Hi everyone! I’ve had a little break, things have been a bit hectic; what with starting my new job and everything, but I’m back and will try to be posting daily again!
I am very happy to report I am loving my new job! It’s SO GOOD to have a reason to get up in the morning. Without blowing my own horn – I seem to have made quite an impression. The managers love me and the way I work. I’ve been super organised and thorough, they’re planning on making me team champion… I’ve only been in the job just under a month! I’m actually really proud of myself, which is rare, but it feels kinda good to take pride in the service I provide. I went above and beyond yesterday to support a client and it was really appreciated by them. It gives them the boost these people need when someone listens and helps, which makes me feel good too. It’s a win win.
I am finding it hard to switch off when it’s clocking off time though. I have an addictive personality, so I don’t want to end up a workaholic. I really need to force myself to find that work/life balance.
… Starting tonight! Today is payday! My first pay check, so I’m going out with my boyfriend Dom for a meal at our favourite Italian. My treat. Date night! Gotta be there in half an hour so I’m gonna wrap this up. It’s good to be back!
Still waiting to start my new job. My start date got pushed back because they are waiting for my DBS check to come back. Both my references are back now, but it could be at least another week until I can start!!
I’ve been preparing, buying smart/casual office clothes, stationary, gathering ideas of where to get new clients, I even had a hair cut! Really just wanna get started now. Get into my new routine. Get some money coming in – I’m so skint!
I love my new hair, went to an expensive hairdressers in town after a recommendation from my brother’s girlfriend. I was a bit nervous after the last time when I had my old hairdresser, who’s gone mobile, come to my house and mess it up. But no – this new woman is amazing! I have found my new hairdresser! I’ve got an all round undercut, short back and sides, I’m growing the top long enough to tie up in a top knot, I’m quite a way off at the mo.
I haven’t posted in a little while, but all is well.. in fact, all is very well! – I had an interview for a job on the same contract as I worked before, just with a different charity (working with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness), anyway… I GOT THE JOB! I am sooo happy and excited and relieved. I completely aced the interview.
I have a start date (so long as my checks come back in time) for Thursday 24th June. I have loads of ideas and I’m really enthusiastic about starting. The first two weeks will be training, and then I can start building up a client base and meet some people on my caseload. Eeek! Finally, got a job… after six months of being unemployed! Massive weight has been lifted.
Plus! There are perks – if I pass my probationary period of six months, I will be employed by the charity permanently! Real stability! I really can’t mess this up! This is it! New chapter!
So, last Friday morning I weighed myself (first thing), as I do. After a colossal loss of 6 lbs the first week, I had gained 1 lb… despite being ‘good’. You may think ‘not the end of the world’ which is exactly what I kept repeating to myself, but by the evening I was thinking ‘fuck it, I’ll have a night off!’ -so I allowed myself to have a few drinks.
Next day (Saturday) I just slept. The entire day was a write off. Being awake was physically painful. Then Sunday, I slept a lot more. I swear, this was a two day hangover! I hadn’t even drank that much on the Friday night! Moving my eyes felt like rubbing coarse sandpaper on my brain. I had big plans for a productive weekend, plus I wanted to hit the gym. I did literally nothing, for two days straight! What. A. Waste.
I really wasn’t used to feeling so crap. I couldn’t handle it. To think that not long ago (just before I started my new, improved healthy lifestyle) I was drinking daily… no wonder I was always depressed and grumpy. I probably felt like shit and didn’t realise it. I really thought differently about alcohol after that weekend of suffering. I kind of thought I don’t want alcohol in my life… at all, like ever again… possibly a bit drastic. But, that did cross my mind.
I’ve got a few social outings coming up. The next one is this Friday night. I’m meeting up with two old buddies of mine, ex colleagues from a job waaay back. It’s nice that we’re still in touch and catch up now and then. We planed this night out before pubs even re-opened! Booked tables and everything! I’m talking months in advance. Kinda thinking I can’t not drink… I don’t really want to, but it’s sort of expected of me… I’m sure they wouldn’t push drink on me, but they would try and tempt/sway my decision. “Go on, just have a few”… I can imagine them saying. Then ten pints down, I can hardly stand, slurring my words and picking fights with strangers… ugh.
