Day Nineteen

I had another restless night, and woke up early after having the most horrific PTSD miscarriage dream I’ve had for months. Can read all about it here…

https://lucysback.com/2020/03/05/example-of-a-ptsd-nightmare/

But tl;dr, I relived the experience of giving birth. That sensation of something ‘falling’ out of me. So I felt really emotionally fragile, and weirdly, I kept feeling twinges in my womb too.

When I went out to get some hot water for my coffee, I went to one of the staff, and we went in to the sensory room to have a chat about it.
It’s the kind of thing that I would ordinarily wake my boyfriend up for. We would have a cuddle, and he would tell me that everything is OK. I really missed that. Even if he was at work, I would still have texted him about it, and he would have said the exact same thing – ‘Everything is OK. Everything is going to be OK.’
Nothing has ever reassured me so much in my whole life as hearing those words from him.
I really miss him.

But talking to the staff was really good. I just wanted to tell someone, and get it off my chest.
I went back to my room, wrote a little blog post about it, and put a tampon in. I knew that if I went to the toilet today and saw blood, I would absolutely lose my shit.

The early morning was otherwise a nice start though. I could hear Jamaican Geraldine. She is so loud, and normally that makes me really anxious, but she is just so joyous that it always makes me smile and feel reassured.
Also, shouty lady didn’t start shouting until 8:12, although she’s started hitting the walls now too, which is nice.

After I did a bit of writing, it occurred to me that I don’t actually have any of my womb meds on my drugs card here. On the outside, I take a specific painkiller, and sometimes a drug to stop me bleeding excessively, so I asked the staff if a Doctor could possibly write me up. TMI, but in December I had such a bad one that I was getting through a super tampon every 20 minutes (which btw lads, is not normal), and I had to go to A&E. They told me it was probably a hormonal imbalance due to stress. lol.

As I was getting ready, I remembered that the APIP nurse had said the day before that doing my makeup is a prime opportunity to practice mindfulness, so I did.

I put my earplugs in, and tried to focus all of my attention on exactly what I was doing – performing every brush stroke, taming every stray hair, covering every blemish. I noticed the sensations on my face, the sounds that the pats on my face made, and the smells of the products.
It went well for the most part, but my mind wandered from time to time to other things – my mum’s visit in the afternoon, what’s for lunch, what to do with my hair, which earrings to wear…
But it was definitely progress.

My mum went to my flat in the morning to put some more leccy on my stick, and get me some more things.
She’s done a fucking ace job. Don’t know what I’d do without such amazing support.
It was a bit unsettling though to know that she was there. She also sent me a picture of a load of stuff that she’d laid out for me on my bed, and that made me feel pretty emotional.
It bought back loads of memories – lying in bed playing games while feeling depressed, drinking beers to numb my feelings, the ‘incident’, snuggling my boyfriend while watching cartoons, sleeping next to him, making love together.

I asked the staff in the morning if I could be taken off 10 minute observations. It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I was admitted, and I’ve been checked on
every.
ten.
fucking.
minutes.
twenty.
four.
seven.
I explained that I’d been put on to hourly checks on Monday, but then obviously I had a terrible day, so was put back on tens immediately. I assured the nurse that I felt I could approach the staff if I am ever having a bad time (like I had that morning), and so they really don’t need to be checking on me that often. We had a bit of a chat about how APIP is going, and what kinds of things are helping me. She said she’s going to ask the consultant, because she completely agreed with me.

Shortly after, the APIP nurse came to my room to tell me that I HAVE BEEN GRANTED UNESCORTED LEAVE ON THE GROUNDS, AND HAVE BEEN TAKEN OFF 10 MINUTE OBS!!!!
The unescorted leave is at the nurse’s discretion – if I’m not seeming safe, they can say no – but it’s so liberating to have this tiny bit of freedom. And trust too. Like, if I’m in the grounds on my own, who’s to say I can’t walk straight off site, hop on a tram and run away? They are trusting me, and that feels pretty good. It’s mainly because I’m informal (not sectioned – being held here by law), and am choosing to be here. But right now, I want to be here. This is the safest place for me. And I definitely don’t want to be out there – it’s way too scary atm.

Had a bit of a chat to my school bestie about my new flat this morning. That was nice to start to get a bit excited about it. Still, baby steps. It’s a bit raw. Shortly after, my estate agents phoned just to give me an update – everything’s coming along nicely. Should be looking at an April completion date, so fingers crossed!

Went for lunch, and felt a bit anxious because I knew my mum was coming. I was really looking forward to it, but any contact with the outside world atm gives me anxiety. As a result, I didn’t really feel that hungry. It was BBQ chicken breast with wedges, which ordinarily I would have gone for seconds and thirds, but I just couldn’t face it.

After lunch, I became a bit fixated on my womb. I checked, and I hadn’t come on my period, but I was still getting twinging pains and cramps as a result of my dream. I kept asking the nurse for my meds to be written up, and literally waited at the clinic room until dead on 1PM so I could have more of the pain relief that I am already written up for.

My mum arrived with LOADS of stuff!
It was really good to see her.
We went for a walk to the car (my first time without staff around me for nearly 3 weeks!) to drop off my laundry, and then headed to the café so she could have some lunch.
It was horrible there. There are only two tables, and there were about 7 people in there, so just no room at all. Straight away I was like nope nope nope, so we went to the canteen instead, which was much more spacious.

I had a real coffee while she had some lunch.
I said I didn’t walk to talk about the breakup too much, but we inevitably chatted a bit about it, and some of the feelings I’d been experiencing – particularly the anger.
We talked quite a bit about where I’m going to go when I’m discharged, which tbh I’m feeling super anxious about. I refuse to go back to my rented studio (my current home). There are too many memories there – both really good and really bad. I had no idea when I packed up my stuff that I would never be going back to live there. Really strange.
We talked quite a bit about my new flat, and she said that in the morning she’d actually made a point to drive up and see it, and she’d had a big ol’ chat to the parking attendant about the area (ofc). It was good again to get a bit excited about it, but it is still quite raw.
She mentioned that she’d bought my application for Decree Nisi to sign, so I just casually signed that too.
It was a really lovely visit, but in hindsight we touched on a lot – divorce, discharge, breakup, moving house, my treatment, and my feelings…

After that, I went to the therapy unit to take part in a ‘jewellery making workshop’. There were only 4 of us there, so it was quite peaceful.
That day friendship bracelets were on the agenda, which I was super happy about, because I had forgotten that it’s actually pretty much all I did when I was last an inpatient. They come out like this…

You just create knot after knot, and I found it another good opportunity to practice my mindfulness. At first, I made a plain one in different colours, and then one with ‘L U C Y’ beads.
I made them both for me – my best friend.

Once I got back on the ward, I felt really weird. I felt really sick, and my hands would not stop shaking, so I asked the nurses for some medication. I was clearly having some kind of weird panic attack. I hadn’t done much in the afternoon, but for me it was obviously too much.
It’s times like that when I’m reminded of how unwell I still am.

I decided to play a game of Cluedo on my tablet. I obviously wasn’t feeling myself (or the drugs had kicked in) because I fucking LOST to a medium level AI character.
And I’m absolutely boss at Cluedo.

When I went for dinner, I looked in to the dining room, and there were about 7 inpatients crowded round the hatch (idk what the deal with number 7 is for me today), and shouty lady was super shouting. One of the staff asked if I was going in, and I said that I genuinely didn’t think I could. It was so overwhelming.
She said that one of the options was veggie pizza, so why didn’t I just take some of that and go eat in my room. I was so thankful. My hands were still shaking so much. I clearly wasn’t over my panic attack. So I watched some Drag Race and ate pizza in bed.

I didn’t feel much better after the meds I’d had, so I asked for some more. That seemed to sort me out a bit better.
I also asked if the staff would go through the bags that my mum had bought me (because they have to search everything) and then I unpacked it all in my room.
It included my Nike/Adidas haul – 2 jumpers, 2 joggers, 2 huge tees to sleep in, and a replacement hoodie because my favourite one got ruined when I was having the crisis that led me to my admission. It was a real mood boost to get some new clothes, especially comfy ones.

I think I’m in love with this jumper
Made my room really nice.
I may never leave.

I spent the rest of the evening watching Drag Race in bed with endless cups of tea and some Lindt chocolate eggs (thanks Mum!).
While I was watching, I kept thinking of things that I have begun to do to in here to keep myself well, and that I need to keep them up once I leave. Also thought about some things that I am looking forward to doing once I am eventually discharged. So I created a couple of lists (as draft blog posts – so I will share them with you once they are done) and kept adding to them throughout the evening.

By the end of the evening, I was actually feeling really good.
Only one thing really got me. One of the LIP SYNCH FOR YOUR LIFE’s was ‘Everlasting Love’ by Natalie Cole. The lyrics really resonated with me, and how I had felt about my ex during our relationship – so hopeful and optimistic for our future together.
I was so in love.
I still am.
But listening to the song, I felt quite bitter and jaded.
Regardless of what the future holds for ‘us’, how can I trust anyone again?
Can I ever love again?
I guess those are normal feelings after a breakup, but it still really stung.

I really don’t want to end up one of those bitter, angry, man hating, divorced women.

But to end on a positive…
Things I achieved today!…
Off 10 minute obs
Unescorted grounds leave
Attended a workshop
Had a good visit with my mum
Began to practice mindfulness
Didn’t have a crisis even though I felt severely anxious

Definite progress. I need to hang on to that.

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