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Alone.

For sharing your experiences and feelings about mental illness
littleem
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:16 pm

Hi ATTMP,

Thanks for your caring message. You are such a kind person. Thanks also for the mind map you sent me. Unfortunately, I couldn't open it but I will look into them and ask my therapist about them too. Thank you for being so kind and thoughtful. It means a lot.

I'm glad that mindfulness is helping you, too. I'm hoping to access that in the near future.

Take care my friend and thanks again,

Hugs right back at ya!

Em xxx

littleem
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:10 pm

Hiya Deb,

Thank you for taking the time to send me something so kind and caring. Your words really mean a lot. You are such a lovely person.

My mother is in better spirits today. She understands it's my illness making me act this way. She's coming with me to my appointment at the clinic tomorrow. I'm somewhat dreading that but everything is out in the open now so I'm trying to stay positive. We went to Mass together this morning which was nice.

I've arranged an appointment with my care coordinator next week and for therapy this Friday. I didn't call the inpatient place. My mood has been flat but I've gone out in the sunshine with my mam now. Going with the fllllllow!

Hope you got your bus and that you're having a nice day.

Much love x

deb1960
Posts: 1492
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:14 pm

Re: Alone.

Postby deb1960 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:48 pm

Hi Em

I'm glad your mum is in.better spirits. It's lovely too that you went to mass together.

I got my bus thanks. The sunshine been great today and it was really warm. I was at my mindfulness course this afternoon. I'm really enjoying it. When I tried it 3 years ago I had an attitude of it working or being no good. This time I'm a lot more relaxed and have really taken the non striving, self compassion approach.

Hope your appts go ok when they come round

Take care
Love Deb x

littleem
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:14 pm

Hi Deb,

Thanks. It was lovely and we had a really nice day together. We've just got home now and my dad is in a FOUL mood despite yesterday being so bad. And now the restored peace is GONE. I tried to be helpful and made things a bit worse. Now they're full on rowing at eachother. I'm 23 and stuck in between this like I'm a teenager again. I wish I was out living my own life as I should be and as my siblings are.... But I'm stuck because my stupid brain is preventing me. My illnesses are adding to and perhaps even causing the tension between my parents. This isn't necessarily my fault. However, it is fact.

I wish I could snap out of this. I feel exactly the same feeling I felt when I was a nine year old girl crying in my bedroom alone completely terrified as my severely disabled and violent sister screamed the house down downstairs. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach, butterflies in my tummy in a horrible way, awful anxiety, fear that I'm at fault, fear of something bad happening, fear of getting hurt, guilty, lonely, trapped, scared. I feel that same way now.

I need to change. I need to give my parents their life. I need to bloody grow up and get a grip and gain weight even if it makes me feel like rubbish. For them. And then, when my brain clicks slightly more into place, for me. I need to step OUT of the situation I'm in but fighting this alone is too hard. I liken it to a drug addict becoming clean on their own or an alcoholic going sober on their own. I need support to do this and I don't know if the CMHT can provide the level that I need. When I was under child and adolescent services, they were super intensive - Three 90 minute therapy sessions a week, dietician once a week with a meal plan, psychiatrist once a week and meal support. Plus I had the focus of sixth form and support of the school I was at. I was in a 'normal' environment with people my own age so I made a few friends and even had a couple of boyfriends. Amazingly, I got through my A Levels and I had a great part time job which I loved.

The support now is a dietician who wants my therapy to weigh me and to thus stop seeing me, CBT once a week and a friendly GP every six weeks just for the heck of it. Thank God for my wonderful family, but my main contact is with my mam. Church helps a lot, but I only have a very brief 'good morning' chat from the dear handful of 80 year old parishoners. I don't have any friends, I am studying but only online taster uni courses and I'm not working yet. I'm lonely but I'm getting used to it.

I plan to get a part time job soon. I need some outlet. I wanted to join a Catholic community but none of the options I tried worked or were otherwise of interest to me. Which leaves university. I'm thinking of applying for this year. I could always defer. I need to get OUT. Else, I will just remain stuck.

I would cry if the anti depressants allowed me.

We visited family today. It was so lovely and helped me feel more 'grounded'. I was a bit sad afterwards at how isolated I've become. I make friends easily but I don't have the opportunities to meet likeminded young adults where I live.... And trust me, I've tried all ways. I wish I had a friend. Friends have helped massively in the past. Thank God for my family and for you guys.

I've waffled on an awful lot.

Deb, it sounds like you've had a lovely day. I'm glad mindfulness has helped you too. Enjoy the sunshine. It was gorgeous here too. I sat in the garden and the sun was scorching. Out the back is a real sun trap!

