Tag Archives: DBT

the worst month of my life.

I wrote this in October 2013, so it’s a bit backdated, but I guess it gives a quick overview of where I’ve been and, my mental health history for anyone that might read this and not want to track back and starts to show how I got where I am I guess. Hopefully it’s not too self indulgent.

Ok so maybe this isn’t quite the worst month of my life, but it’s definitely top five. I think it’s actually quite hard to tell sometimes just what was the worst thing ever, especially in the moment. Loads of things are awful. Bereavement sucks. Being dumped sucks. Not having enough money to buy the shower gel you really wanted sucks. Maybe when you’re really old and looking back at your life you work it out. All I know is that this month has been monumentally tragic, even in comparison to a lot of my other awful times. It’s almost laughable, if it wasn’t me, In this post, I’m going to explain why.

Within the month of October 2013, I’ve been dumped by a boy I loved (who had the emotional maturity of a grapefruit), who I then got back together with for a total of four days, only to be dumped again and have him steal my pitiful amount of money. I then made that fantastic choice of fucking him, just to let him tell me how much I suck and how crazy and sad I am. Followed by him leaving the country. My housing situation is tenuous I think. Some major disagreements with the family led to me living with said boy, which has now left me living half with my family, which is difficult for them as much as for me, and living half with a drug dealer who can set me up with some tasks when I’m more than my average broke. Being broke should go on this list, but that’s pretty much a permanent. My treatment has increased – I’m now, I’m in treatment for mental health problems almost every day and I’m being offered NHS funded private rehab for at least three months. All of which means I have to face the highly likely prospect of taking yet another year out of finishing the one year masters degree I’m already in my fourth year of. Even so, I’m still barely coming to terms with the fact that I have something labelled “complex needs” by essentially all health and social care workers. This is not exactly how I imagined my life would be at 24.

Getting where I am right now has been a painfully long process. In reality, everyone’s life is just a painfully long process from birth to wherever they are now I guess. I could start my story in childhood, which my therapist says probably was invalidating and hindered my emotional development or some next drama, but it’s not important. I had a nothing but lovely childhood. My conscious awareness of some sort of emotional issue probably started in my teens. At around 13, I started drinking, smoking, getting high, liking boys and self-harming. Self-harm at that point wasn’t weird. My friends all did it too, I just took it further, and never really stopped. I think looking back, I probably was a little more nervous and a little unhappier than my peers, but at the time I wasn’t emotionally capable of looking outside my own world and hindsight is often a fallacy. I got good at self-harming, and even better at hiding it.

By 15, no one talked about it, but I still did. I also started having panic attacks all the time. I went to my GP and got my first mental health diagnosis – depression and panic disorder. Off I went to some fairly dull and pointless counselling, which may have been great if I’d engaged with it, but at 15, how many people can be fucked?

I got through college with a lot of cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, self-harm and boys. I got through it well and did really quite good considering, but that life had its toll. Too many nights of too much excess in clubs I was definitely too young to be in led to me completely crashing emotionally. Just before my exams. I spent weeks in bed, ran away to Yorkshire, spent more weeks in bed and was dragged to my GP again. Again, the diagnosis was depression. This time I was prescribed Prozac (and later citalopram), told to go to the surgery counsellor and sent on my way.

I didn’t go to the counsellor. Instead, I ran off to Bristol for university. My first year of uni was properly batshit cray. Antidepressants, a change in contraceptive pill, dropping all my hobbies and friends and family to enter the horror of finding new hobbies and friends was all a little much. My self-harm and generally crazy behaviours went into overdrive and behind closed doors (but in front of my unfortunate, but ultimately a prick new boyfriend), I became the most dramatic crazy person ever. Inefficiently executed suicide attempts, blood and sharpie markers all over me and my dorm, running away, cold showers with all my clothes still on, half a litre of vodka each night, drugs wherever I could find them. It was messy, but with no follow up from my GP, it all went unnoticed. 

When I finally cold turkey gave up the antidepressants at the end of summer, I was fucking miserable and doing seriously terrible at uni. I hated myself, I felt like a failure and I didn’t know what to do. Lucky for me, I quickly found losing weight. I focused myself on to eating healthy and going to the gym and found something I was good at. I was bloody fantastic at losing weight. It made me feel good. It made me feel proud. It made me feel in control (finally). So I did that, and I dropped self-harm, got substantially less trashed, was able to focus on university and slowly became more and more focused on losing weight. That went on for the next three years and I ended up seriously underweight and trapped in anorexia, obsessing over food and exercise. Still, I did good at uni and I graduated well, so started and MA.

