Tag Archives: best friend

17:08 – Another useless CPN session

24 Oct

Firstly I’d just like to say thank you for all the supportive comments you guys left on my post below. I have decided to put it on password protect for a while as it’s so personal that I’m not sure I want it available for public viewing. It’s the same password that I use for all my protected posts… if you want it feel free to dm me on twitter or send me an email.

Today I feel much better physically than I have done over the past few days. I think now that it’s been a full 3 days everything is out of my system now and other than being loaded with the cold I’m OK.

I just wanted to write a short post mainly because I’m feeling quite frustrated at the moment. I went to see CPN#2 a couple of hours ago and had decided in my head that I was going to say something along the lines of: “I’ve been feeling really low, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about self harming and even about ending my life, I spent a few days misusing alcohol (there’s no way I could tell her what I really used) and basically I feel like I’m in a bit of a mess and I think it would be helpful to try and work out what it is that’s making me feel so low”.

So that was the little script I had in my head ready to say to her but when I got to my appointment the first thing she did was sit down with her notepad on her knee and ask me what I wanted to put on today’s “agenda” – ARGHHHHHHHH!!! – Yes, this was the reason I didn’t go and see her for so long, this was what I had politely tried to explain to her a few weeks ago that the ‘setting an agenda’ approach just doesn’t work for me, this is what I thought we had got sorted out and clearly we haven’t! I said to her I didn’t know what I wanted to list on our agenda but I was feeling low and could we just talk for a while? Her reply was that it wasn’t helpful for us to focus on ‘negative thinking’ and that by setting an agenda we were setting goals – positive goals – so that when I left each appointment I could think that I had achieved something good that day. I tried again by asking her who exactly I should be seeing if I need someone just to talk about life with? If I need a rant or to vent? If I’m feeling low and scared? Do I just bottle it up? Isn’t it part of her role to listen to me?

She then said she thought the best way to structure our appointments was to have three things each week to talk about. We could spend 15-20 minutes talking about each one. She would prefer all three things to be ‘positive’ things and us discussing how I’m going to reach individual goals but said that on the ‘rare occasion’ if I was feeling particularly low then I could use one of my 20 minute sets to talk about my moods and feelings.

So as none of this was particularly helpful and I was feeling like I just wanted to get up and leave it became increasingly difficult to even try and tell her how messed up I’ve been feeling. I had decided before I got to the appointment that I would say I had been misusing alcohol – I didn’t want the truth written on my case notes, I didn’t want my parents to find out and break their hearts again over 6 days of complete stupidity and so I figured just saying I had misused any substance was good enough as at the end of the day they are all misused for the same reasons – either to make you feel good or to block all the shit out. I’m sure CPN#2 could tell that I needed to vent but she just kept on talking about how well I was doing. She said she has spoken again to the psychologist and I’m now almost at the top of the list so my sessions with her should start back around the end of November and whilst telling me this she said she had told the psychologist how well I was doing in so many areas of my life like with the part time uni course and the fact I’d had no hospital admissions since January 2012 (the last time I saw the psychologist was Feb 2012 when she went on maternity leave). Apparently the psychologist told CPN#2 that she was really proud of me as I’d been so unstable back then that I just could not do any psychological therapies and that she is looking forward to seeing me again and seeing a much more stable me. Then CPN#2 was telling me that she’d been talking about me with her line manager as part of her supervision – where they briefly discuss each of their service users with their managers – and how the manager had been telling her about the first time she met me (when I was being sectioned) and travelling in the ambulance with me to the psych hospital… the mess I was in… the voices I was hearing… etc etc. So when CPN#2 told her too about how well I was doing now she was apparently “extremely pleased to hear it”. She continued to say how it was strange but nice for her to hear from other people about how bad I’d been at my worst but how much better I seemed now (as CPN#2 never worked with me or knew me when I was ‘at my worst’).

The whole time I was just sitting there thinking why are you telling these people how well I am doing when just last week I was suicidal? Why do you never want to listen to the truth? Yeah, I’m all for turning a negative into a positive if possible but fucking hell she was making it sound like I was well and truly on my road to recovery when right now that couldn’t be further from the truth. So I finally butted in and said to her that whilst I accepted there have been some areas of my life that are slowly improving there are other areas that are bad. I told her I’d gone through a misusing alcohol binge last week to block out my emotions. I told her I’d had suicidal feelings. I told her I’d wanted to self harm and instead of cutting I drank myself into a stupor. (OK so I didn’t drink but again, I wasn’t about to tell her what I really did). All she said was “well you must have realised that it was doing you no good as you’ve now stopped” and then tried to move along to the next subject of ‘setting goals’.

She just doesn’t seem to get that I cannot think about what three things I want to think about a week in advance. I can’t even plan for the day I’m on let alone plan three very specific things for a week’s time. She was very clear that she wants us to use our time to set goals and discuss how to achieve them, and then achieve them… and very clear that whilst we could talk about my moods if it was like some sort of emergency situation it would not be the focus of our sessions.

I understand that working with the psychologist has to be very structured especially when you are doing a specific therapy programme with them, but I hate how these CPN sessions have to be so structured as well. Well they don’t have to be because I’ve worked with plenty of staff members at some time or another who do just let you talk but this is obviously the way CPN#2 works and she isn’t going to work in any other way. I wonder if I’m the only one of her service users who finds her so unhelpful or if they all benefit from her agenda setting, goal setting, super positive approach where if we just don’t talk about any of the bad things then we can pretend that they just don’t fucking exist.

So I’m sorry to say but I am annoyed. I wish I hadn’t bothered going to the appointment. I have another one for next Thursday and already I am thinking that I might just cancel it. Also, I got a text from best friend whilst I was en-route to my appointment which said “hi, i’m really sorry but i have no money at all to even go for lunch on saturday”. It’s my birthday on Monday and originally I’d suggested just the two of us going for a couple of quiet drinks or for dinner but she said she didn’t have much money so I suggested we went for lunch instead. It didn’t need to be anywhere fancy, it was more just to spend a couple of hours with her and have a chat. She said yes she could afford to do that but now for whatever reason she can’t. Why am I pissed off? Because it is another one of her friend’s 40th birthday night out the following weekend and I know she is going to that! So she can’t meet up with me, can’t go for a cheap quiet lunch, can’t even manage to go for a coffee and have a chat yet she can go out the following weekend with her other mate. I’ve not missed any of best friend’s birthdays since she has been living back here, nor any of her kids birthdays/christmas/etc. Even when I’ve mentally been feeling like shit I’ve dragged myself along and always bought nice gifts. All I wanted was to spend some time with her, the money is irrelevant, there are plenty of things we could do that didn’t involve money but there was something in her tone in her text messages that said to me she just doesn’t want to do anything with me at all right now. So yeah, truth be known I’m feeling slightly rejected at the moment and pretty lonely as well.

