Tag Archives: self harming

19:21 – Sinking lower and lower

4 Nov

My mood is continuing to get lower and lower and much as I utterly detest my local psych hospital, I find myself feeling really frightened that the bin is the direction that I’m heading in. Life is becoming more than just a struggle, it’s currently at the point of absolutely everything feeling impossible.

The winter seems to be starting early – by 5pm it is already dark outside – and like every year when it gets like this I find myself only taking the dogs out once when it’s daylight (their lunch time walk) and the other times I walk them (breakfast, dinner and bedtime) are all in the dark. I feel more comfortable to be outside when people can’t see me properly, when I can hide myself under my thick jacket and big furry hood.

Why? Because the dark feels safer for some reason. My thoughts are starting to become really paranoid again. I don’t like people being able to see me or look at me properly, it sets my head off thinking all sorts of crazy stuff.

The depression is definitely in full swing and I feel as though I’m sinking lower and lower with every day that passes. And it shouldn’t be this way – I have good/happy things going on in my life at the moment (or at least that’s how they should feel). But the smiles I put on are so fake I’m sure everyone can tell. I just can’t seem to feel happy. I got my essay results from the essay I had to do a few weeks ago and passed with 65%. That’s a good grade B. Was I happy? No not really. Just relieved I didn’t need to resit. My parents took me for a lovely birthday lunch last Monday… again fake smiles throughout which I felt awful about.

The only person I’ve been somewhat honest with was the psychiatrist and support worker on Wednesday. That’s been the only time I’ve said the words out loud – I’m self harming again and I keep getting these waves of feeling like I just do not want to be here any more that come over me out of the blue and are so strong they drag me under them.

I have a couple of things happening this coming week that I should be happy about but instead I am miserable. I’m hell bent on hurting myself yet doing my hardest to just cling on a little bit longer… maybe when I get my first appointment with the psychologist through it will help me feel more positive. Who knows. The self destruct button feels like it’s getting closer and closer to being pressed.

I guess I’ve just got to keep going… but in what direction I just do not know.

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00:10 – ECT… has it really come to that?

31 Oct

Today I had my third appointment with new psychiatrist. I have to be honest and say I was utterly dreading it because the last two appointments with him have been extremely frustrating and of no help whatsoever. But lovely support worker came with me and when she first picked me up I was very very anxious, did not want to go, but after sitting talking to me and calming me down for about 20 minutes I finally got out of the car and went into the main hospital building.

I had gone over with her what I wanted to say to new psychiatrist today and just hoped that I’d both remember it all and get the opportunity to say it all. I can’t remember if I have already mentioned this here, but basically I had decided that if this appointment went as shite as the last two with him then I was going to ask my GP to refer me to see a different psychiatrist. I may live in the middle of nowhere with very little in the way of mental health support but I do believe there is one other psychiatrist that does cover this area.

So, bang on 2.30pm his door opens and he calls me through. I hesitantly walk through with lovely support worker behind me. We sit down and he asks how I have been since I last saw him. I took a breath and told him that my mood has remained flat the vast majority of the time, that there have been a couple and I do literally mean a couple of OK/good moments but really for… well… so long now I’ve lost count my mood is flat, I rarely find enjoyment in anything, my self harming continues, I have fleeting suicidal thoughts, my sleep is crap, even the very basics like having a shower and getting dressed and taking the dogs a walk sometimes just proves to be too much for me.

Yes, I know I went out for the first time in at least six months on Saturday night and ended up having quite a good time but I think that was mostly due to the amount of alcohol I’d consumed. I did not mention anything about the recent brief substance misuse because I don’t want that splashed onto my case notes again… and anyways… it’s over and done with now with no plans of any repeat episodes. I told him about the two visits to A&E for self harm wounds and stitches, I told him I am trying my hardest to plod on with my part time home based uni course but that I’m failing to concentrate and struggling with it massively. I told him that sometimes I hear a little niggling voice encouraging me to hurt myself but that I can tolerate it as it’s nowhere near as bad as when I was hearing several voices and hearing them constantly. In that respect I think the 750mg a day of Quetiapine (Seroquel) is still working.

He asked how I’d found the increased dose of 45mg a day Mirtazapine and again I told him that it was fine for the first couple of weeks but then I started having such severe physical symptoms of anxiety (when I truly thought my heart was about to pack in and ended up getting the ecg done) and how lovely GP had wondered if it was actually the Mirtazapine causing it as anti-depressants do take a while to build up in your system. So I told him my GP told me to go back down to 30mg a day and see if the anxiety improved and yes, the heart palpitations did stop and have continued to be minimal. But the ‘psychological’ anxiety, the constant worrying and fears are still very much present. Some days I’m so scared to even walk out my front door to cross the road and walk the dogs for ten minutes then other days I dope myself up on whatever anxiety med I can and force myself to face a potentially scary situation.

He then asked how I had found the Pregabalin (Lyrica) that he had prescribed last time I saw him as the plan was for me to use it on a long term basis for my anxiety and finally start to taper off the Diazepam seeing as I’ve been taking it daily for three years now. But I had to tell him that had been a disaster as well… that I didn’t realise it had the same/similar ingredient as Gabapentin which it appears I’m allergic to. So the two medication changes he made at our last appointment a few months ago were both unsuccessful.

This of course brought us onto the discussion of reducing my Diazepam and I firmly told new psychiatrist that yes I am willing to reduce but I am most definitely not doing it at the moment. I feel horrendous enough as it is without trying to taper off from that. To my surprise he did actually say that he agreed now was not the right time, especially not as we are fast approaching my two worst times of year – Christmas and then my little boy’s anniversary in February.

He asked what support I was getting from the mental health team and I quite honestly told him how utterly useless I find cpn#2. He asked why and I explained about her super structured way of working, her setting of agenda’s, her constant ‘positive goals’ and her reluctance to talk about anything that is making my moods low. However I did tell him that I am now top of the waiting list for psychology and have been given a provisional date of mid to late November for my first appointment. It’s the same psychologist I used to work with so in a way I am looking forward to going back to see her even if I don’t feel particularly convinced that this Compassion Focused Therapy bollocks is going to work for me.

So all in all it was actually quite a good session. I managed to get across to him that the two medication changes he proposed last time I saw him had failed, that I was not ready to taper off from the Diazepam yet, that my moods are low and flat, that I’m self harming again and having occasional suicidal thoughts, that I am generally struggling with life a lot, that I’m struggling trying to continue with my studies, that the only person who lets me vent is lovely support worker, that I find my sessions with cpn#2 useless, and some days I seriously do wish I just hadn’t woken up that morning.

His first response to all of this was to ask me if I thought I would benefit from going in as an inpatient in the bin for a while? I said no, that place makes me feel worse, trapped, none of the staff give a damn, the other patients are too stressful to be around, there are too many rules… just no.

His second response was the one that surprised and to be honest shocked me (no pun intended). He said that as he looked back over all my medication history for the past four years we have pretty much exhausted every med now. There really isn’t anything different we can try. We could maybe try new combinations of something but I have pretty much tried every anti-depressant, mood stabiliser and anti-psychotic and benzodiazapine there is. He asked if it’s my depression or my anxiety that is worse and I said both of them. The anxiety can be managed to a degree with medication, the depression is just constant, constantly ongoing flat crappy moods that for months and months and months if not closer to a year have just stayed shit. Every day is an effort, every week is an effort, some mornings I open my eyes and my first thought is “I think I might kill myself today” or “I wish I was dead”. But I don’t act on them because I don’t want to put my parents through all that heartache and frustration again. I carry on painting on these fake smiles and trying so hard to make everyone think I am coping. Although I did let slip to my Mum the other day that I had recently self harmed and had to go to A&E. The thing is I’m still self harming – first through cutting… then misusing substances… then drinking… now back to cutting again. I try to put on this persona of being someone in recovery but I’m so far from recovery it’s scary. All these people telling me how well I’m doing because they don’t fucking let me talk about how bad I feel, they insist on only talking about positives and therefore have a completely skewed picture of how my life really is.

So new psychiatrist says here is the plan of action: he will not make any medication changes at the moment (mainly because there isn’t really anything else we can try), he would give me a couple of months to start seeing the psychologist again and see if psychological input helped my mood in any way, he encouraged me to be honest with cpn#2 about what *I* need from our sessions (told him I’d already done that and got nowhere)… he asked lovely support worker if she would carry on seeing me and she said yes she would see me weekly for as long as I needed it, he encouraged me to try and open up to my family so they know I’m actually not coping that great right now and all these fake smiles are simply that: fake.

And then he hits me with it… “there is one other thing we can try but I’d like to wait at least six months before trying it as I only like to use it as a last resort… have you heard of ECT before?”

