Sunday, 29 March 2015

Bit of news

Just a quick one, because I'm mid hair dyeing and my laptop is knackered so I'm writing this from my kindle. I'm a poor enough typist anyway (my handwriting is worse, but I'm a pen snob. That has nowt to do with owt, but you know me and tangents), but an even worse typist on this. I can't believe I'm wittering about keyboards and pens and not updating on my biggest news...

I HAVE A KIDNEY INFECTION!

Just kidding. I mean, I do, but that's not the big one. Dum, dum, dum...

AFTER ALMOST 3 YEARS, I AM DISCHARGED FROM HOSPITAL!

It's been a terrible few weeks, in most senses. Two general hospital admissions for dehydration, one for electrolyte imbalance and two catheters for retention because of the rest. But screw it all and raise your glasses of Pepsi Max (sans alcohol. Bloody kidneys), because I am finally a free lady. Far more to say, but I'll end up with wanker's hand from my one-finger typing, so I best finish.

Freedom, kids. Stability. Never take it for granted.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Drama, drama.

As great as last week was, that's how bad this week has been. Alright, thinking back, maybe not QUITE that bad, but still not great, either. Nowt sinister's happened, I've just not been very well. I ought to be used to it by now, given how if you flick through, I'm always bloody ill, but landing in hospital twice for something they can't diagnose is new even for me. Well, originally I went in with what they thought was something terrrrrrible due to my anorexia (I've not relapsed, but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't caught up in a blip), then decided it was most likely dehydration. When fluids didn't change the fact that I couldn't stand without falling, I was kept in overnight, for more fluids and a catheter. I got out midday yesterday, but by last night I was back again, and sent home with a catheter, which is currently chilling in position and velcro'd to my lower right leg.

Those are the unemotional facts, anyway. The night I spent in I ended up really unwell mentally and just presented as a bit of a brat, so naturally nobody was all that sympathetic. As soon as that catheter was mentioned, I knew what it would mentally bring up. Flashback after flashback of being abused. I tried to runaway, under the premise of going for a smoke, a fair few times, forgetting that A I couldn't stand, and, B I wasn't being held against my will. It was awful, the worst flashbacks I've had in a long time. Then my voices would allow me to tire, before shouting louder than ever, to torture me. The second time I was admitted, last night, I knew catherisation was coming, but as soon as it was said I dissolved into tears. My mum took the nurse out and explained why I was so upset and she was absolutely lovely, and was far gentler with me than the staff the night before had been.

Since then my voices have been so loud and there's little I can do but attempt to be patient, which is wearing me down something chronic. I'm putting effort into presenting as myself, well, a knackered version of myself, anyway. It feels like people get sick of my drama, and trust me- so do I.

I think what I'm trying to tell you is that if somebody is behaving in a bizarre or exaggerated way, there will be a reason for it. Possibly even a terrible reason. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others- just because they might not look ill, be diagnosed mentally ill, or be mentally or physically ill, actually, at all, does not mean they don't have shadows and demons within them. That they have every right to react to. So do you, by the way, you have every right to feel.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

By jingo!

It's been a bloody amazing week. In fact, as my grandma would say about it (and as I and my not-such-a baby cousin would die of laughter at), 'by jingo!' In fact, not only would my grandma say it, but she did actually say it a few times today. That's a bit irrelevant, but I'm a bit drunk. And you know what? I can actually admit on here, publicly, that I am a bit drunk. Do you know why? Do you? Even if you know, can I tell you anyway?

I AM NO LONGER SECTIONED.

For those of you lucky folk who don't know the mental health system in England, it means that I'm not detained in hospital any more. I've been on a Section 3, kind of like a treatment order, for too many, ahem, sober years. Ahem. Sober if you're a staff member, anyway. I'm still a patient, but I can kind of come and go as I want and leave at any point, rather than being forced to stay there. It's been, God, a good few years that I've been detained and now, by jingo, I'm suddenly not. Despite my weekend of celebration- champagne on Friday, tea and cake (and by that, I mean a sarnie and a Diet Coke) on Saturday, a night in the pub on Saturday night, and more champagne with my family today- it still hasn't quite sunk in. I get my discharge date on the 26th, and my solicitor thinks it'll be pretty quick after that, that I'm out. It's been a long few years inside and I can't help but kind of squeal when I think about my upcoming freedom.

That's not all, anyway. Thursday was when I got off my section, but Tuesday I had one of the world's greatest reunions with a good friend of mine, Aimee. She was discharged from the same hospital as me last September and was always a role model of mine in there. Watching her turn it around gave me the kick up my arse to turn it around myself, and I spent too many hours last spring in heaps at her feet, having her literally and figuratively pick me up, time after time. She's a good 'un, that one. Rather than reuniting in Newcastle, where she's from; Scunthorpe, where I'm from or Bradford, where we were in together, we were down in the arse end of nowhere, Northampton way, for the National Service User Awards, at Silverstone, held the day after we reunited.