So it looks like it’s going to be a quiet weekend. Maybe I will see if anyone else is going out that I could tag along with. The last thing I want is to sit in the house alone all weekend because I’m scared I’d be tempted to let the emotions get to me and act on them in some way or another that I’d end up regretting. On my birthday on Monday I’m going out for a nice lunch with the parents – we were going to go for dinner but my Mum is working night shift so lunch it is. Looks like it’s going to be a super quiet one this year… as if I wasn’t already feeling crappy at the thought of another birthday being single and alone and having all of those “this wasn’t how I thought my life would be at the age of 32″ type thoughts.

Sorry… I believe I said at the start of this post it was going to be a short one… it didn’t really turn out that way… I’m going to try and do some studying for a couple of hours then vegetate in front of the TV for the rest of the evening. Oh what an exciting life I lead.

01:15 – A temporary safety plan

26 Sep

Today I have tried my hardest to start being honest with people.

Best friend text me out of the blue last night asking how I was. I contemplated sending the “fine thanks” reply but decided that no, I would tell the truth, well mostly the truth. I text back and told her I was lonely, that I felt like I had no friends and that my mood was very low and I’m finding myself feeling triggered by the smallest of things. To my surprise she text back straight away and said she was going to come and see me in the morning and true to her word, at 11am this morning she phoned to say she was on her way.

The first thing she asked me was why I was bandaged up, had I been self harming? This was the only lie that I told her. I stuck to my story that I have told A&E and also told my Mum. But all the other stuff I was honest about. I told her I was feeling really low but that there was no one specific thing making me feel this way. I don’t know why I couldn’t be honest about all of the cutting I have been doing recently, usually I can be pretty straight to the point with her. I guess maybe I didn’t want to see the disappointment in her face, as she thinks I haven’t done it since April. That’s probably the reason why I have lied about it this time round, just to avoid dealing with that sad look in people’s faces. I told best friend I was finding it hard being on my own all of the time and that I missed her. I also never see the male friend that I used to spend a lot of time with but that is mainly because the last time we had a proper conversation a few weeks ago he asked me if we could be more than friends – of course I said no. I came up with some shit about just not wanting to be in a relationship with anyone – you know – the sort of thing you say to try and make them not take it personally. Blaming my mental health and saying I would be too much of a burden on someone right now. To a point that is true but I wouldn’t ever be more than friends with him anyway purely because there is absolutely no physical attraction there.

Anyways… back to today. After we’d sat and chatted for about an hour I realised best friend hadn’t just been too busy with her boyfriend and kids, she’s actually had some stuff going on as well that she’s been quite worried about. She had a heart murmur as a baby but it’s never really affected her, however she became quite unwell at the weekend and had to go to hospital where they found something quite abnormal on her ECG and the doctor suspects one of the valves in her heart isn’t letting oxygen in properly or something to that effect. So she is being referred to the cardiologist and is feeling quite worried about that. I then felt a bit stupid and selfish that I thought she was just too loved up to remember to text me but she did say she shouldn’t have left me for weeks with not even a text to say hello. We decided to go for a coffee before I had to go to my appointment at 2pm and I felt slightly better for spending a couple of hours with her and getting out of the house.

I then went to my appointment with my support worker from rape crisis. This is where I was properly honest. I told her about all of the self harming. I told her I’d even been having thoughts again about not wanting to be here any more. I told her about how lonely I feel. I told her about abuser cousin’s daughter having the baby. I told her about all the things that have been triggering me. I told her I wasn’t sure how safe I felt at the moment especially with my parents being away on holiday. I told her about not going to see CPN#2 yesterday and all my reasons why I find myself avoiding more and more appointments. Basically I got everything off my chest. I was talking slowly, every word felt like it was draining me but I got it all out in the end. She asked me what we could do to try and keep me safe. I told her I really didn’t know. I do know that I definitely do not want to even consider hospital, it is not an option. I don’t know that I feel suicidal as such however I did admit to having a cupboard absolutely full to the brim of a variety of medication. Some prescribed stuff and some stuff I’ve bought. I have no idea how many tablets are in there but it’s easily into the hundreds. So after a long chat I managed to identify that I am relatively low risk when it comes to trying to kill myself or taking an overdose even though I have the means to do so. However I could recognise that I am at a high risk of self harming to quite severe levels. This is when lovely support worker said we should think of a ‘temporary safety plan’.

I agreed that if I found myself in a situation where I was beginning to self harm and it was possible that it might spiral out of control then I would do my best to stop for a moment and phone/text or email her. I don’t know how realistic that is going to be should it happen… once I’m in that self harming ‘zone’ it’s very hard to stop and think, I’m too determined just to bleed out all of my pain. She said I should try and make contact with her when I’m at the ‘crazy-head-full-of-self-harm-urges’ stage rather than afterwards when the damage has already been done but that truly is easier said than done. But I will at least try. If she’s being good enough to make a point of being there for me then I should try and make use of that support.

After I left my appointment I decided to try and face A&E to get my stitches removed. As usual the two nurses on shift were nurses that I knew. I made a point of saying this hadn’t been a self harm wound and she gave me a bit of a strange look for a second. Whatever she had read from my notes appeared to say differently so clearly the doctor who put the stitches in didn’t believe my lie or at least expressed some sort of doubt about the story I gave him. She was nice enough though, removed the stitches, made some general chit chat, asked what I’d been doing with myself today so I decided fuck it, I’ll be honest with her. So whilst I stuck to the story of that particular wound not being a self harm one, I also told her I’m not finding my appointments with my CPN helpful at all and haven’t really been going to them. She suggested I mention this to my GP when I next see her to see if there is a way that I could maybe see a different CPN but I don’t know if that would even be possible due to the small amount of staff there are in the mental health team here. Plus it would mean CPN#2 finding out my feelings on how unhelpful I find her.

