Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Frocks and Fascinators

Therapy on Tuesday continued much in the same vein as Monday. The anger, the rage. We went back and tried to pinpoint exactly when the feeling started to overwhelm me, and concluded that in some ways it did come down to me feeling judged, and inadequate. But also, because I know inherently, it is not D's natural inclination to judge, the fear that arises from the vunerability and exposure of being with somebody who will regard me with unconditional positivity makes the "voice" very angry. D asked whether she could be privy to the conversation going on in my head between the "voice" and I, and I replied no. No from the voice, and no from me. She asked if I was trying to protect her or me? Both really. The "Voice" is a manifestation of a part of me I'm not too proud of, and it thinks some very nasty things about her (from my perspective). And the "Voice's" job is to keep my guard up and protect me from anyone who might hurt me, so he doesn't want her to be privvy to ANY information (from his perspective). It creates quite a quandry. She said quite firmly that if she could not be privvy to the conversation, then the "Voice" was going to have to quieten down so she and I could have one. (Is very strange to have somebody else see the "Voice" the same way as I do... intrinsically a part of me, yet distinctally individual of me) Well, of course that got the "Voice" quite het up... and sent me into a bit of a dissociative state, or at least deeply internalised and unable to deal with outside factors ie her. I actually don't really remember getting home.... about 4 hours I can't really account for which is incredibly scary, but has happened before, in extreme stressed out states.  Unfortunately due to Easter Long weekend, and a missed session tomorrow (only time I could get into Dentisit) I won't be seeing her for a week, which is the longest in between session break we have had, outside of time spent in hospital. She will be phone contactable and encouraged me to ring, but I am heading back to small rural town to spend time with family for the long weekend and phone reception is quite dodgy.

Had group this morning, which is going pretty well. Haven't said much about it on this blog because really, it is a collective experience and thus confidentiality does come into it, but aside from the first session (when I was quite mentally unwell to begin with) I have actually quite enjoyed it and gotten some positive effects out of it. Even if it is just a collection of "Ah, I thought it was just me that.....etc etc". And just the effect of having to get out of the house one more day per week has been positive. Will be quite sad when it is over to be honest.

As I said, Home for the long weekend. Off to the country races, so I found a fascinator to go with my frock today, now I just have to find shoes... I really hate high heels, but its a frock so....hmmmm

Down to the lowest dose of Avanza now, change to effexor tomorrow. Haven't noticed it soo much with the mood, but physically, have a pretty bad case of the shakes etc. Hope this attempt turns out better than the last try

Looking forward to Sunday, when all the chocolate comes!

Monday, March 29, 2010


I guess something must be working in therapy because today's session was just plain whack! (D) and I somehow got onto the topic of my grandparents and their high expectations of me. She said that their expectations were theirs to carry not mine, and I replied that in fact, the reason it hurt so much was because they were MY expectations too. I should have finished uni by now, I should have been working steadily for a few years, maybe met someone, started thinking about a family...time feels like it is running out, and none of those things seem even remotely possible on the near horizon. She started asking about my goals and expectations of myself, and I was just overcome with this all encompassing anger towards her. i shut down and it was all I could do to get through the next 20 minutes without throwing something at her or kicking her. I walked out of the session theinking WTF was that?

Thinking on it, I think we have a classic case of Transference going on here. When she asked about my goals, I felt like it was accusatory (even though there was nothing in her demeanour to make it even remotely seem so). What do you want to do? Becuase at the moment you are just buggarising around, wasteing everyones time and the taxpayers dollars. I have felt that sentiment (true or untrue) from many people in my life including myself.... and in that innocent question I transferred all that rage on to her. Because this is NOT what I want from my life. I don't want to be dependent on benefits. I want to be a useful, contributing member of society. And the curveballs that keep getting thrown my way just get me so dmaned angry.

Angry isn't something I'm used to, or particularly good at. So even though it was kind of a shitty session...I guess we are making progress, no?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weird or what?

Health related, not mental health related. So, living in Australia, land of skin cancer, and being a fair-skinned red head (at least I think that's my hair colour, I have been dyeing it since I was 14, so am a little unsure as to what the natural colour really is now....) I have to keep an eye on moles etc. My Aunt had a very nasty melanoma cut out years ago, so we have had the whole sun safety thing drilled into us. I get them checked once in a while by my GP. However, I noticed about a week or so ago, my body seems to have "eaten" a mole. That is...there was a mole on my chest, and now there is just a white circle where the mole used to reside....Hmmm... does this constitute a change requiring a checkup? They say if they change shape or colour...they don't say anything about if they just fecking dissappear on you! Maybe I should make appointment with GP just in case.

