I’m Not A Robot

I guess I have two types of days that I refer to, either ‘happy’ or ‘weird’ I like when I can say ‘today is a happy day’ an today is one of them…

I’ve gained back a little control over my moods, an I’m feeling more stable for now, everything isn’t perfect, but when is life ever perfect

I’ve just relaxed today, an not done very much, my brother even made me dinner, as I said before, he’s ok when sober, almost the perfect brother, we did grow up together, although we have drifted apart over the years, we will always have a different bond, compared to the others

Its just his own personal struggle, an I shouldn’t judge him too much for it, sometimes I just get so consumed by what I’m going through, I forget about others, I don’t mean to be selfish, but perhaps I need to keep others in mind too, an i should form my own opinions, an not get caught up in the rest of my families

I remember my brother once told me that I’d changed, that I wasn’t the old me anymore, I just thought that I’d grown up, an had become more ‘mature’ an although that’s partly true, he’s right, I have lost myself over the years

I am trying to lighten up, an be a better person, the old me is still in here, an sometimes he shines through, I’ve kind of forgotten who I am an how to just be myself

I find myself looking up google ‘how to be a better person’, I’ve become that void an good at pretending to be something I’m not… that I’ve lost ‘me’ even more, I shouldn’t need to read things to help fill in my personality, I’m not a robot, I should stop trying to program myself, an just live, how I used to

Though, we can’t be who we are without a little help from others, I do like when I can learn something about myself from other people, an I’m willing to

Social Phobia: My Story

~ I’d rather live my life, knowing I’m not perfect, than wasting it, pretending to be ~

I love days like today, quiet, an outside its wet an slightly raining

It clears the streets, which is always a good thing for me, as I’m social phobic, its something I haven’t written about yet, its still something I find hard to talk about openly, I feel I have enough going on in my life, without another thing to try an fix about myself

It has become worse over the years, to the point where I can barely go out alone anymore

I feel so alien in big open spaces, I become so panicked at times, anxious, the level of discomfort I feel is horrible, an I feel like I just need to run, to get away, to escape, its like that ‘fight or flight’ response

In my mind I know the distance I’ll have to go to get somewhere, an the thought of what I’ll encounter on the way is frightening

I think the times that affect me the worst are times when I’ll be walking an cars will be constantly driving by in my direction, or I’ll be in a crowded shop or standing in a long cue, or when I have to walk through a crowd of people, like a big group of friends stood together

I put on a mask to the world, an no one would really know, but inside my mind is racing

Its strange because, after a few drinks, or on certain medication, nothing worries me, I’m so confident an feel so free, which then makes me wonder, why can’t I be that way when I’m just ‘normal’ because I’m still in those same situations

I once enrolled onto a confidence class, I felt like such a failure, the others in the group talked of their progress, while I never found it helpful at all, but then sitting in a room, being told how to be more confident, isn’t really going to change anything, if putting those tips into practice, was your problem to begin with

I once read a blog, where they talked of graded exposure, which I might look into myself, I want to live my life, I don’t want a list of regrets later on

Melancholies Dark Song

I’ve been quite emotional lately, little things trigger me off, the worst part is I allow them to, I just can’t fight my thoughts, its like me an my mind are two separate people

I feel so strange, especially last night and today, so alone, so empty, abandoned, angry, almost rage, and increasingly melancholy, which I can’t explain…

I feel, dead inside, hollow, like the life is being drained from me

My hallucinations are driving me crazy, literally, I know they are only tricks of the eye, things I see from the side, but turn to see nothing

It all became to much last night, an I broke down, it was strange, lying in the dark crying, yet trying to be quiet so no one could hear me

My brothers got together for a drink.. Again.. Last night, it took a lot for me not to join in, but I reminded myself how they always turn on each other, or me, or become angry an sometimes uncontrollable, those thoughts gave me strength

Drink doesn’t solve anything either, its just a temporary solution, but sometimes it can turn you to a dark place, even give you courage that you don’t need, I’m proud of myself, a little anyway

On another note: the doctor phoned me today, it was just about the chemist, they wouldn’t give me the couple of days of diazepam I didn’t collect, he almost gave me a lecture on how they are trying to cut me off them, I just told him I’d rather have nothing at all

I’m paranoid that they believe all I want are the tablets, like im some sort of addict, truth is, I give more away than I actually take, but I couldn’t tell them that

