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!
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!
I emailed the Adult 25+ ADHD psych team that I’m under earlier today, because I think they’ve forgotten about me…
Depending on how long you’ve been following, you might know that ages ago I was on 50mg Elvanse daily to treat my ADHD, that was until I had an ECG to check my heart and it gave abnormal results which was caused by the meds. So I had to stop taking them with immediate effect (cold turkey), and I have not heard from the ADHD team since. I had a repeat ECG and my heart had returned to normal, but still heard nothing from them…
Now I’m unemployed and my tolerance to do things has decreased down to almost nothing and my motivation to start tasks is zero. Life is a struggle and my ability to function like a person is withering away. I feel like I am more like a pet than a girlfriend to my boyfriend whom I live with.
I want to know if there are alternatives treatments/support out there for me. Sometimes you need to speak up to get what you want in this life. Use your voice to be noticed or heard.
Not much goes on in my life at the moment, as you can probably tell. It’s still lockdown, I am painfully unemployed and I have very few friends and zero motivation to do interests or hobbies. Getting out of bed would be a start.
I applied to work for the Department for Work and pensions… got through to an interview. I was hopeful following that, even though it was a pre-recorded interview. I have the relevant experience etc. And I thought the interview went okay. But no… that’s not what they thought. I got an email earlier this evening saying I’d been unsuccessful…
I am depressed. No one gives me a chance. I have everything going against me, including my own fucking brain with various multiple complex mental health bullshit. Still, I try and drag myself through life. Behind a everyone else my age who are buying houses and starting families.
I gave Dom a ticket out today. I don’t want to hold him back. He deserves more than a complete loser at life like me. He’s doing a PhD for gods sake. Here’s me, unemployed and off my fucking rocker, needing a monthly injection of antipsychotics and daily antidepressants to just about roll out of bed at about 12pm to stare at walls and do fuck all until bedtime.
Today radio 6 woke me up as usual, informing me of world events alongside some good tunes. Today is International Woman’s Day… it got me thinking (there’s a lot of space to think when you’re unemployed), I thought about writing a post on topic, but couldn’t find my angle. So instead, I’m going to freestyle.
The first person and most important woman who will ever be in my life is my Mom. It’s only been in the most recent years (my late 20’s and early 30’s) that I have really grown to appreciated her for EVERYTHING she’s done for me and my little (now big) bro, and all she’s endured and sacrificed for us.
The more I thought about it being international woman’s day, the more I ended up thinking about my mom – so this post is dedicated to her.
I speak to my Mom almost everyday about nothing, somethings, anything’s and everything! This evening I text her to tell her that she is my hero. I am a bit depressed at the moment, and I got tearful in front of Dom about a memory that haunts me… Mom and I were in class learning BSL level 3 a few years ago, the topic of conversation in the group was ‘role models’, we each took turns to say a role model of ours, it came to my turn and I said “I don’t know?”, other group members laughed as my own mother was sat beside me and that would have been an obvious choice. I glanced at my Mom and she looked a bit hurt, but hiding it well, laughing along. I think I can accidentally be a real arsehole sometimes. It was just that (at that time) I didn’t believe in having a ‘role model’ as such. I’ve grown up a lot since then. I’m less of a twat.
My Mom loved my message, she told me she went for a walk in the park today and got talking to a grandmother on the way home, in her message to me, Mom talked about the woman:
“She said about her daughter when she was growing up ‘I never thought that we would be best friends’, but she said ‘we really are’, it made me think about us and how we are best mates, I had never thought of it before?” – My Mom
She’d made me realise it too -my Mom is my best friend. If ever I have any news she’s the first person I call. When I’m bored (however sick of me she must get) I phone and she answers. I love that woman. I have two main people saved in my phone as emergency contacts, my Mom and Dom.
I texted her back confirming we’re best friends forever! (Complete with tears streaming down my face – like I said, I’m a tad depressed and the slightest thing can set me off at the moment).
Understatement… shit, I was balling! There is too much emotion for me to comprehend, to handle. I thought I’d never be able to stop crying. The love, the pain of the future loss, the guilt of not being there when she’s needed me in the past. Everything. I’m a big upset mess at the moment. I’m due my depot injection tomorrow, think I’m going to enquire about upping the antidepressants. ANYWAY!
