Tag Archives: psychologist

00:10 – ECT… has it really come to that?

31 Oct

Today I had my third appointment with new psychiatrist. I have to be honest and say I was utterly dreading it because the last two appointments with him have been extremely frustrating and of no help whatsoever. But lovely support worker came with me and when she first picked me up I was very very anxious, did not want to go, but after sitting talking to me and calming me down for about 20 minutes I finally got out of the car and went into the main hospital building.

I had gone over with her what I wanted to say to new psychiatrist today and just hoped that I’d both remember it all and get the opportunity to say it all. I can’t remember if I have already mentioned this here, but basically I had decided that if this appointment went as shite as the last two with him then I was going to ask my GP to refer me to see a different psychiatrist. I may live in the middle of nowhere with very little in the way of mental health support but I do believe there is one other psychiatrist that does cover this area.

So, bang on 2.30pm his door opens and he calls me through. I hesitantly walk through with lovely support worker behind me. We sit down and he asks how I have been since I last saw him. I took a breath and told him that my mood has remained flat the vast majority of the time, that there have been a couple and I do literally mean a couple of OK/good moments but really for… well… so long now I’ve lost count my mood is flat, I rarely find enjoyment in anything, my self harming continues, I have fleeting suicidal thoughts, my sleep is crap, even the very basics like having a shower and getting dressed and taking the dogs a walk sometimes just proves to be too much for me.

Yes, I know I went out for the first time in at least six months on Saturday night and ended up having quite a good time but I think that was mostly due to the amount of alcohol I’d consumed. I did not mention anything about the recent brief substance misuse because I don’t want that splashed onto my case notes again… and anyways… it’s over and done with now with no plans of any repeat episodes. I told him about the two visits to A&E for self harm wounds and stitches, I told him I am trying my hardest to plod on with my part time home based uni course but that I’m failing to concentrate and struggling with it massively. I told him that sometimes I hear a little niggling voice encouraging me to hurt myself but that I can tolerate it as it’s nowhere near as bad as when I was hearing several voices and hearing them constantly. In that respect I think the 750mg a day of Quetiapine (Seroquel) is still working.

He asked how I’d found the increased dose of 45mg a day Mirtazapine and again I told him that it was fine for the first couple of weeks but then I started having such severe physical symptoms of anxiety (when I truly thought my heart was about to pack in and ended up getting the ecg done) and how lovely GP had wondered if it was actually the Mirtazapine causing it as anti-depressants do take a while to build up in your system. So I told him my GP told me to go back down to 30mg a day and see if the anxiety improved and yes, the heart palpitations did stop and have continued to be minimal. But the ‘psychological’ anxiety, the constant worrying and fears are still very much present. Some days I’m so scared to even walk out my front door to cross the road and walk the dogs for ten minutes then other days I dope myself up on whatever anxiety med I can and force myself to face a potentially scary situation.

He then asked how I had found the Pregabalin (Lyrica) that he had prescribed last time I saw him as the plan was for me to use it on a long term basis for my anxiety and finally start to taper off the Diazepam seeing as I’ve been taking it daily for three years now. But I had to tell him that had been a disaster as well… that I didn’t realise it had the same/similar ingredient as Gabapentin which it appears I’m allergic to. So the two medication changes he made at our last appointment a few months ago were both unsuccessful.

This of course brought us onto the discussion of reducing my Diazepam and I firmly told new psychiatrist that yes I am willing to reduce but I am most definitely not doing it at the moment. I feel horrendous enough as it is without trying to taper off from that. To my surprise he did actually say that he agreed now was not the right time, especially not as we are fast approaching my two worst times of year – Christmas and then my little boy’s anniversary in February.

He asked what support I was getting from the mental health team and I quite honestly told him how utterly useless I find cpn#2. He asked why and I explained about her super structured way of working, her setting of agenda’s, her constant ‘positive goals’ and her reluctance to talk about anything that is making my moods low. However I did tell him that I am now top of the waiting list for psychology and have been given a provisional date of mid to late November for my first appointment. It’s the same psychologist I used to work with so in a way I am looking forward to going back to see her even if I don’t feel particularly convinced that this Compassion Focused Therapy bollocks is going to work for me.

So all in all it was actually quite a good session. I managed to get across to him that the two medication changes he proposed last time I saw him had failed, that I was not ready to taper off from the Diazepam yet, that my moods are low and flat, that I’m self harming again and having occasional suicidal thoughts, that I am generally struggling with life a lot, that I’m struggling trying to continue with my studies, that the only person who lets me vent is lovely support worker, that I find my sessions with cpn#2 useless, and some days I seriously do wish I just hadn’t woken up that morning.

His first response to all of this was to ask me if I thought I would benefit from going in as an inpatient in the bin for a while? I said no, that place makes me feel worse, trapped, none of the staff give a damn, the other patients are too stressful to be around, there are too many rules… just no.

His second response was the one that surprised and to be honest shocked me (no pun intended). He said that as he looked back over all my medication history for the past four years we have pretty much exhausted every med now. There really isn’t anything different we can try. We could maybe try new combinations of something but I have pretty much tried every anti-depressant, mood stabiliser and anti-psychotic and benzodiazapine there is. He asked if it’s my depression or my anxiety that is worse and I said both of them. The anxiety can be managed to a degree with medication, the depression is just constant, constantly ongoing flat crappy moods that for months and months and months if not closer to a year have just stayed shit. Every day is an effort, every week is an effort, some mornings I open my eyes and my first thought is “I think I might kill myself today” or “I wish I was dead”. But I don’t act on them because I don’t want to put my parents through all that heartache and frustration again. I carry on painting on these fake smiles and trying so hard to make everyone think I am coping. Although I did let slip to my Mum the other day that I had recently self harmed and had to go to A&E. The thing is I’m still self harming – first through cutting… then misusing substances… then drinking… now back to cutting again. I try to put on this persona of being someone in recovery but I’m so far from recovery it’s scary. All these people telling me how well I’m doing because they don’t fucking let me talk about how bad I feel, they insist on only talking about positives and therefore have a completely skewed picture of how my life really is.

