It’s the Weekend!

Guinea pigs Peanut and Butternut snuggled in their furry nest

I’ve got 7 hour accompanied passes this weekend, which means more time to spend with these little people.

Ashley with guinea pig Toffee on her chest

Today is day 27 in hospital. It kind of feels like being in an alternate dimension that doesn’t move at the same speed as the rest of the world and isn’t in the same city as where I live (except it absolutely is in the same city). It brings to mind The Time Warp from Rocky Horror…

I’ve noticed after two bitemporal ECT treatments that my head seems to have a few more holes in it. I don’t mind in the slightest. I wouldn’t mind forgetting the meltdown that prompted me to go into hospital, and it’s too bad I can’t make the friend in whose direction I aimed the meltdown magically forget that it ever happened.

I filed my taxes yesterday. I had to pay about $4K in taxes, because I opted not to have any deducted from my disability payments, and my disability was approved retroactive to the date I stopped working, so in 2021, I got paid for both 2020 and 2021. I’m somewhat concerned that the disability people are going to take issue with the amount of money I’ve made from book royalties. I’ve earned more than what’s allowed for employment income, but the vast majority of the book income is from my first book, Psych Meds Made Simple, which I published in 2019, before I was on disability. Unfortunately, on Canadian income tax, royalty income gets lumped in with employment income. I vaguely recall writing a letter to the disability people several months ago explaining this, but I wasn’t particularly on the ball at the time, so I have no idea if it was even coherent. I’ve avoided calling them because I can’t talk properly, although perhaps not speaking properly actually helps to make my point that book royalties don’t mean I’m employed/employable.

My mom has been driving my car while she’s here. I actually can’t drive right now because my drivers license is expired. My mom only drives once in a blue moon to begin with, and only in the dinky little city she lives in. So being here in the big city driving my unfamiliar car, she’s not particularly confident. It’s slightly frightening on my end as the passenger, but I try to keep a lid on that so I don’t make her more anxious.

I’ve started being marginally more sociable on the ward. I had only been talking to one of my roommates for my first couple of weeks there, but I’ve expanded that ever so slightly. I’m also observing others more. It turns out the guy who is totally bonkers and constantly chattering with and laughing at his auditory hallucinations is super kind, and goes out of his way to try to help out others. It’s easy for people to make judgments based on stereotypes, but those judgments are probably wrong.

A while back I made a couple of guest appearances talking about self-publishing on the Happiness Between Tails blog by da-AL, who has just recently converted them into podcast format. You can find them here and here.

I should have the So You’ve Just Been Diagnosed page ready to publish later today or tomorrow. As part of it, I want to have listings of bloggers blogging about various mental illnesses. If you’ve already commented on previous posts sharing tips or resources, you’re already included, but for anyone else who would like to be included, just let me know in the comments below (and mention the diagnosis you blog about just to help me avoid getting confused). Thanks so much!

50 thoughts on “It’s the Weekend!”

  1. You probably already have the latest AN info, but I think it’s important to emphasize the death rate. People sometimes don’t understand how high it is. So, it’s super critical to get help for all eating disorders. I did not and somehow muddled through, but I’m not as mentally healthy as I might have been with help. Glad you are making progress!

  2. I absolutely loved this post! I feel like I’m really getting to know you. Congratulations on your book, I think it’s awesome that you attained that. So nice that you can see the kindness in the hallucinating man on your unit.

  3. Hi Ashley. Glad you are making progress. I hooe you feel you are too and so happy you got longer, to spend time with your guinea pigs.

    I am making my second pumpkin bread this month and finally, the cogs are now turning and proceedings WILL be starting soon by those I answer to as deputy, with regards to releasing me from my deputyship. So before they start those proceeedings, they plan to do their own mental capacity assessment on my mum, than just rely on social workers, before applying to the courts. They will include me on their paperwork so I am informed of the progress.
    They have also made apologies and explanations for the upset caused, when I felt things went silent on this matter, as well as applogise for a letter I received last Saturday, that I should have never received in the first place.

  4. I’m glad you got to go home and are talking to people on your ward.

    I also have plenty of stuff I would like to forget, or to make others forget.

    I worry that I’m going to have to repay the benefits I received when I got a job. I told them at the time that I was earning more than the permitted amount, but they kept paying me for over a year, apparently because of COVID (?!). Now they’ve sent me ambiguous letters that make me worry they’re going to suddenly demand nearly £6,000 back from me. Technically I have the money, as, living with my parents, my expenditure is minimal, but it’s a worry that they might sue me or something.

