Stop the music, stop the music... Now lets play the hell outta this thing, Maestro" then the conductor did a furious 4-4 and we began again. Most people thought it was part of the act.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 08:52 PM

meanwhile, back at the clinic ...

there is actually a group, with the newly admitted patients,
forming of classical string players.
We do not have, sadly, a true string quartet.
That said, there are three now:
one violinist, one violist, and one 'cellist.
The three of them, when they get a free evening,
congregate after supper (and after the final therapy group meeting)
and they get their instruments out.

On one occasion I attempted something on piano with them,
and on other occasions I have simply listened to them rehearse.

At first there was a lot of sight-reading going on because
we didn't all know the same pieces.

There is an interesting arrangement of an existing piece,
the Bach concerto for two violins in D minor
-- or rather, of its opening movement.
Somebody took the second-solo-violin part,
and the bass line which the cello plays,
and did an ingenious merge, just with that opening movement:
the second-solo-violin part is transposed down an octave,
and blended into the bass line.
And thus, you end up with
a duet for violin and cello.
Not the same without an entire orchestra filling in the chords,
but still you get a spare, clean arrangement of the piece.
It actually works,
and every time the two of them play it, it sounds better.

There is also a Shostakovich Prelude, not very long, which is
a duet for viola and cello --
or, perhaps, a viola-cello arrangement of something different?

Anyway, those two players ran through that one.

Then there was the evening -- this was weeks ago actually --
when the violinist was not free, and the question came up, is there anything for viola, cello, and piano?   It's rare.
And predictably, what we came up with was an arrangement of a differently scored piece of classical music, and what a find we caught:


Opus 114 by Johannes Brahms -- VERY late opus number for him, he was an old man and a fully mature composer, at his best --
is scored for a trio of clarinet, cello, and piano.
And it is arranged with
the clarinet part played by the viola instead.
So we ran to a public-domain computer website
and printed the score and the parts out.

Being as it's Brahms, and ALL of us were sight-reading,
I suggested we attempt the two SLOW movements in the middle?
Well, my intentions were good, and it was still ...
erm ... in a way it was entertaining and fun, but
OH, how we butchered the Brahms! And we kept bogging down and getting stuck.

The other night, the cellist confided to me that although he has not practiced his cello part in the Brahms,
he did find time to pull up online sites where he can listen to the music, which of course he did not know before;
and he could see/hear that this is a beautiful piece of chamber music
and worth working on.

All this, in addition to the ongoing dramas of
treatment at a mental health clinic. It's a change of pace, anyhow.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Jul 20 - 03:59 PM

How fast fourteen years fly when you're Mudcatting, Helen!


Meanwhile, back at the clinic:
It was bound to happen. I have stuck out four months before
experiencing this for the first time.
Five days a week, a general meeting is held, by and for the patients themselves, although staff members frequently attend and are welcome to do so. Patients themselves chair/facilitate these weekday meetings. They are voluntary, no one is absolutely required to come [although the patient who is community-meeting chair is elected to that office during a term of time, and that patient had darned well better show up during their term].
I have not attended each and every weekday meeting, myself, during my four months here, so what happened may have happened already during that time and I was just conveniently absent back then.

It's not unheard of for a patient to get up and walk out, although it is discouraged.
The patient who did it today, however, lost their temper before walking out, so we witnessed an outburst of anger and rage during the meeting.
Well, this is a mental health hospital, after all, so why would this not happen?
I suppose the wonder is that I have not seen it happen sooner.

Nor did it surprise me which patient it was, and of course
I cannot divulge too much here. I can say,
this patient has been repeatedly warning us all of two things:
their issues with rage, anger, and temper, which they're working on;
and their growing frustration with certain conditions, let's just say
they are related to the pandemic lockdown restrictions and
an enforced separation from family.
This patient is hardly alone in that latter predicament.
Nor the only one with anger management issues.

It's just that the two combined in an explosive fashion today.
Nobody and nothing was hurt or damaged.
A few people were 'triggered,' not least the poor patient who stormed out.
It certainly made for drama, though.

