Tag Archives: housing transfer

14:03 – New beginnings?

21 Nov

Approximately 18 months ago I applied for a housing transfer through my local council. I had become absolutely miserable in this flat and when my agoraphobia is really bad I get so anxious I find it incredibly difficult to leave to walk down the communal stairs past my neighbours doors to get outside. This means that I sometimes have to rely on my parents or friends to come and walk the dogs for me or live on takeaway food delivered to me. I also get super paranoid because I have neighbours through each wall to either side of me as well as someone below me and someone above me so I feel like I’m boxed right in the middle. The professionals I was working with at the time supported my application as did my parents who all believed that if I just had my own front door it would help a great deal with me being able to leave the house easier. There are some other factors as well but if I go into them all this will turn into a super long ramble and I have to be at my appointment with lovely support worker in 45 minutes.

On Monday I received a letter from the council telling me they had a property that was vacant that they believed would be suitable for me and were giving me an official offer. It came completely out of the blue and I read the letter with a mix of excitement and then huge panic. The letter asked for me to phone them to arrange a viewing and see whether or not I wanted to accept the transfer. So on Tuesday my Mum came and picked me up and we met the housing officer at the little house. It’s about 2 miles away from where I live just now and is just a little one bedroom bungalow with a little garden and is literally 5 minutes walk to my parents house and 5 minutes walk to the hospital where the mental health team are. It’s on a quiet street which has houses with families on the one side and a row of little one bedroom bungalows on the other side which I think mainly house elderly people. This is ideal for me as my flat is right in the town area of where I live which means it’s always noisy with traffic, people in the communal stairwell coming and going, drunk people passing by after the pubs on the weekends, etc etc.

So we viewed the little house and it’s pretty dated and old fashioned looking on the inside, it badly needs redecorating but has a front door and back door with a small garden that my little dogs would love playing in. The garden is all enclosed with a fence so they would be safe. I tried to look past the dated decor and imagine how I could make it look to make it homely. But after only ten minutes the housing officer said she had to get to another appointment and that we’d need to leave so I don’t feel like I got to see the place properly and I can’t make a decision of permanently living there on ten minutes of viewing. The council then said I had to give a decision within 48 hours maximum (the form actually says 24 hours). So now I find myself in a bit of a situation. I don’t think I could be offered anything better as a transfer, the location is ideal like I say it’s really close to my parents, I don’t really have any neighbours super close to worry about, it’s quiet and peaceful, the dogs would have a garden to play in and I guess it’s a clean slate, a place to start afresh from.

But I have been in this flat for seven and a half years. It has a huge amount of memories associated with it, some good but some very very bad. Sometimes I get these little flashes in front of my eyes where I just look at a particular part of a room and all these memories flood through my head and can leave me feeling quite fucked up. I have, on a couple of occasions, self harmed just from memories around me and making me feel so trapped in here like I can never escape from them. And this new little house would be somewhere with no bad memories, no feeling trapped, somewhere to start creating memories in. My parents really want me to take it because they would feel so much better knowing I was just a few minutes walk from them and most of me wants to accept it as well. But as soon as I go to sign the acceptance form I get a massive release of anxiety completely overwhelming me. Mum says it’s just because it’s a big change and a new place that’s unfamiliar to me but that if I just go for it and get it looking homely that I will settle into it in no time. And I think she is probably right but I can’t stop thinking of all the ‘what ifs’ and the thought of having to pack all my possessions up and let removal guys into my flat and having to contact tonnes of companies and services to notify them of change of address, getting phone line and internet moved, gas and electric moved, just loads of shit like that makes me panic about it all. Like seriously bad waves of anxiety, strong enough to make me think I just can’t do this and I should just stay here no matter how much I hate it.

So the council have agreed to let me have a second viewing which is tomorrow at 2pm. I have to give them a definite decision by 4pm tomorrow. The property is currently lying empty so I assume it would be fairly quick to get the keys. I also have my two final essays for these modules I’m doing on my home based uni course due in the next two weeks so how I am supposed to study for them and write 2 x 2000 word essays as well as packing all my stuff up and moving to the new place, get it redecorated and everything all at once I just don’t know. They say one of the most stressful things is moving house and they aren’t wrong. When I moved in here I hardly had anything, just the very basics and it took a while to add in my appliances and furniture and stuff. I lived for the first couple of years with loads of second hand stuff but now over the last five years have replaced everything to new stuff. And I have a lot of stuff to move, in fact I think I have more stuff than the little bungalow can take as it didn’t seem to have much storage and the rooms are quite small. Maybe I’ll just have to throw a lot of stuff out that I don’t use/need any longer.

