Sunday, January 31, 2010

Deadline passes...... and nothing...

Sunday. Deadline for sister's ex to move out. He is still here. They have spoken and she has agreed not to take out the AVO and give him till the end of the week to find somewhere. He has agreed to behave. So I am home after a turbulent, homeless weekend. And not feeling to secure about the living situation. Tension could be cut with a knife.

I went and stayed with friend (F) for two nights, but as it turns out she is dealing with her own demons at the moment. Spent most of friday night, trying to keep her out of trouble, as she drank and took more tablets then she should have, and then passed out in the hallway. We were to go over and feed the cat on Sat arvo, but I didn't realise she had continued to take pills throughout the day. Got in the car with her completely unaware that she was pretty much off her head on prescription meds, so ended up in a low-speed head on collision. Pretty stressful and scary stuff. Am very angry with her for putting me in this position, and also feeling quite helpless, as I have too much going on in my own life to try and save her, so have had to take a big step away and let her family and fiance deal with this. Hopefully now the full extent of the problem is on the table, she will be able to see she needs help. But I just can't be a part of it right now. I don't know if this makes me a bad friend? The accident actually caused me to go into shock. I couldn't stop shaking, was breathing really fast and speaking a million miles an hour for a few hours afterwards. Ended up going to stay with friend (B) for the night, which was a much calmer environment.

Managed to go and do my volunteer shift today, which was ok...pretty low-key. Not to much personal interaction mostly just paperwork ect. Therapist (D) has been calling everyday to check in, which really has been the only thing anchoring me over the last few days.

Still dealing with a lot of anxiety and intrusive thoughts. Gremlins still lurking. Therapy tomorrow, which I am both grateful for and dreading simultaneously. May have to book into acupuncturist as well, I think just the jolt from the crash has given my neck and shoulder a bit of strain... has stiffened right up today.

Still here. Sigh.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Still here

I'm still here. Just too much going on in my head to write a proper post.

Will give you the highlights and fill in the details later when I can get my thoughts straight.

-Discharge on Wednesday afternoon. Still pretty unsure about this whole living thing. Some regression to SI as a coping mechanism to get through till session with (D) on Thursday. (Very dismal attempt, not much damage one can really do with a broken up pink lady bic razor)
-Call from Case Manager (M) Thursday morning, I was not very talkative. Arranged to meet with her at the horrible Mental Health Clinic as she doesn't have time next week to make it out to my house. So meeting arranged at the centre for Tuesday
-Session with (D) went very, very, veeeeeeeeeeeeery badly. Her new approach is to try and work on buffering other things in my life ie uni, volunteer work, gym ect, so that my whole life doesn't get flooded with the gremlins. Good idea in concept. She said she knew that I would feel frustration and anger at her, because it would all seem a bit pointless, but she reminded me once again that she 'could' not give into my sense of hopelessness. She was right, I felt an impotent rage towards her, unlike I have ever experienced in therapy. The one person who is supposed to 'get me', is just not getting me at all.... its gone too far for a plan of distraction to help in any way. I wanted answers, a direction, a glimmer of something,. Fuck! I don't know what I wanted from her.... but I didn't get it. Of course with my fucked up inability to express anger, I just told her I had to go, and walked out of the session. I've never done that before...just walked out... I'm too much of a good girl.
-Waited for the train... thought about throwing myself on tracks, but then thought that seemed overly dramatic and somewhat narcissistic way of ending ones live. A big Fuck You to the world had never been my plan before.
-More darkness, hopelessness and Gremlins. Got to the city, and found myself in a chemist buying shiny new razor blades. The ones I knew from my past more successful days as a SI'er', before I (thought) I grew out of it. And of course the requisite gauze, bandages and steri-strips as a repair kit. Figured maybe if I could just bleed a little of the blackness out, I might find some space to breather.
-Walked out to bus depot to make my way home, but found myself in another chemist filling all my scripts. Mind started thinking, why waste your time with this SI bollocks? Just frikkin do it already! Next stop bottle-o for a bottle of vodka. Pills, Blades, Booze.
-Started looking for a hotel, but realised quickly I wasn't going to get into most of these establishments with just a canvas bag filled with booze.
-Good girl kick in and called friend (B) who works in the city. Told her I needed to not be alone. She met me after work, and sat with me in a cafe for a couple of hours.
-Anxiety and gremlins start kicking up a gear. Need to get away from (B), she is standing in the way of my release. Convince her I am ok, and get on the bus headed home.
-Call around hotels in local area. None of them have bathtubs (Some very weirded out hotel receptionists out there I am sure!) Hmmm... flaw in my perfect plan...
-Sit outside hotel with no bath, trying to figure if the pills and blades were fullproof enough without the third element of drowning............ decide to down bottle of vodka while I ponder this.
-Good girl kicks in again... call friend (F) to come and pick me up to sleep off booze..
-Friday morning awake with less of a hangover than I deserve... and no seizures from alcohol intake (very odd) Return Therapist (D's) phonecalls. Very non-committal. Talk to Case Manager (M) Very non-commital. No, will not consider going back up ER.
-Also discover, am temporarily homeless, as sister's (ex) bf who has still not moved out of the house, apparently started smashing things up in the house and cornered her in the room. He didn't  hurt her, but his behaviour was erratic enough to frighten her. She has left to stay with some friends on the coast, and called me to tell me to find somewhere else to stay for the weekend. She has given him an ultimatum to be gone by the weekend or she will go to the police and get a DVO. Went with (F) to pick up some clothes and my computer so he wouldn't smash it, and am now squatting a (F's) temporarily.

Mood black. But am still here, so somewhere in my brain something is still fighting. Will wait and see what happens in therapy on Monday. (Yes.. the same therapy I was swearing never to go back to again yesterday afternoon).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Waiting, waiting, waiting......

So, its morning time in "Some Hospital". I asked whether I would be willing to move from my single room to a shared room last night, as they had a patient who was extremely unwell. The room I was to be moved to is with a woman that I have struck up somewhat of a friendship with over the past couple of days and I knew that she was growing increasingly concerned about this other roommates increasingly erratic behaviour, so I was quite happy to make the shift, as long as she didn't mind my up and down nocturnal activities. It's not too much of a big deal anyway, as I think there is a strong chance I'll be discharged today. (Yeah, yeah... I know I keep saying that, but I think this time I really will be) Lots of general mental health frippery going on, with yelling, obscenities and the ongoing request for cigarettes. Breakfast was the same as it has been for the past fortnight... porridge and apple juice, followed by three cigarettes. The breakfast of champions!

I spoke with therapist (D) yesterday about my upcoming discharge, and my fears around it, and I think we have decided that for the moment, we will increase contact to something like daily visits or phonecalls, just as containment, until we figure out what to do. My mother has caught on that all is not well, and has hit the big red panic alert button. She spoke of coming down and renting a unit for the two of us for a few weeks so i would have someone around 24/7 whilst I go through the worst of the therapy. I don't think this would actually be that helpful would probably just make me feel more clammed up and guilty but the sentiment is nice.

