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Archive for March, 2009

X Marks The Spot

So, I finally dragged myself down to my GP surgery about my neck pain (unfortunately didn’t see my usual GP).

The GP I saw turned out to be very pleasant, but a little too keen to focus on the fact that I’d tried to kill myself again rather than the issue that was actually at hand. FWIW I did just say I’d strained my neck a bit, but she realised that it was self-inflicted when I was reluctant to give her a coherent explanation of how it happened.

Anyway, she suggested referring me back to the crisis team. I declined that offer, as frankly it would just be an exercise in paperwork, and pointed out that Crisis hadn’t been very keen on seeing me the last time, so three times in as many months would be pushing it somewhat. This revelation put her off her second suggestion, which would have been a referral to CMHT, as she observed that there really was no point in sending me round in circles. She is, however, going to try to expediate my psych appointment (which is in May), but I don’t have high hopes of her succeeding where Crisis failed.

I get to have an x-ray of my neck at the local hospital – I’ve been trying to interpret the doctor-speak on my referral card.

As far as I can make out, it says:

Clinical details:
Known patient *squiggle* depression. Hx of self-harm. Pain extending the neck + turning right. Point tenderness.

Clinical diagnosis:
? Injury to lc++ spine

but that’s only my best guess. I can’t imagine I’d possibly have problems with logic programming in C++ (or at least, if I did, I wouldn’t be seeing my doctor about it!), so I can’t think what “lc++” might be.

Anyone medical out there who can translate?

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Confusion

I don’t understand.

This hurricane is more than my head can hold.

I just don’t understand.

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Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.

Margaret Millar

A somewhat navel-gazing post, because today I shared some of my blog posts with my worker at the young-people’s-place. A rare glimpse inside the head of someone who holds her cards very close to her chest, an explanation for my behaviour over the past month or so.

And, not-so incidentally, mention of my two latest goes at topping myself.

She complimented me on my writing ability, and on how “remarkably free of self-pity” my ramblings were. She told me that they mirrored my behaviour in my sessions with her, in that she felt they were very “honest”, and told me (for the umpteenth time) that she felt very honoured that I was working through these things with her.

She said a lot of things, but, as I correctly pointed out, there is nothing that can be said about the fact that I wish to end my life. She has to remain neutral, or risk loosing her status as my only confidente, so in this she can only really act as a counsellor, rather than being her typically outspoken self.

I know she is concerned, I could see a deep pool of it in her eyes – the same one which I saw in my GP’s eyes a week on Friday, but she chose not to mention the fact, and I really appreciated that.

I don’t know how I feel about having done it, to be honest. I know she will have valued it, though I was careful to insist on having the piece of paper back so that it couldn’t disappear into my file.

I was definitely relieved that she didn’t panic and insist on phoning my GP.

Something that has given me cause to think was that she told me that outwardly I seemed much less depressed – more engaged, and much less like a lump of stone… she’s wondering if the dulox is beginning to lift me up, and may therefore soon lift my mood up as well.

We’ll see. For the moment I’ve decided to stick around, though my (now revised, after Thursday’s muppetry) get-away plan is finalised in my head.

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I Don’t Know What To Say

And you don’t know how it feels to be alive,
Until you know how it feels to die

Shape of My Heart, Noah and the Whale

I’m sorry for posting the last post. I still stand by what I wrote, but it has never been my intention to fill this blog up with “I’m going to kill myself” type posts.

Especially as I now have to face the fact that I’m still here, though I haven’t quite come to terms with that yet. Although, my neck hurts like hell, so at the moment I’m a little too busy trying to remember which painkillers I last took when and trying not to make sudden movements. Please, no jokes about “being let down”, “hanging around”, or “a pain in the neck”… my brain has already supplied quite enough today. Black humour is one of my defense mechanisms, but sometimes I can’t be bothered to laugh at myself.

Today has had that strange unreal feeling that follows suicide attempts. I forced myself out to do the usual things that people do: coffee with friends, a dash into town to grab last minute Mother’s Day cards for my mum and grandma. But I’m still wondering why I’m not dead yet. Why is there this bit of life that keeps me here in this nightmare? Why have I now survived a hat-trick of attempts?

I’ll be seeing my worker at the young-peoples-place on Monday, she’s usually quite good at helping me make sense out of the confusion. I just have to make it through this weekend.

I won’t be making any more attempts over the weekend (gonna let my neck heal a little before having another go), so I fear it may be a long weekend.

