Hospitalisation and How it Affected my Writing

I was looking back at some old blog posts on a different host site, and I stumbled across a long forgotten post from Novemeber 2010. In it I wrote

…So that’s what’s been going on with me. Well that and a stint in hospital, which I think had completely broken me.

I’ve not been able to write anything, which in turn has led me to be upset… but I just don’t feel things the way I used to. It’s weird and horrible, and I hope no one has to feel the way I feel.

My sense of humour has totally changed. Things I found funny before are now not nearly as funny. I have officially become an unenthusiastic person. It bites and I don’t know how to change it, or how to feel things anymore.

I’m not asking why. I accept that this is something that has had to happen, because it did actually happen, I just wanna know what to do about it.

Reading this seven years later and being confronted with that former version of myself is hard. My heart swells and remembers the faint echo of its old wounds whilst reading this post.

It was written shortly after I was sectioned under the mental health act and hospitalised. I am someone who is pretty open about this having been part of my life experience, though I feel where I come from, both from a cultural and religious standpoint, there is still at times a stigma attached to mental health problems, and being open about difficulties people face in that regard. I stand by my resolve to be open about my experience though, because it is through sharing, open discussion, and sincere reflection, that I believe we all learn, develop, and reach new levels of compassion and understanding.

What is very weird though, is that I’d forgotten that my writing slump coincided with my being sectioned. Prior to being sectioned, I would spend countless nights losing sleep because I was pouring out a new story idea, or working on a new poem, or just scribbling my feelings out in a journal. After being sectioned I just couldn’t do it. I tried, I tried to force myself to keep writing, I even attempted NaNoWriMo from my room on the triage ward, but it just didn’t pan out.

For perhaps the majority of my life words and writing have been places of refuge for me; from spending summers folding a4 sheets of paper in half, stapling them in the middle and designing books, writing endless stories fuelled by a youthful imagination, to journalling during my time in boarding school, even those angst filled poems that littered my teenage years. However, in the midst of one of my most difficult life experiences, that tool and solace was lost to me.

It was not that I couldn’t access writing, it’s just there was something off about it, even now it’s so hard to express this in a way that makes sense. It was almost as though in the same way that my self confidence had withered away during my time in hospital, the creativity I normally overflowed with when it came time to put my fingers to the keyboard or even pen to paper had shrivelled up too. I can still remember the desperate struggle to write, how huge of a mental block there seemed to be, how it was almost as though I’d lost not only the capacity to express myself, but also the will to do so. I believe this is very much a parallel to how things stood for me at that time mentally too. It took a lot of work to get back on an even keel, Alhamdulillah! I do feel that this experience, as much as it knocked me down, was useful in that it was a way to start rebuilding myself with a stronger foundation.

Eventually, painstakingly slowly my love of writing did return. I started of with a journal, a hot pink faux leather bound lined notebook; no dates or days, just blank lined pages a year after I left hospital. I didn’t write every day, in fact weeks would go by and I wouldn’t pick up my pen at all. When I did write, I would write a sentence here, a paragraph there, and there were a lot of days where I couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed, talk less of the mental effort it took to pick up a pen and organise my thoughts enough to write what I was feeling.

I kept writing though. A new year started and I was still using that same hot pink diary… occasionally. Gradually I was recovering, and so was my writing. Things were not exactly the same, just as I had been altered by my experiences, I believe my writing was too. At times writing can still be a challenge, but I am so grateful that it wasn’t lost to me forever.

To anyone who’s found that mental health issues have negatively impacted their writing I wanted to just put this out there, don’t lose hope. It can come back, it may not be the same, but the challenging things that we go through in life don’t have to forever be dark ink blots on the pages of our life stories, we have the capacity to grow from and learn from our experiences. To transform the inkblots into fantastic illustrations of growth and starting points for change.

Lots of love

A ridiculously long medical entry

I absolutely hate having to refill my prescription. So much so that when I was signing up to my new doctor, I considered ticking the box that said I wasn’t able to go to a pharmacy to fill my prescription, and would need to be given my medication by the doctor.