Mental Health related. Well, kinda shite. Lil sis, off to the coast for the weekend. Me, alone in the house with cats and thought gremlins....and liquor. Got a little drunk last night, just to mute the voices in my head a little. Wee bit of self harm... Not good. Up today. Did housework, gardening, headed off to BBQ. Spoke with (D) Worried about being home alone again tonight. Spoke through my options and decided to give it a try, with some caveats. No drinking. Check in via phone with a friend later tonight. Brunch still on for tomorrow. Am being well behaved. And the thought gremlins are kicking my arse for it!

Am off to read some blogs, drink my milo and cuddle my cat

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big Girls Don't Cry

My cat just knocked over a whole bunch of photo frames and then had the nerve to look at me with disdain, because the noise made her jump....

So, I'm sitting here with my warm cup of milo, starting my bedtime wind down. I have some Sia playing softly in the background, which I will soon switch over to the special "sleep" CD that (D) gave me. The house has been tidied away. Bed time routine has been completed. The world is quiet. except for my head. But its never really quiet in there. And I have been reflecting on the day.

I got up quite early and got a fair amount of work done in the garden, another bed weeded, the rockery cleared away and some lavender planted. I really hope it takes, I love the smell of lavender and it is quite close to where I usually sit outside. (M) arrived for our Case Management meeting at 9am, and was, I think, pleasantly suprised to see me out and about in the garden. She did that uber, over the top type praise, that reeks of behaviour modification. Positive attention for positive behaviours and all that. But in essence, it is right. It is good for me to be out in the fresh air, and getting busy, particularly if it is physical. (Although all that digging doesn't seem to have helped with the sleep at all...sigh) We spoke about what my options were if I decided not to go ahead with Uni this semester (that's a whole different post!) And then she dropped her bombshell. In less than three weeks she will be going on leave for two months. Which means a new Case Manager for me in the interim. While I tried to focus on not over reacting and losing my shit (the girl does deserve a holiday afterall!) she talked about how I still had (D) and (K) Consumer Advocate, and that the New BabyPsychDoc and I seem to be developing somewhat of a rapport. But, ugh, a new person. I just don't handle that sort of stuff very well. It will be a challenge. And whilst the maladapted part of me is feeling just a wee bit abandoned, it is a good opportunity really for me to start using some of the interpersonal skills I'm supposed to be developing.

Of course then my mind (and the gremlins) went a lil crazy and started to worry (D) was going to up and leave. (Coincidentally, she is scheduled a few days of leave the same week that (M) starts her leave, which is unfortunate timing, but will be phone contactable). So by the time I got to appointment with (D) in the afternoon, I was quietly despondant.We talked of course about attachement, dependency and mature dependency, We talked about how little I had actually shared about my past with any of the MH professionals. I mean, they know I was abused as a child. That's about the sum of it. They really have no real idea of what I went through. And according to (D) anyways it rates up there on the severe end... I was overcome with an overwhelming sadness. Tears silently making there way down my face as I drifted away from (D). When she called me back to her, and I realised I'd been crying, I was mortified. I don't "do" crying in front of people. Maybe was a good thing, in the end? I don't know.

Just feeling a bit sad, confused and abandoned tonight.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Second Try

Had appointment with BabyPsychDoc yesterday. She is much better than the previous registrar my consultant had. Anyways, she obviously had taken the time to read my chart and also knew a bit about my 'case' so she was able to ask the "right" kind of questions, and was not purely medication driven. With that in mind, we did address my failed attempt to start Effexor. She thought the reaction I had on Friday sounded like postural hypertension, and may be from the way we attempted to titrate with the Avanza. So now, will take Avanza (30) until Monday of next week, Avanza (15) Tuesday and Wednesday and then switch to Effexor Thursday to see if there is still any reaction, whilst there is staff about to call, if I do have another reaction. So Effexor has not been written off yet!

We spoke briefly about my manic cleaning/organising phase and she suggested gardening, which was quite comical as I had just brought some seeds and new gardening gloves, which were in my bag at the time. Snap! I got a good start on preparing the beds today, but am limited to how much gardening I can do, as even at the beginning of autumn it still gets pretty dang hot here in Australia.

