i hate to say this, but sometimes the NHS is epic fail.

The severity of my disorder right now didn’t develop overnight. This has happened over years and been allowed to get this bad. There has not been a viable offer of treatment or help toward recovery from the NHS for years. There are hollow promises of places that will take me and help, then decline me in ways that knock me back further. There are referrals to services that I’m told I’m on waiting lists for repeatedly, over a period of years, only to find out years later the referral was never made in the first place.

In some ways I was lucky. I was offered DBT treatment years ago (which is more than many BPD patients get I know) years ago, and I completed it . However, I started it before I left the care of an eating disorders unit, so started focused on the type of help given by the EDU. Thanks to staff at the EDU, I was starting (but still don’t feel I have fully been able) to realise I’d been experiencing severe abuse and was traumatised by my ex Ryan, which still damages me each and every day and which I suffer flashbacks and nightmares of.

It’s worth mentioning, the only part of NHS mental health treatment that has been successful is the EDU I was referred to, which is outside of my mental health trust and was only reached after a series of fuck ups with a serious amount of luck on my part. Luck I will always be thankful for and never able to repay. Before I was referred there, I saw my GP, who weighed me in my padded parka, Doc Marten’s and bag (as well as jeans, jumper, loads of jewellery, heavy belt etc.. Real unprofessional shit, but without specialist training in mental health. Still, basic fucking errors fam), who thought I may have “disordered eating”, but not am eating disorder as I weighed too much (which was bullshit, but I went about losing more weight because I was obviously fine and it was chill to lose more, even though I was already in the criteria for anorexia, but didn’t really believe it. Losing weight was something I was good at and could achieve, so did. They referred to my local Access Team (which allow access to other therapies) and my local counselling service (before the dreaded IAPT, called Solutions). Solutions decided I was actually too complicated for their service, which was true, but then told me they’d referred me to the CMHT. That referral never happened. The Access Team didn’t weigh me, even with scales in the room, but did say they would refer me to the out of trust specialist eating disorders service. They fucked that up and the referral never happened. Luckily, after waiting far too long and losing more weight, my friend’s Mum who happened to be pretty high up in the local mental health trust pulled some strings on management due to all the fuck ups on my case and got my referral rushed through the waiting list so I wouldn’t die.

That only happened because I was lucky enough to know someone. She no longer works there so I do have that resource as help. Imagine all the people who aren’t as lucky as me. That is a woman I thank from the bottom of my heart because without her, the NHS would have let me die from a mental illness. Like the are willing to do now.

Like letting a referral for psychology get fucking lost for two and a half years fam. This is NHS mental health services without a lucky in to management based upon a childhood friendship. They just lost it or lied. Again.

It’s real important to recognise one thing though – the EDU saved my life. They were fantastic, helped me gain physical health through weekly and bi-weekly weigh-ins with a registered dietician who helped me work out weight gain meal plans, their psychiatrist (and dietician) actually made me take my shoes, coat, jewellery, belt and anything else excess off to weigh me and diagnosed my properly. She was also the first to realise I had borderline personality disorder as I got better and referred me to the supposed “appropriate” team (the local then CMHT, now CRT). I also received great therapy from one of their teams clinical psychologists. He worked with me and created an environment which responded to my needs, offering more appointments when needed, and giving me space and time to work out my own shit for myself, and providing a reassuring voice telling me my realisations weren’t always wrong about my relationship and weren’t always right about my body. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard, full-time work. I was there up to 4 times a week. However, it was worth it. Without that therapy, I may never have taken the first steps that led me out of an abusive relationship and include that to the rest of the treatment, I may never have started to gain weight. I have nothing but deep respect for the work of the EDU I attended at that time and think they really excelled at my care. I achieved full remission from anorexia nervosa and for that I’m mad proud. I don’t damn all NHS mental health services. These guys killed it as showed what can be achieved if services were provided properly, carefully, in response to patient needs and efficiently. Nuff luv.

As I started DBT, I also I started a new relationship and was not ready to fully realise the extend of what had happened in my previous relationship. I made my therapy about making the new relationship work, ignoring all the issues from my past. Thas on me, but I was traumatised and didn’t really know what I was trying to understand, let alone articulate. The new relationship wound up with me losing my home, damaging relationships with people I care about, living without gas or electricity, then moving to the other side of the city so therapy was really difficult, expensive and over an hour and a half to get to. After all that effort to maintain this relationship, I had all my money taken, was cheated on then publicly dumped, partly so he could flee the country and therefore his debt.

All of this was happening whilst while dealing with their never therapeutically touched upon, but clinically diagnosed PTSD from a violent, random attack which leaves me unable to travel in the dark and terrified of the sound of bicycles, in the background. This leaves me heavily reliant on others to travel and terrified to even get to social situations. This is always forgotten and leads to increased isolation.

I was also starting drug addiction treatment due to a physical dependency developed to diazepam whilst in an abusive relationship that was prescribed to my after a suicide attempt, wrongly, by the NHS Home Treatment Team (HTT – the crisis outpatient care team), who delivered it to my door twice daily and watched me take it. This developed a habit that got worse due to the abusive relationship I wished to numb my emotions from through not eating and taking diazepam, and now may kill me if I stop taking it as my body is physically dependant. Addictive drugs are documented as unsuitable for people with BPD. Well done NHS.

I think it’s fair to say, however lucky I was to even receive it, due to all that was happening at the time, DBT was fucking hard, especially the work outside of group and individual therapeutic sessions, but I didn’t quit. I thought quitting would suggest I didn’t want to recover and would work against me. No one told me otherwise. So I kept at it because I wanted it to work so badly. I desperately wanted to be able to turn my life around and recover.