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The Ties That Bind Us

There’s an old saying, “Everyone’s mad except me and thee, and I’m not so sure about thee”. I always thought that being in that position was an indication of being mad yourself, but I guess that just shows how little I knew.

I came to a glorious, liberating epiphany last night. As a rule, in modern culture we’re conditioned to think that suicide is wrong, incomprehensible – except (perhaps), for those with terminal conditions, where an early death may truly be the merciful option. We reach out, fearfully, to those who declare a desire to “end it all”, drawing them back into the shared delusion that life is worth living.

I admit that I too find this conditioning clings to me. It was that which took me to my GP on Friday, it’s that which still has me taking the pills, it’s that which has me sobbing at the pain of my own perceived fear of living.

Yet I’ve come to a new realisation, that it is those of us who are suicidal that have the right idea. We have tasted of some of the extremes of living, from pure ecstasy to deep despair, and found them all just as fake. For neither lasts – all, in time, are doomed to give to the next emotion, and finally turn to dust. Nothing is real, even that which we “see” is just the production of neurons firing in our brains. How more real then can our emotions or ambitions possibly be?

To rebel against this is to discover the true meaning of living, to conquer our own perceptions and fears, and in doing so accept the inevitable truth of our self-annihilation.

I do appreciate that this must be quite hard reading. We really are so conditioned, so brainwashed, that we don’t realise the extent of our shared delusion.

I know what I need to do now, I know what I want to do. And the more publicly I do it, the more chance there is of this word being spread, of other people being released from their guilt and shame over harbouring such counter-cultural desires.

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So, after seeing my second psychiatrist in two days (with, luckily, the same conclusion: don’t need hospital, do need crisis team), Crisis finally came round and assessed me today.

Unsurprisingly, they were reluctant to take me on, and said that they’d be doing me a disservice by doing so (they also complained about “budgetary constraints”). However, we’ve compromised that they’ll have me for a week just to help me get some longer-term support in place, as I’m too deeply mired to be able to do it alone. It’s the exact outcome I wanted, so I don’t know why it’s not making me feel happy, why I feel like I’ve been punched in the face and then kicked some more for good measure.

I mentioned CMHT, but, again, unsurprisingly, it appears I’m still not “severe and enduring”. Instead, they’re going to ring up the PCMHT and ask if I can see someone other than the chocolate teapot, and liase with the young people’s place to see if they can offer me more support as well. And I think they’ll be bringing my psych appointment forward as well.

All well and good, and I’m sure the young people’s place will step up to the plate, though less sure about the PCMHT, who were the first people to ever point me in the direction of CMHT.

My worker (with the young people’s place) is unavoidably away this week, so I can’t see her tomorrow and tell her she was wrong. Wrong to tell me that if I made up my mind to ask for help then it didn’t matter who I asked, that they’d help me and shelter me and give me a hand. Wrong to say that there was support out there through the NHS for people with “severe mental illnesses”, to suggest that the NHS would be able to “support” me, to try and “stabilise” me, to take away some of the burden of my own care, to “make sure I’m in hospital when I need to be”.

Because I asked my GP, and she referred me to A&E. A&E referred me to the Crisis Team. Crisis very nearly discharged me straight back to my GP.

I don’t fit any of their little boxes.

I’m just Chou, and I seem to be falling through the gaps.

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Chugging Along With No Support

So, after Tuesday’s suicide attempt, as well as spending yesterday evening worrying some medical types, and having a long rant at a poor (but rather sweet) junior psychiatrist who then had to rush off and ask her registrar’s advice about me, I’ve been referred back to the crisis team.

A week and a day since they discharged me.

Unsurprisingly, they haven’t got in touch today, even though I was told they would.

I’m intending to ask for a CMHT referral at my next GP appointment, if I make it that far. I know my worker at the young person’s place thinks it would be a good idea.

Given how I feel right now, and the intensity of those feelings, perhaps I should run a book on how many more suicide attempts Chou is going to make in the next 7 days before said appointment…

(apologies for the black humour, it tends to pop up at times like this – presumably as a coping mechanism)

I’ve tried making an emergency GP appointment, I’ve tried ringing the numbers they provide, and wasn’t able to explain my problem enough to elicit any actual help. Frankly, in this sort of mood, I’m not really going to fight too hard for something that feels like a waste of time anyways.

So… life, is… interesting at the moment…

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