Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Claire

I had to ask what day it is today. I awoke to the sky blue curtains, the white walls and the silence of the suffering. People are walking around, some agigtated, some looking lifeless and others sobbing. These people are sick, me included. I always am on look out for the brief moments of laughter in the hospital, and they are the ones that I take in as much as the other emotions. The girl next to me is crying and sounding exhausted. She is presently upset about couch surfing and not having a stable home.

The nurse woke me up, I look up in a daze still. I was quite tired from last night. I didn't want to wake up, I was in a dream. I saw you smiling at me with your warm and comforting smile. I bring myself back to reality and know if you saw me now, the smile would be upside down and full of despair. The nurse straps on the arm band to check my blood pressure and pulse rate since my over dose. She exclaims how it's low, I look at her and reassure her it's always low. She smiles and says right. She then offers me breakfast, I politely shake my head and say I'm not hungry. She smiles and understands, and told me to find her if I get hungry. I thanked her and told her I would eventually hassle her for a bannana or something when I get an appetite, or I'll snack on the chocolate bar Jen bought me last night. She laughed as she walked off to cater to another patient. 

I get dressed in to the clothes Jen kindly bought me last night. I get into my overalls. These are my favourite, they are my Carissa overalls. They are comfy and easy to wear, and I don't care if people think they are silly. They are my favourite item of clothing and I'm glad I have comfort in them while I am in this brightly white, unusually cold and quiet ward. 

I made a friend last night, her name is Claire. We were eating the microwaved packaged meals we were told is our 'dinner' for the night when I first met her. Claire was polite and friendly. I asked one of the nurses a question when I was mustering up the curiosity of eating this meal, but she walked away before she even replied. I sat confused and asking if she has actually heard me, or didn't want to hear me. Claire then turned to me and said "they don't say much in here". Claire is correct in that statement. 

I started to converse back. I reminded myself to swallow my food first before getting excited to talk to someone. I swallowed and I responded with a "I'm not surprised". A lot of mental health institutions are very disorganised and can have a backwards approach. My nurses have been kind so far, but when I ask further questions they don't say much to continue the conversation further. I guess that frustrates me more. I like to tackle things head on, and can process things a lot quicker then most people when it comes to problem solving. I am impulsive on acting on my emotions, but a few days later and due to having experience, can think of a lot of ways to solve something with out giving up. I think that's a vital tool in helping me cope in worse case scenarios like the one I am presently in right now. When it comes to my health though, I would rather know sooner than later. I think anyone would want to know instead of sitting in anticipation. 

Claire is gentle. I find out now she also has BPD, after I tell her about my diagnosis as she asked how long I would be staying for. I feel a sigh of relief in knowing she understands what I am saying right now, even though she's at the young ripe age of 21. I always feel like I'm continually trying to express my reality to people, new or old, coming and going. I think the ones that stick around understand and want to understand the most. The others I have to convince myself from mindfulness that they didn't understand because of x,y and z. I don't like to convince myself when I know, in reality, some people just didn't stick around because they didn't care enough.

Claire starts to open up to me about her internal struggles, ranging from relationships to her home life. I can relate back, even though we have different case scenarios. Claire said she doesn't like entering relationships as she doesn't want to hurt the other person as she feels eventually she will, and that her parents hate living with her. I told Claire sometimes in relationships you aren't the one to hurt someone, and that her parents don't understand enough to be able to live healthy with her disorder. I reassured her she isn't the issue. She smiled and said it was nice to hear that, and was grateful I gave her a different perspective. It saddens me as I had a certain flashback to when I was her age, and I knew how alone she would be feeling as she wouldn't have had the support network I've built over the years yet. I saw how she struggles, and how I still struggle. I wish more could be done. 

Jen has arrived by this time now. She kindly stopped at my house to get some clothes as I wanted to feel clean and nice about myself. I felt dirty, smelt of an over dose and body sweat. Jen sat with me and I spoke to her about the week I have had. She believes it's the doctor on Monday that really triggered me to spiral beyond my control. I could tell she was sad for me and how the system is letting me down. She knows how proactive and how hard I work to stay alive. We play a game of memory which was nice as I use to play that with grandma. She beats me and I feel myself feel happy to have her in my presences. My mind wanders and I think of how she would have felt if I did pass away. She understands I don't have a choice in how I feel. 

This morning I had a meeting with the clinical doctor and a psych liaison officer. They took me to the interview room to ask me some questions about what's happened leading up to my over dose. I get up from my bed and notice a few people in the waiting rooms, sleeping on the floor waiting for a bed. There are only six beds in the whole MHOA ward I am in. It makes me feel angry to know that no one is doing anything about the bed sitution, and the amount of times the nurses say I'm so sorry, the shortage of beds is terrible. I have heard those words over the past three years more then I can count. 