I got out of the house to catch up with a friend for a coffee. (Smiley sticker for me!) Tomorrow, I have Case Manager (M) in the morning then (D) in the afternoon. Afterwards I am going to catch up with a different friend (B) for coffee in the city and I have something little and social planned for both days this weekend (plus my volunteer shift on Sunday) (More smiley stickers for me!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Make my brain stop

I can not stop thinking.

I have cleaned the house from top to bottom

I have rearranged my bedroom

I can not stop thinking

I sorted through my belongings and clothings and pared down to the bare minimum... I even gave away books

I dusted, wiped, vacuumed.

I baked

I can not stop thinking

I'm now in the process of weeding the gardens

I am going to grow lavender and sweet peas

I can not stop thinking

For the love of God, Why can't I stop thinking???

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wish I could stop thinking about it

Beating a dead horse, so to speak, but this is what's on my mind, so this is what I'lll write about. The push for Behavioural Psychotherapies (particularly Dialectical Behavioural therapy) over the plethora of other psychotherapies available.

I supposed the one thing that really sticks in my craw, is the concept that my reactions ot life events is wrong, and that I need to 'fix' those reactions. The way I see it (when I'm not immersed in self loathing) is that one can have a normal reaction to a normal event or a normal reaction to an ABNORMAL event. What I endured as a child, certainly falls within the category of abnormal, my reactions to it do not. As much as I may feel like a nutter at times! So, it would follow, I believe the work needs to be done around the ABNORMAL events, processing, accepting etc and NOT my normal reactions to these events.

The second issue I have is with what is essentially the manualisation of the therapy process. Follow A, B and C to heal X issue. The reality is it is not as simple as a broken foot. When you are healing a soul, a personality, no two are the same, and thus no identical treatment plans will work for two different patients. Sure, you can use experience to inform your practice, but not to mandate it.

Both of the above, particulalry with an unskilled or overworked practitioner can quite easily lead to a "Blame the victim" mentality. It doesn't work, so you obviously don't WANT to get better. Because statistics say, you should be!

Thirdly, I have existed virtually my entire life in my mind. I have detached from my emotions to the point where I was completely numb and cut off from them. I have had many years and experience using CBT type techniques through my old psychiatrist, and yes, it did help to keep the suicidality somewhat at bay, because I was completely numb to life. I need to live in the realm of emotions and feelings too, if I am to really live. Not put them in a bucket.

I knew this process was going to be painful, but I continue to commit to it, despite the three hours its takes out of my day (one hour travel each way). There has to be a reason for that. Anyways. That's where my thoughts are at. Wish I could stop thinking on it, to be honest.

Effexor Sucks

I started my first and probably only dose of Effexor this morning. They reduced my Avanza last night, and had me take 37.5 of the Effexor this morning, which was what I was supposed to do for a week. But I could barely get out of bed this morning with vertigo after I took the dose. At first I thought it was a seizure coming on, because vertigo usually is a pretty good warning of that, but by about 1pm, I realised it wasn't a seizure. Little sis has the flu coming on, but I have no other symptoms than the dizziness. So I rang the PMH, and they advised that for the moment I cease the Effexor, and get back on the Avanza at full dose tonight, and they have moved my appointmeent with the PsychDoc forward. Medication FAIL. Oh, well. Feeling pretty cruddy, so i might sign off for a whiles...
peace and love

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Marsha Marsha Marsha

So Therapy Thursday was a doozy today. Basically, my private therapist (D) has been informed by Public Mental Health peeps that they think that the psychodynamic therapy is not the right thing for me at the moment, and that I should be doing DBT. I guess the basic concern is the increased suicidality. She couldn't tell me much as the letter she recieved was confidential (WTF? It's about ME!), but she needed to check in with me to ensure that continuing therapy with her was a) what I wanted and b) in my best interests. DBT has been brought up to me before through public mental health, and I have always rejected it. Firstly, I have developed (much to my dismay and disgust at times) a rapport with (D) and would need to stop seeing her, in order to do it. Secondly, my treatment before has been very CBT-ish with hints of the ol DBT mindfulness, and whilst it can be helpful in symptom reduction, it doesn't solve the problem. I don't want to live a managed life. I want a life. With ups and downs like everyone else, yes, but without the intrusiveness of these PTSD gremlins ruling my thoughts. It just takes so much energy. I knew going into psychotherapy that it was going to get a lot worse, before it got better.

I don't know. My head is very muddled. Voices are screaming inside my head. But my gut is telling me, that (D) is that path I need to take.......

(D) reiterated that she would be there and support whatever choice I make, treatment wise. I worry about whether it will be the same with PMH? If I choose not to undertake DBT will that be seen as non-compliance? I guess I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

Mostly there is just this anger that this is not being dealt with directly with me. As I mentioned DBT has been brought up and I declined. But if they feel strongly enough to write a letter to my private therapist, should they not bring the matter up with me again, and emphasise why they feel so strongly about it. Give me more of a voice. I guess its probably professional curtesy.. I don't know.

In an attempt to make a more educated decision I have been reading some more about DBT. I can't put my finger on it, but something about the whole thing just sets my teeth on edge. The whole process is supposed to be about validation.... but I walked away from the reading feeling invalidated and pretty damned patronised.

Experiences anyone? DBT, good, bad or ugly?

P.S. I start changing to Venaflaxine today....we shall see....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What if

What would the world be like if I woke up tomorrow and just told the truth? The whole, unblemished, sometimes dark and twisty, truth? Not on the obvious does my butt look fat in this? Some little white lies are necessary for the world to continue on harmoniously. But what if I was to tell my mother exactly what went on under her roof when I was a child? The ways that I was used, broken and messed about. What if I told her about the anger I harbor, that she didn't protect me, she didn't love me enough to notice, that I was so inconsequential to her. What if I told my grandparents that their expectations suffocate me to the point where I feel like I will never breathe freely again? That I am less concerned with completing my degree than with completing the lattice work of self harm scars tatooing my thighs? What if I told my older sister that, in fact, what happened to you in our childhood was not the worst, and although I don't know it for sure, I am pretty sure it is I, who retain the most scars, despite your aptitude at being the victim in the family? What if I told my little sister, that it is not my job to continue to protect her, I have sacrificed myself for her, but I am not her keeper? What if I could ask them to be foundations for me, when the gremlins seem determined to drag me under. What if I told my therapist how attached I have become to her, and how very angry and scared that makes me, because, she is, and all she ever can be is a therapist, who by very description will leave. That I am angry that she can not be available to me at the times when the gremlins are worse? That she doesn't have any magic answers? What if I told her the depths of depravity I have been a party to and she turns away? What if once I get angry, once I feel the pain...really feel it...I can't stop it.

Through the counsel of another, and some self reflection today, I realised I am not doing as good a job as I thought keeping this under wraps. Everybody knows I am not being entirely truthful. Would the truth actually be better for them, then the worry of guessing. Does the truth really set us free?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Subsidies and rebates. Oh My! Oh My!

For too long accessible mental health care has been the under resourced, little brother of the medical world. Depressing clincs hidden in spaces, deemed no longer suitable for other purposes. That 'look' you get from the taxi driver when you give them the address, that you are "one of those people". Walking through a building that is on the verge of giving up, just as many of the souls who enter as patients (I hate the term clients) are.

The care afforded through the Public System, is by necessity, crisis driven. Case workers are overworked, wards are understaffed, bed shortages run amuck. Early intervention into the beginning signs of mental illness is left to poorly equipped GPs. Crisis Care is like a conveyor belt of tick the boxes and process the "crazy" through and out ot the system as quickly as humanly possible. The post crisis interventions as a whole can smack of the "bandaid" approach.
Overloaded caseworkers are unable to give due attention to the long-term needs of their clients. Shortages mean that mental health practitioners refuse to carry out early intervention until the person is ‘acutely’ unwell, leading to forceful intervention. Thus, patients are not kept well, risks are not minimised and disorders are not averted when they ostensibly could be...
Even in times of crisis, anecdotal evidence suggests that patients are not admitted or are discharged early due to an inability to access an available inpatient bed. Reduced access to care has been linked to higher rates of post-discharge suicide

Of course this is not just mental health. Public Healthcare all over Australia is suffering economic and staffing shortages. But Mental Health is an area where it is really easy to cut corners, because the ones who access it are less likely to be able to advocate for themselves.