Turns out, quitting would have been better seeing as your only able to do it once fully in your entire life. It didn’t work for me within the chaos of my life at the time. If you quit, you can try it again. I was only told I would never be able to try it again, not that quitting might be helpful to me later. Whether it was timing or just the wrong therapy, I can never know because I’m not allowed to try again now that I’m at least in a stable living environment close to treatment. Once is enough, even if it doesn’t work. There is no other personality disorder treatment in my postcode. Since then, I have not moved forward into any other treatment or recovery plans.

I’ve been labelled an “addict” with a “severe and enduring” mental illness that has left me “low functioning” and have been forgotten about seeing as I’m not psychotic so giving me tablets won’t help, and there is no solid plan to actually aid my recovery (even though I have a degree from one of the best universities in the country and am one module from finishing a post-graduate degree, though it is arguable I passed them with the help of that good old killer anorexia nervosa: restrictive subtype). I could have had a life if I had some help with my BPD (which resurfaced as I recovered from my eating disorder which hid borderline part pretty successfully, though nearly killed me). I’m left to work it out alone, and have proven to be unable to do so. For years.

And now I hate being alive so much I wish I’d never been born. I think my family were selfish and wrong to have me because it caused this much pain. I am the most void of hope I have ever been.

Yet still, the NHS can offer no support or help. Apparently it doesn’t matter enough. Now I just have to see them more so they can say “no change in anything that might help” and pat themselves on the back because I’m not dead yet. Then CRT is a lie because there is no recovery there. Care co-ordinator’s are lies because there is no care to co-ordinate. It’s just a facade that keeps you in one place: diagnosed as sick and with no prospect recovery. It’s all bullshit.

NHS mental health services would be a fucking joke if it didn’t lead to mental suffering, self-injury and “unexpected deaths” (the polite phrase for suicide used in some trusts official statistics). It’s the definition of a shit show. It’s a failure that costs lives.

(Yes I am aware of cuts made by localised authorities due to increased budgetary pressure on the NHS. However, I’m also aware of how convenient it is to place those cuts on vulnerable adults who are least likely to self-mobilise action groups against such cuts and least likely to have strong enough support networks to do so as advocates for them, like the so notoriously isolated addict and mentally ill groups. Saves public image if fewer people shout about it right? It’s not an A&E department which is a service for all, but rather lets cut a service for people who have the least resources to fight it because they are by nature already vulnerable and isolated right? Because that’s a fair way to impart budgetary stresses on patients isn’t it? Don’t think the disappearance of CDAT doesn’t show NHS priorities. Pick the ones with less obvious abilities to fight and damage their services to revert back to the Thatcher ideal that crazy people should be left to their own devices. Because that didn’t lead to rampant homelessness among drug addicts and the mentally ill, leading to more addiction in the mentally ill population or create a generation of forgotten about mental illness? Oh wait. It did though. And on top of that, statistics show that more young men and women die from mental illnesses than any other reason. Are young people worthless already because they are ill? The NHS answer is already showing that yes, they are worth less than 70 year olds with cancer. Stigma at its worst).

Swear down, I am writing about of Pokémon Sun, but this post is already late and I haven’t finished yet. I’ve also just finished Gravity Rush so that’ll come soon too. Promise.

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age.

Ageing is a bitch. I think thas true for everyone over the age of 21, though probably not for 12 year olds because I knew when I was 12 that being 16 would be infinitely better.

Age is a fully subjective experience, which is why this post won’t be about numbers, but emotions.

I recently had a birthday. I hated it and pretended it didn’t happen. I had no gifts, no texts, no phone calls, no messages. My brother bought me Thai food, but no one mentioned the day. It was a day I hated with every fibre of my being because it was a symbol of the fact that days, months, years pass and I get no closer to having the life I desperately want, but don’t have the capacity to earn or deserve.

I watch as all my peers, all the best friends for life I had at 16 get careers and partners and homes and build lives full of possibility and future whilst I watch mine slip further from reach. I’ve never made steps towards a career or had a real career prospect. I’ve been single for years since the people my age realised that being this crazy and ill isn’t worth investing in because it risks their prospective future plans. I may live in my own flat, but its paid for the government and is supported for crazy people. Having a forced 2 year break from my studies which I can’t remove without the permission of health care professionals means I’m getting no closer to where I want to be. I live on benefits, surrounded by my true peers, whom I often hear screaming at people who only exist to them in the middle of the night. The supposed “support” in this accommodation doesn’t exist and I’m not the only one left to hurt alone. I’m not receiving any treatment. I haven’t for years. I’m stuck and forgotten about.

I’ve become something that makes my life torturous for me personally. I’ve fallen through the cracks into the obscurity of the perpetually mentally ill.

Other people do things. They see friends. They go to the pub. They go for dinner or to the cinema or on holiday or to activities or nights out. I can’t do that. I can’t because as time moves forward, I have less and less in common with the people I once called friends. I can’t keep up with them. When they ask what I’ve been up to, my answer can only be a lie or the phrase “literally nothing.” To do that though, I’d have to actually see them. No one wants to see me anymore. Sometimes I think its out of guilt – they don’t want to see themselves as bad people, so they don’t want to look at what they left behind. Thas probably when I’m at my most angry. Maybe it’s because in reality, my life is really sad and the fact is, no one wants to feel sad. Maybe I’m something to avoid because I bring sadness to the lives of others. It could be monetary – maybe I simply can no longer afford to keep up with them because I know I can’t afford hipster mini golf or whatever the plan is. Nearly everyone has coupled up now so it could be that they are busy with their potential forever partners and their wholesome plans. Careers cause people to lose free time and maybe thas what’s caused them to leave my friendship behind. They’re just busy. Plus work and just passing of time creates new friends. That also leads to being busy and I’m terrible at meeting new friends. I just can’t talk to them. Maybe its the fact that as people get older, they make the sane choice and settle into less chaotic lives which just highlights the difference between their mental maturity and mine. I’ve not managed to make it there. I feel like 16 year olds are more mentally mature than me. The difference becomes increasingly emphasised. Lastly, it might be that I’m just hard work, high maintenance and emotionally draining, which is probably true. How many suicide attempts, hospital visits, blood stains and bandages can most adults really deal with before it’s too much? Probably waaaaay less than I’ve put on others. Where’s the common ground?