Thanks again for your kindness everyone

Xxx

amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Alone.

Postby amaya » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:14 pm

Em you have me as a friend if you would like :)
(I then went on to write the very long post you see below, take what helps, ignore the rest, and sorry that I don't know how to say what I mean in a short way haha.)

Thanks for being so honest with us, it feels like an honour that you share these things with us that you normally carry around inside.

About guilt: I don't think it helping you. It seems to arise from trying to control emotional states with our intellect, failing, and then feeling like we shouldn't have failed. But emotions, and the behaviours they induce in us are far more powerful and more ingrained in who we are as human beings than our intellect is. We spend so much time thinking and fantasizing about who we are, what we should do, how we should treat others, should, should, should.. blah blah blah. And then we are ignoring our emotions. Suddenly we realise we are acting on these buried emotions without much choice at all, we decide to beat ourselves up on top of everything else. Because that silly intellect thinks it should be able to control the universe.

Therefore.. maybe it is okay to let go a little bit. You are acting the way you are because of how you feel. And that is just as valid as what you think. You are a whole person. Even when you feel in pieces. You are okay just the way you are. You just need some help because you are ill, like the rest of us here, and a lot more people in the world! But you haven't done anything wrong to anyone. You haven't chosen to be struggling the way you are. Actually it is wanting to act protectively to those around you that means you find it hard to be honest about what you are really facing everyday. You are a good person trying a little bit too hard to be what you think you should be whilst you are feeling something else.

I don't think this is something you are gonna resolve by trying so hard. I think it will have more to do with accepting the real you, however painful and complex that is. Learning to feel without guilt for how you feel. Not easy, haven't managed it myself yet by the way, just know I need to work on it. But the more you try to please others on the outside, whilst pushing yourself inside to attain the impossible perfection, the more you will be denying your true self. It is okay to be ill. It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling. Really, whatever that actually is, in any moment, it is okay. And you do not have a choice about it, so you don't need to beat yourself up that you are feeling it. Same with thoughts, they come without asking you first. All we can do is watch to see how we feel, what we are thinking, and then decide what to do about it. If you start a fight with yourself where you say this feeling or this thought is not allowed because it is wrong, or it will hurt someone, or whatever, you will lose that fight. Because you didn't choose to think or feel the way you do in the first place.

I have read so many different sides to you since I started coming here, and it is all you. You are actually doing better than you know to be so aware of so many things the way that you are. Also, I like you.. not just the postive bouncy Em, but also all the other parts you have shown here. I imagine that it is just the tip of the iceberg because no one can really explain themselves too well online like this. But I think there is something really awesome about you. And I don't mean the enthusiasm. That is nice to be sure. But I mean there is a part of you that is so sensitive and caring to everything and everyone in the world. I think this is the part of you that is hurting so much too. Your sensitivity is what makes you vulnerable. Trying to control that so that you don't get hurt more, whether that comes from controling eating or doing a lot for others or whatever you do, is actually your subconscious trying to take care of you. Just it is having a counterproductive effect sometimes.

The short version of what I am trying to say is that you are a good person no matter what. But you need to get the help you need to address the eating disorder. Because along the path of doing that you can learn that there is nothing wrong with who you are or how you feel and you don't need to try to control things so much. You can be free to be your sensitive self. Even if the world is a painful place for us sensitve types.. and you really do not need to feel bad for being who you are. When you are free to be you then you will be free to do things out of the pure kindness you have and not because you are proving something to yourself or to someone else. Right now it is always a mix because you are trying so hard not to let anyone down on the outside whilst feeling a lot of pain inside. But this comes because you are fundamentally kind as a person, otherwise you wouldn't feel so much pain anyway.

I am gonna stop now because I am tired and using about fifty times as many words as other people and I have the feeling I said the same thing in three different ways.

It doesn't matter what you do with your life, at all. It matters that the real you gets to do it. That's why you need the treatment. Please bang on whoever's door you need to to get the support and structure you need to get better, don't accept less than you need. And don't feel guilty for anyone. Because none of this is your fault. And keep telling yourself that you are fundamentally good. Just the way you are. However you feel. And that is true, no doubt.

Goodnight x

littleem
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:46 pm

Aww Amaya!!

Thank you! I was so touched by your genuine kindness and thoughtfulness in taking the time to send me this caring, encouraging and very helpful message.

Thank you for being my friend. I would love that and so I offer my friendship to you in return, of course! I like you too. You are clearly a very emphatic, compassionate, thoughtful, kind-hearted, perceptive and insightful person. I'm happy to have met you!

