It’s been a minute. I always wonder what’s coming next with my mental health, what will be my next post. This time it’s a generally positive one. I have been on the unit for over 6 months now and the main thing that has gone on this week is a tribunal hearing. Basically, the doctor has renewed my section 3, and then that is challenged with the hospital managers to make sure it’s the right decision. I expected it though, as they explained to me why that would be the case. To make sure I was here a little longer until things have improved, but more importantly so that I can be discharged on a CTO (community treatment order). That means I’ll have conditions to meet when I’m back in the community, otherwise they can decide to fetch my back into hospital. I do think this is the right thing, surprisingly. As I do need a way forward to give me a boost with my recovery.
Other things are going on too in terms of change and different options for me. So I was in the Therapeutic Community (intense therapy group 3 times a week) for a month, and I was adamant I’d continue this. It’s a commitment for 2 years. I saw no other way. But over the last month or so I’ve been presented with a new service targeting both personality disorder and eating disorder together, as one. There’s been a gap in services for a long time, if not forever, that people with both diagnoses would only be able to get treatment for one or other. Not both. And that’s where this service is different. It’s the first of it’s kind. If it’s successful, it may roll out to the rest of the country.
The service is a mixture of DBT, CBT-E (CBT for eating disorders) and CFT (compassion-focused therapy) and consists of a group once a week, which will be a small group with no-one coming or going. And then also a one-to-one with a therapist. The whole therapy will be a lot more compassionate for the people using it, than DBT on it’s own. The thing is, when I attended the focus group on Monday where the service was explained, I was met with a shock. My old therapist who I had for about 8 years when I was with eating disorders.
Things didn’t end great with us because at one point I received a letter (of apology about some emails) that also said she was no longer allowed to speak to me. This, in my eyes, created a trauma within services for me. She held a place in my heart, as she grew to know everything about me and we’d been on a rocky recovery journey together. We were in some (little) contact when I finished with her, but then to receive that point-blank ‘no more contact’ with no other explanation – it hit me hard. And the only way I’ve got over that is to pretend she didn’t exist. It worked, in that it enabled me to cope with my life. So to see her again, after not expecting she was part of the service was a slap in the face. She basically became a barrier to me not accessing the service, if that’s the final decision I made. I’ve been in email contact with the other group facilitator and explained my honest feelings as above.
Adamant I wouldn’t be able to get over it, I did eventually come to the ‘wise mind’ decision to meet with them both, to work through the barrier. So that’s me at the moment. Nervously waiting for this meeting to go ahead and for raw emotion to be brought up.
Meanwhile, I’ve also been referred to Hope Court, which is supported living and a series of flats with 24/7 support if needed. There won’t be beds for 2-3 months, so there’s also that which will be a change too.
Ultimately, I need to make the decision about either returning to TC, or pursuing this new service which was written with myself, and others, in mind. It’s a difficult one. The staff at the TC are all amazing and have been so supportive, so I’d be sad to see them go. But also, it feels right to embrace the new opportunity given to me.
I don’t know. I hate decisions. Hopefully I’ll come up with a ‘wise mind’ choice.*
*For anyone that doesn’t know, as part of DBT therapy, we learn that we have an emotional and a reasonable mind as two separate. The ‘wise mind’ is where the two overlap and usually sits the ‘right’ decision in line with your gut instinct and a balance of your emotions and your logic.