Posts Tagged ‘supported housing’

>I don’t know?

>I had my evil ENT appointment earlier. I did have to have the horrible tube with a camera down my nose/throat again, which was hideous again. My nose is apparently very narrow at the back, which makes it more painful. When it is actually down there it isn’t too bad, but getting it in is bloody painful, even though you have some squirts of this numbing stuff first. But the doctor was very nice and friendly and understanding (and quite cute actually!) and did apologise whilst doing it – he said he always feels like he is torturing people when he does it! So yes, it hurt, but at least it is out of the way. Although my nose still hurts, and my eye on that side feels weird too. As I expected, nothing has changed since the last time I had it done, but I had to see ENT again before the voice therapy people would see me. Basically my vocal cords aren’t meeting properly, and are bowing, and he said they should be able to give me exercised to do that will strengthen the muscles and get them back to normal. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long to see them, but who knows with the NHS!

I have heard about the auditions. I was offered the part I auditioned for on monday, which is quite nice, as although it isn’t an enormous part, it is quite a nice part, and quite a few girls were auditioning for it, and I have never done anything with that group before, so it was nice to be cast. Amateur groups are oftten pretty cliquey and give the parts to people who have done lots of shows with them before etc, so it is nice to have found a group that just give the parts to the best people auditioninng, rather than the ones who have done most shows, or whose mother is on the audition panel or something! I didn’t get the part I wanted in the other show, which is a shame, because I would rather have done that part (bigger part, and a really great comedy role), but on the other hand it is probably as well, because I had told the first group that I wasn’t interested in being in the ensemble, and that I would only do it if I got the part, so it then wouldn’t have looked very good if I had then turned down the part after getting it! The thing that frustrates me about the part that I didn’t get though, is that I should have got it. The reason I didn’t was because they didn’t have a good enough guy of a suitable age to play opposite me, so they had to cast a much older guy, who was then too old for me to play opposite, and so they then had to cast an older female. So that was frustrating, because the director told me that I would have had the part if they had had a guy to play against me. But never mind. These things happen. It gives me a chance to do a show with a new group and meet new people etc, and that is always a good thing. I am a bit concerned I have taken on too much though… I wasn’t actually expecting to get the part I went for in either show, and I have already said I will do Miranda in The Tempest, so I now have that (on in the last week of July), my ballet classes 2 nights a week, also until late July (summer holiday then), and now the musical (not on until October, but rehearsals start next week). That basically means I will end up being out pretty much every night, as well as having lots of lines to learn. Oh, and I also have to do 1 more performance of the play that I was in a few weeks ago, as it is entered in a drama festival. Luckily I will only have 1 rehearsal for that, just to check we all still know what we are doing, and then the performance, but it is another committment, although it will be over in 2 weeks. I have to admit that I am feeling slightly pressured and stressed, and wondering if I shouldn’t have tried to do so much, but I suppose I will just have to see how it goes. I am never sure whether committments are a good thing for me or not. I often end up resenting them, and getting very stressed out by them, but on the other hand they sometimes keep me going, because once I have committed to something I really try hard to see it through, particularly if it is something that would mean letting other people down. I guess I will just have to see how it all goes, and if I have a really bad patch or everything is getting too much for me then I will have to try and find a way to cut down on things or make it more manageable.

I wish I could feel happy or enthusiastic about things. Despite having all this stuff going on, I still just have constant thoughts about killing myself. I don’t feel like I am at a high risk of acting on it or anything. But the thoughts are still there all the time. That I don’t want to be alive. That I want to die. That nothing is worth it. That things will never change. That everyone would be better off without me. That I should have killed myself years ago.

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>L arrived bright and early this morning. She was bright anyway. And it was early. I was tired and still in my PJs, but I was out of bed so she was very impressed. I asked if she had been planning to come and drag me out of bed if I wasn’t up and she said not to put it past her. I think she would actually. Anyway, she took me to see the supported housing and someone gave us a tour of the place.

