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

In Need Of A Miracle…

So things are pretty shit right now. So much so that even hubby is avoiding me! He would never admit that he is avoiding me, but I know that he is, and I cannot say that I blame him, however two days in a row where there is no contact from lunch time until very late at night when you’re usually in contact pretty much all day every day, would indicate to me some level of avoidance. Again, I cannot say that I blame him.

Right now I’m at the point of giving up. I’m balancing on a very unstable ledge, and this time I might not be able to save myself. I’m on the verge of losing it all. Quite literally, everything. But the terrible thing is that there is no one out there who is going to help. No one to lend a hand, throw me a lifeline, or even just to listen right now. My only way to vent and try and make sense of it all in my head is to write it down here. It will take, quite literally, a miracle to get me out of this, and I am rapidly running out of time.

My depression has taken over, and the crisis team that should have been in touch a couple of weeks ago, has been nowhere to be seen. I am so far behind in my rent, I’m expecting a notice to seek possession letter to come through any day. I have already had a letter threatening court action over my council tax. I am severely behind in my gas and electricity payments and I haven’t been able to pay a water bill in what seems like forever. If that notice for to seek possession letter comes through, I will lose the roof over my head, and will quite literally be living on the streets. There is no help to seek for this, there is nothing anyone can do. No amount of budgeting will solve this problem, because there simply isn’t enough income to budget with. I am lost, with nowhere to turn.

I have self harmed today, and I still feel the need to do it again to resist the urge to go any further, but quite honestly, I just want to sleep and never wake up. I don’t know what else to do. This is all just the tip of the iceberg, and there is nothing more I can say about any of it.

H x

Black Dog Back To Bite Me Again.

I haven’t been able to write for some time now. I wasn’t physically capable for a while. Mostly medication induced. All I care to say in that subject is, Seroquel…. stay away!!! I can’t even say that I turned into a zombie. Zombie’s are still capable of some things at least. I was virtually a vegetable. I became incapable of making a coffee! Me! Not being able to make a caffeinated beverage! I would say that it was on the verge of becoming hazardous to someone’s health, but since I was incapable of making a cup of coffee, how capable was I of hurting someone for coffee, really? Safe to say that it was a very unpleasant experience, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Of course the psychiatrist is going to be none too pleased that I am no longer taking it, but I also think that the almost constant chest pain, being unable to pee, the constantly snuffling nose to the point where I still have a cut up there from blowing it all of the time, hallucinations, serious lack of balance, confusion, shortness of breath, palpitations, dry mouth, increased numbness in my hands and feet, and the feeling of needing to over eat constantly, (to name a few things) was enough grounds to stop.

Of course, it was also pointed out to me after stopping the seroquel, that I was having a manic episode. Not much fun after a while I can tell you. I was very much convinced that the doctors were trying to kill me. Especially my psychiatrist. He was the ring leader, and that’s why he prescribed me the seroquel… to bump me off, and the chest pain was the start of it killing me, so I had come off it in time. Now, I don’t like the man, sure, but trying to kill me?? Maybe that’s a little far fetched? Maybe?

I was even convinced that my GP was in on it, and that the only reason that my GP and I could get on, and could have an adult conversation when we disagreed on something, was to lull me into a false sense of security on behalf of the psychiatrist. One of only 4 half decent doctors I have crossed paths with in the whole of my area, and this is what I thought of him. The man lets me walk into his office, sit there effing and jeffing until I’ve got everything out of my system, and granted he usually sits there giggling at me while this is going on, which in turn makes me giggle also, but I like that about him. It means he’s human, and he knows he’s human. He knows that he’s one of us. He certainly doesn’t look down on me as though he thinks he’s better than me, or as though he thinks I’m stupid, because, although I hate to admit this, he has got me sussed out there, and knows that I like to pretend I’m a little more dumb than I actually am. My downfall there, is that I do not show my intelligence in the right situations.

As a result of my manic episode, I did come away with lots of goody’s though. Goody’s I cannot afford, nor can I return now I know I need to, but, I will justify it like this, I have no good clothes, so now I have a gorgeous dress. I have no decent shoes, so now I have some boots, and pretty, shiny red shoes, which means I have something different to wearing trainers all of the time. I have new makes up brushes, eye shadows, and a brand new red lipstick, to make me that little bit more me again, and also to push me into putting the war paint on more often. Canvases! I can start painting again. Always good to promote my creativity. I homemade, extra large, leather bound book with blank pages, for which I intend to write my life story in. A tablet PC. B+Very naughty of me. But, it will help me with writing etc. Like I said, it was too late to send any of them back, so I needed to justify it in my head.

