Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Suicidal Thoughts.

The thoughts are very strong. I am struggling to contend with them. I am not sure if I should call Crisis Team as I am not sure if there is anything that they would be able to do. They would tell me to distract myself, do something nice for myself. I have tried to distract myself. I have done nice things for myself. I've had a really nice treat dinner. Loads of veg, Yorkshire pudding and beef in red wine. I am having a bit of a chocolate craving, but I don't want to ruin everything by having chocolate. I will end up feeling bad if I do. Also, I don't have any chocolate in and would mean going to the local shop and I don't really want to give them my business being as though I now know that it is owned by the nightmare neighbour.

The thoughts have been there a few days, but they have been getting worse. They are becoming more frequent and stronger. I have started to think what I would do. But, there is still that ambivalence there. Well, I think there is. I am having some doubts. So that means I can't do anything. I won't do anything. Not while there is doubt. I need to make sure I don't drink too much while I feel like this because that is when I will end up acting on the impulse.

I think maybe I will call crisis team. See what they say.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Paper Clips.

I don't think he believed me when I said I hadn't swallowed anything. He asked if I had and I denied it. I always will. I may as well tell him I will always say I haven't even if I have. I will never admit to it because of what they will do. They will make me go to hospital where I will have to wait hours and then be told all is fine, come back if you have any pain. And they will probably have to inform my parents. I'm not going down that route. So if anyone asks, it's always going to be a no.

So, I'm a bit of a mess at the moment. I'm all over the place and feeling shit. I said how I was feeling quite ambivalent towards life on the whole at the moment.

He said he had seen this coming from about a month ago. He said when I told him that I didn't see a problem with swallowing things that he thought that things could be going badly again. So I suppose he saw it before I did.

I told him I had self harmed, but by blood letting. He was asking me all these questions and I was trying to think what was going through my head when I did. It is hard for me to talk about the self harm as it triggers me in to wanting to do it more.

I was having urges throughout the whole session today. They were really hard to control. I came home and the first thing I did was to SH by swallowing something. It was because all the way through the session I could only really focus on the 2 paperclips on the table right in front of me. I kept getting lost in them. They were drawing me in and all I could think about was swallowing something. I should have moved them. But I didn't want to admit to how triggered I was just by 2 bloody paperclips. It's not like I don't come across things like that all the time. But at the same time they are not staring me in the face. The nails I have are kept in a cupboard, not something I see all the time. Razors are hidden in the bathroom. And everything else that I would usually swallow is not out in plain view, not enticing me. But I was having an urge and them being there was just making it stronger and stronger.

We talked a bit about rational thought. I said when I was getting urges it seemed as though at the moment all my rational thinking was going out the window. I don't see a problem with the self harm. I don't see a problem with swallowing as it's so unlikely something would happen. I have swallowed something so many times now. Possibly even more than I have cut. Something has only happened the one time. When I cut, nearly every time I have had to go and spend a few hours at the hospital and get stitches. I am asked a shit load of questions, stupid questions and I get even more frustrated. Sometimes, you are treated well, most the time you are made to feel like an attention seeking time waster. Sometimes though I just need to cut as it releases a different feeling than swallowing something. I see cutting as more serious. It leaves a scar. It requires treatment. At the moment, I am actually quite enjoying going to the gym, and I have even started swimming. A massive thing for me getting in a swimming costume where other people can see the scars. There is also the guy I have been seeing. Only been on 3 dates so far, but we have said we will see each other again. Can't say I am mad keen on him, but he's ok, I like spending time with him. Maybe the feelings will develop. So, that is why I haven't cut. I am not enjoying much at the moment, but I am enjoying the feeling of when I have been in the gym, have done a class or having been swimming.

 As a kid I loved swimming. I was good at it and went at least once a week. I used to swim in competitions etc. I only stopped when my instructor moved to a different pool and I moved with him. It was hard fitting in with the girls already there and they didn't take too keenly to a new girl coming in and being quite good. They made it miserable for me so I stopped going. I used to go swimming quite regularly until I was about 18. Then I put on loads of weight and hated being in a swimming costume. I used to be able to swim 50metres in 45 seconds easily. It now takes me double that.

I was hoping that no one would say anything to me about the scars on my legs. They are pretty obvious and still very red. It took so much for me to get back in to swimming again. I was so nervous. The amount of times I have taken my costume to the gym with me but chickened out is uncountable. But last week I dipped my toe in and went to a ladies only session. I loved it. I loved being in the water again. But, yesterday, I was actually asked what had happened. She wasn't British and I think that that may have been why. It's a pretty British thing to avoid asking personal questions isn't it? Maybe it's just me. But if I saw someone with scars or marks, I wouldn't ask them how it happened. I would feel as though I was intruding. Is it just me who is like this? Perhaps it's because I have scars and am very self conscious of them and don't like it if anyone mentions it. But, anyway. I am waffling.

So yeah, that's why I have been swallowing as my method of self harm at the moment. I don't see it as a bad thing. I think that the chances of anything happening are so minute I will take the chance. Also, I am quite ambivalent towards the thought of anything happening.

The psychologist said that uni was obviously right that I am not better, I am not ready etc etc etc. I just sat there without saying anything. He said he expected me to argue back with him and was possibly doing it to get a rise from me. But I didn't. Because, I knew I wasn't ready. And so did they. He started asking me what the point was if within a month I could possibly be dead from having taken a massive OD. I think expecting me to say that that wouldn't happen. But I just don't know. I did say though that while there was this ambivalence, there was something there that made me doubt it. And that that was what was stopping me. I don't think this was a good enough reply as he said something along the lines of it not being a no, it won't happen.

