Random Thoughts and Goings On

Hey everyone,

How’re you all doing? I feel today needs a catch up on things… Random thoughts and going’s on…

I feel as though I entered 2016 with too much expectation of things being “great” and “perfect”, perhaps “easy” too… Life was going well and things were going well and I was feeling good in myself. But now it seems as though I may have been disillusioned and creating the perfect world I want to cover the shadows which lie. Y’know what I mean?

It’s all catching up with me. Why can things never run smoothly? My thoughts are constantly wandering from one thing to another and I keep finding myself distracted from the things important to me. I am trying so hard to work on my coursework, I keep saying to myself and others how close I am to finishing the third unit. It seems as though I am further away than I thought I was and thus losing the will to do it and all motivation around it. It’s not a good sign considering I’ve enrolled on another two home study courses -where my aim is to complete by the end of the year. Again, setting myself goals is probably not the best thing – as I feel as though I’ve let myself down with not completing unit three by the time I wanted to. It makes me feel like a failure. I just know I shouldn’t put too much pressure on myself. There’s no deadlines so why do it to myself? Maybe I want to feel a sense of achievement? I don’t know. I just end up letting myself down. All the time.

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I’ve been trying really hard not getting involved with other peoples lives and not letting others affect mine. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to do:

I was proud of myself for one challenge I gave myself, which involved fluffy rabbit… I have a friend who recently decided it was time to have a furry companion in her life. I was there to suggest supporting a local pet shop than Pets at Home (would never recommend them!) and often my help in getting the rabbit from the location to her home. I let them both bond, even though I desperately wanted to sit with them and play with the bunny, but I knew that I couldn’t get involved as it wasn’t my space and time to do so. I sat back and observed, and it actually made me smile. Of course I was jealous about the new bundle of fluff, even though I have my own fur babies at home, but I guess it made me realise how lucky this bunny was going to be in her new home. Holding back from taking over was hard, and I explained to my friend that if I appeared to be bossy or taking over the situation to let her know because I have a habit of doing that without even realising! It’s terrible of me, I know! Fortunately my friend didn’t see it like that and I do hope she’d be honest with me if I’m pushing in a bit.

I’m trying really hard not to get involved with my brothers situation, but that’s quite hard to not to do when I seem to have been caught up with the Social Services situation. Why are families so complicated at times?

We’re currently having some issues with a neighbour. I can’t say too much about it online, but it has unfortunately made our living uncomfortable and we feel as though we’re living on the knife edge, paranoid we’re being watched and listened to. It’s a repeat of where we used to live, where we were pretty much bullied out (it had involved the police on a few occasions), so we really don’t want it to get to that point again. It’s having an impact on my health. There’s no doubt about that.

I also have a friend who I’m really concerned about. I’m trying not to think about it too much because I don’t want it to affect me, but I can’t help thinking that what’s wrong with her is down to malnutrition and my head is going out of control with all the anorexic thoughts. I currently feel like a heffalump, I was proud of myself for not letting it bother me when I was on holiday with my Wife and in my swimming costume, which sure, it fit – but the size was a larger size than I thought it was! I My weight is creeping up, but no-one is noticing but me. It’s usually the way though. My friend has been battling the thoughts for a long while now and we are both comfortable to talk to each other about it and support each other. My friend has been having physical problems which have been preventing her from eating much, and then due to a rubbish immune system, she keeps catching the flu and all the bugs which are currently floating about, not giving her a chance to recover and try and eat. And that’s where my current fear is that she’s malnourished and should really be in hospital being fed through a tube in order to recover, but how can I even suggest such a thing? I’m so scared of her organs and such shutting down. The battle she’s facing is so terrifying it is having huge impact on her mental health too and I’m actually scared for her. I wish that she could be in my position and be fighting it and winning. Sure, I have the thoughts and I know my weight is creeping up, but I am trying so hard to look after myself. I just know how easy it is to slip up. I just want my friend to be well again. Isn’t that what we all want?

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There’s been so much loss this year in the celebrity world. We all woke up to the news of Sir Terry Wogan this morning… I’m trying to find my feelings to this news. I’m in shock and disbelief, I guess the feeling is numb. I’m saddened and shocked. I have watched Children in Need since I can remember, and the Eurovision, and been listening to Radio 2 for the past 2 or so years. Eurovision changed when he left, but I love Graham Norton, though it took a while to get used to him. Last year when Terry pulled out of CiN the day before, we all knew it must have been something serious for him to make the decision not to host the show. They said it was a back operation which meant he was unable to perform, but it seems as though we now know the truth behind it. Cancer.