The vibe of it was very like a hostel or something. Very young – everyone I saw looked under 30. Very bright and colourful etc. There was a games room with a pool table and TV with various game things, and a computer with internet and a karaoke machine (!!). Then there was a TV room next door, which apparently has Sky. There was a garden and smoking area etc, but I don’t smoke, and an art room, and a little gym with a treadmill and cross trainer and weights machine things etc. A laundry room with a couple of washing machines and a tumble dryer. There was a really massive kitchen/dining thing. It was like 2 kitchens really – the room was really long and there was a kitchen at each end, and then 2 big tables with chairs in the middle. Apparently everyone has a cupboard that locks to keep their stuff in, and then fridge space etc – there seemed like plenty of room. The bedroom I saw was quite nice. Apparently it was one of the smaller ones, but it was a reasonable size, and all of the rooms have ensuite shower rooms. They have furniture – bed, desk and chair, wardrobe and chest of drawers, but they said you can keep as much or little of that as you want. There are 12 rooms. It seemed fairly male dominated – there are currently only 3 girls. It seems like you get a lot of support. They come up with a plan of what you will be doing on a daily basis and what things you need help with, for example if you need help with cooking then that goes on there, or if you need help with your medication or shopping or whatever then they support you with it. There is always a member of staff available through the night etc.

I am not really sure how I feel about it at the moment. My biggest concern would be sharing a kitchen. I am not sure if I could cope with that. I wouldn’t want to use anything that other people used. I also wouldn’t go in there if I thought it might be dirty etc, and that could be problematic. I am a bit neurotic about cleanliness outside of my house, and even at home I am paranoid about what things have been used for etc. So I suppose the kitchen situation would be what I would find most difficult to deal with. I think I would also find it hard being around people so much more than I am now, but I suppose that is something that I should get used to really, as I know I probably spend too much time on my own at the moment. I think I also have difficulty seeing myself as needing supported accommodation like that. It just seems like something for people who are really ill, and I can’t think of myself like that. On the other hand, I know that I would need quite a lot of support if I wasn’t living at home. I think the time scale kind of freaks me out too. They said people stay there up to 2 years, and then there are 6 move on flats, so people either move into those, or they support them in finding somewhere in the community. I can’t cope with the concept of being ill, or having problems that need support for another 2 years. It freaks me out. I feel like I need to be better now, or really soon, or I just can’t cope. There is no point in having a life unless I am better now. Or really soon.

I really really hate thinking about the future. I am feeling really stressed and tense about everything. I am stressing about the summer course in America. I absolutely have to make a decision about it and I just can’t. I don’t remember the last time I had a month when I felt fairly stable the whole time. So why do I think I could have a stable month in another country, where I have absolutely no support, and would be working hard. Plus things like cooking and just looking after myself generally. There would be nobody to help me, either practically or emotionally. Unless I felt a hundred times better than I am at the moment then there is just no way at all that I could cope. There is also the added problem that I really don’t know how my voice would cope – I haven’t sung properly for over a year because of the problems with my voice, so singing a lot is probably a pretty bad idea. There is also the issue of cost. I have been lucky and been allocated some funding for the course, so it is a lot cheaper than it would have been otherwise, but it is still a lot of money, and by the time I have added on other costs such as flights and travel and food over there, and a couple of nights accommodation first to get rid of jet lag that is already a lot of money. And then I was intending to spend some time in New York after with a friend, as I have always wanted to go to New York, and so it would seem silly to not spend some time there when I would be flying home from there anyway. So basically the whole thing would cost me in excess of £2000. I do have that money, because I am a hoarder with money, and have saved my whole life, but I absolutely cannot afford to waste it. Which puts quite a lot of pressure on this decision. If I pay for the course and flights then that is immediately £1500, and if I was too ill to go then that would just be money down the drain. Thinking about it like this, the logical thing really seems to not go, and to reapply for next year if things are better by then. But if it gets to the summer and I would have been well enough to go then I will be really upset and frustrated with myself, and even if I know logically that I wouldn’t have been well enough to go, I will still beat myself up over it because that is what I do. It will be added to my list of failures. And people keep telling me what a fantastic opportunity it is, and what a great experience it would be, and that just makes me feel even more pressure. I really wish I hadn’t applied. I hate myself for always doing this. I always think too big, and end up getting stressed and frustrated and upset. I either back out of things and end up angry with myself for it, and thinking I am useless and pathetic, or I try and do it and end up getting ill. There are 2 occasions I have really tried to do something big and gone through with it – once was going to university, which landed me in hospital twice, and once trying to move part time to London to do a part time course, which resulted in me trying to kill myself. So I don’t have a great track record. Admittedly these things were different, in that they weren’t just for a month, but when I tried to do the course in London I spent 3 days crying, came home for the weekend, and tried to kill myself. So although it would have been more long term, I was only actually there for 3 days. God, I am so confused. I feel really stressed and overwhelmed.