There is also the saga of the absentee biological father who has all of a sudden reappeared in my life at this very precarious time, but that requires more brainpower to write than I have now.....

I will edit this throughout the day, as I find out more about what's going to happen.

EDIT: I was discharged at about 2pm this afternoon, after waiting an eternity for them to write up a script and my discharge papers. I managed to hold myself together ok, until I got home and realised they hadn't included some of the meds I brought into hospital. Case Manager (M) was off sick, so I asked to be put through to (K) who helped me calm down somewhat and I was able to realise I had some of these meds at home anyway, so I could just sort it out tomorrow, when I am hopefully feeling a little less fragile. We brainstormed some ideas to keep me busy and safe through this afternoon and tonight, until I can see (D) tomorrow for therapy, and hopefully come up with some sort of plan. So I tidied my bedroom, in between torrents of tears. I began to try and get the house into some kind of order, but realised we are out of pretty much every basic necessity, so I am about to go off and brave the supermarket with my sister who just got home from work and stock up on supplies. Shitty day, all in all... just got to hang in there I guess. Will sit and relax later on this evening and read about what everyone else in the blogoshphere has been up to

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So it continues

So... I was for a brief moment discharged from the hospital yesterday. I made it as far as the foyer, and then I just cracked. As I walked down the hallway sobs wracked my body (unlike my normal very closed in self) and I just had this continual image running through my head of my body hurtling over an overpass and smashing to the ground below. I think the reason  I had such an intense reaction was that I was already, as I walked down the hall grieving my inevitable, and near on immediate death. I just didn't see the point. I'm not sure that I do now. I can't seem to see a path forward. They explain the plans and ideas and contingencies and so on to me, and I nod my head, but inside, I've just given up fighting, trying to explain why their plans just are not going to work. I wish they would. I wish to god, that it is just my own inability to put the work in or think positively, but honestly, I can't see a way out. But I nod dumbly, as they explain their plan to keep me alive.

Anyway, I guess my mortifying and public breakdown, precipitated me being put on an "r and r", I'm not sure exactly what it stands for but its something to do with deciding whether there is a need to put me on an Involuntary Treatment Order (ITO), so no discharge. I was reassessed this morning by the BossPsychDoc, and the "r and r" has been lifted and there is no ITO. I tried once again to convey how much of a double bind I felt I was in. I believe they tried to hear me. I know i tried to hear them. We are just speaking a different language. The plan is for me to come in for short stays of respite, during the process of psychotherapy. This won't work. I won't do it. And I will never commit to opening up fully to (D) if I know I have to go home with all of this stuff in my head. He doesn't believe that there is any benefit to transferring to the Private hospital. I don't know.

At this stage, I will be reassessed and more than likely discharged tomorrow. I'm terrified.

Hope all is well with everyone else, I have my laptop in the hospital now, but limited internet on my wireless dongle thing, so I will try to catch up with the basics.

Love and Peace

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Letters from inside.

Once again, time limits prevail and this will be a brief entry, just to let ya'all know I am still kicking it. My mood has not made as much of an improvement as I would have thought with the extra sleep I have been getting. And sleep is also, beginning to slip once again. The night nurse gave me three PRNs throughout the night last night, and my sleep was scatty at best. Obviously being the weekend, you get stuck in a kind of limbo as no major decisions are made until the week begins. We currently have three patients with Bipolar, all at the height of manic episodes, which is making the ward....very overstimulated, at best!

I remain a voluntary patient, so I have slipped across the road to the shopping centre to buy clothes. (My sister is away for the weekend and I just cannot stomach using the public washer machines at the hospital). I decided to sit here in a cafe and have a quiet moment to myself and type a little missve to you guys away from prying eyes. Still, its nerve wracking, I approach the main road between the hospital and here with trepidation, as my thoughts are filled with images of throwing myself in front of oncoming traffic, just to get off this roller coaster.

My private psych has realised how little I am giving away to the staff at the hospital about my current state of mind, and I think she feels its in my best interest to stay. I believe the PsychDoc at the hospital thinks I will be fine to go home tomorrow... and me... well I just really don't care that much. Anyways, she will be calling him for a talk before ward rounds tomorrow, and we will know the outcome then. If I am discharged from the public hospital, the push will probably be to go into a private one for a period of time.

Hope all is well out there in the blogger-sphere

Friday, January 22, 2010

Still locked up

Looking like the release date (discharge?) will be Monday. Am not sure how I feel about that. Today was my birthday.. not a great day for me at the best of times, definately not in hospital!! Therapist (D) is concerned about the discharge date, probably because I am more honest with her than the docs in here. If it goes ahead on monday I think she will be looking into a private placement for me. Thanks for all the love and support, and I hope all is going okay out there for you guys!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just a quick one

I am in the lobby of "Some Hospital" on an internet kiosk, dropping a line to say I am ok. Thanks for your lovely words of support. After being admitted last Thursday, I slept for pretty much four days straight, barring meal breaks which was fantastic!!! Now I just need to work on getting back into a somewhat normal sleep pattern before they will discharge me, and of course, quieten down those nasty suicidal gremlins in my head. But I'm ok, and being taken care of, and being a voluntary patient I have a fair amount of freedom ie walks and going to my private therapy sessions. The plan at this point is to discharge next Monday, which unfortunately means I will spend friday (my birthday) in hospital. But its for the best really... Lots of interesting anecdotes to share when I am not paying $2 for 10mins of internet access!

Miss You all

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Same ol

Prepare to experience dejavu, as I blog once again about my insomnia, suicidal ideation and hospitalisation. Sorry to be repetitive, but this is what my life entails right about now.

So, another night of no sleep. Am not sure how long this can go on for... I mean physically how long can by body exist without any sleep at all. One would think it would just have to give in eventually right? I got out of the house quite early this morning and went and spent most of the day with a friend and her children. I was probably not going to be safe at home, and as much as I didn't really want to leave the house or see anybody, this seemed to be the most responsible option. It was a pretty non-invasive visit. I spent most of the time sitting by the pool watching the kids play or lying on the couch with them (not)watching a movie. So it wasn't too traumatic, and it got me out of harms way. I didnt tell my friend why I had come to visit, or what was going on, but I think she was just happy to have someone watch the kids and give her a break...four weeks into the Summer Holidays.  A little part of me, (being a little hyper-sensitive at the moment) was a little bit sad to watch her with her kids. A) Because she is so good and loving and accepting with them, and those kids are examples of what strong loving parenting can do, while I sometimes think I am an example of 101 ways to f*ck up your kid and B)Because they are great, caring and fun kids, and I am getting to an age where I wonder whether I will ever have the chance to do and all. I probably became a little too melancholy over it, just because my vunerability level is quite high right now

(D) called me to check in this morning, even though I told her not to. But I guess I can understand why. We spoke a little bit about hospital, and where I was at with the concept, and also how safe I was feeling. She was strongly encouraging me to at least try and do the basics... like eating. Apparently OJ is not enough to meet my daily nutritional requirements... She still thinks hospital is probably indicated at this point, but she is leaving it in my hands.

