Monthly Archives: January 2015

B.P.D; a journey without a destination.

1 year on from my first diagnosis. Not of my life, prior to this correct diagnosis I’ve been given: Depressed, General Anxiety Disorder, Attention Seeking, Crazy, Nut Job, Over sensitive, Loser…..Most of which any one on the journey of mental health improvement have probably been given themselves.

So one year on, a lot happens in a year.

I detoxed off Venlafaxine (I’ll describe this in detail!), changed my medication, increased my medication, attended work shops, and the most important thing? I’ve educated myself and accepted it.

So, detoxing from Venlafaxine…..easily the hardest thing I have ever done. My first obstacle was trying to convince my first psychiatrist that it does have withdrawal effects. Over the course of time of my being on Venlafaxine, 2 years (I finally made it to this horror of a medication after playing with Fluoxetine – HAYLO crazy dreams and insomnia! Sertraline, gee thanks for the hives, Citalopram, useless and I just slept constantly, amitryptaline can’t say I took it long enough to notice any significant benefits) I learnt to never miss a dose. I always knew I had when the dizziness started, a not the kind of dizzy you get from spinning in circles, more a slow motion dizzy, I’d move my eyes from something and two seconds later my mind would adjust to what I was seeing. But as time went on, I was having to take my doses earlier and earlier, and I was on the full, maximum dose of the stuff, but the withdrawal was starting within 12 hours, then 11, then 10……Pharmacists and doctors laughed me out the room when I tried asking for help, I remember sitting in my doctors room crying because of how awful I felt and he just said “that’s not possible”) Well thanks to google I soon learnt that I wasn’t abnormal, this was happening to thousands of people across the world. In November 2014, I went cold turkey….my doctor refused to prescribe me it, and I didn’t see my psychiatrist for another 4 days when I ran out….

Day one.

The dizziness started. It felt like my eyes were moving too quick for my mind to keep up, and eveything was sliding into place in stead of clicking. I got irritable, and shaky. Nausea started. I was over emotional, crying at almost everything. And the ranges in my temperature were amazing.

Day two.

New symptoms met the existing ones. Static shocks to my brain, the only way I can describe that periodic zap that went over my brain, sometimes it even made me wince with pain. The nausea got worse. Heart palpitations. Constantly cold. Week as a kitten, could barely walk. I have literally never felt so ill. I think at this point my husband got really worried for my mental health. I dont remember any thing apart from the symptoms. Not what I was wearing, what I did. I tried to counteract the worst of the symptoms by taking a citrizine based anti-histamine as recommended by fellow sufferers. It worked slightly, I could keep food down.

Day three.

The current side effects weren’t enough apparently. Lets add agonising pain and noticeable random twitching. I wish that was a joke, I’d sit there watching t.v. or talking to a friend and randomly twitch, and it wasn’t small, I scalded myself with tea twice. My brain became so foggy, articulation was difficult and upsetting. My heart was hammering that hard in my chest I thought I’d be sick. It actually hurt. I cried and begged for relief. It was … beyond horrible. I really wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

Day four.

I saw my psychiatrist for my new medication. I literally curled into a ball in the bucket seat as they spoke to me. The look of horror on the face of the consultant psychiatrist, registrar psychiatrist and counsellor were plain to see when I said I’d been cold turkey…..the psychiatrist wrote his own letter of complaint to my doctors about them stopping the medication. He put me back on 150mg to wean to zero over six weeks. I was glad. Another day like that and I genuinely don’t know how it would have ended. Hospitalization probably, I was a danger to myself. Thank god for good friends who helped me mother my children.

So when I finally detoxed, after the six week course of ever decreasing doses, it still wasn’t easy. It was still one of the hardest few days of my life…..but I was damn glad I’d done it. I’d rather be sectioned than ever have to put that detestable “medication” in my body again.

Then came the new medication. Having tried to manage my condition by myself in earlier years and it not being very successful (two overdose attempts – serious not cry for help) years of self harm, so bad it had become habitual, I know medication is the only way I’ll ever manage this. So to help with my sleep, anxiety, racing thoughts, dis associative tendencies and the whole shebang I was given a new antidepressant, an SSRI instead of an SNRI (I’ve also been on tri-cyclic) and an anti-psychotic, to help stabilise my moods.

2 months on, I can say that they seem to be better. My memory is back, I’m not having those horrendous dreams I used to have, I also practised immersion therapy to help with this, I can feel a range of emotions again, I laugh and feel happy, my vision is clearer, I had perfect eye sight (wahoo! go me!) but everything sees brighter and clearer now, I can focus on one thing at a time, I feel more connected to the world. But I’m also more irritable and cranky, and paranoid (of bizarre things, like my phone being tracked and hacked). Symptoms of my illness, and also just who I am, I’ll discuss this with my psychiatrist, becuase there is scope to increase my medication further, and I know that if it is then those awful parts will go and I’ll be a nicer person again. I’ve also regained my wit, sarcasm, and judgement. I’m no longer in this quagmire of life, just plugging away.

