Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Untitled

On Friday, at the insistence of my GP, I'll be going to meet a new psychologist. I've told her time and time again that I don't want to see anybody. After cycling through so many different mental health professionals for over half of my life, I don't believe they can help me, and at this point, I just don't want to talk anymore. No one's ever managed to improve my mental health at all. It's just been a steady decline over the years.

As much as I don't want to, I'm not being given much of a choice. My GP can't continue to see me without psychological support, which is fair enough. Just like when I started seeing my dietician, I had to find a GP to cover the medical side of things.

But at this point, I just don't want to talk.

I've had a hard time trying to work myself up to posting about the past few weeks. Even things as usual as my appointments, I haven't been able to find words for. There have been some rough times, and at the moment, all I do is medicate, drink, exercise, and sleep.

When I saw my GP a couple of weeks ago, she told me she'd be making an appointment with this new psychologist and would text me the details. She's forewarned me about it for the last couple of appointments, so I knew it was coming. She'll walk me there and be present for the first few appointments. It's just a few blocks down the street, about halfway between my house and my GP and dietician's offices.

It was our third or fourth appointment where she's walked me to and from for appointments with herself and my dietician. Usually we weave through the back lanes to avoid the busyness of the main streets. This time, she took me along the main streets, which was loud and stressful. On the way back, she agreed to go back to using the lanes.

She asked me which would be less stressful if I was walking alone, but I still don't know. The solitude of the lanes makes it easier, but by the same token, makes me anxious because I worry I would be an easy target and no one would be able to see if something happened.

As always, it was really good to see the dietician. I miss our weekly appointments so much, as I now only see her every month or so due to the transport issue.

At the moment, her focus is to try to reduce the calories I drink in alcohol and replace them with food, so I'll be getting actual nutrients. But if I cut back on drinking, I'll take the weight loss over more food any day. I've had four or five days off drinking in the last two weeks, and without alcohol, my intakes were between 400-700.

She also wants me to try to at least have one supplement each day. Whenever I consider it, my first thought is always "I could have this, or five vodkas". I did try for about a week and a half. Some days I was even having two. On sober days, it was tolerable, but when I eat, drink, and have a supplement, it freaks me out. After my weight started creeping up, I cut them back this week, and have only been having them every other day (which is still a lot). 

I spoke with both her and my GP about how to cut back on the drinking. To my credit, I am now having a day or two off each week, and try to keep my drinks around 6-8, instead of struggling to stay under 10. All that really helps is medicating excessively or smoking (and it's been a few months since I last smoked). Both agreed that neither is an ideal replacement. But basically all of my sober days in recent weeks have been because I've knocked myself out with extra meds around the time I would usually start drinking.

For now, I'm just going to try to relax and ignore the fact that in 48 hours I'm going to be sitting down with yet another stranger. I didn't drink yesterday, so tonight I'm going to have my Halloween movie marathon, then try not to drink tomorrow to make sure I'm not hungover for the psych appointment. This time, I think I'm going to ask my GP to give me a copy of the mysterious letters she always hands to new psychs (one of which is from my first psychiatrist at age 12 who I never really talked with, and I'm really curious to see what he said that was so very important).

Wish me luck.


xxBella

Friday, 6 October 2017

This House is Haunted. Not by Ghosts, but Memories.

Two weeks ago, I spent the first night in my bedroom for years.

It mightn't sound like much, but it's a big step for me. After an abusive relationship as a teenager, I stopped sleeping in there. I would spend my nights on the couch, viewing my bedroom as little more than a crime scene. Despite getting a new bed and replacing furniture shortly after, it doesn't change the room and the memories the walls contain.

I did sleep in there for a while, when my ex moved in. But when we broke up, it didn't take long for me to land back on the couch.

It's been difficult. The first night had me so on edge, I drank 500ml of vodka, plus a few glasses of wine. I still have to have had a few drinks, and/or a few extra oxazepam, to be in there, and I have to keep myself distracted. There is constantly something playing on the TV, and I try to forget where I am.

As hard as it is, it's nice to have somewhere to hide away again. If I can isolate and get away, maybe the threats to kick me out will lessen. One of the conditions of being allowed to come home after my last hospital trip was that I stop sleeping on the couch. If I can spend more time in there, you wouldn't even know I'm here.

It took a few weeks to try to get everything organised. On days I had the energy, I'd spend a few hours a day shuffling furniture, cleaning from ceiling to floor, moving boxes to and from the study, unpacking and sorting, organising my clothes, putting up hooks for belts and bags and coats, and just trying to find places for everything. I even got a new cheap table to give me more display space.

It still hasn't changed the room or the memories, but in a way, it's helped.

Misty is loving it. She stays at the foot of the bed all day. Billy is getting older, and can't jump up on the bed any more, or even jump down, but he will wake me up to get a hand.

One bonus is that, being able to isolate myself, it makes it easier to avoid dinner. Even though I cook my own safe dinners 99% of the time, and rarely join in on family meals, I can just forget about routine and meal times, just like when I'm home alone.

I have also been working on the study, mostly just stacking boxes until I can get the storage furniture I need, but hopefully my little sewing room will be completed in not too long.

I've also been trying to get some actual sewing done, although it's difficult with my machines currently inaccessible. I've been working on repairing a couple of corsets – one that I wore daily for a long time, and the last one I made before I took a long hiatus some 7 years ago but didn't get the chance to wear much before I misplaced it for a long time. It's all by hand – replacing grommets and the bias binding – just fixing things that I could've done better. But it's something.


Just a short update for today. For now, here are a few photos from around my room.




xxBella

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Long Days, Longer Nights

First of all, I just want to say a huge thank you to those of you who reached out to me after my last post. I never forget how supportive and amazing this community is, but sometimes, I still find myself in awe at just how much support is out there.

As you probably know, I don't have many friends in real life, friends outside the blogosphere. I can count a grand total of three who I've seen in the past five years, and one of them I'm no longer friends with. It's just so comforting to know that, in the darkest hours, when I feel so alone, there are still people there for me, even if we're oceans apart. You guys are seriously all amazing, and I don't know what I'd do without this community.


The week before last, I had my first appointment with my dietician and GP in 11 weeks, after my GP missed the last one.

As I waited for my GP to get here to walk me to the medical center (part because I can't get to appointments by myself, part as exposure therapy), she texted and asked me to meet her at the corner, instead of at the front door. This had been discussed as the next step, but I didn't know it'd be happening that day, especially after so long since I last went out.

The idea is for me to start walking little bits by myself, and eventually be able to walk there myself. Even though it's not even 100m to the corner of my block, it made me very uncomfortable. But as she was already on the way, and the text came through the medical center's no-reply notification system, I felt stuck, and had no way of cancelling.

I slowly made my way down the path until I could see her at the corner. She routed a way going through the laneways, so I don't feel as exposed as on the main roads. While it's worked okay so far, I don't know how I'd do it alone. The main roads are busy and full of cars and people. The laneways are secluded and I fear something bad could happen. I don't know which is more terrifying.

Despite so much having happened, especially with the ambulance call-outs and police drama, I had surprisingly little to say. I felt a tad sour toward her after not finding an appointment for me in a month – and appointment that mum had actually agreed to drive me to – after the police first turned up and tried to arrange an appointment for me.

It was really good to see my dietician though. I miss her weekly appointments so much.

