After spending quite some time in a psychiatric ward, I am finding it difficult to re-integrate with the world around me. It’s like the volume of the world has tripled and I struggle with the noise of a supermarket. There’s too much noise everywhere I go. It’s cold everywhere too, I’m used to the warmth of the ward and my legs get tired walking because they haven’t done much for so long.
I’ve been away for a while and I wonder if my friends are still my friends and if people will remember me when I return to ballet and ice skating. Does anyone even notice that I’m gone?
Nothing feels the same anymore. It was summer when I went into hospital but now the seasons have changed and it’s Autumn and there’s Christmas trees on the shelf where the paddling pools were the last time I was in the shop. It’s overwhelming. A world I struggle to recognise.
My bedroom at home just feels like a room rather than ‘my bedroom’ as months of post and items my mum has tidied up are placed around the edge of the room. Things in places where they don’t belong. It’s as though the life has drained out of my bedroom like it drained out of me.
I don’t feel I belong anywhere, I hate being in hospital but I don’t belong at home yet either and I worry the slot I had in life has gone. The reasons for recovery have slipped out of view and are covered in spider webs and dust along with my shoes and dresses and make up.
I only have hours off the ward at the moment and overnight leave occasionally but it’s so difficult. Leave is hard work. A challenge. I can’t believe I used to do it everyday and every night at one point with no problems. I’m at the bottom of the mountain again with the entire monstrous hill to climb.
Claire Greaves has suffered from mental ill health for many years. Through this blog she hopes to raise awareness and understanding to the general public and therefore reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. She hopes through her passion for writing and her experiences that she can help other sufferers to feel less alone.
Read Claire's blog: https://mentalillnesstalk.wordpress.com/ or follow her on Twitter @mentalbattle