It's no secret that I've been having a shitty time recently...
It kind of has been...
I wouldn't say I'd made a conscious decision not to talk about it on social media or on I'm NOT Disordered; but I've definitely held myself back whenever I've automatically gone to tweet about things…
On Monday night (the 5th), I self-harmed - I paid a visit to A&E and had thirteen stitches. Just saying that sentence makes me cringe slightly. The most common question, so far, by those I’ve told; has been “why?” or “what do you think caused that?”
“Stress… I think.”
In all honesty, there has been so much going on in my life that I lose track when I try and list them all!
Something else I lose track of?
The different answers that I give to different people… But I didn’t start I’m NOT Disordered for it to be filled with dishonesty and false positivity. This blog is meant to be about real life. So, let’s be honest about this…
The thing is, the voices are back. And the visual hallucinations. And I’m worried that when I say they are the reason for self-harming then I feel like one of two things can happen; 1. It’ll be dismissed as all being in my head or 2. Things will get serious and professionals will be getting involved… (Number two was proven in this instance because I admitted at A&E that I was experiencing hallucinations again and the Psychiatric Liaison Team were brought in and my medication was increased.)
When I was first discharged from Cygnet I had the worry that no one would be interested once I was out of hospital because my content would be about normal, every-day, mundane things. But when I actually went into the step-down service at my local psychiatric hospital, and still had bad patches and things to work through, I thought it was important to show that even though I was no longer a detained patient, sectioned (s3) under the Mental Health Act (1983), I still had a long way to go, much longer than I'd first thought.
I think that when I moved into my own home (in December 2014) I began to feel... I want to say pressure but this is the thing: no one is pressuring me... except me. I'm pressuring me.
I worried that if I talked about the difficult times that I was still experiencing, I'd be seen as some kind of... fraud, almost. I thought that people would read my blog and be like "how can she describe herself as 'being in recovery' when she's still saying this?"... or "still doing this..." or "still feeling like this..." I was worried that others might voice the concern that I was silently, battling to ignore, in my head:
'She's never going to get better. If she thinks she's in recovery but still self-harms, and still has suicidal thoughts, and still hears voices... then, she's deluded! And she needs to go back to hospital.'
It’s strange; it’s like I end up struggling about the fact that I’m struggling!
So, I do voluntary work with this support group for people who are unemployed and when I confided in them about my recent self-harming, I talked about my fear of speaking about it to readers and followers. I came to the decision to write this post when I realised that there could be people out there who believe themselves to be recovered from their ill mental health and have had something like this happen and feel like an absolute failure and that you’ve let down everyone who supports you and who has vouched for your recovery – like me!
And maybe telling you all that this has happened to me and I’m still carrying on through this constant test of my recovery, and braving the new challenges.
And you can too.