I gave her the list I've been keeping of what I eat. Some days, it's dinner and a snack, usually fruit or yoghurt, or sometimes a small lunch. If I'm not drinking, sometime's there'll be a second snack. But some days, I'll just have dinner and save the rest of my calories for the alcohol.

Most of my calories come from alcohol – usually around 500-800 a day, or more. Some days, if I don't drink much (under ~200 cal), my intake struggles to reach 500-600. In a way, I use this as a backwards way of justifying my drinking to others. On the days I don't drink (which are sadly few and far between at the moment), my intake is usually around 300-600, sometimes up to 800 if I indulge in something like chocolate or baked goods. Although I still drink wine, most of the time it's cheap vodka mixed with diet orange soda. While the wine does have some carbs, when I just stick with vodka, I get nothing from it nutritionally but pure alcohol.

The only reason for me to stop drinking is for the calories and the weight loss that would come with it. But, as strong as that desire is, I struggle. When I stopped smoking all day every day, it immediately became my new crutch, my way to escape. At least weed and synthetics were kinder to my intake and weight.

I didn't tell my GP, but I did speak to the dietician about the police drama. After telling her about not being able to get an appointment with my GP, she said to always feel free to go in to see her, even if it's short notice. She really is a sweetheart. I had thought about it when the police asked if there was anyone I wanted them to call, but it didn't seem right. Sometimes I wish she was a therapist – she's the only one outside the blogosphere that I can really talk to.

Back with my GP, she asked about the overdoses. The information she received from the hospital didn't specify beyond 'overdose', and she was concerned it was the meds she prescribes me – mainly the oxaezpam – and was wondering if she needed to stop them. But it was my over-the-counter sedatives, which I keep mainly in case I overdose. If I take too many of the meds she gives me, not only could they be ceased, but could also get her in trouble as I've overdosed on them so many times in the past.

She's got no idea what's going on with the Clinic either, but I told her I don't care anymore, that it was pointless and I no longer want to go.

She then brought up the dreaded topic of meeting a new psychologist. There's a few in an office about halfway between me and the medical center. I told her I didn't want to see one, but she's insisting.
  "I understand that you're anxious and afraid --"
  "It's not fear or anxiety. I just don't see the point."

And it's not like I can get there anyway. She said she'd walk me and come to the first few appointments, but what then? I'm a long way off being able to walk there alone. She said she was going to arrange an appointment and text me the details, but thankfully she hasn't, buying me another month or so before I have to meet them.

On the walk home, she wanted to leave me at the end of the last laneway, nearly doubling the time I'd walked alone to the corner. I panicked, and when she tried to reassure me, I snapped
  "I haven't been for a walk in nearly three months – it's too much."
She agreed to come to the corner, but I'm afraid that next time I won't have a choice.

One thing that hit me hard was when the dietician said she was proud of me for still eating at all, with my mood so low and everything that's been going on. Obviously, this makes me feel like a failure and just makes me want to eat less. Since she said it, it's just been playing in my head over and over.



xxBella

Friday, 11 August 2017

The Saga Continues

For the past week, I've been going back and forth as to whether or not to share this. I'm worried about potential judgement, but in the end, it's relevant to what's been going on lately, and has had a huge impact on my mental wellbeing.

Last Wednesday, as I sat down with my egg for lunch, a police car pulled up outside. I thought maybe it was just a coincidence, and they'd drive off in a minute. But they got out, walked up to the door, and knocked. I wondered if I should run and hide.
As mum went to answer it, I asked   "What's going on?"
  "I don't know."

I was handed an intervention order, filed by mother dearest.

Basically I have to keep my behavior 'reasonable', and not damage property, otherwise the police can be called and I'll end up in court.

The night of the last 000 call and the cut, I'd broken a bowl, angry at myself for making dinner, and blockaded the lounge room door with a couch as mum tried to push it back, then the whole 'cutting and spilling blood everywhere' thing. If she wants to stand by and watch as I self-harm or overdose, fine. That's the only reason I ever blockade or hide behind locked doors - to self harm without people watching, or trying to stop me.

I was in hysterics within minutes. I sat sobbing with my head in my hands as the police asked if I'd be okay.
I wanted to say  "No, I want to die."
It's not like I could say that though. I'd just end up with a police escort to A&E, an assessment under the Mental Health Act, and a visit to the dreaded public psych ward.

I still haven't moved the papers. They were put on the arm if the couch, and fell off face down. I nudged them under the couch when the vacuuming was done, so they wouldn't be put on the table. I'm scared to read them.

I spent the rest of the day in the dark, crying and listening to sad songs. I hid in the lounge room, even smoking inside, which I'm not supposed to do. She didn't stop me though. I scribbled in my jouurnal and tried to knock myself out on my meds, but a couple of hours later, it hadn't worked, so I gave up and went for the vodka.

We'd actually been getting along okay, but now it's all fucked.

Before I got up, I sent her a text, leaving enough time for her to read it before I ventured forth.
  "Please don't talk to me about the recent police stuff right now ... I am in even more of a devastatingly low place then I was last week, and I really can't afford to sink any lower. Right now, I just want to be alone and hide away. Just please not talk about it until I have some tiny amount of support."

By the time I felt up to eating dinner, dizzy from the pills and booze, and not having gotten to eat my egg, the meds had kicked in. I couldn't control my knife and fork, and just gave up.

Even now, I feel physically and emotionally drained. Everything seems like too much hard work. Moving my arms and hands to roll a smoke is exhausting. I don't even want to watch anything. I just want to lie on the couch and stare at the wall in silence. Just when I think I can't sink any lower, I hit a new low.

I don't have to move out as I initially thought, but with the recent threats and then being locked out of the house when I returned from hospital, it's only a matter of time before I'm kicked out.

My arm is healing okay. Thankfully I haven't ended up with an infection despite the gaping wound and lack of dressings and follow-up care. After the police visit, I ripped off the dressing and let it bleed, then I stopped bothering with dressings.

Part of my is scared by the cut. Not because of the cut itself. Not because of what I've done, but what I could do, knowing I can cause so much damage with so little effort. It makes me think that I could actually do something bad enough to end my life.

During the mess of tears, the officers asked if there was anyone I wanted them to call. Desperate, I asked if they could call my GP's office to see if I could get an appointment. Mum even agreed to drive me there. The receptionist said there weren't any gaps that day, but maybe the next day. Over a week later, and they never gave me an appointment. I talked to a couple of the bloggers when it first happened, but I still wish I could've seen my doctor to get some professional advice. I thought about talking to Z, my friend who works at the hospital and has had similar issues, but I was too ashamed.

There's still two and a half weeks until my next appointment. I wonder if she'll actually turn up this time.

After the last few weeks – having had two ambulance & police call outs, such a severe cut, so many overdoses, and now an intervention order, I doubt the Clinic would even consider me. They only do voltunary admissions, and I obviously can't keep myself safe.

I have no hope, no help, and no one. Nothing.



The weekend before: Actually resembling 
a human being when I put on Proper Clothes 
and did my hair & makeup


 xxBella

Monday, 31 July 2017

Screaming into the Void

After self-harming for the past twelve years – literally half my life – you start to think that you know what you're doing. If you use this tool and that technique, you think you know what the result will be. But, as I learnt last week, you can be terribly wrong.


This has been one of the hardest weeks I've had in months. Last Monday, despondent, feeling like I'll never get to the Clinic or any other help, I broke down.