Halfway through my MA, I became so critically ill that, after being shipped around various primary care therapy services, I was referred to a specialist eating disorders unit (EDU) and started actually getting treatment. I was so unwell, my uni boyfriend from Bristol wound up dumping me and we spent the next year and a half breaking up. Turns out he was an abusive bastard and I couldn’t see it. Years of domestic from someone I loved is pretty hard to deal with if you don’t have an eating disorder to escape from it.

For a while, I was still too unwell with anorexia to really noticed what it was providing me, so I was still focused and obsessed enough to complete all my taught units in my MA, but by my last assignment (two years after starting my MA), I was almost out of treatment with my EDU, emotionally disastrous, self-harming everyday, on and off of antipsychotics and mood stabilisers, back on antidepressants and in and out of hospital for stitches, glue and lethal overdoses (I’d got smarter since I was last like this, so way more efficient. Intelligence isn’t always a good thing). It was around this time my EDU diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder and referred me to my local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). By this point, I was too ill to even contemplate a dissertation so decided to defer my assessment.

This last year, I’ve been in dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT – specialist therapy for people with borderline), but I’ve also been honing my alcohol and Valium misuse to block out all my difficult thoughts and emotions, and topping them off with whatever other substances head my way. I went into another relationship with yet another person who doesn’t know how to treat their partner and wound up homeless, scarred, broke and an addict. I hadn’t realised I was an addict until a few weeks ago when I was told. I thought I was going to be able to finish my degree this year, have some time off and hopefully start a PGCE and I was finally letting myself get some hope that I might be able to catch up to my peers and actually set up some sort of life I can be proud of. That’s suddenly looking less likely right now. I’m now in a drug and alcohol treatment program 3-4 days a week, individual DBT once a week, group. DBT once a week, my day programme key worker once a fortnight, my Community Drug and Alcohol Team (CDAT) case worker once a fortnight, my Community Recovery Team (CRT – previously my CMHT) psychiatrist once a month and my CRT social worker at some point and some amount. And you know I might be in rehab in a few months.

So here I am. Worst. Month. Ever. I’m actually pretty fucking unhappy right now, but I’m sure that’s not exactly hard to guess. Apparently (according to mental health workers), I suffer ‘severe and enduring’ mental health problems, I’m ‘high risk’ of serious injury, physical illness or death, I’m ‘low functioning’ and have a limited ability to independently thrive within mainstream society and I have ‘complex needs.’ I guess I have got a kinda complex case – you can tell by the amount of people involved in my care (it’s got to the point where it’s overwhelming and confusing).

Still, I’m smart, articulate and jokes, plus try so hard to be nice to people. For some unknown reason, I fully believe this pessimist shit sells me short. I don’t want to be in treatment or care or whatever all my life. I think I’ve got potential. I’ve got through a lot and still have a load more to do, but maybe I can be more then all these unhelpful labels.

Anyway, I’ve blogged before, mostly about my recovery from anorexia. I didn’t realise it’d get more complicated after that and I let a lot of my real life friends read it. I’m not all that sure about sharing addiction and self harm problems with my real life friends yet is a good idea, but I don’t like hiding away. I found it really helpful blogging though, and I think maybe blogging more would be useful still. It might not be though. Or maybe I’ll be too high to look at it. We’ll see I guess.

If you got this far, thank you for reading. Wish me luck.

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Filed under Addiction, bad day, bpd, CDAT, CMHT, eating disorder, fuck, general, Housing, HTT, life, Mental health, NHS, rant, rubbish, self harm, therapy, university

skyrim.

So I thought I’d maybe do an opening post on where I am now. There is only one real answer to that, and that is Skyrim. I know I know I am super late because it’s so old now and everyone’s already played it yarda yarda etc., but I wanted to do a post about how video games can really help me improve my mental health. They are obviously not for everyone (only for those of us who are slightly more inclined towards the geekier side of things), but since moving, Skyrim has been a seriously special thing to me.

I used to game a lot when I was little, but I had this absolutely horrendous, abusive boyfriend when I went to university who essentially told me I was rubbish for doing it because I wasn’t paying him enough attention. He’s a douche and waaaay out of the picture. But anyway, by the time that was over I was totally locked in anorexia so gaming was still a really difficult thing to get into again. It was only once I gained weight and recovered from anorexia that I was able to game again. I started out with some old classics like Metal Gear Solid and moved on to Tomb Raider Survivor, Uncharted and some Resistance: Fall of Man. I found these super cathartic as I was so engaged with something else, visually, physically and audibly, that I could escape my own feelings and emotions and put them to one side whilst distressing emotions within me calmed down. However, the situations I found myself in meant gaming became harder and harder. I installed Baldur’s Gate on my iPad (if any of you are old and naff enough to remember this) so I could game on the go, but my life was really hectic.

