Let there be light

I sucked in air with all my might

Like I was trying to light a fire in all my cells

Make your blood and sweat your sacrifice, desire your holy flame

And shout at full volume:

“Let there be light”

Intro song to Haikyu!! Season 3 (anime series about a volleyball team)

I’m still here. Still carrying on. Still dealing with OCD and anxiety. Still have days when I wonder if the effort is worth it.

I think it is. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

After taking a break from running (I overdid it and hurt my knees), I’m trying again, but this time using the NHS “Couch to 5k” app to pace myself better, I’m on week 3, so far so good…

My care coordinator is changing jobs so I’ll have a new care coordinator (I’ve already been told who it will be, its a CPN I like). I’ll miss my old care coordinator.

I think that’s everything.

Coping, just about

In the last few days I’ve set some personal records for time spent running (not for time spent walking though) – feeling anxious is a strong motivator to run/walk a lot more than usual.

For me running is a way to forget how I feel. The sense of euphoria after running makes it feel worth it, as how awful I felt beforehand is just gone.

I don’t always get the sense of euphoria though. Often running/walking is just a way to burn time without negative consequences – although while writing this post I’ve come to the conclusion that I need new running trainers – 360 miles of use (mostly walking, as I don’t keep multiple pairs of shoes…) and my legs aching today and yesterday seems to indicate they’re at their limit.

Today running wasn’t enough to escape how I felt. At the end of the day (19:00) I was agitated. I did identify that I was at the limit (distractions were not working) of what safe (not self-harm) coping strategies were working. I used a (prescribed medication, PRN), sedative that calmed me down enough to use distractions to cope. Using medication is something to try when multiple coping strategies have failed, not as a first option.

For me not coping is any of:

  • Wanting to self-harm
  • Melting down in tears
  • Persistent agitation/not settling down on any task

Melting down in tears I usually let happen as I tend to feel better afterwards.

When struggling to cope distraction is the first strategy. Speaking to someone (about something irrelevant) is (for me) the next best option. Using medication works in the rare instances it’s used, but as it doesn’t tend to address whatever is stressing me out it isn’t a silver bullet – it works best when I calm down enough to resolve what is actually bothering me.

For me “only just coping” means I’ve had to use medication to cope, which is what happened today.

Going to sleep now, so looking forward to a better tomorrow 🙂

I’m not OK

Trigger Warning: This post contains feelings and thoughts about self-harm.

I don’t feel able to say that.

I have wanted to cut myself, but stopped before I did it.

I’ve had thoughts of overdosing, but haven’t done it.

I feel frustrated at my own uselessness.

I feel not great.

I should probably telephone my care coordinator, but I feel like I’m not meant to do that, and I’m only meant to need my care co when they call me. It doesn’t matter that I have been told repeatedly to call them if I don’t feel great, it still feels wrong.

I did call them (as I was writing this post) – they’re in a meeting at the moment so unavailable.

I still don’t feel great.

Waiting for sleep

This evening I didn’t have anything that needed to be done.

I didn’t have any mistakes to rectify.

I’m not even sure why I exist when there’s nothing left to do.

There’s things I could do. Things that would matter. Things that are optional.

I have not done them however. I don’t see the point. I am just waiting for it to be time to sleep.

So my day can start again. So I can have mundane tasks I haven’t done yet. So I’m not limited by feelings of fatigue. So I don’t have an existential crisis. So I’m more than I could be today.

Running, again

Is exhilarating.

Is freeing.

Is a release.

Is the best.

Recently my trainers started to fall apart, so my body ached too much to run in them, got new trainers and it feels like I’m running on air.

I’m back in my flat. Yay!

Getting the trainers was a unique experience, as normally going into a shop and trying on random items would be too contaminating for me to do. Not this time, being unable to run was so important that it was worth taking the risk. That, and I cheated a bit by using a sedative to make me less anxious.

I’m in a good mood 🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S. I’m not technically a runner, its more of a series of sprints rather than one long run.

Planning to move back to my flat, again

Last time this didn’t happen because I ended up going to a rehab unit instead (which ended up being an unsuitable place for me).

I’m anxious, which is to be expected. There’s a sensation of excitement about the change which (when my anxiety doesn’t dominate) makes everything seem like it will work out.

Excitement: More control over what I do

Anxiety: All the things I need to do to look after myself (eating, washing, …) that will have to do.

Positives: For the next few weeks at least I’ve got the home treatment team following me with extra support.

Negatives: The extra support won’t last forever.

Positive: Everything could work out 🙂

Negative: It might not.

Conclusion: Its not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out, but it’d be awesome if it did.

Leaving the rehab unit

I didn’t feel in control on the unit; was told by the staff to trust the staff and take the medication suggested, basically “take it”, and they then prescribed new medication after I said I didn’t want it. I’m already on medication, and haven’t even been on them long enough to know if my current meds are effective!

There is no way I was going to make myself endure another 7 days of isolation (no leave), so I left the premises, only to return 1.5 hours later and be told they had to search me and the isolation now had 14 days left (reset to the full time because I was off the premises).

I then left again, and slept in my flat overnight, before getting admitted to a psych ward because of my self-harm risk.

Leaving the unit gave me a sense of control that I had been missing from when I first arrived, however after returning to my flat I still felt that I didn’t have much control because of the lockdown making going out more stressful.

I don’t know how to restore the sense of control that I once had, but it feels like that is the only way to make me safe again.

Despondency

When it feels like nothing matters, my OCD seems to go away.

If nothing matters then why am I trying to keep things clean?

When nothing matters I seem to alternate feeling high (some kind of euphoria) and low (depressed).

The highs feeling disconnected, or like I’m viewing the world through a different lens.

The lows feeling like doing nothing at all, just shutting down.

I mean, why would I run when there’s nowhere to go?

What’s there to fight for when you’re trapped and being trapped seems like your best option?

Context

I’ve recently changed to a different unit, which (for the first 14 days) has no leave. Initially I’ve been able to touch most stuff – as I’m trapped, what else is there to lose from touching it?

The unit has a “no visitors other than staff” policy for people in the 14 day isolation – I don’t have Covid-19 and, as far as I know, I haven’t been exposed to it. This seems to mean (at least to the staff here) that my care coordinator isn’t allowed to see me, which is something my care co. is trying to fix.

Moving day; new unit and staff

Finally off the ward.

I’m in a rehab unit, basically a house with medical staff.

I’m in a 14 quarantine (separated from other patients, no leave, staff use PPE); I don’t have symptoms, but the health trust policy says I have to to protect the other patients and staff from Covid-19. I don’t really want to do it, but the being on the unit seems like good thing, so its worth trying to put up with it.

Being separated has the benefit that I’ve basically got a house to myself (for the time being). Being able to plug my laptop in is nice – allowed cables now (psych wards restrict access to cables for safety reasons).

The staff have been friendly.

My care coordinator has helped me calm down so that I don’t end up going missing from the unit (because of the leave policy) and explained some things that help me to the staff.

Its going to take time, and is anxiety provoking getting used to this location and the staff (as per usual for any new place). So far, mostly OK.

P.S. Only complaint is the leave policy, which I’ve covered my feelings on in multiple other posts, so not going to reiterate them.