I took a sizeable overdose, followed by the worst cut I've ever done. One cut. That's all it took. But I really fucked up. My skin burst open. Blood started pooling on the table at an alarming rate. I looked at my arm and freaked out. I'd never cut so deeply, and definitely never bled so much. The blood covered an area the size of at least two sheets of A4 paper, and when I changed the dressing a couple of days ago, I did measure, and it was gaping 10-11mm.

I felt like I was going to throw up. I called for help, and mum called 000. I held my arm in towels, trying to stop the bleeding. The usual entourage appeared – four paramedics and four police. Since there have been a few ambulance calls when I've still been holding knives or blades when the calls go in, it seems the police always tag along these days.

They took me into A&E until the next afternoon. Thankfully, I just barely missed a vein. Because it had stopped bleeding, they said I didn't need stitches. That said, I've had stitches in smaller cuts that had stopped bleeding too. They didn't even do steri-strips or any proper dressing – just a big pad wrapped around my wrist. Maybe they just want me to have a horrific scar as a reminder.

All in all, I had maybe 10 minutes total with the psych. It seems there is no access to help even when I'm in A&E for self-harm and an overdose. There was no follow-up or “you need to see your GP next week”. They just took out the IV, gave me my meds and a taxi voucher, and sent me on my way.

The psych had called mum in the morning, to discuss where to from here. She said she didn't know if she wanted me to come home. He gave her time to think about it, and said he'd call back in an hour. She didn't even answer the phone. After five hours, he just gave up and sent me home.

I got home, and mum had actually taken the locks off the doors so I couldn't get in. That was a really low point. She did eventually let me in. Her friend's toolbox was still right inside the door, and he came back a few hours later to put them back on, so I think she was just trying to make a statement. But still,it fucking hurt.

One small bright spot from when I was in hospital was seeing my old friend Z, who works there. He was a huge support the last time I was in there a few months ago. I saw him moving a patient and passed by my door. As I was halfway through messaging “I think I just saw you in A&E, or a very good doppelganger”, he popped his head in and talked for a couple of minutes before he had to get back to work.

Apparently he came back just after midnight when he finished work, but I was already asleep and he didn't want to wake me. He said never to hesitate to message him if I'm in a shitty place. Having been through the same system with similar issues, he actually understands. I should really try to catch up with him more often, you know, when I'm not in hospital.


A few days before, I had a breakdown in the evening. Let me preface by saying this – as much as I wanted to, I hadn't taken an overdose. I hadn't self-harmed beyond a few hits to the head. I was just crying hysterically, and had blockaded myself in the lounge room because I needed to be alone, which does happen every now and then, in one room or another.

The next thing I knew, mum was on the phone to 000. Within minutes, there were four paramedics, four police, and a mental health worker asking me to let them in. I don't mind the paramedics. I don't mind the mental health worker. But the police?! When I haven't been cutting and have no sharps? And four of them? Isn't that slight overkill?

They didn't take me in that night, but the mental health worker said she'd get the Clinic to call me the next day to arrange an interview. They did call the next day, and left a voicemail to call them back. We all know I can't talk on the phone (note to self: ask a psych about Selective Mutism next time I see one), so mum has been saying she'd at least talk to them to make an interview time. But she changed her mind, and refused to. I wallowed for days before I finally snapped, resulting in the trip to A&E on Monday.

I eventually found an online enquires form for the Clinic and explained the situation, asking if they could contact me with a time to go in for an interview, but I never heard back.

When I was in A&E, the psych also called the Clinic, but were told they'd have no beds for at least a week, and to wait for them to call back. They probably won't even take me after the 000 calls, the self-harm, the overdoses, the breakdowns. It doesn't exactly scream “able to stay safe for voluntary admission”. When I saw the psych, he said I need an advocate to talk to the Clinic and arrange the interview, but gave me no idea on how to do that.

Now, I've pretty much given up hope on the Clinic. The psych in A&E mentioned that my referral might even lapse before they admit me. I feel numb and lost, and not sure where to go from here.

Why is it that when I finally, and desperately, do want and need help, there's suddenly no way to access it?

I'm just screaming into the void.


My GP was supposed to come see me the week before last, to do a home visit and walk me to and from my appointment with the dietician. I waited for nearly two hours before she texted to say she was 'too busy' for our appointment, and rebooked it... for August 29th. That'll make it 11 long weeks between appointments. Needless to say, I was upset by this. I really needed to see them both. I book triple appointments to allow the walking time, and you can bet that she wouldn't tell a patient sitting in the waiting room that she's too busy to see them.


On the upside, I just spent a lovely, relaxed weekend with my friend R. We watched movies all day and talked and laughed and drank far too much wine. It was good to get away from the house for a bit after the recent dramas and just block out the outside world for a couple of days. Considering that after cutting off communication with A (for reasons mentioned in my last post), R is really now the only friend I ever see in real life, making these times all the more precious. It's a lonely feeling losing such a big chunk of your social life, but in the end, he can do me no good. I just wish I'd realized that earlier.



xxBella

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Waiting Game

I've been trying to figure out how to best deal with my current situation – not feeling safe, constantly scared, feeling overwhelmed and out of control.

A day or two after I last wrote, I broke down. I confessed to mum how much I've been struggling lately, especially with the trauma dates, and the extent of my self-harm and use of medication and alcohol, as it's all that gets me through each day. That life in general is overwhelming. I told her I think I need to go back to the Clinic for a week or two, and I need to see my GP to make it happen.

After an hour or two of panic and hysterics, she eventually agreed to make an appointment with my GP and drive me there as I'm in crisis. Apart from the pressure wounds and oil burns, this was the first time in about six months that she agreed to help me get to appointments.

The next day, she backtracked, and wouldn't do it.
  “They probably wouldn't have a bed for you anyway...”

Eventually, a few days later, she followed through on her original agreement, and last Monday I saw my GP, which was the first appointment available.

I told her the same things I'd told mum. She agreed it was a good idea, but said a few things that made me feel hesitant.

She thinks it's best to not tell them I'm trying to hide from trauma dates, but rather to have professionals to talk to and learn new mindfulness skills. Groups might be a problem. I can do the ones that don't involve talking. Groups like yoga, mindfulness, maybe stuff like art therapy, but I worry they're going to expect more this admission. She also said I need to try to have more days off drinking so the Clinic can know withdrawal and seizures won't be a problem. There's also the worry that they might want to reassess and change my meds, which I feel very uncomfortable with. When I take them properly, the meds I'm on do help a lot.

In the end, I'm feeling apprehensive and not overly hopeful, despite her saying she'd push for me to go in, and thinks it'd be helpful for me. She took me to get bloods done, and said she'd send off the paperwork that same day.


Amazingly enough, the next day there was a phone call from the Clinic to set up an intake interview. Last time, it took around six weeks to hear from them. Mum played the role of messenger because of my fear of talking on the phone. I just choke up and I can't get a word out. The nurse unit manager raised the issue of attending groups, but it sounds like the non-talking groups might be enough if I'm lucky. She doesn't want me hiding in my room, although last time, I spent most of my time either walking laps around the corridors or smoking with a coffee in the courtyard.

Then, I started getting distressed, so she said she'd call back in the next two days to make a time for the interview. Upset that it meant more time before I could get support, I broke down crying, attacked myself, and ate a handful of sleeping pills, hoping I'd feel better in the morning.

Wednesday and Thursday, I spent all day stressing, waiting for a phone call that never came.