He said that his thinking behind all of this was me coming to the realisation that recovery isn't a black and white I will be cured. I could only agree as that is exactly what I have written about in the last couple of weeks. It's not just that though. But I think that could be the main reason. I should have been starting back at uni yesterday. I have new neighbours upstairs who are students and they are noisy. Loud music, up and downstairs all night long. It keeps me awake and keeps me in a heightened state of anxiety. I said I hadn't been sleeping properly and so we talked about that and he said I should give it until after the weekend and contact my GP if I am not back in to a routine and get some sleeping pills to trigger it all off back to being normal. I was sleeping so much better. Better than I had ever done. But since new people moved in I have been struggling to get a decent night. I think a lot of it is anxiety and worrying that they will be noisy and then wake me up. Perhaps, maybe, he is right about getting some pills. I know that sleep deprivation for me can be a massive trigger. I can't cope with things when I am not getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can also be a sign that something is not right though and that things are bad. And I suppose they are not the best at the moment.

I really am just waffling now. So going to leave it at that.

Feeling Pissed Off...

It's stupid but I can't help the way I feel.

I have been following a weight watchers plan and I have a couple of friends also doing it. We text each other every Tuesday so we are accountable to someone else and to motivate each other etc etc. So I text my friend this morning saying I had lost 1.6kg this week (3.5lb) and she sent me a reply back, quite snotty saying

 "I wish I had every day free to walk miles. It would fall off me. What are you eating"?

Is it me or is that quite off hand?

It's left me feeling quite angry.

I have only recently started to feel like I can actually do something. It seems she is insinuating I am work shy etc. I can't help that I have been ill. I am looking for voluntary work at the moment but I don't seem to be getting much response. So, yeah. I am quite angry.

I have been really struggling this week. The urges and suicidal thoughts have been very strong. I am trying so hard for it not to over take me and engulf me again. I have self harmed and I am having strong urges to now.

I saw my CPN on Friday. She said something that annoyed me a little. She asked me if I thought that her and the psychologist knew how much I was struggling. I said that I didn't know. Then she said in the past I had acted on my feelings as if to show people how much I was struggling. That to me means that they see my previous self harm and suicidal attempts as attention seeking behaviour just to show people how much I am struggling. Maybe I misunderstood her. But that is what it sounded like to me.

We mainly spoke about how I have been feeling about now understanding that recovery means not being free of the thoughts and feelings but dealing with them. I said how I felt about this and that it was not what I wanted so I was pissed off. I was upset with it. That, the self harm only affects me, so as long as it only continues to do that why bother putting so much effort in to stop. I know the swallowing stuff could potentially lead to something, but the chances are so slim. I have done it so many times, many more than I can count. Yet, something has only happened once. And to be honest, at the moment, the way I am feeling about things is that I couldn't care less if it did. I am feeling quite ambivalent again. In that I couldn't really care if I live or die.

I've not got any plans. But I do have the means. I'm not telling anyone that. It wasn't intentional. I just didn't take my medication for a while. The CPN said she was surprised that the doctor had put me back on that particular medication considering that I very nearly died from taking an OD of it last time. She said she thought that the risks of me taking it in OD were higher than the benefits of the medication. But, she also said that they had informed my GP etc of that and had made them aware and really it was now in their hands.

The rational person in me says to get rid of what I have. But there is part of me that needs to hold on to them so that I have that safety net. I need that safety net. It is giving me some sense of control.

I get that what I am saying and how I am acting indicates a big step back. I would be so frustrated if I was in someones position who works with me. I don't want to piss people off so I struggle to talk about it.

I really feel as though I am all over the place and am trying to juggle so many things.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

It's A Long Road Up To Recovery From Here, A Long Way Back To The Light.

"If you could just give me a sign, just a subtle little glimmer,
Some suggestion that you'd have me if I could only make me better,
Then I would stand a little stronger as I walk a little taller all the time.
Because I know you are a cynic but I think I can convince you,
Because broken people can get better if they really want to,
Or at least that's what I have to tell myself if I am hoping to survive".

What exactly is recovery?

This was the main topic of today's session with my psychologist.
He said that he thinks that it is early days and I am now heading in to recovery. I am less passive and I have taken ownership. He said something along the lines of that when he first met me I had a fuck off to everyone attitude and that I didn't think anything was wrong with me and that if the were so intent on thinking that there was something wrong then they were the ones who had to fix it. 

I wanted to take a medical approach to it all in that give me medication and that will cure me. That if we just found the right medication then I would be cured. I didn't need to do anything, let the others do it.

I do now understand that what I do has an impact on how I am. I know that there is not one thing that will make me better. Medication won't fix me. Yes, it helps, but it is not a cure. I need to ensure that I sleep. That I take care of myself. We then got on to this subject.

He asked me if I had done anything nice for myself to give myself a pat on the back for managing this whole thing so well. I said not. Well not consciously. He said I needed to. I need to treat myself and tell myself I am doing so because I deserve it.

I didn't say anything. But I can't do that. I don't deserve it. I know it's only going to be a matter of time before I screw up and give in (I have, but more on that in a minute). Then I will feel bad as I have failed yet again. And it's stupid that I don't feel I can say this as if I had made some headway with someone and then they come out with this I would just feel so frustrated and pissed off that they said this. So, I keep my mouth shut instead.

I am expecting failure. I am expecting to not succeed in all of this. At the moment I have feelings as though I don't belong. OK, so at the moment my thought patterns are different, perhaps I am heading into recovery. But, I feel as though I don't belong. It's all an act. I am fooling myself.

And you know the stupid thing. The stupid thing is that even though I am aware of all these ridiculous thoughts. How they manifest and at times why they are there. I still go and give in to the urge and go and swallow something just like I have done this evening. I don't know why, but, talking about this, talking today has really triggered me. 