A year on from my diagnosis I can actively engage again, caused the loss of a few “friendships”  because I finally saw them for what they were, acceptance of my illness, and I’m no longer looking for a way to “cure” myself. I finally accept that it’s who I am, without it I wouldn’t be…me. And I’ve lived with it that long (I first remember the desire for my life to end at 8) I don’t know who I am without it, it’s a core part of who I am. And that’s fine. What isn’t fine, is allowing the negative side of it to overpower the positive. Which is what was happening. It’s okay to be ill ya know, but it’s not okay to not seek help. One year on I’m happier, more confident, more accepting, generally a better person than I’ve ever been. My uni work is excelling my own expectations, my brain is firing on all cylinders, I’m proactive in my health and fitness, I’m hungry again. Not for food (well yes that too, cheers quietepine! and my need for sweet stuff lol), but for experience, and knowledge. I can’t learn enough now, or pass that knowledge on. My love of cooking is back, and playing with my children. The best parts of me are back.

So this is probably the last time I’ll talk about my illness. Perhaps not, I might have a relapse, and might have dark times again. But hopefully this is the last time.

But I want everyone to know that mental health illness, isn’t the end of life. Whilst with my particular one there is no cure, no end to it, it’s always there on the fringes, or “in remission”, it’s no longer my ruler, my controller. I now control it. And everyone else can theirs. There is always help there for those who need it. There is always recovery as an option. And one, two, three etc, relapses don’t mean you’re beaten. You’re down but you’re not out.

So if you’re struggling at the moment, remember talk to your support team, that’s your friends, family and doctors. If you’ve not sorted a support team yet? Then do it now. Not tomorrow. Now. Because without them, you won’t and can’t succeed, but with? Hell yeah, nothing can stop you.

Thanks for being here for me, I’m glad I’ve got this far, and I know, without a doubt, that I have the ability to control this, regardless of what life throws at me.

BPD; A journey without a destination. The truest words I’ve said about it. There is no destination, no end to it, but it’s a journey I’m on, and engaged with, and instead of being a passenger on this journey. I’m the driver.

And it feels good.

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Are women the worst thing to happen to women’s rights?

I ask this after a few weeks of perusing the internet and seeing some of the most sexist and painful remarks I’ve seen in a long time.

Mothers who turn themselves into martyrs because they’ve had children. Women who slag off other women for going out to work with children at home. Women who bitch and back stab another woman just because of the way they do something.

Is that why men seem to get along better in life? Because they accept and acknowledge that having children isn’t a reason to stop being a person with their own desires, loves, hobbies? Because they don’t bitch and moan and whine about pointless crap?

A quick look on mumsnet/netmums/ukbride etc etc (all predominantly female based) will soon show you that women seem to be their own worst enemy.

It’s starting to feel to me like true, unilateral, equality isn’t happening  because women won’t let it? And are in many cases sexist towards men?

I can read 100 times in an hour about how someones partner/husband/cocklodger has forgotten their birthday/locked them out the house because they got too drunk/generally been a bit of a tit (I’m NOT talking about domestic abuse hear, just lackadaisical attitudes) and the first thing out of fellow forumites mouths (fingers?) is “lose the bastard” “he’s abusive” “aw he’s just a man”…..How is that furthering equality?

We “let men get away with” many things: forgetting birthdays (and then leaving it up to their partners) (a headnod to a certain person in my life!) not getting the kids ready before they go out somewhere, sulks, moods, inane hobbies etc, instead of just saying “oi! you over there, we’re going out, lets get the kids ready”

We seem to be perpetuating the cycle of near equality but not full eqaulity by just allowing ourselves to take on the full burden of house hold tasks and chores, kids stuff , family stuff. And then we’re “grateful” when they take the kids out for an hour…why do do this? (I’m one of the mums who has a husband who is hands on with the kids, at weekends its 50-50 predominantly so I’m not slating my husband here!)

We accept less than adequate support in terms of family life, friends say to friends “oh you’re so lucky he cooks for you sometimes” …why? how is that lucky? Surely if you both work full time hours, you take it in turns to cook? It’s not lucky its common fucking decency. 