Then, on Friday, mum went away for the weekend. It was my first time home alone in over a year. Before my brother moved out, he'd sometimes be gone all day, and it's not like we sat around chatting for ages, but having someone around in case something went wrong was a safety net I never appreciated. I didn't realise how hard it'd be.

I don't want to get into too much detail, but that night, I hit a wall. My friend A and I were talking about weight issues, and he wanted to see what I looked like at my smallest. I should've known better. I'd sent him pictures from my set weight (BMI 19-20) a while ago, and he told me I looked like a cow. This upset me so greatly, I didn't speak to him in the longest time.

I'd deliberately not sent pictures at, or near, my lowest weight, because it's obvious his view of women's weight is not right. But this time, I did. Truthfully, I wanted to test him. His reaction would give me an important insight to what he really thinks of me and if he was a worthwhile friend. If he said I looked awful, that would've been a good thing. If he said I looked good, that would mean he's not someone I want to have any interaction with.

Unfortunately, it was the latter. He though the pictures of me around BMI 12-13 looked good.

It was horrified and distressed. I tried calling mum to talk, but as I got more distressed, she hung up. I felt scared and unsafe and wished I wasn't alone. I tried to calm down and called her again, but it didn't go much better. After that, she stopped answering my calls. I left a voicemail, explaining that I didn't feel safe. That it was my first time alone in over a year, and it's scary to know there's no one to catch me if I fall, no one to help me if I did something stupid.

I felt, and still do feel, so low and hopeless. I couldn't just not do something about it. It was the worst time to be alone. In the end, I tried to find the least-destructive ways to self-destruct. After more sleeping pills and a few new burns, I just listened to sad music and passed out, and slept as deep as death.


Mum eventually got back on Monday afternoon. She asked how I was doing, and I told her it'd been a pretty miserable weekend after everything with A.

I'm not sure if the Clinic called when she was away. The phone rang twice on the Monday before she got home, plus once on Friday. I don't know if it was even the Clinic, as I thought they left messages, but most calls go through to our mobiles these days, so I guess it's possible.

Tuesday and Wednesday went by. No call. After more than a week since the first phone call, I'm starting to think they won't call back. I'm spending all day stressing and waiting, but I'm losing hope they'll call again.


xxBella

Monday, 19 June 2017

Steps

Last week I finally got to see my dietician for the first time in three months.

My GP has been working on taking me out for short walks when she does home visits. The idea is that I'll eventually be able to walk to appointments by myself, and although it's not even a kilometer away, I'm still a long way off walking solo.

Even walking alone to the corner of the block is terrifying. My GP found a way I can get to the clinic winding through the laneways instead of the busy streets, but she thinks I need a psych to help me overcome the fears before I'll be able to walk alone.

She was coming to pick me up and hour before she started work, so there'd be enough time to walk me to and from my appointment with the dietician. She was running late though, so she drove to pick me up, and then walked me home.

It was so good to see the dietician after so long. In the five years I've been seeing her, I've never had this long between appointments. She gave me a hug straight away. Thankfully, she didn't push weighing me as she saw me get distressed when she asked, so she focused more on what/how much I've been eating and drinking, and how life is going in general.

My GP made another set of appointments in five weeks, walks included, before she walked me home. The walk itself was difficult - not physically, but mentally - as it's the farthest from home I've walked in many years, but it definitely helps not having to do it alone. Rational or not, I feel so unsafe, even just a short distance away.

Unfortunately, neither of them are sure why I've been feeling so sick the past few weeks. I've been doing liquid days every other day to reduce how often I'm sick, because on days I eat solids, I'm up all night nauseous and usually vomiting. And it's not the alcohol - if I eat early in the day, before I drink, I get sick. If I eat but don't drink, I get sick. If I do liquids only, even with alcohol, I don't get sick.

I asked them both about it, and they said they'll discuss it with each other and get back to me. We went over what I can handle without getting sick, and it's really only yoghurt, iced coffee, supplement milk drinks (Ensure or Milo), hot chocolate, ice blocks, jelly, and thin pureed veggie soup (my current obsession is cauliflower and leek, for only 44 calories per cup - simply a cauliflower, a leek, and a stock cube, boiled and pureed). The current advice is to just stick with liquids and puree as much as possible.


June also marks the end of my traumaversary dates, and is always a very difficult and triggering time. The end date doesn't stop the feeling. I've spent most of this week knocked out on meds during the day and drinking until I pass out at night, which is why it's taken me nearly a week to write about the appointments.

Every day is just trying to get through in one piece, but then I wake up the next morning and have to go through it all again.

I feel so low and hopeless. The overdose urges have been so strong, but I've whittled down my stash by knocking myself out. I'm torn between using my extra meds to avoid the days, or keep stashing them for an overdose, although the latter would get me in trouble if they realise I haven't been returning any leftover meds as I'm supposed to.

I just don't want to be here, stuck in my head 24/7. It's taking all of my willpower (and a shit tonne of vodka) to avoid ending up in A&E.

I can't even enjoy things like TV or movies unless they're incredibly sad. Comedy makes me feel even worse. I can't even laugh if I wanted to.

To be honest, I would actually consider another inpatient admission. Even though the last one was somewhat disastrous, it did keep me safe while I was there. But considering the lack of support at home, chances are I won't even be able to see my GP until the next appointment in five weeks (unless I manage some awful accidental injury like the oil burns), and god knows what could happen in that time.

For today, it's a soup day, with no extra meds up my sleeve until this afternoon's delivery, and counting down the hours until it's somewhat acceptable to crack a bottle of wine.


xxBella

Monday, 5 June 2017

I've Lost my Fear of Falling

Next week, I'll be seeing the dietician for the first time in... about three months, I think. It's been hard. Before that, I'd been seeing her every Tuesday at 8:10am for five years. I've only seen her once since I lost transport, and that was because I had to see my GP to dress my pressure wounds from a hospital admission, and I managed to sneak in an appointment with the dietician at the same time (evidently, only physically injuries are worthy of helping me get there).

My GP's such a dear. She's going to pick me up and walk me to and from the appointment, all in her own time. We've done two walks on home visits so far – once just to the corner of the block, once just under halfway to the clinic. I've got to admit I'm nervous. Partly because walking around in public is one of the biggest challenges with my agoraphobia, and I haven't walked that far in years (excluding the occasional quiet bushwalk).

The other factor is that I also really don't want to get on the scales, but I'm worried she'll want to weigh me having been so long. I just don't want to be weighed and monitored any more. It's just stressful and pointless at this stage.

For the past week or two, I've been feeling awfully sick whenever I consume solids. It's like a cross between nausea, cramps, and heartburn. I've only been eating a small dinner so I can have the first part of the day without feeling sick, but I'll wake up two or three times a night with my stomach screaming at me.


I had a strange incident on Friday. Mum woke me up at 11am, thinking I'd overdosed as I never sleep that late.

I have to stress – I hadn't taken any extra pills or smoked or anything like that. But I was completely out of it. And I have no idea why. I was confused, panicked, crying hysterically, unsteady on my feet... I ended up having one smoke and a few sips of coffee before going back to sleep.

When I woke up again three hours later, I felt fine. It's a complete mystery as to what happened that morning, but mum later told me that she was about to call an ambulance, as it took her 10 or 12 tries to wake me before I even opened an eye.


