First speaker in the head:
I want to go to hospital. Give me hospital. They can take care of us. They can feed us. They can provide the help and support we need.
Second speaker in the head:
Stop talking crap. We can’t go to hospital. We need to live our life and being on a hospital ward would mean we couldn’t do it and that would be bad for us. The living we have planned is all good for mental health. A ward would take that away from us, put us in an unfamiliar space with unfamiliar noises and lights. We need to go to choir, to theatre groups, to Magic Hat and other places this week. None of those would come to us on a hospital ward.
Third speaker in the head:
In any case: They would probably want to drug us and that would be a bad thing. They might section us and stop us leaving when we needed to. They wouldn’t really understand us unless we were very lucky indeed. The help we need doesn’t happen on a hospital ward. It’s not as if we’d be able to jump the queue for the specialist centre and nobody else is qualified to treat us for that thing we have and could damage us further if they tried. Hospital would be far more scary than home. Unless drugged up with high doses to diazepam to stop us caring.
Fourth speaker in the head:
Fuck the Tories! Fuck successive governments not properly funding mental health care. Even if we did need a hospital bed there wouldn’t be one. So let’s go to the “Psychologists Against Austerity” meeting tomorrow rather than seeking hospital sheets. Let’s see if they can give ideas on practical things to do to counteract the hateful policies of a government that chooses poverty, demonises the vulnerable, and thus directly contributes to the increase of the mental health crisis. Fuck the Tories!
First speaker in the head:
I want to go to hospital. I don’t care what sense you speak. But Fuck the Tories anyway! If we’re staying home and not going to hospital can we illegally watch I, Daniel Blake on iPlayer this week? And not only to see if we can spot all the streets in walking distance from home.
And so the mental cycle continues. It’s been like that every day this year. There are many other conversations too. This year we might find out who it is that is speaking. Of course, in every case I am speaking. They’re all me. Just in a very fractured, split, dissociated way that makes the phrase “part of me” more literal than it ideally would be.
I’ve been thinking about that phrase. “Part of me.” In all those years of seeing various mental health professionals once or twice and not actually getting help I realise that it’s a phrase I used quite a lot. I’ve seen professionals gain worried expressions on their faces due to the way I’ve used those words. Unfortunately something I’m prone to do in appointments is justify my own capability and good mental health. So it’s never led to where we’ve been led last year. That’s a form of self sabotage. I did it at my PIP assessment too – couldn’t not talk about how capable I am even though I could at the same time watch and know it was a bad move. And I am capable. I’m just incapable too.
“Part of me.” Could all this have been discovered years ago if I hadn’t been in so much denial and total ignorance of a lot of things? There’s no point asking because I could have done no differently. After all, I didn’t even come out to myself about gender until this decade. Or autism. Or anything else important about myself. What happened happened. What didn’t happen couldn’t have happened with the resources I had and the massive mental resources I lacked. There is no point in regrets.
I am not the very model of a modern major general. But I am the very model of a modern twisted genius.
Anyway. I’m not going to hospital no matter how much “part of me” wants me to plead for it and how many bad arguments that part makes. And probably I am going to that meeting tomorrow, after a fun session with the Heads & Tales heritage project.
Life trumps hospital in almost all cases.
Fifth voice: You do know that we can sound like a more deranged version of Gollum, right?