Only now, I have gone to visit the other end of the scale. I was coping with that fine. I really was. However, I have been not so gently shoved too far down to the bottom of the mood scale, and it isn’t pretty down here. So much so, that I have actually self harmed for the first time in a long time. I know that I use tattoos to replace the self harming, but I have actually cut tonight, and what’s worse, is that because I’m already in so much pain, I didn’t feel a thing.

This is exactly the sort of thing that I want to one day be able to guide other people through, and quite honestly, I’m not sure if that first means I have to come out at the other end, or if my current experiences keep everything fresh enough in my mind to help more effectively. Only time will tell, but first I have to make it through this, and right now, I’m not so sure that I want to.

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.

Open Letter To David Cameron.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It is thanks to you that I am ashamed to call myself a British citizen! Oh god, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so tired. So very, very tired. You’re twisted world of power and greed has left me with a choice between sacrificing my health in more ways than one, sacrificing seeing my children or sacrificing the roof over my head and winding up back on the streets.

I’m a very ill lady. I have quite the list of health problems. Your ATOS assessors have found this to be true, and say I’m unfit to work. But as I am also only allowed my children here part time due to one of these illnesses, according to your new “bedroom tax“, I should basically give up my right to even have them part time, because since they love away from me most of the time, having them over to stay is now a privilege that I should now have to pay over £100 a month for, as well as the travelling costs I incur because they live 25 miles away, and the food expenses on top of that. That in itself takes most of my benefit, and since the disability living allowance department only see fit to grant me the lowest amount possible for anxiety issues, and have chosen to ignore the worst of my mental health issues, and ignore my physical health issues altogether, that leaves me in a rather large bind.

Do you know, Mr Cameron, that as a direct result of your bedroom tax, you have worsened my mental and physical health problems under the stresses and strains of the new “bedroom tax”? Did you know, Mr Cameron, that even if I did decide to move to a smaller property, that this would then mean that not only do I lose access to my children, but I then lose access to my family and my entire support network, because to move out of my current home, the home I have lived in now for almost 7 years, I would have to move out of the area, because there are NO properties available in my area that are suitable for me. Tell me, Mr Cameron, how do I get out of that one?

Of course, I could get a job. There is the risk that, even if I am able to find someone that is willing to take on someone that suffers from severe depression, episodes of mania and even psychosis, extreme widespread pain, migraines, anxiety and panic attacks, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and falls, random numbness of the limbs, extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, swelling of extremities, short term memory loss, concentration difficulties, spatial disorientation, calculation difficulties and other cognitive problems, trouble in communication through not being able to say the right words, frequent intense and realistic nightmares, stiffness in muscles and joints, muscle weakness, sciatica, changes in visual acuity, intolerance of medications, restless leg syndrome, being sensitive to temperature and heat and cold changes, palpitations, breathing difficulties, involuntary muscle spasms, non-cardiac chest pain that mimics a cardiac disorder, pelvic pain, dry eyes and mouth, heel pain, unusual and uncontrollable irritability, self harms and has suicidal thoughts and tendencies, I could then lose the job because of all of these problems. That is IF I find someone willing to take me on with all of that.

If I do find someone to take me on, and my goodness I would love to be back in work again, I run the risk of regular hospitalisation. Either from my mental or physical illness. I have already had to come off my medications, psych meds and all, because once I do find a job, I will no longer be able to afford these medicines, and the negative effects are already showing.

I actually cannot remember the last time I ate a nutritious meal. I cannot remember the last time I ate a full meal. I live off of snacks. The odd biscuit here, the odd tiny microwave “meal” there. No nutrition what-so-ever. I cannot buy salads or vegetables, because they do not last long enough, and once they have gone, I cannot afford to buy anything else to replace them until my next “payday” or maybe even the payday after that. So it has to be small snacks that will not go off quickly and that I can make last for as long as possible. Please think about that every time your wife cooks you a nice healthy meal, or you eat out at a restaurant.

There are thousands upon thousands of people who are in the same position as me. Don’t get me wrong, I know something had to be done, but not to the point of people suffering and losing their lives, surely? I certainly fear for my life. I really, truly do.

So I beg you Mr Cameron, I beg of you with everything I have left inside of me, please, PLEASE start thinking about the people who are suffering this torture, and do something to help us so that we don’t suffer any more. I know my words are redundant, but they needed to be spoken even if then fell on deaf ears.

Holly

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