August 31st – Another month down

Hey folks,

Well today is the last day of August. This year is flying by! People are starting the countdown to Christmas and this year I’m determined to be more prepared than I usually am. Normally I’m a last minute kinda girl, but need to eliminate that stress. Stress affects my bipolar so if I can avoid it I will!

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my Pdoc, first time I’ve seen her in ages. So will be a lot of catching up to do. If she bothers to listen to me that is. We’ve never really gotten on 100%, I find her really patronising. So will be interesting.

Have really enjoyed the week off with my husband. It was really chilled and I feel really rested. My anxiety regarding work is creeping back though, as I’m back on Tuesday. Hopefully it’ll be okay, I’ve just got to be strong and try to ignore the anxiety. Easier said than done though that’s for sure. I’m still looking for a new job for when my temp contract ends. I don’t know if the girl I’m covering maternity leave for is coming back or not as yet, so it’s all a bit unknown still anyway. I was told that I’d most likely be kept on after anyway and they’d fit me in somewhere, but honestly the anxiety is more exhausting than the job itself. So I don’t think long term it’s going to be good for me. I’ve got to think of its affects on my health over anything else. I do enjoy the job, but I never fully relax and that wears me down. Its like I need a holiday every couple of weeks to be able to cope with it. Which obviously isn’t an option. Oh well, will see what happens I guess.

Not much else to report really, as haven’t been anywhere or done anything much. So, will post again tomorrow about my appointment. Until then folks, good night.

August 28th – Thoughts, feelings, emotions…

Hey folks, 

Just thought I would check in with you all; am feeling really content and relaxed at the moment, having a lovely week off with my wonderful husband. Long lay ins, together time, and just generally chilling out. It’s been great, don’t want it to end!! Oh to be a millionaire…haha. 

Anyway, some random thoughts, and some milestone figures: 

Today is: 141 days self harm clean; and 1 year, 7 months and 24 days sober. 

2 quite remarkable achievements for me. Considering at day 1 of both of those things, I felt weak and didn’t think I’d ever overcome either obstacle. 

Right now, this very moment, I’m feeling the most proud and amazed at myself for coming this far. Each day is like a small victory for me, another day that I’m getting stronger, and ultimately becoming a better (in the mental health sense) person. I’m really learning to control my Bipolar now, and for the first time I feel grateful for my medication. I used to resent having to take it, (especially the weight gain it causes), but to be in a stable mood is so worth it. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced a deep low or excessive high, and it feels great. I feel like I’m on cruise control on a happy medium for the first time in a long time. I’ve probably said all this before, but this blog acts as a way of reminding myself just how far I have come. 

I remember being back at the beginning of this journey, feeling so overwhelmed and totally hopeless. Now I’m standing tall, feeling hopeful. I’m back in control of my life and I know that I can achieve anything I put my mind to now. 

Which brings me to something that I’m not content or happy with yet. My weight. It is something that I’m going to struggle with because of the medication, but if I put 110% into getting back onto the Slimming World plan, I should be able to lose some of what I’ve gained. I might not get back down to the size 10 I was at original target, pre-meds, but hopefully I can stop myself creeping up to a size 14. I’d be happy just to be a comfortable 12, and tone up all the flabby parts haha. As this week is holiday week I’ve just eaten whatever, whenever, so am looking forward to getting some sort of structure back and getting back on it next week. I’m planning to do a big shop on the weekend, and filling the cupboard, fridge and freezer with all things SW friendly!! I know I can do it because I have before, it’s just a case of putting my mind to it and really knuckling down and resisting the temptations of convenience and chocolate!!! My eating habits are very much linked with my emotions; if I’m sad/down I eat, and likewise when I’m happy, I eat. It’s always been a battle that 9 times out of 10 I lost. This time I’m really going for it, and am determined to lose at least 1 and a half stone by Christmas. 

Another thing I want to write about tonight, is something that probably most of you are aware of to some degree, the Ice Bucket Challenge. Now before you get me wrong, I’m not at all against raising awareness of particular illnesses and charities. That’s not me at all. I just don’t see how pouring freezing cold water over your head is really going to make much of a difference. Yes, it has raised a lot of awareness, but at the same time, how many of those people have actually donated to the cause. Sadly, you may find that it is less than half. They have raised a lot of money for ALS, which is great, but how much of that was celebrity donations I wonder? To me some of the videos that I’ve seen only seem to be about having a laugh or getting your own back on your friends/family. Some videos don’t even mention the charities involved or the illness it relates to. I find that disheartening, and just shows how the meaning of it has gotten lost over time. I’ve already told my friends that there is no point nominating me, because I won’t be throwing water over myself for anyone. I have however donated to the MND Association, which is the UK version of the ALS charity. ALS or MND is a condition close to my heart, because my father was diagnosed with it approximately 6 months before he passed away. Whether it was a contributing factor towards his passing, we’ll never know, but I’m sure it didn’t help matters. Over his last few months he slowly lost the ability to eat or drink, and his speech got so bad he couldn’t really communicate with us. It was distressing to see, and no doubt for him to experience too. I still remember him trying to tell me how proud he was of me, but he just couldn’t get the right words out. I told him I knew what he was trying to say, and that I loved him for it, but it was obvious in his eyes that it both frustrated and upset him to not be able to do something so many of us take for granted. My donation was in his memory, and if you haven’t already done so and would like to donate, please text ICED55 £(donation amount here) to 70070. It would really mean a lot to me.

