Sunday, 26 August 2012

Ceriann swims.

In year 11, I decided that at college I wanted to take politics, history, psychology and philosophy. I know, I know, I was one English lit course away from being Miss Pretentious 2007. I dropped out of psychology after 3 lessons, when I realised they wanted me to piss about on graphs and that my teacher would be called Ana. I should have dropped philosophy really, I'm about as deep as a puddle, but stuck at it for a few reasons. The teacher fascinated me; he was Greek and it was so ridiculously easy to get him off on a tangent (those two facts aren't related, I don't think. But both fascinated me... this was before I went to uni and decided that Greek Cypriot girls are bitches), so I could make lessons about whatever I really wanted; sod the curriculum. I fancied one of my class mates, who later ended up my college boyfriend. And I met a teeny tiny girl with an opinion on everything (within the second week or so, when she asked, 'what the FUCK are you wearing, Condom?' I realised we'd be long time friends) and this incredible, I don't know, attitude and spark, that I wanted in on. It's three years since we left college and as predicted, we're still close. She lives in Sheffield and I live in Colchester and Scunthorpe, so geographically, it's not like we're constantly in each other's pockets, but that's just a test of true friendship.

Why that little story? This isn't just me waxing lyrical about a good friend of mine. I'll explain, let me just tell you summat else. When I met Ce, despite the blatancy of that attitude and spark, she was oblivious, which is insane because she's definitely among the sharper crayons. Ce was miserable. I was miserable. When we weren't on MSN fucking our lives, we were doing it by phone or in person. We felt cheated by health problems (which are in no way the same, but that's another thing I'll explain in a minute). We hated our lives, we hated our pasts and we weren't the biggest fans of ourselves, either.

Ce changed when she went to uni in 2009, the year before me 'cause of me taking that year out to get intensive treatment. And since the first time I saw her, after she'd started to get herself together, having been away for a few months and grown up and away from her past and her diagnosis, she's inspired me. So this is especially close to my heart now, when I'm struggling. Apart from what were basically issues created by her main diagnosis, her issues weren't mental. Ce was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which is brittle bone disease, to you and I. Neither of us had conventional childhoods, nor do we have conventional worries and problems now. Her problems were mostly physical and mine mostly mental, but we each had cross-over points, along with the hurdles and challenges unique to being different from your peers. But we, she especially, deals. She graduated with a first class degree and is now working for Sheffield's Children's Hospital charity.

In short, my girl has made it.

And now my tiny, massive inspiration is going one step forward. No, not one step... she's going 51.7 miles further, IN A SWIMMING POOL, for Sheffield's Children's Hospital. This isn't just a girl in a pool, this is the girl who I think about now whenever I'm triggered ('I'd rather be Ceriann than a ...' repeated whenever I see someone who seems more ill than I am/were), and who spurs me on. This is a girl swimming the distance between her house and Sheffield's Childrens Hospital, for the kids who have to travel even further to see the country's specialists in OI. She met a family who had travelled from DUBAI, to go to the hospital. This is a girl who faces her problems, her past, her aches and pains, and goes and kicks arse.

https://www.justgiving.com/Ceriann-Rush

Oh, and you can follow her journey on Twitter @ceriannswims :)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Slipping.

I deleted my last entry; it was evidence of why you shouldn't blog whilst drunk. If you read it, everything I said still stands, just in a hopefully slightly more eloquent and slightly less self-pitying way. If you didn't, you didn't miss a lot, just a rant about how sick I am of drinking so much and not eating or sleeping right. I feel like I'm on the verge of a depressive episode. That about sums it up.

I feel like I'm slipping. I'm losing perspective and an ability to judge what of which I'm feeling is real, and what isn't. Whether I have any worth, hope, future at all, whether I should bother trying to fight this one or just be done, when it always comes back around. God. I just feel like complete and utter shit, mentally, and it's making me feel the same physically, because I am losing grasp on all the basic human necessities. Nutrition, hydration, sleep... all going to pop. So I'm sitting here now in leggings, thick socks, a baggy top, a huge cardigan and a blanket, as if I am ill. I really, really need a cuppa, but I can't bring myself to walk to the kitchen. I'm feeling a bit pathetic.

