Monday, May 17, 2021

Comments by Graciela Pilar Signes

Showing 37 of 37 comments.

  • mmarti2007, I have been praying for you & your son. If you haven’t already checked this site out, it might help as you taper:
    I’m sorry you’re spread so thin with little relief. I have faith you will find a way to continue to navigate this warped system while you wean off benzos. By the way, congratulations on deciding to embark on the awesome & awful journey of coming off meds. I had been prescribed the same drug a while back too. It took me an eternity to realize that not even the scorching fires of hell can burn me forever & crisis mode is not the only way to get around in this life. Well, honestly, I’m still trying to figure that out or “rewire my brain.” I believe you got this, mmarti200. From my perspective, that son of yours is lucky to have a mom that cares as much as you do. Even on a bad day, thanks for reaching out to me.

  • Dear Rosalee,

    If I wasn’t having such a hard time answering the call to figure out how to be of service in this arena, I’m sure I’d be further along by now, but I have to hold out for something that feels right. No, I didn’t read this article until now. Thanks for sharing! Life is coming at me fast. I go in and out of isolation very cautiously. It’s tricky to gauge how to regulate my exposure to life, let alone interactive information hubs like MIA & even trauma or psychiatric survivors support groups (even if they existed near me) in person or even online without becoming dense with the participants’ energy. Many times this kind of ‘support’ makes me feel helpless, stuck in some hell of my past again, not knowing what hit me. I’m in the process of figuring out how to educate myself & regulate myself as this exposure triggers old reactions & memories without resorting to my old tactics of becoming someone else to survive the moment.
    Deep breath.

    Dr. Gabor Mate is on the other side of the counter, I’m on this one, living the subversive act of healing. I find it’s quite a different perspective yet at the same time his thought process resonates with mine. The only thing I read by him was ‘In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts’ & he had me laughing for days every time I pictured his addiction wearing ‘dainty white gloves.’ Lol. This guy is hilarious. I’m very much looking forward to reading ‘The Myth of Normal.’ I’m so grateful for people like him.

    Thankfully, I didn’t get hurt in the accident. Thanks for asking. My car is in the shop & I’m doing my best to put myself back together again every time life cracks me open. It is what it is.

    Thanks for the healing vibes – right back atcha : )

  • It’s hard for me to get the full picture of what we are discussing since some comments have been removed for moderation. I’m just going to chime in if that’s ok with you guys. Life has made me tough, but lately, I’ve felt the need to break down some walls of toughness to nurture other neglected parts of myself & get to the next stages of healing from Psychiatry. I haven’t received instruction on how to do this & it is terrifying to feel this vulnerable & trust my intuition to light the way as if it were a flickering candle in my inner darkness. Two reasons why I wrote this essay were in hopes of feeling more aligned with my truth & possibly to meet other ex-psych patients. There are no support groups around me & I hadn’t met any ex psych patients friends before writing this.

    Oldhead, I appreciate your effort to challenge me, but I assure you that life has taken care of challenging me plenty. Since entering this essay, I have gotten into a car accident & experienced a few other triggering events as if my life (the way I’m living it) were attempting to evict me. Life has gotten increasingly more difficult since adding my story here.

    Thanks to MIA, I met a woman named Isabel R & she shared with me that a famous Dr had written, “healing is a subversive act.” That is 100% true for me. I’ve boldly interrupted the norm with my ‘coming out’ story & I’m doing my absolute best to face the music or ruckus of all my internalized parts protesting within. I need to answer the call for change in my life, but I’m struggling to surrender my old comfort zones. This stage feels like the hardest one so far in the process of recovering from Psychiatry.

    Krista/Alex, thanks for writing such supportive & insightful feedback. I’m fortunate you’ve both shared your perspective since you are farther along in the healing process than I am. Hopefully, in the future, it could be the norm for ex-psych patients to have mentors like AA participants have sponsors. I’ve learned a lot from you. Thanks for sharing with me.

    Thanks for all the comments. I hope everyone has a decent day as we continue the painstaking process of pioneering into off-limit frontiers within & sharing our findings for the sake of our collective need for change.

  • Dear Krista,

    Just another day in the neighborhood? I’m trying my best to hold my ground on what feels like shifting sands & I have a lot of experience with ‘distractions.’ Lol. Thanks for the encouragement & for reaching out. Oh & thanks for trying to visit my site in the bio. It’s called med free sane asylum dot com. It’s very rough around the edges & intentionally a work in progress.