And the sad fact is, I think the reality is that all of the above are true, to different extents in different people. Sure I might see the same films, go to the same exhibitions, involve myself in similar interests, but now I do it all alone and superficial data points like interests aren’t a solid basis for a real relationship with anyone. Moral compasses have to align, similar life experiences have to be shared and both parties have to find enjoyment in being around each other. Guilt, pity or sadness on the part of others isn’t fun, but neither is fear, resentment of their lives and sadness on my part. I don’t really offer much as a friend anymore. I remind people of the things they strive not to be, both within themselves and how they act socially. Equally, it’s heartbreaking to watch other people’s lives get bigger whilst yours just grows more tiny each day.

It’s no longer fun to have the qualities I have, some of which I value highly. It’s no longer fun to be fiercely loyal to the point that you’ll reject others for the people you love. It’s not practical. It’s no longer fun to be around someone with so little responsibility they don’t have to worry about what’ll happen in a few days time. It’s no longer fun to have someone around who is so opinionated, passionate (or overly emotional) and often overbearing. It’s become inappropriate, difficult and probably seems judgemental on the lives of others. It’s probably embarrassing.

Then there are the qualities I hate. I think about what it must be like to watch someone you care about slice into themselves or try to kill themselves. I think about how it must feel knowing that whilst you create the important foundations for adulthood, someone you love struggles to even communicate with you in anything but an adolescent way, with unrealistic expectations on your time and changing values. How it must feel to watch something that mattered to you fall so far behind the expectations of their age and social status? I think about what that must be like when you realise that isn’t changing or getting better, but staying the same as you take the necessary steps forward to keep your ideals on track. I try to feel the magnitude of the horrible emotions that must leave you with, but again, I probably fail to truly understand. I know it must be awful, but I don’t think my brain is fully capable of understanding the true impact that has on people, however hard I try. That fact just furthers the gap between me and those I care about.

Equally to that, I don’t believe people fully understand the magnitude of the pain I feel in knowing all of this. That’s not on them because it’s not a universal shared experience. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I live with that every second of every day. Other people can leave and go back to forgetting about the true realities of my life with relative (what I imagine may well be hard, but still reasonable enough to accomplish) ease. I can’t ever leave that place where each day is a day the relationships, career prospects and the future I’ve always wanted get further out of reach and nothing seems to be able to stem the bleeding of hopes for my life falling away, becoming increasingly unattainable. I don’t use this phrase glibly, but it is a kind of torture – watching as the world you were once part of moves on forward whilst you watch your aspirations become unattainable.

This process works on both sides of the relationship and it makes it impossible to keep sincere friendships nurtured enough to survive. As it turns out, I’ve lost, or am in the process of losing, all the relationships I care about. It doesn’t matter if its familial or friendship, I’m becoming increasingly difficult to bear knowing for factors on both sides. There isn’t a person to blame. Unless you count me. The people I have or had love for would swear to anyone that asked that mental illness cannot be blamed on the person with the condition, yet that doesn’t mean continuing a relationship with that person carries any real gain.

Whilst watching this process happen, I’ve become increasingly socially anxious. I can’t call people for a chat or text someone something funny because for my brain, I know it’s an unwanted interference on their already full lives. I know that it’ll be unwanted. I can’t join a club or take a class and hope to meet new people because I already know that they’ll think I’m pathetic, sad or too difficult and crazy to bother with. It doesn’t matter if what I know is true, what matters is that I know it. So I can’t contact the people I know whilst I watch myself fade into indifference to them and I can’t meet new people because it’s already too late and I’m so scared of being hated because I hate myself that much. If I talk to anyone at all, I have to be completely trashed. Thas followed by crippling embarrassment that makes any further contact harder. Now I don’t talk to anyone. Not even my family. I am alone. I am isolated. I am no longer in the world.

Each day I wake up, feed my dog, feed myself, go back to bed and watch shit TV, brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, walk my dog, come home, put on pjs again and get back into bed till its time to feed my dog and myself again. Then I lie in bed some more till its time to take my sleeping tablets and wait for it to start again. Each night I hope that it won’t. I hope that I won’t have to face that days hell again. Each morning I do.

Days are punctuated by the psychotic episodes of the people in my supported accommodation. A traumatised woman screaming in fear at someone who has raped her, hospitalised her and tried to kill her. A crack addict smashing his door down or throwing fire extinguishers at things that aren’t there. His friends buzzing at all hours of the day, shouting, smashing and generally being trashed in the corridors so it’s too scary to even go to the garden for my dog. It doesn’t feel like a safe living environment. The people surrounding me are people who have seemingly sad lives and have been let down by the world. They are my people. And I’ve been without a support worker in this supposedly supported accommodation for over 6 months (since threatening suicide to my last support worker, who said I was being difficult, hung up, ignored further calls, did not alert her superiors or the community recovery team (CRT – NHS name for adult mental health outpatient care here). Needless to say, that ended in a bloody mess. This is supposed to be temporary accommodation for up to two years whilst you are supported into a stable enough state to live unsupported. I’m not in that state and I’ve been here 3 years. I’m in a building populated by the forgotten.