I sat there kinda shocked but nodded my head. A very lovely fellow blogger tried ECT some time ago and I read all her experiences with it with interest even though it didn’t seem to work for her. It is something that scares me a bit… I mean nobody really likes the idea of being knocked out, put into a seizure and having your brain zapped do they? It’s pretty hardcore stuff. Then add in the quite possible and quite likely short term memory loss. It’s not the most appealing of treatment options. But whilst he did reiterate that it would be a last resort I suppose it sort of shocked me that it was even suggested. He said it doesn’t work for everyone but a point has to come where we try and break this depressive and unproductive cycle once and for all… and maybe, just maybe ECT would be the thing that finally works for me. But like I say, he wants me to try a few months of psychology first and then review things again. He wanted to see me back in a couple of months but he is away for most of January so my next appointment is February 6th… five days before my little man’s anniversary so I’m bound to be in a super depressed state of mind next time I see him. Again, lovely support worker said she would come with me.

I can see that my life is not good at the moment, far from it if I’m brutally honest. Yes on the one hand I haven’t given up on the studying (yet) and yes I managed to travel to a new faraway place recently (doped up on diazepam) and yes I even managed to go for a night out on Saturday (full of alcohol). But then we look at the flip side: I’m self harming a lot although managing to keep it reasonably superficial at the moment purely to avoid having to go to A&E, I’m having lots of thoughts about ending my life, my anxiety levels are ridiculously high and out of control most of the time, other than that one night out on Saturday I have next to no social life whatsoever, no friends that I see on any kind of regular basis, a constant niggling voice giggling away in my head at how pathetic I am and fuck just a couple of weeks ago things became so desperate I put that shite back into my body for some sort of an escape. I feel unsupported apart from by lovely support worker, I feel alone, I feel miserable, I question the point of everything, I don’t cook meals or eat properly I just binge on junk food, I’m lucky if I shower a couple of times a week. Things are not good. And I can’t go on pretending that I’m OK any longer because I’m not. I didn’t want to admit it but there you go, I’ve said it. I just don’t want to worry my family so I keep it bottled up… but it’s getting really bad again.

I cancelled my appointment with cpn#2 for tomorrow because I just cannot face her “positive goal setting” bullshit… I left a message for her saying I had too much studying to do and couldn’t go and asked her to give me a call back to rearrange another appointment but to be completely honest I will probably cancel that one as well. What’s the point when I get no benefit from them? And now I know it will only be a matter of weeks until I start seeing the psychologist again maybe it’s time to just stop seeing cpn#2 because I feel like I’m getting nowhere with her and I just cannot work to her super structured approach.

Has it really come to a point where I need to give serious consideration to trying ECT? Could that be the one thing that just blasts my brain back to a state of normality so I can get on with my life in a happy and meaningful way where I actually want to be alive and enjoy my life? Could it break away from all these desperate little attempts of escapism? I don’t know… And I’m not going to give it much thought for the moment because it wouldn’t be happening for at least six months anyway. And who knows where I’ll be in six months time… Who knows if I’ll even still be here? The way I feel at the moment that is somewhat doubtful.

But if I’m totally honest with people, if I lay my cards on the table and admit to how bad I feel then I enter back into the conversations like those of today: talks of admission into the bin… talks of ECT… Do I want those conversations, or worse, for them to actually happen? No.

I just want to feel normal whatever that is. I just want to feel happy. I want to wake up and look forward to the day ahead. I want things to be easy and free and effortless.

And yet I also want to go to wherever my little boy is… wherever it is we go when our body has died and our soul has moved on… and well…. I guess I can’t really believe that I’ve ended up back in this place again. I’m scared… the feelings of things about to fall apart and hit crisis level feel imminent and I’m genuinely truly terrified of that happening to me again.

15:12 – Bad weekend, A&E, self harming and more

30 Sep

**Please note this post is (a) very long and (b) contains talk of self harm so could be triggering**

 

Since I last posted things have been shit. Beyond shit in fact. The constant urges, needs, niggling voices about self harming have been grinding me down at a super fast pace.

I don’t really know where to begin so I’ll just stick to talking about the weekend. Friday I was a mess, but a manageable mess (or so I thought) but from the moment I woke up on Saturday (at 6am) I seemed to do nothing but cry all day long. The urges to self harm were crazy strong, very very intense and I fought so hard not to act on them. I had agreed a temporary safety plan with my support worker from rape crisis and even though it was a Saturday afternoon I desperately needed someone to talk to so I sent her an email, thinking that this would both get things off my chest but that she wouldn’t get it until Monday morning, therefore I wouldn’t be disturbing her at the weekend.

However, she must still check them at the weekends as I got a reply from her about an hour or so later. She was really nice in her reply and all the bits I’d written saying things like “it’s my fault, I’m bad, there’s bad blood in me, I need to bleed it out” she replied to saying “no, you’re not bad, you’re just having a really rough time at the moment and rough times mean you are more likely to use the one coping mechanism that you’ve always turned to – i.e. self harming”. She ended the email by saying that if I wanted a chat just to text her and let her know. But I didn’t want to ruin her weekend with all my crazy head crap so I tried to plod on with things by myself. The day carried on getting worse and worse, and by the time we got to about 7pm I was totally inconsolable… crying gentle sobs, quiet tears running down my face, then hysterical crying, huge heaving sobs, my whole body shaking and still with the repetitive “just fucking cut” voice going on in my head. The next few hours after that are a bit of a blur, I took more than my prescribed dose of Diazepam just to try and get some control back by calming down a little but it didn’t really do much to help. Maybe I just needed to cry like that, it has been a long time since I last really really let go and completely broke down emotionally.

Lovely support worker text me to ask if I was OK somewhere around 10pm and I replied back honestly “no, I’m a mess” so she replied saying she was going to phone me for a little chat but I replied again saying “I don’t even know what to say, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I can’t stop crying and I don’t even know if I’ll make any sense” but about ten minutes later she phoned anyway. I answered but couldn’t talk, just sat there crying my eyes out, every time I tried to say a simple word like ‘yes’ or ‘no’ more huge sobs would start up. But she just sat there and listened, she spoke for a little while until I got it together enough to talk a little bit. She was so reassuring and kept telling me everything was going to be OK, and every time I did manage to speak and something crazy came out my mouth she would listen and then repeat it back to me with the ‘crazy’ parts removed so that she could just keep putting it to me that I was just having a really hard time right now, but that I would get through it, look at all the other things I had gotten through that I never thought I would. She told me I was strong even when I sounded like a whimpering mess, she told me it was OK to feel how I was feeling, and after maybe 20 minutes the tears subsided enough that I could speak a little more rationally.

We then had a chat for a little while longer and I told her I was sitting on my bed surrounded by my little boy’s memory boxes, I had all of his scan photos and his actual photos spread out on the bed… I was cuddling his blanket of love that he is wrapped in in the photos… I’d been reading all of the sympathy cards we got at the time and in so many of them people had written how sorry they were but how they hoped the “love we had for each other” would be strong enough to get us through such a difficult time. And it hurt me to my very core because at that time I truly believed the love that me and my (ex) fiancé had for one another would be enough to get us through it. And then at the bottom of all of the sympathy cards I found two mother’s day cards and the ex had written a little poem from our baby… the last few lines of which said:

although right now we may be apart,

know that I love you from the deepest of my heart,

thank you so much for looking after my daddy for me,

mummy, a time will come when we’ll be back together as three

And my heart felt like it broke all over again as I read those words. At first I ached as I read them and felt such sadness… but then this changed to a more angry feeling, like what my ex had written was all lies… there would never be a “three of us” now, why did he claim to love me so much yet still go and have his two affairs? I was still on the phone to my support worker at this point and saying all of these thoughts aloud through the tears but again she helped to calm me down and explain that whilst going and having his affairs was very wrong of him, at the time he wrote those words on that card he probably did mean every word of them. He wrote them long before our relationship even started to show the tiniest of cracks, when we were very much in love and when I was facing my first mother’s day but without my baby. I guess that made some sort of sense as I did begin to calm down a little bit again and put the cards back in the box and closed the lid.

So after a long chat (and it was now getting really late at night) I thanked her lots for taking time out of her Saturday night to sit and talk to me. I apologised for all the crying I’d done and felt a bit embarrassed about it… I don’t really do the whole crying in front of people thing… but again she told me not to be silly and that crying is what we do when we’re upset, it’s completely natural, and right now I have a lot of upsetting thoughts that I’m trying to deal with. She said again that she was proud of me for not giving in to the self harm urges, re-checked I’d be OK and told me to text her any time the next day if I was struggling then we said goodnight.

I lay there for hours with my head pounding from all the crying I had done and then finally fell asleep feeling a bit better for talking to someone.

But then I woke up on Sunday morning (yesterday) and my very first thoughts upon waking were “cut yourself, just do it” and I burst into tears straight away. I got up and felt determined that I was not going to listen to those thoughts nor act upon them. I tried to busy myself by having a shower, walking the dogs, trying to do some studying, but to be honest no distraction was actually distracting me. The thoughts were constant and at the very front of my mind no matter what I tried to do to block them out. So then I tried doing things the other way and allowed all of the thoughts to flood my brain, sat and cried and listened to every single reason why I should cut myself. Needless to say this approach didn’t get me very far either. I got through ’til about 5pm before I felt like I was seriously going to lose it so I sent a text to lovely support worker and said I was struggling a lot and that I didn’t think I could stop myself from self harming for much longer. She replied asking if I’d like to have a chat but I didn’t want to take up her Sunday as well so I decided to leave it for a bit before replying to see if I could calm myself down on my own.

The next few hours were an absolute nightmare, my head hasn’t felt that crazy in a long time, I tried and tried to fight back but was running out of fight. By the time it got to around 9pm I finally started to lose it big time. Now at this point I *should* have text/emailed/phoned my support worker and talked it through but I had become so focused on needing to harm myself that I couldn’t think about anything else. So I got some towels and a clean blade and then turned the light off so I was sitting on the living room floor in the dark. [Insert warning here: self harming in the dark is not a clever idea, you could easily go too deep by accident and cause nerve damage, hit a vein or worse nick an artery, you could cut at a tendon or muscle and risk permanent damage to a limb… etc etc] But yeah, I just didn’t want to see what I was doing, I just wanted to feel the pain from it and fully intended to just cut one time, sit and feel that stinging throbbing sensation and then stop. But of course, as always with self harming, it didn’t turn out that way. I made three pretty nasty cuts which didn’t look too bad when I turned the light back on, but the sight of them and the blood on the towels made me not want to stop. So I cut deeper and deeper into the three cuts I’d made until it was at the point of them all being gaping open a fair bit. When I was finally ‘finished’ it was only then I realised that I didn’t have any essential first aid stuff in the house and there was a lot of blood soaking through the towels… so I began to panic a little bit. Even though it was about 10.30pm I sent a text to lovely support worker apologising profusely and explaining what I’d done. She replied asking if I needed to go to A&E? I text back saying ‘yes probably, but I don’t want to go’ then we spent the next half an hour texting back and forth with her saying she wasn’t going to force me to do anything I didn’t want to do but that if I did need medical attention then she would come and pick me up and take me there. After a lot of thinking I finally decided that it would probably be the best move to have the cuts cleaned and treated properly.

So around 11pm she picked me up and I said I was so sorry, sorry for using up her free weekend time and sorry for wasting the time of the NHS. I was really anxious as I had a feeling it would be the same doctor on duty who stitched me up after my ‘accidental’ injury just over a week ago but thankfully it wasn’t. Support worker was great, she let me go and sit in the waiting area while she explained to the nurse what I’d done and explained on my behalf that I was feeling really anxious. As usual, it was a nurse I’ve seen a few times before but haven’t seen this particular nurse in about a year. She let my support worker come through to the treatment room with us and said I had done really well with getting my self harming ‘under control’ as she remembered a time I was in there every few days with wounds, and other than the ‘accident’ the other week, I haven’t attended A&E for self harm wounds since April this year. So yeah, she was nice about it and told me not to feel too bad for having a bit of a relapse.

I didn’t say very much at first… I hate that moment where they take off the DIY bandage you’ve made and expose the cuts. I always look away and refuse to look at the wounds until they have been treated and covered up. One of the cuts just needed glue and steri strips but the other two were quite a bit deeper. I’ve had cuts less deep than them needing proper stitches before, but the problem was that the two cuts were so close together I don’t think it would have been possible to stitch them. So she asked if I was happy to have them glued and taped together and I said yes. It looked quite neat once she was finished but the dressing I have on my leg has quite a lot of blood on it today and I’m not sure if a bit of the glue has burst. I don’t want to take the dressing pad off because I only have one spare one and so long as no new fresh blood appears then it doesn’t really matter too much if a little glue has burst, me and medical glue don’t really get along, I always seem to burst a bit of it somewhere.

Anyways, going back to what I was saying… the A&E nurse was gentle, non judgemental and kind to me. I notice if you have someone with you, especially someone they see as a supporting professional, then all of the A&E nurses and doctors tend to be a bit nicer towards you. I asked her if I could just care for the wound myself instead of the usual routine of going back after 2 days for a wound check then returning again to have the stitches or steri strips or whatever removed. She said that would be OK as she knows I know what signs to look out for regarding infection etc. I then asked her if it would be possible for them not to send over the information to the mental health team even though it is in my care plan that if I attend A&E a copy of the notes should be sent over to them. She was a bit reluctant to do that though and asked me why I didn’t want the mental health team to know. I answered as honestly as I could:

  • Nobody from the mental health team ever contacts me even when they do receive a copy of the notes from A&E
  • This in turn makes me annoyed that I stick to my end of my care plan but they don’t stick to their end to even make a quick phone call to ask if I’m OK
  • If crappy CPN#2 doesn’t even attempt to make contact with me when I didn’t attend for 10-12 weeks in a row then there isn’t much chance of her making contact following an A&E visit
  • I end up just feeling let down and like no one really cares when I know those notes have been sent over but nobody even acknowledges them

 

Adding to this I also explained that I’m not finding my current CPN very helpful at all. I told the A&E nurse I did have an appointment to see CPN#2 last week but didn’t attend it so that would be even more reason for CPN#2 to turn round and say “well you had an appointment, you could have come to see me but you chose not too” – when in fact the reality is even if I had gone to see her my ‘current mood’ is never a topic for her little agenda so in reality I wouldn’t have been able to talk about how crap I was feeling anyway. The A&E nurse said she completely understood where I was coming from but that she would feel much better for sending over the notes anyway. She said at least this way, if nobody does make contact, then I have even more ‘evidence’ that this CPN is not the right one for me. So in the end I agreed that the notes could be sent over and lovely support worker agreed I’d done the right thing.

By the time we got back to mine it was well after midnight and we sat in support worker’s car and chatted for a little while before I actually realised how late it was and thanked her very much for coming with me and for supporting me all weekend. I have an appointment to see her again tomorrow afternoon and am going to get a little thank you card for going above and beyond in helping me these past few days.

So yeah, it’s been a very difficult weekend, lots of emotions, lots of crying and another three scars to add to my already horrendous looking legs. But at the same time I was never left feeling alone with all these mixed up emotions, I felt supported and that in turn enabled me to feel like I could be honest and not have to hold back… I could just admit to what I was feeling and let people help me. I’m still not sure if the urges to self harm are out of my system but at least I no longer have to keep those thoughts to myself, I know now I have at least one person I can talk to when things get really rough who won’t judge me but simply reassure me that it’s OK to feel how I feel. It still really annoys me that support worker is having to take that role at the moment, I truly believe that it should be the job of CPN#2 to look after my “mental health needs” rather than my support worker who is there to help with my ongoing issues regarding the sexual assault in August last year and the issues I still have surrounding the childhood sexual abuse I suffered. Thankfully when it comes to the topic of self harm it is one that my support worker is quite knowledgeable about as sexual abuse and self harm often go hand in hand, but still, it would be nice to have a CPN who actually made me feel like she cared once in a while.

Sorry for over 3000 words of rambles… hope I didn’t bore you too much(!) I guess I just have to hope now that this new week is a better one… so yeah… will see how it goes…

16:54 – In a pretty crappy place right now

24 Sep

So yeah, I spent the weekend getting drunk by myself. Sitting here pouring glass after glass of wine and drinking it at a ridiculous speed. I don’t know what I hoped to achieve by doing that, I guess I was trying to block shit out. However the reality was that I just got more and more depressed, my mood dropped a little further down with every gulp I took. I did a lot of crying which maybe wasn’t such a bad thing, maybe those emotions had to come out of me, but I’m still having emotional outbursts with no warning signs today.

I continued to self harm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Despite being under the influence I seemed to manage to have some control over it as the cuts are reasonably superficial. I think I just kept reminding myself that if I just pushed down that little bit harder then it would be time to go back off to A&E again and I’m still sticking to my story with them that the stitches I’ve got were as a result of an accident and not self harming.

I am supposed to be going to get my stitches taken out today but I just feel so low and so miserable that I can’t face going out. I don’t suppose an extra day will make much difference, I’ve had times in the past where I just couldn’t face going to A&E and left stitches in a few more days than they were supposed to be in for. I was also supposed to go to an appointment with CPN#2 at 12:30 today – I got up at 9am and forced myself to go in for a shower, got dressed, sat and watched some TV, let the dogs out to do the toilet, then around 11am took my clothes back off and put my pj’s back on. Sat and watched 12:30 come and go, knowing that I should phone and least concoct some excuse for missing yet another appointment but my brain just seemed incapable of thinking so I didn’t attend and didn’t phone to apologise either.

