Wednesday 18 January 2017

Classic flight or fight - which did I do?

Today my PTSD therapist greeted me with "I'm afraid we've only got 3 sessions left; we've had 17 and it's been limited to 20 in total. Actually, they're just about to cut it to 16 sessions max, NHS funding cuts and all that, so you've been lucky!" So, I replied, that means that in a couple of weeks I'm going to be thrown out to fend for myself? "Well, there are other options..." You mean going private, I said, I can't afford it; I'm not able to work at the moment because of the PTSD...

And then it came. A red mist. "I've got to go," I said, "I can't bear the thought of being left like this!" and I flew out of the room, down two flights of stairs, out into the open, down the street and back to my car where I headed into the city and out the other side on the motorway for 40 miles before stopping off somewhere and eating an entire box of chocolates in one go.

No point in fighting. I tried that before when the NHS withdrew Ben's dietitian due to cuts. And again when he was discharged from treatment for his eating disorder (when he reached 18) despite not being recovered.

This incident triggered both of those memories.

It also triggered my anger at the NHS which is always bubbling away beneath the surface.

And at the government - especially when it talks about increases in mental health funding.

Really and truly I can see little point in having 2 or 3 more therapy sessions. It's certainly not going to fix my PTSD which, as you know, got worse - not better - over Christmas.

It might even make it worse.

So it looks as if it's down to me to fix this - if indeed PTSD can be fixed by self-help.

I do have a choice, of course.

I can sit here and continue to weep at the craziness of the situation knowing that if it was a physical illness it would probably have been seen through to recovery.

Or I can dose myself up on whatever medication the GP will allow me to have for extreme anxiety and nightmares, and do my level best to get on with life.

Of course I have to choose the latter. And I do have resources hidden somewhere, deep down: the strength and perseverance that I drew on during the years when Ben was sick with anorexia.

Anger is a good motivator, too, and I am permanently angry these days, especially today.

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