The realisation that the people who were your peers have moved on and now the people in mental health supported living block are your true peers creates a soul crushing type of depressing. It steals optimism each second it exists. I see them and I see what my future has in store for me.

My life has become an endless nightmare. The pain never stops. Even my dreams are actually just fear, loneliness and overwhelming sadness. This is in no way a dramatic expression of my existence. The common simile of BPD sufferers as emotional burn victims couldn’t be more true. Each emotion hits you like forcing needles into a third degree burn. I don’t have metaphoric thick skin. I don’t have any skin at all.

The worst part is, it has all my passions to become replaced with hate. This makes me someone I truly despise.

keith.

So I stopped blogging for ages. Sorry. Firstly, I played Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture and that made me all kinds of emotions so I got stuck with a first sentence and a block over that. Then I was an idiot and did major damage to my arm which basically left me with an infected tendon which meant I couldn’t write or hold things or use an entire arm for three weeks whilst going to hospital for many IV antibiotic treatments everyday. Shit was long, painful and not worth it. More importantly however, I got Keith.

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My little Keith

Say hello to Miss Keith (yes she is a lady, Keith is one of the fastest dying names in the country. No one wants a baby Keith. Including me. So I’m keeping the name alive through a dog. Shup. It’s the best). She’s my silly, fluffy Pomeranian and she is the best. She looks like a little fox. She’s super fluffy and really small, which is weird because I’m used to big dogs. She fits into my flat real nice though so the size works and she’s really doggish rather that like a little toy. She’s outgoing and playful and full of energy, plus great for a cuddle. She likes to climb up on you for better views of her flat, which is adorable.

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Keith as a tiny pup!

Dogs in general come with a lot of responsibility and she’s no exception. She needs feeding and vaccinations and vet appointments and walking and training and grooming and hilarious baths where she looks so tiny and sad because her fluff all clings to her little frame. And all of this is really helpful to my mental health in little ways. I might not look after myself well, but I sure as shit put her needs as my priority. Especially as I got her as a tiny pup.

So I save enough money to keep her in treats and food and poo bags and toys (and, because she’s a silly ball of fluff breed, many hair products. More than I use). I still spend impulsively when sad to feel better (“Hello department store makeup assistants. Take my money.”), but slightly less so. I have to walk her every day which inevitably means getting washed, dressed and out the house each day. She has to have a routine because dogs do well with routines. This means getting out of bed at the same time each day, taking her to the garden, feeding her etc. So she knows what to expect and how to behave. Training still means lots of working at home, but it also meant weekly training classes to get her a) trained better (obvs) and b) well socialised with other dogs.

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Too cute puppy!

All of these things add up to me inadvertently performing DBT skills, which at points has had a huge impact on my mental and physical health (unfortunately not right now, which is another post for another day). I can’t get drunk or high all the time to avoid thinking (rich coming from the woman drinking straight Glen’s right now because I’m classy like that and things are going fully to shit. But I’ll try keep this post positive and pup related) because she needs walking each day and that’s no fun if you feel rough as shit (don’t worry, she’s got someone else to walk her tomorrow because I have meetings with CRT psychiatrists. YAY!). I can’t go on four or so shit tinder dates a week to sleep with people I hate to escape my feelings, risking sexual assault in the process. Thas minimising risk behaviours already. Classes meant socialising with people. Sometimes that was ok, though I won’t lie, sometimes it bought me to tears. People are crazy difficult for me to deal with.

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Puppy graduation!

It also means opposite of emotion actions, like when you want to lie down in bed and cry, you do have to get up and do that getting clean enough to leave the house shit and go for walks. It improves my PLEASE (so many acronyms in mental health) skills because walking is daily exercise, her routine makes my sleep routine and sleep hygiene better, her having regular meals mean my meals are often more regular and if I’m really sick, I get help from others and see doctors because she needs care. She’s really small, so literally tiny things could choke or poison her so she needs me to keep my flat clean too. Even onions are poisonous to dogs so I can’t leave dirty plates about and a clean and positive living environment supposedly improves mental health so more bonus points. She’s also real good at helping build positive experiences because lets face it, pups are positive experiences every day. Also, cuddling animals for like 15 minutes a day has been proven to release all those feel good neurotransmitters that make people happier, which is great, and a load of studies have proven that owning a dog is beneficially to people with certain mental health problems like depression and anxiety (though no specific studies into BPD because personality disorders aren’t given the same attention. Probably as their classed as “complex”, “severe”, and a bunch of other words that are really unhelpful to people with these diagnoses).

Plus, and I get this is peak and weird, if I kill myself, I don’t want her to eat my dead self. This means instead of just being impulsive, I’d need to tell someone to come get her and seeing as if I did become actively suicidal, for me it would be a choice in the moment, that extra 5 minutes might make the world of difference. I know this is a bit of a downer paragraph, but it’s true.

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Keith & my big famo dog jus’ chillin’.

Most importantly for me though is that I’ve always had dogs. Not having a dog is weird. Having a dog makes a flat feel more like a home (though certain recent events I will write about later have started to challenge this a lot).

It’s not always easy though. My anxieties about myself spill into dog ownership all the time. There’s the relatively constant fears that she hates me, that she’s unhappy, that she’s not well looked after, that I’m bad at owning a dog, that she deserves better. It can be really upsetting and to pretend it’s just easy and fantastic all the time would be a lie. Sometimes, fears of my own inadequacy make me cry over my little dog and question whether or not she deserves someone like me. It can be real hard.

