• Michelle Partington

An unhealthy gathering.

I have been trying to write this blog all week but I really haven’t had the energy to do so. I’ve been run down with a head cold yet had a busy weekend of charity events which thankfully I was able to honour. I never thought this last week would take it out of me quite as much as it did. For that reason I have not finished the blog that I actually started writing Friday evening!!! I’m sure you can all relate to this situation in some way!!

So it was an interesting time this last week. On Monday I travelled to Pheonix House Recovery Centre in Catterick. Now bearing in mind military environments give me chills, I did not expect Pheonix House to be in a military setting. As I drove in I began to feel uncomfortable, especially when I approached the barrier!! Then as I’m booking in I see people in uniform which initially made me feel sick. The rest of the building was ok and quite pleasant. The room was lovely but again just a tad too military for my liking. Pine furniture and magnolia paint……

So 16 of us sat in a semi circle in the classroom, all staring at each other not knowing what to say for the first few awkward minutes. The course we were all there for was to assist with transitioning from service to civilian life. I thought it was a tad late for me seeing as I’d been away from service since May 14. The first afternoon was mainly registration procedures so wasn’t too aunorous.

The evening was pretty uneventful until the guy in the next room started kicking off to himself. It went quiet for a bit then he started swearing and banging loudly. I won’t go into what he was shouting because it wasn’t nice. He continued to do this every evening yet he was so very quiet in the day. I would have said something to him but he might have punched me in the face!!! It became evidant quite quickly that he was suffering from PTSD. After listening to him for a couple of days it got me thinking about how angry I was initially. I can only apologise to anyone who bore the brunt of it all. I tried to hide most of it like this chap but you can’t hide it all the time, it takes far too much energy!!

I started feeling smothered after a couple of days. There was nowhere to go to be on your own except in your own room. That would probably be ok if the poor lad wasn’t shouting next door. I didn’t want to be around the guys because 2 or 3 of them just spent all the time complaining about everything, and I mean everything!!! They blamed everyone else for what was happening to them instead of trying to be positive about what could be open to them. This negativity was really draining me and getting me down. I’ve always stood by the view that groups of people in the same room, going through the same thing can be quite unhealthy if not managed correctly. You can end up feeling worse than you started out that day. This is not true of every group, its just sadly my own view from my personal experience of such groups. I had to withdraw myself from the group a few times for this very reason. My moods are balancing out after coming off the medication and I had no intention of being dragged back into the dull, dark abyss. Thankfully I was able to recognise what was happening so I was able to step out of it. I was so pleased when the course ended and I was able to go home. Sitting on my sofa in my quiet safe haven was just bliss.

A few days on and im trying to fight off the lurgy. I haven’t had a cold for such a long time and boy has it hit me!!! I think it was a culmination of being so uptight during the week away and being run down. I would rather have this though than being so very tired from medication. I’m in a good place now and continuing to move upwards. Day by day there will be struggles but I’m getting stronger and able to get through the bad days. I have not sufferred any panic attacks since my treatment with Nik & Eva and my nightmares have decreased a little thankfully. Healing is indeed taking place and I will continue to fight on.

For all those battling, I truly hope you can take something from this. There will always be bad days but one day the good days will outway them enough to give you the strength you need to overcome it.


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