On the 25th February, 2016 I was admitted to an Acute Mental Health Unit in Queensland Australia. I spent three weeks in hospital and have been back at home for about four weeks.
I have decided after launching my website, earlier this year, that I would start writing again and share this experience, the treatment and day to day of what really happens when you finally fall down the rabbit hole and are sitting front and center at the Mad Hatters Tea Party.
Did I see this stay in hospital coming? Not in black and white, but I knew for sure one day it would come. Everything inside me was melting down, I could feel it, and I was like an octopus with a limb in every direction trying to hold my life together. But my past was catching up to me, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and year by year.
I have run all my life. I have run to the detriment of my health, my happiness, my financial situation, I have run. That’s how I cope. That’s what I do.
Fight or flight.
I had no fight in me. So into the quagmire of relationships, jobs, homes and friendships I dived.
My twisted, distorted, painful past has been following me from pillar to post, and when I was younger I could feel its dark hands wrapping around my ankles and pulling me down. I would run…run as fast as I could and as far as my money could take me…and start again…and start again…and again.
But I am so tired of running, I just can’t run anymore. So now it’s time to fight.
However, with a past like mine, it’s no wonder that I have a dire level of emotional dysfunction. I am slowly accumulating a long list of letters behind my name.
The older I get, the longer the list seems to grow. Or maybe it’s the fact that this is the first time I have been properly diagnosed in my life…and knowledge is definitely power.
If there is one thing that the past couple of months have taught me, it is the fact that my brain was hardwired in Hell.
My parents were psychopaths. I didn’t learn any life skills from them, and what a relief that was! I am grateful that I am not a Monster.
I taught myself how to survive, how to love, and how to cope.
Am I afraid of what lies ahead of me? You bet your life I am! I am more afraid of what we have yet to find. What if I don’t know or like who I am on the other side of this? Or just maybe I will love who I am.
One thing I feel deep down, is my need to be kind and love those around me. So I know with this mindset I move forward and stop fearing the looming freight train that is my past. My past has caught up to me, however, I am still here, I’m still alive, and I haven’t run.
Being home from hospital has been unsettling for me, but I have a strong support network in place now, something I have never had before.
My binge eating, self harm and self loathing are at an all time high. Self control…is long gone. I just keep it together day to day, and yes at times hour by hour, but I have learned a new coping skill in hospital. When my struggle turns into the hour by hour mode, I now know and take extra medication.
Are pills the answer to my problems? Of course they aren’t, but for right now if extra medication gets me through the day, I have to take it. The other choices I have are too dark and damaging to even consider.
As I mentioned before I have a new support system in place, since my hospitalisation. I now have a social worker, another psychologist and another psychiatrist. They are in contact with me every couple of days on the phone and I have one or two meetings with them at their office.
Later today I am meeting with my new psychologist and she will be signing me up for a course called Creative Coping. This is a six month course and at this point I will take any help, for I am just barely getting the day to day done.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t even make it to the shower yesterday. I just didn’t care and I didn’t have the energy. I am told that not having a shower is not the end of the world…but for me…well it is or it used to be.
The Creative Coping course is once a week for six months and when I have finished that I then move onto DBT – Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. This is a twelve month course which sounds pretty intense, but I need to learn new ways, to manage my life, and my past.
Nearly everything I have learned is self taught and I have been going through life, holding things together with a mixture of bandaids and bandages.
So in the spirit in which My Big Fat Lie was intended, I am sharing my Mental Health Care and Plan with you. I will write when I can, will share what I learn and use the most respectful words I know to share my story with you.
Its time I took some of my own advice and be kind to myself. As I have stated before this is my story, no better or worse than yours, but in the middle of the perfect storm I am grateful to be able to write.
I have learned that I can’t do this all by myself. I acknowledge that I have been at war with myself for so long. I don’t know how to make peace. So I have decided to embrace the help and support that is being offered to me. All I know for sure at this point is that whatever I have in the past…it does not work here in my everyday.
So it’s time for this old dog to learn some new tricks.
Be Kind To Yourself,
Love Big Fat Dee