How can we claim we want equality but do nothing to further the cause in our immediate personal lives? Sure there is a glass ceiling in place, even more so if you take time out of your career to have children, but there is no hope of that shattering in its entirety whilst we treat men like infants/accept paltry offerings of “domestic support”. Sure equality on a grand scale can now only be achieved by accepting nothing less than equality in our own homes? Which includes women not belittling men (they can look after baby just as well as you, or remember birthdays too) and demanding … more. More support, help, understanding, co-operation.

We reap what we sow after all.

So instead of moaning to your friends of how he’s forgotten your birthday and how hurt you are, why not just remind him a couple of weeks in advance and then if he forgets just tell him how it made you feel…instead of slagging him off and belittling him.

Instead of being a martyr and doing all the domestic chores and getting stroppy about it or feeling put upon, sit down and write a rota with him, or tell him to get up and help.

I guess my point is, if we want equality on a broad spectrum (in work, home, politics, etc) we first need to demand it from the men nearest and dearest to us. And in turn offer them what you want to receive.

I can’t help but feel people have lost the way a little bit and are too busy shouting “omg all men are cunts” to just go “that’s not acceptable. sort it out by doing x y or z” ….

Don’t forget, even those without children usually have a role to play in a childs life, so we should model for them what we want. I want equality, so in my house we have it. There for our daughters see it and accept it as normal, so won’t accept any less, if we had sons it would be the same way, so when they grow up they’ll be contributing to gender equality.

I know I’ve rambled a bit, but I think people have forgotten the first part in sexual equality is respect and choice. You can choose whether to accept sexism through apathy, ignorance, and giving it back (reverse sexism is a thing!) or you can choose to exercise your right to respect and equality by design.

To my daughters

To my beautiful daughters.

As I sit here listening to music and looking through old photo’s I’m taking a trip down bitter-sweet memory lane.

All of the photo’s capture a moment time. A moment either I was laughing so hard I started hiccuping. A moment I looked at one of your new born faces. A moment I was with your father, my love. All of the photo’s are just perfect. And they’re all precious to me, each one. Documenting my life, and yours, through frozen images captured by an observer.

One day you may hate me for sharing your life so publicly, a week doesn’t go by without my e-mailing and facebooking pictures of you. So for that I’m sorry, but not totally. Because it was my love for you both that made me do it. I was, and am, so proud of you both. From the moment you were born to this very moment, you make me so proud. For your intelligence, your compassion, your stubbornness, your love. I never believed any thing so perfect could exist until I saw you.

So why am I writing this to you? And again putting it in the public domain? It’s because I have another promise to make you. And one I will keep forever.

For my princesses, you two will grow up knowing just how lovely and smart you are. You will never question your worth, or your beauty, or your intelligence, of your compassion, or your convictions. I promise you, you will be humble, and respectful, but know when to stick to your guns. You will know you are loved and cherished every moment you breathe. I promise you, you will never feel like I did. You will never be alone in your dark moments. You will never have no one to turn to, you will never ever have need to have one moment of sadness. Because for every moment I’m alive you’ll be able to come to me, day or night, with any thing. And I won’t judge you, and I won’t be disappointed in you. Because everyone makes mistakes. And everyone gets things wrong. When I’m gone, you’ll never be without me either girls, because you’ll remember that I always loved you.

I promise I’ll raise you to know, without a moments hesitation, that you were both my first, and last thought, of the day. I promise I’ll sneak into your room at night to kiss you, just one last time, until you beg me not to. I promise I’ll kiss you every day and tell you how much I love you, how much I’m proud of you, and how you’re amazing. I promise I’ll be your best friend, and your worst enemy. I promise you, I’ll always be there. I promise I’ll always be honest, even when I know you might not like the answer. But I’ll never be critical just because I’m having a bad day.

Because that’s the problem my darlings, I know my disorder will give me days where I’m struggling, but I promise I’ll do my best to keep you protected from it. Because it is not your cross to bear. Ever. I never want you to think you can’t come to me because I’m struggling. Because no matter what is happening, you will always be the most important.

I’m nothing special my darlings, but I’m your mum, mummy and mother. And some times you will hate me, and that’s okay. You’re allowed to, it will pass. Just like the bad boyfriends, bad hair styles and too short skirts. It will all pass. Just know, through out it all I love you. Fiercely, passionatley and above all else.

I promise to make sure your happy. You will have unhappy times, and I’ll never minimise those. But throughout it all, you’ll be happy, because your core will be happy. So other emotion is fleeting. I love you my precious gifts. Always will do.

I also promise you’ll always have somewhere to go, and that will extend to your friends. When any of you are stuck, lost, and don’t know what to do, you just need to ask, or look at me (I’ll know) and I’ll be there. And I’ll be there for your  friends too, because they matter to you, and what matters to you does so to me.

I love you angels,

Your mother.