I also told the A&E nurse that I was experiencing a lot of urges to self harm at the moment. I don’t know if this was partly because I thought that if I told her then if I do end up self harming badly again it won’t come as too much of a surprise to them. Or maybe I just needed to be honest and stop lying. I think it was a mix of trying to reach out for some help and just wanting to tell the truth.

So all in all today wasn’t such a bad day. I talked about a lot of depressing stuff and from all that talking I managed to recognise that I don’t feel particularly safe at the moment and that my self harming behaviours are starting to get pretty bad again. But on the flip side I don’t feel as though I’ve just been left on my own to deal with it all. Even if I don’t make contact with my support worker before our appointment next week at least I know that she is there at the end of the phone or email should I need it. For now there is a temporary safety plan in place.

I am planning on spending some time at the cemetery tomorrow as the new bits and bobs for my little boy’s headstone arrived today. Usually I find it very peaceful to sit up there for a while and talk to him, admittedly I usually have a bit of a cry as well but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I will post a photo next time I write a post of his stone looking all pretty again.

There was just one last thing I wanted to ask you all before I log off (well ask my female readers!) – I got the routine letter through today saying it is time for my three yearly smear test. The actual test itself isn’t the problem. The problem is that obviously you have to remove your bottom half and my legs are a horrendous mess of deep dark scars and the scars are all over them – calf area, front of legs, thighs, all completely covered. For many many years I only ever self harmed on my arms or stomach and it’s only really been in the past few years that I started on my legs. Most of it was done in times where I was really unwell but this is going to be the first time where I will need to expose the damage. There is absolutely no hiding it. I could probably be brave enough to explain to the nurse about my self harming problem or maybe I could ask lovely GP to explain it to her. But I was just wondering really if any other ladies have had this problem and how you managed to deal with it? After my first ever smear at 20/21 coming back abnormal and needing a fair bit of treatment done I never miss them now, I know how important they are. But the idea of exposing all the damage to a stranger is starting to freak me out a bit, I have to admit.

Right I think it’s bed time now. I can feel my medication cocktail kicking in and my eyes getting heavy. I haven’t self harmed today despite the urges being there, I hope I can continue in the same way tomorrow although I do know that going up to the cemetery for a while will most likely cause me some upset. Hopefully I can be strong enough to deal with the emotions in a healthier way.

Goodnight folks.

16:03 – Magical potions and much sickness

16 Jul

When I last wrote it was late on Friday night. I spoke a bit in my last post about some recent stupid and risky behaviours but didn’t want to go into any detail. I still don’t want to go into detail but I will say that on Saturday morning Berry kept giggling while I was getting dressed, giggling inside my head that I was going to be in “biggg trouble” that night when Sasha found out. She was confusing me, I’d only just got up and there she was wittering away that I was going to be in some sort of trouble when we got to the evening. I laughed back at her and told her not to try and be so smart, I wasn’t going to do anything on Saturday to get myself into any trouble, I was/had been behaving myself for the previous few days and it was going to stay that way.

I was wrong.

I tried to do good and be big and brave and with copious amounts of medications floating around inside me I braved it to go with best friend to McDonalds. It took about three hours to get there and back as it’s like 60 miles away from us. So yeah, it was around 8.30pm when we got back home. See that’s how big and brave I was being, like fuck you agoraphobia I *will* medicate myself to the eyeballs and beat you… So by the time we got back I was in no fit state to do anything but come home and laze on the sofa full of sedative and anxiety meds. My head was quiet. I felt a little bit nauseous from the mix of tablets and the food I’d eaten and I was really sleepy. I should have just let my eyes close and drifted off to sleep but I lay here flicking through TV channels for ages. I took my bedtime medication around 11pm then just as I was going through to bed my phone started ringing. I looked to see who it was. It was him. Why was he phoning me? I told him a few days ago that all of the stupid risky behaviours were stopping again, I’d just needed to dip my toes back into that pond for a few days but I’d stopped again. I was behaving and being sensible. The phone rang out to voicemail but he kept calling over and over and over again. I tried sending a text to say I couldn’t answer and asked what was wrong, he text back saying he had something that I would want. I told him I didn’t want anything bad. He replied it was the opposite of bad, it was “fucking amazing”.

So I didn’t know what to do, I was lying on top of the bed ready to go to sleep, it was around midnight, I was still all doped up on medications, everything was nice and peaceful. I told myself to be strong and just ignore his texts, put my phone on silent and closed my eyes. Then fucking *boom* Sasha is in my head telling me she’ll make me pay the price if I do the bad thing, that she doesn’t want Berry to see me doing that crazy shit. So then I get angry and am having an internal argument with Sasha – who the fuck is she anyway? who does she think she is just making herself at home inside my head… Another thirty minutes or so passed and I lay there getting more and more agitated. I text him back. I’d get dressed and go meet him.

It was dark but not cold, it was kinda nice to have a bit of breeze in the air, I could feel my heart racing with some sort of trepidation I guess. Berry was having fits of the giggles in my head but not saying any actual words. I walked past people moving between pubs and then finally saw him walking towards me. We walked together until we reached a house. He told me to stay outside and sit on a wall and he disappeared. Sasha had been getting louder and now I was sitting alone I could hear her properly, she was telling me how she would make me pay for this. Berry was completely silent – in fact I didn’t hear anything other than laughter from Berry again until this morning when she started up a conversation about wanting me to take her to a zoo – all whilst I was lying in the dentist chair having a filling put in. Anyway, back to Saturday night/early hours of Sunday morning. I sat on the wall for about ten minutes and then he re-appeared and we walked back to his place. He gave me my magic potion and I carried on walking back to mine alone.

