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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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.

The Illogical Logic of an Unreal Reality

Being extra crazy seems to have made me spectacularly busy. Which will make me spectacularly crazy as I try to hide from the people who are saying goodbye to me before I move to a long-term locked mental health unit that I need to go to a long-term locked mental health unit…the reality of which… Continue reading The Illogical Logic of an Unreal Reality

Getting Divorced + Moving House + Getting Married

I’m struggling to deal with the sadness and emotional pain ofmy upcoming move to a new placement. And I’m giving myself a hard time about that considering how much I’ve fought to get to this placement, knowing that it is what I need. Then today came along a great analogy from one of the workers… Continue reading Getting Divorced + Moving House + Getting Married

The Beginning of the End or The End of the Beginning

Here I am again, waiting for my whole world to be turned upside down. After the specialist placement that I had been waiting for for a year closed for financial reasons after just 6 months of being open, giving just 28 days notice (even though assessment with them took 3 months and any potential alternatives… Continue reading The Beginning of the End or The End of the Beginning

“I’m Fine” – Art that shows the reality behind that phrase

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.

Inside Versus Outside; You Never Know What Hides Behind a Smile

Today, as I looked at a visual journal page I’d just finished, it struck me that less than an hour earlier I had changed my Facebook cover photo to something that looks VERY different and was taken earlier this afternoon. Never had it been more apparent that one of my earliest doodles “You Never Know… Continue reading Inside Versus Outside; You Never Know What Hides Behind a Smile