I didn't come straight home after the appointment. And I was feeling ok. I got home, had dinner and watched a bit of TV. Then I started writing this and all of a sudden I had this urge to scream, shout, punch something, I had a massive wave of anxiety. Then before I knew it, I had swallowed a nail. There wasn't even any time for me to assess things. I just did it. But, that is not enough. I am now trying to suppress the urge to cut. What is stopping me? Well, I do really quite like that guy. I don't want to have more fresh scars. I don't want to have to do the explaining. I am already freaking about it now. How am I going to explain it all. There will come a point when they will ask. What if they ask too soon into the relationship? What do I say, the truth will scare them off. My plan was to tell them a half truth after a few weeks. That SH was something I did when I was younger. Then a few months down the line tell them the full truth. When they can see that there is more to me than a person who self harms. More than a person with mental health problems. 

I don't know if I articulated it well enough today. But I said that I had kind of accepted that recovery for me is not going to be being free of self harm, being free of suicidal thoughts, being free of the debilitating low moods. Until recently I had been after a cure. To not experience these feelings. To not experience it at all.  It's what I want. But I am not going to get that. And that is a real disappointment. That is actually making me feel shit. I don't want to still have all these feelings. For so long I had thought that recovery for me would be a cure. To not have them. I didn't think that recovery would still be feeling the same feelings, having the same thoughts, the only difference would be how I deal with it. I don't want that. It's not how I want to live my life. 

This realisation of this is making me feel bad. This realisation is making me have worse thoughts and worse feelings. It is not progress as the psychologist said it was. It has knocked me back. 

I know these thoughts and feelings are really disjointed, really not that normal. That, in me having them is a knock back in itself. 

I had all these illusions of being cured. Of leading a normal life. Of being normal. It was what I was working so hard towards. And I'm not going to get that. It would seem that the best I could hope for is that they will still be there, they will still be a part of my life but I will be able to live with them. Well, I don't want that. I don't want to live with them. I don't want to be like this. Because, at the end of the day, I will still be the same. I will still be feeling the same feelings, having the same thoughts. How will I be any happier? Fighting with the urges is hard work. It wears me down. It does get to the stage where I have suicidal thoughts and in the past I have acted on these. So basically I am just going to carry on living my life in spirals of moods. Ups and downs. These are not going to get better. It's just that perhaps I won't be as destructive and seriously self harm. And really, I am not bothered about the self harm unless it leaves scars. So why not carry on swallowing things. It doesn't affect anyone. I am not turning up at the ED needing stitches and time. I am not being a drain on anyone. OK, if something goes wrong, then yes, it will take up resources. But what are the chances. I have swallowed things so many times now. More times than I can count. Probably more times than I have cut. And there has only been the 1 time where something has gone wrong. So no, I don't see it as a huge problem. If it helps just that little bit then why not continue to do it.

And you know what. I don't feel as though I can say anything about this. Because all I can see is people getting frustrated with me and getting pissed off at me. Because in all honesty, if I was in their position, if I had put so much time and effort in to someone and finally thought we were getting somewhere, I would be furious. I would feel so pissed off. And it's those stupid schemas going in to overdrive again that caring so much about what people think of me is too important to me. I'm mad aren't I? I can even see myself what I am doing, yet it still continues. It's all crazy and fucked up shit! 

I don't know where this has all come from. I haven't taken my meds properly in a week as I ran out and I keep forgetting to go to the doctors to get more. But I don't really see how much of an affect what the meds could have. I'm on a stupid dose which is probably more sugar than anything else. 

Maybe it's just coming to this sucky conclusion which has done it all. 

I'm just quite fucked off with it all really. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Worried I am Sinking.

I'm a bit worried about my mood. It's dipping quite a bit and that motivation to do anything has gone. I am also having quite a few self harm urges, there has also been the suicidal thoughts.

Maybe it's the turn in the weather. I noticed I did start to feel quite a bit better once the weather was getting warmer and it was sunny. It's now getting cold and miserable. I hope it's not that as it could mean I am in for a tough 6 months.

I have been going on a few dates from the dating site. I have been on a second date with one of them, having a third this week. Although, I can't say I am overly keen on him. I don't get butterflies when I am with him. I don't have that buzz. He's a nice enough guy, I don't mind spending time with him. But I am not feeling that spark. I am trying to take what my friends say on board. In that I am not 17 any more and you don't get that initial buzz like you do with your first love. That relationships develop. So, being as though he is not awful, I am going to stick with it.

But, saying that I did meet someone last week who I did really like and I felt a buzz about him. So, I don't know if that theory my friends have is right. I am seeing him again this week.

I am also aware of what it says in my schema therapy book. It says to avoid relationships where there is that buzz of chemistry as it could be a wrong relationship and be too intense and be the wrong person for me. But, it's only been one date. I may be really annoyed by him next time I see him. So, I think I just need to keep my options open.

I am not desperate to find someone. But, it has been over 2 years since I had any kind of relationship with anyone. I want to meet new people, I want to have someone to go to gigs and comedy with. Spend time with. To cuddle on the sofa while watching a film. I suppose, I am quite lonely. My friends are all loved up or have kids. So, it doesn't leave much really. I am also looking in to joining more social groups as well as I want to meet more girl friends and just also broaden my group of friends. It's even more important to me now I am not going back to Uni this year. I don't want to be going clubbing etc anymore. I don't want to be going out and getting pissed at the weekend. So, it doesn't really leave me with a lot as my friends who are single, want to do that.

I have a psychology session tomorrow. Not sure what I want to talk about in it. I want him to take the lead with it. We are meant to be doing this schema therapy but I don't think we have done anything schema related in about 3 months. It's all been about uni and then I have been away, or he has been away. I can see how this schema therapy would work for me, so I want to get on with it. I need to make changes. I think I am doing better than I have been in a long time. I think I am coming to the realisation that I will never get rid of these mood dips, the lows etc etc etc. It's always going to be part of my life. But, what will change is how I deal with them. How I approach them. Since I started getting unwell when I was in my early 20's, I always saw recovery as not getting the low periods. Being stable. But now I realise, I am not going to get that. I am probably always going to get the low periods, the higher periods, the self harm urges, the suicidal thoughts. In a way, that in itself is quite disheartening. I wanted to not have the extremes. But, I suppose part of recovery is coming to terms with the fact that that is not going to happen.

