#MY SELF CARE SELFIE

MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN LAUNCH POST!!!

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For those of you who are unaware, as well as being a blogger I am also a mental health campaigner and media volunteer for national Mind (the leading UK mental health charity), and a fundraising volunteer for my local Mind in the North East of England.

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Local Mind charities are separate charities from the main national charity, and they offer services for directly supporting the wellbeing of us living with mental health problems in our communities (regardless of whether you have a diagnosed condition or not).

Local Minds across the Mind network are there so that people with a mental health condition can access emotional support, group support, or individual counselling in their communities, without any need to be referred from your GP.

What most people assume (when they donate to the main Mind charity), is that all money from that big pot of charitable donations gets spread around all the local Minds in England and Wales- but this is not actually the case. All local Minds are self-financing and independent; reliant on the generosity of the public in order to keep going and keep providing all the brilliant services they provide for their locality.

Me being me, and liking to draw attention to MENTAL HEALTH in a big way acting coy through blogging, writing, and campaigning (plus wanting to add to the pot of donations for my fave charity), I thought I’d try my hand at a social media mental health awareness/anti-stigma campaign.

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And MY SELF CARE SELFIE #myselfcareselfie was born :) Here is mine!

I talked my idea over with my fundraising boss, and My Self Care Selfie was a project launched locally last week by the charity on World Mental Health Day.

The idea is, people post their favourite ‘go-to’ self care coping strategies that they use on bad mental health days, and then we can all use that wisdom collected from other people to form a HUGE visual/online/accessible library of mood-enhancing coping options that people can browse through and try themselves when they happen to be having a bad mental health day! Simple and cool, right?

I want this to be BIG! I want the #myselfcareselfie hashtag to be used to the max, and I want MAXIMUM awareness across England slash the entire globe, of the great work done by the local mental health charity I volunteer for…….TYNESIDE AND NORTHUMBERLAND MIND.

I have been helped personally by this charity so much.

I am not paid by them to do PR and marketing. In fact, I am not paid at all, I am a volunteer, doing this simply because I believe in the charity and I am motivated to support the charity as best I can, because the charity supported ME, and I will never forget what they did for me to help me through the roughest emotional/psychological ride of my entire life. ❤❤❤

Regardless of whether you have a ICD/DSM diagnostic label spelled out on your medical records, or how exactly you’d score on a depression or anxiety inventory given out by your GP, mental health is an everyday concern for everyday people.

The principal behind the campaign is very much compatible with this AMAZING video, made my another local Mind, in the North of England. (Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind). This video is fab, and so worth a watch…..

They, like me, think it’s time to make mental health an everyday subject.

Regardless of whether you’ve ever been psychiatrically assessed, or hospitalised in a psychiatric unit, or attempted suicide (at thought about it), or hurt yourself on purpose, or ever had to flee a room because of a panic attack, or suffered a clinical depression, or a psychotic break, or experienced crippling social anxiety that has stopped you doing things, or had problems with eating, or a manic phase, or obsessive thoughts, paranoia, addictions, phobias. YOU NAME IT. All this is about mental health, and mental health is about all of us.

We ALL need to care for our mental health, no matter what end of the spectrum of mood and functioning you are.

Mental health can be great, fantastic, okay, meh, or just plain AWFUL.

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Usually happy and content people still get bad days, and someone who often struggles emotionally with their moods will still have some better times, and usually also a whole repertoire of coping options that they draw on to get them through the crappy phases. My message is, we can all benefit from adding to our toolkit of emotional regulation/self-soothing strategies.

MY SELF CARE SELFIE is the campaign that will (hopefully) raise public awareness of all the positive coping strategies that can be tried in times of low mood, or anxiety, or anger, or even times of emotional emptiness and numbness where we feel nothing at all.