So yeah, tomorrow I have to make my definite decision and I am absolutely terrified. I keep having panic attacks and barely slept last night because I felt so anxious it was keeping me awake. I don’t know whether to accept it and take the chance that new beginnings would be a good idea and trust what my parents are saying that I will settle in and it will feel like home once I’ve got it looking how I want it to… or whether to listen to the anxiety and just stay here and not have to face any changes. I have written a list of pros and cons for moving and the pros far outweigh the cons but I am just so fucking scared of change/being somewhere unfamiliar and not knowing how I will adjust to it.

I’d better go as my appointment is in 20 minutes but I will post back tomorrow once I’ve had my second viewing by which time the decision will be made. Am I really ready to say goodbye to all those memories and move on to somewhere new? I don’t know if I have the strength. I’m scared, terrified in fact, but something at the back of my head is saying to me that this could be the best decision I ever make to get away from here and start again. What to do? I just don’t know…

19:19 – I’m a happier bunny again, a much better day :)

26 Sep

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 🙂

13:42 – Off to a&e shortly

18 Sep

I’m off to a&e shortly to get my stitches taken out. I don’t know if they will definitely take them out as the little bit of the wound that I looked at still didn’t look as though it was very healed, so maybe they will say to leave them in for another few days.

I was bad last night and cut again. Very shallow though. The stupid thing is that I did it on the same leg where my stitches are but higher up and round a bit so now I’m hoping and praying that the a&e doctor or nurse doesn’t see it, or maybe it will be a different nurse on anyway so they won’t realise it’s a new cut. Actually it isn’t even a cut. I wrote I have the devil inside me with a blade.

Did it give me the release I needed? For a little while yes and I managed to get some sleep after it. I think it was around 2am that I did it. The night time is so bad for the crazies. I still have a couple of Nitrazepam left but am hanging onto them until I really really need them because GP said she would only give me them very short term as I’m already on Diazepam and that’s the second time she has given me them and I’m not sure that there will be a third. So yeah, I am hanging onto my last two tablets until or in case I hit utter desperation with my sleep. I’m going to ask either Mr Psychiatrist tomorrow or GP on Friday if I can take something like Melatonin in combination with my meds because my sleeping is ridiculous at the moment. It is so broken and I don’t know how much longer I can survive on 2-4 hours a night – and those 2-4 hours are all broken up. I did get six hours I think it was on Saturday night but I really need a good eight hours every night of unbroken sleep to help keep my mood stable.

I’ve had the guys in all day doing the shower again, they actually appeared at 8am on the dot this morning. But they have been coming and going all day and I said would it still all be finished tomorrow and the guy said he doubts it, it will probably be Thursday until it’s completely finished.

I also made contact with Advocacy this morning. CPN had suggested I get in touch with them to help add more weight to my housing transfer application and as she is leaving soon I thought I’d give them a phone today and see if it’s something they can help me with. The woman was very helpful and it turned out she works within the same team as the advocacy woman I worked with whilst I was sectioned to help get me out of the psych hospital. So she said that she could get me set up with a volunteer, go through the letters that have already been sent to the housing association, and then see what they could write that hasn’t already been said or that needs saying again. So the plan is that when I see CPN tomorrow afternoon I’ve to ask her if she wants to come to the initial meeting and bring the letters that she has sent or whether she just wants me to get a copy of them and go myself, then I’ve to phone the woman back tomorrow after I get home and let her know what date suits best.

I was supposed to go to the sexual health clinic this morning to pick up my results from the tests I had following the assault but I completely forgot. I didn’t have an appointment anyway it was just the drop in bit I was going to go to, unfortunately they are only open on a Tuesday morning so I will need to wait til next week now.

I’m kind of debating in my head whether or not to go to a&e today. I just can’t be bothered with them asking questions if it’s the doctor who is usually on during the week (the one that put the stitches in) he will start asking me a load of questions about why I cut again even though it’s barely more than a scratch. But also the urges to do it badly are so strong and I don’t want to admit that if I’m asked. At the same time I don’t want to have to go back tomorrow because I lose the plot tonight/during the night… I can’t when I have both Mr Psychiatrist and CPN tomorrow and now all my notes of attending a&e are being sent to CPN and then on Friday GP would see I had done it again and I don’t know how any of them would react to it if it was another bad one.

I keep getting flashbacks where I’m a little child and being abused, it’s making me want to self harm ‘down there’. I did that once before but not badly enough to need medical attention and anyway I would have been too embarrassed/ashamed to have shown it to anyone. But I keep getting these thoughts to do it in that area and do it badly enough that it will all be permanently scarred and disfigured and no guy will ever want to touch it or go near it again.

