April 30th – CBT 12/12

Well hello folks, 

As the title suggests, today was session 12 of 12 on the CBT course; feels weird in a way, and like the end of an era. The biggest thing that I’ve gained from it is a sense of pride in myself. Even R agreed with that too, she said that despite my crazy rollercoaster ride and some really tough times, I still made it to every session without fail. She said that in itself is an amazing achievement. I am glad that I stuck with it and made it through all the sessions. Over time it’s started to make sense and I’m definitely seeing the validity of it. There was some weeks where I nearly didn’t go, or when I did and just sat there not taking any interest whatsoever in what was being said. But, despite all of that, I’ve learnt a lot. Not only about CBT methods, but also about myself. 

Sometimes I’ve had those niggling negative thoughts, but thanks to CBT I’ve learnt that just because I think them, it doesn’t make them fact. For example: The negative thought that I’m useless and fail at everything; My new thinking of this is that I’m not useless, and yes sometimes I fail at some things, but at least I’m trying. And I keep trying until I succeed.

So it’s proof that I’ve learnt something even without realising it. In 3 months we’ll be contacted for a review, and from there I can go on to 1-1 CBT if I still need/want to. They like you to have the 3 month break to take in all that we’ve learnt in group and try to put it into practise for ourselves. I think this is a good approach and although I first thought that I wanted to go straight onto the 1-1, I now believe the break will do me good as well. I can go back to the beginning of our course book and go through it all again, then when it comes to the review I can talk about what I understand and what I’d like to work more on.

My mood has been pretty good today overall; had a bit of a low point this afternoon, stressing about money and was really tired. I took a nap and it seemed to lift thankfully. Tomorrow I have to tackle some scary phone calls, so getting on top of my anxiety tomorrow is going to be my biggest task. But, it’s things that need to be done so I’ve got to face up to it and get it done.

Tomorrow is also May 1st and Mental Health Awareness day; It also signifies my ‘Themed/Topic’ blog post date too, so I’ll be working on that during the day tomorrow as well. I haven’t decided on a theme/topic yet, but I hope I can think of something worth writing about and do it justice!

I set up my medications on a rolling repeat prescription today, so that it gets done automatically every 28 days; it saves me having to worry about putting in my repeat request, and they’ll just text me when my medication is ready to collect. It’s always good to put in place things that’ll help long term. 

 

Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got to say for tonight, so will leave it there. I hope this post finds everyone well! 

Until next time, I leave you with this positive quote: 

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April 29th – Rock Choir Day!!!!

Well hey folks,

Blogging early again today as the new Rock Choir term starts tonight! I feel like such a busy bee this week!

I’m ridiculously excited to get back to choir though. Feels like forever since last term.

Am Dram turned out to be really good; at first I was a little apprehensive as not many people were there, but once we started reading through a play I relaxed and really got into it. Apparently I’m a natural, well I have always said I’m a drama queen !!
The play we went through was called The last tango in Little Grimley, was rather funny! I was given that script and another called Fates Thread to read through and decide which I’d prefer to be cast in! Scary stuff, but am up for the challenge.

Today I’ve not really done much, fairly relaxed day at home. I got some of the paperwork shredded and did a 3 mile walk. Had a nap too which is a little unusual for me these days, but then I’ve not slept that well the last couple of nights so it probably is down to that.

I still have phone calls to make, but have been putting them off.  Anxiety has been calm until I think of doing that and it starts to rise. Just going to have to bite the bullet and get it done this week though. They aren’t going to sort themselves and will only lead to further problems if I don’t deal with them.

Tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

Speaking of which, back to CBT for the last session tomorrow. Feel a bit sad its the last one; have missed it the last couple weeks while we’ve been on easter break. I’m going to hopefully go on to 1-1 sessions in the near future though, need to speak to R about it after tomorrows group.

Anyway, time to get ready to go out to choir. So, until next time…..

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April 28th – Stepping out….

Hi folks,

I’m blogging on the bus! Currently on my way to an amateur drama group for the first time and rather nervous!!

It’s definitely a step out of my comfort zone and a very last minute decision. I was restless at home but sleepy at the same time, so needed to do something! It used to be Rock Choir on a Monday night, but that’s now Tuesdays for me.

The amateur drama group is £12 a quarter, so not too badly priced and gives me the chance to escape almost and they are planning a production for late 2014/early 2015, so I hope people will come watch me!

As far as today is concerned, my mood has been fairly stable. Had a little dip this morning when I first got up, but after breakfast and my medication I seemed to be able pick myself up and carry on fine.

I had an appointment with my GP today and he was really happy with my progress; he said that seeing me now, there is a considerable difference in me from the beginning when I first saw him. It was a really good appointment and I came out of it very upbeat and smiley. Still in a really good mood now, just a little anxious/nervous about the Am Dram group.

I’ll let you all know how it went in tomorrows blog post, as by the time I get back it’ll be late and I’ll probably be tired out.

Going to call time on this post now too as there isn’t really much else to write about! So, until next time…..