I then got a call from (M) Case Manager, who was returning my call from yesterday. I explained that I had really just called because that was what was indicated on the crisis plan, and I didn't really know whether she could help... We spoke about what's been going on, and she is going to talk to the BossDoc about my medications...but I am not holding up hope for that, medication doesn't seem to be the answer. She also indicated hospital was probably the best option.

I was doing ok-ish, until I got home to an empty house. And then it all started again... do it while you've got the opportunity..blah blah blah. So, I picked up the phone and called (K) Consumer Advocate. I wanted to get her opinion on the hospital issue, because I figured with her personal background, she knows a bit about hospitalisations and whether they are actually helpful and how they make you feel. She certainly gave me some things to think about. I'm probably a little closer to accepting the idea than I was before. I was able to start pulling apart where my reluctance was coming from, and reassessing some of the thoughts I was having. I even had a little giggle or two with her, which is actually quite a big thing at the moment. I said that I would see how I went tonight and if there was no improvement I would look at an admit tomorrow. We then discussed what that improvement would look like, kind of beginning to set up some clear boundaries.

So, I have decided.... if I have another night of no sleep or next to no sleep I will seek an admit. I won't like it. It may not help. But it won't kill me. Leaving my safety in my own hands might. Of course, there is a big part of me that is chiming in quite resistantly against this decision. If I am in hospital the choice is out of my hands, albeit temporarily, and whilst one part of me thinks this is a good thing, the other part of me wants the freedom to choose the other path. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Not sure what to do.

Was not sure whether to keep blogging right now, with the things that I am contemplating. Whether it was fair to send this out there to people who might be concerned but have no real way of knowing what was going on. But I didn't want to dissappear off the radar either and cause worry that way. I blog everyday, and I figured I should continue with that. But......

Comments and support are always greatly appreciated, but I do have access to several of my very own MH professionals, a Crisis Line and my very own Crisis Plan, so I don't want anyone out there in the Blogosphere concerned that I don't have support. If I can't make it with the support I have, well, than thats how its probably meant to be.

My head is not in a great space right now, so think about whether you want to keep reading this post. I tried to ensure it wasn't too horrible (if you could look into my head you would see how much I sanitised it) or triggering, but ya'all know yourselves better than me... so make that decision yourself.

I cleaned my room. Just spent the last hour and a half, not just tidying, but doing a major cleanout. I tell myself I am in control, I think I am in control, but meanwhile I am packing away my life.... Am I in control?

I tried to do the responsible thing today and follow my crisis plan. After two days with *ZERO* sleep, I am both totally wired and exhausted. I don't want to move. I don't want to enagage. But I did... because it the proactive thing to do. Honestly, I did give it a good shot.But everything I tried to do on my distraction list, was just too much for my brain to handle. In the end, after trying art, writing, reading, puzzles, crotcheting... I put a couple of DVDS on in my room, but really didn't pay much attention. Now I have music playing in the background, so I have something to focus on at least. Not much chop with my DLA's. All I had to eat today was an icecream and even that made me sick. I did replace a few diet cokes with Veggie Juice, so I'm getting some nutrition at least. Didn't manage a shower till about 6pm this evening, but at least I'm clean for the first time in more days then I wish to admit. I was surfing online for a while, but decided to leave that when I started looking up hotel rooms and drug dosages. Finally I got to near the end of the plan and decided it was best to call my Case Manager. I was reluctant to, because her response would have been hospital, and I don't want to go, but I figured if I was following the Crisis Plan, ringing her was the next step and it was my responsibility to follow it. Anyway, she was in meeting, and reception said they would get her to call me when she came out. I don't know if the message wasn't passed on, or she had other stuff come up, but 5pm rolled around and she still hadn't called back.

My therapist rang to check on me this afternoon, like she said she would last night. I wouldn't say I was rude, but I was certainly more abrupt than I am comfortable with. I just didn't want to go into anymore detail and put her in a more awkward position than she was currently. And the less time I was on the phone with her, the less chance I would have to lie to her. She asked if I wanted her to check in again tomorrow, and I said no. She finished by saying she would see me on Thursday for our session.....pause......right? It honestly took me a minute, to be able to mumble out a yes. Thursday seems a little too far off to commit to. Stupid, huh?

So anyway, I notice these little things, the room clean out, the paperwork sort, the internet searches, the reluctance to commit to anything.... and I start to think, there are two agendas running parrallel with in me. Can I keep that other agenda under control? Am I being irrational and irresponsible refusing hospitalisation. BossPsychDoc and Case Manager are fairly quick with the hospital solution as a go to. But (D) my therapist has a lot of the same reservations about hospital that I do. So I texted her and asked her whether she really thought I should be in hospital. She replied that she had read my email (written at 5am last night) and with that and the sleep deprivation that it would be best to go. Which did certainly make me think, as I say, hospital is definately not the first thing she would resort to. She is all for using ones inner resources (with support) and individual plans. what do I do now? I really don't want to go. For the moment I think I just want to try and get through another night, and see where I am at in the morning. But I guess if things really come undone tonight, maybe I'll have to consider heading to Emergency.

I do sleep better in hospital. And that in itself is an alluring prospect right now. But argh.... isn't it the MH professionals jobs to be the ones that worry about over-utilisation of services ect? This would be my third admission in 6 months. Doesn't that indicate that its perhaps not all that helpful. Case Manager (M) said to me whilst discussing the hospital option the other day, that the first thing they worried about was having an alive client, that you can't do much work or good if the client wasn't alive, and thus that was always their primary goal. Well, I'm still here for now..........

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear Therapist

Dear (D),

I'm sorry. I hate being the client who admits to feeling acutely suicidal and then refuses to actually create any kind of safety plan.  I realise that this must put you in a terrible situation. I'm honestly not trying to make things hard. I now sincerely wish I had just lied. Told you I was fine. There is obviously a part of me that hasn't completely been taken over by these feelings of hopelessness and despair. A part that is reaching out and saying "I'm not feeling safe. I am scared of myself and I need help right now". But there is a larger part, that is just ready to give up. That doesn't want to deal with this anymore. And, so, I am caught in the middle of this... not wanting to lie directly to you, but unable to fathom making any committments of any kind.

There is a big part of me, that wishes I could figure out how to disengage from you entirely. Quit therapy. Distance myself, so that any actions I take are not seen as a reflection on you (because they are not). Friends and family are somewhat easier to start moving away from and disengaging from in one's mind. But therapy, and indeed Case Management are an entirely different quandry... if I quit, that raises questions, if I don't show up that raises questions... it makes it hard to find that space and time to create distance. And to be honest, as much as there is a huge part of me kicking this help away, there is another big part of me that is chasing it down frantically. Sigh. I wish I could just make a decision.

I don't want you on the phone, trying to help me come up with a plan. I don't want you checking in with me tomorrow. I'm pretty damned unsure about whether I even want a 'tomorrow'. But then if this was entirely true, I wouldn't pick up the damned phone, would I? I know that you think this indecision is probably a good thing, a space within which to move. But I hate it. I wish I would just choose. I'm sick of this fluttering back and forth...stay or go...stay or go.