There are other was to calm down your emotions obviously. I could have a nice bath, or read some Neil Gaiman, but, you know, I could beat some dragons to death with a war-hammer. For me, it’s the dragons that work every time.

See, I find books difficult to engage in when I’m stressed. It’s uses like, one sense, and that just isn’t distracting enough, and if I’m in a bad place, the last thing I want to do is stare at my body. I don’t hate it, but like basically any girl living in a world in which unrealistic expectations are expected of or bodies, I don’t think “wowzas – what a hottie.” I need to find something with a story that can engulf me, something complicated enough to engage me in puzzle solving, and something beautiful enough to stare at for hours. Enter Skyrim.

Since moving, I’ve had no internet. I’ve not been able to binge watch tv series till I’m blue in the face. I’ve not been able to sit and let something mildly entertaining wash over me. I think this has both pros and cons. I find it incredibly easy to let my emotions run wild when I’m just casually watching something, and I also find that the background noise has become a part of my ritual for self-harming. Stupid, but true. Nothing grabs me enough. When I first moved, I watched a lot of shit T.V. – me and Parking Mad became good friends I won’t lie. I’d watch reruns of T.V. shows I hated on Dave at three am. No fun for anyone.

One evening, I had my brother and a mate over. He’d previously given me Skyrim (the legendary addition with all the DLC already on the disk) and that night he installed it. I’d like to say the next day I was suckered in, but that’d be a lie. I spent the whole day not sleeping and ended up watching Dirty Weekenders in France (the one with Richard E. Grant), under a duvet, on my sofa, eating Super Noodles. The next day, Skyrim happened.

You start the game, pick your gender, race, hair colour, makeup (fuck make up – my Wood Elf has war paint bitches), spend a while giving them some sort of maybe acceptable face and giving her some kick ass curves then off you go – in to the world of Skyrim.

Skyrim is part RPG, part soap. There’s like a main storyline involving dragons and shouting and all this crazy stuff. I’ve been playing it for over 75 hours and I still don’t really no where that’s going except for the fact that, at some point, imma have to merk some proper badman head dragon with all my shouting. I get most of my fun in the side quests. I just finished the Thieves’ Guild side quest (which took many hours) and now I’m really good at pickpocketing, lock picking and being super stealthy. I am Queen of the sneak attack. I play the longest game in the longest way. I hide, shoot a boss with an arrow, run away till I’m hidden, then go back and do it again. See, the Thieves’ Guild had lost it’s reputation as being proper hard thieves, and I had to restore it back to its immoral street cred. Now I am MASTER OF THE THIEVES! This has nothing to do with the main story, it was just fun.

It isn’t just big side quests. There are miscellaneous, teeny tiny quests too. Like finding someone a book. One time, I had to find three, flawless amethysts for this lizard dude so he could make an engagement ring for his wife (as per lizard customs obvs). And you can buy a house! You can buy a few houses, but because I have the DLC stuff, I’m saving my p so I can build a fucking huge yard once I get the 100,000 gold achievement, so my one house is pretty shit. It’s full of cobwebs and hay, but fuck that. Imma build a mansion and then get married and adopt some children. Because you can do that in Skyrim. You can get married, pimp your house out and adopt some kids. Complete and utter soap opera drama. Except every now and then, a dragon pops up you have to deal with. My weapon of choice here is my Nightingale bow and my elven war hammer. Beat them to the ground and absorb that dragon soul init fam.

It is so addictive and so engaging. It’s actually hard to write this post because I want to play it more now and I know my Mum is sleeping over tonight to watch lots of Avatar (the last air bender variety – don’t get twisted). I only have five hours to play it and I need to get dressed and stuff. Urgh. People get in the way of my Skyrim dreams.

