Mental As….Sonja

I’ve sat down to write this a few times now, and deleted it over and over again.

It’s Mental Health Week in Australia – or month if you live in NSW. Obviously, this is a topic close to my heart. I believe that more people need to speak up about it, so that there can be greater understanding in the wider community that having a brain that is sick is no different, really, than have a body that is unwell.

The problem lies here: I want to write an uplifting post. I want to say that it all gets so much better and therapy and medication really help and there is an end in sight! In some ways, this is correct: I have overcome Bulimia Nervosa, the roots of which began when I was 8 (but that really took hold when I was 16). I no longer have any symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These are two really big things that took a lot of hard work to achieve, and I am proud of them. Continue reading

Advertisements

2013. Not my best year.

Oh, 2013.

What. A. Year.

I wish I could write an uplifting post about personal growth. About how much I’ve learnt about myself this year, got in touch with my inner self, matured, changed. In all honesty though, I haven’t much.

I spent the first sixth months of this year firmly in denial. I knew what I had to do by March, but I resolutely didn’t  do anything about it until June. It’s a painful, horrible thing to think that you are going to spend to rest of your life with someone only to work out that it would, in fact, be an incredible mistake if you did.

I have let myself be frozen by anixiety and fear. It’s no surprise to many of you that I failed 3 subjects and barely passed another 3. I have relied on old addictive behaviours instead of healthy coping stratergies. I have shut people out and held myself in.

Really, this year there is not much that I am proud of.

I hope next year will be better. I hope I put more effort into life. I have lived too long behind the veil of illness and insecurity (sometimes, with legitmate cause but often without).

For a month and a half recently, I was reguarly chatting to guy. A good, funny, kind, intelligant Christian man. He helped me see myself in a new, or rather, old light. Once upon a time, I was fearless and fun and full of life. I miss being that person. I know I can’t ever be exactly her again, but I want to try to regain some of the important parts of life. He has inspired me to be passionate again.

I have three friends who have been struggling in various stages of recovery from eating disorders this year. They want to get better and Iam inspired by their zest for life.

My sister is building  a house. My mum is standing up for herself. My dad is enjoying life again.

Next year, I hope to be proud of myself.

Thankful Thursday #4: Mental Healthcare

Firstly, I realise that I’m a day late with thankful thursday this week.
I’ve been sick, and uni is in full swing and…I forgot. Oops!

This weeks topic is close to my heart, and it’s also something that matters to a lot of people I know: Mental Healthcare. One of my favourite blogging sites, Kiki & Tea, regularly publishes articles that relate to mental health and mental illness. In fact, this week they published two pieces, which you can find here and here, that deal with the two different sides of the same coin.

So why mental healthcare?
I’m glad you asked the question! Continue reading

The ‘R’ Word (It’s not what you think)

There is a word that people with my conditions hate.
It sits in the pit of my stomach, heavy with foreboding.
It gets stuck in my throat…I just can’t get the syllables out.

Relapse.

It’s the scariest word I have in my vocabulary. This year, Fiancé and several of my friends have gone down the paths of full blown relapse – hospital stays, concerned looks, confusion and desperation. I am not there yet – but I am on my way down that slippery slope again.

It began sometime after Fiancé was discharged. I don’t really know why or how or when, but at some point everything has become screwed up again. The voices in my head are there, whispering and niggling. Not screaming like they use to, but there. I am crying more and eating less. I find that I could stay in bed all day. I am anxious and angry and agitated. It has been better,  it could get a lot worse. So here is the next scary word…

Responsibility.

I create what I think and feel, and am in control of what I do or do not do. The same is true for you. We need only note the impact of our reality on each other. – Internal Boundary Statement, SPP Client Handbook

My responsibility is first and foremost to myself. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months taking on other people’s problems as my own. Seemingly contradictory, I have become more insular and withdrawn into myself. I have let my therapist convince me of things that she can’t possibly know as true, because that’s what I wanted to hear. I have not asked for my needs to be met. I have not been responsible for myself, and I know if I continue not doing so that the ED voices will completely overwhelm me again and I do not want to become sick again. So my responsibility is to find a therapist who will work within reality.  My responsibility is to reach out when I need help. My responsibility is to love my friends and family (and the best way I can do that is to love myself). My responsibility is to keep continuing down the road of…

Recovery.

A relapse, however small or great, is not the ‘death’ of recovery. It is a setback, a hurdle to overcome. I love recovery. I love the joy and life and hope it brings. I love the feeling of being ‘able’. I am willing to do most anything to reclaim my life. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. And I do. And I will NOT be overcome by it.

 

As Terrifying As Terror Is…

Today, I was running late for uni. It happens all the time. The bus was late. That happens all the time. (Oh and I turned up to class 15 minutes early – that happens all the time too!). Anyway, in amongst the rush to get out the door, I forgot to pack lunch. No biggie. Or at least it used to be no biggie…

My old uni had precisely one little cafe / food shop thingy. Staffed by the same guy every day, it was the kind of place with no real set menu – you just kind of picked the things from the fridge that you wanted on your epic roll / wrap / burger. It was also well priced (the actual food…the junk not so much!). This guy knew basically everyone on campus (all….300 of us?). He knew I liked skim milk with my hot chocolate even when I forgot to ask. He made coffees for the staff just as they were arriving. Like, amazing! This place was small. Nice. Dependable.

The food courts (yes, plural) at my new uni? OHMYGOODNESS. It was just stimulation overload in there today! People, food, noise every where. It was like my worst ED nightmare ever. Too many choices.  SO much anxiety!

In the end, I ran next door to the uni shop and bought a sandwich & juice. It was mediocre, but it was safe. I sat by myself, read Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone and promised myself I would never forget my lunch again.

I wish I’d had my Teddy today…