I do have a plan.. I plan to drink beer, slowly, and break it up with pints of diet lemonade. Or I could have shandy I suppose (half beer half lemonade). I’m going to tell my mates I’m doing it for my mental health, and trust me, they know about my mental health, anyway, then they can’t tempt me! I mean, it is for my mental health! And my physical health, lol. I really don’t want to waste another weekend for the sake of a bit of beer.
Yesterday afternoon, in my luxury state of being unemployed, my mom (who works part time – reducing her hours to retirement) and my brother (who… well, also doesn’t have a job -but hasn’t done for a LOT longer than me) went to the cinema together. Cinema is pretty much my brother’s life, he has a masters degree in it. He was telling us just how much the film industry has felt the hit from Covid. People apparently now prefer watching films in the comfort of their own homes, but we all agreed -you just can’t beat the big screen! I love going to the cinema. It was a treat when we were kids. I think it helped me follow plot lines as it’s almost impossible to get distracted from a massive lit up screen right in front of you as you sit in the dark with loud surround sound. We saw Godzilla Vs King Kong! It was great! Action packed!
I got myself a diet drink and some salty popcorn, sat back and watched the Titans fight for the 1 hour 20 duration of the film. I let myself be completely immersed in the action, it was well worth seeing in the IMAX screen!
I won’t be able to do things like this when I have a job… well, I WILL, but not at 4pm on a weekday when things are quiet. I’ll have to cram all my leisure activities, socialising and exercising into the weekend… I’ve forgotten, how do people do that again?! I’ve been unemployed for six long months. Don’t get me wrong, I really want this job that I’m interviewing for next Thursday. But it will be weird.
Hi guys! I just wanted to take a second to let you know, I’ve finally fixed my ‘Messages’ page! So you can now submit private messages to me, they won’t be public, they will show up direct to my email inbox, just click on the messages button in the menu. NOTE: leave your email address if you would like a reply from me (otherwise I won’t know where to send it). I’m happy to answer any questions you might have or hear your thoughts and opinions.
A few weeks ago I enquired about current job vacancies at some of the rival service providers of my last job. They deliver the exact same service on the same contract, only to different types of clientele (I was a work coach to people that face barriers to gaining employment in my previous job). My ex ‘big boss’ told me some of the other service providers were hiring, we’re still in occasional contact – he’s a good egg. I think he feels bad for letting me go, and knowing that I still haven’t found work -six months on! I found one company with a vacancy, but… for no reason whatsoever, I put off applying straight away…
Last week I received a text from my old project manager letting me know that she’d seen this rival charity were hiring for someone to do my old job. I thought it was really nice of her, so I played dumb, pretended to know nothing about it, and thanked her. Her messaging kind of gave me a shove in the direction of actually applying for the job, so I filled out the application there and then (which to my surprise was the easiest app in the world!), attached my CV, and sent it off! Done and done. Then -a mere few hours later- I received an email from the company inviting me to interview on June 3rd!
So… now I have to prepare for that. I not only have relevant experience, I have exact experience. Okay… it’s a different clientele, homeless people instead of people with hearing loss, but I’ll do my research into the different barriers homeless people face in getting employment, read up on the charity, all that jazz!
I don’t wanna be too confident, but I am hopeful! Fingers crossed for me!
I hit a bit of a bump in the road yesterday. It was really hard to get up, my body felt really heavy, I was lethargic and moody. I also had cravings for lots of carbs and beer. It was like my stomach was empty (it wasn’t), I had this void inside that needed filling and the only thing I could think to fill it with was food and beer, like an emotional hunger wanting me to break and comfort eat/binge drink. However, I stayed strong (just about) and resisted. It was a real struggle.
The novelty of ‘being good’ is wearing off now and I’m getting bored of being this sober, healthy, rule-abiding saint. My usual unhealthy coping mechanisms are screaming at me to just let go, eat what I want, get pissed and sleep all day… that would be the easy thing to do.
