Art Therapy

Hey everyone,

I know I was going to discuss how my Self-Help group went last night, but I’ll briefly discuss that in a minute.

Firstly, I’d like to note that a new “page” has been added to my blog! Eakk!

It features most (I have removed some which contain photos of family or family names), of my Art Therapy work.

Taken from Wikipedia… (Yes, I know the most untrustworthy website on the WWW!)

The British Association of Art Therapists defines art therapy as:

…a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication. It is practised by qualified, registered Art Therapists who work with children, young people, adults and the elderly. Clients who can use art therapy may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include, for example, emotional, behavioral or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, brain-injury or neurological conditions and physical illness. Art therapy may be provided for groups, or for individuals, depending on clients’ needs. It is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions can be enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.

I really enjoyed using Art as a way of expression. I have, for a long time used art and writing to express my feelings and being able to in a group based scenario was really nice. It felt good to not be alone, and show how we all interpret work differently.

If you would so kindly, take a look at my work and feel free to comment on them, then please do.

You can visit here:

Art Therapy

Or just click on the words ‘Art Therapy’ at the top of the blog page!

And now… Secondly, I would like to raise your awareness to a GoFundMe page I have just set up. I have my doubts that I will not achieve the goal by the time the course happens, but I live in hope!

I’ve just copied and pasted a few snippets here from my campaign, I actually reordered it too…

“I attended my first Self-Help group on 26th August, and the facilitator heard most of this story, and how I am suffering, and has suggested that I give MBCT a go.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a psychological therapy designed to aid in preventing the relapse of depression.

It uses traditional Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods and adds in newer psychological strategies such as mindfulness and mindfulness meditation.

MBCT will help me learn mind management skills leading to heightened metacognitive awareness, acceptance of negative thought patterns and an ability to respond in skillful ways, which having a history of being destructive would be an incredible achievement.

MBCT teaches to decenter negative thoughts and feelings, allowing the mind to move from an automatic thought pattern to conscious emotional processing, which means my irrational thoughts, feelings/emotions could too be helped out.

And by training the mind to connect with the body, I would hope it would help to prevent the negative loop of pain – self hatred/worthless/useless – fatigue – pain etc, by embracing it and living in the moment and being aware that all is okay!”

So, if I am so lucky to have any readers – Please do visit my GoFundMe page here: MBCTforErica have a read. No need to donate, I just wanted to raise awareness of what I am trying to do, and share with you my attempts at trying to keep sane in this crazy world.

—Right now, I am fuming about something in regards to this issue… I can’t divulge but let’s say I will calm down soon…!—

Anyway, due to the unexpected feelings I’ve just ended up with, I’m calling this a day.

I’ll catch up with you all soon no doubt.

Take care,

Erica

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I tried.

Hi everyone,

Today’s blog may be a little shorter than usual. I am feeling incredibly nauseous, dizzy and fatigued.

I think it is due to a lack of medication. Note to self: Order more before running out.

I have booked a GP appointment, but it’s not until next week… All so I can sort this out. So I really hope these symptoms pass!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but on the side of my blog, I have added a Twitter Widget. That’s right. I’m now on Twitter to try and spread awareness of Mental and Physical Health, and share my blog. If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow me here:

@ghostwithinme

As mentioned on Twitter – Yes, I share thoughts there too!

I stated: I’m going to attempt to re-start my course today… I’ll blog about it later to let you know how I got on!

And that’s exactly what I’m doing now!

An hour after that post, I text my Wife to say “I don’t know if I can do this. It’s so hard 😦 Am going over what I’ve already written, but it makes no sense. 😦 I suck at this”. So although the response is supportive, I still feel overwhelmed.

For once, I tried very hard to avoid social media, and had the internet browser closed down. It didn’t take me long before I was posting on Facebook too:

  • I wanna cry. Feeling so nauseous and fatigued. Trying so hard to give this course a go and just want to sleep. My head can’t concentrate and nothing is making any sense. 😦 ‪#‎frustrated
  • (Posts photo of my kitten) Bella is doing what I need to do. She’s given up already. 😦 I need to be a cat.
  • I swear I’ve written about Darwin like a million times, and I still don’t think it’s me writing it.

Wait, what was that last one? “I still don’t think it’s me writing it.” What does this mean?

If you look at the above posts, look how self critical I am. I’m at the beginning of the course. I’m not even giving myself a chance. Not giving myself a break. I’ve turned to the page in my folder which tells me how to reach Distinction level. I should be aiming for a Pass, so I can stop pressurising myself. I don’t need to be perfect. There’s no such thing, is there?

I tried my very best to give it a go. I lasted longer than I thought I would, considering how I’m physically feeling. 2 hours – ish. And then I needed to nap. I really needed to.

I’ve since woken up to a missed call from rheumatology, and had to call back to arrange an outpatient appointment. I’ve also figured that maybe I forgot to take another type of medication last night (some I actually still have), so have taken some to see if it helps me. I’ve also eaten some rice cakes, even though I have been preparing dinner (rice) in the slow cooker today.

I need to feel better shortly because I am attending a self-help group for the first time tonight. I’m really anxious about it. I want to go, even if I am still feeling nauseous. If I don’t, I have this feeling I will have a continuous pattern of saying I’ll attend, and then there’ll end up being excuses for me not being able to. Usually, these excuses are genuine, but they do happen too often. That’s the problem with the physical health issues. I don’t know how I am going to be, from one day to the next!

Okay, this is heading on to be another long blog which was unintentional. I need to email a therapist in regards to a couple of issues, before I forget or, again, keep putting it off. So, I’ll say goodbye for now.

I’ll, hopefully next time be able to write about the self-help group, more about the course and the feelings, and also go back to a list of other things I said I’d write about.

All these things to talk about are building up… But no pressure – There’s plenty of time, right?

Take care and I’ll speak soon,

Erica

Crazy Dreams – What do they mean?

Hi everyone,

Despite having much to say on other topics, I really need to discuss this issue – Crazy Dreams.

If any of you are Dream Interpreters, please, please, please comment below!

**Edits here: The dream you might find triggering – Self Harm and Suicidal Ideation featured… Just warning you.**

So, last night I was on the phone to a friend. We discussed a little about finances and benefits. We also discussed how she was feeling about leaving therapy, and how her feelings, or rather attachments to a couple of therapists are having an impact on the run up to her leaving. It was all in good support, I felt exactly the same, but more so for one therapist in particular, for other reasons. Sort of. (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself)

Anyway, I thought I’d be getting an early night, but it was past midnight by the time I settled.

I woke up on several occasions with night sweats, feeling extremely uncomfortable. All my dreams interlinked, and it was beyond weird and intense. I am going to apologise right now for the messiness in writing the dream. It feels so, so complicated, that I’m just going to try my best! So, I’m very sorry if it’s all jumbled!

