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.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

HOW TO COPE WITH FEELINGS OF ABANDONMENT




‘Do you have an intense fear of being left alone, which causes you to act in ways that, on reflection, seem out of the ordinary or extreme, such as constantly phoning somebody (but not including self-harming or suicidal behaviour)?’




When I was first diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in 2009, the diagnostic criteria were that you answer experience five out of nine symptoms. These symptoms are unstable relationships, losing a sense of self, engagement in impulsive activities, suicide attempts or self-harm, severe mood swings, feelings of emptiness, intense anger, hallucinations or ‘disordered thoughts’ and finally, a fear of abandonment. (Note: Please don’t use that list to self-diagnose, always seek professional advice.)

I rarely blog about my family because I respect their privacy, but my Father is a huge reason why my fears of abandonment are so overwhelming and intense. It’s actually a bit cliché though; my parents divorced when I was a baby, and when my Mum and I moved away my Father never once tried to contact me. I would never say that I missed out on anything though – I mean, you can’t miss something you’ve never had(!), but I do wonder what it would have been like. What my life would have been like. 


At the same time though, I am full of admiration for my Mum being a single-parent and raising me the way that she did, and I hope to one day be as good a Mum as her!

Friday, 10 January 2020

ESSENTIAL ITEMS FOR BLOGGERS

So, I know I’m NOT Disordered is all about mental health and that my posts are usually very deep and meaningful with lots of talk about difficult subjects like self-harm and abuse; but the blog began for my own gain and enjoyment and it’d be sad to lose that when I really enjoy doing these sorts of posts too… Originally, I started blogging for many reasons but it was largely to do with the fact that I enjoyed writing and found it very therapeutic and beneficial to my mental health. Perhaps I’m NOT Disordered wouldn’t be so popular if I found it more of a chore and considered it to be more like work.

There has to be a balance though; with my blog now having over half a million readers, I can’t exactly half ass it and stop putting so much dedication and effort into the content. Well, I could; but I’d feel as though I were letting a lot of people – including myself – down by failing to provide  the helpful, validating, reassuring, safe space that  I feel – and have been told – I’ve created in continuing to dedicate a large part of my time and effort to I’m NOT Disordered. I guess it’s no surprise that from the outside, my blogging and social media posting is often mistakenly labelled work and I’m frequently being advised to take time ‘off.’ I just don’t think I could justify calling this work when I enjoy it as much as I do!

Having now blogged for over seven years (you can read I’m NOT Disordered’s Birthday post here) and having as many readers as I do, I feel that I’m maybe now qualified to give advice and tips to other Bloggers or potential Bloggers. After recently signing a contract with O2 for the iPad 7th generation in the 10.2” screen size, I was inspired to write this post about products and items that I’d advise you own to aid in your Blogging adventures!!

STATIONERY



A Fancy Pen: Gold Twist Pen – Dangling ‘A’ : £8.00


Monday, 6 January 2020

HAPPY SEVENTH BIRTHDAY I’M NOT DISORDERED!!!




As if seven years have gone by with, I’m NOT Disordered! I mean, when – earlier in the last year – we reached half a million readers, I found it so strange to think that the blog has come this far and yet I still remember the day I started it!
I had been a sectioned inpatient in a psychiatric hospital over 100 miles away from home for almost a year when my Key Nurse and I had a very intense 1:1 in the conference room. We decided that every evening, I’d write a little bit about the abuse for the staff to read so that they could better understand me, and so that I would have an outlet. I was so confident that agreeing to do this was the making of my recovery that I decided I should keep some sort of record of things as they improved. I don’t know why a diary or journal didn’t cross my mind; just… for some reason I opened up my laptop (which I was allowed at nighttime) and created a Blogger account…
How strange is it to think that something that has played such a hugely incredible part of my life started out so simply and in such an unimportant way?! But maybe that has helped build my blog into what it is today; that I didn’t start it for the freebies; the gifted products and the PR trips. I’m NOT Disordered is about educating others in mental health and helping those struggling to see that they are not alone.
So, to celebrate another year of being able to do that - and more(!) - and with over half a million of you, here’s a little post:
First Birthday:
Second Birthday:
Third Birthday:
Fourth Birthday:
Fifth Birthday:
Sixth Birthday: