HBO Therapy (week 3)

Noooo!!! I have just spent the past two hours writing up this blog, and as I click publish, the error of “there was a problem saving”, and the realisation that I’ve just lost a ridiculously long blog which took 2 hours in the space of seconds.

I’m gutted.

Therefore, I’m going to keep this short now, just to update you all.

I’ve had to stop the HBO therapy this week because I’ve got a cold.

I had a session on Tuesday which seemed to be okay, despite having a scratchy throat, and then yesterdays session, had me in excruciating pain as I couldn’t clear my left ear from the pressure change, and I’ve had to make the decision to not risk it again until I am well enough.

I’m gutted because it’s not recommended to break the 20 sessions, and as I’ve not noticed a change yet, I hoped that by the end of this week I would have noticed at least something.

It means that I will be behind on my treatment, but I can’t help being ill. I just hope I start to feel better soon. I’ll have to go into a fifth week for the treatment and hopefully it won’t matter too much. We shall see.

All I can say for now, is that I can now advise anyone who is considering HBO therapy or is going through it, that IF you have the slightest cold, don’t risk it. The pain was unbearable, and I feared for my hearing. It was horrendous, and it has made me anxious for the next time I start up again.

I’ll let you know when I’m back to it, because I know I have quite a few of you interested in this treatment.

Again, I am sorry for the briefness in this post. I can’t tell you how gutted I am with what I’d written, and how it’s just gone. I must remember to copy, not just try and save a post, before hitting the “publish” button.

For now, I need to rest up, and try and get better. I feel like rubbish and I really wish I didn’t because it’s affecting my mental health too, and when I feel as though that was doing okay, this is the last thing I want to start triggering off thoughts and feelings.

Still, that’s for another time as I know I have a lot to get off my mind!

Take care everyone, stay strong!

Erica

@ghostwithinme

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HBO Therapy (Week 2)

Hey all,

Please forgive me if I miss off a few things here… I’ve been so busy lately that I’m feeling so run into the ground, and just wanting to curl up under the duvet and not show my face for a while… Y’know?

Aside from attending student night, a craft group, a wedding and a folk festival, I’ve also faced an exhausting week of HBO therapy!

I thought that the second week would be easier, but my first session at 24ft was on Tuesday and I found it a little hard. Well, not hard, hard, but I found it difficult to breathe at some points and wondered if it was due to the pressure. The same day, I had my second session at 24ft, and found it easier. I don’t know if that was my body getting used to the pressure, or if I was just struggling physically.

I then had two sessions on Thursday and then one on Friday.

I’m still hearing from members how much benefit they get from the therapy, and how they may not notice a change – but when they miss a week, they can really tell. I’m also being told that I may not notice the changes first, but other people will… And that it won’t make much difference straight away (even though some people have said they found benefits immeditately!)

My hopes were up too high, and I havent noticed a change in myself, and neither has Lauren. If anything – I have become more self aware of the symptoms. I’m mixing my words up more, I’m noticing more tingling, and my body is getting a lot quicker. I am sure this is not how it is meant to be. I seem to be relying on the wheelchair more to get around and allow my body to rest – which means I’ve exchanged my wheelchair with the bigger wheels, to one which I can’t self manoeuvre. This is so I don’t give in to the temptation of wheeling myself around, which gives my arms and wrists more grief than they need!

I didn’t book in my sessions for this week after my last appointment. I completely forgot.

I phoned the centre earlier today and they’ve had trouble fitting in my next 5 sessions. This is kinda irritating because to ‘reap’ the full benefits of the therapy, you have to complete 20 sessions over 4 weeks to start with. This means I’ll have to fit in the sessions missed, as extra into either the last week or an additional fifth week. It’s mentally and physically draining as it is, another week would be too much!

