Friday, 19 October 2018

Empty

It's been nearly weeks since Billy passed, and it's not getting any easier.

I'm sorry for disappearing, both after moving out of home and after losing Bill. I'm having trouble finding words lately. My phone is full of notes of keywords and jumbled thoughts from the past few months, and I've been trying to compile them into something halfway comprehensible.

When mum came down to visit, she brought me some of his things. The pillow from his dog bed stays next to me on my bed, and I've been holding that instead of my stuffed toys, which have been demoted to the foot of my bed. His urn stays on my bedside table, with his paw prints on the wall, and a mini shrine on the shelf above. When things get rough, I lie there holding him. Billy used to always sleep behind my knees, and I spend the night hugging his pillow with him nestled behind my knees. Just feeling the weight against me, when I close my eyes I could nearly pretend I'm back home in my bed with him there.

But that can never be again.

I've lost all care for where I end up. I don't care about having everything I own locked away in storage, or when I'll be able to have my sewing set up again. I don't care about finding my own place, because I know that when I do, and when I get Misty back, it's going to hurt even more. The emptiness will be amplified. Being in short term accommodation, it feels a bit like being in hospital and only being away from him for a little while. When I'm somewhere permanent... I don't know how I'll cope.

Some days are worse than others. I'm completely overwhelmed by life, and I'm not coping as well as I could be. There isn't much support around at the moment - my case manager has disappeared, and my GP is away for six weeks. My psych has been calling me at least once a day (and yes, I've actually spoken on the phone with her). The past few days have been particularly rough. She came to see me for an emergency appointment yesterday, and the first words out of her mouth were "I think you need to go to the psych ward."

I have never felt as alone as I do without him.

Even writing this, I kept breaking down in tears, hence it's taken so long to post an update. It has even made me physically ill. A few days ago, I was sitting outside with my second coffee of the morning, trying to write this. Then I started getting a headache and feeling sick. I went in to have my meds and lie down, and I threw up all of the coffee along with the meds. I've felt ill from emotions before, but I don't think I've ever thrown up from them.

I am full of grief. There is no room for food. There is nothing I want. I just want him back.

My world is empty. Everything seems pointless. I don't game. I don't read books, or watch movies. I don't do any sewing or crafts. I don't cook or bake. I go outside to smoke cigarettes, and I lie in bed. My psych wants me to give myself permission to be happy. But how can I ever be happy without him?

I'm not okay. But my heart is still beating and I'm still breathing.

I don't want to make this post into an epic, so I'll leave it here for today. I'll start drafting a post to update on the big move (and several subsequent smaller moves), and hopefully get it posted in the next week. I just wanted to quickly check in and let you all know I'm still here.


"She was tired, with that tiredness that only emptiness brings."


Those who have me on Facebook will have seen these already.

My boy has had a beautiful send off. The urn is beautiful, and I also have a necklace that holds a tiny part of his ashes, so he is always with me. I'm so grateful to the Cherished Pets Foundation, not only for taking care of him and Misty when I ended up homeless, but also for funding Billy's vet care, and for helping make arrangements and supporting me through such a difficult time.

When I have the money, I'm going to get his paw prints tattooed, either on my ankle or the back of my leg. I've been meaning to get a couple of different tattoos, but having to go out into town and find a tattooist I like has been too daunting. But now, the want is great enough to do so.

I couldn't bring myself to throw out the flowers Cherished Pets gave me. By the time I thought to press them, they were already too dry, so I kept the whole bouquet. At some point I want to cut them down to a smaller bouquet, and find some sort of container to keep them safe in, but that's a project for another day.



xxBella

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Forever my Sunshine

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post, to let you all know that my baby boy, Billy, passed away on Sunday night.

After a lifetime of health issues, his little body just wasn't strong enough to recover from another bout of surgery.


On Thursday, I found out that he'd injured his eye, and it had to be removed. There were concerns as to whether or not he'd make it through the anesthetic, given his age and plethora of health issues.

I went to see him on Friday morning before the surgery. His eye was entirely dark red, and he was very confused.

He made it through the surgery. I went in the next morning to see him before he went back to stay with the vet nurse who'd been taking care of him. As much as I'd tried to prepare myself, I was shocked by the amount of swelling and bruising on his little head. I gave him cuddles, and took him for a little walk. He seemed to be doing really well.

Someone anonymously offered to pay for all of his vet bills, which was a huge relief. At nearly 15 years old and tens of thousands of dollars put into his medical care, it was at the point where I couldn't afford any more surgery.


