I can’t focus!

Maan, I can’t focus at all lately. It seems I did a good job last week to finish my targets at work and whatnot but now I’m completely spent! and my diet has slipped big time! Which is utterly stupid because I’ve just spent £115.00 on a diet/weight loss app… I’ve not told Dom… I’m drinking all the time too, which is a bad sign that there is something I’m not coping with in life. I think it’s falling behind at work if I’m honest with myself. With each day I get further and further behind being ‘on top of things’… it gets me down and feeling guilty as hell, so I deal with that by getting drunk, which makes it hard to wake up, which makes me late, which makes me have to pay for a taxi, which is a waste of money, and I had to get an overdraft this month because I can’t afford to live like this!

I have my mid-probation (3 months in the job) review on Friday. In some areas I’m doing great, and in others I’m atrocious. I have so much e-learning to do. Really you should do that in your first few weeks… I’m three months in… shit. It’s not just that. There’s other stuff. I get so tired, I sleep in and stuff, it’s so unprofessional. My favourite phrase in work when my incompetence starts appearing is “the cracks are starting to show”. To be fair, I’m severely mentally ill, every day is a fucking struggle! How I manage to just about function – I really don’t know.

I need a week out to get my head straight and then a week of just admin to catch up with everything… unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Wahhh. Woe is me.

Target 🎯 smashed!

This month we were all set a target of 10 new registrations. I got 11… yes, that’s 110% Woop! In line for the prize for most registrations in September I think! Apparently the prize is to do with a team night out! Now, that sounds like my kinda prize! I’ve also written an article for world mental health day. I’ll probably post it on here on the day, because why not!

I got a hair cut today too, hence the new look. I fear I look a bit like a stereotypical lesbian, and a fat one at that! I don’t really mind, I’m just glad to finally get it cut! Was driving me mad!

I’m a bit proud and a bit ashamed… Proud because I got all those registrations, but ashamed because I am behind on logs, and it’s getting worse! I need to get back on top before I’m in over my head! I have my 3 month mid-probationary period review on Friday. I really don’t want to let my boss down. There are just not enough hours in the week when you have ADHD. I need to speak to her about this.

Pride – Shroud or Proud?

It’s Birmingham Pride on Saturday… I was thinking about writing something about myself and how I identify on social media – to get it all out there and help the fight against stigma, but I’m still not sure…

Sexuality: For many years I’ve identified as bisexual, but never really needed to ‘come out’ as such. I’ve never felt worthy of it being labelled snd public information. It’s always been assumed anyway, and has never really bothered me as my sexual preference is nobody’s business except mine. Doing a bit of research I think really I identify more as pan sexual, because I fall in love with people and their personalities, not physical bodies/attributes.

Identity: Recently I have been toying with identifying as non binary (not female or male). It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster in my mind, because although I feel way more comfortable being classed as both male and female, or neither (in the middle), that would mean I fall under the category as ‘Transgender’… I don’t feel like I am trans gender, because I don’t feel like I have had to transition. I have been in the middle of male and female my entire life. There was no revelation. I am who I am, and that’s that.

Sex: I was born female at birth, so have the adult woman body that comes with that. Just because I don’t fully identify as being female, I understand how I will be perceived according to my woman body’s shape and exterior. I am also very used to being called the pronouns she/her, as I’ve been a girl since I was born. As far as pronouns go, I do not want people to have to alter anything about how they refer to me, I don’t want to make things difficult, and I actually don’t care what you call me. I do not prefer to be called they/them, although if you did I’d appreciate the gesture.

It’s the in between of everything that makes me feel like a fraud and not worthy to ‘come out’ as a pan sexual non binary individual. I’m not one way or the other, and I’ve not had to transition. I’ve had it easy compared to a lot of the LGBTQ+ community. Where do I go from here?

Any advice is welcomed, my message box is always open. Hit me up.

Off sick

I’m off sick guys, I have a chest infection. Went to the doctors today and they’ve prescribed me antibiotics. At least it’s not covid. I actually hate being off work, so I’ve been on my work laptop all day anyway doing admin bits and bobs… not even gonna get paid for it, but at least I haven’t fallen behind or been bored. My manager told me to ‘get off my emails and rest up’ lol, nice that she cares.

Work is going really well. I have my mid-probation supervision on Friday. Apart from not having completed my e-learning yet, I’m smashing it out of the park where supporting clients is concerned. My manager is super impressed. Feels good to have a purpose again. I take pride in the quality of support I provide and that feels pretty good too. You can totally tell the people who don’t give a shit about their job a mile off. I can’t imagine being employed to do a thing and then not doing it to the best of my ability. That’s mad to me. Maybe it’s because I’m a people-pleasing praise seeker desperate for approval and acceptance by anyone and everyone I come into contact with, or maybe I just like to be teachers pet. Whatever it is, it spurs me on to do a good job. I tell you, in this company it does not go unnoticed. Not like the company I worked for before where I was never praised, no matter how hard I worked – just punished for my lack of motivation and ever declining mental health… is it that much of a surprise that I was stressed and depressed??