I mean, you’re sat there in a massive chamber, locked in, for an hour and a half (maximum time), with nothing to do. Phones are taken in at your own risk (screens have been known to crack), and there’s a load of outdated tacky magazines which you can take in, or if like me, you’re trying to work through a list of recommended books, will try and spend the time reading a chapter or two. However, that too can be tiring. After all, you’re sat there with a mask weighing down on you, connected by two tubes, listening to the sounds of your own breathing as well as up to 5 other people. It’s noisy, and there’s no escape from it. You all end up breathing in rhythm and if someone breaks the rhythm – say with a deep breath in – then it’s noticable, and embarrassing! It’s also hot, and if the fans are running, they add to the noise. Honestly, just pass me an extra pillow and a blanket, and let me rest. Though, with the anxiety of adding to the noise with the possibility of snoring – maybe not!

I’ve definitely got used to the centre. Everyone is really nice and as I talk to more and more people, the more I understand the issues those with MS or other debilitating illnesses have, and how so much of it I have in common. I’ve been using the time between the sessions to get on with some work. I had planned to try and finish my Animal Behaviour course by the end of the year, but I don’t see that happening, all because my brain seems to turn to mush every time I try and get started. The endless amount of spelling mistakes I make now are so annoying. I am thankful for “spell check” and Google!

So, I’m still trying to notice changes, but there’s nothing positive yet. Fingers crossed this third week allows me to notice a difference. It’s my birthday at the end of the month, and I would really like to feel alert and enjoy myself without feeling drained and exhausted!

Follow for updates 🙂

Stay strong and catch up soon!

Erica
@ghostwithinme

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hey everyone,

Guess what?! I’ve started my Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy!

I had a couple of sessions on Tuesday,  two on Thursday and one on Friday! It has been exhausting!

I completed the 5 sessions at 16ft, and had to decide whether to stay at 16ft, or if no improvements had been experienced then to be increased to 24ft on week 2.  Which I have decided to do. After the end of next week, I’ll complete another self assessment, and see what pressure I should stay or go to for weeks 3 and 4.

My experience so far:

Tuesday – 

When I turned up at the MS centre, I thought I’d feel anxious, but I felt at home. They make the place feel really nice and everything is a “help yourself” basis.

It was when I went for my mask training where the nerves showed up. I sat down and it wasn’t until I placed the mask over my face that I felt this was real, and I felt very claustrophobic wearing the tight mask across my face. Let alone know that it was going to be linked up to two tubes inside the big metal chamber!

When it was time for my first session, I went in with 3 other women, who had all experience the chamber many times – One has been using HBO for over 10 years!

I took in my book (I’m almost finished with Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs – the third novel of Miss Peregrine’s!), linked my mask up to the two tubes, and waited along with the women for the process to begin.

The chamber has two sides to it, so they can run two treatments at once at different levels. We were in the “larger” side, which sits up to 6 people. The “smaller” side fits up to 4 people.

It wasn’t too bad, but it was different to what I’d imagined. It was noisy and you could hear the valve open up on the mask every time you took a breath. It was very warm in the chamber, and I felt my lips drying up. I didn’t want to remove the mask to have a sip of water, although this is allowed.

We were in there for just under an hour and a half. It took under 15 minutes to get to 16ft in pressure, and under 15 minutes to come back to “normal”, with an hour at 16ft to breath in 100% oxygen.

If you double up on a day, which I have decided to do for the first 4 weeks, you have to have at least an hour out of the chamber before going in again.

The second time on Tuesday, I was on my own! My SECOND time!! I didn’t know if I would cope or not, but somehow I survived! Haha! I managed to keep myself entertained by taking in my ipad and my phone, which are taken in at your own risk, and was able to take some selfies, which I’m sure entertained my friends and family online!

Wednesday –

I didn’t have any HBO therapy, so I was able to stay at home and relax. Which was a good thing really, as I struggled to move my neck. I was in so much pain when I moved my head, and I figured that it was due to the mask. We went out in the evening to visit a friend, but I was unable to drive. I was tired and stiff and found moving about painful. I was hoping I wouldn’t feel this way, after hearing how some people have benefitted from the HBO therapy from the first session.

Thursday – 

I had two sessions on Thursday. The place strangely felt like home. Again, everyone was so welcoming, and I seemed to be known by name to some people… Not that  could remember theirs!

