Tag Archives: support worker

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

22 Jun

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

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

Anyways… moving along…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you all have a nice weekend folks xx

 

15:19 – Tougher than I thought

14 Jun

I have been really trying to keep myself busy since I last posted as the past few days have been tougher than I thought. I’m noticing that as soon as I don’t have something to do my head keeps wandering off to thoughts about the blood test results this coming Tuesday. I keep running through all the if’s, but’s and maybe’s, I keep imagining all sorts of things like how the doctors face would look and what she would say if the test came back positive. I wonder whether I should go on my own or take someone with me. I just seem to think think think, constantly running through every possible outcome and scenario in my head.

Yesterday I went to my appointment with my rape crisis support worker and she offered to come with me to get the results but then when I said it was Tuesday I had to go she realised she would be in another area at the time so she can’t come after all. I got a good bit off my chest in our appointment though and whilst I’m still terrified of getting the results, I think I’m probably also trying to mentally prepare myself for bad news. I just can’t allow myself to think “it will probably be negative” instead it’s like I have to prepare myself for the worst so that if I do get bad news I don’t fall to pieces.

So after my appointment I went to meet best friend and the kids and we decided to spend the afternoon together and go for some lunch. We went to a really nice place that felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, it was an old barn on a farm converted into a little restaurant with a kids play corner to keep them busy. After we had finished eating we got to pick some fresh rhubarb and collect the eggs the hens had been laying so it was a nice stress-free couple of hours as the kids were occupied and best friend could relax and chat without constantly having to tell them to behave. I decided to tell her about the HIV test on our way back home as the kids had fallen asleep in their car seats. She instantly offered to come with me and when I told her how worried I’ve been/still am she said I should have told her and not kept it bottled up. Anyway, at least I know now that she will come with me on Tuesday if I decide I can’t face going on my own and it helped again to get some of the worries off my chest.

We decided to take the ‘scenic route’ home and it took forever! Thankfully I had taken some diazepam in my bag because the road seemed never ending and consisted of a single track road that went on for about 20 miles but we couldn’t go faster than 30mph the whole time we were on it, plus the drop into a ditch on one side and the drop down into the water on the other side didn’t help lessen my anxiety. As we decided to stop off at a couple of places on the way home and we popped in to see best friend’s aunt for a while it ended up being 7pm by the time I finally got back home. Then of course I spent all of last night sitting here worrying myself stupid again.

This morning I had an appointment with the dietician but I didn’t hear my alarm going off and missed it so I’ll need to phone and get another one. I can’t remember if I already said this in my last post but I got a letter at the start of the week from CPN#2 asking me to make contact with her as I haven’t attended the last couple of appointments she’s given me. In fact I think that’s a good 3 or 4 weeks now since I last saw her. Needless to say I still haven’t contacted her.

Part of me actually feels like disengaging with the mental health team and just doing it alone as CPN#2 and my old psychologist (who I’m supposed to be seeing again in the near future) both want me to do this Compassionate Mind program. They both really believe that learning the skills that program teaches will help me live with less anxiety and be able to be kind to myself and soothe myself as opposed to harming myself. But I just don’t think it’s right for me, I have a really hard time in grasping the very basics and it doesn’t help matters that I have this deep seated belief that I do not deserve any compassion. So the combination of not wanting to do that work with them and the recent disaster of an appointment with the new psychiatrist last week both just leave me thinking I don’t want to work with these people, I don’t really want to see them, I don’t think I’m going to find any benefit from seeing them or from doing this whole being compassionate towards yourself shit. I am still planning on sending a letter to new psychiatrist to explain all of my concerns from our appointment but I want my support worker to help me write it (which we were going to do at yesterday’s appointment but then it was spent with me freaking about the blood test results).

Talking of the blood test results (again) I don’t know if I’m more pleased or scared that I have got through Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and now we’re on Friday so I really just need to get through the weekend now. Halfway through a long seven days. As soon as I’m finished rambling on here I need to go and get some food shopping done as my fridge and cupboards are empty. I don’t have anything planned for tonight so I’ll need to find something to do to keep me distracted and then tomorrow I need to get a card and present seeing as it’s father’s day here in the UK on Sunday. So at least I have some things to do to try and pass some more time. Hopefully the weekend will fly by for as much as I’m terrified about the results I really just want to know now one way or the other so I can deal with whatever outcome I’m given.

Right… ramble over…

Have a nice weekend folks xx

14:15 – Meet new psychiatrist today and an anxious mess

5 Jun

In just over an hour I have my first appointment with the new psychiatrist and I am sitting here with absolutely awful anxiety, my heart is pounding so fast in my chest that I can almost taste each beat in my mouth. I’ve tried to distract myself all morning but it isn’t working. I’ve tried taking some Diazepam which are also refusing to fully work. I’ve tried breathing slowly and mindfully (also didn’t help) so now I’m trying to work out what it is that’s making me get myself in such a mess. I know that part of it is because it’s a new and unfamiliar person which always causes me some degree of anxiety, and I know the fact it is an unfamiliar male that I will have to be in a room alone with is contributing quite a lot as well. I could take a friend with me and get them to sit in the waiting room so I know there is a ‘safe’ person just outside the door but I think I’ve left it a bit late to ask someone to come now.

