Wednesday, 10 April 2013

What Is Normal, Though?

[note: this post contains discussion of self-harm]

Last night, I was lying in bed and thinking how I didn't even have the energy to self-harm (by cutting) and I thought about going to tell the staff I needed PRN because I didn't have the energy to make myself better with my usual method. But then, out of nowhere, I was getting my sharp and scratching my leg. It worried me how impulsive it was; like I've said in an earlier post, I'm not the most impulsive BPD sufferer so when I do something from impulse it's not the norm for me and when things in my mental health change, I get scared. I remember, at the beginning when I first heard a voice and I was terrified I was going 'crazy' but then as the months went on I got used to him and then when two years later, I started hearing another and I got scared all over again! And with the rabbits (the visual hallucinations), I'll get used to being followed by two or three and then a few more will come along and even if I've seen that many before; it's not the norm for me so I get freaked out. I got so used to the pattern I was in the months leading up to this admission of me overdosing every week (sometimes within the week) that when I ran away to London and was found I had to argue not to be sectioned because they were worried by my behaviour and I tried to explain it was usual and normal for me. It triggers the question of what is normal though? On one admission, I was but on eyesight observations (I had to be within eyesight of staff at all times) and for some reason I said that word (normal) and the male staff on my obs went into a two hour speech about the definition of 'normal' and how it wasn't an appropriate word in mental health. I disagreed; the whole point of the support we are given when we suffer from a mental health disorder is to break our cycle of self-harm, stop our thinking that such things are the only way to help ourselves, change our thinking. The whole point of mental health services is to make us realise what we're doing to ourselves isn't 'right' and it isn't the 'normal' way to cope. We need to cope better. Different. Being sectioned is a tag in itself that separates us from the rest of society. I remember once being in a medical hospital after escaping the psychiatric ward and overdosing and I overheard the nurses "we've a sectioned girl in but she actually seems alright." Firstly, I was 'a sectioned girl' not Aimee Wilson; I'd lost the right to my name. Secondly,  I 'actually' seemed alright, which implied us sectioned girls aren't usually alright.

On a brighter note, I sent a lot of emails to a few organisations and a magazine to ask for help in publicizing this blog and Time to Change ( have tweeted a link for it!