  • Dear Alex,

    You hit the nail on the head. Mimicking the disturbing and indeed maddening tactics used by psychiatry is what will keep it alive. It can be a lot of work to shed the old ‘institutionalized’ consciousness, but it’s the only way we can transcend it. We have all been debilitated severely by the current model of care, including the commentators who give authors a hard time. Our voices have been snuffed out only to be resurrected by our innate superhuman-like efforts & fomented in forums like these. May we continue telling our stories until the same old narrative is but a memory. Thank you for noticing my faults & for your encouragement on the most challenging journey of my life. I’m fortunate to have received resonance & guidance from an ex psych patient like yourself. Many blessings for you as well & thank you.

  • PacificDawn

    Political consciousness raising & political activism are invaluable & not only our right but also our obligation. I have participated in protesting the APA in the past. What I meant was a model of care that reallocates resources more efficiently than the current model so the seeker can effectively recover from their dis-ease as we have (assuming you’ve also outgrown/survived psychiatry). My vision of a new model might be totally different than yours, but I can assure you they don’t clash; they might just run parallel to one another. As you can tell, I hold many conflicting viewpoints I’m in the process of reconciling. I got this far & I will figure it out. Thanks for your input.

  • Ms. Hartmann
    Thanks for bearing with me & keeping me on course as I got a bit off track in my last response. You’re right about pride. In my case, only, for now, I feel I have my ego on a tight leash, but I’ll cut it some slack as I get the hang of it.

    Also, thank you for sharing your accounts with such detail in “Full Moral Status” & “The Unicorn: Changing a Diagnosis.” You are one [email protected] unicorn. Your essays are surely helping many shed light on their realities as well as offering them instruction. I look forward to reading “Sex and Psychiatry: The Tranquilizing Drug of Trust…A White Knight Turns Dark” & other essays you might feel inclined to share.

    You’re inspirational. I love the quotes you share of those who inspire you. Here’s one that messaging with you has brought to mind, “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

    ― Nelson Mandela

  • Rosalee
    What century are we in & how is this legal? I can’t begin to imagine the whirlwind of emotions you were swept into after receiving news of your brother’s passing under Psychiatric care. Especially since you were also simultaneously attempting to gain clarity in regards to your life circumstance. I suspect you have your brother’s back up from the other side every step of the way on your mission. You must be a powerhouse of a woman for enduring, death, psychiatry, cancer & everything else that did not end you. Thanks for sharing some of your resilience here with me. I agree, there’s strength in numbers, and every voice can help wake up more people.

  • Hey Alex, hope you’re well & thanks for the resources. Your last email is so bright I need darker shades just to read it. Lol, but seriously – so much light! Thanks for taking time out of your day to reach out to a fellow Psychiatric survivor and offer so much wisdom. I’m sending you love & light for you & your partner. Hope you’re having a great day & yeah, Buckie is the man!

  • Dear oldhead, I don’t know what your intention is with your commentary & I find your tone slightly challenging. Therefore, I thank you for the challenge amidst the accolades making my first stab at taking a wobbly stand in this arena feel more genuine. There are other Psychiatric Survivors whose ‘consciousness’ you might resonate with more than mine & I invite you to go check them out because I pray my consciousness does not get ahead of itself. I feel strongly about what I’ve written & don’t foresee myself outgrowing this belief until I no longer see a use for it. I don’t think seeking or promoting alternatives to the Psychiatric standard is a dead end to managing ‘extreme states of consciousness’ since society, on average, is currently maladapted to accommodate these states. Since we’re all on the same side, I vote we continue to work just as hard at tearing down old beliefs/institutions as we do at constructing new ones that could support this growing need. Otherwise, too many would be left hanging (or at least more than the ones that currently exist.) As I mentioned in my essay, I’m only just getting started besides I’m just here to tell my story, which is the story of the underdog & how she is winning her life back. I’m just adding to all the other stories here that speak to the largely untapped human potential for self-healing. What is your story? I never caught your name.

    Also, I admire those slaves I remind you of that love their masters and gain their freedom. Perhaps, it might mean I’m on the Red Road where you look at your enemy in the eye and shake his hand in gratitude for making you stronger. I sure hope so; I didn’t make it this far to get off course.