It started with some fictional character, male, being in a relationship with myself and another girl who I can’t remember. I can remember that it become sexual because he said that ‘I’ wanted to have a baby (which is true, my wife and I have asked to be referred by GP for fertility treatment, but this was ages ago…)

I think that was the first time I woke up.

Then I fell into my next dream… Which involved my leaving of therapy. (For some reason, I can remember more of this dream!)

Instead of being at the community, I was with the therapists and my Mum in some bar to celebrate the completion of my year. It all starts off fine and talking about the progression and improvement I’d made at the community, but then it become a discussion about my Mum and her difficulties. Except, she read something out to make it aware of how similar we both were. The therapists could see this and it almost made me feel as though I had gone right back to the beginning of treatment, and hadn’t improved at all.

As everyone went off, I ended up trying to get one of the therapists to stay behind some I could have a word with them. It seemed as though they needed to get off, but were willing to listen. It become incredibly difficult, I was anxious and I tried telling her what, and how I was feeling. (And in reality: Something which has been on my mind for a good couple of months now!) 

Instead of just saying it, I become cryptic, I become more childish and I started to isolate myself. She kept trying to get me to talk, because she said that she was in a performance and needed to prepare for the show, and that is why she had to get going. This then made me feel like I was being rejected, so I ended up attempting self harm. It was weird, I was lighting matches, and they weren’t lighting. So, I picked up wood which looked like a hook, and locked myself in the bathroom. Then I heard her with some of the other therapists who for some reason had returned, to try and help coax me out of the situation. I ended up being “assessed” and I was rolling around on the floor, literally like a right looney, all because I couldn’t say how I was feeling. I was drawing on the wall, and on my face in biro, and didn’t feel like me.

I tried running off, and saying I’d be fine, and that what I needed to say wouldn’t matter.

Next thing I know, I’m in my car, and behind me is her in a car with some guy driving. Later, I’m asking her who the guy was and if it was her boyfriend. (Jeez, this sounds so childish and pathetic!)

ANYWAY, she responded saying it was a friend of her boyfriends, which then made me think “Oh, so you like guys then?), (Urm, do you see where I’m heading with this?!) 

Yet again, I run off. I grab a piece of metal wire shaped like a circle, and hook it onto a broken tree. I use it to hook myself up and climb onto the tree. I’m once again crazed. The temptation of hanging felt so real. Then, I managed to say how I felt.

I literally said, that it has been so difficult because it is embarrassing and just well, I worried what she would think. And then I found out she liked guys, not girls (LMAO), that I just wanted to kill myself. (How stupid is that?!) I ran off, again…. And ended up threatening to jump into this lake, which I did. She jumped in after me, but ended up getting caught up in the weeds, so I ended up rescuing her. Then, the next thing is, she has to go off to go off for the performance, and I end up talking to this guy she was with. He started saying what she was like in “real life”, and how horrible she was, and lazy and, well everything of the opposite that she actually is! I ended up telling him how difficult it ha been for me, because I’m married, and I love my wife and how I felt like I was betraying her so much.

I ended up going to see the end of the show, and then there were Q’s and A’s at the end, and I was asking her about the drama production company she was with, and seeing if I’d heard of them, (Because I’m familiar with a few, as I have aways wanted to get into theatre, and done a lot in the past) Turns out, in the dream, it was one I hadn’t heard of.

Next thing is my Mum is back in the dream, and she too had watched the play. Then asked for a packet of cigarettes, of which, there was randomly a bar. (In reality: My Mum doesn’t smoke!) We ended up getting into  conversation about her parents. Then Mum left the dream. I then found a tube addressed to her, and I was clearly naughty as I opened it – and it was filled with letters and documents regarding the death of her parents, which happened last year. I think it was November 2014. But for some reason this tube of information hadn’t made it to my Mum. I don’t know why I ended up with it!

I returned back to the therapist, and then I head off to the car park, where I sit there by the car door in tears. Not knowing what I’m going to do next.

And I woke up…

So……

On the way into the Therapeutic Community today for Leavers Group, I spoke to my Wife about the dream. She is fully aware of these weird feelings. I then briefly mentioned it in LG, but more so by just saying about having a dream about a therapist who I can’t work out my feelings for.

I’ve blogged about this before – in Relationships and Boundaries. I’m starting to get really, really overwhelmed by this. Why? Because there’s absolutely nothing I can do, but discuss it in LG which is where she isn’t there.

I think it’s because I would’ve liked to have said how I feel or something to her. I have this anxiety that she knows from someone else, but I really need to know if she does know, and hope that it doesn’t affect the relationship that is there.

I admire this therapist. I find her inspirational, and with a lot of things in common, like pets and theatre/writing/drama, well – “two” key things for me, that is enough to make me really interested in a person. Plus, the knowing of wanting to help others. It’s all I want to do too. I want to use my experiences, and I hope one day my skills to help others.

If I could have a mentor for life, it would be her.

This is such a lame blog, and I am really, really sorry for this!

I’m going to leave it there because I feel like I need a really good cry, and some decent sleep which involves no emotions at all!

I’ll blog again soon, tomorrow most likely.

Speak to you all soon!

Erica

How many distractions?

Hey everyone, are you ready for another?

I’ve been up since 8am, disturbed sleep too! Think it was 3am and 6am with a cat or two pouncing on the bed!

The plan was to get up and once the housework stuff is done, to blog and then do some work on my Animal Behaviour course.

I have, since 8am, spoken to my brother about his employer, emptied the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, put 4 loads of washing on and hung them all out, bringing in all the dry loads, cleaned out the bunnies and the guinea pig, plus the cat litter tray, put the rubbish out, gone through some emails and removed myself from some of those annoying subscriptions, played on The Simpsons Tapped Out (which is still currently open), managed to eat a little lunch and had a cup of tea to realise it’s far too hot for tea, and been sipping on cloudy lemonade instead.

I then ended up on Facebook. And that’s when everything stops except time. Time seems to fly by.

I thought I would try and do something nice, y’know… Seeing as my days off work are (hopefully) limited, and I’m currently supposed to be working on my course, I thought that planning some events to look forward to would be a good idea.

Firstly, I have already started planning my Birthday. My birthday falls on Halloween, which means most people prefer, for some reason, to attend halloween parties instead of their friends birthday. So this year, I decided to try something different. I’m celebrating the day before! It seems to have worked, and there have been quite a few people saying yes. Which, stupidly increases my anxiety levels. As I’m so used to people saying no, and also means that I will in fact have to socialise and do something, when my head just doesn’t know exactly what it wants to do until the time comes, and even then it might not be happy. If you’ve BPD, then I’m really hoping you get exactly what I mean! I’m still waiting for many to respond to the event post, and I’m trying very hard not to get annoyed or frustrated at the lack of response – seeing as I know how an event appears on Facebook, and it’s not that hard to miss.

