200. A smile that lifted me.

I took a lot from the time I spent on a psychiatric ward. I learned that there are amazing people in this world. I was cacooned in a place of safety and warmth (ignoring the odd erratic patient outbursts). I met people who in the face of staff shortages, shit pay, and regular abuse; gave themselves wholly to the caring of others.

They are truly inspirational, but the one who inspires me the most, was my room neighbour, football companion, confidante and the newest member off my treasured friends list.

I went to visit her today; and her smile and progress since my last visit have lifted my spirits this evening. She was moved to a different unit, and it hit her hard, but today I met a girl transformed. A girl with hope and drive to beat her demons. A girl whose battles are greater than mine, but her strength and resolve are remarkable. I’ve told her many times that 2019 will be our year!!! Chatting and laughing with her today has given me some hope, for both off us.

Come on S, we can do this!

Loopy x

111. Feeling let down.

Today was quite a momentous day.  As documented earlier, I’ve been released from the psychiatric hospital that I called home this past two months. Both my mother and my sister knew I was returning home today.

My sister was quite frankly horrible to me this morning and after abruptly hanging up on me in a rage, I’ve not heard from her since. I’m not calling her, quite frankly I don’t have the strength.

Nor have I had any contact from my mother. She gets home from work at 3 and it’s now 10 pm. They really don’t care do they?  I’m feeling totally let down, deflated and alone in all this. This is when the suicidal thoughts creep in the most, when I’m feeling lonely.  Time to ask OH for some cuddles.

Tomorrow is another day I guess.

Loopy x.

109. Officially Discharged!

Today I had my last cup of lunchtime soup in the psychiatric hospital.  I have officially been discharged.  I’m so grateful to my nurse and psychologist for today, because I almost bottled it.

I was teary and terrified before returning to the ward, and I really wanted someone to say: “Just stay a couple more nights”, but these amazing professionals know what they are doing. I needed them to be strong for me today.  I needed them to be realistic and hold some optimism on my behalf and that’s exactly what they did for me.

“So are we going for discharge”; asked a lovely psychiatrist (whom I’d met with for the first time today).

“Reluctantly yes”; I mumbled.  It was the reassurance from the staff that gave me the strength to say those words, and sitting here now at my kitchen table; watching my little man being mischievious and knowing that I have the support of my OH, I’m so glad they did.

It’s a long road ahead but just take it one step at a time Loopy.

Loopy x.

108. I’m glad you’re getting out; Fine!! but we’re not friends anymore.

It should be a joyous day but it is not.  I should be over the moon to be getting discharged today but I’m not.  Right now I want to stay in there forever.  My sister has just phoned me. Mum told her I’m out.  She has just phoned to be nasty and make things all about her; “Thanks for telling me you’re out!!, you never call me back, that’s fine, I’m glad you’re out but we’re not friends anymore and she hung up!!!!

What am I supposed to do with that? How am I supposed to feel supported when on one of the most important days in my recent history, I get treated like that.

My depression hasn’t lifted, its still here..  I can’t cope with anything.  I guess things haven’t really changed.  I’m so lonely.

Loopy x.

107. Fresh air in my lungs!

Alot has happened today and I have begun to tick important things off my list in the search for better mental health.  I’ve had my brows and lashes tinted, booked a haircut, deleted work email from my phone and joined our local gym.

The day didn’t get off to the best start, with me forgetting to take my morning meds (oops, although I remembered around lunch time.) and then my CPN not showing up when I was expecting her (it was maybe because I’ve not been officially discharged yet, or also highly likely that I’ve mixed up the times).  Both little events left me feeling low. I’ve realised that I’m still very depressed and everything takes huge effort.

I did however decide to brave town today (I figured with the rain it may be a little quieter). I felt a little anxious and uneasy on the train surrounded by glaring eyes again, however a little debit card abuse (new clothes for little man as he has grown so much during my absence) cheered me up a little.

When I got home, I forced myself to go out on my bike (who’s name is Ariel by the way).  I need to shift this quetiapine weight!!!. For the first time in what seems like forever I could feel the sea breeze on my face and the freshest of air in my lungs. It definitely beats the tobacco stench of the psychiatric hospital yard.

I must promise to myself that I will continue to cycle. It was gusty and extremely difficult to pedal against the breeze (and my legs are still aching from bashing Wilson everyday) but it was also the tonic for my mental health that I needed today.  Coming back to the house I felt uplifted, more positive than I had been this morning, and more determined than ever to be discharged officially tomorrow.

Loopy x.

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106. Back home by the fire.