I think that is all from me for tonight, so until next time folks… 

 

August 25th – Harry Potter Tour

A sneak peak at the tour…

https://plus.google.com/112329377123964693515/stories/1b3bb011-22c0-395e-b91e-f3096be19ed114812daf592?authkey=CJzSpsuI7cvxBg

Had such an amazing day, seeing all the sets, costumes and props was incredible. The highlight of the tour was of course Hogwarts Castle at the end. It was truly jaw dropping. Check out the above story for a few photos and I will try and post some more later.

August 23rd – Bella Butterfly

Hey folks,

Introducing…Bella Butterfly!!

image

This marks over 100 days self harm clean, to be precise it is 136 days today 🙂
Nothing much else to report really; doing okay and getting increasingly excited for the Harry Potter tour on Monday!!! Will be wearing my Gryffindor Quidditch team hoodie with pride! Haha geeeeeeek!
Work was alright yesterday, spent the morning in the forest! We played with mud, whittled willow and built dens and campfires, on which we toasted marshmallows and popped corn! Was kinda fun, but cold and rainy at points. Still, was better than actual work, plus I should get a certificate to show I’m trained in Forest Schooling. Woo.
The afternoon was spent cleaning our rooms and sorting things out ready for the new starters in September. Was finished by 3.20pm so came home and had a lush hot shower, I stunk of bonfire smoke!!

Today, apart from my tattoo appointment, has been just spent at home watching movies with the hubby and relaxing. Love it. Tonight is going to go along the same lines, and the new series of Dr Who starts too.

Tomorrow is BTCC and more relaxing lol. The best type of weekend is a chilled out one for sure.

Think that is all I’ve really got to say for today, so thanks for reading and until next time….

August 21st – Checking in..

Hey folks, 

Been a while again hasn’t it, apologies. I just haven’t really had a lot going on other than normal life really. Work, days off, and work again! 

Today marks 134 days self harm clean though, so thought I would share that with you for a start! Increasingly proud of myself for that, and to mark how well I’m doing, I’m getting a butterfly/semi-colon tattoo done at the weekend. Will post pictures when it’s done 🙂 

Also, something I’m hugely looking forward to, is we’re off to the Harry Potter Studio Tour on Monday!!! So incredibly excited, very geeky I know, but as I’ve probably said before, am a geek and proud of that!! 

I’ve been doing okay overall; no major lows, or crazy highs either. I think I’m finally on cruise control on the middle ground (thank you wonderful medications!!). I do sometimes feel a bit low, but it mostly happens when I get really tired, so I think the 2 are linked. My anxiety about work is still there, but I seem to (*touches wood*) have managed to get it under control to a certain degree. Some days are worse than others, but for the most part I’m doing well with it. Yay me! 

I think I’ve also finally put to bed all the emotions about my ex-brother. I rarely think of him now, and really feel like I’m moving on and leaving it in my past. I’m learning to let go of the things that I cannot change, and it’s getting easier to deal with. I’ve not checked on his Twitter for well over a week now, and I blocked him so he can’t see mine, he probably didn’t even look, but it made me feel a bit better to block him out of my life. He’s not the first person that I’ve lost in my life, and sadly probably won’t be the last either. People come and go, and only those worth having in my life will remain. I’ve got a really solid group of friends and some amazingly supportive family too. I don’t need people in my life that don’t want to be there. Sometimes I’ll catch myself thinking about it all, and really have to make a forced effort to get it out of my mind. But, time is a good healer and I’m starting to see that now. Not sure whether I mentioned before (apologies if I’m repeating myself here..), but I wrote him a letter as kind of a last goodbye. Which at the time I didn’t know whether it would really help or not, but it seems to have worked really well. It put a lot of things into perspective and if I ever have any doubts or upset about it, I just read the letter and it really does help. Slowly but surely he’s becoming just a distant memory that doesn’t hurt me any more. 

On the 1st of September I have an appointment with my Pdoc. Has been a long time since I last saw her, but I think she’ll see a big change in me now. Especially when I turn up in a neon top and trainers lol. I’m a little apprehensive about it, due to the long period of time it has been since I saw her, but hopefully it’ll be okay. Somehow I have to work out the buses to it as well, as it’s not at the usual hospital. I know how to get there roughly, so should be okay… I hope. Will leave in plenty of time so I don’t have to rush. Would rather be there early than turn up late and stressed. Need to be as relaxed as possible to speak to her rationally. She does tend to push my buttons and wind me up though, and I have to be careful not to lose my temper with her. 