    My blog is a lot less mental illness-focused than it used to be, but I still blog about autism and social anxiety and occasionally retrospectively about depression and OCD if you want to link.

  5. Yay more time with the pigs!
    I really enjoyed reading this post, thank you for sharing about your stay. I have really enjoyed the feeling of getting to know you more through these blogs ❤️
    I feel like your energy is coming through this post. I hear you, I had an outburst/breakdown a few years ago to someone who was my best friend at the time- it’s an uncomfortable almost shameful feeling I found. You are not a bad person, I think you should be extremely proud of yourself for how vulnerable you have been in sharing what’s going on and getting up facing each day as you have. You are moving mountains one breath at a time 💕

    I never shared I guess my blog is mainly directed towards C-PTSD and PTSD as I was diagnosed a couple years ago as well as Major Depressive disorder.

  6. The best part about being on disability is listening to government commercials about how they’re committed to help and change, all while kicking you when you’re down.

    Scoring a seven hour pass: winning! Though I always found early effort to return to the world a challenge. I can’t believe it’s been seven days.

    I’m sorry the meltdown with the friend is causing grief/taking up mental space and energy. If they know about your mental illness, I’d hope they’d have some compassion when you’re in a space to talk to them about it. Though that’s harder if the person on the other end of the conversation is neurotypical.

    I have not filed taxes because the “free” Turbo Tax now wants me to pay for it because I have medical expenses. They can pound sand since I can do it myself, but getting the info deleted was a challenge. Thank god I’m always a whisper away from releasing the hounds and my temper.


    1. I used H&R Block’s website to do my taxes, and I was able to do it for free including submitting medical expenses.

      The meltdown is only eating very minimal mental energy at this point. It’s a non-neurotypical person, and I probably don’t want someone in my life who runs screaming in the other direction when things get tough, but it would still be nice to magic that couple of hours out of existence.

      1. It would be, if only because (if you’re like me), that moment will continue to be a pain in the ass that haunts for quite some time.
        I will check out H&R Block.

  7. Owwww cuddle time with the piglets! Yay!
    And Rocky Horror! ♥ ♥ ♥
    I know your feeling about your mum driving. My parents have a hybrid car and it shifts in its own. Mum drove a stick up till that car. Now, when she needs to drive my little old car, my toes are cramped in my shoes as I need to keep reminding her that the stick between the chairs should be used when the car starts complaining a lot 😂 😂 😂
    I hope you can work it out with the taxes. It always baffles me as I really have no understanding of them, except I always have to pay and never get anything back from them except more bills and headaches 😂.
    Wishing you all the best, once more 🌹 ☀ 🌈

  8. Johnzelle Anderson

    The tax stuff will get worked out. Glad you’re still fighting to feel better. Rooting for you! 💚

  9. I’m glad you could spend some time with the fur babies! And that you’ve felt comfortable being more social with other folks in the ward. I don’t envy you one bit when it comes to taxes or having your mother drive your car (I get a little anxious for you reading that lol). Hope you continue feeling better. Thinking of you! <3

  10. so very sorry for your challenges, Ashley – am very glad to hear that you’ve gotten treatment & am rooting for you that it helps you immensely. again, many thanks for your contributions to my blog <3

  11. Is that a little sleeping bag for guinea pigs? Cute! I’m amazed at how much you get done while in the hospital. Taxes and your new So You’ve Been Diagnosed venture – impressive!

  12. Yay to weekends!! And the extra time for cuddles with fur babies ❤. I hear you on the judgement- it’s nice to be surprised by people. It’s probably hard not to judge on some level though- I guess it’s just being aware of it. So excited about the resources you are working on too! Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂

  13. Thank you for sharing your latest weekend. It is good to see progress being made and that you had time with fur babies and your mum. I am glad you have her – and them! Praying that the tax situation, and your slight worry about the other person gets sorted. I am impressed that you are able to keep working on your latest project. My blog isn’t suitable to be linked but I’m glad that there are others that will be. Hope you continue to improved. God bless x

  14. So glad to hear about the pass and visits with your Mom and your little ones. I am literally amazed that even during hospitalization you are keeping pace (or exceeding that pace) with your blog posts. You are truly amazing to keep posting! Thinking of you and well wishes for your continued progress.

  15. Awesome you got to spend so much time with the guinea pigs!
    I am glad you are able to be more social on the ward.
    I am never really socialable when on the ward. I kinda stick to myself.

  16. Yay for cute cuddle time! 🙂 And congrats on filing your taxes! And I’m glad your Disability was approved! I guess I haven’t been around here much recently because the last I heard, you were still applying for it. I’m glad you got it. I hope things go okay at the hospital

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