But back to my main point. Yes, I admit I am a bit of a geek, but it’s one of the best ways to distract myself from my own distressing emotions. I get to engage in all the ridiculous lives of made up characters and I temporarily forget my own ridiculous life. Yes it is an avoidance thing, but in all honesty, distraction as a technique is better than cutting yourself in a moment of severe, emotional distress. You can deal with the problems once you’ve got your emotions back under control and through the use of emotional regulation skills like building mastery (a.k.a. getting shit you find hard to do done, even if it’s the washing up) so you feel like you’re achieving and making progress forward. It’s so much easier to do once you’ve let your emotions calm down a little by engulfing yourself in this mentalist world of ridiculously silly fun. And also, you can not play video games when you are off your face trashed on Valium. You just get shit at it, so it’s a really good way of distracting from addictive thoughts as well. Honestly, Skyrim has been so good for my mental health that I’d recommend anyone going through a rough patch to get themselves involved in some seriously addictive gaming.

Just be wary. You may end up forgoing sleep all together. Then you’re not really addressing your problems, you just play it till 10am then sleep all day, the play it again. Avoiding avoidance is something DBT tries to encourage. My support worker hates me because I’m never awake. Sometimes, you have to plan to not play it so you can be awake. I had to take a week off to be productive, be social and have a bit of a life. I was a little sad. No lie.

So this is what I’ve been up to recently. I can be more detailed in how I got here. Or not. You decide.
And remember – you have been warned.

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Filed under Addiction, bad day, bpd, coping strategies, general, life, Progress, recovery, self harm, therapy, Video games

confusing times

Hiya guys! I wonder if anyone even remembers this blog exists. I sure don’t most of the time. A lot has changed I guess. I think the biggest, bestest change is that I really don’t worry about food that much. I stay around the same weight, though I duno how much that is because I haven’t weighed myself in about six months. I know my clothes all fit the same, basically all the time. And it’s a healthy size too. So for an eating disorder blog, there seems to be a distinct lack of eating disorder happening. I just eat – sometimes healthy, sometimes McDonald’s. I still have a bit of a problem with drinking calories, but I do when I really want to and it has no real negative impact on my life, doesn’t play on my mind and doesn’t give me unreal amounts of guilt so I don’t think it’s a problem.

It’s been quite nice taking a super long time off blogging because its given me time to get away from that eating disorder mindset. I haven’t focused on it and I don’t think about it too much. It’s good. Great in fact. I’ve been moving on and I’m doing well and kinda losing that bit of my identity. I mean, it still is plays a part in making me who I am, but in a kinda positive way. I eat a whole load of junk and I don’t have mad guilt. I now just think “I’m eating this because its tasty and I enjoy it and it makes me feel good.” I don’t even think about calories. I don’t read food packaging religiously. I just eat, but whilst actually thinking positively about it and enjoying food as it should be enjoyed really. I duno if I would have got to this point without having been eating disordered in the first place. I duno if I would have actually ever been able to reach a point where food is just enjoyable and good, with no baggage. And I feel fucking awful for anyone that struggles to eat without mental drama of some sort. Being a girl that eats like a beast is now a part of who I am. I like that.

What other things are new…

Well I’m basically living south of the river now (ergh) with some friends. There was essentially this huge dramarama involving self-harm, overdosing, stitches and Gym.  It really wasn’t his fault, but he was trashed and responded badly, then he was banned from my home so we moved to his. Then he got evicted, so we moved to whoever would have us. My friends said they’d put him up for a month and me up as long as I want. It’s good to get some space from what’s going on at home and I’m intending on heading back there, but for now I’m back in the family homestead.

See, I’m not sure I even have any blogging friend anymore. I’m not sure anyone who might read this will understand me or even care. I used to have blog friends, but I disappeared for almost a year. I got wrapped up in a boy who I love and gave all I have too. I lost myself entirely and in truth, I didn’t mind. I got attached in a really BPD way. He was my all or nothing. My emotional self became entirely reliant and I began to need him in a way I guess he didn’t respond to. I find trust almost impossible, find it hard to have him leave for a little while because it feels like rejection and I get desperate for him to stay. I try and fix anything and go to completely ridiculous extents. In one argument, he wanted space and tried to leave whilst I ended up on my knees, crying and begging him to stay. He controlled all my love and all my anxiety. I can understand my illogical, broken thinking, but it still effects my emotions and behaviours. Our arguments became fierce. My whole self became dependent on him.

At the same time, his life has kinda fallen apart. He’s homeless, with terrible credit and a job with shit pay. He’s shit at saving as well which doesn’t help and hasn’t got a great support network. He needs to sort his shit out. I’ve done nothing but try to help, but apparently my help wasn’t very good. In his opinion, he isn’t in a position to have a relationship right now. I get it, but it’s killing me.

Apparently I’m also too much. I rely on him too much and became too much of a priority for him. I stressed him though. I call too much, text too much, need to see him too much. I rely on him to help me be ok. He can’t do it right now and fix his own life up. He says it’s just too much. He says he loves me and does want a relationship right now, but he needs a break. A break to fix up his life whilst I fix up mine. A break of an undisclosed amount of time.

I didn’t want a break. I wanted to step back from the relationship, but keep a relationship going. He didn’t. We decided we’d stay friends during the break. We’d still contact each other, see each other a little etc., but then I think he changed his mind. He wants to emotionally detach from me. I don’t want this at all. I don’t even know if we’re good together but I want him in my life so much. So I sent him a text telling him what I was up to, but a few hours later he text me to tell me how much it wasn’t ok. I was out at a party, having a really nice time, totally trashed, but these texts devastated me. I had to go home, in absolute mountains of tears, too trashed to deal with it and hurting too much to understand.

We ended up texting last night. He told me it’s either no contact or break up. I said I needed time to think about it and he gave me the night. Then changed his mind that I had a night and stopped communication then and there. I don’t know if we’ve broken up or not. I also don’t understand how the break would end if we’re not talking and there’s no end date. He text in the middle of the night to explain why he was being a bit of a dick, but didn’t explain anything or apologise.

So now I’m just confused and hurting and I don’t know what to do. It sucks out really. Apparently I love him and he loves me, but maybe we can’t talk and maybe we can. Maybe we’ve broken up, maybe we’re on a break. I can’t ask because contacting might make him angry and hate me more. I don’t know what I want or what he wants and I’m desperately sad. I’m so sad because I’m so confused. It’s so unpredictable and unstable and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know whether to move on or keep where I am. I feel really horrible and I can’t turn to the person I care most about to help me.

Logic and emotion always fighting.

And what sucks the most is that I do think I’m making progress. I’ve been in treatment essentially since I met him and I am moving forward. My risk behaviours are way down. Almost none at all. I haven’t taken any really damaging overdoses or self harmed in months. I’m relying more heavily on drugs and alcohol to get through, but that’s less damaging. Maybe. The other day I was too trashed, slipped on a space hopper and broke my nose and possibly my teeth so it’s still a little bit damaging. My treatment is going good I think. I’m getting a new psychiatrist who I’m seeing tomorrow. I’m going to ask for maybe a mental health social worker if I can. I have housing and money problems now. My family home is supportive right now, but I don’t think it’s helping my mental health. After the drama, I feel kinda at a loss here. I love my family dearly, but after the drama and all the talk of not wanting to support me and how it’d be easier for them if I wasn’t here, it makes me need to go. I don’t know. I’ll be south of the river againIn a few days really. I have to learn to rely on myself. Money is a problem. My lack of structure is a difficulty. Basically, I’m in need to carving out a little life for myself.

So we’ll see. I’m going to hopefully start blogging a bit more about treatment and the steps I need to move forward and all that business. I want to start this up as a recovery blog again, but right now I’m not feeling strong in recovery right now. I thought maybe if I got this self indulgent stuff out of my system and started to find an outlet to talk about recovery techniques and skills and stuff again, maybe I could find some independent recovery focus again. I duno. It might not work and I might not keep the blogging up. We’ll see.

I’m going to read some blogs now. Distract myself from what’s happening right now and hopefully feel a little better. I think I need a lot of distraction right now. A lot of self soothe techniques, and general distress tolerance skills. Maybe I’ll blog about them soon.

I doubt anyone will I read this but maybe it’ll help me. Maybe write again soon.

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Filed under bad day, bpd, CMHT, coping strategies, eating disorder, general, life, rant, recovery, therapy

flu.

I know I said I would blog more, but in fairness I’ve been really kinda ill. I wrote this a couple of days ago, so it’s slightly out of date. Sorry.

Firstly, I was mental health ill. I wound up in hospital again. Overdose on tranquillising prescription drugs and alcohol, plus some pretty horrid self-injury. Not good really. I don’t seem to be getting any real support from the NHS right now though, which I think is a bit of an oversight in their care. I don’t really know what I want from them, but I did kinda think the if you wind up in hospital for mental health reasons, someone should try to help you. Maybe I’m just naive.

So yer, another waste of my time being a complete idiot. I was with Gym, but he was too drunk to realise just how many sleeping tablets I was taking. I just didn’t want to feel anything. He was crying because I’d self-injured whilst he was out with his friends and it upset him so much. He was riotously drunk to be fair, but he was oscillating between telling me how much he cared and how important I am, to how he can’t just have another person fuck up his life and how I’m hurting him. We drank some wine, then he decided, in some sort of quest to make me understand, that he too should cut himself. Again, he doesn’t remember this. There was a lot of rum by this point. It got very dramatic. He was hiding razors and making demands and it wasn’t so great. Then he passed out, so I took more sleeping tablets and cut myself more dramatically, and in that stereotypically BPD way, woke him up covered in blood and crying, dripping all over my bed. To which he freaked out mode, so I took more sleeping tablets and drunk some more rum to try to numb myself out. Then I suddenly clicked that shit, this was not ok and started necking Pro Plus, coffee, Diet Coke, paracetamol plus and cold and flu tablets for the caffeine to keep myself awake and called the crisis team, who immediately sent an ambulance. By this point it was 7am and my family were waking up for work and I was struggling to walk and had to go to A&E. Obviously no one went to work that day. It was all very dramatic. They put me on some drips of some description, glued me up (badly, so some of the wounds didn’t actually close) and made me sit there till like 4pm. Once Gym had sobered up a little, he was so incredibly apologetic and tried so hard to look after me. He stayed with me for a few days to keep and eye on me and apologised for his drunken and terrible behaviour and feels a lot of guilt I think. I have a lot of guilt too. I upset my family and am dramatically pushing a boy I actually like away. Basically because I’m a dick. The glue didn’t work for some of the worst wounds, so they opened again. And stayed open. And got infected. And I had to get them dressed by a nurse at my doctor’s. Urgh. Stupid life. I hate the state I get myself into.

I’m feeling really fragile at the moment. I’m trying not to let it show. I’m trying to keep myself held together. I don’t want people to worry and I don’t want to drag anyone into my drama. I’m constant dramarama I know that, but if I keep myself together for others, then maybe I’ll get together for myself. You never know.

Then after that, I spent a little while being too damaged head to think about writing, basically until I got super physically sick. I managed to get out of bed today, but I did have to have a huge nap this afternoon. I’ve had some sort of delirious flu tonsillitis vomit mess. It was super gross. I couldn’t really see properly. Or walk. It snuck into my joints first. I was like this little old lady because my hips just proper killed and I couldn’t walk without hunching over and Gym was all like “ewww. Look at my old lady girlfriend. You’re so old” (mostly because I’m 23 and he’s 20 and he likes to remind me of this often). It was terrible as well because it hit me during a comedown and I was like ”ARGH! WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?!?” because I had no idea what was happening to me until I realised my temperature was way high.

Something that really fucks me off is that if I’m in hospital or in bed delirious or whatever, and I don’t make therapy with IMPART, it counts against me. I’m allowed to miss up to 4 sessions in six months, but anymore than that and I’m kicked out. I missed one because I was in hospital on a drip and even though I was in hospital and called the Therapist up to tell her I wouldn’t make it, she still told me to try to get out early to get there if I could, which is actually pretty fucking dangerous to tell someone I think. Then when I had flu, I called the day before to say “I’m really ill so I don’t think I’ll make tomorrow”, to which she replied “Well just come in and have a quick session because if you don’t attend at all it’ll be one of your non-attendances.” I actually think that’s maybe a little too strict really. I mean, I get why it’s important to have attendance rules when working with people with personality disorders, but not even being allowed to be sick is a bit much I think. So is telling someone to leave hospital if they can. It’s all a bit much. Then obviously, an actually important bit of therapy in which we did a chain thing for how and why I wound up in hospital, I was out of it with a temperature and unable to focus on anything, which is pointless.

I did have my first DBT skills group yesterday though and that was surprisingly not so bad. I got there in a fucking awful mood because a) I was really ill and b) Gym said he’d take me to make sure I was ok, but then he got too stoned and fell asleep too long and his phone ran out of battery and so on so I was pissed off. It wasn’t too awful though. I ended up getting really fucking agitated and talking bares and being a bit annoying, but I think I made a good impression. The group is all women and I’m pretty sure they’re all older than me. It’s sad because it seems like they’ve all had to deal with this shit way longer than I have and they all seem way more run down if you know what I mean. It makes me happy I’m in treatment when I am, but it still really upsetting to see. I duno. Anyway, they seem nice. A lot of them have spent a lot of time in in-patient wards, which again makes me sad but they all seemed to be really friendly and open. On the group rules it said we’re not allowed to sleep with anyone in the group, which I think is a hilarious rule and it made me wonder if it’s so explicit in all group therapy situations or just when working with personality disorders. A couple of people in the group said they thought my “look” was really “stylish”, which I thought was hilarious, but I didn’t laugh because I’m trying to make sense.

