So it’s been a little while since I last posted anything on here. I’ve had major writers block and have been lacking motivation- but I’m back now with a post about something that happened to me recently. I’m currently in the long process of gaining trust with my family to be left to have time alone. It’s a struggle for me to be given time on my own without using it to hurt myself. It is a constant battle between wanting to show my family (and self) that I can use time alone safely and wanting to hurt myself so very badly. The other day I was given a few hours home alone and I managed to get through it without doing anything. Most people will see this as a good thing, something to be proud of. But for me I feel horrendously guilty for “wasting an opportunity” to self harm. Later in the day I spoke to my mum about how guilty I was feeling and she said something to me that was really helpful. She told me that everyone who is trying to overcome an addiction says that in 10 years time they don’t want to be still damaging themselves in this way. It’s all very well and good to say that you want things to be different years down the line but one day you are going to have to make a change. Today day I made that little change. I managed to take a step so that in the future I won’t be hurting myself anymore. And for what it’s worth, I’m a little proud of that.
I have recently signed up to my local gym in an attempt to get myself fitter as I’m currently more unfit than I have ever been in my life. I am having to be careful that I don’t become obsessive and keep to my initial intentions of getting healthier and not the intentions of my eating disorder- rapid weight loss. This time last year I was deeper in my eating disorder than I have ever been. It was a very dark place. My first thought in the morning and my last thought at night was about exercise I was completely obsessed and unable to let myself rest at all. I didn’t know how to stop. All I wanted was to see that number on the scales fall further and further. My relationship with exercise now is much healthier and I seem to have made a switch in my brain that HEALTH is so much more important than weight loss. I want to be healthier. I don’t want my skin to be awful and my hair to be falling out I want to have more energy and feel better about myself. I’m determined to do it right this time and treat my body with the respect it deserves.
I have lost so much to these illnesses. I have lost friends, missed events, grown apart. I have lost a view I once held of myself- thinking that no matter what I would always have control over these urges.
Until one day you have the slap in the face reality check that you, actually are not in control. I have found myself being admitted to hospital again because I’ve need someone there at all times of the day to keep me safe.
10 minute observations rapidly being upped to 1:1 then needing to be in arms reach of a member of staff. But despite all this I have still sat in a bare room as I wasn’t allowed any of my clothes or bedding as the ligature risk has been too high.
I’ve ripped clothes, bedding, curtains. Destroyed chairs and wardrobes to get something even remotely sharp that I can use to hurt myself. I always promised I would never let it get this bad. That I could stop cutting if I wanted to. I could stop all of it, just tell me when.
But it isn’t that simple and here I am in hospital again wondering how hard its going to be to work my way out of this downward spiral, but also how good it is going to feel when I have finally made my climb out.
I know determination like this can fade so quickly when you wake up in the morning to the reality of another day fighting this illness, which is why I am writing it down.
I want to remind myself that the fight of recovery is tough but it will be worth it.
I will be able to catch up with my peers and make new memories with the wonderful people I have met on the way. I will have my family always reminding me of everything I can do in life if I chose to be here for it.
I am not too broken to try again.
This new year I have set myself a goal to try and do a doodle a day and also complete a writing prompt a day. Yesterdays writing prompt was quite an interesting one- “compare your past self to your current self”. My first reaction was a very negative one- looking just at the lack of change in self harming behaviours. Thinking they have had little change over the past few years, thinking that I’m not doing anything with my life and generally thinking very negatively. Taking another look at the question a little while later I have come back with a much more rounded answer to this prompt. In the comparison of 17 year old me to now 19 year old me you can see there has been a huge amount of change and progress. Although I am still struggling with negative behaviours, there is so many more things in my life that have changed in the past 2 years that I can be so so proud of. This time two years ago I was a month into a psychiatric hospital admission and was spending most of my day harming myself- to the point that I wasn’t safe to be left alone and was eventually put on 1:1 observations. This time two years ago I was 3 hours away from home, scared and struggling to eat. I had just turned 17 and was in quite possibly the darkest place I have ever been. Two years on, I am at home and have just celebrated my 19th birthday. I am still struggling massively with self harming behaviours but I am able to keep myself safe most days. Over the past two years I have made some amazing friends and learnt to let people into my ‘world’. To not automatically shut everyone out for fear of being hurt. I am still finding it hard to open up, but I know now that there are lots of people who want to help me and reaching out for them is always an option. I may have not changed as much as I would have liked to outwardly but that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been change. I am proud of the progress I have made, it has been hard to get to this point but I have faith that in the end it will all be worth it.
In 2016 I set myself several new years resolutions. I wanted to try and make them achievable. I can now proudly say on the 1st of January 2017 I have achieved the majority of last years resolutions. One them was the read 10 new books, I kept track of this via the ‘Goodreads’ website. Most people on there have the goal to read, 50 books and upwards. So my goal is pretty low in comparison. But I am still very proud of myself for reaching last years goal a I struggle with dyslexia and reading can be quite a challenge. When I tell people that I have dyslexia a lot of the time they don’t believe me because I don’t come across as the standard stereotype. I enjoy english, I like reading and writing. I like being able to stitch a few chosen words together to make a beautiful picture in someone else’s head. Dyslexia does put a bit of a barrier between myself and the people around me who have similar interests in writing. I think the main thing for me that I use to combat my dyslexia is utilising the technology around me. I am a bit nerdy and I’m into tech anyway but I find it so incredible that modern day technology can aid anyone into achieving great things. I utilise voice dictation on almost all of my big bits of writing. I change the colour of the backgrounds on all of my screens to remove the issue of ‘black and white reading’ that a lot of dyslexics have trouble with. The font size on all of my devices are increased so it is easier to ‘chunk off’ words when I am struggling to understand them. All of these things help me to be a writer and enjoy literature. I was taught a lot about these things by the wonderful learning support teachers that I met in school, who really did go above and beyond to help each student achieve there fullest capabilities. I am really grateful for them because they were the first people to show me that if you have a talent for something, you should run with it and not let anything stand in your way. Because they will always be there to lend a helping hand to get you moving past your difficulties. This year I am aiming to read 12 books and finish writing my own. I cant wait for the challenge, bring it on!
I just want to take a moment to wish everyone a merry christmas. Whoever and wherever you are, I hope you have a happy and safe festive period. Christmas can be a tricky time of year with or without a mental illness. So I just want to send out a little reminder to look after yourselves and take time out if you need it. Put the focus back on your family and loved ones and enjoy the day.
Have a good one, from Tee xx
Anniversaries are always a bit of a weird one. It’s been two years since I was admitted to hospital. Two years since I met some of my best friends and grew a second family. Two years ago I was spiralling so quickly into an illness that makes it hard to let anyone in, thinking that I wasn’t sick enough for treatment. Looking back I can now see that I was really very unwell. It was never an easy path to take. Being admitted to a hospital 3 hours away from home so close to christmas, but everyone knew it was the last option we really had. It was that or I would die. I find it so scary that a mental illness is so strong that it can make you think that you aren’t ill at all. Two years on from the beginning of my admission I am still close friends with many of the other patients who I met there. I have an even closer relationship with my family than before and my general outlook on the world has changed. I find it difficult to have gone through an experience that not many other people have been through. But as time goes on I know that difference isn’t bad. The memories from that ward will stay with me forever. The good the bad and the ugly. They have been the product of many a good story! But mainly I’m just happy that I’m still here.