Wednesday, 24 June 2015

'I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?' - Ernest Hemingway

I didn't see the Mental Health Nurse last week. The morning of the appointment, I had a breakdown, followed by a moment of clarity.

Each appointment has been more upsetting than the last. After what she said last time, and how distressed it made me, I feel like going to the appointments poses an active risk to my safety.

I know I need someone. I need some opportunity for things to be able to get better. But I don't think it's going to be her.

Until then, I know I really need to be good and pick up the self-help Mindfulness resources the last MHN recommended me, which have been sitting collecting dust for months now.

A couple of days before I had my fall, I had a routine appointment with my GP, though forgot to write about it amongst the chaos with that and the disastrous MHN appointment.

As we approached her door, she explained she had a medical student sitting 'very quietly' in the corner to observe, if that was okay. Already on the verge of tears, I just shook my head, apologised, and said it really wasn't a good day. She escorted said student to the nurses office while I lurked in the hallway. I always feel like a dick when I do that.

She asked how my sleep was going, and I told her I'm having a lot of nightmares and waking 2-4 times a night, sometimes every two hours.
     "How did the lower dose of Mirtazapine work out? Did it help?"
Time to bite the bullet.
     "I stopped taking it."

It's probably been a good two moths since I stopped completely. I did not cut back as slowly as I should've. She was surprisingly okay with it, because I didn't think and still don't think they worked, and I don't feel any different since stopping them.

Four years of taking that stuff, even though I've said from the beginning it did nothing.

     "Is it worth looking into new antidepressants?"
     "I was thinking of talking to the mental health nurse about that."
     "No, I'm the prescriber."

I thought that was the part of the point of having a mental health professional on board. I've always been told there's only so much a GP can do, even consulting with a psychiatrist on the side, and that I'd get more appropriate meds when I can see someone myself. My GP even dangled it as a carrot, that if I saw this new MHN, that she was also a registered nurse and able to prescribe meds. Well, so much for that.

I'm seeing her again this week. I think she's looking more into 'sedating antidepressants', as opposed to a separate antidepressant and a sedative. I miss my Temazepam, but they started to make me hallucinate. I just want an appropriate antidepressant and an appropriate sedative, not just whichever one fits both criteria. I know I should probably tell her this, but I'm worried it'll come across as medication-seeking addict behaviour.

Then, I don't know what gave her the thought, but we started talking about the house. She thought it must be contributing to, well, everything.
     "It can't be a nice place to be."
     "And I'm too afraid to leave."
It's not even my home. It's mum's house, my crime scene. and I feel more and more like I don't belong.

She started asking if I've tried redecorating, but it doesn't help. I spent years carving my bedroom into the perfect space to reflect who I am (one day I must show you guys photos), but I still can't sleep in it. No room in the house is truly safe.

Trying to encourage me, she told me a story about a patient she had, who upon moving out, had no choice but to furnish his new apartment with the furniture of his abusive mother. It was causing him quite a lot of distress, and so she told him to go to an op shop and buy a cheap, gaudy, brightly patterned tablecloth, one that his mother would've absolutely hated, and use it to cover the table.

Unfortunately, not everything can be covered by a second-hand tablecloth.

Redecorating doesn't help, but she just kept going on about it and suggesting I try it. I'm already planning to re-paint the office/studio soon, before I get get my sewing cabinet and desk set up properly, but beyond that I don't want or need to redecorate.

I forgot to mention it last time, but when I did last see the mental health nurse, she said she'd spoken to my old MHN the day before.

In case you don't remember:
Her funding was cut earlier this year, and she had no choice but to change jobs. Our last appointment ended in a breakdown, but it was okay, because she'd said she was going to call me in a month or so and organise a time to catch up for a cuppa. I never heard from her again, and it left me feeling quite negatively about the whole thing.

So, what happened?
Apparently, instead of calling me/mum, she called my GP to check in on how things were going. My GP told her I had an appointment scheduled to meet this new MHN, and so she got the impression that it'd be better/easier/less stressful/less confusing/whatever, to just leave things unfinished. Never mind actually asking me, or even mentioning it until 4 months down the track.

Now, I actually feel even more upset about it all.

Appointments are still a struggle alone, so I'm grateful there's not many coming up. I've stopped trying to talk to mum about it. She keeps saying it's for my benefit, even though I've told her again and again that it's not supporting me, and I need her there. That's probably one of the most frustrating things about it. I've gotten to points where I've screamed that I wish she'd just be honest and say it's for her benefit, not mine. It's okay, I get it, but just stop saying it's for my benefit.