So new psychiatrist says here is the plan of action: he will not make any medication changes at the moment (mainly because there isn’t really anything else we can try), he would give me a couple of months to start seeing the psychologist again and see if psychological input helped my mood in any way, he encouraged me to be honest with cpn#2 about what *I* need from our sessions (told him I’d already done that and got nowhere)… he asked lovely support worker if she would carry on seeing me and she said yes she would see me weekly for as long as I needed it, he encouraged me to try and open up to my family so they know I’m actually not coping that great right now and all these fake smiles are simply that: fake.

And then he hits me with it… “there is one other thing we can try but I’d like to wait at least six months before trying it as I only like to use it as a last resort… have you heard of ECT before?”

I sat there kinda shocked but nodded my head. A very lovely fellow blogger tried ECT some time ago and I read all her experiences with it with interest even though it didn’t seem to work for her. It is something that scares me a bit… I mean nobody really likes the idea of being knocked out, put into a seizure and having your brain zapped do they? It’s pretty hardcore stuff. Then add in the quite possible and quite likely short term memory loss. It’s not the most appealing of treatment options. But whilst he did reiterate that it would be a last resort I suppose it sort of shocked me that it was even suggested. He said it doesn’t work for everyone but a point has to come where we try and break this depressive and unproductive cycle once and for all… and maybe, just maybe ECT would be the thing that finally works for me. But like I say, he wants me to try a few months of psychology first and then review things again. He wanted to see me back in a couple of months but he is away for most of January so my next appointment is February 6th… five days before my little man’s anniversary so I’m bound to be in a super depressed state of mind next time I see him. Again, lovely support worker said she would come with me.

I can see that my life is not good at the moment, far from it if I’m brutally honest. Yes on the one hand I haven’t given up on the studying (yet) and yes I managed to travel to a new faraway place recently (doped up on diazepam) and yes I even managed to go for a night out on Saturday (full of alcohol). But then we look at the flip side: I’m self harming a lot although managing to keep it reasonably superficial at the moment purely to avoid having to go to A&E, I’m having lots of thoughts about ending my life, my anxiety levels are ridiculously high and out of control most of the time, other than that one night out on Saturday I have next to no social life whatsoever, no friends that I see on any kind of regular basis, a constant niggling voice giggling away in my head at how pathetic I am and fuck just a couple of weeks ago things became so desperate I put that shite back into my body for some sort of an escape. I feel unsupported apart from by lovely support worker, I feel alone, I feel miserable, I question the point of everything, I don’t cook meals or eat properly I just binge on junk food, I’m lucky if I shower a couple of times a week. Things are not good. And I can’t go on pretending that I’m OK any longer because I’m not. I didn’t want to admit it but there you go, I’ve said it. I just don’t want to worry my family so I keep it bottled up… but it’s getting really bad again.

I cancelled my appointment with cpn#2 for tomorrow because I just cannot face her “positive goal setting” bullshit… I left a message for her saying I had too much studying to do and couldn’t go and asked her to give me a call back to rearrange another appointment but to be completely honest I will probably cancel that one as well. What’s the point when I get no benefit from them? And now I know it will only be a matter of weeks until I start seeing the psychologist again maybe it’s time to just stop seeing cpn#2 because I feel like I’m getting nowhere with her and I just cannot work to her super structured approach.

Has it really come to a point where I need to give serious consideration to trying ECT? Could that be the one thing that just blasts my brain back to a state of normality so I can get on with my life in a happy and meaningful way where I actually want to be alive and enjoy my life? Could it break away from all these desperate little attempts of escapism? I don’t know… And I’m not going to give it much thought for the moment because it wouldn’t be happening for at least six months anyway. And who knows where I’ll be in six months time… Who knows if I’ll even still be here? The way I feel at the moment that is somewhat doubtful.

But if I’m totally honest with people, if I lay my cards on the table and admit to how bad I feel then I enter back into the conversations like those of today: talks of admission into the bin… talks of ECT… Do I want those conversations, or worse, for them to actually happen? No.

I just want to feel normal whatever that is. I just want to feel happy. I want to wake up and look forward to the day ahead. I want things to be easy and free and effortless.

And yet I also want to go to wherever my little boy is… wherever it is we go when our body has died and our soul has moved on… and well…. I guess I can’t really believe that I’ve ended up back in this place again. I’m scared… the feelings of things about to fall apart and hit crisis level feel imminent and I’m genuinely truly terrified of that happening to me again.

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.

16:54 – In a pretty crappy place right now

24 Sep

So yeah, I spent the weekend getting drunk by myself. Sitting here pouring glass after glass of wine and drinking it at a ridiculous speed. I don’t know what I hoped to achieve by doing that, I guess I was trying to block shit out. However the reality was that I just got more and more depressed, my mood dropped a little further down with every gulp I took. I did a lot of crying which maybe wasn’t such a bad thing, maybe those emotions had to come out of me, but I’m still having emotional outbursts with no warning signs today.

I continued to self harm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Despite being under the influence I seemed to manage to have some control over it as the cuts are reasonably superficial. I think I just kept reminding myself that if I just pushed down that little bit harder then it would be time to go back off to A&E again and I’m still sticking to my story with them that the stitches I’ve got were as a result of an accident and not self harming.

I am supposed to be going to get my stitches taken out today but I just feel so low and so miserable that I can’t face going out. I don’t suppose an extra day will make much difference, I’ve had times in the past where I just couldn’t face going to A&E and left stitches in a few more days than they were supposed to be in for. I was also supposed to go to an appointment with CPN#2 at 12:30 today – I got up at 9am and forced myself to go in for a shower, got dressed, sat and watched some TV, let the dogs out to do the toilet, then around 11am took my clothes back off and put my pj’s back on. Sat and watched 12:30 come and go, knowing that I should phone and least concoct some excuse for missing yet another appointment but my brain just seemed incapable of thinking so I didn’t attend and didn’t phone to apologise either.

