I really wanted to do this before the New Year, so I could leave everything that happened in 2018 in the past – exactly where it belongs!
I know it’s very last minuet, but, I couldn’t decide if I should or not! However, ‘should’ can’t be the reason behind anything!
(Addition – Applogies should you find anything that doesn’t quite make sense – I finished this with 23 minuits to spare! … and I want to see it in with Lana (her first New Year too! :))
This may be rather rambled (as I only have just over 2 hours!) but, I’ll do my best…
People often say ‘oooh, it’s been the worst day of my life’ … often joking due to a series of unfortunate events such as traffic, spilled coffee or their computer crashing!
But, giving the year I’ve had, it’s safe to say 2018 genuinely was the worst year of my life!
This is all very brief (as I’ve covered a lot of this in previous blog posts) but, it’s sort of helpful to ‘lay it out’ as I genuinely still can’t comprehend how so much can happen to one person in one year!
The year started off with me of course knowing that my University life was coming to an end – my independence, the routine, the life I’d formed for the last 3 years! With the end looming large, with Graduation in June, the pressures felt even more on than ever.
I never found the work difficult, it was the pressure from myself to achieve and also of the fear of letting my parents (especially my Father) down if I didn’t Graduate with a First Class Honours – which, you all know from a previous post… I did!!!
My wonderful Nanny (my Mother’s Mum) had been poorly for a while, to which, on 26th January, she passed away. I visited her in the weeks prior – and that morning too!
I went back to University less than 2 whole days later, without anyone to talk to as such.
Again, as you may remember from previous post, I was assessed under the Mental Health Act (after a short while of working with the Community Team) resulting in me being held under Section 3 in a mental ward here on the Island.
This was all going on and looming over me at the same time as trying to complete my Final Major Project.
During this short time – only 9 days – a whirlwind of events happened (many of which I can’t remember any more… and some I touched on in previous posts) with various talks about finding a bed in an Eating Disorder Unit in Lancashire… or Glasgow!
After being discharge – rather abruptly – just in time for my Graduation (Yay!) – everything was going very well.
However, after a few months, things started to decline again! Reducing food and fluid intake, dramatically increased exercise (I’d stopped some things before such as the sit-ups, but I began pacing, walking, running…all for hours…miles…alone and in the wind and rain!) and generally just not coping – with the OCD thoughts, with food, with everyday life!
I was still working with the community team at this time, but it had greatly reduced too as I just couldn’t find any benefit from them! I tried to discharge myself – I verbally gave my wishes, but it wasn’t official as I didn’t write – but my parents really weren’t keen on my cutting all ties!
Everything got progressively worse very very quickly.
Fast forward to the end of October…the month that was supposed to be the fresh start!
I can’t recall the exact dates but, after a series of events during the last few days of October/beginning of November (I’m not going to go into detail) it resulted in me being assessed under the mental health act again (and by 2 of the same 3 people as before!!)
They agreed to not section me!
On November 5th I believe (sorry!) I had a meeting with a consultant to re-assess my medication, which wasn’t done. Instead, as a result of a previous weigh in, the spoke of the need to inpatient treatment.
I agreed to go into Osbourne Ward voluntarily to gain some strength and such, however, a little while after I arrived, I was told (by one of the members of the assessment team) that I was now actually on a Section 2. When I questioned why (as I agreed to be there) I was told it was simply so the staff HAD to give me a fair assessment during my stay as if I was voluntarily there, I wouldn’t be taken as ‘seriously’ as I could just leave!!
During a review that Friday (9th) I was told a bed at an Eating Disorder Clinic had been found and I was being transferred there on Monday! The bed…was in at The Priory in Chelmsford! Essex!
I truly can’t comprehend it all – I still honestly can’t! My Dad wouldn’t appeal it either!
I can’t go into the detail…I don’t want to, to that extent.
It’s just good to get it out, even just a little! There is never enough time in the world to explain everything that happened.
After an agonising weekend and Monday morning, not knowing what time I was being taken, I was thankfully able to call my Mum in time for her to be with me for a little while before I had to go!
Travelling in the lowest deck of the ferry, in a plain van, in the dark… I wasn’t allowed to get out. The whole journey up to Essex – all 3.5 – 4 hours – I wasn’t allowed to get out. If I needed the loo, they’d have to find a police station!
I’m skipping loads and loads of detail but, upon arriving and during a distressed phone call to my Mum, the staff went through every single item I brought with me, checking it for…anything. Over 3/4 of my clothes were taken as they had cords – I was left with what I was wearing, a few spare t-shirts (underwear, of course)and… a pair of tights!
My Mum drove up to visit me the following day, but, due to traffic (and other things!!!!!) she was an hour and a half late, which resulted in her only being able to be with me for 20 minuets… all of which I spent in tears and angry at her.
I spoke to my solicitor again (as I did at Osbourne Ward too, following the news) that evening, to which he spoke with my father about appealing. Wednesday 14th was the last time I spoke to my Father! The last time I spoke with my Mother was a few days later I believe!
