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Cut adrift
Posted by lucyd
31st Jan 2015

Itís funny how things change.

I took an overdose on September 5th.

After four days in hospital, I was discharged with the promise that I would be seen urgently by the community mental health team.

That Ďurgentí appointment came through for September 22nd.

Those closest to me were outraged. ĎThatís ages!í ĎIs that what they call urgent care?í

Anyway. I survived until that appointment, and on the heels of that came many more. Over the following six weeks or so, I had appointment after appointment. Psychiatry assessments. Psychology assessments. GP reviews.

Then, at the beginning of December, Ďtheyí decided that I was a suitable candidate for long-term psychotherapy.

As much as that was a difficult and scary concept to embrace, it was a relief, in some ways, to know that something was happening.

The problem is, itís not.

Two months on, give or take a few days, I am in limbo. Iím on this waiting list Ė but no one will tell me how long it is. And in the interim, it seems Iím completely on my own.

I donít feel equipped to be on my own.

I am fully aware of how precarious my mental health is at the moment. There are still many, many days that end with very dark thoughts. I still wake in the night and have to talk myself down from the edge. It was only a few days ago that I was having self-harm cuts dressed by the practice nurse, after going in for a smear test and breaking down about the fact that I was bleeding through my cardigan.

It feels strange that a few months ago, I was in hospital after taking an overdose. Supposedly a crisis case. And now? Now no one wants to know. Even the GP, having summoned me for a check-up, metaphorically shrugged and told me to wait it out.

What has changed? Nothing. If anything has changed, if Iím feeling in any way better, itís purely down to hormones, seasonal variations, chance. But as far as the NHS is concerned, nothing has changed. They havenít done anything to make things better, and yet itís fine for them to let me to wait. And wait.

Maybe theyíre hoping that if I wait long enough, I will decide not to bother any more, and withdraw from their lists, and reduce their client load. Maybe theyíre hoping Iíll disappear from their lists in a different way altogether. Itís something I think about often.

I guess itís good, in some ways, that they donít consider me critical. But I still feel so far from better.

No one would let me go untreated with a life-limiting physical condition for this long. Is it really unreasonable to expect someone to help?

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