It feels like day 40. Now I have no running water in my room. But I did discover that there is a psychology group I can go to, so I have received something almost resembling 45 minutes of ‘treatment’ today.
I chatted with a friend this morning who was admitted to a similar facility earlier in the year. She told me I needed to track down my assigned nurse (I didn’t realise I had one) to ask about activities and treatment. It was sound advice. The options today were circuit training, which I’m not well enough to do, nail painting, which I am not ill enough to want to do, and a psychoeducational group on acceptance.
Having had private treatment before, I guess I am accustomed to group being stimulating and useful. My expectations were possibly a bit unrealistic. This was different. It was pitched in terms of acceptance being an incredibly complicated and difficult notion to understand and we watched a cartoon with an analogy about an unwanted party guest. When the man facilitating the session asked what we should do with the unwanted guest, the answer he wanted was, ‘allow him in and tolerate him – don’t let him ruin the party’.
The answer given by one of my peers was ‘kick him out and take turns guarding the door so he can’t get back in’. This was said with such absolute earnest and disappointed the facilitator so deeply that I found it very hard not to laugh. That guy has a tough gig.
Anyway that killed some time. I am trying not to get wound up about the plumbing situation, because I know there are a lot of wards like this that don’t provide the relative luxury of private bathrooms. But the communal one is absolutely revolting. I’m not exaggerating. It’s like a bus station toilet. My wife was here for 5 hours on Sunday and didn’t drink anything because she didn’t want to have to use it.
The main thing I can’t tolerate about this place is the dirt. I think I would feel so much better if I could get properly clean, and sleep in a clean bed. Actually I think I would feel a whole lot better if I could get some proper sleep at all. I got about 3 hours of very interrupted sleep last night.
That’s not only because of the noise and the bright lighting. It’s because as soon as I try to shut down, I start ruminating on the events of last Wednesday. Then I get really panicky and angry with myself and a load of quite traumatic feelings come up for me.
I’ve shocked myself. I don’t think I fully realised I might actually genuinely try to commit suicide. All the ‘what ifs’ drive me crazy at night and nothing stops them cycling through my thoughts. And I have these patchy, fragmented memories of that night; hallucinating in the dark that I was going to be eaten by a huge vicious dog, paramedics, panic and disorientation. I know I won’t ever get a complete narrative memory of what happened, because Lorazepam in that quantity blacks you out. That is very unsettling.
This is an awful lot to process, and I have a great deal of time without distraction or conversation in here. On top of that, being awake most of the night with it all churning around is an added torment. If the thought of swallowing a pill didn’t make me feel so sick I would get a Zopiclone and knock myself out. But at the moment I can’t even look at a tablet. Being awake and stressed is still the better option.
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Hang in there Laura! ❤️
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I suppose the cartoon gave additional context for the discussion? If it was left completely open then the thing that occurred to me immediately was that people’s past experiences are going to influence what comes to mind when they think of “unwanted party guest”, and given the likelihood of past trauma in any group of female psych patients, that will give a very different slant to the discussion than if you brought it up in a group of say, office workers with mild anxiety problems. If the unwanted party guest was “the guy who groped you at at last year’s party and who your friend thinks spiked her drink” as opposed to “the annoying woman at work who never brings food to share and tells mean jokes” I’d totally be on side with the the person who wanted to lock them out and guard the door! 🙂
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Sending you love and hugs and huge cups of Italian espresso x
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