My Goal was out by Christmas – New Year in my New Home!
I can’t remember how long it was before I plucked up the courage to contact my Mother, but it was many weeks from being transferred. I sent her a very very long email explaining many things…my feelings and such, which helped breach the silence!
I missed her, of course I did! It was the longest time I’d EVER been without her, or even hearing her voice!
My tribunal (which was more than the 7 days after I applied than it should have been!)was cancelled last minuet because the judge didn’t arrive – to which it was postponed to the following week – the result of which was that my section would not be lifted.
However, during my Ward Round that Friday (30th November) my consultant revoked the Section – with 2 days to spare (as it ran out on 2nd December)
Again, skipping loads of detail…I was now an information patient! – although with the threat of Section 3 should I try to discharge myself!
I’m not too sure when I received the news – I believe it was not many days after my tribunal (and thankfully I was in contact with my Mum again by that time) but, I was told my Grandma (my fathers Mum) had passed away.
It truly was just one thing after another…when would it end!
Having made huge progress – in every aspect – I was granted home leave – the morning of the 18th to the evening of the 19th – so I could attend a hospital appointment on the Island. I was also allowed home leave over Christmas, from Christmas Eve morning, to the late afternoon of the 27th!
However, as a result of the hospital appointment (to which they tried to treat my … digestive issue…but with the WRONG equipment, so nothing actually was done) I ended up in such pain that we called ahead to the Priory and explained what had happened. This resulted in my consultant giving his blessing for me to stay on leave until the 27th December. Just as well, as, that evening the pain got severe, with me ending up in A&E for the night, having blood test, ECG’s and being given Morphine!
I discharged myself the following morning, as they said they could do anything further!
I was still in pain (but not nearly as intense), uncomfortable and with no fix/treatment in place!
The 18th December was the first time I had seen my Mother in 5 weeks…my Father in nearly 6 (I hadn’t even spoken to him until a few days before…and that was only a tearful phone call saying ‘where’s Mum’
I was so very anxious about seeing them.
I feared so many things about going home, but, I now have my very own annex! Just for me and Lana… but with immediate access and support to Mum & Dad just through the door! 🙂
Christmas was absolutely wonderful, laughing, joking, shopping!!! sorting out my new space – my stepping-homey! – I even took Mum out to lunch…which I’ve NEVER had the confidence, or even desire to do before!
Despite earlier plans to live alone and such due to my relationship with my parents (Dad especially) – which is when the possibility and action of a self-contained annex at home came about – I truly didn’t want to leave!!
It was Lana’s first Christmas, so I showered he in pressies… of course!
It was all perfect!
Going back to the Priory on the Thursday 27th December was agony. Leaving my new room, my parents…my beautiful Lana!
We left at 9.30am and didn’t arrive until just before 5pm!! Solid driving!
Again, long story short – my Mum and myself realised she could attend my Ward Round on the Friday, which resulted in me being allowed home leave, affective immediately…whilst they liaise with the community team on the Island!
The whole experience at the Priory was incredibly tough, the early days were especially difficult…scary…challenging…just…!!
I kept being made to prove myself.
But, the staff were absolutely lovely. Even the lady I called a snotty Bitch (to my mother on the first night) turned out to be the most wonderful, kind lady I’ve met… and my favourite member of staff! 🙂
However, the one person I couldn’t have coped without is an incredible friend I only met a few years ago, in a modelling shop on the Island (he advised on tiny wheels!)
I’d only met him once more since that day, but we’ve kept in touch on Facebook since our first encounter!
Messaging every day, phone calls, kind words, no judgement what so ever…just an incredible person. I am forever grateful!
You know who you are! x
My Goal was out by Christmas – New Year in my New Home!
And right now… I am writing this, tucked up in my new bed, in my new room, surrounded by new furniture and items… with my wonderful side-kick (Lana!) asleep next to (well, under!) my bed!
After quite frankly the year from a horror movie, it is now safe to say that 2018 can fuck off! Everything will be different – it is so very different already! People (especially my Mum…and my special friend) have said I’m the new Eleanor. But, I honestly feel that I am now ME again. The Eleanor of before wasn’t me…it was the mental illness me! Gripped in despair, anxiety, control, no control, self harm..!)
Although I thought I would, the past is what makes me, me and I don’t wish to erase the memories. They are all lessons to remember and learn from.
I truly don’t know how – and I think this on many occasions of late – I’m actually smiling! After everything I’ve been through, in such a short space of time, I’m smiling and…I don’t know…happier than I have been in many months…well, years really!
2019 is not for have to’s or should’s, not for anxiety or fear. or self harm.. or anything negative or detrimental!
I don’t want food to be the focus anymore, I don’t want to keep being reminded of how I was on the brink of dying.
No, no more!
If it’s not positive, happy…bright, colourful…I don’t wish to know!
2019…It’s full of hope, possibilities, new experiences, fun, laughter, blogging…a future!
2019 is MY year!! 🙂