Thursday, 31 January 2013

The One When It Sort Of Helps

One of the staff read through everything I'd written since she'd last read it and it felt so good because I got some answers for questions that I never thought I needed to ask because I'd never even thought about what we were talking about. The answers helped me to understand things that'd happened to me which helped me to accept more easily and to forgive myself for some of the things I've done now that I can understand why I did them... One of the main things that has been spurring me on to hurt myself, I had to write about but when I wrote about it, I wrote it to try and convince the person reading it that they shouldn't blame me and as I read it back I realised something; why am I blaming myself when I believe everything I just wrote?! I left the 1:1 feeling like I'd made a massive improvement... But then things went 'wonky.' The voices I hear, begun unpicking all of my hard work and telling me that I was wrong to have changed my mind. I wasn't sure of myself enough to argue against them and put up a fight so I cried. I cried for literally an hour straight. Staff had to take me out of Reflection because I was almost hysterical and then after I'd managed to sit through the rest of the meeting, I asked for some PRN. The next day, I told them I was going to say that I only needed one milligram but I knew they'd say I needed two and they agreed. Even after the medication, it took a while of me sitting on my bathroom floor before I calmed down, and then a Nursing Assistant came and spoke to me; I explained I was having replays of what I'd written about and told her about the voices. She understood and sympathized. Then my Mum rang and afterwards, I fell asleep from the meds. I slept through the majority of the night but had nightmares that just didn't wake me.  

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Catch 22 (and a RIP to my hamster!)

I finally wrote my biggest secret down! Some of the staff had been encouraging me to do it but I'd been so worried because I was ashamed of what I'd done and I genuinely believed they would all hate me for it and I told them I deserved to be hated and that if they said they didn't then they'd be lying. But it put me in a catch 22 because on the one hand I wanted to tell them so that they wouldn't keep telling me I deserved help but on the other hand, I didn't want to tell them either in case they thought of me how I thought of me; with hatred, shame... But it worked out different... As I was writing it I realised I was trying to convince the reader not to hate me and in doing so, I realised I agreed with all of the reasons I thought they shouldn't hate me. And it made me wonder; why do I hate myself?
I had a horrendous night after writing everything down, I was lying in my bed and I had my eyes open, I knew where I was but I didn't physically feel like I was there; I had pain where I shouldn't have. And then when I went into my bathroom (we have en-suites) I knew my eyes were playing tricks on me in the dark because I could see someone standing in front of me so I kept flailing my arm out to show there was no one there but it couldn't convince my eyes or my brain. So I got upset and it was about 5:30 am and I just thought 'I haven't got the energy to fight this' so I went to see a nurse and usually they try not to give PRN (medication you only take when you need it) after 1am so that you're not still drowsy for the following day and groups. But the nurse took one look at me and said that it didn't matter! I went back to my room after taking the Lorazepam and cuddled up in bed with all of my three rabbits (I have them to help with hallucinatory ones I struggle with) and listened to music until I fell asleep.

Rest in peace Butter, my little hamster; 27/12/2010 - 25/01/2013. The house will be much quieter without your squeaks... But at least the cat will get some sleep!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Today I Learnt...

1. How much I respect staff who I didn't even realise I did... This was discovered when writing my suicide notes.
2. I write some massive crap when I'm sleep deprived and even though I know I genuinely felt that way then it's like... "why didn't I just go to sleep?!"
3. That a smile means they look at you for less time than if you were crying.
4. That my GCSE Textile teacher (6years ago) really broke my confidence in my drawing to the point where I'm now such a perfectionist that I screwed up my paper in Arts and Crafts group and agreed to do mine in my spare time.
5. That Hunters Chicken takes longer than 20minutes to cook... And two 6" baguettes thrown at your face hurts! OT vs a patient
6. That there are two ways to get to subway... There's the quick way and then there's the way the staff took me! To be fair if I'd worn waterproof boots for the snow I wouldn't have complained so much!
7. That Subway 6" Italian with chicken, bacon and mayo, grilled, is AH-Mazing!!!
8. That there's such a technique to being assertive called I Language and it's an absolute joke that can't always be applied in situations.
9. That our trainee Forensic Psychologist thinks you can 'choose' how you feel. And she thought Anger Management would be the right time to tell patients diagnosed with a Disorder where one of the main symptoms is mood instability.
10. They lock the door in Anger Management.
11. Staff are very unobservant when it comes to their food and it 'going missing' under our table!
12. Staff don't appreciate when one of them accidentally triggers their alarm and we all scream 'quick! help!' for all the staff running to what they expect to be an incident.
13.If you haven't cried for three years then once you start crying again it comes out in floods.
14. I'm not very confident in much about my appearance but I dress myself up to give the impression that I do and I think I actually fool people.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Bad Tribunal

It was my tribunal today. It had actually been a difficult decision to appeal my section and go ahead with the hearing and at first, I just kept reminding myself of how much I don't want to be here on the bad days but recently I haven't needed to remind myself because the bad days have been that often.
My argument to the tribunal panel was that in the community (at my worst) I was overdosing once a week to shut the voices up and therefore, once I'd taken enough tablets to make them quiet and happy, I would get help for the O'D but now, being here has made me feel suicidal so that if I was made to stay here then given the opportunity, I would overdose but not get help for it. I tried to show them that this was worse but they explained that their hope would be that I never got that opportunity while that would be my intention and that although I say I would get help for overdoses in the community there was no guarantee that it would be enough. Sometimes, with paracetamol overdoses (which is what I usually take) even a small amount can cause liver failure.
The panel spoke with a CPN from my Community Team first as my CPN couldn't attend and he explained that there were no relevant services for BPD where I live and that they felt I couldn't be kept safe in the community as they were so ill-equipped to deal with such a severe form of the Disorder. The hospital staff spoke about the time I went AWOL on my unescorted ground leave. Then one of the nurses' explained then she would be very concerned if they discharged my section because she knew what I would do and that she noticed my suicidal intent had increased and the staff were aware (after a room search) that I had suicide notes for my family etc in my room.
So, my section was upheld.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Imagery Exercise In Psychology