It’s now 2.10pm and my card for a&e says to go in at 2.30pm I really really don’t want to go. I need to take the dogs a walk anyway and I need to go and buy a pack of cigarettes so I need to go out the house… But I need to go to the hospital twice tomorrow for my two appointments and I could just go to get my stitches seen to then when I’m already up there.

Ah I will go and take the dogs out and see if I can face going along to the hospital once I’m outside. I’ll probably post back later…

Ok I just took some diazepam… it’s now 2.25pm so by the time I have walked the dogs and been to the shop I should hopefully not be feeling so anxious and can just go to a&e and get the stitches dealt with…

17:26 – Just fucking crazy

1 Aug

Things really aren’t good at the moment. I feel like everything is too much and I can’t deal with it all. I so want to be positive and think I can do this college course but something deep inside is saying that I can’t do it, I’m not strong/clever/intelligent enough. I find myself just sitting here thinking that nothing makes any great deal of sense, I know what I want but I don’t have enough faith in myself that I can achieve it all.

I am in a huge amount of debt to my parents, I am 30 years old and they still have to bail me out every time I fuck something else up. I am still living in this one room and bills seem to be hitting me left right and centre. I wake up and am not even sure that I’m actually here, I have to like pinch myself to see if I’m actually alive. Today I walked the dogs in a complete daze, I picked up my weekly prescription and tried to sort out the ongoing saga with my boiler that keeps blowing fuses. My phone kept ringing from the gas people who keep saying they are going to disconnect me if I do not pay my bill. I paid a bit of it off last week, I paid a bit more of it off today, I had to borrow yet more money from my parents… Fuck is any of this actually making any sense because it’s not to me.

Let me try and put things into some sort of an order.

Firstly my boiler keeps breaking down. It was brand new fitted in February and I had no problems with it until last week when it blew a fuse. Then it got fixed then it blew again. The housing association whom I rent my flat through then had to debate whether to get the manufacturer to pay for the part as it is still under warranty or whether to get a local company to get the part. Anyway I don’t know what they have decided, all I know is I have no central heating or hot water. And they aren’t going to be able to permanently fix it until tomorrow at the earliest, they phoned me today to say it might even take until Monday – how the fuck am I supposed to manage with no heating or hot water for almost a week??

Whilst this is going on, I have the gas company chasing me for money for my first bill that I hadn’t paid on time. Every morning letters coming in saying they are going to disconnect me – it’s fucking broken anyway I don’t even have any gas! So I paid a bit of the bill last week and paid more today, for which I had to ask my parents for a loan of money. Pathetic at 30 I still need my parents to bail me out.

I’ve not been able to leave the house properly for the past few days because they keep saying they might be round to fix my boiler then never appear. Today they finally confirmed they wouldn’t have the part needed until tomorrow at the earliest. I know I am repeating myself a lot here but I need to write it all out.

My Dad said he would come down next weekend to paint my flat for me so it will be all freshly painted as and when they come to do a housing inspection for my housing transfer that I am still waiting for and still seem no closer to getting.

College course. Everyone saying they are so proud of me. People saying I am getting better. I’m not, my head is fucked. Boilers breaking, not knowing when they are going to fix it, hating having workmen coming and going from my flat and being in my space. Letters from people saying I owe money to them, I have no money, I borrow money from my parents and have no idea when I will ever be able to repay it. I try and pay little bits to everyone so they all have something but the total balances never seem to clear. I have a week to go until I get my next lot of benefits money and already it is all paid out on bills. It’s a never ending cycle of debt and misery.

I try and blank it out and go get myself ridiculously drunk. Because alcohol is really going to help right? And then I feel ill and messed up and hungover and back to that place where nothing makes any sense. Back to that place where I think I am unable to achieve anything and constantly doubt my ability to do this college course that hasn’t even fucking started yet. Worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. Crazy thoughts, constantly.

I pack a bag and decide I want them to cart me away because I can’t cope any more and then realise I can’t go back down that path again, so instead I sit and cry. Again, nothing makes sense to me, the phone rings, people want things from me, people want to see me and I can’t leave the house. I am trapped by my own craziness. It’s all so fast and so random and so nonsensical.