I didn’t find the sessions too bad. I’d first sat down in the communal waiting area, and the support manager popped over to see me to say hello and see how I was getting on. I explained the pain I was in the day after the HBO sessions, but couldn’t for the life of me get the words out of what day it was I’d had the first two sessions (Tuesday! It was Tuesday!) She explained to me that they could angle the seats so my head leaned back, and would let the staff know to sort this out for me, as the seats are difficult to manoeuvre. This was so much better! I was able to read and not struggle. My head felt more relaxed and my neck didn’t feel like it was straining at all. I felt awkward having my chair in this position because it does take up a little bit more room, but then, it’s what best suits me. I don’t think I’d be able to do it if the room was full of 4 (in the small chamber) or 6 (in the larger chamber) due to the limited space.

I actually got to experience the smaller chamber on the first session on Thursday. I thought it would be really claustrophobic, but I was pleasantly surprised. I decided to take my iPod in and listen to music. It was nice and relaxing. Phew! The second session on Thursday, I read a bit of my book.

After the first session, I was a little shaky, and thought it was because I was tired, but it carried on into the second session, so I wasn’t sure if 16ft was the best for me.

What was also nice on Thursday, was chatting to some of the members. We discussed our symptoms and issues, and related so much. This was despite them unaware that I’m only waiting for an MS referral, and have the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. (I am aware there are similarities, but the conversations were in a way, confirming the instincts of Laurens and even myself now).  I was also invited to join a support group on Facebook for local people affected by MS, which was really nice of them to do. As I said, I seemed to be a familiar face, so now I started to feel comfortable about opening a conversation or joining into one. Kick that in the butt, Anxiety! 

Friday –

I wasn’t suffering with the neck pain that I’d experienced after two HBO therpay sessions on Tuesday, on Wednesday, so it seemed as though the angled chair is definitely the way to go.

I went into the large chamber with three other women, and read my book during the session… I actually FINISHED it! That felt like an achievement! Haha.

It wasn’t too bad. It sometimes feels like a very long time, even though it is only an hour and a half in the chamber.

I was glad to have finished my first week, and I thought to myself – It’s going to be a very long 4 weeks! The HBO therapy sessions are draining because you’re sitting around, concentrating on your breathing, and reading or listening to music which can also be tiring. The chamber is warm if you’re in with a few people, and that doesn’t add to it. However, most people are saying the therapy is helping htem with their fatigue. So it could just be the process which is exhausting and then maybe it will start to have a positive effect after a short while?!

After the session, I had to make the decision about the oxygen pressure. I had finished my week, feeling as though I had felt no benefit. I didn’t feel any different, and seeing as I’d spoken to so many people who had felt some benefit in one way or another, I decided that 16f probably isn’t the right pressure for me, at this moment in time.

So for this week, 2nd-5th October, I’m trying 24ft pressure!

The weekend wasn’t too bad, I ached a bit but I felt relatively okay. I had a headache, which is nothing new, but I managed!

Today, as I’m typing this (although I actually started it last week), I’m tired and achy, and have just completed the first of the 24ft session at the centre. It was tiring. I felt as though I was finding it harder to breathe. I don’t know if that’s psychological, or if I was actually struggling with the pressure. I have another session this afternoon, so I will be seeing how I go. No doubt I will probably lay back and close my eyes!

I’ll keep you updated with how I go and whether I feel any benefits.
Fingers crossed I begin to feel them soon!

Take care and stay strong everyone,

Erica
@ghostwithinme

Overthinking.

Hey everyone,

I didn’t think I’d be here so soon after my last post, and especially when I feel as though I’ve been doing so well lately. I think I must’ve jinxed myself or summit, because I’m not feeling as great today… I didn’t get much sleep because my brain wouldn’t switch off. I’ve run out of a lower dose of Quetiapine, which I’d take with my 50mg tablet, and whilst I’m on a low dose, I didn’t think missing the lower dose on top of the 50mg would be that noticeable, but clearly, it is having an impact on me, and I need to get a repeat prescription in as soon as really…

My mind is going over everything again. Like, literally EVERYTHING. Not just what’s happening in the here and now, but things which have happened in the past and in the present and then the stupid “what ifs”, keep popping up, of which I’m trying to ignore because I know darn well there’s no point in worrying about that, and then of course – there’s the future.

