When I arrived at the ward my belongings were checked. They took all of my cables (chargers, headphones etc – until I told them that if I was guna top myself it would not be with my headphones), cans of pop, and aerosols.
I was shown to my bed. Much like the one I was in when I had my stay 7 years ago. A bay with 5 beds, all divided by curtains. Luckily mine is by the window, so I can still have a bit of light when I want the curtains drawn around my bed (which is all the fucking time). The ward is exclusively for mental health inpatients – both male and female. 4 bays of 5 patients, and 4 side rooms, so I guess that would make a capacity of 24. There are 3 communal areas – the TV room, the dining room, and the ‘ladies lounge’, so not really a lot of space.
When I woke up yesterday morning I had pretty much the first food (toast) I’d had since Tuesday (and yesterday was Sunday???), queued up for medication, and then straight back to bed. I slept through most of the day. All of my body, and all of my mind are in so much pain, and I genuinely cannot remember the last time I had a proper night’s sleep.
All the while, this woman wearing a beanie hat and an anorak kept following me around. Let’s call her S. And I mean literally a foot away from me, wherever I went. Eventually, she came in to my cubicle and accused me of stealing her stuff. When I said I didn’t have it, she called me a stupid fucking bitch. When I spoke to the nurses and the HCAs they said that she does this a lot with new people, but that she is never violent, just gets a bit obsessed with newbies. She seems to have backed off a lot now, but yeh, not the best welcome.
At lunch, because it was a Sunday (apparently) it was roast day. I had whatever meal the person whose bed I had just taken had chosen, which was meat, veg, (no taters, but what’s taters ‘eh?) and some kind of dessert covered it custard. I ate the meat, and gave the dessert to this lad who was disappointed with his yoghurt, cuz custard is the devil.
Slept a bit more in the afternoon. Then my parents came. That kind of shook everything up a bit. They kept asking if I needed anything, to which I kept saying I just wanted my boyfriend to text me back.
Just to go off on a bit of a tangent… In a nutshell, what led me here was;
- Work stress
- A difficult divorce (including my ex chatting shit about me on the internet to the point of libel)
- Selling the marital home, losing all my furniture, an absolute fuck load of money, my cat (my baby who has seen me through fucking everything over 8 years, including miscarriages, my previous breakdown, and the death of another pet), and not really knowing where my possessions are.
- An incident last year that I guess you could call a rape
- Trying to buy a new flat and having that fall through
- My boyfriend, the absolute love of my life, the best thing that has ever happened to me, the kindest, most caring, most beautiful (inside and out) man that I have ever met, said he can’t cope with my mental state (dissociative episodes, self-harming, feeling suicidal) – it’s impacting too much on his own mental health. I have hurt him so much, and driven him to the edge. That hurts more than anything else possibly could in the whole world. I genuinely love him so much, and the last thing I want to do is hurt him. So, at the moment I am giving him the space he needs to look after himself. Hopefully we can salvage the wonderful aspects of our relationship once I am well, because we are so ridiculously in love. I firmly believe that something so beautiful is worth fighting for. But for now, it hurts like nothing ever has before. And I am fucking terrified that he will decide (or has already decided) that he doesn’t want to be with me at all.
- Oh, and of course my borderline (aka emotionally unstable) personality disorder, coupled with a nice bit of PTSD.
Anyway, my parents came, and it just bought back memories of the past few days when I’ve been staying at theirs and was having a really difficult time. Not proud of myself (I mean, I’m not proud of myself for any of this whatsoever), but I completely lost it and had to be sedated (again).
After a bit of time, I asked for some food because I’d missed dinner. All they have after 5PM is cereal (breakfast at 8, lunch at 12, dinner at 5), so I had cornflakes with sugar (no milk, cuz ew). They told me I had to go and eat it in the dining room, where 3 other people were sitting, and we got chatting.
P is a young woman who I’d met earlier in the day. She has hair similar to mine, and we’d had a bit of a chat about that and our stretched ears. When I was really upset she came up to me, put her hand on my arm and said ‘Struggling with being here? Don’t worry, it gets better’. There was another woman called K, who seemed nice, and very quiet. And a man called A. Him and P were keen to ask lots of questions, particularly about my life, what had bought me here, my tattoos, my hair, my job. A even talked about how much he likes Quench Quake, but can’t have it because the grapefruit interferes with his meds. It was while I was talking to them that I realised that I AM NOT ALONE. Also, they both have partners. If there is hope for them, there is hope for me. I might not die alone? Which is exactly how I’ve been feeling.
I want it to be known at this point, that I am not just trying to get well simply to achieve a healthy relationship with my boyfriend (let’s call him D), but so I stop fucking up EVERY SINGLE RELATIONSHIP (be that romantic or not) I’ve ever had because of skewed thought processes, horrific past experiences, crippling anxiety of losing people around me, and poor regulation of my emotions. Of course, I want to be with D. Nothing has made me as happy in my whole life as he has, and I know that he feels the same. There is hope for us, but I need to beat this. I need to stop the cycle once and for all, simply so I can be happy, because at the moment I am not, and as long as I let my brain get the better of me, I won’t be.
Life isn’t just the fact that my heart is beating and I’m breathing. My life is my family, my friends, my job, and of course, my wonderful D – the things that bring richness, fullness, and joy in to my existence.
It was after the chat with A, P & K that I decided it was time to change my clothes. I was still wearing the same things that I had been since Tuesday, including my boyfriend’s t-shirt, and I hadn’t showered or brushed my teeth either.
After I’d done that, I helped my new neighbour H put her pillowcase on. She seems nice. I went to bed at about half 8, and slept straight through the night.
Tomorrow’s a new day.