I'm so anxious and paranoid, that it's making me flat and weapy. The other night I went to bed, took out my lenses and laid down in the dark, and just cried. Last night I took extra sedatives, before I could think enough to be paranoid about sleep. Ginge was so worried yesterday that she called up her doctor (mine is based in Essex) and got me temporarily registered and got me an emergency appointment for last night, but obviously there's not a lot he could do. I don't know what I need, but whatever it is, I know he'd not be able to help. Instead, he wrote me a prescription for some extra anxiety pills (I already take them twice a day, now I'm to take them three times, too), but that's about it.

Just got to keep it together until I see my GP and shrink next week, really. And then some after that, given that it's my birthday on the 1st of September, hahahaha.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

And so it begins.

The first wave of my friends going away for their Study Abroad year, began this week. That should have been me. THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME. I'm so jealous, that, I don't even know. I don't begrudge a single person and I'm not bitter towards those who got the opportunity. It's just... I've been dreaming of it since I was 19 and laid in hospital beds, surviving through the idea first of all of getting myself better enough to go to university and then better enough to go away, in my third year. No, since before then, I applied to go away in my third year when I did my original UCAS form, when I was 18. I've pretty much failed on both parts of the dream, given that I'm having to retake the year of uni from missing too much 'cause of my mental illness and subsequent million hospitalisations, and that even if I wasn't having to resit, I'm not well enough, stable enough, to go away.

And I feel so guilty, as if somewhere there exists a younger me who has been disappointed and failed by my actions over the last few years. I've failed at it all and to be completely honest I'm not sure whether I'll even stick out university long enough to graduate. I'm trying to go into the next academic year open minded, but at the same time I'll be looking and seeing what opportunities there might be for me, if I was to leave without a degree. I'm not committed. I'm committed to a particular career path, even to the idea of a politics degree in itself... but not to the University of Essex. I think because I feel so let down by how the university has treated me, especially over the last year; it's ruined my whole experience of it and I'm sick of being at the mercy of an organisation that's tried so hard to push me out, without legally being able to chuck me out. Although they may have found a way around that, since I have to present a doctor's note saying I'm fit to continue the course, and because of various reasons, I've not been able to get an appointment with my doctor until the 30th of this month, so haven't been able to do that yet. If there's a deadline, I've probably missed it. Another day, another stress.

I do have my appointments through for my next psychiatrist appointment too though, as well as my appointment with the alcohol service. Coincidentally all on the 30th, so it's going to be a laugh of a day, hahaha. I'm glad though, I can't wait to get on a path to getting more control of my life. I was thinking yesterday of all the things I can do now that I couldn't when my eating disorder was at its peak (I'll make a list at some point- for those suffering, you don't realise quite how much it really impacts until you get the opportunity to take it all back), and so I suppose there must be a similar list for alcohol dependency. I'll be fine.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Sleep.

I can't sleep.

I could sleep.

I mean, physically, I could. I could get up off the floor where I'm sitting, walk to the kitchen, take a pill or two, and be soundly asleep within the hour, probably sooner. I don't usually allow myself to think as sleep as optional, much like I try not to think as food as optional, either. I take my medications when I should, powerful shit that guarantees I'll sleep for a pretty big portion of any given 24 hours, because I know the effects of missing even just one or two anti-psychotics on me... I face the effects multiple times a day, whenever I have to carry anything with both hands and can't, because I can't move my left thumb, after an 'incident' almost two years ago, after missing a day or two of medication.

I took my medication tonight, but then I fought it, which isn't as bad as not having taken it at all, but still isn't too great because sleep deprivation hits me really, really hard. Harder than just being mardy the next day and needing a bit more caffeine before I bed down the following night. I've got used to being so drunk by the time I take my meds that I half pass out, as cliched as that is, but today I sort of drank all day (embarrassing. Very embarrassing. It's hard to explain the shame, but I have my appointment with the drug and alcohol service in a few weeks, so hopefully not a shame I'll be carrying too much longer. I'm never ashamed when I'm fighting; no matter what the demon, when I'm fighting, I have no shame), so had pretty much sobered up by the time I took my meds.