That's not to say it doesn't suck though.

Just wanted to have a bit of a brain splurge tonight and get down my thoughts that were going round. This doesn't really flow properly or anything but I needed to get it out.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


I think the reason why I had dealt with everything so well so far was because I hadn't had time to really think about it and have it sink in. Since Wednesday I have barely spent any time on my own. I have not really had time to go over things. Now it has sunk in. And so I have crashed a bit this afternoon.

I am having massive urges to self harm, I am having suicidal urges. I have had some urges since Wednesday but they have been more fleeting. These are staying with me a bit more. I can't act on them. I can't. But then on the other hand I am unsure of how I am going to deal with them.

I did see my psychologist today. I am not sure if talking about it more has made me feel like this or what? Possibly. That would indicate to me that I haven't been dealing with it so far and that I have been avoiding it. I did say this to him earlier. That I didn't know if I was avoiding it or just dealing with it well. I can't actually remember what he said.

I did say that I am trying to be practical about it and not get bogged down with the feelings as I am worried I will drown in feelings over it and then not be able to cope. So, I have tried not to think about what it means or how it makes me feel. I need them to numb before I can deal with them so that they are less intense.

I know I am doing some things better than I have in the past. I know in the past I would have ended up getting drunk and then self harming. But, not all planned. I would get drunk to avoid how I was feeling thinking it would make me feel better and then it not work and because I am drunk end up self harming impulsively. I know that if I have a drink I won't just stop at 1. I will end up getting pissed and doing something as I won't be able to cope with the urge while I am drunk and I won't care that in me self harming it is making their point even stronger.

But, there is a big part of me that is thinking fuck it, I'll just do that, to hell with the consequences. I am tempted now to go and get some alcohol from the shop and to down that. But, I have not drunk in about 6 weeks now. I am trying to be healthier and I am trying to lose weight, by not drinking it is making it a lot easier. I can tell that I have lost weight and I look a lot better for it. I am nearly up to having lost 2 stone now. So, I don't want to blow that by drinking. Actually it is more that than anything actually. I think if I wasn't so conscious of trying to lose weight, I would have already have got hammered by now.

I will see how things go the next couple of days and if I am still struggling I will call my CPN and speak to her about it.

I was telling my psychologist how pissed off I was about it and how I felt let down by the uni. It really annoys me as the main reason they have said no is because the agencies said they wouldn't be in a position to offer me a placement at the moment. Well, I am not looking for a placement at the moment, that will be in February. I know at the moment, April is not that long a go to have been in recovery, but by February it will have been 10 months. I am almost positive if I was an employee and off work, they would be encouraging me to go back as soon as possible. So, why are they being like that with this.

They are right though, I am not ready to go back. I said I had my doubts and I didn't think I was ready. But, it still feels like shit. I also expected it. So then why has it sent my urges in to over drive? Why have the suicidal thoughts come back. I am not planning anything, I have not made any plans at all. But the niggling thoughts are there. I am OK with them at the moment, but I know from past experience that there is only so much of them I can take before they do start to become plans.

I was supposed to go see Dr T today, my consultant psychiatrist. I cancelled the appointment though. I couldn't face it. I have been away for the last couple of days and drove back this morning. The appointment with the doctor was supposed to have been 20 minutes after the psychology one and on the other side of the city. I thought I would be pushing it. I didn't want to feel as though I was rushing the psychology appointment so I thought I would ask if I could make it later, but I couldn't, so I just told them to cancel it and send me another through the post. I actually bumped into the doctor on the way in to the psychology appointment. That was awkward. I explained to my psychologist that I knew I would be driving back today and that I would be knackered. I hadn't spent any time at home over the last few days and wanted to get back home. And there was also the reason that I couldn't face it as I felt at the appointments I wasn't being listened to my opinion over anything didn't matter and that anything I said was usually interpreted wrong. I feel quite wound up after appointments so I thought it was best if I cancelled. He asked why I didn't say anything to him and that I should. Typical me really. I won't. He said he hoped I didn't feel like that with him and that if I thought he interpreted things wrong I would say. I don't feel like that with him so that's good. It's the opposite, I get all muddled and inarticulate about how I am feeling or thinking and he gives it some order and makes it make more sense to me.

Another thing we looked a bit was the schema of failure. I said I felt crap as I felt I had to justify myself to other people over this and in some way they were blaming me. I feel paranoid people are thinking badly of me for not going on to do the course. He was trying to say I will get a lot out of this year in terms of skills and personal growth. While that may be the case, that isn't good enough for me. I want more. I want to get my career. I want to move on. Then, there are the people who don't know what I have been going through in the last few years. What do I say to them? What are they going to think of me. He was trying to tell me other people's perceptions don't matter, but they really do. I felt I could have said more on this but sometimes I lose track of where I am going with things and I forget. The people in particular here are my ex's family. I have got back in contact with them only in the last few months. They know I started the course in 2010 and they know I haven't finished it yet as of taking time away. They were expecting me to go back this year. How do I explain that? I can't tell them the real reason. But any other reason just looks as though I am doing a typical me and avoiding hard work and wanting the easy life. How people perceive me is very important to me. It's a massive thing and in not being able to go back to uni it's really causing me to start getting massive anxieties about that.

So that's the psych stuff.

I had a bit of a email conversation with my ex last week. It went fine and I am ok about it. But he told me something and I am not sure whether or not to tell my friend. Basically, one of my now best friend's is my ex's best mate's now ex. It's pretty obvious she still has strong feelings towards him. When she was pregnant she was quite weird about it in case he found out as she didn't want him to know. Her current bloke is a bit of a knob, well, he is a knob, but that is a whole other story. Anyway, in speaking to my ex last week he told me that her ex is getting married in November. I am not sure what to do.