Why can’t it just be an easy list like:

  • Boiler needs repaired
  • Flat needs painted
  • I have debts to take care of
  • I need a housing transfer
  • I am starting a college course

They all blend into one, they all mix up, I am left feeling crazy and start having the crazy thoughts. That I shouldn’t be here, that I’m not even here, that my life is just pretence. Then I pinch myself and sure enough I am here, I am alive, I am living in this mess. Living, surviving, not coping. But trying to appear as though I am coping so superbly well to those around me. Wanting people to be proud of me even though I don’t think I’m going to be able to achieve the things I have to do to make them proud.

See, this post makes no sense, it’s all mixed up and back and forth and that is how my head is. A complete rollercoaster of emotions. Up down, up down, inside out, outside in. Wanting to achieve but no faith. Trying to keep these companies happy and live on next to no money. A diet that consists of bread and beans most days. Borrowing from my parents just to get by for another few days. Cold, no heating. Workmen invading my space. Fixing things then things breaking again. Always needing to come back, I don’t want them back I want them to fix it for real then fuck off out my space.

I get a slap of reality that I am here. I am alive. I am existing. This is my life. I hate it. I want out. I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know how to feel ok again. Everything feels out of control, how do I get it back under control? What happened in the past few weeks where everything was so positive to ending up like this?

Life is fucking crazy. Too crazy. Back to looking for ways to self medicate myself through this for another 24 hours. Falling apart, pulling myself back together. Not having a fucking clue where it’s all going or when it’s going to stop. Voices? Are they back? I’m sure I hear them. Do I hear them? I don’t know. I hear something. I don’t know what is real anymore.

18:35 – Bye bye kitty

29 Jul

Well Tiff the cat’s stay with me was short and sweet. I took on too much. Right now I am still living in the one room in my flat, my living room/kitchen. It is just too small a space for me, two dogs and a cat. So reluctantly I gave her away yesterday. She has gone to a good home where the girl has a male cat who is quite old and chilled out and the two of them are getting on really well.

It was nearly all a disaster. I had one box with all her stuff in it – bed, litter tray, bag of cat litter, food, etc and best friend had another box with Tiff in it. As we got out the car Tiff jumped out the box – she has never been outside before and ran straight under a (parked) car. We tried to coach her out then she ran for some bushes and hid in there. We called on all the kids who were out playing to come and help us get her out, the bushes were right next to a busy main road and I had horrible visions of her running out right onto it and getting hit by a car. After about half an hour of kids crawling through bushes we found her and I just had to dive in amongst the thorns and grab her so my arms are all cut to bits but at least I caught her safely. I think she was a little bit traumatised by it all and when she got in her new house she just ran straight under the table and wouldn’t come back out, but I went to see how she was settling in today and she is doing just fine.

Tomorrow I am getting my Dad to bring down a set of ladders so I can start painting this place. I hate painting with a passion because I am utterly crap at it but I’m still hoping and praying I will be offered a housing transfer soon and I want the place to be nice and freshly painted for when the council come to do their inspection. The flat still has no flooring but I’m not paying out for carpet or laminate when I’m (hopefully) going to be leaving here soon.

The other joy I am having at the moment is my brand new boiler keeps breaking. I had the workmen out on Friday and they found a fuse had gone in it, they got it working again and then I went to hang up some clothes to dry this afternoon and realised the lights were all off on it again. So that’s another thing that needs done tomorrow. I feel like I have so many things to do before my Uni course starts next month. I know it’s only painting but I have a bedroom, bathroom, hallway, living room and kitchen to do and all the ceilings and my ceilings are like 12 foot high. So there’s actually quite a lot to get done.

Last night best friend was going out drinking and I have no money at all at the moment after having to pay some hefty bills the other day so for the next week I am super skint. So I decided to go round to another friend’s house as she was working today and just having a quiet night in. However when I got there her brother went and bought me a bottle of wine so I ended up drinking that and a few cans of cider and was pretty wasted when I left. I have been feeling quite delicate today but managed to go to the supermarket and take the dogs a big long forestry walk.

Now I really need to go for a shower but I am shattered and just want to lie here in front of the TV for a while. I have really bad stomach cramps and can’t decide if it’s from the drinking last night or because I took the tablets I’m prescribed to give me periods as I don’t have them by myself thanks to the lovely polycystic ovaries and I haven’t taken a course of tablets in months so I think I may be about to have a killer period.

On that happy note I am off to laze in front of the TV until I can motivate myself to go for a nice hot shower!

14:03 – Seeing CPN & thinking about the future

26 May

It’s been about a week since I last posted. I haven’t felt the urge to write anything for the past few days. Nothing much has changed since the last post I wrote, just been plodding through each day trying to escape from the urges to self harm (and worse).