Why is Cancer still here? Can it not bugger off now? Why have we not found a cure? It’s taken so many people, not just from the celebrity world lately, but of course thousands of people daily. It snatches people from their families, their friends, their lives.

It’s probably been in every family we all know. It needs to end now. I just don’t know what to say.
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I let myself down the other day… I cried in public. Might not seem unusual for someone with an emotional intensity disorder, but for me – I have done so well in my “recovery”, or managing my illness (should I say), and managed to cope with stressful, intense situations where I feel as though I am being shut down/not listened to. I was in the pub with a few people from a local depression and anxiety group I attend, as we are all part of a “Working Group” where we discuss the group. I’d made a list of things to mention, but I wasn’t being listened to and felt as though I was being shut down every time I suggested things. I am surprised I managed to stay for the duration. Though I did leave earlier than the rest as it was getting a little late. When I was crying, I really wanted to run, but I stayed there, and felt like a complete idiot. As a “grown up”, I don’t think it’s normal to cry in public. Especially when it’s not as if it was over something bad. I feel I let myself down. I did explain that there are people in the group, like myself who don’t just have depression and anxiety and have other mental health conditions. I said that I have bpd and don’t want to be crying, *points to face* but, it’s the way the emotions explode. It has made me doubt my position in the group and whether I want to remain going there. It gets me out one evening a week, so I really need to think through things and what is best for me, especially when I have so much else going on… ______________________________________________________

Facebook… The devil. Just so you know – I decided to delete the Page I created for this blog. I hadn’t personally shared it and it didn’t have any likes, so I was able to remove it immediately. It’s because I already run a few other pages, and I think it is in my best interest to keep this away from Facebook as much as possible. It’s okay linked to Twitter, but for some reason my issues lie deeper with Facebook.

I’ve already explained that I created a new account to try and rid of problems I have, yet it still doesn’t work. I have my pages and I’m in a few groups, and I admin a couple of groups. Unfortunately I messed up with setting up admin for some people on the bpd page and group I admin. It meant that one of the admin ended up feeling confused, isolated, unable to trust and upset. I had to try and explain that it was a genuine error on my part, but I feel so stupid for letting it happen. I feel as though I have let them down, the other admin down and myself down. It makes me want to pack it all in.

It’s that bad. Why do I feel as though when something goes wrong, it’s time to give up?

I am trying to hold on, but I don’t know how I can get this person to rejoin the group and for me to change the settings PROPERLY this time, and yeh… What do you think?
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Seeing as this has ended up quite long I’m going to leave it here for now. I’ve still got some things to talk about too… Eurgh. Perhaps I’ll be back tomorrow!

Take care everyone.

Erica xx

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Disappearing Life (Poem)

Hey everyone,
I’m sorry for being distant lately. I thought this year would be different. There’s been a few things going on lately which have held me back from getting here. I’m fighting the world and pretending everything is okay, when it’s not. I’ve not given myself time to think about my feelings and letting everything brush past. It’s all starting to catch up with me now. Today I am sharing with you perhaps my favourite poem I’ve ever written. I think I must’ve been in a state of dissociation when I wrote this. Quite possibly the state I was in for most of my poems! I don’t know why I want to share this with you today, but I ask that you read and hopefully enjoy. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments. Thank you.
Potential triggers: Dissociation and suicidal ideation.

Disappearing Life

Fading away, into nothing where the
Subtle knife lay down on the path;
Coincidence to show that this is the end?
The end is near and the fight is on.
Haunting Shadows, the nightmares are alive,
Cloudy night, the moons circumference is large;
Bigger than any other night;
A Life is going to go out tonight.

A life of disaster so near the end;
Can see why it ended so soon.
It’ll be the beginning for this one,
A brighter future in this waking ceased Mortal.
Life is hellish here;
Mortal knows, Mortal sees,
Mortal wishes for the end,
But for this new life to begin;

Knife in hand and hand on knife,
Tempted as it may seem;
The Satan has got this cruel initiating idea,
To get rid of the Mortal his own way;
Wind begins to blow slowly
Making a whistling sound in the air,
Knife reaches out to wrists of Mortal

Pain is touch-full, cries are wasteful, and
Desire of temptation is near.
The comfort Mortal sees within is greater
Than anything,
Anything that has ever been seen;

A new life ahead, of wonderful paradise;
A time to think once,
And not a moment to waste;
A Life of belief and a life of excite.
The seven wonders happening altogether,
This life fades away, into this vicious dream;
Yet so perfect in every visualizing way;