By the time I get back home it’s just after 2am and I sit here with my magic potion inside of me, feeling warm and happy and at ease with the world. Well I felt like that for all of ten minutes before I felt my legs pulling my body upright and quickly running to the bathroom. I then spent the remainder of the night, all day Sunday and all day Monday projectile vomiting. Every so often Sasha would make little disapproving remarks and told me that she had warned me I would pay the price if I made any more mistakes and boy was she right. 48 hours or so of non-stop vomiting was definitely punishment from her and the occasional giggles from Berry just wound me up even though I knew she was only laughing because she saw me getting into trouble from Sasha. So yes, I made another mistake on Saturday night, but I paid the price for it and only today (Tuesday) have I managed to keep a little bit of food down. I’ve only been sick once today and I’ve been up for about seven hours now so I think my body is starting to heal now. Definitely no more magic potions for me no matter how nice it might feel to be completely lost in my own little magical forest in my mind… I must behave, I have behaved again since Saturday but the temptations are still there (albeit only a little bit now).

I don’t know what exactly triggered off Berry and Sasha, it could have happened as a result of the mixed varieties of magical potions I have been consuming on and off. Or it could be because I have been so sick for a few days each time that my medication didn’t work those days and my head just naturally started to slip into bonkers land. They are still both there (well I’ve only heard Berry today and that was when she was trying to make me have a conversation with her about the zoo while I was at the dentist) but they aren’t bothering me. Sasha told me I’d pay the price, I should have listened. I feel bad that Berry might have seen me consuming the magical potions because she sounds so innocent and young and I can only assume (since neither she nor Sasha will tell me) that she is still a child.

I still haven’t made contact with nor heard from CPN#2. She has probably given up on me by now. I wouldn’t blame her. I am going to try my hardest to be good again now. I’m sick of being sick. Well I’m sick of feeling both mentally and physically sick, if I can just get the vomiting to stop then I can try harder to make my head calmer. It’s weird, part of me feels like I’ve been doing these stupid and risky behaviours because I’ve been feeling a bit like I’m about to lose it mentally but then I don’t know what it is that’s making me feel so close to losing it. I can’t identify what the thing is that’s making me feel so shit. So I try and cover it up, put a magical band aid on it and hope that by covering it up for a day then it might all be OK again by tomorrow but I’m slowly learning it just doesn’t work like that.

Lovely support worker is going to be so disappointed in me when/if I tell her all of this once she is back from her holiday leave. Then again maybe by next week I’ll still be keeping myself safe and she might be proud of me for doing that. Methinks I will see some level of disappointment/disapproval in her face so maybe I will just keep all of these little crazy moments over the past couple of weeks to myself… I can’t even talk about them properly on here yet and this is my secret anonymous space, maybe it’s best just to lock it all away somewhere in my head and try to forget about it all… call it a little blip, a mistake, an experiment… something like that… it wouldn’t be a lie, it was all a mistake, unfortunately it seems to take me considerably longer to learn from my mistakes than it does most other people… but hey… c’est la vie…

17:29 – Letter sent to new psychiatrist and my week’s worth of rambles

22 Jun

So a few days have now passed since finding out I have the all clear, although it’s been weird, even after getting the results back on Tuesday the anxiety surrounding it all still took another day or two to settle down.

On Wednesday I spent a few hours with best friend and the kids and then got my hair cut and highlighted. It was getting really long again, a good six inches or so below my shoulders. Now it’s in a kinda choppy medium length bob, just sitting at my shoulders and the blond highlights all the way through are really nice. It’s strange though, best friend was like ‘look now you can tell CPN#2 when you next see her that you did something compassionate for yourself’… whereas in my head there was nothing compassionate about it… I wasn’t sitting there thinking ‘ohh I deserve this’ or ‘ohh my hair looks really nice’… all I could think was ‘my hair looks a mess, it’s far too long, I can’t be arsed to spend an hour or more straightening it, it’s time to get some chopped off’. The only reason I got the highlights was because there was a special offer on and whilst they look nice I still have that negative sort of view that the money could have been better spent on something else.

Anyways… moving along…

On Thursday I went to my appointment with my rape crisis support worker and we spent the session putting together a letter to send to new psychiatrist. I had my first appointment with the new psychiatrist on the 5th of June and as you may remember it was a disaster. I thought about writing a letter to him pretty much as soon as the appointment was over but decided to give it a week or so just in case I was overreacting and thought I would maybe calm down about it all. But whilst I have calmed down, I still strongly felt like there were things that needed to be said to him before I next see him on August 1st.

I’m not going to copy and paste the full letter here mainly because of the length of it but also because it contains a lot of personal/confidential information but I’ll cut and paste the main points I raised:

  • As soon as I entered the appointment the first thing you did was check you had the correct medication information for me. As soon as I confirmed it was correct you automatically said that you want me to begin reducing my Diazepam (which I have been taking daily since Nov 2010) with your reasoning being that it can be an addictive medication.
  • You did not ask me how I would feel about reducing my dosage, there was no conversation about it nor did you ask me which of my symptoms that I feel the Diazepam helps with. You didn’t ask how my mood states had been recently, or if I was still self-harming, etc. In fact it seemed to me that you had already made the decision that changes should be made to my medication before I even entered the room and before meeting me.
  • You said to me that because I am on a high dose of Quetiapine that I wouldn’t notice not taking Diazepam. I don’t understand this because it is my understanding that the two medications are used to treat two completely different conditions. The Quetiapine helps control intrusive voices, paranoid thoughts and beliefs and delusional thinking. It does not help with anxiety. I am also concerned that you mentioned lowering my Quetiapine dosage slightly as well, when I have only very recently began to feel a little more stable. This concerns me as I worry if the Quetiapine is reduced as well then I may start to have symptoms of psychosis again or destabilising my mood to the extent where I end up back in hospital.
  • My main concern of all is, at the moment, I do not have any other coping techniques for my anxiety and agoraphobia and self-harming. I am currently on the waiting list to see the psychologist, however have not had an appointment to see her as yet. I hope that in time I will learn tools to enable me to cope with my anxiety, agoraphobic symptoms and distressing self-harm episodes, all in a way that does not require medications like Diazepam. I want to be able to deal with these situations in a healthier way, but the fact remains that right now I do not have any non-medicated coping strategies in place to help me cope with the debilitating levels of anxiety that I experience. It just seems that it would make a lot more sense to: wait until I begin seeing the psychologist; start learning and putting into practice non-medicated coping skills; and then start to lower the diazepam medication.
  • I would also like to make clear that I do not object to the idea of lowering the dosage of the Diazepam slowly and safely and I would also like to make clear that I fully understand it is a medication that is intended for short term use. However I feel that reducing it before there are any alternative coping strategies in place would be a very risky thing to do.

