When I first arrived at the Hadrian Unit in Carlisle, I was driven from Lancaster Royal Infirmary after attempting suicide. I was driven to Carlisle in a patient hospital bus on my own. I had just spent the last 24 hours in the acute ward hooked up to a portable heart monitor. When I arrived I was met by the assistant ward manager Becky and Janine. I was taken into a room that become known to me as room 136. Janine then went onto explain that she would have to go through all the bags that I had brought through with me. Becky then arrived and Janine Had to leave to deal with some argument between two ladies. She said that there was always something brewing between the two of them.
So I sat down on the purple leather chair, actually I crouched on it. I was so damn nervous. Becky asked me loads of questions about how I was feeling and what had been happening, basically she was getting to know me. She then explained what was and wasn’t allowed on the ward. She then asked me how safe I felt about being on my own in my own room and on the ward. I said I didn’t feel safe but I did understand that there was always someone on duty that I could talk to. She asked that if I felt suicidal again what would I do. My reaction was that I would find anything sharp and try and self-harm myself, but I knew that there was no way that I would be able to harm myself. She also made me promise that I wouldn’t self-harm and that I would find her if she was duty if I was feeling really bad. Also that if I couldn’t talk I could write it down and show her and let her read it. To be honest I don’t actually remember many of the questions. But the two that I do remember clearly were:
- Did I still intend to end my life?
- Would I be able to at this moment be able to ensure my safety and not harm anyone there?
I plainly answered that Yes I did intend to end my own life in any way that I could find to accomplish this. But I also stressed that I knew that I was in the safest place that I could be in at that moment. Then I went onto making that promise to Becky.
I was the shown to my room where my bags were already on my bed. Janine and I went through every pocket, every corner of my bags and clothes. Mirrors, headphones, chargers, aerosol cans and anything else that I could harm myself or others with were taken off me. My money and purse were put in my locker for safety, none of the doors locked you left them.
I was then left to put my stuff away to where I wanted to put them. At this moment of times ‘Anna’ was still in human form and in my room the was a purple leather square stool and I had to put this into the corner of my room and that was her place where she could see me from any angle. I actually ended up putting everything away and then chucking it all and I mean it all back onto my bed and then refold it all and put it all back exactly where it had been put the first time. This actually became a ritual that I did every single night before I went to bed. At first I did start writing a daily journal but it only last 8 or 9 days.
You know as days drove into weeks’ people came and when whilst I was in there. I always thought that the drag of then hours every day would change but no that was one thing that would never change. There were only so many times I could walk up and down the corridors or play table tennis on the busted table. There were the ladies lounge and the men’s lounge. The games room was basically the mixed lounge. But there was never anything good on the tv and even if you knew that something good was going to be on tv the tv remote would always be missing. It was nearly always found in the ladies lounge or someone would hide it from the wandering hands of Janet. She liked to make sure thing were always how she wanted them to be. Her moods would bounce between being chatty one moment to becoming completely aggressive the next.
It started as a hospital unit to me then gradually to the mental unit for insane people to the hell hole that I would never leave and finally became the compound. The day in day out drag never ever finished, I could sleep for what felt like hours but would actually end up being 30 minutes. It didn’t really help that the first two weeks I never actually ate anything. So I never had the routine to space out the day. For others they had the times for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper so they could aim for those times and knew what was happening when and where. After a while I would actually get used to not knowing what was happening each day.
To have met such a diverse groups of people is amazing. Each of us have many different diagnosis’ it just shows that anyone that mental helath issues are so complicated. People are suffering just as much as people with physical pain. Just because you cannot see our pain does not mean we aren’t ill. We are all individuals and are totally unique and we all think in completely different ways. If you asked us each to write for how we think and worked you would probably not get any two of the same responses. You may get variations of how some people may think the same.
Coping strategies are another thing that we each have unique again. I personally use writing as one of my own coping strategies. Once I get started on writing it can be hard to stop me. Even with this was there have been many times where it has gone out of the window and it still does even now. This I know will continue to happen until I/We can work out how to properly stop my mind from easily going into major major overtime. Once I’m in the self-destructive mode it becomes increasingly difficult to come out of the tidal waves of deep despair and darkness. So many time I have been so stuck in this vicious cycle it become a second thing to me. I shut myself down majorly, I want to be alone, I don’t want to be filled with this deep dark world and feel like I don’t deserve to live in this world. To have the thoughts of not being able to breathe but that then changes into reality.
