“You’re worth it, Molly”

The team here really are going above and beyond to help me cope with an operation that my mum is having at the end of the week, and their willingness to be flexible and supportive means that I will get to be there for here at the most important times whilst making sure that I get through it as emotionally unscathed as possible. When I thanked them for all they are doing, the above was their response. Words that are hard to take on and truly believe but that they are proving their belief of it to me through actions.

TOXCITY LEVEL EXCEEDED

TRIGGER WARNING: overdose

Today has been a day of fighting that bastard of a monster who takes control of my head and heart. I think of him like this:

That monster convinced me that even by sitting with other patients or staff I would spread the toxicity inside me to them and even worse that I was having such a bad impact that I couldn’t even just avoid people but would have to die.

I found some tablets on leave. I grabbed them. I meant to take them to punish myself.

But that little bit of Molly somehow battled past the monster long enough for me to grab a member of staff I know and trust. And I wrote a letter explaining, handed it over, and then had a chat with her and a nurse.

The staff were lovely- truly- but I still don’t know if I did the right thing or if it was really selfish of me to not remove myself for the good of everyone else. I still couldn’t sit with my usual group of friends here after the talks and PRN.

A very sad, scared and confused Molly šŸ˜¦

Help with Emotions

Emotions are tricky little buggers. They really are.

And for some of us they feel down right impossible to cope with, understand, recognise and even simply to have. I struggle in many ways with emotions…others’ but mainly my own. I also give myself a hard time about that fact and expect myself to ‘do better’ or ‘feel the right thing’. Knowing this, and knowing that I’m facing a particularly turbulent time*, last week the crisis team manager had me do an exercise where I stood in the middle of a room surrounded by different sized pieces of paper and alotted emotions to those pieces of paper according to how much I was feeling them at the time. We then went through several different scenarios and changed the emotions around accordingly. This was to show me that even if I was being hard on myself and expecting to feel the ‘right’ emotions (e.g. happy or relieved that the placement is definite rather than scared or anxious) or feeling that I would feel one emotion forever, in fact recent history shows that emotions fluctuate massively in their presence or size and that I can feel many things at once without invalidating anything else that’s going on.

I found the exercise incredibly helpful (although it felt quite painful at the time) and today decided to recreate it in a portable and reusable form. I already have benefited from this – working out what is actually going on inside me rather than just a broad ‘overwhelmed’- and thought it’s a concept worth sharing in case anyone else wants to give something similar a go in any of its forms.

So here is a concept borne of the crisis team manager’s work with me:

This is in my visual journal but could be on a standalone piece of card or inside a diary or something similar, with very basic boxes drawn on the page, and colour-coded emotions cut out in card and blue-tacked to the appropriate box at that moment in time.

Let me know if you’ve used something similar or gave this a go!

*in the latter stages of preparing for a long-term specialist hospital placement, hours away from home/family/care team, in a locked and mainly unknown environment, after my last placement collapsed for financial reasons with just 28 days notice and after not fulfilling their promises/purpose

“Molly isn’t here right now”

My current situation was summed up very succinctly and accurately by my clinical psychologist today: “Molly isn’t really here right now, is she? Or maybe she’s just weighed down so deep inside that neither of us can reach her?” I hate it. It’s scary not really being here. But I know it’s for a reason.… Continue reading “Molly isn’t here right now”

“Please, tell me more about my own Goddamn experiences”

Well this really struck a chord; unfortunately I think it will with anyone suffering from mental illnesses, and especially those with the more stigmatized ones such as personality disorders. I genuinely couldn’t even begin to count the amount of times that mental health professionals, with confidence and certainty, tell me rather than ask me (AKA… Continue reading “Please, tell me more about my own Goddamn experiences”

‘Compartmentalised selves’

My mental illness is complex. I get told this all the time, with varying levels of frustration. It’s one of those phrases that I don’t think usually holds much meaning (in fact I think it normally represents fear from professionals/services rather than the person in question); however, today was one of those days that I… Continue reading ‘Compartmentalised selves’

Re-training a Wonky Brain

An enormous barrier to recovery for me is a complete lack of self-compassion, self-kindness and self-esteem. This week I decided it was time to try to tackle this head-on and so am working my way through ‘The Compassionate Mind Workbook’ by Chris Irons and Elaine Beaumont. As well as working through the first 3 chapters,… Continue reading Re-training a Wonky Brain

Angry

I think this is the first time I have ever allowed myself to feel this emotion FOR not AGAINST myself.

First time in nearly a quarter of a century.

Forget All That You’re Not

These beautiful words were shared with me today and I just wanted to pass this important message on…

…I hope you can take them to heart and try to remember all that you ARE rather than what you’re not.

I Choose To Live

Trigger Warning: Discussion of Suicide I choose to live. Or, I hope I do, anyway. My life, my choices, my personality, my ‘needs’ – or lack of – have up until now always been decided based on the good of others, not for me. I don’t even come in the top 10 of priorities considered… Continue reading I Choose To Live

Letters to Myself over an Expected Tough Time

I and the professionals around me knew that the last few days were going to be tough for me. Circumstances and the state of my mental health before, combined with the pressures and triggers over the festive period, as well as past experience led us to believe that it was going to be a tricky… Continue reading Letters to Myself over an Expected Tough Time

The Power of Pride and Humour

Today has been a strange old day in my world. Mainly nothing ‘serious’…messing around with the staff at my placement, meeting with my care coordinators, talking to the mental health professionals here about things I’ve been working on, preparing to interview new staff with the senior recovery workers, watching Children in Need… However, a thread… Continue reading The Power of Pride and Humour

Drawing Through Darkness

It’s tough at the moment. More than tough and more than I can cope with. The only tiny bit of positivity is that a crisis nurse dragged me out yesterday to get some art supplies and, in the few brief bursts of minimal concentration since, I’ve been trying out a new technique: charcoal drawings. They’ve… Continue reading Drawing Through Darkness