The Beginning of the End or The End of the Beginning

Here I am again, waiting for my whole world to be turned upside down.

After the specialist placement that I had been waiting for for a year closed for financial reasons after just 6 months of being open, giving just 28 days notice (even though assessment with them took 3 months and any potential alternatives needed similar timeframes)…after 3 agonising months of thinking there was no hope, no way we would manage to source and obtain a suitable alternative placement, no way I would survive until I might be able to move to one even if we could, painful assessment processes for multiple placements and interims…after 2 months surviving at home with ad hoc combinations of crisis care, community psychology, CMHT input, ‘Personal Assistants’ (not the business type – what carers employed via direct payments are called) and now days at my Trust’s new Acute Community Unit (day centre) to try to help me survive the drop from 24 hour care to an hour a day to a few hours a day to 10-3 and everything in between whilst we waited and worked towards an even more intensive 24 hour placement…

…after all of that I have finally found out that I will be moving to my new placement on 9th August.

“Good news – what a relief!” I truly thought I would say, think and feel when I heard the news. And it IS good news. And it IS a relief. But what I hadn’t allowed for myself over those 3 stressful months where my world turned upside down and sped ever faster towards the sun, was even a moment (at least not after the initial decision) to consider the sacrifices, sadness and pain that also came with such a decision.

So, when I actually got the news, rather than relief I was overwhelmed with sadness. I quickly pulled myself together; told myself not to be so stupid and ungrateful; focussed on the good and the relief that I wanted to be feeling. In other words, I just buried the shit down a little further, waiting for it to trickle or burst out at any (and many) moment(s).

It has been increasingly harder to deal with the more painful feelings and today things truly came to a head when I saw my psychologist (who I have been working with for almost 2 years) today for the first time since we got the news. And so we had to plan our final sessions. We had to start the goodbyes.

Many, many tears were shed but we still managed to push through and start to consolidate what has worked with us, what we had learned, what had been helpful and next time we will look at the many threads that we have only just found or only just started to unpick, in the hope that our work isn’t wasted. All ready to say goodbye the following week.

It has felt like the beginning of the end. The start of the very hardest goodbye. The end of what we both had to acknowledge was my first ever safe relationship that has enabled me to take risks, to be real, to be as much of me as I know exists. The end of what has been such a helpful journey of exploration and understanding. The end of what, until now, has been the core of my treatment.

But whilst it really feels like the beginning of the end, and I have catastrophised greatly, on top of legitimate fears…both my psychologist and the crisis team (because it has triggered an acute crisis on top of the ongoing one today) have encouraged me to instead try to see that this is just the End of the Beginning. Yes, this goodbye is going to be one of the most painful things I have gone through…but the relationship has led me to understand and open up so much more than I ever thought possible. Yes this is the end of such a vital safe relationship…but it shows that it is possible for me to have safe and healthy relationships, compared to the me that told my psychologist when I met her that I was toxic to even be around, let alone know, so I could never let anyone know my thoughts and feelings. Yes this journey has been so enlightening…but that is just the start of the journey to working on myself and my struggles. Yes this has been the core of my treatment…but we have known for a very long time that this was never going to be enough, that I needed much more intensive therapy and 24 hour support/care…it’s just a shame that we had to go through this 18 months of turmoil, although even that has allowed us to work hard and has allowed me to become a very slightly better me, ready to commit to something I fought hard against a year ago.

ALL of that has led to me now agreeing to and securing a rare place at a long-term inpatient placement, with a 9-5 mainly MBT based therapy program, in a locked out of area hospital.

And yes that sentence terrifies me, even now knowing it is my only choice and my best chance in life, but I am here ready to start that next scary part of the journey.

So maybe it is the End of the Beginning? Watch this space.

P.S. I definitely sound more convinced by this theory than I actually am but got to give it a go!

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