Hello! If you’ve found my blog and don’t know me, I’m a post-grad student, based in East London – born and bred. Spent a few years studying in Bristol, but I’m back now. That’s me to the right :).
I like cocktails and jasmine tea and nail varnish and natural cosmetics and journaling and radio 4 and lists and flat shoes and colouring in and reading and newspapers and black coffee and herbal tea and long walks and video games and english weather and second-hand furniture and feminism and charity shops and yoga and stupid T.V. programs and science and space and post-its and stationary and talking books and cooking and afternoon tea and hot water bottles and conversations with proper friends.
And I’m perpetually broke.
What Am I Writing About?
I mostly write about my personal experiences with mental health problems, and a few bits in between. I talk about how I’m feeling, what progress I’m making, what my treatment is like and how I’m finding it, how I experience the world, therapy, benefits and the NHS.
As it stands, I’m officially diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Benzodiazepine Addiction and General Anxiety Disorder, though I mostly focus on BPD, addiction and PTSD as I figure GAD is kinda fed by the more prominent illnesses.
I was a officially diagnosed with BPD a year or so ago, though unofficially I’ve had that label for a while and I’ve been told I’ve probably had it since I was a teen. Apparently I used Anorexia Nervosa as a way to manage the symptoms of BPD. After a trip to A&E for self-harm, my psychiatrist at my Community Mental Health Team (CMHT, now the CRT) referred to IMPART (my local personality disorder treatment team – Intensive Management of Personality Disorders Assessment and Recovery Team). After another trip to A&E for an overdose which led to me being in an ITU for a few days, my local Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team (HTT) rushed my referral. I’ve graduated their DBT based therapy and group in March 2014 and found DBT’s skills based aspects incredibly helpful, although in think the one to one aspects are challenging and often not open enough to really engage in certain issues.
I am currently undergoing detox from diazepam as I became addicted to it through being prescribed it by my HTT and it got way out of hand. I occasionally make the choice to take more diazepam than I should, but mostly my detox is going well. I wouldn’t consider myself an active user, though getting a decent detox programme though the NHS in my area is getting increasingly harder due to cuts to mental health services
I’ve also suffered from abusive relationships, being kicked out and evicted and having a brief period of homelessness, being hospitalised after another suicide attempt and have wound up under the CRT with a social worker who found me a flat in supported accommodation. It’s self contained and surprisingly not shit. However, this was my second social worker in four months and she is now also leaving, and will possibly be replaced with a temp. Another problem due to NHS cuts. My flat is medium support, so I get three hours contact time with my support worker each week, as well as an emergency number to call if things go wrong 24/7, with no workers living on site. So I guess I’ll probably write a bit about the social housing process and the affects of domestic violence.
Due to the ‘severe and enduring’ nature of my mental health problems (the NHS’ words, not mine), I am also in receipt of ESA, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, and still (since I applied in August) waiting on my PIP assessment, so no doubt I’ll be raging about welfare reform as well as NHS cuts. Oh, and I’m a raging feminist so that’ll probably come up at some point.
Basically, my blog is pretty self-indulgent.
Why Did I Start Writing?
I used to be diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa (restrictive sub-type), but right now, I’m weight restored and think it has little impact on my life. The first year or so of my blog is mostly about AN, my treatment and recovery though. I wrote a lot about refeeding issues, recovery food, weight gain, maintaining and therapy for eating disorders. I’ve finished my treatment for AN now though. Recovery is bloody hard work, but entirely worth it. To anyone still struggling, I know it sucks, but it is possible, even if you can’t imagine it. It is possible to not count calories, not worry about your weight, stay the same weight without any particular effort, intuitively eat etc. And although it’s so hard to do, all the struggling is worth it. I’m keeping the info up for anyone who might be interested or needs support.
I started this blog because AN is really isolating. I stopped talking to all of my real life friends and I missed them, but I couldn’t bring myself to see the or contact them because it could interfere with my routines, plans, timings and restriction. I was hopeful that it would help the people I care about understand where I’m at and why I behaved the way I did. In fact, I still do hope that. I’m lucky because I have friends who stuck with me whilst I was a messed up teenager, whilst I starved myself and now I’m a messed up adult. Although I see them a lot more now, I still don’t want all my interactions with them to be based on my mental health, but I’d like them to know about it so they can support me. I’m really grateful to those that do.
As I’ve been doing this though, other reasons to continue have surfaced, even though AN hasn’t been a real issue in my life since late 2012. Firstly, I’ve actually made some great internet friends and have been able to access an immense support resource through keeping this blog running. Seriously, it’s actually really nice to find other people with so many similarities and can understand what I’m experiencing when those around me can’t. Mental health problems can be so isolating so it’s nice to find people to talk to. It’s also a really good way of understanding myself better I think – both because others can give me input into my experiences and problems and because writing for other people means explaining things better rather than just taking thoughts and emotions as a given. It helps me to come up with solutions so I’ll appear a bit more sensible and can help distract me in times of crisis.
Why Don’t I Post Anonymously?
Mental illnesses are messy and there are many misconceptions about them. Although I might not be moving forward in the same way as everyone else, I don’t want to be hiding what I going through or ashamed of illnesses I’m not to blame for. It’s a complex mix of genetics and environmental factors that led me here – not my own failings. I could start looking at wider scale issues than myself in an effort to address some of the science, stigma and misconceptions, but I figure other bloggers already do that and a whole load better than I ever could, so I’ll leave that to them, though I figure it’ll touch on that stuff a little as it goes along, I just don’t want to hide my illnesses from the people I love and care about. I don’t want to be embarrassed. I want them, and anyone else who finds this blog, to know who I actually am – craziness and all.
* I password some of my posts. Not many, but a few. If you would like the passwords for any, let me know and chances are I’ll let you read them. I just don’t want it open to public and people in my life.
**I realise my blog has the most emo title. Basically, when I was asked to name it, I panicked under the pressure and ended up picking a lyric from a song I liked at the time. It’s not actually emo. I picked it because it had lots of lyrics about writing. I know that doesn’t excuse it though. Sorry.