A Christmas Wish….

It’s that time of year where most are putting the finishing touches to their preparations for Christmas day. By my clock, at the time of typing these words, there are 9 minutes to go, before it officially starts. Quite honestly, I am dreading it!

What so many people forget, is that Christmas is not all cheer and laughter for everyone! There are so many people who are on their own for Christmas. People without family to go to. Parents who can’t be with their children. Children who can’t be with their parents. People who couldn’t afford Christmas. People who just want to forget Christmas because they will be spending it alone.

I am lucky this year. I may not have my children, or hubby around, but I have a friend who has very kindly invited me to spend the day with her and her family. She is like family to me anyway, so for that, and for the fact that they are kind enough to include me on what should be a family day, I am extremely grateful. But not everyone is so lucky, as I have not been so lucky in recent years.

My Christmas wish this year, is that people spare a thought for everyone who may be on their own, or suffering in some way, by not being with their families, or the people they love. I just want those people to feel loved, and feel cared about. That is all I ask.

I’ll keep it short and sweet, and leave it at that.

Merry Christmas everyone, and if I don’t make it back on here between now and then, have a great new year too.

H x

Exhausted!

I haven’t felt as if I have been able to write in a while. Things have been really chaotic for me. Last month I had a period of psychosis which was particularly unpleasant. Since then, I have been trying my hardest to get things back on track. I haven’t really known where to start, but I am really trying.

I have some fantastic support, I cannot deny that. And if it weren’t for that support, I may well not have survived this episode. I wish to god, that I could say that some of this support was from the relevant healthcare professionals.  I have decided today that I do no like the new psychiatrist. I think I have given him a fair chance. Yesterday he did nothing but patronise me. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he was the one acting like a BPD, not me.

I have actually had several members of staff that I have worked with in mental health recently, say to me that I do not have an ounce of borderline in me. I agree with this. I agree with this, because I have researched and researched borderline personality disorder and it symptoms over and over again. I also agree with this, because having researched it so much. I have come to realise that my mother more than likely has BPD, and me and her couldn’t be more different.

I have an appointment with a psychologist today, and I was planning on going in there, as I usually do with these appointments, with an open mind, and reserving judgement for as long as I can. Quite honestly, I don’t feel as if I can do that today. I’m too exhausted. I’m ill anyway, and quite honestly, I feel like I’m wasting my breath. I have reached the point where I feel that all I can do, is suffer and deal with it on my own as I have always had to.

I guess we will have to see, but I’m not holding high hopes for this appointment.

Anyway, I have to go for now, so until I feel I can write again.

H x

Scary Steps, But Forward, Or Back?

Today, or rather yesterday, marks a new beginning for me. A rather scary new step has been taken. I accepted and started a new job. I fear this may be why I cannot sleep tonight, although I very much need to.

This job, while it will secure the roof over my head, it will make my health deteriorate, and I will not be able to make ends meet. Suddenly those episodes of paranoia where I believed the government were trying to kill me don’t seem so paranoid. I am determined to try and make it work somehow. I don’t know how, but it has to. As a victim of the dreadful bedroom tax, I do not have any choice. And the fact that a very old friend of mine stuck her neck out on the line to help me out and get me this job makes me all the more determined to make it work.

But while in one respect, a very big weight has lifted off of my shoulders, in another respect, another has taken it’s place. These are scary times we live in, and there is much to be afraid of. I know that somehow, I have no idea how, but somehow, it is time for me to focus my efforts on what I know I am good at, so that I may make positive life achievements through these, in hope that they will reflect positively on my life, so that things may get better for me, and I may struggle less, physically, mentally, and certainly financially.

I’m keeping this short and sweet as I need to sleep.

H x

August Mayhem

I have a lot of questions regarding some of the events of last month. I have been unable to really write due to being too ill, and too confused. Most, if not all of the questions cannot be answered by me, and I can honestly say that my local mental health team has a lot to answer for!

This is what I know.

I had 2 major psychotic episodes last month. One of them was a very public episode. While I have no idea of the full details of these episodes, I am aware of little snippets.

