Friday, 31 July 2015

Psychosis & Blogging




I have now been formally told that my Borderline Personality Disorder has crossed over to psychosis. The Team Manager of my Community Mental Health Team paid a visit to my home and explained the process.
Initially my out of hours support, told me that because I had learnt how to manage and cope with my BPD hallucinations they had developed. This was really disheartening because I felt that I'd never win. I'd think I had and then it'd change, become different, harder and new. And I'd be right back at the beginning, learning all over again. That thought was horrible, but what the Team Manager said has ended up having a bigger and worse impact. 
She described how everyone has this cup and something will happen and you fill the cup up with a bit of stress, and it'll keep filling and then you'll do something nice for yourself, do something you enjoy and the stress in the cup will drain out a little. She told me that when the cup overflows, psychosis hits! 
And then comes one of the most frequented questions in mental health care; "what's stressing you out at the moment?"
And my answer was something that I never thought would leave my mouth; "my blog."
This, will probably come as a surprise to most people because I've never actually talked about this to anyone other than my therapist. 
I remember when I first started following Zoella and she talked on her videos about the pressure of her YouTube channel becoming so popular and how all of the opportunities that arose from her success were effecting her anxiety. And I was confused; until then, I'd thoroughly enjoyed my blog's success... The thing is, that was back when my views were about 40,000...
To think that my blog could be affecting my stress levels to the point of causing me to experience psychosis is... There are no words. I'm not one of those people to broadcast their achievements but my blog changed this. It changed a lot of things; for the better. I have more confidence and motivation. I feel that being a blogger defines who I am, and I'm so proud of this. This blog, is the proudest thing I have achieved since my GCSE results back in 2007. 
Recently, when I've struggled and/or self-harmed, people have often said 'you only got out of hospital eight months ago and look at how far you've come.' For the first time, a professionals asked what my views had been when I left hospital and they were below 40,000. That freaked me out. The thought of how much my blog has excelled in the eight months that my mental health recovery has also progressed. 
The stress of my blog is the pressure that I'm putting on myself. I think it's natural though, what I'm thinking and panicking about. I've always said that lots of people don't realise the work that goes into blogging - especially a popular, well-heard-of blog. This week, I had three guest posts come through from three incredibly important, special people. I felt lucky to have gotten guest posts from them but then I found myself stressing; should I post them one after the other? Should I leave a day between them? Should I cancel my once a week scheduled posts to make room for them?
In the end, I chose to publish one guest post a week, with one of my scheduled posts a week too and a break in between the two. 
This is just an example of the level of thought and stress that goes into blogging. And that was just a small decision. The stress I get from blogging is because I pressure myself to always do one better than my last post and to stay ahead of the competition. Luckily, unlike beauty and fashion blogs, there isn't bloggers springing up every day so I don't have much to compete with. But I'm very conscious of mental health volunteers etc getting opportunities that I'd like. And I convince myself that the reason I wasn't offered the opportunity, is that my blog isn't good enough. 
No matter how bad the psychosis gets, how often it occurs or what I do to cope/manage it, I will not stop blogging. It gives my life a meaning; I am proud to call myself a blogger. I'm proud in all that my blog does achieve. And if I stress about small blogging decisions then it's only because my blog means so much to me.