Living

Because being female sucks, spent a lot of the day sofa-bound and feeling very sorry for myself. Achieved very little, but hey ho. I am still going to the gym and being really good with that, so at least that’s something.

Living with my parents is hard. I am a lot older than I was when I lived at home, and I’m a very different person – yet not much has changed. It’s really, really weird. I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with just my partner, some time to ourselves.

Other than that, not much to report…

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Family

I love my mother.

We get on like a house on fire, and I mean it: destructive, contagious and impossible to prevent. I wish I was more like her, and also not. It’s amazing and awful and perfect.

When I was younger, I was her ‘clone’, according to everybody who knew us both. I have become my father far more, now, and I’m delighted about it: he’s the best storyteller I’ll ever know, and he makes me smile constantly. He’s kind, loving, gentle.

My mother is personality incarnate. She has force and unending intensity. My mother backs down from nothing.

I hope I became both. My dad’s perfectionism, my mum’s anger, my dad’s stubbornness, my mum’s passion. I don’t know any more, but I hope, and I will always try to emulate the best of them both. I’ll get there. In the meanwhile, I can only do what I can, and hopefully not alienate either.

Never gets easier.

Quiet Progress

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

Had the foresight to write this before the heavy duty sedatives kick in so I can type a touch more coherently! Only sad thing is that there is sod all to write about. Today had been very quiet and very calm, and I have started to feel like a human being again. And I mean an actual human, not a walking constellation of symptoms like I have been for a long time.

Things feel more proportionate. It isn’t simple or easy and yes, I still have a complete lack of emotional regulation but I am starting to see a future and that’s terrifying and wonderful.

There is so much work to be done. I have a lot of self to understand and come to terms with. I have serious health problems that will be with me for the rest of my life, but I don’t want to be afraid any more, I’ve spent my life being afraid of myself and in doing so, distanced myself from it, tried to split myself into Me vs Illness and in doing so engendered so much fear.

And perhaps I am waxing lyrical right now, and it won’t last indefinitely. I needed this admission. I needed the time. The space. The dependent independence that inpatient brings.

I have also, since all this shit started, just wanted to know what would happen to me. And now I know. Now I have six weeks clear to be strong, and some waiting, and finally real, long-term help. I have a plan. And that means my life is being projected for two years, there is something out there, further than now.

It’s a start.

NHS Incompetence Strikes Again

(Or: At Home – Day Fifty-Four)

After a day of my partner calling up various parts of the psychiatric services, and MIND charity, and a few other places, we discovered that the situation I’m in should definitely not exist and I’ve been fucked about. It’s nice to hear, as I was beginning to doubt myself. My partner called the team leader of the care co-ordinators, and long story short we know what’s going on:

The psychiatrist makes the call regarding funding, and that is the current issue. Apparently while I was in acute care, the psych in charge of my care deemed me a good candidate for inpatient care and funding. The next one I saw, after discharge, decided otherwise. So, I have to convince her that I’m a good candidate and it would help me. That ought to be fun.

I’m also going to ask to return to aripiprazole, and come off carbamazepine. Aripiprazole helped with the depression in addition to the mood stabilisation, and carbamazepine appears to be doing fuck all. I also intend to remain on quetiapine. I don’t think I’m in a stable enough place to risk fucking about with my primary mood stabiliser.

I am feeling truly, hilariously shit at the moment. The whole situation has left me feeling completely disillusioned and fucking miserable. I am, in person, very verbose and with a fabulous cut-glass British accent that makes most people (seem) to think I’m a whinging upper-middle-class white girl with very little wrong with me. On paper I look a fairly obvious candidate for help, but the moment I talk people listen to how I talk rather than what I’m actually fucking saying.

So fucking fed up it’s unreal.

My partner needs to go back to work, we can’t afford her being a 24/7 carer. I managed to self-harm with her in the same room as me. So when she eventually has to go, I’m going to be on my own, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.

As it is, my partner has a training course starting in September at the opposite side of London. This has many problems. One aspect is that, for travel purposes (and affordability, and safety) we are going to be staying with my parents. I have a very difficult relationship with my family, especially my mother, and this is so not a good thing. I also have group support sessions three times a week at my side of London, and I can’t really travel or be alone at the moment, and my mother has already said she’s not prepared to commute. I have no clue how to work around any of this. Other than fall on the perpetual mercy of friends, which makes me feel like a constant burden and general imposition on other people’s lives.

I’ve already noticed people pulling away from me. They don’t do it on purpose, but nobody wants to talk about their problems or their lives with me, because they don’t want to put any stress on me when I’m vulnerable/struggling. But to be honest, I just wish people would talk to me. About their problems, about their jobs, about how shit their lives are. Anything. Absolutely anything. I am so lonely, and feel constantly betrayed by the people I’m supposed to be able to trust professionally.

I fucking hate the mental health services in this country.

Wonderful People

(Or: At Home – Day Forty-One)

I think I’m starting to wear away on my partner. This isn’t surprising. She is my carer. I am disabled. I am not as good as I ought to be about making sure I go outside, which means she cannot go anywhere either. It isn’t fair on her, and I don’t want this to be any harder on her than it has to be.

Today has felt odd, and I’m not sure quite why.  Just I’ve felt odd somehow, and so has she. Why saw a friend of ours who is wonderful, who has been coming to visit every single week, and is taking us both up to Liverpool (where she lives) for a couple of days in a few weeks’ time. I’m so excited. She’s an incredible person.

I feel very surrounded by very wonderful people, wishing I could give more. I don’t have much, right now. I wish, wish, I could give them more.

I’m Not Better (So Stop Saying It)

(Or: At Home – Day Thirty-Two)

Saw my partner’s mother, my future in-law, and she’s a wonderful woman. Truly, she is. Patient, kind, caring, loving.

I find it hard. I’m doing a marvellous job of seeming very ‘well’ when there are people around. I’m trying to do it for my partner, too. Something of a full-time occupation given aforementioned (ad nauseam, I apologise) 24/7 guard, so that’s quite a few hours pretending I’m not a puddle of almost-implosion.

The weird thing is though, it makes me irrationally really angry when people keep commenting on how much ‘better’ I’m doing, how it’s ‘such an improvement’, they can see ‘huge changes’ and I’m there like fuck no, no, there aren’t. There really aren’t. This isn’t just me being self-condemnatory; I’m looking at my behaviour four weeks ago to now, and it’s basically the same. I may be more distracted or more able to string together something resembling a human when faced with polite conversation, but no. I’m not better. I’m not faintly better. Which is the entire point of trying to find long-term treatment options; this isn’t something that starts to vaporise if you leave it alone long enough. It feels patronising and very irritating to be told there’s been some magical change in my personality when I’m acutely, painfully aware that there hasn’t been; I wish there had. I wish this got better on its own.

So answering questions like ‘when will you be able to be on your own’ is an absurd one, in some regards. Of course I fucking can’t. I struggle on a day to day basis with wanting to rip myself apart, and I don’t especially care about the means any more. Trying to exercise ‘self-care’ today by virtue of pampering has made me yet more aware of the abortion that is my physical self, so a few more scars or a vomiting here and there seem like the absolute least of my worries.

I am arranging to go out, see friends. Social engagements every day this week. I go to the gym. I play my cello. I sing, a little. I am constructing something resembling a personality which will see me through the twilight zone, and will collapse like the house of cards it is when I have the first opportunity.

Sometimes I wonder why nobody can see straight through me. I’m hollow. I didn’t realise how much until I had my life pulled from under my feet and was asked to stay standing. There wasn’t very much to fall over.

Pretentious rambling concluded for the evening; goodnight all.