So, the question is, why put myself through the trauma of trying to arrange another event? Well, I do like to set myself challenges and also torture myself for some unknown reason.

I haven’t mentioned yet, so I will do it now, that I am a NYR Organic Consultant. I signed up to become a part of the Team shortly after I handed in my notice for my previous employer, who for some reason just didn’t understand what mental health therapy meant, and thus continued to pressurise me around my employment, ya-da, ya-da, long story. Anyway, so I thought it would be nice to continue to trying to receive an income, even if it was only a big of pocket money. I have since fallen in love with the company, and all that it stands for, and use the products on a daily basis, and have changed quite a bit of my lifestyle too!

So, yes… I can talk about that more in perhaps an advertising blog post, if you so wish to read it?!

Well, NYR Organic have a wonderful work ethic. So much so, that they are the number one health and beauty company for ethics!

Anyway; I decided that seeing as other consultants were planning on doing this too, and plus for a good cause, which I’m always up for doing, I thought I’d give it a go… So what is it? Well, read on…

“As part of the NYR Organic campaign – People Helping People improving people’s lives is really what it’s all about for us. The lives of our customers, the people we work with, our suppliers and their families and communities. We do this through organic farming, trading fairly, and respectful supportive working conditions. We are also a business in partnership to some amazing charities such as the “No More Breast Cancer” campaign which raises awareness and take action on the links between environmental pollutants and breast cancer.

I’m right in thinking, along with many other NYR Organic Consultants that we should give something back to the community.

Many NYR Organic Consultants opt in to raise money for many charities throughout the year. This would be my first time in giving this a go, if you’re with me of course!

I would like to know if you would be interested in joining me for “The Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning”, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.”

I’d added a bit more to the post, but this was the jist of it – I wanted to do something for Macmillan, and raise some money.

I wanted to know what dates would be best for people, but I am such an impatient so ‘n’ so, that I decided to just sign up to the event and create a date.

I’ve sent out the invites, and now my plans have turned to mush. So many have declined, the date I chose was one that even I cannot do, but wasn’t aware as it wasn’t marked on the calendar, so just when I was getting all excited about this, and the potentially lovely day we could all have, the realisation of this not actually happening was crashing down on me. It looks like it won’t happen at all unless I can find a suitable date, of which no doubt I’ll still have many declines.

Why is it, when I feel like I’m trying to do something nice, that everything ends up going horribly wrong? I really want to be able to take in the moment, and say, wow! I’m impressed with how that went!

Even at my own wedding, to me, there were flaws. Others, many see the perfection of the event, but when you’re caught in your wedding dress sweeping the floor and being called Cinderella, it makes you think otherwise!

I aim for perfection, which straight away means I’m aiming for a fall. Why do I do this to myself? My tattoo “Nobody’s Perfect”, is a constant reminder to me, but it just doesn’t sink in. My need, my craving for perfection in everything takes over my life. It takes over my happiness.

Anyway, as you can see – just another long blog entry which distracts me from doing some actual work. Some typing which might benefit me… I suppose I better get on…

If you relate to any of this, please comment. I’m really after feedback from these blog entries.

Thank you 🙂

Speak soon!

Erica

 

Keeping busy

Hello again!

Aren’t you lucky? Two blog posts in one day! I’m just trying to catch up with every thing going on in my head!

So, you know about my poorly kitty re: For the love of animals!

But there’s been other stuff going on too. I guess that my lack of emotion, may have to be due to so much distraction.

Lets check out my diary…

On 14th August, the day I had my discharge meeting from the therapeutic community with my Link Therapist and Care Coordinator – I blogged a little about that, sort of… But I also won a competition to visit London Zoo on 20th August (yesterday), I didn’t realise until I checked my diary that this was the day my sister was getting her GCSE results, and I wanted to be there. Still, winning competitions is a rare thing, and I did accept the tickets to go.

So, this week… As it’s been an entire week since my discharge meeting. In all honesty, I’m trying to think back to that and to be honest I’m wondering what I got out of it. I remember writing a blog post about my eating habits? And also reading my 9 month review? Oh, gosh… Looks like my head hasn’t settled just yet.

At the weekend, my wife and I went to see the Red Arrows, and am amazing display of other aircraft at a local air show. It was an exhausting but brilliant day out.

On Monday 17th, I had a 1-2-1 with my care coordinator, where we discussed a little about my food issues and then we worked on something called a “recovery star”. I’ll write a separate post about what this is.

On Tuesday 18th, I had Leavers Group. A couple of my friends from the main community were going to be starting, but only one turned up. She was extremely nervous, as expected, but did really well considering there were people in the group she hadn’t met before. I was so proud of her for turning up and giving leavers a go before joining it for when she leaves the main community. Like me, she’s absolutely petrified, like her whole entire world is going o change forever, especially due to the attachment issues. We have that in common and that brings us closer. We get each other, and I really like the fact we can be honest to each other, and say exactly what we’re thinking and learn from it, and understand each other.

Then on Wednesday 19th, I had a trip up to London with my wife, via coach, for a neurology appointment. Due to the Hemicrania Continua diagnosis, I am seen by a team of specialists at Kings College Hospital, and they are trying their hardest to help me relieve the pain. As the medication I an currently on is only doing so much, it has been agreed that I try out a new pain management tool, called GammaCore. I hope to blog about this trial when I get started on it. I need to wait a couple of weeks, and will have to take a trip back up to London to be shown how to use the device, and then I will be able to use it at home and hopefully it will relieve the HC pain I am constantly in.

Yesterday was the 20th, the day of the London Zoo trip (and my sisters GCSE results). It was an early start for me and my wife. A long journey via the coach, but we made it. And just as we arrived at the car park, I was able to contact my sister about her results. I’d been so impatient on the coach, waiting to find out! I must say, she did incredible. Like me, she has so much self doubt, low self esteem and anxiety. She thought she would fail a few subjects, but instead she excelled and made me teary at her result! I am so, so incredibly proud of her. She did amazing!

My wife and I wandered around London Zoo moaning. It was quite entertaining in a way because we kept saying to each other “Maybe we should just shut up for the day”, but continued to laugh, moan and joke about how dire we found the place. It was a very disappointing trip. Barely any animals, many looking very unhappy, too many kids on “summer school” trips, the summer holidays, meant extra tourists pushing their way through and the rudeness of the general public made us extremely frustrated the entire time. It was fair to say that heading back to the coach was one of the best reliefs of the day. Plus, we managed to purchase a toy Flamingo (2 in fact), which I’m quite happy with, as it reminds me of my kitties who love their own toy flamingos, and make the most beautiful sounds when they play!