I'm all right, as I could see this coming, for a start,
and I know how to stay out of harm's way.
I also grasp that in the long run this is a positive development,
and can be used in future to make things better.
The people who had a hard time with this incident, of course,
were the ones who tend to merge with other patients and
who have a hard time letting go once they engage --
some of these were shaken.

So we had fireworks, you might say, before July Fourth.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 06:04 PM

I've found them on YouTube.

I have to admit that this style of song is not my favourite to listen to, but I appreciate the beauty of it.

I'm thinking about refreshing the classical music thread that I started. Wow! I thought I started it a few years ago, but it was back in 2006. The older I get, the faster time flies.

Classical music - what makes you listen


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 05:24 PM

Flanders and Swann wrote "The Elephant" for
the singer Ian Wallace, who first recorded it;
the song may turn up on their Beastiary, or whatever that collection is, of their Animal Songs,
along with The Gnu, The Warthog, The Sloth, The Whale (Mopy Dick),
and so on.


Composers Schubert and Hugo Wolf are both Lieder composers,
and I haven't looked up online listening for those songs
but some of their songs, surely, can be listened to online.

Another one we looked at last night
(it was a busy half hour:

a French Mélodie by Ernest Chausson
called Le Colibri (The Hummingbird).

Right now, as I sit at the computer station,
it is thundering and storming outside.
I hope the power doesn't get knocked out
the way it did on Monday, two days ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 04:28 PM

Hey keberoxu, thanks for your music "Liszt". The only one I have heard of is the F&S song about mud.

I'm Lisztening now to "Oh! quand je dors". Beautiful!

I'll find the other ones too.

(I have some favourite Liszt tracks on a couple of CD's.)


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 09:14 PM

Well, Helen, since you asked,
I just surprised him with Flanders & Swann's
"The Elephant," about the Elephant's Nursing Home
and being psychoanalyzed.
Of course he was familiar with
"Mud, mud, glorious mud," however
in the USA, few are familiar with much more of F & S than that --
so this was new to him. He was thoroughly amused.

We also went through
"Oh! quand je dors,"
words by Victor Hugo and music by Franz Liszt;
and last week at this appointment, it was
"Epiphanias,"
words by Goethe and music by Hugo Wolf.

The latter is comedy/satire, about We Three Kings, the Magi.
Goethe has it:
They like to be feasted when they visit,
they like to drink well,
and they do NOT like having to pay the bill afterwards!
And anyway, they are "Off to see the Christ Child,
The Won-der-ful" -- oops, wrong movie --
anyway, since there is no star standing still overhead,
they must get back on their camels and follow that star now.
Very funny little marching song.
But being a Lied, an art song,
it is much tougher to execute than it is to listen to.

We've also done Schubert's "Der Musensohn," I forget the poet,
a rapid bouncy song about the itinerant singer who goes from place to place
cheering people up with his singing, and one of these days
he honestly would like to get back home where
someone is waiting for him, but his MUSE keeps him wandering.

It's a welcome break from psychotherapy, I promise you!
(The food, however, is still first-rate,
so I always show up at mealtime.)


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 05:39 PM

keberoxu, your music collaboration is very inspiring. I'm interested to know which music pieces you are practising, just so that I can imagine your mini-sessions more completely.

This week I saw a news item on TV about the issues surrounding using face masks in mental health environments, mainly relating to the difficulties in making personal connection with people who are under stress or emotional difficulties while having half of each other's faces covered. I was only half watching it and I can't find the article. I'll keep searching for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 11:13 AM

Good on yer, k.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Jun 20 - 09:00 PM

Don't let
they-who-must-not-be-named
get you down, Mrrzy.
I support you.


About me:
still here at the clinic.
As this particular state eases up on
businesses and local economies,
the department of mental health
is getting even more strict, curiously enough,
with "congregate housing" like this.

Used to be,
25 people, max, in a room;
now, it's a maximum of 10 people,
AND
they MUST wear masks, all of them.
This is inside the institution.

So, walking a fine line between
boosting the local economy
and
protecting the health of the citizens.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 11:47 AM

Don't cash it yet!


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