Rehabilitation after hospitalisation

the qiuet borderlineNearly 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.

© The Quiet Borderline and A Canvas Of The Minds 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Quiet Borderline and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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18 thoughts on “Rehabilitation after hospitalisation

  1. you are a great trier and determined,how was it in the hospital if u dont want to talk about that then please dont but keep the effort going-great

    • It was a big struggle in the hospital too. My breakdown was really quite awful. But I’ve fought through it and can just about see the light at the end of the tunnel.

      Thank you for your kind words Mike. Really appreciate them.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Sounds like you are in a good program and I look forward to following your progress. Good Luck!!

    • Thank you very much! Yes, this program should be available everywhere – I agree!

  3. Reading your words stopped me in my tracks, thinking holy shit 14 months in hospital after the initial what the fuck to the sitting in A & E for 12 hours without so much as a nurse coming to ask who or why you were there,
    Your story is one of strength and courage, I admire your will to fight and live, I also admire your strength in sharing your life with other’s thank you
    Angel

    • Thank you Angel.

      It is my pleasure, to write all of this down, it really is. Yep, 14 months in hospital, it’s pretty crazy. And no nurse or any staff coming over to me in 12 hours, that was pretty crazy too!

      Thank you for your such kind words.

      I’m battling on.

  4. It’s great to have you on board! I do apologize for my late response.

    You wrote: “I was on an extremely fine line between choosing to live and choosing to die.”, and it caught me. It was so dead on. I’d love to expand upon that one day in a post. For me, there were times where it fluctuated between choosing to live and wanting to do to choosing to die and resigning myself to life. There is such a shaded area somewhere in the woods between self-destruction, self-injury, and death. And that’s where, for me, the lines between reality, fantasy, idealization, and what I thought was the reality all blur and seem to overlap. It’s strange how so many things that seems conflicting often live inside each other.

    I’m glad you chose to live your life. I can’t tell you the joy it gives to me to see people “fighting the good fight”, which to me ranges anywhere between simply choosing to continue with life and choosing not to end it. It sounds like the same thing, but if you look hard enough, there is a serious difference.

    And more than anything, I’m excited to hear that you’ve made it to rehabilitation and you haven’t harmed in nearly a year! That’s one heck of an accomplishment! I honestly can’t say I’ve gone more than six months in the last few years without SIB. You should plan on some kind of present or something for your one year anniversary! That would be really great, just something nice to reward yourself with after so much hard work.

    • Thank you for your such kind words.

      Yes, I’ll have to work out exactly when I last self-harmed and treat myself to an anniversary present!

      Please feel free to expand upon what I wrote.

      All the best.

  5. I’m so delighted to have you joining us (I think I may have mentioned that!), and I feel really honored that you are sharing your story here, and now are a part of the Canvas family.

  6. The mere fact that you are sharing this personal post, speaks volumes about your strength and character. I am relieved that everything is slowly falling into place for you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers……

    • Thank you Silverfox. I appreciate your kind comments.

      I’m sure that all will fall in to place eventually.

      All the best.

  7. I’m excited to see you on Canvas!

    I know that many programs/places use a self-harm contract, but I’m not sure if I would sign it. Not because I self-harm a lot–I don’t, though I do sporadically. But it’s just the fear that I would be denied help if I violated the contract. Since I do it sporadically, the times when I do it, I’m not exactly in full control. I would feel like it’s unfair to hold me to it when I’m not in my right mind. Sort of the same principle behind people not being guilty by reason of insanity.

    Sorry, that’s not exactly a helpful or useful comment. It’s just a thought I’ve had, though. The hospital thing . . . wow. Sometimes I’ve wondered what would happen if I went to sit in the general reception area. Apparently not much. It sort of reminds me of what happened when I was in the ER and suicidal. At one point, before they would continue, I had to talk about payment options–pay now or be billed later. It seems a bit crass to do it at that point, in my opinion.

    • I’m very happy to be here. Thank you Angel.

      I totally see your point about the no self-harm contract. In fact, when I first had my breakdown nearly 2 years ago, before I was hospitalised, I saw a private psychologist twice a week for 8 months. I was just feeling worse and worse and self-harming more and more so she asked me to sign a no-suicide contract. I asked her to add in (seeing it only mentioned suicide) that if I self-harm I will make sure to tell my therapist. So that was our deal. I have to admit, it works less than what I have now which includes self-harm. As much as I have more urges to self-harm and it ‘helps’ me, I know that I could totally screw myself over and get thrown out of the program. Which is very scary so the contract I’ve now signed kinda works.

      They also made me sign one at work because I self-harmed at work and not in the rehabilitation program’s housing.That was the other day. And I agreed to sign it.

      Your story about being suicidal and being asked when to be billed is crazy. Grr, I really hate things like that.

      I have to admit, the self-harming I did now a week ago or so really helped me, I felt so calm and good after. I do therefore worry that I may come to a point where my honesty gets the better of me and maybe I’ll do it without telling them. In the end, I really need the help from my therapist and he’s not helped me at all so far with self-harm urges etc.

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