On the 13th of December it was 4 years exactly since I wrote my very first blog post. To be honest I didn’t think it would last for four weeks let alone 4 years! I just sat and read my very first blog post and thought I’d make this one about some of the things that have changed since that first post.
In my first post I wrote about being in a very dark place and in the posts that followed it I was having a lot of suicidal thoughts and self harming regularly. In fact that continued for quite some time and then almost a year later I was detained under the mental health act for the first time. Shortly followed by a second time just two months later.
The only good thing from when I wrote that first blog post in December 2009 (through to mid 2011) was that I felt like I finally had a good support team around me. I worked closely with a social worker and to this day she remains the person who I consider to have helped me the most. However I no longer work with her and doubt I ever will again but despite that she still means a lot to me.
I also had a psychologist that I saw regularly but as I wrote recently I stopped seeing her due to her going on maternity leave and she is about to go on maternity leave again so she is also out of the picture now.
When I first started writing this blog I was seeing a very camp male GP who amused me but wasn’t great at dealing with mental health issues, but then a lovely female GP started soon after I started this blog and I still see her usually once a month to get my prescriptions now that I’m trusted with a full month of medication at a time instead of weekly ones like I used to get. Lovely GP has been and continues to be a good support person for me even if she can only give me 10 minutes at a time.
My psychiatrist I had for several years has since retired and I don’t get on so great with my current one. I didn’t get on particularly well with the last one either but I guess because I saw so much of him I kinda got used to his way of working. Maybe over time I’ll get used to this one as well.
Since I stopped working with the lovely social worker I’ve had three cpn’s. They have all been crap and I don’t feel as though I’ve achieved anything at all with their help. I currently see the cpn that was the 2nd one I saw as after the 3rd one left the 2nd one came back again. As you will know if you read regularly I avoid my appointments with her as much as possible as her way of working I just don’t find helpful at all.
So now I’ve talked about the ways in which my care team have changed over the last four years I guess I should mention how *I* have changed. There have been some positive changes. I am nearing the end of my 2nd year of my part time home based uni course although this really means I’m coming towards the end of 1st year as I do it part time. It’s been extremely difficult at times as my concentration levels have been very poor a lot of the time and I’ve had many moments where I’ve wanted to drop out but I’m glad I haven’t. I just need to get through 5 more months then I will have completed all six year one modules.
There are two other good things. One being that my travelling has gotten slightly better. I still deal with agoraphobia and crazy debilitating levels of anxiety but I have managed to add one new place to travel to over the last year and whilst I still can’t travel anywhere busy or go on a motorway or to a shopping centre for example, I am still pleased with myself for conquering one new place 🙂
The other good thing is that I haven’t been an inpatient in the psychiatric hospital since January 2012 so almost two years now. My frequency of self harming has also lessened however when I do mess up and do it I find now I can’t stop myself at a superficial level of damage and have to keep going until I’ve done the most damage possible. I have self harmed on and off since I was 13 years old and I’m now 32 so it’s been a very long time but it’s only really been over the past 4 years that it’s been so severe.
So yeah, a lot has changed since that first blog post and it’s been a long journey to get to where I am today. Between 2009 to 2013 I have been sectioned 3 times, one 72 hour one and two 28 day ones. I’ve attempted to take my own life a number of times. I’ve self harmed to the point of needing numerous stitches a lot of times too. I continue to grieve for my little boy who was premature and stillborn in 2007 and have no idea if I’ll ever fully recover from that traumatic and hugely painful event. I have messed around with substances over the past few years and reached such a severe level of suicidal depression I even chose to try heroin to see if it would either kill me or numb me… I didn’t really care which but at least I dragged myself out of that very dark place and went to see lovely GP for help before it spiralled into an addiction or got out of control.
There have been a lot of dark places where I never thought I’d see the light again, another being when I was classed as being in psychosis when I was hearing voices and being controlled by them for which I went into the psych hospital a few more times but voluntarily so they didn’t need to detain/section me again.
And where am I now? In my new little house with all the opportunities for a fresh start and a blank canvas. I think I will be happy here in the long run but it’s still early days and not familiar enough to me yet to be completely free of anxiety and paranoia. But I hope that will change. I can recognise that I have made some achievements or positive changes in the last 4 years and people do comment on how much better I seem nowadays. But I’m not sure I fully believe that, it feels more like I’ve just got better at hiding it all from everyone as I do still have many a moment when I completely break down and feel as though I’m losing the plot. I do still self harm I just don’t talk about it so much unless I’ve ended up at A&E and post about my experience of how I was treated by the doc/nurses.
One other pretty traumatic thing I am trying to deal with is the sexual abuse I suffered as a child and the incident when I was spiked and assaulted with a drug called PCP in august 2012. Since that happened I’ve been working with a wonderful lady from the rape crisis charity and she has been an amazing support over the past year. I haven’t seen her or cpn#2 for a number of weeks now due to all the stress of moving house but I am glad I do have lovely support worker to help me make sense of things. As for cpn#2 I guess I’ll probably just continue as I am, missing a load of appointments then turn up for one here or there then skip a load again. I guess deep down I’m probably hoping she’ll say we don’t have a productive working relationship and pass me on to someone else.
Wow this was only supposed to be a short post but even though I’ve had to use my phone to type it all out I’ve rambled on for ages! My aims for the foreseeable future? Just to get through the xmas and new year period in one piece with no hospital admissions and no self harming and no crazy beliefs around the time of my little boys anniversary in February that I have to off myself to be with him again.
I’m far from being cured or able to function fully like other working members of society, my moods continue to go up and down and all over the place but there have been some small changes. And I guess that’s all any of us can do… take each day as baby steps to try and make really small changes whilst dealing with all our inner mental health battles and head crazies along the way.
It will be interesting to see where I’m at in another years time when my little blog turns five. Will I be the same? Will I be off benefits and working and living a more normal life? Will I be worse and back in hospital, hurting myself and believing all sorts of craziness? The answer is that nobody knows… I certainly don’t… All we can do is wait and see.
Thanks to all of you who have offered words of support, words of wisdom and just offered virtual hugs over the past 4 years… it has meant more to me than you’ll ever know… xxx