I think I have come to the conclusion that I don’t find that I get any benefit from my appointments with CPN#2. In fact, I have worked with a number of CPN’s over the years and I’ve never really achieved much with any of them. The ones who have been good are the ones that haven’t stuck around for long. Typical really. So now I don’t know what to do – do I phone and leave a message for CPN#2 and make yet another appointment, drag myself along to it, sit there finding it no help whatsoever, make another appointment, repeat the process over and over again? Or do I somehow try to find the strength to be honest with her? I don’t know if I could do it face to face but the thought has crossed my mind that it might be an idea to write her a letter explaining why I’m not finding these sessions useful, therefore I either cancel them or just don’t attend.

My main problem with them is that CPN#2 likes to work in a very structured sort of way. I go in and she takes a sheet of paper that she calls the ‘agenda’ then asks me to pick two or three topics that I’d like to discuss during our session. If I go off at a little bit of a tangent she quickly pulls me straight back on topic by saying “this isn’t on our agenda, please stick to the agenda” which leaves me feeling like I’m being told off for trying to explain something. I don’t know if I’m explaining this very well? It’s like she wants our sessions to be like business meetings – have an agenda with a few bullet points – discuss them very specifically without really allowing any emotions to come into the conversation. Sometimes you need to go off at a little bit of a tangent to explain things better and when someone is sitting tapping their pen against their notebook it is extremely off putting. Then add to that her latest thing of propping her phone up on the middle of the table with the stopwatch app counting the minutes, constantly flashing, distracting me… yeah… it’s just not helpful.

I understand that she wants to use the sessions to get me to cover the basics of Compassion Focused Therapy until such time that I can see the psychologist again to learn it all in more detail, but surely I should be able/allowed to talk about how I’m feeling as well? Like if I had gone today there is just no way I could have told her about the self harming or about how low my mood has been/still is. We have absolutely no bond/no relationship/no therapeutic relationship/nothing. I cannot open up to her because I’m scared to mention anything that isn’t set on her little business agenda. So I end up not going to my appointments, not engaging with the mental health team, sitting and waiting for a letter to appear in my mail one day telling me she has discharged me as I don’t attend and she could be seeing someone else in my place. Part of me wishes she would just do that, but I carry on clinging to this little bit of hope that it won’t be too much longer now until I see the psychologist again and at least I know I can get along with her and work with her.

So here I am hiding indoors again. It’s now week three of my part time uni course and I haven’t even finished week one’s work. I sit and try to read, try to absorb it, try to understand it but it’s like there is an invisible mental block getting in the way and nothing sinks in. So I give up and tell myself I’ll try again tomorrow. But tomorrow comes and goes and I’m no further forward. At the moment there is still a chance I could catch up but for that to happen I need motivation. Right now I have no motivation at all. I just sit here and cry, cut myself a few more times, cry some more, never really getting anywhere. I can’t even go and sit on my (personal) facebook because I just cannot handle all these pregnancy announcements, baby announcements, baby talk in any way shape or form. Of course I know it’s something I can’t hide from forever but right now it’s all just too triggering for me. My mental state feels pretty fragile like the slightest thing will cause it to fall apart.

Although I fully intended to get drunk on Friday night I actually didn’t plan on repeating it on Saturday night. However, I popped up to see my parents to wish them a nice holiday (they left on Sunday morning and get back Monday next week) and just as I was leaving their phone started to ring. I saw on the caller display that it was my Aunt that I have nothing to do with these days (this is my Aunt who was the mother of my older cousin that abused me for years – he’s dead now for any new readers) and as soon as I saw her name flash up on the caller display I knew instantly what she was phoning for. My abuser cousin has a daughter who has been brought up by my Aunt as he couldn’t provide for her due to either being in prison or when he was out of prison he’d go straight back to his life of heroin and crack addiction. The mother of his daughter was also an addict. Despite who her parents were I still just looked at her like a little cousin and we used to be quite close until a couple of years ago when my stupid Aunt told her about the abuse. I had never wanted her to know about it but my Aunt is an alcoholic and doesn’t think about what she is saying half the time. So, the girl was about 14 at this point and of course she reacted to the news in a very angry way. She splattered messages all over my facebook and I made the decision to write her a long email explaining everything. I wrote about it on here and it was quite controversial to say the least – some people commented to say they thought I’d done the right thing – others said she was too young to have been told about it and that I shouldn’t have sent the email. But that’s all in the past now and sadly I haven’t spoken to her since.

My Mum told me several months ago that the girl is now 16 and pregnant. Firstly the fact that yet another person just accidentally got pregnant at the drop of a hat upset me. Secondly I convinced myself that she would have a little boy and name him after her father (as I think there is a bit of childhood idolising of him on her part even though he was never around as a father to her). I knew the baby was due in September and sure enough that was what my Aunt was phoning to tell my Mum. Thankfully she had a little girl. Even though I don’t see her any more or have any contact with her, I think it would have really got to me if she’d named an innocent little baby after the monster my abusing cousin was. But yeah, just hearing about yet another baby started making my head feel all bonkers so on the way back from my parents house I went and bought three bottles of wine and drank the lot over Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

So that’s where I am at the moment. Alone, lonely, self isolating, unable to study, crying a hell of a lot, cutting myself, missing appointments and generally feeling extremely low. I have an appointment with my rape crisis support worker tomorrow which I’m going to make an effort to go to as she is pretty much the only person that I can just sit and be honest with at the moment. And if I make it to that appointment and get out of the house then maybe I’ll manage to get to A&E as well to have these stitches taken out. As for the rest of today and tonight I have absolutely no idea how they are going to pan out. If my mood stays like this then it looks like it’ll be yet another shitty night to try and get through. Truthfully I don’t feel 100% safe at the moment and I do feel a little bit worried about where this is all heading. But if I can just get through tonight in one piece then maybe tomorrow’s appointment with lovely support worker will help to calm my crazy brain down again.

22:02 – Friday already…

9 Aug

Wow, I can’t believe it’s Friday already. This week has gone by seriously quickly. Maybe that’s because I’ve actually gone out of the house and done things, time definitely goes slower when I’m in self isolation mode.

