Living in Limbo

It’s a funny time at the moment: I’m waiting to move in to a new placement which is described as: “a 24-hour CQC-registered accommodation service for adults who experience severe mental distress. Residents have multiple and complex needs and are entering the service from high-level support and secure settings or as an alternative to hospital… Continue reading Living in Limbo

An Example of Crisis Team Excellence

TRIGGER WARNING: DISCUSSION OF SUICIDAL IDEATION This week has been horrific. So many horrors, for so many reasons. An all-c0nsuming urge to end my life, fed into from different triggers and factors.  But this week I have been so impressed by the response of my local crisis team to me. On Thursday, for the first time ever,… Continue reading An Example of Crisis Team Excellence

How Can I be Proud of a Day that Mainly Involved Crying on the Floor?

These are one of those days that I’m not sure it’s possible to really ‘get’ unless you’ve been here; actually, even being here right now, I don’t get it.  Today was mainly spent sat on the floor crying. Overwhelmed with paralysing fear, despair and self-hatred…only growing further as more time passed whilst I was a… Continue reading How Can I be Proud of a Day that Mainly Involved Crying on the Floor?

Artful Achievement

Tonight, a lovely crisis nurse set me homework to draw a picture from one of the photos that I took with her manager on Friday. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. I’ve had an awful day; I’ve been pathetic; I haven’t functioned and I wasn’t sure I could manage anything… Continue reading Artful Achievement

A Few Questions: Being LGBTQ+ Under the Mental Health System

A member of my crisis team is doing some work on LGBTQ+ & metal health. I offered to help & we thought it would be good to hear experiences. The main thing he wants to know is, as someone who identifies as LGBTQ+, what would you want members of staff within mental health teams to… Continue reading A Few Questions: Being LGBTQ+ Under the Mental Health System

Graded Exposure to the World

A year ago to the month, the Crisis Team Manager took me to a nature reserve to take some photos as a therapeutic intervention (I didn’t actually manage to take photos that day, but we still went out and spent time in nature). Today, she did the same things as part of a programme of ‘graded exposure’… Continue reading Graded Exposure to the World

My First Psychotherapy Session

Why does that sound like the last in a range of ‘My First…” books for toddlers? I actually wish that book existed, to be quite honest… But, you know what? It actually went OK! A lot of it was just talking over how this is going to work, that Relationally-oriented Integrated Therapy isn’t like a… Continue reading My First Psychotherapy Session

Cautious, Guilt-Ridden Gratitude (and the O word that shall not be named)

Oh the complexities of very poorly brains. Guess what? I have news – good things – that should make me want to dance or at least crack a little smile, but instead I am riddled with guilt…wishing that I could sacrifice myself and give others – the dozens of others that I know personally, the… Continue reading Cautious, Guilt-Ridden Gratitude (and the O word that shall not be named)

THANK F*** for awesome crisis nurses

One awesome crisis nurse brought a glimpse of light into an otherwise unbearable 72/96/120/144/168/192/…hours. And an pretty amazing general nurse on the ward, too. 

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all you good’uns in these trying jobs. ❤

Analogies to help understand emotional struggles

The Crisis Team Manager met with me today to start some safety management work and she came up with a great analogy for my current struggles to let myself feel anything with regards to my recent news, especially because I feel like a useless hypocrite for not feeling happy and not being even a little… Continue reading Analogies to help understand emotional struggles

THE Assessment

*Trigger Warning: Explicit discussion of suicide attempts, self harm and suicidal ideation*   For 6 months now, my care has been focussed around and towards a long-term placement in a pilot therapeutic-community-come-recovery-house-come-something-all-of-its-own. The placement would be tailored towards high risk patients with long term complex needs (e.g. me), providing 24 hour CQC approved specialist support… Continue reading THE Assessment

The Ones Who Make a Difference

​Tonight I am incredibly thankful for an awesome crisis nurse who was patient, compassionate and funny over the phone to me both in the middle and right at the very end of her 15 hour shift today. She likely was in charge for most or all of the day, so goodness knows the strains she’s… Continue reading The Ones Who Make a Difference

‘The Crisis Team Cure: A Parody of Advice Commonly Given to Vulnerable & Distressed People in Mental Health Crisis’

The Crisis Team Cure.jpg

Oh how I wish I could say this was a complete fantasy or massive exaggeration, however it is scarily close to the truth. In fact, in the past week alone, every single one of these things (and more) have been suggested or said to me (minus pouring the tea directly over my head whilst in the bath…but I’ve felt like doing so out of sheer desperation and frustration) and I have had constant responses such as this in the past. And it isn’t just me; what prompted me to draw this were several posts in the Mind Our Minds and Doodle Chronicles Peer Support Groups.

Time and again, highly vulnerable and distressed people are dismissed with condescending suggestions of having a bath/cup of tea/walk (even when certain of these things at certain times actually pose an additional risk) and/or are criticised and blamed for being acutely unwell, rather than being offered even a short amount of therapeutic interaction or appropriate assessment/intervention.

I do want to finish by saying that by no means am I suggesting that all crisis team staff act in this way (I have had 2 simply outstanding phone conversations with crisis team nurses over the past week, as well, which I hope to write about when I am able – this past post demonstrates the confusing and opposing approach of crisis team staff) and I want to say a huge thank you to those of you who do this demanding, undervalued and underpaid job with kindness and professionalism – you are true superheroes.

Attempted Suicide after 4 Days in Intensive Care

****MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNINGS ALL OVER THIS POST**** Today marked my 4th day in intensive care following an attempt to take my life. It also marked the day of me being ‘medically cleared’ (aka not imminently about to die) and so finally at that very mysterious point of ‘fit for psych’…in my case, this meant that… Continue reading Attempted Suicide after 4 Days in Intensive Care

Tonight’s Crisis Team Wisdom

​Tonight’s crisis team wisdom: “If you went for a walk, you’d come back a different person – you could volunteer in school next week!” I’ve been housebound for 2 months. I haven’t gone out unaccompanied for 18 months. My risk level was raised to the very highest level with the Community Mental Health Team today… Continue reading Tonight’s Crisis Team Wisdom