Ooh and also, in between all of this, I cut my hair really short and got it dyed blonde with some purple bits in and it’s really great. Finally I got back to blonde. It’s like super short on the back and sides, with a long sweepy bit up front. It’s really great.

So there you go. Updates init. Love to you all.

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Filed under bad day, bpd, coping strategies, general, IMPART, rubbish, therapy

back again

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Filed under bpd, coping strategies, eating disorder, IMPART, life, recovery, therapy

when i leave my journal at home.

This is going to be a very long, very personal post. Most of it is going to be in my handwriting so if you can’t read it, I apologise. I think it’s reasonably legible, but who knows what anyone else will think. It’s fine if you can’t be fucked. I write quickly and in a lengthy manner and because it’s handwritten, it’s not edited or anything. I’m also going to put lots of pictures because photos are nice. If there’s a photo of you and you want me to remove it, just lemme know. Here goes…

Then, in order of mention in these pages (most of these pictures come from my camera. The ones that don’t, I have no idea who took. Even some of the ones that are could have been taken by anyone. Sorry if you read this and you know it was you and I didn’t mention):

Juno chasing a ball in the park.

Juno being incredibly cute. German Shepard/Border Collie cross pups are too lovely!

Now I start my actual today drama, but in photos:

Me before university and before any weight issues.

First year photos:

An intense and completely mental relationship with the Boy in first year. Obvs.

A very small amount of my first year crazy. I’ve never taken pictures of my self harm, and if I had I wouldn’t put them online. Sometimes, when I’m feeling strong, I cover myself in sharpie marker to express how I feel.

Which the Boy tried to make better. Excuse my icky toes. I know they are bad.

That was a bad year. But second year was actually ok see?:

The beginning of second year – Three stone overweight (not in BMI terms, though I was overweight, but in terms of what my set point seems to be now) and at the very beginning of losing weight. At the zoo. Looking at the lion.

Christmas Eve 2008. I’m about the weight I am now and very excited (obvs. because Christmas Eve is the best day of the year ever!).

Being normal(ish) in love.

Having fun times with the Fam and famo friends (that’s the Brother eating a snail in France btw).

Visiting home friends.

And them visiting me.

Making uni friends.

And dressing up for bad club nights with them.

And going to pubs too!

That was my normal second year. Here are some pictures to illustrate how nang Bristol is:

See? Bristol is very pretty.

Ok so this isn’t my department, but I didn’t take any pictures of my department. This is where I graduated though. It too is basically a castle.

Brilliant clubs: Lab.

Motion.

I think this was Shit the Bed or Tribe of Frog at Lakota. I was too high to take a good picture so the quality is rubbish, but you get the point.

1920s Hip-Hop night at Lab. This was really good. Like really really.

Hallowe’en at Black Swan. I really love this photo.

These are now just going to be pictures of and from Clifton Suspension bridge in all its glory. They’re all from the day I graduated (so all these pictures were taken by the Dad obvs.). It’s so nice there. One of my favourite places in the world to be ever:

And for the hell of it, because it’s not on the internet anywhere – This is me at graduation:

This is like the only nice picture of me that day I swear.

And finally, me now:

Well kinda. I’ve cut and dyed my hair since. Plus I was so drunk and high and on a lot of Valium. I mostly don’t look this silly. (I have to give Walker credit for this photo).

I still have a thing about sharpie marker pens… Trust me, most days its all over the places you can’t see.

And for the hell of it:

Isn’t she just the best thing ever? I really really love my dog.

So there you go. Lots of photos so this post is nicer to look at. Plus it’s lots of happy memories, which kinda makes me sad, but is what I need right now. It’s a lot of insight into my brain and also my life, but I thought it’d be nice to share a little. I hope you enjoyed it.

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Filed under bad day, bpd, eating disorder, Juno, life, rant, recovery, university

waiting group.

So today I had my first session in “Coping Skills Group”. To be fair, it wasn’t much of a ‘group’ seeing as it was only me… It’s in a different psychiatric hospital to where my EDU is as there isn’t an eating disorder service in my local NHS foundation trust, but it is similar as its where all the inpatient units are for the area and stuff. The biggest difference is that it’s huge, in an area you can’t wait to leave and seriously confusing. The buildings have different names to the signs, it’s next door to a standard hospital so the site is extra confusing and there’s no one to help you.

