Actually took me ages to get to sleep last night. I just couldn’t stop doing things. Every time I tried to sleep my mind just filled with sadness and spiralling thoughts.
Somehow eventually managed to sleep, but not til super late, so missed breakfast this morning. Made a coffee with CAFFEINATED coffee that my bro & sister in law bought me yesterday, so that was pretty good, but I was dead dizzy from sleeping with earplugs in (it messes with my inner ear/balance, but everyone else in my dorm talks to themselves so I don’t really have much of a choice).
I went and sat in the lounge for a bit, and the activities coordinator was doing this general knowledge quiz. Got quite a few of the (food & drink, particularly booze) questions right, but my brain is so so fuzzy I wasn’t able to answer so many things, which just made me feel really stupid.
After a while, I turned my attention to downloading a mood app. AND I GOT FUCKING OBSESSED WITH IT.
The one I went for is called Daylio. You can track your mood as many times as you want in a day. You can also set as many different moods as you like, and colour code them from green – light green – yellow – orange – red. So for instance in green moods you can have ‘in love’, ‘confident’, ‘optimistic’, and in the red you can have ‘furious’, ‘tearful’, ‘hopeless’ – and many many more.
Once you’ve chosen a mood you can log what you’re doing at the time. I’ve set it so I can choose from literally a million things, and it’s basically taken me all day to set up. Activities such as ‘texting friends’, ‘watching netflix’, ‘scrolling through social media’, ‘not scrolling through social media’, ‘getting a takeaway’, ‘grocery shopping’, ‘going for a walk’, ‘getting drunk’, ‘did my makeup’ and everything else in between – genuinely everything you can do with your day – the good and the bad.
Eventually it tracks trends, so you can see what makes you feel good and what makes you feel shite. As someone who suffers from a mood disorder, today I have monitored myself every two hours, and my mood has gone from ‘content’ (light green), to ‘paranoid’ (orange), to ‘tearful’ (red), to ‘worried’ (orange).
Although it’s perfectly normal for everyone to have fluctuations in moods, mine are so rapid, and so severe. It was really bizarre as well to see the different moods I set to be able to choose from – I chose ten times as many green (amazing) moods and red (awful) moods as I did the light green/yellow/orange moods in between. I’m pretty much never in the middle. Black and white. No shades of grey. (Or in this case, Green and Red…)
Had a tuna pasta bake for lunch, which was pretty dire tbh. And after lunch, the activities lady and the Occupational Therapist offered to take a couple of us out in to town to buy craft supplies and board games.
It did not go well. And that was when Day Three became a bad day.
As soon as I got in to the town centre, there were so many cars around, which bought back memories of the afternoon that I was admitted to hospital. Walking through the town was fine, until we got to the high street and I heard bagpipes. Lovely, triggering, Scottish bagpipes. After that there were reminders of ‘how things used to be’ everywhere. Wetherspoons, Monopoly, kitchenware, cushions, games that we have in the bar, just to name a few. I felt overwhelmingly sad, lonely, and hopeless that I will ever have my amazing life again.
When I got back to the ward, I went to bed, and I cried my eyes out (until they came and checked on me for my 10 minute obs). After that I had some medication, and spoke to a really lovely HCA called Lesley, and she said what everyone else has said – I need to get well for me. I hear her, but it’s just so hard.
I won’t go in to all of the details, out of respect to my love, but it’s a constant battle in my mind. These intrusive thoughts, expecting him to behave in all the shitty ways that nearly all of my exes (that’s right – I figured it out) have. Particularly in this case, ‘Oh let’s have some distance’… one week later… ‘Oh sorry Lucy, I’ve found someone new!’. It’s happened with 4 out of my 5 big relationships. That’s 80%. It even happened with my husband for Christ sake. It’s a bad habit for me to have these patterns of thoughts – one I really need to shake. I try to rationalise why that’s not true. What I need to remember is that he is such a good man. He is the most decent man I’ve ever met. He deserves me to think more of him than that.
I also keep worrying about him so much, and going out in to the community really bought him to the forefront of my mind. He is my best friend. I absolutely adore that man, and I will never forget how upset I have seen him over the past few weeks. It was gut wrenching. I really really really hope that he is OK. I love him so much, I just want to hold him, comfort him, and make everything better. I want my person to know how much I deeply, truly love him. BUT TO DO THAT I HAVE TO GET BETTER. And I will do absolutely fucking anything for that to happen.
I felt much better after talking to Lesley. I really really like her. She gives me hugs too. We had a bit of a chat about my meds, and maybe that I might need anti-depressants on top of my mood stabilisers. Even though I fucking hate those things, I’m willing to do whatever it takes. So far since I’ve got here, I’ve done a lot of ‘setting things up’ (like it took a whole day to sort out my mood tracking app!), and settling in, but now I’m ready to tackle the workbooks that I’ve bought in. That starts tomorrow. My plan for the night was to try and relax, because literally all I’ve done here is write or use my mood tracking app.
Just before dinner, A got discharged. Good for him, but a bit of a bummer to have someone I could talk to be gone so suddenly. Another girl got discharged today too. She’s homeless, so that is super super brutal. There’s also been a lot of talk today about closing this ward down (not like right now, but maybe within the next year) and transferring it over to another hospital, but that means the staff will be separated, and they are not happy. Just a bit of a weird, tense vibe overall today.
After dinner, my Dad arrived with a load of stuff from my flat. It was really painful. T-shirts that reminded me of certain events I’ve been to with certain people, or reminded me of work, and just items that reminded me generally of my life in the city. But also, apparently I haven’t been doing my laundry properly, so I had no clean pants or pjs, so my parents had bought me a load of new clothes. As nice that as that is, it just feels like my identity and my freedom is being even further ripped away from me. I don’t want new clothes, especially ones I haven’t chosen myself, I want my clothes… but then again, my clothes were just a painful reminder of my life in the city. I know it makes no sense. Catch 22. Can’t win. Eventually I got myself really upset and paranoid about a variety of things, and convinced myself that several things were true that may not necessarily be, and had to be sedated again. Thankfully lovely lovely Lesley was there again too.
One of the major features of my mental health is that I always think of the worst-case scenario, and get myself so fixated on it that I am 100% convinced that it is true, almost (in fact often) to the point of delusion – absolutely no one can talk me down. I realised at that point that I need to cut some of these triggers out of my life for now, protect myself, and focus on healing. Which, I know, is what everyone has been saying. But last night I didn’t just hear it from someone else, I realised it for myself.
Right now, I need to focus 100% on me.
BOOM! I REALISED IT!
As well as sedation, I was given a sleeping pill. But I was so anxious that it still took me hours to get to sleep (didn’t help that the staff who were on last night were doing their 10 minute checks with bloody torches in the face), and I woke up several times, and awake bright and early this morning before the nurses even came to wake me at 7.