This is a campaign for positive mental health, to encourage open sharing of ideas about how we can get through the tough times when things become particularly challenging emotionally. This is to get social media used for a positive purpose, for positive mental health for all of us. And if you click this link you can go direct to their Facebook page…..HERE

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind have set up an accompanying crowdfunding page to go with this campaign (on JustGiving), so people can donate to support services offered across Tyneside and Northumberland. If anyone out there would like to make a small donation, I would be hugely grateful!!! You can make online donations on JustGiving in any currency, so this is not just a appeal for pennies and pounds from the Brits. Just please indicate you would like to donate (if you would like to) by leaving me a comment below. Thank you!

I’ll leave you with some of the self care selfies we’ve had in so far……aren’t they FAB! And so varied 😊 If you are interested in donating to our crowdfunding page and getting your selfie publically shared, leave me a comment or alternatively email me at summerstartstoshine@yahoo.com X

 

YOUR HELP IN PROMOTING THIS CAMPAIGN WOULD BE SO MUCH APPRECIATED PLEASE, SO IF YOU COULD LINK BACK TO THIS BLOG AND WRITE YOUR OWN #myselfcareselfie POST, OR REBLOG THIS ON YOUR OWN BLOGS, I WOULD BE HUGELY GRATEFUL AND MAY POSSIBLY LOVE YOU FOR EVER….so no pressure ;)

 

summerSHINES©

 

#myselfcareselfie creator, and Tyneside and Northumberland Mind Fundraising Volunteer.

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MY [EMPTY] SELF

I’m bored of myself. Bored of my [empty] self. Bored of what I write.

I am really sorry my blog posts lately have been so uninspiring in tone. I feel actively and most passionately mundane, supressed, deflated, dull, pedestrian and un-shining.

The last time I was inspired was yesterday, which seems both not long ago while simultaneously VERY fucking long ago.

On Tuesday I wrote my piece for the local paper about mental health. I felt inspired then. I also felt proud yesterday when the charity CEO asked for my permission to share what I’d written with the team and when my social media idea was launched on world mental health day. But today, all that pride and gratefulness and positive feeling has drained away, and this is sadly the way it seems to go.

I cannot grasp hold of those amazing euphoric warm fuzzy feelings that I get and keep them.

They slip like sand through the hourglass with the passage of time…and not very much time elapses, usually.

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Emptiness is my ‘usual’.

I am feeling acutely aware of my unmet emotional needs just lately. I know why this is. It’s since the whole Facebook saga where I caught a glimpse of photos of a family wedding that I remained uninvited to and left out of.

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I saw evidence of their life going on, and I wondered why mine was not. That has made the inner emotional emptiness absolutely un-ignorable (I’m hoping that’s an actual word?!).

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Long-term therapy is what I need to get anything close to “well”, but as I can’t afford to pay for a therapist privately, I am reliant on my NHS psychologist not dropping me off her caseload too soon.

I said to her that therapy is okay and great and all that, but it is nothing like as nice as the warm fuzzy feeing that comes from having an attentive family; people who are there to stay and to love and support you as long as you need them. My therapist cannot maintain what she does for the rest of my life. She is here for a period of time that she will never ever tell me the proposed length of. I cannot know that I have a few more months, or a few more years or any kind of estimate. She simply refuses to do this.

She claims that I will not always need her, and I will naturally want to break away from her when the time comes. I tell her that is BOLLOCKS and will surely NEVER happen! I just can’t see it. I can’t envisage EVER feeling that her addition in my life is unnecessary or counterproductive or counter-therapeutic.

I am uncomfortably attached to a pretend mother figure who isn’t really my mum and never will be! and I know she isn’t really my mum, and she knows she isn’t really my mum, and we just basically play a weird dance of pretending that she is re-parenting me and teaching me psychological life lesson stuffs, and I go to the office weekly and have a good old cathartic cry, and then miss her inbetween so email her as I want to tell her psychologically relevant stuff that she MUST know that second, and then she finds me bloody intrusive and annoying (I would imagine) as I am eating into her time, and I know I’m eating into her time so feel awful and stupid and pathetic and demanding and fucking guilty, and then she knows and I know that the whole fucking shambolic mess of pretences and client-therapist exchanges would never be happening if I’d have had a less shit childhood, and at the end of the day it is all BOLLOCKS, but bollocks that if I didn’t have would cause me to become very fucking unwell, which is hard to imagine really isn’t it? as even with therapy and shit I am still fucking miserable and recurrently suicidal and fighting off impulses to do totes dangerous things like jump out of windows and carve into my skin with blades and swallow more tablets than I should be swallowing….and I really should be stopping this grammatically poor and overly LONG sentence NOW.

