Hi everyone. I’m not sure where to start. At the beginning is usually good but there’s no beginning or end. It would be easier if there was a linear way to explain…not just for you guys but for myself. To better understand…to figure out what the hell is going on with me. Instead it’s more like a bunch of different bricks being thrown at me. I’m really not doing well. So much so that I’ve been deliberating a short stay in the psych ward to fix my medication and figure things out it an environment that’s quiet and not too busy. The world feels loud right now. I don’t know if that makes sense of if you guys have felt that too. One of the first things I said to my therapist last Thursday when she asked me how I was doing was that I might be about to have a nervous breakdown…I said it with a smile because was trying to be light, I think…not that there’s anything light about that. But I’m starting to think I really wasn’t far off the mark.
I feel…overwhelmed, empty, depressed, anxious, impulsive, angry, hateful, confused and occasionally ambitious when my mood swings up again. Granted it hasn’t done that it a few days. An upswing would be nice but maybe the fall might be too bad to handle.
Interpersonal issues with those I care most about. I want to leave it at that.
Issues with the person I wrote about in a previous article and how that person continues to backstab me by lying and being disparaging against me with my own fiancé. It’s never ending and the hypocrisy is enough to drive anyone ‘crazy’. For that juicy article, see here.
Taking just one course, which sounds pathetic, feels like too much right now. My teacher is so kind and is letting me do the oral presentation project alone and, most importantly, NOT orally. Despite that…I’m having a super hard time working on it. It’s honestly a lot of work for one person and I can’t even seem to concentrate long enough to make serious progress. I’m also really concerned about my essay which has already been submitted. I started early to be smart about it but hated my almost completed version two days before the due date. I rewrote the entire essay in two sittings. I really don’t know if I did it justice and if I didn’t do well on it my current grade of 100% will drop. That’s the thing about 100%…there’s no way to go but down. I’m painfully and acutely aware of that.
I love work. I know I’ve mentioned that quite a few times. The problem is that everything weighing on me plus what’s going on in my mind is making it hard for me to concentrate there too. I can feel great at work, especially working with happy humans and their four-legged companions. But I’m also exhausted and my brain is so cluttered that I’m losing my French vocabulary. I’m tripping up on my words a lot and making mistakes. Stupid ones. More than that though…I’m just not feeling much joy at the moment. Nothing is really making me that happy.
Feeling like crap, including anxiety, has been making me rush around and be clumsy. What happened? I twisted my knee carrying a heavy sac of…I don’t even remember what. I got over that though only to get really angry the day before yesterday when I kicked a glass door open – hard. I’m lucky the glass didn’t break. It hurt a lot though and I thought my foot might even be fractured. Thankfully not and it’s getting better.
I’ve been feeling so crappy and desperate to feel something else that I cut myself after not having done that for a while. So much for my streak…it now reads 2 days. Yippee. So now I feel immensely guilty about that all the while just wanting to hurt myself again. So that’s fun.
I feel like I could easily mess up everything I’ve been trying so hard to achieve; mainly, stability! Stability is so so important. It’s connected to balance which I also really really want but I’ll stick with the minimum of being stable as I work on the long-term goal of balance. I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job but now I feel like I’m spiralling. What happens in that case? Well…I could lose my job which I normally love and I could mess up this class even though I’m close to the finish line and that would bruise my ego tremendously. Losing my job would mean no more money to pay for my car which I also love so much. I won’t be on track towards being financially independent of my parents to not be a burden. I’ll be a useless leech again. I’m probably not being very kind with myself right now but I never lie so there you have it. I feel like sh*t. I feel like a sh*t person. I feel like I’m losing my mind. It’s so much fun.
Fast Forward 4 Days
I didn’t finish writing this blog before more happened and I didn’t touch it for a few days. I’ll finish up with the bricks before filling in the rest of the story.
I haven’t had much time to write, post on Instagram or do any artwork. That hurts my spirit because normally those things feed me. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have things that feed you. I haven’t been making enough time to work on them which is a big mistake…no one is going to give us the time; it’s something we have to create for ourselves.
Brick #9 (Maybe the biggest one)
I’m feeling some symptoms that I don’t think I’ve ever felt before and/or at least not to this degree. I’m not saying I’m at my worst…thank goodness not!!! But certain components are at their worst or close.
- The anxious electricity in my hands that actually really hurts has been happening multiple times a day. Not new…but really bad. It’s mostly un-triggered which makes it unpredictable and irritatingly stupid. Instead of my hands trembling this is what I get when I’m anxious…I think adrenaline pumps in super hard. Imagine the feeling when you almost miss a step on the stairs or slip on ice. You know that surge? That’s exactly how it feels except mostly isolated to my hands and there are no stairs or ice.
- I feel like I’m being fed instructions. That’s very new. The closest I’ve felt to that before was with my eating disorder but this is different. At first I thought I was hearing a voice but I don’t think that’s exactly it. It’s more like imagery is being placed in my head and it’s dark. It’s me hurting myself along with an unidentifiable compulsion to act on it. The feeling that I absolutely have to. That it’s the only way for something…and I don’t even know what. It makes no sense and when the imagery isn’t there I usually realize that it makes no sense.