BUT! I’m not going to do that! I’m going to ride it out, fight the urges and battle though. I’m sure it’ll get easier again. Being healthy won’t always come easy. I know that some days I’m not going to want to go to the gym, or even get out of bed! It will take will power and determination.
I weighed myself this morning in the hope that I would see some weight loss results, but I have stayed the same weight. It is what it is, I guess. Just gotta keep plugging away. At least it wasn’t a gain! Goes to show, that heavy feeling yesterday was all in my head.
I’m planning on an evening session in the gym a bit later, after a zoom call with a few of my mates from the Uni days. Then I’ll cycle home and jump in the bath for a nice, long, relaxing soak. As you can probably tell, my mood has bounced back to positive today, feeling way better. What a difference a day makes!
I’m still feeling pretty positive, I put myself to bed at 11:30 last night, set my alarms for 7am and awoke naturally at 6:30! I’m trying not to eat after 8pm at the latest, trying to be in bed before 12, and wake up at 7. Really need routine in my life. I’m also not going to drink caffeine after 3pm.
It might sound like a lot of ‘rules’ to live by, but I really think they are healthy.
Plans for today: call an employment service that my CMHT have put me in contact with (as they know how desperate I am to get back to work). The service is specifically designed to support people who have mental health issues to find and maintain suitable employment. So that’s positive! Then I have got to travel across town to the clinic to get my monthly depot injection. I’ll visit my Mom while I’m in her area and we’ll have lunch. Then the ADHD clinic will call about my new medication decision.
I was hoping to fit in a visit to the gym somewhere, but we’ll see…
As well as being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve fairly recently been diagnosed with Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).
It wasn’t that big of a thing when I was a kid, so it got missed. It is viewed as a child’s disorder, but some people don’t just grow out of it. And it’s more than just being hyperactive, it involves cognitive problems, such as bad memory, terrible concentration/focus, and impulsivity. Goes hand in hand with BPD as you can imagine.
You may remember I contacted the ADHD team a couple of weeks ago with a fear that I’d been forgotten about. Well, they emailed straight back apologising for their lack of support as they hadn’t been informed by my CMHT that I’d had my second ECG (of which the results were more normal following a decrease in my monthly depot injection of Flupentixol and stopping of Elvanse), so they made me an appointment for general obs and a discussion about treatment.
The positive effect that Lisdexamphetamine (brand name Elvanse) had on me seemed to ware off after a few months, so they’ve given me a few other medication options to consider. Methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin, amongst others) is the other 1st choice treatment according to the NICE guidelines, alongside Elvanse. Both are classed as stimulant medications. There is a third option of Atomoxetine, which is not a stimulant and works in a different way. After doing a bit of research I think I’m going to opt for Ritalin – see how I get on with that.
I have a phone appointment tomorrow with someone from the team to let them know what I’ve decided, they can then send a new prescription to the pharmacy. I
I’ve been consciously making healthier choices lately and I feel like it’s paying off, my mood seems to have been quite stable in positive for nearly a week now! Having more focus and ability to concentrate would be the cherry on the cake. Fingers crossed it works for me!
As you know, I’m trying to lose some weight. I’ve been eating healthily and doing all the right things. I’ve even joined a gym! (That’s how serious I am about getting rid of my extra weight!) anyway, weighed myself this morning and I have gained since the last time (which was around mid week last week. The only thing I did that wasn’t healthy was drink beer. So, I’m afraid that’s gonna have to stop for a while.. while I get in shape.
It is so ‘calorific’! Wah! Why can’t beer be good for you! So I’m going to kiss goodbye to my best buddy (beer), and say hello to mr T-total.
I’ve been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD (AKA Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, EUPD) for a very long time. My life is a struggle. I’ve decided to focus my posts in this blog a bit more on coping with and managing BPD symptoms, as I desperately want to be happy in myself and in my relationships, and live a life as close to ‘normal’ as I can get. Writing seems to help me pause and reflect.