And breathe.

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I’m sick of having a empty space in my empty self.

I want to feel full.

Food doesn’t do it.

Booze doesn’t either.

Or sex.

Or Netflix on demand.

Or beach walks.

Or candle lit evenings with hubby.

Or meditation.

Or shopping.

Or writing.

Or drawing.

Or cleaning.

Or bleeding.

Or talking therapy.

Or coffee with good friends.

Or reading.

Or learning.

Or music.

Or nature.

Or hugs.

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Or praise.

Or reassurance.

Or expressions of love.

The only thing I’m full up with, is my own inner emptiness.

I am crammed full with emptiness, and weighed down by the weight of my (empty) self.

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summerSHINES©

 

DISSOCIATE DISSOCIATE

It’s time to untangle my thoughts and feelings, I think, after a bewildering few days. This morning was the head fuck shake, that is psychological therapy.

The headline news of the sesh today revolved around a very important and clinically significant fact. I have found out I wasn’t only of half the dose of anxiety meds that I thought I was taking for three weeks, but I’ve actually been on this incredibly low dose since MAY! [which, as now is October, is a jolly long time to be on what you know to be a very low dose of your meds].

It is disconcerting when your therapist lists things you have said and email exchanges that apparently have happened with your ex-psychiatrist that you seriously have no memory of ever happening.

The reason for this total amnesia, confusion and lack of ability to remain mentally present and attend to important details looks like it is dissociation.

Traumatised brains (like mine) are very liable to dissociative spells.

The lights are on, but mentally and cognitively speaking, no one is home.

Dissociation in simple terms is disconnection. Perceptions and sensations and all that incoming data are not processed in the usual ways, and you are left not feeling your usual self. Mild dissociation feels like daydreaming, and we all do it, but the type of dissociation I am talking about is more complex and pervasive and all encompassing/life destructive.

I mentally check out, and my attention funnels down into tiny separated elements. I cannot grasp the whole picture of something and the meaning of words. I hear words as separate words, but not hearing them as full sentences which are conveying meaning. It is perfectly possible for me (who is fairly academically bright) to listen to simple sentence and be absolutely unable to grasp their whole meaning until I have heard the sentence a few times.

Sometimes my brain gets overwhelmed and I can only listen to bits of words, or individual words. Sometimes people’s voices are far away, or other times they are booming and LOUD and make me want to crawl into dark nooks and crannies to hide from that sensory onslaught.

Sometimes when I read things I have to ask my husband to be the second reader, to grasp the whole message, but this has only happened at times when I am dissociated, which lately is extremely regular, and pretty much a key feature of my existence.

So, in this mentally/attentionally vacant and compromised state, I obviously had some email dialogue with my psychiatrist, which quickly tumbled out of my mind, never to be retrieved again, until now, when I am told I am apparently agreed this 50mg dose of anti-seizure drug, Pregabalin (Lyrica) all along!

This really disconcerts me. My actual words when I found this out via my psychologist were “are you FUCKING kidding me??!” [I was not in an eloquent mood today]. I was angry, and underlying my anger was anger at myself. It was not anger with them. It was anger that was self-directed, for my absolute THICKNESS at not recalling that this conversation/decision had apparently been made, all the way back in May, which feel like a lifetime ago.

No-one else but me would label myself as “thick”, and if someone else said it, I’d be hurt, but I can call myself thick, and I think that is more than okay because there is no other word in the English Language that I can think of (during times of emotion and surprise like that) that convey the full disgust and complete head-shaking regret that I feel, all associated with how my damn brain functions so much of the time.

