Clearing Out

Wednesday is the big day. Cleaning out the beach house.

Sunday evening I relaxed after spending the afternoon letting my husband grab his favorite tools from my father’s garage before Hughes Estate Sales takes everything not now in storage. After consulting with my sister, decided to move and store very little – the rest we will sell or donate to charity. No sense spending a bunch of money on packing, moving and storage.


Decorated my parents’ room at Silverado Memory Care with my mom’s favorite paintings and charcoals by Leon Derbyshire, Seattle-based family friend. Today I learned that my father took them down, confused thinking that they were in a hotel and had to pack up to leave. He asked that I put everything down in writing for him because he keeps forgetting.

My husband has had fun wearing one of my dad’s big straw hats. He insists that he met me years ago in the mid-80’s as I studied on the beach, and that he was intimidated by my father wearing a big straw hat and sunglasses as he stood on their second floor deck keeping a watchful eye on his daughter and her would-be suitor. My dad scared him off back then, but welcomed him in our life when I was thirty-one.

Broken Brain

Broken Brain

Brain broken
Frustrating
Do not remember
Must constantly relearn
Brain not functioning properly
Not functioning as it once did
Must constantly relearn
Damn, I hate bipolar disorder

So….who are you?

As I begin my training as a Hearing Advocate for those involuntarily hospitalized, I found this post timely. Finding My Sunshine is a mother, wife and PhD student living with Bipolar disorder. In this post, she describes her experience with involuntary hospitalization and multiple ECT sessions administered while prescribed Lithium, resulting in severe memory loss. Through rehabilitation much of her memory is returning, but she does not recall everything about her hospitalization.

Finding My Sunshine

One of the major side effects of ECT is short term memory loss. And, boy, did it affect me.

I underwent ECT thrice weekly for ten sessions in the locked ward. Which, incidentally, reminds me. Recently I was considering my time in hospital and found it remarkable that when you are first involuntarily frog marched to a locked ward it is a major crush to the soul. You’re all “let me out of here! I’m being held against my will!” you pound your fists on the air lock doors and almost inevitably get told that you are going to be given something to “calm down”, which actually sounds quite pleasant until you are stabbed with a hypodermic needle. Then a few weeks later, after you have settled in, you’re all “welcome to my crib. Bitch.” Institutionalization at its finest. Clearly a topic for another time.

Anyway, back to my terrible…

View original post 466 more words