Today, I woke with the most intense pain. I didn’t sleep very well. Usually when we visit zoos, we hire out a wheelchair because I can’t tolerate the amount of walking, but London Zoo requires a ridiculous £25 deposit, which we just couldn’t do. Instead, we did what I could with my stick, my arm held and lots of rest breaks. Throughout the night every time I moved, I woke up. My legs,, my back, my arms and shoulder in agony. Then in the morning, my head thumping, and my feet and ankles feeling bruised with the pressure of the weight of my body upon then. Today has been a draining, exhausting, dosed up to the eyeballs, kinda day.

It’s days like this when I realise how much my physical health affects my daily living. Sure, my mental health varies as well, but for some reason – I really do feel as though it is my physical health which I find more frustrating because it prevents me from being about to enjoy something without suffering the next day. Whereas, mentally, I can allow myself to enjoy myself but I constantly wait for something bad to happen, and considering that usually happens, I am learning to not get hopes up so much.

Today I have been trying to keep busy by catching up on the blog posts I should’ve done over the past few days. I’ve probably bored you to death and still missed bits out.

I’m going to stop here, with some good news…

I’m allowed to go and collect my kitten Bella from the vets in an hours time! She’s being released! Yay! I’ll also be picking up my sister from her voluntary job, and spending some time with her too.

The bad news is, with my head banging at every moment of pressure, such as walking, bending over, and what have you, I need to put the washing out, and that is an entire bunch of spoons to be used. If you don’t know about what I mean by that, well – that’s another blog post too.

I’m going to go to slowly get ready. My pain killers are making me a little dizzy and I’ve got to drive, so need to find a way to focus properly.

Notes from this blog to blog about soon:

  1. Discharge Meeting
  2. Recovery Star
  3. Spoons

If this doesn’t happen soon, please remind me. I’m pretty forgetful and my memory is rubbish. Hence the note taking.

Catch up with you soon.

Erica

Ps; If there is anything you’d like to say in response to any of this, please comment. I do read and reply! Thank you x

For the love of animals!

Hey everyone,

For those of you still with me, you may have noticed it’s been a few days since my last blog post. 5 days in fact.

It’s not that I’ve forgotten, it’s more the case that someone, somewhere is testing my strength right now.

I can’t remember if I have written about my undying love for animals or not? Well, if so, sorry for repeating myself, ‘cos here goes:

I have always wanted animals in my life. We’d alway had goldfish, but I wanted something fluffy, something I could cuddle and love and talk to. We got a pet mouse when I was young, and we named her Cere, using the initials of all us siblings. I was devastated when she died, as one would be at such a young age. We then had hamsters, who would come and go, some more tragically than others.

When I was in my teens, my Dad brought home 2 guinea pigs. It was a random scenario, as it was completely unexpected. For some many years I’d wanted more than just a hamster (of course, they weren’t just hamsters, I loved them dearly, but they’re not the easiest to cuddle!) I really wanted a pet rabbit, or a cat or even a dog. But we weren’t allowed to in such a busy household.

This was my argument. If Dad was allowed to bring in guinea pigs, who were amazing – why was I not allowed my own pet to love and look after? In the end, I said that if I purchased the pet myself, and all the equipment would that be allowed? It ended up being that I’d pay for the hutch etc, but my Mum would buy me the rabbit for, what would be an early birthday present for me. I’d picked out the most gorgeous white looking rabbit, with black eyes and black markings, but he happened to be poorly and was taken away from me. This meant I had to choose another. One, who would change my life forever.

Mum and I picked out a tiny black bunny, with a white paw. We named him Michael. (Can you see why?)

When I took him home, he became my best friend. And for a good couple of months everything was perfect.

When he reached the age of neutering, something which is recommended for all bunnies, I thought it was only fair that he had the operation to control his emotional outbursts of humping everything in sight! Little was I aware that this would be the moment which would change my life, and his.

My baby Michael, made it through the operation, and was allowed to come home. Later that evening he took a turn for the worst and we ended up at the out of hours vets. He tried so much to fight for his life, but eventually he had to give in due to the trauma.

I was completely devastated. I felt it was all my fault for putting him through the operation in the first place. Michael taught me something very special that day. He taught me how to say goodbye. As I held him in my arms before he was sent off to be cremated, I was able to have my moment with him, and say how proud Iw as for trying to hold on, but how I understood the pain and the trauma he must have been in. I let him know it was okay.

Of course, my heart was torn into pieces. I gave it a day or two to see how I was, but I wasn’t coping at all. I needed some comfort. I ended up adopting a rabbit in need. His fur was short, he had bald patches, and was in need of some comfort of his own due to being beaten up by his brothers.

This bunny soon lived up to his name, no other way to describe him, other than Frank.

Although, his vet would call him “such a dude”, which Frank most definitely is.

Frank has been through the wars since I’ve had him. And he has become such a mummies boy that any new animal, any new pet to have entered my life, he can’t tolerate. He loves attention and he has done his fair share of volunteering and being the Easter Bunny for children. He is an amazing bunny. Putting him through the castration was a difficult decision. I’d asked for a different vet, and also was told it was extremely rare for that to go wrong. Frank has also had another operation to remove an abscess from his side, which again, I felt responsible for as it was a puncture wound from a toy I’d given him for his birthday.

Then, after 2 years of having Frank in my life, my wife and I ended up with our own couple of guinea pigs. They were too adorable to resist. Unfortunately though, to date, they have been past from pillar to post due to our own movement of having no home, and nowhere to settle. They stayed with my grandparents (My Dads idea), and then when they couldn’t look after them, they went to my wife’s parents, who had a history of breeding and handling guinea pigs. Earlier on this year, one of them died. The other we brought back to finally live with us for what we thought would be his last few weeks, as he was very poorly with the flu, but he is still going, probably due to the fact I nursed him with wiping all the mucus from his nose and eyes and, yes, you probably didn’t need to know that – and now he’s just being a cheeky guinea pig and is very well and happy!

We have both had our own hamsters too, who were very much loved and adored. Unfortunately one passed away naturally, and my own had to be put to sleep due to a tumour. First time I’d ever had an animal put to sleep 😦 That was hard, but the right decision. She would have been in pain, and really don’t know how she was coping at all!

We then ended up with another rabbit, Harley. She was 8 weeks old when we got her. And we slowly introduced her to Frank. When I’d adopted Frank, I was told he must live alone. But he has now been trained and both Harley and Frank are best of friends. It’s so lovely that Frank has someone of his kind to love too.

When my wife and I finally got our first flat together, we ended up with a cat from Cats Protection. She was so stunning, and irresistible.

Frank wasn’t happy. We found out he absolutely despises cats. Which is quite amusing as it’s usually the other way around. He ends up chasing cats, rather than cats chasing him. He’s our guard bunny, that’s for sure!

