All content contained within should be restricted to those over-age. Occasionally, suicide and self-harm are mentioned and readers should take care to ensure they are in a safe place - emotionally and physically - before reading. Comments are welcome.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two points - Better Access (1) and why self-injury isn't a suicide attempt (2)

I just looked up the phone number for my local public mental health service.  The number is disconnected.

Finally found the right number.  Woman on the other end seemed really nice.  Apparently there is a team of five (not sure of the profession make-up of team), no GP referral needed, and when I asked about waiting times, I was informed that there wasn't too much of a wait, that they would get back to me pretty quickly.

It all sounds so good, and maybe I'd be lucky and they would actually put me on the books.  Last time I tried, I got kicked out *shrug* - I wasn't "special" enough I guess.  Maybe I'd be really lucky and find someone else who is an amazing trauma specialist.  Time before last, there was a mixed bag between the very good and the fucking horrible.  Maybe I'd be really lucky and get an appointment straight away.

So - why not call back?  I mean, aside from the fact that people who have dealt with the system very recently, indicate that it is just as fucked up as it always was...

Because even assuming it's rosy as pictured by said receptionist (?) - I just can't fucking do it.  Fifteen years of knowing I've had a mental illness.  Twelve years of it being misdiagnosed.  Three years of progress.  I can't do that three years again - and that is assuming the experience is a good one (and there's certainly no guarantee's of that).  I am fucking stuffed.  I am tired beyond belief and I just want to sleep forever.  I can't entertain the thought of - well anything much really - other than the bare minimum of what is needed to get through the day.  And quite frankly, if it wasn't for my husband, the kids would have stayed home today.  And yesterday.  And possibly all of last week.

Thank goodness internet grocery shopping has finally hit our little town.  Even if it is frightfully expensive.

There is no way in hell I can entertain the thought of going through those three years again with someone new, just to get to the same point that I'm at now.  And what if they get transferred or choose to leave (which in the public system, is not out of the realms of possibility)?  Then I have to go through it all again.

Fuck off.

"We'll send you here, we'll send you there..." - and all the while, we'll act like we're doing you a favour.

I had to hang up the phone before, because the very thought of starting over with someone else was making me nauseous.  I would quite frankly, rather be dead.

All day, I have been trying to fight off this sense of impending doom.  The doom being my creating my own end.  Not that it would be all gloom of course - me being me, I have quite the plans... however that's not really the point...  Over the course of the day, it has been gaining momentum, despite my efforts to tell it in no uncertain terms, to fuck off - until I reached the point where it was manifesting in a rather dramatic physical way - not quite full-on panic attack, but the "death by a thousand cuts" style of panic attack.  The type that builds slowly - too slowly to even really notice at first - and lasts and lasts and lasts.  This one has indeed been brewing for a few days.

The effects a short while ago?  Couldn't breathe properly.  Tightness of chest.  Muscles tensed up.  Thoughts alternating between "I want to die now" and "Fuck off you do, just wait it out".  Thoughts which start off slow and get faster and faster until nothing else fits any more.  You get to the point where you KNOW something has to give and you're scared it's going to be your life - and at the same time, you're pleased that at least it'll be over.  Unlike the fast panic attacks, you know you can't wait the slow ones out - they have way more stamina than you do.  So it ends up coming down to two choices - neither of which are pretty.

On this particular day, I have chosen to self-injure.  Don't stress - it's not "bad" - just enough to do what I needed.  Ever felt morphine wash over your body, or had a gallstone attack subside on its own - and gone from massive pain, to no pain in a few seconds - and felt that relief?  That is what self-injury feels like when you're having one of these types of panic attacks.  And you can feel free to judge me for that the day they make Epi-pens legal for people with a mental illness.  Until then, some days, this is all we can do to keep from killing ourselves.

Of course, I'm not advocating self-injury as a coping mechanism.  Indeed, I am a big fan of the Happy Box - details of which are listed below.  However, some days...  Anyway - the whole idea of blogging for me, aside from ripping it up people who need a good bitch slap, is to write about what it's like to live with a mental illness.  This is what it is like for me.

I'm the first to say that if you want to emulate me, then you're next in line for a good bitch slap.

Update: Thanks to one lovely lady who e-mailed me earlier, a couple of good people on Twitter with laughs galore, the people waiting for me to nudge them (and thanks for understanding why I can't), and my husband and kids, who have to put up with me in the flesh.

The other ugly brain bitch isn't winning today.  Fuck that shit.  If only because I am one stubborn bitch who has much living to do yet.

The "Happy Box" is an idea founded by a group of people who self-injure, many years ago.  I still have my first happy box, given to me by one the members of this group.

For people who self-injure, feel suicidal, or have a mental illness, the Happy Box is a box of things to keep one occupied until such time as they feel "safe" again, or can get some help.  A Happy Box is personal to the person who it is for - what works for one person may not work for another.

If you are thinking of making a Happy Box, either for yourself or someone else, the following are some ideas of what to put in it - to get you started.

*  Phone numbers of people to call in an emergency, or to talk to
*  Favourite music
*  Favourite book - it could be a novel, or a book of inspirational quotes or a colouring-in book
*  Photo's of happy times, or of loved ones
*  Art supplies - either standard art supplies for art, or some people who self-injure find it therapeutic to scribble red on something
*  Worry dolls
*  Crystals (if that's your thing)
*  Small icons or figurines that are meaningful
*  Journal and pens
*  Things that smell nice - incense or perfume etc
*  DVD of a favourite funny movie
*  Rubber bands - some people who self-injure find that snapping a rubber band against their wrist can help relieve the pressure to self-injure
*  Play-doh, Lego or other manipulative toys to keep hands and minds occupied
*  Letters from loved ones (good ones)
*  A voucher to the movies, or a favourite restaurant or ice-cream place
*  Chocolate or lollies
*  Candles
*  Bath salts


  1. Great post.

    PS - Shania Twain does it for me :-)

  2. Hi Bob :)

    Thanks for your comment :) Shania Twain does it for me too, in oh so many ways lol!!!