Yesterday I had my appointment with lovely support worker from rape crisis. It was a good session, some of it was spent with me moaning about new psychiatrist and about these Lyrica (Pregabalin) tablets. The other part of it was me trying in some round about way to explain that every time I think of sexually abusive acts that have happened in my life I always find myself somehow excusing them or looking for reasons to justify them. It’s easier, so so much easier to blame myself and hold myself responsible for them all than it is to admit to myself that several males have actually wanted and enjoyed hurting me, who got pleasure out of hurting me…. one when I was just a child. The fact it happened again in adulthood means yet again I somehow asked for it to happen and deserved it to happen. Lovely support worker tried to reason with me and told me it wasn’t my fault but… I just don’t believe her :(

Today I went to my appointment with CPN#2 so that was our first appointment in 8, 10, 12 weeks… I don’t know, I do know it’s been quite a long time (again, my fault). So she had asked me to take my Compassionate Mind chapters in and she has said that she wants to get me to a place where I’m starting to grasp the basics and then hopefully the psychologist will be able to start offering me appointments again to do the Compassionate Mind stuff when it starts getting more in-depth. I arrived at the appointment and she said it was nice to see me and said “ok we have an hour, what would you like to use that hour to talk about?” I said I had a question: will I still continue to have CPN support when I start working with the psychologist again? Instead of answering me she wrote my question on a piece of paper. She then asked me what else I wanted to talk about and I said “I have a lot of concerns about the new psychiatrist, I don’t think the appointments have been helpful at all and I’m frustrated that after sending a long letter to him it appears to have achieved nothing”.

Again she wrote that down on a piece of paper. She asked if there was anything else I’d like to spend the appointment discussing and I said obviously I wanted to use most of the appointment to make a start on some of this Compassionate Mind stuff. Yes, she wrote that down as well.

She then turned the stopwatch on her phone on and propped it up against the window ledge so she could “make sure the appointment doesn’t overrun”. I hated it, every time I glanced at it I was getting distracted trying to work out how long we had left and the more I tried to think of the quick but concise ways to discuss my points the more I started going off at a tangent and forgetting what my point was. She said more than once “could you please stick to the point MCBL… this isn’t the question I have written down” Grrr. She annoyed me a bit today if I’m honest. She seemed to want to run the appointment as though she was following an agenda for a meeting. Once I’d finished blabbering on about my concerns of being discharged from CPN support once the psychologist returns and she repeatedly told me she didn’t know what would happen but did make sure she threw in the obligatory “we are pretty short staffed at the moment” line. She did say I wouldn’t be left completely on my own unless I made the decision to stop engaging with them. She then crossed ‘point number 1′ off the list and asked me what my concerns were regarding the new psychiatrist. I began to tell her about him wanting me to start on a drug that I really didn’t want to take and how I just can’t understand why the new psychiatrist wants to shake everything up when this is the longest I’ve gone for a while where I haven’t self harmed or been admitted to hospital. Although there’s been shitty days there have also been stable ones and I just don’t get why this new doctor is coming along and trying to change all that.

Her response was simply that I could ask for a second opinion if I wanted but that I’d probably find that all doctors are trying to get their patients off of daily benzodiazapines. I said to her I was now on a relatively low dose, I’ve been taking it every day for almost three years, I have no bad side effects, it helps me… why do they need to fix something that isn’t broken?!! So CPN#2 asked me what dose of Diazepam it is that I’m taking and I told her I was down to 16mg a day. She then tells me that this is not at all a “low dose” and even though I told her that GP had agreed it was a low-ish dose she started going on and on about 2mg or 4mg a day being a low dose and to be honest I don’t really know what else she had to say on the matter because I became distracted watching the numbers changing on the stopwatch phone app. I heard her saying something about how I could try writing him another letter but I couldn’t be doing with listening to her so I just said “lets move onto the compassionate mind stuff… I’ll leave the medication stuff to my GP when I see her next Friday” and she seemed quite happy to cross point two off her agenda.

So we move onto the Compassionate Mind printed out workbook. She has a copy and I have a copy. She asks me where I’d like to start and how much of it I’ve read. I hadn’t read any. I did plan to last night but I forgot. However she picked out an exercise – the body scan one – and asked if I’d like to do that. I actually remembered doing that one with the psychologist back in 2010/2011 when she was trying to get me to do the compassionate mind – sorry ‘Compassion Focused Therapy’ – back then. So CPN picks another bit and basically she read a couple of pages aloud and I read them in my head as she spoke. She then started talking about what ‘homework’ she could give me as she can’t see me again for almost a fortnight, so I agreed I would try and read through some of the first section of it and write down the bits I found easy to understand and what bits I struggled with. Then she got out her diary and we made an appointment for the 22nd August and I glanced at the stopwatch – it was up to 37 minutes – but apparently that is an hour in her eyes as she started getting to her feet and showing me towards the door. In honesty I found the appointment pretty useless in the end. I’m really starting to feel a bit fed up with the CMHT and it makes me not want to attend when I just feel no benefit from it.

I had a pretty quiet afternoon once I got home and have carried on having a pretty quiet evening. Tonight will be my third night on the new higher Mirtazapine dose of 45mg but I only really noticed that I had a bit of brain fog yesterday but it was less foggy today so I think my body is going to adjust to the new dose pretty quickly. Which is good, of course.

I don’t have anything planned for the weekend as yet, hoping it will stay dry so I can get out a good walk with the dogs up the hills for a while. I could do with some real proper exercise where I come home aching all over and feeling like I’ve had a good work out. Hopefully I’ll be in a mood to go be outdoors tomorrow and the fact that I’ve stayed in since 2pm today isn’t a sign I’m slipping back into self isolating mode.