I ended up also adopting another bunny, Alan – but he didn’t get on with Frank, and when they fought, Alan caught Franks eye, and now Frank has a scar on his bottom eye lid. We had to re-home Alan, which was really distressing for me as I’d really fallen for him, hence he adoption! I was gutted it didn’t work out.

A couple of years after getting Teddy, our Cats Protection cat, my wife brought home a teeny black kitten, for an early birthday present for me. Sally, isn’t so teeny now.

Teddy and Sally both get on with each other, although Teddy is more of an outdoors cat and Sally is always lazing about inside. We moved again last year, and both of them have settled in well. Teddy though, has had a couple of operations to remove her teeth, and barely has any left, the poor thing. Sally, well, she eats anything and is very cuddly and loving. She’s a bit of a heffa, but we love her so much.

Then, when we moved into our current place, I ended up sort of adopting another rabbit. This time a female one, we named Luna. She got on really well with Frank this time, but it was now Harley’s time to stamp her foot and disapprove. A few months down the line, and we had to re-home her too. Both Alan, and Luna are in the best new homes now, with such loving Mummies, and they both get completely spoilt. I couldn’t have wished for anything more.

And now, only just under 4 months ago, we adopted our 3rd cat. A kitten from Cats Protection. I let her choose me, as I went to visit her and siblings, and I waited for one to approach me. This one was very chatty, licked my lips and wanted lots of attention. I knew I’d be taking this one home. Her name was Bubbles, but we renamed her Bella.

Bella has quickly entered our hearts, and become a part of the family with ease. She is an extremely cheeky monkey. She cries when we leave her, and she is always tripping us up when we’re at home.

And now, the reason – finally – why I have not blogged for a few days!

Since Sunday, Bella has been extremely poorly. She started vomiting and we had no idea why. She was very quiet, and sleeping a lot. Curled up, feeling sorry for herself.

We took her to the out of hours vets, who did a blood test and kept her in for X-rays to see if they could find any foreign bodies.

On Monday, we were able to bring her home, but we returned her after she was sick again.

Since then, she has been admitted to the vets. She’s been on a drip and been on and off with food and sickness. She has also had another scan to see if they could find anything, but they couldn’t.

This morning we got a phone call to say she may be able to come home today if she can keep the food down. They still don’t know what the cause was.

Now, I have been having some distractions (May need a different blog for this…), but it makes me wonder why my emotions have been, well… I want to say numbing? I welled up when they had to admit her the first night, and then I was just being, what my wife says was, “strong”, as I am confused as to why I don’t feel so upset, or worried about her being admitted. I feel as though, yes – she is in the right place, and there’s nothing we can do whilst she’s there but wait.

I feel as though I should be feeling something else though. I do feel an emptiness, and I miss her dearly, of course. I know that Sally is missing her, after all – they have both become extremely close, both being indoor cats. It’s weird not tripping over her, or having to clean out the litter tray, it’s odd not having to keep shuffling the food around as Sally eats the kitten food and Bella eats the adult food. Naughty!

Why is it sometimes hard to name feelings? Why is it sometimes hard to know what the feelings should be? Why is it we sometimes don’t know what is the right thing to feel, or the wrong thing to feel? What is normal?

I feel like this confusion leads me to thinking and feeling like I’ve found it too easy to let go, to not get so attached. But I know that’s not the case, because I can and do experience heartache.

My pets mean the world to me. They have been such a great help for my decision making, where I have become a professional hobby pet photographer, and also made my decision to study Animal Behaviour and have my career goal as an Animal Assisted Therapist. My pets have helped me get through the worst of times, and I know that they can help others too.

I want to share them with the world.

Anyway, I think that’s if for now off my mind.

Another blog post to follow shortly.

Goodbye for now guys and gals.

Thank you for reading,

Erica

What’s wrong with my eating habits?

Hey everyone,

I just want note here that there might be certain triggers for those of you with eating disorders so please skip this post if you feel you are prone to triggers or currently in a bad place. Thank you x

For as long as I can remember, I have had issues with food. I was bullied at secondary school for being fat and ugly. I was probably a normal, healthy weight for the average teenager, but all I can remember is skipping breakfast and lunch, and eating a small plate at the dinner table. If I had anything at school, it went from a yoghurt and crisps, to a small pot of sunflower seeds.

I don’t remember what I was like as a child. I’m told I used to eat peas and sweetcorn and apples, and all sorts, but my tastebuds changed, and I couldn’t stand them. Now, I love sweetcorn but still can’t tolerate other, foods.

Throughout my “young” adulthood, (Yes, I know it wasn’t that long ago) I was trying to avoid all meals altogether and on a bowl of rice a day if I could bring myself to manage it.

I guess, I was picking at some things too. I remember working at a retail shop, and being the teeniest there. I’d catch myself looking at my stomach in the lunch break, working out if the trousers I had were too tight for me or if I could get even smaller.

It wasn’t until I fell ill with appendicitis, that things started to change. Being in hospital, I had to eat three – meals – a – day! Something I wasn’t used to. I thought that this would help me with changing my eating behaviour at home. So when I left, I tried to eat normally. It was okay for a while, but as soon as I felt I was getting bigger, my clothes no longer fitting me, I started to worry. I was cutting back again. I then ended up with my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and then with the amount of medication I was on, I reached my biggest size and highest weight.

I’d gone from people saying I was too skinny, to people talking behind my back about how much weight I’d put on.

I stopped the medication, and did whatever I could to lose the weight. It come off fast. And I was starting to be complimented for how I was looking, even if I was getting to a dangerous level, and doing it in a dangerous way – what were they to know?

It wasn’t until I tried on my wedding dress at the beginning of last year, that I realised I’d gone back to that 18 year old, and weighed too little, and my size was too small, however – I felt proud. I felt like I’d achieved something. And then the horror struck – I wasn’t getting married for a further 11 months. It meant I needed to stay that small.

Throughout last year, my weight has gone up and gone down, almost so it’s been unnoticeable. Only my wife has been able to feel the bones and say how skinny I am, which leads me to say – No I’m not.

I’d like to say that, I did manage to fit into my dress. Thankfully. But only just. I thought it was too small for me, but everyone said it was a perfect fit. If only in my head it was.

I’m now at a point, 10 months after the wedding, where my weight continues to change.

I threw away my scales so I was unable to weigh myself. It had become an addiction. Every time I ate, drank, went to put makeup on, etc, every time I went to the bathroom, I would find myself monitoring.

Again, since I can remember – I have stared for long amounts of time i the mirror just trying to recognise the person staring back. I’d stare right into the eyes trying to find answers, and screaming inside my head. It was a silent torture.

With my fibromyalgia being an obvious cause for concern, and not being able to function as well as every young adult should, I asked for my tests –

I ended up being tested for Coeliac Disease, via a blood test. But with my GP not wanting to put me through the colonoscopy, he said that it was more than likely I had an intolerance to gluten, and by cutting it out of my diet would help… It sure helped. But it also helped me avoid other foods. Most Gluten Free foods pre-made are filled with sugar, so I would be able to avoid them too.

Since February this year, I’ve also become vegetarian.

Not only did this mean I was able to cut out food, but also stand up for something I’d become passionate about, saving animals, helping with animal cruelty rights and or course, making myself believe that it would be a healthier lifestyle for me.

I’d eaten off a small plastic child’s plate until I was 18 or so. I was a very fussy eater, and didn’t like trying new foods. Only now, was I trying new fruit and veg, but also finding different ways of cooking vegetables to be able to “like” them.

For the past year or so, I’d been trying raspberry ketone to help aid weight loss, as well as diet pills and abusing laxatives more so than I ever thought I was capable of.

I’ve now got to the point, where crying out for help since, what feels like forever – about my body issues. I feel as though there’s no more point in fighting for help.

I can see my eating as a separate issue to my bpd.

My issues with food have started, as I said since I can remember. It’s always been there. Okay, fair enough, I have also always been an anxious, nervous, cry baby wreck. I’ve struggled with adapting to life, lets say!

I’d cry at anything, but it wouldn’t have anything to do with my weight issues. My weight issues become concerning when I start on the laxatives, hearing the voices, telling me to make myself sick, fighting the urges of eating, not wanting to eat, feelings of guilt and betrayal against something.

When I look in the mirror, I see someone fat, someone thin, someone normal, someone different. I see a girl often screaming, but sometimes I see a fragile elderly lady.

Why have I wanted to write this today?

Well, I had my discharge meeting on Friday from the therapeutic community, shortly after I posted my last blog entry.

In many of my meetings, and at the community, my issues with my wright and the way I see myself have often been brought up. But because I feel ashamed, trapped, idiotic and embarrassed, I find it hard to talk about and divulge in. I’d use art therapy or throw some words in here and there in writing. But it often got over looked, or so I thought.

I have, in my head, an ideal weight. A number which screams at me every time I eat something. I will never reach that number if I continue to ignore the voice which is getting stronger and stronger the more I avoid it.

Well, it appears that this is – although, a potentially damaging thing – is not an eating disorder.

But, a way of me coping with things.

Yes, I know…

Now, I just want to share something with you: “…This compulsion manifests itself in particular around self harming behaviours and Erica’s attitude towards eating, both of which seem to come to the surface when Erica is distressed, as a way of managing her feelings and taking control over them.” 

My heart just skipped a few beats typing that out. The above is something written in my 9 month review, which was back in April, this year.

Now, the thing I am struggling to believe is, sure I have struggled, my self harm issues started when I was a young teenager, but eating habits started way before then, and were only triggered further when I was bullied at secondary school. (I was bullied at primary school, but as far as I can remember, it wasn’t near enough as bad).

When I had my discharge meeting I felt a bit rejected at the end of the meeting as it felt like it left on a bit of a low point.

My last meeting with my care coordinator felt like I was being called an attention seeker, but apparently they were my words. We’d been discussing something about me being emotionally neglected, and how I’d mentioned how I’d been feeling, and about food issues in the community, and I asked her what she thought, which was basically her saying it’s a way of me finding ways to get my needs met.

At the end of the discharge meeting, we had about 10 minutes to run over some things before a review of the discussion and next steps.

Of course, for me  – I have always, as far as I have seen it (I don’t know how many times I can vent this!) had an issue with eating, weight and all that crap. Well, I’m told that it’s basically a way of managing emotions. That I will find something to control when angry or frustrated. However, I feel it is in actual fact that end up getting frustrated when I feel like food has been longer than the issues like self harm. And I really cannot see a connection between BPD and the eating behaviours, unlike my link therapist and care coordinator.

Why do I feel this way? Well, when I feel as though, and I do as with most people with eating issues, it is secretive. I have been secretive my entire life about my self harm and all sorts I think and feel about myself. I hate talking about the thought voices in my head, and having given them names etc. To me, I label myself crazy. And that doesn’t help!

Anyway,  being secretive has been a huge part of my life. I had ended up with being able to have such a strong reaction towards things. But throughout my time at the community, I have learned to be more open about how I feel, and managed – fairly well, in the community.

Both my link therapist and care coordinator see that I internalise struggles and feelings, and because I tend to deal with it all on own, I have learned to manage via partly with a relationship with food.

Whereas I see it as an isolation, and a completely separate issue to the BPD.

They try to get me to understand that it’s a part of integrated self image. The way I see myself. I tired to get an explanation re: why do I see myself differently in the mirror all the time, and the answer, again is about identity, sense of self, not having a strong sense of self, distorted body image, such thing. I need to continue to “find” my identity?

Of course, these as any are only opinions, which I can take on board – even if it is with a bit of resentment… They explain they may be wrong, they may not be right. Well, we can all say that.

So, why is it bothering me so much right now?

My three – day – a – week therapy has ended. I see a couple of therapists in Leavers Group for 2 hours a week, barely any time to start an in-depth discussion about food and identity. It’s been agreed that I’ll see my care coordinator for some time once every two weeks. Will that give me space to work out who I am?

If this has been an issue for me, for most of my life, how the hectare things going to start changing?

I’m not eating much, barely anything. If I feel I eat too much, I abuse the laxatives. I continue to want to punch the glass when I stare in the mirror, and my obsession with weight had returned. I’m sure though, that it will be put down to being able to control something since leaving the community.

I’ve weighed myself several times in the past couple of weeks. I’ve lost a fair bit. I’m now, according to my last weigh in, yesterday – UNDERWEIGHT.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for some sort of acknowledgement that SOMETHING is WRONG. Because all I want to do is live a life without worrying about every darn thing, without worrying about being criticised with the way I look, without me hating how I look or feel.

I have found one site which I’m going to read over and over, about how Eating Disorders can co-exist with BPD:

http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/treatment-for-eating-disorders/co-occurring-dual-diagnosis/trauma-ptsd/co-occurring-borderline-personality-disorder-and-eating-disorders

It discusses the 9 criterions with BPD, sure enough, I’ve all 9. But hey, it’s not a competition.

I want to get better believe me. I’m my own worst enemy.

Perhaps I need to listen to what is being said to me, and work on it from the BPD level first, and see where that takes me?

Do you have a separate diagnosis, or do your care workers, GPs, therapists refuse to see a difference?

What are you doing to get support?

Thank you for listening to this ridiculous mess.

Erica

Relationships and Boundaries

Hey everyone!

