No matter how many times I try not to, no many how many times I tell myself it isn’t worth it, no matter how many times I use distraction techniques; it still happens. I am weak willed when it comes to self-harm. I know this, and on the whole I have come to accept it. That doesn’t mean I am happy about it, but I know that it is easier if I self-harm when I initially feel the urge to do so, rather than put it off, as invariably I end up doing it eventually and the longer I have distracted myself from doing it then the worse it will be.
I managed to not cut on Friday night, probably because I felt quite rough from the chemo of the previous 2 days, but I came home and wanted to inflict damage on myself. I don’t know what had gone wrong, in fact everything had been running fairly smoothly, but I had an urge, a feeling deep inside me, a knotted tension screaming to get out and I knew that the way to let all of it out was to cut. I didn’t though, instead I took an anti-emetic and a sleeping tablet and went to sleep.
I woke up on Saturday morning still wanting to cut. The sleep I had got hadn’t been refreshing, my dreams were plagued with self-harm, hospitals, blood and wounds. In fact, it is fairly easy to say that self-harm was a preoccupation. I made 2 small, superficial scratches to my arm to rid myself of the urge, and it worked. I got through Saturday not wanting to cut again, even though it was a boring, mundane day that saw me sitting in my room doing sod all for most of the day.
On Sunday, things were different. The day was a bad day. My Mum was in a particularly black state and decided the way to deal with it was to make the majority of things my fault. My Dad was in a world of his own and selfishly decided to contribute nothing to the day. I was left, in my rather fragile state given I had just had chemo, to deal with everything in the house. Come the evening and I spoke with the friend I had thought I had alienated a few weeks ago. He told me I was forgiven, which served to lift my spirits slightly, but only superficially. I watched a repeat of Top Gear and found it all mind-numbingly tedious. I went upstairs to have a bath, only I never had the bath, instead I cut myself. The cuts were worse than I had intended tham to be and I knew they needed suturing, so I went to A&E. I was treated by an SHO and a nurse practitioner who decided to suture the worst parts of the wounds and glue the more superficial parts with skin adhesive (they were going to use steri-strips until I pointed out I am allergic to them).
They were both absolutely lovely but the SHO seemed concerned about my wellbeing. He asked me the usual questions about suicide and thoughts of further self-harm and for once I told him the absolute truth. Yes, I have been thinking about suicide. Yes, I have got a plan as to how I would do it. Yes, I have got the means. No, I haven’t set a concrete date or time. Yes, I do still want to self-harm. I don’t know if I’ll do it again when I get home. No, I don’t feel particularly happy in myself. No, I haven’t been eating or sleeping. Yes, I see my CPN on Tuesday.
I thought these were reasonable answers, but they scared the SHO who rang the Crisis Team to come and assess me. The Crisis Team came out and carried out their standard assessment, and came to the conclusion that I didn’t need admitting, nor did I need extra input from the team at that point, so I could be discharged home provided I made an appointment with the GP today and kept the appointment with Allison on Tuesday. All well and good and I ended up back home in the wee small hours of this morning.
I couldn’t get to sleep last night. I had that horrible sensation where your brain is absolutely knackered but your body won’t stop ticking over and feeling restless. In my infinite wisdom, I picked the glue off one of the cuts which then meant only half was closed. I then proceeded to open the half that had been glued up until it was gaping. I felt stupid after doing this as I had clearly made an absolute mess of what had taken the SHO and nurse practitioner some time to complete, but in the short term it made me feel better, and after a few too many Nytol, I got some sleep.
I saw the GP earlier this afternoon. It wasn’t my regular GP but another one in the practice who I have seen before. Luckily I took my copy of the initial assessment document with me that the Crisis Team had given me as no one had bothered to contact the surgery yet about my attendance at A&E. She was perfectly pleasant and spent time talking to me about things that have been happening recently. I told her about opening the cut up and she booked me in to see the nurse to get it sorted. She gave me a week’s prescription of venlafaxine and zopiclone, as she was concerned about my safety given I had been seen by the Crisis Team for deliberate self-harm and made an appointment for me to see my regular GP in a fortnight.
The nurse was equally as nice. She didn’t patronise me or act in a concerned manner. She just treated me as a patient with lacerations. She cleaned them and put steri-strips over the part I made worse, but sprayed a barrier solution onto my skin first so the steris don’t actually stick to me. She put a waterproof dressing on, so I can have a shower, gave me a spare one to take home and made an appointment for Thursday afternoon to check the wounds are healing.
I go out to a message from the CMHT. Allison is off sick and is not going to be in work tomorrow or Wednesday so she will apparently contact me on Thursday to rearrange our appointment. I feel a bit let down as the Crisis Team and the GP were pinning all the support on Allison and the CMHT to get me through the next few days and now it isn’t going to happen. I can understand people being ill, I mean I am ill often enough, but I just feel as if some extra support wouldn’t have hurt. I mean I was meant to be seeing 2 CPNs tomorrow for the ‘bouncing ideas off each other’ session. Surely the second one could still see me? They should have a duty CPN to stand in for illness as well, could I not see them? The answer is clearly not, so bye bye and wait for the phonecall.
I feel like such an idiot for getting so worked up about a missed CPN appointment but I have been waiting 2 weeks to see Allison. A fortnight in which my eating has got seriously bad, the urge to self-harm has been overwhelming and I’ve been having intrusive thoughts about suicide. I mean, even my dreams are self-destructive. I won’t make a fuss about it though, I’ll just sit in my usual fashion feeling self-pitying and sorrowful and doubtlessly at some point in the near future an appointment will be made.