Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Down Kafka's korridors with a beetroot face.

I'm all of a tizzy now, panicking, fetid and feverish and fearing disaster and the lock-in and the hideaway.

I should be on an up.

I've just got back from assessment for the therapeutic day programme (TDP) I was referred to by the Community Addictions Unit doctor. A drive out to the leafy suburbs to a great rambling pile of a place that acts as Cardiff's psychiatric hospital - corridors straight out of Kafka. But my skin is rebelling and revolting and squats over any positives.

It's on my face and I can't face that. I keep applying the moisturising cream but it makes no difference and a beetroot red is starting to spread across my forehead and like a mask around my eyes; the cream stings horribly when I apply it and the skin on my forehead is starting to get puffy with what I fear will be bursting pustules underneath the surface.

I've been here before you see. When I was a student I was out of control. Completely out of control with both drinking and drug abuse. I drank a bottle of spirits and more a day and took enormous amounts of dope, speed and acid. I didn't give a flying faeces for myself, rarely washed or changed my clothes and eventually horrible things happened to my skin. My face became one big scab - I was Elephant Man repulsive and people stared in the street if I ever got the temptation to go outside, which I didn't. That was impetigo in the end, it started as eczema and just got infected, and it feels like that now.

It feels unfair (life is unfair they say, but I don't care I want it to be gentle to me even if just for a while while I look for some strength). I won't be able to cope with that coming on again and I'm so far from where I was then. I'm coming out of addictive drinking and indeed haven't drunk since Sunday, I smoke dope occasionally and I eat healthily and regularly. I haven't changed anything that might inspire an allergic reaction as far as I can tell and I live more cleanly and healthily than I have done for a long time.

The weather isn't helping I suppose. It's bitterly cold and windy and everywhere you go inside the heating is on full blast and that makes it flare more. God I hope this passes. I've just rung the doctor's to make an appointment for Friday and I'm feeling pretty desperate now. Perhaps I don't drink enough water? I'm drinking water.

I'm self-conscious enough as it is, please don't let this go where I fear it might.

On the slightly sunnier side of the street though, I did, as I say make it my TDP appointment. Just an introductory chat with the nice fella who runs it.

I told him where I was with my drinking and he told me what the programme consisted of. Ten days of talking in groups and I'm due to start on Monday - another reason to get up and out the house for a 10am start. There's also the chance of referrals to outside agencies for help with work and the like and that's something I'm going to have to really try and pick up on.

I told him of my previous negative experiences with group therapy but as I said to him I'm happy to have an open mind and take help wherever I can get it at the moment. The first rule of the programme is confidentiality so I won't be writing too much about what goes on in the group, but I will tell you how it goes, if I'm not cowering in misery under a green skin by then. Another rule is abstinence, monitored by breathalyzer - I just have a zero reading this morning. I had kind of planned to have a drink on Sunday - there's Manchester United (the Red Scum to Leeds fans) v Chelsea (the Chelsea Scum to Leeds fans; we're a lovely bunch) to watch. So I have another spur towards abstinence and control.

God, I want this to go away - if it means coming off the Trazodone that's what I'll do, in fact, I'm not going to take it tonight: I don't need to be up early tomorrow and I've read Trazodone has no withdrawal symptoms and the redness is how it started on my hands before escalating all the way to cracked and bleeding skin and infected patches - I want to crawl into bed and die. I've just looked up Campral and that too has skin rash as a possibly serious side-effect; why can't I just be fucking happy and healthy?

If you spent it thank you for your time.


No comments: