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

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

A Day in the Life (Visual Journal) – Mental Health Awareness Week

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.

How Can I be Proud of a Day that Mainly Involved Crying on the Floor?

These are one of those days that I’m not sure it’s possible to really ‘get’ unless you’ve been here; actually, even being here right now, I don’t get it.  Today was mainly spent sat on the floor crying. Overwhelmed with paralysing fear, despair and self-hatred…only growing further as more time passed whilst I was a… Continue reading How Can I be Proud of a Day that Mainly Involved Crying on the Floor?

From One Extreme to the Other in Mental Health Care

Yesterday. I honestly don’t know where to start with yesterday. Having had a peculiar and confusing appointment with the crisis team made at the last minute the day before, my mind was whirring and my anxieties were peaked to the extent that I didn’t get an iota of sleep. I was a mess all morning,… Continue reading From One Extreme to the Other in Mental Health Care

I Wish

I wish I knew why this is so hard. I wish I knew why I can’t cope. I wish others weren’t affected by my struggles. I wish I knew what to do. I wish I knew why I’m not allowed to just give in. I wish I knew why I am so pathetic. I wish… Continue reading I Wish

The Darkness is Stronger, Visual Journal Thurs 21st – Sat 23rd April 2016

Just when I’d started to take the first tiny tip-toeing steps forward (with help) – trying to carve a little space in the darkness to paint with colour and fill with light – unfortunate circumstances, bad timing, my complicated problems/history and more combine to halt and erase progress. The darkness has much bigger erasers and… Continue reading The Darkness is Stronger, Visual Journal Thurs 21st – Sat 23rd April 2016

As I sit here, crying…

I wonder how this illness makes so little sense. I wonder how it’s possible for something to be so insidious and unpredictable. I wonder why. Why do so many have to suffer like this. Why can’t I just pull myself together. Why this thing is so hard to beat, or even to live with in… Continue reading As I sit here, crying…