I wish I could just lie.

I can see how to others it might appear the most obvious answer would be hospital. I'm sorry that I am unable to do that. I don't see the point. I don't see that its helpful. Yes, as you say, I would be alive... but then we just swing back to this again, in a few weeks, a few months. I think once you have actually whole heartedly and without reserve decided to end it once, it will forever be that tantalising option you come back to. I hate this indecision. As terrible as it might sound, at least with the OD back in 2006, I had wholeheartedly committed to the concept... there was none of this agonising, never-ending debate in my head. Yes, I failed. I woke up eventually, but I tell you what, when I did, I was pissed, there was not even a smidgen of relief that it didn't work. Just  all consuming rage that I was still here. Over time that blunted, I began to feel grateful (did I really? Or have I just internalised what everybody else thought, and hog tied myself to this mortal plain through guilt) But I long, I looooooooong, to once again be totally committed one way or another again. Be it stay or go. I hate this.

And I hate the person its made me. I feel like a manipulative, burdensome, soul sucking wraith. That's not my intention. I imagine people must be thinking after all these years, "For God's Sake! Either do it or don't do it. Just spare us this interminable vascillation." I imagine you all, sucking in a sigh and thinking "here we go again."

Thankyou for being caring enough to try and reach out to me at this time....and I'm sorry.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Skillz

Thera are many ways we attempt to fight this crazyness that trys to drag us under. One of my regular tricks is to try and learn something new and different. Not necessarily something that forces me to leave the house or talk to people or anything ridiculous like that. Just some tiny little skill, that I can add to the list of my personal inventory, that signals that change is indeed possible and time is in fact moving forward. My name is Ophelia... I have read all of the Mary Ryan "Top 100 books for 2008" bar the bible, I can crotchet a blanket, I can paint a watercolour, I can emboss paper, I can play "Three Little birds" on the guitar, and as of today......... I can make balloon animals!!

I am still alive, still here, and still moving forward and changing, albeit ever so infintisimal!

Therapy tomorrow. Time to be really honest and see what I can do to get the madness under control.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

10 signs I am heading for a fall.

Life is shit. For a variety of reasons I'm just not going to go into right now. But there are a few quite obvious clues that my mental health is circling the drain. 10 Signs, that are historically, harbingers of doom for a complete and utter, to hell in a handbasket, dropping my bundle, breakdown approaching.

1. Sleep. As you would have picked up from my blog. Insomnia is something that I have battled with for many, many years. As a direct result of PTSD induced anxiety and hypervigilance, I have trouble getting to sleep, I am frequently awakened from sleep due to horrible, covered in sweat, screaming, hyperventilating type nightmares, and then if and when I manage to get to sleep, I wake up early, and can't go back to sleep. It cycles, sometimes its worse, sometimes its better. Occasionally, I have found a medication that will allow me to get a semi-decent amount of sleep for a time, but inevitabley, it will stop working. And sometimes its just spirals so ridiculously out of control and there is nothing I can do to bring it back into line. That's where I am at the moment.
2. Mess. When reasonably well (by my standards anyway) I am quite particular about the way things should be in the house. Dishes are done nightly, the house is tidied away nightly, laundry is done every day or so, bathroom cleaned at least once a week ect ect. At the moment, I have been making the occasional brief foray out into the house to clean when I know somebody is coming over ie Case Manager or mother, but in general I just really don't care. Looking around my room now, there are several obvious signs that a crash is coming..
*Beside my bed there are, count em, 11 empty diet coke cans (caffiene free, of course!). This has been pretty much my staple diet for about a week now. And leaving my bed, to go and dispose of them in the trash... just not going to happen. There is also an array of crumpled tissues, and several empty pill blister packs. (Not from an OD, normal usage, just slovenly disposal of the packaging when finished)
*On my bed there are, two teddy bears, one childhood doll, three plastic bags, one handbag, one bag with the materials to start my friends wedding invites (untouched), two weeks worth of unopened mail (bills?...meh!) Three photo albums (necessary for depression inducing trips down memory lane) One air perfume insert, still in its package (I bought it the other day to try and stave off the stale smell that permeates a room when one settles down into a depressive hibernation, but thats as far as my motivation went, actually moving the bed to plug it in...way too much effort).... lets see what else? Five separate articles of dirty clothing that hasnt made it to the floor yet, 9 hairbands, 4 booby pins, an empty chocolate buttons packet, one sleeping cat, and me.... in desperate need of a shower, stringy hair, pjs with a stain on the front, nails bitten to the quick, and an ongoing hand tremor which is telling me that I am due to have another seizure, probably sometime in the next 12 hours.
*On the floor at the foot of my bed... The rest of my dirty clothes, one bag still unpacked from my christmas trip home.
3. Time spent in bedroom. I would estimate I have been out to go to the bathroom four times in the last 24 hours, to the fridge to get a diet coke, probably about 4 times as well. Timing each of these trips at a generous 3 minutes each.. ergo (4+4x3=24min) I have been laying my bed for about 23 hours and 36 minutes. I have only been a sleep for 2 hours and 45 minutes of this time. The other 20 hours and 51 minutes has been spent crying, blogging and reading blogs, staring at the ceiling, thinking, over thinking and then for a change thinking some more, debating calling the crisis line, debating taking all the drugs in my possession and then taking a nice warm bath into oblivian ect ect. That's the last 24 hours, the previous week or so has been pretty much the same, other than the fact that occasionally I *have* to leave the house for a few hours, with appointments, one shift of babysitting (4 hours) and one dismal failure of attempt to be a good girlfriend (2 hours), but other than that, yeah mostly bed. The mattress has hollowed out to quite a nice little hollow where I lie and the sheets are...well, they could be cleaner.
4. Food intake- has pretty much slowed to nothing bar what is put directly under my nose by somebody else (and even then....meh) and the occasional crackers, cheese and vegemite combo to keep me from fainting... which luckily is not much of an issue seeing as I am expending next to no energy
5. Self harm... nuff said.
6. Mobile phone, email, facebook ect are filled to the brim with people trying to contact me. People I will not be contacting back anytime soon. In fact pretty much the only *real life* people I am communicating with are those who will instigate full on intervention methods if I drop off the radar too long- my mum, my grandma, and the mental health people. I give them enough of a response to satisfy more, no less.
7. Alcohol consumption. I am epileptic. I am depressed. I am on a lot of medication. For my own safety I am not allowed to drink. I am usually pretty good about this. At the moment, I am hiding a couple of empty wine bottles under my bed, until I can find a way to sneak them into the trash without my sister noticing... pathetic, huh?
8. Damage Control... involves pulling out the paperwork on my funeral insurance to make sure its all kosher, trying to figure out how to withdraw from people so they won't feel guilty, bad when you are to do this? Cut contact entirely? Make them hate you? Haven't figure this out, so it runs through my head constantly.
9. Uni work. Yeah, I'm enrolled, that's about as far as it goes. I don't know what is due, past due, due to be due, and I just don't really care, I haven't logged on in over a fortnight, I haven't really touched a book since before Christmas. Setting up a nice little mess for myself with my apathy.
10. Most obvious sign of all..... when I think about the days,weeks, months and years ahead of me, my mind can see nothing good. Nothing good at all.

