Just checking back in after a long time away from the blog. Sorry for being so absent – I went up and over again….. I have so much going through my head just now that it seems impossible to figure out what to pick out to write on….. some time and some processing will need to happen before that untangles itself….
For now I’ll just let you know what’s been happening. Thoughts and conclusions can come later.
I was saying before I disappeared that I’d been running a wee bit high. Nothing out of the ordinary at all – it just felt pretty pleasant. I whizzed off down to Newcastle to see John’s show, and had a brilliant time. Things started unravelling a bit after that. (I don’t blame John!) First thing that happened is that I went from being a barely-never-drinker to drinking hard and fast every day – quickly onto vodka. A feature of my highs is that I can drink buckets full without getting a hangover, and this was the pattern I settled quickly into. I commented to CPN (community psychiatric nurse) that I was getting quite irritable, and that’s another warning sign. I’m normally soft and gentle as a lamb – irritability is beyond my normal. None of this was causing real problems in my world. I didn’t discuss the alcohol with the team. But over the course of one weekend things escalated quickly. My support worker saw me on the Friday, and spoke to CPN about her concerns. CPN was on call over the weekend and phoned me up to check in. Even I couldn’t ignore how crazy things were getting when I tried to hold it together on the phone but couldn’t. ‘I’m falling apart!’ I yelled, ‘and it’s about fucking time! Hahahahahhahaa!’…..
Deep breath now… It’s one thing to deal with certain painful things on your own, and another to talk about them with your CPN – yet another to express them openly on a blog. But I’m for honesty and openness or I wouldn’t be here, and so I’m reporting now that I had also started cutting myself again. (Most people I know don’t know I’ve ever self-harmed. It’s not an easy topic of conversation…). There was a recklessness about this that worried my CPN, and also my consultant, who I saw on the Monday. By Wednesday I was sat discussing the situation with both CPN and consultant, and I agreed to go into hospital – a safe place to be while my head uncooked itself a bit.
Hospital didn’t turn out to feel very safe (I’ve been in hospital twice with no such problem), and I didn’t cope very well with being there. So after one night where I chose not to sleep at all and just paced around the ward all night, they let me go home so long as the Intensive Home Treatment Team came in to see me every day. I can’t say I found that easy (my default position when I’m unwell is to want to be alone), but it was the best of all possible outcomes. As things improved, the IHTT withdrew, and I’m back now under the brilliant care of CPN. It wasn’t a massively prolonged manic episode, but it did its damage, had its cost, and revealed to me great revelations (more on this later I’m sure…) . I’ve always said that it can be hard work being high. It’s not always glorious. Perhaps mine was more of a mixed episode – I was certainly dealing with a lot of painful stuff while at the same time thinking I was the size of the universe!
This post is very self-indulgent. It’s just an offload, and it’s all about me, and I try to avoid this when I write for the blog. I always try to process stuff, and offer some thoughts on my experiences that other people might benefit from, rather than just offloading or venting. I always try to find universals in my experience so that I can share with other people. I haven’t managed that this time (sorry!), but it’s been hard to figure out where to start from, and I just wanted to get going again with the writing. More thoughts next time!