As you may have guessed from the title, I had covid this Christmas (I guess it’s ‘last’ Christmas now)… yep, the bloody virus that has plagued the world for the last few years finally caught up with me. And it meant I couldn’t spend Christmas Day with my family, which sucked, big time! Me and Dom were isolating, so he couldn’t go and stop with his family either. We made the best of a bad situation though. Neither of us were too ill on the big day, I’d actually started to test negative, but with Dom being positive we continued to isolate until the day after Boxing Day when we had both been negative for two days running.
My lovely Mom helped us out over the isolation period, did us a grocery shop, she even cooked and delivered us a full blown Christmas dinner on the day!!! I got to wave at her from the gate. It was so sweet of her, it made me happy-sad, (a concept that I’ve come up with to explain my conflicting emotions).
Anywho, Dom and I practically drank our way through the 10 (or more) day illness. I lost my sense of smell and taste at one stage, but thankfully it came back by Christmas Eve. Losing smell and taste is devastating! Especially during the holiday period where we are all indulging in deliciousness!
We had a quiet New Year’s Eve. I spent most of it doing e-learning for work… that’s right, I logged on to complete ruddy e-learning. 31st December was the deadline and I had left a LOT of it to the very last minute. I started at about midday and didn’t finish until about 10:30pm. What a way to start the new year! -trying desperately to finish off all the crap you always put off, and tie up loose ends.
Just before the strike of twelve I called my Mom and then joined Dom in a Zoom call to his mates. We got drunk and slept late on New Year’s Day, as is the done thing (if you don’t have children).
I’m feeling pretty positive about the new year, I will continue to progress, in all areas of life. Slow as I am – I am getting better…
To be honest, as someone who was recently considering identifying as the transgender ‘category’ of non-binary I have struggled with calling myself a feminist (a bit dumb I know). To me the movement should be about equal rights and treatment despite gender, not the stereotype of a group of women who hate on men. What makes someone a ‘Feminist’ has changed a lot over the years. So it requires me to do a lot more reading on the subject.
As for transgender feminism – fair! Trans women have every right to call themselves a feminist.
This post has been inspired by how I spent Sunday evening; I plucked my eyebrows, dermaplaned my face, showed and shaved everything, including my hairy legs (that I had been growing on purpose for many months), I exfoliated, moisturised and painted my nails. One BIG grooming session. Finally shaving my legs was a conscious decision. The novelty had worn off and I had begun to dislike the look of them. I initially started to let them grow after not liking the act of shaving combined with feeling like I only do it because I’ve been conditioned. But no, turns out I just like feeling clean, smooth and hairless.
I’ve spent the day listening to a playlist of the Punk sub genre Riot Grrrl, born through feminism. It’s all a bit fascinating, and I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. I just feel I’m on an educational journey of self discovery and reflection.
What a difference a week makes. Last weekend I was begging for Dom to give me a chance to prove myself worthy of staying with. I’ve spent the week making changes and trying more, and my actions and apologies have payed off. I’m serious about being a better person, for Dom and myself. Yesterday I even liked myself a bit more. I really had let everything go and pretty much given up without realising it. Now I’m awake and aware and feeling alive again.
Over the weekend Dom nearly broke up with me… to be honest……… I don’t blame him.
There is so much I’m doing wrong: I don’t pull my weight around chores and house work, I never cook, barely ever wash up – don’t even know how to use the new washing machine, I drink alcohol at every given opportunity (to excess), I act without thinking about the consequences, I’m selfish, I don’t think about other people, I’m inconsiderate, I’m entitled and expect everything to be done for me and I rely entirely on other people to do everything. I am basically a dependant child, I never take responsibility for my actions, or admit to being wrong. I find it near impossible to apologise in a meaningful way, and worst of all I never change! I blame my mental illnesses for the way I act and react or don’t act, but there is more to it. I got lazy. I lost my drive, my will power… my determination. I lost myself. Relationships are a partnership, they take work. I’ve slacked off and jeopardised everything. I nearly lost Dom for fuck’s sake! The love of my life. All because I stopped trying, at life. I stopped putting effort in and became completely self absorbed. He has the patients of a fucking saint to put up with me being this horrible, and for so long! How he’s stayed with me though my shit I really don’t know.
I apologised for real today. I can see it all now. I took a long hard look at myself over the weekend, and I didn’t like what I saw. I feel like I have woken up for the first time in literally years. He’s right, it’s repeated behaviour. Why would he want to continue a life together being my mother, my carer, my fucking slave for God’s sake. It would not be fair.
The weekend was an eye opener. A wake up call. I know this is not who I am. I CAN change, for the better. I know I can. It’s going to take more than therapy, it’s going to have to be driven from within me.
I said “I’m nothing without him” and that’s got to change too. I need to be a someone, I need to have self respect, stand on my own two feet. We can lean on each other for support in times of need, but the poor guy has been carrying me!
Well no more. Today was a new day. A fresh start. I’ve started to make changes already. It helps that I can see clearly now. I think I definitely have an alcohol problem. I would even say… at this point I admit to being a functioning alcoholic. I haven’t touched a drop for two days now. I’m not blaming the alcohol, but it is a catalyst to a downward spiral.
I need to be alert to my behaviour, pay attention to other people, let myself feel instead of numbing out or getting bind drunk. I will change. I’m certain of it. Even if I need to re-read this post everyday for the next five years. I can’t go on mistreating Dom, and the people I love.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.