Then, on Saturday, I had one of the worst breakdowns I've had in a while. Just the usual crap – crying about being worthless, useless, a failure and a fuck-up. After beating myself up, both mentally and physically, I went into the kitchen in a fury. I destroyed a heap of food, throwing the packets on the floor and stomping on them, throwing tubs of yoghurt in the sink. It was... not my finest moment.

A couple of hours later, I lay on the couch and took the stash of meds that I technically was not supposed to have. Judging from what I took compared to previous overdoses, I was expecting to probably wake up in hospital again. Before I passed out, I locked and hid everything self-harm or overdose related, and this time hid the keys where no one could find them, just in case. I've only just finished replacing everything after my last overdose, when the police found the keys in a drawer and confiscated all of my tools and meds. Since a lot of the time I'm still actively self-harming and being generally non-compliant by the time the ambulance gets here, they always seem to be accompanied by police these days.

Amazingly enough, I still woke up early the next morning, at home, with no emergency services. I was just a little wobbly on my feet and uncoordinated, and all I could think was regretting wasting my stash on a failed overdose.


To end on a positive: 
Over the two weeks between May 15th and 28th, I had six nights off drinking, which is better than I've done in a while. Given, I did smoke for a couple of those days, but hey, a win's a win. If I can stick to roughly every second night instead of every night, I think that's my goal for the moment.


With any luck, I should be able to get a new laptop in the next month or so, which will make it easier to keep up with blogging (mine died just before Christmas, so I've had to rely on when I can borrow Mother Dearest's computer).


The Aftermath...
xxBella

Thursday, 11 May 2017

24

It's been a week of birthdays in the house. First with my 24th on April 30, then my mum's 60th a week later.

We'd planned to go out for dinner for my birthday, and while it's something I enjoy, it doesn't make it any less stressful. Between the act of going out, and the hours it takes me to feel presentable enough to, I started getting anxious, edgy, overwhelmed. I leaned on my PRNs through the day, perhaps a little too heavily.

We went to an Italian place that I've been wanting to try. I was still full from the cake, but wanted to go out because I just enjoy the experience of going out for dinner, even if I couldn't eat much. I indulged in linguini carbonara, since I knew I wouldn't eat much of it.



The big highlight of my birthday was, as those of you on Facebook would've seen, I am now the lucky owner of a NES Mini. I was so disappointed when I couldn't get one, but he managed to track one down. I was so excited when I opened it, and spent the next few days playing it for hours on end.



But between the fear from eating so much and wanting to self-harm, it only made me more determined to go ahead with the laxative overdose that's been building for the past few weeks. Plus, I've mentioned before that the only times I don't drink are if I'm physically ill, in hospital, or smoking. Laxatives would mean I'd have some time off drinking due to being physically ill/in pain, and drop some weight (from not drinking or eating much because I'd be sick, not from the laxatives themselves - we all know it doesn't work that way).

I took them across three days, hoping to prolong the pain and sickness without needing to go to hospital from taking a whole packet, as has happened a few times before. I had 20 one morning, but still drank because the cramps didn't kick in until later in the night. The next morning, I took another 20, but still only felt sick for a few hours in the late night/early morning. Then, I took 60. That worked. I was too sick to drink anything or eat much for the next two, two and a half, days. It wasn't fun, but it got me two days off drinking.


Then, it was mum's birthday on Sunday. I had a fantastic homemade Indian dinner planned. Three mains and five sides, but it ended in disaster.

I coped well with most of the day. My dosa batter failed spectacularly, managing to melt the base of my KitchenAid blender in the process (and I was just blending uncooked, cold, soaked rice!). My grandfather's signature sponge cake collapsed. I managed to cope with hours in the kitchen cooking dinner, only to (accidentally) spill oil all over my hand at the last minute.

I got ready to serve. Everything was ready to be played up, and I'd just finished the pappadums.

I think it's probably because I usually use a different pan of the same size, and the usual one is heavier, but I used the old one because I didn't want mine tainted with oil. I just lifted it up on too high an angle, because it poured from the pan and over the handle to my hand. That's what I get for cooking with oil.

Thankfully I turned off the burners before I moved the pan, otherwise god knows what could've happened.

I screamed and ran to the sink for cold water, and my family came in. I felt so bad for fucking up, I just kept apologizing. My brother is good with first aid from his years of volunteer work, so he helped out, and wrapped the fingers in plastic wrap to protect them. They wanted me to to A&E, but it felt ridiculous, so I said I'd just see a doctor in the morning.

Mum went to buy a bag of ice as I'd used what was in the freezer, and Steve started tasting and picking at the food, and I nibbled on the hard-won pappadums with another glass of wine. I ate dinner with one hand with the burnt hand still in water. I kept my hand in water overnight in a bowl on a table next to the couch.


We had to close Billy out of the kitchen, as he kept licking oil off the floor after it cooled down. Not only was there oil all over the stove top and on the floor in front of it, but it spread as mum and my brother walked through it searching for first aid supplies. Between cleaning the benches/stove/floor, it took mum a full day to clear up the disaster.

I have oil burns all over my thumb, index and middle fingers, thumb web and palm on my left hand, despite leaving it in icy water for 12+ hours after the incident. Once I realized it'd take more than a few days to start healing (or stop blistering, for that matter), I started slowly typing this post on my phone instead of the laptop, since I currently can't type with my left hand.

Being a physical injury, mum actually offered to drive me to see my GP and get it dressed without even having to ask. A blister on my thumb had already burst by the time I got to the appointment at 8:45. They popped the others that had come up, and dressed them tightly. I had to get a tetanus/whooping cough booster, and they warned my grandmother's ruby and diamond ring might have to be cut off if it kept swelling.

More blisters came up through the next few days. It happened on Sunday, and I saw my GP and the nurse on Monday, Wednesday, and I have to go back tomorrow too. Yesterday, my fingers were covered with blisters, and again they were popped and dressed, as well as getting a flu shot.

Next week, my GP is doing another home visit, as I haven't had a proper appointment in two months. I'm dreading having to go for a walk, although it'll still be short. For now, I'm just resting and loading up with painkillers.

And, of course, more birthday picture-spam...



More gratuitous selfies from going out for dinner

I don't get birthday cakes much anymore. I used to make my own, but these past few years, it's been too much, and mum never bakes anymore. So this year, mum bought me a lamington sponge cake (for you non-Aussies: a lamington is sponge cake that's been coated with an extremely thin layer of chocolate icing and sprinkled in coconut). Not my first choice, but it was at least something everyone eats. I had a small piece in the afternoon, and the family devoured the rest over the next day or two. I didn't much care to have more than one slice. I just wanted the gesture.
(And, naturally, there's no eating in this house without two furry supervisors)

The cheesymite scrolls I made for mum's birthday

The oil burns as of yesterday


xxBella

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Facing Reality

Today, I thought I'd finally do a post about something that's been troubling me lately. Alcohol. It's been an increasing problem over the past 6 months or so, but this past month, I've only had a grand total of two days off. Most days, I wake up with no memory of the night before.

I don't like the thought of being labelled as an alcoholic or drunkorexic. When people ask if I drink, I tend to say “I enjoy a few glasses of wine with dinner.” as it seems so much more socially acceptable. But I am an addict, and one addiction became another when I quit smoking synthetics (10 months ago now!)

I've been trying hard to not keep drinking so much. Unfortunately, finishing the day with a few drinks has now become the norm and not the exception. If I have to drink, I've set goals of not drinking until 5pm, instead of starting in the afternoon, and keeping a tighter limit on how many standard drinks I do consume (ideally, 10 standard drinks max, instead of 14, 16, sometimes up to 20 drinks).