I’m back again to attempt to empty my mind…

I must have been awake before 5am this morning. Tossing and turning with all the thoughts racing past that I could barely keep up. It was 5.15am when I decided I couldn’t take any more, and got up. I played on my phone for a little bit and typed out a message on a group on Facebook I admin, about insomnia and how to settle back down. I got a couple of great responses which I am going to try and put into action, one being creating some sort of safe space where I don’t need to force myself to sleep. It might mean I end up in the front room disturbing the pets, but I’d rather them, than my wife who has to get up early for an 8 hour work shift. We’ll see.

So, my rambling thoughts… What were they about?

Relationships and Boundaries. 

Firstly, the relationships… I currently feel completely rejected by a couple of people in my life. I have tried my hardest to make amends to one, and the other, I just want them to know I am there for them. However, when Facebook creates a feature on the Messaging App, where you can see if your message has been read, it creates a frustration within me. Why? Well, is it not rude to read something which requires a response? I’m constantly waiting. I keep throwing the ball and I’m not getting it back. This lack of communication makes you think, “oh, they don’t matter!”, “you deserve better!”, “cut them out of your life”, but of course, the answer isn’t that simple. There are some reasons why I want to keep in contact with these people.

Firstly, one is the mother to my niece. All, or most families are complicated. Mine is more than the tangled web. It is too confusing, messy and just makes you want to bang your head against a brick wall.

Then, secondly – the other is a friend. Someone I went to school with. Someone who for a good couple of years became my best friend. And then, as you know how it goes – I messed up. At the time, I admit that I wasn’t aware of it. It is only on reflection that I realise how awful I was. It’s not like me to be a bad, terrible, awful person. I’m generally kind and loving towards people, so I don’t know why I acted out the way that I did. Having reflected soon this, I worked out that there was some sort of jealousy involved. I find it extremely easy to get jealous. It’s a pain. It’s heartbreaking.

My friend recently moved back to the area, after a 4 year move in another part of the country. I decided that after all this therapy I’ve had, it was time to make amends. I’ve sent an email of my apology and explanation for everything. It went well – I think? At least I got a response. Finally, we seemed to be talking again. I sent another email. I’m still waiting for the response to that one. I’m not “overly” fussed, because I know what it’s like to respond to emails. Sometimes we do find it hard to find the time to reply. Especially if it requires a long response. But, what’s getting to me, is I keep asking about meeting up. I think it would do us both some good. I’m currently anxious of bumping into this friend in a local supermarket, and us both being and feeling awkward around each other. At least meeting up at an arranged place first might not make those feelings too bad? Or am I just kidding myself?

At what point do I draw the line? Stop throwing the ball? Stop hoping? Stop torturing myself with these friendships I seem so keen to hold onto?

And now… Boundaries.

I finished at the therapeutic community 2 weeks ago today. And I haven’t stopped thinking about the place. It’s weird not being there. That’s a given. The fact it took over an entire year of my life means it was incredibly difficult to let go.

It wasn’t until a couple of months before I was due to finish my time there, that I realised something wasn’t right, in my head. In regards to relationships and friendships. There were feelings. Unexplainable feelings.

I’d spoken to a couple of service users about this. I’d also found the confidence to discuss this issue with my wife. Sure, it was difficult, but when the feelings are intense, there has to be a reason for this. And having found the confidence to speak up about it in therapy, there was perhaps a lack of a moment to realise, that it was too late to work on. The feelings towards a therapist, meant that there was clearly a lack of boundaries within my mind, perhaps something throughout my childhood had “ticked” this. After all, I found myself way too attached to some of my teachers. My first form tutor at secondary school… I’d etched “I love *******” on my school planner, she left that same year… My P.E teacher who I thought I could trust and confide in, only to be betrayed… My Maths teacher who helped me a lot through some difficult times, only to be told she too was leaving. These people I connected with, I felt close to, messed with my head. I was too trusting. I was able to tell them anything. And then I lost them, I felt betrayed and rejected.

Being the “adult” that I am, I figured that maybe things would be different now. And maybe in the work/therapy line we would be treated like adults. Of course, we are. However, theres a connection often found between a patient and their therapist. After all, you’re disclosing so much personal information to someone, that it is easy to “fall for”, or “admire” that person for having so much trust and interest in your welfare. You finally feel cared for.

Though, that’s just it. I am cared for. I have a 8 1/2 year relationship. A wife who loves me. Sure, we have had our ups and downs, and lack of trust and all sorts, but we have got past all of that, so much so that we committed ourselves to one another for all eternity by getting married! I love my wife to absolute pieces. I have tried pushing her away and she’s always held on. When she has pushed me away, my heart was in pieces and my head and heart were at war. There have been plenty of times where we could have walked away from each other. But there is something keeping us together. Love, happiness, our family, our pets, just us. We are perfect together. As perfect as any couple anyway!

So, why do I feel the need for extra care? It it an attention thing? I felt a connection with a therapist. Not a sexual connection, which is one I have questioned. I could not see a romantic relationship there. But I admire her. I admire her so much, that I feel that I would need her in my life to almost better myself. By using her as a role model, perhaps I could feel as though I could achieve anything. She is inspiring. And I feel as though we would get on in the “outside world”, I’d want her to be my friend. I am drawn to her, and I can’t help that. This feeling of needing her in my life, I don’t know where it comes from. This attachment is strong, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Of course, there are the boundaries which would never allow a patient and a therapist to remain friends. It’s heartbreaking for the patient. And maybe for the therapist. Because of course, they’re only human too, and bound to feel connections. That’s not saying that this therapist feels the same way. But y’know, it happens.

I feel quite guilty for writing this. This will sound daft, but because of these thoughts, these “fantasies”, I feel like I’m cheating. I guess, that is where my feelings get muddled. What is right and what is wrong? It’s okay to admire people. It’s okay to have the feelings. Is it because it’s another woman I’m thinking about?

I’m drawn to causing problems in my life, over complicating things. It’s probably extremely straightforward. I am sure months down the line, I will be thankful for everything all the therapists, and not just this one, has done for me.

She was the only one who I felt was listening to me. Allowed me to speak. I need to remember that just because she may not be in my life, she can be in my thoughts and my memories of an amazing, chaotic lifetime experience in therapy, and that just because she’s not around doesn’t mean I will lose my voice and not be heard.

You’re listening to me, right?

I have to end here now but I want to thank you for reading and if you have any thoughts… Please just hit the reply button. I value all views and opinions. It would be great to hear if any of you have been in a similar situation before.

Thanks, and goodbye for now.

Erica x

Lack of Motivation/Career Goals

Hey everyone,

The beginning of today started with me waking up to a terrible headache, a migraine all over, clouded, dizzy and one sided HC pain. I’m still suffering now, even after the dozens of painkillers.

I’m sure it’s something to do with the weather. Maybe there’s a storm brewing. It does look like it’s clouding over, and I don’t mean just in my head.

