Problem

(Or: Acute Inpatient, Take Two – Day Five)

I don’t have the energy to recount the number of small constant things that go wrong or are not present on this ward. Like my ongoing medication. Like promises that get broken. Like notes not being updated. Like nobody passing on information. Like refusing to help with self inflicted injuries. Like it taking six attempts and five days for my medicated face cream to be written up (it still hasn’t).

On the bright side, today’s evening staff are being very kind. Trying to fix problems. Assuring me that I won’t be forced into discharge tomorrow.

I’m going to speak to them a bit. I need to speak to somebody who doesn’t look through me or forget me. Somebody who listens. Somebody for whom I’m not a perpetual problem.

Because that’s how I feel. Right now. Like I only ever cause at best, irritation and worse, pain. I am a problem.

And they wonder why I am suicidal. I am constantly invalidated, ignored, or forgotten. I am nothing, and they seem at pains to constantly remind me of this.

I have rarely felt so utterly alone.

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Time Ticking

(Or: Acute Inpatient, Take Two – Day Three)

Today was a lower day. Woke up feeling very low – although did manage to sleep exceptionally late – and felt like a twat for turning down a close friend of mine coming to visit. Just wasn’t feeling up to visitors.

But: my partner came. We went out together for a short while. I was hugely encouraged by the staff taking me to one side and explaining that I absolutely had to be accompanied at all times as I’m a high suicide and flight risk. It’s weirdly nice to be taken seriously.

Feeling shattered, so sleep now. Hopefully a longer update tomorrow.

A Good Day

(Or: Acute Inpatient, Take Two – Day Two)

Today has been one of my best days in quite a long time, much to my own surprise. I honestly thought it would be horrible – based on both my mood, location, and that my fiancée wasn’t going to be able to visit – but I actually had a positive day. I didn’t cry! Not even once! And recently I’ve been sobbing hysterically at least twice a day so this is HUGE for me.

My parents visited, first off, and were really lovely. I can tell my dad isn’t coping well, but he has always found mental illness really difficult. And seeing your daughter on a psych ward for the third time, with intense suicidal ideation, must be horrendous for any parent. My mum is the joking one, and I felt able to laugh, so time passed quickly. They brought me a portable DVD player (!!!!) and DVDs to pass time. Which is awesome. They also brought some nice food things, because hospital food sucks.

On that: I still have not thrown up! My compromise has been that I’m eating very little. I know it’s not a perfect compromise, but it’s that or fall headlong back into bulimia which I’m just terrified of doing. My mood is terrible enough without adding vomiting to the mix. Again. So I am severely undereating but will deal with that later.

To my surprise, another very close friend of mine – codename cannon fodder, for a variety of reasons – unexpectedly visited after my parents had gone. Hugely fun. Somebody who’s seen enough of people in varying states of vulnerability to be utterly unfazed by anything, and still have a wicked sense of humour.

In other news, was offered legal work pro bono. And I mean as a lawyer. I declined by virtue of not being a lawyer.

So overall? Really positive day, and this hospital experience isn’t seeming quite so purgatorial.

(Now if I could just kick the constant desire to kill myself…)

And so it begins

(Or: Acute Inpatient, Take Two – Day One)

Look at that. A new countdown.

Well, I am on a ward. No idea how long for. I had a frankly disastrous conversation with the ward consultant psychiatrist, who I’m debating lodging a formal complaint against. The man was unbelievably cruel and showed a complete lack of empathy when I was clearly very distressed. I was told that there was nothing anybody could do about the bulimia so ‘don’t throw up’. I’m not kidding. Same response to self harm. I was told that I am here to ‘wait until this passes’ and otherwise refused to talk about my further treatment outside of hospital or on discharge. I was patronised about medication decisions that have been made with my GP and usual psychiatrist, and made to feel stupid. I ended up hysterically sobbing, and I do mean hysterical. Another nurse came in and told me he probably didn’t mean it to come across that way, take it a step at a time and come eat dinner.

I responded about as well as you’d imagine.

I am vacillating between ideas on how to respond. I don’t feel able to fight this in the way I need to. It requires a fuck of a lot of time, organisation, tenacity. It’s a full time occupation, and I can’t do it, as my primary occupation right now is not dying. Nobody is listening to me as a patient, and I can’t, it’s killing me.

So it falls to my fiancée. Who has a life of her own. Who does not have endless time to devote to this.

And if I’m completely honest, I am frightened of letting her do it. I am used to being in control. The only person I relinquish control of things like this to is my mother, and that’s because I’ve grown up watching her take on situations like this and win without question. My fiancée is new to this game, and I’m worried she’s not going to do it right. And I loathe myself for saying it because it sounds like I don’t trust her and I do, I truly do, but I also want her to go have a life that doesn’t revolve around my illness.