I'm eating less as I'm drinking more. The depression isn't helping with either. And with just a few hundred less calories of food and a few less drinks (usually around 500 now, before alcohol, which is usually around an extra 600-700), my weight has started to drop again after being fairly stable for the past few months.

In a way, I sort of justify my drinking to others because it keeps my intake higher. Truth be told though, the only real reason I want to cut back is so I can lose weight faster.


Last week, mum went away to visit friends for a few nights, and I decided to use the quiet time as an opportunity to have a night or two off drinking. I figured that, since I never eat dinner or set meals when I'm alone, as I lose all track of time, maybe I wouldn't drink either. I set myself up on the couch with my cigarettes, notebooks, chewing gum, extra meds, and water, and spent my days on the couch marathoning The L Word for the millionth time.

I can't lie – it was very tempting to get some smoke, since that's one of the few times I never drink (the others being when I'm physically ill, or in hospital), and when I'm home alone is the only time I can get away with it without it causing arguments. But after spending so much money on alcohol recently, I couldn't do it. It's funny. Everyone says I must be saving so much money since I quit synthetics (and rarely smoke the natural stuff), but in reality, I've been spending nearly as much on alcohol, especially in the past couple of months. At least smoke has no calories...

She was away for four days, and on the second day, I managed to get through without drinking – my first day off in a month. The next day, I drank early in the afternoon. I think I'm starting to get withdrawals if I try to have more than one day off. Even the first drink made me feel so much better. Being the weekend, my brother was home. Apparently I passed out on the kitchen floor for a few hours that night, for no apparent reason. I tend to pass out quickly and unexpectedly these days. Just a couple of nights ago, I had my soup heating up for dinner, my toast cooked, but passed out before I could eat it.

The last day she was away, I was sick. And no, it wasn't a hangover – it lasted through the following day. I couldn't even finish ¼ of a cup of coffee, and even cigarettes made me feel sick. I spent the day in dark and silence, my head pounding, quickly throwing up any thing I tried to drink. My body ached from the act of being sick so much. But it gave me another night without drinking.


On a different note, over the Easter weekend, I spent a few days with my friend R. It was so nice to get a break from the day-to-day life at home. I even managed to get out for a walk. It wasn't a particularly long walk, but with the pressure wounds from my last overdose still healing, it was a slow walk. It wasn't easy, but being a public holiday, there were very few people around, which was a bonus. So that was outing #4 for the year. It's the longest time I've spent walking around town in many years. Still, it was a nice little getaway from being stuck at home, and spend some time being social.


Tomorrow is my birthday, and I'm dreading it. Birthdays have usually ended in disaster for some years now. There's a sense of impending doom, and it could go either way. Will I be able to go out for dinner? Will I spend all day drinking myself into a stupor? Will everything fall apart? Watch this space.


I've been terrible with staying up to date on blogs these past couple of weeks, but I'm slowly starting to catch up, so please bear with me.



Easter Weekend supplies

Staying warm in a dressing gown before going out
(My black one was in the wash - please don't judge my backup pastel polka dot one!)


xxBella

Friday, 7 April 2017

Finding my Feet

My GP came for a home visit on Monday. After a chat, we did go for a short walk, as she's trying to help me build up to be able to walk to regular appointments. It was just 200 meters, down to the corner of the block and back, but for me, it's a lot. The thought of doing it alone makes me panic. Baby steps, though.

I've also got even more antibiotics and cortisone to help the pressure wounds heal, but to be honest, I've barely touched them. Taking antibiotics is something I've always struggled with – some weird form of self-neglect and/or punishment. So the pressure wounds on my feet from the last overdose are healing very slowly. I've not been able to do step aerobics for a month now, which is driving me nuts, and have only just started walking laps around the house again without hobbling.

She's doing another home visit in a few weeks, and the dietician will stop by occasionally on Tuesday after she's finished at work. So hopefully losing transport to appointments won't be quite as devastating as it could've been.


Also, I'm pleased (and greatly relieved) to report that Bill's surgery went well, and he's recovering nicely.

His surgery was last Friday, and for the eight hours he spent at the vets, I was worried sick, waiting for the phone to ring. Each hour that passed made me more and more anxious.

A few nights before the surgery, I broke down, hysterical about his health and his age, worrying that I've not done enough for him, that I haven't loved him as much as I could. I was still feeling a sort of pre-emptive grief from the few days there was talk of having to say goodbye.

The poor boy knew something was up. Usually, he runs out to the car and is happy to go to the vets. This time, he wouldn't move off the porch, and I had to carry him out to the car, where he sat shaking on my lap the whole time. At the vet, mum went to drop him in while I waited in the car. Again, he wouldn't move. He even climbed up on put his head on my shoulder. He used to do that all the time as a puppy, but he hadn't done it in a long time. It's the closest you can get to a hug.

We all thought he wouldn't have any teeth left when he came home, but it turns out it wasn't quite so bad. He had more teeth left than the vet thought, considering he wouldn't let anyone have a close look. Dogs have 48 teeth to start with. The vet drew a handy diagram of the 20 teeth he'd had removed (over several surgeries) in the past, the 14 they removed that day, and the 14 he had left.

I was worried about how he'd recover, how much pain he might be in, and how I'd cope with it. When we picked him up, he was so excited and energetic. Since then, he's just slept and slept. There's no doubt he's more comfortable now than before the surgery, even though he's still healing. 

I know I probably should've posted earlier, but I've been so worried something would go wrong or complications would pop up. Amazingly enough, his mouth hasn't even bled once, which we were told to expect. He had his follow-up appointment today, and everything is healing perfectly. There are no words for how relieved I am!




This fortnight's groceries – the bare essentials, after I found out about the surgery. 
Watermelon is always my No. 1 essential. 
That said, I always have lots of stew and soups in my freezer for evening meals.

His little paw print bandage from the IV


xxBella

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Difficult Decisions

My baby boy Billy has had a rough go of it this week. One morning, I woke up and his mouth had been bleeding. He's always had trouble with his teeth (and his ears... and his back). The conversation started about that it might be time to think about making a difficult decision. Yes, he's now 14, and after so many surgeries over the course of his life, we don't have that kind of money just sitting around any more.

I froze. My heart jumped into my throat as my stomach sank. I wanted to drink. I wanted to smoke. I wanted to cut and hit my head and overdose. I wanted to do anything to block out this pain. I can't bear the thought of losing him.

Ever since we lost Silky, just over four years ago, I realised for the first time that they wouldn't be here forever. I'd never considered that they wouldn't always be by my side. I've been petrified of losing Billy too. For four years now, I've said I could never get another dog as the pain of losing them is too much to bear. I've always said that it would be the end for me. That I really couldn't go on without him.

That night, he lost a lot of blood. Mum asked if I'd made a decision, and I just lost it. I sat on the floor and started bawling that I can't do this, I don't know what to do, I don't know what I should do. It felt like my heart was breaking. I spent the first few days in tears.

We took him to the vet. Due to my agoraphobia, I usually hold him for the car ride, and stay in the car while mum takes him in. This time, I actually went in for the first time in years.

We got a quote on the surgery, and depending on how many teeth need to be removed, it's going to cost somewhere between $1,400 and $2,000. He doesn't like his mouth being looked at, but it looks like he'll need all of them removed (what's left after the previous surgeries, anyway). I just hope he'll be okay without them. His teeth are diseased, and if they're not removed, it'll go into his jaw bone, which would eventually lead to a fracture.