It feels weird in a way, because I used to always be at the doctors or hospital, but now I rarely see or speak to anyone regarding my mental health. I guess this is a good thing; just feels a bit surreal I suppose, as a lot of my life was spent being psychoanalysed or pills being thrown at me. 

I think it’s officially passed the year mark since I first had my breakdown too. I can’t remember exact dates, but am pretty sure I was signed off work by the end of August 2013. So much has happened in that time, and sometimes I sit back and am amazed at myself for getting through it all. To recall how bad I felt at my very worst, and to think how I feel now and what I’ve achieved, I’m really proud of myself. I’ve conquered a lot of things, like the self harm for example. It’s nice and quiet in my head too, that took some getting used to when the voices finally stopped. I sometimes have flashbacks of things that happened or conversations that I had back then, and I don’t think I’ll ever really make sense of those times. Psychosis has a lot to answer for. It’s almost like amnesia. Or a part of your life gets erased completely, and only sketchy memories remain that just feel so out of place in your head. It is quite hard to describe, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It truly is a scary thing to experience, although that comes when you’re getting better and realise what happened. That’s the scary part. Knowing that you were so ill you had no control over thoughts and actions. 

But that’s not me any more, and fingers crossed it never will be again. Although that isn’t a guarantee. Even with the medication I have been warned that Psychosis can occur, just perhaps not quite so severe. I have to be really careful, and if it does I hope that I can spot what’s going on before it gets too bad. I have all the numbers for the crisis team and out of hours care, so I know where to go if I feel the need to. I don’t want to be like that again that’s for sure. 

It’s hard to sit here and think about it, and all the people it hurt in the process. I’m just feeling so lucky that all but one of those people are still there for me. They understood that it was part of my illness and nothing malicious was meant by it. Those people read this blog, so I want to take this opportunity to thank you all again; I know I have many times, but it truly does mean a lot to me that you’re still by my side, I love you all. 

Whilst I’m at it, I’d like to welcome my new followers and thank you too for following. Knowing that people read this makes it feel so much more worthwhile to write, even if I do ramble on and repeat myself sometimes! You’ll get used to that!! 

Anyway, I think that’s it for now. At some point I will catch up with a themed post of some sort, need to look back and see what I’ve covered so far! Thank you all for reading and hope this post finds you all well. 

Until next time… 

August 9th – A year on..

Hey lovely people,

Been a few days since I posted, sorry about that. After being poorly I didn’t really have that much to write about. But now I do so here I am…

As the title says, it has been pretty much a year since I first had my breakdown. I thought now would be the time to reflect upon the year that has passed.

But first, recent news…
I had an appointment with my employment advisor on Thursday, my last one. Which feels like the end of an era. But now that I’m in work I don’t qualify for the regain service anymore. My case file has now been closed. However, she says she is still there for me via email or telephone if I ever need her and to check in from time to time to let her know how things are going.

I also had my 3 month review letter from the CBT therapists. Basically a form to fill in like we used to each week whilst attending therapy. My scores are almost all 0 now, which is a huge step for me. Back during therapy I was scoring the max on most weeks. It dropped over the course of the therapy, but never to the lowest like it is now. That I am really proud of. It does say if I would like 1-1 therapy then I need to contact them, but at the moment I don’t feel I need it. This may change…so watch this space.

Went back to work yesterday (Friday), it went okay, but was a very slow and rather boring day. At least it eased me back in gently.

Another milestone reached, 122 days self harm clean today!! Which I am so, so proud of myself for. It was something that I really did struggle with, so to come this far is a huge achievement. I am rewarding myself with a new tattoo soon.

In a year I have achieved so much. I’ve thought about it many times recently, and can’t believe the journey that I have been on. It feels epic as I look back and think of how bad things were only a year ago. I was a walking disaster. I’ve never felt so low in all my life. I didn’t see a future for myself at all. But, I don’t want to dwell on it too much. I have to remember how far I have come and feel proud of myself. I’ve battled my way back from the worst depression I’ve experienced and come back stronger. I don’t want to ever go that low again. As long as I keep taking my medication all should be well…

Another thing that I’ve been dealing with is the things that happened with my ex ‘brother’. I think now I can actually say I’m putting it behind me and moving on. I have to otherwise it will consume me. It is in the past, I cannot change it, only learn from it. I found out the truth about who he was and I think it is for the best that we are no longer in communication with each other. For both of us. So, this really is the LAST time he is going to bother me. I am leaving it behind me and going with this quote:

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

And with that, I will draw this post to a close. Until next time folks….