Usually my answer at this point would be to take the easy option and just not go. But the new psychiatrist phoned and left me a voicemail a couple of weeks ago to say he needed to change my appointment time and the following day I called his secretary to confirm the new time was OK so now I would feel like I was messing them about if I didn’t turn up. I try to keep on telling myself that if I’m still in so much of an anxious mess when I get to the appointment then all I need to do is say so and tell the psychiatrist that I can’t stay for long. Even just writing that has sent another wave of panic through me.

I just had one of those lightbulb moments where I think I’ve worked out the answer – it’s the fear of the unknown isn’t it? Not knowing what this new psychiatrist’s attitude towards self harming will be, whether he will try and make any changes to my medications (which I don’t want), whether he will be understanding and seem like he’s interested or whether he’ll just sit asking questions and staring at a notepad writing shit down the full time. Will he give me as much time as I need whether that is ten minutes or an hour or will he just rush me in and out… I guess the only way I find out the answers is to go to the appointment.

Ugh less than an hour to go now…

I still haven’t seen CPN#2 so I’m guessing she is waiting on me to make contact but I’m still in self isolating mode and hiding from everyone. My rape crisis support worker sent me a message yesterday offering me an appointment with her for tomorrow (Thursday) but I haven’t replied. I have been going out and have been taking the dogs to the beach most days as the weather has been really nice but I just don’t want to see or talk to anyone I know. I can put up with other dog walkers that I meet as they generally just say hello in passing and if they do make conversation you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be dog-related. Friends, family, professionals – they can all tell when I’m bullshitting them about being ‘okay’ and then they have to start pushing for ‘the truth’. Surely by now they should all know me well enough to know that this is just what I do. I hide away from everyone because I don’t want them to see the all of the mixed up moods I’m having and also because it’s too much hard work to keep up the ‘I’m OK’ front for long.

Ugh half an hour til I have to leave… why is time flying by so quickly… it needs to slow down…

One anxiety which has calmed down a bit is the anxiety over having so much medication in the house. I seem to be getting used to it and can open and close the cupboard door now without freaking out at the sight of it all and so far I am managing to take all meds correctly, I haven’t missed any or taken too much of anything.

One anxiety which has appeared out of nowhere is that something is going to happen to me which is going to kill me and I’m going to be all alone when it happens. Like I say I don’t know what started it off but the thoughts just appear from nowhere and then I’m sitting here getting really scared that every little niggle I feel (which are most likely anxiety feelings) are actually something a lot more sinister. Then before I know it I’m searching through all kinds of articles that Dr Google refers me too and convincing myself I have all manner of things wrong with me and all of them being things that are going to make me like a ticking time-bomb where I could die at any time. I wrote down a little list of things I need to go to the doctor and be tested for but I don’t want to sound like  a hypochondriac so I have very firmly had words with myself that we don’t need to develop any new phobias thank you very much. The thoughts are however still niggling away at me.

2.10pm… twenty minutes until appointment… ten minutes until I need to leave…

I guess I had better get myself ready to leave. Hopefully the appointment will go well and I’ll have been getting myself all in a panic for nothing. Just have to keep telling myself that I *can* escape, that I’m not trapped in the room, that it’s a psychiatrist that I’m going to see so if I just explain that I’m experiencing a lot of anxiety they should be understanding about it, and that even if it is awful it will all be over with within an hour.

Right time to leave… I might write another little post later on about how it went… Deep breath and go, go, go…

00:21 – Terrified of the wrong side winning

12 May

“Do you know what I’m really terrified of? The wrong side winning. It’s as though my mind has split in two and I have no control over it. And the thing is, I’m beginning to get confused about which side is right and which is wrong.”

(Victoria Leatham)

 

That quote above couldn’t be more true right now. My mind is split in two and it is driving me mad, it’s tormenting me constantly, it’s trying so hard to pull me backwards and make me fall with an almighty bang. I have two things going on inside my head right now and the voices keep cropping up as well, making sure that my head is constantly busy.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been finding it incredibly difficult to watch television. I feel as though everything I watch is trying to trigger me, like the programmes are being deliberately controlled by someone to make sure just about anything I try to watch either leaves me feeling panicky or in floods of tears. There are two reasons for this, one is that I can’t seem to watch anything even a tiny bit upsetting or I end up in these moments of intense sadness and tears. The other is because there have been so many alleged cases of historical sexual abuse by soap stars and TV presenters reported recently that I feel as though every time I see a news report it is trying to fuck my head up. I start to wonder if this is a deliberate attempt to see if watching TV could send me properly bonkers.

I don’t know if this will make any sense, but some of the men accused I associate with happy childhood memories of seeing them in kids TV programs and others I have kind of grown up with as TV soap stars. And because my childhood wasn’t always happy as I was abused myself for a large part of it, when I see these news reports this noise starts up in my head just of laughter, a sick laughter that goes on and on until I switch the TV off. It’s not good enough just to put it on standby, it must be switched off at the wall. When I see/hear these reports I feel as though the evil laughter in my head is just one final way of reminding me that even the innocent happy memories of my childhood can be tarnished so easily.

One part of me reacts to it all angrily – very angrily – and I find myself sitting here thinking that all men are complete wankers, that I will never have another relationship because at the age of 31 I’ve had so many bad experiences with men that I genuinely do not believe I could ever trust one again. Even in the last week I have seen yet again just how much they can leave me feeling dirty and ashamed. I got talking to a guy online and after a few nights talking online he asked if he could have my number. Like a fucking idiot I gave it to him and he called me for a chat. It was pretty awkward at first as I sort of clammed up and didn’t feel like I had much to say for myself – I fucking hate phone conversations, they make me feel really anxious when it’s someone I don’t know. But I stuck with it as I’d had my medication and waited to see if I would calm down a bit and be able to chat away to him. Eventually I did start to calm and we talked about loads of different things. It was him who said he had just seen someone posting one of those stupid sick jokes that always go round when the media report that well known people have been arrested on rape or abuse charges. He asked me what I thought of it and as I’d already been honest about my mental health problems I figured I’d try telling him the truth. So I told him I hated hearing about it all as it triggered a lot of memories from times I had been abused. He sounded a bit sad when I said that and asked me what had happened. I didn’t go into great detail about the adult experiences but told him I’d been abused by an older cousin throughout my childhood. He began to ask a lot of questions and I thought it was just his way of asking to understand what I’d gone through, he sounded like he was asking it in a caring sort of way, and even though it felt a bit weird to be having such a deep conversation with someone who was still a stranger it also felt nice to be able to be open from the start with someone. He began to ask more details – how old was I when it first happened? What did he make me do to him? What did he do to me? How did he get me to keep it a secret? I answered the first couple of questions feeling OK but the more questions he asked the more I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. I could hear his breathing going funny when I was talking. At one point I thought he had fallen asleep as the breathing became so loud. And then it dawned on me what he was doing on the other end of the phone. I didn’t want to believe it but I couldn’t ignore it, I had to ask him what he was doing? Why was he breathing like that? Had he fallen asleep? How I wish he had fallen asleep because I was completely unprepared for his upfront answer that he was “getting off”, what did I think he’d do if I started “talking like that”?

I hung up immediately and burst into tears, went over to the wall and stood there banging my head against it over and over until the tears stopped. I had allowed it to happen. I was to blame. I made him aroused by telling him about some of my most painful experiences. I felt so stupid. So fucking stupid. But it is just another incident to remind me that apart from my Dad and my brother, I must look at every man like he has the potential to hurt me even if it starts making my head go crazy. I’ve been getting these rushes of ideas going through my head, things that could land me in serious trouble if I were to act on them, like carrying some kind of weapon so that if I ever get caught off guard I’d be protected. But obviously that is highly illegal in this country. Usually when I am in some type of depressive or paranoid episode I prefer to go out during the night when nobody is around. The dark makes me feel safe and protected, the day time busy-ness makes me paranoid and anxious. But this time it’s different, the daytime busy-ness protects me and keeps me safe. At night time I am vulnerable and terrified. I might not be allowed to carry any type of weapon to protect myself but I do let one of the dogs off his lead and walk with it wrapped tightly around my hand, I hold the thick metal end tightly as images rush through my head telling me to make sure I’m ‘ready’ if anyone tries to hurt me in any way. Thankfully there is only one walk a day that I have to do when it’s dark but it is getting harder and harder because I have to stay so alert to anyone else whose around. I can’t relax, my heart beats so fast I can hear it in my chest and I keep one of the dogs next to me at all times because I know they will bark like mad if anyone approaches us, especially in the dark.

