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Archive for March, 2012

A good day!

25 Mar

Today has been a good day. I felt myself coming out of a bad phase yesterday and even got out of bed today. I know it doesn’t sound much but getting out of bed is a big thing for me and also a marker to know I should push myself – which I have!

I did a home workout today which involved the following:

Squats x15
Push press x12
Chest press x 12
Kettle bell swings x20
Press ups x12
Hamstring curls x15
Gar hammers x8
Back extensions x8
Plank

I did this routine 3 times through (modified slightly because my arm is still in plaster).

After this past week and the issues with being left on own when in a bad place, I decided to write a list of my expectations from the service as a whole. Most of these are being met but some just need clarification. My idea behind this is if me and my care coordinator agree to what we expect of each other then if something doesn’t happen we know there is an issue.

And so I have come up the following (with some great input from followers on twitter – thanks)

I know I have to make use of my ‘ok’ time because unfortunately I know I will hit a low point again in the future.

 
 

Is There a Void in the System?

24 Mar

Last week my cc (care coordinator) was off sick for the first couple of days and I was supposed to have an appointment with her Monday, so obviously it was cancelled (someone called and left a voicemail saying my cc would contact me to reschedule.)

Obviously people are going to be off sick. We are all human and this is in no way about that. It’s about the procedures in place when someone is.

It was actually Friday before I got a call from my cc and this was after a friend (who happens to be a community psychiatric nurse) had called to tell her that I was really struggling. She has known me for about 10 years and knows my character traits before all this happened. For example she knows I struggle to ask for help. As an example, when I was starting my business, I used to drive a mini-van delivering ironing for some extra cash. One day I was reversing it down a farm driveway in the snow and it was a tight turn that I made too early and I ended up with back wheels over the edge of a well that belonged to the farm. Instead of asking for help from the farmer (who was really nice), I got out and managed to push it out myself.

So when I say I don’t ask for help, it’s not being stubborn, it’s how I am. On the flip side, in the above example, if I couldn’t do it myself I would have had no qualms about seeking help. And that is exactly the same for where I’m at now. I’ll try to do it alone but if things get too bad I will try and ask for help!

During the call with my cc, I told her I had felt very isolated from the service. She had been on holiday the previous week, and my therapist is away for 2 weeks as well so I’d had no contact from anyone for 2 weeks (bear in mind it’d only been 4 weeks since my discharge from hospital when I last saw someone). She replied saying that they can’t be mind readers and if I’m having a tough time I need to call and speak to a duty worker or her if she is in. And this is where my issue begins.

There is one underlying point in all this… When I am in a low place and needing help, the thing I’m incapable of doing is picking up a phone and making a call to ask for help. I just can’t do it – it’s as simple as that. Unfortunately that’s all the system is set up for. If you can’t manage to phone then you don’t get the help. So whilst I was struggling away for two weeks, they thought I was ticking along without any major problems. I can see their point that if they don’t know anything is wrong then what can they do? But is it right that a whole support network revolves around a service user calling in? That there is such inflexibility in reaching the support?

To me there seems to be a huge void here. I’m not sure if it is just me, but I can only assume I’m not the only person who feels they can’t call the service when in a bad place? So what’s the answer? I don’t think there is one. Unfortunately I think if you don’t call, you don’t get support – simple as that!!

 
 

Going Back

15 Mar

**Potential Triggers**

Today I woke up (after very little sleep), feeling 2 things:

1) lonely
2) an overwhelming need to be hurt and punished.

I decided I needed to do something about these, but had no idea where to turn, so I called the Samaritans. Once I called, I actually didn’t know what to say and realised that only I could change my feelings (this is the reason I don’t call cc when down, because really what can they do!!).

So then I decided I was going to go and see one of the guys who was responsible for my PTSD and here is my guess why:

“I am a worthless slut who deserves to be punished” is one of the major thoughts I’ve been left with from what they said and today I agreed. Whether physically, sexually or both, I needed to be punished because I am worthless – its that simple! I went along knowing what would probably happen and I felt so detached, that this was ok!

But it didn’t happen. They didn’t want me. And I don’t mean for sex (as that wasn’t & never will be on offer), they literally told me to fuck off, that they never wanted to see me again as I was a whore who was spoiled goods.

And so it transpires, not even the people who did this to me want me around. Is there a word for feeling less than worthless? Because that’s how I’m feeling right now!

So it’s fine to judge me, I’m a shit person. Why else would I go back there…

 
 

Questions

14 Mar

I tried tweeting about this but 140 characters isn’t enough!!

I’ve decided to do a future post answering other people’s questions about mental illness from my perspective. I don’t claim to be anywhere near an expert and that isn’t what I want to do – there are many that do that better than I could ever do.

