One thing people without mental health issues can't understand is how one minute I can be perfectly rational and appear well, and the next, completely unwell. This switch is exasperated when you are stuck on a psych ward and tensions are always running high.
I started this past week feeling quite hopeful and well. I had my ward round with the Dr who sectioned me and she told me my psychiatrist and cpn had emailed her to say they wanted this to just be an acute crisis admission because they both know I don't function well in hospital. So I was thinking good, I'll be out of here soon. Although I was on 15 minute observations 24/7, I was able to shave in the shower albeit with a HCA in the room with me and I was finally allowed to go to the restaurant for lunch. I don't get up in time for breakfast and I've been having lunches and dinners under supervision. This all felt like progress, you know. I've been working with the OTs on goal setting for discharge and recovery, art therapy, emotional regulation and fear, relaxation and mindfulness. I even felt my concentration was good enough to read again so I picked up a couple of books from the library in the lounge and read in between doing my current jigsaw. And I decided my window escape was off, so I just kept the curtain pulled to hide the damage I'd done on Monday!
But, just like that, things can flip.
We have another mini ward round on Thursdays and I was so confident I could negotiate my release and I'd be discharged, I made a bet for a tenner with a fellow patient that I would be leaving. I was convinced I was right and I packed up my stuff. I felt great, on top of the world.
It didn't go very well and I lost the bet. It was clear I wasn't going home anytime soon, and to make matters worse my Dr was now on holiday for 2 weeks. Her second in command saw me and she said I could have escorted local leave and accompanied leave with friends and family at the weekend, but no Section 17 leave yet - which is unescorted - because my Dr wasn't here now to discuss it and sign it off.
You cannot underestimate the power of freedom when it is taken away from you. I'd only been outside 3 times since being admitted on 21st October and I hadn't been outside under my own steam since 16th October before the Police sectioned me the next day. I have been longing for normal life.
It's been really stormy and windy this last few days and that has totally suited my mood. I haven't seen my care plan or section 2 papers. I feel completely and utterly trapped. Lockdown 2.0 is looming and that is scaring me because the chances of being allowed out for escorted leave are slimming by the minute. I'm taking all my meds but having to also take a low dose of lorazapam just to be able to sleep in here. You get the picture.
So I decide the window escape plan is back on! I sneaked in tweezers to use as a screwdriver, but the screws are not normal screws - of course. I kept trying and trying and eventually pushed my luck and got caught. I thought I was safe to try with this particular night staff because they weren't as observant but no such luck.
I'm now in a room right opposite the nurses station and I had to see the duty Dr who told me I could lose my privileges. I also got told I could be moved to a PICU if I tried anything else. It's all waffle. I'm not concerned about that at all. You can't trap patients and then expect them not to react and I'm pretty well versed in advocating for myself. I feel sorry for my fellow inmates who can't.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.