Please don't worry about the length. It means so much to me when people post back, whether it's just a quick 'hello' to show their thinking of me or a big long post almost as long as the ones I write haha! I remember saying to you that you always know how to say the right thing. This was at the time that I was being 'supported' by that horrid occupational therapist. It was your advice that enabled me to see that, actually, I could be in control of what support I received. It was a huge turning point for me - being able to value, preserve and protect my sense of self worth and my mental state and confidently being able to stand up for myself and have enough belief in myself to assert that I wasn't going to settle for less because I was a person of worth who deserved more. Thank you for helping me SEE and KNOW that I don't HAVE to accept less.

So, you write away my friend! Your post now made a lot of sense. You were spot on with several of your points. Thank you.

Thanks for listening to my honest offloads everyone! Means a lot to know I have people behind me.

Ahhh... Amaya, the 'I should' way of thinking. Story of my life!! I just had a whole therapy session focusing on this and we established some major core beliefs. My therapist said her goal for me is for me to be able to get into employment without feeling the absolute necessity of having to give 110% and be the best SuperEMployee ever known to mankind for every single second that I am at work. This way of thinking has been tormenting me for too long. I just want to be able to go to work in an everyday job like a shop or whatever without the MASSIVE pressure of achieving the impossible perfection which results in me leaving the job.... Blah blah blah and repeat five hundred billion times!! I don't want work to BE my life. I want ME to be my life and work to be a part of that life - the part that enables me to have the life that makes me ME. Work to live and all that! I hope all that waffle makes sense, haha! I'm pleased my therapist and I share this mutual goal.

Thanks for your encouraging words. You are spot on...... I do try WAY too hard. I try to be 'okay' which to me means happy and 'normal' (whatever that is?!) And I want to do this so as not to affect others in a negative way, I.e. I don't want to drag anyone down by not being 'okay'. But you're right, I'm ill. That's not my fault. So the fact that I'm not as 'okay' as I have been in the past is not my fault. It's okay to not be okay all the time. Even the 'okay' or 'happy' and 'normal' people (how I see my family and all those I want to protect from being negatively affected by my 'not okay' low mood and thus by me) aren't 'okay' ALL the time. OKAY! I said okay a lot just then, haha!

So yeah, I'm trying to be more accepting and to take the pressure off. I am much more accepting now and thanks to the meds I'm not obsessive or anxious.

I agree that it is the sensitive and caring part of me that connects with and that wants to help others which is the part that's hurting. I was giving my all and in doing this I was open and thus vulnerable. So when others hurt me, it cut deep because I was giving myself to them and the part of me deep within that makes me 'me' was what got hurt. Like being hurt to the very core. But time heals and the therapy will help with this too.

I am FINALLY making more of an effort on overcoming the eating disorder side of things. I haven't gained any weight since being discharged from hospital which is leaving me in a place of being 'stuck'. My choices are - inpatient, stay home and move forward or stay home and stay stuck in this torment. I went for staying home and taking control of beating this. Each day at a time buy taking control of my own recovery shows a MASSIVE shift in my thinking. I've moved on a lot since being discharged. I prepare my own food, I eat comfortably and socially with my parents, I've eaten out at cafes (I'm a coffee addict!) and restaurants and have coped totally fine, I've dealt well with negative triggering comments, I've eaten hot food after a whole year of not eating anything hot, I've tried lots of different foods and I've taken control of my own meal plan which I've been (for the most part) able to adhere to completely unsupervised. I slip up here and there but that's to be expected! I'm sure that restored physical health will only improve my mood and thinking further.

The eating disorder services are seeing me in two weeks and then discharging me. My therapist will manage the weighing side of things too. I prefer that and the ED services have been crap so I'm glad to be shot of them! The CMHT however have been very good. My therapist and care co ordinator are excellent and genuinely caring.

I'm on session 6 of 20 for overcoming depression and low mood. My therapist said that after this she would be able to offer me 40 sessions of CBTE for overcoming anorexia. I've never engaged with this before but I've been severely anorexic three times and I'm only 23 so I actually WANT to do this therapy when I'm mentally more ready for it.

My therapist also has referred me to a new group that's starting specifically for women who have suffered abuse and/or have mental illness. It starts early March and is creative therapy - poetry, storytelling and arts and crafts. She was so excited to tell me about this bless her! I think I've FINALLY found a group that could suit me.

She's also telling my care co ordinator that I want help with getting involved in meeting other young people and she told me that when I'm ready I can meet with the volunteer and employment co ordinator who is fantastic at finding opportunities suitable for specific individuals.

I have recently been doing some free online courses from the open university focusing on philosophy and religious philosophy and I've been keeping busy writing poetry, babysitting my little nieces and nephews, spending time with my family, painting and cooking. I've been in touch with the homeless hostel I worked at to ask about returning to volunteer. Gently, gently, of course.