I managed to find one company that would approve me for a loan while a) on a pension, and b) without going into an office in person. It's going to take a long time to pay off, and the interest rate is ridiculous, but it's worth it. I can't imagine life without him. Besides, after spending tens of thousands on various surgeries and medical issues over the years, I can't just give up. I will do anything I can to keep my baby boy safe.

He's been doing a bit better the past couple of days. His mouth only bled for the first two or so days. But for the first few days, it looked like we were going to have to say goodbye. I fell into mourning even though he was still right here beside me, and it's a hard feeling to shake. He's not a young pup any more. I guess it just reminds you of how fragile life it, and how quickly everything can change.


Tomorrow my GP's coming around for my first home visit appointment. She also wants to try getting me out for a short walk, which scares the shit out of me. I haven't even been able to walk around the block for years, despite wanting to. I know the goal is to be able to make the 5-minute walk solo to get to appointments, but even the first steps are terrifying.




On top of getting out to take Bill to the vet and tomorrow's walk, last weekend we went out for a family dinner for my brother's birthday at his favourite local Indian place. We haven't all been out for dinner since he and his girlfriend broke up a year ago, when we'd all go out together. I haven't had any reason to go out for dinner since then either, so it was nice for a change.

Samosas, Chicken Pakora, and Aloo Tikki for starters

Can you tell my brother loves naan bread?





xxBella

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Whoops.

Three guesses why I haven't written in two (closer to three) weeks.

I seem to be caught in a cycle at the moment that sees me landing in hospital every few weeks. Last weekend I had another overdose, on my psych meds, topped off with my over-the-counter sleeping pills.

There was a lot that triggered it. Between feeling so lost and alone without appointments, and the big trauma anniversary, I just lost it. I raided my stockpile around 8pm. I didn't think it would have the same impact as last time. Despite being a similar number of pills, it took longer for them to effect me. It didn't worry me, and I figured I'd just wake up the next morning feeling groggy.

I have no idea what time 000 was called, or what tipped mum off. I'd hidden all the pill packets. I did write the names of what I'd taken on the back of my hand, both for my benefit and in case there was medical intervention needed, because I know it's hard if they don't know what you've taken. I fell asleep sometime around 9pm. From what I've put together, I think it was around 11am the next morning that mum called an ambulance, after realising I wasn't just sleeping in.

I woke up some time around 9pm, but it took a while before I was really 'with it'. Again, I couldn't walk, but this time it wasn't only because of the overdose itself. After spending close to 24 hours unconcious, and 14 of those in one position on the couch, I had pressure wounds on my feet. There was five big blisters where they'd been resting against each other, plus five smaller ones on my right hand. My entire right side is still aching. It hurts to move my ankle, my knee, my hip, my shoulder.


One positive that's come out of it, is that I've reconnected with an old friend. We haven't seen each other in years. Like all friendships, we eventually lost touch.

We used to be good friends. These days, he works in patient assistance. You know, wheeling people around and all that jazz. The last time I saw him was probably close to five years ago. Again, I was in hospital. I was up for an early morning smoke and coffee, and saw him in the cafeteria. We spoke briefly, but never followed up on keeping contact.

He saw me being taken into emergency, and kept walking by my room on the ward until I woke up, hoping to see me awake and talk to me. He came to see me on breaks. He brought me chocolate, and wheeled me downstairs for smokes. We picked up right where we left off. Even just getting a hug felt so good. I can't remember the last time I was hugged.

The next day, he gave me a little vial of majick healing herbs. He even drove me home when mum wouldn't pick me up, so that was really nice.


I was on crutches when I came home, thanks to the pressure wounds. It was only a couple of days ago that I managed to get back on my feet again. For the first few days especially, until the blisters started to heal, I wasn't moving much at all. When I could start to walk a little bit again, it became a battle of whether my foot hurt more hobbling around or if the rest of my body ached more using crutches.

I'd come home on Tuesday night. By Wednesday, I was in so much pain, I was in tears. The blister on the base of my right foot was the worst. It was the largest of the blisters, and it was in the worst place. From when I woke up until this point, it had just kept getting bigger day by day. If my foot so much as twitched, it was agony. The skin was so taut, there was no flexibility.

As it was causing so much pain, mum actually drove me to the doctors so I could get it seen to. My GP wasn't working, but they could get me in to see someone else. He was my GP from the time I was born basically until my mental health reached a certain point, and he wasn't doing anything, and I had to find someone else.

He had to pop the blister, because like he said, it was going to pop anyway. So he drained this mass of fluid, but it just closed over and refilled by the next day. I had to go in three mornings in a row, plus this Tuesday after the long weekend. It was only the third time it was popped that it stopped refilling, as they used a blade instead of a needle.


I'd texted the dietician once I realised I could no longer get to appointments. She was shocked, and said she'd come for home visits. She was going to come around this week, but I actually managed to get there. I had to see my GP for the dressings anyway, so I'd made the appointment just before in case I got lucky and mum agreed to take me down earlier since I was going to be there anyway. By surprise, she did.

This is why I absolutely love her. Not only did she give me her personal number longer ago than I can remember, but she actually cares. I can't express how happy and relieved I was to see her text. She said again to feel free to text her any time. Even she gave me a hug when I saw her this week. March must be the month of many hugs for me.

My GP is also going to come for home visits, and there's one booked for the 27th. But she also wants me to go out for a walk with her, which is scary as hell. I know it's with the intention of building up so I'll be able to walk the five minutes to appointments by myself, but that doesn't make it any less scary.


I promise my next post won't be overdosehospitalohwoeisme.


Magick herbs
Words keep piling up on my hand these days
Prior to popping
To end on a positive note, here is a picture of the cat hiding in a garbage bag full of weeds.


xxBella

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Beginning of the End

I've been struggling to write for a couple of months now. Even my journal has been seriously neglected. There's something about having the words written down that makes it so much more real, so much harder to ignore.

Over the weekend, I was informed that my mother will no longer be teaching me how to drive, and on top of that, will no longer assist with transport to appointments.

It's barely a 3 minute drive away. But I can't walk there. I can't take a taxi there. It scares me more than I can find words to explain. Walking around the neighbourhood alone makes me terrified - I can't tell you how many years it's been since I went for a simple walk around the block - and don't even get me started on the fear of getting into a car with a stranger (isn't that what we were always told, anyway?).

I'm just going to miss my dietician and GP so, so much. With the dietician, that's a five-year relationship turned to dust in an instant. But that's how great the fear is

I guess she might change her mind about teaching me to drive, but I doubt it. I don't know what's going to happen. I'm scared, and it all just feels so hopeless.

I've lost all access to every kind of help and support I had. If I can't see my GP, I'll probably lose my meds. I was supposed to keep seeing my new psychologist for my GP to be comfortable continuing meds as it is, but obviously that's not going to be happening. I cancelled another appointment with her last week, again due to the taxi issue.

What do I do when I have another COPD exacerbation?

After this, I told mum I was scared. That I felt unsafe, like I was falling into a deep dark pit, and didn't know what to do.
  "I think you need to talk to someone."
I wanted to laugh.
  "And how the hell am I supposed to do that now?"