The letter ended up being three pages long but those are some of the concerns I raised. My support worker printed me off a few copies and I wrote at the end of the letter that copies had gone to my support worker, my CPN and my GP. Well, every time they send me a letter about something or another they send it to everyone in my care team so I figured I would do the same. All the letters have been posted now and I do have a little bit of anxiety about what the reaction to it will be but I know that I have the support of my support worker and she agrees that I’ve done the right thing so at least I know someone is on my side. I did also say at the end of the letter that it was not a letter of complaint against the psychiatrist, it was purely me wanting to have the opportunity to explain my concerns after feeling unable to do so properly at the appointment with him. I ended the letter saying that I would attend my next appointment on August 1st with him, but hoped he would have read my letter beforehand so we could talk about my concerns in more detail.

So that’s another thing done and dusted, well for the moment anyway. Hopefully they will see that I am trying to be sensible and rational and take my concerns into consideration. I need a repeat prescription on Wednesday and was just going to hand the repeat form into the receptionist but I’m now thinking it might be better to make an appointment and go to see lovely GP instead. I’m curious to know if she will support what I have said in my letter. She is usually very fair and I have a feeling she will say that maybe it is time for us to start lowering the dose of the Diazepam but I also think she will agree with me that there needs to be something in it’s place so that I can cope with situations that I can currently only cope with through medication. I guess the only way to know what she thinks about it all is to go and see her.

Anyways… I think I’ve rambled on enough now about all of that!

Yesterday I spent most of the day with a friend and I also got an email from my university tutor telling me I have to get up to date proof of being in receipt of benefits to apply for my course fees to be waived again when we start back after the Summer holidays so I’ll need to get that sorted out next week. I also finally phoned the mental health team to ask for an appointment with CPN#2 after a good 4 or 5 weeks of not seeing her (not her fault, mine for not attending and ignoring her phonecall and letter) but she isn’t back in the office until Monday so I guess she’ll get in touch then.

Today (Saturday) I’m having a quiet day as the weather is crap and my flat looks like a bomb site. My washing pile was getting ridiculously high as I pretty much spent all of last week in such an anxious mess that I got nothing done. I’m having a day where I just want to laze around in my pyjamas, do some little bits of housework here and there, work my way through my washing pile, watch shit on TV… a lazy day in other words.

Mood wise I feel OK-ish at the moment. Every so often I have some little thoughts that creep into my head out of the blue and start me thinking that I feel like I need to self harm, but I’m managing to ignore them for now. Although I have checked my hiding places a couple of times just to make sure that there are fresh packets of blades there… just in case… Then I catch myself looking at my legs and the horrendous scarring and feeling kinda sick that those scars are going to be there forever. And a part of me wants them gone, wishes I’d never done them, etc… Yet another part of me is like, ‘well you can’t erase any of those scars so you might as well add some more’. So not sure what’s going to come of these thoughts/urges yet, I guess time will tell.

Right I have rambled on for wayyy too long. And the washing machine has just finished another cycle so time to get off my fat ass and go hang it up to dry. I’m also starting to get hungry so time to cook up some pasta I think.

Hope you all have a nice weekend folks xx

 

15:04 – Results time…

18 Jun

So… I met best friend at the sexual health clinic at 9.30am. I was in a bit of a mess, my stomach was in knots, I felt sick with nerves and we arrived to find a full waiting room of young people. I went to the reception desk and handed over my “priority pass” card I’d been given last week so that I could queue jump and we were told to take a seat. As we sat down I really started to panic, thinking that I was going to have to sit and wait for all these people to be seen before they would call me through. Best friend could see the anxiety in my face and started chatting away about all sorts of random things, I guess to try and distract me a bit.

Thankfully they didn’t leave us waiting for too long – maybe ten or fifteen minutes before the doctor called me through. She didn’t give me any eye contact and went over to the other side of the room to get a second chair for best friend to sit on. This of course made me start thinking “shit, shit, shit, she is getting us all sat down to gently break it to me”. I tried looking at her computer screen but it was tilted just enough that all I could see was ‘tive‘ all the way down the page. I couldn’t see if they started with ‘posi‘ or ‘nega‘.

The doctor asked if I was OK as I was clearly panicking a fair bit and I rambled about not having slept properly, about how scary and stressful the past seven days have been and how I knew “my result is positive, I just know it”. She looked at me and smiled gently then turned the computer screen round to face me and my eyes read down the screen:

Chlamydia – Negative

Gonorrhoea – Negative

Syphilis – Negative

Hepatitis B – Negative

….

….

And finally…

HIV – NEGATIVE

I almost cried with relief. It took me a few minutes to take in what she was saying, it was as though my head was refusing to believe her at first. I could hear her saying something about how I could go home and catch up on some sleep now and how it must be such a weight off my shoulders. She said she was so happy for me that we now know 100% that the damage left behind from that bastard who spiked and assaulted me is purely emotional scarring and no physical ones. I thanked her repeatedly and as we left and walked along the corridor to leave the hospital best friend gave me a big hug. I told her I felt like I had been given a second chance (at life) and I really do mean that. I would have posted before now but best friend and I went out for a nice lunch and then I went out to see the kids for a little while.

In hindsight I wish I had never waited so long to have the blood tests done. That’s been ten long months since the assault and I could have put my mind to rest and spared myself a lot of worry and anxiety if I had just done it six months ago. I will never ever put myself in that situation again – if I have a worry I will not consult Dr Google – I’ll just bloody go and get myself checked!

One last thing I wanted to say. As you all know these past 7 days have been hellish. But during the last week I did make some plans. If the result had come back positive for HIV there is a very high chance I would have done something stupid to myself. I think I would have just completely freaked and went absolutely bonkers. However I also made a plan for what I would do if I was lucky enough for the results to come back negative. Some people may think my plans sound a bit stupid so I’m not going to talk about them on here just yet (partly because I haven’t made up my mind for definite) but more so because today – the 18th of June 2013 is a HAPPY DAY and I don’t want to have to get into any debates over whether my next set of plans are a good or bad idea.

