It has been a difficult few days. Hour after hour, day after day, trapped in my head with my thoughts and little to distract me from them. Much of the time has been spent laying and thinking in my room. Unable to consider going out into the corridor and the communal area.
This world within the world being too chaotic, too busy, too noisy and too much for me to be comfortable in. If that’s too much, then how am I to cope in the actual world outside the walls?
I have had a little time outside the ward. In addition to lunch out with my closest of friends at the weekend, one of the peer support workers took me off-site yesterday to visit a social hub in the city centre where people from all walks of life can meet in a safe, neutral setting and chat, play some games, have a drink or just sit in relative comfort and watch the world go by.
It was difficult to be out in the world, knowing that I’m mentally in such a mess and assuming that I must stick out like a sore thumb because of it. The anxiety alarm bells were ringing loudly, especially once we were inside and browsing the place to see what it was about.
I’ll probably go back there at some point. It could be an opportunity to meet some like-minded folk who are in a similar boat as me and could be a chance to expand my social network a little. On the other hand, I may go a handful of times and find that most are on a different wavelength and struggle to connect. But I won’t know if I don’t try.
The difficulties peaked today when I finally came up for my ‘ward round’; the weekly review with the doctors and the consultant psychologist. To be honest, anything they had suggested would have been a bit of a kick in the nuts, since the hospital ward is not a rewarding place to try and exist but home feels like it’s enveloped in a bubble of angst that I can’t pop.
After a little discussion about where I am emotionally, they dropped the bombshell…
They want to discharge me.
On Thursday, I’ll head home again. And then as quickly as it takes to pack a bag and a few essentials, I’ll be back on the road and bolting for the safe-haven on the south-coast where my sister has been keeping a room on ice for me in case I needed it… Again.
And thus, exactly three weeks in the care of the hospital will come to an end. And I’ll bother family with my lingering presence for a third time since this began to kick-off mid-late December.
Someone once said to look at the world for signs, that they’re there if you look closely enough. I try to but it’s not always obvious to me. Just like it seems I’m not as astute at reading people as much as most, so neither am I particularly in-tune with the universe.
But every so often I notice if things start to occur with a certain frequency. Like the phrase goes; If something happens once, it’s an occurrence. Twice is coincidence. Three or more is a pattern.
‘Three’ has had significance throughout our history and has even been described as the number for harmony, wisdom and understanding. So much has been built around this number that it has almost become something of a phenomenon.
The genie in the lamp provides three wishes. There’s the holy trinity. Just about any classic arcade game offered three lives before you were finished… It goes on and on. So significant is the power of the number three to some, that entire works of art have been constructed to take it into consideration.
Even in photography, there is the ‘rule of thirds’ which is considered to be the better way to frame a subject, and then you have the exposure triangle; the balance between the three ways you can make your camera more (or less) sensitive to light.
It’s always ‘three’.
And so, I’m not taking it lightly that the doctor is sending me home precisely three weeks to the day since I arrived. She could have given me this evening to ponder upon my release and hoof me out tomorrow, but no… Thursday. The end of the third week.
I mentioned this will be the third time I’m seeking refuge in the company of family. Is that indicative of something? Does this mean that this is the final time I will need to make the journey in distress? Could it be that this is the one that begins to make things fall into place and that it will get better from here?
Or will I buck the trend and find that a fourth journey will be needed? I hope, for everybody’s sake, that that won’t be necessary. Generous though they are, I’m sure even my family don’t want me hanging about longer than is required.
But then, I have to figure out my own life at some point. And I can’t do that while I’m seeking sanctuary. Before long, I will have to go home, face up to real life and figure out what my next steps are to be.
The medication is slowly starting to take hold on me. Although I still feel absolutely rotten and hopeless and like everything is about to imminently implode, the nurses on the ward say they think they can see a small amount of improvement over when I first arrived.
How much of that is meds? How much of that is me adjusting to life in the ward? No idea. But I suppose we’ll find out over the next few weeks.
Phase one: Life inside the hospital ward.
Phase two: Life outside but still in sanctuary.
Phase three: Life back at home.
It’s that third phase that has me really concerned. I’ve a long way to go to start piecing myself back together enough to be of any use to anyone. Personally and professionally, I’m a liability right now. I’ve no concept of self, no concentration, no drive, no motivation and no clear vision of where I’m heading.
I need to get some of these things back, get some sense of purpose and try and reintegrate into society. But one step at a time. Too much too soon will knock me back and I absolutely can’t go back to where I was when I first came in here… I just can’t. It was so bad that it was about to consume me in the worst way possible. I need to tread carefully on this path that I’m on; though it may be laid out ahead of me, it’s on shaky ground and I must be careful not to slip.
But if three really is a divine number, then maybe I’ll be able to make phase three work. Maybe I’ll find something within myself to claw my way out and start claiming life back. Only time will tell for sure, and I’m in no hurry to get there, but I know it’s edging closer and closer with every moment that passes.
For now, I’ll continue to wait for the therapy I’ve been promised. I’ll wait and see what support I can get on the outside, and will take tentative steps to see where my path leads me.
The trinity of mind, body and spirit needs a lot of work. The mind is fragmented and shattered, the body still overweight and lumpy and the spirit wounded and weakened. I’m assured by many that none are irreparable and I’m doing what I can to make those assurances a reality.
I’m going to try.
I ‘am’ trying.
Star Wars fans like to remind me that you ‘either do, or do not. There is no try’. Bollocks! I can’t make any promises either way at this stage. I can only try and hope things start to happen. Either they will come together and all will be good, or it goes sideways quite spectacularly and…
Well… It won’t be very pleasant.
One step at a time. One day at a time… Because three days at a time isn’t an option at the moment.