Yesterday, the Psychologist came to see me for our usual appointment. I reluctantly went to the room and told him I didn't know what he wanted since I'd openly said I didn't want to see him but he told me there were no other Psychologists and that the Hospital would get no one else in for me. So I said 'ok, you said last week to talk about the trauma, let's go!' I think I genuinely thought that he would panic and backtrack, realise I wasn't ready or something. Anything really but do what he did... He asked me why I thought I detached so much and I said to protect myself. He asked why I felt like I had to. I said because of the 'trauma.' Then he had me do an imagery exercise where I begun by imagining a 'safe time.' I chose when I was down south (where I'm from) with my Dad and Step-Mum, on the beach at Poole and I had to remember the smells and sounds and sights. It was surprisingly easy and I found myself enjoying it. Then I had to pick a memory from during the 'trauma,' I chose when I was sitting in my bedroom and I first started hurting myself (they were just scratches though) and he said I had to think of how I felt and what I would've liked to have happened then. I said I would've wanted my Mum to have walked in and asked why I was doing it so I could've told her what was happening to me. He asked what she would've done; 'cried? Hugged me? And called the police probably!' I then had to think of a childhood memory in which I'd felt lonely and as though my needs weren't met. I immediately said there was none; I've always been adamant that my childhood was perfect and it was my teenage years that were the problem but I thought of a time when my Mum and her partner (at the time) were rowing on our doorstep and I was in the next room. I had to describe how I'd felt helpless because even though he'd never been violent I'd been worried my Mum would get hurt, emotionally (by them breaking up) and physically and I couldn't help her because I was only young. Finally, I had to go back to my safe time before opening my eyes. I couldn't believe I'd done an exercise like that! I've had three psychologists before the one in here (one other inpatient one and two outpatient ones) and have been asked before to do similar exercises but once I've heard the words 'imagine...' I've point blank refused to do them. The Psychologist said it'd felt like I'd been unable to connect very well with my feelings from the memories and I said I'd done it better than I thought I would, 'oh yeah, definately!'  I was so proud of myself and text my Mum to tell her I'd finally bit the bullet and had a 'proper' Psychology session.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Justin Bieber #Cut4Bieber Rant

[note: contains discussion of self-harm]

I just saw a post last night on Facebook about this and I was shocked and disgusted.
My arms are a state, even if I hadn't cut them recently they were still a state! I had white scars right the way down both forearms, on the top and undersides of them and a couple further up and I had three purple, raised more recent scars.  My one big worry about recovery (and I've found it's shared by most of the girls in here) is that I get better and I still have my scars as reminders of the time in my life that I'd most like to forget. One of the girls in here looks as though part of her muscle has been carved out, another has very thick, wide, unmissable, purple scars on the tops of her arms, another used hers to dissuade a friend's daughter from self-harming to be 'cool' and another always wears long-sleeved tops. It's a very real possibility that some of these girls might need surgery to make them feel confident enough to show their arms in public (none of us will go out without sleeves but we don't mind in here as it's more 'normal) yet these Justin Bieber fans think that their idol taking drugs gives them 'no hope' and is reason enough to hurt themselves?! There are many reasons for people self-harming but if people are seen to do it for a reason like this then those who do it because they've been through a trauma or because they're cutting the evil out... Well, they're looked upon as 'attention seeking' and they don't get the help they need. If someone goes into hospital due to a self-harm related injury I'd hate to think that this is what staff think of. And I just hope it doesn't do too much damage to the already precarious situation of the stigma of mental health.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The One Where I Begin Blogging

[note: I wasn't sure how to begin a blog like this, I probably really should've started it when I was first admitted to the Hospital... So, rather than condense the story from the beginning into one post and then start posting daily, I thought I'd begin at today, and if things need explaining then I will! I hope this was the right decision.]

I've been so anxious all day at the thought of my plan for tonight (beginning the writings for staff  about my 'trauma') that I decided to speak to them. I figured the idea wasn't going to work if just the thought of beginning it was making me struggle so I suggested we put something in place to help me. This is the 'Management Plan' we came up with:

'Aimee has requested support whilst she makes an attempt to disclose sensitive information to staff. The format she will be disclosing information to staff will be by writing things down on an evening in her bedroom. Aimee will let staff know when she is writing so that they are aware that her mood may change and they are able to offer support if needed. Aimee will require support from staff at this time and will try to approach staff herself and utilise time by playing board games with staff to distract herself. Aimee may at times not feel able to approach staff due to feeling distressed, can staff please be vigilant and increase observations should Aimee present as unsettled. Aimee would like her bedroom door left open when struggling as she is able to manage herself in her room and finds time alone soothing. Her door however will be locked at nursing teams discretion.'

I'm happy it's been sorted and even though I've not actually gotten round to doing any of the writing that caused the whole panic in the first place, at least the plan is in place. I really need to stop putting it off though for tweeting and posting on Facebook!