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x Sara Phoenix x

April 27th – Moving On

Hey everyone, 

Sorry about the very brief post last night, I wasn’t in a good place at all. Something happened that upset me greatly and I didn’t feel strong enough to write about it at the time. But, I’m here now to fill you all in. 

I also want to apologise to those of you reading this that saw my Facebook status about it too; I know it worried a lot of people, I didn’t intend it to, and reading it today made me realise how it could have been interpreted. So for that I am sorry. 

Anyway, on to what happened: 
I know back a while ago I vowed not to talk about this person again, as I thought I’d closed the book on it back then; but it turned out the story hadn’t quite ended yet. I’m talking about my ‘brother’. 

We spoke again a week or so ago on Skype. I signed in for the first time in ages and noticed him on my contacts list. This surprised me because I’d assumed that because he didn’t want any thing more to do with me the last time we’d spoken, that he’d delete me. But he hadn’t. So, foolishly, I messaged him stating my shock at seeing him on there. He was confused and said that he wasn’t going to delete or block me, and that he hadn’t meant that we’d never speak again. I told him that what was said previously had given me that impression and he apologised. 

We then spoke a few more times, up to last night, which was to be our last ever conversation. 

I told him that I wasn’t handling it very well, as it was such a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute we were talking and seemed fine, the next we weren’t, then we were again. It was getting too much. I asked him if he felt we should go our separate ways and he said perhaps it was for the best to stop the hurting. It was a brief conversation last night, and one that ended with me in tears and feeling both upset and angry at the same time. I told him I hoped that he got all that he wanted from life and that he was happy. He said he hoped the same for me, and that was that. I deleted and blocked him. It made me feel kind of empty and lost to be honest. I suppose it was so final and like closure on the whole thing. I then went for a cigarette and burnt all the cards that he’s ever sent me. It was quite therapeutic in a way, although I did worry that the neighbours may complain as it made a lot of smoke! 

I’m not really sure what to think or how I should feel about it all. He was such a big part of my life and to have officially lost him forever feels very surreal at the moment. I will get used to it in time I suppose, I have no choice in the matter. It just hurts that someone who claimed to care so much about me, couldn’t see past my illness and let things from last year go. To a point I can understand his reasons, but at the same time I can’t help but feel angry that he could turn his back on me like that. I know I’ve said a lot of this before, but it’s all going round and round in my head, so I needed to write about it again to get it out. I’m not going to say that this’ll be the last time I speak of him, because I’m bound to think about him/the situation and feel upset all over again for some time, and this is my place to let it all out. 

Will leave it there for that tonight though, as it’s going to get me crying again and I really don’t have the energy for it. 

It’s been a really productive weekend though otherwise; we did our first ever shop at Morrisons yesterday, and managed to get a lot more for a lot less money that anywhere else we’ve shopped, so very impressed. We also filled the car up with fuel with a 6p off a litre voucher; can’t remember the last time it had a full tank! We’ve decided that we’ll do a shop every 2 weeks there from now on. 

I’ve also sold a fair few things on eBay and made £30, and sold our old printer for £10. My husband sold a painting yesterday for £40, so we’ve done rather well! We’ve now got an Italian leather 3-piece suite as well, thanks to Freecycle! So feeling rather posh! 

Mood wise I’ve been okay ish, apart from last night obviously. I’ve got an appointment with my GP tomorrow, but nothing much else planned. Need to make some phone calls (oh joy), to sort out some debts. I hate it. Hopefully though a claim I’ve made for a grant will go through and help with one of the debts we’ve got. As well as a claim for another benefit that fingers crossed I qualify for. 

Okay so I’m so shattered (despite 2 large energy drinks I’ve consumed today…), am going to log off now and relax before heading to bed. 

Until next time lovely people…. 

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April 25th

Evening folks, 

Not in the best of moods tonight.. this post may contain potential triggers too, so just a friendly warning… 

The days not been bad, but am just very stressed right now. Sick of financial stresses that are beyond my control. I can’t make the outgoings any smaller nor the incomings any bigger. I’m selling things on eBay but not making much money, and luxuries are a thing of wonder these days. I can’t wait until I’m earning again, even if it does burn me out, at least we’ll have more income. 

No matter what I do it never seems to be enough, and there are a lot of things that frustrate me about our situation. I constantly blame myself for being in debt and for not being able to fix it. I just wish we could win the lottery, pay off the outstanding debts, buy a house and start again. I’m sick of it all now. I feel like I could just close my eyes and sleep forever, at least then I wouldn’t have the worries or the stress any more. It’s making me feel physically sick tonight; I’ve been trying to make the figures work, but it just doesn’t. 

My meeting with my employment advisor went well though, so that’s a plus I suppose. She suggested that I claim Personal Independence Payment, which I have phoned and done this afternoon. I’m keeping everything crossed that I can get that, because it seems there’s nothing else that I can claim. It’s ridiculous how those that really don’t deserve the help get everything under the sun, then when there’s people in genuine need, like us, there isn’t any help there. 