I have a world that is blacker then a darkness you can ever imagine, there are no stars no lights no nothing. Nothingness is all that there is. I feel suffocated when I even start to think about it, it’s a blackness that suffocates you but it’s not a quick suffocation its one that increases day by day a never ending suffocation. And it got to a point where it began to kill me but its didn’t try and kill me I tried to kill myself.
I don’t know if there is a brain process to work out who or what is to blame for all of this, At the end of any argument I will always finish off every time that it was all inventively my fault. It’s my fault that my mind and my way of thinking, I see that I should know how to control my emotions, be able to stop myself getting into states of mind. But I constantly get told that I am doing everything to the best of my ability and that that is good enough. But I do not and never will be able to see that anything I do is good enough and in my head it just twists anything good that people into something awful and negative.
The thing is that when I do succeed in something I’m not full of pride or happy, outwardly I seem happy about it but inside it’s a whole lot different.im working out straight away how I could have done it better, I never ever see the good in what I do never see it. I always seem to grab and suck up all the negatives, my brain automatically flips anything that people say to me. Someone says “your looking healthier these days”. My brain oh you’re getting fat. So you can see how my brain is something that I am constantly battling. When it starts like I, able to fight back I stumble and fall and im back to square one. You would of thought that I would have been able to learn from past failures and mistakes, but at each point of failure I am not thinking about how I could have learnt from before I’m literally trying to rip my brain from starting to spin into warp speed.
To stop their voices from grabbing onto the fact that I am no longer able to ignore them or keep myself busy enough so much so I do not have enough time to even think about anything. Like writing this right now is keeping me busy. Yes, I am constantly getting interrupted but I am busy. Even writing now about my voices they are here right now, trying to stop me and get me to listen to them. To use a phrase “can you hear that buzzing?” something that is used when someone you have fallen out with or are trying to ignore is trying to talk to you and gain your attention. Hence the buzzing noise.
I have this thrown at me throughout primary and high school. I was bullied for being tall and really skinny and got called called “that anorexic B***H”. the most prominent one that stands out to me is the first day of school after we had been adopted. A lass came walked upto me and just came out with “their not your real paretns. I have and always will have known them longer then you.” To this day that creeps back into my life, shouting at me at times and making me question myself. Its amazing how I can remember some of the insults from school but looking back I cannot even remember some of the hilidays we went on. But it’s not just forgetting things like holidays and things that happened recently. I struggle day in day out to remember things, you ask me what I did last week and I probably wouldn’t be able to remember. I try and make and force myself to remember but it comes to no avail.
Have been beginning to sink again lately, my head is feeling smashed. Hazy, foggy and smashed headaches. Images are re appearing from when I was with “her”. They are turning into nightmares again.
I’m tired of having these diagnosis’, I’ve always said that they are not labels but today its starting to churn inside and drag me into agreeing with people who think that they are labels.
Writing in journals is my way of trying to get things out of my head. It does get it written down but it never leaves my head. I learnt this from an early stage of writing. They are never endly in my head, a never ending commentary of s**t passing through my head but never leaving just bouncing around in there. They won’t disappear from my head and moments like now they are going crazy and are crazily loud. They are the main reason that my head was and continues to be totally f****d up. Non-stop images going around my head, never ending spinning, images from the news. Like that one from the independent of when that little boy was found washed up face down in the sand. It’s a sadness that washes through me and ill forget it and then it will suddenly pop back up into my head.
People say that the weather either affects their moods or can control their mood. For me none of this happen for me. My mind controls my mood, but that is what bipolar 2 does to you. Your mood changes are 99% down rather than having highs. I wake up some morning high and with loads of energy other days or should I say most days I have to drag my arse out of bed.
The only weekly trigger I have is a Monday as I’m on my own all day, but it also does me some good as I can then have time on my own but I still hate it. I’ll start off ok because I usually end up forgetting that I am going to be on my own, then when my other half doesn’t come back from dropping our daughters off at school then that’s when I remember. Everything gets done first thing in morning the I sit and watch something on tv. But then I end up getting bored of it and try and find something to do and if I’ve been writing I sometimes end up faltering and not being able to write anymore.
Thinking of what could be there triggers for me is virtually impossible. There is actually only so much talking I can do when people want to talk about my mental health or anything to do with that or my past. To try and work out some of the triggers means that you would have to delve into my past and that would bring up more s**t then I need right now. Something like that would have to be done with a professional like a phycologist.
I am getting exhausted fighting these voices the are both currently still combined together and are so powerful together it’s unbelievable. So my current only way to deal with them is to keep as busy as I can be like I said before.