I was super late, but once I’d finally found the IMPART building, there wasn’t even a receptionist. There was a reception, but no one in it. I had no idea where I was going and the hallways were massive and echoey and empty and I had no idea where I was going. I started asking the few random people I bumped into what to do, but no one knew. I eventually found someone willing to direct me to the psychological services reception and waiting area and a really kind woman walked me for about 10 minutes to the room I was meant to be in. That’s why there was no one else there. No one could find it. There were lots of messages and calls during the meeting with people saying they’d left with no idea where to go. Apparently the main receptionist at the hospital and the IMPART receptionist were all made redundant in the last round of cuts, which is actually a bit of an issue for a hospital that big. The group facilitator is going to try iron out these issues though so hopefully that’ll mean next week there’ll be a few more people there.

It was quite cute though. They had biscuits and Quality Streets and tea and herbal tea and coffee and lemonade and milk and hot chocolate and Fanta. They gave me a list of rules which included “if you need to take a break, feel free to just go outside for a few minutes. One of the facilitators will check in with you to make sure you’re ok” which I thought was sweet.

Regardless of who was there, it’s actually really impacted upon me. We basically went over what the diagnosis really means and how I felt about it when I was first told about it and how my feelings have changed over time and what I knew about the disorder in general. It was a bit weird because it was just me, but they asked me a lot of questions and things and I think maybe it was useful. I duno though.

Basically, they went through a few of the symptoms with me and explained them in a non-personal, but more explicit way than I’ve been told before. They basically laid out how a borderline mind processes emotions and think, then compared that to the way non-borderline people think. It finally really clicked. It was like they were writing out my entire brain on a white board, with charts and graphs. Impulsivity, negative ways of regulating emotions, constantly changing obsessions with people and ideas etc. It was all there. It was exactly me.

At first I found it kinda comforting. It was comforting to know that I really couldn’t have made this whole thing up. This wasn’t lies. It helped me put together stuff I’d never been able to understand or articulate. It was bizarre. I felt like I was being understood.

Then I started to freak out. I’ve been kinda hanging on to the hope that it wasn’t true. That I had made it up and I wouldn’t be so wrong. I know this isn’t true, but the label of ‘personality disorder’ makes me think I’m broken. Broken so far beyond how I’ve felt before. If I’m not borderline, then I’m just a bad person and being bad is better than being broken. Being bad doesn’t need to be fixed. Broken is something that just doesn’t work at all. I hate it. I know it doesn’t change things really, I just hadn’t taken in the reality of it all until today. I just hate it. I burst into tears whilst walking my pup. It was horrible. I’ve feel so fucking hopeless. I don’t want to be this way. It’s like I’ve suddenly seen just how different my thought processes and emotions are from what they should be and it hurts me. It’s actually physically painful inside my bones and organs.

So now I sit and wait and try to just ride it out. I’ve got therapy tomorrow so maybe that’ll help. Chain smoking and watching way too much Heroes and hoping that tonight I might be able to sleep. Again. Except I feel like dirt and everyone and everything makes me hurt. I don’t like this whole new treatment thing. I’m done with my EDU and I know that, but I don’t want it to change. I don’t want a new therapist and I know tomorrow I’ll have to talk about winding therapy down in preparation for change. It took me ages to like my therapist. Ages and ages. Most people in the world are kinda idiots. I know that’s a stupid way to look at people, but I think it’s true. The Psychologist isn’t an idiot. He’s really nice and really smart and he really tries to look out for me and he gets my humour and he’s not an idiot. He’s not a simp, he’s not at all new age-y, he’s doesn’t go on and on about all that “aww it’s so hard. Compassion, love blah blah blah etc.”

Except now I have to meet someone else and hope they’re not an idiot. The problem is that they probably will be. I don’t want to get to know someone new. I like who I have. Not that I’d ever tell him that obvs.

I feel so disgusting. I’m scared and lonely. I’m not sure I’m ready for all this. :(

Also, I’m going to add this. It might seem silly, but actually a lot of people have asked me this, or assumed it. Borderline personality disorder isn’t the border between a normal and disordered personality. It got the name a long time ago. Apparently it comes from the idea that BPD was thought of as the borderline between psychosis and neurosis. We know better now and it’s thought of as its own, distinct mental health problem. It’s not borderline anything. In fact, there is a movement at the moment to rename it as ’emotional and unstable personality disorder’ (in the U.K.) or ’emotional dysregulation disorder’ or something (in the U.S.). Just to clear that up for anyone who doesn’t know.

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Filed under bad day, bpd, NHS, recovery