I spoke to my Mum and my Mum said don't say anything, what she doesn't know won't hurt her. I spoke to my friends about it, they said I should tell her. They said there's a couple of reasons why. The first being is that it could help her move on from him. Also, the second being a long the lines of that although he is the one getting married, she could hold it against me for not telling her and it could put a strain on our friendship. I really don't know what to do. She has an idea that he is with someone else but she has no idea how serious it is. I keep thinking about how felt when I found out my ex was with someone else, I was gutted. it really affected me. But it was only a few weeks after we had broke up from a 9 year relationship. I was really upset when I found out she had moved in. That was because we had chosen that house together and I had lived there as my home. When the cat died I was really upset and had bad feelings towards her, as he was my cat. But, when I found out they were engaged and were going to get married I wasn't overly that bothered. When I found out she had broken up with him, I did feel bad for him. But at the same time there was a bit of me that felt spiteful that he knew what it was like to lose someone you loved when it wasn't your choice. Also, I compare his girlfriends to myself and looking for negative qualities in them, like for instance I am prettier than her etc etc etc. I know I am a bitch.

But please help me here, what should I do, how should I approach it and what should I say?

Answers on a post card please....

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Let Down

I am feeling really let down with the University. But while feeling let down, it feels quite surreal and as though this is all happening to someone else.

I thought I handled myself quite well at the meeting. I managed to control my anxiety. Outwardly anyway. That may have been something to do with the medication I took in the morning. But it worked. No fiddling with my necklace, earrings, ring. No leg going like mad. I managed to think about the question they asked me, take a breath and answer. No freezing up and going "I don't know". I don't know how I managed it.

Well, I say that. They asked me what had lead to the episode in April. I did say I didn't know. But then waffled a little bit about sleep deprivation. I didn't talk about the hallucinations that were getting to me so much that I couldn't cope with them. It was a really stupid answer. I didn't know what to say. I talked a bit about how there were lots of little things that had added up and I got to the point where I couldn't cope. I think this could have been where everything went wrong. But then saying that I have a feeling that they had decided even before they held the meeting.

The opened with their concerns. I knew then that they would be saying no. It really didn't matter what I said. It didn't matter what the reports said. I feel as soon as they knew I was in hospital in April, it was going to be a no. I don't even know why they put me through the whole panel.

They talked about not knowing if I would have the resilience to cope with the stress of the course and placement and they were worried it would effect my practice. They also said that they were not going to be part of my recovery.

So, yeah. I am feeling really let down by Uni. I don't feel supported at all. It has made me not want to go back to that uni to finish the course. I know I want to finish the course, but I don't really want to do it there. I feel as though I am being stabbed in the back by them. I did expect it of them though. When I was first admitted in 2011 I made contact with uni to let them know. On the surface it was all supportive, telling me to concentrate on myself and of course I could come back in September if I was feeling well enough. I was on leave, about to be discharged, feeling so much better and engaging etc etc etc, on the whole ready to move on, then the course director emails the psychiatrist who was over seeing my care at the time telling him a whole list of reasons why I was going to have to defer for a year.

I am really upset with them.

Ok, I know I didn't think I was ready to go back. But I wanted to. I was going to even though I didn't think I was ready. But of course I never let on to this. I told my psychologist I had my doubts. But I was trying to get back this year as I was told I wouldn't be funded to do it if I didn't. And that would mean I would lose out on about £10k.

When I spoke to the psychologist after the appointment he said he was sorry if he had let me down by encouraging me. I don't think he has at all though.It's not as though he got my hopes up. I don't allow myself to get my hopes up about things. It stings a hell of a lot more when you are let down. I needed some support with it anyway. It was something I was going to try and do whether or not I had support. Well, I wouldn't have done if they weren't going to support me as there was no way uni would have even considered it without some medical support. But my family weren't supportive, and my friends were quite passive over it. One friend was good and she came with me. But I have had very little support over this.

They said to me they want me to get some work in the health and social care field. So I plan on getting some volunteering work. I would like to do it in mental health. I would like to do some peer support kind of work. But, I don't want to do it on the wards as of me knowing the staff from my own experiences. Also, I can't be sure that I am not going to end up back there. Although, it would be the biggest motivator in staying well wouldn't it? But still, it's a bit too soon.

I was supposed to go round to my parents after the meeting at uni, but I needed to be on my own and come home. I text my Mum and told her it hadn't gone well and I just wanted to be at home on my own. Both my Mum and Dad called me telling me to go round and I said no, then my Mum was worrying asking me if she could come over and I said no. I could tell they were worrying but I just needed to be on my own. My brother turned up about an hour later. Too much of a coincidence.

Anyway, the next day I did see my Mum. I was really surprised at how supportive she was. I expected a I told you so attitude after the way she was the other week when we were talking about it. But she said that it wasn't the end of the world, and that this would be the last opportunity to have time to myself, to concentrate on myself and to have fun. She said that yes, I should pursue volunteer work so I have some purpose, but to make sure I have this year and have fun. I said i felt bad doing that as the last couple of years I have hardly done anything. But she said I was ill. I couldn't help it and no one hold that against me. She said I have only been stable for the last few weeks and that I am only just finally getting it together after so many years of not being ok. That I had not been this well in a long time and I should make the most of it. It will be the last chance that I have to do this as once I do qualify I will be getting a job, and then hopefully a relationship and kids will fall in somewhere. She is right. I am going to try and see the positives.

