Adventures in Psychiatry : Mind Games

It's been a while since I wrote something for this series. To be honest, I'd kind of hit a wall and was stepping a bit too far out of my comfort zone. But for the past week, I've been thinking a lot about something and I know this isn't an usual thing to happen within the NHS mental health system, so why not discuss/rant about it here?

I say rant, only because of the sheer frustration I am feeling towards my CMHT once again and cannot help but wonder if this time they are testing me in some way. See, I completed my 'Stress Management' group last week and nothing was set up for the following week or the week after that. It was literally just a blank. So, straight after this group I left a message for my occupational therapist/keyworker to call me. She still hasn't, a week later. Not cool.

Why do I think this is something of a warped psychological test? I may be sliding into the world of the irrational and psychotic, or I may be right and they are waiting for me to actively seek out support. They should know by now this generally doesn't happen until I am really on the edge. I just can't do it. As much as I want to pick up the phone and say: "Hi. It's Sam. What's happening with my groups and that? You've kinda left me hanging here and I'm struggling..." It just feels wrong. For the life of me, I don't know why. I'd tell anyone else to call their keyworker or whoever and get things moving, but nope.....

I guess on some level I do feel like I'm wasting a space now. I'm supposed to be leaving in a month so their options are a bit limited I guess. I would totally benefit from weekly sessions with my therapist to deal with the build-up to the move and all that. But I can pretty much guarantee that isn't an option.

Which brings me back to Mind Games. What are they expecting me to do? They are watching me from a distance. Waiting. I am painfully aware that they want to slap me with a totally bullshit diagnosis - seriously, what is happening to psychiatry now? - and I don't want to give them any ammunition. I can't afford a private psychiatric assessment to challenge it. An hour with a psychiatrist from The Priory will set you back £250.

But the fact of the matter is I am starting to have a hard time coping now that the really massive life events are just piling on. It's a lot of pressure to take on and I have never been more terrified of failing than right now.

Moving to Brighton? Yep. That's pretty big. I'm leaving the 'safety' of my medical team who know me. The boyfriend doesn't understand the value of this and why it's so scary to have to start over. I also need to find a suitable vet for Lily. That could take ages. Much like finding a new GP.

Moving to Brighton and living with the boyfriend? Again, that's a pretty big step. We've been together for 4 years, which means I've lived on my own for 4 years. I've had total control of my surroundings for the first time in my life and I don't know if I want to give it up. I love my boyfriend and I can't see myself with anyone else, ever. But God. The FEAR. It's in my throat all the time.

Fear of what? Well. As soon as I moved in with my ex, things turned to shit fast. I know my boyfriend isn't going to start abusing me or anything remotely like that. I just........ I can't put it into words. Things are working like this so why change it?

Moving to Brighton, living with the boyfriend and starting university? Holy shit. That's a lot for anyone, I think? All this is going to happen within the space of either weeks or DAYS. Going to university was like my ultimate recovery goal; if I'd made it to university, I'd won and the fight was over. But it's not. Far from it. While I apparently have the intelligence to study Medical Neuroscience at Sussex, I am not sure I have the mental strength. I know Sussex looks after it's students very well, and I'm yet to make contact with the disability and mental health services, but still.... The very fact I will be attending one of my 'ideal' universities and spending a lot of my lectures with the medical students is just something I can't get my head around.

This is the ultimate. If I fuck this up.... That's it. Game over. It sounds black and white, short-sighted and irrational. But it's really not. I wrote a piece a very long time ago about why I felt that getting a degree was so damn important to me, and it wasn't just to prove that I was 'better'.

I'm not better in the sense that I am recovered. I wish I could say that I was. Really. But it's still a work in progress. I am better in the sense that medication has pulled me out of a suicidal depression and let me live a little bit more. That really is half the battle.

Mind Games. I really am playing games with my own psyche. I can trick myself into lots of things now, like going to London on my own. That was a great game of chicken with the part of my brain that likes to freak out. I try to remind myself of times I've dealt with worse, but that can backfire and I'll end up in a shit-storm of flashbacks. In all honesty, this is the biggest positive step I've taken since I left my abusive ex. This is the next chapter in my life. But I am just too restricted by the bubble I live in to break out of it for more than a few hours at a time. This is LIFE CHANGING SHIT RIGHT HERE.

There is a part of me that can take over when there is just shit that needs to be done. She tends to come out when I'm moving house, or dealing with a very social situation. She can deal with phone-calls. Take control of situations and organise people. She's a bossy cow with no emotions and tunnel vision. It's all about the end result. Nothing more. Get. Shit. Done. She'll probably show up a lot more now.

Do I sound confused? I feel it. I need help. I need my therapist to straighten it out. Or at least work through practical solutions.... But they're playing Mind Games too. I wish asking for help didn't make me feel so angry, or be screamed and growled at by voices that apparently don't exist. They taunt me and try to convince me this is going to be a huge failure, and that everyone will laugh at me while I spiral back into the bottle because that's the only friend I deserve.

These aren't "noisy thoughts" as one very irritating psychologist suggested. The voices are definitely male, for one. Why would I be working so hard against the "thought" of failure and relapse? If I didn't want this I wouldn't be taking steps to do it? That just makes no freaking sense, and seems like an awful lot of deceit to be playing on people who think you're working when you're blatantly not.

I hate the voices and I want them to go away.

If I couldn't function before university, I'm sure as hell not going to function when I'm there. This year has been all about preparation. Going to blogger events are brilliant practice. It gives me something of a barometer for where I am in terms of my social skills and tolerance for noise, light, people... all that agoraphobic jazz that threatens to cage me at any moment.

So do I continue with the Mind Games or just pick up the phone and call my therapist in the morning? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. The pressure is building and I need a release. I don't want to follow my pattern of avoidance anymore, but that's where it's heading if something doesn't change.

Mind Games. They suck.

1 comment

  1. Pick up that phone. You have a lot on your plate, and a lot to look forward to. I hope you find the support down in brighton. My bf had the support of student well being at his uni, which was a big help. I went to a conditional management course which was like stress management and was in a group. I was lucky because we had one to one meeting at the end to go over how the course helped. I hope you're feeling okay x change can be good. :-)


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