I sink into the chair in the interview room. I hadn't really looked up at the doctor or officer in the room until just now. The doctor was a frail, sweet old lady who must of been in her early 60's, and the officer had glasses on and a glowing face, along with a welcoming smile. 

The doctor is warm and inviting. Her approach is very different to what I am use to in this sitution. She's not demanding, she is gentle and wants to hear what I have to say first, which takes me back to the 'listen with intent' theory. She wanted to hear my story instead of making assumptions. This is what I really was searching for Monday when I knew my health was deteriorating and I wanted help. Either way, I was grateful to be given the opportunity still to get the help I need, as three days ago I wasn't going to be alive if I didn't reach out. 

I explain to her the complications of my mind at this present time. I explain to her this isn't anyone's fault, and I don't remember the middle of my psychosis. She said that is understandable and is hoping it comes back to me so we can get the right help needed. I explained I had someone with me, and I am hoping to get more answers so I can process things a bit better as it's very hazy. I know I was paranoid a lot of it, but don't really understand what about. They asked if anything specific triggered me, and I replied with a no. I know this was beyond my control, regardless of who was in my presence or not. 

I start to talk about how social media impacts me. How I see the world living still, when mine has come to a halt. I see photos of people smiling, enjoying life and moving forward. Of course it makes me feel happy seeing people happy, but then I think of everyone else in my sitution. Who is so mentally ill who can't seem to function properly, who spend majority of their time 'living' in and out of hospital. My voice starts to shake when I say I think people are so far involved with themselves that they can't take those few moments out of their own life to just reach out to someone, as feelings are so complex and everyone's are so scattered. We need time to replenish our thoughts and emotions, when I feel it's more effective when everyone checks in on each other and comes togther in these difficult times. I then tell them if it was any of my friends in this position I would be with them every day, no hesitation. They then remind me that they all haven't had the experience I have had with mental illness, and they may need some time to process what is happening. I nod in agreement, but I still believe people could do a lot more when someone has had a Suicide attempt. And it's not even a big want, it's small gestures of love and support. Everyone always wants something bigger and better, when simple can be more efficient. 

I then get on to the part of mindfulness, and how I feel like I have to 'convince' myself it gets better, even though I always end up in this sitution regardless. I explain to them how I have only been logical and rational about a certain sitution I was faced with in recent events, and that my emotions yet again spiralled beyond my control. I couldn't stabilise them when I was put in between a rock and a hard place, and how I didn't want to walk away from the situation as this one I was faced with was enriching my life, not debilitating it. I have stayed in bad situations out of latching on to false hope and sense of security, but this time it wasn't false, as it felt very real and I wasn't feeling any negativity towards it. This person that was bought into my life recently was making me feel like myself, regardless of my mental illness label. To me it's been blown out of the water, and due to both having an over working mind, things have gotten misconstrued through processing emotions. 

I spoke of my dissociation, and because I was on my death bed majority of last year, I shut of as soon as I felt the slight feeling of that creeping up on me again. I knew how much I have improved and worked hard to stay alive, and this person was providing me happiness, that I didn't want to feel those motions again. I know I was damaged when I was giving myself away last time, but in my rational mind I know these two people are complete opposite of each other, and I can't just chuck them into the same basket as both situations are different. I know all this, but feeling that dark emotion was the most scary thing I've ever had to do. I got through that a lot on my own, with the right support in the end. I didn't have the threshold to work through that all again.

I paused before I opened up about the next thing going on for me. It's the most gut wrenching and terrifying thing I suffer from, and that is the reality of my flashbacks. I described these were the main sources of my ideation, and how my body completely shuts down. I freeze, I feel like I cannot breathe and I feel a black shadow over come me, feeling very satisfied at the thought of preying on my vulnerability. No one should have to experience something like this, a thing they have no control over what happened to them. 

After speaking to them, they agreed to set me up with a social worker and a welfare officer. I am involuntary for one more night for my safety, then every day for a fortnight, I'll have daily visits from psych officers. This has made me more stable knowing I have that extra support, and has abled me to focus more clearly on getting the nessesscary help I need in order to not lose my life to my mental illness. 

I sit here listening to my playlist that I listened to when you were around. I struggle with knowing if it's my illness, or if it's how I genuinely feel about you. My social worker I spoke to before told me to go with my gut feeling. I feel that right now, and I breathe a sigh of relief knowing it's not my illness this time. That I felt whole and happy when I met you, and I'm sure I can feel whole and happy again soon. 


No comments:

Post a Comment