Fade away so slowly Mortal,
The destiny is waiting, heart beats slowly
Now, then with a sudden shock
It will stop, Oh how dear Mortal will love
It here, where there’s everything
Mortal has ever wanted. Peace
Will be there for comfort soon
And warmth from the sound of a
Non-beating heart.
Cries will no longer be made,
And no more screams will be heard.
No more fighting and no more war,
No anger left,
And no pain to suffer;

Oh, how this Mortal wishes for this place,
Oh, how a life would be perfection here?
Life where everyday is peace and it
Lives on for eternity
Oh, how dear Mortal wishes, because
That dear Mortal is me.

Copyright © 2008 Trinity Rose

Thank you for reading, please comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Speak soon!
Erica x

Unfair Decisions

Hey everyone,

Now that I’ve slept on my thoughts, I’m hopefully able to write how I feel. Rather than writing how I felt in the moment which, quite possibly could have been irrational.

However, having slept – I can see my thoughts and feelings were not irrational, and that I had the right to feel frustrated and angry at the situation. The reasons why it would be seen as jealousy or disappointment, is because – it was a job rejection, thus, not getting the job can bring out a sense of disappointment and failure to those who didn’t get offered the job now.

Let me explain…

Our therapeutic community has three stages: Introductory group, Main community and Leavers.

There is a paid position for members in Leavers to work as a peer support worker (PSW) in the Introductory group. It’s a 6 month contract and open to all leavers to apply.

However, this is where there’s a flaw in the system: As new Main community members join the Leavers group, it means more people who may wish to apply for the role.

The community structure has changed slightly, in which the Introductory group is now longer (up to 6 months) than how it started (4 weeks) and that means those joining the Main community and then Leavers are further apart.

So far so good? Great.

It’s now time for the role to be offered to someone else as the current Leaver finishes their position next week, so there’s a new 6 month contract going. We had a Leavers member consistently reminding therapists the role was due to end, and a new person needed to be chosen, thus reminding the therapists that they themselves were due to have an interview on the first round but never got it because of therapist sickness, and missed out on the current position, much to their disappointment. So, now it’s another 6 months gone, and there are now new members of Leavers – and that meant a further 5 or 6 people were interested in the role.

This meant the interview stage had to go ahead. If no-one else was interested – It would have gone straight to this Leaver, and the way they’d been talking is as if they felt they “deserved it” regardless, due to missing out on having an interview last time (What’s to say they’d have got the job anyway?!)

There wasn’t much of a description for the job role. We were given a job description which didn’t match fully what it actually entailed, and it was lead to believe you’re there for support and offer advice from your own experience having been in the community.

Now, my interview itself was terrible. If it was a “real” interview, I know that I would not have been offered the job. I was too anxious at the start, giggled a lot and was unable to answer any of the questions, until I was able to change the question around so I could talk about something I knew, then as my confidence grew, I kept babbling about nonsense. It was, to me the ultimate fail, and I know I could have done so much better. 

The therapist interviewing me said I’d be good at the role and I had a lot to offer, but they’d have to consider when I joined and as there was a few of us interested in the role they’d have to look at “other things” whether it was suitable at this time for us, etc.

Two Leavers had their interviews after me, and both come out saying they’d been told exactly the same.

That day we had a Leavers group, and there was a little discussion about the Leavers member who’d been the first to initiate the interview process, and their feelings of perhaps being offered the role and how they’d find leaving the group and then still be coming to “work”, as their 18 months in Leavers is also coming to an end. This means they’ll be 3 months in the PSW role and in Leavers then in the PSW role for 3 months after leaving, and how would they cope with the change?

I sure hope this makes sense to you…!

Anyway, yesterday we were all told to wait around after our group to have a brief meeting about the position.

The therapist started off by stating that they’d have to look at everyones state of mind, how well they were, if they’d be able to manage, etc. Explained that each of us who applied had our own attributes, which of course is obvious, we all may have BPD, but we’re all very different.

And then went on to say that they felt it was fair to give the position to the person who’d been in Leavers the longest and work from the structure of those joining being issued the role next.

So as expected, this meant the Leaver who’d hassled the therapists about the interview, reminded them on several occasions that they were meant to have an interview the last time the job come up but didn’t happen due to staff sickness, and the Leaver who only has 3 months left in the Leavers group was offered the position.

