It’s a wild ride as an inpatient at a psychiatric facility.

I can’t honestly say I’d recommend it. But then sometimes we have to do necessary things in life that aren’t necessarily enjoyable. I didn’t traipse all the way here for fun. I left behind all that was comfortable and familiar, to learn uncomfortable, unfamiliar ways of managing my emotional and eating behaviours. At this stage I am far from cured.

I have struggled (understatement of the year) with increased depression and anxiety. I have felt like an absolute mess. But I guess if there’s one good thing about being in a psychiatric facility, they’re well equipped to manage depression and anxiety. Today I have woken feeling less desolate than other days. I received a lovely unexpected gift from a good friend – the bluebird of happiness. It is now sitting on my windowsill enjoying the small amount of greenery that I get to see. I have had a visit from another lovely friend who lives over here. We had a beautiful chat for a couple of hours and she left me with a beautiful soap that smells divine. My cousin visited and brought me supplies of gluten free snacks, a lovely doona for my bed, and a snugly, fluffy blanket. I feel so much more homely.

I have been feeling so alone and isolated and disconnected and really struggled with this.

Yesterday one of my close friends facetimed me (is that a word? according to the red line underneath it, it’s not. I don’t care…) It was so awesome to chat face to face. Not quite the same as being able to reach out and have a hug, but so much more connecting than writing text messages. I then facetimed my husband after dinner and it was beautiful for both of us. I am going to ask a couple of other friends to facetime from time to time as that sense of connection reminds me I’m not alone here.

I’d love to share all the progress I’ve made, but for now I haven’t noticed any. I eat six meals a day – they’re all enormous (in my opinion). We’re monitored for an hour after every meal. So that pretty much translates into almost nine hours a day eating and being monitored. Doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else! We do two group sessions per day with varying topics and they are for the most part pretty good. The program is exactly what I expected and exactly as difficult as I expected and I have to keep reminding myself that this too shall pass and at the end of this, there are good things waiting.

There is a giant silent elephant in my metaphorical room.

And that is my lap band. It is problematic. It makes eating food extremely difficult. I don’t know if it’s too tight – but according to the non-experts around me, it is too tight. I will discuss it with the doctors today and I’m prepared to do as they suggest. I’m terrified of having it loosened as I fear losing control over all my eating behaviours. I’m terrified of leaving it as is because I can’t keep food down comfortably – or at all on occasions. So I’m caught between a rock and a hard place and I’m now willing to be guided by the professionals as to how to deal with it.

As the memoir I’m in the process of writing (currently paused… too sleepy…) has a theme heavily based around connections and disconnections, it has been eye opening for me to experience such an overwhelming sense of disconnection here and how quickly my mental health plummeted while feeling so isolated. Which makes me realise the importance of staying connected – however I can, and whatever that means to me. I’m hoping facetime will become my new best friend. And as I gain more freedom from the clinic (we move through different phrases) I should be able to leave more frequently and start feeling a part of the real world. Which to be honest, has ceased to exist.

There’s not a lot else to share. I’ve done a lot of writing but it isn’t suitable for public viewing. Sometimes writing just needs to be for me. To narcissistically and cathartically express and expel all that consumes me.

So that is me on day 12. I’m feeling a turn in mood. I hope to soon feel a turn in behaviors. My worst fear would be to complete this program then go home and return to my old disordered self. That is just not happening. My number one new goal which I am adamant I will cling to, is no purging. I have made a pact with myself to never purge again. Ever.

I am determined. That bluebird of happiness is watching over me – just in case.

2 thoughts

  1. I hope you manage to talk to the docs about the lap band. I’m sorry you feel so alone, but to be honest I can’t imagine not feeling alone there; while others may be going through something similar, the experience is uniquely yours, so I can see why Facetime (I’ve never used it so I can’t help there with whether that’s what it’s called!) is a blessing. You’re doing brilliantly lovely – you’re still there, we’re here and we hear you, so stay strong and try to remember every feeling you have there so you have those memories and sensations to hold on to when you return home. x

    1. I’m proud that you are going to talk to the Dr about the Lapland and are keeping an open mind about it. That in itself is progress! Xx

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