I have spent hours writing this. Over 5 hours. I can’t concentrate. I am really struggling. I just feel like everything is getting on top of me. I am really feeling like I can’t cope. I suppose my dreadful sleep isn’t helping. And my mum still hasn’t picked up my Zopiclone. I am just having really strong suicidal thoughts. And it is really hard to think about the future when I don’t even want to be here by tomorrow. I want to overdose. I really don’t think I can cope. I don’t want to be here. I feel really exhausted.

I feel like things are never going to get better. I feel like my brain is all broken into lots and lots of little pieces, and nothing can put it back together. Like Humpty Dumpty. It is about 6 and a half years ago now that I was first given anti depressants and referred to the CMHT. I am only 23. That is a big percentage of my life. Over a quarter of my life. And I have had lots of different medications, but none seem to have helped much, and so they seem to have been given up on. And I have seen so many different people – Psychiatrists and Psychologists and CPNs and OTs and Social Workers and Support Workers. And none of it has helped. I feel as bad now as I have ever done. Maybe worse. And I just don’t see how things are going to get better. It feels impossible. I feel like I am too broken; my brain is too confused and scrambled up to ever sort out. I can’t believe that I am nearly 24 and I have achieved nothing with my life. There is so much I thought I would have done by now, and now if I manage to shower and get dressed then that day has to be seen as an achievement. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just cope like other people do? Things should have got better by now. If I was ever going to get better then I feel like I would have started to by now. Where do I go from here? Am I supposed to just accept that this is my life? Because I can’t do that. And I can’t see things changing. Which brings me back to the option of killing myself. Whichever way I look at things, it seems to be the best option. In fact, at the moment I don’t see any other options.

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>Since I have taken quite a few Zopiclone lately I decided I needed more to replenish my supplies, and so that I would have some to take to help me sleep. I rung my GP surgery yesterday. Dr O doesn’t work on a tuesday, which I thought was probably a good thing as she was unlikely to give me any. I asked to speak to a different GP, who I have known for years, but don’t ever see because I used to know him outside of the GP/patient relationship, and so feel a bit awkward talking to him about my mental health problems, plus I am more comfortable talking to women. Anyway, I thought I would be able to get him to prescribe some Zopiclone. When I rung they said he was out on home visits and they would ask him to call me before afternoon surgery. He didn’t ring back, I didn’t know why. I got a call from Dr O earlier today saying that the Dr hadn’t got the message to call me yesterday, so she was calling. I asked her about the Zopiclone, and somewhat suprisingly she agreed. She said she would give me 14 tablets, and to take one every other night so they would last a month. Since I need at least 2 to get any effect I thought they would probably last about a week, if that, but I decided not to push my luck and ask for more. But she then said she would want my mum to pick them up and dispense them because she didn’t trust me with them. I said that would be difficult because it would be hard for my mum to get to the pharmacy to pick them up, and I could pick them up that afternoon when I was with N. She asked me to promise that I wouldn’t overdose on them and said she was giving them to me to help on and not so that I could overdose on them, and that she would be really upset if I did that. I said I wouldn’t and that I just wanted to get some sleep. I justified this in my head by thinking that I wouldn’t use *these* Zopiclone to OD on, I would use the old ones, and I would just use these ones to get some sleep. Probably.