He brought up my trip to A&E, an how I’d talked about ordering the lethal injection online, my mind was in an even darker place last week, it was an idea, not a plan

He just warned that I’m suicidal enough, without going online an getting ideas, then went on to talk about, how if I did, what the coroners report would say etc, which I found a bit unsettling

I’m lost, where do I go from here… I feel like such a failure right now, I’ve never been this bad for so long before, an I’m letting it win, its just so overwhelming, I can’t handle it, it won’t allow me to fight back this time

I tell myself, if things are so bad, then stop wallowing in misery an do something about it

I’ve tried to get out more, be around people, I haven’t been blogging as much lately, an trying not to dwell on how I feel, but its like two forces fighting each other, an tearing me apart from the inside in the process, I feel like I am about to crack

I’m afraid I’m losing myself

Binge On Drama

Mum an my step dad have headed away for valentines, an won’t be back until tomorrow or tuesday

My younger brother, as you know is living with us right now, he came home last night after drinking yet again, an causing the family more stress

He always turns on everyone, including me, which I had to deal with not just thursday night, but yesterday as well, he’s almost drove me to the point where I’ve just about washed my hands of him, as hard as that would be

When drunk, he uses emotional blackmail, an never really apologises for anything he does, after a while, everything goes back to how it was, as if nothing ever happened, then relies on everyone else to bail him out with money

He was allowed back home last night again, an now I’m stuck with him, almost like a baby sitter

If he gets up to anything, I’m the one who has to deal with it, he’s downstairs right now, dealing with a hangover after his 24 hour drink binge

He’s ok for now, he always is when he’s sober, he’s almost the perfect brother in fact

Our whole childhood, it was only him an I, but since we both moved back home from foster care, we have drifted apart a lot, I know we aren’t the same people, everyone changes over time, but not to the extent that you feel like you no longer know them anymore

I’ve used a little reverse psychology on him, ‘now that mums away, you can prove to everyone that you had the chance to do anything, an you didn’t’

My mind is just racing with all the horrible scenarios that could happen, an getting a little worked up

Its only been a week since I had a breakdown, I don’t need drama right now

My mum deserves to get away, just in my opinion, it was just to easy to drop all an run

I sound so selfish, am I overreacting?

Numb Is Still A Feeling

I can’t really explain how I’ve been this week, because I don’t know, really I’ve just been trying my best at playing the part of ‘happy me’ an hiding the real emptiness I feel inside, i don’t want people around me to start thinking ‘here we go again’ or to become stereotyped within the family

Its hard to believe that, technically, tomorrow will be a week since I had my ‘breakdown’, really I just gave up on myself, I’d had enough of everything, dealing with it alone, an feeling ignored an abandoned by the people who are meant to be helping me

I just wanted to feel numb to everything, so that night I did have a few drinks, which they did smell, I admitted it at first, but I later denied it, I wasn’t drunk, but I was told that if I had been drinking, I wouldn’t receive any help

An as you know when I did get the help offered to me, I ran from it, the first time by choice, the second time it couldn’t be helped, they landed to my house without notice, an it wouldn’t of been easy for me to truly open up with people in the house

I haven’t spoken to anyone since, but my doctor, DR C.. Went behind my back, after the argument I spoke of before in another post, to the mental health team an now the diazepam will soon be taken from me an replaced with some other generic thing

They are obsessed with people becoming ‘addicted’ to medication, an selling their medication on the ‘black market’ as DR C called it, never mind if those are non applicable to everyone

I can’t even be bothered taking her on to be honest, I don’t care about her opinions or medical views anymore, they are meaningless to me as far as she is concerned

I don’t know if my doctors even know what happened last week, apart from the crisis team, whom I phoned that night myself, an has nothing to do with my own ‘team’

Its hard to believe its my birthday on the 25th, I’ll be 26, I’ve been this way since the age of 14, that’s when I first released what depression was, so that’s more than half my life consumed by this chaos already

I can’t help but feel slightly melancholy….