And I am sick of trying to manage this, to put Daily living and Crisis plans into action. What is the point? Even if I pull myself out of this hole, I'll just cycle back to here in a few days, weeks, months or years time. Better to just let myself crash, and see what's left at the end... whether there is anything worth resurrecting. Let nature take its course.

Bah... fuck it all.

Yes. I know. Its my choice and my responsibility. And this kind of thinking and this kind of apathy is not going to help me.  I should try and pull myself together. I should be reaching out to people rather than isolating, I should be sticking to a routine, I should be doing a lot of things.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Can I get an awwwwwwww....!?

Shit day. Not in the mood to talk about it just yet.

But.... While I was babysitting for a new family today (sweet kids, 9 and 10, so very easy... we made a volcano and played wii) I also got to look after their brand new Boston Terrier Pup. And he brought a huge smile to my face.. he looked somewhat like this ----->

Hope it makes you smile too!

Midnight Research.

Random facts about sleep
1. British Ministry of Defence researchers have been able to reset soldiers' body clocks so they can go without sleep for up to 36 hrs. Tiny optical fibres embedded in special spectacles project a ring of bright white light (with a spectrum identical to a sunrise) around the edge of soldiers' retinas, fooling them into thinking they have just woken up. The system was first used on US pilots during the bombing of Kosovo
2. Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.
3.The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.
4.  Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode.
5. Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.
6. Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain's sleep-wake clock.

Hmmm... so what does this mean for me? Well, slight increase in paranoia that maybe I am indeed part of a government experiment (*1) or perhaps genetically part duck (*4). Although this paranoia could be a result of consistently walking around with the equivalent of a good part of a bottle of booze in me at all times (*2). I am by no means the most sleep deprived person in the world right now (*3), my best effort was around 4 days.... but still perhaps its time I got offline (*5) . Ophelia wanders off to shine a torch onto the back of her knee!!!! (*6)


Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Lynch pin

Today was my appointment with BossPsychDoc, to re-evaluate medication and decide whether it was appropriate to discharge me from Public Mental Health Case Management.  I had an extraordinarily (even by my standards) night's sleep last night, and really I don't feel like I slept for more than two hours, broken. It was just that 'barely floating below the surface' sleep, broken every 20 minutes or so by awakenings. I think it was somewhat exacerbated by the nervousness I had about today's appointment. I was supposed to get a home visit from the Case Manager in the morning, but she rang to cancel as she had been called away to an Emergency. I was ok with that, she is very reliable and this was just one of those things. But it was somewhat of a bummer in that I really could have used the opportunity to have a chat and organise my thoughts with her, before the appointment this afternoon. Like everybody else, she got the 'blase, I'm fine' demeanour from me on the phone this morning, but she did suggest that I take a moment to just write notes on everything that I wanted to say, to take in with me. I did try to sit down, and organise my thoughts, and chart an accurate picture of where I was at, symptomwise... ie anxiety level, depression level, self-harm thoughts, sleep ect. But I just couldn't get my brain to co-operate and this coupled with (D's) warning from monday, made me quite nervous. I started trying to plan out in my head how I was going to approach my current issues, and the crap that therapy throws out, without the safety net of Case Management, and also how I was going to afford a Private Psychiatrist after I was discharged from the service. I was certain that I would not be able to talk to the consultant honestly, and he would just take 'Game Face' Ophelia at face value, and decide all was well to discharge. I did manage to write out a list of all of the sleeping medication that I have been prescribed at various times over the past 10 years... it looked like this:

Over the Counter Meds
Valarien (Sp),Restavit
Prescription Meds
Temazepam, Valium, Stilnox, Clonazepam, Prazosin (A blood pressure med that has been found useful in diminishing PTSD nightmares), Xanax, Serepax, Largactil, Seroquel and Avanza (my anti-depressant chosen as it also has sedative qualities).
Other than that all I managed to scribble out note wise for what I wanted from the service was- Sleep! If not- Continued support from someone I already know (Case Manager) until therapy can allievate the sleep situation.

So, 2.30pm came around and I set off up the street to the "Grey Amorpheous Building of Doom- AKA Public Mental Health) handily located a way up the main road that I live on. I'll confess, I did have a little tumble off the wagon, and smoked a cigarette on the way up. But, so far in 7 days I have only had 3 smokes, so I don't think I am doing too badly. I got there quite early ( I tend to get everywhere embarrassingly early, but I'd rather that than stress about the possibility of being late). I presented to the front desk and then sat down with my MP3 player on, planning on taking a bit of time to focus and calm myself before going in. But a minute or two later, (M) my Case Manager came to collect me from reception, I guess they were running early today. So, the three of us (M), BossDoc and I made our way to a tiny meeting room at the back of the building. (M) asked BossDoc if he wanted her to try and see if there was another larger room free, as it was very small and claustrophobic with three people (and I think she was empathic, knowing how much these rooms freak me out) But Boss Doc thought we'd be fine, so we all piled in and got on with it. I will have to say, he was actually quite lovely (I had not really had much contact with him prior, bar some short interviews while in hospital) but I was still finding the whole situation quite anxiety-inducing and was quite glad to have (M) in there with me. Funny to think that just a few months ago it was meeting with her, in those horrible rooms, that used to push my panic button!

So, he began asking me about how I thought I was going at the moment, and I think I was starting to annoy him a little by bringing everything back to sleep. Seizures? Increased, but thats due to lack of sleep. Anxiety? High, but that is exacerbated by sleep deprivation, ect. But what can I say, sleep is the lynch pin! Sleep or extreme lack thereof, rather, manages to unravel any progress that I  manage to make in any other area. And the feeling of extreme exhaustedness far supercedes any other emotion you may have. Until you peel that away you can't even begin to really identify or deal with underlying emotions. He asked about the changes to my medications over the past 5 months or so, and whether I thought that they had been helpful or not. Once again, back to sleep. I don't know if my current anti-depressant is working better than the older one, because my mood improved briefly after I started taking it as well as the sleeping meds that provided a small period of good sleep, but once the sleep started sliding down hill, so did my mood. Because the AD wasn't working well or because of the sleep? Can you see how complicated it is to unpick it all? But I think I was overthinking it a bit for him. He ended up asking if I was experiencing any side effects from the AD and when I said know, he reasoned that it wouldn't do any harm to raise it, and it might do some good. Fair enough.

