Sunday, 24 January 2021

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TIMING IN MENTAL HEALTH



THE POST’S INSPIRATION

A little while ago, when I was putting the Christmas wrapping paper away, I heard a clicking noise in my thumb and it swelled right up pretty damn fast! So, I called the Plastic Surgery department in one of my local hospitals because since my EPL tendon (one of the two tendons in your thumb) snapped on Boxing Day 2019 and I needed surgery to repair it, I’ve been under their care. They asked me to come straight in but on examination, decided nothing needed to be done urgently and I was referred for an ultrasound. At the ultrasound (yesterday) they found that my EPL tendon has misplaced, which I didn’t know could even happen!) and I have to see a surgeon in February.

The reason this inspired the post is that this isn’t the only physical health difficulty I’m going through right now… Since separating the AC Joint in my shoulder in September, it has properly dislocated three or four times and is now at the point where I need a specialist MRI (they’re going to inject a contrast dye directly into the joint – which sounds so painful, but I get a local anaesthetic first – and then scan it) of the joint to determine the exact extent of the damage and to create a treatment plan based on whatever they find.

So, having these two – sort of big – issues right now with my physical health, it’s really made me think about timing and the importance of it for a person’s mental health. I mean, since I have these two things going on at the same time, it has made me realise that it’d be harder to deal with if my mental health was also unstable. And knowing just how much I can struggle when my mental and physical health are poorly at the same time, I’m actually relieved at the timing of the two physical problems!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

WHY LOCKDOWN 2021 IS MAKING THE DIGITAL WORLD SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT


Regardless of statistics, the UK lockdown and Coronavirus pandemic have become controversial topics of discussion and controversy is something I like to try and stay away from on I’m NOT Disordered… However, since the Prime Minister announced the new 2021 UK lockdown restrictions and guidelines a few nights ago, I’ve felt that I needed to do something on my blog just to recognize the momentousness of the situation…

I was asked a little while ago how the new lockdown was affecting me and I said that the only real difference to my life was that it’s meant losing my sessions with my Richmond Fellowship support worker. I can still do my weekly food shop, collect my medication, do tasks online for St Oswald’s Hospice, and have my Carers over. Most importantly, I can still do the one thing that I put the majority of my energy and time into: blogging.

Of course, I recognize how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to say all of that when there are so many people out there who are less able – or completely unable – to keep to their own, usual routines. However, I’m definitely a believer that you shouldn’t compare your own hardship to another person’s. Everyone is different, and each person’s struggle has the right to be regarded as equally important to any other person.

I think that whilst everyone is having completely different – sometimes even opposite – experiences of lockdown 2021, a mutual beneficial source has been the digital world. As a blogger this is very obviously a great thing, but not only because it raises my audience numbers! It’s also because I feel that I’ve spent the eight years since I started blogging trying to encourage more people to use social media and access the digital world in general. There’s always so much negative publicity around the industry; largely because of the number of instances of trolling and online bullying leading to someone committing suicide.

Another factor around the criticisms and drawbacks on the digital world is that there’s a lot of content online that can be deemed as encouraging and inspirational of some aspects of mental health; particularly self-harm and eating disorders. Regarding this, I always believe that if you search for that sort of unsafe content, then you’ll find it. If, however, you search for support groups and help and advice, you’ll find an abundance of that too!

Saturday, 9 January 2021

14 THOUGHTS FOR 140 DAYS FREE OF SELF-HARM

"Every accomplishment starts with the with decisionn to try"

John F Kennedy


Today marks the one hundred and fortieth day since I last self-harmed, and I wanted to mark the occasion with a little (or big, we’ll see how much I end up rambling…) blog post:

 

1.    When I started to self-harm

I think that this thought was quite obviously going to feature in here somewhere! I mean, you don’t reach a milestone like this and not remember when it all started. I first self-harmed when I was fifteen years old, I had just been assaulted by a stranger and someone I trusted and respected offered his support… then he began using it as a cover to abuse me.

In my teenage mind, I had so many thoughts and reasons not to report the abuse that I felt completely overwhelmed and desperate for some relief. I think my initial thought process behind self-harming was that it might make me less attractive to my abuser. That maybe he’d be ‘put off’ by the cuts and then the scars. So, I began using a pin from a noticeboard to scratch at my arms and legs. The scratches were enough to draw blood but also enough that I could excuse them as cat scratches to anyone who might see them and ask questions.

My initial intention of damaging my appearance became a lot deeper and more intense; I started to believe that only I should have the power to hurt my body and thought that self-harming would prove this, and that it would leave me feeling more in control. I could take charge of how much or how little, pain I was experiencing.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

I’M NOT DISORDERED TURNS EIGHT | A LESSON PER YEAR


Going to start this post in the stereotypical way: I can’t believe it’s been eight years since I created, I’m NOT Disordered! I think that being able to still remember the day I started my little blogging career, is just testament to how important my blog is for me, what it means to me, and the hugely beneficial impact it has had on my life. To think that my blog has become what it is today from its tiny start in my hospital bedroom still amazes me! All the achievements and opportunities I’ve experienced these past eight years, have surpassed even my wildest dreams(!), but I’ve tried to keep my feet on the ground, and to always feel that I’m learning from my blog…

 

2013 – I learnt how quickly things can change

I experienced my mental health change very dramatically in – what felt like – a very short space of time… In February 2013, I ran away from the psychiatric hospital I had been in since the Summer of 2012 and made an attempt to take my own life (you can read more about it here). Then, by August 2013, I was allowed to go on the therapy trip to Flamingo Land (which you can read about here)!