We shall see……

22:22 – Just a ramble really

25 Jun

This morning I was woken up with my mobile phone ringing. Unknown number. I didn’t think it would be some pain-in-the-arse sales call so early in the morning so for once actually answered it. It turned out to be CPN#2 getting back to me after me leaving a message for her on Friday. I asked her if she had got a copy of my letter and she said yes but swiftly said it had gone straight into my file and I kinda got the impression that was the end of that conversation. She told me she had briefly seen the psychologist (that I’m back on the waiting list to see) and they had printed some chapters from the Compassionate Mind program workbook thingy. She then waffled on for a few minutes about what parts of it she would do with me – basically she is going to use our appointments to do the basics of it then I think they are hoping I will be able to get into more depth with it with the psychologist once I start seeing her again.

The phone call with CPN#2 seemed a bit strange somehow. It felt like she was being a bit off with me from the moment I mentioned the letter. I didn’t say anything about it on the phone to her other than to ask if she had got it. So instinctively this is making me think she doesn’t agree with the points I raised in the letter or that some of it’s content has been taken in the wrong way. Argh. And she was making a real point of talking about how our sessions from now on were going to be very structured with specific tasks, goals and aims. I suppose this is a good thing but I’m still very sceptical about the whole compassionate mind stuff and really am not convinced that it’s right for me. Then again, maybe she read the bit in my letter which clearly stated that there were ‘no non-medicated coping mechanisms available to me right now’ and decided if she tries to get me onto this compassionate mind crap then she can at least say she is trying to offer me alternative coping mechanisms. So I see her next Wednesday – can’t say I’m looking forward to it but I’ll give it all a try, I guess I’ve got nothing to lose.

I don’t know whether to make an appointment with lovely GP tomorrow or not. I need a new prescription as I’ve just got a couple left for breakfast time tomorrow. Lovely GP did give me a repeat prescription sheet last time I saw her 4 weeks ago so that I didn’t need to make an appointment every 4 weeks, but in light of the letter I sent and the proposed medication changes new psychiatrist has made, I’m now thinking it might be better and easier just to go and see her. Our GP surgery is so annoying though. Unless you want an appointment in a month’s time then you have to phone on the day you want to see a doctor first thing in the morning, usually the phonelines are engaged constantly and when you do get through to a receptionist you’re told “sorry but all the same day appointments are gone now”. Frustrating. But I have been waking up around 7am a lot recently (this is after not going to bed until between 3 and 4am am) so I haven’t been getting a great amount of sleep or any good quality sleep. Despite the lack of sleep it means I’ve got a reasonable chance of being up first thing and hopefully get a GP appointment without any problems.

I can’t tell if I’m feeling tired at the moment or just fed up. My mood feels a bit blah. Thoughts drifting towards self harming again a lot at the moment. Sometimes it feels like the days are going by too quickly, like I wake up and think ‘fuck, another day to get through’ but again, that might be due to the fact I’m only sleeping 3 or 4 hours a night. I wish I could go to bed right now – 10pm and sleep right through to 8am – that would be heaven. And it’s so frustrating when you just can’t seem to get your body to switch off and rest. My thoughts aren’t particularly fast though, they don’t seem speeded up in any way, if anything they seem slower than usual. Like every day is just one big drawn out frustrated grumpy thought that occasionally dips down into ‘horrible thought’ category then back to just being fed up and miserable again. It’s not like there aren’t things I could be doing – there’s plenty of things I could be doing to pass the time a little more productively. But I just sit here glued to the sofa or lying on my bed staring into space and thinking all the ‘what’s the point’ type thoughts but they are going in slow motion. Stuck like a broken record. The only breaks come when I think the dogs would probably like to go for a walk and even then it’s the same slowed down murky depressed thoughts in my head just with some fresh air around my face.

So I guess I’ll see what happens tomorrow and report back with what happens with lovely GP. Maybe I’ll just do the cowardly easier option and hand the repeat prescription request into reception and hope that she doesn’t cut the Diazepam dose down yet. But I would prefer to go and see her and talk in person, she’s one of the very few professionals that I can actually talk to quite easily yet for some reason every time I’m sitting in that waiting room waiting to be called through I start to panic like mad. Ah, you just can’t win sometimes.

OK I’m going to see if there’s any chance of getting an early nights sleep. Please let things go OK with lovely GP if I see her, I can’t be doing with both my psychiatrist and GP both disagreeing with my concerns over the whole Diazepam withdrawal, I need to feel like someone other than my support worker is on my side and right now it’s looking likely that CPN#2 is probably going to take the view of new psychiatrist. I kinda expected that anyway seeing as she actually has to see him and spend time with him when he comes here each week to do his clinics, obviously they’ll all want a nice little happy working relationship and if that means keeping your mouth closed for an easier life then that’s what they tend to do. That’s one thing I miss the most about the social worker I used to work with, she was actually one who would open her mouth and disagree regardless of what others were saying. She had balls. I miss having someone with balls in my care team. Then, on saying that, lovely GP is usually very fair so maybe she will actually agree with the concerns I have written down.

Right, 10.20pm, time for medication. Time to sit around and go back and forth from the bedroom until I finally pass out for a few hours… then just as I’m enjoying it my phone will start bleeping loudly in my ear and it all starts all over again.

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

17:37 – I don’t really deserve a compassionate mind

24 May

I thought I better write a little post as a few people have sent me emails and dm’s on twitter to check I was still alive. I am, although there have been a few occasions over the past couple of weeks where I have wished that wasn’t the case.

Since I last posted I have got my new washing machine, seen very little of best friend as she’s all loved up with a new man in her life, gone to my appointment with the dietician, gone to one appointment with CPN#2 (but then didn’t turn up to my appointments with CPN#2 or support worker this week).

Where to start? Hmm… Well I have taken a lot of advice on board that the dietician gave me. She told me she had gone and done some reading about my medications and their side effects and I was pleased that she said she wouldn’t be expecting me to lose weight as fast as other people as the combination of 750mg Quetiapine (Seroquel) each day, the Mirtazapine and the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) would all slow my weight loss down. She weighed me and said I am about 3 and a half stone overweight (around 50lbs for my friends across the pond) but she is only expecting me to lose at around 1lb a week, normally she’d aim for 2-3lbs a week. So it’s going to be slow and steady. I have another appointment with her on June 14th and hoping to have lost a few lbs by then.

