It started on Thursday, maybe even the day before. I was spiralling uncontrollably and barely managed to get to my appointment with V. So much of my memory of that is now tinged with a veil of darkness. I wasn't myself. My brain was raging against me. I sought refuge in seeing V, but even that was compromised - the fear kept me from staying, I kept trying to run away.
I entered the high needs unit crying hysterically - definately not one of my proudest moments. They forced meds on me to calm me down.
My progress through the system was slow because of the misfortune of entering it on a Thursday. Friday was too soon to discharge me, so I had to resign myself to being in there all weekend. On Friday night I did push to be allowed to go over to the open ward on the other side of the doors after 8pm when they locked the main doors. Something they call "integration" when someone on the locked unit was allowed time on the open side gradually to assimilate them.
Saturday morning was torture. It was a slow burning process. I didn't know what to do with the noise in my head. But I did ask the registrar if I could be allowed a room on the open side. The registrar was a petite east indian lady who turned out to be very nice. She said yes. So after lunch, I was assigned a room on the open side. That was a relief. All of a sudden I had options - I could go to the women's TV lounge, or stay in the common room/kitchen area, or hide in my room where I had all the privacy in the world.
My manager came to see me on Sunday. I had been pushing for a leave pass, but was told I had to be escorted on leave. So the timing was great when my manager said she would escort me home to pick up a few things. I didn't really need anything - I just wanted to get out, no matter how brief and I certainly didn't care whether I had to be escorted or not.
In the afternoon, I again managed to get out when my nurse escorted me around the block for a walk.
I was hoping to be discharged on Monday, but was disappointed to find out that the doctor was too busy seeing outpatients to see me. So I "negotiated" for an 8 hour leave pass to go into work. I really needed to do that though, as my manager was fully expecting them to release me and there were a few urgent matters I had to resolve to move things along and everyone was waiting for my sign off.
At work, I spent over an hour trying to do 3 simple tasks which normally would have taken me 15 mins to complete. My brain was still fuzzy from all the drugs they had given me.
On Tuesday I was finally assessed again - it was Day 5, and the MH Act would have expired. They had the option of either discharging me or certifying me for another 2 weeks. Fortunately they discharged me. And I saw V immediately after leaving the ward.
The doctor signed a medical certificate for me to have the rest of the week off, so since Tuesday, I've been home, puttering around, trying to find my footing back in a world which recently tilted off its axis. I checked in at work on Tuesday as I felt bad being away when things were so hectic. But mostly I've just been trying to organise myself back into my routines.
During this previous stay in the locked unit, I'd been very anxious and restless. I found it hard to sit for any period of time. I paced a lot. I found myself trying to catch my breath. I was battling my demon thoughts. Nothing seemed to soothe me. It was also difficult to comprehend how low I'd come and how this was my second admission to the locked unit in 3 weeks.
But I'm better now. It's been good having a few days off work. I return to work on Monday and I'm not fearful of that. I believe I can manage. I see my keyworker and V later today.