It has been a very humbling week, and I am surprised as ever at the lessons life is teaching me.
A week ago I wrote on my D.I.D. blog about self-care.
I had mentioned about having a tough time, the self-care that was needed, and not knowing where this journey was going to take me. Sometimes things settle down, sometimes they don’t, only time would tell. I have pulled in my supports and asking for help, doing what I can do to ride out this storm.
Well, that storm is still going, and it’s going to be here for a while.
Late last week I realized this, and knew I would most likely have to go the next step- to be hospitalized. As always this is not something I take lightly. I have talked to many friends about it, and, I’m sure, it’s the same conversation I have with them every time I am at this stage. In fact- I’m sure they could write the script. But, I needed to make sure I am doing everything I can do to help myself.
Talking to them also helps me accept the inevitable. I will need more help with this.
Of course I kept flip flopping on this, saying I could handle it, I don’t need the hospital, it will pass etc. But, it has not, so I made an appointment to see my Dr.
These last few days I have come to realize how very hard it can be to ask for help. Yes, whenever I give a presentation, I always tell them, there is nothing wrong with asking for help, no shame in realizing you need help with a mental health issue, and that there are people who will help you if you only ask them, because, no one can read your mind. So, please, please ask for help- you are worthy of it.
As I was thinking of this I thought “Well Suzy, you would be a pretty hypocritical bitch if you didn't follow your own advice. If you’re going to Talk the Talk, you had better be ready to Walk The Walk!”
In my wellness, I had forgotten how hard asking for help could be, and how the inner dialogue and old tapes can sabotage you. I had forgotten how when I wasn't emotional and feeling like crap- I would be numbed out and “everything was fine” when in reality it’s not, that’s why I was disconnecting or dissociating. I forgot about the anxiety and feelings of shame for needing help once again. I realize these are all “cognitive errors” but when you’re in the middle of it, it’s pretty hard to remember that.
This is also why I have a hospital intake plan. It’s something I had written up, and revamped when I was doing fine. It tells the hospital what I have been doing to avoid being hospitalized, the resources and supports I have used. It tells them how I am feeling, emotionally and physically, and why I seek admission.
It also tells them what my hospital stay will be like, what it will look like to them, what it will feel like to me, and what they can do to support me during this time.
I realize I may be different, as it is past trauma issues that I need to work on when I’m in there, but I still have issues with my complex PTSD, anxiety and depression. And throwing Dissociative Identity Disorder in the mix just makes things a little more interesting!!
I had been meeting with my Dr on a weekly basis for the last six weeks. So, last Friday I met with my Dr. again.We talked about the resources I am using, what else I can do to help etc. I have been through this many times, and he has been very supportive, and like me, he understands the process I need to go through. I had made an appointment to see him again the following Friday.
This weekend I thought about the things I had planned for the next week, and the week after. The ringette games, seeing Gabor Mate,- which I will miss, crap- meetings etc. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, the anxiety was increasing, so I went to the beach, sat and did a smudge, and just sat quietly, and as always, the answer came to me.
Well, I made another appointment and saw my Dr. today. Things are not getting better, and while I was waiting in his office I thought about “walking the walk “again. He came in, sat down and asked me how I was doing. Well, as hard as it was I let him know, and as soon as I did the protective wall came down and it all came out. Everything, tears and all. It was hard, but it was much needed. After some discussion we decided that he would contact the hospital and request a bed for me in the psychiatric unit- what I call the St Joseph Spa and Treatment centre”
We talked about safety plans and resources to have in place, and plans to keep me safe while I wait for the call from the hospital.
This is huge progress. In the beginning of my work and healing journey, when things were coming up, I would see my Dr. he would walk in and would already have huge wall of defense around me. Anything he said would not get in, and I would hide how I was really feeling. Needless to say this caused huge problems and I would usually end up in emergency in crisis mode.
Now, I can tell him how I’m really feeling, what is really going on, and because I can do this earlier, we can both become proactive. I have also learned that for me, it helps to break the following days into chunks. Morning, afternoon, evening etc. What I am going to do, who I am going to ask for help and how they can help me. By doing this, it helps me feel like things are not so overwhelming, that if it takes 3 or 4 days to get in the hospital, then we have chunks that we can deal with.
I have great supports, and I am pulling them in to help me through this. I am also accepting help more when it is offered. I have learned that I don’t have to go this alone. Yes, this is a solo journey, but I can have my supports to help me along the way.
I see my therapist Friday morning, and my Dr Friday afternoon, and we will continue with the supports and resources that are required.
I have supports and plans in place to keep me safe for the next 3 days, and if I am not in the hospital by then, I will ask for more supports, I know they will help me and I will see my Dr again, we will keep going until we get in.
Knowing that my name is on the list helps because I know it will not be forever. I will get in there, I will work on what I need to work on, and I will get better.
Some people ask me “Why can’t you just be happy with who you are now. You have come a long way, why keep working so hard, maybe it’s time to put your feet up?”
I tell them, there is this driving force that compels me to move forward. When I was born I was supposed to die, but there was something that made me keep fighting. This force keeps moving me forward to do the work that I need to do, to be the best I can be, to be the most authentic that I can be. I know, doing this work, and going through this does not make life easier, but when I come through the work, life is so much richer, sweeter, amazing and there are new adventures to go on and discoveries to make.
I will make it through this, and come out the other end a more whole, happier and better person. Of that I have no doubt. It’s a very painful process, but a much needed process to be the best that I can be.
And, if I’m going to Talk the Talk, I had better be prepared to Walk the Walk.
Those are my thoughts for today and I will see you on the other side, a much happier, richer, more authentic me. And boy, will I have a story to tell.
Cheers and be well