For a long time now, I was constantly being told that I need to talk about what has happened to me. That was the only way I would properly get better; not with medication or hospital admissions. And to be honest, I've always been very pessimistic about this. I have had to tell so many different people about my trauma, with them each having different views on it and focussing on different parts. I don't think I've ever been as open about it all as I have done in this Hospital though; for a while no one knew and then they knew a little bit and slowly, over time, I've almost completely recounted the entire thing to the staff here. Initially, I didn't understand how the mere act of me telling someone about something that had happened to me could ever change the way I felt about it. And then I began to learn something; the more I talked about all of my deepest, darkest feelings - the ones I wished weren't true, the more I understood what had happened to me. And I don't mean 'understand' as in I 'get' why the other person did what they did. I mean, I understood all of my reactions, all of the feelings that I thought I had no right to feel and that I was so ashamed of experiencing I wanted to die... Well, they began to make sense. And the fact that they were met by compassion and empathy from the staff, made things a lot easier. I learnt that the way I was going to get better was not just by telling someone, but by gaining an understanding of it all.
The best psychology sessions I've had have been when I've had that light bulb moment and thought 'ah, that's why!' And I think, not understanding what was happening to me or the way I was feeling was just making things worse.
So today, I had a light bulb moment! And it was about something I didn't think I needed to 'understand!' This urine stuff... Well often, after needing a catheter, I've had back ache for less than a day and I was told it was my kidneys getting a shock that everything was working again so I never bothered about it. Except, I last needed a catheter on Monday (9th but I blogged about it here: http://imnotdisordered.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-one-where-im-sorry-i-hadnt-noticed.html) and since it, the back pain didn't go. And it just got worse. It got to the point where I had to take regular pain relief (paracetamol and codeine) and I wasn't allowed to go home for the day because the staff were so convinced that I'd end up in A&E. The census was that my kidneys were struggling, this was proven with the protein in my urine. But then, on Sunday, my urine was retested. And it was fine. And this made me think... I did a lot of work with my last psychologist about how sometimes my emotional feelings can manifest as physical pain. So I convinced myself that's what this was. And I spoke with staff today to get advice.
I spoke about how I didn't understand why people would choose to carry on living when shit is constantly thrown at them. I felt that was worse self-harm than anything I have done; I was trying to stop more pain; not cause it. And I was asked if I didn't think that each thing made me stronger. I told her no; 'more fragile.'
"Every time something happens it's like I break, and then each time I have to put myself back together it takes more work and eventually I started losing pieces. It's like a cup. You could drop it once and easily be able to glue the pieces back. But eventually, the more and more you drop it, a piece is bound to get lost in the floorboards. and all the other pieces get weaker"
As we talked, I realised that I saw having a wee as voluntarily giving away more pieces of myself. Pieces that I couldn't afford to lose.
And knowing why something is happening, understanding why you feel the way you do, means you can begin to sort it out. Fix it.