The PICU Mindset

Here’s the thing… now that I’m determined and focused that no incidences will occur, I feel guilty for wasting a bed at the PICU. Guilt and shame are two very real, busy emotions for me. And often the trigger for something. I had a few incidences when I was in the isolation room, but now I’m on the main ward I’m adamant that I won’t hurt myself in any way, so that I can get to my home ward quicker. And then continue my therapy in the ‘Therapeutic Community’.

When I see the many self-harm scars of some of the girls now I’ve joined the main ward, I feel inadequate, undeserving. I feel like I need to self-harm to deserve a place in this hospital. You can see how this can become a trap for people in hospital, comparing to others and getting stuck in self-destructive habits and cycles. And although I get these feelings and I’m being honest with all who read this, I feel that is a commitment to not giving in. I mean, you’re meant to feel inadequate and undeserving to make you work harder and become a better person. Not to hurt yourself. So I recognise this way of thinking is f*cked up. But it’s okay, I’m not giving in anyway.

I’ve been waiting to see the doctor, as I didn’t have a ward round on Tuesday due to still being in isolation. And haven’t got one until next Tuesday. So he is going to hopefully see me briefly today, as that’s the only way I can progress and change things. Such as getting out of this anti-ligature top. *edit – I’m now allowed a t-shirt, not jumpers*. I’d also ask for things like tissue in my toilet (I think they assumed I would eat it? Never crossed my mind… ever. But I guess risks and all that.) I’d also ask for ground leave as it would really help me feel fresh and exercised. My goal is to be discharged on that Tuesday, but I don’t know if that’s reaching too far into the stars? Sometimes I lose sight of what’s possible and become too ambitious.

I’ve realised that what’s much bigger than self-harm as a risk, is suicide. Because once I get ideas in my head, since my friend died whilst I was in hospital a few months ago, I am firm and stubborn upon acting on them. That’s more the scary thing for me. I listened to a playlist earlier yesterday which is my sad one – and includes the song at my friend’s funeral, and even though I’d had a positive day it really did set me off with tears. I was then encouraged to go into the communal area to play UNO (cards), which helped distract me. I never really let myself be helped by staff so this was a powerful moment for me.

What I loved about yesterday was the creative exercise we did. There were many beautiful postcards to choose from, and we were asked to write one to our future selves. I asked if mine could have a stamp and be posted to my home address so I can keep it and look back on it. It’s inspired me actually to make a recovery scrapbook when I’m home.

Take care,


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