When I’m not thinking of all possible scenarios whereby a man could hurt me I am thinking about all the possible ways I could hurt myself. It’s not enough just having these violent thoughts towards potential ‘abusers’ – my thoughts race off in another direction telling me that I clearly deserve to be hurt and abused because it’s happened to me by so many men at various ages throughout my life. I must attract it somehow. They must be able to tell just by looking at me that by slipping something into a drink or by acting all caring and sweet to get me into a conversation with them that they’ll be able to make me do things for their perverted pleasures. They must just be able to tell by looking at me that they’ll be able to use me for what they want then fuck off and leave me to pick up the pieces. I told my support worker at Rape Crisis all of this on Wednesday and she told me it’s not uncommon for women who have been abused in some way to go on to have a string of abusive relationships or experiences. I think the sick fuckers can smell vulnerability and just have to try their luck. So yeah, along with the thoughts of wanting to castrate every man who has ever hurt me there are also a lot of thoughts and urges to self harm. I want to see the rivers of blood trickling out of me, I want to grab a blade and cut and cut and cut. But I don’t want to go to A&E, my legs are still in an absolute mess from the last self harm episode, I’ve got an area on one of the cuts where I think I’ve done some kind of nerve damage as there is a bit about the size of a 50p which is completely numb, I can’t feel a thing when I press down on it, even with something sharp.

It terrifies me to have thoughts about hurting other people and I have to keep telling myself over and over that I’m just being overly alert and that it IS safe to keep going outside. I know I would never act on them unless I was put into an extremely threatening position by someone. But then one part of my head screams so loudly that I deserve for another man to hurt me, I deserve to be used and abused and left even more broken than I am just now. And that just feeds the images and the urges to self harm again, because I believe I deserve to be cut, scarred and to look as disgusting as I do. I should look even more disgusting than I do now, I should be covered from head to toe in self mutilated wounds. Then no-one would ever want to come near me again. By making myself less and less attractive I can protect myself, or so the racing thoughts and occasional voices blurt out to me.

What was the quote I started with again?

“Do you know what I’m really terrified of? The wrong side winning. It’s as though my mind has split in two and I have no control over it. And the thing is, I’m beginning to get confused about which side is right and which is wrong.”

Which is the wrong side? I guess it’s the thoughts of hurting someone. I can’t control the thoughts, but I can control my actions. I think. And like the quote says, I truly am terrified of this side winning.

So which is the right side? I wish there was a side which believed that one day I will recover from all of this and achieve some things with my life. I wish I could believe there is a right side and it is going to be a place where if not happy, I’m at least content. But I don’t believe that is going to happen so instead I have to wonder if the right side is actually all these thoughts and encouraging voices telling me to hurt myself? Hurting myself feels right. It’s what I do. It makes me focus on a different kind of pain, a physical ache feels so much better than an emotional one. After all, I can see what is causing my pain when I can see that I’m covered in stitches and the variety of wounds all at various stages of healing.

I simply do not believe that I am ever going to escape these intrusive thoughts or escape from the self harming behaviours. I have been self harming for 17/18 years now. The voices have come and gone so many times I’ve lost count over the past 4 years or so. Feeling different in every way from every one I know has been a part of my life for too long now, and whilst I may have avoided any psych hospital admissions for over a year, my head is still very messed up. I don’t feel in control, I feel like something dark and sinister is controlling me, something that only gives me very occasional glimpses of feeling normal or even the tiniest glimpse of happiness, and then snatches them away from me… coming back every single time to ensure they can torment me a little bit more.

I still have so much more to say but I think I better end this post now, it’s got pretty long and the more I write the more messed up my head gets. I was also going to mention that whilst I did go to see my support worker on Wednesday, I phoned up with an excuse not to see CPN#2 on Friday. I think I just didn’t want to take the chance of opening up and all of the above pouring out because I already know what her response will be. It will be the usual bollocks about how I “will get better” and “will get through this” I just need to “learn coping techniques” that will work for me and then my life will somehow miraculously be cured of any mentalness. Plus there is the risk if you mention even having violent thoughts towards others – even if you know you wouldn’t act on them – that they still might get concerned enough to start assessing if you could really be a risk to others. And I’m not… well so long as no one tries to hurt me I’m not. Isn’t that a complete contradiction? I don’t want anyone to hurt me yet the only way I know to cope is to hurt myself? It might not make a great deal of sense to anyone apart from me.

On that note I think it is time for bed. I might try and write some more tomorrow if I feel like I can write something that makes a bit more sense. I don’t know if any of the 2500 words I’ve just written even make any sense at all. But my medication is kicking in and I need to try and sleep… I’m sure I’ve been writing this for over an hour now.

Goodnight folks, and I hope you’re all having a good weekend xx

23:37 – It’s not going good at all

14 Apr

[Warning – Graphic Descriptions of Self Harm in Post]

It’s just getting worse. Worse and worse. I feel really low and the only thought revolving around my head is to cut myself. I want to make it clear that I am NOT suicidal, I do NOT want to die, I just can’t distract myself from the constant flashes in front of my eyes of me doing something harmful to myself (or other people which is very out of character for me). The constant thoughts are about cutting mostly.

I sent an email to rape crisis support worker tonight and basically sent her the stuff I’ve written on here for the past couple of nights. She knows I write a blog but she isn’t very technical minded so I’m not worried about her coming across my ramblings here.

