Tag Archives: blades

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

22 Jun

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

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

Anyways… moving along…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you all have a nice weekend folks xx

 

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02:27 – Spontaneous purchase

12 Mar

Since my last post on Saturday night the insomnia has continued. Again it is past 2am and again I am sitting here wide awake and I know I’ll stay awake until about 5am then will finally fall asleep for 3 or 4 hours and be up again by 9am to do it all again. So what’s been happening the past few days? Not a great deal to be honest. It was Mother’s Day yesterday (well Sunday seeing as it’s now Tuesday morning) and I found it quite a bit harder than I thought I would. I guess it’s sort of like the sadness I feel at anniversaries – a day for Mummy’s and another club I don’t feel part of 😦

Sunday went by very slowly in the daytime and it was the daytime that was getting me all worked up and when I was feeling the most anxious. By the time I was due to go to my parents house for dinner (and to give Mum her Mother’s Day present) I was starting to feel tired and the thoughts that had earlier been whizzing around my head finally slowed down. So I actually managed to enjoy the meal and my brother and his girlfriend were there as well so the time went past quite quickly as there was lots of conversation going on. Thankfully I didn’t need to participate too much as they were all talking about their upcoming holidays. My parents go to Lanzarote next weekend for a week then the day they come back my brother and his girlfriend are off to Paris. Usually even having or listening to conversations about travelling are enough to start off the anxiety and agoraphobic fears, but I actually quite enjoyed listening to holiday stories and quietly remembering the times when I could do all that stuff too.

As I was leaving my parents house to come home Mum gave me a little gift bag with chocolates and a little bottle of rosy wine – she always gets me a little something on Mother’s Day which I am glad of – it’s nice to know that I’m still considered a Mummy by her even if my little man isn’t here with us. And rather than depress me or leave me sitting thinking about how much I miss my little boy, I actually came home feeling OK. Which is possibly why I’m a little bit confused by what I did today.

Today my Dad was here all afternoon laying the last of the flooring in the bathroom. Mid afternoon I started to feel very anxious completely out of the blue and I didn’t want my Dad to see me like that so I decided to take the dogs for a walk. While we were out walking I stopped outside a little DIY store, tied the dogs to the railing for a minute and went in as if on auto-pilot and bought a pack of stanley knife blades/box cutter blades. I don’t know why I bought them like that, like without even having any thoughts about self harming, just this overwhelming urge came out of nowhere and so I shoved them to the bottom of my bag and then came back home. After my Dad went home I took them out my bag and put them away somewhere ‘safe’. I have no immediate urge to use them but I wonder what made me just buy them like that. I do know that after I bought them and once I was home and knew I had them I did then start to feel less anxious, maybe it’s a kind of safety blanket thing. Who knows.

Anyways I am really hungry so I’m going to make a little something to eat. Hope you’re all OK.

 

14:00 – Yo-yo moods and trying to stay safe [Edited to add…]

16 Sep

Today I feel neither up nor down. I decided not to go out last night with my friends. It just felt too risky to take the chance of coming home filled with alcohol and not act on any bad thoughts. So I tried to do the sensible thing that would keep me safe and stayed in, watched the X Factor on TV, took my medication and finally drifted off to sleep.

Oh, I know I’m going to talk about self harming somewhere in this post and I have a feeling it may be quite graphic so just to warn you in advance that you might not want to read any further.

There was a lot of commotion going on outside last night as I was trying to get to sleep. My flat is fairly town central in the little town I live in and I could hear a whole load of arguing and screaming so went for a look out the window. I swear there was around 20+ guys maybe aged between 18 and 25 all throwing punches at each other and fighting pretty bad. I tried to take a photo of it from my window because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing… they were all right in the middle of the road and no cars could get by or anything so all the cars were just sitting in a big queue waiting to get by. It only lasted for about 20 minutes and then 3 police cars appeared, I watched six officers breaking it all up and sending them all on their way. I didn’t see anyone getting arrested, I think it was all football related as there was a game on yesterday and unfortunately in the UK football can just send people into such violent outbursts, especially when they’re drunk. I can’t stand football for that very reason.

Anyway, back to yesterday afternoon. I met with my Mum around 3pm and we went for a cuppa in a little cake shop. I managed to resist the cakes though as I was being bad enough by having a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. Bad… but very tasty! So I ended up telling Mum everything that’s been happening over the past week. I told her about the self harming on Wednesday, about my frustrations with my CPN and social worker, about seeing my GP on Friday and having to hand over all the tablets. I told her I didn’t want her to worry about me and wanted her to go and have a nice relaxing holiday and that I felt as though all of the bad urges were out of my system. That was a slight lie but it made her feel more at ease. She told me she knew I wasn’t in a good place from last Thursday’s CPA meeting and had already asked my brother and his girlfriend to keep an eye on me whilst they were on holiday. It feels a bit weird having my little (well not so little he is 27!) brother having to look out for me, but he works with people with both mental health problems and learning difficulties and his girlfriend’s brother suffers from pretty bad depression so they are both pretty understanding.