I’ll tell you what’s going on:

1. Past: Family and friendships.

The family stuff is an obvious one really – It’s always complicated in our life. There’s still no word of my brother expecting a baby (Well, his girlfriend), but it makes me wonder if I’m not being told so I’m protected or if it’s just them being spiteful (which wouldn’t surprise me!) … Then there’s my other brother, who’s had a crisis of cutting all his very long dreads off, and coming off of drugs, a potential turnaround and great thing. Then my baby sister, who’s recently left for university, which is just scary as hell because she’s so teeny and looks (and is!) so vulnerable. There’s also grandparents stuff – where one grandparent is in a care home and we haven’t seen him for years, and then another grandparent shows how they still can’t treat all their grandchildren the same – and that just frustrates me. And then…. Friendships. Well, they’re alright. Though, I sometimes feel very alone, and more so now I wonder what I’m doing with my life. Everyone is either at college, university or work, or looking for work. I feel as though everyone is going out and meeting people, and then there’s me – stuck. There’s some jealousy and then there’s paranoia.

2. Present – Friendships, who am I?, Now what?

Sounds crazy – but I feel as though I’m being judged, or watched. Not actually in person, but online. I feel as though people who I’ve accepted recently as “friends” on Facebook, are seeing how I am now, compared to how I was before my therapies, how different I am now to how I was at school… You may wonder if this is the case, then why are these people on my Facebook? Well, I have set them to “acquaintances”, or “restricted”, of which I doubt will do much, but I’ve accepted because I want to know why they want me to be on their friends list – especially when we haven’t spoken for years, or even at all. Some people I’ve had to accept lately so they can send me event invitations, as I’m, sort of, a part of a local fibromyalgia group, (which is another story!) … One of these friendships though, is still getting to me. The friendship which become toxic is now an online friendship again, and I’m not entirely sure why. I want to be friends, make amends, etc, but I am still being ignored, and wonder why they decided to accept a friend request I’d sent months and months ago. I wonder what they think of me, how they see me now, if they see any changes in me, what they believe, what they don’t believe and so on. It’s actually torturing me more so thinking about this, than before they had accepted my friend request, and now I wonder why I bothered, especially when it’s not changed our relationship. We’re still not “friends” again. (Oh my goodness, I just realise how petty and childish this all sounds, and I am so, so sorry for boring you!) 

Then of course – Who am I?

I know who I am… To a point. I’ve completed my course in Animal Assisted Therapy, and still need to complete my Animal Behaviour course, before starting my Psychotherapy. Eurgh. Aside from this – I feel as though I’m becoming worthless/useless again. I am organising crafts fair again, which drive me crazy, create added stresses and anxieties I don’t need, and starting to visit a neighbour a bit more after we found out we both have fibro. However, when I think about the future – which will come up in a moment, I wonder if I really know who I am because what have I achieved, really, in the past two years since leaving therapy? Everyone says how well I’ve been doing, and sometimes I can see it myself, but then sometimes… Like now, I can’t.

I guess this leads to the- Now what…

What now? I can focus on the “onwards and upwards”, and keep pushing through, but I don’t think that’s going to do anything. I feel like I’m losing motivation, and I’m especially feeling the fatigue (of which I’m hoping having booked the hyperbaric oxygen therapy will help me with) and I just can’t seem to focus on anything without my thoughts rattling away.

3. Future – The what ifs…

The future is the unknown. It’s scary. We can’t predict what’s going to happen, but we can make changes in our present life which will also change the outcome of the future. Almost as if there is a line to follow, but if you want to create a step, you can.

