Day 24

Slept all the way through to 8:30, which was a surprise, although I guess I went to bed a bit later. Felt quite paranoid and worried still, but tried to get on with my day.

Took a coffee over to ‘my’ bench, but someone sat on it just as I was approaching it, so I had to go and sit somewhere else – opposite the Autism unit, rather than the nice trees.
My coffee was disappointing too – I didn’t put enough powder in it.

Thought about washing my hair (I only do it every 7-10 days), but decided it was too much effort.
Thought about changing my sheets, but couldn’t be arsed, until I realised that they actually smelled, so went about doing it, and it was just so much fucking effort.

Everything in the morning was effort. Dunno if I was just feeling generally shite, or if it’s because it was the first morning back on my antipsychotics, and they generally make me feel a bit drowsy. Kept forgetting things too, and my brain just felt foggy.
Not a great morning at all.

I did some writing, but like I said, my brain felt foggy, and I kept forgetting things.
I was awaiting my APIP appointment in the afternoon with the psychologically trained nurses, so went through the pack they’d given me all about self-soothing and distraction techniques. All seems pretty overwhelming. I can see how it will be helpful, but it’s going to take incredible self-discipline.

Was doing a bit of colouring in when one of my lovely regular customers came by with THE HUGEST care package!!

She works for Boots, so there was loads of Soap & Glory stuff, and so so much food!

We had a quick cuddle, and I told her how much I appreciate it.
It’s such a mood boost to know that people are thinking of me, and to see a friendly face.
I just hope I can return the favour one day for all those people who’ve really come through for me.

Lunch was pretty unremarkable – chicken breast and potato wedges. I was really tired too, and found it difficult to focus on the conversation going on at my table.

I found the APIP nurses after lunch, just to double check that they would be seeing me in the afternoon. They said yep, absolutely, and we talked briefly about what we’d be touching on.

I was still a bit hungry when I got back to my room so had some nut type snacky things, and a doughnut while watching Drag Race.
I felt overwhelmingly tired, so thought I’d get my head down for a bit. I knew the nurses would come and get me when it was time to see me.

It turns out that they genuinely couldn’t wake me. I was wearing joggers and a fluffy jumper under my covers, with my earplugs in, and I was just absolutely dead to the world.

I eventually woke up two hours later when one of the APIP nurses came in to say that they would rearrange for tomorrow morning, because I was clearly really tired. I mentioned that it was my first day with antipsychotics in the morning, and thought that was probably why I was so overwhelmingly tired.
So I was faced with A WHOLE DAY OFF.

I’ve done something pretty much every day since I’ve been in hospital, and I’m working so hard that I’ve clearly exhausted myself.
Before I was admitted, on a day off I would regularly spend the whole day in bed, getting up only to go to the toilet or collect a takeaway from the front door.

I am ill.
I keep forgetting this.
I need to rest.
It felt quite liberating to give myself permission to do absolutely nothing with the rest of my day – no visitors, no meetings, no outings, no workshops – just bed, Drag Race, and a fuck ton of snacks.

Late in the afternoon, one of the staff came to plait my hair. She used to have a hair salon when she lived in London, and she managed to put my hair in cornrow-esque plaits in literally five minutes.
It was nice to talk, about her life, and about how I was feeling (tired), but also to have some physical contact. Apart from a few hugs, I’ve barely touched anyone in weeks. I’m very tactile, always hugging my friends, and obviously got very used to snuggling my big 6’6″ boyfriend, even just while watching films and stuff.
When we slept, he was always my little spoon, even though he’s so much bigger than me.

I’m not sure how I feel about the plaits
(like, you can see the shape of my whole head)

Dinner was stodge – cheese & onion pasty and mash. There were quite a few of us, so it was nice to sit and chat.
The woman who acts like a nurse is getting discharged this evening, so I wished her well for the future – she’s always so chatty, and her laugh sounds like she’s crying, but it brings a smile to my face.
I’d rather have her than some of the new people we’ve had come in the past few days.
I am nervous.
Who’s going to replace her?

After dinner, I headed down the corridor, and the stench of the woman opposite me hit me when I was at least 10m away from her closed door. I spoke to the staff, again, and said that they can take this as a patient officially complaining. I realise it’s really sensitive, but it’s so fucking gross, and if it impinges on my room it’s going to really upset me.
I opened the tub of body butter that my friend bought this afternoon, and just sat it on my desk. I didn’t see any other way to combat bad odours really – no plug ins, no candles (although literally as I’m writing this, I can hear the staff member that I spoke to spraying air freshener all up and down the hallway – she looked through my door and we both laughed).
I asked my Facebook friends how I could mask the smell, and got some really useful suggestions – ended up putting a bit of shower gel-soaked toilet paper on my radiator. And then went the whole hog, and just slathered the whole radiator in the stuff, so my room smelled of coconut & almond.

I spent the rest of the evening in bed watching Drag Race binging on various snacks (I have a lot now – I should start a tuck shop!). It was really nice to spend an evening completely on my own. I only saw people when I went out to grab some water for my tea. I tried to focus on that as much as possible, and try and block out the fact that I should have been in Manchester at a gig with my besties.
I tried to go out at 9PM for a little walk, but apparently the cut-off point is 8:30, so that made me feel a bit penned in. I thought about kicking up a fuss – I’M INFORMAL YOU CAN’T KEEP ME HERE, I’M NOT LEGALLY DETAINED – but couldn’t be arsed really.
By the end of it the evening though, I was feeling pretty good.

But then the creeping anxiety lurked in once it was time to turn my light off.

By the time I was trying to go to sleep, my thoughts were racing around my head. I kept trying to block them out – to think of something else – but it took me ages and ages to drop off.

But I managed to do it eventually. And without any pills.
I also didn’t have any PRN anti-anxiety/sedation meds throughout the whole day.
Progress.

One thought on “Day 24

  1. I want to thank you for writing this!
    People don’t realise how much work you have to put in to even learn to live with mental health issues let along recover!

    I have had moderate to severe depression and anxiety in the past and getting back to being a functioning human takes so much effort! People seem to think its a case of take the medication and you are fixed… (the ones that don’t think you can just “snap out of it” :-/ )

    So enough rambling… thank you for writing so honestly about it!

    Liked by 1 person

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