I have taken too much medication this evening but it was sort of by accident. Well it wasn’t really an accident at all, it was more a case of realising I’d forgotten to take ANY medication today so around 8pm I just took my full day and full night’s tablets in one. I thought maybe a big surge of medication in my system might make everything feel much less fucked up but I just feel a little groggy… This could be a good thing as it might mean I will sleep tonight. It would help a lot if I could get a full 7 or 8 hours uninterrupted sleep.

Back to the self harming. The cutting. Male voice is very prominent and has insulted every single thing I’ve done today. He has a broad Scottish accent and whilst I haven’t seen him I have an idea of what he might look like from how he talks and certain little quirks that he has. I am a bit scared of this next impending self harm episode because he wants me to leave marks that will be even harder to explain, he wants me to draw certain symbols into my flesh with blades, he wants me to cut so deep I can truly see the inside of my body… not just some yellow globule like bits of flesh but proper muscle, bone and tendon. I’m not going to lie, that does actually scare me a little. I am well aware that it doesn’t take that much of a slip of the hand to do permanent irreversible damage but the urges, the orders, the ideas… they are all sucking me in.

I’ve done so well to have only had a couple of slip ups in the past year and I most certainly do not ever want to re-visit the place I was in a few years ago. I’m genuinely terrified of the psych hospital and genuinely scared of how I would react if I was ever faced with that situation again.

Anyway… I’m sorry it’s not been a more cheery post… I did send an email to my support worker at rape crisis earlier and she replied saying all nice and supportive things but male voice just laughed loudly throughout the whole time I was trying to read. He knows he’s going to win and I know he’s going to win. The only plan I can have is to somehow try and very much limit the damage so it’s only one more scar to deal with… if he has it his way I won’t even be able to see the flesh on my limbs he wants that much of my ugliness cut away.

I wonder how many hours/days/weeks it will take before I reach the point of doing ANYTHING to shut him up once and for all.

01:37 – A long but good day

5 Apr

It’s been a long but pretty good day today. I’m pretty tired and planning to head off to bed shortly but thought I’d have a little ramble about my day first. My day started when I woke up absolutely freezing cold on the sofa around 4am. I got up and put the heating on and then got into bed but couldn’t sleep even though I was totally shattered. I sat in bed playing about on my new phone until the room was nice and warm and then around 6am I finally fell back asleep. I woke up at 9.30am and decided I better get up and face the day.

Had a shower after entering personal hygiene fail status again, got dressed, took the dogs a walk, took my medication… seemed like the start of a good day but then I came back home to kill a couple of hours before my appointment with my rape crisis support worker and in those couple of hours I turned into an anxious mess. Anxious about quite a few things, some things there was no need to be anxious about but I began to realise that what I was really anxious about was the unknown. For example, we are all going out on Saturday night for best friend’s birthday and they are all wearing little skimpy short dresses whereas I have to keep my body completely covered up. Even though my outfit is nice I still can’t help but feel like the fat frumpy covered up one of the group. I don’t particularly want to go out drinking, I can’t enjoy a night out these days as I spend the whole time on hyper alert mode watching everyone and suspicious of everyone and I can’t ever seem to relax and join in when everyone is a bit drunk and hitting the dancefloor… instead I hide in a corner and if any man comes within a couple of feet of me the look I give them makes them quickly turn around and walk away. Sometimes I wish I could be fun and carefree and dance and laugh and drink and flirt but I just can’t. I am shit company on a night out these days and if it wasn’t best friend’s birthday I wouldn’t be going.

So yeah, by the time I was leaving the house to go to my appointment I was feeling panicky and anxious and was wanting to just cancel it and hide indoors all day but I fought back and went to the appointment. It took a while for the anxiety to calm down but it did and we got some good talking done. I left the appointment feeling a bit calmer and then went to meet best friend. I asked her a couple of weeks ago what she wanted for her birthday but she kept saying she didn’t know and then yesterday she said she would really like it if we could go somewhere nice for a meal and spend an evening just having a laugh and some adult conversation as her kids are staying at their dad’s this week and we NEVER get to go out for a lunch or dinner without the kids. And even though the kids are pretty well behaved you can’t completely relax as you always have to keep one eye on them and do the whole “if you don’t eat your food you aren’t getting any sweets afterwards” speech. So I’d asked her if she’d like me to pay for us to go somewhere and pay for a nice meal in a nice restaurant as a birthday present and she said that would be lovely.