A few years ago, the Government finally caught onto the idea that the average citizen is as entitled to subsidised mental health care visits, as they have been to visits to GPs, Optometrists ect. Well, kinda... I will use myself as an example: If I was to develop a chest infection and need antibiotics, I would book into my GP. Pay their fee (AUD$65 for short consult) and then claim my Medicare rebate (about AUD$38). So, I pay the $17 gap for the visit.  Now I can do this as often as I need. With me, it is at least once a month to get my scripts filled and blood levels on my epilepsy meds checked. Under the new mental health scheme, I could go to my GP with a mental health issue (in my case PTSD) and she would write up a mental health plan and refer me to a Psychologist for Medicare subsidised treatments. (Pay AUD$130, Rebate AUD$115) The catch is, it can only be for 12 sessions (18 in extremis), which averages at about one a month. now in a soild block, that might be helpful for say a CBT approach, or even short term psychodynamic therapy. but for people like me? Not so much.  Annoyingly, If I was seeing a psychiatrist, who would just want to shove pills down my throat, that would be covered for infinite amounts of sessions under Medicare.

So, the system is kind of better for me then it was, but still not ultra helpful. My private health insurance  would assure you that they take mental health very seriously in their plan. They cover a whole.....6 sessions. Grrrrrrrrrrreat! So, thats 24 sessions covered in all, not even one a fortnight. And when you take someone like me, who has to go 2-3 times per week, well that's a heall of a shortfall I have to cover. Luckily, I have a therapist who works on a sliding scale. But let me tell you, it's still bleeding me dry.

I don't expect that EVERYTHING should be covered, and people should have no responsability for their own healthcare costs. But there has to be a balance. And  something as important as mental health, should be judged just as importantly as cardiac care. IT KILLS TOO.

Which is why it makes me really mad to read about them considering whether the Medicare Subsidy for Psychology should stay. The fact that it is costing more than projected should be telling the powers that be, that there is a serious shortfall in 'other' mental health services. It should be, in my opinion, expanded, not scrapped. Of course, there has to be limits. That's why the GP's have to do a thorough psych evaluation and you have to meet certain criteria to qualify.

*Ahem* Stepping off my soap box for the day

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gently, gently

Out in the big bad world today.

I began the day gently putting myself back together, as one does after losing one's sense of one's self for a while. Picked out a cheerful outfit. Hair. Make-up. Sent of some obligatory emails for university. Headed off across town for therapy. Armed. No silence while she waited for me to initiate conversation. No slipping back into 'meta-therapy' know, therapy about therapy, talking about therapy, talking about the therapeutic relationships. You will laugh at my topic for conversation. Dreams. I have indeed kept the dream journal she suggested. The one I scoffed at not so long ago.  Nothing too explosive came out of them, but there was a theme. in every dream, I am trying to get somewhere, somewhere indefinable, and obstacles are being put in my way. Talk of dreams meandered into the feelings of abandonment when my grandparents moved away, unfortunately right about the time ex-step father started interfering with me. We didn't go into that too deeply. We talked of my sister's and their current unusual levels of consideration and concern. We talked of little sis's refusal to come into the psych ward. We talked of the fear people have faced with mental illness. Not fear of what they see in you, but the parts of themselves they see reflected in themselves. We talked, and talked and talked. And it was OK. No emoitonal blowouts. A few A-ha's but no ideal shattering epiphanies. It was good. I will see her again tomorrow.

Afterwards, I went to the shops looking for the next in a series I started this week. Five days in and I am up to the fifth book, but alas, I could not find it in store. Little Sis says it is at the Target near her work, so she will probably pick it up. I put a whole lot of "teacher" clothes on lay-by. Confirming to myself that I WILL complete prac requirements this semester. Just have to get some medical documents, send in my placement form and my blue card confirmation. I came home and watched some TV, and worked on my WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)

Tomorrow, I have therapy in the morning and then a quick turn around to get back to this side of town for appointment with Psych, where they will probably be changing my Avanza to Effexor. Wednesday I have the WRAP group meeting in the morning if I am up to it, Case Manager at 2pm and then Consumer Advocate at 3pm. Then back to therapy thursday.

Still just taking things gently, still feeling slightly disconnected.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Going, going.....gone

I had an upsurge in energy after the lethargy and dramatics of the last few weeks. Did my post hospital tidy up. Went to work today. Completed my wellness and recovery plan, as well as a few other projects. I was out out of hospital, and I was going to DO stuff, dammit!

But I am tired, and feel as though i maybe coming down with something. So I am choosing to be kind to myself, huddle up with a blankie and book, and hopefully get a nights rest. Time to STOP and just BE. I don't have to prove anything to anyone. Afterall its been one hell of a ride so far this year......

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On the ward and out of my mind- My Keepers

For previous "On the ward posts" refer to here, here, here, here, here and here.