This has been a good post, I feel I haven’t had to delve too much into my upbringing to show you how much my Mom has done for me and my brother. However, I will say, she did above and beyond as a single parent to give us both more opportunities than she could have ever dreamed of when she was a kid. If a mother supports and provides for their child/children then my Mom is the best in the world.
Feeling way too positive today… I’m not used to it…
After a completely sleepless night (one before last), last night I went to bed at 10pm and set my alarm for 7am. I fell asleep with a strong determination to get up when my alarm told me to. And guess what… -I did! I just -got up! If you knew me, you would know how unlikely it was for that to actually happen. I started the day perfectly; came down stairs, had coffee, flicked on the morning news programme, ate a healthy breakfast, had a shower, got dressed -in ‘daytime clothes’ not the usual half and half combo that has become the norm over lockdown of comfortable pyjama bottoms with t-shirt and hoodie, using the excuse that there is no real need to leave the house. As a matter of fact, at breakfast I used up the last bit of cereal in the bag (granola if you want to know), so I decided to go out to the shop to get some more. A nice cold morning walk up the road in the fresh air to the local convenience store. Dom came with me. I woke him up an hour after I got up and we were out the house just after nine.
I tried to explain my current feelings to Dom as we walked… I feel as though I’ve had a near death experience and woken up the next morning thankful to still be alive. The kind of feeling where the grass looks greener, you notice the birds singing, food tastes better. Basically, I think I might be happy. right now, this morning, despite everything going on – I am happy.
Maybe the new antidepressants are working after all. It’s kind of a good job I didn’t ring the psych team yesterday like I wrote that I would, to complain that the drugs aren’t doing anything.
Maybe this happiness is a bit too much? But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m just a bit weirded out by how drastic of a change my mood has gone through overnight. They always say things will be better in the morning, but they never usually are.
I just kept thinking, where’s my Christmas miracle… y’know? I interviewed for two separate redeployment opportunities but my co-workers got the roles. There wasn’t enough to go round. Reminds me of being picked last to join a team of basketball in senior school.. fucking sucks. At least in school it didn’t effect how much money we have to live on! Being an adult is waaay harder.
I haven’t slept tonight. It’s 6:00am now, so I just got up. Dom and I argued last night. It was a serious one. Came close to the end of our relationship… there was a lot of shouting, slamming things, tears (on my part), it was a mess. I really need to sort my life out. It’s crumbling away, and I’ve worked so hard to get to this point. Depression wants to beat me again, but I’m not going to let it. I’m going to phone the psych team at 9:00am, tell them the new drugs aren’t working on me yet.
Basically everything at the moment is a wake up call. And if I don’t make some big lifestyle changes I’m going to be back at square one, for sure. I don’t want to choose the easy life. I want the good life. And that comes with hard work.
I’m going to spend the next few hours working on my CV and looking for jobs. If I could get a new job to start in January, that could be a real turning point. A fresh start. No horrible reputation of mental health days off sick, or being late because I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. A clean slate. New people. Yeahh.. that would be nice.
I had an ECG (like a heart rate monitor reading) last Thursday. They usually just take three readings, but for me they took four because it kept showing a long QT (whatever that means)… before I left the nurse said “I have to give you some advice before you go, because your QT levels were high… if you go light headed or get any chest pain call for an ambulance…”
The next day I was at work in between appointments and I got a phone call from my psychiatrist who had just reviewed my ECG results. She was calling because she had concerns about the high QCT readings. She said a normal range goes up to 170 and my highest reading was 195… antipsychotic meds can make this happen apparently, so she has decreased the dosage of my monthly depot injection of Flupentixol from 50mg back down to 40mg… if that IS what’s causing the high QCT then it should show a lower reading in a next follow up ECG in three/four months time. Hopefully I’ll be able to remain stable mentally until then… and still have a beating heart!
However, if it’s not down to the Flupentixol, then I might have an underlining heart condition that will need investigation and stuff, because a high QCT level can be quite serious apparently. Like… your heart can just stop…
Apparently the QCT level is the time it takes for your heart to start beating and stop beating on each beat. I’ve had bradycardia (a slow heart rate) for years, ever since my first ECG showed it up back when I had an eating disorder a million years ago, it feels like.