On Sunday night, I was outside having a smoke. I saw the vet walking up, and I knew something was wrong. We went inside to talk, and I was already crying. She said she had some really sad news, and I just lost it. Crying and screaming hysterically.

Even though the surgery went well, they took him to a 24hr vets for the weekend because they were concerned about the swelling and his pain levels. He had a cardiac arrest and they tried to resuscitate him, but couldn't. He just wasn't strong enough.

My brother came down so I could go see him. I was told it could only be 20 minutes, but I was with him for 1hr 15mins until my brother gave me a nudge to let him go. I just held him and lay on the floor next to him and sang 'You are my Sunshine'.

I've chosen an urn, and am also getting a locket with part of his ashes in it. The vet said a lot of people put something special in to be cremated with them, like a flower. Since I want so badly to be with him, I put in a lock of my hair, so I'll always be with him. He went on his final journey with my hair nestled by his heart.


I don't have words right now.

I am staying in supported accommodation until I find somewhere longer term. It's basically like a nursing home for all ages. I will update more at another time.

My GP, psych, and the people from the organization who were taking care of him were all writing letters and working to have him classed as a therapy dog, so he could be here with me. He was supposed to be here this week. And now he's gone.


There are no words for how heartbroken, devastated, and destroyed I am.


Rest in peace, my best friend, my strength, my everything.




20.01.04 - 09.09.18





Post-Surgery




Last night, the vet brought over a beautiful bouquet of flowers, 
a book of poetry, a card, two blocks of Lindt, and some tea.




xxBella

Friday, 24 August 2018

Homeless

I didn't get an apartment in time.

I'm writing this to you from a cheap motel room. 

I've cried so much this week, I ran out of tears. I've been retching because the stress is making me feel physically sick. 

The mental health case worker assigned to me after my last hospital trip visited me every day this week. He said he'd gotten in contact with someone who could help me with housing, and seemed optimistic. That never led anywhere. 

Yesterday mum was locking up the house and leaving to stay with her friends. She'd been planning to leave by midday. But no one could find me a place to sleep. I've gone through three different services this week, which is all that's available. I'd even gone into the Salvation Army in the morning, but by the end of the day, they couldn't find me anywhere either. 

By 4pm, with no where to go and time running out, mum decided to pay for a motel for me to stay at for two nights. Her friend helped me move my things in his ute, because it wouldn't fit in a car. He'll even help me when I leave the motel, and when I find an apartment. They both sat with me for two hours, smoking and chatting outside, trying to help me settle in. 

Billy is with a pet sitter. Letting him go yesterday was excruciating. I cried my eyes out handing him over, and spent the next few hours lying on the floor, crying with his blanket. I'm very worried about him. He's nearly 15, has a hoard of medical issues including anxiety, and whimpers and howls and panics whenever I leave the house. At least he has a person around though, and won't be outside in a noisy, cold, lonely boarding kennel. He'll be warm and inside, sleeping on the bed, being loved and cared for and getting cuddles. If Billy can't be with me for now, it's the best place for him. She's a vet nurse who volunteers for people in crisis, and she specializes in dogs with acute anxiety. I don't really care where I end up. I just worry about him, but am glad my case worker listened when I told him that Billy needs a person and cannot go to a kennel. Misty is much lower maintenance, and is staying with a vet (at her house) for a few nights before going to a very nice cattery. 

There are a couple of leads for places I might be able to go tomorrow, and I'll be in contact with my case worker today. If it doesn't lead anywhere, I go back to the Salvos at 4pm, and they'll try again.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'll update when I can. 

I never thought I'd be homeless. 

Friday, 10 August 2018

14 Days

Things have been hectic since I last posted. Everything's coming down to the crunch, and I have exactly two weeks until the family home transfers over to the new owners.

I've currently got two applications in for houses, and am working myself into a tizzy trying to sort out loans, setting up, and hiring movers, plus still packing up the last few bits and pieces. I looked at three places earlier this week, plus went to two shops to get prices on secondhand whitegoods and furniture (all split across two days). 

I did find the perfect place, not long after I last posted. I went to an inspection the day after it was listed, and sent in an application... but didn't get it. Now I'm looking at places in the not-so-nice neighbourhoods (to put it politely). The big problem is that I'll be too far away for my GP to walk with me to get to appointments. My psych has said she can do home visits, at least to start. But my GP and dietician? 
  "Well, I'm sure we can organize something every couple of months."

I really need to get one of the places I've applied for. I'm quickly running out of time, and everywhere my team have inquired with have been hopeless with finding emergency accommodation.

It's been hard, to say the least. A few weeks ago I had two breakdowns that resulted in ambulances taking me to emergency for assessments. My psych has also gone away for the month, which is the worst timing, so I have little support during all this change. When I last saw her a couple of weeks ago, we did a safety plan to help me deal with crises. It was very depressing. My only Reasons to Live were Billy (my 15 year old dog) and not wanting to die fat.

My lips got a little too lose after a few drinks last week. I admitted to a paracetamol overdose I took over a month ago, and hadn't told a soul about at the time. It scared me, not necessarily because of the overdose itself, but because I didn't ask for help. I didn't care what happened. I took more than what nearly killed my liver back in February, but in the end I was fine. I also admitted to having quite a large stash, which was subsequently taken to the pharmacy to be destroyed.

On the upside, I did get some good news. In the last few months, my team have been working on applying to the NDIS, to get more support and funding. I wasn't expecting to be approved, but two weeks ago I got a letter saying my application had been successful. I still need to wait for a plan to be sorted out, but hopefully it will lead to something good.

For now, I am off to spend yet another day packing and sorting. Keep your fingers crossed that next time I post, I will be living in my own place.



Misty 'helping' with packing

My current pile of Crap To Move in the garage - with more to come!




xxBella

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Going... Going... Gone.

There has been a lot going on here in the last month or so, and I've been avoiding writing about it because it's been a bit overwhelming.


Firstly, I've been having a lot of trouble with PTSD issues. There's a lot of trauma-versaries at this time of year, and it's always hard to deal with. This year, though, everything feels so much more intense. It's ten years since the trauma occurred, and I haven't been coping very well. Ten fucking years. A decade of my life, gone.

Last week, it all hit me really hard. I had an overdose on Monday. It was my regular psych meds, not paracetamol, but I can't remember what or how much I actually took. I've been slack with returning my unused meds, which I'm supposed to do twice a week, so I had a bit of a stockpile. I don't remember any of Monday, or most of Tuesday, which might be for the best.

It happened at some point in the afternoon. I don't know what exactly triggered me. Maybe it was just all the trauma stress building up. Either way, it was bound to happen, and I was pretty sure something would happen before the end of the trauma dates.

I ended up in an ambulance later in the day. The next thing I knew, it was Tuesday morning. I kept drifting in and out, waking up and realising I was in hospital, but for the first time ever, I had no idea how or why I was there. They kept asking if I knew where I was, what day of the week it was, what year it was. The only one I ever got right was knowing I was in hospital.

After ECGs, blood tests, IVs, a very snooty mental health team came to talk to me, none of whom I'd met before. They let me go home on Tuesday night as long as I followed up with my team, although they wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist, as they didn't think I was getting enough support. When I talked to my GP, she said she'd spoken to a psychiatrist she knows about it, but that the psychiatrist was happy with how my current team are managing things. So, so much for that.


After that, I've tried to cut back and balance out my drinking. It's a fine line between self-medicating and relief, and making myself vulnerable and ending in utter disaster. I've just been trying to get through each day intact, and drinking can potentially do more harm than good. I still drank, despite the fear of losing control and hurting myself, but I've been trying to use medication a bit more often (another a fine line between relief and disaster).

I'm worried that the pain was dissipate with the dates as it has in previous years. I'm worried that this feeling will just keep on going, and I don't know how to stop it.


On Wednesday, things started building again. So I started drinking. I started walking laps of the house to try to block it out. Fill a water bottle with vodka, blast music through my headphones. Walk, drink, walk, drink, don't think don't think don't think. After 3 hours and a dozen drinks, I started cracking. I was visually upset, and I didn't dare stop walking lest I break down completely. Mum got concerned. She tried to stop me walking. I snapped
  “Well, it's either this or take every pill I can find. I can't stop.”

Queue yet another team of paramedics trying to talk to me and calm me down.


Last week brings to light one of my biggest fears about moving out. Being alone. While I'm sure I would've been fine without medical intervention this time, and just slept it off after a day or two, that isn't always the case. There have been several overdoses where I haven't been able to communicate or walk, or have just been unconscious for a little too long, which triggers mum to call 000.

A year or two ago, there was one where I was unconscious for nearly 24 hours before mum noticed and called for an ambulance. At the start of the trauma dates this year, I inhaled 70-something paracetamol and nearly destroyed my liver, as well as a cocktail of psych meds. I couldn't communicate. I couldn't speak clearly. I couldn't walk, and didn't have the coordination to use my phone. What happens then?


And, of course, the house has been sold. The auction was at the end of May. My brother came down to support mum, and brought his housemate's son (his pseudo-son) down for the day.