Dissociation is a way to escape the inescapable. It is a brain shut down mechanism that enables people, and abused children especially, to survive the most terrifying and unimaginable traumatic horrors that can happen. Without dissociation, the terror in my childhood veins would have caused some kind of heart attack I’d imagine. That was how explosive my trauma felt to me, so naturally my brain numbed itself out, otherwise how on earth could I have survived in those awful circumstances, feeling pain as I did, and white knuckle fear.

Dissociation helped me, but now it hinders, because at the age of 36, my brain still does it! and it won’t stop doing it!

My brain will just not obey my orders, so the best way I could describe it is I sometimes have experiences that feel like early onset dementia, or MS or Parkinsons.

I feel old. So old.

I feel like a confused old lady instead of a savvy and smart 30-something mum of two.

I am ADAMANT that I had no knowledge of the psychiatrist instructing my GP to put me on 50mg Pregabalin, and they are adamant that (although I may not remember it), it did happen, so it is my memory that is at fault (due to dissociation), rather than them and how they communicated with me about medication options.

So I’m in a sitch where I’ve been on a shittily low dose of a drug since May, have had a very noticeable mental health relapse, stopped running, pulled back on volunteering, became suicidal, started self-harming again, and fell out with a few people, with the added mind pressure that I realise it is probably not someone else’s fault, but the fault truly lies within my own brain and how is dissociates.

If only I could exterminate exterminate the way my brain dissociates dissociates.

(I hope you are familiar with old episodes from the 1980’s of Dr Who, otherwise that reference will be totally lost on you)

That. my friends, is SHIT.

The shittiest pill I’ve attempted to swallow in a long time.

So basically, I have been on 50mg twice daily for months, thinking I was on double. Previously (at my ill-est and worsest, I took 200mg of lyrica three times a day, so being on only 100mg a day is very low for me, and was bound to destabilise me……… and it has.

So I start doing a bit of internet research earlier today about Pregabalin, only to find it is incredibly addictive, people easily become dependent on it, and it is a prescription drug that is commonly used for recreational use, (as the effect of it mimics the euphoria associated with opiates like heroin.)

I read that it is a drug that is incredibly difficult to come off, as the withdrawal effects are powerful, and bearing in mind I used to take 200mg of it, three times a day, (which is the maximum legal amount), 50mg twice a day was a significant drop.

“NO WONDER”, is the phrase that kept coming up.

No wonder you got so poorly.

No wonder you were edgy and depressed and irritable and self-harming and becoming increasingly hopeless and helpless and wanting your life to end.

You had drastically reduced a dose down of something that is (allegedly) as addictive as heroin. I am not going to get into debates with blog readers by the way about the specifics of this, or the various evidence for and against Pregabalin or other drugs. I will say that clearly in advance. All I know is I felt ill, because I was not getting my ‘fix’ of this drug.

I know now, with the benefit of hindsight and through observing my emotional state at different times, that when I am on Pregabalin my personality changes in a good way. I become mellow, and calm, and smiley, and protected by that euphoric feeling. I am friendlier, and more agreeable. The mood swings are not as erratic and I am more content to just ‘be’, and not be such a hypomanic hippo all the time with racing thoughts and agitation and insomnia etc.

My dissociation symptoms have worsened on this low dose of Pregabalin, without a doubt, because dissociation is a response to anxiety- so if we feel less threatened on a physiological level, it makes sense that we’d be less reactive to environmental stressors so there would be less need to mentally check out and space out and cognitively disconnect at times of high anxiety.

I changed from someone fairly oblivious and in my bubble (albeit a sedated one) of high dose Pregablin, to someone who was aware of every little detail and overwhelmed by it all; so at times when my senses became bombarded with incoming stimuli, I dissociated more and more, to the extent I had NO IDEA what pills I was taking.

I was so mentally foggy that for months I haven’t even had the cognitive ability to look at a packet and read the little numbers of it and take that information in.

I just see pills and I swallow them (only prescription ones, OBVS!).

That level of dissociative mindlessness is alarming to me. In truth, it’s been a big shake up for me.

I have sleepwalked through life, in a fog, and now I’m out of the fog and back on 100mg twice a day, I realise what’s been happening; all without me ever being aware.