This afternoon I had my last ever appointment with N. I was seeing her at 2 and she hadn’t booked in anyone else for the afternoon so that we had a few hours. We went to a different town and wandered around the shops and that sat in Cafe Nero for a little while. On the way home I decided to pick up my prescription. I went into the pharmacy and asked for it, and the pharmacist stood looking at the script for a minute and then came over, looking a little awkward, and showed me a note that the GP had written on the script saying that it was only to be dispensed to my mum. He said he wasn’t really sure what to do as he wasn’t used to getting notes like that on prescriptions and would my mum be able to pick it up. I was fuming inside, and felt like a complete tit, but just said that my mum wouldn’t be able to get it today but that hopefully she would be able to get it tomorrow. It was a very awkward situation. I was embarrassed – I am 23 years old and I wasn’t allowed to pick up my own prescription, and he seemed embarrassed that it said not to give it to me. I underestimated my GP. I thought I had managed to persuade her that it was all fine, and I clearly hadn’t – she obviously wasn’t fooled. Dr O – 1, Bip – 0. I then had to go back to the car and tell N that I hadn’t been able to get my prescription. Tried to fob her off by saying it was a long story, but she asked why not so I then had to explain that my GP had written a note saying that my mum should pick them up. She seemed slightly confused and asked if my GP thought I was that at risk or if this was a regular thing, and I just said I didn’t know.

I am annoyed. Now I don’t get my Zopiclone how I want them. Unless I can persuade my mum to give them to me. Which I doubt will work. I get pissed off when my plans don’t work out right.

N dropped me off and I said goodbye to her, and gave her a card I had bought for her. I do feel a bit sad that I won’t be seeing her anymore, but I have had other endings that have been much more difficult and emotional. I suppose I know I still have L, and it is her that I really rely on, and who is my main support, and yes, who I am attached to. I am seeing her tomorrow. She is taking me to have a look at the housing that I talked about before. I guess at least then I will know what it is like, and be in a better position to judge if it is something I am at all interested in or not. She said she would pick me up just before 10. I said she was cruel and that I will still be unconscious. She said she was looking forward to seeing me bright eyed and bushy tailed. No chance! I am going to attempt not to mention the Zopiclone fiasco to her – I am not sure that she would be pleased I have managed to get more, as she knows that I have some and that I have been taking it fairly liberally.

Election day tomorrow! Come on the Greens! Really hoping the Tories don’t get a majority. I think it is unlikely, but I am slightly concerned…

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>I saw L. She said she had spoken to her manager as she felt I needed to see her more than once a week at the moment, and that he had given that the okay, so I am going to be seeing her twice a week for a while from next week. She said probably for 4 – 6 weeks and then we would review it. Nobody has ever seen me more than once a week before. Apart from when I have been in hospital, or under the crisis team, and that is a bit different. I have quite often had more than one appointment a week, for eg I usually see both L and N once a week, and in the past I saw my old GP, my CCO and a support worker all once a week. But not the same person more than once a week. I think it is a good thing. I am still really struggling a lot, and I would far far rather see L more often than be referred to the crisis team or something. Not that that was suggested, but I know some CCOs would do that rather than seeing someone more frequently themselves.

L also wants to take me to see some supported accomodation. I am not sure how I feel about that at the moment. Partly because of my complete inability to imagine the future I suppose. But also because I have always lived here. Apart from when I went away to uni, which didn’t last for long. Sometimes I am desperate to move out and get my own place, but I rely on my Mum for a lot. She does a lot for me. She is the person who will try and get me out of bed, and who will encourage me to shower and dress, and who persuades me to go to dance classes etc, and who gets most of my meals, and who looks after my medication when it is judged that I can’t be trusted with it etc etc. I am very reliant on her. Probably a lot more than I should be.

If my mum is away for any reason I end up self neglecting even more than I usually do. I don’t bother eating properly – I might grab something very quick like some crisps or a slice of bread or a bowl of cereal, but that is it. I think that is partly because of my eating problems – if my mum isn’t around it is a lot easier to restrict, so I often do, and partly because even if I am not restricting, I just don’t have the motivation to cook meals for myself. I suppose it is laziness really. I don’t know. It just seems pointless using up all that energy and effort on cooking a meal that I don’t even really want. But I am 23. I should be cooking my own meals. But I know I wouldn’t. I also don’t leave my bed without nagging. Again, I don’t see the point. The wall in my bedroom is just as good to stare at as the walls downstairs, and I have the added bonus of being cozy and comfortable in my bed. And not having to see anyone. But apparently this is not a good thing. L says I need to spend more time around people. It is apparently not good to be on my own, in my bedroom for 23+ hours a day. But I find it hard being around people. I feel like I have to put on a happy mask all the time, and I find that exhausting. It is easier to just be on my own. Then I can stare at the wall in peace.