  • Rosalee, you said it, so much about this system boggles me too as I feel like I’ve just woken from a deep slumber to an upside down world. How did we get here as a society? How have we created this monster? How do we work together to keep shedding light on solutions. How do we upgrade the system so it can start supporting recoveries like mine & the others on this site? Seems we have a lot of work to do. Thank you for your good wishes & all the best for you as well.

  • While it has been an odious institution, without it, since my mom knew nothing else, I would be dead if she had not hospitalized me with or without my consent & if they hadn’t sedated me heavily for so long. So, although I’ve been mistreated within it, my rights violated & I’ve had grounds to sue & haven’t, I’m also thankful for it. In all its misguided misuse of power, it’s all I knew & it’s all a lot of people have. I’m a first generation American, I know a dictator when I see one & they’re all the same. My argument or dream is to be part of the solution, to bring to light the alternatives, the things that work & keep in mind the following words that do not get old for me.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    ― Buckminster Fuller

  • Dear Cathy Kreisman, thanks for reading my essay & sharing your story: ‘Recovering Emotions After 24 Years on Antidepressants.’ These days it’s so hard for me to accept that medications are the norm of treatment while research shows they are largely ineffective, harmful & not cost effective on society or the consumer while there are so many other ‘alternatives’ that on average, are none of those things. If only they didn’t have to compete. I’m happy you got in touch with your inner guidance via mediation. The picture you paint of your new life of self-discovery in Oregon sounds so lovely to me. Congratulations to you too!!!

  • Alex, lots going on here. I hear you loud & clear. I agree we are by no means powerless. I’m just trying to be as honest as I can be with myself & whoever else is listening in regards to where I’m at in terms of my ‘recovery,’ now that recovery has a whole new definition, in fact, it has the original definition. Thank you for reaching out & sharing your thoughts, experience & advise with me. I do appreciate it. Good night.

  • Dear Jenna Rai Miller,

    Thank you for taking the time to read my submission & to leave such a beautiful response. I have admired you since you trained me to give IOOV NAMI presentations. I remember how I shook (filled with flashbacks) as you held the door for me & I struggled to walk into the intensive psych unit in New Canaan to give a presentation where I had been hospitalized. I don’t work with NAMI anymore, but I will always admire you & am grateful you are in my life. Thanks for the support. How you’ve been able to accomplish so much with all the obstacles that were in your path is impressive. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me & for all the encouragement. I’m happy you are pleased with my essay. Thank you, Jenna, all of you.

    w/so much love!

    Grace or Graciela Signes

  • Wow, Alex! I just shrank a little after reading your message. I’m a regular girl who swears a lot, is not very educated & goes to the same job every day for the past ten years like clockwork. I alternate between mostly blending into the background of life & once in a while when I can’t hold it in anymore; I make a splash. I don’t have a community; I don’t do any peer work, I don’t have a support group or credentials to be of service to psych survivors or those in transition. Your life & most people’s experience on this site sounds so accomplished & meaningful to me. I’m sure you live your life & you don’t realize that to me you are living the dream. You’re so much more far along than I am. Someday, I pray to have some value so I can help the healing movement. I’d love to be an activist eventually like you & fully live my purpose, whatever that means & whatever it is. I have some blurry disconnected notions, but I still can’t fully articulate what that is or what I think it is so I can dream a blueprint into existence. It’s hard to build a life on shifting sands, you know? I’m still in the beginning steps of working things out with myselves that you wrote about, but I/we will get there. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments with me. It will take me some time to appreciate the resources you’ve shared. My email would be [email protected] if you wanted to keep corresponding. It’s an honor to me that my essay had a positive effect on you since you have experienced entanglement with Psychiatry first hand. Thank you again for reading it & for taking the time to share your feedback with me.

  • Oh Alex, reading your comment has got me all sorts of choked up & my eyes are leaking again but in the right way. I guess everyone here has been through “The Hero’s Journey” making all of us heroes, but if I could point out that 17 years is a long time. I look up to you & you’re still my hero. Lol. What I have gone through has made me realize how resourceful & resilient humans are. There are all these built-in features to being human I discovered out of necessity. When that light you were talking about decides to shine brightly, I wish I could go around life rooting for all humans everywhere who are going through struggles like a cheerleader saying, “You’re human, so you got this!”

