After my therapy session on Wednesday and still struggling to get in control of my emotions, I was hoping that a meeting with my care coordinator (cc) on the Thursday would allow us to discuss techniques and a way to cope. I also wanted to get off my chest everything that had gone on at the weekend and so was quite anxious about the appointment.
She was due at 10am but at 10 past 10 I got a voicemail to say she had stuff on and wouldn’t be able to make it. She was on AMHP duty and something had obviously come in for her to deal with and she rescheduled for next Tuesday. My immediate reaction was rash and if I’m being honest I felt that I wasn’t worth her time and so without thinking it through called up and left a message to say I wanted to cancel all appointments.
When she got the message, she called me back and said it was an extreme reaction to her cancelling an appointment. In hindsight I agree, but with how emotional I was during the week, I just acted impulsively again! The call didn’t go well and I ended up ending it after getting frustrated that I couldn’t explain. Instead I took the decision to write her a letter to try to get my feelings out. Here is the letter I wrote:
“I thought this would be a better idea to get my thoughts down and hand in – you can read when you have time & I won’t feel like I’m getting in the way.
As you know last weekend was horrid for me. Yes, it was my fault – I made the decision to drink and smoke and so I have to accept the consequences of my actions.
Regardless of that, it still brought up a lot of emotions and that’s why I called on monday to speak. My impulsiveness scares me at times and I needed to ask for help in managing that so it doesn’t happen again.
I know [my support worker] was round on Monday, but I don’t have enough trust yet to open up to her. In therapy with [my therapist], we looked at the graded exposure and worked out a plan for going forward. This was because I told her how the trigger point for me on Saturday was because I failed on going out on my own. I explained to her about that being the last straw, that I was struggling with the emotions brought up from therapy and the fact work is a huge stress to me at the min as well. And it was a culmination of everything that made me feel shit, worthless and pathetic.
What we didn’t look at in-depth was how to manage those emotions. We spoke for a few mins on mindfulness techniques and she gave me a cd to listen to but like I’d tried to explain – I go from 0-60 in seconds and whilst I develop these skills, I worry what I will do!!
I didn’t sleep last night. I was nervous about seeing you today as I had made the decision to open up more about the weekend. I knew you were on amhp duty and you might have to cancel but when it reached 10am, I expected to see you. I don’t know how things work in your role but I do understand that someone must be in real need if an amhp is called. I guess the thing that got to me was the fact it was 10 mins after you were due that you called to say you wouldn’t be making it.
I’m feeling extremely vulnerable right now. From therapy, feelings of worthlessness and rejection have been brought up and not finished being processed (because we worked on the graded exposure plan) and that’s exactly how I am feeling now. We both know how difficult I find calling, but maybe I shouldn’t make the assumption that because I called on Monday, you would know how shit I am right now. I do leave things thinking ‘well I’m seeing x on whatever day so just get till then’ and so when I don’t see x, I’ve built my emotions up so much that it feels personal – like I’m not worth anyone’s time.
Then I go from 0-60 in seconds and make the impulsive decisions that I keep mentioning (think you called it an extreme reaction). My rash thought process was that if I don’t let anyone in then no one can let me down and so it made sense to me to cancel everything.
All I know right in this moment is that I’m struggling. I feel like I’m going through one of the worst patches I’ve had and I have no idea how to deal with things. Tuesday might seem only a few days but when I’m counting in seconds, it feels like a lifetime away. I know you said [student social worker] would come tomorrow but I can’t deal with putting on a front at the min. I tried to talk to her about work stressing me out last week and without asking any questions about why she just said it’ll all work out in the end & conversation reverted back to her. I know she is learning & most days I’m ok with that – but not at the moment.
Anyway, I just had to get some things out there and hope this was ok to drop off. Please can you give me a call so that we can discuss what happens next.”
On Friday morning I got a call from my cc to say can we re-arrange the appointments I’d cancelled. I apologised for being so rash and she apologised for leaving it so late to let me know. I assumed she had read my letter but as we spoke it became apparent she hadn’t – it was still in reception where I’d dropped it off the previous day. We decided her and the student sw would come round that morning and discuss things.
I’m glad she did, it was a successful visit. She said nothing in my letter (which she’d read by then) was new to her and maybe in the future we wouldn’t make any appointments when she was on amhp duty to avoid this again. We talked about how my negative/self-destructive tool box had a lot more told in it than my positive one and we had to work on redressing this balance so instead of automatically turning to negative I will eventually turn to positive ones.
She recommended I get a DBT book and we are going to work through that when she comes round. She also said she knows between now and me going to America (7 weeks), I will have a lot of wobbles a long the way as I question if I can get to the usa on my own and that right before my anxiety will be sky high. She also believes that when I’m in america, my anxiety will reduce a lot – I also think this will happen.
I now feel like we have more direction and I hope this is the start of me moving forwards!