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.
I currently have a diagnosis of Borderline personality disorder, PTSD and bulimia. I am in recovery for each of these illness’ and I am giving it all I’ve got. Recovery is about enjoying the better days as much as you can and looking after yourself through the darker days. This isn’t easy and sometimes it can really feel like a losing battle, but I recently stumbled across some statistics around BPD which surprised me quite a bit. They were;
-BPD has remained relatively unknown. However, researchers estimate that about 1.4% of the population has BPD
-About 70 percent of people with BPD will make at least one suicide attempt in their lifetime.
-between 8 and 10 percent of people with BPD will complete suicide; this rate is more than 50 times the rate of suicide in the general population.
Despite all of this I have made it to a point that I am happily and safely living at home with my family and enjoying life with the help of my community mental health team. I am in no way ‘fixed’ or fully recovered but I am always making those baby steps in the right direction. I am proud of myself and all other BPD sufferers for making it through to this point (whatever point others may be at- you have still done incredibly well). I have attempted suicide countless times and to still be here living, breathing and fighting is remarkable and by the sounds of some of these statistics the odds weren’t exactly in my favour. So I will wear my recovery with pride because against the odds my baby steps have got me here and now the road ahead is looking a lot brighter.
My recovery from self harm is moving full steam ahead and I have recently passed the five month milestone since I last cut myself. I am trying not to think about it too much since my self harm urges have been getting pretty intense as winter is always a hard time of year and cutting seems to be relentlessly nagging me. Something that has been helping me a lot for quite some time (and can be used in other times of struggle) is making lists and mind maps. The way I am using it at the moment is writing reasons why my life is better without self harm. It helps me to think of all of the things I am fighting for, because I lose sight of those reasons when I am in the midst of tackling urges. I have been known to cover several pieces of paper writing the same reason to continue staying strong over and over again. At the moment I am finding it helpful to remind myself of the day to day crap (for want of a better word) I had to face when I was cutting regularly. I no longer have to spend a small fortune on dressings and other first aid items. I haven’t had an awkward repetitive conversations with a member of A&E staff in the early hours of the morning for quite some time now. I haven’t had to deal with infected self harm wounds and all of the pain that comes along with it. But above all else I now have the power to choose. I know this might sound a bit strange at first, but when you have been living with a behaviour so closely and at such an intense level it will begin to limit you in every aspect of your life. I never realised how powerful this reason is to help me stay strong, until I managed to have some distance from cutting. It has put me back on track so many times. I need to remember that cutting brings a moment of relief but as soon as you let it back in, it becomes nothing less than completely suffocating. Recovery is the only option and it does not matter how many tears and hours of struggling it takes I am determined to get my life back and achieve all of the things that I have my heart set on. Focus.
I was at our local GP surgery today with Mothership. The appointment was booked for something irelivent (at least irrelivent to this blog) but as we were in there the topic of my scars came up, we began to talk about if I have any options to reduce the scarring or to help with the pain I experience. When the seasons change and the scars become painful (due to the change of temperature.) For the first time ever, the option of having some of the bigger scars surgically removed came up. My Mum has been very patient and understanding towards my thoughts and emotions around this being a possibility for me in the future. Part of me wants my scars to go away so maybe some day soon I could slip past people in the street without stares or comments. But another part of me is emotionally attached to the story behind all of my scars, they all add up to a bigger picture and I know that I will still be left with scars after the surgery and maybe this could become part of the story too, I can’t help but feel hesitant in hiding parts of my past. The good the bad and the ugly- it has all shaped me into the person I am today and yes, that includes my scars too. My scars start conversations, yes not all of them are ones I wish to have but every so often people share hushed comments of a path we have both crossed. Just being the person that I am and growing more confident in my body -that is ever changing has the potential to open up peoples minds to difference. It is okay to have scars, stretch marks, birth marks and everything in between. They are individual to you and make you the wonderful version of yourself that you are today. Cliche I know but it is very true, beauty goes further than skin deep. This all being said I am making the decision to not have my scars surgically removed. I only want to have medical treatment if it will reduce the pain. I didn’t think I would be making this choice 4 years ago. I want to see how far I have come and seeing that journey on my arms keeps me motivated to keep on keeping on.
I am a very festive person. I love christmas from mince pies to fairy lights and everything in between. This time last year I had been admitted to hospital and we were going full speed ahead into the christmas period. I wasn’t allowed home for christmas. I can still conjure up that punched in the gut feeling when I was told I wouldn’t be able to even go off of the grounds. But this post isn’t about any of that, because here we are a whole 12 months later. We have the christmas tree up and the music is playing. I haven’t felt this excited about christmas since I was a really young child. I am so grateful to be at home and be with my family. The fight to get to this point has most definitely made this christmas so much sweeter. It isn’t about the presents or the food it is about being alive and loving it. Being around the people I love in my favourite time of year. I thought christmas wasn’t going to ever be the same again after last year. Everything was a reminder of 2014, being ill and so desperately sad. But now we have got past the anniversary of my admission and I am now remembering that christmas is about living and being in celebration. Last year I wasn’t living, I was barely getting through the days. I didn’t have the space in my head to enjoy the celebrations. This year christmas is magic again and I am so beyond happy to be at home.
This time last year things were very much falling apart in regards to my mental health. It doesn’t feel like 12 months ago I was nearing the beginning of my 9 month hospital admission, the past 12 months feel very blocky. Before admission, during my admission- things were still tits up, during admission- things were getting better and finally- home again! I am finding it really hard to think about the past and just how unwell I was 12 months ago, so in an effort to change the way I have been thinking about this time of year. I am going to share some goals that I will hopefully be able to say that I have achieved by 11th December 2016.
- I would like to be writing more and more.
- I hope to be able to go into a shop and talk to a member of staff if I can’t find something in store.
- I would love to do some volunteering again
- I want to be able to confidently talk to strangers/companies over the phone
- To be maintaining a healthy weight (this is a big one, not too much pressure on it!)
- Wear short sleeves- outside
- Catch up on all of the water-sports that I missed out on this year.
- To continue staying strong and not cutting
- maintaining healthy relationships with friends and loved ones
- Have a tattoo!
These are just a few of my goals for the upcoming 12 months. I don’t want them to be huge, but they are meaningful and realistic and I am excited to start reaching them.