I think I have come to the conclusion that I don’t find that I get any benefit from my appointments with CPN#2. In fact, I have worked with a number of CPN’s over the years and I’ve never really achieved much with any of them. The ones who have been good are the ones that haven’t stuck around for long. Typical really. So now I don’t know what to do – do I phone and leave a message for CPN#2 and make yet another appointment, drag myself along to it, sit there finding it no help whatsoever, make another appointment, repeat the process over and over again? Or do I somehow try to find the strength to be honest with her? I don’t know if I could do it face to face but the thought has crossed my mind that it might be an idea to write her a letter explaining why I’m not finding these sessions useful, therefore I either cancel them or just don’t attend.

My main problem with them is that CPN#2 likes to work in a very structured sort of way. I go in and she takes a sheet of paper that she calls the ‘agenda’ then asks me to pick two or three topics that I’d like to discuss during our session. If I go off at a little bit of a tangent she quickly pulls me straight back on topic by saying “this isn’t on our agenda, please stick to the agenda” which leaves me feeling like I’m being told off for trying to explain something. I don’t know if I’m explaining this very well? It’s like she wants our sessions to be like business meetings – have an agenda with a few bullet points – discuss them very specifically without really allowing any emotions to come into the conversation. Sometimes you need to go off at a little bit of a tangent to explain things better and when someone is sitting tapping their pen against their notebook it is extremely off putting. Then add to that her latest thing of propping her phone up on the middle of the table with the stopwatch app counting the minutes, constantly flashing, distracting me… yeah… it’s just not helpful.

I understand that she wants to use the sessions to get me to cover the basics of Compassion Focused Therapy until such time that I can see the psychologist again to learn it all in more detail, but surely I should be able/allowed to talk about how I’m feeling as well? Like if I had gone today there is just no way I could have told her about the self harming or about how low my mood has been/still is. We have absolutely no bond/no relationship/no therapeutic relationship/nothing. I cannot open up to her because I’m scared to mention anything that isn’t set on her little business agenda. So I end up not going to my appointments, not engaging with the mental health team, sitting and waiting for a letter to appear in my mail one day telling me she has discharged me as I don’t attend and she could be seeing someone else in my place. Part of me wishes she would just do that, but I carry on clinging to this little bit of hope that it won’t be too much longer now until I see the psychologist again and at least I know I can get along with her and work with her.

So here I am hiding indoors again. It’s now week three of my part time uni course and I haven’t even finished week one’s work. I sit and try to read, try to absorb it, try to understand it but it’s like there is an invisible mental block getting in the way and nothing sinks in. So I give up and tell myself I’ll try again tomorrow. But tomorrow comes and goes and I’m no further forward. At the moment there is still a chance I could catch up but for that to happen I need motivation. Right now I have no motivation at all. I just sit here and cry, cut myself a few more times, cry some more, never really getting anywhere. I can’t even go and sit on my (personal) facebook because I just cannot handle all these pregnancy announcements, baby announcements, baby talk in any way shape or form. Of course I know it’s something I can’t hide from forever but right now it’s all just too triggering for me. My mental state feels pretty fragile like the slightest thing will cause it to fall apart.

Although I fully intended to get drunk on Friday night I actually didn’t plan on repeating it on Saturday night. However, I popped up to see my parents to wish them a nice holiday (they left on Sunday morning and get back Monday next week) and just as I was leaving their phone started to ring. I saw on the caller display that it was my Aunt that I have nothing to do with these days (this is my Aunt who was the mother of my older cousin that abused me for years – he’s dead now for any new readers) and as soon as I saw her name flash up on the caller display I knew instantly what she was phoning for. My abuser cousin has a daughter who has been brought up by my Aunt as he couldn’t provide for her due to either being in prison or when he was out of prison he’d go straight back to his life of heroin and crack addiction. The mother of his daughter was also an addict. Despite who her parents were I still just looked at her like a little cousin and we used to be quite close until a couple of years ago when my stupid Aunt told her about the abuse. I had never wanted her to know about it but my Aunt is an alcoholic and doesn’t think about what she is saying half the time. So, the girl was about 14 at this point and of course she reacted to the news in a very angry way. She splattered messages all over my facebook and I made the decision to write her a long email explaining everything. I wrote about it on here and it was quite controversial to say the least – some people commented to say they thought I’d done the right thing – others said she was too young to have been told about it and that I shouldn’t have sent the email. But that’s all in the past now and sadly I haven’t spoken to her since.

My Mum told me several months ago that the girl is now 16 and pregnant. Firstly the fact that yet another person just accidentally got pregnant at the drop of a hat upset me. Secondly I convinced myself that she would have a little boy and name him after her father (as I think there is a bit of childhood idolising of him on her part even though he was never around as a father to her). I knew the baby was due in September and sure enough that was what my Aunt was phoning to tell my Mum. Thankfully she had a little girl. Even though I don’t see her any more or have any contact with her, I think it would have really got to me if she’d named an innocent little baby after the monster my abusing cousin was. But yeah, just hearing about yet another baby started making my head feel all bonkers so on the way back from my parents house I went and bought three bottles of wine and drank the lot over Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

So that’s where I am at the moment. Alone, lonely, self isolating, unable to study, crying a hell of a lot, cutting myself, missing appointments and generally feeling extremely low. I have an appointment with my rape crisis support worker tomorrow which I’m going to make an effort to go to as she is pretty much the only person that I can just sit and be honest with at the moment. And if I make it to that appointment and get out of the house then maybe I’ll manage to get to A&E as well to have these stitches taken out. As for the rest of today and tonight I have absolutely no idea how they are going to pan out. If my mood stays like this then it looks like it’ll be yet another shitty night to try and get through. Truthfully I don’t feel 100% safe at the moment and I do feel a little bit worried about where this is all heading. But if I can just get through tonight in one piece then maybe tomorrow’s appointment with lovely support worker will help to calm my crazy brain down again.

19:53 – A good day ’til the voices fucked it all up

5 Mar

[edited to add – sorry this post goes on forever, rambles, is all mixed up and probably makes very little sense so I apologise in advance]

This afternoon I met up with lovely social worker and we went for a bite to eat and to have a chat. Whilst I was standing outside waiting for her to pick me up a guy walked past me and the way he looked at me made me feel so uncomfortable. He was pretty much looking me right in the eye from across the street and kept on staring as he reached the other side of the road. While he stopped to let a car past he started looking at me up and down in what felt like a really leering sort of way. Initially it gave me the creeps but a few seconds later as he was crossing the road and about to walk right past me I saw these violent images quickly play out in my head of me pushing him right into a moving car.

Anyway, a few minutes later lovely social worker arrived and it was nice to see her again but from the moment of that guy staring at me my head started playing funny buggers which made me feel like I couldn’t talk properly about stuff. It’s hard to explain, I would start up sentences and find it hard to say anything that actually had any proper meaning to it, like when you go to say something that has a point to it but I’d never get to the point because as soon as I’d start talking ‘they’ would start as well. I felt very anxious when I got in her car (I really don’t know why) but I was trying not to show it and tried to relax. But ‘they’ didn’t want me to relax and during the ten or fifteen minutes it took to get to the cafe I kept hearing instructions to do bad things inside the car. I couldn’t tell lovely social worker this because she’d probably have kicked me out her car and made me walk, but the stuff I was hearing was bad, really quite disturbing, for example when she was on the faster bit of road they were telling me to open the door and throw myself out because I couldn’t be trusted not to say too much to her. So yeah, that was pretty unpleasant however since I got home ‘they’ have actually been happy with me for not revealing too much today.

So we got to the cafe and it was full of people, not one single table free so we had to sit outside. But while we were in the queue the anxiety began creeping in, there were too many people and it was making me feel not good at all, especially not when all I could hear was one direct instruction that I had not to let any of these strangers look me in the eye. I went outside and got a table and once out in the fresh air the anxiety did begin to calm a little.

I didn’t want to risk talking about the content of the chitter chatter and I have been really good and not written on here for a few days and actually really tried my best not to mention to anyone or anywhere what ‘they’ want me to do next. So we chatted about more general things and I told lovely social worker the bits of my uni course I’m struggling to get my head around and she did try to explain what some of the bits meant but my head was like mush and unable to fully concentrate, as is the norm for me at the moment.

