Tuesday, December 8, 2009
So, I had a meeting with Case manager (M) this morning, she wasn't able to get a car, so I walked up the hill to the grey amorpheous blob, they call a Mental Health centre, and nearly keeled over from the effort in the heat even though it was only just past 9 in the morning. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I hate this centre with its tiny, airless, anxiety inducing rooms. But to be honest, it was kind of nice to be anywhere air conditioned at the moment, plus I really couldn't be arsed tidying the house and I really hate people seeing it in this state. It went ok. She noticed a difference in me from the last time we met, and I think to be honest, the busy-ness I am surrounding myself with, is going some ways to setting me back on a bit more of an even keel, even though it is exhausting to keep up with. We talked about various things such as the tension at home and my anxiety levels over Xmas with the family. We also talked about the proposed date for my 'discharge' from the service in the New Year. She mentioned that she had spoken to my private therapist (D) who had big concerns about me being discharged at the moment and asked whether I shared her concerns. I said that I did, that as imperfect as a saftey net the public health system was, I was worried about how I would cope with the things that my therapy throws up without it. I hate talking to people that I don't know, in fact I find it near on impossible, and if I was to go into crisis again, I'm not sure I would cope if I was reassigned to a different case manager and had to start all over again. Besides which, I really do not feel like I am properly stabilised as it is, medications are still not right, and my mood is all over the place, along with the constant suicidal ideation. Anyway, she basically said, that we would review things in the new year, but that the system here was based on the decision from the consultant psych, and not my primary treatment coordinator (her) or even BabyDoc, who I've at least actually seen a handful of times. Its an imperfect system, but you've got to work within the parameters of what's available, I guess. She is trying to get an appointment for me to at least see the Consultant, before a decision is made. (I actually don't remember the guy at all, but as I only saw him a handful of times in hospital, I guess that's not suprising) For all my groans about the service, I do have a Case Manager who listens to me, and trys to work the best she can within the system that she's given. She's a bit of a pollyanna, but this doesn't seem to bother me as much as when I first started seeing her, when I took it as invalidating and superficial. I've come to realise she actually does see the world in a happy sunshiney way, and it is authentic, which makes it easier for me not just to dismiss everything she says outright. She talked to me about how the drive behind community mental health now was about stabilising a client rather than fragilising them, and working with them to create support structures within their own personal communities, rather than just to provide that support for them, and then when it is withdrawn or the client is discharged, they fall apart because they lack support. I could see that this was a valid thought process. The problem is a) Subjectively I don't feel stabilised, but I wonder if the image that I give to others objectively is that I am? And b) whilst I do have support structures in place, good friends who I can turn to when I have a problem, or when I need a bit of extra love and care, I don't feel that it is fair of me, nor that they would be able to deal with the heavier issues that I deal with. Even though I have spoken with them and told them in times of deep depression or anxiety I don't need them to come up with answers, or to rush over and try to protect me from myself, that they just need to listen, they still feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of it. (Straight from the horses mouth) And I don't want my friends to carry that burden, they don't have the experience or the professional knowledge to equip them to deal with me when I am on the edge. And knowing that I am burdening them as such makes me spiral into deeper self-loathing and just solidifies that gremliny little voice that tells me they would all be better off without me. My family, as much as I love them, proved to me after my overdose in 06 that when they were telling me that I needed to 'Talk to them and be honest about where I was at', what they were really saying was "Tell us you're ok, we need to hear that you're ok". So once again, I can look to them for support in somethings but cannot ever be truly honest with them, they just don't cope. (M) took me to a local drop-in centre for people with MH issues a few months back, but I am just not really into that whole scene. I know from previous experience in other big, regional city back in 06, that these centres tend to attract a lot of people who feel the need to compete for who is the most messed up, or commiserate on how horrible life is, and I don't find this to be particularly life-affirming or helpful. Peer support definately has its advantages and to a certain extent I get that with (F) who I met in hospital and now catch up with on a weekly basis, but such interactions (for me at least) are restricted byt the fact that I know she is still dealing with her own quite regular suicidal thoughts, anxiety and depression, and I don't want too add any pressure on her, or get into a relationship where our individual downspirals egg the others on, which can happen. What would be really great is like a form of AA where you are given a sponsor who understands where you are on the journey, but is a little bit further up the path and a little more stable. Which I guess in someways is kind of the support that I have from (K) the Consumer Consultant for Public MH. I guess, I need to be a bit more open to recieving people into my life who can provide support should the universe direct them my way.....Either way, I don't particularly want to become overly dependant on the professional support, and I wouldn't even mind so much if the support was not a weekly thing, just more the knowledge that if I needed it, I had my Case Manager, who I know and have developed somewhat of a rapport and understanding with who I could contact. Rather than just a crisis line of people I don't know. I'm just not comfortable giving that up just yet, as I still feel the need arises, with reasonable regularity and it is support I can access, that I don't have to feel the guilt or self-loathing about. Anyways, we shall see what happens.
After that, I made a quick trip to the store (in and out, I hate christmas crowds) to get the last few things I needed to run the craft at RM House Christmas party. And by the time I got home, it was nearly midday, so my resolve to get uni work done this morning went out the window, and I did not get the opportunity to 'treat myself' for getting it done as planned. At this stage, friend (S) is coming over in an hour or so, to pick me up so we can go do a water aerobics class, so I'm thinking I will just leave off the assignment, and come back and finish it off tonight when its a bit cooler....heck, its not like I'll be sleeping anyway.
Full on couple of days ahead with me volunteering tomorrow, thursday night, saturday and sunday, as well as therapy and specialist appointment on thursday, catch up with friend (B) on friday, and lots of uni work to fit in between if I am going to able to head home for the holidays without any assignments hanging over my head. But busy is good, busy dulls down the little gremlins voices, and lets me put on Gameface and get on with it.