I am taking now what my brain has been craving all the time, and I want more more more. I had already agreed (with my new psychiatrist) to try an increase to 150mg twice daily, possibly going up to 200mg twice a day, if I needed more.

But now I know the addictiveness of it and it’s similarity to providing effects that mimic heroin, I am thinking, yep, this drug sure makes me feel great, but do I really want to be addicted? and take it long-term?

I hate the thought of dependence and addiction on a prescription drug, but at the end of the day, Pregabalin is a literal life saver for me. I am suicidal and unstable without it. So if I want to be psychologically healthy, for me, Pregabalin is my best bet.

And the box it comes in also makes a very good top layer of a cardboard box (home-made) Egyptian pyramid! made for a school homework project! Here is a photo of it before my beautiful new dose of Pregabalin box was covered in tissue paper :D

I’m hooked, but I’m better on it, so this is what I’ll swallow.

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summerSHINES©

MENTAL HEALTH (OF THE ENTIRE WORLD etc)

Hello peeps of the world.

Today is October 10th- WORLD mental health day.

The world is a BIG place with many humans in it, and many of those humans (probably far more I’d suspect than the usually cited 1 in 4) will have lived experience of mental ill health, ergo, they have experience, because they have lived out those illnesses in their life.

I have lived experience of mental ill health, but not the usual story of depression and anxiety.

I have a diagnosed personality disorder GASP

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I also have post-traumatic stress disorder

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And I am currently being evaluated by a new psychiatrist (the only mental health professionals permitted to make diagnostic decisions,) for a possible dissociative disorder.

Dissociative disorder….wait, what. What is that? I hear you say.

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A personality disorder? what does that mean?

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PTSD? But how can you have that, you haven’t been in a war have you??

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Those are the questions I would imagine you might be thinking, and I know this well, as this is how people usually react; with confused faces, puzzled faces, or quiet silences, indicating people are unsure what to say so are taking the (understandably) safest option and saying nothing.

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If you don’t have lived experience, or if you don’t know a close family member of friend who you have closely observed and tried to support during their illness, I guess it is absolutely understandable that you might be uncertain as to how to react.

People like me (the ones who are living with the mental illness) do understand that, and make allowances. I think in time we begin to assess (based on people’s reactions) whether we are disclosing and you are genuinely unsure as to how to respond sensitively and kindly and supportively, and those who genuinely act and think from a position and attitude of prejudice and stigma.

Both types of people exist, and people like me (the mental health illness sufferers) will inevitably bump into both types as we go about our daily lives.

It is sad that prejudice, stigma and negative attitudes towards mental ill health still exist, despite the efforts of many brave mentally unwell people to boldly speak out and attempt to overturn this societal bollocks.

I am not a fan of stigma, associated with many things. I have no issues with many ‘apparently controversial’ issues such as being openly transgender, same sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia…the list goes on. I would say I am fairly open minded, but not everyone is, and mental illness is a sticky issue that still is responded to differently (by some), in comparison with their physical illness equivalents, which are usually viewed without stigma or blame or judgement. There is a widespread acceptance of physical illness, that just doesn’t apply (seemingly) with mental illness.

Maybe there is some stigma associated with physical illness, but it relates to things such as lifestyle choices. ie. smokers costing the national health service in the UK far more than non-smokers, because of smoking-related illnesses and deaths. It is the same with blaming people for being alcohol dependant, or obese, or wanting cosmetic surgery on the NHS. But all that aside, people are not usually blamed in any way for becoming physically unwell, and are usually granted sympathy and compassionate attention.

Take how illness in the workplace is responded to. A friend of mine observed a HUGE difference in how her boss reacted when she cited mental health reasons for why she needed to take a day off, as opposed to when she was physically poorly.

If someone is physically poorly we might send them a get well card or even flowers or fruit. But if we are in the midst of a depressive episode, or having panic attacks, or even worse, psychotic, it would be very unusual to get a card or gift or offer of help, (unless they are very close friends and extremely fabulous, in which case you would reward them with plentiful hugs!).

