Today has turned out to be a surprisingly good day. I went to my appointment with my CPN at 1pm and she had already received notification that I had attended a&e yesterday evening and knew about the self harming. She asked what triggered it and I said I really didn’t know, it had just been building and building inside me and I needed to let it all out, that I had tried to distract myself by completing all of this coming week’s Uni work and wrote my essay so everything is complete a week in advance. But the thoughts and urges just became so intense I felt like I couldn’t fight them any longer, and so I had a slip up.
I told her I was worried that because of these two recent self harm episodes (and the fact they have been pretty close together) that this may mean she wouldn’t write a reference for me for the child befriending voluntary work that I want to do. I have my interview on Monday, the woman who runs it in my area is coming to my flat and I’m getting quite nervous! My flat isn’t looking it’s best at the moment, well at least it has all been freshly painted, but I still don’t have any proper flooring down as I am still refusing to pay out for flooring when I’m awaiting a housing transfer.
She said to me that she truly believes that doing this voluntary work is something I am already feeling passionate about and that if I was in a situation where, for example, it was a Saturday and I was feeling really down and the self harm urges began to build inside me, but I knew I had to see the child I was befriending the next day or in a few days time that I would throw myself into distracting myself as much as possible because I wouldn’t want to risk not being allowed to befriend any longer. And I think she is right, distractions can work really well, I am finding my Uni course is really helpful; combined with writing my meal plans up in advance so I have a better chance of sticking to this diet and of course looking after my fur-babies (my doggies).
She said that she still believes very much that I am walking the path towards recovery and that these recent self harm wounds have just been slip ups, and providing I haven’t done it again by the next time she sees me on 22nd October (our very final session together when I’m handed over to new CPN) then she will still write a reference for me. I do intend to be honest with the woman from child befrienders, I have already told her on the phone that I suffer with Bipolar Disorder but that I am trying to move my life forward in a positive direction. She is coming quite a long way to see me so I wanted to be open and honest from the start so I don’t waste her time and she has already told me that so long as I’m considered stable then my mental health isn’t an issue, and that a number of befrienders suffer from various illnesses but it doesn’t affect their ability to befriend.
So we had quite a good session together and then she brought in the new social worker who I will be working with for approximately 4 weeks until I start working with the new CPN at the end of October. She seemed OK, I didn’t get an overly positive vibe from her but even though I like to consider myself a good judge of character, I have learned when it comes to mental health professionals to never judge a book by it’s cover, some of the ones you initially think are going to be useless turn out to be really helpful and others that you think are going to be so helpful turn out utterly useless. Anyway, I will see how I get on with her when we have our first appointment together on October 5th.
Next week is going to be a busy one. Monday I have my child befrienders meeting/interview. Tuesday I have my first meeting with advocacy to get extra help with my housing transfer. Then later in the afternoon I have a session with the woman from rape crisis who is currently on holidays. Then on Friday I have the session with the new social worker. And in between times I have all my Uni work to do. So I should be kept pretty busy and distracted from the bad thoughts next week. Or maybe the bad thoughts will actually go away and give me a break for a little while. That would be much more preferable!
Speaking of social workers… she turned up! And we had a really long chat together, I think for about an hour and a half :) I felt really nervous and awkward when she first came in the room, she felt a bit like a stranger as I haven’t seen her in so long but in no time it was back to normal, the way things had been before all of this not seeing her over the past 5 months stuff. I did ask what had happened, where had she been? And she quite honestly told me that it was entirely due to her chaotic caseload, changes in the mental health team, and it was nothing I had done wrong. She isn’t just a social worker, she is a MHO (Mental Health Officer) and she told me that she had been totally caught up in MHO duties that she hadn’t been doing general social worker stuff for ages. I didn’t feel like she was trying to fob me off with any excuses, she sat and talked and explained things to me and I understood.
We sort of talked about where we go from here, whether she discharges me or what to do for the best. We talked about was it really a social worker that I needed or a CPN and the progress I had made with the current temporary CPN I’ve been seeing. I told her all about my Uni course and where I want it to lead me to, what direction I would like my future to go in, in fact we talked about lots of stuff. In the end I said that I was OK with her not being involved in my care in a therapeutic sense, I know that I am getting a new CPN for that, and I also said I was happy for her to discharge me from her caseload but, that I would really appreciate it if she could stick around whilst we get this housing transfer sorted out. So she has even agreed to come with me to the advocacy meeting on Tuesday which made me happy that she was still willing to help me with that.
So hopefully with social worker and advocacy we can think of another approach to try and move my application for new housing along a bit. All I want is a little one bedroom house with a little garden, it’s not like I’m taking a house from someone or anything and the housing association are getting a house (flat) back from me when I move out of here. The council are sticking their heels in and saying there just aren’t any houses to move me into at the moment but I think with a bit more weight behind me and me being a bit more forceful I could at least speed up the process a little bit. You tend to find if you just start annoying the hell out of them and constantly phoning, going in, emailing etc that these people finally get fed up with you and start trying to find you somewhere quicker just to get you off their case! And I would be so much more happier out of this flat, I can’t express how much I hate living here, how scared I am that the horrible paranoia will come back, how bad it is when I’m feeling paranoid and scared and can’t go out my front door because I have to walk past all my neighbours doors and sometimes when I am really not well it’s so hard to let my dogs out for a walk. Having my own front door and a little patch of grass is all I want. And the three areas I have said I’d like to be housed in are all mainly areas with elderly neighbours, so nice and quiet instead of being right in the middle of the town with constant noise and so many drunken idiots at the weekends fighting and shouting and waking me up etc etc.
So I feel as though the awkwardness between me and social worker has finally been repaired and I understand her reasons now and I think she will try and help as best she can with the housing transfer and from there then it will probably be the right time to discharge me but at least it will be on good terms which would be much nicer.
Today has gone much better than expected and I have managed to stick to the low carbing again. A couple of boiled eggs for lunch and grilled chicken breast with brocolli for dinner and I’ve drank at least 1.5 litres of water so far today. I am noticing that this headache has come back again and I’m finding it really quite annoying but I’ve taken a couple of paracetamol and it’s calmed down a little bit. I think I remember this as being normal from the last time I low-carbed.
So I’m going to go and watch some TV and have a quiet relaxing night. Tomorrow I’m going to get started with next week’s Uni work, if I can stay a few days/a week ahead then I’ll be happy, just in case anything ever does come up where I need to take a few days off from studying and I won’t fall behind.
I have nothing much planned for tomorrow other than studying but I have to go to a&e at some point and have them check yesterdays wounds and a guy coming to replace my gas meter on Friday.
And on that note I’ve just noticed a programme I wanted to watch has already started… I am also interested to watch the programme that is on channel 4 tonight at 10pm (for UK people) it’s a live experiment of people taking drugs, tonight it is a live ecstasy/mdma experiment, should make interesting viewing!
I’m a happier bunny today, I’m glad things are finally sorted out with social worker and it was really nice to have the opportunity to chat today. I was so worried about seeing her and left feeling so much calmer. My head feels quieter tonight and I don’t have any bad thoughts swirling round my brain. So, for tonight anyway, all is good :)