Ever since the psych told me I had BPD, I never really researched it too much. I did a bit, saw that the slipper fits and moved on. In hindsight (I think I was in my early 20’s) what I really should have done is some in-depth research to try and understand myself. Better late than never I’m starting now (age 32).
This book ‘Borderline Personality Disorder for Dummies’ has been on my book shelf since I did get diagnosed. I think my Mom bought it. So I’ve dusted it off and started reading it. The book states it’s designed so that you can start anywhere you like, no real order. So I started with chapter 21, the one that will most interest Dom – ‘What to Do When Your Partner Has BPD’… to be honest I’ve been horrified by my reading. It really does paint people with BPD in a bad light! It calls us manipulative and in a lot of cases (intentional or not) abusive! This chapter really seems to feel sorry for the partner of anyone who has BPD, and gives advice on how to leave your relationship. I’m quite hurt. I told Dom to read it (before I’d read it myself), and now I’m scared that he’ll read all the bad things it portrays us as and take the book’s advice to leave me… there’s not much advice on how to maintain a relationship with someone with BPD, it basically says, if your staying with them you will need therapy to help you deal with it, but really- run for the hills!
There is a massive stigma surrounding BPD, this whole: nasty, evil, psycho-killer, manipulative, unpredictable, abusive, impulsive, suicidal, attention seeking mess. It’s also well quoted by professionals that “It’s not a mental ‘illness’, it’s a personality disorder”, making it sound less serious than it is, which is bad, because it is very fucking serious.
In the past I’ve longed for a different diagnosis, bipolar, schizophrenia, anything! Something that IS an ‘illness’ so they can give me the drugs and I’d respond to that treatment and start to feel better. But that doesn’t happen with personality disorders I’m afraid. Personality disorders are complicated. We have built up this severe mental gymnastic problem that twists everything and makes us feel emotions in extremes, black and white thinking, splitting, etc. from childhood. So it is deeply ingrained into our personality (or lack there of), and extremely low sense of self/self esteem. So we can’t just pop a pill every morning and symptoms disappear. We are wired that way, so we can pop pills to take the edge off mood swings (for example), but it won’t make them go away. To make them go away it would take years of long term intensive specialist therapy maybe as well as meds, to reprogram how we automatically feel, think, act and react to things.
Sounds like hard work, huh? well yes! It is. And it seems like it’s too much like hard work for my Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), as I’ve been under their care my entire adult life (and was under child and adolescent mental health care prior to that) and they have never offered me Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) which was specifically designed for people diagnosed with BPD.
Now that I am older and speak my mind more, less afraid of authority figures (or those who perceive themselves as that), I quizzed my psych on it last year, whilst in a (very few and far between) phone consultation appointment (not face to face due to covid). She said it was only for people who are currently self harming on a very severe level, the type where they need hospital treatment… so… why – when I cut my wrist so badly that I severed tendons and needed surgery to repair the damage – wasn’t I offered DBT??? There was the time I attempted suicide where I took a massive overdose and cut both my wrists, spent one night in a normal hospital, only to go home the next day. No psych intervention.
I was only an inpatient once and it was when I was a teenager. My parents took me out prematurely (after two weeks) against the psych’s advice because in their opinion it was making me more upset. Mental health services seem not to take me seriously, and I think it’s because I have the ability to articulate, and argue my case. They think that makes me less ‘crazy’, but I’m not. I had a melt down and got banned from the only chance at real therapy I’ve ever had, because I threw a chair across the room and they had to evacuate the other patients as I got mad… these events I’ve listed do make me sound like a ‘nutcase’ but really, I’m just frustrated and need help. No one helps me.
Long story short, I had to beg and plead with my psychiatrist to refer me for an assessment for DBT. She finally did (just to get me off the phone I think), she was sure they would not take me on. But when I explained my history to the man who assessed me he said I was a perfect candidate for it and I’m now on a waiting list.
The take home from this article is: fight for your treatment! If there is something wrong with you (no matter what it is) fight tooth and nail until you get the treatment you need. We only live once, so we might piss off a dr, so what, it’s their job to listen, and a lot of them don’t!