Yet, this meant the therapist contradicted themselves in regards to saying they’d have to consider mental well being and if the person offered the role would be able to cope. I argued that this was wrong as it didn’t even account for what had been said  in Leavers group 1 HOUR earlier, where this individual said they have not coping, dark thoughts etc, for ages now, and they said it’d give them focus and something positive.

I had to step up for those of us who’d also been interviewed.

I may have been wrong for doing so, but I said that it had been obvious what was going to happen, and asked why they couldn’t just wait until the following 6 months when the position comes up again to interview us all, and by then there’d be new members from the main community who’d join us and perhaps have an interest in the role.

The person offered the role said that I’d assumed they had the position, and I argued back saying that there was no assumption as it was obvious what was going to happen – and that it wasn’t just me who could see this,

Basically, the frustration lies here: There was no point in an interview going ahead if they were going to used a structure on giving the job to those who joined Leavers first and had expressed an interest in the role (what happens when you have two people join at the same time and are interested?).

This means it wasn’t based on HOW the INTERVIEW went. Sure, there are jobs out there whereby roles are offered to those who know people, and there are roles offered based on other attributes which may help a company, but the interview will also be a part of the decision. If the therapists choose to use this structure, then those of us also interested in the job will be waiting up to 3 years! Me, personally – would be looking at having the position in December time this year if it is based on the structure of us joining.

How is this a fair decision? How is this setting us all up for the outside “real” world, where we need to apply for jobs outside of therapy? Especially when it is not based on who joined first. It is not practical to have it this way. And even the therapists say that those who may have to wait 3 years will be offered the position by phone call, which is a load of rubbish because they’re all so busy to even contact you about this, that and the other!

I’m angry at the decision,  I am NOT jealous this person got the role.

I know that I wouldn’t have got it based on my interview alone, but I know that I’d be good at it, hence why I applied. But there was one individual who to me would be so good at the job, and far more advanced in their mental health than the rest of us, and is so free spirited, they’d have been an asset to the Introductory group, and they didn’t get it.

Instead it went to someone who’s mental health is not of sound mind, and I know, I know you can’t discriminate, but we’re all in that position.

It is about the way it has been decided as who has been offered the role, when we all had no chance in the first place and were lead on by therapists all saying we’d be good at it – yes, we would be, but in X amount of months/years!

Am I being irrational? I don’t think so.

I sure hope you understand this chaotic mess!

Next Tuesday at group is going to be an interesting one when we’re all together again! *cringe*

I’ll be back soon.

Erica

The way things are…

Hey everyone,

Hope you’re all doing okay?

I realise there’s not been much talk about how my illnesses have been affecting me lately, perhaps that’s a good thing? I don’t know. However, I do want this to be a blog where I can share the highs and lows of mental and physical health issues, thus today I am going to share some of the way things are currently going for me.

So whilst I sit here procrastinating from doing any actual coursework today, with a hot water bottle aiding the aches in my lower back making me feel slightly nauseous, let me attempt to get comfortable and ramble on for a little bit about “stuff”.

I feel that “life” seems to be going “too well”, you know that feeling where it’s all “too good to be true”, and that at some point you’re going to “hit rock bottom” so you’re anxious about when that’s going to happen but you tell yourself to “Stop it and live in the moment. It hasn’t happened yet, so there’s no point in worry about it”. Yeah, that’s where I’m at.

So, if everything is going okay, that’s a good thing right? Well, yes it is but I think it also shadows the things perhaps I’m not doing so well at – for example – this procrastination thing – It’s not good really. I feel I have so much positivity for the courses I’ve got under my belt, but I lack the energy to get motivated. The weather is rubbish, it’s cold and dark and as I find myself working harder when outside of the house, it’s leaving the house I dread.

When I get cold my body goes into meltdown. Not literally, if anything, quite the opposite. It seizes up. My muscles seize and I feel so bruised all over. Moving becomes more challenging and I’ve been struggling mostly with my hands. If I’m cold there my hands are currently the part of my body taking the brunt of it. My joints feel bruised and even typing feels uncomfortable. Still, I do it because if I don’t, then it becomes harder to do it later on.

I haven’t really discussed how my mental and physical health affects me. Perhaps I ought to, as I know many of you will relate. Both need to be told separately but both become a vicious circle, and you can’t have one without the other. Especially the pain and depression. If you’re interested in hearing more about how fibromyalgia, hemicranial continua and my mental health affect me, do stay tuned!