My therapist also said that I would be able to have support with getting places when I am back volunteering or working. My lack of motivation and anxiety about going places REALLY holds me back but when I'm OUT I'm totally fine! I know the more I fight this, the easier it will become.

So there's a lot of positives ahead. Good days and bad, for us all I am sure.

If you made it to the end of this huge post, congratulations. That's impressive. *spoiler alert* I write loads, too! Haha!

Take care everyone xxx

littleem
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:51 pm

PS.

ATTMP, thank you for your message and your kindness as always! Excellent joke, haha! Maybe not one for me to share with the 80 year old Church-going folk I chill with at bingo in my crusty old town.... What do you think? Haha!

Thanks for passing on the message for Amaya. Amaya, thank you for the message and contact!

How are you doing ATTMP and Amaya? Hope all is well with you lovely people!

Ciao for now,

Yap-a-lot Em (A genuine nickname given to me by my mother and auntie who have both been on the receiving end of my verbal diarrhoea!)

Love Em xxx

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1229
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Alone.

Postby andthistoomustpass » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:15 pm

Hi Em!

Glad you liked the joke, it's the cleanest one I know, maybe not the best idea to use it for a reading at mass. :lol:

Glad you are getting good support from CMHT. The therapy sounds like it is going really well. It also sounds like you are accepting it is a process, no SuperEM instant solutions. ;)

Thinking of you.
ATTMP
xxx

littleem
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:04 pm

Hiya ATTMP!

Hahaha .... Yeah, maybe not! Haha!

Thanks for your kind message. Hope you're well. Thinking of you too.

Take care,

Em xxx

littleem
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am

Re: Alone.

Postby littleem » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:33 pm

Little update.

Things have been going pretty well this week.

I started a mood diary last month which has already proved useful in highlighting when and why my mood fluctuates. In one month, I only had two full days that I felt bad during the morning, afternoon and evening. Even though I had bad moments at different times on other days, there was a time when I would have had waaaay more bad days than just two in a month!

I met with my care co-ordinator. She's definitely on the same page as me. She's very perceptive and obviously knows what she's doing. She's seen my work so far with my therapist and said I'm already engaging well. She also (and my mother said this too) emphasised that I should not work yet because if it didn't work out, it would only reinforce my feelings of failure. Better to be ready and succeed than to set myself up to fail for the bazillionth time. Taking the pressure off feels better.

Looks like I will be discharged from the crappy ED services next week and will instead get weighed at the surgery with my lovely GP every month. I'm still taking on more nutrition so as to gain weight and I am trying lots of different foods and eating with my parents, which is nice. I realised I need to give myself the best chance that of getting well. Physical health is part of the treatment. My care co-ordinator, therapist, GP and family all agree on this which makes me feel less shame and fear and stress. The ED services are obsessed with the physical side and it only adds to the negative emotions. I get the difficult thoughts but deal with them silently. The medication has helped LOADS with stopping ruminating thoughts.

I'm keeping myself busy as always doing lots of creative things and socialising with my family. I feel that I've moved forward.

Sometimes I feel nothing. Totally numb. It's weird and I hate it but it's a million times better than how bad I've felt before the medication. So I'm thankful that I don't struggle with anxiety and obsessiveness and those really dark scary thoughts anymore. Sometimes, I know I should be feeling something - sad, lonely, nostalgic... - but I can't feel it. It's like I'm flitting along, detached, there but not really there. It's strange, but also quite nice. It means I can cope with things much better.

Going forward, I want to really get stuck into the therapy. I feel I'm in a good place for it. For the first time, I'm ready to work on changing these negative self beliefs to get my confidence up enough to start engaging in environments outside of what feels comfortable, e.g. Work.

I don't have big dreams and plans anymore. I used to always want the best and to go far away or whatever, but in this loooooong process of mental illness, relapse and recovery, I'm learning to accept myself and my mental health problems. They're a part of my life but they do not define me entirely. I've also learnt what matters most to me in life - those who genuinely care about me and who I care about the most.

I think that by travelling to India and achieving my dream two years ago, I learnt that everything amazing and most important in life that I discovered there, I.e. The love and importance of others, I can find right where I am now. I don't need to search for it again. I don't know if that makes sense. As though, in going far away I saw more clearly the value of life around me in the environment I once thought was 'mundane' or whatever.

My big goal is to eventually get into employment, but I just want something simple, normal, no major big plans. Nothing wrong with ambitions obviously, but this is a huge positive shift in thinking for me personally. I'm taking the pressure right off after years of being a perfectionist striving for the unattainable.

Whoops. It wasn't a little update. A waffly one again. Classic me.

Hope everyone is doing alright.

Thanks for reading.


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