Anyway, sounds daft (as most of this does), but I keep thinking about the Christmas party for the therapy gorup. They have one every year, and on the presumption that they still invite ex members, I wonder how it will go. Now, I shouldn’t be thinking about this yet. I’d like to enjoy Halloween and my birthday first without thinking about the “C” word, but my-oh-my, it really is prominant in my mind.

I keep thinking about what to wear, who will be there, what should I say, what will people ask, what would I eat, if I was to eat, and if I was to go with some of the ex members, I’d be going with a couple of friends, of whom I feel are succeeding far greater than I am.

And this – this is where I start to get not just envious of how life works our for some, but also so darn critical of myself and my own life, even though I have a perfect, yet crazy, life which I am extremely lucky to have. I guess it worries me with the whole “judgement” thing, and again, I feel as though I should be doing something with my life by now.

I feel as though I’m putting things off, but at the same time, I have been trying to study and I do – I do plan on starting a business, which will take some time, and I know I need to be in the right place, mentally and physically to do so.

Then what if my business doesn’t take off? What if I’m no good at it? What if I can’t do it? What if I need to get a “normal, boring, mundane” job? What if I can’t work at all? What if my health declines? And so on… Again – I know I shouldn’t be thinking of these at all. I won’t know unless I try! (Yah-dah, yah-dah!)

So many thoughts, and currently so little time when I have so much I should be getting on with, instead of typing this up, or worrying about friendships online, or what people think of me, and so on…! Honestly, I don’t know where the time goes these days!

Okay, another long post (sorry everyone!) … I’m sure I’ll be back again soon. I’ve so much more to say still, and I reckon it’s going to be another sleepless night!

All the best. Stay strong!

Erica

@ghostwithinme

Sun, sea and balding?!

Hey everyone,

Wow! I can’t believe my last post was almost a month ago. So much has happened in that time, I think I’m struggling to keep up with it all!

Since my last blog post, I’ve been on holiday, and whilst it should have been a nice, calm and relaxing time, on my first main day there, I found balding spots in my hair. This lead to a panic, and I had to calm myself down and try to calm the anxieties, knowing there was nothing I could do until I got back from holiday to sort it out with my GP.

I purchased a headband to protect my head from the scalding sun. It was “cooler”, but at 34c, it was still far too hot for me!
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We went to Paphos, and it was lovely.

We fell in love with some stray cats and we visited some of the tourist attractions such as Tomb of the Kings, Catacombs and the Mosaics.

 

 

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However, as a disabled person, I found these incredibly exhausting. I didn’t take my wheelchair with me, and really wished I had. Though, I don’t think Lauren would have been able to push me about in the heat. I only had my collapsible walking stick which offers limited support, and also wished I’d taken my crutches which are a lot sturdier and supporting.

Due to the pain and fatigue I was in, we only managed a few hours each day outside. The place wasn’t as accessible as it could have been, and there were a lot of steps for some places, which meant I was either forced to miss out, or decide whether or not I could manage the stairs, up or down! Fortunately, we were on a direct bus to most of the attractions, but some still required some walking to get to.

During our time away, aside from the stress of my hair loss, we also had the stress and anxiety of leaving our furbabies at home. We had a friend housesit for us, and during our time away, they contacted us, provoking anxiety about police, and one of our cats going missing. He’d got himself into a bit of trouble with the police, and then as our cats, apart from one, don’t usually go outside, he found one of them had got out, and he couldn’t find them. The anxiety was overwhelming, that it did have an impact on our holiday, but returning to all our furbabies alive was the main thing.

When we got home, we were expecting to see a nice tidy place, but we arrived to a furridden carpet, and filty bathroom with and overflowing litter tray. We had to spend an hour to clean up the bathroom before heading to bed at 5.30am. It wasn’t nice at all!

We were wide awake at 8.30am, which was surprising as I thought we’d sleep until noon. But this meant I was able to make a doctors appointment – finally!

My doctor diagnosed alopecia, which to be honest, we knew anyway, but to have it confirmed meant we could possibly deal with it. We don’t know the cause, and I thought until the holiday stress, that I’d been dealing with things incredibly well. This was the last thing I expected to happen!

