Tag Archives: optimism

supported accommodation.

So I’ve decided that, at least for a bit, I’m going to alternate between posts of where I am right now and posts from before. The last one was obviously from October and times have changed a lot since then. I’m in a way better place and right now isn’t the worst.

Right now, I’m lying in my own little garden at the back of my own little flat. It’s sunny and I look like the 80s happened all over me. I have some wine, a good book and a blanket. And I’m preparing my bee grenade. It’s summery and nice and I’m in a good mood. Today is a good day, although I am a little bored. So this is me trying to be productive. After this I have something really important and even more productive to do so I’ve gotta get on it. But I’m going to try keep to my blog for a bit as I think it’s important for me to focus my energies on creating things as well as just absorbing them. There was a long time when I stopped creating. I used to write in my journal everyday, blog a few times a week, sketch, draw and create digital art and it mostly just stopped. I think the only thing I created in like a year was like a picture of a dying rose and a girl in tears. I guess all consuming, unhealthy relationships which turn your life upside down do that to you.

Things have really changed though. Firstly, I love my little flat. I’m so house proud it is unreal. Maybe I’ll do a post of pictures in a bit, but right now, my camera and laptop are inside and the sun is happening. It took ages to get this flat sorted, but now I’m in a self contained, supported little home. And it has rooms. Multiple rooms. And a hall. I lined all my shoes up in the hall so that everyone who visits will see how awesome my shoes are. And I have nice, colourful things all around. And I like to put flowers on my little dining table that I don’t think I have ever used.

Supported housing is weird. I had housing issues for a while, so I organised seeing my psychiatrist at the CRT (previously the CMHT, now the Community Recover Team) who referred me to the social work part of the team. It took weeks, but I got this awesome social worker called Helen. She took one look at me and said that council housing was probably not a good first step, but that I should probably wind up in low support accommodation. Then there was a suicide attempt, but that’ll but in a different, from before post, and she changed her recommendation to high support. I was put at the top of the list and then it was a waiting game.

Anyway, she left and I wound up with a new social worker called Bonnie. A flat came up in medium support and she recommended I go for it, so I did and here I am a couple of months later. Bonnie’s left too now, so I’ve got a new care co-ordinator called Shagufta who’s an occupational therapist. I don’t really know what they do, but hopefully she won’t leave and hopefully she’s nice. I’m meeting her on May 23rd so I guess we’ll wait and see.

Back to the flat though. It’s nice. Its on the ground floor, at the back of the building, so I can see the garden through my windows. It’s in a block of five flats, all supported for people with mental health problems. I’ve not met anyone from my block yet, though I’ve seen two of them. One is really hot and I saw him this morning all pretty and in the hall and topless. He knows he’s pretty though and that annoyed me. The other guy is really old and wears a bowler hat. He lives in the flat next door so I can sometimes see him through the windows at the front of the block. He does not look like he’s having any fun. Trust. Oh and there’s these two brothers, one of whom lives here, who always leave the back gate open and I see in the garden all the time. They walk past my windows and look in like the alien from signs when they’re filming the kids birthday party and it comes out the grass. Creepy. I’m sure they’re not. Maybe I just need net curtains. But then I won’t see the daisies.

At first, I was really apprehensive about the supported aspect. I think this was mainly due to fear of the unknown. I mean, I know how to cook and clean and all that, so I didn’t know what help they could be. It’s not like they can stop me self harming or prevent me from doing any damage to myself. Actually though, I really think it’s for the best. I have to floating support workers, a main one called Angela and another one called Miuri. Angela is a bit odd. She’s got a kinda fleeting thought process that she likes to speak out load, but she’s nice and is actually really helpful. She comes to my CPAs, doctors appointments and things, helps me sort out bills etc., and makes sure that I’m comfortable, safe and doing ok. I don’t think she can tell if I’m safe or doing ok, but she can help make sure I’m comfy. Like if something breaks, she helps me out. I like her a lot, even though she’s a bit ditzy. And she swears a lot, which I like, but she always reprimands herself for. Miuri and me mostly just chat. We talk about cooking and hair and boys and I teach her recipes and things. She’s such a sweetie. I think they’ve only seen me freak out once, even though I’ve freaked out way more than that, I just don’t tell them. Maybe I should, but I don’t see how that’d help. I duno.

The one big downside to all of this is that I’m flat out broke all the time. Bills on your own are hard. At uni, everything was split six ways, but all alone, it’s not. And I’m still waiting for my PIP assessment so god knows if my income will improve at all. Benefits is not an easy life, but I’m still pretty unstable, I’m still a student and I’ve still got a long way to go, so no one seems to be thinking a job so soon is the way I should be going. I’m on housing benefit, ESA, council tax benefit (though I still have to pay them £15 pound a month – you’re not exempt unless you’re on PIP) and it’s still hardly enough to get by. Money bums me out.

But do you know what doesn’t bum me out? Where I live. Not just the flat either. I love the area. It’s got a proper community vibe. There’s a lot of social housing around here. Lots of estates, lots of streets of council houses. All around this one, proper high street. You can achieve really good chicken. Like painfully good. And it’s got really nice shops and things. I love it here. I don’t want to move, though I’ll have to in a year or two. Supported housing isn’t forever, you either move to higher, lower or no support after a one or two year tenancy.

All in all, life isn’t exactly easy, but things have really improved. I love putting little decorations up and making myself a little home. Living alone can be hard, but for me, I think it’s worth the effort. I don’t have to hide away, deal with unwanted advances from housemates, feel like I’m excluded r from my own home. This is now my home and I love it. I couldn’t ask for more. I can have who I want over, when I want. Or not. It’s great.

I’m lucky in some ways. A lot of people need social housing and right now, there’s a social housing crisis in London. I’m not lucky to have been put in the position where I got accommodation so quickly, but a lot of people aren’t deemed vulnerable enough to even get emergency accommodation in the borough. The right to buy scheme means that there are less council houses ever year, affordable housing and local authority housing isn’t being built quick enough and people wind up waiting in the system for years before they can get any help all. It’s pretty fucked. From here, once my tenancy is up, I’ll be one of the top priorities for council or LHA flats, and although I’m seriously grateful for that, I can’t help but feel horrible for all the people that don’t get the same opportunities because they’re not “sick” enough or don’t have children or haven’t yet been made street homeless, but are waiting on pending evictions. The system is broken and, although it has worked for me, the housing crisis is out of control. I’ve been unlucky enough to be prioritised, but it just gives me guilt for all the people that are so much more unlucky that they aren’t.

Fucking welfare cuts. Fucking welfare cap. Fucking Conservative bastards making those with hard lives have to fight all that much harder. Fucking Atos and their stupid assessments. Britain should be proud of its welfare state, not undermining it at every chance. And don’t even get me started on NHS cuts. The affects of that in my foundation trust for mental health have been uncontrollably damaging. But that’ll be for another post.

I’ll get off my soap box now. I’m going to go back to reading a beautiful book (The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman) and listening to some beautiful music (The Blank Project by Neneh Cherry and produced by Four Tet).

Hope this wasn’t super boring.

Lovelove x.

 

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Filed under Benefits, bpd, CRT, general, Housing, life, music, Progress, recovery, Welfare

differences and change.

So it’s been a while since I last posted and a lot has gone on. I’ve written a lot of posts and I’ve written, lots of diary entrances when I haven’t had access to computers, but like, after being kicked out, evicted, sponging off my best friend, being dumped, gaining a social worker, a suicide attempt, hospitalisation, running away from hospital, a lot of time under the HTT, losing a social worker and gaining a new one, graduating DBT group and finishing individual therapy, completing level one addiction treatment at Turning Point, more time under the HTT, completing an Intuitive Recovery course with Turning Point (getting me a level one qualification in health and social care as well!), finally getting my own flat at the end of March (all be it through the council and it’s medium mental health supported) and yesterday I finally got internet! It’s been really bloody hectic but I have some posts. I don’t know whether I should even post them as it’d be backdating so much. Or if anyone would read this. Or if I should start a new blog. This began as an eating disorder recovery blog and has definitely changed direction quite a lot, but I’m trying really hard to build up a life outside of my mental health problems, and maybe this would tie me to them, or maybe this could help me see how far I’ve really come. I duno. Maybe it could help others who have gone through similar stuff. Maybe that’s just arrogance.

If there are any readers out there, lemme know what you think.

Lovelove x.

(ps. Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with everyone. I’ve not had internet access and I’ve gone through a lot the past few months. I feel rubbish. I hope you’re all ok x.)

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Filed under Addiction, bpd, eating disorder, Hospital, Housing, HTT, life, NHS, recovery, self harm

advent!!!!

There’s a really annoying boy in my bed right now. The sort of boy that turns up at 6am, drunk, to tell you he misses you then ask you to be his “plus one” at his work Christmas party. I think this is a little bit ridiculous. I mean, its not entirely his fault seeing as I’m totally buff and super amazing, but still, why can’t people fucking chill? Seeing as I haven’t slept at all and he is now sleeping like a really tired, hungover person, I thought I’d catch up on some blogging.

To be honest, I’ve not been blogging much recently, in the reading and posting capacity. It’s mostly because I’m actually doing ok right now. I have my moments, but I’m spending a lot of time with my friends, boys, the Fam, at uni etc. so I am actually busy. I’ve gone from never busy to often busy. And I’m enjoying it. I really like my friends at the moment, a few in particular, and I’m getting my confidence on again so I’m actually talking to people. People are so good. Sometimes you forget, but remembering again is fun.

I’m still under the HTT, which I guess is good because I still have my unstable moments, especially when there’s any contact with the Ex. I literally cannot hack him. He completely ruins anything that makes me feel happy. I know that sounds dark, but he makes me feel so horrible. Like, I spoke to him the other day and ended up crying in Tottenham Court Road, spending £30 on stationary and buying darker hair dye purely because he likes my hair lighter, then getting home, crying, dying my hair and painting my nails black because I was angry and shouting at everyone I spoke to and self injuring. That boy has a lot to answer for when it comes to my mood. He fucks me up so much I swear. And I hate that I miss him. Cunt. And generally I’m not so rude about people. Well I am, but in a lolz way, not a serious way. This is a serious way. Still, he’s fading and I have people shaped distractions.

There is good news though. I’ve finally been seen by my new psychologist. It’s sad because I’m going to have to say goodbye to my super nang therapist who I love and actually sometimes trust, to be replaced by some next woman I don’t even know. The Psychologist is still seeing me weekly right now, but probably not for long. He wants me to write him a goodbye letter, and he will write me one and then we’ll read them to each other. All sounds a little bit too cringe for me really. I’m not sure I’m up to that challenge. I guess I’ll have to give it a go, but I so badly don’t want to :(. Plus I don’t want to say goodbye to the Psychologist because I love him so much. I hate it when people go. I’ll probably cry and look like a dick, but what can you do? I have to be ok moving on to some new therapist who might suck out and I might hate and might be really horrible. I hope she’s not, but who the fuck knows? Soon there’ll be a new the Psychologist and I just have to deal with it.

Still, this change means I no longer have to attend stupid coping stupid skills group. I hated coping skills group so much it’s ridiculous. Seriously. All the way in fucking Essex. So much travel for so little gain I swear. Plus I didn’t like the facilitator that much because she was too loud and in your face and the people in the group we’re all a lot older than me and no where near as logical and scientific thinking, so what I told them didn’t really resonate and vice versa. I don’t say that like their thinking was bad, it just wasn’t at all like mine and it made it hard to feel comfortable. Maybe that’s just me trying to rationalise my own prangs, but it is how I feel. It’s fine though because I never have to go again, which is a huge fucking relief.

But anyway, I still haven’t finished being assessed by IMPART yet. Apparently there’s only one left, but who the fuck knows really. There have been so many assessments you couldn’t imagine. In the whole process, I gained another diagnosis – panic disorder. Gotta catch ’em all in NHS mental health service. Really annoying, but I guess I already had it and now it just has a name.

I’ve been pretty open about my mental health with the sleeping boy seeing as I can’t go out in the dark by myself and he lives about 2 mins from my psychiatric hospital, but he has some pretty wafty ideas about mental health. He’s anti-medications and thinks that treatment doesn’t work and talking therapies fuck you up more and you shouldn’t have them. I didn’t really want to smash his opinions down with scientific research, statistics and generally knowing what I’m talking about because he’s only 20 and I didn’t want to be rude, but I’m sorry what the fuck? Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 25, anorexia the biggest killer of women under 25, people with psychotic disorders really fucking need their medications to stay stable, as do many people with other problems. It really bugs me. I spend so much of my life surrounded by people who either do or try to understand mental health, I forget sometimes how much people opinions can differ and be based on negative stereotypes. Still, at least he’s not rude about my mental health which I appreciate and he does try to get it. Jeez I’m such an over-sharer. He is a bed teef though, which makes him supes annoying.

Blah anyway I’m babbling away, losing my point. Standard though. This is what happens when you don’t plan your blog posts properly. I really should get some sort of structure to my blog. Except I can’t be fucked really. Maybe I’ll do it sometime. It really doesn’t help that I literally haven’t slept at all. No amount of sedatives stops insomnia anymore. Annoying.

The most important thing to mention in this post is the absolute brilliance that is ADVENT!!!! Which means advent calendars and lots of alcohol and festive spirit and mince pies and fun times and everyone is happy and it’s my favourite time of year. I love December. I love Christmas. I love winter. So much. I’m so excited and hyped all the time. Yesterday, me and almost all my S named ladies went to the Southbank Winter Festival to drink mulled wine for advent and it was so fun. Plus really pretty. The Southbank looks beautiful and festive. There’s this igloo outside the Hayward gallery which is literally so cute and pretty. And a bicycle powered light up tree. And so much good food. I had the world’s tastiest lamb burger with harissa and garlic mayo and it was so good. It might not actually have been the worlds best – that may well be the mulled wine and festive cheer talking. It was really good though. So good I could literally smell how bad my breath was and didn’t even care. I ended up getting pretty drunk, but not too drunk. Siblets on the other hand…. Well…

So anyway, I should probably try sleep if I can. Plus this massively horrible, seriously racist and really fucking irritating woman just showed up at my door (unannounced) and I have to rescue the Ma from her because none of us can stand her. Daughterly duty and all.

Here’s the igloo:

20121202-223324.jpgAnd inside the igloo:20121202-223549.jpg

And a festive London Eye:

20121202-223532.jpg

 

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Filed under bpd, coping strategies, general, home treatment team, IMPART, NHS, recovery, shopping, therapy, university

remission/recovered.

Today was a big day in terms of treatment. Like a really big day.