If people are supportive when we explain that we are psychologically poorly, cynical bystanders might well think that we are putting on mental health symptoms to get attention, but people don’t usually judge people who are physically unwell as doing it, on purpose, to get attention.

We all know about the poorly voice people learn to put on during telephone conversations, when we are faking physical illness. School kids learn the poorly voice! It starts young, but even though we know that many days taken off work poorly are sickies, rather than cases of genuine illness, but that is the way of the world, so no one bats an eyelid at your skiving.

People make the assumption that if you are complaining of mental health symptoms, that you must inevitably be making them up, as an excuse, for attention, or to get out of doing things you don’t want to do (such as going to work), but this is NOT TRUE.

People who cite mental health symptoms as reasons for non-attendance at work, or avoidance of social or childcare or other responsibilities are viewed as skivers and attention seekers. REALITY CHECK> Anyone who cites mental health as the reason they cannot do something is very fucking BRAVE to do that, because, whether conscious or unintended, we are actively opposing stigma, and doing our bit to make attitudes in society more open minded, by choosing to be honest with people that we are very much NOT OKAY, and that is ok!!

People do not FAKE mental illness. Mental illness is hard to admit to. Yes, sure, things are improving, and mental health charities and the work they do play a large role in improving things for current and future generations, but it is still VERY DIFFICULT to openly express that our mental health is bad, and that we are emotionally struggling to cope. Mental illness is not a socially acceptable excuse, therefore why would anyone pretend they are mentally unwell, when they are not? It would make no sense. All you would be doing is making things potentially very socially awkward for yourself, so if I could get one message out there to society it would be:-

WHEN WE SAY WE ARE STRUGGLING WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS, PLEASE BELIEVE US!

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I talk about mental illness on my blog, and have written quite a bit for mental health charities in the UK (Mind and Time to Change). You can find links to their websites here, as well as Heads Together, (which is another charity affiliated with Mind, led by our British royals, William, Kate and Harry).

MIND WEBSITE

TIME TO CHANGE WEBSITE

HEADS TOGETHER WEBSITE

All are great sources of information, written in plain English by people who live with mental illness, in our own words.

These charities also have YouTube channels too, where you can watch clips of real people taking about their personal experiences of mental illness (and not just the usual ones such as anxiety and depression- I mean the whole spectrum of different disorders out there that dominate the lives of people who suffer with these emotional challenges.)  I would thoroughly recommend you take a look at these as there are so many interesting clips to watch….. (links below)

MIND YOUTUBE CHANNEL

TIME TO CHANGE YOUTUBE CHANNEL

HEADS TOGETHER YOUTUBE CHANNEL

In terms of my volunteering plans, I got a very exciting email yesterday asking me to speak at some mental health awareness talks in my area next month. I am delighted to be asked (!) particularly as I would like to challenge attitudes and widen people’s understanding of personality disorders and PTSD, and what those labels mean for the people who live with them. This is a fab opportunity and I will do what I can, but I am not the only person striving to improve things. I know there are MANY mental health bloggers and mental health charity media volunteers out there, who are doing an amazing job of fighting stigma by talking honestly and openly about their mental health challenges. WELL DONE! You are growing flowers as you tap the keys….

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I am about to sit down and watch a short film of a close blogger friend being interviewed about her mental health. This is something which aired on regional news in the morning bulletin (and I recorded), so I am very much looking forward to watching that, and feeling the positivity of being part of a movement who are paving the way for greater acceptance and compassion, so that no one with a mental health problem has to live it alone.

Happy mental health day to you all! and if you are not happy today because of your mental health, I feel your pain, as I’m feeling it too.

It is ok to be not ok X

[And not just on world mental health day].

summerSHINES©

 

UNSTABLE FOR A REASON

I feel hungover today, but it has nothing at all with the consumption of alcohol. It’s a hungover type feeling generated by a lot of post-mental health relapse analysis going on. **TW

I haven’t hidden how much my illness has taken hold lately. I have honestly described it all, day by day, week by week; but today I am re-evaluating the past weeks/months in light of some new information.