I wrote on my Facebook:

“So, after a trip to the doctors this morning, it is confirmed I do have alopecia…

(I found balding patches on our first day of holiday which is why I ended up wearing a hair band to ensure I was protected from the sun. I didn’t want to say anything until we were sure of what we were looking at, although we knew what the answer was going to be!)

… So this looks like I won’t be able to grow my hair for charity… At least for a long while 😞 Instead, I’m going to consider seeing how long it’ll grow without it all falling out, and shave it off for charity instead.

Fortunately, at the moment it looks like it will grow back, but as there’s no current known reason why this has happened, all I can do is dose up on the vitamins, use a steroid application to stimulate hair growth and try and keep going in the positive ways forward that I have been.

There’s not been any new stresses in my life and my mental health is in a much better place than it has been for a long while. I’m just hoping this won’t get me down. In fact, now I have got over the shock of it, no. I won’t let it get me down!

Just another pin in the voodoo doll and I’m not letting it win!”

I received a lot of positive comments from this post, which gave me another boost to focus on the up!

Of course, where there’s an up – there’s always a down as well. You see, life is never simple!

I received a letter from CMHT, they’d said they had been trying to contact me, but as the system has my old phone number, they were unable to get in touch (this is despite me telling them my new number many times!)… They’d been trying to contact me to let me know that the group I’d agreed to go on for preparing me for being discharged from the mental health services – the Moving On group – was no longer running, and therefore I was to be discharged, and should I need any support in the future, to contact my GP for a re-referral. I actually couldn’t believe what I was reading. That was it?! It just seems such a joke!

I’ve been with the secondary mental health services for over 6 years now, and they discharge me just like that. I find it disgusting, and yet I find myself extremely fortunate that up until this point, I had been very lucky with the support I have received. I’ve been through several therapies, and received support for benefits and work, I’ve been lucky to get this far with the same care coordinator!

I do wonder that if my care coordinator wasn’t leaving, that I wouldn’t have been discharged, but I know I can’t think like that because thinking of the what ifs, are just not worth the stress.

Sometimes I feel I still need the support, but I know I can’t just hold onto the services and that I must try and live this life on my own, and if ever I need the support – I know that they are there (for now!). I’m in a much better place than where I was a few years ago, and I am sure that if you were to read one of my past blogs, you too would notice the change.

I feel I have a focus now. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I do still have my own self identity issues, and battles inside, but I have one goal which I am determined to achieve, and that is something I lacked before.

I know I still have so much to work on, but I’m a lot more confident with some things now.

Anyway, I appreciate that this is another one of those long posts again, and I have been trying to make my blogs shorter…

So, I’ll leave it here for now, even though there’s more I could add.

Just means I should be back sooner to write another post! 😉

For now, stay strong peeps!
Erica,
@ghostwithinme 

The NHS Mental Health services in CRISIS

I’m so angry and frustrated right now! I had to write this post up on my social media to let my friends know… We need to speak up about these things!!!

Today I witnessed the crisis in the NHS in regards to mental health care.

Having spent all day with a friend of mine at A&E, after struggling with self-harm and overdosing, the crisis team said they wouldn’t see her until she had been assessed at the hospital.

I took her to hospital and whilst I struggled to get her through the door, I asked her to focus on her breathing, and slowly, we made our way closer to the front of the queue.

The doctor assessed her, and she was tacky with high acidity in her bloods. The doctor was worried about her passing out at any moment.

All she wanted to do was go home, or run away, and whilst I managed to keep her at the hospital, she spent the time self-harming, which I tried to prevent, then two hours on 2 drips to flush out the acidity.

She was then seen by two liaisons: a social worker and psychiatrist of whom, both decided to let her go.

Now, considering the state of her throughout the ordeal, there is absolutely no way she should have been discharged.

All the while she was frightened of being sectioned, she was also unable to go for a cigerette on her own, and yet they’ve discharged her hours after sitting in A&E.

