I had an appointment with my GP this afternoon, as I mentioned yesterday. I had quite mixed feelings about what to say to her. I didn't know how much to say. I didn't know if I wanted help or not. I didn't know whether I would be able to get help or not, even if I did ask for it. I just knew how suicidal I was feeling, and that if I left there without asking for/getting support then I would not get through the weekend - it just wasn't going to happen. Within a couple of minutes of me going in she commented that I seemed to be having trouble with my concentration, which I am. I keep losing my train of thought in the middle of a sentence and then just kind of drifting off and forgetting what I was answering. I can't really remember the appointment very well, I don't remember what order things happened, or even what she asked really. I know I was in there for quite a long time. I told her how bad my sleep was, and she asked if I had any of the sleeping tablets left, and I said that I did but they didn't help, which was why I hadn't been taking them really. She had received a letter from the psychologist that had been sent to L that she had been CCed on, and asked me what that was about. I told her I had an assessment with the psychologist and she had put me on the waiting list for CAT. She asked if there being a psychologist there was new, as she never seems to have any patients who are seeing them, and I said that it wasn't, but since there is only one part time psychologist in the team not many people get to see her. She asked what CAT was, and how it was different from CBT, and I tried to explain, but my mind was really wandering, so she is probably none the wiser. She asked how long the therapy lasts for, and I said either 16 or 24 sessions, and she asked how long the waiting list was and I said up to 18 weeks. She got very frustrated by that - she said how ridiculous it is that there are such long waiting lists for things like that, particularly when the government are so keen to get people back to work and all that sort of thing - she said it really winds her up that mental health services are so underfunded. At some point I started getting slightly upset - I wasn't crying, but I knew that if I tried to speak I would start crying, so I just sat there trying to breathe for a minute. She was very sweet and asked what the matter was. When I finally felt like I could speak without bursting into tears I told her that I was just really struggling and feeling really bad. She asked how long I had been feeling like this for, and said (as predicted!) what a shame it was when I had been doing so well. I said I was just feeling really awful and the suicidal thoughts were really strong, and she said how I have felt like this before and that I know it will pass and so I could get through it, and I said that I didn't want to, I just wanted to die. She joked that if I said that she would have to suggest I started cross stitching again. She asked when I was seeing L, and I said that I was due to see her Tuesday. She talked to me for quite a while asking if I had any plans over the weekend, and if I had any friends I could see or talk to or anything who were supportive. She was very supportive and kept trying to encourage me that I could get through, and said to try and find something I could do over the weekend, and then go and talk to L on Tuesday, and that I could see her again sooner than usual if I felt I needed to, and that she was really sorry I was feeling so bad, but that it would get better etc. I didn't really know what to say - I find it really difficult to be totally blunt about how bad things are when I am actually speaking to someone, and I just felt so drained, and like I was going to burst into tears, so I said goodbye, and got about 2 feet outside her door and turned around and went back in and said I really didn't feel able to get through the weekend. She asked what I would like her to do, and I said I had no idea, I just couldn't cope. She asked if I had the out of hours number, and I briefly explained the mess of when I tried to call a couple of weeks ago. She said that was ridiculous, and that she was going to call the crisis team and ask them to make contact with me over the weekend, and that hopefully having that support would make it easier to keep going. Overall she was very supportive, and I felt like she actually gave a shit about what happened to me. Obviously mental health isn't her area of expertise, but when I am truly in crisis she does seem to try hard to support me. She spent a long time with me today - I must have been with her for about 40 minutes, and she did genuinely seem to care.
