The Last Goodbyes

Well these last two days have been particularly distressing, consisting of over 6 separate and significant goodbyes before I move to a specialist inpatient placement 100 miles away. There are sad goodbyes, scary goodbyes, tearful goodbyes, and hopeful goodbyes. Therapeutic endings having to be squeezed in to a strange scenario and personal endings that I’m… Continue reading The Last Goodbyes

Touching Words & Tearful Goodbyes

I move to an out of area inpatient placement on Thursday, 100 miles away from home. This has meant a week of almost non-stop ends of therapeutic relationships. Today has been bookended by particularly tearful goodbyes to my psychologist and the crisis team manager. And the tears have kept on flowing as I reflect on this incredibly touching poem the crisis manager left with me:

I am blown away.

Is Suicide a Choice? A Survivor’s Perspective

First of all: yes, of course it is a choice. BUT…and this is an important but…a non-suicidal person pointing this out to someone in acute crisis tends to come laden with judgement, whether implicit or explicit, intended or not. It often is: “Well, it’s your choice, so just decide” “It’s your choice, so why are… Continue reading Is Suicide a Choice? A Survivor’s Perspective

A Small Gesture of Thanks to My Crisis Team

It’s 2 weeks today until I move over 100 miles out of area to my new placement. Before Ieave, I wanted to show a small sign of thanks to the crisis team, who’ve provided such vital support in helping me. I know as time moves on I’ll get less and less able to organise things, so thought I should get on and put something together before my brain is nothing but mush (rather than 80:20 mush at present)…

…just a few well-deserved treats but I know how much they will be appreciated and how much some nice, energy-filled snacks/drinks are needed on busy shifts.

Help with Emotions

Emotions are tricky little buggers. They really are.

And for some of us they feel down right impossible to cope with, understand, recognise and even simply to have. I struggle in many ways with emotions…others’ but mainly my own. I also give myself a hard time about that fact and expect myself to ‘do better’ or ‘feel the right thing’. Knowing this, and knowing that I’m facing a particularly turbulent time*, last week the crisis team manager had me do an exercise where I stood in the middle of a room surrounded by different sized pieces of paper and alotted emotions to those pieces of paper according to how much I was feeling them at the time. We then went through several different scenarios and changed the emotions around accordingly. This was to show me that even if I was being hard on myself and expecting to feel the ‘right’ emotions (e.g. happy or relieved that the placement is definite rather than scared or anxious) or feeling that I would feel one emotion forever, in fact recent history shows that emotions fluctuate massively in their presence or size and that I can feel many things at once without invalidating anything else that’s going on.

I found the exercise incredibly helpful (although it felt quite painful at the time) and today decided to recreate it in a portable and reusable form. I already have benefited from this – working out what is actually going on inside me rather than just a broad ‘overwhelmed’- and thought it’s a concept worth sharing in case anyone else wants to give something similar a go in any of its forms.

So here is a concept borne of the crisis team manager’s work with me:

This is in my visual journal but could be on a standalone piece of card or inside a diary or something similar, with very basic boxes drawn on the page, and colour-coded emotions cut out in card and blue-tacked to the appropriate box at that moment in time.

Let me know if you’ve used something similar or gave this a go!

*in the latter stages of preparing for a long-term specialist hospital placement, hours away from home/family/care team, in a locked and mainly unknown environment, after my last placement collapsed for financial reasons with just 28 days notice and after not fulfilling their promises/purpose

Small Gestures Save Lives

Today I woke up to the crisis team manager calling me as she walked in to a meeting “just because she had 2 mins & knew I was having the toughest time atm so wanted me to know that I’m not alone, she & her team are still in my corner, & she thought I… Continue reading Small Gestures Save Lives

A Day in the Life (Visual Journal) – Mental Health Awareness Week