The crisis team will be informed, but it is unlikely they’ll be able to do anything.

She should have been sectioned, and kept an eye on for even just 24 hours, but instead she’s been allowed home and will no doubt remain in the vulnerable state I left her in. I left her with her family, and she’s anxious about how they will treat her too.

She should have been thoroughly assessed, sectioned to work with correcting medication and finding/offering the best psychiatric support, and all the while I do believe that getting admitted to a psychiatric hospital does sod all to anyone with personality disorder, she needed to be kept safe for a good few days at least.

It was utterly heartbreaking to see her in this vulnerable state and I remained strong whilst I witnessed this trauma.

The only part about the process I was relieved about, was how quickly we were seen, we arrived at 1.30pm and we were seen just after 3pm, even though we were told there was over a 3 hour wait. We left the hospital at 7.30pm…

It just seems ludicrous to go through all of that to be sent home, where she could possibly end up doing it all again!

If you have been affected by the crisis, please share your stories. We need to speak up!

Thank you for reading.

Erica

@ghostwithinme

Pills.

I’m on a tonne of medication, and I went to the GP today and asked about a number of things. One of which was trying to reduce one of my medication. He said that I have so much going on, that hed raather not reduce it when I seem to be doing well. It’s frustrating because I really thought I was ready to make a change, and at least reducing one of the medications.

Sometimes I wonder if the amount of stuff I take actually cause me more harm than good.

In fact, we already know that’s true. Most medications cause side effects, which then get alleviated by more pills, and then they need something to counteract more side effects and so on.

I’ve given up taking over the counter/off the shelf tablets for my migraines and pain. Paracetomol and ibroprofen just don’t work for me, and yet I still find myself popping the pills. I tell myself they no longer work, so why am I taking them?! I’ve decided to try my best in not taking any painkillers whenever I need them. This also means no codiene. Which is a good thing after I was relying on it to get me through therapy, and managed to break the cycle of knowingly over dosing on the drug.

The only pain reliever I will take is gabapentin which is for the nerve pain, and my muscle relaxant for relieving spasms, and for my chronic HC attack/migraine attacks, I’ll take almotriptan, which I’m so relieved helps but I have to ensure I’m able to lay down because of how it makes me feel!

Anyway, it makes me think about when I last tried going drug free. I managed it for about a week. That might not sound long, but for me – It was a very long week! I was glad to have achieved it, and gutted when I needed to go back on some to practically save my life. Ironically, this is the drug which I want to now try to reduce… And since then the medication begun to increase more and more.

I feel as though I’m in a “better place”, and whilst I may find some things difficult, I do feel as though I’m coping in a healthier way. I’m not so destructive, and although I do still struggle with understanding some people, I also understand how I too am extremely misunderstood.

I’m wanting to get off of all my medication to be “healthier”, and whilst that might seem crazy, I mean, I am healthier – in my mind, maybe… But try telling my body! At the end of the day, popping pills like candy will only do so much. I feel as though my body wants to be drug free, and whilst I may have a long way to go, I do hope one day, to once again achieve it.

It’s just a thought really. I asked my GP and he suggested not yet. Usually, I would be going in asking for medication to be increased, so I’m surprised by the reaction to not change it yet.

That’s all for now.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter for shorter updates: @ghostwithinme

Thanks!

Congrats to me!

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow readers of my blog…

I have some exciting news for you!

I received the result of my Animal Assisted Therapy course a couple of days ago.

I have been awarded a High Merit, and am now a qualified TRAINED PRACTITIONER in Animal-Assited Therapy!

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It’s pretty scary, but it’s been so amazing studying the subject and learning more about myself as well. I can’t wait to be able to help others, with my companion bunny!

It’s going to take a while to get my feet off the ground though as there’s a lot of work to be done. I’m trying to get in touch with the Princes Trust to see if their Enterprise Programme will help me, so I will keep you updated!

I hope you’ll continue to follow me on my venture in recovery and in recovering!

All the best,

@ghostwithinme

In this moment…

In this moment, I have so many thoughts racing through my mind.

