My need to blog has not faded. I have so many drafts and attempts but every time I am about to click ‘publish’ a new mess comes along. So I have decided to summarise my situation into one (hopefully succinct) post.
*Esther, my MH social worker, is stepping down. I’ve been told that her role is covered by my current care provider and that this is the reason for her leaving. I’m actually ok with Esther withdrawing as increasingly I have felt that there is little point to our meetings. This is no secret. I’m not improving and I am not learning any coping strategies. I’m not ok with the reason given because her role is clearly not covered by anyone involved in my care. No one else works specifically in mental health and she is my only contact to the services.
Which brings me to crisis. Not literally crisis now; but the topic generally. I’ve been in what I define as crisis several times since the beginning of the year. The life stopping, hard to breathe, all encompassing, kind of crisis. In this state I turn to anyone who could possibly help me and at the moment it is like running at walls. The fact that I am in supported accommodation counts against me on the crisis ladder stakes. Even though learning disabilities are my carers’ bread and butter I’m deemed as OK and ‘supported’ by CMHT. This view is based purely on the knowledge that people are paid to work with me. Which yes they are- but they can’t assess, advise or tell me what to do with myself when in that hopeless state. They specialise in learning difficulties- not mental health problems. Despite this CMHT are handing over more and more responsibility. There is always a crisis more crisisy than me.
A Community Psychiatric Nurse should be stepping in by the time Esther has completely stepped out of the equation; but in the withdrawal process my appointments will drop to just once monthly. It is my hope that the CPN will step in before these appointments drop out completely so I will see someone fairly regularly. Hopefully to learn some strategies to get me by and stop me falling into crisis- or non crisis- quite so often. No one seems to know how often I will see this nurse so I am terrified my care will dissolve altogether.
At the same time as all of this I am being assessed for therapy. This is a three week process in which I sit in a room and answer the questions of two psychologists. After the third week they will make recommendations and hopefully put me on the waiting list for more in depth psychological work (which has been promised for nearly two years now). If I am deemed well enough to be put on that waiting list I can expect a wait of up to a year.
A year of scooting on, around and over the edge.
If I am not well enough for the waiting list I will have to aim to improve through whatever time I am given by the CPN and the imaginary expertise of my carers.
My living arrangement has improved slightly though. Since having no choice over new year but to expose my team to this illness at its very worse things have improved. The carers I work with are getting more perceptive about when they might need to help me and what they can do. They are also relaxing a bit about the type and amount of support I need when I am in crisis. They can’t mend me but they can keep me going. I think they have finally been broken into the world of mental illness like a pair of ill fitting but sturdy doc martens.
College… hm. Lonely. Very lonely. I feel people see my support workers and think of me as a strange and intellectually challenged alien. I just want to talk and laugh with someone other than my note taker. It’s hard balancing communication with a large handful of professionals alongside a hefty college workload. I’m exhausted from it all.
There you have it, a whistle stop tour of my upside down world right now.