I also have slacked discussing the treatments I’ve been having. Today I endured just under an hours worth of twitchy pain with acupuncture. It was my 5th session, and probably the worst of the lot. My left leg had pulsing pain, which apparently happens if there is a blockage in the chi, but it can also be where the fibro doesn’t like the body being in one position for a long time. I generally feel a bit better after a session, but soon get tired and it doesn’t last very long. They gave up on my shoulder after the first session as it aggravated it too much, and I’m now waiting for an MRI (later on in the month), and a referral to an Orthopaedic Specialist.

I’ve got an upcoming appointment at Kings College Hospital again for the HC. I’d asked them if they do Skype appointment yet, as it’s such a long way to travel for a 20 minute appointment, and unfortunately they don’t. I also had to reschedule because my wife won’t let me travel up alone, which aggravated my anxiety and frustration as I wonder why, as how am I supposed to learn if I can’t try? Especially when just the other day she took the trip up to London on her own? I tried not to think about it too much, after all it is nice to have the company and I’m sure that once off the train if I was on my own, I’d panic and need someone with me. I know she worries about me falling over, and managing things too, so I do appreciate being cared for. I just wish one day I could give it a go.

Speaking of the trip to London, it was the first time ever, where I didn’t get jealous or suspicious of my wife staying in London. She was having a belated Christmas party with work and usually I’d be annoyed if she didn’t keep in contact. But I managed it. I also didn’t worry about the fact she had a room to herself and there was no anxiety or paranoia about anything happening, which for me is a big achievement, perhaps something I have taking from my time in therapy? I sure hope so, as it has really kept our relationship on track and there was no arguments which would have happened pre-therapy!

I recently shared that I’d come into 2016 with positivity – I’m starting to wonder how long it will last. I recently spent time with a friend of whom I am quite worried about. We both find each other the best company to discuss certain issues, and our main issue is “food”. I’ve been doing really well and fighting the thoughts and trying to enjoy what I eat. I’ve even been adventurous and made nutri-bars which are healthy treats (until I find myself over indulging on them!) My wife and I have almost finished all the chocolates from Christmas, and I’ve not felt terrible about it. However…

When I find myself literally squeezing into clothes which used to fit me, the devil comes out and starts cursing me for what I’ve been doing to myself. I’m at the point where the body dysmorphia demon has come out to play again, and sometimes I feel I look fine, and other times I look hideous. I need to note I don’t know how much I weigh, I don’t own scales due to having developed an obsession with them in the past, so there is no way of knowing if and how much I put on (there’s no way I’ve lost anything) over Christmas.  But this is where I start to worry about how I am “really feeling”. The reason is, my friend, bless her, is struggling so very much with this issue, and I worry so much about her and I don’t want to be facing some of the issues she is currently having to face.

I worry that my thoughts and feelings will trigger her. I hadn’t noticed how tiny she’d got until I recently hugged her. But then, when I see her frequently, it is often hard to notice the difference. I feel as though I want to take care of her, but I need to look after myself in order to do this because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I’m worried about how I look because I know at some point in the next few days I’m going to have to try on a swimming costume I haven’t worn for many months, perhaps 1 or 2 years – and I have no idea what I am going to look like in it. I need it to fit because my wife and I are going away for a weekend at the end of the month. I’m hit with more anxiety.

I’m trying so hard not to think about it. I really am. But the thoughts as always, are always there. There’s no getting rid of them. Is it because “food” is a daily issue, as in, we need food every day? I started off the year by drinking more water, but I’ve started to slack. I need to bring it back and remember why I’m doing it – to feel more healthier. I know my body needs it.

Okay, I am going to end this topic now. I have the anxiety and that’s when I realise that things aren’t okay.

I might appear to be better, I might be trying to tell myself things are going well, to make myself try and feel better. But it can only work for for so long. I need to address all the issues I have going on in my life, because all the little things mount up.

I think that if I try and acknowledge all the issues around me instead of trying to sugar-coat them, could this be the better way of finding my mojo?

What do you think?

Thanks for reading today, I’ll be back again soon!

Erica

 

Sunday Sorrow

Hey everyone,

I hope you’re all okay today? I’ve spent today feeling rather exhausted. I think there’s so much excitement in me that it’s actually having the opposite effect on me and affecting me in a way where I feel fatigued and overwhelmed rather than having the energy to jump with joy.

I’ll note potential triggers here for what follows: Self Harm, Suicidal Ideation, Bullying, Violence, Self-Criticism

I thought that I’d share a poem on this rather dull Sunday afternoon. I admit, it’s not the brightest of poems to cheer things up, but another one of my past writings from my youth. It’s really scary when you read things from the past and realise that not much has changed, or that you scare yourself of some of the thoughts you had. I have a couple of poems I’ve written which make me feel physically sick as I have never experienced its content, so how one can write about the subject I do not know!
Have you ever written something so disturbing you literally scare yourself?