I have completely changed my eating habits over the past week and have been eating only fresh fruit, vegetables, salads and wholegrain breads and cereals. I haven’t had one single chocolate bar or packet of crisps since I saw her which has been hard going at times especially on the days I’ve been feeling crappy because I don’t feel like I deserve to make myself nice foods, I deserve to eat junk and be fat and disgusting and it’s very very hard to fight back against that. I think that is another reason why I didn’t go to my appointments this week, because when I did see CPN#2 last she had spoken to the psychologist (that I’m on the waiting list to go back and see) and psychologist wants to try the Paul Gilbert ‘Compassionate Mind’ program with me again, now that my life isn’t so chaotic that I’m a psych hospital revolving door patient.

The idea of being compassionate towards myself is so fucking alien. It is natural for me to think negatively towards myself and I really don’t know if I’ll be able to do this compassionate mind stuff. Deep down I know that no matter what treatment we try or what help I get I’m still going to be the same ugly horrible person who deserves nothing good. And in a way I sometimes think I don’t even want any help just in case I do get caught letting my guard down and for a tiny moment think that maybe I am worth something. Nobody seems to understand that it is instinctive to punish myself and make myself suffer, thinking of being nice to myself makes me feel anxious and horribly uncomfortable.

My mood states seem to be changing between seriously depressed and feeling ‘ok’ every few days if not every few hours. Sometimes I just find myself sitting here and for no obvious reason bursting into tears. I’ve been really quite emotional for a good couple of months now, never in front of people, but the smallest thing on the television or even reading a friend’s Facebook status will set me off. Then I get frustrated with myself because I don’t even know what I’m crying about and angry at myself for thinking it is OK to cry. It’s not OK, I don’t deserve to express my feelings that way, I deserve to express my sad feelings by dragging a blade through my flesh. To be honest it is actually easier to cut than to cry, cutting just doesn’t seem to have as many emotions attached to it yet it seems to clear my mind for a while, whereas crying just leaves me even more of a mess than when I started.

Anyway… moving on…

I got some good news this morning. I got my essay results back for my university module that I have been struggling so massively with. They weren’t due until the first week of June so it came as a bit of a surprise. I passed with 65% which is a good grade B, although because I didn’t take part in the other assessed part of the module it pulled my overall pass mark down to 52% which is a C. I’m just relieved it is over and that I am now on my Summer break. When we start back at the end of August I have opted to try and do two modules per semester so I still get my six first year modules completed within two years. I don’t know if I’ll manage to cope with that workload but I guess I can only try it and see how I get on. I think it helps if the modules are about something you find interesting and enjoy learning about, the first module I did I really enjoyed so it made it a lot easier to understand but this module I’ve just finished I wasn’t remotely interested in, so it all felt like it just went over my head most of the time.

I was going to start talking about something else that’s been going on lately but I’m already rambling and it probably needs a blog post all of it’s own, the short version is that I have been thinking a lot about finding a faith again. I know it wasn’t that long ago that I was talking about going to church and finding God but I keep on coming back to the same point again. I decided to speak to a devoted Christian a few days ago and the first thing she asked me was why I wanted God in my life. My answer was simple, I want to believe my baby son is in Heaven which means that to believe in a Heaven I have to believe in a God. She answered just as simply back -

“your baby boy will be in Heaven, there is no doubt about it because he was pure and innocent and never sinned – if you want to have any chance that you will be reunited with him then you have to live your life as God would want you to and only then will He decide where you will go when you die – but make no mistakes, if you don’t live your life for God then you have no chance of getting into Heaven”.

So that feels like a massive pressure on me now. There are so many things I do which would be classed as sinning. I definitely don’t live my life in the way that God would be pleased with. If he is real and his son Jesus died on the cross for us then what must he think when I cut up the body He created or even try to kill that body? What must He think when I’ve been in times where I can’t cope and have turned to drink or drugs to block it out? What must He think when I’ve been a bit manic and spending money recklessly or having sex with some random person? There are sooo many things I do wrongly, in God’s eyes and I have found myself on more than one occasion asking for His forgiveness. But again I come back to ‘what I deserve’, and I deserve to hurt and be punished. I deserve to suffer. I don’t think I even deserve God but the idea that I may never be reunited with my beautiful little boy is too painful to bear, it really is (oh here we go, tears running down my face again).

Anyway… I guess I have rambled on long enough and also I’m finding it hard to stick to a point I just seem to be blabbering on all over the place. My head’s a bit pickled, it’s up then down, up and down. I don’t know what I’m going to feel from one moment to the next. The fact that I’m self isolating again is a sign things aren’t great, the constant thoughts of self harming probably also show things aren’t great. But I am keeping it very superficial purely because I cannot face A&E right now. I barely leave the house apart from to walk the dogs and I try to see people the smallest amount possible. I’m making excuses up all the time as to why I can’t do this or go there and it’s funny because the less texts I reply to and the more times I ignore calls, the less and less those texts and calls come through. It’s as if people can see I just cannot be bothered so they are just leaving me alone. Which is good and it is what I want, yet it does make me feel even more isolated and lonely. And that feeds the ‘I don’t deserve it anyway’ thoughts more and more.

So it looks like it’s going to be a quiet bank holiday weekend for me. At least we have some sunshine at the moment and I can go and hide sitting on the beach while the dogs play around and have no one bothering me… Speaking of the doggys it is time for them to get their dinner and go another little walk soon so I’ll stop rambling now and and wish you all a nice weekend instead…

21:09 – CPN appointment and a ramble

30 Apr

Today has been pretty busy and it’s only 8.30pm but I’m already thinking about going to bed. My sleep last night was ridiculously bad again and I felt like a zombie when I got to my appointment with CPN#2 at 1pm. I can’t even remember what we spoke about as my brain was like mush. I do remember her filling out a sheet for the front of my file with details of allergies and stuff on it. And she said something about meeting with my psychologist before we next meet to find out from the psychologist what kind of therapy she will be planning to do with me and then use the sessions with CPN#2 to get me into the right headspace for the more structured psychological therapy. Also she mentioned arranging another CPA meeting for me as I’m well overdue one but right now half the people who should attend it are off for one reason or another so I think we’ll probably wait until June or July before the next one, which is fine by me as I don’t particularly enjoy them.