The first episode was a major paranoia episode. I know this because I wrote in a notebook exactly what was going through my head, so when I suddenly became aware that I had barricaded myself into my house, I at least knew why. The second, prior to it, I was tired. I hadn’t slept, and so on the Sunday morning I took a sleeping tablet. I woke after this at about lunch time, and I was fine, next thing I know, I woke in hospital and was told that I took a sleeping tablet overdose, but although I was aware of bits and pieces, I kept losing myself and I had NO control of what I was doing. This resulted in being picked up by the police twice, an attempt to walk to the nearest large bridge (which was 35 miles away) with no intention of jumping off, and god knows what else that I cannot remember.

My questions largely revolve around the second episode. The major question is that, if I was taken to see the psychiatrist, why was I allowed to be left on my own while having not snapped completely out of the episode.

I have to face the reality that these questions may never be answered, but my biggest hope is that finally, I will be taken more seriously by the mental health team in future because of this.

On a final note for this post, I know that my mental health is getting worse, and I know that there appears to be less and less time between each episode I have, and that scares me greatly.

Back In The Deep Dark Depths Of Hell…

… And I have a confession to make. It would appear, that after talking to some other people who suffer with mental illness, that a lot, not all, but a lot of people who suffer with self harm issues, more specifically cutting, like me, use getting tattoos or piercings to replace the self harming. I happen to think that if you’re into that sort of thing, it is a brilliant idea and a great way to prevent ourselves from ending up with a body full of horrid scars that we are ridiculously ashamed of.

The thing to be careful of, and this is where my confession comes in, is that my tattooist gets pretty booked up, and so there can be a fair wait to get in the chair, and this, as I have never told ANYONE before, causes me to seek refuge in another form of self harm. My problem is that if I don’t cut when I need to, I find myself binge eating. I’m doing it this very minute.

It can cause a lot of problems for anyone who does this. Obesity being the obvious one, and my eating is not regulated properly. I know nothing about binge eating as a mental health disorder, (actually, that’s not strictly speaking true, as I study mental health, I know a little), but I know my own body, and I know that I hold on to weight very easily, and the fact that I will binge for a while and then not eat for a while will not be helping my weight issues.

The other issue I have right now, is that I just want to get drunk. If I could, I’d be smashed right now. I’m not even sure what is going through my mind. I need help, but there is none available, and I can’t disturb anyone else who knows about me, as they’re few and far between, and all have important things on today.

I have to be strong and hold on. I know this, but putting that into practice is a different matter entirely.

H x

Lost, Scared and Alone.

I don’t even know where to begin right now. I’m so lost. I feel so alone, and so very scared. I’m sat alone in my house. You can’t call it a home. I sit here alone in my broken house, on my broken sofa, in a half decorated room with furniture I cannot stand and it feels empty and broken and lonely. It is not my home, it is just a place I have slept in for the last 6 and a half years. It will not be my home until I can find a way to make it look and feel how I want and need it too. I fear that will never happen. I fear I will lose this roof over my head before I can make it into a home. I do not have enough money to cover my rent and bills and to be able to eat. I do not have any money to finish decorating, or put carpet in my house or buy the things I need. My clothes are tatty and worn and cheap and make me feel like I’m a fraudster, because I am not even a shadow of the person I should be. Even in the midst of the false high’s of mania, I’m an still just an empty shell of who I should be.

I cannot find a job. I try everyday, phoning all of the places that are advertising on the jobcentre website. Even the one’s I know are likely to put me in hospital. I fear for my life right now. I fear for it greatly. I even wonder if I will make it through to the end of the day. It doesn’t feel like I will.

I’m just so lost and scared and alone.

Hello Mania, My Old Friend!

Hello to talking at 90 miles an hour. Hello to not being able to sit still, even when I’m sitting still (wtf? Yeah I know!!). Hello to being super-productive. Hello to feeling great. Not just great in fact, absolutely amazing. Hello to the fantastic sex (not that it isn’t fantastic anyway, but those who understand know what I mean). All pretty harmless stuff, right?

Well, this means also hello to pressured speech. Hello to prolonged periods of insomnia (hence writing this post at 3.20am). Hello to chaotic, disorganised and fast changing thoughts. Hello to starting about 50 different things at once, and finishing none of them, so the productivity then becomes chaos. Hello to being on the go non-stop, so much so, that my brain couldn’t care less about the physical pain I am in, no matter how much physical pain I am in, I just keep going beyond my normal capabilities. Hello to struggling to keep my big gob shut, and annoying every single person around me. Hello to the risk of blowing ALL my money and have sweet F.A. to show for it. Hello to the risk of hypersexuality and the risks that come with that (I was almost caught having sex in a public place just last night). Hello to delusions, paranoia and hallucinations (I’m not there yet, well, I’ve found myself coming out with some very paranoid talk, but I have realised after, so touch wood, I can keep check on that with the help of the hubby).

