There has been a bit of a gap since my last post so I thought that, despite having no theme in mind, I should have a go this afternoon.
If you read my previous post, Never Ending Cycles, you’ll know that my GP had written to my care team to describe my feelings of disheartenment, dissatisfaction and my wish to be discharged from MH services.
Well I’ve seen my therapist since then and, although she never made reference to any correspondence from my GP, it was pretty clear that our session was centred around the sentiment that I imagine was conveyed within said letter.
We spent a lot of time talking about the pattern of destructive behaviour in which I am currently embroiled and what we might do to alleviate that, even a little.
We agreed that, given the state of my mental health right now, it would be both unrealistic and irresponsible for the CMHT to discharge me – particularly since I don’t receive much in the way of emotional support from people at home. My therapist explained that she asks only that I take on board what we discuss each time we meet and ‘try’ to implement some changes. If I can do that, she will work with me for as long as it takes.
We talked about my total inability to direct any compassion inwards despite being able to find it in me to support and encourage others, independent of their circumstances (we even discussed whether Hitler might deserve any compassion – but only after she assured me that she wouldn’t document my thoughts on this matter!). I disclosed that I hate the practice nurses being kind, caring and even apologetic if they happen to cause me any discomfort. Why should they care about hurting me, when I am taking up so much of their time with my self-inflicted injuries? I have certainly never knowingly caused anyone any pain or given myself reason to validate these thoughts, so have no idea what’s driving them. I suppose these feelings of guilt, self-loathing, and the notion that I am undeserving of compassion are a discussion for another time…now there’s something to look forward to!
I have to admit to being slightly relieved at having had such an open discussion and am grateful to my GP for enabling that. I’m pretty sure most of these troubling thoughts and feelings would still be festering were it not for his willingness to get involved, be proactive and help me.
So what’s next? We’ve scheduled a session that will include my CPN, so that we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. This may help when I call the Duty Service, in the sense that the people on the other end of the phone will be more aware of what does and doesn’t help when I’m distressed.
I have to try and be a bit more vigilant around how I’m feeling at certain times and recognise the presence of intrusive thoughts before they have a chance to put me into my threat system, making me less likely to be able to overcome them. I have a list of things that might help me with this – calling the Duty Service or my CPN, distraction (known in psychology as ‘avoidance’) and self-soothing techniques, which definitely don’t come easy (I recently told a friend that I’d most likely been a bumble bee in a previous life due to my complete inability to stop buzzing, metaphorically speaking, around!).
I have no idea if I will manage any of this in the coming days and weeks but, as my therapist said, I have to try.