1st night ‘on the outside’

Open fires, sheep dog love and thoughts on discharge

thumbnail_IMG_2857Well, I spent my first night of home leave last night and had a great night sat in front of an open fire in the garden. The air felt different to the air I’ve been breathing in hospital for the last 8 weeks. There was also a delightful warmth in the bitter cold, a warmth that can only really be felt outside produced by dancing flames. It all felt a bit like a holiday … but it wasn’t of course, it was life. It was my life and that’s what I have to carry on reminding myself. Although, it feels like a holiday at the moment.

Wini (my Blue Merle sheep dog) has been completely adorable since I set foot in the house yesterday evening. She’s been very loving. 8 weeks is a long time in human life, let alone in a dog’s life. Wini is one huge reason I continue to battle and take those difficult steps forward. I consider myself

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Wini Lwyd

so lucky to have her in my life. She makes such a difference, without even knowing so! My ginger cat Smwj also gave me a great welcome and has been nice and relaxed since I’m back.

This morning felt weird. I can’t lie, I saw the huge drugs bag on the table and it all felt a bit overwhelming. You don’t think about it in hospital, you just swallow the content of the small
plastic measuring cup when it’s given to you. It’s usually accompanied by a smile by whatever staff member hands it to you. At home, it feels very different, rummaging through the huge bag, trying to make sense of the various boxes. Swallowing tablets don’t make me feel good – it makes me feel ill, and I hate that feeling. I hate thinking about myself in that way. But. Knowing that swallowing them helps me stay on an even keel psychologically makes taking them necessary. I joked thumbnail_IMG_2897.jpgwith my Dad about keeping the pharmaceuticals in business – but there was certain rawness to that statement, a depth of feeling that can’t easily be casually expressed.

Today, I plan on walking my dog and tonight, a good friend is coming by for Chinese and a night in. I actually look forward to seeing her ‘on the outside’ – she’s been so supportive whilst I’ve been in hospital.

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Smwj

Although last night was my first night out, Friday is forever looming. I wonder if I’ll be discharged, or if they’ll keep me in for the weekend and discharge me next week? I feel discharge is imminent. I can’t lie that the thought of being discharged scares me although there’s a part of me that feels ready. Discharge is a strange thing, full of buzz but also accompanied by uncertainty and insecurity – it comes to us all. Discharge is important and necessary if I wish to move forward and I really do wish to move forward, but the thought of discharge also fills me with dread. In hospital, I feel safe. I can be myself. It’s not as easy on the outside and I’m perhaps understandably anxious and frightened that things don’t work out. I also know I’ll miss kind staff members and friends that are still in – I’ll need to grieve those losses as well as start to live my life again – one small step at a time. I’ve been in a psychiatric unit 4 times in all, so I know the score by now and I’m becoming evermore convinced that setting your life back up following lengthy admissions get harder each time you’re discharged. We’ll just have to watch this space and hope the journey isn’t too treacherous.

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