For now… the relief is indescribable… totally immense… I can breathe again :D

And thank you to all of you who have offered messages of support on here, facebook and of course twitter over the past week… you all helped get me through a seriously tough week. Huge virtual hugs and kisses for anyone who wants them! Thank you all xxxxx

21:35 – Twelve hours to go

17 Jun

Guess what? I’m crying again. My eyes are red and puffy. I think all I have done all day is cry. I don’t mean a few tears down my cheeks, I mean crying hysterically like a toddler until I’m heaving and running to lean over the toilet to be sick. I can’t eat, I’ve barely slept the past couple of nights and today the urges to self harm have been awful.

I can’t quite believe that twelve hours from now it will all be confirmed and I will hear the news if I have tested positive or negative for HIV. I am still utterly convinced it will be positive.

If it is negative the relief will be absolutely immense, I cannot imagine how much of a weight it will feel like has been lifted from my shoulders.

I have been so worried about it all that it will just be a relief to know one way or the other for sure. I genuinely don’t know how I will cope if it’s a positive result, I really don’t. If I thought there was stigma surrounding having Bipolar Disorder well there’s a heck of a lot more surrounding people with HIV.

I don’t really know if I’m even ready to hear these results, to know one way or the other, but also I couldn’t put the test off any longer, it was seriously beginning to make me a bit crazy. This seven day wait since being tested has been horrendous at times, time has gone so slow some days every minute has felt like several hours, hours have felt like days. Then suddenly I have a little moment of awareness and realise that somehow I have gotten through these days and made it to the end of the wait (well almost).

I suspect I will spend more hours awake, in tears, staring at the ceiling, trying to read but getting nowhere, getting up and down all night, popping pills trying to buy some sleep only to finally fall asleep around 6am and wake up with a fright as the alarm goes off at 8am. I am then going to meet best friend at the clinic just after 9am and she is going to come in with me while I get the results which I’m very grateful for.

It’s kind of crazy when I think that my results will probably be sitting in the clinic right now waiting to be opened. Like I said in a previous post the clinic is only open on Tuesdays so there will be nobody there to open them until tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow morning my life will change one way or the other. That might sound dramatic to some people but I swear these last seven days have been a complete rollercoaster of emotions. Anyone who has a reason to think they may have been exposed to HIV I’m sure probably feels the same during the waiting period. I’ve lost count of the amount of emotions I have experienced this week.

I’ve thought a lot about how to react to a positive result but I think it’s one of these things that you simply just cannot prepare yourself for, you just need to deal with it if it happens.

9.30pm.

Exactly 12 hours to go.

I hope so much that someone has been looking down on me and is going to allow me a second chance at life tomorrow.

God, if you do exist, you know how much I have prayed to you these past few days. Please don’t make me face any more life challenges at the moment, I’m struggling so much with the ones that I’ve already got. I don’t know if I could cope with another, especially not a biggie like HIV. I need to start to recover from this sexual assault ten months ago. It’s worn me down so much. I need to find some strength again.

I hope so much that in twelve hours time I will feel as if I’ve just been given my life back.

 

20:08 – Another day closer and in a real mess

15 Jun

I’m sitting here crying my eyes out, tears rolling down my cheeks. I have been feeling like I was about to break down at any second all day long but trying so hard to hide it. I managed to spend a couple of hours with best friend and the kids again this afternoon but just felt like I was a bit detached the whole time. I was there in person but my mind was somewhere else altogether.

Since I got home I’ve felt the anxiety building up inside me but did my best to ignore it. But then the tears started to well up in my eyes until I couldn’t see any more and with every blink they spill out down my face. Part of me wishes there was someone here to give me a hug and the other part just wants to be completely alone.

My head is a total mess. I am terrified beyond words of the HIV test results on Tuesday. I want to know and for it to be over with yet when I realise I’m another day closer I begin to completely freak out. Three more sleeps until I know. Utterly utterly terrified.

I don’t know if this emotional state I’m in just now is out of fear, I can’t really explain it as my thoughts aren’t very clear, they are all jumbled up, they are racing around too fast and I feel completely on edge. I’m chain smoking one cigarette after another and I feel sick to the very pit of my stomach. The only thing that makes things feel a little more bearable is pulling my knees up to my chest, cuddling them into me and rocking myself. The last time I remember feeling like this was in November 2010 when I was detained for the first time, sitting rocking on my bed, terrified that I had lost control and someone else would be deciding when I could leave the hospital again. Feeling so trapped and the agoraphobia sending the anxiety to crazy levels. That’s how I’m feeling again now.

Scared, terrified, anxious, emotional and all alone.

 

 

 

15:19 – Tougher than I thought

14 Jun

I have been really trying to keep myself busy since I last posted as the past few days have been tougher than I thought. I’m noticing that as soon as I don’t have something to do my head keeps wandering off to thoughts about the blood test results this coming Tuesday. I keep running through all the if’s, but’s and maybe’s, I keep imagining all sorts of things like how the doctors face would look and what she would say if the test came back positive. I wonder whether I should go on my own or take someone with me. I just seem to think think think, constantly running through every possible outcome and scenario in my head.

Yesterday I went to my appointment with my rape crisis support worker and she offered to come with me to get the results but then when I said it was Tuesday I had to go she realised she would be in another area at the time so she can’t come after all. I got a good bit off my chest in our appointment though and whilst I’m still terrified of getting the results, I think I’m probably also trying to mentally prepare myself for bad news. I just can’t allow myself to think “it will probably be negative” instead it’s like I have to prepare myself for the worst so that if I do get bad news I don’t fall to pieces.

So after my appointment I went to meet best friend and the kids and we decided to spend the afternoon together and go for some lunch. We went to a really nice place that felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, it was an old barn on a farm converted into a little restaurant with a kids play corner to keep them busy. After we had finished eating we got to pick some fresh rhubarb and collect the eggs the hens had been laying so it was a nice stress-free couple of hours as the kids were occupied and best friend could relax and chat without constantly having to tell them to behave. I decided to tell her about the HIV test on our way back home as the kids had fallen asleep in their car seats. She instantly offered to come with me and when I told her how worried I’ve been/still am she said I should have told her and not kept it bottled up. Anyway, at least I know now that she will come with me on Tuesday if I decide I can’t face going on my own and it helped again to get some of the worries off my chest.

