Tag Archives: therapy

Hospital

I have not been writing, I apologise. I’m currently in hospital. There is a lot to say, but I’m not able just yet. I’m increasing my medication, starting yesterday. Migraines, naseau, dizziness, blurred vision, tremors, muscle spasms, hot and cold sweats, (more) sleep disturbances. I’m exhausted already, and this is just the beginning.

I will write more when I can.

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Doctor

I saw a doctor today.

The conversation was an hour and a half of (her) “would you rather go into a public or a private hospital?” (me) “I’m not going into hospital”. Repeat. Forget where I am and stare out the window, come back to her holding her hands up in my line of vision and looking at me, concerned. “I’ve only met you today, but I’m very worried, and so is your psychologist”.

I managed not to get hysterical and not to get up and walk out (because god knows that never ends well) and finally talked her down to letting me go home. Catch being the local CAT team coming to see me three times a day indefinitely for the moment. She gave me scripts to be dispensed a week at a time (having to go to the pharmacy every week? Fuck off) with strict instructions and told me that both her and my psychologist will be in contact daily.

I feel like I’m being backed into a corner, and I don’t do well with that at all. I’m exhausted from the time I spent outside of my bedroom and the last thing I want to do is deal with the CAT team when they show up. I’m going to curl up and try to get some sleep before it gets dark out.

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Medication & fog

I am finding it incredibly difficult to write here, as I am finding it hard to see hope. I have started and deleted countless posts today. I realise to write honestly, about both the ups and downs, would be more real – but I don’t seem able to. I like to keep a tidy blog. I like to muse on beauty and meaning, insert colour coordinated images into my posts. It’s much like everything external in my life that I keep meticulously organised in my own systems. Everything clean. The world in perfect, ordered grids. I’m good at keeping things under control. The only catch being that really, nothing is under control at all.

Things begin to overlap each other, and my world gets messy. It literally hurts the inside of my head – it’s like there’s something banging from side to side inside my skull. I should know better. I should not be off medication. Resuming it will be quite a process – I can’t just resume at the doses I was taking before, despite dosages needing to be high in order for me to experience any therapeutic effects. If I were to resume medication immediately and increase at the fastest possible rate, it would still be at least three months before I’m back in a therapeutic range for me. Three months is a long time when I’m in this state. And that’s assuming I can immediately a) find a new doctor and b) find the courage to make an appointment and attend it. To be entirely honest I don’t know how long it will take for me to be open to seeing a doctor, let alone find one and get an appointment.

Off medication, the world is too loud, too fast. I feel blurred. My head weighs infinitely more than the rest of my body, and everything keeps spinning around me. Colours are too intense, sounds scratch at my eardrums, anything in contact with my skin burns. I’m exhausted, but I can’t sleep more than an hour at most at a time – and the prospect of nightmares makes me fear and avoid sleep in the first place. Ideation is without relief, constant images fleeting through my mind. Break all my fingers, cut to the bone and rip them out with my hands, pop out eyeballs with teaspoons, shove skewers through my ears, rip off fingernails and pull my teeth out with pliers. The world is confusing and intimidating, everything with sharp edges.

It’s hard to explain in words the complete suffocation that depression induces. Like a heavy fog, it descends quickly over everything in my life. The greyness has weight – it pushes me down until I’m curled in a ball on the floor of my bedroom wrapped in a blanket – and it becomes near impossible to move against the weight. I lose all energy to perform the most basic tasks. I showered today for the first time in five days, and the water on my back burned like bullets at close range. Everything seems to end in me sitting quietly, staring, not quite inside my body. Three cups of tea sit on my bedside table, each cold before I’ve remembered to drink them.

This sucks.

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Balance

I feel as though I am in a very strange place. In five days I will be leaving to travel for three months. Nine months ago, I booked these plane tickets with the intention of disappearing into some unknown hostel somewhere in Europe and killing myself. But so much has happened since then. I’m no longer planning on following through with that – which I’m infinitely grateful for.

This year has been strange – there has been so much death, pain, relapse and darkness. Yet at the same time I feel as though I have grown so much. For the first time to this date, the darkness and light have begun to even one another out – and it’s with this strange realisation that I’ve come to recognise that it’s not just me: the whole world exists in dichotomy. No dark without light. Two opposites, constantly vying with each other to take hold.

Tomorrow marks one year since I was last discharged from hospital (other than emergency, which I’m not counting) – the longest break between admissions since I was fourteen. ‘Between admissions’ isn’t entirely adequate there, because I have no intention of ever being shut in one of those rooms again in my lifetime. A year out of hospital isn’t much of an achievement in the eyes of many people, but for me it’s pretty huge. It’s about independence, manageability and freedom. But somehow I still feel stuck.

I’m hoping that as I travel, somehow layers will strip away. That the scales which are tentatively see-sawing back and forth will find their balance. I’m not sure that I’m ready to get to the depths of what is within me – but I want enough simplicity that I feel more in touch with my values, needs and capacities. The last month has been riddled with re-emerging anxieties: around people, places, food, sleep. Afraid to sleep, but afraid to leave my bedroom. Can’t eat, showering upwards of fifteen times a day, bleeding hands from being washed too often. It feels something like being sixteen again. Nightmares – sleeping and waking, overwhelming everything I attempt to do. Lists upon lists: I get nervous, so I write a list of things that make me happy, a list of things that make me sad, a list of things I want to do, a list of music that calms me, a list of places to go, a list of people I love – and still I feel nervous.

I realise there are textbook reasons for this happening now. I’m about to take a huge step in travelling the world solo. I’m constantly worrying about what I want to do with my life and what I need to do to get there – and freaking out that I can’t just make everything okay, right now. I’m stressed about friends and their circumstances, and that while travelling I won’t be a text or a short walk away. And the single most terrifying thing I’m thinking about at the moment is that I’ve tentatively decided that when I return from overseas I will begin trauma processing. I’m not entirely sure what that process will involve, but I’m certain that it will stretch me to my absolute limits. I haven’t spoken the ‘r’ word aloud for over two years. I can’t write about it without losing time, and I continue to sleep in half hour intervals to avoid dreaming. It will be difficult, that’s for sure.

I feel in between so many extremes, unsure of which way the balance will (should?) tip. Maybe it’s incredibly naive of me, but I’m hoping that I can leave all this. That the moment I step onto that first plane, all of this ‘stuff’ will remain behind. That I can balance holding on, and letting go.

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