223. The best day.

Today has been fantastic. The sun was out, little man was in good form, and a dear friend came to visit.

For the first time in quite a while, I felt…. . I felt normal. I was in control of household chores, in control of little man, and in control of my emotions. There were no inexplicable outbursts today, no desires to burn and no little voice in my head telling me I’m awful.

To see my friend, who is doing so well, was great. We played with little man, walked on the beach and basked in our freedom.

I need to remember today. I need to hold on to this good feeling and remind myself when dark clouds ascend; that I am capable off normal, I am capable of laughing and smiling with a friend. I am capable of finding joy whilst dancing with my 2 y.ear old.

Tonight I shall begin prep for a lecture I’m due to give on Friday Tonight it doesn’t feel so daunting.

There will be more good days Loopy. Honestly there will.

Loopy x

215. 3 little puddles.

The battle lines were drawn. He glared at me steadfast, and confident. There was only ever going to be one winner here.

No I will not use a spoon today Mummy! I will eat my beef and mash on my terms, or I shall starve!!!!!

You’ve got to admire the stubberness off a 2 year old. We can usually count on him to swallow grub without protest, handling cutlery like a pro.

Some battles are worth fighting and simetimes when sleep depruved and alone it’s just easier to wait whilst this little human, slowly and infuriatingly sucks beef and mash from a 5ml paracetamol syringe.

This evening would be spent powerhosing every nook and cranny of his little pudgy arms and legs. There was much fun had running and rolling down sand dunnes and I knew that he would harbour kilograms of the stuff and gleefully sprinkle it on kitchen tiles, staircase carpets and bedroom floors upon our return home. I will deal with that tomorrow!!!

Now though, it’s bath time. A whiff of something in the air indicated the need for a gentle pre wipe. I whipped his nappy off, dealt with his thoughtful little gift, and stood him, bare bummed and smiling by our bath.

I quickly nipped out to grab his PJ’s and upon my return, there they were, glistening and golden on my bathroom floor;

3 little puddles………….

Loopy x

214. It was boss!!

Today for the first time ever, I got to spend time with S, outside the confines of a hospital visiting area. Today was the first time, we both basked in freedom, drank mochas and laughed from the pit of our bellies. She has not yet been discharged, but her progress has been such that she is allowed accompanied leave. In her words; “It was boss!!”

She continues to inspire me, and although those days in a psych ward were some of my darkest, they brought me a friendship that was unexpected, and a friend who makes me stronger.

Loopy x.

212. A post from my work desk.

Today was huge!!!! gut wrenching, nausea inducing huge. After 6 months of absence, I made a lunch, adorned my lanyard, swallowed some PRN (lirazepam) and went back to work.

I’m currently sitting in my old office, albeit slightly rearranged. I asked my boss if I could have it back; and he said he’d think about it, but within 20 minutes following our meeting I was informed that its current occupant has been turfed out, giving me my space back. My office space is something that is important to me. I’m on the 3rd floor of the building which means that I’m not subjected to same levels of student traffic as the main teaching rooms are on the floors below. Being “hidden away ” in this manner means less ad hoc student drop ins, less ad hoc concerns, complaints or general chat, which can quickly eat away at time preserved for tasks. I’ll still get the occasional knock but with less frequency than staff on the lower floors.

Coming back to work has been very emotional for me and I’m still feeling a little shaky and overwhelmed. Colleagues have been lovely, with hugs and offers of coffee and no prying questions. I’ve just eaten lunch with a few but i really didn’t participate much in the conversion. I’ve lost that side off myself, lost all my confidence but it will hopefully come back.

A nice little work related task just appeared in my inbox this morning, not from my manager but from one of my previous students, who is applying for PhD’s. I was his undergraduate project supervisor and he wishes to use me as a reference. I am delighted to do that for him, and even more so because his email helped to ground me this morning. His email was my first interaction with any students albeit electronically., but it also provided me with an icebreaker manageable task to get my fingers typing and my mindset back to work. It was exactly what I needed. It also helps that he was a great student, and his reference will reflect that.

I’m now emotionally and physically drained, and really just need to go home. I shall leave soon.

Loopy x.

206. The plan.

Tonight my brain is working overdrive. There is now a plan in place for my return to work. I’m going back next Thursday 31st Jan with a 9.30 am start.

I will work 1 day next week, 2 days the following and gradually build up to 4 days per week.

In terms of days worked I now need to try and change little mans days at nursery. I didn’t get the Tuesdays off I was hoping for. There are reasons for this that I can accept, but it probably means losing out on the toddler group unless they can accimadatw me on another day.

I’m trying to be optimistic this evening. I’m telling myself that this is a positive step. Work will give me a focus, give me another reason to get up in the morning. Work will give me back adult conversations and a sense of status. I used to be proud of what I do.

Am I scared?; YES!

Am I catastrophising? YES

Am I fit to return?; only time will tell.

Can I do this?; Both K and CPN would gently stroke my arm and say YES. It has to be YES. There’s no going back now.

Loopy x

201. Devastated.

Today I had my last home visit from my current CPN. I just about held it together. I desperately wanted to hug her as she left, but had I done so, I would have crumbled and never let her go.

It’s another devastating blow. She’s assured me that her successor is as kind and competent as she is, but I find that hard to believe.

I’m returning to work soon and I feel like I need her. Everything is changing; new psychology refferal, back to work, and now a new CPN. When your mood swings like mine does, it’s hard to cope with changes. It’s tougher still when the person you’re losing, is excellent and irreplaceable.

I’m feeling lost this evening. I’m scared and stressed and not sure if I have the strength to keep going.

I need to take my bike out.

Loopy x

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