It’s half three in the morning and I’m wide awake. Could be because I didn’t get up until the afternoon yesterday. Could be because I went for two strong coffees at the coffee shop with my parents… whatever the reason, here I am, blogging from bed. Dom is snoring softly next to me. It’s cute.
I kind of want to talk about my latest thing… bare with me now, don’t roll your eyes or scroll away, but I’ve been reading about crystals. Now, I don’t believe they have powers, or anything like that. But I do think they are beautiful and can be used to ground people in meditation etc. I don’t see anything wrong in believing that stones have healing energy’s, and I’m a big believer in the placebo effect, so if someone believes they are being healed and they improve, let them keep believing it, right? It’s a no brainier. It doesn’t harm anyone. if anything it only does good! Better than taking handfuls of pills and potions to feel better! Unless a medical professional tells you to of course.
Anyway, how this all came about… last night I reached out to my old yoga teacher (I follow her on Instagram), I sent her an DM saying how I’ve been feeling bad and would like to get more into yoga and meditation. I also said I was willing to explore the practice in a spiritual way, to try it out. I like to think I’m less skeptical these days, more open minded. She got back to me with loads of great advice and suggestions.
I did a little bit of reading earlier around chakras. I quite liked these bite sized pieces of text, so i thought I’d share them with you. I’ve gone through and highlighted bits that apply to me and have applied to me in the past.
Interesting I thought. I’ve gone and purchased a few stones from the internet, to hold while I try meditation. I plan to meditate in the morning after breakfast, and in the evening before bed. Like I said, it can’t hurt!
Today I managed a complete turn around! I woke up in the afternoon really grumpy. I spent a few hours with my parents at a coffee shop and came home, that seemed to cheer me up a bit. Then the adult ADHD centre called, we had a very useful conversation (that needs a post of its own), then I cooked dinner – we had chicken fajitas.
The fajitas turned out really well. It’s the third night in a row that I’ve cooked dinner. Usually Dom cooks, but I’ve been trying to step up, he’s finishing off a paper that’s soon to be published, so I’m trying to help in any way I can to make life easier.
After dinner I decided to take a bath. It was just what I needed. This bath was life changing. I swear I could have solved the world’s problems in that bath. It was perfect. I was in there until the water went cold! I lit a scented candle and everything! I found my happy place. I felt completely at peace with myself for once. I practiced a bit of meditative mindful breathing I’d read about, and my mind cleared. Hours went by and I got out a new woman.
I spoke to Dom about how bad I have (or haven’t) been feeling, he seemed concerned but he has a lot on his plate already. After some thought he said I need to take responsibility for helping myself, the internet is here, read up on it, find things that will help me. He is of course right. I can’t be relying on him to do all the work for me.
So I have a kind of plan to try and dig myself out of this rut. It started with taking advice from the internet. It’s nighttime so I put my pyjamas on, wrapped up in my comfy dressing gown, and discovered the caffeine free drink Rooibos which is a type of tea. I’ve been drinking it nonstop for hours. I feel like it’s slowly thawing my frozen core and making my tummy happy. I can’t drink it forever… or maybe I can! But I feel a bit better anyway.
I’m broken. I’ve noticed it more today than lately. I feel blank. Nothing. I’m empty. Dead inside. I don’t seem to get pleasure anymore. I’m missing happiness. I keep trying to fill myself with anything I can, especially alcohol. But it doesn’t distract from it for long. I have no purpose. There is nothing to do. I’m debilitatingly bored but I don’t have the motivation to do anything, and if I did I’d soon get annoyed and irritated. I’m lost. This is how it feels. Death of the self. Like my personality has been deteriorating for years and now it’s gone. RIP. I’m a hollow shell of a person. A walking empty vessel. No expressions. Just a lack of everything that makes one human. I’m dumb. My memory is gone. What’s my reason for still being here? I’m also cripplingly lonely. I have very few friends. I prefer being alive in my dreams and it’s usual for me to have nightmares. I’m going to call my CMHTs ‘duty’ (the crisis team) tomorrow. I think I need some help. I’m not here.
