So, how’d it go?

March 31, 2010

I have to say that psych appointment was a resounding disappointment. I should really stop expecting any more from the NHS seeing as all it ever does is let me down. Nobody has heard from Complex Cases despite their promise to contact me within 7-10 days. Well they’ve had that and more. Also haven’t heard from the Community Services I’ve apparently been referred to in an attempt to get me a CPN. It’s definitely agreed that I urgently need more support for my own safety but it also seems to be the case that the support is impossible to get.

You’ll all be pleased to here that for once I was entirely honest, for all the good it did me. I spelled out that I was suicidal and that I had a plan. Hell, I even outlined the plan in some detail and she couldn’t give me a reason why it wouldn’t work. I explained about the hearing things, the (lack of) eating,  the memory weirdness, the severity of the self harm but all to no avail it seems. She explained that it’s complicated with me because I don’t fit neatly into any one box. Instead I tick all the bloody boxes so it leaves us without an obvious route. If I was just one thing, she gave the example of schizophrenic for some reason, then there are well laid out pathways to follow and it’s somehow easier. But I float around all the categories, alone and confused and nobody wants to have anything to do with me. Apparently, I also have a mood disorder of some type not yet specified. To be honest this doesn’t surprise me. I wish I knew what though just for a sense of completeness so I could add it to the list. Do you think I should put them on my CV, or maybe as letters after my name?

The conclusion: up the risperidone to 3mg daily, prescriptions back to weekly as opposed to fortnightly and wait to here from all the teams. Woo. Well worth a 20minute cycle in the pouring rain that was. On the very small plus side there’s a possibility of maybe half price gym membership becasue exercise is good for nutters, she’ll get back to me with details. GP appointment later today to pick up more meds and probably rant a bit more.

LAst night was a complete mess. I tried drinking a glass of wine but that just made me feel worse so I quickly cut that one out. I cried properly for the first time in months. Did you know I’ve been single for just over a year now and in that time things have if anything moved backwards not forward? Suffice to say my arm is also rather sore this morning. All just fabulous. I really don’t know where I go from here.



March 29, 2010

Tomorrow is psych appointment afternoon. The temptation to hide from it is so great, it’s unbelievable. That’s the problem with being self-supporting, there’s nobody to force me to do anything. My parents came to visit again yesterday. I feel very guilty about them driving 2.5hrs every few weeks just to see me but it does help. I made them promise that they would love me no matter what happens. This seems strangely important to me. I don’t want to let them down anymore. Still haven’t heard back from Complex Cases so guessing that’s a no go. I’m really not that fussed to  be honest, didn’t like them anyway. But I do need some support from somewhere, fortnightly half hour psych appointments really aren’t sufficient.

In other news, I’m thinking of joining a gym. There’s one about 5mins walk from my house which is pretty darn convenient and means I’m actually more likely to actually attend as opposed to just meaning too. It’s very fancy, 25m pool, loads of classes, fancy equipment but it’s all comes at a cost. It ain’t cheap but is still costs less than a week of my DLA per month. However, I don’t deserve to spend that money on me no matter how it would make me feel. And while in fantasy land I can convince myself I’d go swimming most days, in reality I’d probably find even that 5 minute walk too much. I do know that exercise makes me feel good. If I hurt from that, I don’t need to hurt in other ways but I just don’t know. Also, it’s a 12 month commitment and that’s terrifying. Who is to say what will happen in the next 12 months, but at the moment it doesn’t look all that promising.

Too fast, too soon, too deep, too often

March 28, 2010

Over the years I have had a great many “friends”. It’s possible that the shear number shows how transient they each must have been. I make friends badly and keep them even worse. This isn’t to say I haven’t had some incredible, intense friendships but 6 months or a year later, they never remain and I’m left wondering why. Meeting people is hard. I am cripplingly shy, in fact social phobia was one of the first ever diagnoses I got. If you met me, you’d probably never guess the amount of effort I’d be putting in to staying on that spot and not running, as far and as fast as I could. I hide it well. I desperately want to be liked. As pathetic and impossible as that may seem, I do just want to get on with everyone. So when I meet people I’m quiet and reserved unless I have a drink in hand. Feed me a few sips of anything and the boundaries slip. I become the person I’d like to be; relaxed, chatty, flirty when I want to be and most of all not afraid of everyone and everything. This means most of the friends I’ve made since 18, have been properly met over drinks somewhere.

