Best gag ever. Feat. Topless in CA/

Background:

I was a customer of the mental health industry for a time in the last decade. It has been useful to tease out emotional and/or intellectual conditions. I explored mood disorders, OCD related thinking and addiction. I have taken something useful from each fresh foray. Some of it was uncomfortable, especially when I became dependent on alcohol and other substances. I was hauled around by my biology. and not able to snap out of the cycle.
(I probably have a neurochemical predisposition to enjoying alcohol to relieve anxiety.)
During this period: I had unexpected and scary medical consequences.

I let people down but did little measurable harm and for this, I quite frankly was subjected to barbaric old-fashioned treatment. Even in this day and age.

Long story short: (This is not meant to be a downer.)
I came out the other side and became slowly aware that despite my best efforts. I was still being pathologized.
I was, in short, a danger to myself and the well-being of others in the eyes of others. This was obvious in encounters with a few but not all friends, family and my doctors.
Despite the evidence to the contrary: Dealing with high stress situations such as relocating my son to get him out of the grip of opioids. Performing well in STEM classes at college. People who I trusted would question my mood. I could sense hidden agendas. Maybe they were motivated by effort to help me but to do that they still needed a patient.

I reduced my medication and things only got better.
My psychiatrist was still keen to medicate me to her max ideal. I made the appropriate noise and went down on the gazillion medications I was on. Responsibly.

Aside from craving pot for the first time in years I could sense no side effects and my thinking got clearer. I could see that I was slogging away at college for no good reason than to prove myself.
(I do love the subjects I was doing but it’s a heavy workload with everything else.) And that’s my other gripe. I’m capable of learning to the fullest extent of the subject material. But I have a disability, Information Processing.
I can’t perform in exams as I don’t have decent recall. I have to story information in different parts of my brain than I used to. And College is the ablest environment ever, I would say from my time there.
It sets the non-disabled up for suicide and chronic, lifelong mental health disorders.

seeing the Light

(NB: Here is where the adventure starts. )

I was contemplating this one day, when my situation collapsed into my truth. I was clearing the mailbox one morning and it hit me. Literally. I stood there. Soaked up the early morning sunshine. And then made a decision to go with my truth from now on. With a little help from my real friends.

Driving later the humor hit me. If I didn’t care so much about what others thought of me, I would be impenetrable and have fun with this premise. 🙂

Slightly later I was musing, about the medication I was about to go off and any side effects. Lithium is one to be especially careful of: Lithium. It’s the herpes of antipsychotic medication : ) Noone wants to admit they’re on it. Even though it’s merely an element! It can be both benign and powerful though.
A thought popped unbidden into my mind: “Watch out for paranoia”.

“Fear”, that most egregious of vices on the human mind is never far away. Then I chuckled: as I remembered the old saying: “What if someone really were following me”.

Then I felt like a smoke, so I went up a side street one of my Preschool Mom friends lived. There were no cars. It looked like everyone was at work, so I just parked and smoked my Marlboro.

It was hot so when I got back in the car, I took off my top. I can track my thinking here, but I won’t recount. There are too many thoughts involved but the long and the short of it:
I took my top completely off and sat in the car topless. Then I decided to get out of my car, and I wandered into my friends back yard like, you know: A “free”, person. From memory, my friend had a beautiful garden.

I thought to myself: “she’s either going to be at home or I’ll get in trouble. :)”

There were two dogs in the garden, but they seemed to remember me. So, I sat. Comfortable. I’m in good shape and not particularly modest.

Oh, but that’s when it got interesting. I realised I’d got the wrong garden. (Possibly the wrong street.) And at the same time, four cops walked into my vision. I smirked and went with it. Let’s see how they dealt with a half-naked women sitting in a stranger’s garden in an affluential city. Best case scenario, they’d inform me good naturedly that I was out of place and give me some privacy while I retreated. I’m not very threatening except for my razor-sharp wits 🙂

But no:

They ran me. Instead of just asking me to leave and telling me I made a dick of myself.
They went through as many records as they could access to get a picture of my history. And then everybody was invited to the party. My doctor. The last hospital I was in. My husband. Ugh.
This could either be a mess or a Pop-Up party.
I went with the party option,

By now, I was smirking from behind the pillow the nicest cop had thrown at me. They told me the ambulance was on its way. “Choice”, I thought.

This is like a who’s who of attendees of Hen’s Night characters. by this stage. 🙂

They couldn’t have held me without my permission (but oh yes, they could have as events can get out of control if you don’t comply) so I played helpless and acquiesced to going to the local hospital for a mental health check-up.

The ambo was nice; easy on the eye and solicitous and so I prepared for a few hours off in the ministrations of the healthcare system.


Everybody had decided without even talking to me, I’d lost the plot because of stopping medication. Do you SEE this?

Everybody who knows me, knows I am completely stable. I have a goofy sense of humor. No-one apart from a couple of professionals and family knows I took meds. But instead of asking to speak to me, they decided I had become a nuisance to the day to day. Needed to be looked after. 😉

I love being looked after, as it is only getting away from those in my care that I get that experience.
So, I muttered something about stopping Lithium and prepared to watch those who I interacted with over the next few hours. And off to John Muir I was sent.
I trotted out the necessary platitudes:
” Yes, I was topless in a strangers’ garden.’
Lithium. Stopped that. (Six months ago. No-one noticed. )
” yada, yada. I’ll talk to my doctor.”

Nobody at the hospital wanted to keep me. They were triaging continuously. Even so, I sat there from approx 1pm until 7.30pm that night.

WTF?

It’s that easy to get put into care. And the system does not move you on. Your doctor and loved ones won’t necessarily advocate for you. This is the systemic gaslighting of mental health patients at work.

The professionals treating me could tell I wasn’t a ‘risk’. To test my theory that I was impenetrable, I did one more half naked streak down the hallway. 🙂

Guess what!
I got stopped and ushered back before I reached the roof, but they didn’t even remember I was the same patient unless they looked at my chart. I told them I had thought I was going into the bathroom to get changed.

Eventually I got out. I had succeeded in my undercover, psyche patient mission. I got to hang my headlights out twice in one day and essentially freed my mind.

That one day! I quit school. I Fired my psychiatrist and therapist and I’m doing it my way from now on. This involves lots of swimming and sunbathing!

I get to go Topless in CA!

I will winter like this!

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