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.

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