I didn’t sleep much last night, thoughts of what would face me today raced through my head and in all honesty I was scared.  I got up arouund 8, had what will hopefully be my last ever slice of ice cold soggy toast and sat in the window sill by my room pondering what the day would bring.  My favourite HCA chatted with me, and put me at ease for a little while.  She had to go out with another patient though so once I was on my own again, my crappy head ran riot.

My psychologist found me sobbing in my room at 11 and we discussed my fears at the start of our session. I can’t really explain what the tears were about; I think just sheer fear of returing to the life that broke me in the first place, and the community mental health team that let me down before (although I have my own care co-ordinator now).  I was however reassured that I wouldn’t just be abandoned following discharge. The psychologist can offer me 3 outpatient appointments but she’s going to ask her boss if she can do a couple more.. I’ll find out on Wednesday when I go in for my final review.

This morning I didn’t want to leave but luckily, as it happens, after I asked about going home, I was left sitting around for hours for my TTO’s (meds to take home) to be written up.  During this agonising wait, other patients kicked off and were generally just difficult to be around.  Why on earth would I want to stay in a place with such unrest when I can be in my own home, with my own things and my own space.

By the time my TTO’s were written up, I was not exactly ready but definitetly determined to leave.  My favourite HCA had chatted with me again, gave me a reassuring hug and a little confidence boost. My named nurse who is also amazing, gave me my meds, another reassuring hug and much needed words of encouragment. They were both there for me today when I needed them most.

So with a knot in my stoamch and my last possesions on my back I headed off to the train station. It’s now bedtime, and I’ve found this evening o.k.  It still feels a little forced and sureal, and I can’t stop wondering what they’re upto on the ward.  My son however has showered me with hugs and kisses and has proven this evening that he missed me.  OH did as he had promised and saw a GP today, and sorted out his childcare vouchers.

I’m heading off to bed now, glad that I’ve been given some PRN to take home.  I’m not quite confortable here yet.  I do however realise that I can’t fix anything whilst I’m an inpatient.  Therefore I need to cope, because I need to be discharged on Wed as planned to set about altering my future for the better.

Loopy x.

 

105. Brutally honest.

This is it, my final blog post from within the confines of a psychiatric hosptial (all being well the next two nights whilst on overnight leave). Today as I sat at my kitchen table with OH, the words of a fantastic staff member rung in my ears; “if you don’t tell him, then you’ll be back here in a couple of months as a revolving door patient, you have to tell him!”.

Today I was brutally honest and poured my heart out to OH. It feels cruel to me now but I told him the true effects, on me, of his lack of engagment in our relationship.  I wept as I explained that a future with no changes will kill me.

He did his usual silenct act, but he did listen.  He told me he would make an effort, he assured me he would work on things. Tomorrow by the time I get home, OH should have made a GP appointment for himself.  I’m hopeful that he’ll have done so.

I’m clinging onto hope right now, it’s all I have to help me brave the real world again.  I’m still terrifed of leaving the safety of these walls and all the fantastic staff that perservered with me and opened me up.

I’ll miss them all terribly.  The one who let me punch her (gloves and pads), made my days more bearable and eased my suffering.  The one who stalked me (and opened me up alittle) made me feel safe and cared for. The one who instinctively knew when to lock my room, made me feel secure and less ashamed of my behaviours.  The one who made our beds, and told me to shower made me feel more human, and nurtured.  The 3 youngest ones made me laugh, and smile and appreciate the genuine goodness in people. The organiser of all activites gave purpose to our days and showed true human kindness when I first arrived. The “fabulous darling” made me feel less inadequate as a mother and more empowered as a person going forward.

The ones I’ll probably miss most off all are the two (Cunts, you need to know the Matalan context) who perservered with me, showed me genuine empathy, gradually chipped away my outer shell, made me laugh when my days were grey, made me smile when my soul was sad, and made me realise that it’s o.k to put yourself first from time to time.  No one in my life has ever talked to me, been as patient with me, showed me as much emapthy and imparted life experience to me in the ways that these two women did.  They’ll never know the true impact they have had on me.

I’ll also genuinely miss the fantastic nurses, who are constantly pestered, pulled in several directions, abused, shouted at and undervalued.  Their jobs are incredibly difficult yet they all do it with kindness, empathy and caring ears. I’ve had several really good chats with them, and each and every one showed me genuine kindness and support.  I certainly couldn’t do their jobs.

Every single person on that ward is amazing, and I will remember those people who saw me at my lowest and showered me with non judgemental care for the rest of my life.

So I guess this is it, tomorrow is the beginning of a new life for me.  One where I will put my needs first, where I will reach out for help when I am struggling and I will do everything I can to get back on track and become dare I say it; happy again.  I will shower my son and OH with love and begin to show myself the same compassion that I show to others.  Tomorrow is Day 1 of my journey to wellness.

Wish me luck everyone.

Loopy x.