It was really nice to spend the evening together with no kids and I’d left the dogs at home so it was just me and her talking about everything and anything. The restaurant we went to was lovely, quite expensive and we had a half hour wait for a table to come free but the food was so tasty it was worth it. We ended up having a really good laugh talking about lots of random things that have happened to us over the past seven years we have been friends. Reminiscing and stuff… it was good… and the hours just seemed to fly by 🙂

I’ve been home for about an hour and I am so so tired. Tonight has to be a proper full nights sleep, my body badly needs it. At the moment I don’t have anything planned for tomorrow although my Mum has the day off work so I might try and spend a couple of hours with her. I’m still feeling very nervous about going out on Saturday night but I’m trying to just think about the here and now and not think about Saturday until it is Saturday… easier said than done though!

And as it’s now 1.30am I think it’s time to watch a little half hour of TV then head off to bed. I can feel my medication starting to kick in and the yawns are starting now as well… so on that note I shall say goodnight.

Overall, a good (but long) day 🙂

23:38 – Being trusted by GP for the first time in over 3 years

3 Apr

For over 3 years now I have received my medication on a weekly basis. Every Wednesday I have to go to the chemist and pick up my weekly script. Every four weeks when I get a new prescription I have to sit for ages whilst the pharmacist splits it all up into 4 separate weekly bags. For pretty much all of this time (apart from when I’ve had medication changes) my meds cupboard has looked the same every week:

14 x 25mg Quetiapine

14 x 200mg Quetiapine

7 x 300mg Quetiapine

7 x 30mg Mirtazapine

56 x 2mg Diazepam

All the tablets precisely counted out so I take 750mg of Quetiapine each day, 30mg of Mirtazapine and 16mg of Diazepam (4mg 4xday).

Getting meds weekly is never something I’ve argued about. I understand that when things are quite unstable it is not a good idea to have loads of tablets in the house. And it also helps keep track of what I’ve taken each day when there is only a small amount of medication to start with. However, it has now been quite a long time that I have gone with no hospital admissions and whilst I may still be struggling with the self harm I would choose cutting rather than overdosing 9.9 times out of 10 if I wanted/needed to hurt myself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – that last overdose I took, the one which almost killed me, scared the utter shit out of me. No more overdoses for me – if I ever reach a point of being that suicidal again it will be a quick and definite ending – not shovelling pills down my throat.

Sorry… I’m going off at a bit of a tangent here… Back to the point!

This morning I had an appointment with lovely GP. She asked how things have been going and said she had seen a copy of the letter after my recent trip to A&E. I told her the thoughts and images and urges to do it had just got too bad that day and I’d given in, but that I also regretted it very soon afterwards. She asked what support I was receiving at the moment and I told her I’m on the waiting list to see the psychologist again once she returns to work (hopefully at the end of this month) and I told her I was trying to work on some of my issues surrounding both the childhood and adult sexual abuse/sexual assault I have suffered. She said that sounded like hard work to do and I agreed it is, but it’s something I’ve never properly dealt with and it’s something I need to do before I end up with a genuine phobia of even being in the same street as a man. She asked how my university course is going and I told her the truth – shit – due to my total inability to concentrate or focus on the course work. To be honest I think I’m going to get kicked off the course which is pretty bad given that I’m only being expected to do the absolute minimal level of work this semester… but it would seem that even the minimum is just too much for my mind to process and understand 😦 So overall I was open and honest with lovely GP, I admitted there are some days that are pretty challenging especially when my sleep is crap like at the moment; but also told her that whilst my head might feel a bit bonkers at times I have no thoughts of ending my life at all and still regret cutting.

After we had a chat for ten minutes or so I decided it was time to brave it and ask the question that I’ve been wanting to ask for a while now but kept thinking she would say no so I hadn’t bothered before now. But today I felt like we had a rational chat and identified the good and bad things going on and I felt quite calm so out came the big question…

“Doctor, as I haven’t been in hospital for quite some time and as I don’t have any urges to harm myself, would you consider trusting me to have more than one week’s medication at a time?”

And to my surprise she said she was confident that if I did have any suicidal type thoughts that I would ask for help and not take an overdose. She asked me if we could have a mutual trust agreement that if she gave me a chance to prove I could be responsible with a lot more medication in the house that I would agree that if I did feel particularly low at any time I would contact someone…anyone…and get help. I agreed to this and so she agreed to give me a chance with the medication. I expected her to give me two week’s worth to start with but she gave me all four week’s worth which sort of shocked me a little bit. I know I can be trusted and I want so much not to let lovely GP down but fuck it is a bit scary having so many tablets in the cupboard. It’s probably just because it’s so unfamiliar to be given so much trust, but if it continues to feel weird I will do the right thing and take some of it to my Mum’s house or something.