And once I think I have a friend, I’m away. I genuinely cannot see a single redeeming feature within myself so if someone appears interested and makes a bit of effort to find out about me, it lifts me in a way I can’t describe. Then I fall in deep, far more so than the amount of time I’d known the person would suggest. I become one of two things, either pathologically honest if they seem genuinely interested or acting constantly to be whatever it is I think will keep me in there. You see, it does just go back to wanting to be included.

The second group, the ones I’m acting for, are so pressurised. I’m constantly striving to fit in and it seems that whatever I do it’s not enough. I’m always left on the outskirts of the group, staring longingly at the warmth within. That feeling of belonging that I want to envelop me and keep me safe. I’m constantly being let down, apparently invited to events last minute or only because everyone else can’t make it and eventually all the little snubs (be they real or imagined) become too much and I drift away.

The other group is very different. There is a great intensity to some of the friendships where I really feel I can be me (and arguably those are the only ones that truly meet the definition of friendship anyway). I put the person on a pedestal, and begin to idolise them for being whatever it is I’m not. Popular, pretty, witty, charming; all that I will never obtain. Of course they never live up to that, I place them somewhere nobody could realistically obtain and inevitably they fall short. Then I become angry, make it clear that they have hurt me but with no explanation. How can I begin to explain that what they’ve done wrong is something they weren’t even aware they were meant to be doing in the first place.

Of course it never lasts. Something that intense can never be maintained and yet I don’t know why. How have I scared off so many people? Am I really that bad? Once they truly get to know me, they take the first possible escape route and get as far away as possible. It hurts. The pain is unbearable when something which in my mind has the potential to be perfect is taken away from me. I’m left to pick up the pieces, my heart laid bear and broken once again. So I restart the process, a chance encounter that leads to more of the same…

Really, I’m fine

March 22, 2010

Thank you for all your concern after my last post. I should clarify, that where I said “I thought I was immortal” or words to that effect, I more meant that I didn’t care what happened to me and so was prepared to take stupid risks. I think that’s somewhat better? I don’t know where I am with things any more. On an averaged out day to day basis, things are somewhat better however, the extremes in all the many directions they manage to find are stronger and more unpredictable.

I am so scared of ending up in hospital. That isn’t where I want to be. Not now, not ever. I need to have control over as much as I can to compensate for the areas I can’t control, and being admitted would take that away from me. I don’t even know if they’d want to hospitalise me for some of these thoughts, it is the NHS after all. I feel I’m walking a tightrope between crazy mood swings at home, hospital and dead (yes, this is a special universe where you can fall off a tightrope in 3 directions). I don’t much care for any of those. I want yet another dimension added (magic universe, ok?) where I can choose to just be fine. Sometimes when I get really wrapped up in what I’m doing, I have a fraction of a second where I feel what I imagine it would be like to be normal and it’s blissful but it never lasts.

To external eyes, I appear more stable. I’m leaving the house more, attending appointments, even socialising a little bit but behind closed doors nothings really changed. I’m desperately in need of someone to talk to. Blog/Twitter are amazing but it’s not the same as having someone actually there with you. However, there’s a very limited number of people I could be sufficiently honest with and I’d still be afraid they’d be trying to get me locked up behind my back. And besides, I’d never dare ask! When I’m talking to “professionals”, I always feel I’m balancing carefully how much to share. Just enough to get me the help I need, but not so much that I lose my options.

And all the time in the background, I’m analysing. Going over everything I’ve said, each decision I’ve made, trying to work out where I’ve gone wrong. I can find patterns, identify influences, predict outcomes and yet I can’t change any of it and it is intensely frustrating. I’ve always said I was too intelligent to be this crazy!