I didn’t, because I thought, some people probably actually need that service more than I do- and because my reasons aren’t a physical thing, rather a mental thing I should just suck it up, and not be lazy.

Isn’t that the impression most people have of mental illness though? Shouldn’t I consider that my aversion to prescription filling, which only really comes into play on terms of my bi-polar meds might just be symptom related. I mean considering how hard it was for “them” (them being the general term for medical care professionals) to get me to take the my pills readily and willingly, shouldn’t I give myself a break in this regard.

Understand I don’t mean, not get my prescription filled, but maybe I should talk to my care worker/ psychiatric nurse, tell her about it.

It’s not really an issue now though, so I guess I’ll continue getting out, and filling my prescription, which I think is good in a way, for me anyway, as it forces me to go to the surgery, and then the pharmacy semi-regularly. Which means if I have any other ailments, i’ll be in the vicinity of “them” and have the opportunity to take any other health concerns up with them.

There was a bit of a to do with refilling my prescription this time round though… My new surgery, is partnered with another surgery, also not far from my new house. When my care working came-a-calling last Wednesday, she asked about my meds. I told her I was refilling my prescription on the Friday of that week. She asked whether I had enough meds til’ then. I told her I may have missed a couple of days.

That’s the thing I really like about my care worker (gosh that phrase is getting to be so long, lets just call her C, ’cause that’s what her name starts with)… She gets straight down to the business of solving a problem.

Then and there she said let’s call your Gp, and try and get you down there today, to pick up a prescription. no judgement, or ‘oh no, I’m really worried’ eyes. She got that it wasn’t… Idk an indicator that I was relapsing, though she did say to me, “what would happen if you relapsed” when I was like “oh, I can just pick up one on Friday, when I’m at the doctor’s”…

Anywho, the phone line for the new GP was busy, so we called their partner practice. Here is where we encountered, the frazzled receptionist. I’d like to excuse her, given that she must have been having a busy morning buuuuut… I dunno.

I’ll tell you what happened and you can make up your own mind.
C called the partner GP practice, and put the phone on speaker phone. She asked if it would be possible to arrange for a prescription to be written for her client today, me, as the client had not taken her medication for a couple days, and further elaborated that it was a mental health matter, and as such there was a risk of relapse.

The frazzled receptionist was very curt “that will have to be an ermegency appointment. Are you saying you want to book an emergency appointment?”
C replied that well it was an emergency situation then, because as she’d explained not taking your meds for mental health was serious.

The frazzled reception’s response was something to the effect that the client, myself, should have filled out a prescription sooner, and why hadn’t I done that.

C responded that of course I should have, but that could the receptionist consider, that it was a mental health issue, that it’s a symptom, and that the problem was the fact that I hadn’t taken my meds for some days, could the receptionist see the problem here, that I needed to get my prescription filled.

To which the frazzled receptionist asked cuttingly “so do you want an emergency appointment or not”
C said “we do.”

The receptionist then said, I kid you not: ” I just don’t think it’s fair, that she should call up and get an emergency appointment,” ๐Ÿ˜ง- that was my face. I mean fair enough I should have filled my prescription, and yeah it didn’t seem like a major emergency, but it could have been.

Anyway, C got the lady’s name, and asked for her care somethingmanager’s (i forget what it was) name and number and I ended up cancelling the emergency appointment and getting my prescription filled at the heights by Dr.JW, my Psychaiatrist- at the practice where C works, though isn’t based.

The point is though, that the frazzled receptionist was hardly sensitive to the fact that it was a mental health issue. Now I’m not saying she should have been more lenient or anything, but to blatantly say it wasn’t fair for someone with a mental health issue to get an emergency appointment to refil their meds… Well, I don’t think that’s right either.

I’m glad that when I chose my new GP I signed up to the one I did, and not the partner practice. Needless to say I was a bit wary when I had my first appointment with the new surgery. Everything went okay, in terms of the doctor and the receptionists, they were pleasant, and I liked my new doctor, this is where I segue into the reason I actually wrote this entry, I’m having blood work done next Wednesday.