So I now have in my cupboard:

56 x 25mg Quetiapine

56 x 200mg Quetiapine

28 x 300mg Quetiapine

28 x 30mg Mirtazapine

226 x 2mg Diazepam

2013-04-03 11.50.49

Wow. It feels so weird to be trusted again. So weird that my head feels so utterly crazy at moments and yet it’s like I’m determined to see this as some sort of a challenge – a test if you like – that I can have these crazy moments but somehow deal with them in a way that doesn’t involve abusing medication in any way. I am determined in 28 days time that I will have taken my medication properly and at the correct times and the correct dosages every single day. I’m not going to let myself down and I’m not going to let lovely GP down. If that’s the only one thing I manage to do over the next 4 weeks then I will be happy. Happy they can trust me and happy that I can trust myself.

I cancelled my appointment with my support worker today as I got absolutely zero sleep last night then was up early to go see GP and by the time it got to 1pm I was like a total zombie. So we have rearranged for tomorrow.

I also got a new phone today and I’m such a happy bunny! (well besides the guilt trip I’m putting myself on)… I used to have the Samsung Galaxy S2 phone but it broke and for at least six months now I’ve been using this shitty little phone that doesn’t do much more than make calls and send texts. I’m not due a contract upgrade until September and really was trying to make do with the shitty phone until then, but then last night I got chatting to someone on Facebook who was selling their Galaxy S3 at a really good price (but still pretty expensive). I said I was really interested and would love to buy it but there was no way I could afford that much money, it would take me at least a month to save up for… Then about an hour later I got a message which basically said “look I know you pretty well, I’ve known you for years, I know you aren’t going to run off with the phone and disappear, I’m not desperate for the money so if you want to pay me in 4 weekly instalments then you can have the phone”… Of course I couldn’t resist that offer so this morning we met up and I handed over my first weekly instalment and got the phone and I’m so in love with it already! Plus I know that in six months it will still be worth a little bit of money so when I get my upgrade I can sell this one and get a bit of money back again.

In a way I feel a bit guilty for treating myself to something I didn’t actually need. I could have lived without it. But at the same time I very rarely go for nights out any more, I rarely buy myself new clothes or nice things for myself, the most extravagant treats I have are the occasional lunch out with best friend or my mum. At least this treat will last much longer than a bowl of pasta or something! But yeah I still have this niggling voice at the back of my mind telling me I didn’t need or deserve such a big treat and it makes it hard to truly enjoy something when you’re feeling guilty for allowing yourself to have it.

Anyways… after being up all day yesterday and all night during the night and then up all day again today I am starting to get extremely tired so it’s time for a quick dog walk, medication and furry pyjamas on and with any luck get some sleep tonight.

Goodnight folks xx

01:03 – Learning not all men are bad

14 Feb

As is becoming the norm at the moment I’ll start tonight’s ramble with a Charlie dog update. He has got his belly compression bandage off – I’m not entirely sure why as the vet took it off during the night but then was off today so I’ll ask her tomorrow as it was supposed to be staying on for a week. He seemed happy to see me today, the tail was wagging and I got slobbery kisses! I think he was a bit more chilled out because he’d got to spend the day on the big doggy bed in the office as there was only 2 staff in, rather than in his kennel. He was a bit reluctant to go into his kennel when I was leaving but a little bit of food enticed him in and he soon settled down. I’ll pop in again for half an hour tomorrow afternoon or should I say later today – didn’t even realise it was past midnight!

What else have I done today? I had an appointment with my support worker at rape crisis. It’s becoming more and more apparent each week that I have a session with her that I have built up much more of a wall around me than what I first thought. We talked about some situations where I was alone with males and how I seem to view pretty much every single one of them as a potential threat now. I didn’t even realise just how much I was constantly “on guard” and actually how tiring it is to live that way – always paranoid that something bad could potentially happen. We talked about me trying out a method whereby, the next time I find myself in a situation where it’s just one male and me that I have to weigh up the probability or likelihood of that particular male being any sort of danger to me. For example, being alone with my Dad I know I am safe and he is no danger to me and the likelihood of him ever being a danger to me is minuscule. If I was to attend an appointment with Mr Psychiatrist or a male GP and was in a room alone with them but inside a building with other people I know the likelihood of them doing anything to me again is tiny.

But a night out where there is drink or possibly drugs involved is riskier, peoples behaviour becomes unpredictable and then maybe in that situation it is OK to be a little bit on guard because the likelihood of someone touching me in a way I don’t want to be touched is a little bit higher. So yeah, we spent quite a while talking about all sorts of situations and how likely it would realistically be for there to be danger or cause to keep myself alert to what’s going on around me. So it was quite a good session and she left me with some things to think about. I guess if I can start assessing situations and becoming more comfortable around guys again then I can start to believe that not all men are bad.

After the appointment I met up with my Mum and she took me shopping so my fridge is no longer empty and I have enough food to last at least five days 🙂 It has been a horrible day here, I woke up to see thick snow covering the ground then all afternoon it rained that horrible sleety stuff – it still looks pretty horrible out and I need to take my other little dog out for a walk before bed.

