Coming home – Reflections.

Firstly, excuse the horrible photo of myself I took this morning – I had another completely sleepless night last night.

But anyway, I had family therapy this morning at 10 and am now at home overnight until tomorrow, which is a huge achievement since I hadn’t been home even just for a visit for over 5 years – when I was 17. I’ve been really excited about going home since it was planned over a week ago.

At the moment I’m sitting in the conservatory with my mum. I’m trying to figure out the intense ball of feelings that have arisen. It’s nice to be home, everything is the way I imagined it to be – but I can’t help feel nostalgic over past memories and wishing I could turn back time to when I was last living here. Also, I am absolutely dreading having to go back to the ward tomorrow afternoon.

It’s been nice so far, playing with my cats, chatting with my parents and just chilling really. The lack of sleep hasn’t really helped my mood though. But anyway, I shall stop here for now. Thanks for anyone who bothers reading my burble of senseless crap!

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Night time ramblings

Hello people! Having a sleepless night- I knew all these nights of going to sleep at 6-7pm (due to medication and just wanting to be asleep for most of the time possible) would catch up on me!

 Had therapy yesterday which was a bit intense but not too hard. I made sure to say “I’m not sure” too many times cause it admittedly  (on her account) frustrated her last time. She gave me a diary card as homework for the next week to complete every day- I have to rate a list of emotions separately between 0 to 5 (5 being the strongest). She has also given me instructions to practice mindful breathing exercises daily which will be a struggle to remember! I have ward round today, but they are starting from my end of the corridoor this week so I will be third luckily. Always better to get it over and done with I guess. 

Anyway the staff want me to try and to back to sleep so I shall stop now. In the process of downloading some mindfulness app they recommended – let’s see how that goes!

Medicated reflections.

That’s how I feel today. The name of this post says it itself. Meds make you feel crap so you take more meds to balance it out. If only I could be without any medication. When I was 15 and first hospitalised, taking medication for mental health was completely new to me. I was shocked. And now since the last nearly 7 years I have rattled like a walking pharmacy with all the different drugs I’ve been put on.

Anyway there isn’t a particular topic that I wanted to blog about. I guess this is just me using my blog as a space to vent, as apposed to occasional topic articles that other bloggers tend to prefer.

 I guess the last few days I’ve been feeling extra low and have had to take quite a bit of PRN medication  (medication on the side to be used as and when needed). I feel crap about my life my situation and crap about needing to take PRN. The nurses say it’s a good thing I am recognising when I am struggling and that it’s better for me to ask for PRN instead of letting things escalate and me being forced to take the medication anyway. But I’m constantly worried about being criticised for it.

I feel extremely empty and I can’t seem to focus on doing anything let alone do some colouring, watch TV episodes or anything. Every day is the same here. Meal times and cigarette slots break up the day (and groups, but I’m not allowrd to most of them yet ). I feel paralysed. There’s nothing to do here, no where to go. I’m not even allowed in my room until night time! There is also Ward round tomorrow which I am nervous about what to say. Luckily I’ll be 3rd on the list so I won’t have to wait too long. I still have not yet decided whether I want to stay or if I want to go. Lots of things on my mind. But anyway, I shall stop ranting for now and continue drinking my iced black coffee.

30 day blog challenge – Day 25 – Your biggest regret.

Man this is a tough one because I have so so many regrets, even though I don’t believe in regrets. I shall write about the first one that comes to mind.

I hugely regret pushing away my best friends when I first got ill and got admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time when I was 15. They tried to ring, text, wanted to visit, but I believed that they didn’t care genuinely, they were better off without me and that I was better off alone. The worst was a few months later when I arranged a phonecall one evening with my friend. Her mum broke her back and she needed someone to talk to, and I was sectioned (from being informal) too. I remember the phone ringing and I just stared at the phone. I let her down.

I don’t speak to most of them any more because we have separated in vastly different paths. However there is still one from school who has stuck by me thick and thin, and she in fact visited me not too long ago when I was in an acute ward. I value her friendship more than words can say.

I guess this is also a message and a lesson learnt, to appreciate those we have in our lives and not push everyone away, even if all your instincts are telling you to.

Restlessness

I am not entirely sure why, but I’ve been feeling extra restless lately. Even the staff have noticed it. I used to spend  time doing activities such as colouring or doing my dot to dot books but I just can’t concentrate at all. I’ll pick something up and end up putting it down again 5 minutes later. It’s rather annoying when there isn’t much to do here in the first place. Even having my phone and nintendo DS back isn’t much help. I literally have to try consciously to find something to try and do. I went to bed pretty early yesterday – I even started trying to sleep at 7pm because I was so bored!

Anyway enough of my ranting. Hoping I will feel more settled soon and also hoping you guys have all had a good week so far.

An empty shell.

Sometimes I feel like my existence isn’t even real. I have no sense whatsoever about who I am as a person, and when I am around others, all I can see of myself is an empty shell. What would anyone see in me? There’s just a big gaping hole. I am surrounded by strong personalities around me who push and pull, and I drift around like a ghost. When I’m with others and they’re having a laugh, it’s  as if I’m not there. I almost feel transparent. It’s like I’m there, yet I’m not.