Yesterday however I saw new CPN again. We chatted about all the usual shit, I updated her on the status of my housing transfer application and told her I have probably annoyed the fuck out of the housing admin woman because I’ve been emailing her nearly every day telling her how bloody crazy this flat makes me feel. The housing admin woman said she needs to speak to my social worker and I left a message asking my social worker to call her but new CPN said she picked up the message and called. However the housing admin woman wasn’t there and so she could only leave a message. I would rather my social worker speak to her, she has known me a lot longer than new CPN. So really there is nothing to report about the housing transfer, hopefully next week the relevant conversations will take place and I will get another update and see if I can be awarded any more points.

New CPN was asking again yesterday about the future. “What do you want to change MCBL?” she asked. I told her I want everything to change, she told me that everything was impossible to do at once so instead to think of one thing I’d like to change. I said I hate the sight of myself, I want to lose weight. She asked if I’d ever tried before. I told her that yes, about 7 years ago I lost around 4 and a half stone (around 60lbs) by doing the Atkins diet. No/Low carb diets are frowned upon by many people but due to having PCOS and fucked up insulin it is a very effective diet for people like me. It only took me about 6 months to lose all that weight. I kept it off for about 3 years and then slowly packed it all back on again.

My body disgusts me. Rolls of fat everywhere, scars all over it, psoriasis dotted all over me, words and phrases permanently scarred on me about satan and Lucifer. The thought of anyone seeing me naked both sickens and terrifies me.

Anyway, new CPN said something which surprised me – “your determination frightens me“. I was confused and asked why. She said I have achieved so much in the past simply by really putting my mind to it and psyching myself up that she worries I could really do myself some damage if I put that same amount of effort into hurting myself. I was still a bit confused so she continued, “you have the ability to become very strong minded about a particular task, you have achieved really big things because of having that personality trait MCBL, you lost a massive amount of weight, you breezed your way through exams at school and college, you studied at degree level twice, when it has been something that you really want to do then you have let nothing stand in your way” then she stopped for a minute and then carried on to say “you have a very good personality trait there for getting things done when you find the motivation and desire to do it but that personality trait can also be very dangerous when it comes to self harm thoughts or suicidal ones” and that was why she said it frightens her.

I don’t know if any of that makes sense, it kinda did to me but then I thought if that were true then I would have overcome my agoraphobia a long time ago because I want so much to be free to travel anywhere I want again. But then I also realised that due to the intense fear and anxiety I feel when travelling I never have got to a place where I have been truly focused and psyched up to overcome it. It’s always terrified me too much. Losing weight didn’t scare me it excited me and with every pound lost I gained more motivation not less. Going to Uni and doing a degree level course didn’t scare me, it also excited me about what I could achieve for myself. But the agoraphobia – I can’t get excited about the end result because I’m so fucking scared of the panic attacks it brings.

Anyway we had a good chat for about an hour about the good and the bad things going on. She said she really wants me to turn a negative in my life into a positive. So I finally decided that losing weight, overcoming the agoraphobia and doing something that got me out of the house for a little while each day would all be positive things I could focus upon. Trying to lose weight doesn’t scare me but leaving the house and travelling anywhere do. I need to get out the house to exercise to lose weight, so I feel a bit stuck there. However I am getting better at going out and about locally and so we talked again about me seeing if there is anything starting at the small local college in August that I might like to do. And that was pretty much our entire session, I see her again next Thursday, the 31st.

I left my appointment and went straight to my parents house. I finally took my Dad’s birthday present up (only 25 days late) and lay out in their back garden sunbathing (in jeans and a long sleeved top?) and chatting to my brother for a while. Then Mum and I decided to go and get an ice cream and take the dogs to the beach. It was SO hot yesterday the dogs were constantly panting and drinking water so taking them to the beach so they could get in the cool sea water for a swim seemed to cool them down and tire them out.

After the beach Mum and I went to the local college and had a chat with the assistant manager about my situation and how I really want to try and gain a qualification as my CPN really wants me to focus on recovery. So I told the college woman that I am not 100% better but I think that having some sort of routine would help push me in the right direction and having a course to go to would help me focus my thoughts and attention on it rather than the negatives in my life all the time. I told her I would one day like to be able to work with young people affected by mental health issues and she recommended a 15 week short course called Working in the Community where you all work as a group to plan an event in your local community – it could be a fundraising event or an event to get a group of people together who all share an interest, something like that. It’s only for 15 weeks so I’m not committing to anything that’s a year long and upon completion of it you can start the year long course in youth work. So I am going to check with my local benefits office that I can do a short course without it affecting the benefits I receive, from what I have read online it looks like it should be OK but I want to double check.