He asked what I was looking for as far as support from Case Manager. I told him that I realised that my Psychotherapy was going to be a hard slog through yuck, before I could come up on the other side of 'possible improvement', but that for the moment the ability to call (M) who I had a therapeutic rapport with, rather than having to call stranger on a crisis line, if I couldn't get a hold of my therapist, was really important to me at the moment, for those times when the sh*te hits the fan. I also said that I didn't necessarily need to catch up with her every week, it was just important to me that she remained available via phone calls for emergencies. He asked whether I was able to call (M) when I needed support, or whether I generally waited for her to contact me. I answered honestly ( I think sometimes they really just wish I'd give a yes or no answer!) that the majority of the time I was able to take the responsibility of reaching out for support when needed, as a part of my crisis plan, but that there were other times when apathy and the head space I occupied did not allow me to. However, I stated that I believed that this was me making a choice not to call, and thus my responsibility to deal with the consequences. Imma big girl now, huh? (M) who remained pretty quiet for the whole meeting, nodded her agreement that I was generally pretty good about calling if necessary, and there was no annoyance registered on her face, so hopefully that means I haven't 'overcalled'!! We agreed to reduce the scheduled contact, I'm not sure to what yet(?) and I would continue to make phone contact when needed. So, all in all I was pretty happy with that outcome.

We touched briefly on home, uni etc. And then we spoke about sleep. He looked at my list (which of course he had in his records anyway, but I just wanted to be thorough) and said that he had reviewed my file earlier in the day, and the only sleeping medication that they prescribe that I haven't take yet was an anti-psychotic called 'Zyprexa'. He said it was an off the label use i.e. big expensive private script, and that he really didn't like prescribing it as a sedative particularly, or really at all, in general unless he absolutely had to. He stated that it made most patients put on ridiculous amounts of weight, more than Seroquel or Largactil he added, as I looked wryly down at my already protuberant anti-psychotic belly. The price didn't worry me so much, as the gap would not be that much between medicare and private health insurance rebates, but the weight thing did, particularly since it was not really proven to be any more effective than the anti-psychotics I had already tried. He said there was one other benzo (I forget the name) but once again it was a private script and not really anymore effective than what I had tried. He then suggested that we start back up the top of the list of meds I had gone through. He said that sometimes when a patient developed tolerance to a drug years back and hadn't taken it for a while, it can be effective again for a period of time, as it had been washed from the system. I guess it kind of made sense. So we started back up with Temazepam. This conversation unexpectedly brought tears to my eyes, and sat there dumbly nodding, as I tried to keep myself from crying. I knew I had tried quite a few different sleeping meds but the idea that I had practically run the gamut was pretty damned depressing really. And the idea of cycling through meds that might work for a couple of weeks and then sliding back into sleep deprivation torture, is really a bit more than I can handle it my current head space. I can unequivocally say, my first thought was I just want to go and jump off a bridge right now... I just cannot handle the idea of going on as I am right now. Makes things seem pretty hopeless.

(M) got called away for a minute for a phonecall, and whilst she was gone, he asked whether there was any other issues. I blurted out about the self-harming incident and the misuse of pills and alcohol incidents. I am quite ashamed that I resorted to these things after such a long time keeping it under control... I didn't really say much about the rampant suicidal ideation, and he didn't really ask... I don't know whether he just didn't think to ask (unlikely) or (M) had already filled him in to the extent she knew. I felt like I dodged a bullet on that one, because I really didn't want to discuss it, but I absolutely hate lying to peoples face, deflecting is fine... but I get all churny inside when I try to be honest to a direct question. He asked why I hadn't taken up the recommendation of a short term hospitalisation to restabilise, when things started getting out of control, as was talked about on my last discharge from hospital. I tried to explain my adversion to hospital, but I don't think I communicated to clearly. It's not just about not wanting to be in hospital (although I don't want to), it is also that I think that most of the time its actually a destructive course to take. I get depressed because I feel like a failure for being back in there, I get anxious trying to keep it from my family and if they do find out, they get all whack. It institutionalises and infantilises you. And the reality is, whatever benefit you get, brief respite in sleep, and removal from danger to yourself, is short term... once you are discharged its all just still waiting there to pull you under... its pointless. When I was discharged the discussion was that I would readmit to hospital for a short stay if my sleep got out of control. I think the number thrown around was two weeks consistently out of control sleep patterns. The flaw in this plan is that the improvement to sleeping post discharge tends to only last a few weeks, so by this reasoning I would be hospitalising myself a minimum of every two months or so... not going to happen. And realistically, I don't think the staff would be that happy. I don't want to be a frequent flyer. And if I am totally honest, sometimes I just think, that by 'managing' my suicidal crisises this way, its really just prolonging the inevitable. I can just see myself trapped in this cycle add in finetum. How long before its just ok to say, you know what... this is f*cked and i'm outta here, and give myself a celestial discharge. (I've asked many a mental health professional this, and althought most of them won't unequivocally answer, the answer is apparently....never... not much wiggle room there!) Anyway, he put his arguement out there for managed hospitalisations and then we brought the meeting to a close. Patient Ophelia...ahem..sorry...Client Ophelia to be reassessed for meds in a couple of months, Case Management Involvement to be reassessed sometime in the future. (M) quietly praised me as we left the room for being able to talk and be honest, I think she realised how hard it was for me. I gave her a wan smile back, and sat down in the reception to wait for my script. (M) brough it back out to me and sat next to me briefly, telling me to take care, she could see I was having a difficult day and to call her later if needed.

As I walked back down the hill, all I could think is..."you're screwed! You are never going to get any sleep". I envisioned myself just steeping out onto the busy main road, in front of a truck, and the tears I had held back began to flow. I am so exhausted. I know it seems like an overreaction... boo hoo, you are tired. But a couple of months of 2, 3 and 4 hour nights sleep, interspersed with entirely sleepless nights, and the ongoing onslaught of horrific nightmares... its really the worst feeling I can imagine... I would do anything for release... and there is that *forbidden* option that would give it to me.

I sat down at home, pausing only to ring Bachelor Number One yet again to cancel plans, I just could not face it. And I just sat there're thought you were probably screwed, but this confirms it. I tried to counteract it by trying to see how I may be not seeing the other more positive perspective of what was said re: sleep medication, but just could not compute. So I figured (M) was in the meeting, and she had a non-clouded view of what was said. So I called her, because I honestly was at the point of "What the hell.... lets just finish this shit, once and for all!". We spoke briefly, and (M) told me that sleeping drugs were rarely magic tablets for anyone (which of course I knew, but I guess unexpectedly, I was still holding out hope that I would walk in there and he would have the answer) and reminded me what he said about the previously washed out drugs possibly regaining some effectiveness. She said I needed to give my self a limit of lets try this drug for a month and or so and then re-evaluate and if needed, we could change to an earlier appointment after that and try something else. I think I actually laughed out loud. A month more of this....I really don't think I can do it, no matter what the potential long term reward is. Its literally inconcievable to me. She went on to say she knows that I am probably thinking there is another option (well, yes!!!!) but that I just need to ride it out and see if the change helps, maybe consider a short term hospitalisation (ummmm no) She reiterated that I was to call her if I needed to and that just because we were having reduced face to face meetings didn't mean she wasn't still available if I needed. (She has really grown on me, since our initial first disastrous meetings... that's the problem with having good MH professionals, one extra person to feel guilty about when you consider the big S.... but she is honestly very kind, and available and very patient, God Bless her cotton socks!) And then she said she would call me early next week to arrange our next meeting.

