The box is walnut, I think. I guess it was a little tea chest or something. It cost me ten pounds from an antique shop in Matlock. The shop is a few doors down from the jewellers where my old Breitling watch is sitting in a safe. The watch is worth something, so I’m told. Enough to make me want to stop wearing it, anyhow, and to think about selling. In the old days that sort of cash windfall would have never seen a bank account; drunk, smoked, squandered. But those are the old days. I don’t even own any snide fentanyl patches to chew now. Really.
I was advised to buy a box – didn’t have to be walnut and stinking of tea – by my Clinical Psychologist and my Community Psychiatric Nurse. I think my Psychiatrist would have been all for it too, but he’s fucked off to Warrington to oversee an Adult Mental health unit so I can’t tell for sure. The only place I’ve been to in Warrington is a Traveller site. I could take you there in the dark, blindfolded. I guess it won’t have been the first time. But I’m always treated well there by good people. One of the few places, in my experience, that things always go well for me. My Psychiatrist will never set foot there, unless he strays from the beaten path in many ways. That much I know, with more clarity than I can say I’m sitting and no-one is truly out there watching me.
I was asked to fill the box with helpful things to use in case of an emergency due to deteriorating behavior. You see, my behaviour has been graded into three levels – the top level containing phrases like “Increased lack of sense of self,” and the bottom, “Lack of ability to keep self safe….. Delusional thoughts…. paranoia….. altercations….hears voices…..suicidal ideation and actions of self harm.” It’s a smorgasbord of fun. And the contents of the box are supposed to nip it all in the bud. But what do you put in that sort of thing? I thought a lot about that question. I mean, I can’t reward myself – I’m so hateful that I don’t deserve praise or gifts or love – so I was stuck. What would you put in a box so you could access immediate relief when the hammer is dropping fast? I guess a theriac is impossible – I’ve never found a theriac yet. One thing I’ve learned is there is no such thing as a single cure.
For the time being – and owing to the best prescribing that I’ve ever come across in all these hideous years – I’ve put some Codeine, Diazepam, Pregabalin, and Flupentixol, in there. Not enough to kill me, obviously, kind of defeats the object, but enough to take any edge away and at the very least leave me sitting on a sofa without Bigfoot wailing in the trees behind the house, like he sometimes does. There is also a copy of my anti-suicide plan (the official NHS one – they exist for the select few incompetents…like me), pictures of Hunter Thompson, Ernest Hemmingway (maybe both ironically bad choices), and some Cannabis, fags, and Rizla. I will add a picture of Nicola and the Kids when I take one that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve let them down. And that’s it.
On reflection, it’s a little med-heavy. Hmmm, is this the right approach? Aw, fuck it, man, I’d put some acid in there too if I could find a source. Any port in a storm, eh. Distraction is better than action in this case.
And the effectiveness of the box so far?
I’ve had cause to open it twice. And today I’m typing this in glorious sunshine.