Firstly, I had an appointment with the Psychiatrist at my EDU. Obviously, I was weighed. It was down from last time by a few kilos, but I think that’s due to natural variation due to time of the month, what I’d eaten etc. Still well within the healthy range though. My BMI has settled to a healthy 21 (ish), regardless of what I eat or how much I exercise. I’m getting a whole load better at understanding my hunger signals – I eat whatever, whenever. Today I even had a greasy spoon sausage baguette (don’t judge me. It’s literally one of my favorite foods. Deep fried, bad quality sausage in a buttered white baguette tastes so boom its almost obscene) which is something I never thought I’d ever eat again. The Psychiatrist was so pleased with my progress. She said it was really surprising considering some of the shit I’ve had to deal with whilst with them, yet I stuck with the treatment plan fairly consistently for an eating disorder patient and that she’s really impressed with my perseverance. She has pronounced me eating disorder free! I know that my eating is something I have to keep my eye on (probably forever) as relapses are common and eating disorder behaviours can sneak back in or manifest themselves in different ways, but right now, I live basically eating disorder free. It’s actually really good. Life is a lot less tense. Plus I actually am getting used to my body and don’t entirely hate it. I’m almost sad that summer is over because I can’t wear crop tops as much any more. Today I did wear an incredibly tight, incredibly short black dress though so it’s not like I’m ashamed of my body. I don’t even think I’m that big. I look big sometimes, other times not so much. I eat what I like, but I don’t want to eat everything. I don’t have weird cravings to eat all the dried fruit or all the calcium or all the nut butter or all the honey. Some of my recovery foods seem a little bit sickly now. It’s ok though. I don’t always want biscuits or chocolate or chips, but when I do, I can eat them happily. I can and do eat whatever I like, yet I don’t actually want to eat everything, all the time. I didn’t think it’d ever be possible again. Sometimes I eat so much cake I feel a bit sick, but I don’t purge and my weight doesn’t change and it doesn’t upset me too much. Sometimes I don’t eat enough, so I grab some extra fruit or have some cereal or whatever. It is entirely possible to get to this point. You’d think it wasn’t, but it is. I’m even losing my food morality things. I used to thrive in the moral superiority in eating low-calorie, low-fat, lots of veggies, lots of fibre, lots of fruit, or nothing at all, especially when other people are eating around me. Now I’ll happily munch on some chips smothered in salt and pepper in front of everyone I know. I’ll even make chip sandwiches because they are too lovely (carbs go so well with other carbs I swear). It’s not hard to order something I know is higher calorie than what people around me eat. The best bit is that I don’t think about food or plan food or count calories 24/7. And my fat is redistributing a bit. My belly isn’t too big – it’s kinda soft and nice. My arms look so much healthier it’s ridiculous. I actually think my legs are well buff, even though my thighs definitely touch, almost entirely.

So yer, I’ve basically been discharged from my EDU. I never have to be weighed by anyone but myself for the forseeable future and that makes me happy. I hate other people weighing me. I like to weigh myself first thing, naked, before a shower which might be weird, but it’s entirely fine because it doesn’t disrupt my life at all. I’m just more comfy when I’m at my lowest possible weight of the day, but I’m also fine with the fact that that weight will increase as the day goes on, I just don’t have to see it. I’m never going to see my EDU psychiatrist or dietitian or family therapist again. It actually makes me happy. The only reason I’m not fully discharged is because I’m still seeing the Psychologist until I’m under the care of a more appropriate service because he thinks it’s crucial that I have regular contact with mental health services. I’m a “high risk” and “unstable” patient so the NHS have to know whether I need urgent intervention or crisis care. As soon as I’m under more appropriate care though, I’ll be out of the EDU. Hopefully forever. I’ll be really sad when I lose the Psychologist, but I’m happy to be out of the rest of it because I honestly don’t feel like I belong there anymore. It took over a year, but I just don’t think I need their help any longer. I am thankful to them in every way though. I know lots of people have terrible experiences of eating disorder (and mental health more generally) treatment on the NHS, but I can really only sing their praises. There are obviously issues with waiting lists and being able to contact your psychiatrists and stuff, but without their treatment, I’d probably still be sick. The treatment the offered me was all in line with the best evidence based treatment I’ve learnt and researched about. I had regular contact with everyone on my team, there was a heavy focus on refeeding as the single most important aspect of initial treatment, an emphasis on reaching a BMI over 20 and flexible care that tailored around my needs as they changed. They’ve been so brilliant. I literally could not see a way out of anorexia, but with their help I found one and I’m all the better for it.

So now I’m no longer classified as having anorexia nervosa or an eating disorder or disordered eating or anything. I’m ‘recovered’ or ‘in remission’ or however you’d like to put it and I intend to stay that way. Ker-fucking-ching.

Today was also the day of my initial assessment for IMPART. It was basically a screening for all axis II disorders, so all the different personality disorders were checked for. I can officially say that I don’t have antisocial or narcissistic or schizotypal or histrionic or avoidant or dependant or schizoid or paranoid or obsessive compulsive personality disorders. That is good news. That’s so many mental health problems I don’t have to worry about.

However, I did finally receive an official diagnosis. Only a personality disorder specialist psychiatrist can officially diagnose personality disorders and now, it’s official – I have borderline personality disorder. Although I already knew that, I kinda hoped it would turn out to not be true and that a specialist would tell me I was fine. I also hoped they’d tell me it was true so I could be given the hope that I might one day have a better quality of life. It’s a mixed bag of emotion. Apparently I score very highly on the borderline part of the test and am considered to be “severely affected” by the disorder. I guess I knew that already, but I hate when people say it. The assessment was over two hours long. It was seriously hard work and incredibly stressful, but I got through it.