However, I receive a lot of emails and dm’s asking questions and I thought this might be a good idea (or might be a crap one!!) and would also help me because I find writing is therapeutic. So if you don’t want to tweet them to me @FemalePTSD then you can either comment on this (and ask for it not to be published so is anonymous) or email through the contact page.

Looking forward to writing answers!

 
 

Psychiatrist Appointment

13 Mar

Today saw me have my review session with my psychiatrist after being an inpatient. If I’m honest I probably did myself no favours but I was in such a bad mood/place that I couldn’t be bothered talking too much. She asked all the usual questions; how my meds are, what my day looks like, how my work is going and my eating and drinking habits etc

I’m currently doing a meal replacement diet because I need this weight off asap (please don’t anyone comment on this – I am very well-informed on nutrition and exercise and whilst I know isn’t that healthy, the medical risks of my current weight outweighs the negatives of it). As soon as I get enough weight off, I will switch to eating healthily. My psychiatrist wasn’t over the moon with the fact I wasn’t eating but said she could see my point and agreed that as long as I drank enough then she was ok with it.

She did however ask if I thought it was a good idea for me to go back on the ward – I wasn’t too sure where this came from. We hadn’t spoken about suicide and thoughts around it and if we had I’d have said that I was ok. I assumed the ward is a place to keep you or others safe from immediate danger so why did she ask me that when not in a place of danger!!

Anyway, my response is not repeatable but was essentially under no circumstances will I go back on to that ward.

She asked if I felt competent enough to drive and I let her know it had never entered my head that I wasn’t. She informed me that at any point she could call the dvla and tell them I didn’t have capacity to drive – not sure why she felt the need to tell me this, driving has never come up as an issue before and didn’t expect it to!

Anyway, we didn’t really have anything else to say and so she said she would see me in another 2 months. So it went from her asking me if I should go back in to hospital and saying about the dvla, to saying she didn’t need to see me for 8 weeks – mixed signals!!!

Saying that, I do actually like my psychiatrist – she treats me like a human being and speaks to me in a down to earth and straightforward way!

 
 

You are not well!

09 Mar

Yesterday I had an appointment with my care co-ordinator. We were talking about a plan going forward and that she thought the first step would be to go for a walk together – just locally. I have such bad social anxiety that even that feels overwhelming.

But my response was that I really struggle to accept that’s where I’ve ended up – going from an independent, extremely social person to one who struggles to go for a walk on my own and therefore needs support. And like in my last post, it makes me feel pathetic that I am this way!!

My cc said she never normally says the following. She always looks at people’s strengths and works with them, but she thinks I need to accept something fundamental. She looked me straight in the eye and said ‘you are not well’ and repeated it a few times. She told me that I’ve accepted I can’t do certain things with my hand in plaster and don’t feel pathetic because of that, so why can’t I accept the illness as it is?

It got me thinking and am I a victim of my own stigma? But I don’t feel like that about others, so why about myself? I’m still struggling to accept I’m ill, and that’s maybe why I’m stumbling so often. Is there anyone else that sees where I’m coming from or feels similar?

 
 

When I’m in this Mood…

09 Mar

When I’m in this mood:

– I get angry because I can’t play what is a simple game on my phone

– I get angry because I read a sentence 10 times and still I have no idea what it says

– I get scared to go to sleep because of flashbacks and especially when seeing new things in them

– I get angry because I seem unable to do anything but stare at a wall

– I feel ashamed that I let them do this to me

– I feel upset and so alone and yet so empty

– I feel like I deserve to be punished in some way & search out ways to do that (self harm, non-lethal overdose etc)

– I feel pathetic for all of the above

 
 

Rollercoaster of a Week

06 Mar

After my EMDR session last week that opened a vat of emotions that I wasn’t expecting, there were a lot of little things that happened in one day that just made me want to go to sleep and not wake up. And so that’s exactly what I did; I took an overdose of prescription and over the counter medication and if I wasn’t found, it’s likely that either I wouldn’t be here or in a very bad way. I don’t want to dwell on the actual overdose and I know this might sound hypocritical but if you find yourself in a similar situation please seek help (see my links page).

During the time of taking the tablets and being taken to hospital, I somehow hurt my hand. I have no memory of it at all but I am told I would hit something. The damage is what’s known as a boxer’s fracture (wonder why they think I hit something!!) and I have also chipped my knuckle. So the upshot is that I am currently in plaster which is why I haven’t written since coming out of hospital and also why this is likely to be a really short post!

So where am I up to now? I am trying to put some positive spin on what I feel, sometimes this is easy and sometimes not so but at least I am trying!

Right now I am feeling extremely anxious as tomorrow is my next EMDR session and after the way it made me feel last week, I am worried. However, on a positive note, at least I know what to expect!!