I’m still excruciatingly suicidal. The immediacy ebbs and flows, but it’s still there, cancerous.

To my credit, haven’t thrown up yet. Get me! I’ve had the opportunity, but haven’t, so go me, ladies and gents, I’m still here and I’m still fighting.

For now.

Acute Inpatient Again

And I have been officially admitted to acute inpatient.

The night before last, my partner and I discussed our options. My options. I desperately wanted to get to next week; however, I confessed to some stashed meds I’ve had around as a safety blanket for a long time, and eventually came to the conclusion that I needed intervention. I cannot lay the full responsibility of my life in her hands, it’s not fair.

We went to A&E and waited. Got assessed and sent to a type of halfway house, where they supposedly carry out further assessments, but de facto took one look at me and fast tracked me onto a ward the moment a bed became available. Then at 1.30am, I was woken to be taken to the ward. Then at 2.30 had a basic medical.

I am exhausted, but substantially safer than I was, theoretically. I’m in a different hospital to my last acute stay, and it is considerably nicer. There has been classic ineptitude throughout, especially with regards to my meds, but hey ho. Here now.

I’m staying until something changes. Further assessments, complex needs team, whatever. I will not go back to a half life where I am fighting constantly. I’m going to take this time and try to heal in whatever fractured way I can, or at least, not keep hurting my partner while I am hurting myself.

I’m going to nap, I think. I’ll keep you posted.

Considering Options

Today has been a better day.

It’s not amazing, but it’s definitely a start. I went to a flexibility-based class and that was fine, and saw my mother-in-law (almost), her partner, her brother and his girlfriend, and her parents. So some new people, but very relaxed and really nice to meet them. It was excruciatingly hot, but I coped. #copingwin

I self-harmed yesterday quite badly for the first time in a little while. In slightly less positive news.

I’m struggling with what to do, and how to get what I need. Let’s unravel this a little:

  1. I want to go onto an inpatient programme. This is because I’ve spent around 11 years in various form of outpatient, both intensive and otherwise, with very little impact. I spent six weeks in an inpatient ward two years ago, and that was the only thing that really has made any headway. Plus it was compounded by 1:1 DBT, which was undoubtedly helpful.
  2. The NHS are extremely unwilling to fund this.
  3. They want me to go through the rigmarole of the Complex Needs Team. They primarily offer MBT (which I’ve done before), psychodynamic psychotherapy (again, done) and cognitive analytical therapy. This is not to say they won’t work; rather, I’ve DONE OUTPATIENT FOR ELEVEN YEARS WITH NO EFFICACY so FORGIVE ME, but I think inpatient is a far stronger option.
  4. I cannot be left alone, at the moment. Eventually my partner is going to go back to work. And I am self-harming with her in the same room as me. I’ll last about twenty minutes on my own. I’m terrified of being looked after by my parents because I know full bloody well I’m going to get worse, and there’s nothing anybody can do about that.
  5. So, shortcuts to getting the NHS to agree funding. There aren’t many. I am going to talk to my GP to discuss my concerns, but I tremendously doubt there’s anything they can do.
  6. I personally reckon it’s about a week or two before my brain plummets me straight into acute inpatient. Which is a separate issue, but might play into the inpatient argument.
  7. Or I’ll end up in A&E.
  8. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Struggling

Had an excellent conversation with my partner, trying to voice some of my fears and somehow describe the things that are hard to describe. The difficulty is partly in voicing them in the first place, and partly in that it is indescribably hard to tell somebody you love more than life itself that you genuinely wish you had never been born. That you had never existed.

And more than that, that there is an increasingly loud voice in your head – not an unpleasant one, but one that seems so comforting and so kind, that lulls you to sleep and promises an end to the constant drowning of thoughts in your head – that tells you it would be so much better for everybody, including (especially) the person you love, that you were dead. Because they’ll heal. Because I’m hurting her more and more with every passing day. Because I’d prefer her to grieve and heal and find somebody who can love her and give her the world, rather than give her the mass of desperation and pain that I currently feel.

Every fucking second I get hit with a new intrusive thought. Methods. Cooking, and debating holding my arm to the flame, or just the edge of the pan so it can look like an accident. Shaving my arms, and pressing it too close to my legs. Sharpen the one knife we have in operation, and glide it over somewhere inconspicuous. Stash meds. Steal matches. Scratch my skin to ribbons. Another one hits me every single fucking second and I am so, so tired of tackling them, I’m exhausted, more and more so every single second that passes, even when I’m happy, even when I am loved and safe and cared for and will never be abandoned I still hate and love her in equal measure for keeping me going and keeping me here.

I am trying to internalise the potential necessity of needing to go into acute inpatient care again at some point in the (not all that distant) future, because there’s going to come a point where I simply get too tired to keep batting them off.

Deep breath, and here we go again.