So now I’m on another waiting list – this time for a psychologist to become free to take on my treatment. Apparently its six to eight weeks, though it could be shorter because I was one of the earlier ones to receive a round one assessment after the summer break and they still have a lot behind me. The psychologist may decide that I’m not suitable for treatment with IMPART at all so again, it’s scary. I tend to think that everyone will see that I’m not deserving of help so I always assume people will think I’m completely fine and don’t need their help and be told to go away. The second assessment tries to work out what the best course of treatment is for each individual. It also screens for any axis I mental health problems which may need to be treated before treatment for BPD can begin. Thankfully, because many people with personality disorders have suffered trauma, PTSD won’t rule me out, and because substance abuse is high in people with BPD, that won’t rule me out either. Both are treated within the service. If, for example, I was still suffering with anorexia, that would have to be treated for that first so IMPART wouldn’t take me on. I don’t consider myself depressed (even though I have that diagnosis right now) and I don’t think anxiety would be too much of an issue for them as it’s probably part of the BPD package. Seeing as I have no other diagnosis and don’t think anything else is wrong with me, I hope it’ll be ok. I’m worried about it though. If they take me on, I could be offered 6, 12 or 18 months treatment of CBT or DBT, but the woman who assessed me thinks it’s pretty likely I’ll be offered 12 or 18 months DBT, considering my high risk behaviours and BPD score level, with options to continue treatment if necessary after the completion of the initial time frame. That’ll involve a weekly group session and a weekly individual session. There’s also a possibility I’ll be put into other group therapies like mindfulness group or anxiety group, but that’ll be worked out at the next assessment. She also thinks my treatment will involve regular telephone consultations with whoever my psychologist ends up being. It all sounds pretty intense and apparently it’s actually a lot of hard work, but so was my eating disorder treatment so I’m hopeful I can manage it.

For now though, I have been given her work mobile number to contact her with any queries or questions, either through call or text. I’ve also been invited to join a group session specifically designed for people in this phase of treatment – all the people with personality disorders who are waiting for their second round of assessments. I don’t know if I’ll go yet. It’s quite far away from my house and in an area I don’t know that well and I get pretty scared in places I don’t know. It’s essentially a starter group for CBT and DBT style treatments and to get comfortable working in a group, as well as keeping in contact with the service in order to remain more likely to comply with treatment. We’ll see I guess. I also got a self-help pack. No lie – the NHS have stated that if I’m feeling distressed, I can comfort myself by smoking a cigarette. They also suggest making a secret code, smashing a watermelon, having a polo, trying to wake up before lunch time, building a house of cards, staying in bed, eating chocolate, asking a friend to hold me and creating my own cartoon legend (yes they did use the word legend). There are other things as well, but those are the strangest. There’s also some stuff on relaxation exercises, emotional health and mindfulness in it, as well a lot of numbers to call in a crisis. I got given a crisis card to keep with me as well (in case I ever need to contact crisis services out and about).

All in all, it’s been a very emotional, hard, happy and stressful day. So much to think about – both good and bad. I’m both optimistic and devastated. Excited and anxious. Happy and sad. It’s a lot to take in and I think I might need a little bit of time to recover from it all. Lots of sleep and puppy times ahead I hope.

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Filed under bpd, eating disorder, life, NHS, recovery

juno.

Hello readers.

This is Juno.

Hi.

Juno is my beautiful new puppy. She’s only nine weeks old and absolutely stunning. She’s mongrel (obvs.) and we think she’s got some german shepherd and border collie in her. Honestly, she is way too cute. Seriously, pets are the best kind of therapy. You’re feeling gravitational and everything is fucking sinking and then there’s a puppy and she’s cute and she soft bites your slippers whilst you make a cup of tea and bounds about and falls asleep on your feet and I honestly challenge anyone to not feel slightly better. Then when she tries to eat your hair it’s almost unbearable and it all gets overwhelming. When I think about her, I turn into a child and start jumping about and squealing and my face screws up and my hands and feet fist up because I’m so full of excitement. She is the best thing in my life right now. Every day she gets a little bit bigger and a little more boisterous. Seriously, I’m in love.

Me and Pa drove to Nottingham in the middle of the night to pick her up. She slept on my lap in a box most of the way home. She was so cute. Seriously. We ended up naming her as a fam at four o’clock in the morning. It’s a suitably geeky name. In Roman mythology, Juno is a goddess who is the divine protectress of the community. She’s the daughter of Saturn and the wife and sister of Jupiter. 3 Juno is also an asteroid, and their is an asteroid cluster named Juno (around 3 Juno) and a NASA spacecraft that’s mission is to arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to gain a better understanding of its atmospheric composition. I wanted to name her Io (classical and astronomical) or Freya (Norse goddess), but wasn’t allowed because the Pa isn’t geeky enough. Juno worked though because he liked the film.

What’s really good about pup is that she gets me downstairs and with the fam. She basically needs a lot of attention right now so needs to be watched and played with and stuff most of the day. It means we’re all about together and I get far less worked up about myself. Since the entrance of Juno, things have been easier.

But then I feel it creep because nothing good lasts. Take Saturday for instance. It involved dealing with a lot of destructive thoughts and sprinting down the road in my DMs because I had to run because everything burned. I ran and ran and was thinking of lots of horrible things and I was so worked up. In the end though, I accidentally bumped into the Olympic Torch Relay and got distracted. It was really late and I thought I would have avoided it as planned. Turned out I hadn’t and it basically lined my entire walk. Lots and lots of people. At first I felt really shit because there were all these people and they were all so different and all in these diverse groups and I was so wrong I didn’t fit anywhere. Then I saw all the people on stilts and other weirdo performers and got distracted from that and suddenly felt so proud of where I live because honestly, it’s so nang. So I called the Pa and we watched the party buses and the torch. Then we decided to run after it and catch it up again to watch it get passed over. Then we got Indian takeaway and talked about puppies and how great East London is and how against the Olympics we are and how it’s ruining the area, but how it’s nice to see everyone so happy and I felt ok.

