Wha — ?

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Photo credit: AnnaAniston on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Just now, I was looking for a wreathe my sister-in-law made me, but that I wanted to decorate. I had no problem with that, and have even been known as crafty (sort of). Anyway, a friend offered to help me decorate it so it’ll be ready to hang on our door around the Holidays. Okay, okay, we’re barely out of the winter season here, it seems. Anyway, I, uh, forgot to look for it until today, when I was texting with my friend.

So I went into the dining room, and didn’t see it in the bags of books that had collected there. The first thing I noticed was the cover/carrying case for my light box. It seemed a little heavy when I grabbed it, and I mean, all that was in there as far as I knew, were the metal legs for the light box, but it seemed too heavy for that. I unzipped it, and was astonished to see the colorful disposable razors that my husband had hidden from me. He’s the one who does the cooking, so I figured that whatever else was in there were knives.

As soon as I saw the razors, I was gone — all the way back to the living room. I tried calling him, but couldn’t get through. I was in a panic! I felt like cutting — the means to do so were right there. But I didn’t.

I tried calling him several times, but his ringer is on low. I’m still a little shaken up, as this just happened about an hour ago.

Have you ever received a surprise that you didn’t want? That affected your mental health, somehow?


Daily Prompt: Astonish

In It for the Long Haul

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NOTE: This post discusses self-harm. If this is a trigger for you, please do not read further.

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Photo credit: darranl on Visual Hunt / CC BY

As I showered this morning, I noticed that my razor was gone from the shelf in the shower. I had no intention of harming myself, but I did feel annoyed not seeing it in its usual spot. I admit that I still have urges to self-harm, and it’s hard to fight those urges because it’s like an addiction.

I asked my husband about it, and he said that he put my razors away (I bought a 4-pack) before he even took me to the ER this last time. And as I signed my discharge papers from Behavioral Hospital, my social worker emphasized that my husband should put away my razors and medications (so I can’t OD, which is what I wanted to do when I was hospitalized a month ago).

Not seeing my razor there felt like a violation, though I’m not sure why. I know I can’t be trusted having them around. Knives are okay, because I don’t use them to cut, especially since ours are pretty dull.

I’m hoping that I’ll learn other ways of coping that will work for me. Rubbing an ice cube on my arm or snapping a rubber band against my wrist don’t produce the same psychological effects as cutting, at least not for me.

It’s been over 10 years since I last cut, and I’m in this for the long haul — not cutting, that is.

What are substitute coping methods you’ve used to avoid self-harming?


Daily Prompt: Haul

Re-Admitted

Thank you all for your support, love, and encouragement during what has been a difficult time. Much love to you all. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Being admitted to Behavioral Hospital. Photo provided by author

As some of you know, I was in the emergency room on Friday, March 23, because I couldn’t stop self-harming. I was there from 4:00 PM until about 6:30AM the next day, when I was transferred to, I’ll call it, Behavioral Hospital. It’s a mental institution, but calling it that would be self-stigmatizing.

I was transferred because they didn’t have any beds at ECT Hospital, which devastated me. I like the psych ward at ECT Hospital, and know what to expect, especially because I was just there in the beginning of March. I was scared when the ambulance arrived at Behavioral Hospital.

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Just got home. Photo provided by author

But I ended up loving many of my fellow patients because I was admitted to the Women’s Unit. No, the facilities weren’t as nice nor the food as good as ECT Hospital, but the various group therapies were so. Much. Better.

They made a few changes to my medications, which my psychiatrist planned to do, anyway. I’ll see him on Friday, my therapist on Monday, and this Thursday, I have an in-take interview with an Intensive Outpatient/Partial Hospitalization Program (IOP/PHP). I describe this type of treatment in My Experience with Partial Hospitalization Programs. I’m actually looking forward to it, and should have done it after my last hospitalization earlier in March. But we had travel plans. Also, I don’t think ECT Hospital recommended that I go to IOP/PHP, so I didn’t explore that type of treatment.

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First meal after discharge: Candy Apple French Toast from Over Easy. Photo provided by author

Well, it’s part of my aftercare this time around, and I think it’ll help me transition from being an inpatient back to being on the “outside.”

Have you gone to an IOP/PHP after being hospitalized, or even without having been hospitalized?


Daily Prompt: Explore

UPDATE 3/23/18

I’m sorry I haven’t replied to your comments. After seeing my therapist and continued communication with my psychiatrist, we decided that I should go to the hospital, which is where I am right now. I’ll likely be admitted; if so, my husband will try to provide updates.

Thank you all so much for the positive vibes. 💕

I Cut Again

⚠️⚠️⚠️!!!TRIGGER WARNING!!!⚠️⚠️⚠️

NOTE: This post graphically discusses self-harm. If this is a trigger for you, please do not read further.

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Photo provided by author

Happiness is not a foreign concept to me. As I mentioned yesterday, I had a salon appointment. My nail tech did, indeed, ask about the bandages on my arm, and I muttered something about having cut myself. Fortunately, by that point, my husband replaced the Disney Band-Aids with 2 of the biggest, yet appropriately-sized bandages I’ve ever seen, and they were that normal Band-Aid color.

I also got my hair done. I was scheduled for a cut and color, and when I was at the salon last week, I mentioned to my stylist that I wished I could go red, but my hair is so dark. As you can see from the picture, she certainly got my naturally black hair to a red that’s even brighter than she expected, and that we both love! I absolutely LOVE it! I guess there’s still a bit of punk rock in me lol! I was excited and elated when I left the salon.

Not long after I got home, I cut again. It was a compulsion. This time it wasn’t to release emotional pain — it was to release tension. As the razor went up my arm, it was stimulating — I felt a rush that, I admit, was awesome. I spent the rest of the night trying not to cut, because it had an addictive quality. At least I had TV shows to watch, which was a good distraction. Also, I began feeling a bit manicky; turns out, I forgot to take my morning meds, which is when I take the majority of my mood stabilizers.

Anyway, my husband e-mailed my psychiatrist again, who this morning, replied:

“It may be a good idea to go to the hospital right now. One thing that they can do is get Barb up to a good dose of lithium very quickly, as they can take daily blood draws and monitor her closely. In fact, I would perhaps suggest that this is the best course of action.”

So there may be another hospital stay in my very near future. I did text with my therapist yesterday, who called me last night. She said we need to figure out better coping mechanisms. I have an appointment with her early this afternoon, and my husband will be sitting in.

As I type this, I feel the depression again. I don’t know if I’m rapid cycling, or if it’s because I forgot to take my meds yesterday morning. I hate feeling this way, and I absolutely regret having cut, period. As I said, it feels like an addiction.

If I do end up going to the hospital, too bad I can’t wear my Doc Martens to complete the punk look lol! They’d only take the laces away, and it’d be awfully hard to walk in unlaced combat boots!

I’m sorry I haven’t been reading your posts these past couple of days, but I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories, love, support, and encouragement. ❤️❤️❤️

If you’ve ever cut, did it feel addictive?


Daily Prompt: Foreign