I’m trying to slow them down by distracting myself by doing things, such as playing with the cats and rabbits, making tea and listening to music. Yet, I can’t drown out the thoughts which pound at my mind, causing a stress induced headache.

I’m tired. I feel like I fight my thoughts all the time. There are times where I feel so optimistic about things, and then suddenly all it takes is one simple thing to really over complicate things. But then, is is really over complicating the situation, or is it only how I feel, or make it?

Maybe, maybe I’m so used to things being so confusing and fractured, that if something appears to be going well, I do what I can to create a flaw? I try and be in the moment. Focus on what is happening now. I have goals. I have dreams. Which mean that there has been some improvement. Although, admittedly, I do still doubt myself quite a lot. Things like – Will I be able to work as my own employer? Will I be able to cope with the paperwork? Will I be able to manage stress? What about getting sick? What about people finding things out about me? Etc, etc.

These “in the moment” times are often tainted with reminders of things which have happened. I try so hard to move forward, but when things change in life which will affect the rest of your life, how else are you supposed to deal with it? Especially these changes should be positive ones, but they only create more webs in your fractured mind.

I mean, I’m dealing with things so much better than I used to. But there are times where I realise I still need to deal with things. Some things which I was unable to discuss in therapy, or just didn’t have the time or confidence to speak up about. After all, speaking about some things in a group setting were so anxiety provoking, it was inevitable to feel judged, thus wanting to hold back on a few things. Until it was too late, you’d discharged and suddenly all these overwhelming thoughts flood your mind and you wonder how you’re going to get by.

I’m getting by, sure. But every now and again, I find moments of these niggling feelings inside me. I feel judged, I feel watched. I feel as though someone is out to get me, or something is going happen. Sure, they’re paranoid thoughts, and ultimately unrealistic, but at the end of the day – How do I cope with them?

Taking time out to focus on my breathing. Feeling my feet firmly on the ground. Listening to the environment around me. A cat snoring, a rabbit chewing something they shouldn’t be, the dishwasher on a turn, and the tapping of the keys on the laptop as I write this out… Along with the banging in my head and the heaviness in my eyes as I just want to fall asleep.

In this moment, I feel as though I wonder why I try… Why I bother with things? I often create scenerios which are likely to do me, or those around me, more damage than good.

I worry that those I’m try to fix wrong doings with, will judge me on my past, or see me as having “changed too much”, or that there’s simply no way to change things.

Sure, I can’t change what has happened, but I can at least try to make amends. And for that, I feel as though it should be respected, that those around me should at least try too.

Maybe I’m overthinking it, which is most likely the case… Maybe with some things, I need to move forward and not try to fix the wrong doings. Maybe that all happened for a reason. What reason, I don’t know? Toxic relationships, trying to find out about myself, after all if it wasn’t for all my “issues”, I doubt I’d have ended up in therapy.

Though, saying that – I’ll always have a personality disorder. It’s something I have to learn to manage. (So I keep being told)

I have such an image in my mind about everything being perfect. With a tattoo reading “Nobody’s Perfect”, I see it as a constant reminder to myself that there is no such thing as perfection. So, why do I seek it so bad? Where has this “perfect world” come from? Why have I created it in my mind, and try so hard to seek it in reality?

My dreams are far from perfect. My dreams are often so surreal and backward, that I haven’t a clue what they’re trying to represent. My fantasy land seems to be the only place which is safe, but it’s also a place which isn’t real, and I need to stop fighting for it. I need to stop looking for my fantasy to become a reality. I can’t change things and I certainly can’t predict the future.

I can shape who I am today, from today. I still battle immensely with my self identity, but knowing what my dream career is, that has given me something to hold on to.

It’s now convincing myself I have what it takes.

I need to stop wasting my life away.

I need to breathe.

I need to focus on what matters in the here and now, and not what I should be doing to try and change things for the sake of others.

This is my life. And I need to make it happen.

#icandoit

#onestepatatime

Thanks for reading.
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