After finally being able to write a blog called ‘Mental Health Recovery’, it’s pretty sad when you realise how hard you’ve hit the ground again. I always knew the road to recovery would never be a straight forward one, but I believed I would manage to stay medication free.
The last few months have been tough and busy. There is no doubt that my very busy life has probably played its part, but I have been searching for that light bulb moment that will enlighten me as to why I am feeling this way. I think part of the frustration is not 100% understanding. For the complexities of anxiety and depression, it’s also pretty simple.
Maybe the simple parts are that I don’t trust people. I don’t believe what people say to me. My self-esteem / confidence / faith in myself is none existent and I don’t think I can offer people much. I hate the way I am, I hate how I look, and I hate how I get so overwhelmed I feel like I cannot do anything. I’m just not sure what I bring to this world.
The complex part. How can I change my thought process? How can I be all those things above, yet still motivated to achieve my goals, and for the most part always achieve them. How can I love this beautiful world, bask in what it offers but still not want to be part of it? I’ve always said I am a walking contradiction.
I used to think I had a good understanding of where my mental health problems stemmed from, I still think I do. But my brain has gone beyond that now. I can rationalise some things, but my emotional regulator has other ideas. After pushing for answers, I’ve had a few assessments which points toward Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s hard to admit that. People hear ‘personality disorder’ and they are immediately laden with misconstrued preconceived ideas of what that must look like.
I have always struggled with intense emotions. It doesn’t always last long, but long enough to be pretty destructive. Telling yourself a negative narrative, saying things out of anger/emotion, impulsive self-harm, suicidal thoughts. The last few months have been pockets of all of the above. I don’t know how I’ve managed to stay ‘functional’ in all honesty. Although, I am not sure I was particularly in December.
I decided it was time to go back on medication and pursue therapy options. I was put on a 16 month NHS waiting list for high intensity CBT to help with BDD, and I am just about to start private DBT Therapy for the BPD. I am going into this with the intention of being 100% honest in what I divulge. I am worried that it won’t help, I’m terrified of it to be honest. When I researched some of the techniques used in high-intensity CBT and saw ‘exposure therapy’, it made me want to throw up. I can’t imagine the 16 months in the future Amy will be any less ok with it.
The fluoxetine did start to help, I was levelling back out. But it has been giving me intense migraines. I did the mistake of taking my progression as ‘I’m feeling better’, rather than ‘the meds are working’. So I decided I would be fine off them, and they weren’t worth the migraines. I regret my decision, and marvel at my idiocy and now I will have to start the ‘weaning’ process again.
What’s it actually like trying to live with this? A whole lot of confusion. It’s also lonely, an incredibly debilitating kind of lonely. You want to reach out, but you don’t want to be a burden. The people you want support from don’t know how to handle it/take it personally and the people who are there for you, you push away. I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want attention, I don’t need a saviour. I don’t want anything but understanding.
My issues limit a lot of things in my life, but I still hold down a full time job, a part time postgraduate degree, climb mountains, workout and try and spend time with friends. I’m doing pretty ok all considering.
Why am I writing this? Mostly to clear my own head. I’m not sure I will publish it. But I do sometimes think we need to be more honest about living with the affects of mental health. People are still too afraid of having the ‘mental health conversations’, and as a result, don’t reach out to those who may be struggling.
Why is that? Possibly people fear that the struggling individual will expect to be saved, or become an emotional crutch. Not only is that far from the truth, it’s also a little insulting to presume to people suffering from mental health issues will become an emotional dementor.
Having said that, I appreciate it isn’t always easy to support someone in the way they need. But usually this help comes from those who are supposed to be the closest to you. In that scenario, it can be exhausting, but only if the effort to understand is lacking.
We need people in everyday life who are not afraid to candidly and casually check in every now and again, instead of people avoiding you because they think they will cry on your shoulder. I don’t need a shoulder to cry on, I just need an occasional reminder that I’m not invisible.
2 thoughts on “Dysfunctional You”
You are an amazing person and much stronger than you know! You are an inspiration to other people who suffer with MH problems so please keep up the good work. I really enjoy seeing pictures of your travels and it inspires me to what I can to get out.
Stay Safe and keep on smiling
Hi Amy, sorry to hear you’re going through it again. There doesn’t seem to me to be anything dysfunctional about you – you’re a powerhouse of energy and commitment and drive. I hope the meds help, and the therapy. You’re beautiful inside and out. I know it isn’t easy to feel that way about yourself, but know that others do.