We also reviewed my work and self esteem ladders; the last time they were reviewed I scored 5/10 on both. Today I scored 8.5 on the work ladder and 9 on the self esteem ladder. This is what that means: 

Work Ladder: 8.5 = Already in work or preparing to start paid work, maybe alongside volunteering or training. In need of some on-going support from mental health services in case of difficulties.

Identity & Self Esteem Ladder: 9 = I mostly feel positive about myself but need some support in difficult times. 

So at least that side of things have improved. 

People keep telling me to be careful that I don’t take on too much too soon, and whilst they’re right, and even I’m worried about it, I’m at the point where I don’t have much choice. I’ve got to work as much as I can to make ends meet, or at least close the gap between the outs and ins as much as possible. It’s getting to the point where our electricity is going to be disconnected if we don’t pay what we owe, or start making payments towards it. 

Sorry, this post has become quite a rant and moan hasn’t it… better out than in though, right? 

I’m having issues with binge eating again, and that’s bugging me. It’s like a compulsion that I can’t control. The amount of junk food I’ve consumed today is unreal, and right now I just don’t care. It will get to the point where I do though and go the opposite way of avoiding food altogether. It’s a vicious cycle and I’m stuck. One of the books I’ve got from the library is about how to control binge eating, so I think it may be time to read that and leave the bipolar stuff temporarily. I’m also going to speak to my GP about it on Monday. 

Today is day 16 self harm free, so I’ve made it over 2 weeks now. I am coming close to it again though, but I’m fighting so hard not to. I’ll admit though I did look at my blade today, then put it away. So the thoughts are definitely there. I just hope I can keep fighting them. I’m fed up with seeing scars on my arms and legs. It makes me angry that I let myself get that bad and wasn’t strong enough to stop myself. 

Right I’m going to call it a night on this now; it seems all I’ve done really is whinge and whine, so I apologise for that. It can’t of been the best thing you’ve read today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, or next time, whichever comes first. 

 

April 24th – An Epiphany.

Hi folks… 

I’ve started to add titles to my dates.. won’t always happen, but today I feel it needed it. 

It’s true, today I had an epiphany. I was having a conversation with someone, talking about my bipolar diagnosis and how I’ve been struggling to get my head around it and facing up to the fact that I’ve got to live with it lifelong; then all of a sudden it hit me. I’ve lived with it for 13 years already, just unknowingly as it hadn’t been diagnosed. So, I know I can live with it, because I have done so; I’m now no longer scared of it either. If anything it’s made me more determined not to let it control my life or stop me leading a full life that I both want and deserve. It’ll add complications along the way sure, but it won’t stop me doing anything I want to do. Up until now I’ve always wanted a proper diagnosis in a way, as I always knew it was more than depression. Then when it happens I freak out! I suppose it is natural, but also I feel ridiculous for doing so too. I don’t know why, it just feels like I took it way harder than I should have done. I am going to see the diagnosis as my stepping stone; a reason for the way I am the way I am, and as a new beginning almost. Now that my care providers (psychiatrist, therapists, GP etc) I know what we’re dealing with, it makes it possible to manage correctly with the right medications and not let it beat me or control me too much. 

As for my mood today… well, not great to be honest. When I woke up I felt quite disheartened to still be feeling as low as I did when I went to bed last night. I think I’d pinned my hopes on it being tiredness making me feel down, then to wake up feeling just the same, I just felt like pulling the covers over my head and staying there for the day. But, I carried on regardless and dragged myself up and faced the day. Okay, not with a smile, but I faced it and that’s something I suppose.

Mid-morning I had to take something up to my husband at work, then I felt really overwhelmingly tired and unwell. So when I got back home I took myself off to bed for a nap. Only for an hour or so, but it really helped and I didn’t feel so unwell when I woke. Don’t feel 100%, but I think I know what’s causing it (won’t go there here though!). 

I managed to get myself into town this afternoon, to collect some Psychologies magazines from a Freecycler, and some free seeds from The Works. Carrots, Parsnips, Tomatoes and Sunflowers. All now planted too, so will see what happens!!

Apart from the above, I’ve done pretty much nothing today. Haven’t felt very productive and just generally couldn’t be bothered.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my employment advisor, L. I have a lot to talk to her about, but feel it may be my last appointment with her, as I’m pretty sure I was limited to a certain number of sessions; also, I’ve got work, both paid and voluntary, and that was the intention of her helping me. To be honest, she’s been more like a counsellor and just listened to what ever I’ve needed to talk about, so I’m really grateful to her for that. Will see what happens when I get there tomorrow.

When I started this blog, I thought it would be just a flash in the pan kind of thing, like everything is with me usually. But this will be post number 81! The longest I’ve ever maintained a blog for, and it’s proving to be really useful. I never saw myself as someone who really kept a diary, especially not one in the public domain like this either! I am glad that I did start it though, and I hope it’s helping others too, as well as myself.

Right then, I’m way too tired and achey to sit and type any more, so I’m signing off for today. Thanks for reading lovely people, until next time……