Therapy: Week 3

I’m pleased to say that Week 3 was good and I know that I engaged more. This was because of the activity that the therapist used. The session was based around expressing my emotions. Last week, we discussed how I find colour a helpful engagement tool as well as visuals. So the therapist got out a pack of Emotional Literacy cards. (These were the ones).

These cards each had seemingly random doodles on. For example, a brick wall, a broken heart, a sky, squiggles. She said usually she would ask clients to choose 2 or 3 that represent the past, present and their ideal future. However, she asked me just to do the present as that would be more manageable. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the activity as it seemed quite childish, however it was ideal for me. In situations with therapists etc I often retreat to a child like state and so they were pitched at the correct level.

I chose 4 cards and then we discussed each and related then to me. They were helpful with my engagement as I felt under less pressure to answer questions correctly. I felt a lot more at ease with talking freely and she does seem to be understanding me (very difficult)! 

We also discussed what I had been expecting from this therapy. I’d been expecting counselling regarding said incident, as the organisation exists to support victims of sexual assault. However, the therapist corrected me: how could I help you if I didn’t take the other things into account? They are not separate things, they are all interlinked. I couldn’t begin to counsel you around the incident without understanding why you feel as you do. 

I had put the incident in one box and my mental health in another box. I feel much more positive about the therapy now I know we might be able to unravel other things too. 

  

Therapy: Week 2.

I’m highly unlikely to share detailed updates of any therapy. But I did say I would update once I had started any. So yesterday, was my second week of a long process. 

I’ve waited a year for this one and hopefully it will be worth that wait. Last year I had an initial assessment to put me on that waiting list & the organisation have been good in updating me when I have asked. 

I didn’t make it to the first appointment which was no surprise. I went into meltdown & could not be persuaded to go. But a couple of weeks later I did attend. It was a pretty standard first appointment, aiming to get to know me a little. Questions were asked about my background & I was sent away with a couple of questionnaires to complete myself. I’m quite bored of these questions as I feel like I’ve answered them over & over again but I was pleasantly surprised by one of the questionnaires. It was focused around disassociation & never has a questionnaire been so appropriate! 

Week 2 included separate conversations around previous relationships and emotions. 

I’ve been told that I will attend 6 initial appointments & that sixth will consist of myself and the therapist discussing if we think it will be helpful and if I am ready to engage with it. I’ve consciously tried to engage so far and have definitely responded more than previously. I’m pleased with the effort that I have put in, but it’s been emphasised that I need to engage even more. It’s exceptionally difficult because I know how much progress I have already made with engagement, but as I’ve not known the therapist previously, she obviously does not know this. 

In order to try and help with this engagement, the lady picked up on my enjoyment from colouring and has said that she can use this. We also discussed how I find it easier to convey emotions and thoughts to professionals if I write them down. 

Zzzz

Ohhh but sleeping tablets are bad for you. You should come off them. 

I never want to come off of mine due to sleep such as this:


Who would say no to that?!

I’ve taken zolpidem for a year & trazadone for a few months. Yes, they are addictive, but deep sleep wins the battle hands down. Without them I was barely sleeping. & withdrawing now leads to rebound insomnia, nightmares, vivid dreams, night sweats. Zolpidem guarantees me 7 hours which is the perfect amount.

Bottom line is: I feel much better when I’ve slept! 

Censored: wearing a mask in therapy

Oh so familiar.

Life in a Bind - BPD and me

censoring thoughts final

Part I – Speak before you think

Mask, verb: to hide, conceal, disguise

You can conceal something in many ways – by disguising it and making it look like something else; by hiding it away and making sure it isn’t seen. A mask can be something you put on to hide your expression; your expression can be something you put on to conceal your thoughts.

We all wear a mask and conceal our thoughts – in many ways life could not proceed without it. If we told everyone everything that was on our minds, all the time, the world would be an even noisier place and we would have precious few friends left in it. We pick and choose; we filter what we say, and in that sense we present the world a partial view. That’s okay – those are the accepted conventions of social conduct.

But the conventions in…

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Expression

Huge empathy.

BY LAUREN HAYLEY

I don’t know about the rest of you, but one of the things I find most difficult about living with mental illness is the lack of ability to express myself.

When ever I’m annoyed, upset, stressed or angry – I can never find the ways to say it. And this then contributes to the annoyance, upset, stress and anger even further; as well as irritating the people around me.

If me and my boyfriend ever argue; this is where the little things become mountains, because I can’t say how I feel. He takes it as though I’m ignoring him and won’t tell him what I’m thinking out of choice, but it’s not that – it’s not that at all. And eventually, the persistent asking of “just tell me what you’re thinking” leads to an outburst of momentary hate where the only words that can come out of my mouth are…

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A couple of good MH reads from today 

I read some really good mental health posts & today I’ve read two that I think are worth sharing. 

The first of which, is useful to yourself as well as family & friends. Find this here.

 
The second is potentially the best self-help checklist that I’ve read. Find this here.

 

This speaks for itself.

“Thank you for writing your blog post ‘so when are you going to get better’. I admire you incredibly for your openness and honesty. It’s helped me to understand a lot more than I did before about how you feel and how others can feel. xxx I can relate to parts of the post too, so thank you for sharing xxx”

The hard work was worth it. 

“I have been meaning to get in touch for a while but just not known how in my own head. I stumbled upon your blog and it has given me that push.

My heart goes out to you. It really does. More than I can get across. If anyone can relate to you first hand it is me and my family.

My sister who recently turned 20 has borderline personality disorder. Diagnosed. Then undiagnosed. Then officially diagnosed. And round we still go. Alongside this she has other disorders that intertwine, overshadow and completely throw it all.

I would not know where to start. I’m not sure where the start is. And unfortunately my story is not filled with hope or health or healing, just hospitals and heartbreak.

I guess I just wanted to let you know to get in touch if you have any questions or just want to know someone understands. Xxxx”


And again. You lovely people.