On top of that, I finally finished tapering off SNRIs during the first few months of having her. This fact itself is great. They have been proven time and time again to be no more effective than a placebo (except in people with severe depression, which is not my diagnosis, and even then, the results aren’t exactly a huge benefit) and have not been proven to work or particularly studied in people with borderline personality disorder. Off label usage for something that shows no statistically significant benefits over sugar tablets even in conditions it’s designed to treat is stupid and they did not benefit my mental health at all. But they do alter your brain chemistry and coming off them made me (like with most other people in that situation) really easily triggered into insane levels of sadness. There were times she wouldn’t come back to me calling her in the forest so I just fell to my knees, in the mud, screaming and crying whilst hitting my head with one of those extendable lead things. Not a proud moment in my life.

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Addidog hoodie FTW.

But regardless, I do think she brings a lot of positivity to my life and I love her stupid amounts because she’s just the best thing and nothing can change that. Plus she has some mad swag clothes because (and I really didn’t know this), little dogs sometimes need clothes. They get cold when it’s cold because they are so small, and rain makes them freezing. Being in East London means I’m in the land of staffs so I decided to make her the most hood dog possible. She may need daily grooming, be tiny and super fluffy, but she looks way harder than all those other dogs. She’s a hood chick for sure.

Now I’ve still got to write an update for my mental complete shit storm and what’s being done about that because it’s new to me and probably helpful to process. Plus I still have to review Pokémon Sun. Bun my lazy self.

Love that dog.

no one wants the sick girl.

So I think I’m getting over flu. I’m not even sure if I’m getting over it, but I know it can’t be much longer. Least I hope not. It’s not that I help myself all that often. I’m not right now. It’s 23:17 and I’m drinking alone, feeling exhausted to move. Things are getting less hazy though and I’m hoping to actually catch up on some of the blogs I read real soon.

It’s also Mental Health Awareness Month so posting about misunderstandings and understandings of mental health problems is particularly important.

I duno if I’ll finish this post anytime tonight. Kinda doubt it. It’s something that constantly plays on my mind though. The fact is, this is how I always feel. Constantly. And I doubt I’m the only one. I so badly want to understand the world around me like everyone else does and it’s really hard to always accept that I can’t. Not because I think my thoughts and feelings are more right, but because sometimes I struggle to empathise with scenarios which lead me to distress and extreme black and white thinking. People hurt me, and I don’t see why because I wouldn’t do the same thing to hurt them, therefore assume they meant to. And I struggle with the fact that my emotions, like everyone else’s, will change. I feel them as fact when they’re there. I see the rational, but I believe my emotional state will stay the same. Wildly underestimating the changes human brains make every second.

A few years back, I had this madly awful boyfriend Ryan. He was really abusive in a lot of ways, but his two favourite topics to blow up about were that I was too sick, therefore make people sad and that no one would want me, and that all I was good for was sex. This went on for years and it still fucks me up. Rationally, I know he’s wrong. Anecdotal evidence, academic research etc. all say my logic is right. I still emotionally believe he is right though.

I’ve had boyfriends since him. None have been as long-term, none have been like him, all have tried to help in their own ways. Doesn’t matter though. I feel like I’m not good enough as a human because I make people sad and I’m only good for sex.

Then I fell hard for one of my oldest friends. It was complicated from the get go and I knew that and what I was getting into. It made me happy though. I felt comfy as me. The things I like were things we shared and we laughed a lot. We’d cuddle in bed and it was the happiest thing. He told me how we could be something and it was more than nothing. It was like finally someone was showing me that it didn’t have to be hard and I wasn’t the worst.

I was raped during this time. My brain went back to only worth sex. I started cutting my face so I’d be more ugly than I already am. He supported me out of it. He even accepted my face.

Then he changed his mind and my world broke. I finally found someone who wanted me for more than sex, but it turns out I was wrong. We were seeing each other for 5 months. Then he decided he needed to have one night stands instead. He’s known me since I was born. And he decided I was just something to use too. I lost friends over that boy. And I lost hope.

All of this builds up and being that scared girl who Ryan crafted comes crashing back in. Needless to say, I’m having a seriously rough time. Everything has conflated. Cumulative misery. Ryan was right. About everything. Risk behaviours are out of control and I’m being very dramatic in all the wrong ways. My illness makes people miserable and no one wants to be near me. People only know me for sex. Fucking sucks. Don’t worry, this goes somewhere optimistic I promise.

And now I’m just crying so I’ll probably stop this for now and get back to it later.

So yer, dramatic acting out. I have this really annoying habit of telling people I hate them or ignoring them or telling them they mean nothing to me or telling them I’ll be healthier if they go away because “reminders of what I’m not are too difficult.” What I really mean is “Help. I can’t explain how or why but I need help”, expecting people to understand that. Problem is, if you tell people to fuck off, they probably will. They’ll leave you alone because you asked. Then you’re even more isolated.

So I managed to whittle away family and friends till all I’ve got left is a brother and a best friend. And as many men as I want through tinder (a.k.a. the app that single-handedly made it possible for people with BPD even worse in an instance) which helped nobody. Trashed sex with men that you don’t know, covered in fresh self harm marks kinda fucks both parties up. Plus it’s a ‘risk behaviour’ so probably bad for me and pretty much everyone.

This went on for months. Getting worse and worse. Becoming more and more of a dangerous dickhead to be near. I shouted at my cousin. I argued with my oldest friend for days. I pushed everyone out. Full of ultimatums and the fear of being forgotten, I made everything worse.

I wound up lonely. Even with a warm bed, loneliness completely rules me. And it was mostly my fault. And how much do you think I’ve learnt from this? I’m hoping everything, yet I doubt that. I still believe Ryan and I’ll probably push everyone away again.

