This is a letter I wrote back when I was sectioned:
To Doctor Agarwal and anybody else who may care to know my story:
My problem with Mental Health started some five years ago now due to two “incidents” that “woke me up”.
Up to then, I was your typical “Brit”, drinking far too much and living (mostly) for the weekends when I could get wasted.
April 2011, when I was living in Canada where I had moved to to provide my then “husband” of eight years the chance of a better job (he had been a pig farmer all his life and managed to bag a pig farm manager job for one of the biggest farmers in Alberta, Canada two years prior), one of my closest friend there, Wade, killed one of his mates after an alcohol and drugs infused day.
About six weeks later my husband unceremoniously “dumped” me for my then Canadian best friend, Vikki, a “free spirit” artist who made most of her money via her ex who had made drugs in his basement (she got half of the proceeds of their house when they sold up).
Due to those two “bombshells”, I quit drinking and smoking pot straights as I felt I needed a clear head to deal with the breakup.
This is when my problems started.
Alone, the other side of the world from any family or friends, unsure what I should do.
I decided to move back to the UK where I felt at home and we still had a house (which I had bought two years prior to free my then husband from tied accommodation due to his unhappiness at work so he could change jobs if unhappy. I also offered to fund him (£7k) to retrain into another vocation should he wish.
Before I carry on, I’m not rich (my parents are mind). I made my money thanks for buying a flat at the right time in the 90s in Reading where I lived and selling it at the right time soon after I met the man who was to become my husband (thanks to the tied accommodation business).
Since, apart from the Canadian move which ended up costing me some £30k, I have been quite careful with my money, trying to to fiercely financially independent so I don’t have to rely on others for my financial affairs.
When I came back from Canada, I came back to nothing but an empty house, two suitcases full of summer clothes (it was September) and £10k in my bank.
Our settlement was he kept everything in Canada (all our stuff) and I kept everything in the UK (all my stuff).
Back to the story.
After 20 odd years of drinking and by then I was smoking pot “blunt” (without tobacco) as I had quit smoking (on my own, as in unaided by nicotine replacement) on 15/02/2011, no support (most of my friends were hers), I was lost.
A doctor (incidentally called Dr Mashood), decided I should be sent to a Mental Health Institution (the best in Canada), there another doctor (a psychiatrist) decided I should be heavily medicated.
Two weeks later, when I wanted to stay as a voluntary patient after my section was lifted, he chucked me out with only 24 hours worth of medication. This is when my problems really started.
Basically, I was homeless.
We had tenants in our house in Thetford that wouldn’t leave unless the council gabve them a four-bedroom house (mine was a 3). My then husband wanted rid of me so he picked me up from the Mental Health Institution with all “my” stuff plus our dog to dump me at a Hire car so I could do a final road trip before flying home (the plan was I would take the dog, Frodo, back with me).
I took a break before driving down to South Alberta (splendid area) but, without medication, I started not to sleep and my problems started again, I was feeling even more lost but this time in charge of my beloved dog, unable to cope with looking after him, let alone me.
within a week I was hospitalised again, this time taking the medication on offer (10mg Olanzapine).
Within a week I was well enough to come home, without my dog for the moment. And still homeless.
I flew to Paris first to meet my dad there (he lives in Bordeaux), so he could check how I was. The plan was I would go and see my mum after in Bordeaux where she also lives, but I couldn’t stomach it (I moved to the UK 14/02/90 to escape her. Things with my dad were tense too.
See, after the split I lost a lot of weight and my dad was adamant I shouldn’t eat croissants for breakfast for fear of putting the weight back on (!!!).
Long story short within a week of moving back in my house, I started smoking again.
Within six weeks I got my dog back and was working back where I was working before we left for Canada (Circle Housing in Norwich) thank god!
But doing a shitty job instead of what I used to and soon I started to suffer from depression.
Luckily the presence of my dog meant I didn’t kill myself.
Eventually, I decided to speak to my G.P [General Practitioner] about it and he prescribed anti-depressant which I was scared shit of (due to what I had heard about how addictive they were) but I took for about two months, long enough for the dark cloud to shift so my “joie de vivre” (thirst for life) took over again.
Sadly, I lost my dog soon after. He got into the kitchen bin when I was at work, ate a massive lump of cheddar I had binned and never recovered.
The “F” I have tattooed on my wrist is symbolic for his loss. Without him in my life, I would be dead, no doubt about it. F for Frodo. I am still and will always grieve his death. He was my only True Love.
Not long after his death, I started a Social group on Facebook (Thetford Social Group) which really took off and kept me aware at all hours and soon after I suffered another psychosis for which I was hospitalised.
Same again, six months later, although this time it was due to me giving my heart to the wrong guy (a nerd who was IT Manager for the RAF, American guy called Robert and who shattered my heart again last December) [on a side note thank god he is now back in the U.S.)
After the last psychosis, I started smoking pot again, and my life improved until I went to visit my family in France and had such a hard time with my dad I came back with depression (he still had major issues with my diet).
NEVER again do I want to experience that kind of depression.
I had been signed off work, with no pay as well.
Worst of all my driving licence was suspended.
Stuck at home with no income, every day I woke up til I went to bed I wanted to die. I started drinking again. Bad move.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, last December, 24th to be precise, I decided to stop drinking for good (then), I had also disconnected from all “friends” and my life had improved to levels I could only dream of.
I had also completely changed my diet/lifestyle and lost a lot of weight in the process.
Best of all I was starting to love myself, really understand who I was and why and change what I felt needed to be changed in my personality, I grew confident and self assured. And loving it.
Unfortunately this self assurance gave me the balls to deal with issues I had with my neighbours which landed me in a Mental Health place (Southgate, Wedgwood) twice in the past three months, 1st time in July, second time in September, a week after I got back from an amazing trip to British Columbia Vancouver.
The thing is I don’t belong in this place, and I find it hard to keep my mouth shut these days. So I won’t be “safe” anywhere, Open Ward or PICU (whatever that means) [I have since found this stands for Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit] but I have learned to put my issues to the right “channels” instead of trying to deal with them myself.
Namely, CQC, Charlie (ward manager) and the Police.
Please discharge me so I can go back to my life which I love so much.