I’ve been absent for a few weeks. I could apologise, but I think it’s been what I’ve needed. I’ve been doing a lot lately – presenting on minimising seclusion and restraint in adolescent inpatient units as part of an ongoing statewide health reform project I’m part of; talking with health professionals about how and why to incorporate consumer participation in service development; attending workshops to begin the journey as part of developing an international online wellbeing centre for young people; attending the Young Minds conference; sitting end of semester exams; working; and my regular volunteering commitments. I’ve also accepted a position as a member of the Suicide Prevention Australia Lived Experience Policy Advisory Committee.
So I suppose my return to this space is a prelude – I intent to resume writing here again – at the moment I have a word document on my desktop titled “things to write about”. Having finished my exams last Thursday, I should hopefully have a little more time – I say little, because I have this week free, then will be away for work for two weeks, before a week back working 12 hour days at university during mid year enrolment period before classes resume.
My mood has not been very good. I am doing my best to disguise it with action, but I feel as though I am starting (starting?) to wear down. There is a lot to deal with at the moment – I am still attempting to find a new psychiatrist; still being constantly contacted by the police and healthcare complaints committee in attempts to speak to me regarding my ex-doctor; struggling big time with lack of sleep, depression, amotivation and apathy. I don’t feel as though the medications I restarted are working – it’s now been over a month since I reached my regular therapeutic level. This scares me – if they are not working (if I admit that they are not working, to a doctor that I don’t have), it will mean another hospitalization to work out what we can do. ECT has been suggested again, which terrifies me, after my previous experiences with it. This relapse into depression has forced me to re-recognise my limits, and revive habits of self care. They may not be having an effect yet, but I’m doing my best to continue them regardless.
I’m holding onto the concept of neuro-linguistic programming and neuroplasticity – that by taking different actions (engaging and contributing) when experiencing negative emotions, I can gradually build new firing pathways in my brain. It’s incredibly difficult. I know I seem (am?) high functioning, but it’s not the internal reality. Maintaining my ‘freedom’ and staying out of hospital might be a bit hopeful, but in the end that’s always what it comes down to – hope. I might be scratching the bottom of the barrel, but I’m still trying.