My mum also keeps me safe to a large extent, although I doubt she even knows it. A lot of the time I don’t attempt suicide because I don’t want to think of her finding me, like she has on other occasions. Finding someone after a suicide attempt must be hard. It would be particularly hard if it was a successful attempt, but even with an unsuccessful attempt I think it would be harder to be the one who found the person than it would to be told that the person was in hospital following an attempt. I don’t want to put my mum through that again. I never have wanted to, but sometimes things have got too overwhelming and I haven’t seen another option.

So my mum does a lot for me. And I love her very much. But we also have a difficult relationship. The worse I am feeling the worse we get on, probably because I retreat more and more into myself and my room, and get very irritable and aggressive, and she gets frustrated. So we end up arguing. And shouting. And I get upset. And then I get more suicidal, because I think that the main person I am trying to live for would be better off without me. So that is difficult. And I often want to move out. I am 23. I feel like I should have my own place now, not still be living with my parents. Not relying on my parents to do everything for me. I often get frustrated living at home.

L first mentioned supported housing a month or 2 ago. She said she thought it would be good for me to live somewhere where I would be less isolated. I live in the middle of nowhere and don’t drive, and my parents are out at work every day, so as well as the time I choose to spend on my own, there is also a lot of enforced isolation. She said there was somewhere in the town, quite near the CMHT, where there were supported housing flats for people with MH problems, and maybe we could go and see them one day. She is now talking about different housing though. In a different town. She thinks I need more support than the first ones would offer. At the second place there is someone there all the time, they are staffed overnight etc, not just in the daytime, and they offer higher levels of support. They also do various groups (I think social rather than therapy) that they encourage people to get involved with, whereas the first one just has support workers visiting. She said they tend to refer to the first place when people are in need of accomodation, or young people who want or need to move out of home etc, rather than because of their mental health needs as such. Obviously it is for people with mental health problems, but they aren’t referred there primarily for the support. The second place is for people who are more unwell, who need more support to live on their own.

I am not sure how I feel about that. I have trouble accepting that I am unwell sometimes. I feel like I should just pull myself together and be ‘normal’, or I wonder if I am making it all up and there is nothing wrong with me at all and I am just pretending. I know I am not pretending really. I know how bad I feel. But I feel like I must be misleading people in some way for them to think I am ill. I find it quite difficult to get my head around at times. I think of supported housing as for people who are really ill. People who have proper mental health problems. People who have reasons for being ill. I don’t. I have no reason to feel the way I do. So maybe I don’t actually have mental health problems. Maybe I am just pathetic and don’t cope with life well.

Part of me wants her to change her mind again and think I am well enough for the first place. Because there is nothing wrong with me. But I am not sure how I would cope. Without my mum, living somewhere without that much support I would probably completely self neglect. And I would probably end up even more isolated than I am here, which would kind of defeat the purpose. I am not sure if I would bother with food or showering or getting out of bed or anything. I don’t bother much as it is – I only get dressed if I have to leave the house, and that usually isn’t very often. So from that point of view maybe the second place would be better. But I don’t want to be ill. She said people stay there up to 2 years, and then they help you find less supported accomodation, or just a normal rental. Does that mean I am going to be like this for another 2 years or more? I can’t cope with that. I am meant to be better by now. Definitely better within the next 6 months. Totally fine by this time next year. I can’t feel like this for another 2 years. I have already wasted over 6 years of my life on this. If I am going to have a life, ie not kill myself, I can’t afford to spend another 2 years like this. I don’t have time. I need to get on with things. Maybe I should just get a job and move to London. Stop all this illness stuff.

I just want to kill myself. I don’t want to be here. Everything feels too hard. I don’t want the play or dance classes or summer courses or housing or anything else. I just want to die. I can’t cope. It wasn’t meant to be like this.

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