Logic vs. emotion = emotion wins. ‘Wise mind’ seems so fucking far away from me. Still not a fucking clue how to get to that. I need to really get this DBT shit down.

During all of this, the trials of Kevin Steven and some uni shit happened, which fucked me up further, but they are long and different posts. Basically, nothing was going well. And I’m being a cunt to everyone around me. Ignoring, insulting, guilting, arguing. Nothing out of malice and I have all the guilt. All out of extreme emotions and the belief that no one wants the sick girl. I’m just a burden and getting rid of people efficiently makes their lives better, right?

I’m big on mind reading. I can fully see how shit it is to know me and have no idea why it would be good. I view everyone else seeing me that way. I see this in their interactions with me. I see it in everyone. I’m shit at mind reading and know I can’t do it, but again, emotions beat logic. Again, something that I need to work on. I need to stop thinking I know what people really think. People can lie yes, but people who really don’t want you there will go away themselves. Unless it’s out of pity and guilt. They state otherwise, but you can’t know. All you know is that no one wants the sick girl. It’s too hard and sad.

This is a circular argument and I hate circular arguments. There’s no evidence of proof and I’m a big fan of evidence based thinking in general.

Then my brother told me he was scared. My brother is the best person I know. He is me, and I am him. He understands me so well. Better than I understand me. I love him more than I think I could ever love anything. We speak a different language and lolz about the same things and jokes about the same things. He told me he was scared because I was cutting everyone else out and that means I’m really unwell. And I listened.

So I sent out a group text to my the people I’d been burning saying “I’m really not well. I duno what anyone can do or has the time, but I’m so isolated now so I’m being hair. If you can, help x.” Well to almost everyone. I’m not perfect. At least I’m trying though.

And you know what, within 24 hours, all but one person had replied offering days and times they’ll see me to try help. I duno how this information will sit with me in the next few days or weeks. I can’t know because I’m terrible at identifying emotions (yet another DBT skill to work on). Who knows what the end result will be.

What I have learnt is that the people who love you will be there for you when you are ready. They’ll understand and they want to help. You just have to let them. Something stupidly difficult to do for me, and I imagine their sides too, but they’ll do it if you let them in. They’ll forgive if you can say you are sorry and mean it. They’ll come back if you extend a hand back to them. They don’t know what’ll help or how to help, but being alone with your brain and feeling like no one cares is exhausting and horrible. They don’t know, therefore can’t fix things, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. Just knowing people are there is so amazingly helpful.

I’m lucky. I know good people. Thing is, I’m 27. Even just 7 years ago, most of the people I knew couldn’t deal with my mental health problems. As I’ve got older, I’ve cut out the shit ones. I’m left with (mostly) the ones that really care. And they’re there. They wait for me to be ready. On top of that, a person I fully believed hated me came up to me a few years ago and said “you’ve been through so much. Life is so unfair. You are the strongest person I know. I’m proud I’ve got to know you.” Till that day, I thought he hated me. Now he’s one of the people I rely on the most.

There’s always people there. There are always people who don’t give a fuck if you’re the sick one or the mental one. There are people who see how fucking hard it is and think you’re amazing. There are people who’ll stick around because they care enough to understand. I’m blessed.

I thank every single one of them.

And I believe everyone has them too. I might be wrong. I feel like it’s wrong for me most of the time. Honestly though, there are people who will keep trying and they’ll be there when you have enough courage to ask. There are people who can see the symptoms of an illness, deal with them, and still see you’re a fantastic human.

There are people that want the sick girl because they love you enough to care. They see past the ‘sick’ and see the person inside. Not only that, but they can also admire your strength, even when you feel all you are is weaknesses.

That gives me hope that eventually, I’ll find a place on this planet.

mysteries and puzzles and exploding a zoo.

Flu is the worst. Sitting in bed for days being grim is the worst. Everything taking a million times longer. Plus spending so much of that time trashed is also an issue. Getting better is hard when you’re constantly out of your brain. I made some horrible mistakes doing this, but I’m always making horrible mistakes so it’s always worse when I’m trashed and ill. I’ve been burning bridges.

But burning bridges is a starting point of a whole long thing I’m really miserable about. Desperately so. So again, it’s distraction time. Today will involve more of the same I think. Mor lying down and more, hopefully useful, distraction time.

Whilst I’ve been ill, I’ve been using the remote play function which links my PS Vita with my PS4, meaning I can lie in bed and make my pitiful self feel a little better. I’ve just finished Resident Evil Zero (the HD remake for PS4) through a tiny screen and headphones. It’s really pretty so I should’ve used my big telly, but moving wasn’t something I was going to be about I decided. So I decided to play Resi in chronological order because it’s yet another game franchise to reach 20 this year and Resi 6 is coming. Resident Evil Zero is super silly and super fun. Although it’s technically a survival horror, it’s kinda lacking on the horror side. It’s like a zombie zoo with lots of puzzles and being plunged into a nuts world your characters don’t understand. Full of puzzles and zombies and giant zombie frogs and centipedes and things.

I played it on the D pad because that’s something I understand from the earlier games and I was am idiot when it came to picking the control options let’s not lie. I passed out a few times playing it, died A LOT and yet managed to complete something.

There’s a huge sense of achievement in completing anything, especially when it’s hard for you. I’m pretty sure it’s the DBT skill ‘building mastery’ but I honestly can’t remember. I’m going to try litter this blog with DBT skills so I should maybe figure stuff out for sure. But regardless, achievement is important. Even if it’s just getting out of bed and having a shower (something I intend to achieve later to day…). One of the reason games are super fun is the more you try at something difficult, the greater their feeling of achievement afterwards. This is one of my more logical reasons that gaming is good for mental health. There’s way less rational reasons, but I’m trying to keep my rational brain on rather than letting my emotions get control of my brain right now.