These truths I hold to be evident

March 21, 2010

Over the past month, here are  a selection of 10 things I believe/have believed/am currently believing:

  1. There is someone in the flat jangling keys. They are probably hiding in the airing cupboard (I checked on multiple occasions; they weren’t, nor were they under the bed or in the fridge)
  2. I am immortal so can do whatever I want (such as climb a very high wall with an inexperienced novice belaying unsupervised)
  3. I will kill myself today/tomorrow/next week/next month/next year/never (or at least make a damn good shot at it)
  4. It’s not self-harm, it’s a science experiment (the amount of lidocaine in teething gel is not sufficient local anesthetic for attempting the equivalent of minor surgery)
  5. Eating at most one meal a day will prevent me gaining weight from risperidone (despite the fact that it is common or even normal to eat at least two, possibly even three)
  6. The event I am en route to is in fact an elaborate hoax perpetrated to get me to think people like me when really they just want to laugh at my disappointment (this one nearly caused a complete meltdown on a crowded train)
  7. Everyone is staring at me (they really were, and talking about me too)
  8. I am worthless scum (this one’s a definite)
  9. I am intelligent, employable, wondrous and not at all ill (medication, who needs that!)
  10. I should just aim for crazy cat lady status, that way I can’t fail yet again (I think it’s a role I could suit)

Yeah, I’m just fine here.

Up again!

March 19, 2010

Moods are all over the shop. Going from insane happiness and dangerous unpredicatable energy to numbness to unspeakable depression and paranoia. It’s exhausting all this switching! On the plus side yesterday coincided with definite upness and consequently I had an awesome day, even if it wasn’t so good for the pocket. Had some time to kill in town between appointments. Bought some jewellery with the express purpose of taking it home and destroying it. There were so many pretty beads and for much cheaper than I could get the beads alone. Plus, a bit of random destruction always makes me happy.

I’ve been meaning for a while to get a new sewing machine. The one I had cost 2o quid and was severely limiting any ambitions I may have. I don’t have the patience to sew by hand but love “making” so a sewing machine is essential. Anyway, popped into local sewing shop for a browse. They had the machine I was thinking of getting so had a play, decided it was indeed very shiny. Then they showed me the next model up… Was awesome, does alphabets and everything! Well out of my price range I’d have thought but no, it was an ex-demo (basically never used) and so cost less than the one I’d been looking at. So now have way more awesome sewing machine for the same money and consequently don’t feel guilty for spending lots. Woo!

And I went for dinner/to the pub with a very good friend and we bitched and put the world to rights over a bottle of wine or 3! Haven’t done anything like that for a long time. Didn’t think anyone would be interested in spending that much time in my company. So, yay!


Couldn’t I have had the bad news first?

March 16, 2010

IT’s currently 2am and it seems like sleep is not something I’m going to be getting for a while so I might as well do something somewhat useful and document my day while I have the words in my head and the time on my hands.

Today was Complex Cases Team appointment meeting. Dare I hope that the NHS would actually function with regards to mental health? That there would be help out there for me and that life isn’t just one long wait for a solution that’s never going to happen. On the way out the door, noticed that the post had been delivered including one of those ominous brown envelopes that always look like they’re going to contain important news, almost invariably bad. Paused to open it, expecting yet another problem that I’d have to deal with (or more probably file under floor until the letters become slightly more threatening). Instead it was my DLA award letter. They’re actually going to pay me and at a rate higher than I’d even let myself imagine I’d get. I’ve no doubt this is entirely down to how CAB lady worded the form for me. Someone will be getting a large box of chocolates next time I see her! Understandably this news left me somewhat buoyed up as I headed to the appointment. Money will now be a small amount less of a worry and I will hopefully feel somewhat less guilty after my next trip to the supermarket again lands me with a basket full of expensive randomness (aka the only things I felt like eating at that particular time).

Arrived slightly early for appointment. Made myself known to receptionist who looked at me with thinly veiled distrust when I forgot the name of the doctor I was there to see. I suppose it was in the grounds of the mental health hospital and I could have been a random patient attempting to score some bonus therapy but it does seem unlikely. Sat and shook in standard NHS waiting room. Stared at the leaflets – an introduction to depression, dementia, schizophrenia – you name it they have a leaflet for it promising a wide range of solutions which bitter experience suggests they will fail to provide.

Eventually the doctor arrives and looks me up and down with vague disinterest. I start to wonder if the receptionist had mentioned that I forgot her name. We head off to the consultation room. She’s wearing a long denim skirt that’s too tight to allow her to take proper steps. For some reason I find this intensely irritating.