The poem I am sharing today is about anger (A feeling I seem to have experienced a lot in my teens. There was a teacher who I clashed with and it made things very difficult. I had a spell through school from being A grade to being rebellious and being sent out of class by this particular teacher. It was shocking for everyone, let alone myself!) I also had many years of bullying. Throughout primary school, which I didn’t really see until much later, and then secondary school was just horrendous. Particularly with words, and sometimes words can hurt more than physical actions as they can last longer. Sure, there was physical abuse but  on many occasions, I would hurt myself, almost in a way so they didn’t need to. That alone sounds crazy.

Please let me know what you think of it. I haven’t edited it since then so again, grammatically it’s probably poor.

Thank you.

Can I Let Go?

The string around my wrist, I tighten,
Turns my hand a shade of blue.
The thoughts inside my head are screams
Of what I’d like to say to you.

“I hate you. It hurts to feel the hate!
I’m not going to say I’m scared of you,
Because it’ll show my weakness inside.
I’m not going to cry because of this torment,

I’m not so shallow, I know you want to hit
Me, and see me fall on the floor, but I’m
Not going to let this happen.”

I don’t want you to hurt me, so I’ll hurt myself instead.
You don’t want me here, just like everyone else
What the point of living then?
I may as well be dead!

“If you could see the pain you cause,
Would you let go? Would you forgive me?
What have I done wrong? Will you let me free? Am I free to go?
Can I be released? Can I let go of the anger inside? Leave me, go away!
Before I burn, I feel like I’m about to die!”

I’m mad enough to do this to myself
Where may I end up?
I suppose it doesn’t matter, no-one really cares
No-one will notice if I’ve gone. It doesn’t really matter
Because there’ll be no worries, I won’t be there.

Copyright © 2002 Trinity Rose

Thanks for popping by today. Don’t forget to follow to to keep up to date with my latest posts 🙂

I’ll be back soon!

Erica
x
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Shh, it’s a secret… (But I don’t know how long for!)

Hey everyone!

How long can I keep a secret? Well, it depends on who’s secret it is! If someone tells me something, then I respect their wishes to secrecy and won’t say a thing. If it’s about me, then it can be really hard to keep especially when I’m really nervous, but so darn excited at the same time!

Perhaps I ought to start at the very beginning. It’s usually best!

I’ve been trying to keep you all up to date with my ESA/PIP stuff, so as you’re currently aware of – in regards to PIP, I have filled in the questionnaire and I’m now waiting for a decision on the claim. I am currently in receipt of DLA and I no doubt will have to face an appeal like everyone else due to the restructure of the disability system.

So, let’s talk ESA… Be prepared for this!

I’ve been on ESA since July 2014, I was in the basic rate pay – national insurance contributions based (my wife earns too much for me to get the income related amount), and awaiting my ESA assessment, which you’re supposed to have within the first 13 weeks of your claim. Unfortunately for me, this didn’t happen until almost a year of my claim and when I attended my assessment I was told they couldn’t assess me because I have a neurological disorder – which means a nurse cannot access and you must be seen by a qualified doctor. Then after 3 cancelled appointments, I finally got seen. By which point I am now in recipes of no benefits as national insurance contributions based only lasts 365 days, your claim however continues, until you’re placed in a group.

Sure enough I was placed in a group – the Work-Related Activity Group. Like the national insurance contributions based position, it also only runs for 365 days. This meant I received a back-pay of the “extra” owed from being placed in this specific group. My back-pay was enough to pay off some of my debts, and although I could have had a lovely Christmas with it, I did use it wisely – much to everyone’s surprise!

However despite this outcome and getting a back-pay, I knew I had to appeal. I’m not greedy, which is how it might be seen, but it was actually down to the fact I’d then been 6 months with no income from ESA, and I couldn’t go on JSA as I know I cannot work at the moment. I’d have spent the past year and 1/2 in a community therapy setting, and have 1 year to go.

I do in the future wish to work, but at present, it has been acknowledged by myself and mental health team that I am not ready to go back into employment.

I ended up getting in contact with someone who helps with mandatory decisions, which is the first step before an appeal. She helped collate all the evidence – because none of my mental health evidence was asked for at my assessment, and I had plenty more for the physical health to add too. I requested my ESA assessment of which when it arrived, I wanted to laugh and cry at the frustration and ignorance of the doctor who’d assessed me and just lied and contradicted herself on the paper. It also of course adds to the stress of my situation whereby I’m not being listened to and it’s just a constant battle and a vicious circle.

