Now some people have suggested that I am mentally ill. Shrinks, Doctors, Psychologists, CPN’s etc. I prefer to suggest that I am a little stranger than some, but this is just due to the many varying ‘personality types’ in society. Difference does not automatically equal sick! I may have some chemical surges and dips, and unusual habits, that the average person does not, but does this make me ill?
Anyhow, back in the days when I bought that bilge, I found myself trapped in the following spiral…
– I was told ‘Dawny, this bit of you is broken too’
– Then I attempted to utilise the ‘fix me’ tools on offer from the mental health services in Norwich. One of which was the crisis team…
Now before I start ranting big time, I would like to mention the good. The absolute gem of a Shrink I am currently being forced to see, who’s real name I cannot divulge, but his surname is pronounced ‘O’Cheery’ 😉 Fab! He is caring, kind, diligent way beyond the call of duty, understanding, patient, empathic, funny and just generally spangly! Sadly though, he is the rare diamond, mounted on a crown of gargantuan sized shite! ://
I’m not an NHS basher at all, I commend much of their work and workers. But my exposure to a plethora of mental health services, professionals, and patients..means that I can promise you that what I am about to tell you is the truth, for not just me, but every single one of the ‘co- strange crew’ that I’ve met along the way…
I find myself compelled to share the details of this absolute joke of a service, for all the poor people that have and will call the ‘crisis team’!!!
All the people I know that have attempted to utilise them (approx 30 or so), have done so in times of tragic desperation. From experience, the calls are most often made when someone is a) feeling on the cusp of madness or b) on the cusp of taking their own lives. For anyone who has not experienced these feelings, imagine being awake throughout every nightmare you have ever experienced, as they all roll out as reality, all at once. Coupled with the feeling that you are looking at yourself and the world, from outside of a paralysed body, and from beyond a soul you no longer reside in. I cannot portray the darkness or insanity that envelopes someone when they feel ‘in crisis’, nor can I suggest this is how it feels for everyone, but I can confirm there is probably nothing darker. In these times, the crisis team is where ‘we’ are sent. Now here lies the first set of problems…
The telephone number is a guarded secret by doctors surgeries, because you have to have had a previous crisis where you were deemed to be seen as having a crisis by a social worker or shrink, before the number is divulged!
Once you’ve tracked down the number, you call, and if no other services have heard from you between 9-5 that day, you cannot access a conversation with one of the team, WTF! So you must call up your shrink each day and let them know in advance of an impending crisis, that may or may not happen that night.
Your in one of the worst states you’ve ever been in, you then have to call the out of ours Dr, find the money/will/strength to travel to the surgery, be assessed by a perplexed soul you’ve never met, probably hysterical, all to ask him/her… ‘Please Dr, will you confirm that I am indeed having a crisis and I need to speak to the crisis team’. Sometimes the gatekeepers say yes and sometimes, for some cruel and unfathomable to me reason, they say no.
If they say yes, (hours into said crisis by now), they fax the team with their blessed yes, and only then can you talk to someone!!!!
So you phone… and on all my nephews lives, this is the standard advice they give to ALL callers.
Have a bath and a cup of tea
HAVE A BATH AND A FUCKING CUP OF TEA!!!!!
Unbelievable, just return to my description of the feelings that generally lead to the call, the awake living experiences of all cumulative nightmares, in a paralysed body and soul. Do any of you think that a bath and a cup of tea is anywhere near on the scale of what you might need?
Needless to say, not one person I met, ever called more than twice, few ever made it to the on call doctor, let alone through to waiting for the fax…And sadly and probably not surprisingly, many ended up in A&E or in cells. Maybe if they were taught about calling upon their own inside team, they wouldn’t have ended up there. What is the point of convincing someone that the fix lies outside of them, if when you get outside, the fix does not exist, and it is in-fact just another giant hurdle, with a pile of manure at the end??? Arguably the perfect opposite to a fix!!!
I do believe a bath and a cup of tea are a fix to a shit day at work, not a collapse of the mind and soul.
I’m utterly disgusted, and for anyone reading this who has also had to experience this wholeheartedly unfunny joke, I can only dispense the advice that has prevented me from them ‘crisis moments’ for a long time. I urge you to learn about the power of positive thought, in whatever form it makes sense to you, and to utilise the gargantuan strength you have inside, to ride through times of crisis. If you have already lived these extremes, I promise you already have more strength than you thought humanly possible. You can get yourself through these ‘waves’, you just have to use that inner power to find yourself some tools that work for you, and spend as much of your time as you can doing stuff that makes you laugh, smile, or feel good. Be it music, films, swings, singing, slothing, loving….whatever floats your boat. Basically people, ‘we’ have to focus a little harder on getting happy, but it works. The more you smile, the less life hurts, when laughter fills your days, the nights become times to remember the days. Screw them, cos when you’re at your worst, you’re at your best, because you’re in the middle of fixing yourself up yet again, from another cardiac arrest of the soul. You’ve already done it before with no doctors and no meds, just the power of your mind….and you will keep doing it!
And to the crisis team of Norwich and it’s organisers….sort it the fuck out or close it down. No service that worsens things should exist. Ever!