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.