I’ve been home from hospital for five and a half weeks. It was tricky adjusting to being home, especially with moving to a new house, in a new suburb. My housemate did most of the moving whilst I was in hospital. My first night at home was spent in a new house with different sounds, but mostly deafening silence.
It took a couple of weeks, but I settled into my new place, and new routines. It’s quicker to get to some of my health professionals, but longer to others. It’s much, much further to work, but it’s still okay. My unit is at the back of the block so there’s very little sound from passing traffic. Sometimes you can hear trains at the nearby train station, but mostly it’s silent.
I’m not sure when things started heading south. There were the usual ups and downs, but then something changed. I plunged into a deep, dark hole. Everything was harder. Smiling took more energy. I cried whenever I was alone. Then safety became an issue. Self-destructive thoughts and urges filled my mind. The only escape was to follow through.
I didn’t tell anyone to begin with. I kept quiet. I wasn’t proud of my mistakes. I felt stupid, like an idiot for engaging in self-harming behaviours. I promised myself that I wouldn’t do it again. I brushed it off as a mistake. Then, I did it again. This time Miss 16 dobbed on me, and told our psychologist.
That’s when, five weeks after I was discharged, my psychologist contacted my psychiatrist, and told Miss 16 that we needed to be in hospital. Fast forward to today, and we’ve seen our psychiatrist. A potential admission date has been set. Miss 16 went to the appointment with our psychiatrist today and told him what she thought he should know.
I know I’m struggling, and I know my thinking is out of whack, but I don’t want to be back in hospital.
I didn’t mind admitting to my last hospital admission. I was okay with that. This time, I’m ashamed. By the time I go back in I’ll have been home for a little under two months. This feels like failure. I’m angry, frustrated, and disappointed with myself for needing to be in hospital.
I have to talk to my manager and negotiate more time off work. I have to arrange for my housemate to take care of my goldfish. I’ll have to explain to some friends where I am, and why. Work colleagues will want to know where I’ve been when I’m back again.
I’m all for working to reduce the stigma around mental illness and accessing appropriate treatment. I encourage others to seek appropriate help when needed. I tell others that there is no shame in seeking help for mental illness.
Honestly though, I feel ashamed. Needing to be in hospital, again, feels like absolute failure.