All of this stuff isn’t even a full list of what can and does happen for me, and yet still those in the mental health profession still do not hear me when I say how I suffer. I’m currently sat watching a program on the TV about the NHS and how poor services are for our mental health, and how so many people are failed by these services. It gives me peace of mind. I have no issues when someone makes an attempt to invalidate my opinion. It can be frustrating, but it would be frustrating to anyone to feel that they aren’t being listened too. However, on the many occasions that I have spoken my mind to our local mental health services, and how I feel that, while they have done good for some people, I still feel that they have failed so many people, myself included, and they just shoot me down with their seemingly favourite line, “well that is your opinion”. Yes it is my opinion, but I am aware that it is a widely shared opinion, and that is fact!

The fact that I am still trying to fight misdiagnosis, and my medical notes being so full of confusion throughout all of my life is ridiculous in my mind. I have had something happen yesterday that seemed positive, where I saw my psychiatrist and finally admitted that I didn’t think that I needed my meds, and had actually taken myself off them some time before I had even met him. He saw this as a good thing in the sense that I am not reliant on medication, which somehow the previous psychiatrist has come to the conclusion that I was so pre-occupied with meds that I was refusing therapy treatment and this proves to the new one that I am being honest that they had got me wrong completely, as I hated my medication and didn’t think it was good for me at all. The good thing that came from that, is that the new psychiatrist had asked the community mental health team in my area to give me much needed extra support previously and they denied it, but now he has grounds to fight my corner even more, as he says that essentially I am now not getting any treatment, and I need some form of treatment. We shall see how that goes.

I will sign off now, otherwise I will be sat here rambling away all night, and if I don’t try and get some sleep then the hubby will be telling me off when he asks how much sleep I got in a few hours time.

Night night world (or morning, it is 4.10am after all).

H x

The best drug of all…. (warning, soppy alert) LOVE!!

I’m considering taking a sleeping tablet to get to sleep. If I leave it much later than this, I will struggle to get up in the morning. There are various different things affect my ability to sleep.

Yes, my depressive phase is very much still active, and that black dog has shown absolutely no signs of a retreat anytime soon. Granted, I must be feeling slightly better, because my suicidal urges are not as strong as they have been recently. But then 7 months is a long time to be on a downer.

Now another contributing factor, although I’m not a clingy sort of person, the fact that the hubby is away is not helping me settle at night. I’m not one of these people who cannot function without the other half, we actually get very little time together at all. It’s a miracle that our relationship is as strong as it is. But I am the sort of person that worries a lot, and I don’t particularly feel at my safest in the house on my own. Something I know a lot of women can relate to when it comes to sleeping in an empty house.

There’s actually a lot to be said for the love of a good man, and it cannot be denied, the hubby is the best of the bunch in my eyes. My perfect man. Never in my life have I come across someone so accepting of my background, my illnesses, in fact, of every single mistake and failure in my life, as well as my triumphs, and to be honest it feels good. There’s nothing to hide, nothing to make me worry that he might walk out the door if he ever found anything out.

I must admit, I suffer with extreme guilt during times of severe depression, because the hubby feels so helpless most of the time. He thinks that he isn’t helping, or worse still, that he’s making it worse for me, and what he doesn’t realise is that because he is here, and I don’t have to hide who I am from him, even at my worst, it actually helps those horrible phases. I may think at the time that he would be better off without me. He may be better off without me for all I know. That’s a question that could only ever be answered by going through it, but he doesn’t want to be without me, and I don’t want to be without him.

He is that tiny flicker of light that shines so very far away in that deep, dark, seemingly endless tunnel of depression. He’s the only one that can make me laugh, and I mean a real proper laugh, when I don’t even want to smile. He saved my life just last week, without even knowing what my intentions were.

Yes, my Mr Perfect is the ideal description. Better than any medication I have found. I hope that everyone in the world is lucky enough to find their perfect match. A week isn’t that long for him to be away, and he is in touch whenever he can get to his phone, but I do miss him.