  1. 'i love you. my life has a tendency to piece itself together when you're around, you know?' - Sam Lupin ♥

    "I feel like going to the appointments poses an active risk to my safety." they do. honestly, i don't know how you've dealt with her for so long. i am more and more pissed every time i think of her what a cow (okay, my anger can get the best of me in this situation but i feel like taking you to that nurse is like putting meat in front of a hungry lion and expecting it not to bite).

    i believe it can't be her. after all the things that she had said, she had proven that she doesn't get it. after the painfully awkward sessions + the things she's already gone and said about you? fuck her. i don't trust her. you deserve so much better than her.

    i hope the mindfulness thing does help soothe you slightly. i find that the things that most people recommend are bullshit, but that one was a bit interesting. i feel like so many professionals are like pamphlets...they are legit just human versions of those crappy brochures you read online that are like 'stressed out? go listen to some soothing music to relax'.

    you don't have to feel like a dick for doing that. trust me. it's your right by the way to say that.

    gosh. nightmares are the worst. i cannot imagine how exhausting your days must be. a bad sleep cycle makes it even worse to go through a day. :/ i'm sorry, my button.

    i think my heart stopped when you told her that you stopped taking them. i'm glad she took it okay because i legit thought she would flip. gosh, you can never predict anything these days.

    if it still bothers you next time you come to talk to her, tell her about it. easier than carrying the burden of 'i should've told her this when i had the chance' sort of thoughts. either way, i'm really just glad that she might be looking into new anti-depressants for you even if it took all this bloody malarkey. i have no idea what is up with the GP. no, we'll stop prescribing new anti-depressants. no, you can't go off these you need them. yes, MHN can prescribe drugs...oh forget about that, we'll look into new anti-depressants next week. am i the only one that feels like this is unnecessary? this cycle to get back to square 1.

    seriously, miss GP.

    i wasn't even sure where the GP would go with this. i felt like it's something that should help in theory but wouldn't in practice except for a few select people.

    i am feeling a bit pissed off at the old MHN too. i don't know what is up with her not calling back. it sounds a bit effy. i thought she was alright for once. Gosh, what a weird loop. i don't even know how you go about this. it feels like you're running in circles and people are crashing into the circle repeatedly. you lose track. and you run back to the same circle. and if that sounds confusing, because it is.

    Mum will be Mum unfortunately. parents can be so stubborn about certain ways of thinking. no matter what the evidence says, they will never admit that they are wrong. especially not to the child. at least in this culture, this is one thing i realised very frequently. i think it might sort of be a denial thing for her too.

    gosh, i have no idea what i typed, so i'll leave the usual disclaimer: if i said something offensive, it wasn't on purpose. i hope that you're alright. i love you so, so much and i mean it. if i said anything that made you feel off, know i wrote this comment with my best intent and none of it was to hurt you. i never intend to make you feel terrible, especially when you've got so much shit on your plate already (you definitely don't need anymore added on for fuck's sake).

    you're in my thoughts. always are. <3 i still feel sad knowing that you have been crying. you don't deserve this. nobody deserves this. especially not a person as good as you.

    -Sam Lupin

  2. Thinking of you lots and lots. My heart is reaching out to you xxx

  3. I think the idea of redecorating was good though. I know it sounds ridiculous but when the sort of bf (?) not sure what we are anymore, left for the summer I walked down to the gas station and bought a pack of cigarettes. Not a healthy thing but he hates smoking and I have an e cig I use and so I did it as an "I'm my own person" kind of thing. Memories hurt and making new ones and changing the space is sometimes helpful. On the lady not getting back to you, well, that's not a very professional choice really. I would imagine that it in fact breaks confidentiality and could be detrimental to her career if she was to meet with you. Just a guess. It wasn't really the right thing for her to say assuming that's the reason she's unable to see you or hasn't. Try to think of it as that and try to think of going to your appointments alone as something you're doing on your own, strong and independent enough to handle your business. :) Thinking of you.

  4. I think that it's absolutely a good idea to not see the one MHN if you feel like it's a risk to your safety/mental health. I remember the last post about her and recall being sort of disgusted at what she had said to you. So if it's causing you more harm than good, it's a good idea to change to a different one or something.

    Doctors can be so thick sometimes. I know they try to help, but in all reality, most of them have little knowledge in terms of mental illnesses. Also, I know that you don't want to appear to be addict like by saying you want a proper sedative and a proper antidepressant, but I think it would be beneficial to say this. To me, it doesn't sound addict like at all. Especially because you're genuinely wanting something to help you. Have you tried a mood stabilizer with the antidepressants? That might be an idea too.

    But I hope you feel better, hun! I know it's not fun having to deal with all this.

    Much love, xx.

  5. Thanks for the message!! Love reading your posts!


  6. I hate to say it but maybe this is some kind of idea your mum has "for your own good". Who knows, she may have sought outside advice.

    By the way, your writing is great right now, great style.

    Xoxo shelby

  7. comment reply:

    wait, why did you tell me you're sending me chocolate? gosh, when is it arriving this perfect chocolate (one day in 2016 with how crappy postage is here)

    i think my father did get me the Caramel Brownie one from Switzerland. i think i liked it. i haven't seen it around here yet but if i find one around here, i'll be sure to buy it and try it out. :) the problem is since i eat a lot of chocolate and sweets now as compared to before, my expectations for chocolate is a lot lower than it used to be.

    before just chocolate - the plain old type was extraordinary. now, i'm so fussy it's sad.

    "This may start our first big argument, but I do not like Salted Caramel." i just discovered this thing called salted caramel. it wasn't a part of my childhood. i didn't even know what it was until i went to Ben and Jerry's. you're so cute though. i'm giggling.

    you can like/not like whoever or whatever. i love you all the same.

    i looked up what that 'saboteurs' was. it's one of those things where i just look at the screen and think: THERE'S A WORD FOR THIS?!?!

    -Sam Lupin

  8. Love that quote. Too damn true.