Well, it would appear Ophelia, that you are a naughty, naughty girl danger to yourself, and we, in our infinite wisdom have decided to provide one-on one nursing for you to spy on you, and take notes about every meaningless comment and insignificant action keep you company and ensure your safety.

Really, I am being quite unfair. I have only been put on constants once before in my 'mental career' and that was because I had to be on a medical ward, and they were worried about me being around all the shiney, sharp tools. This time, they quite fairly were concerned that while their back was turned I would do myself in, or at least leg it, and then do myself in. So I was put on Special Obs. To be kept within a couple of feet of my nurse for that hour at all times. Or as the nurses put it, in their ever so tactful way, to be babysat.

I'm in two minds over whether this was a great trial for the nurses to endure. It did mean one less nurse on the floor every hour. But each nurse was allocated an hour per shift with me, perhaps two at a stretch. I am told for the first few days I was pretty uncommunicative, so not a heck of a lot of fun. But with the invention of I-Phones the nurses found ways to pass the time. After a while my witty reparte returned, and I am sure I was a wonderful "constant patient". Well, I didn't abuse them, try to attack them, hurl obscenities or anything like that, so they should just be grateful! :P

There were four main reasons being on constants probably sucked for them:
1. They couldn't hide in the staff room "charting"
2. They had to accompany me to the bathrrom
3. They had to sit in an uncomfortable hospital issue chair, while I snoozed away in luxury.
4. I was up and down like a yo yo for ciggies, and as my shadows, so were they! he he.

The four reasons being on constants probably rocked for them:
1. Alarm bell: Sorry can't help I'm on constant
2. Needy patient wanting something. Sorry can't help i'm on constant
3. Code Brown: Sorry can't help I'm on constant
4. Paperwork not complete? Sorry was on a constant.

The four reasons constants sucked for me
1. No privacy. With phone calls, with visitors.
2. Nothing more annoying than someone sticking to you like a barnacle when you just want to be left the f*ck alone
3. The bathroom thing. OMG.
4.Constantly being asked, so "Do you know why you've been sectioned? Placed on constants? How do you feel right now? Blah blah blah.

The four things that rocked about constants for me.
1. Never having to wait for half an hour outside the nurses station for your nurse to actually get off her butt.
2. Always having someone to check the answers to the crossword with
3. Prevents family from having D and M conversations when you are totally not up to it.
4. Honestly, had some shit nurses, ok ones and a few really good ones. The good ones helped me to really process what was going on in my mind as it was happening. provide reassurance in a frightening time. Provide hope in a time of chaos and feeling out of control.

In a perfect world. Nurse caseloads would be a lot less. Paper work would be limited. And then maybe some patients could get the quality of care I recieved in that time. (Minus the "special time" in the bathroom together)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Locked up

Voluntary. It means a totally different thing to mental health professionals than it does to the laymen. You believe that if you sign yourself in to a psych ward voluntarily, you have the ability to leave. What it actually can mean is, you are voluntary until such time as you don't want to be here, and then we will section you under the mental health act, and make you an involuntary patient.

I'm not complaining. I was treated well. It was probably the right thing for me therapeutically at the time, however much it pissed me off. But... its kind of laughable right? Voluntary

The end of last week is all a bit hazy. Here is what I do know. I took a whole lot of benzos. Drank a whole lot of vodka. Apparently, I wrote, a couple of goodbye sweet world notes. I rang my therapist (D) to cancel our appointment. She was concerned enough that she insisted I either call an ambulance or my Case manager to take me to hospital. I did. At some point I then decided, I didn't want to go to hospital, and began filling the bath tub before they could come. I guess they arrived before I put that drug addled plan into play.

When I woke in hospital, they told me I was being taken to the psych ward, and could change make into my civillian clothes. Unfortunately, they had been cut through. Turns out instead of transporting me by car as originally planned, an ambulance had to be called as my heart rate went (paradoxically) through the roof, instead of through the floor as it should have with the benzos. They're still not sure why.

Upon installment in psych ward, I decided to finish off what I started and tried to asphixiate myself with a plastic bag and cord. At this point I was 'specialled'...which basically means one to one nursing at all times, (Yup! Including bathrooms) And sectioned as a 'risk to myself' and an involuntary patient under the mental  health act.

The world was topsy turvy. On one hand, I truly wanted it all to end, and I continue to fail to see how things can improve, and on the other nature wins out and wants to protect our survival. I am beaten and bruised emotionally and not really up for a big post, but will try again tomorrow.

My family has finally come to realise that they need to drop their expectations. For the moment. I cannot be the golden child. I am fighting just to keep my head above water, I cannot carry their hopes too.

This week, if nothing else, was a wake up call. Things have to change. I cannot survive if they continue the way they are.

Thank you for all your kind wishes and support. Hopefully Ophelia will be 'back in the building' soon/ Love and peace.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


In my barely unpacked bag lies an envelope from the powers to be outlining their decision to involuntarily detain me on a psych ward last week, under the mental health act. The same envelope that gave them the power to have nurses attached one to one on me for three days, that prevented me from being able to move beyond the small grey coutryard.

I was pissed. MEGA PISSED! Now?....Well, now I am somewhat more philosophical. It happened. It wasn't pleasant. It was very disempowering. It shook the foundations of some very important relationships. BUT, I am here, and alive.

Sorry to disappear but obviously no internet priviileges. Will add more of a post when I'm more rested. For now, I'm just happy to be snuggled in my own bed, with my little kitty.

Peace and love

Thursday, March 4, 2010


You try and do the right thing by leaving the house.

You get upset, and let things slip. Slip to someone who has to pass that information on.

You should have stayed home. The beauty of isolation is the protection it affords you.

You get try and avoid a phone call from your Case Manager. You listen to the voicemail. The information has made its way to her. Not returning the call is no longer an option.

You try and return the call with a story about how you were having a bad day. You didn't mean what you said. Everything is ok now. You are not a great liar.

You end up digging yourself in deeper and revealing to much. You are offered a choice between having someone stay to you, hospital by your own volition or hospital whether you like it or not.

You try and desperately find some kind of way out, a way out that doesn't exist.

You are trapped. No matter what you say or do.

You should have stayed home.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Because its the right thing to do (Or F*ck it all to Hell!)

I'm staring at the useless piece of crud crisis plan on the back of my bedroom door. Therapy was a bust again. (D) asked me at the end whether I felt safe being at home tonight. I didn't answer in the affirmative or negative, so I guess she deduced the answer from there. I find it hard to outright lie when asked a direct question. I have my own moral ambiguity when it comes to lies of omission, side stepping and deflection, but full blown lies, thats on my no-no list. Which is why I didn't want to be in therapy yesterday or today. But not going would just raise more questions so I'm stuck.

Truth is, I'm feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed right now. I'm not in a great head space at all. And I just can't deal with anybody messing with the status quo right now. Even if that means stepping away from the support systems.

(D) asked what I wanted from her. I said quite truthfully, in this moment, nothing. I just want to be left alone. She asked me to call her tonight if I needed. I told her I wouldn't. She said she would call me tomorrow to check in. I asked her not to. She asked why. I repeated, I just want to be left alone. She told me she was going to call anyway, but if I really didn't feel like talking, I didn't need to pick up. That's something at least.

So, now, in the midst of overwhelming confusion and nasty gremlins dancing through my head, I am looking at the crisis plan. And realising that not one damned thing on that list is going to make me feel any better right now. I'm breaking all the rules. I'm isolating, not eating, not trying relaxation. I'm not reaching out for support. I haven't even told Case Manager (M) about Thursday, because I just can't deal with anybody else. I want to hide myself under the duvet, till the rain stops and this all goes away. I want to throw myself off of great heights. Run headlong into traffic. Drink until my body gives out. I want escape. I want oblivian. I DON'T want to be sitting here four years later, in the same damned position. Here because of one damned stroke of bad luck, and a proceeding amount of promises elicited by loved ones, to bind me here.

This is not how life is meant to be.

Staring at a crisis plan that just perpetuates this circle.

Filled with people, who can almost convince me things are getting better, more hopeful.....until they are not.

I am tired. Bone tired. Soul tired.

And tomorrow, I will probably get up, and go to the group thing. Because its the right thing to do. And eat. And shower. And sort out my uni stuff. Because its the right thing to do. And head back to therapy on Thursday, and start engaging once more. Because its the right thing to do. And go for walks, do puzzles, take exercise classes, catch up with friends, write, paint, clean, look at clouds and puppies and friggen rainbows....

Because its the right thing to do. One foot in front of the other.

But for tonight. I'm not buying into it. Just because its the right thing to do.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Falling down in public...I does it!

It's raining cats and dogs. Once again, the weather is perfectly in-sync with my mood.