Love truly is the best drug.

H x

Exhausting trip to see the new psychiatrist.

I can’t help but feel like today’s appointment with the new psychiatrist was some sort of test. A test to see how I react, and to see if I react like a typical person with borderline personality disorder.

I was told that I am preoccupied with the diagnosis factor of my illness, and in some ways, that is true… well, no too ways about it, it is true.

But why is it so important for me to get the right diagnosis? Well, to be honest, I’d have thought that would have been an obvious one. To me, getting the right diagnosis means getting the right treatment. Although a lot of psychiatrists argue that the treatments for BPD and Bipolar are the same, and don’t get me wrong, maybe they are, a lot of the symptoms they will be trying to treat will be different to the symptoms they think they will be treating.

The symptoms they believe they will be treating according my current diagnosis:

http://www.bpddemystified.com/what-is-bpd/symptoms/

The symptoms that they will actually be treating according to my illness actually cycles:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml

Now, I know there are similarities between the two but there are some very clear differences and there is a great article on http://www.psychologytoday.com about these differences.

The link is here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201003/three-easy-ways-differentiate-bipolar-and-borderline-disorders

I am actually getting very tired now, so I’m struggling to write now. The slight progress that was made is that as well as the BPD is that on my notes the psychiatrist added, well the way I understood it was that he added as a duel diagnosis, Cyclothymia. At first I was actually insulted. I am depressed, severely depressed at the moment, and have been for some time now, so this understandably upset me a little, but not enough for it to affect my day. I have a hard enough time trying to concentrate on my studies and just get through the day in general when I’m suffering a depressed phase. It did strike me though, that my apparent struggle to clearly get my point across today, as I sometimes do, may have put the psychiatrist under the impression that I do not know as much as I do on the subject, (I’m losing my train of thought) ah, yes, the reason I was at first insulted by this, is that it occurred to me that regardless of the diagnosis, I do not feel that my illness is taken as seriously as it should be.

That is about as much as I can handle for one night, despite the fact that it’s almost midnight, and even though I can’t really sleep, I really have to call it a night.

H x

(Insert title here) I can’t think straight.

I have had a really rough past couple of weeks. I’m even sure I can write competently to be honest, but I’m willing to give it a go.

I’m going through an extremely low period at the moment, last far longer than I remember of any low phase I’m had in the past, which to be truthful doesn’t say much, because my memory is dreadful. Still, this has been going on since before Christmas. People think I’m okay, but I’m really far from it.

I spend my days covering up because people either make it abundantly clear that they don’t want to know you when you’re like that, or they suddenly become experts with the oh so surprising advice of “why don’t you just snap out of it”. If only it were that simple, I’d love to look at the positives in life when I’m like this, and believe that they mean something. I’d love to believe that the people in my life really do care. I’d love the have the magic ‘off switch’ that people seem to think comes with having a mental illness. If only.

What frightens me, is that even some of the professionals have this same dismissive attitude, as though that off switch really does exist. It does frighten me that these people are at the front line of our care and support package. Don’t get me wrong, not every single one is like that. I have worked with some truly amazing people over the last couple of weeks. Real people, who really understand what it is like to be in a mental health crisis. The reason, it’s because these people are mental health patients themselves, and they’re not afraid to share their experiences to help someone get better. I find that truly amazing, and only wish that I could work with these people on a permanent basis. Just, absolutely incredible and inspirational people.

No if we could find people that work on the front line to be such a credit to the job, we’d all have a much smoother recovery period. It’s not all about what you read in a text book. Text books can never really give a true account of what may happen with someone suffering from a mental illness. What gives the true account, is the person who lives it. The person who, for them, it is all just a normal part of life. And the so-called professionals would do well to remember is that.

Of course, not each individual may know exactly what is wrong, or what type of illness they have, but they sure as hell know how it makes them feel, and how they behave, and what works for them in the short-term to help them try and pull through. So please professionals, please start listening to your patients, and if they don’t know what to do to help themselves, for goodness sake, do not say to them “what do you want me to do?”

That is about all from me for now, because between fighting to keep my head above water, concentrating on my studies and the million other things I’ve got going on, my brain just does not want to function any more.

I sincerely hope you all enjoyed your summer solstice yesterday.

H x