This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.
If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’
This morning’s first session doesn’t take my fancy, instead, I think I am going to do my best distraction technique and hide under the duvet. Meds, daily checks and risk assessment must come to me. It also means I miss breakfast and the opportunity to have an omelette. The nurses keep trying to prompt me to go to group. I’m hiding, please go away. I fall back to sleep with the best intentions of attending session 2, art therapy. I wake up at 11:08; 8 minutes too late. The hospital has a strict policy about timings so that’s it, I’ve ruined it. I might as well continue to hide then. Am I left alone? No! The nurses come back and now, as the only patient on the ward at the moment, I am going to be interviewed by the CQC – Care Quality Commission. They want to know how I am finding it here, am I ok that I am on a mixed ward, do I feel safe, have any of my sessions been cancelled etc etc. It seems to go on for ages and I just want this stranger out of questionable carpet room. Also, hello, it’s me, the people pleaser, am I going to tell them the truth that I am a bit frustrated by being on a mixed ward? No! Am I going to tell them that they nearly gave me someone else’s meds last night? No! Let’s not think I’ve changed that much.
I finally give up hiding at 1200. I have a friend visiting so, best wash my face and brush my teeth. I’m still doing this, it’s my 3rd morning in a row. I need a shower but I’m not sure there is enough time. Friend NM will just have to see me with greasy hair (sorry Friend NM). I start getting anxious about lunch as her visit coincides with it. I’m being stupid, I don’t need to worry about it, I have food in my room and seeing her is more important. She arrives with her beautiful 4 month old Baby L. Friend NM says Baby L is here as pat dog therapy – you know, like the dogs they bring in to hospitals to cheer you up. Oh, it really does. There is nothing cuter than a 4 month old sucking on my hand and smiling at me. Note to any Psychiatric Hospital managers reading this… arrange for baby visits. I do feel better! I wonder, can I keep Baby L? I very quickly change my mind when it’s time for her nappy to be changed (twice no less)! No no, Friend NM you can have her back. I consider missing session 3 at 1400 but Friend NM picks up on the time and needs to head off too. In which case, I may as well go to it.
Friend NM has brought me yellow roses which really brighten up my room. They make it a bit homelier. Questionable carpet room is starting to look quite nice. I’ve had a request for photographic evidence of said questionable carpet room so watch this space! She has also brought grapes which I have managed to eat my way through in a very small amount of time.
I make it to IPT and, break through, I don’t cry! I’m cross at myself for missing art therapy this morning and mention this whilst we are waiting for the session to start. It would appear I’ve got 2 more Tuesdays as an inpatient so there is still time. Patient L is giving herself a really hard time. She is blaming herself for things that were most definitely not her fault and I really want to help her. I speak up and explain she did what she thought was the best thing. She can’t possibly know everything so she couldn’t possibly have known things would have gone the way they went. I want her to give herself a break. Patient P chimes in, but not as I expected… she chimes in to tell me that I need to take on that advice too. Patient L joins her, apparently, everything I’ve said is exactly what I should be doing. How do I explain to them that I am different? I am a bad person, I should have a hard time. I try to tell them this but no no, they are not having any of it. Patient L says she’s going to bring a mirror to the next session.
Oh, I nearly forgot, I’ve collected a new letter! Patient P has joined Group 1. Thank you, Patient P, for being suicidal as this is another letter in my patient alphabet.
Patient P explains her feelings about wanting a relationship. Oh, Patient P, I hear ya on this one! Me too. I chime up once again (yes, truly, I am at risk of being chatty), I tell them the smelly yappy dog analogy as a way to explain why it’s easier for me to stay single. I really am that yappy dog… come to close and I’ll growl, go away and I’ll cry. Oh jeez, what fixes yappy dogs? Apparently, according to the group, love! I was thinking more like being put down but no, that’s not true according to them. Time to put myself in Battersea cats & dogs home then and hope I get picked up by someone who will love me.
I’m tired after IPT. Thinking through emotions really takes it out of you. I mean, think about it, we all get up, go to work, go home and go to bed. Yes, there is some variation in this routine but at no point do we sit for a total of 3 hours a day and think about our emotions. It’s hard. I therefore allow myself to miss today’s final session in favour of questionable carpet room.
I did this on purpose, I wanted to be left alone. Am I though? No. Nurse A2 comes to have a chat. He wants to know how I am. He’s basically sussed that I don’t voluntarily talk to the nurses, they have to come to me. As such, he is probing me about this morning. I’m too tired to fight it so I open up. Yes, we are back to my inability to communicate. I am trying but it doesn’t come naturally to me. I like to fix others, help others, be strong for others. Opening up is…tough.
Supper tonight is eating al la smart phone which is fine by me. On tonight’s menu: Bean cottage pie & crumble. Crumble is one of my hands down favourite puddings. However, I’m full. Do I eat it anyway, you bet I do. I am going to be the size of a house by the time I leave here. I may need to rethink my puddings.
Next up, I hit the shower and enjoy it. Does anyone else dread getting in the shower but once in it, absolutely love it? It takes a lot of momentum to get me in the shower but once in it, especially now this isn’t a weak drizzle, I find myself wanting to stay in there for hours.
Sat in my room smelling of grapefruit (literally, it’s my Jo Malone fragrance) I get the Sudoku out until I get a text through. My very kind Friend ML is looking after my cats. Tonight’s visit does not go to plan. The litter tray is at best, a mess and I’ve run out of litter. Oh great. This is perfect. At this point in time, there are a couple of ways I could react:
- Rationally: Friend ML can go buy some, sort it out and I say thank you, I owe you
- Panic, consider discharging myself to go home, blame myself for being a bad fur mum and get upset
It doesn’t take a genius to work out which way I reacted. Option 2 it is. Friend ML tells me to stay put (thank you) and that she doesn’t mind sorting it (that’s a lie Friend ML but thank you) and it’s no trouble (definitely lying now Friend ML but thank you thank you thank you). As a crazy cat lady, I’ve also requested pictures. Oh, I miss my little fuzz balls.
When you don’t have access to a nail file, scissors or clippers, the only option is the biting style. I’ve never been a big nail biter but I could win some records right now. I’ve managed to bite them into quite a nice little shape. Maybe I’ll go the next step and paint them? Not tonight, obviously, one step at a time.
Just before bed, I wash my face and brush my teeth – thank you Friend BS for the toothbrush, I’ll think of you each time I do them now.