Early days – day 8

The next day my sister and aunty J came. My sister’s car broke down en route and I kept phoning her to find out where she was. I was impatient to see them. When they arrived I was really hyper and excited that they had come. Aunty J is a midwife and specialist lactation consultant so she helped me to breastfeed and express milk for Munchie. We used formula as well and we all struggled to get to grips with making up bottles and sterilising them, it was all new to us. As I had never considered bottle feeding I had no clue as to what it entailed. AJ was later dispatched to walk the dog and have a pint at a local pub. He needed to clear his head and wet the baby’s! I became increasingly confused and H and J were very concerned on AJ’s return. I was delusional, mixing people up, had strange ideas and was not making sense. In our living room there was a row of photos above the kitchen archway and I struggled to name family members correctly. I was speaking in the other languages I know (Spanish and Italian) as well as English.

I had a bath to try and relax and I wouldn’t be left alone. AJ gave me a sleeping tablet which worked but I later woke up screaming. H and J looked after Munchie through the night. During the night I was preoccupied with death, overtaken with terrors and thought I was going to die. It was terribly frightening for me and equally alarming for my family. The attacks came and went and I screamed through the night. I thought I was alone at times and AJ, H and J consoled me. The emotions were so strong and it was hard to come out of it. It was a very physical feeling too.  My mind was racing and I wrote copious notes and drew scribbly drawings. We played some word games like scrabble and talked about future plans with Munchie in order to distract me from my wandering mind. Aunty J taught me how to back slang my name, which meant I became ‘Imimay’, I thought it was great! I started to invent a game in my head that I needed to complete before I could go to sleep, the difficulty was I kept setting new objectives so it was an impossible task. I had the idea that if I could complete this game I could beat death.

Now and again H would bring Munchie to me as we sat together in the sitting room but I didn’t want to hold her or was perhaps afraid to, it was as if I knew I couldn’t look after her. AJ rang the mental health crisis team in the middle of the night and the assessment team said they could come and do an assessment but would be unable to act at that hour so my family decided to wait until the morning.

3 thoughts on “Early days – day 8

  1. I am full of admiration for you. Such a brave thing you are doing, I have no doubt you will help and inspire many people x

  2. Thank you for your story. I find it is really helping me understand bipolar disorder. My sister has been diagnosed since before her babies… But I held my breath after she gave birth … Terrified that she might slip back. Your stories are helping me understand what it is like to have psychosis … And helping me to accept my sister for who she is… Thank you

  3. I am Aunty J. When we arrived that day you were really happy to see us, we had a nice afternoon and you were laughing and joking. I remember you saying it was the best day of your life which seemed strange. You then started to get confused about who was who within the family. By the time AJ got home from his well deserved hour at the pub we were quite worried about you.

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