It’s been almost a week since I first thought about writing this post… it’s been a long week. My past seven days have really reminded me of how living with mental illness can be such a yo-yo experience. I had a fantastic bank holiday weekend – I drove back down to Essex and then went glamping with some family friends in Kent – the location was incredible, and I had such a wonderful time being around people that I love. Thanks to the lovely British weather it was of course freezing, but we had plenty of fires, blankets and food to warm us all up. (I did stand for an hour in my wellies in torrential rain watching the BBQs and praying that the flames wouldn’t reach the tent – as my friends had decided to put them on the porch area, which was under canvas… gulp).
Our tent was also right next to a cow field, which was lovely! I woke up at 5:30 one morning, and as I trekked my way back across a very frosty field from the shower block I noticed the cows were trying to figure out who (or what) I was. They were so friendly and sweet – I spent a good half hour just chatting to them (odd I know), but I do find animals to be very therapeutic.
I had such a lovely weekend out and about – nature can do wonders for my wellbeing. I was also able to spend a few days at home which was lovely. However, my mood has shifted very suddenly. I’ve gone from being content and able to enjoy myself – thanks to being outside in the country, and around people I love – to suddenly not being a fan of anything at all.
I had a psychology appointment on Tuesday morning, in which I decided to be very honest to my psychologist – my sessions are currently coming to an end, and there’s about to be a lot of change in terms of my treatment, so I didn’t really want to admit to how much I’ve been struggling. However, I was asked to complete a questionnaire by my psychologist – in which I had to be honest about things – and I was. Long story short, I am now receiving support from my Community Mental Health Team’s (CMHT) home treatment team – which basically means that the duty nurse get’s in touch just to see how things are going. Which has been really helpful – initially they were meant to get in touch every other day but they seem to be phoning me a lot, and they’re all really lovely so I’m not complaining!
Things have been pretty intense this week though, and I have been afraid to admit how overwhelming it is to go from being ‘okay’ and enjoying yourself to feeling incredibly low, vulnerable and ultimately, scared. My experience of being supported by the home treatment team is something that I am incredibly grateful for, but I am still anxious to use – last night I was really struggling and couldn’t pluck up the courage to phone them – so I’m still trying to figure things out, but thankfully there’s people there willing to help!
One coping strategy that I’m always advised to use is to look at photos of things that comfort me – I think at the moment it’s nice to remind myself that even when I am really struggling I’ve still had – and am able to have – some pretty ace experiences. Such as, standing in a field and chatting to cows at 5:30am…