I write this post from the corner desk of my bedroom in the psych ward. I was in this ward when I was 24, and here I am again six years later. I’m in here for the exact same reason: losing a mental health worker who I love. Most people would not understand the bonds I form with mental health workers. But this mental health worker was so much more to me than a mental health worker. He was like a best friend, a brother, maybe even a parental figure. When people ask how I am, I think I will just tell them I’m sad because I’ve lost someone I love. I won’t tell them who it is. Or that they are still alive, that I am grieving the living. Even though he is not dead he may as well be as I will never be able to see him again. I am being offered two “closure” sessions with him and that’s it. My life feels like a broken record repeating over and over. Continue reading “In the psych ward”
It’s the little things.
It’s not being able to look at my toy lion because I brought her to our last appointment so now she reminds me of you.
It’s wanting to kill myself suddenly when I get in the car and see an old appointment card with your name on it. It’s not being able to throw it away, so I just turn it over so you don’t haunt me anymore.
It’s the ache in my chest that now comes whenever I take my evening medication which you got me on.
It’s sleeping next to the plastic cup you filled with water and gave me one time when I was upset. Then it’s putting it out of sight as it’s too painful to see it all the time, but in a special place no one else in the house can find as I’m afraid somebody might throw it out.
It’s the way you’ve crept into my world even though we only saw each other at the clinic.
It’s not being able to be in the supermarket when a sad song is playing.
It’s crying every time I see my new case worker because you can never be replaced.
It’s the way I used to feel comfort from 9-4:30pm Monday, Wed, Thurs and Friday because I knew you were at the clinic a phone call away, but now all I feel is loneliness because we’re not allowed contact.
It’s not being able to watch travel shows because they remind me how big the world is and how I cannot keep you close.
It’s not shopping for new clothes anymore because I only really dressed up to see you.
It’s not being able to enjoy anything anymore. It’s stopping all my usual activities because I’m too sad.
It’s the way it all comes back in flashes, like a kaleidoscope of memories, but only the good ones. It’s not being able to see any fault in you, which makes it hurt all the more.
It’s not so much what you said, or what you did, but the way you made me feel. It’s not knowing whether I’m ever going to feel that way again.
I am somebody who requires a lot of space, and I can only have people in my life who will respect this about me. Right now I hate people so much. I just want to run away to the country and never return. I could not sleep last night so got up and checked Facebook. I received this message from somebody who I met online: Continue reading “Space”
We are pearls, reachable only to the deepest divers. Divers who will venture into the lonely, hazardous waters which is our home, and know there is something precious inside the shells we grew to protect ourselves. Weakness, vulnerability and a chance at happiness are far, far more painful than a life devout of emotion, so we hide deep in the ocean, we hide behind veneers, we want to be found yet we are also content here for we don’t want to fall into the hands of divers who are full of pride and carelessness, divers who will not look after us, divers who will not respect our world. Invaders who will rip us out then throw us back in, stripped bare, never the same. Lost in the wide and wavering ocean.
Last week my dad pulled up my lemon verbena plant thinking it was a weed. I attempted to replant it, but it doesn’t look like it has taken. What little leaves were left on it have died. As I stare helplessly at what’s left of my favourite plant, I feel as though I am staring at a mirror. I too have been cut and uprooted. I too have been planted with something/someone new and expected to take to it. I have not taken to it. I am barely alive.
Yesterday I had a meeting with my new case worker and a doctor. The meeting had originally been scheduled by Jordan, my old case worker, before they changed my case worker. I still have the appointment card with his name and the doctor’s name on it. It felt wrong that he was not there. He cannot be replaced by anyone. I miss him so much. The worst part is I don’t know if he had any say in all this or was expecting this. Only a few days before he was removed as my case worker, he said he’d talk to me soon. He told me to call him if I get manic or psychotic again. Now he’s not allowed to speak with me on the phone anymore. Continue reading “Loss & sadness”
I am no longer screaming out loud but I am screaming on the inside. Why can’t anyone hear me? My dad’s phone rings and I hope it is someone calling because they’re concerned about me but it isn’t. No one is messaging me to ask how I am doing. Even if they do, however, I am impossible to console. There is only one person in the universe who can do that and he is gone.
I don’t enjoy anything. I just sit in front of the computer checking Facebook all day because I am addicted to it. I can’t even pass the time sleeping. I can’t sleep at night and am woken by the neighbour during the day. When I do sleep I dream of horrible things like war and torture.
I have tried countless antidepressants over the years and all they’ve done is left me even more damaged.
My friend has had a baby. While a new soul comes into the world, I plan my exit. I start shopping for the things I need to end my impoverished life here on planet earth. I don’t know if I will follow through with it, but I don’t know what else to do. The days are too hard to face. The pain, which is really just nature’s attempt to fill up the empty space, is too hard to bear. This is more than sadness. It is like a choked river; you want to cry but the tears don’t flow. It is like being gagged; you want to scream but there is something stopping you. It is the fear not of dying but of waking up alive; you have another day ahead of you with nothing to do and nothing you want to do. And it is the indescribable terror and grief which you feel watching a video like this. Maybe it is because it reminds you just how alone you are in the universe and how far away everyone you love are now. Or perhaps it is because you know you are standing on the edge of a cliff. You are standing on the edge of life and death, and you are not sure whether you’re going to fall, or fly.
Early this week there was a meeting with Richard the head psychiatrist (who is filling in for Nuala, the usual psychiatrist), my parents and I about the proposed discharge from the mental health service I’ve been with for years. The meeting was in response to a letter my dad wrote. I was dreading the meeting and wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to attend as my anxiety was just too debilitating. I knew if they insisted on discharging me in 6 months time I would not be able to hear it. The meeting, however, was even worse than I was expecting. Not only would they not back down about discharge, they announced they’re changing my case worker (Jordan) who I love and have been working with for years. They think the relationship has become unhealthy, that I idealise him and am even romantically attracted to him. While some of this is true, I don’t believe it warrants ripping apart the relationship and the trauma this brings. I once told my very first therapist that I was romantically attracted to her and she didn’t discharge me. These things can be worked through. When spoken about, they can be incredibly healing and facilitate greater self-exploration. I couldn’t believe someone who didn’t even know me had the nerve to waltz in and completely destabilise my world. As an autistic person, I do not like even the smallest of changes. And as someone with BPD and Complex PTSD, I need consistency in my relationships. I am extremely attached to Jordan. He is my “favourite person”. Losing him feels like losing a limb. I walked out of the meeting and tore apart the waiting room. Screaming and crying I ripped down their pamphlets about schizophrenia, drug abuse, mental illness etc. and threw them on the floor like confetti. I then picked up a chair and tried to throw it through the window but someone stopped me. An announcement was called and the police came. Apparently my parents heard it from the meeting room and asked the doctor “So what are you going to do now? Are you going to organise a hospital admission?” His response? “I’m not going to give her a hospital admission just because she is having a tantrum.” Continue reading “From bad to worse”
People tell us to seek professional help when we are so depressed, distraught and suicidal over losing someone. But what happens if the person we are losing IS a professional. This kind of disenfranchised grief is something I have been dealing with since I first started seeing a counsellor at the age of 19. I have gone from therapist to therapist, presenting to each one depressed and traumatised about losing the last one. I then lose them, and the cycle continues. I’m at the point where I’m well and truly sick of it. So I will not be vouching for therapy, or conventional therapy at least. But what other things can help? Continue reading “Healing the loss of your “favourite person””