CPN Sounds Like What I’ve Been Looking For

While I was in hospital, the psych lady mentioned a cpn for me, I ‘googled’ it an it sounds exactly what I’ve been looking for

I’ve read about a cpn on other blogs, but never really knew what it meant an was all about

I didn’t write this following post, I just wanted to share it, if it speaks to you the same way it has to me, then it could be right for you too

So here it is:

In the United Kingdom a community psychiatric nurse is a psychiatric nurse based in the community rather than a psychiatric hospital. They form an integral part of community mental health teams. They are often patients’ key workers within the NHS mental health system and are often the first port of call for further referrals to psychiatrists, psychotherapists and other mental health professionals. Community psychiatric nurses mainly visit people in their own homes but they also see people in other settings such as GP surgeries or the community mental health team

As with other areas of nursing practice, psychiatric mental health nursing works within nursing models, utilising nursing care plans, and seeks to care for the whole person. However, the emphasis of mental health nursing is on the development of a therapeutic relationship or alliance. In practice, this means that the nurse should seek to engage with the person in care in a positive and collaborative way that will empower the patient to draw on his or her inner resources in addition to any other treatment they may be receiving.

The most important duty of a psychiatric nurse is to maintain a positive therapeutic relationship with patients in a clinical setting. The fundamental elements of mental health care revolve around the interpersonal relations and interactions established between professionals and clients. Caring for people with mental illnesses demands an intensified presence and strong a desire to be supportive. Nurse practitioners, have identified nine critical mental health aspects of the psychiatric nursing practicum. These nine aspects include: understanding and empathy, individuality, providing support, being there/being available, being ‘genuine’, promoting equality, demonstrating respect, demonstrating clear boundaries, and demonstrating self awareness for the patient.

Understanding and empathy from psychiatric nurses reinforces a positive psychological balance for patients. Conveying an understanding is important because it provides patients with a sense of importance. The expression of thoughts and feelings should be encouraged without blaming, judging or belittling. Feeling important is significant to the lives of people who live in a structured society, who often stigmatize the mentally ill because of their disorder. Empowering patients with feelings of importance will bring them closer to the normality they had before the onset of their disorder. When subjected to fierce personal attacks, the psychiatric nurse retained the desire and ability to understand the patient. The ability to quickly empathize with unfortunate situations proves essential. Involvedness is also required when patients expect nursing staff to understand even when they are unable to express their needs verbally. When a psychiatric nurse gains understanding of the patient, the chances of improving overall treatment greatly increases.

Individualised care becomes important when nurses need to get to know the patient. To obtain this knowledge the psychiatric nurse must see patients as individual people with lives beyond their mental illness. Seeing people as individuals with lives beyond their mental illness is imperative in making patients feel valued and respected In order to accept the patient as an individual, the psychiatric nurse must not be controlled by his or her own values, or by ideas and pre-understanding of mental health patients. Individual needs of patients are met by bending the rules of standard interventions and assessment. Psychiatric/mental health nurses spoke of the potential to ‘bend the rules’, which required an interpretation of the unit rules and the ability to evaluate the risks associated with bending them.

Providing Support

Successful therapeutic relationships between nurses and patients need to have positive support. Different methods of providing patients with support include many active responses. Minor activities such as shopping, reading the newspaper together, or taking lunch/dinner breaks with patients can improve the quality of support provided. Physical support may also be used and is manifested through the use of touch. Patients described feelings of connection when the psychiatric nurses hugged them or put a hand on their shoulder. Psychiatric/mental health nurses in Berg and Hallberg’s study described an element of a working relationship as comforting through holding a patient’s hand. Patients with depression described relief when the psychiatric nurse embraced them. Physical touch is intended to comfort and console patients who are willing to embrace these sensations and share mutual feelings with the psychiatric nurses.

Being There and Being Available

In order to make patients feel more comfortable, the patient care providers make themselves more approachable, therefore more readily open to multiple levels of personal connections. Such personal connections have the ability to uplift patients’ spirits and secure confidentiality. Utilisation of the quality of time spent with the patient proves to be beneficial. By being available for a proper amount of time, patients open up and disclose personal stories, which enable psychiatric/mental health nurses to understand the meaning behind each story. The outcome results in nurses making every effort to attaining a non-biased point of view. A combination of being there and being available allows empirical connections to quell any negative feelings within patients.