After my appointment with CPN#2 I met my Mum and we went for a look at washing machines. I’ve narrowed it down to three, they are all pretty expensive so I’m now just trying to work out what the best payment method for me would be. My Mum said she will put it on her credit card and I can pay her in instalments until the balance is cleared. The alternative is that I could buy it from my catalogue and pay it off over 52 weeks interest free or the third possibility is getting it from a local electrical store who offer the same 52 weeks interest free for payment. There are a couple of offers I saw that were quite good as they included the cost of delivery, disconnecting and removing your old appliance then connecting up your new one so it saves a lot of hassle – especially when you live two floors up. Mum said I should have a think about which one I want tonight and we can meet up at some point tomorrow to get it ordered.

Tomorrow is going to be another busy day as I have to go to a&e to have the rest of my stitches taken out (which as usual I am dreading), attempt to get a repeat prescription when my normal GP is off on holiday and as this was my first time in years getting a monthly prescription instead of a weekly one I don’t know if I’ll get put back on weeklies until my GP is back. I also have an hour of tattooing booked in the afternoon and have to buy a birthday card for my Dad then go to my parents as we’re having a little birthday dinner for him. I’m not sure how he’s going to react to his present – usually it’s a boring bottle of aftershave or something like that – but this year my brother decided it would be fun to get him a flying lesson – yes – to fly a small plane! It was pretty expensive so I hope he likes it! I wasn’t planning to get him a big present this year as next year it’s his 60th but before I could have much input into it my brother had already gone and booked it!

Anyway, I don’t really have much more to say for myself, I really am trying not to write about all the bad thoughts in my head. I told CPN#2 today that I just feel numb at the moment, I don’t feel happy or sad, I don’t feel quite as desperate about hitting the self destruct button but still want to hit it. I told her I’d pulled a couple of my stitches out myself in some sort of anger/frustration the other day – she asked what stopped me from pulling them all out and I’m not sure of the answer – probably because I knew if I pulled them all out I’d be back at a&e again and I just don’t think I could face going in there for more treatment – just going to get my stitches out tomorrow makes me feel anxious enough. Why? Because I don’t know how long I’m going to go before my next trip for more stitches. I don’t know if it will be days, weeks or months. The urge to self harm again is extremely strong but with having an hour’s tattooing done on Friday, another hour tomorrow and another hour booked for this coming Friday I’m trying my hardest to somehow trick my head into believing that the pain that comes with tattooing will be enough to stave off the urges to cut for another little while.

Well it’s now gone 9pm and I’m going to watch a little television, take the dogs a walk then medication and bed. I’m totally shattered and need some proper sleep tonight. I can’t even do a bit of self medicating as I only have one night’s medication left. So hopefully the sleep fairy will come along and be nice to me tonight.

Goodnight folks xx

 

19:09 – A surprise phone call

18 Apr

Today has actually been quite a busy day for me and I’m feeling pretty shattered after yet another crappy night’s sleep. I met my Mum and my Gran at 12.30 and we went for lunch as my Gran was going back home tonight. It was nice to have spent a bit of time with my Gran this time as I haven’t seen her since Christmas and didn’t get much time to talk to her as all the other family members were around and I was also really struggling with anxiety so didn’t really stay for that long.

However, I painted on the fake smile last night and went for dinner with them and done the same today for lunch. As I was saying my goodbyes my phone started ringing – private number – usually they get ignored… But something made me answer it and I was surprised to hear temporary CPN #2 from last year on the phone. She said she was back working in my area again (probably temporary again but I don’t know for sure yet) and asked me if I would like to meet up with her tomorrow. I’m not sure where the call came from – maybe lovely social worker who hasn’t been able to support me asked her, maybe Mr Psychiatrist contacted the CMHT to find out what was going on, maybe A&E contacted the CMHT, maybe it was just sheer coincidence… but yeah she called to offer me an appointment tomorrow which I agreed to go along to.

After lunch I had to head off to my appointment with lovely support worker from rape crisis and we had a good long session today. We talked about everything we possibly could regarding the self harming on Wednesday… I told her that I had no regrets this time and felt like I could potentially do it again quite easily. We spoke about my appointment with Mr Psychiatrist, about my trip to A&E and then about CPN #2 getting in touch. I have decided that whilst I will go to the appointment at the CMHT tomorrow I will also tell her the truth which is that I haven’t found working with any of the 3 cpn’s I’ve worked with over the past year helpful or beneficial. They don’t have the time to try and help me with graded exposure for the agoraphobia. They don’t care or get in touch if I’ve self harmed and gone to A&E as according to cpn #3 they know it’s a coping mechanism so they don’t need to get involved. They only ever seem to want to talk about “positive” things I could do with my life, they never seem to want to hear about the shit. And there is a lot of shit. And there is not much “positive” so it ends up just frustrating me.

I will ask her tomorrow what involvement she is going to have with me and will tell her that I would rather try and do structured work with the psychologist once she is back. I think that would be more beneficial in the long term if I could really properly learn coping skills for moments of intense anxiety or horrible flashbacks or evil voices. So maybe cpn #2 will just be someone to touch base with once a week or something to let them know I’m still alive. CPN #2 was the nicest out of the 3 cpn’s by far but she was also the one who kept trying to push all the positive things on me like starting the college course so that’s going to be fun tomorrow telling her I’ve fucked that up now. Part of me doesn’t even want to go to the appointment with her, I don’t think she can say anything I haven’t heard before, I don’t think she can offer me help in the times of crisis which is when I need help and well… I don’t want to start “working” with her and bringing up painful emotions if I’m only going to be seeing her for like a month or something. Anyway, I guess I wait and see what she says tomorrow. I must remember to go into A&E at some point whilst I’m at the hospital and have my wound check done.