In the car on the way back we stopped for a moment so I could get out and have a cigarette. I remember telling her that I feel like I have no sense of belonging at the moment, like everyone I know is either married or has kids. At the age of 31 I feel like they are all in some club that I am not a part of. And all these mental health symptoms and diagnoses and medications make me part of another world but I don’t want to connect with other people in that world in ‘real life’ – I prefer to not go to support groups because I know that any time I am in the psychiatric hospital it drives me mad being around so many other mentalists. Don’t get me wrong I love the online friends I have met through blogging and almost all of them are fellow mentalists but I’ve always had this thing about wanting to surround myself with what I perceived to be the norm but by doing that it only makes things even harder because they don’t understand what it’s like to live a life with mental health problems.

I think that is probably where the desires to find a faith have recently stemmed from – a desire to be amongst people who I can connect with and have something in common with. Where I could sit in an environment and feel as though I belong. Because I don’t feel as though I belong here on Earth with this as my life, I am always aware of being different from everyone else. Do I want to be the same as the people I think of as normal? In a lot of ways yes. But I can’t help but feel like I have too many issues to ever be ‘normal’ again.

Most of my life I have felt different from everyone else probably because by the time of reaching my teens I had already been abused for a number of years, starting self harming and had no fears of walking into an adult world and start smoking and drinking and experimenting with drugs. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with being 14 and having sex with my first proper boyfriend because I’d known for years what intercourse felt like. And I thought it was expected of me, afterall it was what ‘good girls’ did to make guys happy wasn’t it?

I’ve always been different in one way or another from those around me and the one and only time I felt ‘normal’ was when I was around 24 and I had lost a hell of a lot of weight, I was slim and felt pretty. For the first time in my life I could walk into a clothes shop and know I could wear the fitted clothes and pretty dresses. And then just to add the cherry to the top of the cake I also had a man who loved me. I worked full time and earned my money every month, then soon after I was pregnant, then engaged and planning a wedding. And before it all fell apart that was normal, that was the first and only time in my life where I felt like I was the same as all of my friends. Perhaps it was a little bit too good as it was also during this period that I had a (undiagnosed at the time) manic episode.

Like all good things that have happened in my life that normality soon fell apart and I became the girl who lost her baby and had to bury her son, then I got fat again, I lost all my confidence when I became the girl whose “fiancé cheated on her but like an idiot she’s taken him back” … only to be cheated on by him again. I felt like everyone was laughing at me and my agoraphobia got worse and worse. My depression that I’d struggled with for a little while in my very early 20’s came back with a vengeance, I was barely functioning and the last thing that detached me from the world of normal people was losing my job because my attendance had become so awful.

And from there that was it, I was catapulted into this world of mental ill health. Thoughts plagued with ideas of suicide, of self destruction and self loathing. I felt disgusting and grew to hate myself a little more day by day. Less than a year after my Bipolar Disorder diagnosis I began to hear voices, I became paranoid, I was suicidal and scarring my body a little more with every day that went by. Soon followed my first experience of being detained and shortly after that I was detained again and then had several more suicide attempts and some voluntary admissions to the psychiatric hospital. Everything was too chaotic to ever do any proper work with the psychologist and lovely social worker just rolled with the crises.

The last time I was in the psychiatric hospital I hated the feeling of being trapped so much that I think I managed to develop a bit of a phobia about it and to be honest I think that’s what has kept me out of that place, because whenever I think about it I think of the nurses who don’t give a shit… the boredom of every minute feeling like an hour… the days that pass so slowly… the place where there is absolutely nothing to do other than walking in and out of the smoking area and chain smoking 40 cigarettes a day… slowly driving yourself more and more mental. And for just over a year now I have managed to stay at home, no more hospital admissions but feeling completely alien from all the seemingly normal people around me every single day.

That brings me back to where I was before I went off on that little ramble – having a sense of belonging or a sense of ‘fitting in’. The whole finding a faith thing may have started with the chitter chatter telling me I had to ‘bare my soul and declare my sins’ when Charlie dog was so ill and them instructing me to pray repeatedly in order for Charlie to get better, but now it’s become about more than that. It’s become a search for me to find somewhere that I do fit in and am accepted for just being me. But you see that is impossible, to say I want to feel accepted for just being me when I am unable to accept who I am myself. If I can’t accept me then how can I expect anyone else to? I can’t.

[Sorry this post seems to have gone off at a bit of a tangent – I’ve completely forgotten what the point of this entire post was…]

Anyway…. back to today and seeing lovely social worker… on the drive back home I said something about the chitter chatter and she asked me was it definitely voices and not just my thoughts getting out of control? I couldn’t really explain myself properly to her but did say I know the male voice is definitely a voice because my thoughts are in ‘my’ voice if that makes sense, a female tone like how I talk… not an angry male tone… like the way any of us hear our own thoughts in our head. But the way that I really know what is chitter chatter voices and what is my own crazy thoughts is I try and talk inside my head/think thoughts in my head whilst the chitter chatter is talking and if it stops then I know it’s my thoughts because I can’t talk about two different things at the exact same time. Does that make sense? Like if it was actually my thoughts and not a voice then I wouldn’t be able to have two completely different thoughts at the exact same moment running parallel. That’s the best I can explain it.

So lovely social worker dropped me back home and literally just as I was stepping out of the car I looked at her to say bye and even though I saw her mouth form the shape of the word ‘bye’ what I heard was something different and something I don’t want to write here. Then since I got back in the house I’ve had the TV on and every so often I don’t hear a sentence the person on TV says, I hear the chitter chatter say a random line instead. I know it was the chitter chatter talking over her and that she didn’t really say anything bad but over the past few hours that I’ve been home all I keep hearing is that it would make her happy if she never had to see me again. And it gets louder and faster and it’s trying so very hard to make me believe it is telling me the truth, that I’ve not to refer to her as lovely social worker because she secretly hates me and it’s all spiralling out of control round and round inside my head. Then not only am I being told she hates me but people on the TV hate me too. I argue back if she hates me then why didn’t I pick up on it until the very last second when I was getting out the car, surely I would have picked up on it from the moment I first got in the car?…

I tell the chitter chatter that it is talking shit to me and I won’t believe what they are saying, but for some reason they won’t back down which is crappy because she is a lovely social worker even though I don’t see much of her these days. I don’t want to think she has feelings of hate towards me, that genuinely upsets me and while my head is so confused the only thing I know for sure is that the only hate that is truly real is mine towards the voices for fucking my head up so much. I don’t know how much longer I can realistically live this way… being controlled by something I can’t even see… that I can only hear… why does it terrify me so much to go against what they tell me to do? Why am I so scared of, what is at the end of the day, just a bunch of sounds? Why are they so convincing and believable that the consequences of ignoring or disobeying them feel too much to bear?

Sorry I know half of the stuff I’ve wrote probably doesn’t make a great deal of sense and I really didn’t mean to ramble on for this long, I guess I had a lot of stuff to get off my chest. I feel like such an awful person for even giving these horrible voices a second thought, but they are so real that no matter what I do I just can’t hide from them…at all…ever. And maybe that’s what I need to accept – that they are here to stay and always will be. It’s pretty clear that realistically there is only one way left to get rid of them now.

18:50 – My Crazy Bipolar Life is 3 today!

13 Dec

celebrating3years

Today the 13th of December 2012 marks my little blog’s 3rd anniversary. I can’t quite believe that what started off as me just needing somewhere to write down my thoughts one lonely day back in December 2009 has lasted this long! I have started a lot of diaries in my life but this has by far lasted the longest and it has certainly been quite a journey since that first post I wrote…

I wonder if I would actually have believed anyone if they had told me back then that over the next three years I would make attempts at ending my life, experience some of the darkest, most bleak and miserable depressive episodes, that I would permanently scar my body quite badly through self harming, that I would experience psychosis or that I would experience a number of hospital admissions both voluntary and being detained under the mental health act.

There have been some laughs along the way, although unfortunately they have been pretty few and far between. There have been a couple of hints of hypomania but the various anti-psychotics have kept full blown manic episodes away. If only they could be so effective at controlling the voices that never seem to properly go away, although they do kindly whisper from time to time.

I’ve experienced the frustrations of getting to a place where I felt like I had a good care team round me to losing one member of it who I valued enormously,  then trying to work with temporary staff, to then getting back to a place where I have someone permanent to work with again. In the last three years I have dealt with psychiatrists, psychologist, social workers, CPN’s, GP’s, hospital nurses in A&E, hospital nurses on medical wards and hospital nurses and doctors in the psych hospital.

I have caused a lot of upset to people I care about, I have scared them by being so out of control with my emotions and actions, I have occasionally broken down in front of people and shown my tears and tried to share some of the pain inside of me. I have felt guilt and shame because of my behaviours but once or twice had a ‘meaningful’ hug with someone, where for a brief moment I have felt like they understood and actually they weren’t judging me.

Have I made any progress over the three years I have been writing my ramblings and random thoughts down? I’m really not sure. In some aspects yes – for example – the part time university course I’ve been doing over the past 3 months has given me something positive to try and focus on. But it’s hard, not so much the work itself than the complete lack of concentration I experience so often which makes studying extremely frustrating at times.