I googled feeling dead inside. There were tips on how to cope. One of them was to make a feelings list, so I turned it into this blog post.
So although it’s only been about 6 weeks since my first jab, I got my second today! So I am now fully vaccinated! Woop! I had an extremely painful arm the next day with my first jab, so fingers crossed that it’s different with the second. I got the Oxford, AstraZeneca vaccine.
I have a close friend who is claiming to be an anti-vaxxer. I’ve not spoken to her about it, but I don’t think there will be much changing her mind. She can be very stubborn. This worries me.
I got a message from the guy I went to school with who was looking for someone to work in the brewery… my interview was supposed to be tomorrow, but the message was cancelling it. They don’t want me… they wanted a professional brewer or an experienced driver – neither of which am I. So the message was very polite saying he doesn’t want to waste my time or lead me on just to turn me down. I have them to thank for that at least, I guess. I had kind of set my heart on a new thing though, so now I have no clue what kind of job to look for. Absolutely no one will take me on. Fuck. My. Life.
I have an interview! On Thursday. It’s at a microbrewery pub. I know the guy who runs it from school, he was in my form, we sat opposite each other. It was advertised on Facebook and I kinda jumped at it. Dived right in before looking at where it was… turns out it is MILES away… but I’ve already done and application and got an interview now. Looked up where afterwards… like a complete dumb ass. I can’t drive, and there are no direct buses. So it’s gonna take me 15 mins in a taxi each way. Which will take a chunk out of the average-ish wage I would get, IF successful that is.
I really don’t know if this is a good move or not… I’ll be taking a pay cut from my last job (but at the moment no one else will have me!), it’s miles away (so I’ll spend a fortune on travel), and I don’t know if I’m emotionally stable enough not to let the guy down! He needs a hard working staff member for an immediate start (we’re talking next week!). No.1 – it would get me out of this god forsaken house, and the rut and relationship problems that are going with it at the mo. No.2 – some money is better than no money at all! No.3 – I might lose some weight having to actually do things. No. – I’d get to meet people and practise social skills after lockdown!
But.. then again. There is a well paid job that I have recent, relevant, skills sets for based in an employment office 12 mins from my house. I could cycle and earn a fortune if I was successful. More than ever before!
Basically, I don’t know… do I continue going for office jobs being stuck behind a desk getting fatter and fatter and hating life. Or do I be less well off being active working in a pub which might suit me better…?
I am so alone. I live with my boyfriend who is studying for a PhD in bioinformatics 🤯 it’s STILL pretty much lockdown here in Birmingham (UK), so mainly my only communication with another human is with him.
We are ‘having problems at the moment’ (his words, not mine) so it can get quite hostile. There are two main rooms to our flat. The living area and the bedroom. So it’s hard to get space without going to bed. He gets annoyed when I go to bed.
I get a lot of mixed signals. One minute I’m being shushed because he needs to concentrate , and the next he’s apologising that he doesn’t pay me enough attention. My emotions are wrecked, I don’t know if I’m up or down normally, let alone in isolation with mr confused about how he feels towards me. Although, the majority of the time it is annoyed, angry and frustrated.
I have started to wonder if we are even right for each other… is he even happy being with me? I love him. But I want to make him happy, and I feel like he does not understand me (trying to live with my mental health issues) and I also feel like he never will. He is to logical, pragmatic and rational. Emotions ride me like a bitch. It’s not fun and I can not control it like he can. I feel like unless he has my experience he will never ‘get it’. He goes on facts, figures, experiences, lessons learned. I go by whichever chemical my brain is throwing at me… excitement for no apparent reason, crying over an advert, shouting swear words at the top of my voice because I dropped a tea towel, being physically unable to get up in the morning because I wish I was dead with depression after another nights worth of nightmares. The list could go on.
Basically, neither of us are happy. So what do we do now? We’ve been together for over 3 years. We know no different. When the tough gets going… do you battle though until the good again? We’ve gotten through rough patches before. But to be honest… I didn’t see it as a rough patch until he basically called it out this evening. Sigh.