Take my life

I’m not going to make a habit of posting up rediscovered journal entries (not least because I’ve got a fun post about the time I had in Birmingham before the fascists came along, and want to review Naked Boys Reading; and besides, I’m feeling ‘normal’ now so why go over upsetting stuff?), but I happened across this today. I wrote it while an inpatient in psychiatric care. I remember the confusion, the fear, the hopelessness; knowing I didn’t belong in hospital, not knowing where I belonged outside it.


 

So. This is weird.

I’m not sure I’m meant to be here. Everyone seems far more unstable than me. But then I think how I must look; unkempt hair, three day growth, until recently stinking of BO.

When I got to Homerton the thing that struck me was all the aimless wandering the patients were doing. Drifting slowly across the floor, shuffling through the ward. I assumed it was a symptom of schizophrenia or psychosis or medication; but then I found myself standing, drifting. You see yourself through other’s eyes, wandering. Drifting.

Some are more with it than others, of course; and I’m probably the most with it. Sometimes I think I’m completely fine but then this morning I found myself sobbing, howling, that strange adult keening and gasping, ’til a therapist came, took me aside, talked me down.


Oh, it feels so GOOD to have showered!


I’m waiting in my room at Lambeth. Finally got here this evening. It’s plusher here, and I finally have a proper room. I’ve not really had any privacy since Monday morning.

I wish my life could have turned out different. I wish I could have turned out different. Regret.


I’m not bad enough to be here, I know that. I’m sad, and confused, and maybe I’m unsafe out there. But I’m not bad enough to be here.

What am I going to do now?

What am I going to do next?

Nothing appeals. Not even death. Death only appeals as escape.

Section 3 told me he’d never take his own life since he knows he’d go straight to Hell. Cruel comfort, I guess, keeps you safe. I guess.

Take my life. That’s all I want, something to take my life, give me a new one, give mea new me. One where I have clean sheets and a good bed, and a nice flat and a boyfriend and a fun job.

Not this. Not this life.

I don’t see anything in my future. Nothing. I’ve lost my future and I’ve fucked up my present. All just a chaos of wire and broken glass on the floor.

Nowhere to go. Nothing to do.


 

I’m going to leave here today, and I’m scared.

I’m scared because I don’t trust myself, still. I’m scared because I don’t want to face that noisy, senseless world. I’m scared because there’s nothing out there for me and I am no-one and it will be too cold, or too hot, and chaos.

I’m scared.

 

 

 

Scared

I get scared.

I get scared because right now my moods are wild, flying or falling. I get scared because sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between the two until I hit the ground.

I get scared because the sun’s so bright and the days so hot and my mood can get so bleak, and I get reminded of how fierce and frantic I was, walking to that bridge, a day just like today.

I get scared because I don’t know if I can trust myself, and I get angry that I can’t, because if you can’t trust yourself who can you trust?

I get scared because I don’t know how this ends.


 

“And how old are you now?”

I’m sat in the small side room in Tommy’s A&E. I’ve been here before – when Nicola sent me from work. The walls are cheap comprehensive school green, a notice board advertises drug and rape crisis helplines. The – nurse? Psychiatric nurse? Not a psychiatrist, I know that – I like him. He’s got a thick file on his lap, which I assume are my notes; I’m impressed by how much they’ve got on me, given I’ve barely seen them.

“29”

His brow furrows. “That’s… That’s not a great deal of time”

I’m tired. I came – caught the bus and dragged myself to hospital – because, lying in bed, suicidal thoughts had got too loud, too insistent. I knew I had to do something. “The next time you feel like that, come here. It’s just as easy as going to a bridge“. So I came here, to A&E. They got me shuffled off to the side room fairly quickly, then left to find my notes. By the time the nurse arrived, file in hand, I’d been there a couple of hours. I’m tired. I don’t want to kill myself any more; I just want to go to home.

Still. I like him. And just because I feel immediately safe from myself… Well. That doesn’t really change anything.

“Why 34?”

I shrug. Because by then I should know for sure if I’m a failure? Because by then I should be able to weigh the happiness and misery in my life, and come to a decision? Because, by then, the pain will have become too difficult to bear.

“Thing is, you say you’re now not feeling in immediate danger… But it’s not as if you’re turning up here every week. We last saw you two years ago. I don’t want you to slip through the net. 34…

“We’ll get in touch with your GP. You should probably go and get your medication looked at”

I leave, tired. Night bus home, work in the morning.


 

I walk through the bleaching sunshine, over the railway bridge. Standing on tiptoe, I look over high barriers.

About 4 storeys. Not enough.

I’m just checking, anyway. Not going to do anything. Just checking.

I’m 33. My moods are wild, and I get scared.

Steel and glass

This post continues a series (first post, previous post) which discuss a suicide crisis which took place approximately a year ago, and my subsequent treatment. Partly it’s therapy for me. Partly it’s to demystify what for many people is an opaque and frightening subject, which I believe should be spoken about more, and with more frankness. But obviously this could work as a trigger. Tread with care.

He was gorgeous.

I don’t know which hospital I was eventually taken to. I remember the sunlight was too sharp, as if the world were steel; I remember worrying about what work were thinking; I remember exhaustion, and grief, and closing my eyes and finding how easy it was to fall into myself. All the time this static, barbed wire buzz in my mind, sometimes louder, sometimes softer. All the time, memories like rain on glass.

I was sectioned, but only to get me to the hospital. A handover took place; I found myself talking to an on duty psychiatrist and explaining, wearily explaining to her. I was so tired by that point, and I knew my fears and pains with a weathered intimacy and contempt. I’d been there so many times before; sat in a small hospital room, speaking my soul to a stranger.

I’ve learned – you do learn, eventually – not to trust myself too earnestly, learned to hold my beliefs lightly. I was asked what my intentions had been on the bridge; I was asked what my intentions were with the materials lying in my room. I was asked if I thought I should stay for a while in the hospital.

“I don’t know”

And I didn’t know. How could I? I’d set up a plan and then deviated from it radically. The moments before the bridge I’d been running, screaming down the street, mind white hot and chaos. Moments before that I’d been in the office, got up calmly from my desk and walked out the building. Smiled to the receptionist on the way out. I’d been a visitor on psych wards before and they’re not the most inviting places; I didn’t want to be admitted. But my head was full of barbed wire and sharp, perfect plans; I was tired, and confused.

“I think it might be helpful if you stayed with us a while”