Today, I was discharged from mental health services.
It is a little scary. They have been looking after me for rather a long time.
This is the first time we’ve done it properly. No fizzling out or abrupt terminations or running from the radar. We have, instead, reached a nice ending and said goodbye as people.
I will be looking after myself from this point on -
Which is a little scary (after being looked after for so long) and feels a little vulnerable (although it’s cause for celebration) and has been a tad unsettling (even though I’ve been on track for a while now) –
- and strangely quiet because I am on my own again –
Before, the fear would have pulled me back. I would have been floundering in the confusion and the panic; desperately seeking anything to hold onto and anyone who could make sense of it.
This time, I’m keeping calm. I’ve called a few friends. I can deal with it myself.
Once, the idea of being deemed ‘normal’ would have filled me with dread, driving me straight back into self destruction. To be normal is to be nothing (it felt), and, by default, an illness is better than total negation –
This time, I know myself. I am more than my illness. I am not ‘just’ normal -
- and I am not on my own again.
I have been getting back in touch with the real world over the past year. People have replaced professionals; we have relationships, rather than therapeutic interventions. They will not be discharging me – nor I, them.
And I have been building up the evidence that proves I can manage on my own. I have a little bank of examples to go back to when I feel myself wobbling or wonder whether I am as strong as I think I am –
Because this time the therapy seems to have made a difference.
Finally, I have changed not just what I do – but how I think.
And so it’s the right time for me to move on (after all these years) and it will be okay from here on (even if it feels a little scary) and I will keep on track (even though I might wobble occasionally) – and I will do it myself (because I have learnt how)…
But I won’t be doing it on my own.