Last Wednesday (the 22nd of June if you want to put it in your diaries for next year), was my 24th birthday. I anticipated a day of being at home with my family and playing on my new games console, but things did not go exactly to plan, much like the rest of this week. So, for today I wanted to use this post to provide a brief personal update on my current situation, as I feel it will be necessary for you all to know for the next few weeks of blogging delights, and the whole thing has taught me a little lesson I wish to share with you, the lesson being that you cannot run away from your problems. Actually that is a lie, you can run away from your problems very easily, but they will chase after you, and those little buggers can run fairly fast (so fast that I am convinced that they are on steroids and am hereby requesting that “Problems” are not allowed to race at this years olympics).
But I am getting ahead of myself, spouting lessons before I have explained how I learnt them, so let us go back to the beginning, by which I mean my 24th birthday rather than the dawn of time and the dinosaurs.
So, on the 24th of June at 10:30am my dad picked me up from my house to attend my appointment at the hospital and there I sat in the waiting room until my Psychologist arrived. I was taken to be weighed as per usual (a fairly disappointing experience, as the scales were just as they always were, no balloons/ribbons on the scales to celebrate my birthday or anything), and then we went through to talk. Had barely been chatting for five minutes however, before my psychologist presented me with an unexpected birthday present, this year, the very unwelcome surprise of an inpatient bed in hospital due to recent deterioration in my mental health, the bed being for Friday, less than 48 hours away. Now I know that people say that it is the thought that counts, and if anyone offers you a gift for your birthday you should be grateful and say thank you, but suffice it to say that I was not at all impressed with this suggestion, and couldn’t help thinking that my therapist should do any future present shopping for friends and family on amazon. I would rather she had given me a moustache maintenance kit for a gift, and I don’t even have a moustache…yet.
It was all pretty unwanted and sudden in my eyes, not the birthday party I wanted at all, so I left feeling rather deflated, much like the non existent balloon my therapist had failed to put on the scales to add a bit of merriment to weigh day proceedings. Luckily my mum later cheered me up by taking me to the park I used to frequent as a child to play on the swings, a far jollier birthday activity. I then played my new games console all evening, so I managed to have a nice birthday in the end by generally ignoring all worries about hospitals and anything other than which character I wanted to be in Mario Kart. (Incase you are interested I picked Toad because he looks like a mushroom and if you don’t find pleasure in watching a man who looks like a piece of spotted fungi zoom around a racing track throwing bananas, then quite frankly there is no hope for you). Basically, I ran away from my problems and pursued my dreams of winning the grand prix instead.
The next day however I was rudely awaken by my problems (quite literally, my therapist phoned me whilst I was still in bed dreaming of penguins), and she told me once again that I should go into hospital the next day. Again, I refused and got on with my day, but a little later I got another phone call that suggested the problems I was avoiding were rapidly gaining on me, this time the notification of a Mental Health Act assessment later that afternoon. My parents have since told me many a time, that it would have been the best idea to just remain calm and attend, but as a natural born problem avoider without marbles, I decided to do the next best thing, aka run away on bus and then a train to Exeter. Do I have family or friends in Exeter you ask? No. Did I have a place to stay or plan in Exeter at all you cry? No. I quite simply had no idea what I was doing other than getting away from the situation and possible hospitalisation to be re-fed back in Bristol. Unfortunately things got a little messy around this point, and though I caught the train and found myself hurtling across the English countryside at 65mph, the mess I had got myself in was hurtling right alongside (not even on a train, the mess was literally running alongside the track that fast. Steroids I tell you. STEROIDS). I won’t bore you all with the details, but in summary, my problems burst on the train to seize me no matter how hard I tried to deny any of it was happening, and a few hours later they had rudely dragged me back to Bristol where I was sectioned under section three of the Mental Health Act and admitted to an eating disorders hospital right away with none of the things I would have needed to pack. All I had in my bag was my wallet and my train tickets to Exeter, which I had well and truly learnt were of no use in my current predicament.
So, that pretty much brings me to my present situation, legally detained in hospital, unsure of how long I will be here and frightened in relation to every aspect of my life. Worst of all, the hospital in which I am detained doesn’t even have wifi (I am officially back in the stone age), and I will admit that one of my worries when I woke up the next day was you, my dear little internet blog readers. Though a small crowd I admit, you are in all honesty a key motivation for me to keep kicking ass as much as I can. I have no control of my personal life at the moment, but I still have my blog and writing to escape to so that is what I am focusing on for now to get me through. That said, without wifi posting this is going to be an almighty challenge, so if it is Monday and you are reading this then another lesson we will have learnt from this week is that I am a technological genius who is more educated in the ways of computer than Bill Gates.
Thankfully, as one positive to brighten up this rather bleak post, I do at least have some of my things in my hospital room now, as my mother was kind enough to bring the basics in, and it is always nice to have your own toothbrush and teddies when trapped under stressful circumstances. I guess that is yet another lesson right there: never underestimate the power and importance of clean teeth and something to cuddle.
I really hope you can all forgive me for this slightly indulgent post that is all about my personal mental health and situation, rather than stigma reducing information or any advice I can offer, but to be fair this is my birthday week, and if you can’t be a bit indulgent and have a ramble about yourself on your birthday then when can you? I promise normal/more interesting blogging will resume next week when I have settled in and know what is going on in my life, but for now I hope you can all at least take away the main lesson I have learnt and point of this post that in some ways we can all benefit from it, that being that when it comes to mental health issues and things generally in life, you cannot run away from your problems as they will always catch up with you eventually, (even if you are on a train to Exeter).
(For the purpose of this picture I have envisaged my problems as a giant orange with a satsuma for a nose. This is not because of any symbolic significance related to oranges or their complex segmented form, it is simply because I really do not like oranges and never miss an opportunity to draw them in a bad light).