Nearly two years ago, I had a mental breakdown. I struggled for 8 months going to therapy and trying several different medications before things became too serious and unbearable and so I went in to hospital. During these 8 months prior to hospitalisation, things snowballed out of control. I was self-harming and committing self-destructive acts and generally toiling with my own life. It was probably only a matter of time until something serious would have happened to me so I am thankful to my psychologist and to myself, that we could see that I couldn’t continue on and we needed something to change big time.
It was a Wednesday afternoon, the 17th February 2011, when I met with my therapist for a session. I was totally broken down, I simply didn’t want to live. The weekend before, I had taken a handful of Imovane sleeping pills, had drunk alcohol and had walked myself down to the local A&E. There, I sat, for 12 hours wondering what was going to happen to me. I didn’t sign myself in to the hospital, I just sat in the reception area and to my surprise, no staff came over to me at all to ask if I was OK. I was there from 6pm-6am. At 6am, after sleeping for 4 hours and not feeling much at all, I walked my way home. I survived it.
I was toiling too much with my own life. I won’t go in to details, but I was doing extremely dangerous things which could cause instant death. At this point, I don’t know if I wanted to just escape or wanted to die. I was on an extremely fine line between choosing to live and choosing to die. This was definitely a good time for hospitalisation. I packed a bag and took my way off to the local psychiatric hospital. They sent me to a hospital out of the city and there I was for 14 months.
I have now been released from the hospital for a month now and all of that time, been in a rehabilitation program in the city. I work 5 days a week, 5 hours a day in the rehabilitation program’s workshops/factory, have intensive 3 times a week therapy with a clinical psychologist, art therapy, group therapy and so on and so forth. The idea of the rehabilitation program is to slowly integrate us back in to society after hospitalisation or a breakdown. The work that we do is paid $1-2 per day, so as you can see, the idea of the work is just so that you are getting up in the morning and doing something, it’s nothing to do with money! It’s a framework that we have to go to each day, arrive on time and do the work we are given. It’s like a simulation for real life in a way. Not really real life work and stuff, but it’s like a practise.
I have been very impressed with the rehabilitation program and staff. I have had several very difficult days here and there with lots of thoughts of self-harming, so the manager asked me to write a signed contract that says I will not hurt myself. So I did that. It’s still all going around in my head, that I want some form of release and whatever else the self-harming does for me, but it’s been 9 months or so since I hurt myself and I don’t plan on breaking that record. All staff have been aware and up-to-date as to my condition and have been checking up on me that I am OK when in my room by myself and at work too.
The rehabilitation works in a few different stages. The first, which I am in, is to be living in the rehabilitation program’s housing and go daily to their factory/workshops. The second, is to either/and/or move out to a rented apartment, having care workers visit on a daily basis to check all is OK or to leave the rehabilitation work and go out to the real world and get a regular job. Then the final stage is to be living in a rented apartment, no care workers, no rehabilitation work, but studying something or working in a ‘real life’ job.
I have many months and perhaps years ahead of me but I hope that I can really make progress in this program. I look forward to updating my fellow bloggers as to my progress throughout this process.
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