So. I am just wrung out. This day has definately taken it of my already exhausted soul. At the moment I am somewhat calmer and able to see that it is worth giving the med change a chance.... but I am honestly not holding out a lot of hope. Last time I was on Temazepam, back in 2002, it barely made a dint, and that was with the copious amounts of college student alcohol I was consuming practically on a nightly basis (naughty, naughty... benzos and booze) But tonight, when its 4am and I am still awake, watching the night slowly seep from the sky to tomorrow morning, I'm not sure that calm will hold.

I am just so God Damn sick of it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time to get up

Motivation. A distant concept right now. I sit here in my pajamas at 1pm. I am ashamed to admit, and I can only admit it here under the cloak of anonymity, that I have not showered or changed in 2 days now. Gross, huh? I am supposed to go over to my mate (F's) house for dinner tonight, but I have nothing to wear, because I haven't done laundry in over three weeks. (Mental Health Tip of the month: The best investment you will make as a mental is not therapy, its having enough underwear to last you at least one month without washing!) My Case Worker is coming around to my place tomorrow morning for a meeting, and I need to attack the house again since then. (Housework is so much easier to deal with for the mental who lives alone... you don't eat so no dishes, you don't shower, so the bathroom is immaculate, in fact the only place that is messy is about a 2m radius around your bed... unfortunately whilst I vegetate in there my lazy housemates are out messing up the rest of the house) I need to reply to Bachelor Number One's email asking me around for dinner tomorrow, but I can't decide whether I can be arsed to go. Well, truthfully, I know I can't be arsed, so I need to decide whether I'm going to be a good girlfriend and go anyway.

So, lots I could do... clean house, clean clothes, clean self... I dunno, maybe put something in my body other than diet coke. Uni isn't even entering into the realm of possability right now...........But what am I doing instead? Hrmmm.... watching bad tv on cable, surfing the net and staring into space. Wishing to God, that I could just suspend reality for a little while longer, and stay here without consequence.... but I can't.

I have the appointment with BossPsychDoc tomorrow. You know when you were a kid and you wanted desperately for the clock to just stop, so school holidays will never end? That's me, I just don't wanna go. I. Just. Don't. Waaaaaaaannnnnnna!

I need to get up, and start. Right now...............or maybe in another half hour. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thanks a lot. (said dripping with sarcasm)

Well, its just after 1am down here in the Southern Hemisphere and as usual I can't sleep.  The last two weeks or so, even though I had trouble sleeping, I didn't really have the crazy, racing thoughts burning a track through my mind. Nope, really I have spent the last two weeks in a state of deliberate disconnection. And frankly, it was kinda nice. But tonight (this morning?) we are fastly approaching that abysmal territory I was in a fortnight ago, before my brain took its little hiatus to the world of "I don't give a f*ck and I'm just not gonna think about anything". So what brought on this change, you ask? Well, 50 minutes in therapy of course. I tried to resist... I deflected, I put up solid walls to keep her up, she got a good combination of "Game Face" and her new friend "I could really give a flying f*ck". But in the end, with her questions and her wanting me to answer and think and sh*te, eventually she starts breaking through... Goddamn her.

We started off talking about X'mas, which we had both recognised as a potentially stressful time for me, but I informed her that I had found the secret weapon to surviving a family Christmas... just get really sick, so you don't care and everybody else leaves you the hell alone. She noticed my nicotine patch...(as an aside: you are supposed to rotate the damn thing to various parts of your body, but anytime I put it anywhere but on my upper arm, I get a massive raised welt that takes a day or so to go How can one part of your body have a reaction and another part not? Sheesh!) So she asked me about that, and why I had decided now would be a good time to quit. Reasonable question, I'm sure given my emotional state over previous few months, she was probably thinking now was not such a good time to attempt this. I explained my feelings about how the stress of not having some 'buffer' money in the bank, for me, far outweighed the stress of giving up cigarettes. I think she got this, as my emotional issues around money have cropped up before. (Another post to be written here) She did however question how I was dealing with the process. I use smoking as a distraction when I am stressed, upset, anxious (insert emotion here), so what was I doing to help me get through. My answer..nothing. Sure, the nicotine patches are helping with that side of the addiction as is the gum, but am I really putting in place any other techniques to deal with my irregulated emotions? Nope... because I'm not really having any. That's the bliss of disconnection... I'm not upset, stressed, anxious.... because I don't give a f*ck.

At this point, I guess she started to realise the extent to which I was deflecting and disconnected. Did she look at me and think...hmm, well that is better than wanting to off yourself because you can't deal with the constant, never ending flood of horrible, shitey emotional states? No, of course not. She decided this was a good time to keep digging away, and attempting to eviscerate me. At one point she asked me a question, I can't remember what exactly, but it was something that required me to reflect and examine my emotions. And I could just feel the agitation rise and rise. No. I don't wan't to go back there. I like it here, where people can say hurtful things and I just go "meh, what do I care", where I can hallucinate from the fatigue and go "meh, gives the world an extra dimension", where I can struggle to think straight long enough to do my uni work or overdue assessment and think "meh, no point in worrying about it, I don't give a f*ck". It's an easier way to be, its not as dangerous and it doesn't hurt so much. So I decided to take the honest road with her, and basically said "the thing that I am really struggling with is that I understand I need to examine this stuff, name the unnameable, think the unthinkable, if I want to move forward and progress. I know this pretending I don't care (and it is pretending, I'm just lying to myself) does not lead to any form of peace or happiness, I am back to existing not living.  However, if I get back into all of this, if I choose to open the gate even a little to let it back in, it will all come flooding in, and I will be back, overwhelmed and on the edge... and this scares me."

She looked at me for a minute, taking this in. And then as my internal agitation grew, I rubbed my forehead and muttered "But in even thinking this through, in even analysing my current thought process and sharing it with you, I'm already departing the land of "I don't give a f*ck" and so, I am well and truly screwed!". She commented that she didn't like to think of things in such all or nothing, black or white terms. I replied that some things are indeed a matter of two options and two options only, somethings just can't be halfway. She asked for examples to back up my point. Agitation turned to sarcasm as I replied "Well, you can't be half pregnant, can you?". (I can be a snarky biatch sometimes) She reflected back that whilst she could appreciate for me it felt black and white, that she refused to get pulled into the helplessness of such a dichotomy.

She then went on to talk about my appointment with BossPsychDoc this coming Thursday. More agitation welling..damn, I had pushed that one out of my mind completely, I don't even want to think about that. She has enough of a rapport and history with me to understand that when you get this snarky, disconnected, blase Ophelia sitting across from you, it generally is a good sign that things aren't actually fine, but she observed that should I turn up to the appointment and be this unauthentic (lie through my teeth and say everything is fine) that BossDoc is likely to take it at facevalue, and fasttrack my discharge from the Public Service. Rationally, I know this would probably be a bad thing, but I am having trouble summoning up the effort to care.