Had I realised this info sooner, lots could be different. An important speech could have been delivered for one….that is the biggie. That is what I feel most sad and regretful about. But many other things could have worked out better, and gone smoother. I would have suffered less, and not felt so terrible in my own skin (to the extent I wanted to climb out of it via humanities last tragedy- suicide.)

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I did not attempt to take my own life…but I seriously thought about it. That’s me being honest. I thought about attempting lots and lots actually-such was the visceral intensity at times of that impulse to get away from what was bothering me, namely life.

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But today I know better. Today I know my relapse had a great deal to do with the meds mix-up- a mistake which could have had very dangerous consequences. If you read my previous post (The meds do work), you’ll know that last night I realised that the tablets I’ve been taking for three weeks (since I last collected my prescription) were at half the usual dose.

Last night I assumed it was the human error of a tired and overworked medical receptionist, so felt annoyed, but forgiving, but today as new information has come to light I know it has a lot to do everything to do with my last appointment where I saw my ex-psychiatrist.

Followers and friends will know that the last appointment with that doctor did NOT go well, and resulted in a formal complaint being logged against her by me. So she was not my favourite person, but despite time moving on and on Friday last week me meeting a new psychiatrist, (who knew nothing about me and treated me like a fresh patient, which was refreshing), I still cannot move on from those difficult memories associated with that particular doc, as it is due to her that the dosage was changed on my repeat prescriptions. This is what I want to do to her….

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I was informed by the medical receptionist, in a very confusing conversation, that the letter from my psychiatrist said 50mg on it, NOT 100mg, as it has been for some time. So the receptionists were just dispensing what it said on the letter.

I have no memory of telling her I wanted to reduce my dose, so the 50mg is a grave mistake (pun most def. intended).

Me being me, a bit dizzy and spaced out at the best of times, I didn’t check the tablets or packaging so only just realised they were the wrong ones last night. I will always ensure I check again in future, obvs!

What concerns me today, is that the letter was dated June, which is a long time ago….so how bloody long, I ask myself, have I been taking half of what I thought I was taking??!

It is probably even more than 3 weeks, and potentially a couple of months, or three even. NO WONDER I’VE BECOME EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE!!

I am so bloody upset to find this out. I am reviewing my deterioration and how I’ve struggled, and I feel such resentment knowing this was partly avoidable, had my meds not been reduced like this (without my knowledge).

I didn’t get a copy of the letter sent in June, so had no way of knowing the dosage had been changed on the official clinical notes. UGH. This is crap!

I have felt a mix of relief, and horrible frustration. I know I can’t change the past, and the important thing is I now realise the mistake and can return to my previous dose, but I think I’m allowed to feel a bit pissed off for a day or two, especially as it will take me a good while to readjust to 100mg, and then go up to 150mg, which was what I’d agreed with the new psychiatrist on Friday.

I feel like my suffering might not have happened, and my suicidality would not have been this bad, and I wouldn’t have self-harmed (I have self-harmed three times lately). :(

Medication is so important to the lives of people with mental health conditions. It may not work for everyone, and some opt not to take the chemical cure, seeing it as a quick fix, but this experience shows me that I personally definitely need medication in my system, as I become very unwell on less, as evidenced by how much I have become depressed and anxious.

Tonight I’m just offloading. I don’t have anything clever to say. I just feel subdued and sad and fed up.

It would be great if I could manage without meds, but that just isn’t possible for me. It is dangerous to reduce or to cut out in my case. I honestly believe if I didn’t take my meds I wouldn’t survive, literally. I need these life savers, at a dose that suits me, and if that is unbalanced, I become unbalanced, evidently.

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The rebuild mission starts now. It will be gradual, but at least now I have hope, as I have a tangible explanation for what went so wrong lately, so I am no longer blaming myself and my illness and my trauma. I know it was the mucked up meds dose, all this time.

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Tonight I will enjoy the fact I’m back on my proper dose now, so I know I will sleep well, unlike the insomnia of the withdrawal effects of late. And I might cut myself a huge slab of cake too. I need cheering up!

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summerSHINES©

You can join in too, if you want a slice!

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