Tomorrow I have to get some studying done. I’m waiting to hear back from my student support advisor though, she replied to my email where I explained I was struggling a lot at the moment and I asked if I could just do one module this semester and re-take the other one over the summer or something. So she replied to say she thought that was a good idea but had to find out which of the two modules I should do at the moment and which I could drop for now. She said she should have an answer for me by the end of the week. If I could drop down to one then I think I would have a much better chance of being able to catch up and keep up with the lesser workload.

Anyway seeing as it’s almost 1am I guess I better go out with the dog for a quick walk and get myself to bed. Oh, and happy valentines day to any of you loved up romantics out there!

00:13 – Stressed. Stressed. Stressed.

13 Feb

Firstly a Charlie dog update. This morning he had his third operation in the past seven days and they managed to drain all the fluid and blood that had shown up on the ultrasound scan yesterday. He now has what looks like a plaster cast all the way round his stomach which looks quite strange but it’s holding everything nice and tight to help things heal better. He was in a funny mood today, he didn’t want to have a little walk around the car park, he pulled me back towards the vet’s front door. So I took him back in but he didn’t want to go back into his bed at all and refused to walk so the vet just carried him back through. Then she had a chat to me for five or ten minutes and the whole time all I could hear was this high pitched howling and crying – I’ve never heard Charlie do that before and it was pretty upsetting. I’m now questioning whether I should go in every day and see him – am I just upsetting him by going and then leaving again or would he be more upset if I didn’t go in at all for a couple of days? I don’t know.

So he is back to being “critical” but we are very much hoping this is third time lucky and the last operation he’s going to need but they have told me there is a chance these pockets of fluid could happen again. So the goal for the moment is to get him to rest as much as possible for the rest of the week and to make sure his temperature stays down and carry on with all of his medications. I so hope this is the last of all his problems and he can finally start to heal.

My head has been pretty pickled again today – well it calmed down slightly after I got the call mid afternoon to say Charlie’s operation was over – but in general I’ve been feeling pretty mixed up. As I’m getting so behind with my part time university course I decided to send the student support woman an email explaining that I was having a bit of an unstable period at the moment and finding it impossible to concentrate and absorb the course material. I asked if there was any way I could just do one module this semester as that would really help me to catch up and make the reduced workload more manageable. She sent me a reply to say she was going to speak with my personal academic tutor and see if they can work out a way I can just do one of the two modules this semester and re-take the other one at a later date. I really hope I will be able to do it that way but she said I’ll need to give them a few days to work out if it would be possible for me to do the course one module at a time. She was really nice about things in her email so I’m glad I let her know how much I’m struggling and didn’t leave it for another couple of weeks when I may have ended up too far behind for it to be possible to catch up.

I spent a few hours with my Mum again this afternoon, I just couldn’t handle sitting in the house. Even though I knew I have so much studying to do I was just driving myself mad sitting about. So I went to the parents house and stayed there until it was almost 5pm and time to go and visit Charlie.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my support worker at rape crisis and my Mum said she would take me supermarket shopping as my finances are in a real mess at the moment and I have hardly any food in the house. I don’t know what I’d do without my Mum sometimes, I’m so lucky to have someone who can help me out when I get stuck but at the same time I feel kind of bad that at the age of 31 I still need to ask for help from time to time.

Anyways… I’m not going to ramble on for too long tonight, I feel pretty tired and like it’s been another long stressful day. I wish I could just climb into bed and fall asleep quickly and remain asleep until my batteries have been completely recharged but that is truly impossible at the moment. I go to bed and lie there for a good couple of hours thinking, worrying, over-analysing everything. I eventually fall asleep stressed and exhausted and then a few hours later I’m awake again. Awake, stressed and still exhausted. More lying there awake until the darkness outside starts to disappear and the daylight takes it’s place. It almost feels like one continuous day with a few short naps here and there, I don’t feel like I’m getting any proper deep sleep at all. I took my last 10mg Nitrazepam last night but it didn’t do bugger all.

I just went to take my medication and realised I forgot to take my morning dose – I take 250mg Quetiapine and 4mg Diazepam in the morning then 4mg Diazepam at lunchtime another 4mg around 6pm and another 4mg at bedtime. Then at bedtime I also take 500mg Quetiapine and 30mg Mirtazapine. So as I forgot to take my morning meds I just took the whole 750mg Quetiapine all together so maybe it will help me get some sleep tonight. I doubt it, but you never know.

Right, on that note I’m going to watch some TV then take myself through to bed shortly. Can’t believe it’s midnight already, I swear all my days are just blending into one at the moment, it’s like a sense of Groundhog Day hanging over me. And I still have that pressure cooker feeling where I feel like I could explode at any time but I had a long chat to someone earlier and it did actually help. It left me feeling a bit calmer and more able to look at things in a more logical and less stressful way.

And on that slightly more positive note I shall say goodnight.