So this week, Reside Evil Zero is a good thing I did. I felt achievement, it made me laugh, it gave bed ridden me something to do and it had a zombie zoo. It doesn’t really fit the rest of the resi canon of games, but although it has issues, maybe a zombie zoo is what you need when your fevered, burning bridges and being trashed.

It’s not like I dealt with things perfectly, but I did find something to not make it worse. There are loads of other things that can help that, but for me, gaming is one of them.

I failed a lot, but I succeeded in blowing a zombie zoo into a massive hole in the ground. Whoop whoop, go me. Right? I duno…

on being an idiot.

I wish I could sit here and write some blazingly positive post about being borderline. It wouldn’t even be a lie. Borderline Personality Disorder has some awesome aspects. What makes them less awesome is that other people don’t always understand, but some of the traits involved in the BPD diagnosis can be looked at in a positive light. Something I’m sure I’ll type about at some point.

Today is not positive. Today, an impulsive decision came to bite me in the ass and I have no one to blame but myself.

Without going into bare detail (I’ve written enough about eating disorders to know when to leave specifics alone), like the majority of people with a diagnosis of BPD, I self harm. Every time I do, I still swear to myself that’ll I’ll try make it longer between incidences each time in the hope that eventually, it won’t happen at all. And it’s true. It does get easier, and not beating myself up every time I slip helps. Still though, a few days ago I felt properly shit and like I needed harm myself. In some sort of mad emotional hurricane, I decided my usual methods were not good enough. Not harmful enough. So, in the eye of the storm, I ordered some shit online so I could more easily inflict more damage.

This is called me being an idiot.

My emotions can run riot over my entire brain and I’m aware of this. I’m aware these emotions dissipate. With time, through using DBT skills, or through using “risk behaviours” like self harm, it’ll all calm. I’m also very aware that the severity of the injury does not reflect the severity of the distress in my brain. I engage in a variety of risk behaviours (that I have no intention of listing today) and I know that emotional and physical damage does not always correspond in equal measure. “Risk behaviours” come in many different forms and can cause more or less damage than intended. Even just sneezing at the wrong moment can be enough to create more or less damage. There really is no correlation.

Yet my distressed emotions took over. I made an Internet order to create more harm.

Problem is, three days later, the distress of that day has calmed somewhat. Through writing, gaming, drawing etc., I managed to not inflict as much damage as I’d previously intended. Today however, my package arrived.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe risk behaviours should be encouraged. I don’t think they are healthy ways to manage emotions. I don’t think they provide long term solutions to emotional turmoil. I even ordered some stuff for my ‘In Case of Emergency’ box with the order (jasmine incense. Jasmine smells like God, if I believed in that entity). I really want to be able to manage the negative symptoms of BPD positively so I can help myself in the long term. I put a lot of effort into that. Hence why I have a box full of stuff to make me feel better if I’m distressed. It’s got self soothe stuff, distraction stuff and just happy things.

But now I have the ability to inflict more damage if I self harm sitting on my bed side table. And it’s tempting as fuck.

I so badly wish I was super tough and could be like “Nah fuck this. Chuck this shit in the super grim public bin near my yard.” Thing is, I’m not that strong. A part of my brain goes “well since you decided it once, you might do it again. Better to not spend money twice” (I’m mad broke most of the time), but actually, that’s mental. Why would I even think money was more valuable than my mental or physical state ever?

Because I’m being an idiot. That’s why.

So instead, I sit. Staring at ways to make my miniature and major disasters even worse and not knowing what to do. It’s really hard. I hate knowing the logic and believing the emotion. I guess that’s where recovery starts for a lot of people, including me, but I’ve been stuck in this place for fucking ages and I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting my beliefs with my rationality constantly. I’m a really rational person when it comes to everything except my emotions, and I hate that I can’t take the scientific, research, evidence based me into the emotional side of my brain. There’s a wall I find super difficult to permeate. I can tell you logically why that exists so strongly in me personally (I hate comparisons to others as I dunno what’s in their brain. It could be more strong for most people or less. I dunno. I can just explain my own barrier), but that doesn’t seem to make much difference. I logically know I’m wrong, but my emotions make me feel, and therefore believe, otherwise.

So now I’m stuck. I’ve essentially posted myself a delayed trigger to act out and harm myself, and in turn (as is always the case), the people I love, even more. And what’s ridiculous is I don’t even know what to do. It’s obvious, just so fucking impossible in my brain right this moment. In retrospect, I’ve tormented myself for no good reason. It’s the worst (hyperbole I know, but right now I feel like that, even though I know I’ve felt worse and dealt with harder challenges). Fucking brains.

Logically, I know I could wait it out and see. I know there’s a grey area I could exploit till I feel mentally tough enough to throw this shit away. But then that’s part of the problem. Grey areas are something I struggle with immensely. It’s all black and white for me, as I’m sure it is for others. I can see the grey exists, but that isn’t good enough for me. It’s now a battle between rational throw away and emotional use right now. Problem is, I have no idea how to make it anything else.

You can’t predict your emotions and deciding on something harmful days in advance seems so nonsensical because now, my brain is a tangled mess. Plus I’m impulsive, so I’ve given myself the chance to fuck up my wellbeing even harder. With or without the impulse right this moment. Now I’m just lost in the mess.

Epic brain fail. There’s no other explanation.

Sometimes, I’m an idiot.

why pokémon?