There is also a year long course I could do called towards a career in childcare where you are in college two days a week and on a placement two days a week. The placement would be in a nursery or primary school and that course leads on to child development where I could either go down the route of becoming a nursery nurse or alternatively I could go down the route of becoming a special needs teacher which also interests me.

I asked if my mental health problems would affect my ability to be on a placement and she said it would be at the discretion of the course tutor once they have spoken to someone from my care team and received a clear disclosure certificate (which I will get as I have never been in trouble with the police). So I have two courses to think about and that was my ‘homework’ done for new CPN – I think she will be happy with me for going and finding out about all my options. It was also nice to spend some time with Mum again.

And that’s all my news. That was actually a longgg post considering I had nothing much to say at the beginning! It is another lovely day outside so I need to go for a cool shower and then try and get these dogs out, thankfully they are both still fast asleep as I took them out around 4am this morning. The self harm urges are still very much here, Lucifer is still chattering away, but I’m plodding along determined to get through the weekend with no trips to a&e.

 

15:16 – De-ja-vu?

18 May

When I started working with my last CPN I went to the first couple of appointments and then stopped going. After that I maybe went to one appointment every four weeks until she left.

Today was supposed to be my third meeting with new CPN. But I couldn’t get to sleep last night even after the increased dose of Quetiapine and my sleeping/anxiety tablets. I lay awake feeling very low and negative, thinking that I am never going to get my housing transfer after them awarding me such low points and that was with three letters from professionals. I don’t know, I just lay there for hours feeling like everything felt hopeless, that I am just trapped with this crazy head and that might never go away. I cried a little, thinking of how ‘normal’ all my friends and family are, how ‘normal’ and ‘fun’ their lives are. And I wished it was me. I wished I could just say ‘yes’ to an invite and know I would not only go, but go and have a good time.

I lay there in the dark listening to people leaving the pubs at 1am and wandering by for the next hour or so, listening to bits of their drunken conversations and their laughter. And I felt so incredibly alone, just lying here with my duvet wrapped round me, only comfortable in a room with my little 2 seater sofa, so paranoid and anxious that I can’t even go and put my bedroom back together. Knowing it is piled with boxes and dust sheets over it all keeps it separate. It’s like a part of my flat that I know exists but serves no purpose to me any more apart from throwing my head into a world of flash backs.

I finally got to sleep around 3am with Lana Del Rey’s album playing in the background. I woke again at 8.30am hearing the post come through the door. I sat and watched morning TV and somewhere out of nowhere my head was spinning with racing paranoid thoughts that I was not safe here. I don’t know why I felt that way, I couldn’t seem to find any reason for it, I just felt incredibly uncomfortable. It was like when you wake up after a one night stand in some guy’s house and everything looks alien to you and you just know you have to get out of there asap.

So I got up and closed the curtains (closing the outside world out) and turned Lana Del Rey back on and took some Diazepam and tried to just chill the fuck out. And somehow I fell asleep again and didn’t wake up until 1.15pm when my appointment was supposed to be at 1pm. I noticed I had a missed call from the support worker who escorts me to my appointments and phoned new CPN. I told her I had a crazy head on today and that my medication had just increased again, I was drowsy and feeling low. We chatted for ten minutes about the letter I got back from the housing association and I told her I was disappointed with what it said. She said she would try and get in contact with them before our next appointment next Friday and ask them how they came to the conclusion they reached.

I kind of wish I had gone and seen her. My head is a bit all over the place and whilst I know there is nothing she could have done about it I think I could have benefited from just getting it all off my chest. But other than missing my appointment with her I’m doing everything else ‘right’ again. I’ve been to see Mr Psychiatrist, I’ve seen nice GP, I’ve seen my social worker, I’m taking the increased doses of medication to try and make the bad bits of the voices go away. But things are still very far from OK. It’s all beginning to feel like de-ja-vu again.

15:16 – Things aren’t so good

17 May

I went to see my GP yesterday. It was nice GP I saw. I went in with a list because I knew I’d forget everything I was there for. She asked what happened to my hand as I sat down and just as she asked it she opened up my file on her screen and there is a letter from the local a&e telling her exactly what I did to myself. She had a quick look at the wound and said it looked “sore but is healing OK”.

I then brought out my list and told her about the knee pain I’ve been having that only seems to be getting worse. I was honest and said I’m sleeping on a 2 seater sofa every night, I cross my legs when I’m sitting all the time and I know that I am overweight – all of which I guess aren’t helping. So she asked to have a look and feel of my knees and prescribed me a strong anti-inflammatory NSAID tablet to take three times a day. As she was looking at my legs I brought up topic #2 on my list: my psoriasis. It is getting out of control, I have little patches appearing everywhere and my elbows are persistently bad. She said we have tried all the strong steroid creams and the only thing left is for me to go and see a dermatologist because he can get me the UV light treatment that isn’t available where I live.

So that put me in a panic and I kept saying to her is there nothing else at all that we can try and she agreed to prescribe me one more cream but said she doubts it will make any difference. I told her how I just can’t travel to the big hospital, I become hysterical any time I have tried to go to any big places and I don’t even think a little sedation would help get me there any more. The agoraphobic feelings were making me anxious as fuck and I then just wanted to get out of her room and run home. She said she was going to make the referral anyway and she would “see what she could do for me” to help me get there when the appointment comes through. I know I won’t go though.

I had my mental medications to sort out as well. I have still been building the dose quite slowly, I was only on 300mg I think when I last saw Mr Psychiatrist a week or two ago. Mr Psychiatrist wants me to increase my Quetiapine by 50mg a week. Then when I was at a&e on Saturday she increased it so that’s been me on 400mg since Saturday. Now GP has increased it to 450mg and next week onto 500mg. When I was on Quetiapine the last time it was around 400-600mg that I found most effective and stayed stable longest on (if I remember correctly). So I’m hoping it will start calming the voices down a bit and slow my thoughts a little bit. I don’t want Lucifer to go though and I made that clear to my GP as well. The a&e doctor said Lucifer didn’t sound very nice but he is just fine!

What I don’t like is when arguments start in my head and I start to lose all concentration and end up in a complete mess with my head feeling out of control and totally bonkers. Like I’m heading towards some sort of breakdown because I can’t seem to make my thoughts flow in a logical order. That sends my noisy pickled brain into a place where self harm becomes more likely because I either have to prove things (like having bones) or I get angry and use cutting as a release or because Lucifer wants me to brand myself (like when I carved a pentagram into my skin).

Blah. Things aren’t so good right now. But I’m trying to keep them under control. I’ve also had a bit of an argument with my best friend over stupid fucking gossiping idiots and am now stressed out about that. I am stressed because I’ve now left it so long to go and see my Dad that I’ve made it feel horribly uncomfortable – I mean it was his birthday May 1st and it’s now May 17th and I still haven’t seen my parents. I have barely seen anyone. I just hide in this one little room away from the world.

I got a letter from the housing association about my application for a housing transfer. I think I’m going to have to appeal their decision as with the amount of points they awarded me I will be waiting about 10 years for a transfer. I am still waiting to hear back from the council as my application somehow ended up only with the housing association and has not yet been assessed by the council. Maybe they will have better news for me.

For now I am just trying to hang on until tomorrow when I see new CPN to vent all my craziness to her.

20:34 – 1st Session with New CPN

9 May

I had my session at 1pm today with my new CPN. It has been arranged so that a support worker meets me outside my flat beforehand and we walk to the CMHT together. I was apprehensive about it because when we met a couple of weeks ago to be introduced (see here) she seemed very keen, almost pushy, about me “exploring my creativity, furthering my education, making the most out of life” all that sort of ‘positive vibe’ shit.

However, she came into the room and saw I had pushed the seat right into the corner next to the door so she would have to sit right across the room – but she moved her chair over closer and seemed genuinely interested in how I was doing and stuff. She told me she had spoken to my social worker and knew how important the moving house stuff was to me and without me even asking she said she was going to writing a supporting letter to go in with my application. I told her my social worker had already written one but she said the second one would be a good thing for my application. So she was going to write it out after I left today and I have to pick it up Friday lunchtime and take it to the housing department. I don’t expect they would have starting reviewing my application by Friday but hopefully with two supporting letters (and my GP and Consultant Psychiatrist’s details) it will add some weight to my case.

The new CPN is OK. No actually, she is nice going by today’s impression. She seemed really keen to help me and understood where I was coming from when I described how trapped I suddenly feel here in this flat. She did ask if I had thought any more about a college course or some kind of volunteering and I told her that the night after the last time I saw her I sat and went onto the college and open university websites and also had sent a couple of emails about voluntary work. I also explained I was a bit hesitant because I see myself as unreliable and unable to commit to things when they have to be planned in advance. She said it wasn’t *me* who was unreliable, it was my illness, but she was really happy I had taken what she said on board and at least looked into what options there are.

