Four months

Four months. A third of a year. That’s how long I’ve just spent in hospital. When I went in in October I didn’t dream I’d still be there in February.

Hospital is a totally artificial environment. Days are structured by meal times and med times. You have to live relatively closely with 23 other patients, some of whom are very actively unwell, and some of whom (as with the general population) are just well dodgy. You learn who to be wary of, and who to trust.

Inevitably you form relationships with other patients. The important thing is to ensure that they’re healthy relationships. Which is hard when you’re all acutely unwell. Still, I made some lasting friendships, for which I’m hugely grateful.

I felt a lot safer in hospital than I do at home, but I’ve come to realise that it’s all a construct – a holding place and some breathing space until you feel well enough to take on that fight again. I’m not sure I am well enough – I’ve already had a trip to A&E since I was discharged – but I’m also not sure that more time in hospital is the answer. What is? Who knows?

It’s certainly not the Crisis Team, who after promising the ‘intensive support’, have come up short once again. Am I surprised? No. Disappointed? Yes.

Maybe the answer is to just accept that I won’t be safe for the foreseeable future, and plod on, dealing with catastrophes as and when they arise. Gosh, that’s a cheery prospect, isn’t it?! But realistic, I think.

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