Mum asked me if I would think about throwing away the blades I have. She said if I could throw away the tablets I could manage the blades as well but I said to her that I only had to walk two minutes out of my front door and could just pick up another packet. But I guess that is true for the tablets as well, I know that if I wanted to I could easily get around 8 boxes in the space of half an hour just going round all the local chemists and the couple of supermarkets. But I guess it’s a case of telling myself that I don’t want them or need them and doing my best to not get any more. As for the blades, I know I will hang onto them, I’m not sure if all the self harm urges/needs/desires are out of my system. The problem with the type of blades I have is that you really don’t need to press down very hard to do some really bad damage to yourself, it’s not like the razor blades you use to shave your legs with where you cut and it bleeds a lot but the cuts stay shallow, you end up cutting right down til your pretty much exposing a muscle with these ones. Mum was like, if you have to do it could you not do it with blades that will just leave shallow cuts so they will heal and not scar and again I said I’d think about it.

My thing with self harming is that sometimes I want to feel the pain and actually the razor blades that make shallow cuts are what I use in that situation, anyone who has ever accidentally made a little shaving cut or even had a paper cut knows how much it stings. So when I want to feel actual physical pain I will cover my arms in those kind of cuts until all the bad feelings are out and then I can stop.

However I also have another type of self harm that I do when I am angry, frustrated, not coping, etc and that is when I use the stanley knife blades. I know they will do a lot of damage and I know that I will almost certainly end up needing to go to a&e and get stitches but it’s about seeing the damage, seeing the pain externally, getting some relief from the craziness in my head.

One thing I don’t do, which I know a lot of self harmers do, is wound pick. Once I’ve cut and got that feeling of relief I want the wound closed as neatly as possible. I hate scars despite being covered in them and I want them to heal as neatly as possible. So I keep the dressings on and I generally don’t look at the damage again until I’m having the stitches removed, and even then I never seem to get the feelings to cut it back open or anything. If I need to cut again I move onto another part of my body, which I know makes no sense because that’s creating yet another scar, but it’s just the way I am.

Moving on from self harm talk, my parents leave later this afternoon for their holiday. I said I would go up and see them for an hour before they leave as Mum is giving me money for one of my textbooks I need for my uni course. I managed to buy all the other ones second hand on amazon but this one I can only find in the “new” section and it’s quite expensive so Mum said she would get that one for me. So I’ll pay the money into my bank tomorrow and order it then.

I just ordered myself some vitamins called Soy Isoflavones as I have been reading a lot of things about them being good for hormonal imbalances. I have a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and I don’t have periods by myself or ovulate (produce eggs). I have to take tablets every couple of months called Provera which brings on a bleed, similar to the bleed you get if you are taking the contraceptive pill. But these vitamins get really good reviews for helping your body start to have a menstrual cycle again, they are also used a lot by women going through the menopause, so I’m going to give them a try for a few months and see if I notice any difference and if it makes me have a period by myself again. When I conceived my little man who went to Heaven I conceived him naturally, but I had lost about 4 stone in weight beforehand and I think that helped jumpstart my body a bit. I have since put all of that weight back on and I really do need to start trying to do something about it. I don’t feel healthy at this weight, I hate never being able to buy the pretty tops and dresses and things that my slim friends can all buy. I am not massive but I should be around 9 stone for my height (that’s what I was when I conceived little man) and I’m now somewhere around the 13 stone mark which isn’t so good. So I’m hoping with the combination of some proper exercise, cutting back on the junk food and trying these vitamins that my body might start working again.

I have the joiner and plumber coming tomorrow morning at 8am to start ripping my old shower and shower cubicle out and put the new ones in. So I am going to have to get up about 7am and have a shower before they get here. I will have week two of my uni course to keep me occupied for a while and will maybe go out to see best friend in the afternoon (and so I can go for a pee!)

So that’s all from me for just now. Mood is up and down, up and down, like a yo-yo. Trying to continue to distract myself from the bad thoughts and replace them with positive ones, trying to think about the future every time I feel like I want to cut, trying to remind myself of all the consequences that could happen if I cut badly again so soon after the last time.

This mental illness stuff really is no fun at all. Sometimes I get quite upset that it happened to me when nobody else in my immediate or external family has any mental health issues. But then I get upset about a lot of things that have happened to me in my life that haven’t happened to anyone else close to me. Sometimes I just think I’ve been incredibly unlucky in life so far. But I want that to change and I know there are some things that are out of my control, but I can change the things that I can control and hopefully map out a decent future for myself.

Right now I really don’t know what direction I am heading in. It seems to change hour by hour, day by day. I’m using every bit of strength I have to keep myself from slipping backwards and it’s been bloody hard work this weekend. I’ve been listening to some of my mindfulness tracks on iTunes when things are starting to slip and trying that approach to bring me back “into the moment”. It does help but when the bad thoughts get really bad, sometimes there is just no stopping them.

Like yesterday, I will carry on today taking it hour by hour, minute by minute, and try to get through another day safely.

[EDITED to add]

I was just looking at some site stats and came across this on today’s stats. Not only are they a sick cunt (excuse my language) but they have now just thrown my mind back to thinking about the assault. So thanks for that you sick bastard.