-I'm typing this one handed. I was walking through the shopping centre, about to exit, and went a over t on a patch of wet tile, landing on my right hand...cos I'm coordinated like that! Feeling quite lame and stupid, and not wanting to spend hours up at the A&E getting an Xray, I rang a local day and night doctor's surgery (not my own) to see if I could get an appointment there tonight. I was quite bemused to get and answering machine stating their opening hours as 7.30am-5.30pm. This is a clinic that had "Day and night" in their name. WTF? Anyways, am pretty sure is just a sprain, so I'm icing it, and working on the assumption if anything is broken, it will still be broken tomorrow. Hurts like a mo-fo though.

-Therapy...ah, therapy. It was painful. Painful in the "I'm just going to sit here in silence, because I have to be here, but not even chinese water torture could make me talk at this moment in time" kind of way. I am just trying so hard to keep everything together this week, with Thursday and all its connotations coming up, that I just cannot handle talking about any of this stuff. I wish I could just not go to therapy for a few days, but am pretty sure that would not go down very well. Sigh. So instead, silence, staring at the carpet, with obvious looks towards the clock, marking out the excrutiatingly slow progress of time that was that 50 minute session. I feel bad. I imagine it must be inordinantly frustrating for (D), but sometimes I feel like I just need to spend my time staying as still as possible, or everything will just fall apart. Can't stay, can't go, what the hell am I meant to do? And I''ve got to go back tomorrow. Sigh.

-Little ego boost from my lil sis (cos she's tactful like that). She was talking about whether she wants to live in *Current city we live in* for the rest of her life. She complained that at least in *our family hometown* she knew people....big sis, our aunt K etc, but here in current town, she has nobody, NOBODY!... She looks over from her melodramatic rant to see a bemused look on my face. "What?" she asks. "Erm...what about me? Aren't I someone?" I reply. She blusters "Oh, you know what I mean!". LMAO. Thanks lil sis, lub u too!

Stalking you on the Internets

Some more distraction from the gremlins needed.

So, I've been peeking over at Google analytics, cos I'm nosey like that.... and now for your reading pleasure, some  mind numbingly boring interesting trivia about my blog (feel free to stop reading any time now!)

Who are you?
Well, despite the fact I have a mere 12 people following me. (And much beloved they are, my dear readers!) There are in fact a number of other people who read my blog. Most of em, I would suspect, bounce right off after reading a few sentences, but some of ya'all just keep coming back... what gives? :P So, the winners of the top 5 cities who read my blog are: (drumroll please.....)
1. Derby, UK
2. Sydney, Australia
3. London, UK
4. New York, USA
5. Belfast, UK.
As an interesting aside, I have a semi-regular reader/readers (?) from Dundee in Scotland, which just tickles me, as my mother was born there, and my grandparents were both raised there and lived there until they emmigrated in the 60's. We do, I believe, have quite a bit of family still there, though nobody I've had any regular contact with.

By far, the most popular posts seem to be the "On the ward series" and anything related to the therapeutic relationship, boundaries or in general, just being pissed off at this annoying person called a therapist, who insists on getting "all up in yo grill".... No suprise there. Will try to write another "On the ward" post when I am not feeling quite so apathetic...

My favourite part of google analytics is checking out the google searches that send people my way.

Alcohol Consumption + Avanza
Sounds like fun! Can I join you?

Therapist sucks
I hear ya sister! Unfortunately you will find no solutions on my blog, but a whole lot of whinging...

What to do in Australia when its too hot to work
Three words. Pool, beer, dodgy sick note!

Introducing myself for to find a true female friend
Erm...good luck? Can I suggest you try instead?

Scared of gremlins
Me too, buddy, me too... Can I suggest sleeping with a meat tenderisor under your pillow? That's my common fall back plan.

How do I know if I'm crazy
Ask the leprechaun standing next to you, if he says yes, you probably are! I judge my current level of crazy like an archeologist, the amount of layers of debris in my nest zone, ie. bed and surrounding flooring, will indicate the length of descent into crazy and careful inventory of what's in these layers, will denote the severity of crazy. Layer includes unwashed clothes and crisp packets= slightly crazy, Layer includes photographs from the past and five empty tim tam packets=moderate crazy, Layer includes an empty bottle of Brown Brother's White wine and various editions of my suicide note= Red Alert Crazy.

And finally...
What does maternal acopia mean
 You've got me! No idea what that means or why it brought you to my blog. Hrmmm.

Anyways, now that I've finished stalking my readers for the evening, am going to lie down in bed and stare at the ceiling until dawn, cos that's how I roll!