She actually said, that as awful as it sounds she was hoping uni would say no, as she didn't think I was ready. She felt that while I was doing well, it was too soon to be putting pressure on myself and could go badly for me if I went back and started to fail. I talked to her about funding and that that was my main worry right now. I was originally told by the course director last year that last year was the last year I would be able to defer as I would not be able to get any more funding to do the course. I couldn't see how the hell I was going to get the £4k plus fees plus living expenses. The bursary paid my fees and I got around £500 a month bursary. My Mum said that she hadn't spoke to my Dad about it but she could possibly consider a loan to me to help me out. But if she did that she was worried that again it would put me under a lot of pressure to succeed as I'd feel like even more of a failure having borrowed money from them and then not being able to complete the course. I said I wouldn't want to take the money from them anyway as it was a lot of money and it wouldn't be fair on my brothers. Also, I didn't say it, but I am trying to be as independent as possible from them, borrowing the money from them would take away that independence. But, if the worst came to the worst it is always a possibility.

But, on a more positive note, I was proactive and I called the NHS Bursary hot line. I explained the situation to them and they said that while they couldn't guarantee it, it would seem as though I would be funded to complete the course. He said as long as I am not repeating a year, it should be ok for me to be funded. He said they couldn't guarantee it as changes are coming in all the time, but as it stands at the moment I should get my funding. He also said that most of the changes that are coming in are affecting new students. So it does look positive.

I was speaking to my friend about this also. She said it is not as though I have chosen to defer my studies, I didn't have a choice and I was ill. So, I can always say it's discrimination if I am not given my funding.

I have also emailed different universities to see about the possibility of transferring my studies to them. I feel so let down by my university that I am not sure if I want to continue to study there. It's a prestige university with good employment chances after. So I have looked at other prestige universities. Although most have got back to me and have said they don't allow students to transfer and if I wanted to study there I would have to start from the beginning again. So it looks unlikely that that is going to happen.

But I am trying to remain positive. Yes, I cry about it and I feel totally shit. I am having quite big urges, suicidal thoughts. But I am trying not to dwell to much on it, to not see it as the end of the world. If I let it get to me like that it just proves that I wasn't ready. I know I am not, but I can't have them knowing that.

Friday, 6 September 2013

As Bad As I Expected.

Uni said no, I can't go back this year and I have to defer for another year. I expected it. But I am still really upset about it and feel awful.

There is quite a bit to write but I don't have the energy to at the moment. I am doing my usual of avoiding thinking about it. Every time I do I end up in tears.

Basically they said what happened in April wasn't long enough ago; I haven't been stable for long enough. And that they weren't going to be part of my recovery.

I feel really let down by my Uni and the lack of support.

I will write more once I get my head around things.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

How Things Are.

I'm a bit of a mess and the urges are in overdrive. But I am determined not to act on them as that would mean that I couldn't cope and that they would be right to say I can't go back to uni.

I had a psychology session today. He said I am being very pessimistic about it and I am coming across that I don't want to go back. I do. I want it more than anything. I think I want it too much. It is that wanting it too much that increases my worries about what will happen if they say no. I can see the worst happening which would be putting me back to right where I started and not being able to get out of it. Ending up back in hospital and ending up back on a PICU as I can't keep myself safe.

I have worked so hard to get to where I am now. OK, things are not great. I am not better, perhaps I never will be, but I am being able to live with it a lot better. I have more understanding and when I am in a bad place and I am struggling, I am able to do more to be able to do things to bring myself out of it. But that takes so much effort and energy. Knowing what it has taken and how much of me it has taken to get here, if I did end up back where I started, I am not sure if I could bring myself out of it. I can't go through it all all over again.

He said if I wanted he could take it out of my control and call them tomorrow saying I am not ready to go back. That way it could stop me from internalising it. He asked me what would happen if I were not able to go back, in terms of how I would feel. I told him I would feel let down with myself, that I hadn't met my own expectations, that I hadn't met the expectations of others and over all that I have failed. If I do get ill again over it I will have let other people down. I will be a disappointment.

I can't deal with that.

He said I am internalising it all. That I feel it is all about what I have done if I am not allowed to go back. But it is. It's not as though it's one person making the decision. If it was I could possibly turn round and blame someone else. But no, this is all about me and what I have done. I only have myself to blame.

I know I am being so negative. I need to try and be more positive. He said that if they were going to say no straight out that they wouldn't be putting me through the panel and giving me the opportunity to go back. If there wasn't a chance they wouldn't let me go through this. So I suppose I should hold on to that.

One thing I am worried about them asking is about the time I spent on PICU. Over the course of my hospital admission I spent over 9 months on the PICU. That's a hell of a long time. I said to the psychologist that I wasn't really sure why I was on there so long. He said it was to do with that I needed to be in hospital and that when I had been on the wards previously I was going to extremes to be able to self harm. So much so it was deemed necessary to restrain me, at times for hours at a time (I am aware of one of the times being restrained for so long that I was fighting so hard against it that I wore myself out so much that I fell asleep) and in my fighting to get out and struggles people got hurt. I wasn't aware of that. I feel so awful about it now. I never meant to hurt anyone. Well, a part from that awful Nurse who I kicked in the balls, but he provoked me. And as far as I am aware, it is in my notes that he provoked me and action was taken against him. I am shocked to think I behaved like that. It's not me. I must have been in a really bad place.

He said if they asked that to tell them that I found the ward I was on for longest the most beneficial and that I formed good attachments with the staff on there which took a long time. I felt happier on there than I had done anywhere else. I explained to him that one of the reasons why I was so reluctant to open up and speak to anyone was because of bad experiences when I was at the first hospital. I was told I needed to engage so I would try to speak to someone when I was struggling and all I got was a couldn't care less attitude and comments such as I had brought it all on myself. So I couldn't see the point in even trying. It really affected my attitudes towards staff who worked on the wards. I was reading about my first stay the other day and how I was in shock at the difference in staff between the two hospitals. How at the first if I had self harmed I was practically shunned and they had a go at me. In the second hospital, staff actually wanted to talk to you and spend time with you.

It sounds stupid but I am actually getting upset thinking about that first hospital and what an awful experience it was.

And that is another thing that really scares me. If I did end up being bad again. The female PICU is now at that hospital. I would have to go back there. The worry of that is so much, that I would probably push away if I started to get bad again and not seek the support I need.

