I met my new CPN on Wednesday. My social worker was there as promised which was nice. I was very anxious throughout the meeting even though the woman herself seemed nice enough; however I got the impression that any time my social worker tried to tell her about my mental health history and how, over the past couple of years all they have been able to do with me is try and keep me alive, that she didn’t seem particularly interested. She didn’t seem very interested in hearing about the voices or me using my crisis plan appropriately and taking myself to a&e on a few occasions. Instead all she seemed to want to talk about was ‘what she can do to help me’ in the next few months.
Yes! Guess what? She is only temporary as well! Another person who will be there one minute and gone before I know it! Apparently they are advertising for a full time permanent CPN, so the next one should be able to stick around for longer. Hmm.
So she started asking me stuff about my hobbies and about my education. I told her I’d done well at school and had started a couple of degree’s at different universities but always dropped out at the end of first year. I told her I don’t really have any hobbies, but mentioned I have my little dogs. My head (and the building) was pretty noisy and I was having quite a hard time following the conversation and not letting the voices overpower her. I heard phrases like “having goals and aspirations”, “furthering your education”, “what would you like to do MCBL? There must be something?”
I guess I wasn’t really expecting to go into this first meeting and for her to be quite so full on with the whole ‘getting motivated’ thing. I again was having a hard time both talking to Lucifer and the CPN (who we will call T just to give her a name), I think on a couple of occasions I replied out loud to Lucifer when I meant to reply to her or vice versa. Ugh. Brain blur.
She asks what I would like to achieve/work towards. I said I’d like to not be agoraphobic any longer. She states “the psychiatrist says you don’t have agoraphobia MCBL”… (you know I just love when these changes occur and I’m always the last to know)… I kinda looked at her strangely and told her that yes I could now manage the bus journey between home and the looney bin and that yes I had done a couple of graded exposure journeys with my social worker – however – I have not been to a city/busy place/on a motorway/a shopping centre/family events – for at least five years. I have made a mental note to ask my psychiatrist if and why he no longer considers me to have agoraphobia when I see him next Wednesday.
I said to my social worker that I would still really like to move out of my flat. I do love the location of my flat and it is my little home, has been for six years now, but I desperately want to have a little one or two bedroom house with a little garden. I know beggars can’t be choosers and I should be grateful that I have a permanent roof over my head but living in this flat really feels like it worsens my mental health at times.
If I had one of the little one bedroom houses they have for the elderly and disabled people then I believe:
- My paranoia would be less intense because I wouldn’t be in a block of 12 flats with people coming and going all day long that I hear outside my door and become suspicious of,
- I would have the freedom to sit outside on nice days in my own safe space and having a garden and doing a little gardening is shown to help depressive symptoms,
- On bad days the dogs would have a garden to play in if I was too unwell to walk them – and not have to rely on my Mum coming to get them,
- I think I would feel a lot safer with elderly neighbours, they don’t pose the same threat to me as younger people, and their little houses are in quieter areas, with no late night parties like where I stay now,
- If I had an extra bedroom then someone would be able to have a proper bed to sleep in when I need someone to stay over,
- From a safety point of view I wouldn’t already be two floors up if I was in a suicidal state at home,
- I think my fear of people wanting to do me harm would be less in a quiet little house as opposed to this block of 12 flats,
- I am no longer happy here
- This little bit of research explains what I feel: Housing, Neighbourhoods and Mental Health:-
- Most of the BRE report focused on the effects of housing on physical health. However many of the studies quoted previously looked at both physical and mental health, and there is a continuing interest in the effects of housing on the latter, perhaps in part reflecting the difficulties of “proving” links with physical symptoms and because of the interaction between the two. Intuitively poor housing condition will have an effect on mental well being; the home provides more than shelter and the “meaning of home”, for example as a haven of security, is an accepted psychological and social construct.
T, (new CPN woman), says she does not think that me moving to a little house would be beneficial. She says it will make me take my dogs out less because I will have a garden to let them play in instead. This woman has known me five minutes, I’ve had my dogs coming on 5 and 6 years, I’ve been a ‘mental’ all that time and they have never ever been neglected or not walked. Even when I’ve felt the shittest of the shit, when I’ve had to swap my days and nights around so I felt comfortable in going out, when I’ve had to call on my mum to take them for a night… through all of those times my two little monkeys have always been taken good care of and exercised. So T wound me up a bit.
Deep breath. Ahh.
Her whole approach left me walking out of there feeling like she had spent all her time talking about what she wants me to do and not actually listening to a word of how I was thinking or feeling or what was going on in my life right now. She doesn’t seem to get that sometimes it is just to hard to get out of bed, to shower once a week, to live with voices tormenting then praising you, to be locked in a little self destructing world where everything drives you crazy. I left feeling like she was more interested in the grades I’d got at school (13 years ago) than the here and now. Will the next session be any different? Who knows… It’s not for a fortnight yet.
Next week I have appointments Wednesday with the psychiatrist, Thursday with the addictions nurse for more relapse prevention work, Friday with my social worker. I can’t decide whether to wait until next Friday and speak over the housing stuff again or whether to contact the housing association myself and just tell them the reasons why I’d like to be considered for a new place.
Annoyingly my mate came down the other night (after I’d seen T and was moaning about her) and he made me get a pen and paper, go onto Google, search for short college courses at my local college (I ended up just phoning them and asking for a prospectus and a list of free short courses) then I searched for voluntary work in my area and sent off an email to a charity who do short term pet fostering as I think I’d quite enjoy that. I haven’t had a reply from them yet. So yes, that was kinda annoying that he ended up making me do the things that T was banging on about but afterwards we had a little drink and were like ‘ah, right that’s my homework done til I see her again in 2 weeks, I’ve got shit written down so I can show her I did listen’ so she had better be bloody pleased with me!
In other news – I have found the perfect design for my next tattoo which is going to make Lucifer very happy with me indeed. This might just be the time he starts to grant me the powers and abilities he promised (if I do a good job and impress him!) – Watch this space!
Wow that was a long post. I started writing this almost an hour ago. It’s now 12:53. Time to get dressed and have something to eat.