"Steady as She goes: Overview by a life-long service user"
About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult Mental Health Services - Community (City) Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Adult Mental Health Services - Community (City) Nottingham NG3 6AA
Posted by A Catherine Wheel (as ),
I’m A Catherine Wheel and I’ve been a regular in the world of mental health since 1979. I started out here in Local Mental Health Services Nottingham,(currently accessing the Stonebridge Centre, Team East), returned sometimes, and came back here to keep a promise. I’ve overstayed, and will soon be off to live at the seaside! However I’d like to post some musings about my life and times here with LMHS Nottingham and follow them up with more detailed posts on some of them before I leave. My services begin in 1979, but the subsequent detailed posts will concentrate solely on now.
Since 1979 LMHS Nottingham’s been like this for me:
port in a storm
A time of
rocking the boat
woman overboard - clueless about how lovely the water is
My recent LMHS Nottingham experience has been disappointing, mixed, good, and great. Like this:-
Ace people: all recent: Much loved Vivienne, (now gone), Gordon (hanging on), Kieran (now gone), thank you.
Alex who is putting up with me: this pain in your neck, giver of disproportionate sticks, eater of all the carrots (being a veggie! ). I don’t know how you are doing this. Can’t think why you haven’t refused to work with me. Glad you're around . Coming off Seroxat is really something else!
Cafe Art: Lovely staff; great latte! Pity about the telly and the QI Hive take over.
Those unforgettable consultations with Dr Sara, (once consultant psychiatrist of these parts to around 2016):
The aaaaaafternoon tea at the Ritz ones, and the greasy spoon consultations you gentled me to when required.
The time when Sara, and I swept the board and the carpet saw red at the Oscars, for that rant of a lifetime far exceeding expectations. (Thus also worthy of an Ofsted). Your quietly confident line: “Is there anything else you would like to tell me today?”
You listened and you helped. Despite your abrupt leave taking I hope you too are having a ball. Many happy retirements Sara!
The mixed and some of the disappointing
Having to DIY my mental health as much as I am expected to do here. I would have liked connection, and a woman counsellor to talk to. Alex is trying to get counselling for me now. I have though felt alone with it all. Lost. Missing. Absent. Standing next to myself often. There has been unnecessarily deep hurt, pain, yearning, struggle. I did have a social worker and support worker in Wales right until I came back here. Yet it gave, does give, me the freedom to make my own decisions, try things beyond the present thinking here. To think and see more widely with others on the outside of health and social care. To be mixed up, making things up, muddled, mistaken, and rounded. Like life is.
The Trust’s involvement, co-stuff, peer stuff. It’s good to make improvements to what there is, keep up and raise standards. But can other things be done? How about looking at how distress, anguish, pain, despair, sorrow, fear, suffering, uncertainty, grinding down, etc become “health” issues? How about involvement with and co-production of a paradigm shift? Perhaps around how can we live together and organise life so we don’t need services like these in the first place?
Sometimes I’ve longed for a space for us to question and debate. To think critically and broadly on topics, reflect, and represent things together. Things affecting us here like: Recovery, Journeys of Recovery, stigma, ableism, individualism, …..“The system”, so many locked doors, rationing and limiting access policies, organisational kindness, communication, provision of information, sharing knowledges. And the smartness of bees, not the QI ones, with their more flexible approach to collective wisdom. There’s so many ideas, ways to see, to relate to issues, to express them, and make them accessible to everyone.
The great stuff of here:
People I’ve encountered along the way.
Voicebox: a group for voice hearers, thanks everyone you are just amazing.
Learning that there’s a lot more to equality than opportunity.
Appreciating that not everyone, irrespective of dreams, trying and grafting, will necessarily make it.
Realising that we carry each other’s weight.
To be given opportunities to use my privilege.
Handing it to myself that the choice between a journey of recovery and that armchair, slippers, and good book, has been the swiftest decisive decision I’ve ever made.
Being able to be openly honest about how I think, feel, and dream. Yes, even being able to say that at times I do lie through my wisdom teeth about the contentious matter of the medications!
Thinking, well, maybe, you’re not that bad at LMHS Nottingham, deep down, perhaps. Having my ambivalence accepted and validated.
Writing wish letters to Mother Christmas of our Trust.
Laughing. Having fun. Celebrating. Lots and lots of this!
Posting on Care Opinion and seeing that it does get results in Nottingham! Many thanks the Service Manager of City LMHS Teams East and South.
Ah…. the bubbles and the sparkle though belong to those days long gone: To
Jane (when we psychotherapied together, last century)
You said about fur-lined ruts. I said that one day you would be wise. I think you are. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr Price.
Thank you all,
A Catherine Wheel, in the Certain Ages, with nothing to lose and everything to gain.