The other positive is that my agoraphobia has improved very slightly. I can travel further now than what I could three years ago, although not massively, but when my head is feeling calm I can now travel for about an hour in quiet areas that I’m familiar with. Three years ago even a journey of five minutes could have me starting to really panic. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever overcome this phobia completely, although it would be lovely to think that by the time we reach 2015 (in another 3 years) I could be in a place where I could go shopping in cities and go on holidays and attend family events and so much more.

I know having two positive things is better than having none, but in many ways I don’t feel as though I’ve made much progress at all. I still haven’t found the ‘right’ combination of medication or talking therapies and sometimes I wonder if there will ever be a day where I will be the person who is helping someone with a mental health problem rather than be the person needing the help. Will I stick at the university course over the next three years? By then I could be a good way to getting my degree. Will this little precious corner of cyberspace that I ramble in still be here in three years? I really truly couldn’t imagine not having it now. I have ‘met’ some amazing human beings through writing this blog – there are a couple of people who I have never met but would most definitely consider a friend for all the support and encouragement that they have given me even when they have been trying to deal with their own head crazies. Three years ago I had no idea that such a supportive mental health blogging community existed and I’m so glad I found it; even though I write some posts when I’m unwell that I go back to read some time later and think “oh my God I sound completely bonkers” very few people have ever judged me, the majority have been incredibly supportive and made me feel like I ‘fit in’ somewhere.

I never thought that anyone would have been interested in reading what I had to say and even now looking at the screen and seeing “79,634 visits since December 09” – I just think wow – of course I know there are blogs out there with hundreds of thousands and even millions of hits, but I genuinely never even expected to see 80 people read my little blog let alone almost 80 thousand. And even though a lot of posts have been full of self pity, there have been many more where all I’ve wanted to do is to have a place where I could express what was going on inside my head and it’s quite touching that so many people have followed in my little journey with me and even more so that so many of those people have said that they understood or could relate to what I was talking about. Much as that makes me sad in many ways (I wish no one else ever had to feel like this) but through writing this blog I feel a little less alone and a little more accepted for just being me.

Sometimes I really wonder about the future, sometimes I really wonder how much more of a future I will have but every so often something or someone will come along and will give me just the tiniest bit of hope or strength to fight on through another day.

The next three years… I don’t expect them to be easy and I reckon it’s going to be another long journey… I don’t know if one day things really will all get too much or if one day they will start to get easier… but maybe, just maybe, I’ll manage to come out the other side of this a stronger person. Who knows what the future has in store… I guess the only way to find out is to stick around and see where it all ends up…

Thanks for sharing the last three years of my life with me, it really does mean a lot. Every comment means a lot, just to know that someone has taken five minutes out of their day to read what I’ve rambled and then taken the time to offer advice, to say they relate, or just to give words of support… Without it I would probably have given up on ‘My Crazy Bipolar Life‘ a long time ago.

Now who’d like to blow out my birthday candles?

Don’t forget to make a wish 🙂 xxx

3rd_ann

 

 

P.S. I’ll write a ‘proper’ post later about seeing lovely GP yesterday, medication increases and some other ramblings…

23:23 – Seeing new social worker & rape crisis support worker

5 Oct

Today I had two appointments. The first was at 1pm where I had my first appointment with the new social worker but she hasn’t replaced other social worker she is just working with me temporarily for a few weeks until the new permanent CPN starts. So she asked how I was doing and I told her about going with other social worker to advocacy on Tuesday and how hard I actually find it to express why I want to move out of this flat so badly. Somehow this led on to me telling her my life story. I didn’t plan on doing that but it just kind of happened, not in masses of detail but kind of significant events along the way and when diagnoses were made etc. I didn’t get hugely positive vibes from her when we first met the other week but she actually turned out to be quite nice and I think I’ll be OK working with her for a few weeks, she seems easy enough to talk to, so that’s good.

I then had an appointment with the support worker from rape crisis. I haven’t seen her in two weeks as she was off on holidays so it was nice to see her and have a bit of a catch up, tell her how I got on with my child befrienders interview and how I had got my first uni essay in… then onto the bad stuff about the self harming and how I’d done it again in the time she’d been away. It seems that self harm often goes hand in hand with rape/sexual abuse so she is pretty understanding about it all and asked what I thought would help me at the moment and I said I didn’t know, just trying to keep myself distracted I guess. She said she was more than happy to see me once a week and after me rambling away for over an hour we arranged to meet up again next Thursday. She said today that as I enjoy writing and feel like I can express myself better when I write things down then she might give me a writing exercise to do next week which I assume will be writing about my feelings about the recent assault or perhaps writing a letter to him or something…. I remember when I was a young teenager and getting help from a CAMHS psychologist she got me to write a letter to my childhood abuser telling him how it made me feel, what I thought of him for doing that to me and a whole load of other stuff… and then we took it outside and took a match to it and watched it burn. I guess it was supposed to be symbolic somehow, like as though I was watching all those bad feelings just burn away.

This time though everything just confuses the hell out of me when I think about it. Maybe because I still have no real recollection of what happened other than knowing it did happen from the PCP drug found in my tests and the intense flashbacks that are still face-less. I was actually thinking about it a lot yesterday. This is going to be way too much information for some of you so you may wish to look away now…but… I had recently taken a course of Provera (the tablet that I use to induce a period seeing as I don’t have them on my own thanks to the condition PCOS)… I finished the course on Tuesday and was expecting my period to show Friday/Saturday (usually 3-5 days after I take the last tablet). However it caught me off guard and came yesterday, Thursday, and full heavy flow at that. And suddenly I felt very weird about it being there and the first thing I did was go straight into the shower to clean and clean and clean as I felt like I was dirty.

I tried speaking about this with rape crisis woman today and she said it made sense. I told her it was like the first time since the assault where I’d been aware of my ‘girly bits’ and all these flashbacks started happening and I felt so dirty at the sight of the blood and just had to repeatedly clean myself in the shower until my head adjusted and calmed down to the realisation it was OK, it was just a period. So yeah, that wasn’t particularly pleasant.

Anyway no more period talk I promise. Don’t want the guys who read this to get too squeamish!

I think I’m going to spend a few hours with my Mum tomorrow as she has the day off work. Usually we would go for a bite to eat but seeing as this bloody diet is so restrictive it will probably just be a cuppa for her and a water for me, and maybe take the dogs along the beach or something if it stays dry. Last night we had a crazy thunder and lightening storm, the whole sky was lighting right up for hours. It was pretty cool to watch but one of my dogs is terrified of thunder (and fireworks) so I had to close the curtains, turn the TV up loud and wrap him up in a duvet next to me, even then I could still feel him shaking, poor thing. My little dog didn’t bat an eyelid, he just did his silly little barks each time the sky roared!

Speaking of the dogs it’s time for their bedtime walk and it’s time for me to do some reading before I try and get off to sleep as well. I hate the weekends, drunk people passing by my house til like 3am and the noise makes the dogs bark which in turn wakes me up and I end up frustrated and very tired. Hopefully tonight they won’t be as bad and I can sleep right through but that hasn’t happened in weeks and weeks so I doubt very much it will now. I seem to be firmly set in a pattern this past week of sleeping between the hours of 1am and 3am and between 5am and 8am and that’s it. So averaging out at about 5 hours of broken sleep a night. Pretty blah.

Anyway time to take these doggies out.

Goodnight folks x

22:15 – Meeting advocacy & other ramblings

2 Oct

I guess you could call today another reasonably productive day. I went to see my social worker and she came with me to my first meeting with advocacy. I explained my situation about the housing transfer application and how I feel like I’m going to be waiting forever to be moved somewhere I can be happy living in. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted from them but we had a chat about things and they said they would write a letter or email on my behalf and try to make the housing association re-read my file, and ask them for a realistic timescale in which I will be re-housed. I know it’s going to end up taking about a year though. I even went into the housing association afterwards and expanded my areas in which I’m willing to be re-housed to, hopefully with more areas then I have more chance of a quicker move.

So it was good to meet the woman who co-ordinates things and the woman who is a volunteer who is going to contact the housing association for me. She said she should hopefully be able to get back to me by the end of the week with some more information.

It was also nice to see and spend some time with my social worker. I know these are going to be the last few times I see her over the next little while and I’m happy that if things have to come to an end that they will do so on a happier note. I still have my moments of wishing things were how they were a couple of years back but I guess time moves on, lives change, situations change and one day I will have to be big enough and strong enough to stand on my own two feet, one day with no professional involvement at all if I manage to establish some form of recovery.