 The times when I have made friends only have happened when I don’t care or when I’m not “looking” for anything. Even then I wonder what they see in me.

I just feel so boring, lacking in substance. I’m not energetic or loud or outwardly talented. I’m more awkward which tends to mean I get overlooked but it doesn’t hurt me as much anymore because I’m used to it. Apparently I seem “detached” from others quite a lot (my therapist told me that) which I guess puts an invisible barrier that doesn’t allow anyone or anything to get too close. But I don’t mean to be like that. 

Sorry I hope this post didn’t sound too self pitying. I was just venting and reflecting on my feelings generally. Now I’m anxious about being able to sleep tonight so I shall end this here. Maybe one day it won’t hurt so much.

Update

Hey guys. I know I post daily my 30 day challenges (I normally do them beforehand and then schedule them for publish at the correct date) but haven’t updated in a little while.

The last 7 days have been horrible. I lost all my freedom including my phone (except a few hours during the day). I only just got it back for good on wednesday in ward round but took it away again on Thursday for something completely irrelevant. At the moment I’m only allowed it an hour per evening (it will vary depending on who is shiftleading, cos they make decisions with nurses discretion). So that’s been really difficult for me.

Also I (and 2 other patients) have been given timetables of when we have to spend time outside our rooms in the communal areas. It’s pretty annoying to be honest but I’ve just been going along with it.

On Monday my clopixol depot is being increased to 200. That scares me because I was given 100 this Monday and it made me sooo tired. 2 days ago I slept in the afternoon, then on the couch after dinner and then went to bed at 8 which is pretty abnormal for me. But the last couple of days I’ve been ok. Let’s see how it goes.

Hope you people out there are okay.

Chaotic and ever changing states of mind.

I am so exhausted purely from the chaos in my mind. I shall try and explain some of my experiences in my head – mainly 2 very different states of mind.

State a) I will have a few days where I am almost “hyperactive”. The pain is still there just as much as ever but accompanied by this euphoric discomfort that stops me from sleeping. (And no, I do not class it as “discomfort” just because I am not “used to feeling good/happy” – this is   entirely different.) My heart beats so fast, I have to be doing something, all the time yet the emptiness still remains. I have little to no appetite and I am extremely impulsive. 

Then there is state b). I am extremely low in mood and I cannot bring myself to do anything. Whereas I was restless before, this time nothing can distract me from the emptiness eating me inside. I am lethargic. Definitely full of more thought through, dark ideas and unspoken emotions, and maybe a bit less impulsive.

And then of course there’s the transition between one to the other. I can switch from state b) to a) in minutes, overnight but let me tell you, the transition from a) to b) is absolutely  horrific. 

These are only two of my billions of patterns and mind states, and I’m sure this is normal for everyone, it has been explained to me that people with my diagnosis feel these type of cycles in a much more extreme way. For us it it takes longer to get back to middle ground (which, for me, never happens).

I don’t think there is a way to make it stop but all that can be asked is how to manage them and challenge thoughts and behaviours accompanied to make these processes more bearable and also less impacting on our daily lives.

Anyway, there is currently a colouring and listening to music session with 2 other lovely patients, hosted in my room so Imma go now. Thanks for reading.

“We’re not angry at you, just frustrated.”

I’ve heard this phrase so much over the years and so frequently. It’s very hard to distinguish the difference in meaning of these two words and often I have just thought that it meant the same thing anyway. But I am learning that although these emotions can sometimes be similar, there is a huge difference- the situation, context in which they are used and the difference between the things that are causing the anger or frustration.

In my life, these emotions arise in others when I am in a crisis and behaving in self destructive ways. Often, the professionals (or on the rare occssion, people from my interpresonal life) viewing the situation and having to “deal” with it tend to come across as abrupt and could very easily be portrayed as anger, due to the words they use, and the mannerism.

So I have asked this question so many times. “Are you angry at me?” 

Lately instead of making assumptions that these two words are the same, I have begun to ask them to explain what they actually mean. 

Now I understand (despite the thoughts in my head telling me otherwise) that it’s not me as a person they are frustrated at; it’s the situation – not knowing how to help, not sure what to understand yet wanting to, not being able to get through to me because my barriers are so so high, not seeing any outward progress, and many more factors. Of course, having to clean up and potentially putting themselves in dangerous or physically draining situations isn’t pleasant either.

It brings me back to a couple of months ago when I was moved from my last acute ward to a PICU due to my behaviours becoming unmanageable. I had developed such good therapeutic relationships with them and it was heartbreaking. Interestingly enough, I was explained to by various authority figures including the ward manager and consultant, that one of the main reasons of me being deemed unmanageable was because witnessing me being in so much distress and having to intervene on a daily basis was affecting the staff team’s emotional ability to cope and work, especially after getting to know me so well. I was shocked, and it reminds me that professionals are human beings too. This in itself is another example of frustration. Although I had to be moved, this particular acute ward tried their utmost to avoid me having to be moved to the PICU, and for that intention, I am grateful.

I hope this post has helped some of you who are in similar situations; finding it difficult to understand the meanings and reasons behind anger and frustration. Remember that their emotions belong to them, and it is not a reflection of you.

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