Thursday, 8 March 2018

Must do better.

The past week has been exhausting. I tried to put the anger I felt after I was dismissed from my job into something positive.  I emailed the company suggesting they revised the way they support staff with a mental health problem, and received the bog standard ' we take all our employees health and well being seriously' email back.
I have been trying to focus on the positives after going through a week of emotions and separating them from the facts. Although I may not agree with their decision, I understand why they made it.
Today I received another blow. 
My care coordinator/eating disorder nurse who has been working with me since late 2016 has made the decision to transfer my care to Dom my therapist. This is not all bad as we have a good therapist/patient relationship but unfortunately the sessions are time limited.
My nurses reasoning for the change, is that I am not managing weight restoration and have only maintained for the past few weeks.
After my discharge from Hospital (that's for another blog post) I agreed to reach a certain BMI, this was unsuccessful so the goal was decreased and then we compromised on a  maintenance weight.
Although I am engaging in weekly therapy, I know if my weight drops, cognitively I will not be able engage properly as starvation has a detrimental effect on the brain and your way of thinking. 
I would be lying if I said I didn't know this was coming.
NHS waiting lists for eating disorder outpatient treatment are long and although the ed team in Somerset has increased over the past 8 years they still struggle.
So where does that leave me now?  
I feel sadness at the loss of my support; failure that I was unable to stick to my meal plan; guilt that I have let my friends and family down; not good enough, rejected and alone.
Above all I feel scared. Very scared. 
I understand the reasoning behind the decision, (must try harder) and am trying to use wise mind as opposed to emotional mind.
Someone on a facebook group said to me, 'Please don't take it personally or use it as a reason to mistreat yourself.'  She is very right. I did not use my 'go to' behaviours instead I used compassion and kindness towards myself, something I struggle with daily.
Tomorrow is another day, another small step, another learning curve.
If all I can do at the moment is keep myself safe then that is enough. 
Must do better.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Labels are for Jars, not people.

My name is Jackie and I am a person........

Around 16 months ago, after an assessment with my Psychiatrist, I was sat in her consulting room waiting on the results of her diagnosis. At this time you could say I was, not quite myself. 
As she sat at her computer scrolling through the many notes the team had made, the first words she said were, 'now try not to get too hung up on the wording of this.'  Well that was it, I was already into over thinking mode as to what variety of labelling she was going to put on my already fragile shell.
Where am I going to fit in?  How am I going to fit in, I already felt like a misfit, a square peg in a round hole.

'You have Anorexia, recurrent severe depressive disorder, complex trauma ptsd, anxiety and emotionally unstable personality disorder aka borderline personality disorder or bpd.'
Nice suit I thought, my trick cyclist was a snappy dresser.

OK, you can give me 4 of those but bpd.... take it back.  Put it in the reject bin.
My issue with this diagnosis was a person in my past had bpd, and there was no way I was anything like her.  I googled it (don't we all) going through the diagnostic criteria crossing off everything that didn't apply.  I was not going to be like her.
Recently I was doing some work on emotional regulation and my nurse explained it can help with aspects of bpd.  Again I would not accept that this was part of me, how could it?

After working with a psychologist (who doesn't do labels) I have started to use positive coping techniques to help when I feel overwhelmed, in threat mode or feel the need to use negative coping behaviours.  I can now challenge negative thoughts about myself and it helps with over thinking.  I'm no where near being fixed but I am making small steps to recovery...medication helps too.

The point of this post is that I am starting to accept that yes maybe I do have traits of a personality disorder, it does not mean that I am that person I knew before. Some people are just dickheads, and she was a dickhead. 
Having a diagnostic label does not define me.  Sometimes labels come off and you might get dog food when you are expecting peas.
I am a person, an individual.  I am not my anorexia, my depression or my (ahem) personality disorder.
Dom,  (lovely psychologist Man who always wears a grey and purple jumper on a Wednesday) showed me a chart of my weights from 2010 until present day.
He asked me to look at my highest weight and think about who was  Jackie then?
Good shout Dom.  That Jackie was confident and funny, she needs to be found again.
Maybe I've been labelled as tinned prunes when really there's a sweet pud inside.

My name is Jackie and I live with  anorexia, depression, anxiety, ptsd and bpd.  I am a person not my illness.

Friday, 2 March 2018

I'm back!!

I can't believe Its been nearly 18 months since my last entry.  Apologies to my followers and hope there are still some readers out there.
My lack of posts is due to lots going on with my mental health (surprise surprise) and a liveware issue of foggy brain forgetting my log in details! I think today's porridge must have given my brain a well needed kick start.
So what's been going on?
2017 started with... actually I have no idea how it started.  I can only presume it was with a glass in my hand and the intention to change my life for the better.
I had been absent from work since the previous June and decided to drop down to a less stressful role.  This initially worked out well as was only a 5 minute walk to work and my phased return initially meant I could work around my meals and my numerous medical appointments.
For someone who does not do mornings well, it was bliss to roll out of bed and have work practically on my doorstep. Unfortunately things did not work out as planned but I shall come to that later.
March was my big 50th which I spent on a beach in the stunning Dominican Republic. Massive shout out to the Hubster and Deb and Glyn for arranging what was without a doubt the best holiday I have had and will never forget.  It was the most relaxed I had been in ages and I even managed a practically all-nighter at a very interesting club/cabaret called the Coco Bongo.
There's life in the old dog yet, although I wont go into detail about the podium dance. 

My birthday didn't stop there either. The day we flew back I was due to go out for a drink with friends. My Son texted to say he couldn't come over and other friends said they were busy. 
I couldn't understand why Kev was pushing me to go out especially when we were both knackered and I would have settled for a coronation street omnibus, some haribo and the cat! 
Little did I know what my friends had in store, but a suprise get together along with a very good friend who had made an amzing cake and driven from Evesham.
March was a good month, things were looking up......It didn't take long for the downwards spiral.

Eating disorders awareness week 2019

I didn't just wake up one day and decide not to eat. It started with difficulties at work. I wasn't coping, was crippled with anxie...