As those of you who have been reading here for a while will know, I don't "do" changes comfortably. I need to plan them out, get used to them, accept their inevitability - and even then, I don't deal with them well.
Changes in relationships are always hard. Especially hard, for me, are changes which involve the ending of a relationship, for whatever reason. Sometimes it feels like my therapeutic journey has been full of changes. There was R (who referred me on the secondary mental health services, quite appropriately); M (my previous care coordinator, who dropped me without notification or explanation); Dr F (who I refused to see any more); S (whose absences through ill health made things difficult at times); then D, my psychologist (a planned ending, which would have been, I believe, possible for me to deal with had it not been for the absence of other supports). Now the time comes close to change my relationship with D, my CPN.
D is moving on to "better things". She has given me plenty of warning of this, which I appreciate. She leaves at the end of January. I will be seeing her for a little while after this, for CBT work, but her role as my care coordinator and CPN will be taken over by C from the end of this month.
I'm told C is very nice, and I have no reason to doubt this. I know I have a "robust" CPA in place. I know I will continue to see D for a while, which I appreciate. I'm told that my new CMHT are aware of my need of support and this will not be removed without my agreement. However, each of these points is, at least partially, defeated by my experience and my fears.
I thought M was nice, at first. She dropped me, and, I have since found, was negative about me to other staff within BLPT. I thought I had a robust CPA in place with the previous CMHT. However, it was ignored, counted as irrelevant; the support within it refused due to lack of manpower / my needs having been met in the psychology input I have had. I thought I would continue to see S, my previous CPN, but her illness made this impossible. I thought my support from the previous CMHT would continue, but it did not; I was deemed to be unworthy of their support, despite my attempts to explain my needs.
I am, I have to say, very anxious. I'm due to meet C, with D, on Wednesday. It's planned, the first of two handover meetings. I'm scared. I'm scared my support disappearing again. I'm scared because I will be meeting someone new. I'm scared because it brings D's departure closer and I know I can trust her; I don't have that certainty with anyone else in the team yet.
I know I have to do this, but I really don't want to. I wonder how aware mental health workers are of the challenge of change for many of us with mental illness. In a world where so much feels chaotic and uncertain, where it is at times hard to make sense of things, where thinking and reasoning are difficult - the stability of relationships is crucial. I know this change can't be avoided, but the child in me wants to stamp and refuse to go along with it. I just don't "do" changes comfortably.