It does not take a bloody genius to motivate a team. Positive reinforcement is the answer, and if improvements really need to be made then make the criticism constructive! My old manager was a bully on a power trip who delegated tasks so much that she had no work left to do herself! Then, in her boredom would choose people to pick on. She had different favourites and scapegoats each week. Unfair treatment is an understatement.

Now my new manager, she gets it! I feel like I could go to her with anything without feeling judged. She is my rock! Bloody love my new job!

I’m being techno-blanked…

When I’m not at work I’m bored. I need something to interest me but nothing does. Dom suggests a hobby – but they’re all just fads. I dunno if it’s ADHD related or what, but I’m lonely!

I find that I stray to the pub after work just to scroll through the contacts in my phone for someone to talk to, but none of them are contactable… mainly because I’m either waiting for them to reply to the last message I sent (I obvs can’t text consecutive messages, because That would just look needy and desperate), or they just haven’t even bothered to read or reply to my last message in the first place!!

The two ticks on WhatsApp are a dead giveaway…

God, it’s lame posting this. Where are real life people? Where are my friends???

BPD + Me = Forever Alone?

When lockdown first happened I reached out to loads of people who I’d not spoken to in years. I felt more forced into isolation than ever before, and I’m quite a social person naturally, I just can’t keep hold of friends for some reason..? All of a sudden I was connected again! I felt revitalised, like I suddenly had more friends than I thought! They were all just a bit dusty on a shelf hidden away in the back of my brain somewhere. We had conversations over the phone, WhatsApp groups, and meet ups over Zoom (which seemed to be the new Skype). Lockdown was a bit of an excuse to do these things. Distance wasn’t a problem OR an excuse for anyone anymore because you could be bloody neighbours and still not be allowed to see each other face to face in real life. It was a weird time, filled with boredom, loneliness and fear, but also, hope, gratitude and strong emotional bonds.

Fast forward to lockdown lifting; The incredibly, idiotically named “Freedom Day”, where everyone was… (is..?) still scared about COVID killing people, but it’s not enough to keep us apart anymore… all so it may seem.

Personally, I feel lonely again. I’m seeing wAy more people face to face now, at my new job etc. than I have done for a very long time, but I’ve gone out of my way to make sure I continue to text and ‘check in’ on those people who I reconnected with at the start of lockdown. However, I’m not getting much in return… the conversations run dry, I get short answers, or no answers at all! I know people have their busy lives back, but so do I..? – I’m still making the effort… Friendship is supposed to be a two way thing. Where are the people texting and ‘checking in’ on me? Where are my texts out of the blue?

I swear, I scroll through my phone book these days and there are so few I would actually call a friend I can’t tell if it’s sad or scary.. maybe both…

I had a conversation about this with Dom not long ago. He notices when I get down and always asks about what is making me sad. when the answer is that I’m lonely and I don’t have any friends, it can get a bit awkward. Dom likes to be a problem solver and resolve my sadness with advice, but for this it’s tough… you can’t just magic up friends. You have to build on relationships with chosen people over a long time… not only is there the ‘growth period’ that is a blocker to having instant friends, but there is the question of where the hell do you find them, if you’re not at school, college or Uni..? those were my chances to build relationships that would last me through my boring adult/‘more mature’ years. But no, BPD prevented me from ever having healthy relationships with anyone. Thanks BPD… Then, there were the ones (mainly from Uni) that I did want to keep as forever friends… but I didn’t maintain it he relationships properly when I moved back to Birmingham… “Out of sight, out of mind”, thanks ADHD… so I feel like those relationships are now beyond repair, and I’ll never have that tight bond we once had ever again… Fuck.

I’ve even neglected my relationship with my brother… who for most of my life has been my best friend in the whole world. We have a closeness due to our family situation that not many people would be able to comprehend. Our family are the functioning fucked up, but however negative that sounds… there is SO much love for each other. Me, my Mom, my brother and my Dad.

Now of course I have Dom, the love of my life. I know this because he balances me out whist at the same time sticks by me and supports me through thick and thin. He has the patients of a saint, not many people would or could put up with my multitude of flaws (be that due to the personality disorder or various other factors). Dom saw something in me that was worth more than anything I could see in myself, he has spent the last four years trying to show me and to convince me to believe in myself, which I must admit is sinking in. He saw a future, he saw potential, he saw the ‘me’ beneath my collection of diagnoses and layers of medication. However dreamy snd romantic sounding this is it’s not been easy – Don made very clear from the start of our relationship that he wouldn’t be my carer, that I have to be able to take care of myself and prove that I can be independent… Which, I worked at, and eventually did. I feel like I’m still proving it, every day, but not to him, to myself. Now I want to succeed, I want to be stable and happy and one day raise a family with Dom. He gave me something to fight for. He was and always will be the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I love you Dominic Russ.

Talking about the future like this has made me realise, there are a small handful of people who I still want to be around with me on this journey. People I feel are drifting away. My brother being the main one. I have a few relationships that I need to focus on fixing, then I can think about new friends (if I need them). I’m nearly 33, where do you get new friends at this age anyway?

Those people I love, you know who you are (yet I very much doubt you know of the existence of this blog). I’m coming for you, I’ve not given up.

Take it with a pinch of ADHD

So, my boyfriend thinks he might have ADHD… part of me thinks.. is this just because I was diagnosed and he sees that meds I have now, help me concentrate on my job, so he wants the same to help him concentrate on his PhD..?

His PhD might I add, which he seems to be doing pretty okay with for someone with potential ADHD, it’s no easy subject – it is Bioinformatics… I would seriously dream of having his memory capacity/ability, and dedication/drive to do and finish tasks. He listens to history podcasts as a hobby any time he has to shower or wash up or do something menial, therefore he knows infinite details about the Roman Empire and it’s geography etc. (including dates and names of people and places).

Tomorrow (after a very long waiting list) he will be having the same appointment I had when I was diagnosed (as an adult) about two years ago. I took to this appointment school reports and my mom (in person) as someone who has known ‘the patient’ most of or all of their life. Dom can’t do this, so they will just be going by his word alone… Now… Dom, can be a bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to medical things. He is similar to my Dad in that way. I do not doubt he will say all the right words to get a diagnosis of ADHD (especially knowing me).

I personally do not believe for a second that he actually has ADHD… if they deem that he has, I will lose all faith in the system. However harsh that may seem.

Cry baby at weddings…

A few weeks ago I was a bridesmaid at my cousin Rosie’s wedding. It was forecast to rain and was set to be an outdoorsy summer affair, but thankfully the weather held out all day and the celebrations were only dampened by my many tears during the ceremony! I am so strange when it comes to weddings of people close to me (and I guess even of those not so close to me – as I nearly cried at Dom’s friend’s wedding years ago), I just get really overcome with emotion. It’s confusing, I think it’s really lovely and cute and for some reason that brings me to tears… Yet, I play the clown in gatherings at funerals… in a desperate attempt to cheer people up…

Anyway, Rosie looked stunning, her and the groom looked like Britain’s next top models! Such a handsome couple. Dom and I unfortunately were not warned in time to congregate in the marquee for the speeches, so we missed a few minutes of the father of the bride speech talking to the woman selling craft ale round the corner, when we realised we had to be somewhere, we had to sneak in and found some seats that were quite far away. At the end of the groom’s speech he announced that the day previous they had discovered that Rosie is in fact pregnant with their first child!

I am so happy for them. They’ve been together for 10 years, and they are the perfect match. They will both make amazing parents.

There kind of is nothing I want more in this world than to have a baby. So of course I’m slightly envious, but not in a bad way. It’s just natural. Dom thinks we’re not ready… I am. I want a baby as soon as possible really. I hate the idea of leaving it too late. Or even not leaving it too late and being an old mom. Women only have a certain number of eggs, we’re not like men who are pretty much fertile until they’re dead! I’m 32 now.. rapidly approaching 33. Dom is still doing his PhD. Granted, it’s coming to an end, but then he wants a holiday and then he’ll have to get a job. Will we have to move? Who knows? When do we look into buying a house? All these things are factors. But, baby needs to be a factor somewhere too.

Rosie apologised to me sometime following the wedding that she didn’t warn me of the news before hand as she knows how triggering a pregnancy in the family can be for me (after the breakdown I had when I found out my other cousin Becky was pregnant – which was about two years ago now).

Total BPD reaction, to be so jealous that you can’t function. While at the same time knowing that they deserve all the happiness a child will bring to their family, and being happy for them. I’m trying so hard not to let it consume me this time. I’m trying to be happy with what I have right now. Dom sees my over the top emotional reactions and does not understand them. He thinks I’m being a baby. I really think he needs to research borderline personality disorder a bit more, because he just does not empathise with me when I need him to most.

He think’s I’m too immature and irresponsible right now. He want me to prove myself before we even think about it. He is a very pragmatic person. He has his routines that get him through, and that is that. I don’t have that. I try, but it does not come naturally to me. But spontaneous, idiosyncratic people can still be parents. I understand why he might want me to be stable for a prolonged period of time before we decide to procreate! I mean, that’s big! Bringing another life into the world. A little helpless slither of a human, to look after and mould into a functioning, well rounded person. We haven’t even had a pet!

Getting back on the blog train

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!

I am so ready

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.

Good news!

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!

Can’t do hangovers…

Not anymore…

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.

Cinema at the IMAX

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.

Message me!

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.

Don’t be shy!

Got an interview!

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!

Bored of ‘being good’…

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!

Beat the alarm!

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…

ADHD and me too

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!

News flash: beer makes you fat

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.

Let’s see how this effects the scales!

Living with BPD… or me?

Who am I?

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!