So I was considering starting my blog with some bleak ass shit about how ill I am right now. I’ve spent all day reading blogs, watching videos and googling self harm stuff. Mostly recovery orientated, but my brain is in this distinctly destroy your life mood. It’s all the same in terms of obsessing. Today, I have been obsessing over self harm. It’s not a positive place to think inside.

So instead, I thought I’d try distract myself by explaining why pokémon matters so much to me, and hence why it’s in the blog title. Pokémon is happy and fun and a really different emotion in my brain. So I’m going to explain why pokémon is awesome for my sanity and what I call “The Pokémon Equation.” Yes. I am that naff.

I’m not making judgements on who knows what, because in some circles it’s really common knowledge, but in most, it’s not. The original pokémon games came out in 1996. That’s 20 years ago. I’ve been playing pokémon pretty consistently since I got a bootlegged American copy of Pokémon Red from some dodgy corner shop near where I lived. I was seven, so understandably, pretty shit. The first time I played it, I only used my starter pokémon (Bulbasaur if you’re interested. He’s #1!) and didn’t really get that I had to train my other pokémon to make them big and strong too, so failed pretty fucking quickly. I stuck at it though, started over and swore down that one day, I would catch them all.

20 years on, I’m still playing pokémon. I don’t think I ever really stopped. I still haven’t caught them all, but in February I did finally get a legit Mew, which has been a life long ambition (yes I know there were game hacks and conventions and stuff back in the day, but I was really young with no money and with little understanding of computers etc.. Plus now, I have a Mew on my 3DS games and can put it in the online Pokébank and transfer it into any compatible games. So fuck you cheaters and hackers and people with money for pokémon events in the late ’90s. I’m the one laughing now! Ok I’ll stop). It’s a super repetitive game, and although they add more additional shit each game, it’s still pokémon. There’s a lot of levelling up, walking in grass to find rare pokémon etc. and that never changes. Sure, now I can buy a snapback and some chunky boots, but it’s the same game. The story is never that compelling, the mechanics never change. Now, there’s just more pokémon to catch and inline skates.

This is why I love pokémon so much.

It’s always been there. I’ve gamed since I was little and can get totally engrossed and emotionally caught up in gaming. They are a huge part of how I can get through some really distressing emotions. The DBT distress tolerance skill of distraction is something I’ve almost mastered. The thing about pokémon is that I don’t even have to think about it. Don’t get me wrong, I thing video games are a legit art form and can be the best medium for presenting certain types of experiences and storytelling, but in general, most of the games I play have super engaging gameplay mechanics and plots. Pokémon doesn’t. Plus it’s always been on handheld consoles. These two facts mean that you can play pokémon, whilst doing other things.

When my brain is busy going travelling at the speed of light, the best way I’ve found to turn off the noise is complete sensory overload. If I’m home and feeling fucking overwhelmed, I can chuck on the radio or a shit load of Come Dine With Me and play pokémon. When I’m out, I can listen to some Kano and play pokémon. I don’t have to think. I don’t have to be super engrossed. If things are really bad, I can add more senses (like smells and flavours) to help literally empty my brain. And gaming itself is kinda a lot of your senses anyway. It’s visual, auditory and tactile. Add more layers to that, and emptiness is easier to achieve. Plus I don’t get overly caught up in the emotions of the characters or story because there really isn’t much of that, so I don’t let my emotions spill into it which can intensify the distress in my brain. Plus if I’m super unwell and mad trashed, I can still play pokémon. It isn’t that difficult to play. To get the most out of it, time is all it needs.

There are plenty of repetitive games, but not many are so super adorable as well as so consistently present throughout my life. I’ve always been playing one pokémon game or another. There are other game franchises that have existed forever (in my lifetime anyway) like the Metal Gear games or the Final Fantasy series, but they require far more attention as plot and gameplay can be a lot more engaging. Pokémon and it’s familiar repetition is perfect for when I need as much as possible to block out the noise of my brain.

Hence “The Pokémon Equation”.

It doesn’t have to be pokémon. It doesn’t have to be a Come Dine With Me marathon. It doesn’t have to be Kano. Pokémon isn’t even an essential part of the equation. Handheld console, repetitive gaming means you can add extra layers to the sensory experience happening around you. I can play Super Hexagon whilst watching the news (with the added bonus of a Chipzel soundtrack). The equation works for me. The more I’m physically doing and the more sense I engage, the less likely I am to act out and turn to “risk behaviours” to tolerate an often distressing brain. It’s not a permanent solution. It’s distraction to the maximum level I’ve found (so far), but the problems are all still there. At best, it gives my brain a chance to cool down so I can (hopefully) calm myself down enough to figure some of my brain shit out. At its worst, it keeps me from acting impulsively whilst I’m doing it. I’m not saying my emotional brain never wins. It does and sometimes I can’t even try “The Pokémon Equation.” Also, sometimes all the sounds in my head start up again as soon as I stop. However, so far in my wanderings that is my mental health, it’s been the most successful way to stop me fucking up. That’s saying something. My first encounter with mental health services was when I was fifteen. I’m twenty seven now. In twelve years of mental health services, medications, multiple diagnoses, multiple misdiagnoses, counselling, CBT, DBT, person centred therapy, sectioning, A&E etc., “The Pokémon Equation” has been on of the best ways I’ve found to keep myself safe.

This is a game in which children collect cute animals in tiny balls whilst they adventure alone in the world with only their trusted pokémon to protect them. Striving to become the best of the best at raising pets right in order to win badges and be the best in the league.

That’s pokémon. And it’s the fucking best. Happy 20th Birthday you beautiful game.

Jolteon is super cute and well 'ard. All the love.
Jolteon is super cute and well ‘ard. All the love.

ps. Jolteon is the best. Obz.