The worst part of the day was waiting for the auction to start. Mum and I had taken Billy for a drive as the house was open for a bit before the auction started. When we got back, she went inside and I waited in the car with Bill, as there were still people around. Neither of us thought that people would be looking inside the garage, but oh boy were they. Every minute, there was some new person sticking their nose in. I just buried my head in my hands and held onto Billy. After texting mum that people kept coming in, she sent out my brother and pseudo-nephew to keep my company, which made things easier as people would see us talking and close the door.

When the auction started, we sat in her bedroom at the front of the house with the window open so we could listen in. The house sold for $120,000 above reserve, which none of us were expecting. Mum looked like she was about to faint when the bidding jumped above $700k. As a bonus, the new owners have met Misty a few times, and will know whose cat it is if she turns up there after I move.

Now I'm in a frenzy of trying to find somewhere to move and get everything organised, which has been difficult as getting through each day has been enough work as it is.



With Billy and Pseudo-Nephew. I look awful, and didn't know my brother was taking photos, but I did like this one.


My first ever tub of Halo Top


xxBella

Thursday, 17 May 2018

25

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago.

I got depressed. About my birthday. About having no one to share it with. About being stuck in bed instead of going out, like a normal 25 year old would do. I feel like I'm losing so many years, and now I'm closer to 30 than I am to 20. I wanted to cut. So badly. I ended up drinking at midday, and although it's not a healthy coping mechanisms, I managed to get through the day relatively unscathed.

As always, people seem to connect birthdays with food. I didn't have cake or anything like that, but mum wanted to cook fillet steak for dinner. I don't eat red meat much, but it was still nice. I had a small piece (80g raw weight) with garlic sauce, roast potato, steamed carrots & green beans.

Then, a few days later, my brother came down to go out for a joint birthday dinner (mum's birthday is one week after mine) at a Japanese place we used to go to quite a bit.

Whenever I get dressed to go out, my stomach cramps up. I feel bloated and awful, even though I hadn't eaten all day. I hate the way I look. I hate the way my clothes feel. Switching and swapping outfits, four tops, three skirts. I ended up wearing the baggiest ones so I didn't feel quite as bad with the feel of the fabric on my body.

Thankfully, the restaurant was pretty empty. For appetizers, I had two mini vegetable spring rolls and a pork dumpling, then teriyaki eye fillet for mains. Especially after having steak a few days before, this was unusual. I don't eat steak much at all - maybe once or twice a year - but their teriyaki chicken had been disappointing in the past, and I don't like trying new dishes/sauces. My brother ended up getting most of it anyway.


Appointments have been routine, and mostly uneventful. We've started applying for the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), for a variety of reasons. Basically to get me extra support, both professionally and with day-to-day life. They provide funding for a variety of things, with the goal of helping you function better. They can help with the costs of appointments, and also with things like transport, which will be a huge relief.

After getting a comment from Shelby on my last post, about social workers and the fact I should probably have one, it got me thinking. I mentioned it to both my mum and brother on the day I got the comment, and they both agreed I should have a social worker, and are surprised it's never come up during one of my many hospital admissions. After bringing it up, my team all agree I should get one, and are now trying to organize it. Basically it means I'll have help with coordinating everything, which will be a huge help, especially with moving out and living alone. Between that and the NDIS, hopefully I'll be getting some more support soon.


As for moving out and finding a place of my own, progress is going very slowly. I've still not found anywhere to live. To be honest, I've been putting it off a little bit, even though I've only got a month (maybe two) to find somewhere. It's just been too much to cope with. I did go to an inspection a couple of weeks ago to look at a place nearby, but it just wasn't what I'm looking for. It was stressful. It was the first time I've gone out in public (excluding appointments) in around 6 months (going out for dinner being the second). There were 10-15 other people there, and I got out of there as soon as I could.

After finding out that the NDIS can help organize someone to transport me to appointments, I'm no longer limited to living so close to my team's offices. Even still, there's just not much around at the moment, unless I want to live in the more notoriously unsafe neighborhoods.

The house has been on the market for a few weeks now. There have been open houses three times a week. Since Billy can't stay at home (although Misty is loving having so many people coming through and paying her attention), we take him in the car and he curls up on my lap while we go for a drive for a while. Next weekend is the auction. It's getting down to the crunch, and I'm freaking out.


Everything feels so uncertain. So I drink and I drink and I take too many meds and I drink. Trying to block it all out. I'm more depressed than anxious, because it all feels so hopeless, and I have no idea where my life will be in one, two, three months. On the calendar I use to keep track of when, how much, and why I drink, the most common reason has changed from "argument with mum" or "stressful appointment" earlier in the year, to "moving out stress" in the last couple of months, and now to simply "depressed".