So I told her I would like to maybe try a part time college course if I am more well come August but for now I couldn’t make any definite decisions. I also brought up with her the comments she had made a couple of weeks ago about me not having agoraphobia and how I had brought that up with the psychiatrist last week. I told her he admitted it did seem that I still have quite a problem with the thought of travelling anywhere unfamiliar and so she said maybe we could work on that a little bit, I don’t know if she means graded exposure, she didn’t really expand, to be honest the whole session pretty much revolved around this bloody housing transfer and her asking a load of questions about it all.

So, what was achieved in our first session?

  • I’m getting another letter to support my housing transfer application
  • I have a future ‘goal’ of perhaps starting a part time college course later in the year
  • Working on my agoraphobia could be some work we could do together
  • I feel as though she knows and understands me a bit better now

So I can’t complain really. She was quite nice, she took an interest in what I had to say, the session went by really quickly, we talked about the present and the future, she told me I had enough medical type people in my care team and for the few months she is here she just wants to keep encouraging me to try and claim a bit of my life back.

Lucifer isn’t too sure about all this positivity talk. I felt some uncomfortable crampy feelings in my forehead as I sat listening to her, almost like someone was scratching my forehead from the inside, distracting me. When I went to the chemist after the appointment for my weekly prescription I was aware of stumbling with my words as I was talking to both the pharmacist and Lucifer and getting confused. It was something really simple, she was just trying to tell me that this was the last week of my monthly prescription so I had to get a new one next week but Lucifer kept telling me she was someone to be wary of. She was too friendly, it made him (and me) a bit suspicious of her motives so I got out of there as quickly as I could.

My new phone didn’t arrive today (grr) so I’m really hoping it comes tomorrow. I need to send my other one to the recycle place and get the money for it in my account asap but I can’t survive without a phone so I need my new one to come before I send the other one away. Tomorrow I have the addictions nurse at 4pm so can pretty much wait in all day and see if it comes. I’m seeing new CPN again next Friday, I just need to remember to go to the CMHT this Friday and pick up the letter.

1st session: Good I think 🙂

16:57 – Good session with social worker

5 May

I went to see my social worker yesterday (Friday) and took along the housing transfer forms. We spent the hour getting them all filled out (well she asked me the questions and filled out the form for me) and she is going to write a supporting letter to go in with it. I’m not looking for a super urgent move or anything, I may have to wait a good while before something suitable comes up. There is also a thing called mutual exchange where two tenants basically swap tenancies and exchange homes, so something might come up there.

I have applied for a house only and for it to be either a one or two bedroom property. I think I would be so much happier with my own front door and little garden. I can’t tell you how much I dream about this little garden, how happy I think I would be if I could sit outside and let the dogs play with their toys. If I could sit outside in the sun and read a magazine. If I didn’t have to worry every time I closed my door to walk down the stairs and outside who I might have to pass in the stairwell and whether or not they are going to get inside my head and send me into super paranoia mode. I can’t be bothered with my next door neighbour’s random parties or phoning the police on him for fights in the stairwell. I’m sick of getting letters about things like dog dirt in the communal garden when I’m never responsible for it. I’m sick of living next door to someone who just gets drunk then kicks his door in rather than using a key.

In one sense I love my flat. I have been in it six years this month and it’s such a good location in terms of living right in the little town and having all the shops that I need right on my doorstep. On the other hand it gets noisy when pubs kick out and I have about an hour where I just sit feeling panicked with all the shouting outside, where I have to make sure all three locks on my door are locked, where I can end up almost praying for everyone just to fuck off away from outside my flat and leave me in peace.

So I have applied for a house about a mile from here next to where my parents are. It will be better for them to be just around the corner and I think I would be much more likely to follow my crisis plan and let Mum come and stay over if I knew she was just around the corner. It wouldn’t make me feel like I was being such a burden on her. I have already written to the council and asked them if they would cover the housing benefit for an extra bedroom which they have agreed to do. I don’t care if it’s a one bedroom or two bedroom place I get offered, just to have my own little house with it’s own little garden is all I want.

So I’m going to see my social worker on Tuesday and get the forms back with her supporting letter and then go hand it in to the council and then sit back and wait. In the meantime I need to either find the motivation to paint this place myself or ask someone to come and help me. It could do with a lick of paint in each room to cover up all the plaster marks on the walls where they did the electrical rewiring. I will wait and see what the response is to my housing application before I decide whether or not to spend the money to re-floor this flat.

It’s time for a change of scenery, for a new little home, the dogs would love it and I would love it so fingers crossed there is someone out there also looking to swap or that I will be placed onto the transfer list and won’t have to wait years to get an offer! I will be sad to leave this flat when the time comes but my future is what matters and maybe getting away from all the bad memories of this flat and a complete new start is just what I need.