Monday, 24 February 2020

HOW I’M COPING WITH THE PROSPECT OF MORE SURGERY | IN COLLABORATION WITH NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST | AD






In January I talked about the connection between mental and physical health after needing tendon surgery at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI); part of the Newcastle Hospitals Trust. For those who missed that post, on Boxing Day 2019 I was attempting to open a bottle of Prosecco by wiggling the cork out with my thumbs when all of a sudden, I couldn’t move my right thumb anymore! I thought it was dislocated and went to my local Minor Injuries where – after an x-ray – I was told that it was ‘fine’ and to ‘put it in warm water and slowly start moving it.’ 

After a few days that feeling that something was really wrong became intolerable and I took myself to the RVI. When I was being triaged by a Nurse I actually said to him “I feel like such an idiot for coming to A&E because of my thumb” because I honestly thought I’d just be laughed away and told to follow the advice of the Nurse in Minor Injuries but in fact, the exact opposite happened! The Nurse sent me to the RVI’s Minor Injuries and literally as soon as the Nurse there called my name and I stood to follow him to an exam room, he looked at my thumb and said “well, there’s definitely something wrong with that, isn’t there?!” I honestly couldn’t have been more grateful and comforted – which sounds strange that I was comforted by the thought of something being wrong but it was more about the fact that I’d been right the entire time and that I was especially right in coming to A&E. It was actually such a relief.

Friday, 21 February 2020

BUT AM I READY TO BE DISCHARGED? | DISCHARGE FROM MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES | IN COLLABORATION WITH CUMBRIA, NORTHUMBERLAND, TYNE & WEAR NHS FOUNDATION TRUST | AD




This post may come as a shock to some people but it’s actually something that’s been talked about behind-the-scenes for about two months now and I just hadn’t told anyone it was a topic of discussion amongst me, my Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN), and the rest of the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT).  As part of these discussions, my CPN suggested I write a blog post about discharge from mental health services; the technicalities behind it, the thoughts and feelings around it, the importance of it, and advice I’d give to others going through the process.


WHY I STILL NEED THERAPY

So, the talk about discharge actually came up when I got a new CPN; she was asking me what I thought I needed to do and what she could do for me to help me be ready to be discharged from services, and I told her that there’s still a lot to talk about around the abuse. You’d think that somewhere among all of these blog posts would have been the point where I’d worn out talking about the abuse but actually, I’m very short of that mark. And I think that’s because the most detail I’ve ever gone into it about it was to the Police; and for all their amazing work, they aren’t the best people to support someone with that. For them, it’s all about the technicalities in using the proper words – who cares about the words that make you uncomfortable or that you find triggering, you better be prepared to talk like you’re in a Biology class(!) – and naming absolutely everywhere and everyone that was even remotely involved. Now that that interview is over, all I can do publicly is say at one point in my life it happened… I can’t tell you his profession or the location of it because people will easily guess – my point with this though, is that, if you can guess from just those details then maybe that says more about him than it does about me oversharing! And there have been so many times when those details have been relevant to blog posts and I’ve just had to bite my tongue! So, having the ability to tell one person absolutely everything would be so refreshing and comforting that I feel it’s the one necessity missing for my mental health recovery. I have the support system, I have a positive attitude, I have safe coping mechanisms… all of that isn’t the answer if you haven’t worked on the root cause though.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA & MENTAL HEALTH




Initially, I was worried that lots of readers will think that it’s quite wrong of me to write a blog post about the most recent celebrity suicide because I’ve actually heard of the celebrity (Caroline Flack) this time; but it’s more about the assumed cause of the suicide; trolling and social media in general. I’m not weighing in on things because I won’t pretend that I know a lot about the entire situation, it’s just that it has inspired me to write a blog post about social media, coping with trolling, thoughts on suicide, and why I promote social media despite all of this negativity and this horrific influence it can have on a person’s life.


I think that a lot of people will assume I might never have had a bad experience with social media if I’m so determined to tell people how great it is and convince others to utilize all of the good it holds; but that isn’t true. When I was fifteen, a group of girls at High School began bullying me and one of their methods was through MSN messenger (bit of a throwback!) because it meant that the bullying could continue even into the comfort of my own bedroom. They weren’t limited to snide, spiteful comments in the corridor or spreading rumours among the other pupils. Social media meant that they could harass me when I was just sitting at home or playing on the computer, where I thought I was safe from them. Somewhere that – I thought – was my only escape, actually turned out to be at their easiest reach.

Friday, 14 February 2020

#ILoveMyCatMoreThan | HAPPY VALENTINES | IN COLLABORATION WITH CATS PROTECTION | AD








“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Lao Tzu
So, I was looking to do something special for Valentines this year because I noticed that even though I haven’t posted on Valentines every year since the start of I’m NOT Disordered (only 2015, 2016, and 2019), I do see the day as quite important! And I’d like to think that as the years go by, my blog and my content only improves and that my ideas for posts become more and more original and unique. This is what led to me messaging the Cats Protection Media Team and asking if they’d like to collaborate on a Valentines project. I won’t lie, I think I was hoping the reply would be ‘yes, we’re working on one would you like to be on board?!’ But no, it was more ‘yes, definitely. What did you have in mind?’ And I was instantly stuck with thinking of an idea for a collaboration! I honestly don’t know where the whole #ILoveMyCatMoreThan thing came from; I literally just pulled it out of my ass! And that’s not me being modest and looking for some compliments and flattery – I honestly didn’t have any idea until I had the idea!

Thursday, 13 February 2020

COMPLETE A WELLNESS RECOVERY ACTION PLAN WITH ME




“When the group developed WRAP, I was so impressed that I went home and wrote one for myself!”

– Mary Ellen Copeland





As someone who regularly puts almost her entire life out there for the general public to consume, I’m so interested in hearing/reading about the lives of others and seeing inside the most mundane of things! As someone who really struggles with completely mixed feelings of loneliness - sometimes all I want is to be surrounded by people and other times I can only tolerate the company of my pets – I mostly enjoy the YouTube ‘Get Ready With Me’ videos or ‘Speed Clean My Flat’ or ‘Come Shopping With Me’ because they enable me to have control over the company and how long it lasts! The important thing is the impact loneliness can have on a person’s mental health and so, in a desperate bid to help others experience the same positive things I feel when I watch similarly formatted videos. Though, of course I had to make my version mental health themed… Ever since I was discharged from the specialist psychiatric hospital in 2014, I’ve heard so many good things about Wellness Recovery Action Plans, but it wasn’t until recently that I – and my Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) – realized that I’ve never done one! And as with most documents in mental health, it has the chance of triggering negative thoughts and feelings by making you think back to hard times so I thought that maybe it’d also be helpful to me to feel that I sort of have someone with me while I complete it...