It has been a while! Hello. Hopefully you’ll be pleased to hear that the time since my last post has been spent working especially hard on becoming more well (I struggle to use the word Recovery for some reason…I think because I feel it is thrown around a bit flippantly). I have made a hell… Continue reading Challenging Thoughts & Feelings
Recently I created a summary booklet about Mentalization Based Treatment under the supervision of the MBT Coordinator at my placement. The staff here have found it really helpful and they’re going to start giving it out to those receiving treatment to aid understanding. There isn’t much ‘easy-read’ or introductory information about MBT out there so I thought others may find it helpful, too.
The PDF is available to download here: MBT leaflet – PDF Download
A preview of the booklet is below:
I hope you found this helpful – feel free to print it off for yourself or share it.
As someone who yesterday wrote this: Today I’ve struggled not to dissolve in to tears about the mess of a person I am and the mess of a year I’ve just had. Whether it was comparisons with others (the achievements and lives of my friends, people I went to school with, people I’ve been in… Continue reading Dishing out advice is so much easier than following it…
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
I had my first session of art therapy for around 8 months today and was so glad to get back in to it. There’s a lot going on below the surface that I’m struggling to express at the moment and I feel like I was able to connect with that through paint.
The reality of looking and saying “I’m fine” when struggling with complex mental illness and acute crises.
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’
It’s my birthday tomorrow (probably today by the time I’ve finished typing this!) and this, as well as a bunch of other very complicated factors, has triggered (or, more accurately, heightened) a significant mental health crisis for me for complex and somewhat twisted ways. I’ve been fortunate in that some more intensive support was put… Continue reading Professionals’ Feelings in Therapeutic Relationships
I have to admit, upon reading those words today, for a moment I suspected my psychotherapist might have been making it up. But no, it’s a thing! And not just a thing, but actually a good-sounding thing. Amazingly, I’m being offered 60 sessions of this therapy, weekly, realistically taking us over 18 months of work together…starting tomorrow.… Continue reading Relationally-oriented Integrated Psychotherapy
The Crisis Team Manager met with me today to start some safety management work and she came up with a great analogy for my current struggles to let myself feel anything with regards to my recent news, especially because I feel like a useless hypocrite for not feeling happy and not being even a little… Continue reading Analogies to help understand emotional struggles
Still not processing the news.
So, rather than what diagnioses can often make appear to be quite simplistic, easily defined, and easy to pick apart/treat as entire ‘conditions’, I hope this post shows the complexity that lies behind all of this, and the many elements that often have to be tackled to treat severe mental illness.