Where I only went and won a bloody award. I don't even know what to say about the day, except there were some incredible people milling about and some incredible stories, ideas and talents floating about. I am so humbled and grateful and honoured. I am definitely going to dedicate some sober time to telling you about the event, because it deserves more than my drunken rambling, but I'm too happy to be eloquent and too tired to explain, but just know- I worked my arse off (actually, I worked it on. All the weight I had to gain has been worth it). I, just, well, I'm feeling quite proud and inspired and, genuinely, happy. And that doesn't happen often.

pre awards

a beautiful reunion


post awards, with some of my accolades <3 i="">

Friday, 6 March 2015

5 years of Stop Being Inappropriate With Your Bread.

Well, SBIWYB, if you were my baby, as against the best therapist I've ever had, you'd be at school right now and I'd probably be doing what I have been doing all morning- binge watching Dance Moms and trying to make my last few fags last through the day- like the good mother I would have been. Happy fifth birthday, my darling. You've seen me through acute and psychiatric intensive care admissions; being on sick for months; uni and more admissions; more admissions; being thrown, unceremoniously, out of uni; more admissions; and, well, the last 3 years of constant hospitalisation. Numerous suicide attempts. Cutting, burning, nearly losing my right arm to self harm, starvation, bingeing, purging, too many NG tubes. Love, hate, losing friends and family to the illnesses and the over-arching support shown by those who have stuck by me.

You saw me nearly die, come so close to death that I could smell it from my collapsed positions, more times than I can bear to think about. You saw me rise again and fight harder than ever.

Birthdays, though, are for celebration, for the second (and third and fourth and hundredth) chances and the development that we all face. I'm not the person I was five years ago, and although I have a lot of empathy for the girl I was when this blog started, I'm beginning to be proud to be the woman I am now, with everything that goes with it. This blog, the opportunities and experiences and the readership and just everything that has come from it, has given me a voice and it's ultimately led me to where I am- close to discharge, public speaking, nominated for a national award for my public speaking (fingers crossed- the awards are next week).

It's also taught me that through development we all take, forgiveness is central. I know how saccharine that sounds, but forgiving other people- not as much now, but because of being so ill I was a very, very hard person to love and probably still at least a little hard to keep up with- and forgiving myself is huge to me right now. I'm not there, but God- I will be. It's in our earliest years that we change most, and that's even the same for SBIWYB. The relatively new days of my recovery now are going to be glorious- watch this space.

Thank you. The family, the friends, the friends who became family. Mum- I'm sorry I nearly destroyed your little girl, but I promise it's not something on the cards again. Willis and Alex- I didn't even know you two when this started and now I live quite comfortably with how I don't deserve either of you two, but that somehow you stuck through it all. Everybody else- you fought this shit with me. A lot of love.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Disabled.

I'm not ever so keen on the word 'disabled' or identifying myself as such. The fact is- I am able. It might take me longer to do things, I might have to rearrange and take a lot of time to rest, but I am able. Ish. And there lays the crux of the issue- am I actually able? Are my disabilities enough for me to be disabled or are they too much for me to class as able? Does it matter? Really, does it matter?

I don't 'look' disabled. But that doesn't mean I'm not in pain and I'm not struggling mentally. It's much like how people can have eating disorders at any weight. I mostly use crutches when I go anywhere, because years of Anorexia has badly affected my bones and joints. I can't actually get myself out alone, because of my anxiety. I can't-

Wait, I'm typing (and thinking) as if I have to justify my suffering. I don't. Sometimes I am able, sometimes I am not. It fluctuates. Being disabled, physically, doesn't mean in a wheelchair, and being disabled mentally doesn't mean sitting in a corner, rocking and muttering (although I have been in both of those situations. Wheelchairs and all that comes with mental illness). My social worker today mentioned about the welfare I'll get to help manage my disabilities and for once he worded something quite well- it's all about management. Being disabled means a lot of things to a lot of people, but ultimately it means you have to rearrange your commitments, your relationships, your entire life, around the disability. It's being a slave to a new master. To me, it's not about literally being unable, it's about having to take each day and each problem and fitting it together as best you can.

Sometimes I feel like I should affect a limp, because of the stares (given that I'm on crutches most of the time, that's not massively relevant, but even more before I got my crutches). There are all manner of awkward disabled moments, and trust me- it's embarrassing and I think that's why I was panicking earlier on in this post about whether or not I class as disabled. Getting an woman who looked in her 60s to give me the disabled seat on the train was particularly awkward, but I needed to sit down. Look out for people, but let us be able when we can. We'll let you know how able we are that day.