It’s been a while since I last posted. I have been on a long road of self-hatred and destruction. Thankfully with a mixture of effective and non-effective support, I have come out the other side stronger, and more determined, than I’ve probably ever been.
The truth is that I came dangerously close to not being here. It took that very near miss to make me learn a few lessons about my life, as it is, and as I want it to be.
I decided that although I have yet to see improvements from therapy, that it is worth persisting with, if there is a chance that I could learn to stop the past repeating itself. So I’ve kept going, been fully involved in trying to improve myself and started to think about what I really want from life.
I made the decision that I have so much that I still want to achieve with my life, and this time when I was discharged from the crisis (Home Treatment Team), instead of seeing it as a threat to my well-being, I saw it as an opportunity.
What has helped has been being told by my care-managers that I can’t do what I want to do, what I dream of doing. One of my best qualities is stubborn determination and if I’m told that I can’t do something, often I will work even harder to prove that I can.
Another thing that has helped is better pain management, this has meant more energy and ability to focus on the things that I enjoy. It’s not a drastic change and I still have to live with some pain, but it’s at a more manageable level than it was.
Another lesson that I learnt was that I need to become more self-reliant. Instead of looking up to others and relying on them to help me when I’m in a dark place, I need to figure out what I can do to help myself, and, if that fails, then figure out who are the best people to approach for help.
I learnt that I need to be more self-aware of when I’m on a path of self-destruct/close to causing myself harm, and what to do to nip it in the bud before things get to the point where I make stupid, life-affecting choices.
I have also started trying new things as a way of changing the rut that I’ve been in for far too long. I’ve returned to writing, I’m now back to blogging (which will probably be a more gradual process) and I’m preparing to finally return to uni (my second year) in September. I will be studying creative writing and I’m really excited at the prospect.
I just wanted to say that I appreciate your patience and encouragement towards me throughout what has been an extremely difficult time, and hope that eventually I can prove that you were right to have faith in me. I’m sorry for the mistakes that I’ve made and just wanted you all to know that if you are struggling with difficult feelings and mental illness, you are never alone. Please contact an organisation like the Samaritans (who are the reason, along with medical professionals, that I am still alive). And please try to never give up on yourselves and what you are capable of because even if you doubt what you are capable of – I believe in you!
If you’d like to continue the conversation please comment below or tweet me @spursbythebeach .
I was depressed from childhood, self-harming in my teens. From the age of seventeen, I have been in and out of therapy. Age 21 I was given my first of a few diagnoses. I had Bipolar disorder and began seeing an amazing psychiatrist as an outpatient. I define him as amazing because he actually believed that he could make me better, and he never gave up hope that he would.
After my marriage broke down in traumatic circumstances, I moved to a different area and was dealt with by a different mental health team, including a Home Treatment Team. Their psychiatrist, based on my self-harming behaviour, decided that I had Borderline Personality disorder.
At first I fought against this diagnosis, there was nothing wrong with my personality! But the more I researched the condition, the more I identified with it.
Since then I have spent time having my care managed by the Community Mental Health Teams in a few areas. I have paid for private help out of my benefits, and I have been a voluntary patient in an NHS psychiatric hospital
I know that there are many others who have experiences with similarities to mine and differences that should also be discussed.
Before doing this week-long special into life as a mental health service user, I thought about the kind of posts I would have found useful/supportive throughout my mental health journey.
I am keen to hear from others who have ideas for other posts/interviews I could do, and I can be flexible in extending this week long special into a longer running or more regular theme on Brokenglassshimmers. I am completely open-minded about where my initial ideas will take me.
- Things to remember before a meeting with your Community Mental Health Team care manager.
- How to get help from a UK Community Mental Health Team -the obstacles that can be stacked against you and how to face them.
- Who to approach in a crisis – is it a postcode lottery?
- Things I wish I’d known before my psych ward stay.
- Things I wish I’d known before being discharged from the psych ward.
- Care in the community – different experiences of therapy.
- The future of mental health services
- Fighting for mental health care
If you have any comments or suggestions about these topics and/or would like to get involved then please comment below or tweet me @spursbythebeach