We decided to take the ‘scenic route’ home and it took forever! Thankfully I had taken some diazepam in my bag because the road seemed never ending and consisted of a single track road that went on for about 20 miles but we couldn’t go faster than 30mph the whole time we were on it, plus the drop into a ditch on one side and the drop down into the water on the other side didn’t help lessen my anxiety. As we decided to stop off at a couple of places on the way home and we popped in to see best friend’s aunt for a while it ended up being 7pm by the time I finally got back home. Then of course I spent all of last night sitting here worrying myself stupid again.

This morning I had an appointment with the dietician but I didn’t hear my alarm going off and missed it so I’ll need to phone and get another one. I can’t remember if I already said this in my last post but I got a letter at the start of the week from CPN#2 asking me to make contact with her as I haven’t attended the last couple of appointments she’s given me. In fact I think that’s a good 3 or 4 weeks now since I last saw her. Needless to say I still haven’t contacted her.

Part of me actually feels like disengaging with the mental health team and just doing it alone as CPN#2 and my old psychologist (who I’m supposed to be seeing again in the near future) both want me to do this Compassionate Mind program. They both really believe that learning the skills that program teaches will help me live with less anxiety and be able to be kind to myself and soothe myself as opposed to harming myself. But I just don’t think it’s right for me, I have a really hard time in grasping the very basics and it doesn’t help matters that I have this deep seated belief that I do not deserve any compassion. So the combination of not wanting to do that work with them and the recent disaster of an appointment with the new psychiatrist last week both just leave me thinking I don’t want to work with these people, I don’t really want to see them, I don’t think I’m going to find any benefit from seeing them or from doing this whole being compassionate towards yourself shit. I am still planning on sending a letter to new psychiatrist to explain all of my concerns from our appointment but I want my support worker to help me write it (which we were going to do at yesterday’s appointment but then it was spent with me freaking about the blood test results).

Talking of the blood test results (again) I don’t know if I’m more pleased or scared that I have got through Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and now we’re on Friday so I really just need to get through the weekend now. Halfway through a long seven days. As soon as I’m finished rambling on here I need to go and get some food shopping done as my fridge and cupboards are empty. I don’t have anything planned for tonight so I’ll need to find something to do to keep me distracted and then tomorrow I need to get a card and present seeing as it’s father’s day here in the UK on Sunday. So at least I have some things to do to try and pass some more time. Hopefully the weekend will fly by for as much as I’m terrified about the results I really just want to know now one way or the other so I can deal with whatever outcome I’m given.

Right… ramble over…

Have a nice weekend folks xx

22:14 – Another pathetic ramble of self pity

24 Apr

Today has been a bit of a strange one. My sleeping was awful last night, I didn’t even go to bed, just grabbed a couple of hours on the sofa. My head was bouncing all over the place from one destructive idea to the next. Best friend phoned about 10am to ask if we could spend the afternoon together and I so so wanted to make up an excuse but I think I knew this afternoon could be the one where I completely lost it if I stayed in by myself all day just thinking and thinking. So I agreed to meet her at 12.

I have been kind of self medicating with some of my tablets. Not in any extreme kind of way, just adding an extra one here or taking one out at another time, but I do (99%) of the time take the prescribed dosage each day without going over it by much. It’s more like this – as an example – one of the medications I take is Quetiapine and I currently take 750mg a day. I am supposed to take it as a 250mg dose in the morning and 500mg at night. Well if I wake up and my head is fucking bonkers and there are voices present I might take it the other way around – 500mg in the morning and 250mg at bedtime. Or if I’ve had fuck all sleep and am absolutely shattered I’ll skip my morning dose so I have enough energy to keep on going throughout the day and then when it starts getting close to bedtime I’ll take the full 750mg as one dose to try and help with my sleeping.

And to a certain degree I do that with my diazepam as well. At the moment my daily dose is 16mg a day. This is to be taken as 4mg four times a day. But some mornings I feel massively anxious when I wake so I will take 8mg and then later in the day or in the evening another 8mg. Sometimes (although this is very rare) I don’t feel too anxious in the morning and my Quetiapine is enough so somedays I just wait and take the 16mg as one dose at bedtime. Sometimes it’s the opposite and I’ve taken my full 16mg by lunch time. So I don’t self medicate so much as play about a bit with the doses and the times I take them, but I feel that way works for me. Whenever I’m in the psych hospital I have no choice but to take my medication properly at 8am/12.30/6/10pm – and I hate not being able to tweak the doses to suit how I’m feeling at that time. I do understand the importance of taking medication properly and I do try to… it just sometimes is easier to do it ‘my way’.

Anyway… what was I about to say? Oh yes… I agreed to meet best friend today and spend time with her and her kids (my little nephews). But I was incredibly anxious to the point where I couldn’t leave the house so I took a little extra Quetiapine and my full daily dose of Diazepam. I still felt quite anxious when we first met up but the medication did kick in and I went into this weird headspace of ‘I’m hurting so much there is nothing else that can make me feel any worse than this’ so I agreed to attempt to go to one of the places my agoraphobia considers a very scary place. I had three small panic attacks en route but we got there and I bought my first McDonald’s burger for about 7 or 8 years. I have had a McDonald’s meal in that time, I’ve had friends bring them back for me and had them reheated in the microwave but today I actually stepped foot in one and ate a burger that was freshly cooked.

Best friend was so proud of me. She was smiling and cuddling me and saying “well done, well done” but I just felt numb. I didn’t feel hugely anxious, I didn’t feel happy that I’d achieved something new, I just felt like I was in some sort of blur… my head was saying just order some food and then go home. I didn’t particularly enjoy the food, half of it is still sitting in a bag on the table.

So yeah, everything is still a bit blah really.