Sleep is a lot less threatening when I'm drunk. Sober? Horrifying. I'm petrified of sleep or, well, not sleep per se, but the threats that sleep leaves you defensive against. I like to be aware, on my toes, and alwaysalways poised for a fight. I'm quite little, but I can fight, I had to learn to, early on. I think it's part of why I drink so much, it's the only way I can relax slightly, whilst knowing that drunk I'm more feral and so just as able, if not more, to fight. I hate the thought of sleep and the changes that can take place completely without your permission, around you. Anybody could do, well, anything and I'd not in a fighting position. The irony is, of course, whenever I start to allow myself to view sleep as optional for one night, the fear grows and I'm likely to then stay awake for days on end, until my mental state declines, I end up in hospital, and they sedate the shit out of me- the fight lost somewhere before even the hospitalisation, where I'm even more paranoid and too afraid to do anything about it.

Sedated in hospital leaves me with less control of my environment than asleep at home, where the doors are locked and only my mum is in. In hospital, I usually wake up with different members of staff in my room, and other patients, strangers, only meters away. This is what I have to remember. A smaller sedative dose now than they'd inject me with in hospital and a few hours sleep tonight, could be what saves me from yet another snowball to admission.

Deep breath. God, it's gone 3am, I really need to pull this back, rescue this night, prevent the decline. Good night?

Friday, 10 August 2012

Lump.

They've found a lump in my eye and two opticians and an optometrist have decided it needs to be seen up at the hospital. I'm scared. It's in my left eye, which is pretty much useless anyway, but I'm scared. I looked at my face earlier, truly looked, and despite all I punish myself for what I see as its ugliness, I am terrified of it changing. Please don't let there be anything else wrong. The eye was operated on when I was 7 and since it was spotted as bad when I was 3, my vision has gradually deteriorated. Please, please let it be ok. Please just don't let me lose my vision in it; I struggle enough with my face as it is, and vain as this sounds; I can't take the change.

It's all so fucking ugly. I'm tired of shit going wrong. And I'm alone in Essex, going back north tomorrow, far sooner than planned, because I need my mum so much.

Monday, 6 August 2012

A review of a letter, part two.

I should have known it was all part of the game. You know how I wrote before about how the different NHS trusts (areas of the country) fight over government funding? Well bodies and services within the same trusts also have to fight over funding. I don't know if you've ever done this, but if you take a slice of bread and chuck it among a whatever-the-collective-noun-is of ducks, they all go on attack mode to get a bigger piece of it than the others, and that's the best description I can think of as to how the NHS works. There's no logic or strategy, besides eye on the prize and peckpeckpeck.

I was pretty damn angry last week, anyway. So I called up the therapy service and demanded to speak to my therapist. I was told he only worked there on Thursdays, but was assured they'd have him call me back on Thursday. Come Thursday, I was so set for a fight that I actually got out of bed at 9 (that's ridiculously early for me, hahahaha. I may not be a teenager, but my sleeping pattern doesn't seem fully aware of that fact) so that I wouldn't sleep through him calling me. And I waited. And then I waited some more. My usual appointment time is 12, so I was fully aware that he'd be free between 12 and 1 so did some of my best waiting during that period. No phone call. It got to about 2, half 2 and by then I was pissy to fuck, so called the service again, at which point the receptionist told me that he'd be in session constantly all day and would be until 5, and so wouldn't be able to talk to me. I wasn't letting him off that easy and told her that if she looked in the book, she'd see he was free between 12 and 1, a point she had to acquiesce. So I had a bit of a bitch fit, because he'd obviously decided he didn't want to discuss it on the phone and would discuss it in my last appointment, which is on the 9th, and I wasn't happy with kind of holding on to all my anger for another week.

Bitch fits at mental health services tend to work, hahaha, and he finally called me back. It's a bit cringey to think back over the conversation, so you're not getting a transcript because I most definitely cried down the phone. Apparently, I misread the letter or missed his point or WHATEVER. I say apparently, because having reread it a few times since then, I stand by what I thought it said and don't think it says what he's claiming it does. He reassured me that the letter was first and foremost a letter referring me to the drug and alcohol service, which was why he put in all the stuff about my hospitalisations and instabilities and all that. Oh, and I misunderstood what he meant by discharge... apparently we'd take right back up as soon as I've been to rehab or whatever.

I don't know, I don't entirely trust him now, because reading the letter even know brings me to the same conclusions it did a week ago. He offered to put in writing what he told me on the phone, but I was too embarrassed by that point, it was a most un-British display of emotion, and to do it down the phone is more than a touch embarrassing. But I'll be seeing him on Thursday so I suppose we see from there where to go.