D day – in this case, diagnosis day

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I am nervous about writing this blog post and I’m not sure if it is the right thing to post but if I want to be open and eventually help other people then I think it’s a positive thing for me to do. I’m not doing this for sympathy but purely for people to understand that a diagnosis does not mean you are ‘crazy’, it just means you need a bit of extra help.

Today was a mega difficult day for me and my mental health journey, but an important one. I have waited a long time to finally start getting the help that I need and it has taken a long time for me to listen to people, be open, honest and to not be ashamed of how I feel because you can’t help it – It’s like having a physical illness.

I had my initial assessment with my local Community Mental Health Team. I was so nervous beforehand (I threw up my breakfast – tmi I know) – I had been bricking it for weeks as I’ve known that it’s what I’ve needed. I’ve had a lot of great counselling over the years but my recent Psychologist really supported me in getting some long-term help for my more complex problems by writing to my doctor.

My GP had sent the mental health team a really detailed referral beforehand which was great as they already knew how I was feeling when I got there and I just had to fill in the gaps and answer a few more questions. I cried the whole way through it but the Community Psychiatric Nurse was so lovely and explained that it’s not just me who feels the way I do which made me feel slightly better! When you have any mental illness you feel completely alone when in actual fact, loads of people are going through the same thing.

After speaking to me for a good hour and a half, the nurse diagnosed me with EUPD – Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder  (I absolutely HATE this term and much prefer the other name that is used for it and is most commonly known as Borderline Personality Disorder) and anxiety.  This does not mean there are 6 personalities hiding inside of me. It just means I fit a series of personality traits that they classify under this type of diagnosis.

A Psychiatrist also chatted to me and changed my current meds dosage for my anxiety.

I had a feeling I might have something like this but it was still a shock but also a relief. It means I can finally understand why I feel the way that I do. I know it’s a positive step even though I’m still finding it all so hard to process.

This is probably the only blog post that will be this personal. I want to focus now on the ‘getting better’ side of things as that is more important than dwelling on what is wrong. I just didn’t want people to think it’s all unicorns and rainbows. I know there’s going to be some really crap days ahead that will really challenge me. It’s going to be a long journey but I need to be able to help myself.

Today has also made me realise that I have some fantastic friends who are so supportive. My phone was full of messages when I got out of my appointment which put a smile on my face 🙂

Onwards and upwards!

 

Painting, pancakes and winter walks

Distraction is definitely the key. I was out of the house all day, walking, chatting, eating and painting with one of my friends. Definitely kept my brain off thinking about my mood.

I know it helped because I’m home now and the negative feelings are coming back…so I’m starting to write.

It was a chilly Saturday but nice and fresh for a good long walk, but first, a stop for some breakfast at one of my favourite local cafes, Cullercoats Coffee. They make the most amazing eggy bread! Not great for healthy eating but tasty!

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Me and my friend then had a lovely brisk walk through Tynemouth into North Shields to go to this great place called Pots and Pancakes. It’s a place where you can paint clay items and eat pancakes. Why wouldn’t you want to go?

I painted a cactus mug for when I go back to work to use for my bucket load of coffee I drink everyday. When it goes in the kiln and gets glazed the colour will be much darker…

We spent four hours painting. It was really therapeutic and all I could think about for those hours was painting. It totally clears your mind. My coffee even went cold as I forgot about it and that isn’t like me!

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…and of course…we had to have pancakes to get the full experience…I went with chocolate orange flavour.

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I’m so tired now. It’s always really daunting going out for a full day as I never know what mood I’m going to be in. I have had a few not so good days so I’m happy I got out. Hopefully it means I will have a decent night of sleep from all of the coastal fresh air!

Well this is daunting…

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Okay…so I have decided to revamp what was my book blog and transform this site in to a kind of ‘wellness journey’ (or if you can think of a less cheesy way of describing what I mean, do let me know).

As many of my close friends know, mental health is currently playing a big role in my life right now whether I want it to or not.

This blog isn’t about me going into detail about what’s wrong or how I’m feeling, it’s going to be focussing on the positives – what I’m trying to do to help myself. When I look back over the coming months and year, I hope it will help others too.

So far, I haven’t really made a huge effort to take part in activities that will help me, other than a few walks and some crafting. Thanks to the gentle kick up the backside from certain individuals (you know who you are!) to try more things, I have decided to document everything that I do whether I end up liking it or absolutely hating it.

I’m not talking about anything extreme like bungee jumping or walking on fire (although if you think that’ll help you by all means try it) I just mean random things like writing classes or running – yuk.

I tend to forget the nice stuff I’ve done and naturally focus on how rubbish I’m feeling so I’m hoping that by documenting everything, I can remember the good things. I know it won’t be a miracle cure but if it can give me one or two sparkly moments that will do me for now.

P.S. If I end up not posting in a while, please nag me!