Anyway, all of this gets sent off by which point it’s November 2015. We really didn’t think we’d hear anything back… And then, it gets a little confusing (if your minds not already boggled)…

2 weeks into December, my Wife applied for a reclaim packaged back account – something she’d seen on MoneySavingExpert.com and applied for me too. We’ve both been paying £15 a month for accounts we didn’t need. We’d both been sold the same account but for the wrong reasons. Thus we could claim. I received a phone call from the bank the next day about my claim, and the lady said I’d hear back from her after the weekend. Except I didn’t.

A few days after Christmas, I received a letter from the DWP about my ESA. It said after reconsideration, I’ve been placed in the Support Group for 12 months and will need another assessment at the end of the 12 months, and that I will be due any funds owed to me within the next few days. So of course, without hesitation, I checked the bank – and there I had a nice sum in it. My bank said that the money went in on Christmas Eve (thats’s a nice Christmas present!), however the letter was dated 23rd December, and I thought that was rather quick. Again, I used most of the money to pay off debt, which was nice, and I also purchased a book to help me with my future, called Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling, I also booked a day course called “Observing Animal behaviour and Relationships with Humans”, and purchased our pets a new run, so our rabbits and guinea pigs are no longer cooped up in small hutches, but have a big indoor run they can occupy. I also purchased some theatre shows to look forward to. Basically – I used the money wisely. I was careful with what I got and then I noticed it seemed to go down really quickly but I felt like I wasn’t purchasing anything, so I wrote everything down. Turns out – if you want to enjoy a few activities, it can actually cost a fair amount. Still, I’d paid off most debts and feeling relativity positive about things.

It wasn’t until my wife and I were laying in bed that she remembered about our bank claims, and realised that the payment made to me on Christmas Eve was more likely to be from the bank than ESA. The next day we checked the payee details, and sure enough, it didn’t match up to ESA. Wow, something is going very nicely for me right now?! Has it been because of all the trouble I’ve been through these past few months? Am I being given something for all the hard work I’ve put in over the past few months? However the Universe works, it’s currently in my favour and I am extremely grateful.

So, as it stands today – I received a back-pay for ESA again, for this time being placed in the Support Group. It has been enough to finally pay off my full debt with my Mum, which has been a long 6 years trying to pay back what I owe her, or rather everything she has paid off for me! I’ve been able to pay for a little treat for me and my wife when we go on a short break this month for our mini-moon (We didn’t have a honeymoon), and…

I also… This is what my secret is – Have enrolled on not one – but TWO courses!

I know what you’re thinking, “But aren’t you already studying?” Well yes, yes I am… And all the more reason to crack on with the course because this now means that hopefully – potentially, all things being well…

By the end of 2016 – I could POTENTIALLY be an Animal-Assisted Therapy Practitioner AND Psychotherapist!!!

Wow. I really do need to master up my thoughts and feelings, and get on that road to recovery, which I am starting to believe I am on. It is hard not to trip up but I know it’s possible if I tried slowly. I had a great feeling about this year, and so far, apart from the weather – It’s all going quite well. I’m not letting my anger and frustration get the better of me, I’m working on thoughts and feelings, I’m handling things a lot better. I may still be finding it hard physically to do things, and I am trying not to let my fatigue get me down, but things are… Slowly but surely improving!

What do you think of this then? Your thoughts please?!

I am really excited, but the thoughts also terrify me. I am very self-critical so I know it’s going to be a long road ahead… But I have you all here with me, and I won’t be going anywhere as I still plan on sharing my creative writing with you all too.

I have yet to tell my fellow therapeutic community members of my news, and my family, and my friends, and my care co-ordinator!

I really hope I can do this, and I really hope you’ll all continue to follow me on this scary ride!

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon!

Erica xx

The First Post of 2016

Welcome everyone to The Ghost Within Me Blog in 2016!

Huzzah!

Right? Please tell me this is the year that is going to go right for once? Oh wait, let me just laugh a little… How can it possibly go right? Well, I have little optimism. Most of it false. Yet, I am trying so hard, only 4 days in – to ensure that this will be the year that I actually feel as though I have achieved anything.

  1. Get better
  2. Finish a course I’ve had for 3 years
  3. Start and complete a new course
  4. Become successful

Okay, so the aims may be high, but I think I need them to be so I feel driven by the adrenaline. Only so I can kick myself when I disappoint myself and everyone when I fail to achieve one or more items off of this list.