Then the fam went out and I stayed in because I’m useless and rubbish and hate fun and love to wallow and be miserable all alone in the dark with my mood and absolute desire to ruin my life. So I sat home, being sad until the pup woke up and we played and my friend came over and we played with the pup and the pup slept and was gorgeous. Life was good because there was a puppy. Seriously happy making.

I also really like watching her grow. She’s beginning to master going up the garden stairs. She’s getting a lot more confident so she’s pottering around alone more than before. Plus she sleeps. A lot a lot. Especially in this horribly hot weather because she has the double coat of German Shepherd. I love her very much. We took her to the vet for the first round of vaccinations and the vet said she was a large puppy, so probably will be a large dog which makes me really happy. I like proper dogs. And also that she was in fantastic condition. She did good and was very cute. However, the vet then started banging on about pet obesity and how we should train her to view celery as a treat so we can train her with it, instead of the “high fat, high salt, high calorie dog treats” you can pick up in pet shops. I was a bit like “what the fuck?” I’ve never had an obese pet and I’ve never particularly trained them on raw vegetables. Apparently obesity is the single most common problem in pets right now. I don’t care all that much though, she’s going to get all the crusts from my toast and little chewy bones. She’s a pup, she’s teething, she needs to chew things. And needs energy to grow. Hence all the rawhide bones money can buy (which is a lot because it’s 5 little pup sized ones for a pound in the pet shop round the corner).

Tackling a step.

Anyway, caring for something little is really good for my health I think. She needs love and attention and to be treated good, and to treat her good, I have to be in a good enough state to be around her. And I want to be in a good enough state to be able to so I’m trying harder. She’s a bit all-encompassing right now. If I throw myself entirely into puppy, I have literally no time for anything else. She needs playing with and feeding and training and watching. It’s a good way to replace some of the space in my head filled with freaking out.

The novelty of it all does start to wear off a little though. I’m starting to spend more and more time tucked away again. I’m feeling a little bit fragile. Like I could snap at any point. I’m getting more and more full of the urge to get people to actually grasp how much I’m fucking screaming, which is never a good place to be in. I duno. We’ll see I guess. Imma try keep myself all up in pup though because it is a whole load nicer.

Have some more gorgeous pup.

Sleepy Juno.

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Filed under Juno, life, recovery

nominations!

A little bit of time ago I got nominated for a couple of awards by the lovely lady at Count Blessings Not Calories. Firstly, thank you so much for that. I know it’s taken me an absolute age to get to it, but I hope you can understand why.

She has recently started a lovely recovery blog full of optimism. I recommend her writing to all those interested in eating disorder recovery and supporting one another (a.k.a. most of my readers).

Also I apologise id this gets rambly seeing as I’ve taken some zopiclone and although I’m not tired, I am blurry. We’ll see how it goes.

Without further ado –

Rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

And

Rules –

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  • Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere.
  • Tell them 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other blogs you like for this award.
  • Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated.
  • Resume blogging your regular posts.

As you can see, they’re kinda the same, so I’m just going to do one for them both :D. If you’re nominated for one, your nominated for both.

Blogs I really love and appreciate and have probably been nominated for this a million times over include….

  • The fantastic Roxy. Honestly, I cannot stress how fantastic this woman is. Art and recovery = genius idea.
  • The beautiful Sooz. She’s one of my girls.
  • The ever optimistic Clemmy. She’s super aces.
  • A new-found blogger I ‘m really beginning to like called Aggy
  • The new worker bee (:D) Meg. Another of my girls.
  • A newish blogger who’s still pretty early in recovery but is working her arse off and deserves a lot of recognition at Wee Scone.
  • Fiona, a blogger whose heart seems too fucking big for her chest I swear because she’s totes lovely, fucking brave, but also bare informative.
  • The stunning Emma who’s a blogger I’ve been lurking at for a while and writes fantastically and honestly about a different side to the same mental mess of eating disorders.
  • A very beautiful blog that might not even know I’m reading by Alex.
  • The talented Emily for her fucking boomtingz Florentines.
  • Someone who probably doesn’t know I’m watching but has an awesome recovery attitude at Post Traumatic Dress Disorder
  • A blog I’ve only recently started to notice, but find absolutely lovely at Serendipitous Mornings.
  • And Nataly who I’ve only just started to comment on and read, but who’s relentlessly honestly is refreshing in a world of overly optimistic blogs.

Ok so I know that’s only 13, but that’s a damn sight better than the last time I tried any of these.

Now on to 7 things.

1. I have a ceramic tortoise. It’s like a piggy bank but better. I put any spare pound in it to save for when I really need to buy something. He cost a whole £2.5o from a junk shop.I am a bit of a compulsive shopper. It just makes me feel better but can cause serious financial stresses. Hence the guilt free tortoise bank.

2. I dance. All the time I’m dancing. When I’m cooking. When I’m in the shower. When I’m on the tube. When I’m walking along. I just really like dancing. I’m not very good at it, but it makes me feel so much better about my life in general. I look like an idiot, but it’s ok because it’s a more fun way to live.

3. I love city farms. Like really love them. I get so excited I almost cannot take it. I start squealing they are so good. Sheep and pigs and pet’s corners and all those amazing things. I just love it. I’m like a tiny child in a city farm. Don’t even get me started on zoos.

4. Much to the shock and horror of myself and those around me, I’ve been experimenting with maybe liking cream cheese. I bought those little mini philidephia packs and I think maybe it might be ok. Especially with salmon or jam, depending on the mood. I know right? What the fuck? Who’d of thought it?

