I wake up disorientated. Sure for a minute that the sounds of talking I can hear are my mum in the kitchen with the radio on. Then I open my eyes and realise the door is in the wrong place and there are too many voices for it to be just my mum. Then it hits me. I’m on hospital, again.
I doze until 8am when I drag myself out of bed and do battle with the temperamental shower trying to eke just a little more hot water out of it so I can wash my hair. Showering has got hard again. It feels like a marathon and leaves me exhausted. I just want to curl up in bed and sleep the day away. Once I’m dressed in my biggest hoody and jeans that are becoming baggyer by the day I shuffle to the clinic room and join the medication queue. Olanzapine and venlafaxine washed down with ice cold water.
I’m struggling with food again but I force myself down to the dining room and wait for a bowl of porridge with a whitworths shot a friend brought in for me. Normally I eat alone at one of the small tables but today I push myself to sit at one of the big communal tables and find myself joined by two other patients who I chat with whilst eating.
Back on the ward I wander between my room and the lounge- not able to settle anywhere and filled with anxiety. Today is day one of my new increased meal plan and the day they’re going to start locking my bathroom after meals so I can’t purge. I willingly agreed to it, after talking to my friend Tash I have a new resolve to beat my eating disorder once and for all. I’m sick of it dictating my life and ruining my health.
The rest of my day is filled with groups. Yesterday I had support group in the morning which is a space to talk and share how we’re doing in the here and now and tell our stories. I feel very detached as I speak about being sexually assaulted- I want to cry but I don’t seem to be able to these days. The detached feeling follows me throughout the day and I struggle to feel present during the CBT group that follows. I had a visitor yesterday, my friend Tash who’s been amazing throughout both our battles with mental health and who always gives me that push to try a bit harder and really challenge my disorders.
After that I spend my evening curled up in bed, the rooms are freezing for some reason, and watch TV. Last night I watched the Island on channel 4 and enjoy the escapism it provides. At ten I go to the clinic room and wait for my meds before heading to bed, glad another day is over.
First off, thank you for all the well wishes and kind words.
I’ve been in the priory a week now and am slowly finding my feet. This is my 4th inpatient admission but it feels this time that things are completely different.
The thoughts and emotions are the same. I’m still battling with my head on a daily basis telling me to run from the grounds and out in front of a car or to find some way of harming myself badly. I still have intrusive images as to what that would like like and find myself replaying different plans and possibilities over and over in my head. But this time, instead of fighting the staff at every step I’m working with them. I’ve had a blip or so but mostly I’m talking to staff when I’m feeling bad, I’m taking my PRN and I’m going to groups.
That’s the biggest difference I’ve found being in a private hospital (albeit in an NHS funded bed). The moral seems better among the staff and when they ask how you are they have time to listen when you’re not okay. Instead of using threats such as ‘if you don’t do this we’ll take x away’ they sit with you and work out what would help you. The therapy groups are equally impressive- I have my own tailored therapy timetable with groups ranging from creative writing to support group to self acceptance. And instead of the awkward silence sat through in many of the ‘groups’ in previous admissions the group is gently encouraged to use the space without any pressure, which somehow makes it easier to talk.
I’m still a long way from well, but I think I might actually be in a place where I can take steps to get better.
Just a brief post to say I probably won’t be posting much for a little while. Things got very bad again and I was admitted to hospital on Saturday. There were no beds in my trust so I’m in the priory which is the best psychiatric hospital I’ve ever been in. The therapy and support here is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
I’m feeling very low and exhausted by life right now but I just wanted to say thank you for every comment I get on my blog- hearing other people’s experiences and support feels like a huge honour and i wish I was able to reply to every single one.