I went along to meet what would become my support system, in the form of a psychiatric community care nurse; I call her my CPN as it’s too much of a mouthful.
Thankfully my health visitor again cancelled her own appointments and commitments to come along with me. My Health Visitor is my guardian angel who saved my life.
I had no idea what to expect, yet again more questions.
Why is it they always ask you the same old questions, over and over?
The hour and a half long session I can’t remember much of, other than being asked questions and me answering them the best I could.
I was struggling to remember what my own name was.
The simple questions felt like I was in the hot seat of Mastermind.
My mind was filled with confusion and fear.
I didn’t understand any of this. I just wanted this to all go away.
The CPN could not give me any information to why these things were happening to me. I left that appointment no better off and even more confused.
The CPN drove me to the local hospital on the day of my appointment with the pregnancy shrink, I am guessing she would have had some posh job title, but “The Pregnancy Shrink” is what I call her.
Now I am the least racist person you could meet but her Indian accent was starting to annoy me slightly as I could not understand a word she was saying.
I was getting more frustrated at the fact I was yet again being asked the same questions over and over again, why the hell is she asking me that same god damned questions, do these people not share case notes?
Also because I could not understand her I had to ask her to repeat everything she was saying.
“Tell me about your moods?” she asked me
What did she want me to say?
My moods were anything but normal.
One moment I could be feeling on top of the world and by that I mean I could be dancing on the ceiling.
My sex drive would increase, I would love shopping and spending money we didn’t have, I had no debt at all as any letters that resembled debt were ripped into pieces before they even had chance to hit the floor, as the postman pushed them threw my letter box.
I was living life to the full and had no consideration for anyone I hurt along the way.
I was hearing voices and seeing people.
Life was great; I was ambitious and full of ideas and god help you if you tried to challenge me. I would flip at the sheer thought of someone questioning my motives and the aggression would take over.
I could go for a shower, humming along to some tune in my head, to then find myself curled up into a tight ball at the bottom of the shower floor, shivering and shaking.
I would be sobbing uncontrollably that I was gasping for breath.
How did I get there?
These unusual changes in my mood and the sudden burst or loss of energy that affected me left me exhausted, confused and angry.
The simple tasks of the day were becoming a struggle and I would pray as I got into bed each night that I would not wake the following morning. I was too afraid to face the coming day, I had no idea what the new day would hold for me.
The problem I was facing was I loved these high times. I felt powerful and needed. I detested the in between and the lows. Why could I not just stay high? I had spent most of my last two pregnancies in a state of elated mood; I guess I believed this one would be just the same.
Is this why I had three babies in 3 years, because I was addicted the highs it gave me? I don’t have the answer to that.
Here I was in this pregnancy, already 4 months into it and I had a fifteen month old and a 27 month old too. Was I insane? I guess at that time I was.
The pregnancy shrink was rather a nice lady; she did as they all do, listen for a second, then write for twenty minutes, another flaw I have found with shrinks, they write too much.
I answered a question with “Yes I think so” yet it took her half an A4 sheet of writing paper to write what those few words revealed about me?
I Was Diagnosed With Cyclothymic Disorder
“I believe you have Cyclothymic Disorder” she told me, smiling.
Why was this woman smiling at me and what the hell was cyclothymic disorder?
I thought she had said Pyscho-thymic and it didn’t sound good. I was losing it slightly, I knew that but surely I was not a psycho?
“Have you heard of Bipolar?” she asked me
“Yes I have heard of it, nut jobs have it” I think were the words I spoke.
“Well what you have is a form of Bipolar”
Great so here I was a diagnosed nut job.
I heard the words Lithium and having to stay in hospital after I had given birth, to be assessed before I would be allowed home with my new baby.
As I was not coming home with my baby because it would die I didn’t need to worry about that did I? Still convinced something would happen to my unborn child, yet still not able to tell anyone I knew what was going to happen, these thoughts and fears plagued my waking hours.
I was trying to prepare myself for a loss of a child daily.
They would not be medicating me due to the dangers Lithium would cause to my unborn baby, but they would all be keeping a close eye on me. My dad and his partner even came to stay most days with us, I could not be left home alone.
Yes here I was a mother of 5 with one on the way and I had to have a baby sitter. Have you any idea how that feels?
I felt ashamed, useless, scared.
Was I a danger to my children?
No, they reassured me time and time again, yet I was a danger to myself.
I wanted so much to hurt myself, pain gave me a release.
I tormented myself over and over.
Nothing could hurt me any more than my own judgement upon myself.
I was good for nothing, nobody needed me.
Why was I being punished?
What did I ever do to deserve this?
Should I do everyone a favour and free them of the burden I had become?
Being diagnosed with Cyclothymic Disorder was difficult but it paved the way for me to get the support I needed. They dropped that word and changed it to Bipolar later down the line.