Perhaps this is just how I am feeling today.

The past few weeks have been so chaotic. My head all over the place with crazy dreams with a certain therapist you want to erase from your memory due to overwhelming inappropriate feelings, and those even more bizarre dreams about a brother you’ve not seen in umpteen months due to his own desire to destroy what he can of his family and live as far away as possible from us all. Although, he’s only made it half way across the planet.

That “in-between” Christmas and New Year went so quickly. Usually time goes so slow, and even though there wasn’t much going on, time sure enough fly by. I didn’t even see the days pass. Alas, my brain and body certainly don’t feel as present as they ought to be.

It’s 2016. I’m trying so hard to remain positive or at least find some determination to achieve something this year. So many people are saying they can see the changes in me during my treatment, yet I seem to be blind to it all. I feel the masks I wear are almost so well put on that I’m living a characters life and not my own. Do you know what I mean?

I feel as though I am walking in someone else’s shadow, except it is my shadow… Perhaps I need to catch it and sew it on like Peter Pan… I don’t know?

This year I wish to share with you my creative writing as well as my blurb thoughts.

I am going to do my studying, but I wish to blog at least once or twice a week for you. I’m working on keeping my Twitter going and if you follow me on there, then you may have seen I’ve set up a Facebook Page too, but I am currently undecided about keeping it or not.

At first when I started this blog, I wanted to remain anonymous, but the more social media I appear on, the harder it becomes to remain anon. I have a few pages I work on, and groups…I have one Facebook profile (a new one), several twitter accounts – personal, photography hobby, organic hobby, and blog… It’s often hard to keep up with them all. Sure, great distraction techniques, not so great when yo start posting about something on the wrong ones though!

Perhaps at some point when I feel a bit more confident in this, I can share a bit more about myself and “stuff”, at least then I wouldn’t have to say “Wife” all the time, and could refer to her by my name… What do you think?

I have this wish for 2016 to be great. I have made a calendar of all the things I have to look forward to this year. From theatre shows to concerts, holidays and birthdays. It’s nice to have things to look forward to, things to focus on when you feel as though the world is against you. For example, if the world says “Screw you Erica, today you’re going to have a bad day!”, I can scream back “Screw you world! I’m going to see Adele!” Know what I mean?

The course I have been working on is 6 units long. I’ve completed one and two, both with distinction grade. Although I really feel as though I could have done more, what is greater than the top grade? I hope to work on the 3rd unit shortly after posting this.

I have booked a day course about animals, and that should be interesting with the further courses I wish to do.

Financially things seem to be okay… We managed to work out a way to pay debts, and although my ESA is still being worked out, I have apparently, after a mandatory reconsideration, been placed in the support group for 12 months. It’s just finding out when those 12 months are from and until as I’ve already been on ESA for a year and a half, with that half a year with no payment… Hopefully a letter will come soon to explain it all to me. I’m a bit scared to phone at the moment. I’m also waiting on PIP. I sent my form off in December as my DLA is changing. I have to wait for them to review it, and no doubt like many others, will have to face the appeal and go through that stress too. It’s all unnecessary, and more work for them, and makes us all more ill… I’m trying so hard not to focus on that, and live with what I’ve got around me and enjoy it.

So, how do I end todays blog? I guess I’d like to end with the first ever poem I wrote at the age of 14 and recently revised due to grammatical errors… I’ll also note potential triggers: Self Harm, Suicidal Ideation

When I

When I go mental again, please don’t stop and stare.
Hold me back from the pain inside, which really isn’t there.
I hit myself, and damage my body, as if someone else is doing it instead.
Someone has taken over my life, my body, heart and soul,
Trying to kill me, they want me dead.

It’s like I don’t belong here in this land,
Please grab me out of this hellhole I’m in – Please just grab my hand!
Pull me out hard and fast, I don’t care how much it hurts.
My life feels like it’s over anyway,
I don’t care, I want out today!

When I go mental again, please call out my name.
I’ll try and understand you and my reaction may be the same.
Don’t laugh at me; I don’t want to be laughed at.
I want to be helped as soon as possible, in fact.

I’ll try and hide the scars and thoughts for no-one else to see.
As far as I’m concerned my life is over,
This is how it has to be.
I’ve got to go, I’ve got to leave this hellhole
And need to find a way home
Let me go home!

Copyright © 2002 (revised 2016) Trinity Rose

Happy New Year Everyone!

Love Erica x