Thursday, 23 June 2016

Night time again

It's nearly 3am and I'm in a mess.. I need to calm down and am trying hard to distract myself.
Earlier I found myself downstairs with a cord wrapped around my neck and I can't remember waking up or going downstairs. My neck is sore but I feel so detached.
Why don't I know what I'm doing? I don't understand and it's scary. It's like my mind and my body go in different directions. I am just not connected.
I'm scared to go upstairs and the quiet of the house seems loud and invasive. Shadows dart everywhere and the little bit of light is so bright that it hurts.
My skin crawls and I feel confused and disorientated. I need to connect and stay in the present.
I need to sleep so badly but I'm frightened to. The lack of control is too overwhelming.
I'm just a freak and it hurts. Why me?

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Crazy night

Another crazy night as I'm sat on the bathroom floor shaking and crying. My bed is wet and I've crawled into the shower and scrubbed myself clean. No amount of soap can get rid of his smell and my skin still crawls from his touch no matter how much I go over and over it.
I feel dirty so deep within me and everything is so bright and loud. The images going round and round in my head just don't make sense. It's like a broken movie, all fragmented but not one I want to piece together.
I'm not going to hurt myself, he is not going to win. Not sure how to keep going but I've got to. Slow down my breathing, make sense of the space around me, notice my legs on the cold tiled floor and take in all the colours around me. I can do this, I have to. It's just so bloody hard.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Working with PTSD

I'm really struggling at the moment. After being off work and in hospital I'm trying to get my life back to some kind of normality but it is not easy.
I am a teacher and really aware of my responsibilities and hate being off work. I went back to work before I had even been discharged properly from the hospital and realise now that it was way too soon and I was not ready. My GP only signed me back to work as we had a brief telephone conversation and I asked her to sign me fit for work. she hadn't even had my notes from the hospital or anything and just took my word for it. I was not really well enough though and now I am paying for it.
I can only have 4 weeks phased return and have used all that time up so now I have to go back full time. I'm not seeing the doctor from Occupational Health until 24th June so there is very little I can do. I spoke to someone from HR today and she said that I have to go back full time or be paid part time hours even though I can't afford it. I don't see the point of even going to see the OH doc if there is little that they can do to support me. I nearly killed myself a few weeks ago and is any job worth that? Maybe it's time to think about my options and put myself first.
my job is stressful and for the 7th year running I am under threat of redundancy. They keep getting rid of people and then making our work load bigger and bigger. It has become impossible and I've had enough. Surely employers have a duty of care when they keep putting you under so much stress but apparently not. They did offer 6 weeks of counselling with one of their counsellors but that is no good for me. I need specialist help and support and I realise now that I can't get that and work full time.
I spent 6 weeks in hospital for nothing as I have less support now than I ever have. I have not heard from the therapist that promised me he would not give up on me and have only seen once this year.
No wonder people give in as it is so hard to keep your head up and keep going.
I'm not sure what work can do to make a difference but maybe if they even acknowledge that there are times I struggle it would be good. Some safety measures around those times would make a difference but the message was loud and clear today - if I'm not up to the job 100% then I shouldn't be there, so no pressure,!!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Supporting friends, family or colleagues in M H hospitals

Just thought it would be good to write about how I would have liked to have been supported in hospital and what I noticed other people going through.
When you are admitted onto a mental heslth ward it is a frightening and overwhelming experience. Everything you do, say and have around you is closely monitored and you lose you sense of self identity.
On entry you are searched and every bit of your belongings are searched. Personal items can be taken away or withheld and you feel so ashamed and humiliated. Even your underwear is examined. Items that you expect to be taken off you sometimes aren't but silly personal things can be - it doesn't always make sense.
Your bedroom does not have a fully closed door to the bathroom and there is little privacy due to the glass panels in the door and certain lights that are kept on all the time. Strategically placed mirrors mean that you are always in view of staff.
Initially there are 10 minute observations that can go down to one minute or constant observation and that means that you can never settle and are always on alert. You think about your every move and what you say and do.
The doctors assessment is invasive and detailed and you get asked weird questions that make you question if they think you have gone completely mad.
Staff treat you like a child and you get told what to do and when. We were even sent to bed!
So in that environment knowing friends and family are there for you is so important. Even a simple 'how are you' text means so much. Just send a text with 'thinking of you' - anything just to let them know they are not alone as I have never felt so alone in my life. Hours spent sat on that bed or in the chair aimlessly watching crap on the tele. It is soul destroying.
You don't need to visit but visits aren't as scary as you think and you going might be the difference between being able to go and get some fresh air or have someone to talk to about anything. It doesn't have to be doom and gloom.
A friend of mine came a couple of times a week and took me out for a coffee. I felt stupid having to be escorted but those afternoons helped me so much.
A letter, card or even some flowers brighten up your room. I didn't get any but some people decorated their rooms with things from friends which was so nice and thoughtful.
The food is crap and someone bought me some fruit - the nicest fruit I have ever tasted.
So don't be afraid to keep in touch with someone going through a hard time in hospital. They need your support more than ever - trust me I know x