I keep trying to think that recovery, or walking the path of recovery is where I’m at just now, but this is mainly because CPN tells me that. Sometimes I don’t really feel it, I mean lets face it things haven’t exactly been great lately with one pretty severe self harm wound and a second not quite so severe but still requiring medical help. My moods have been very emotional, I have cried a crazy amount over the past few weeks. Sometimes I’m sure I can hear a voice again swirling around in my head telling me I’m not good enough, that I won’t be able to complete my Uni course, that I’m kidding myself that I’m going to complete a degree and have a good career one day, telling me I’m always going to fail, whispering to me that it’s all pointless and my life equally as pointless and I don’t know if it’s all my own thoughts and my own voice I hear repeatedly chanting away to me or if it’s something external… but something external or maybe it’s internal… any type of ‘voice’ is not something I’m willing to consider right now.

In conversation with my social worker today I mentioned that this is always the time of year I seem to start feeling rather unwell. October through to February/March time are like my danger months. And no, I don’t think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder to add to my list of quirks, it’s just the amount of child related things that happen over those months that is what really gets me down.

It’s my birthday at the end of the month, the 28th of October, and it’s not a day I look forward to any more. This year I will be 31 and still single and sleeping on a sofa in a flat I hate, a flat that I just feel so unhappy in. And then a few days later comes Halloween and I have to do the pretend smiling stuff as I help best friend get the kids ready and take them out trick or treating. Then it’s Christmas and like last year, best friend wants me to stay overnight on Christmas Eve at hers so I wake up with her and the kids and watch them open their presents. And somewhere deep within I need to bury all the hurt it makes me feel. Then we get into the new year and the run up to my little one’s anniversary begins and that takes me up to February, then I always have a couple of weeks of feeling really low after the anniversary because it brings back all the memories and also means spending a short period of time acting as civil as I can towards my ex-fiancé.

So yeah… a bit wary of how things are going to be over the next few months.

Changing the topic (because I’m starting to feel sad) my Atkins online planner informed me that I wasn’t eating enough “leafy green vegetables” today. I eat a full bag of iceberg lettuce every day but apparently that’s not enough. So I walked over to the supermarket and picked up a brocolli, a leafy green cabbage, and some green beans. Came home and boiled the lot up in a pot with some sugar and salt free vegetable stock then blasted it with the blender. And poured a lovely big cup of it to have with my dinner. It was properly disgusting, bland, tasteless, every mouthful made me feel sick and I like all of the ingredients but just not blended together in some strange green soup. So I let it cool down, put it in the fridge and tried it as a ‘smoothie’ – it was equally as disgusting but I forced it down.

I have enough for another big glass tomorrow and Thursday. Lucky me eh!

Well it’s that time of night again… 10pm and time to take medication, walk the dogs, and try and wind down with all the lights off. In other words lie awake in the dark for hours, being restless and getting up to have a cigarette, getting water, going to the toilet, flicking the TV on and off, trying to sleep again, watching the clock tick through hour after hour, staying offline because I know it will only keep me from sleeping even longer. Finally somewhere around 4/5am falling asleep out of exhaustion and waking up again when the postman comes at 8.30am and the dogs start barking like mad.

Tomorrow’s plans… pick up weekly prescription, go to a&e for “final” wound check (it better be the final one this time, I’m sure they are as sick of seeing me as I am going there and having my wounds on display for examination). Then at 2pm I am going to have my tattoo shaded and a couple of little lines fixed before the colouring begins. I was going pretty much every few days/every week for a while but it was draining me financially so it’s kinda been put on hold for a while but I’m going to try and get it all finished over the next month or two. I think it should only take maybe 2 x 2 hour sittings to get it all coloured, she said colouring it shouldn’t take as long as all the outlining and shading. I’m sort of glad I’m getting it done tomorrow because I’ve been experiencing a lot of self harm thoughts this evening, completely out of the blue, and I actually get some strange perverse pleasure out of being tattooed, I get the pain without the scars. The pain becomes a creation. It’s a good pain. I know I could grab handfuls of ice cubes (if I had any in my freezer) and get pain without scars but it just doesn’t work for me. Nothing works for me but the real thing. It’s all or nothing with me…

So yeah, tomorrow should be another fairly busy day. Thursday I think will be a quieter one where I focus on some Uni work. Friday I have a session with the other/new social worker which I can’t say I’m looking forward to because I really don’t see what the point is in me seeing yet another new person for a whole 3/4 weeks to then be introduced and start working with yet another new person albeit one who is actually permanent. But current CPN thinks I need someone to talk to each week because of all the self harming and deep down I know she’s right, I know I would panic a little if I was left completely on my own for a month but opening up to new people is always hard. Then later in the afternoon on Friday I have an appointment with rape crisis woman as today’s appointment was cancelled.

Right I think I have rambled on enough for now… time to face the rain and walk these dogs.

Night folks.

18:55 – Hand over the pills or you’re going to the psych hospital

14 Sep

I had an appointment with lovely GP this afternoon. She already had the notes from a&e on her screen when I went in about the self harming on Wednesday. A bit of the wound burst yesterday so she had a look at it for me and said it needed cleaned up and a new dressing on and popped next door to the nurse to see if she was free to do it. She was. So I got a quick change of dressing and back into see GP. She asked me if the Nitrazepam she gave me for last weekend helped me sleep and I told her that the first night I kept waking every hour or two feeling like something was wrong and the next couple of nights I did get some sleep but it was all broken up.

I then told her about seeing CPN on Wednesday and having it out with her about not following my crisis plan properly last Friday and how I felt she had just passed the buck to GP. I also had a moan about social worker not sticking to the monthly contact arrangement and told her I felt pretty unsupported at the moment and the only people who were being supportive were GP, rape crisis lady and the doctor at a&e.

She asked what made me self harm so bad on Wednesday and then all the fucking stupid truth had to come tumbling out my mouth. About how the suicidal thoughts were so intense but I knew I couldn’t act on them, about how I’ve been stockpiling painkillers and knew I had around 70g of paracetamol all popped out into a tub ready for the lid just to be lifted and them all to be thrown down my throat. I told her I’d like some Nitrazepam again for this weekend but at the same time I knew I cannot keep on medicating my symptoms and one day I’m just going to have to face up to them somehow.

Then she said to me that if I was telling her I had 70g of paracetamol sitting in my house she was extremely concerned about me getting through the weekend. She asked what support I had and I told her my parents go away on Sunday for a week and on the one hand I have the thought that they are away so it’s the perfect time to take all the pills but something deep down keeps saying no no NO you are NOT putting your parents through all that again. You are NOT ruining their holiday. Don’t be so bloody cruel and selfish. So instead I go back to the self harm thoughts, at least they don’t hurt anyone but me because they only know if I tell them.

So lovely GP says she thinks I’m slipping backwards and I say I feel like I am as well. She asks me what can we do to keep me safe this weekend? I shrug my shoulders and say I don’t know any more, just take it hour by hour, day by day. Try and distract myself, try and sleep, try and read some of my uni stuff, maybe go and visit my parents tonight or tomorrow as it’s their anniversary and it would be good to see them before they go off on holiday. GP said this sounded like a good idea and that she would be happy to give me another 4 days worth of Nitrazepam for this weekend but she wanted me to do a trade with her. She knows my flat is only minutes from the surgery as she has been here the first time I got sectioned, she was the one who filled out the forms. So she said to me to come home, get all of the paracetamol I had stocked up and take them to her. If I handed over the 70g of paracetamol she would give me 8 x 5mg Nitrazepam (4 nights worth @ 10mg a night).

And then she mentioned the dreaded word.

Hospital.

If I didn’t hand over the pills not only would I not get the Nitrazepam to help me get some sleep but she would “realistically have to look at putting me somewhere safe”, she said we had to have a two way trust thing. I had to make her believe that I would not act upon any suicidal thoughts over the weekend and I would also try my hardest not to self harm again over the weekend. Instead I would try and spend time with friends and family and find things to do to keep my mind distracted. I would get rid of all the excess medication and in return she would let me stay at home and give me a few tablets to help me sleep.

At this point I am still saying that there is no way I am ever going back into the psych hospital and saying to her please don’t even mention hospitals but she said she had to be realistic and I was making her very concerned that I couldn’t keep myself safe. So I knew I had no choice but to come home and put every single tablet (besides my prescribed meds) into a bag and take them to her. Otherwise I was looking at a trip to the psych hospital and devastating my parents just as they are about to go off on a nice relaxing holiday.

So I did just that. I came home and put every tablet I had into a little bag. Then I took a box back out just so I had one. Then I took a second box back out so I had two. My head was saying she will never know the difference but something else in my head said I was only cheating myself. Then I started to cry because I just didn’t know what to do. In the end I put them all back in the bag and went back to the surgery. It was actually closed but she had stayed on for an extra half hour for me to go back. I handed the bag over to her and she had a look and could see there was around 140 x 500mg tablets like I’d said I had. She said I’d done the right thing and handed me a prescription for the Nitrazepam.