CPN#2 gave me a quick phone this afternoon to ask how I was as the duty CPN from Monday had left her a note telling her about Sunday night’s self harming. The phone call felt a bit pointless, she sounded pretty uninterested which made me pretty uninterested in telling her about what’s been going on. It was awkward to talk anyway in front of best friend as I still haven’t told her about the self harming.

The only other thing that happened today was that I got a phone call from my personal tutor for my part time university course. She was phoning because she had been notified by the module tutor that I hadn’t logged on to read any course work in weeks nor had I contributed to any of the online discussion postings that make up 20% of the overall module mark. I tried to explain my head was all over the place but that I was going to try and submit some sort of an essay in the next couple of weeks so even if I fail I have something to resit. We could apply for mitigating circumstances but I don’t think there’s much point. I’ll either be able to write something and move on to my next module or I’ll fail and be kicked off the course. Right now I don’t really care which one happens.

So that’s been my day. I wish I could feel happy and like I’d achieved something, I’d challenged the agoraphobia harder than ever before, but I just don’t care. I don’t feel like I care about anything. I still want to hurt/cut/die.

I don’t see CPN#2 until Tuesday. I have no support between now and then other than the duty system through the CMHT which I think I’ve used twice in about 6 years. My support worker through rape crisis is off on holiday next week.

So yeah… I guess I just plod on and see where I end up.

01:36 – A confused and messed up girl

24 Apr

My head is still pretty messed up and sadly the regrets over self harming so severely on Sunday night still haven’t kicked in. Last night was pretty horrendous,  I became extremely emotional and sat with my little angel’s memory box on the bed and cried for what seemed like hours. After putting his memory box away I became really angry, angry that this is my life, that the most precious thing in my life has been lost.

My behaviour after that became ridiculous. I started pulling all the bandages off my legs and sat with a blade in my hand, shaking and desperately wanting to cut out all twenty something stitches. I shook, I cried, I threw the blade angrily on the floor then picked up the TV remote control and began smacking it off my face, whacking my cheeks with it over and over again. Then I was down on the floor and  hitting my head off the wall like an angry child. Then the blade was back in my hand again and I was going to cut but I truly could not have faced more stitches. So I repeatedly lit my lighter until the metal was red hot then pushed it down deep onto my skin all round my ankle. And then ended up in tears again.

I was really starting to get quite terrified of where this was all heading. My thoughts were so negative that I began to feel quite suicidal. Then I cried some more when I remembered yet again I can’t commit suicide because I can’t put my parents through the pain I carry about every day of having to bury your child. So whether I like it or not I have to keep on going and that made me angry and upset and frustrated that I felt in the moment like I was only alive to spare others pain. But then of course there is always that little evil laugh inside my head saying “they wouldn’t care anyway, they’d be glad you were gone” even though rationally I know that is completely untrue and that my parents love me very much. I don’t deserve their love, sometimes I wish they loved me less so it would be easier to put an end to things :(

Everything was just going bonkers. I couldn’t hold myself together any longer and ended up phoning the mental health helpline breathing space and spent the next hour on a non stop ramble about how I just want to completely self destruct, how much I deserved to be in this pain, I deserved to suffer, I was/am a bad person who doesn’t deserve good things in life. I told the call handler I wanted to rip all my stitches out, that I couldn’t stop thinking about hurting myself more and more. After about an hour I finally got so tired from everything and broke down in tears on the phone, I couldn’t keep talking and just hung up. I felt a bit bad for not even saying thank you or goodbye to the person who had sat and listened to me all that time but I was completely mentally exhausted. With a slight bit of self medicating I did finally manage to semi-sedate myself and fall asleep only to wake up every couple of hours in a state of panic. I think I was having nightmares, I’m not sure.

I sent lovely support worker from rape crisis a text message yesterday telling her I’d had a bad night on Sunday and she messaged me this morning to ask if I wanted to see her today instead of waiting until tomorrow. So I said yes and we had a long chat together. I was honest with her about everything I did over Sunday and Monday night, I was honest with her about feeling like I just want to make myself hurt and hurt and not stop hurting. I told her I was scared about where this was all heading and that I didn’t know when or how to make it stop. I don’t think it can stop until I do something really bad to myself. And that I was terrified I was going to end up in the psychiatric hospital again if I keep going like this. She asked if that might be a good place for me right now and I very firmly said no. There is no way I am ever going back to that place, it is awful, truly awful. It would make the sanest of people feel like they’d gone bonkers in just one week of being there. The thought of that place makes me feel anxious as hell and physically sick.

Oh I forgot to mention that for the first time since this whole arrangement was made with A&E a year ago that they would let the CMHT know when I had attended – well yesterday for the first time I actually got a phone call from the duty CPN (albeit it was just before they were closing) but yes someone did actually phone and ask if I was OK as she’d read the A&E notes. I told her I wasn’t sure how I felt and she asked if I thought I could keep myself safe. I said I’d try my best, I said the same when I was leaving my support appointment this afternoon.

I went to the A&E department this afternoon to have a wound check and dressing change done. I was supposed to be going back again tomorrow to get last Wednesday’s stitches out but I asked her if they could just come out a day early. That wound looked like it is starting to heal well so the nurse took those stitches out. Now I have to wait until a week tomorrow before I can get all these other ones out. I don’t honestly know if I can go through the next 8 days without doing it again. I don’t even know if I can go through the next 8 hours without doing it again at the moment. My head is well and truly pickled it really is.

Tomorrow I have promised to spend some time with best friend and her kids. I haven’t told her about Sunday’s self harming and don’t plan on telling her. I don’t know why, I just don’t want to talk about it with anyone close like friends or family. I haven’t mentioned it again to the friend who came with me to A&E either. It almost feels a bit like a can of worms being opened if I tell them, if I admit to those nearest and dearest to me that I’m not coping and constantly trying to hurt myself then it makes it that little bit more real that I really am falling apart. It’s easier for them not to know. For now anyway. Even with all these stitches in I still don’t feel like I’ve done enough damage and I have no idea how long that state of mind is going to continue for.

I haven’t felt this much of a mess in a long time and I can’t seem to make it stop. Maybe I don’t want it to stop. Maybe I need to feel this level of self loathing at the moment. I don’t know why… but maybe I just do. Nothing really makes a great deal of sense at the moment. I’m one very confused and messed up girl.

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