I do not deal well with change, whether that’s a change in therapist, a computer update which changes the layout, or a change in location. I am like a plane where the taking off and landing are both tricky. I knew leaving hospital was going to be hard, but no one expected it to be this distressing.
I had been doing ok in hospital. I had probably the quietest room in the entire ward. I attended a few groups each day and the structure was good for me. But as my discharge date (yesterday) approached, I took a nose dive. My depression became so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed. I barely managed to pack up, and filling out the depression and anxiety survey which they give to you at the start and end of your admission was impossible. I was terrified of returning home and feeling as bad as I did before I came into hospital. So I resumed my suicide plan, purchasing more things off the internet which I needed. That is when my nurse came in. I confessed what I was doing. She told me they will need to send me to a public hospital where I will get the help I need. I was both scared and relieved. She went away to speak to her manager and the two of them came back shortly. The manager, however, did not want to send me to a public hospital. I couldn’t think clearly. I felt like I was in fog and all colour had drained from me. In the end I went with her recommendation to send me home and have the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team contact me over the weekend, or present to the emergency department. Sometimes I find it so hard to know what I really want and then express this. I wished they had of just called an ambulance and taken me to their closest public hospital. I was beyond making a decision for myself, I was drowning and just needed them to throw me a life raft.
It saddens me that they didn’t think the admission had helped me at all. They said they were reluctant to take me on to begin with. I had come from a public, locked hospital and they thought the acuity and risk was too high. I have had many nurses tell me hospital doesn’t help people like me and that I just become dependent on the hospital. I don’t know if they’ll let me return in the future now. As I wrote in a previous post, no one seems to want me: I am too sick for the private system, but too well for the public.
When I got home I started drinking again. I became tipsy and knocked over my glass of water. I called my new case worker and agreed to meet her at a chocolate shop Monday morning, even though I usually sleep during the morning. I took some Valium as well, then lay down and fell asleep. I had no dreams and was not disturbed by noises around me. For a while it was blissful oblivion. I woke up in the evening and found several missed calls on my phone from my case management team, the very people who caused this crisis. It was too late to call them back, but I didn’t want to anyway. I spend the rest of the evening sick and nauseous from all the alcohol I’d consumed.
Today has been a bit better than I was expecting. I have not bounced back into hospital yet, though it has been hard living with another person. I’m finding I really need to be alone right now. I wish I had my own place where I can be alone and no body moves my stuff. I managed to sleep last night and got up this afternoon when I heard my dad go out in the car. He shortly returned though, and I just about screamed at him to go away. I cannot relax even around someone I have lived with all my life. While it has been hard leaving the hospital, it is good to be able to spend time in nature again. I also have some dexamphetamine which helps pick me up on particularly low days.
What is bothering me most right now is not actually the loss of my case worker, but a nerve issue I have had for months now. It is a buzzing, vibrating sensation on my head. It feels a little like static electricity, like something is pulling on my hair or even crawling through my hair. It makes me want to shave my hair off, or kill myself. It started half a year ago when I was given an antidepressant called Effexor. This is also the time I became manic and psychotic, which made my old case worker think this is a residual psychotic symptom, a tactile hallucination. I kind of wish it was as then it could be treated with antipsychotics. But I think that the Effexor and perhaps the mania blew some circuits/nerve endings in my head, and now I am left with permanent damage. So right now I am not just grieving the loss of my case worker, but the loss of my previous level of wellbeing. It doesn’t help that I have OCD as I become fixed on the sensation and constantly check it. The only thing I’ve found helps is being outside in the wind, or having a fan on, which acts in the same way white noise for my tinnitus does. That, and my usual ways of coping: escaping what’s bothering me through excessive sleep and screen time.
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