Fillet steak with garlic sauce, roast potatoes, steamed carrots and green beans
Teriyaki eye fillet
(I completely forgot to take pictures of the appetizers)


xxBella

Sunday, 8 April 2018

A Series of Unfortunate Events

First off, I want to apologize for taking so long to update after my last post. The last couple of months have been intense and overwhelming in so many ways, and I've barely been able to gather my thoughts enough to even write in my journal, let alone blog.

My liver function has returned to normal. One of the levels is still elevated, but not hugely concerning compared to how it was after the overdose, and may not go back to normal until I stop drinking (even though I'm drinking much less than I was a few months ago). I only got the good news last week, and I wanted to wait until I got the all-clear before I updated so I at least had something positive to say.

That said, that's about the only positive thing that's happened.


Moving out looks like it'll be happening earlier than I thought. This week, the real estate agents came by to do a valuation. I spent days worrying about where to hide, knowing that I couldn't escape them completely, and wondering where they'd spend the least time. I ended up curling up in my armchair on the porch, trying to read, but being distracted by their voices analyzing the house and trying to hear what they were saying. They're now planning on putting the house on the market by the end of the month, having inspections for four weeks, and auctioning the house to have it sold by the end of May.

I'm scared about having strangers snooping through the house. I'm scared about having to go out for half an hour each week, even if I'm just sitting in the car. I broke into a panic after mum told me the plan. I have to start getting things boxed up and tidy for the end of the month. Not only will there be strangers, my biggest fear, in the house, but there'll be photos. That terrifies me. Both feel like such big invasions of my fortress, the place I never leave and never let people in to.


The past couple of weeks, I've been extremely depressed, about everything. When I saw my psych on Thursday, I was in tears for most of the session and couldn't make a single second of eye contact. I just can't cope any more. Even at home, I find myself in tears every day. I've had two psych appointments where I've turned up with fresh black eyes, not to mention other hidden bruises. It's not even just self-harm these days. It's attacking myself.

Between her, my dietician, and my GP, I haven't had many appointments in the past month. Everyone seems to be away for one reason or another. By the time I see anyone next, the house will probably be on the market.

I've given up on going to The Clinic. I decided a few weeks ago that I'd decided I did want to go, but it ended in a huge breakdown and a lot of vodka. Mum said she wouldn't even drive me to the admission, even if my psych handled the phone and admission side of things. It's not even that far away – maybe five minutes. But I can't get there by myself, and I can't get in a car with a stranger to take a taxi. Everyone agrees I need a higher level of care, but right now there's no way for it to happen.

I've also given up on my plan to get a car loan and do a few driving lessons before moving out. Mum had originally said I needed a couple of driving lessons before she'd take me out. Then she said I needed my own car. I finally came to terms with both issues and had sorted out a way to afford it, but then she said she just wouldn't take me out driving at all.

I'll have no license, no car, no way to get Billy to the vets, and unless I somehow manage to find somewhere affordable in the area, no access to appointments.


I've also been feeling very physically unwell the past few weeks. I think my intake consisting of mostly alcohol is catching up with me. I've been doing okay with drinking for the most part. So far, since New Years, I've been mostly meeting my goal of only drinking every second day (on average), although this past week I've been drinking every day. But I feel dizzy, light-headed. I'm exhausted all of the time. I constantly want to throw up. My heart races and everything blurs when I stand up. Yesterday, I tried to do some walking, panicked about the crap I've been ingesting. The day before, I managed 35 minutes before my body gave up. Yesterday, I could barely get up and get started. It was a push to even keep going for 10 minutes. My shoulders ached as I walked, like they were too heavy for their sockets.


On top of everything else, my laptop is broken after only having it for three months. I don't know how it happened. I put it away safely one night earlier this week, and when I turned it on the next morning, there was a big ugly black circle in the corner and white lines radiating. It looks like the screen has actually been physically damaged, but I can't figure out how. Apart from the obvious issue of sorting out a repair and finding the money to pay for it, it means I've also lost my main coping mechanism of gaming. And so this week I've been drinking every night for the past six days (although last night I only managed two vodkas before my stomach wanted to reject them).


I'm sorry it's taken me so long to update, and that most of it is just whining. But I do want to say thank you to those who've contacted me to check if I'm okay. It means a lot, especially when I have so little social contact outside of the blogosphere. I'll try to make my next update more cheerful.


xxBella