Time Limit on Mental Health Recovery

Why does mental health recovery have a time limit? It’s one of the things that bugs me the most. Many people put into therapy get 4-6 weeks of therapy and then they are cast out into the world again. Some people get 12 weeks if they are lucky, but that seems to be the maximum. Why is it that mental illness comes with such a limit?

Would we treat a cancer patient and say well you’ve got so many weeks of chemo, but after that you’re on your own? Or tell someone who is recovering from something like a stroke that they have 12 weeks to rehabilitate and then off they go to do it themselves? I don’t think so. Why is it okay with mental health? It’s just as debilitating as any other illness. The difference is, is that it can’t be seen.

The reason from my rant today comes from my own experience. When I had taken an over dose those few weeks ago and gone to my doctor after the hospital had discharged me and for the first time I said to someone that I think my thoughts are wrong. I need some help, did I get some and felt relieved.

I was assigned a therapist. I have had therapists before and for various reasons either I didn’t stick or my time was up. This time I tried to give everything I had. I tried to be honest about how I was feeling. I even showed him my many self-harm episodes across my skin. tumblr_mjvm92IrOr1s8qsclo1_500

It was heart-breaking to hear at my last sessions that I only have three left. His manager said I could have 14 sessions. I’ve done 11 so far, because I needed so much, but that’s it for me. I feel let down again. I feel lost again. I keep hearing those words in my head and it makes me upset.

I am not a stupid person, but I am an ill person. I don’t understand how the doctors can say to someone who –

Who is suicidal and has tried many times before.

Who self-harms almost daily (although at the moment it’s been 8 days)

Who has flashbacks, sometimes so bad he has to leave the house.

Who suffers disassociation and often doesn’t know if he is a real person.

Who has BPD and breaks down and wants the world to end at something as simple as a cancelled lunch date.

Who suffers DDNOS and flits between different parts of himself at different ages because he is fragmented.

How can someone with so much to recover from be told they have 14 weeks and then they’re on their own again.

No wonder people don’t tend to get better. You can’t put a time limit on recovery from anything. That includes mental health.

 

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Therapy

After much deliberation, I have decided that I am going to give up on therapy. It’s ironic I guess, that this is what I am training to be yet, I find that it is not right for my own things. Maybe, I am just a better listener than a talker.

Recently I did a session of EMDR. This was probably the session I realised therapy is not for me. I cannot connect with this therapist or any that I have gone to, before him. The textbook answers, and the fact that they are paid to listen, hinders my mind, and I know that really, they don’t care. How can I give my darkest, and deepest things that are so hard for me to say, to someone who after I leave, will probably think nothing of me for more than five minute?.

I found myself going over this in my mind a lot and then I thought about the therapy itself. I really don’t think healing is a thing that is possible, not in a way that it is all gone. How can a lifetime of things be undone by talking to someone? How can the broken parts of me ever be put together the way they were so long ago, when its before I can even remember? The most I can hope for is to learn how to calm the child inside. To care for him when he is sad or upset. To understand when triggers happen, and not to fight them, but to sit down with that part of myself, and just allow it to be there.

I’m not really sure how I will achieve this, but as I learn more and more in my psychology classes, I understand myself better, and the child from long ago.

Writing the Teddy books helps me. It’s giving him a voice when he has never had one. I am not sure what I will do when I finish this final one. I plan to write it all to the end now; Teddy 3.5 as it is called, and if you have read my others, then you understand why I cannot called it Teddy four.

My father suffered a heart attack recently, and whilst I know many readers of my books will perhaps think, this is a good thing, I found myself shocked at my own reaction. I put the phone down after I had been told, and wondered what if he dies. That would be it. I would never have a chance to tell my father what I thought, and never the chance for him to be a father.

I know these things will never happen. I have to find some way to accept that. I think what shocked me the most, was my own upset and breakdown, on the phone. So much of a breakdown that I couldn’t even talk, and someone else had to take the call for me. I realised that I care, somewhere inside, for my father, because he is, after all, my dad.

External Images.

External Images.

I feel sad today, I’m not really sure why. I saw my therapist yesterday and then I had a date and went for a drink and then saw the hobbit. It was an enjoyable evening, yet this morning I find myself with that lost empty feeling.

Some of the things my therapist said I understand why he said them, but they don’t make me feel better. He reassures me that the things I deal with aren’t so strange, that many people have the same fears.

We talked about the fear of the dark, the way I am terrified of it at night. The way I’d rather be outside in the dark than trapped in my home. He told me that many are afraid of the dark, it’s quite normal and that some part of us is inbuilt to have fear, it’s a part of our survival.

I feel like I want to shout at him, it’s not the same. I don’t care if others have this fear, I don’t care that I’m not alone. I don’t care that it’s ‘normal’ it doesn’t feel normal. It feels insane when I’m afraid at night; sure that just maybe the bad man is there once again.

We talked about my mum a little, where my fear of the darkness comes from. He told me I had really suffered. He told me he was sorry that I had. He said that considering all I had gone through, I survived. I came out quite sane. It makes me want to scream inside. I wish I could show him inside my head. I wish I could make him feel what I feel so he would know that I didn’t come out the other side in one piece.

But I also realise that I sat there. Perfectly still. Perfectly sane on the outside, without the tools to break my silence of how I feel, because I’m trained in keeping secrets. I even do it on the outside. Perfect external images.

New Therapy

New Therapy.

I met with a new therapist today. He was pleasant enough and direct which I think is what I need. Not someone that will aww and pacify me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not for me.

It was very hard to talk and tell him the things I did. He asked me if I wanted justice and my answer was no. I don’t. I don’t see the point. My father is sick, what would ripping a family apart to label him whatever achieve?

Then my therapist explained it and I’ve never had it explained before. He said if I sought justice it’s more symbolic. The blame gets given to him. The words are said out loud. It would officially not be my fault.

What a thought. I can’t even begin to explain how it feels. That maybe I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t make him do it like he said.

There’s a child inside down on his knees crying because maybe it wasn’t him. Maybe he wasn’t bad inside. Maybe he was really loveable. Maybe he wasn’t made evil. Maybe he didn’t make them do it. Maybe it wasn’t the way he was made.

Maybe it wasn’t his fault at all.

And the adult on the outside, I feel such anger and frustration, I can’t ease those feelings. I can’t bring myself to gain justice for that child. All I can do is watch the child suffer and not be able to put it right.

I keep him where his father put him.

I wish it had been someone else and not my father. I wish it was just a no one that treated me badly all the time, maybe then I could hate him enough to not care.

There isn’t anything I can do.

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