Fast Forward Again
It’s been another few days. I haven’t gone to work or school this past week and I’m not going to class today either. I hope to go back to work tomorrow though. I need to get back into the swing of things. At least my presentation for school is ready to be submitted today. I worked really hard on it. For the sake of actually finishing this blog today I’m going to speed things up a little.
I went to the hospital because I was that desperate. I wanted to be completely removed from everything else going on and I didn’t feel safe in my headspace. I wasn’t feeling particularly suicidal but self-harm was in the forefront of my mind and I wanted to get ahead of whatever impulsive thing I could’ve been about to do. Thankfully Aaron came with me and so did Mia. With her card and the fact that my psychiatrist (who wrote the card) works at the hospital, everyone was ok with her being there. A lot of people even stopped to pet her or talk to me about her and dogs in general. It took about 7 hours to see the doctor but Aaron and I managed to kill the time. In a strange way I already felt a bit safer. Even though I hate hospitals…I was starting to feel like I had made the responsible choice. I didn’t want my parents or Aaron to have to watch over me constantly and be more worried than usual.
I got a bed in my own room with a toilette. At that point I was alone with Mia and she helped me so much. I was able to focus only on her and it was actually relaxing. This was especially important because they took away everything I had brought with me including my phone. I had brought things to keep me sort of occupied but in balance…not stressful. So my notebook, pen, sketchbook, etc. It was all dumped in a bag!!! I was very angry to not have my phone because I needed to answer my family…they’d be really worried if I didn’t. But, I was put on suicide watch and had a sitter. I couldn’t really leave my room and had to use the toilette in there. Let me just say that glass windows frosted on the bottom half and clear at the top does not make for privacy. I slept well with Muffin though curled at my side and the meds knocked me out. In the morning they allowed me to get Mia some of her food and a toy. I also took a washcloth bath that made me feel more human. (Perks of short hair…I washed it in the sink.)
I felt hopeful because Aaron said he was going to arrive for a visit soon. My mood changed when I saw the psychiatrist. It wasn’t mine…it was a woman he works with who I’ve encountered before and has the reputation among patients of being a b*tch. I don’t like that word. Instead I’ll say she’s extremely insensitive, unhelpful and doesn’t seem to actually care. She said people with BPD don’t benefit from being in the hospital more than an overnight crisis prevention stay. It always seems to come back to my stupid BPD. Forget about the other stuff…the new symptoms…the fact that my other mental health professionals see, as I do, that Bipolar is much closer to my symptoms than BPD. But no, all I was to her was that label and the fact that I went to the hospital BEFORE doing something really bad this time, was ignored. I should go home. Waiting a week to see my psychiatrist was really short. No! In this situation that was way too long! And dangerous!
I should’ve stood my ground but I went home instead feeling more miserable than I had in the hospital. We resolved to wait for my psychiatrist in the external clinic until he was done with appointments. Then I WOULD get to see him. I did, and he too brought things back to BPD and how a sedative would basically make it all go away. He didn’t really listen to me…I don’t know what it is about psychiatrists but my experiences have NOT been good. I’m basing this on about 6 so I do have a sampling.
Anyway, the sedative is helping this time, but it won’t when I’m depressed. It’ll just make those times worse and it’s not a long-term solution. At least I’m more stable though and can hold out until the next appointment which is tomorrow. I still hurt myself though…
So the irony my friends is this, and it’s a sad truth: If you try to manage things yourself and get to a point where you do something really bad that lands you in the hospital and then a psych ward, they’ll keep you. You might be dead though, making it too late. If on the other hand you try to be safe and responsible by going voluntarily, you’re not at risk enough to be kept in safety and/or your diagnosis is viewed in a cookie cutter way. Isn’t that fantastic news?! i’m overjoyed by the working of our system! I feel bad complaining when healthcare is so much worse elsewhere, but I believe that letting things stay the same for the sake of them not being worse isn’t a very progressive or effective idea.
- Even though we hope to be cared for in a time when we often don’t have the energy or clarity to fight for our needs, we must. Otherwise the system will walk over us leaving our needs unmet. This is really dangerous. I encourage you to speak up as best you can. If it makes you sad and hopeless, voice that. If it makes you angry, let them know. Just don’t let them treat you like a number.
- Even if after reading this you think there’s no point in going to a hospital in a crisis, please do! If you’re in desperate need of help say that you’re feeling suicidal. Call a crisis line, go to a crisis centre…please don’t give up! Not all mental health professionals are like this.
- Share your experiences! We need to talk about it. It’s the only way to support each other AND stand a chance of changing things.
- While it’s never good to fight entirely alone, this is still a reminder that the key person in charge of our safety is ourselves. Not even the best professional can top that. They’re here to help, not to replace us as the driver in our lives.
- If something like this happens to you and you’ve made the wise decision of reaching out for help, please be proud of yourself for that no matter how it ends up. Ex. My experience could be viewed as a waste of time but instead I’m seeing it as a proactive act of self-care at very difficult time to think about self-care. That’s a victory in itself.
This blog was depressing and I don’t want to leave you with that. I’m going to end with photos of Mia in the hospital that I took when my phone was on me. She looks so adorably professional that I just have to show you! It was so great to focus on her and nothing else.