The act of being genuine must come from within and be expressed by nurses without reluctance. Genuineness requires the psychiatric/mental health nurse to be natural or authentic in their interactions with the patient. In his article about pivotal moments in therapeutic relationships, Welch found that psychiatric nurses must be in accordance with their values and beliefs. Along with the previous concept, O’brien concluded that being consistent and reliable in both punctuality and character makes for genuinity. Schafer and Peternelj-Taylor believe that a psychiatric/mental health nurse’s ‘genuineness’ is determined through the level of consistency displayed between their verbal and non-verbal behavior. Similarly, Scanlon found that genuineness was expressed by fulfilling intended tasks. Self disclosure proves to be the key to being open and honest. Self-disclosure involves the psychiatric/mental health nurse sharing life experiences. Self-disclosure is also essential to therapeutic relationship development because as the relationship grows patients are reluctant to give any more information if they feel the relationship is too one sided. Multiple authors found genuine emotion, such as tearfulness, blunt feedback, and straight talk facilitated the therapeutic relationship in the pursuit of being open and honest The friendship of a therapeutic relationship is different to a sociable friendship because the therapeutic relationship friendship is asymmetrical in nature. The basic concept of genuineness is centred on being true to one’s word. Patients would not trust nurses who fail in complying with what they say or promise.

For a successful therapeutic relationship to form, a beneficial co-dependency between the nurse and patient must be established. A derogatory view of the patient’s role in the clinical setting dilapidates a therapeutic alliance. While patients need psychiatric/mental health nurses to support their recovery, psychiatric/mental health nurses need patients to develop skills and experience. Psychiatric nurses convey themselves as team members or facilitators of the relationship, rather than the leaders. By empowering the patient with a sense of control and involvement, psychiatric nurses encourage the patient’s independence. Sole control of certain situations should not be embedded in the nurse. Equal interactions are established when psychiatric nurses talk to patients one-on-one. Participating in activities that do not make one person more dominant over the other, such as talking about a mutual interest or getting lunch together strengthen the levels of equality shared between professionals and patients. This can also create the “illusion of choice”; giving the patient options, even if limited or confined within structure.

To develop a quality therapeutic relationship psychiatric/mental health nurses need to make patients feel respected and important. Accepting patient faults and problems is vital to convey respect; helping the patient see themselves as worthy and worthwhile.

Boundaries are essential for protecting both the patient and the psychiatric/mental health nurse and maintaining a functional therapeutic relationship. Limit setting helps to shield the patient from embarrassing behaviour and instills the patient with feelings of safety and containment. Limit setting also protects the psychiatric/mental health nurse from “burnout” preserving personal stability; thus promoting a quality relationship.

Psychiatric nurses recognize personal vulnerability in order to develop professionally. Required knowledge on humanistic, basic human values and self knowledge improves the depth of understanding the self. Different personalities affect the way psychiatric nurses respond to their patients. The more self aware, the more knowledge on how to approach interactions with patients. Interpersonal are skills needed to form relationships with patients were acquired through learning about oneself. Clinical supervision was found to provide the opportunity for nurses to reflect on patient relationships, to improve clinical skills and to help repair difficult relationships, The reflections, articulated by psychiatric nurses through clinical supervision help foster self awareness

Help Comes Calling, But For Now Im Running From Myself

The crisis team phoned a couple of times today for a follow up after everything that happened, but I ignored the calls, i was told they then called out to the house, but by then I was gone, was I wrong to ignore them?

Things are still too raw in my mind, I didn’t want to relive it again so soon, an I just didn’t want to be at home on my own, my room lately feels like such a horrible dark place, before I would of loved to just close the door to it, my own space where I could escape from the rest of the world, now it doesn’t matter how much I decorate it an fill it with nice things, its like under all that there’s still a horrible darkness to it

Perhaps its filled with such bad energy, from every bad thought I’ve ever had, an every time I’ve used it to hide my pain an my tears

I had to not only get out of the house today, but to face up to everyone after what I’d done, it was all ok, I wasn’t faced with pity, just treated the same as always, which I’m glad of

I’m just in a strange place at the moment, running from the help I wanted might be wrong, but my mind is fragile an I don’t want to push it

Perhaps throwing myself into my everyday life so soon again, wasn’t the best idea, as it drove me to where I am now, but yet its ‘my normal’ an I feel that’s what I needed, for today at least

I’m trying to fight this new rebellious chaos, an recklessness I’m feeling inside, it feels like I’m fighting against an inner storm of emotions

Really, I think for now I’m just trying to run from myself