Down but not out.

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.

2 years change…

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.

You can’t stop me, dyslexia!

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!

Merry Christmas!

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

Election thoughts…

Donald trump is going to be the 45th president of the USA. He did not win by much, but a miss is as good as a mile. Hillary got more votes but the system works on states and because of that Trump won. Although I am not American the influence of Obamas presidency has greatly impacted me (even all the way in my small Somerset village.) I think I am most scared of the fact that I have grown up with Obama and new young people will not have this privilege. He was sworn in when I was 10 years old, I am now nearly 19. In the past 8 years of my life I have grown up in a world with a US president who has been consistent. A president who has said that women can strive for more and that gay people deserve more than what they have been given before. I have grown up with a president who has shown that together we will always be stronger. In these past 8 years I have learnt I am part of a minority group. I am a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I also identify as non binary but am widely seen as and treated as a woman. I am so glad that I have spent the past 8 years under Obamas presidency, knowing there is a man who will always fight for minorities. I am terrified for Americas youth who are going to grow up under the government of a man who is openly- racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, a misogynist- the list goes on and on. People are going to discover there sexuality, gender identity or find their faith and doing this under Trumps government is going to lead them to have to come to terms with it in a world that does not widely support them. They aren’t going to be as fortunate as I have been to have a US president who I can look up to and someone who supports the rights of people like me. Its a very scary time for a lot of people. But we must sand strong together and not let this man drag us backwards.

No other people I would rather be stuck in a lift with

Quick appreciation post for my nearest and dearest! I am incredibly fortunate to have a family who have been so supportive throughout all the struggles we have faced. This post is specically for my big brother and Mum. Thank you both for the hours of holding my hand and assurance that it is going to be okay. Not leaving when the hardest battles have had to be faced. All of the hours of driving you have done for me. Thank you for being the people who have been there for me on the darkest nights and also being the first people I run to when the sun starts to appear again. As we frequently say in our little unit, there are no other two people I would rather be stuck in a lift with.

healthy bodies.

Triggers. They come with the territory of mental health issues. Eating disorders being no exception. There are so many things that will get my eating disorders voice screaming, some of these things happen daily and cannot be avoided as they are a part of life. Others can be avoided as the harm has generally out weighed the activity itself. My family are extremely supportive of me in my recovery and help me to avoid situations that are going to push my brain too far into chaos. So when the opportunity to go to the climbing wall with my Dad came up there were some concerns with how my body image was going to stay afloat whilst I was there surrounded by super ‘skinny’ people. It was nerve racking to know that the other people there were going to most probably have a small frame and be body conscious. The evening went really well and the situation was a little bit challenging at the start but by the end of the night I felt more motivated to become healthy than I have felt in a really long time. Seeing all of these fit people, pushing their bodies was really inspiring. If the topic of food came up, they would be discussing high carb diets to give their bodies the fuel they need so they can push them further. Making sure they have enough protein for the muscles to re-build stronger and stronger. Yes all of these people are very aware of their bodies-just like I am hyper aware of mine. But the shift in attitude was so refreshing to hear them talk about making themselves stronger, building themselves up and pushing themselves further with the help of food was really inspiring and motivating for me. A disordered brain fools you into thinking you are making yourself stronger by not eating and using behaviours when in reality you are only becoming weaker. It was really lovely to see a black and white reality of what a healthy body is and what your body is capable of when you look after it in the way it deserves.