I have an appointment on Wednesday morning with Mr Psychiatrist and she said it might be an idea to ask for the Mirtazapine to be increased now as that will be about 4 weeks I’ll have been on it and I’m still just on the 15mg starter dose. She said she thinks it would be quite reasonable to go up to 30mg as I’m still so low in mood. I think the maximum you can take is 45mg. During the time I was gone (coming back home getting the tablets) she had a phonecall with Mr Psychiatrist – she said he phoned her regarding another patient and she decided to tell him about me while he was on the phone – but I always wonder when they say things like that if actually she just phoned him to tell him the situation. So when I got back she told me that Mr Psychiatrist was aware of the situation that I’d self harmed and had been stock piling paracetamol. So that will be a fun conversation on Wednesday. I’m now really scared he will mention hospital as well. The psych hospital they send you to here does not make you better (I don’t know if any psych hospitals do) but this one really doesn’t.

So it’s now almost 7pm Friday night. Somehow I have to make it to Monday morning. Lovely GP gave me another appointment to see her next Friday to let her know how I got on with Mr Psychiatrist and if there are to be any medication changes she will have had a letter from him by then.

I don’t know what I’m going to do all weekend. My Mum is off work tomorrow so I may spend some of the day with her. I don’t really want to tell her about the self harming as I don’t want her going away on holiday worried about me but at the same time I don’t want to keep it from her as I know it will get brought up at some meeting or another that she is at and she will find out anyway. So I guess if I mention it I have to say that I feel much better now that it’s out my system even if that is a complete lie.

I have the guys coming to put a new shower and shower cubicle in on Monday morning (at 8am grr) and they will be here til around Wednesday lunch time. That means I’ll have to go up to my parents house or out to best friend’s to have a shower for a couple of days. But it will be nice once it’s all done.

Argh. How the fuck am I going to get through this weekend? I’m tempted to go out and have some drinks tonight but I’m really not in the mood to socialise. Yet at the same time I know when I’m sitting here alone is when my head goes crazy. GP is trusting me to keep myself safe through the weekend, that if I even *feel* like hurting myself that I will go to a&e, and if I need support on Monday to call her and she will find time somewhere in the day to have a chat on the phone with me.

So I do feel a bit more supported now but equally I’m scared of my own thoughts. I’m really not sure how I feel about knowing all those tablets are gone, one part of me says I could go out and stock pile again over the weekend, another part of me feels slightly relieved that they are gone and that I can’t just decide fuck it I’ve had enough and reach for them.

It’s too early yet to take any meds, I still have the evening to get through, but I really hope the Nitrazepam work at least for tonight. I need to wake up feeling a bit more refreshed tomorrow and not let my mood get any lower or it will only be a matter of time before I’m taken back to that hell hole aka the psych hospital.

12:45 – I let them down, I am shit. They let me down, they are shit.

11 Sep

Yesterday I saw best friend for a while. We made plans to spend the day together today which I was more than happy to do. However then she started saying she wanted to go to a place that my agoraphobia has prevented me from going to for at least five years. I told her yesterday I didn’t think I would be able to get there but that I would think about it and look on google maps to see if there was a way I could go that would be least stressful. Anyway I woke up this morning feeling crappy, with no confidence in myself that I would be able to get there. I phoned her and apologised and explained that I didn’t want to try and fail, that I didn’t want to get half way there and freak out and have to come back and ruin the day. Her 3 year old was in the background crying his eyes out because he wanted to go to McDonalds (I haven’t had one of them in years as there is none anywhere near where I live) and was throwing a tantrum that Aunty E promised him she’d take him today and now he wasn’t getting to go. It made me feel absolutely awful. I didn’t promise, his Mum promised, despite me saying last night that I really didn’t think I would manage to travel that far today (two hour drive there and two hours back). It was just too far and the place is a busy industrial area with lots of cars, busy roads, roundabouts, people, fast roads, everything I’m scared of. So in the end she text me to say her other friend had offered to go with her instead so I told her she was probably best just to do that, then the little one is happy, she is happy and I’ll just have to deal with the fact that my fucking stupid agoraphobia prevented me from having a nice day out.

My CPN phoned me this morning to say she couldn’t make our appointment today. We didn’t even have an appointment today, on the appointment card the next one is for Sept 19th. Anyway she realised she’d made a mistake but said did I want to see her tomorrow at 1pm. So I said yeah OK. Then she asked me to write some sort of list about why my social worker shouldn’t work with me anymore or something. I asked her had my social worker asked for me to do this, she denied it and said she hadn’t even spoken to my social worker, but if that were the case then why would she be asking me in quite a strong and insistent manner to find reasons why my social worker shouldn’t discharge me off her caseload. I know my social worker wants to discharge me and I keep saying no because I want to keep the one person who has been there from day 1 really involved in my care team.

I’m actually pretty pissed off about all of it. At the last CPA I expressed my wishes for my social worker to stay involved in my care team. The psychiatrist asked my social worker what she thought and she agreed to continue to see me but just on a monthly basis. Now that was about five months ago I think and she never stuck to it, and I have never seen her since then, despite trying to make contact with her on several occasions. Then this new CPN appears into the picture and seems determined to break my care team completely apart even though she is leaving at the end of the month, it’s like she wants to get me off as many peoples caseloads as she can before she leaves.

She keeps going on about how I’m not the same person I was a year or two years ago. And to an extent she is right. Yes I can now think of consequences before acting on urges. I do not act impulsively so much any more and just deal with the consequences afterwards. I am not in and out of psychosis any more. However, with regards to recent events, i.e. the sexual assault, it has put me back into a really bad and dark place lately and I have been cutting and self medicating and battling with suicidal thoughts again. And they know this, I haven’t kept it a secret, I’ve told them straight out how I’m feeling and behaving. I feel at the moment like I need more support not less and yet CPN seems to want to leave me with just her as the only person I see on a regular basis. She is excellent when it comes to encouraging me to do positive things in my life, but she is useless when it comes to needing to talk about the bad stuff. Just last week for example on Friday when I told her on the phone I felt so extremely low, she was the CPN on duty that day, but she didn’t seem interested in talking to me about things. Instead she passed the buck to my GP, didn’t even have the decency to phone me back and tell me an appointment had been made for me with GP, she left the receptionist at the surgery to do that.

My CPN is always chopping and changing our appointments and it’s always because “there’s a lot going on today”, “I need to attend an emergency”, “there is something that is a priority for me to deal with”…. But I am never one of those people needing dealt with. My self harming and suicidal thoughts/intentions do not matter in her eyes. Maybe because I have been doing it for so long she thinks I won’t really act on things and that I am well enough now to weigh up the consequences of my actions so she doesn’t need to see me when I feel so low. It just feels like she has come along out of nowhere and when I feel suicidal her words to me are “if you decide to act on those thoughts then that is your decision and only you can make that decision” – what happened to, “use the duty system, see whoever is on duty, go over the crisis plan and make plans to keep me safe over the next 24 hours”???

I actually feel like writing a letter, not of complaint but just to make the manager of the mental health team aware that my social worker has never stuck to her agreement made at the last CPA, my CPN offers me no help when I have recently been through a traumatic event, one which has put me back into suicidal thinking mode and when I asked for help from her she simply told me it was my decision whether or not I acted on my thoughts and to see my GP. She never uses my crisis plan so what the fuck is the point of it? What was the point in spending the entire time with the previous temporary CPN making a crisis plan for it never to be used? What is the point to these CPA meetings when members of my care team don’t stick to what they are supposed to do?

I’m feeling in a horrible place today. I have let my best friend down and her little boy. The 3 year old currently hates me for not taking him to get his bloody McDonalds. My CPN is phoning me asking me to find reasons as to why I shouldn’t be discharged from my social worker’s caseload. My CPN doesn’t give a flying fuck about the fact I’m self harming again or expressing suicidal desires. I have let myself down by not trying to have the day out that best friend wanted. I am sitting here alone and feeling rotten. In tears. With the only thoughts in my head to do something bad. I keep trying to force my head to think no I won’t do anything bad, instead I will see what uni work I can do today, but the bad thoughts are just outweighing all other thoughts.

I am sick of all this crying and cutting but it’s the only thing keeping me going. That and really not wanting to end up in the place I was in a year or 2 years ago. But that also scares me, because I know I don’t want to end up back in that place – psych hospital – so I know that if I do act on the suicidal thoughts I will do my damn best to make sure it actually works. And then that brings me onto the thoughts of how that would affect my lovely parents and then I just end up in tears again.

Why is it that the only person who can see that I am a bloody mess right now is me?