Monday, 27 January 2020

LYING & EXAGGERATING IN MENTAL HEALTH





“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together by lies”

Dorothy Allison


The inspiration for this post came when I was in Accident and Emergency (A&E) after my EPL tendon repair snapped (to read about the surgery, go here) and after being given painkillers and an emergency appointment at the Plastic Surgery Trauma Clinic, I was on my way out when I overheard a conversation… A girl had told her friends and the Doctors that she’d taken an overdose but – to one side of the waiting room – the Doctor told her that her blood tests had proven that she hadn’t; and after admitting to the lie, the Doctor asked her to leave the hospital. Outside the doors, her accompanying friends then promptly ripped her to shreds (verbally!), shouting that she was a liar and that they had wasted their time sitting with her in A&E.


Now, I feel like there’ll be three schools of thought on this one… There’ll be people who agree with those friends and think that the girl is disgraceful for lying about something like that. There’ll be others who think that the focus shouldn’t be on the lie; it should be about why she told that lie and the attention put into supporting the girl. Finally, there’ll be people who are balanced and can see the truth in both of the previous two thought processes. Me? I think I’m going to be pretty balanced on this one – something which might surprise some of you who know that overdosing is something I have experience of. Maybe that makes me more entitled to be angered by the lie; the fact that I have actual experience of the horrors of overdosing – the shame in telling others what you’ve done, the physical side-effects of anti-dote treatment, the subsequent mental health reviews…

Friday, 24 January 2020

A CHAT ABOUT SELF-PROMOTION | MY BESTIE’S FIRST AD!!!




I actually squealed with excitement when one of my best-friends (Lauren) posted on her Facebook that she’d landed her very first ad with Arista Living through her YouTube channel; Green Tea, Please! Knowing that Lauren has always struggled to regularly maintain her blog, it was incredible to hear that she’d found success with the YouTube channel she turned her attention to since buying her first house (a tour of which, you can watch on her channel here) with her partner.


I first started talking to Lauren in 2007 via MySpace (remember that old site when it was the cool one to be on?!) when I came across her account and heard her profile song was Scouting For Girls’ She’s So Lovely! Months later, and we were attending the same School to study our A Levels and finally introduced ourselves to one another. Looking back, it’s one of those things where you can’t quite believe something so small turned into something as huge as the lovely friendship we now have. I mean, it wasn’t a friendship where straight away you feel like you’ve known them forever; we got closer over time, until I was calling her family my second family and her home became my second home.


Funnily enough though, our friendship really cemented when we weren’t attending the same school! I think I’d actually pinpoint it to 2011, my mental ill health had started two years before and Lauren had stuck by me the whole time. Even though we were best-friends, I kept the magnitude of my illness from her and wasn’t always honest when it came to my reasons for attending hospital, but it felt as though I didn’t need to say anything. It was as though she just… knew. I honestly felt like whilst she’d never experienced anything like what I was going through, she understood it – a greatly helpful trait in supporting someone with mental ill health.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MENTAL & PHYSICAL HEALTH | MY TENDON SURGERY




There’ll probably be some people who follow me on Twitter who will be surprised that it’s taken me so long to blog about my recent injury and the subsequent surgery. I guess that with me putting the majority of my life on I’m NOT Disordered and social media(!), some people assume that I’ll talk about anything and everything. Whilst it’s true that I probably have less privacy boundaries than most people, you guys don’t know everything and sometimes it’s less about keeping things from you and more about me not being ready to talk about something. And that’s the case here… After meeting with my GP today and having a good cry and talk with her, I finally feel able to talk more about what happened to me on Boxing Day. 

Monday, 20 January 2020

HOW MY BELIEFS HAVE CHANGED




I was talking to my Richmond Fellowship Tyneside support worker about the changes in my thought processes that she wasn’t aware of because we’ve only been working together for a short time and I realized that it might make an interesting blog post… As much as I hate the thought of people going through what I have, I hope that if there are people out there who have the same beliefs that I used to hold, then reading this might work as reassurance that you can get through it and come out the other side!



I will die young

This belief was such a huge role in my mental health deterioration that I had to discuss it in a Psychology session whilst an inpatient in a specialist psychiatric hospital. I had to put a lot of work into changing this belief and developing a replacement for it (in fact, I wrote all about my efforts here) because without that work, I was well on track to succeed at committing suicide. This belief spurred on my suicide attempts because it led to the thought process that eventually, one of them would work and I’d be free forever. Now that I’m happy and enjoying my life (for the most part!) I wish it could carry on for all eternity!



I deserved the abuse

This belief started literally immediately after the abuse did. Straight away I knew I’d brought this on myself. Though, I won’t lie; this was definitely an irrational thought because if I was confronted with it then I probably couldn’t provide much evidence to support it! I guess I just thought of myself as a generally bad person; and perhaps it being so irrational is what kept it so solid in my head. It meant that no matter what anyone said they couldn’t disprove my belief because there was nothing to really contradict! Eventually, I learnt that what was done to me says more about the person who did it than it does about me.


Sunday, 19 January 2020

HOW I FEEL ABOUT ADVICE


I was recently out with some friends and we got talking about someone we know who recently flashed off her CV in a seemingly desperate bid to illustrate her entitlement to her position in teaching. Later in the conversation, one of my friends was praising my use of social media – namely Twitter - and asking for my thoughts on an online project; seemingly deeming me to be an ‘expert’ in the field! It made me think though, about whether I’m comfortable being thought of in that way and looked to for that kind of advice…


When I first started I’m NOT Disordered in January 2013, my only technical abilities were to manage my own social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I think that in starting to blog, my priorities were more about it being therapeutic for myself to reflect, to provide my friends and family with insight into my life in the psychiatric hospital over 100 miles away from them, and to encourage others to talk more openly about mental health. It was never about improving my technical ability, getting so many readers, free gifts, and event invitations. I think that the fact I didn’t start off with these intentions makes me feel slightly like a fraud and that it is wrong to accept any recognition for my ‘skills’ in achieving such opportunities.