I'm so bored of the whole process. I'm bored of recovery. I'm bored of medication. I'm bored of being told what I can and can't do and, you've guessed it, I'm bored about what feels like the longest wait EVER to get home. While I'm at it, I'm bored of being around other ill people, I'm bored of the classes, the food, the staff and my F@#*ing shower that still doesn't work. I'm so fucked off. Sorry, here are the @#* to put in. I can't be arsed.
I try to reassure myself that anger and resentment are part of the process. That it means I'm coming back, that I'm returning. I am beginning to feel like I don't fit in here any more, which is difficult while I am, but possibly means I'm nearly ready to get out.
The drug levels are going down, the leave times are going up and still I'm caught in psychotic purgatory where I'm not at home anywhere. I just want to be in my house, with my belongings around me, with my clothes and shoes and post and my own space and cups without my name plastered all over them.
I'm ready to go home.
I'm also not ready at all.
I'm so scared.
I've been fighting so hard to get home for the last two months that I hadn't had a chance to think about what it would actually be like to go home, back to the scene of the crime where it all started. Where the unraveling began.
This was all home represented at the moment. I had become so engulfed in the horror of what had happened that I had forgotten that we were also going back to a place of unfathomable joy, empowerment, love and strength. The place where Albert swam into our lives and I would revisit the rooms where I lost and found myself completely.
The plans were in place. The ward round had spoken. I was going home. We were going home.
My dad had arranged to collect us and all my stuff, which had somehow managed to accumulate. That is the only issue about having a Primark near a psychiatric ward. The lure is too great, I was repeatedly drawn in like a crazed moth to a particularly cheap flame.
Albert had grown, I had shrunk. We were both different people to the two that came through the unit doors all those weeks ago.
There was a mixed atmosphere in the ward as I left for my first home leave; happiness that I was on the next step out of there, sadness that we wouldn't be around for much longer, envy as other mothers at different stages looked on longingly, as I had once gazed at Lucky. I was becoming increasingly absent, my presence leaving ghostly trails of the madwoman that wouldn't be confined to the attic.
It was the night before I left for home. It was just a couple of nights leave, but it was the biggest step into the known unknown I had ever taken. I had packed everything up in anticipation of leaving. I wanted it to feel like I was going home for good with just a few more overnight stays on the ward left. This was the home straight of a long lonely marathon. I couldn't see any finishing lines, but my faithful supporters were still cheering me on. I saw their faces in the darkness as I forced myself to sleep through the turbulence of my emotions.
Everything blurs past in the morning in a wave of busyness, appointments and checks, until the moment I am sitting in dad's truck. Ready to go. My two boys with me, just like when we made the longest journey into night. The hum of the ignition soothes us all. We've made it. We're here. It's a moment we weren't certain we'd see, that felt too far away to hope for just a couple of weeks ago. The radio blasts out and calms my fractious heart. We pull out of the hospital car park and a familiar tune begins to play. Homeward Bound.
I look out out of the window and experience the strangest mixture of safety and fear I've ever known. The soundtrack makes me feel fleetingly like I'm the off-beat lead in an indie film of my life. Although in that neatly packaged piece of storytelling this moment would probably be where the credits rolled. The end. Neat. Complete. I wish it was.
I wish I was,
Home where my thought's escaping,
Home where my music's playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.
Love and bridges over troubled waters,
Mutha Courage X