Update 16/11/17

When I created this new blog, I decided to eliminate giving personal information about what is going on in my life; I felt it was “better” for myself, and my future. Turns out I miss it, a bit, and actually if I turn my blog into something that is entirely factual and not personal, it sort of feels like I lose something. I guess deciding to totally eliminate it is a pretty black and white approach, and there can be a middle ground where I can say so much, without saying more than I really feel comfortable with.

(So here goes…)

Things are very up and down. Being in hospital was really just one very small step in dealing with what happened, and while I gained and progressed a lot in that time, really a lot of the hard work happens when you come out of hospital. It is easy to sit in hospital and think when you are out, life is going to fall together. Towards the very end of my time on a section I think I experienced a bit of a honeymoon stage.

We knew I was coming towards the end of my admission, and so myself and the staff became a little reflective on the progress I had made from the start of my admission to the end. I was praised for “taking control”, reducing my risky behaviours and learning to use my voice. I was praised for no longer sitting in silence and for communicating with professionals better. And that was nice. It was. But I look back now and feel a bit like a dog being praised for sitting. I feel in some ways like I was putting on an act to some extent, to please people. To look like I was “taking responsibility” for myself, like falling apart had been a choice, a “wrong” thing, and something I had inflicted on myself. It felt a lot like professionals were happy with me for not appearing overly “ill” or self-destructive. Happy with me like if I was still being destructive, they would not be happy. That if I was still being destructive, they would see me as being “wrong”. Almost…misbhehaving, being “difficult”. A choice.

The honeymoon stage consisted of certain thoughts. I thought I was not going to need much, if any, outpatient support. I thought I was going to be able to work. I thought I was going to suddenly feel functional, be able to socialise more, and just…not go back to where I was. And I can do that, for very short periods of time. Note: short periods of time. It feels like I have a bad period, pick myself up, but then I can only sustain that for a brief while, before it gets exhausting and I cannot force myself to be ok any more.

There have been a lot of different things going on. I was admitted for a short admission, which I made incredibly short by asking to leave the very next day. Before that I was nearly¬† admitted once, and since then I have nearly been admitted again. My friend passed away. I do not know what words to give it that feel “best”. She committed suicide. She died from mental illness. She killed herself. Life killed her. Her past killed her. I mean people say they do not like the use of the word “committed” and I used to get that. I used to agree, and to an extent I still do. And at the exact same time, now I have experienced that loss, I honestly do not care what words are used. She is dead. You can dress it up however you like, but it is not going to change the situation. You can skirt around saying how she died, but it is not going to make it any more ok.

It is not going to bring her back. Nothing is going to bring her back.

Other things: my medication has been all over. Without going through it all, I am basically still on quetiapine (I have been for years), the lorazepam I started taking (after being threatened with being restrained and injected) in hospital is now being changed to diazepam so that it is longer lasting, and duloxetine, which I start about six weeks ago, has been stopped and I am going to see a different consultant to my usual one to discuss what may be more suitable. I also had my prescriptions stopped from being monthly pretty soon after my discharge, to weekly, for reasons you can probably guess. I was made to get an ECG due to, lets say, medication misuse, and there was this discussion of changing ALL of my medication because of an abnormality in my PR interval (basically something wrong with my heart). The plus side is, my self-harm is really quite stable for the first time in many years. The worst side of that is hard to discuss. I ended up in some very similar situations/identical situations, to when I was sectioned. The plus side of that is, the mental health team I am under were, and still are, incredible.

More things: I had some job interviews. The one I was offered and accepted, it was the best job interview of my life (not that I have had many). It was a number of hours with different stages (individual interview, maths/written test, group test) and I honestly enjoyed the whole thing. Sadly I had to later turn it down. In the back of my head I was thinking “Natalie, your doctor signed you as not fit to work for six months and would probably extend that considerably”, but I wanted to work so bad. There is a lot of pressure in society to work and be “functional”. Dealing with that, and the shame, is a whole other post – I am volunteering though, gradually picking up more roles.

I regained contact with my father. I had my first phone conversation with my Grandma this week. My eating is INCREDIBLY messy, although not insufficient (I have gained weight), but it has a lot to do with my anxiety rather than my past history of anorexia…so yes, a lot going on.

I have good days, I really do. Just an awful lot of bad days. Not showering. Not wanting to move. Living off cereal. Knocking myself out with medication. Avoiding things. Staring into space. Losing time. I mean god praise the nurse that comes to see me; I would not want to come and see me 80% of the time. Sometimes I think “jeeeez Natalie, stop being so bloody depressing.” I just turn into a zombie and I cannot see any light.

But then I do see the light sometimes. I guess this was never going to be easy. The year leading up to being sectioned was horrific, the events surrounding being sectioned were horrific, being in hospital was horrific (although necessary on reflection), and being discharged back into “the community” (that phrase makes me cringe), was never going to be easy, even if I thought it was.

 

Goodbye Student Life

I have started a new blog, and for a number of reasons.

My old URL was based on being a student, and as of Thursday my dissertation will be handed in, and as of the 29th Sept, I will no longer be a student. In January I will graduate with an MA!

However, this is not the only reason. A fresh start feels appropriate for lots of reasons. You know sometimes life feels like it is passing through stages? Well, I feel like I am entering a new one. I am moving into a new house this month, with new people (and a chihuahua!), all of my support is changing, and I am looking for a new job. I am joining a new gym, applying for new volunteering roles and I have been discharged from hospital.

I would not want to repeat the last few months, but I honestly think it was something that I had to go through. I feel actually better and actually different, as opposed to pretending so. I do not think I can go so far as saying I am glad I was sectioned onto a section 2, and then a 3, because well, ‘glad’ is not the word. I was definitely not glad at the time; I tried to get out by kicking the doors down at the 136 suite, absolutely convinced I was strong enough, ignoring their comments that it was never going to happen and that the door opened the other way. I was not ‘glad’. When they moved me to the section 3 I was not glad neither; I was put onto it, then moved straight to A&E for treatment on the day I was expecting total discharge. But…the time on the section 3 was the time when I actually began to get “properly” better. I wouldn’t take it back.

Any way, a new blog feels fitting.

I struggled to select a URL, selected this one, paid to have it for a year, and then panicked. ‘A Good Kinda Crazy’ suggests that there is a bad kind of crazy. I do not want to be suggesting that. And I know some people are very anti the use of words like ‘crazy’. I am not, but I still appreciate that some people are. For me I have always been described as weird and crazy. I have always been the hyper, silly, loud, chatty one. I have always been one for being a bit out there. For me being ‘crazy’ is a good thing. I feel like the ‘crazier’ I am, the more ‘me’ I am. I think that using words like ‘crazy’ and ‘mad’ can be problematic, depending on the context and intent, but I also think we put too much power into words. What we as a society learn to connote with certain words is the issue, rather than the words themselves.

Of course, I never want anyone to be offended by my use of language. Not for a second. We are all entitled to our own opinions and feelings around things, but despite the fact I have mental health problems, my use of the word ‘crazy’ has absolutely nothing to do with that. My ‘crazy’ is me being me; silly, sometimes lacking common sense, still being a child at heart, and just being happy. Being me.