The landscape of life is not flat and even, it is full of bumps and holes and unexpected obstacles. For me, by far the biggest obstacle has not been an external one, but a deep, twisted internal one which is cruel and unwelcome.
The past couple of weeks I have experienced an array of ups and downs caused by other people around me. People who are in some way meant to be helping me. Instead I have felt my anger and frustration building up with them and have been literally ready to explode.
For over a year I have been working with a psychiatrist who diagnosed the borderline personality disorder alongside depression and anxiety. The medications prescribed have been changing continuously since March and finding a place of relative stability for an adequate period of time has been exhaustingly hard to find.
The psychiatrist is cold, clinical and uncaring, she doesn’t listen and the constant changes of the meds causes additional issues with side effects which can take weeks to settle down. It doesn’t help to have these changes made and the fact that she treats me like I am stupid and as someone who can be split up to be treated has just really brought everything to a head. My last meeting was truly hideous and although coming up for 2 weeks ago, I am still reeling from it, but no longer in a really pissed off way. I now feel like being pro-active. I don’t want to work with her again. She doesn’t seem to be able to provide the support that I need, she doesn’t seem to believe in me and most importantly she doesn’t listen to me. So, I am writing that letter I said I would and making sure that I have a new psychiatrist.
I am also going to request that I either change care co-ordinator or that I manage without. To be honest, I think that the CC is a waste of time and energy. I don’t see the point in them as from my experience thus far they don’t do anything that I can’t get from my counsellor, seeing the GP or a (good) psychiatrist. As far as I am concerned I probably have more brain cells than some of them put together. Being patronised is something which I am severely allergic too and will not tolerate from anyone. I was treated like this most of my life and it really makes me angry.
I have also arranged to see my GP because I need support in the interim whilst I wait for a new psychiatrist. My meds need to be managed and I am certain that my GP and I can come to an agreement about the way its prescribed.
I have been slowly reducing the co-codamol use over the past week. I was really sick on Sunday/Monday last week and couldn’t keep it in. I was terrified of going into withdrawal but my IBS also flared up so I had to take what little I could to help with the crippling pain it causes. I haven’t had a flare up like this for some time so this week, I have only taken it when I have been in pain. A HUGE deal for me!!
I was taking somewhere between 8 and 15 every single day at one point only a couple of months ago. Today I have taken only 1 so far and yesterday I only took 2 all day. I am trying to avoid using them at night to help me sleep and instead use them for pain as much as possible. I have had withdrawal symptoms a few times as I have been reducing, but my hope is that if I can keep reducing them down I will then be able have my husband help me to come off them.
One of the best things that has happened in the past month has been the communication between my husband and I. We are finally talking properly to one another and it really has made a huge difference to me. I have asked him for his help with my addictions to pill-popping and have also discussed with him about the psychiatrist etc. He has been listening and encouraging which makes me feel so much better. I feel like he finally is supporting me the way I need him to. We obviously don’t agree on everything, but it feels like our friendship is still solid and that with time, our marriage will be stronger and better than ever. Communication is truly incredibly important and this is something I am working on really hard to do.
Aside from all of this there are other things which I need to do, long lists of things which if I look at them altogether freaks me out. So instead, I am trying to think about the things I can do by myself, the things I need support with from the family and the things we need external support with. The external support is actually very minimal and I am hoping that we can keep ourselves together so we can lose the Social Services input.
However, this will involve my nosey neighbours not phoning and reporting me for allowing my son to wear what looked like his school uniform at the weekend. My husband and I are furious. This was apparently a couple of weeks ago and the social worker called me on Wednesday last week to interrogate me about his clothing and why he was in his uniform. To be honest, I have no recollection of that happening, but does it really matter??? He is 7, almost 8 and more than capable of finding clothes to wear. ‘Do you provide him with causal clothes’ , ‘Are they washed and cleaned’ , ‘Is it is choice what he wears?’ She moved on to whether I feed the kids or if they just have snacks and a bunch of other stupid ridiculous questions. All this to do with my mental health. I know I often go back to bed and hide away from the world, but they have made out that I am not doing anything at all and that when I have a bad day I forget that I have kids…..I HAVE BEEN A MUM FOR 17 years…DO NOT PATRONISE ME!! I have struggled with being a single mum, being in a violent marriage, moving, being unwell with the normal colds that go round and not one of those times have I EVER forgotten that I have children. NEVER. I have sat in freezing cold assembly halls listening to class plays, christmas plays etc. I have done this for each of my children without fail no matter if I am well or sick. For a year I managed to get the kids to school with no one knowing about my mental health until June last year when it all got too much. BUT they go to school. They are good, happy and healthy and no matter what is going on, they are my life. They will always come first regardless of how I feel. BPD is horrible yes, but it doesn’t mean that I have lost my sense of responsibility or that I am suddenly really incapable and stupid. It just means I am not always brilliant….BUT THEN WHO IS???????
I want social services out of my life, I want busybody, stupid neighbours to mind their own fucking business. We have figured out who it was who called and the kids are angry themselves with her and the way that she has spoken to them. I am furious but I am not going to let it get the better of me. I have 3 amazingly good children. She has 2 disobedient children who are rude and obnoxious and scream at her. I hear them most days and have heard her lose her temper….not a thing for social services to worry about, but it’s not always pleasant to hear.
Today, I am fighting to take back control of my life. To make sure that the people who are involved with me and the family are working with us, not against, who understand and who will back away when they need to. I am determined that I am going to make it to uni or college to get the qualifications I need to work and I am determined that I am going to get the right meds, the right mental health support and the right balance of all things in my life. There may well be days when I feel like it can all go to hell and hide away, but I am determined that I will have more days where I feel like I have achieved something and moved forward, even a teeny bit. BUT I am going to do this.
Whoever reads this, I am not suddenly better, I am still unwell. BUT I am finally accepting the fact that I am unwell mentally. I may always be so, I might get fully fit and well, but whatever happens, I am determined to find a way to be with or without it. I am understanding better that there will be amazing days and days when its horrible and feel down. I may have suicidal urges and self-harm. I may drink too much or misuse co-codamol. This may all happen. What I am realising is that its OK to feel down, its OK to need something to help. That this is not me wanting or choosing this feeling, its my illness. I can learn to manage these times so when they are not too bad I can avoid such thoughts and urges, I can try to communicate better and get support sooner rather than not doing anything at all. There is a lot that can help, but for the times when it’s too much, I now feel that its ok to have that time and to be allowed to deal with it. No more mask, no more faking the smile and pretending.
I am getting rid of the people from my life who make things hard and embracing those people who have stuck by me and who have come into my life since I have been unwell and have seen me at my worst. These are the people who I need in my life and that is an important acceptance and step forward for me.
Today, I feel that anything is possible right now. I feel a little down, but I also feel that I am not as low as I could be. That I am not suicidal or wanting to self harm. I don’t want to beat myself up about things today. Today, I just want to be me…quiet and calm.