5. I’m a difficult person to know I think. Quite often, i decide I hate people and start punishing them. They never really notice I’m punishing them, but I have mastered internal seething. Then I get over it and it’s fine. I think it makes me a bit of an unreliable friend. Saying that though, I’m fiercely loyal, so maybe I’m not so bad.

6. My absolute number one phobia is moths. The way they fly at you all unpredictably and in your face and when you hit them and they turn to dust… It’s just wrong. Urgh they are so bad. They are the single reason I absolutely love spiders.

7. We’re going to go to Battersea next week to get a new dog! I am so excited! I’ve got a special lead I’ve got my eyes on and everything. I hope it’s a man dog so I can convince the Fam to call him Keith. Keith is the fasted dying name in Britain. Bring back Keith is all I have to say! Plus dog! YUSS! I love dogs so much. And they need hugs and walking and they look happy and are all round therapeutic animals.

So there you go, 7 things.

Now you can all ignore these nominations if you like because chances are you’ve had them already, I just thought I’d do a quick mention seeing as I think you all deserve some recognition :).

And thanks for the nominations :D

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Filed under awards, eating disorder, recovery

home treatment team.

I got a visit from the Home Treatment Team (HTT) psychiatrist and psychologist today. They were here to review my care. They stayed for like an hour. In general, it made me think “Fucking yuss HTT. You’re properly nang!”

For those of you that are less clued in to mental health treatment on the NHS, the HTT are basically a crisis resolution team. They are a short-term team designed to keep people “experiencing serious mental health crisis” (says their leaflet) from winding up being admitted to hospital. This means that they essentially provide all the services psychiatric inpatient facilities offer, but within the home environment for an average of 6 to 8 weeks (though sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on need)  during “acute crisis”. They address you medication, mood, stability etc. daily to make sure you are getting the right level of support (even if that means urgent referral to inpatient services). They have a multidisciplinary team made up of social workers, community psychiatric nurses (CPNs), medical staff, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and all sorts. They arrange to see you either once or twice a day, depending on need, with the idea of tapering down when appropriate. They are available 24/7, 365 days a year and provide you with a telephone number to get in direct contact with a member of their team whenever necessary for either phone support, an immediate home visit or to arrange transport to their offices or a medical or psychiatric facility if needed. You are seen by a psychiatrist twice weekly, weekly or fortnightly in order to review stability and medication needs. You are only given the exact dose of any medication needed on that visit and have to take it in front of them to prevent medication hoarding (something I’m really guilty of). They liaise with any other services you may be engaging with, as well as refer you to any further services they think will help you with your long-term needs is they think necessary (tending to lead to referrals being processed faster than when received from other sources due to the urgent needs of their service users), as well as alerting any relevant employers or education providers of your situation and helping you gain the correct support from them. They shape their care package to your needs and rearrange visits in order for you to keep up your daily activities so that your crisis experience has as little disruption to your normal life as possible. Due to the nature of the service, it can be quite difficult as you often end up seeing different people each day (which I find quite hard as inconsistency can make me panicky), but that’s understandable given what service they are providing. Essentially, they are one of the best ideas ever. I didn’t really know about them till a week ago and I honestly cannot stress how fantastic I think this service is. Seriously. The NHS is a constant source of joy and surprise for me. I had no idea anything like this existed before and I just find the whole idea inspired.

Today, they were really great for many reasons.

Firstly, I think I might just be in love with every single psychologist I meet. They are so good at dealing with me I swear. I kinda wish I was a psychologist so I knew how they do it, but I actually don’t want to be one so I guess I’ll never know. It’s ridiculous though. They make you feel so much less stupid and useless and dramatic and undeserving. I cannot stress how much I appreciate the existence of psychologists. Yesterday and today they made me feel so much less fucking stupid. I appreciate all people who make me feel less stupid.

For instance, I was telling them how I’m really not miserable all the time and I really don’t understand my emotions, so I never feel like I deserve to call them up when I’m in need because I don’t know when I’m in need or what I’m in need of, and probably am in less need than their other clients who are obviously much worse than me. Whether it’s true or not, he told me that he thinks I am actually in a somewhat more serious position than lots of other users as I’m so disconnected and unpredictable that I could actually end up in a lot of danger without even realising it. thinking about it or comprehending the consequences. Apparently that’s incredibly serious and dangerous. He understood just how powerful self-destructive behaviours are at connecting yourself and re-establishing your presence, but also just how that escalates and if left unchecked, ends in suicidal behaviours. He says I should just call them up as soon as I start to feel myself getting worked up and agitated. They’re going to leave instructions for others on the team to just talk to me and help to ground me. And also they’re leaving notes that “watch t.v./read a book/have a bath” aren’t acceptable types of advice for me so should be avoided, instead chosing to visit me or just talk to me. Do you know how good this made me feel? Like seriously. I felt like I was being taken serious. And like maybe I actually need this and am not just manipulating everyone. It was nice to have someone actually recognise just how scary these feelings, beliefs and emotions are, rather than just tell me it’s normal and ok. I think I liked him. I felt like he really actually recognised and understood what I was saying and how I felt and he made me feel comfortable and deserving.