About an hour later I got a call from the crisis team. To be honest I wasn't really expecting them to call today - I thought it would be tomorrow, so I was quite surprised. I spoke to a man whose name I can't remember who actually seemed perfectly nice. Initially I thought it was going to be one of those quick 'oh great, we've had a Borderline referred, better give them a quick ring' calls that I have had in the past. He did things like asking if this was the first time I had felt like this (I always wonder why they ask things like that when they quite clearly have your notes in front of them) and then asking what had helped me get through in the past, or if after a while I just started feeling better, and when was I next seeing L. I said that nothing really helped, but that after a while it would start to get a bit easier. He said the stuff about how if I have got through it before then I could again, and I said that I didn't want to. That I was sick of getting through a really horrible patch just for another one to come along, and that I just didn't want to be here any more. I also said that this was actually the worst I had felt for quite a long time - that the suicidal thoughts were stronger this time than they have been for a long time. He asked how long, but I didn't really know - again, my whole conversation with him was rather stumbling and confused as I just couldn't think properly. I said I have been feeling bad for years now, and things never get any better and that I have just had enough - that I don't want to be here. He asked if I had any plans regarding suicide, and I said that it was all I could think about. He asked what I would do, and I said that I didn't want to say because that makes things rather awkward (as in my experience they have then merely attempted to take away whatever method I say I am planning, which doesn't solve anything, as I am still left with the feelings). He asked if I had the means to carry it out, and I said yes, and that if I couldn't use one method then I would use the other that I consider. He asked if I would call someone if I felt I was going to act on my thoughts, and I said no - that if I was any closer to suicide then I wouldn't want to speak to anyone because I wouldn't want to be stopped, and that it was difficult enough to tell Dr O how I was feeling, but that if I was about to do something then I would not call anyone, as it would seem completely counterproductive - if I was any more suicidal than I am now then I would just want to die, I wouldn't want to talk to someone. We talked about my sleep, and how the nights are when I feel most unsafe, as I know I have quite a few hours when my parents are asleep, and so it would be quite a long time before anyone found me etc. He asked about plans for the weekend etc, and I said I didn't have any. He said that the crisis team could visit me tomorrow, but that I needed to commit to keeping myself safe and would that be ok. I said I couldn't promise that - that I could try, but I couldn't give him a guarantee, because I didn't know for sure, and there would be a chance I wouldn't be able to. He asked why not, and I said that if things got too overwhelming then I couldn't be sure I wouldn't act on the thoughts, and he said that he was hoping that if they were seeing me and giving me support then it would stop that from happening, but that he understood and wouldn't ask me to promise, and that they would come out to see me tomorrow. He did ask me more, but I can't remember, and I can't remember the order of most of the conversation. At first I felt like he was just going to make a quick five minute phone call where he would ask when I was seeing L, reassure me that I had got through times like this before, and say to talk to L about it when I saw her, but actually he talked to me for a long time, and was pretty thorough and reasonable. He said they would come out and visit me tomorrow, but that if I needed to speak to someone before then I could call, and he said that he would give me their number, which he shouldn't really do until after they had seen me and assessed me, but that if I needed to call then to phone that, which goes through to a call centre where you leave your name and number, and someone would then call me back as soon as possible. So I have them coming out to see me sometime tomorrow, which I am quite nervous about. I would actually really like it to be him that came out, but that is very unlikely. It's funny, as usually I am much more comfortable with women than men, but the women who work for the crisis team seem to be either patronising, dismissive, intimidating, or a combination of the above, whereas there have actually been a couple of men who have seemed very reasonable. I am pretty much expecting it to be a couple of the scary women (there is one in particular who I have seen several times who I find really intimidating so am really hoping it isn't her) who will come out and either be very dismissive and say that I seem to have suicidal thoughts frequently and that I can get through this and to talk to L on Tuesday, perhaps also breaking my confidentiality by talking to my mum and telling her to confiscate all pills and dressing gown cords etc as I am a suicide risk, as that tends to be my experience with the crisis team, but I am really hoping it isn't like that. It is over two years since they last came out to see me etc - I think I have been referred one other time since then, but someone just spoke to me on the phone and decided I would be ok, and I have been assessed by them several times in A&E, during Summer '09, but I haven't actually had a visit from them for over two years, and I am a bit nervous. I hate the way they always visit in pairs - it feels really intimidating. I just really, really hope that it is someone who actually takes me seriously and tries to help, rather than just dismisses how I am feeling in the way that they so often seem to. I tried to be really honest with the man on the phone, as I figured it couldn't do any harm - it couldn't take suicide away as an option, but it might get me some support. I hope that I can do the same tomorrow, and that they actually take me seriously like he seemed to. I suppose if they don't I won't be any worse off than I would have been had I not seen them though. And it might help. The difficulty is, that as I explained to him, it is the night time that I feel most unsafe, and even if they are doing daily visits, they can't be here now, when the thoughts are at their strongest. But I will just have to see how it goes.
Dear Mama, on uncertainty
2 weeks ago