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.