So overall it was a good and productive session with support worker today but I felt pretty tired by the end of it, I’ve been feeling pretty drained all day from lack of sleep but we also did lots of talking. Then after that appointment I had to take Charlie dog to the vets for a vaccination and a little check up. Everything is fine with him, he is doing well and has put a bit of weight back on as well, he’s now 9.1kg and should be around 10kg so he’s getting there :)

After the vets I took the dogs a walk and then had to go to the supermarket. It seemed really noisy and everything sounded weird, like as though it was distorted somehow. I couldn’t concentrate and there were too many people and I started getting all anxious so I just grabbed dog food and then came home.

Mood wise I’m not entirely sure how I feel tonight. My head is noisy, male voice keeps offering “helpful” suggestions on how to next hurt myself. I’m trying to ignore it but quite simply I can’t. I don’t know if I’ll cut again tonight or not, if I do I will have to keep it superficial and not on my legs, I don’t want the A&E nurse tomorrow to see any fresh wounds. I find myself flicking my lighter a lot today…. heating the metal around the top of it then pressing it against my arms. It hurts a lot and yeah it leaves a sore mark for a while but it won’t lead to me needing more stitches and I can hide it easier. I have so many suggestions from male voice and ideas of my own on things I can do that will hurt but not require A&E and I feel as though I’m on a bit of a mission now to tick them all off the list one by one (and to see what other methods apart from cutting and burning give me that feeling of a release).

Before I start getting in to all that shit again I’m going to go and watch some TV. My head is properly pickled at the moment… just bursting full of ideas, thoughts and voices… all bad ones of course. But they seem like good ideas at the time, I guess that’s why we do them… we know we’ll regret it in the long term but when you’re in “that moment” you would pretty much do anything to make all those head crazies just leave you alone. I’m sad in a way that I don’t have any regrets over self harming yesterday but I also know that male voice is right, I haven’t done enough damage yet, I deserve much more pain and head fuckery before I’ll have done enough to make him happy. He’s right, I do deserve to hurt… I just wish he would fuck off with all these violent ideas and images… I am 99% sure I would never act on them if they involved hurting another person but there is that 1% of me that can’t help but wonder if this is all a build up to me totally losing the plot again. This little saying (below) very much reflects how I feel about everything right now… And I hope everything doesn’t keep going downhill but right now I have no idea what way I’m heading and I’m not even sure if I care… :(

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20:52 – Meeting with support worker and social worker

7 Mar

Well today I went along as planned to an appointment with my social worker and support worker. I was very anxious beforehand, I don’t know why, but taking a small amount of Diazepam helped a little. It was good for them to meet each other and we chatted about a few things like what they should do if they have concerns and what I should do in situations where my crisis plan would be useful and the possible triggers that doing this work with my rape crisis support worker could have and if they did trigger me then making sure it didn’t destabilise me too much mentally. There was nothing too heavy talked about and it was all over and done with in about 45 minutes so it was easier to sit through than I expected it to be. We pretty much ended it with a verbal agreement that I’d see my social worker every couple of weeks until the psychologist returns and I can start more ‘structured work’ and I’ll carry on seeing my support worker every 1-2 weeks and I gave permission for them to share information if needed so we can all work together.

There was only one thing which was said at the meeting which *searches for the right word* … surprised? me. My social worker said at one point that I have attachment issues. I’ve never heard her say that before, well not in those words anyway. And it didn’t as such annoy me but it played on my mind for a while afterwards because, in my head, someone who has attachment issues is needy and possessive and jealous and has turbulent relationships. And whilst I can admit that the first year I worked with my social worker I probably did feel quite dependent on her in a lot of ways… since not seeing her so much over the past couple of years and since having a string of people starting to work with me and then leaving I now have the opposite problem. I find it harder and harder to trust people so in general I spend a lot more time on my own and have done for some time now. I make excuses to leave friends and family’s houses early. I don’t like people being in my house for too long, it starts making me feel agitated. So yeah, I’m left a little bit confused by what she meant by me having attachment issues, I’m not overly bothered about it just confused as right now I feel like the most unattached person on the planet!

I’ve arranged another appointment with my support worker for next Thursday and hope to touch base again with my social worker the following week. That’s all I need, just someone I know and trust and who knows my mental health to touch base with until the psychologist starts back. I’m really trying just to ask for the bare minimum so that my social worker can see that I know seeing her is just a temporary thing until the psychologist is able to work with me again. That way it means she doesn’t have to make any commitments to me that she might not be able to stick to, I know I have someone to touch base with and I have the support of my support worker for the ‘other’ stuff that I’m trying to work through.

So yeah, we’ll see how things go.

I’ve been taking my medication properly again for a few days now and am happy to say that the constant stream of chitter chatter has actually been very quiet today. I am still hearing the occasional sentence which is usually telling me to do something but it doesn’t have the same weight to it so it’s easier to ignore. I am still having huge problems with my concentration and am still no further forward with my studying, just adding more and more days onto me getting further and further behind. My tutor emailed me on Tuesday asking if I was OK and I still haven’t replied to her, because I don’t know what to say. I think I’m somehow still hanging onto the hope that I will suddenly get my concentration back and get myself back up to speed and everything will turn out OK. But with the more days that pass the more unrealistic that is starting to become. I will try and compose a reply to her tomorrow.

Anyways it’s getting close to 9pm now and I’ve some washing to hang up then there’s a program on TV I wanted to watch and then it will be medication and dog walking time. I’m going to try and get some studying done tomorrow but it’s just so hard to focus at the moment. I’m not even writing proper notes when I try and study, I just write word for word what is on the screen onto my notepad. None of it goes in, half the stuff I’ve written down I have no clue what it actually means. So yeah, not so good. And this is an important week as it is the start of our online sociology debates and we have to contribute to the debate forum boards over the next four weeks as 20% of the module mark comes from these posts and then the other 80% comes from an essay due in May. How can I debate what I don’t understand? Argh.

Right I guess it’s time to say goodnight, fingers crossed for a good day tomorrow.

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