And also, he actually sat and talked to me about what the fuck is wrong with me. Quite often, people avoid answering that question. He told me that four separate psychiatrists and he himself believe that I have borderline personality disorder. A couple of members of the HTT had noted that was what they believed so he specially did some research and reading before coming to see me so he could be more sure and everything, and having spoken to me says that actually, my feelings and experiences are fairly typical of BPD. Apparently it is fairly difficult to treat, but with correct treatment and my active engagement, it is possible to recover. He also told me he’s going to find me some good, informative websites to look at. BPD has a lot of haters and there are a lot of sites with people bitching and moaning and blaming and calling people with BPD cunts. He said it’s best I just don’t look and he’ll bring me the links for more accurate sites next week, as well as special sites to direct the Famo to. Serious G.

I talked to him about IMPART and how I wasn’t optimistic that they’d take me on and that I was waiting for something I wouldn’t get. He was very clear in saying that he would be shocked if they didn’t take me on and actually is pretty much positive that they will. He told me how great they’d be for me and how I’ll be given a key worker that I’ll be able to call 24/7 to help me manage my destructive urges in order to help me break the cycle and things. Because (and this is a quote) “It’s incredibly complicated and difficult to break the reliance on self injurious behaviours, so it needs a lot of intensive care and support to manage appropriately.” Again, proper G. Apparently IMPART only take people with “severe” personality disorders and he thinks that I have BPD which affects my life strongly enough to warrant their care. He has been chasing them up for me and because it’s a crisis team doing the badgering, they are trying to see me earlier. Apparently my assessment should be in a matter or “weeks, not months” which is pretty speedy for the NHS. They offer intensive, long-term support with DBT group therapies, CBT individual therapies, mindfulness group, anger management group and anxiety management group. That’d be cool.

So yer, I think it’s basically fact I have BPD. Which is scary. Very scary. I won’t know for 100% sure till my assessment by IMPART, but everyone seems to be pretty clear that they fully expect me to be taken into their care. I duno maybe it’s not so bad. I’m going to try get used to it.

Both him and the psychiatrist (who was also a G, but not quite as much) think that right now, the most important thing is to stabilise my emotions. Quite often, I have no idea if or what I’m feeling because I feel like I’m only performing it and I don’t feel it at all, but I’m performing with so much commitment that it burns me. I have no idea when or why or how to predict this happening, but I get completely overwhelmed  and confused and lash out at myself in order to connect myself to reality and my body again. It calms me, but it’s only temporary and puts me at a significant amount of risk. This idea is stabilising and muting these emotions for a while until I can access the correct treatment, though nothing they can offer is a permanent fix as what it essentially means is I’m just dampened. Intense emotions can suck, but intense excitement and joy are fantastic, so it’s sad I need to be dampened for safety purposes. Their fix is essentially to quadruple my diazepam prescription, keep me on zopiclone and start me on the SNRI duloxetine (which is still an antidepressant, but slightly different to standard SSRIs so hopefully won’t end up with me suicidal. It might, but if I’m being monitored twice a day by the HTT then they hope they’ll be able to catch any negative side effects before they become a problem).

Oh and they also said I could tie in my walking to go see them in their offices rather than have them visit. As long as I organise it with them, I could go in to see them in Walthamstow. That sounds so good to me I swear. It gives me something to do and it gives me some control over their visits. I’m only allowed to once a day, so they’ll still have to come in to see me (their psychiatrist decided I definitely need twice daily visits), but it gives me somewhere to go and a reason to my walking and it just feels nicer.

The nurses that came this evening were also great as they talked to the Ma about their role. what’s been going on etc., as well as further explaining to me what was happening. I like that I’m having things explained to me clearly. It calms me.

So now I’m just dosed up on Valium and seeing what happens. I’m worried about duloxetine, but it’s meant to be weight neutral so I’m hoping that won’t freak me out. I’m also worried that I’ll end up doing even more damage to myself, but I’m hoping it’ll be fine. It’s all just to stay stable enough until I’m getting settled in the right treatment, and with the Psychologist at my EDU keeping on till that point, plus the HTT there to help me navigate my way out of crisis, I think I might be on the right track. And I don’t need to be psychiatric inpatient so that’s good. I mean, as long as I don’t wind up in A&E again. I honestly have no idea how likely that is.

Everything is scary right now. Scary and new and hard.

It’s ok though because I bought an anklet with bells on so now I jingle everywhere I go. It’s lovely. And I bought my favourite perfume (The Smell of Weather Turning from Lush). It smells like rain in the countryside. It’s such a calming smell. Fresh and musty and lovely. And some other silly jewellery. I spent way too much money today, but it’s what I do when I’m anxious. I think it’s ok though as I’d been saving for Istanbul with the Fam, but they cancelled that (which makes me feel awful as I’ve single-handedly ruined my family’s summer because I’m a fucking mental liability. Urgh).

All in all, I hope maybe I’m ok. I hope all of this is the right treatment and course of action. I hope I’ll finally be put in a place where I can actually get better for good, rather than jump from one issue to another. I have a lot of hope. Maybe today has been positive. Or maybe I’ve just been dosed up on enough Valium to dampen all my feelings enough for it to feel that way. I duno. It’s better than yesterday, and though I’ve still had seriously destructive urges, I haven’t acted on them.

Yet I’m still scared they’re just going to reject me and tell me I’m making it all up. Because it still feels like I am. Nothing I do is true because I’m not true. I’m ideas of a person. A construct.

Gah.

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