So last week....
Coming off a bad weekend, I called V on Monday when things got way out of my control. I thought she would send the crisis team around - and it would not have been my preference as I have a general mistrust of them. But no, V said she would come over, with a case worker I'd worked with before (my case worker was away for the week).
I guess answering the door with a knife in my hand was not the smartest thing I've done, but then again, I've done enough stupid things to know that I will foolishly keep doing these things... as long as I am scared, and I was - terrified.
V told me in a firm but gentle voice to take the knife into the kitchen and leave it there. As scared as I was, I would have done anything for someone who spoke to me in that kind of tone.
I didn't want to leave the house, of course. But V somehow managed to talk me into putting on my shoes and going along with them to the clinic where V had scheduled me to see the crisis doctor. I changed my mind over and over again in those brief moments - wanting desperately to feel safe and at the same time wanting desperately to run away. I got onto the road, but there were no cars. One may have been approaching me when V and the case worker pulled me off.
V waited with me as I waited for the crisis doctor. I tried to leave several times. V called security on me, which left me feeling betrayed - but looking back, I see why she had to. I wept raggedly at one point, after being manhandled by the security guy.
I was at the clinic for several hours, I think. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I couldn't understand why people thought I should be put into the hospital. All I wanted was to go home and curl up into a fetal ball in a dark corner of my closet. Knowing that that was something I would do, and thus putting me into hospital was really a compassionate act on V's part.
But because I was uncoorperative, I was put on the Mental Health Act and assigned to a room in the locked unit.
V visited me the next day at the locked unit. I was already gradually coming out of my shell after a really good night's sleep. I had gone several days before without sleep - and I think the moment I landed in the locked ward, I must have realised, if only subconsciously, that I was SAFE, and therefore COULD allow myself to fall asleep, then I pretty much let go and slept for a good 12 hours or so.
They didn't transfer me into the open unit until lunchtime Wednesday. I was so glad to be out. The locked unit was really claustrophobic and there was not much privacy even though each person had their own room and an ensuite bathroom. There was basically just a small lounge area with a TV inside a locked cupboard, and all the other patients wuld gather there if they were not pacing the floor.
There was a young guy there who muttered much to himself, and an older guy who talked a lot and wouldn't shut up. There was also another older guy who was locked down in his room/cell throughout the time I was there. He would scream and bang on the door if he wasn't sleeping. I felt really sad for him. Who knows what demons haunt him.
I spoke with work several times on the phone while I was in hospital to keep them updated - my manager is supportive and understanding. She pretty much told me to take the whole week off, so that was less pressure on me to get back into things before I was really ready.
So over the weekend, I did some movie-therapy and retail therapy (two tops, one pair of jeans, a Bon Jovi CD amongst other stuff).
Basically I just tried to settle back into my life and tried to learn to trust myself and my brain again. I can't imagine anything more cruel than the betrayal of your own mind. And always, after each episode, I seem to need to re examine myself - where I am, where I was, where I want to be. The most simple things of daily life need to be relearnt and refamiliarised with. I needed to go into a shopping mall and be OK with being around people. I needed to carry out a simple purchase transaction and trust I will do all the right things (smile at cashier, hand over credit card, punch in right password). I needed to drive my car and know that I will be a safe driver. All the things that are so simple and things to which I give no thought of any other time.
Yesterday, I spent the day reorganising my wardrobe - I threw out stuff I never wear (anymore) and stacked (and labeled!) or hung them by category (Cotton T Shirts, V-neck sweaters, turtle necks, cotton long sleeves, etc.). I also cleared out my hot water cupboard which had lots of junk in it. I threw out what I could and boxed the rest of them into neatly labeled boxes (there were two shoeboxes called "My Junk"). If someone entered my house and looked into my cabinets and wardrobe, they would no doubt conclude that I am a neat freak or someone with OCD. But at the end of the day, I guess I did it because it gave me a sense of control over my life. I can't always clear the emotional and mental clutter in my brain, but I can damn well clear my hot water cupboard and wardrobe!
Yes, I am OK. Otherwise I am at least on my way to being OK. So thanks for asking.