Painful Contradictions in Mental Health Treatment

I’m having a contrary time at the moment.

On the one hand, I am feeling incredibly awful – dealing with dreadful anniversaries, and a whole host of guilt, shame, self-hatred and fear that go with them.

On the other, I had the most positive CPA I could hope for today in terms of recognition of the work I am putting in to my placement (& the intensive therapy that is part and parcel), the progress I’ve already made, and everyone’s hopes for the positive trajectory of recovery they are currently predicting.

This second point is also making me guilty that I can’t “just be positive” and focus on the blessings of the help and support I am currently receiving that led to as yet unheard of positivity from everyone at the meeting (including myself). But here I am feeling overwhelmingly sad for all I’ve put those around me through and struggling to cope with that guilt.

To try to help get through, I was searching for a positive quote to paint as a reminder for myself, and this one struck a chord…

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“Because you are alive, everything is possible.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Monstrous Mental Illness

is a painting I did last week when really struggling; I just needed to get what I was feeling out so it is a rough, emotion-filled picture with no fore-thought or plan. It depicts the dark, overwhelming monster of mental illness feeding on despair and blocking out the colour of the world and vibrancy of life. It can feel like the very substance of ‘you’ is being sucked away, becoming more and more faint, dominated by this inexplicable darkness…yet you know that just out of reach is a colourful, textured and varied world.

Doodles for World Mental Health Day 2018

Still the best way I can represent mental health (despite many changes in diagnosis, treatment, contact with mental health services and so much more) are through my original doodles, so I thought it was time to share them again today:

I will have to try to do some more soon!

A Bit of My Leg Will Be In My Arm

**Trigger Warning: mention of self harm and medical treatment** Today I found out that I need to have surgery to deal with some self harm that otherwise won’t heal. It’s one of those things that I know I have to deal with as potential repercussions of symptoms of my illness such as self harm- although… Continue reading A Bit of My Leg Will Be In My Arm

So the second week begins…

I can’t believe it’s the start of my second full week at New Placement already; it’s one of those weird time vortex situations that feels both like I only arrived yesterday and have been here for months at the same time. This week I get to try out a few more things – I’ve mainly… Continue reading So the second week begins…

Is Suicide a Choice? A Survivor’s Perspective

First of all: yes, of course it is a choice. BUT…and this is an important but…a non-suicidal person pointing this out to someone in acute crisis tends to come laden with judgement, whether implicit or explicit, intended or not. It often is: “Well, it’s your choice, so just decide” “It’s your choice, so why are… Continue reading Is Suicide a Choice? A Survivor’s Perspective