I’ve attempted to recount the conversation. The italics in my sections are what I was thinking and the rest is roughly what I/she said.

Right, we have 50mins for me to form an opinion of you. So, why are you here?

Initially words fail me and I trip over them in my nervousness. Trying to form a vaguely coherent sentence seems temporarily beyond me never mind a concise and meaningful summary of the current point my life had reached. Besides, I had been kind of hoping she could tell me that. I’m somewhat hazy as to the purpose of a COmplex Cases Team, not that the appointment cleared any of that up…

Tell me what’s happened recently.

How recent is recent? When everything seems so interlinked, how can you possibly begin in the middle? I explain that things are complicated, I’m complicated but eventually settle for January and dropping out of nursing as a suitable point to begin. I try to keep it concise but realise I’m babbling, missing key details.

Can you give me a brief summary of your life.

Brief, you’ve got it. 30 seconds later and I’m done.

Hmm, I was hoping for somewhat more detail. Let’s start with your childhood.

Well, I was born in X and lived there until I was five. Then we moved to Y and I started to school.

How did you feel?

Funnily enough, I can’t remember, I was 5. For fucks sake, I struggle to remember how I felt half an hour ago and you’re asking me to recall things from almost 20 years ago.

OK, let’s move on. Where did you go from there?

I continue with occasional interjections requesting an account of my feelings at any major points of change. She keeps going on about first relationships and looks faintly horrified when I say I wasn’t in one until I was 19. As if this was  my major failing. If I’d fallen in love age 10, maybe things would have been different?! Eventually we get to times recent enough that I can finally start to recall “feelings”. I talk and put across what in my mind seems to be the correct view of events while I was studying for my A-levels.

Let’s move on to University.

I start to describe my first year, back when things were still going ok. When I had friends who seemed to really care, back when I wanted this whole life thing. I talk about meeting my boyfriend, falling madly in love and then things starting to go more than a little wrong during my second year. Starting to break down.

So this is the first time you started to have bad thoughts?

I think a bit deeper and recall the journals stashed in the attic at home. I had them before, during my A-levels.

No, you said your A-levels were happy. Why have you changed the story?

I’ve remembered what I wrote when they were going on. A racing mind and the start of suicidal thoughts that came and went.  This is the problem with questions about how I felt in the past. I’ll recount whatever basic whitewash my mind has put over events in an attempt to protect me from memories I don’t want to face. It’s only when I force myself to look beyond that, that an approximation of the truth starts to emerge.

Let’s continue…

I talk about the rest of university, moving to York and returning again. The end of my relationship and the pain that caused which hasn’t even begun to heal. My oder of events around here gets somewhat hazy at times and it gets confusing when I attempt to explain which job/psychiatrist/experience I’m currently describing.

OK, we’re out of time. What would you like to get from this?

Help, I want this to stop. I want to get some direction, to be able to hold down a job. To gain some level of normality. basically, I want some form of psychotherapy please.

Well, we don’t focus on that here. We’re more interested in self-harm and stopping that. Would you be interested in this?

WTF? Where the hell did that come from? Obviously we’d talked about SH in the ‘history taking’ and the fact it’s an almost daily occurrence right about now but that’s not the focus of my concern as much as I hate myself for it. I want to tackle the underlying problems. I reckon if we can get to the route of what’s going on, I won’t need the maladaptive coping mechanisms and so they  would take care of themselves. I know I could stop self-harming if I was given a good reason. That’s not what I need help with. Yes, I suppose so but…

Well, we’ve gone well over time here. I’ll be in contact within 7-10 days to let you know what we’ve decided and if there’s anything we can offer

So all in all I don’t feel complex cases are going to be much help for me. It’s just made everything raw again. This is a right bugger because I was holding on while I was starting to see things move in the right direction and if things aren’t going to move, then I don’t see much point in holding on for that much longer.

Also, it concerns me that the doctor took no notes at all during the consultation. IS she seriously going to remember everything I said in over an hour of talking? And if not, what was the point in all those questions? I’m now paranoid she was recording it without my permission and I find this deeply, deeply disturbing.

It’s now 0330 and I really should try to sleep. It’s the done thing doncha know?!