Christmas, has never been a problem for me. I know that for a lot of mental health service users it can be a difficult and triggering time, and I'm so grateful that my trauma hasn't taken this from me too.
It was lovely to wake up in a place other than my bed at my Mum's, but to be happy about that. To wake up to my little Dolly squeaking (she still isn't meowing) at my door.
I walked over to my Mum's and we opened presents and had a lovely dinner (thanks Mum). Then it was lovely to come back to my own home and spend the evening playing with Dolly and her new toy from Santa.
And then things went down-hill.
I noticed my tummy was swollen; as swollen as it gets when I'm in urinary retention, but I'd been going to the toilet. And then the codeine my GP gave me, wasn't settling my pain. I called 111 (non-emergency number) and they advised I go to A&E and sorted out the transport for me. I hoped it'd be empty with it being Christmas, but no. I was waiting about two hours before seeing a Nurse! He gave me some paracetamol and codeine and got a nurse to do a bladder scan. I told them that I'd come because of the pain and that I couldn't in retention as I was passing urine. Guess how much fluid was in my bladder?... - And bare in mind, it should hold between 400-500mls! I had almost a litre! 906mls! I was so surprised and then so upset because I knew it meant I had to have a catheter, and that meant I had to stay in. So, I was given entonnox (laughing gas) during the procedure and I took my long over-due meds but it was no good; it was uncomfortable and I wanted to be at home. The delay in taking my anti-psychotic medication coupled with the procedure, resulted in me feeling unsafe. I was having the old thoughts and ideas but with none of the old feelings; I didn't want to do these things. So, I calmly asked to be discharged, got myself a taxi and took my Lorazepam. I was so desperate to be safe that I ended up taking 4mg in total (my daily limit). So, when my Mum came to mine on Boxing Day, I had a massive benzo (benzodiazepines) hangover! I made our little buffet of goodies, and then fell asleep and Mum waited a few hours for me to wake up but I didn't. And then Dolly joined me in the nap so she let herself out!
I've thought about it all (as I do with everything these days, to work out what happened and why) and found the good in it. The good, ladies and gentlemen, is that I didn't want to be in A&E. In the past, I've only ever wanted to be out of hospital because I didn't want them to make me better or repair the damage I'd caused. Now, I didn't want to be there in the way most people don't want to. I don't like hospitals. I want to be in my home. In my own bed. With my own things around me. And my Dolly.
And that, is a Christmas in recovery.