She would call an ambulance. She would even drive me to A&E, but I'd have no way of getting home. When I was there a few weeks ago, I was given a 24/7 phone number for the youth mental health services, who can do immediate risk assessments. I can't talk on the phone to call up for one, and neither would mother dearest.


Sometimes, like now, it feels like I have two sides of my head fighting to and fro. An angel on on shoulder, a devil on the other.

One side is wanting to get help, desperate to talk, devastated that I can't.
The other side asks me why I'm still bothering. All that I've wanted for as long as I can remember is to disappear, so why am I still trying when it feels like everyone else has given up?

My head is screaming, fighting, bursting against my skull.

Then the latter half takes over, and I feel an eerily complete calm. I stopped panicking and crying and breaking down, I sit myself up, the emotions stop, and a small smile comes across my face. I don't have to do this anymore.

At the end of the day, part of me is kind of relieved, you know? It's kind of like getting permission to throw in the towel. And I feel free.


I don't know what will happen with the ED without the support I've had from my dietician for so many years now. I'm just devastated that it's all come crashing down at once. I'm in free-fall and I'm so scared and I don't know what's going to happen

Now that I've got my thoughts somewhat together, I guess it's time for the part I've been dreading - writing the 'break up' text. I'm going to ask about occasional home visit appointments, and I'm pretty sure my GP does them too. But really, I'd settle for giving her a hug and saying goodbye,



On another note, I was home alone for a couple of days last weekend. For the first time in months, I ended up cracking and smoking. Not synthetics - that stuff's gone for good. But I spent six days in a blur. Between everything that's been going on, I felt like it was either that or self-harm/overdose, and at that point I wouldn't have been able to get help. After the past few days, I wish I had more to numb the fucking pain. But I can't fall back into the 'all day every day' trap, and considering the cravings/withdrawals I'm still feeling, I know I can't risk it.

Since I finished it, I've been drinking for the past four nights/afternoons because I didn't want to deal with sobriety, I didn't want to feel. I never drink that many days in a row. But when I had weed, I went eight days without a drink, which is better than I've done since... well, since I last smoked, to be honest.


Probably the last time I'll be all dolled up for... I don't even know how long. Without appointments, or learning how to drive, there's nothing left for me to get out for. They were the only access I had to the outside world. 

I'm trying to plan an outing. Maybe spend a few hours going to my favourite thrift stores, maybe going to the zoo. But right now, I can't even think about it. My head is overwhelmed with everything I need to do. But I'm so depressed, I rarely get anything done. I just zombie on the couch in my pajamas all day, re-runs playing in the background to try to distract myself from the nothingness.



xxBella

Monday, 13 February 2017

Will the cycle never end?

The thoughts have been building, becoming more intense and intrusive for over a week now. On Wednesday, I took 8 laxatives, hoping that'd sate the urge. But on Thursday, after an argument with mum, I broke.

She told me I should move out.
She called me a freeloader.

She told me to get off my fat ass and do more with my days. I told her she has no way of knowing, nor care, of how I spend my days, and that it's none of her business, that she doesn't dictate how I should spend my time or what is productive to my life or not. She doesn't care about the deep bout of depression that's left me frozen on the couch for weeks now. I struggle to do even the basics of brushing my hair, washing my face, brushing my teeth. She doesn't care that I do so little, move so little, because if I do I'll self-destruct. 

She wants me gone, but she has no right to decide on the terms on which I leave, whether it's moving out or death. Either way, I will be gone from her life.

I overdosed on laxatives, again. Usually, my overdoses have been one packet, 100 pills, give or take 10-20. This time was 2 packets, and my fourth big laxative overdose. Intoxication, self harm, and self poisoning are my only ways to escape. A laxative overdose gives me three days break from the world, three days of pain.

Mum called an ambulance. I barricaded myself in the lounger room, my heavy armchair pushed against the door.

The ambulance arrived with police in tow. So embarrassing - what will the neighbours think? It seems the police always turn up now if I've self-harmed in any way. They were all very nice about it though.

With people coming and going, Billy was put outside. He whimpered and cried - the poor thing has terrible separation anxiety.
When I did get home after hospital, he gave his usual excited welcome, then sat outside the bathroom door whimpering when I dropped my bag and made a mad dash for the toilet. 


But yet again, I land myself in hospital.


I got to the hospital sometime around 7pm, and the mental health team came to see me. I didn't get to see the nice psychiatrist, but their general mental health team are usually quite nice.

The head of the team actually remembered me from years ago. From how the conversation went, I'm guessing it was from my first ED admissions. Given it's such a big hospital, it feels weird that so many people there seem to remember me from one time or another.

He asked if I'd been drinking, as the paramedics noticed the bottle of wine on the table. I told him I had a few glasses of wine with dinner (…well, maybe a little more, truth be told). He asked to check my BAC, and it turned out at 0.089.
  “Well, you certainly wouldn't be able to drive.”
  “I'm on my learners permit – I couldn't drive at even 0.001.”
(Note: Since I'm sure it varies internationally, a result over 0.05 is the limit for fully licensed drivers).

They gave me a few bags of saline, and a constant stream of buscopan (for the cramps) and pain killers, although I refused many of the painkillers. I was moved to the short stay unit, and they would keep supervising me for a while, but there's really not much they can do (which is why it frustrates me that I can't just stay at home).

It took six hours for the laxatives to start kicking in. Within the first six hours of their effect, I had six bowel movements. Within the first twelve hours, I'd had 16. That was the worst of it, but the cramps, nausea, and runs to the toilet continued for the next day or two.


I feel like a balloon deflating. Shriveled, dry, and empty.


I was discharged later the next day. They wanted me to go see my GP the next day and get some bloods done to check my electrolytes, but as I found out, pathology wasn't open, so trying to get in to see GP seemed completely pointless.

Mum refused to come pick me up. The doctors were going to talk to her about keeping an eye on me. Checking in on me and keeping me safe, telling her what to watch out for and signs I might faint or need additional medical help.

After over an hour of panicking and crying while the nurses tried to find a safer way for me to get home, as I had no one to call on, the mental health team decided they'd help me to a taxi. Taxis are one of my biggest fears (getting in a car with a stranger? no,no,no,no,no). It's not something I'd do again. I wanted to cry on the drive home, but I was focusing all of my energy into keeping my bowels in check.


Between running to the toilet, cramps, OBs, meds, and mental health team & doctors checking in, I barely slept in hospital, or for the first night at home.

I had three quiet days waiting for the effects to pass. It seems to be 48-72 hours for my body to get through it. I was dizzy and weak for most of it, not to mention the cramps

I stuck to mostly peppermint tea (which has never felt so good, and worked amazingly to help with the cramps), yoghurt, and liquids for the first two days, hoping it'd minimize the strain on my digestive tract. Watermelon made me sick. Soup and bread made me sick. I could stomach small amounts of dry crackers, but that was about it without feeling like I had to throw up.


The youth mental health services have called a few times, to follow up on the admission, and to see if I need extra support. It seems kind of pointless when I have my psychologist (as useless as she is), but maybe if I do this, then my GP will let me drop the psychologist. They also gave me a 24/7 number, and asked for me to contact them if I feel in crisis or like I'm going to overdose again, and they can see me for a risk assessment any time, day or night. 

Tomorrow, I've got my dietician in the morning and GP in the afternoon, then the psychologist on Wednesday. There's going to be a lot to catch up on, so it'll be a busy few days. Maybe it's time to look at a new care plan. Because, obviously, something isn't working.


xxBella