So today I get to come home from hospital. After 4 months, a third of a year, 17 1/2 weeks, 121 days, 2904 hours. And I am done. I don’t ever want to see the inside of a psych ward again. Except it’s likely that one day I will. But hopefully not for as long another time. And hopefully not for a while.
And I come out to a new landscape. So many things have changed. My children are all a year older and have functioned just fine without me. I’ve lost friends I never thought I would, others have stepped up, and new ones have crept their way in. My husband no longer has a job although he is madly looking. I’m looking at a long time off work so I can continue outpatient therapy. And things will never be the same again.
Nathan and the kids have a new understanding for all the work it takes to keep the house functioning, I’m sure that will drop off again eventually but I’m glad they now realise the effort that goes into making every day look boring and predictable. And how tiresome doing the same thing over and over only for nobody to notice is.
I have a whole bunch of symptoms I never knew were symptoms to keep an eye on to make sure that what goes up doesn’t go up too much and the following down doesn’t go too low. Along with a whole bunch of new medications to help keep things under control. And the possibility of going back for more ECT if things don’t go as planned. It’s a scary thought that although I’m not going out with a new condition I am leaving with knowledge of one I’ve had for a long time and not realised. Things in lots of ways make more sense and in lots of ways feel overwhelming. The idea that I am now officially mentally Ill with something that can not be cured and can only be managed isn’t the greatest, but I am grateful for the chance to manage it before it takes hold of my life again.
I leave knowing there is a greater chance that my children will develop the same condition with the same life long outlook. And I just hope that the insight I have gained about myself will help me recognise it in them and ensure that they receive the treatment they need as early on as they can get it.
The people I used to lean on for support have changed and although in lots of ways I feel used, that I was always there for them and they couldn’t be there for me in my time of need, it won’t change who I am and the type of support I will continue to provide others.
I will always be open about what goes on, in the hope that it makes someone else feel a little less alone with what they face. It may not be the same as me but to know other people don’t lead perfect lives is sometimes all someone else needs to hear to feel better about themselves.
So here I am, going home. Not the same person who walked in four months ago, wiser and more educated about herself, more sure of the support around her, more sure that her husband and children love her just as much as they ever have. They gave me up for such a long period of time, in the hope that I would come back better and stronger than ever before and I can assure you that is what has happened. I’ll never be as ignorant and dismissive of my own needs as I once was which in turn leads me to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend to those who have stood by me. I will never stop needing the support of family and I am lucky that I have some of the greatest I could hope for to do that for me.
The only thing that is certain right now is that the woman walking out of the hospital doors this morning is not the same one who walked in here all those months ago. This storm has changed me like all the storms I’ve stood in before that. But instead of standing there getting battered by the storm I’ve taken an active role in trying to beat it. And in doing so I’ve changed my prospects, Taken charge and given myself the best hope of a positive future that I could. And I step out into my new surroundings both confident in my abilities and frightened of the unknown.
But if there’s one thing I know I carry with me every day, it’s courage. And I’ll walk through any storm that comes along with courage by my side and know that no matter what it brings, I will handle it. I will ask for and accept help when it’s required and I’ll stand on my own two feet whenever possible.