It’s been one and 1/2 weeks since I finished at the therapeutic community. I’ve been a part of Leavers Group of 5 weeks already and it still feels as though my life is at a stand still.

I am finding it hard to get motivated. In my head I know what I want to do, but my motivation. There are days where I feel so optimistic and my head is so full of ideas and plans for the present, and future. I feel good about how things are going. But then  suddenly it hits. A lack of motivation. No energy to do anything, and everything I need to do just seems overwhelming. What am I supposed to do?

The first couple of days after I had left the community were fine. I was distracted and felt in a “happy place”, even if my ending was a challenging one. Then as soon as I realised I wouldn’t be returning the following week, I broke down. I found things so difficult, crying all the time and feeling as though there was no way out. I worried a few people, and I was also scared of my own actions, even I was capable to doing. I was feeling numb.

Then, when my wife (yes, I’m married… We’ve been together for almost 9 years!) had some time off of work, it was nice to spend some time together and I was able to get moving, and felt more motivated to do things. Both of us enjoyed time together and going out. It made me feel as though things were going to look up.

The problem is, as soon as my wife heads back to work and I’m home alone, I find it hard to get going. My head generally ends up worse, perhaps it’s stress. Perhaps it’s the endless depression?

When I started at the therapeutic community a year ago, I had to leave my job, and put my professional hobby, as a Pet Photographer, on hold.

At the end of 2013, which feels like years ago, for my birthday present, my eldest brother purchased an online course for me in Animal Behaviour. At the time I figured it would really help with my Pet Photography, but as I should’ve expected, work got in the way and it felt impossible to get it started.

2 years later it is still sitting there waiting to be done. I’ve started the first chapter, but trying to study without getting distractions is really difficult. My brain switches off and I end up usually standing in the middle of the room wondering what to do next. Hours go by and I end up wondering why nothing has been done and where the time has gone.

I’ve even tried writing up a timetable, and trying to sort out my weeks in advance so I know what I’m doing. The problem is, when I can’t get motivated, I can’t stick to the timetable, and then I start to feel useless, and worthless.

When my head is in pain and my mental health is stopping me from doing what I know I really want to do, how am I supposed to find motivation?

Throughout my year of therapy, I have found out that I really want to work with animals. But not just as the Pet Photographer I thought I wanted to be.

Of course, my mind has changed so much over the years, with ideas of my career path and what I have wanted. I get to the point where I don’t know who I am and what I’m supposed to do. I have wanted to be an editor, a performer, radio or tv presenter, film director/producer and a writer. I guess, with my past history and qualifications, I guess I always thought I was going to be entering the world of Media. However, I found myself working in retail, theatre and museums, with no goal. Just dead end jobs which paid the bills.

I have found a couple of other online courses which got me really excited. And I mean, really excited. It means that my Animal Behaviour course, once I can find my motivation, I really want to study Animal Assisted Therapy, and then possibly Holistic Animal Therapy. The more I think about the AAT the more I want to do it, but I know that I need to complete the first challenge first. Completing the course I’ve had sitting there for 2 years.

A couple of months before I left the community, I started applying for work. However I have been rejected on all I’ve applied for. I attended interviews but didn’t make it. I really want to believe that s because I am meant to work with animals. I’m not ready for work, as I still feel as though I need to work on myself. Especially with how I felt on my ending at the community.

So, where do I go from here? Lack of motivation, waking up in intense pain, taking forever to write a blog post (this has taken well over 3 hours to write!) What am I afraid of? I think it’s failure. When I look at the course, I immediately look at what I need to do to get the highest grades. The problem is, when I’m studying a subject I’ve never done before, it puts extra pressure on myself. I need to figure out why I do that. Why do I want to reach for the stars? Why do I want the perfect? I’m scared of being a failure, and I’m automatically setting myself up for a fall. Why do I do this to myself?

I really want to feel I belong in the world and I guess that’s why I feel as though I need to aim high. Hmm…

Any advice on this would be gratefully appreciated. Have you ever found yourself in this position before? A lack of motivation but knowing exactly what you want to do? How did you find the motivation? How did you get moving? How did you find out what it is you wanted to do? If you lack motivation, does that mean what it is you think you’re interested in doing, is what you really want to do?

I hope that makes sense.

Thanks for reading this rambling mess.

I’ll be back soon,

Erica

Let me introduce myself…

Hi there,

If ever you find yourself strolling across this blog, please know that this is one of many I have tried to write. Many have been unsuccessful and my thoughts, well clearly dwindled and burnt out as I clearly had no energy to write anymore.

I’m a BPD fighter and a Fibromyalgia warrior. Along with a battle of Depression and Anxiety, I tend to these wars with my Hemicrania Continua – The piercing feelings in the left side of my head, a war of a constant headache, the pain level so fierce, it has come close to killing me more than my BPD irrational feelings.

So, yes. In a nutshell, I fight daily with mental and physical health. Not just daily… Minute by Minute, but actually Second by Second.

Sometimes I just have to check that I’m still breathing. My tattoo, “Breathe”, is a constant reminder of what I need to do. I’m falling apart and I need to find the strength to pick up the pieces which I’m leaving behind in every step, from every breath.

I always find myself questioning things, was my life ever normal? What is normal? Why do I seek perfection so much? Why am I so desperate to find it?

I’m a 27, almost 28 year old female. Trapped inside the mind of a 12, 13, 15 and 17 year old. Sometimes 21, and sometimes 27. In fact, I’m sure that when I stare at myself in the mirror I see someone even older. Hey, it’s a known fact that every single time I catch a glimpse of my reflection I don’t recognise it. It always looks completely different.

So I guess you’re wondering, “but what’s your name?”, My name? Well, I’ve been called so many over the years. So many, I’ve even called myself. But for the point in this blog, I’ll introduce to you Erica, and you can decide what name you wish to call me.

The reason for this blog is because I have recently got out of a one year psycho social group based Therapeutic Community, for those with complex emotional needs associated with personality disorder. The therapies there included talking therapy, art therapy, a writing group, optional drama therapy and studio time. Then once you complete the year there is an additional group for Leavers which runs for a further 18 months.

This is where I am. I have just completed one of the most intense years of my life, and now feel completely abandoned, and overwhelmed. My life feels like it’s on pause.

So this blog is to track my journey into the World Unknown.

I’d hope to share my journey to recognise the trials and tribulations of one girls life with mental and physical health, and help you and others understand that nor I or you are alone in this world. (There are others!)

Oh, also… I must mention, I do go on a bit. Once my thoughts decide they want to talk, they do. The thoughts in my head are no shower… The thoughts they pour like heavy rain.

So if you have made it this far on my first post, then congratulations! And also, a kind warm hug as a thank you for being so interested!

I bid you farewell, until the next post…

Erica