Anyways... she got her wish, fissures are beginning to show in the wall, I am thinking, I am feeling, things are beginning to crack, I am beginning to care... and thoughts are racing around my head a million miles an hour. So, yeah, great! thanks! Meanwhile, ironically, coming out of therapy appointment resulted in my first fall off the nicotine wagon, though it was just one, and made me feel pretty sick, what with the patch and all. I am really hanging for another, but as yet, successfully avoiding it. Climb back on the wagon I guess. Also... lil sis, lil sis's (ex?) bf and his bro are all more home major screaming match yet, but I'm sure its coming, they have two weeks of hostility stored up ready to unleash on each other.

In the spirit of the angsty, whingey teenager feelings I am having right now "WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO DAMNED HARD?" Argh!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


First day back at therapy for the New Year tomorrow. It has been weird being on break for two weeks, but not really as difficult as I had thought it might be. In fact, I have actually enjoyed a break from my therapeutic introspection, both in D's office and at home. I would like to say that I am facing the therapeutic journey in 2010 with a sense of hopefulness and preparedness, but in reality, hope is a commodity I am still finding it difficult to come by. As much as I wish there was some magic stardust sprinkled over me as the calender flipped from Dec 31 to Jan 1st, in reality I am still standing here in the same place I was before. But...I am slightly more rested... not physically, sleep still sucks monkeys balls at the moment, but emotionally, I am slightly more rested. So it is time to gather up what energy I have left and push through this to the otherside.

I guess I'm not being completely fair, sleep has been slightly better by my standards. The first couple of days that I was sick with the chest infection over X'mas I managed little nanna naps during the day, sick body won out slightly over hypervigilant mind. But nighttime was still pretty horrid. And then, since I have been on the nicotine patches (3 days without a cigarette!) I have noticed that the standard nightmares that seem to bombard me at night, have in part been replaced by very strange, trippy but not so scary dreams. End result: While I am still having trouble getting to sleep (usually not before 2am) and I am still waking pretty early and unable to return to sleep (anywhere between 4.30am-6am), I am not having as much waking up in between... so it has gone from an average of 3-4 hours of pretty poor quality sleep, to 3-4 hours of reasonabley solid sleep. Little progress, but it is something I guess.

I have decided (almost... I keep changing my mind) to drop one of the two subjects I am studying over the summer semester and ask my GP to get it written off without academic penalty. I don't have to do either of them this semester really, it was just more about giving myself some structure rather than having the whole summer off. But I have been finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate hard enough to get the assessment done, so I figure if I drop the more intense subject and just stick with completing the easier one, I might get one reasonable-ish grades rather than two crappy ones. But then of course, that nasty voice in my head keeps telling me what a loser, slacker I am, and how lazy, crazy, mad, bad I am for giving in and accepting my current physical and emotional limitations, which makes me feel guilty and then I change my mind again. However, everybody who I have talked to thinks it would be a good idea to just cut myself some slack, so I think I am going to go with the public consensus, rather than with my own distorted thinking.

Spent a good section of this (very hot) day, cleaning the house, which was in dire need of it. Of course, my sister pitched in in her ever so helpful way, by throwing out some potatos that had gone manky in the bottem of the pantry, before she settled her but on the couch for the rest of the day. Yes, it was nice of her, I couldn't move them, I dry retched every time I went near them, but its kind of annoying that I know, in her head, this small task should fulfill her household duties in whole, and slightly more annoying that when I went into the newly cleaned lounge tonight to turn off the lights and lock up, (because God Forbid anyone else should have to turn a frikkin key in a lock!!) I found she has pulled the throw rug and cushions off the couch and left them on the floor, as well as her empty beer bottles on the coffee table... little things I know, but you go the trouble of cleaning, and the minute you turn your back they start messing it again... makes you wonder why you bother!

Had dinner and a movie with Bachelor Number One on Friday night. I really wanted to cancel as I wasn't feeling emotionally or physically up to it, but as I had already cancelled the previous Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night (New Years Eve, oh dear) I figured I really oughta show up. Luckily he could see from my lacklustre appearance, barking seal cough, and frequent need to stop and gasp for air, that I had actually been sick and was not just blowing him off for no reason, so I think I am forgiven. He is off on a Business trip to the Hunter Valley for the next few days, so I have until Thursday to pull myself together. Poor sod puts up with a lot! In a perfect world we would have met in a year or so's time (when I am hopefully slightly more together than now) but its not a perfect world, and he's stuck with me now, as I am, flawed, but trying. I would be really interested to know how other mentals manage to balance the whole need for isolation, emotional lability, anxiety and so forth within relations? How do your significant others handle it? And how much do you actually tell them? I am finding this to be a hard line to toe.

As mentioned little sis is back from her holidays to start work tomorrow, but her ex (currently still living with us) and his brother aren't yet. So hopefully we will have a few more days of relative peace. Meanwhile, I also got around to finally pulling my art supplies from under my bed, and setting up a station, now that I have somewhere to do it... here tis.. pretty, huh?

Meanwhile, because I'm bored... a few more shots from around my pretty wall decoration from Ikea... God, I love that place! Funky decorations, cheap food...and more importantly cheap bookshelves!! I also have a really cool floor lamp in my room from there, but my laptop camera doesn't take the greates photos...

My "Crazy doesn't even begin to cover it" Happy Bunny mug that my lil sis bought me for X'mas. Maybe I should be offended, but really a) you have to be able to laugh at yourself and b) he's so damned cute.

 I actually loaded a different photo of this on and then realised my graduation photo was showing clearly in the backgound, thereby risking my secret squirrel anonymous blogger status, so I took another photo... and whilst I was doing this.. took a photo of my feet lying in bed as I type this. Yup, dear fellow bloggers... that's as close as you will come to unmasking this top secret identity!

Okely dokely.. I shall leave it as this before fatigue and silliness, result in me posting photos I may come to regret up here. We shall see how tomorrow pans out as far as cigarette deprived grumpiness goes. Thus far it has not really been an issue, but that's because the patches are smoothing the way I guess, nictotine is not such an issue, its more the habit. That being said, grumpiness did nearly rear its head this morning when little sis and I were getting ready to go grocery shopping. "Yuck" she says "You're not going to wear that patch out are you? You look like a bogan". A)Thanks for the support sis! B) It's a 24 hour patch, so yah I am going to wear it out... but luckily for her, twas time to change it anyway, so I put the new one on my stomach... Sheesh! We were going to Aldi...what's the big deal?

Check in tomorrow when 'The Adventures of Ophelia in Therapy Land' will recommence.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wish me luck

24 hours cigarette free, and cranky as hell! A few people have asked me why on earth I would choose this moment in time to quit... but the thing is, as much as this is going to probably add to my current anxiety levels, the fact that my savings account is down to next to nothing, and the only way I can build up a buffer is to find some way to save some money... and cigarettes are pretty much my only luxury these days. Not having a buffer is going to make me more anxious than nicotine withdrawal. Anyway...wish me luck! And Happy New Year to all.