My old GP, had some blood tests done, and it showed up that I was marginally ESR, so my new Doctor wants to get my blood results again as things might have changed since the last time. She did reassure me that I needn’t be too worried though. Hopefully everything will be fine, though hearing that I was marginally ESR did have my googling it, and I know i’m not a doctor, but because I saw somewhere, that in some cases it can be related to anaemia, I feel (weirdly) at ease about it. If it is linked to my previous bouts with anaemia them I feel well equipped to deal with it.

๐Ÿ˜Š

So this concludes my medical entry … Hope I didn’t bore the pants off you, but you, but I needed to write this out.
And now an unrelated picture that I stole from “Totally Unserious”‘s tumblr.

20130706-192520.jpg

Back to Being a Hijabi

You may have noticed I’m back to being a hijabi, by this I mean a Muslimah (female muslim) that practices the use of hijab…

20130313-103838.jpg
Then

20130313-103907.jpg

Now

I’m happy like that, I sort of took a leave of absence from it for a while after I got out of hospital, which goes to show that all sorts of people can have bouts of low or high iman. Alhamdulilah though (All praise is due to God), I’m working my way back to this deen.

Like nowadays, I like to hang out at the masjid when I can, and it’s actually (well obviously) a nice place to hang. I’ve made some new friends out of the sisters I see there on a regular basis. I love having muslimahs for friends because in a way the encourage you towards what is good, not only in matters of this world, but in the next one. May Allah bless them and give them Barakah ameen.

Anyway I’m pleased with the way things are going Alhamdulilah, May I, and you always be content ameen

I need to get married, fast!

I really need to get married.

I mean I’m still young, I definitely find men attractive, and can unfortunately feel myself slipping into sin. I really need to get married really soon.

To the extent that any Muslim will do really, its gotten to the point where I’m walking around with a wedding ring on my finger, and telling any boy who approaches me, No ring?… NO WAY!!!! (check out my campaign ๐Ÿ™‚ )

But in all seriousness, God please send me a good hubby please?

I mean I’m actually quite neurotic, I’ve actually convinced myself that I’m dying. I mean fair enough I’ve not been able to keep anything down for over 24 hours, but dying really? Like I’ve actually just started asking random people to pray I go to jannah (paradise) and that all my sins will dissappear with the end of this ilness.

So yeah, I think if I had a good husband, he’d convince me I wasn’t dying, I’d believe him, because he would probably have come to my house to convince me rather than trying to convince me over the phone, and then he could give me a bath, a nice hot bath.

Do I sound crazy? I feel it. All today I’ve been drinking orange juice, and have managed to eat a tiny tiny tiny corner of a dry loaf of bread, pretty dehydrated from yesterday, forced myself onto the train, so that if I do collapse then at least I’ll be around humans who might (if they can be bothered) call the ambulance if I fell down in there midst.

Smh.

Its pathetic but my Creator understands my needs, so hopefully he’ll send some really awesome, hot, funny Muslim guy along ๐Ÿ™‚

Pray for me ย people ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of Stuff

BizWivDee

Lots and lots has been happening to me.

I guess they call it life. Had a couple health issues to sort out ๐Ÿ™‚

I think though, Thank God, the only ‘ailment’ that has no cure is old age. Not that that’s an ailment per se…

So I’ve established I’ve been sort of busy. I’m happy though. I’ve been sorting out loads of things, like school, books, my writing, the launch of my new ‘business’ “Business With Dee” the official launch date being 28th August (my present to myself).

I do have to give props to my beta/ editor, because she’s very patient. There was a story I was planning on posting, but it’s got a spanner in the works. In the meantime, I’m working on mostly on being able to listen to my body (like sleeping when i feel sleepy ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) ย and actually getting what i need to get done at the same time.

So it’s a work in progress- but isn’t everything ๐Ÿ˜€

Okay so that’s it, just a short entry.

Take care.

BizWivDee
The logo ๐Ÿ˜›