I have to go back to uni. The alternative is too scary to think about.

Monday, 2 September 2013

What's Occuring.

Not a lot really.

I had a psychology session last Tuesday and we mainly talked about what he was going to include in the report he was writing for me to support my return to uni.

He emailed me the report on Thursday and this is what he has said... obviously I have changed some details...

I began working with GP in February 2012. At that time GP was being assessed for inclusion in a dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) group. The assessment indicated that that treatment was not appropriate to meet her needs at that time. We began working together in individual psychology sessions in March 2012 and I have continued to work with GP on an individual basis since then. We currently meet together on a weekly basis in the outpatients department.

GP has a history of low mood, anxiety, hopelessness, avoidance of seeking help or actively addressing problems, and self-harm. GP has reported that her self-harm has a variety of functions – sometimes her self-harm has been in order to gain a sense of control over her emotions or the demands she has faced in the environment, on other occasions it has been with the intent of dying. Due to family stressors, debt problems and the end of a long term relationship, GP's self-harm escalated in the summer of 2011. This led to her being detained under the Mental Health Act (1983) between August and October2011. After discharge GP continued to struggle and was admitted again under the Mental Health Act (1983) between November 2011 and July 2012. Initially GP found it difficult to engage with mental health services and these admissions were problematic, including periods in Psychiatric Intensive Care Units to manage the risks GP presented to herself. 

Since being discharged in July 2012 GP has had further admissions to hospital. All psychiatric admissions are listed below.
11th August 2011 – 24 October 2011
17th November 2011 – 31 July 2012
8th October 2012 – 9th October 2012
12th October 2012 – 19th October 2012
25th October 2012 – 15th November 2012
6th April 2013 – 10th April 2013.

It is important to note that admissions since October 2012 have been brief and informal (not under compulsion of the Mental Health Act – GP chose to be in hospital and was not detained at these times)(although I wasn't given much choice, I was basically told either go informally or we will section you). These admissions were with the purpose of supporting GP during periods of crisis as she learned to manage her self-harm independently.

To her credit GP has worked hard to understand the function of her self-harm and to reduce the frequency and severity of such acts. She has consistently engaged in psychology sessions to reflect upon her experiences and has increased her coping skills substantially. GP also has a community psychiatric nurse with whom she has worked since 2011 , a consultant psychiatrist and she has also worked with a number of occupational therapists. Her contact with these team members is less frequent than with myself. GP has recently been discharged from Occupational Therapy due to the progress that she has made. With that support and also in psychology sessions GP has developed a greater sense of agency and has markedly increased the activities that she engages in, including physical exercise.

GP's mood and sense of self has steadily improved since April 2013. Prior to this she found that she made some progress, but also that this would deteriorate at times. In April 2013 GP took a serious overdose and required admission to the medical Intensive Treatment Unit followed by a brief psychiatric admission. This precipitated a significant turning point for GP and she has since this time consolidated the gains that she made previously and is now more consistent and active in managing her mood and risk to self. GP does still occasionally report acts of self-harm, but these are relatively minor compared with what went before.(obviously I haven't told anyone about the swallowing of things - but that has been over a month now)
A significant and beneficial change that GP made was moving to her own flat in February 2013. Prior to this GP had been living with her parents. While living with her parents GP was somewhat isolated, spending long periods in her room avoiding contact with her parents. Since getting her own flat GP has been increasingly active in her recovery. GP has identified that in the past she had significant problems with avoidance of emotions and situations that triggered strong emotions.

During psychology sessions GP has worked hard to identify how her core beliefs, or schemas, have interfered with her achieving her life goals. GP is now addressing these issues proactively and has increased the range and frequency of activities she engages in. Her mood is now more stable and periods of low mood are less protracted, less threatening to her sense of self and she is more active in taking steps to improve her mood, e.g. through seeing friends and family, keeping on top of tasks such as house work and addressing her debt problems (GP's debt problems resulted from a period of low mood in which she spent money impulsively to try and improve her mood). In the past GP had drunk alcohol to try to improve her confidence and mood, but this often led to impulsive acts of self-harm. GP has worked hard for several months to limit her alcohol intake and she is now able to go out with friends and enjoy herself without drinking alcohol. GP has to my knowledge no problems with other drugs. I feel this bit makes me sound a bit like an alcoholic and perhaps that I take drugs but I don't have any problems with them.

GP's urges to and acts of self-harm have decreased in frequency, intensity and severity consistently since April 2013. While there were problems between October 2012 and April 2013, these were in my view a necessary part of her journey towards recovery as she learnt about her vulnerabilities and developed new ways of coping. She now reports feeling more confident in addressing any difficulties that she experiences, she is more able to take care of herself and seek and accept help as required.
I will remain as GP's clinical psychologist for the foreseeable future. We will review our work together in December 2013 and may agree to continue sessions after that if we agree that these would continue to be helpful. I also foresee that GP will have access to community mental health team support for the next year as a minimum. This support will include a community psychiatric nurse, consultant psychiatrist and crisis support.

 In the time that I have known GP she has consistently maintained that her studies at the University were not a significant problem in the mental health difficulties she had experienced. GP is in my opinion highly motivated to return to study and practice in training. While she is understandably anxious about the potential return to study (whether she will be allowed to return, whether she will be able to pass all assignments), she is in my view committed to completing the course. I have no concerns about any risks GP may present to others in practice because to my knowledge there are no grounds for concern. While GP’s experiences of mental health services have at times been less than ideal, she has maintained that this would not affect her judgement and she would signpost and make referrals to services as necessary. In our organisation, employees who have experience of using mental health services are welcomed on the basis that being an ‘expert by experience’ can enhance service delivery. I believe that in future, GP’s experience of mental health difficulties and using mental health services could enhance her practice as a social worker. For example, I have over the past year observed an increase in GP’s ability to reflect on her experiences and with support and guidance this will in my view enhance her ability to operate as a reflective practitioner.