    I can’t thank you enough for your feedback. I would never know how I sound in my writing if you didn’t tell me. Sometimes I think what’s the point of telling my story, so many others have told their stories, my essay is not needed, but you never know who you might reach by your particular choice of words or perspective at least that’s what someone wiser than me told me. Now I’m even more curious about your story. Someday, I hope you decide to share your story. I would really like to read/hear it. I hope you have a great day Alex!

  • Wow, plebtocracy, you think so? You rock too! Thank you! I don’t feel brave I feel like history repeats itself & I’m just another stubborn girl that tried all the short cuts, hit all the dead ends then eventually realized the only way out was through. Oh & since I’m quoting people now & we’re talking about heroes, Arya Stark’s voice has been ringing in my head lately, as suicide rears its ugly head from time to time, to say, “What do we say to the god of death? Not today.”

    Thanks for taking the time to read my essay & leave a lovely comment. I hope your story grows in leaps & bounds from here too! All the best to you!

  • Wow, J, for a minute I felt like I was back in the sixties, my hippie self was attending a peace rally in time of war & my wide-eyed self was watching you preach-it on the megaphone, like wow, look at him, or her go. You speak a lot of truth here. This #FAKESCIENCE crap is so messed up; it’s hard to believe it has so many people fooled. I’m fortunate to be (mostly) out of its grip. I pray I will figure out a way to get stronger & make a difference in an effort for our new society to stop failing people like we were failed. Thank you for reading & leaving a comment. All the best to you!

  • PacificDawn, you said it! The whole system feeds into itself, charges the stranded a fortune & if they survive, they get to join the rat race or work for the system that never healed them in the first place & return the favor for the next victims online in the name of ‘recovery.’ Since this has been my interpretation of life, I have not known how to do it, but with this different view, I’m hoping to find my place & get into the swing of things soon. Thank you for taking the time to read & respond. It means a lot to me, comrade.

  • Krista Hartmann, you can’t tell right now, but I’m giving you a standing ovation in my head. Bravo! Well said! I know those places too that you speak of in your writing. Oh my, this “rolling in the grass puppy” of mine is a handful, but there’s nothing quite like trusting the supposedly untrustworthy, beating the odds and cautiously unleashing whatever needs to be unleashed. We should be providing safe spaces for people to let their nature unfold & teaching them ways to manage their humanity not drugging them because their brand of humanity doesn’t fit into society’s norm. Thank you for reading my essay & thank you for leaving a comment — all the best to you.

  • Hello Someone Else. I hope you’re doing alright. If you feel like sharing, how do you think your process was more difficult & less difficult than mine? Even though I don’t know what you mean, I like the way you phrased that & I’m inclined to agree with you already. I wouldn’t say my process has always made sense, been safe or been recommended. There have been harrowing times where I have no idea how I’m still alive. I pride myself on being both stupid & stubborn. I feel they are the best qualities for enduring the endless nightmares of withdrawal & all the other nightmarish terrors that came before that. There’s always time to be smart, but to outsmart something like bipolar (with 20 years of psych med dependance under my belt), in my experience, you have to be good at playing stupid. For me, it was my smartest move; the medications were killing me & what the heck is bipolar anyway? I’m glad you found freedom from that hell too. Thanks for reading my story, thanks for the feedback & God bless too.

  • yeah_I_survived, sorry for my delayed response. I was sort of in shock this got published & it’s taken me a minute to react. Thank you for the compliments especially the one about my story making your day. We’re a hard crowd to please, a compliment like that means a lot. I’d like to hear/read your story someday if & when it wants to be told. I can’t thank you enough for leaving such a supportive comment as I find my footing on this new terrain. All the best to you as well & my prayers are also with you.

  • Dear Mad in America community. Thank you so much for making a little room for my submission here. Finally, somewhere it fits in. A year ago I submitted my personal story to MIA, but it was not accepted because I was having trouble following the guidelines, but attached was a kind note from MIA personnel Emily Cutler who encouraged me to keep trying. So, I tried again, and one year later, my story is now guideline friendly, honors my journey & is published thanks to Emmeline Mead’s patience & assistance. It took me a while, but here I am, a little scattered, but in one piece. Thanks for having me. p.s. I misspelled Aspen’s name in the essay. It’s Aspen Morrow. Her book, ‘Med Free Bipolar’ saved my life when & how it came into my life.