Well, I'm out. I'm free and out, finally. I look a mess, a total mess, although I feel a damn sight better than I have in a while. My arms, which I clawed to buggery over the last 4 weeks (I tried explaining myself and my marks to a nurse, through the analogy of a battery hen pecking its feathers out, but she didn't get me and I remembered how full of shit I am), are covered in a zig-zag of purple welts, interspersed with thick, black scabs. Maybe it wouldn't look so bad if I wasn't so fair, but my skin is so pale that any little mark, be it pen or dirt (no matter what I'm doing, I tend to manage to get really grubby, I think it's a northern thing. Or maybe a growing-up-on-a-council-estate thing. But whatever; I always, always, always look grimy) or, like now, superficial scratches that barely broke the surface, are like a flashing neon sign.
It's not just the marks I made deliberately- if deliberately is the right word, the right sentiment, given that I was so feral- there's also the dire condition of my hair, the dullness of the skin even that which is not marked and the shrunken look of my body. I'm not desperately underweight, but because I didn't eat or drink for the first 3 weeks or so of my incarceration, my weight dropped too quickly and I look like I zipped my skin off, jumped into a hot tumble drier and then zipped the skin back on. The not eating? Not summat I'd recommend, incidentally. Besides the way not eating seems to strip you of some level of humanity, preventing independent thought and stripping you to the state of an animal in a famine, I ended up having an NG tube (those are the ones that go up your nose and down to your stomach, to feed you forcibly) put in a few days after I'd managed to break my nose and the bruises from all the IVs I had to have are only just fading. I look a state.
I need to take some time to get myself back together. I don't feel TOO BAD mentally, I've been put on a new anti-depressant and I'm starting to feel the effects, but physically I'm tired. I'm exhausted. All whilst I was in hospital, they were telling me I needed to learn to relax, that was key amongst all my problems. And as loathe as I am to admit it (I need to stop thinking of mental health staff as The Enemy, my adult sense knows that. But together my mental disorders and my childlike indignation at being forcibly detained are struggling to come to terms with this right now, after the weeks of projecting anger away from the diseased parts of my being and on to the people charged with my care), I do need to learn to relax. I think the next few days are key somehow. How I handle myself now, the week post-release, is going to determine at least how the 6 weeks before i go back to Essex for my second year of university. I don't need to gain or lose weight, instead I need to healthily maintain. 1500 calories, no vomiting, at least some activity a day- that needs to be the aim, I think. We'll see.