GOOD NEWS! FINALLY!!!!!

GOOD NEWS! FINALLY!!!!! I will be moving to my placement (the one we’ve been working and waiting for for almost a year) on 9th of October, staying on the ward until then.  My first thoughts: I don’t have to die today!!! I will see the people I love again!

Hold On Pain Ends

Today’s Occupational Therapy activity was stone painting. I made something I need to try to convince myself:

Hold
On
Pain
Ends

Being a Non-Thing

In therapy today we discussed what my psychotherapist called my “perplexing” notion of what effect my death would have as well as the disproportionate and unusually fast jump that my head makes from me upsetting someone or having any kind of negative impact on any other human to the solution being my death. We came… Continue reading Being a Non-Thing

Compassionate Other: The Muggle’s Patronus (Or How to Create Your Own Source of Compassion)

A brilliant nurse in my crisis team has recently been on a Compassion-Focussed Therapy training course and met with me the other day brimming with ideas. 

Self-compassion is something that feels entirely intangible and unachievable for me, so we’ve got our work cut out, but thankfully she’s willing to give it all a go with me regardless! I’ll share some of the different exercises as I embark upon them… first up is creating a ‘Compassionate other’. 

The notes I took from our session explain this as: Try to come up with a ‘compassionate other’ based upon the following…

  • this other will have the three core elements of compassion-focussed therapy: courage, wisdom and dedication
  • humans are fallible, so don’t use a real person, although you can think about which characteristics of real people you find comforting/safe/helpful and incorporate those 
  • could be a person, an animal or a mythical creature  [I like the thought of a protective mythical creature, like a dragon or a unicorn, personally]
  • use this compassionate other to counteract negative self talk

As drawing things helps me, we decided that maybe the best place to start was drawing this potential compassionate other to give me a visual prompt. Humans don’t feel at all safe to me, so I knew straight away mine wouldn’t be in the form of a human, and very quickly my mind jumped to mythical creatures and, more specifically, dragons. I thought of this dragon as being both gentle and strong, comforting and protective, and something that I could carry with me wherever I go…thus, the ‘Palm Dragon’ was born!

I think he’s rather sweet, but you can tell in his eyes that he can stick up for himself and for what he believes in, too. Now I just need to narrow down and foster his compassionate traits, and see if I can somehow implement him into coping mechanisms to counteract the never-ending, overwhelming negative self-talk and intense self-hatred.

I’m hoping this concept can also be fostered into something protective or safe-feeling that can be carried with me for other uses: my idea of a Muggle’s Patronus (for anyone who isn’t a Harry Potter fan, a Patronus is a “guardian or protector, which takes the form of an animal…one of the most powerful defensive charms…a pure, protective magical concentration of happiness and hope”.

I’ll fill you in when I get further along creating and cultivating my compassionate Palm Dragon. I’d love to hear of any of you have already or will now try to create one for yourselves, too!

When Getting Support Doesn’t Feel Safe

I had a therapy session today that I don’t know whether to describe as a good or bad: I had an awful time, explored some very painful things, discussed extreme hopelessness, cried non-stop (which I never do when people can see) and shook violently with fear but my psychologist was amazing. From the moment I… Continue reading When Getting Support Doesn’t Feel Safe

Am I Embarrassed?

TW Self Harm/Suicide  Last night I took quite a large overdose. It felt like I was powerless to the ‘monster’ within in a way that I can’t explain; but suffice to say, it is and was a terrifying situation. And one thar endured much guilt: for causing worry and a sleepless night for my mum,… Continue reading Am I Embarrassed?

Professionals’ Feelings in Therapeutic Relationships

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

A Poignant Piece on the No-Win “Good”-“Bad” Psychiatric Patient Spectrum

This is a really poignant piece.  Just one short quote out of the many I considered sharing with you: “I struggle to be seen as a patient, whereas other mentally ill folks struggle to be seen as human.” Please take the time to read this whether you come into contact with the mental health system at… Continue reading A Poignant Piece on the No-Win “Good”-“Bad” Psychiatric Patient Spectrum

My First Psychotherapy Session

Why does that sound like the last in a range of ‘My First…” books for toddlers? I actually wish that book existed, to be quite honest… But, you know what? It actually went OK! A lot of it was just talking over how this is going to work, that Relationally-oriented Integrated Therapy isn’t like a… Continue reading My First Psychotherapy Session

Relationally-oriented Integrated Psychotherapy

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 News

This is a weird one: the first time I’ve written a blog post knowing full well that multiple professionals involved in my care are now/have been reading my blog! So, to you folks: please make sure that you know that what I write here are all unfiltered thoughts, intended to be put out there with anonymity,… Continue reading THE News

THE Assessment

*Trigger Warning: Explicit discussion of suicide attempts, self harm and suicidal ideation*   For 6 months now, my care has been focussed around and towards a long-term placement in a pilot therapeutic-community-come-recovery-house-come-something-all-of-its-own. The placement would be tailored towards high risk patients with long term complex needs (e.g. me), providing 24 hour CQC approved specialist support… Continue reading THE Assessment

Awareness Without Provision  — thedoodlechroniclesblog

My contribution to #TimetoTalk day: A piece that I wrote for suicide prevention day that is equally applicable to this awareness day, about the desperate need to increase the provision of help/treatment/support available for mental health struggles, not just raise awareness. This week is suicide prevention week and there’s a lot of discussion and debate… Continue reading Awareness Without Provision  — thedoodlechroniclesblog

Tonight’s Crisis Team Wisdom

​Tonight’s crisis team wisdom: “If you went for a walk, you’d come back a different person – you could volunteer in school next week!” I’ve been housebound for 2 months. I haven’t gone out unaccompanied for 18 months. My risk level was raised to the very highest level with the Community Mental Health Team today… Continue reading Tonight’s Crisis Team Wisdom

Shut Up or Complain: A Terrifyingly Flawed Mental Health System

Time and again I come across the same rhetoric in mental health care: if you have any queries, concerns, ideas or wishes other than what is presented to you exactly as is, you are told to complain. Notions of personalised, patient-centred care – though frequently promoted – are often nowhere to be seen in reality,… Continue reading Shut Up or Complain: A Terrifyingly Flawed Mental Health System