It is my opinion that GP is currently fit to return to study and practice in training to be a social worker. It is my view that being able to work towards the goal of qualifying as a social worker will enhance GP’s recovery as it will give her purpose. Currently GP is keeping herself busy with leisure and intellectual interests and in my view this has formed a strong foundation to return to study. She is more able to set approach goals to address problems and challenges and is less likely to avoid difficulties as she did in the past. As avoidance was in the past a significant contributory factor in her difficulties, this indicates that GP is now coping differently and more effectively than she was in August 2011. I fully support GP in her application to return to study and commend her for the work that she has done to recover from the significant difficulties that she previously experienced.

Over all I am happy with what he has written. There are some bits I would have possibly not said, and I did ask him to take the bit about the OD in March/April out. But he said he felt it was necessary that we were transparent with what was being said and what was going on. 

Even though it's a good report and he fully supports me I have a really bad feeling about being able to go back to uni. I have a feeling that they are going to say no to me going back.While he does support me in going back I still have my worries. I got the feeling at the 3 way meeting with the course director and the psychologist that the course director was quite negative and had a few concerns. In the past they have come across as being all supportive and then turning round and saying basically the opposite. When I was first admitted back in the summer of 2011 they appeared that they couldn't be more helpful and told me to concentrate on my self and not to worry about the course as I would be able to go back. Then they contacted my psychiatrist and basically gave a whole list of reasons why they thought I shouldn't be going back to uni that year. Then basically being told I was unable to go back made me lose it big time and I ended up being readmitted only about 3 weeks after being discharged and being in for 9 months. So the possibility of being told I can't go back is a real big worry for me as I am worried it will make all those feelings come back and the suicidal feelings return. I am worried I am going to decline again and end up in the position I was in last time.

I worry that they will see that me being stable-ish since April isn't a long enough period of time. I worry that they will see the amount of admissions and worry about my stability. They only knew about the times I was under section and that ended in in August last year. 

Also, in the report he talks a lot about how it will be beneficial to my recovery in going back. I am not sure if it's the best thing to say or to place an emphasis on. It may well be beneficial to my recovery, but, I don't think they need to know that as it could look as though it is being said it's the only way in which I will recover and it could possibly look as though some of the blame is being given to uni. Maybe not, maybe it's just the way in which I am reading in to it. I sent it to my friend and she said I am reading too much in to it in terms of what it says about the alcohol, so I am probably doing it with that as well. 

I just don't feel positive about it at all. And I know if I am not allowed back it is not going to be good for my mental health. Obviously I will do what I can to prevent relapse, but this is going to be so huge that I am not sure if I will be able to cope. But can I say this to anyone? It may come across as being threatening and trying to manipulate the situation, and I'm not. I am just really worried.

I have a psychology session tomorrow. I am freaking a bit about it. I sent an email to the psychologist from an email account I don't regularly use and the sender name comes up as Golden Psych. I wasn't aware of that. So now I am worried that he will come across my blog. I don't think he is very tech savvy, but all he would need to do is google Golden Psych and up comes my blog in the search engines. The top 3 hits are to do with me and my blog. I do tell him most of the stuff I talk about, but he doesn't know about the extent of the self harm. And, I wouldn't want anyone I know reading my about my inner most thoughts. Some things need to remain private. Well, private in the blogosphere where over a 100 people read my blog a day. But none of you actually know the real 3D, breathing version of me. You don't have a correct mental image of me. You don't know who I am. There is no one I know who actually knows about the things I write in here. Friends have snippets, family have snippets (fewer than friends), ok my psych team know probably more than everyone else, but there are still things I like to remain private. So, I will see how things go. I think he would probably mention it if he did come across it, his line of questioning about the self harm would possibly change so I could probably figure out if he or anyone else did. Also, I can't see why he would want to read this. He spends an hour a week with me, I doubt he or anyone else would want to spend more time on me than they already do. They have other patients and other people who need their input, probably in all likeliness more than me.

The meeting with uni is on Wednesday. I am dreading it. I have been trying not to think about it too much as when I do the urges and bad feelings and thoughts start. So, yes, I am avoiding it. It is working for me though. I did find some old Diazepam in a drawer the other day. 10mg pills. They are some of the stash that I brought back from Asia with me 3 years ago. I thought I took them all in an OD 3 years ago but I found an unopened packet. I did take one the other day, but I am not sure if it had any affect. It is probably after its use by date now so perhaps they aren't as affective. But you would think that 10mg would have some affect on me, but I didn't notice anything. I also have PRN Quetiapine. 25mg. Shit. But they are there if I need it. I will probably take some before this meeting on Wednesday. Or half of the 300mg pills I have left over from when an old prescription got filled. I took one pill before going to the dentist last time and I was floating. It was brilliant. But at the same time I was falling asleep in the waiting room, so perhaps only half a pill is a good idea. 

I seem to have a lot to freak at at the moment. Uni being one. The other my physical health. I am seeing every little thing as all symptoms of what could be something serious. I talked about the problem with my eye possibly being something serious, possibly a tumor. I have the scans on the 13th September. Quite nervous about it. But my gyne problems are back as well. I thought with going back on the Metformin that it would sort it out. But it hasn't. I don't understand how for over 2 years the combination of Metformin and the pill helped and I didn't have any problems. So why are the problems back now. It has me worried that it could be something all related and that a tumor is causing my hormones to be all fucked up. I know I am crazy right. My body is really letting me down at the moment. 

So yeah I am stressing a bit at the moment. And yes, I am having quite strong self harm urges. The urge I am battling with right now is to swallow something. I am picturing the cupboard behind me where I know I have things. I am struggling to get it out my head. But I can't, I can't give in when the urges are strong. If I can't deal with this then how am I going to deal when I have 4 assignments due, a presentation to plan and a dissertation to write. 

Am I fooling myself? How the hell am I going to manage with this course?