When life throws you lemons…

Make Lemonade!

Hey everyone,

It’s been 20 days since my last post and so much has happened.

I’ve come to the realisation that I cannot change the past. I cannot predict the future (although I wish I could), and all I can really do, and what I should truly be focusing on is the present.

I go through phases of up and down, round and round… But over the past few days I’ve realised that I can keep doing that, because that’s my reality, but I can also try and alter the pattern by attempting to break it. Instead of going round and round, why can’t I just continue in a straight line? Why should I be worrying about when the next “episode” is going to be, and instead just be happy whilst it lasts? If I keep setting myself up for falling, it’s guaranteed to happen. But if I decide to strive and succeed because I’m feeling optimistic about things, then why let a bit of doubt pull me back down to earth? The reality is, my life is chaotic, up and down, messed up, exciting and challenging. But without all these different ways of my life, it would be dull and boring.

In these past 20 days, I have made changes to some things, I’ve been brave and I have succeeded. Of course I still have my anxieties about the changes, but if I don’t try, I’ll never know, and I’ll end up stuck fearing everything and everyone with all life throws at me.

I’ve spent some time of the 20 days in tears, feeling angry and frustrated. But I have also have the time to laugh and enjoy myself.

I still have things I want to discuss in therapy, but I feel as though I can work with it better now that I have come to the realisation that the past has helped shape me into the person I am today. I can grow from it and use the issues to my advantage. I will not be deemed as weak anymore and I will fight to become a more positive and optimistic person.

Although, I say that… I have to remember that there will be upset days, down days, and stressful days. I will still have negative emotions, but thats okay. It’s human. It’s normal.

I may have BPD, depression, anxiety, hemicrania continua, fibromyalgia and whatever else, but I will not let these “labels” rule my life any more. If I have a pain day, then I look after myself instead of stressing about everything which needs to get done and working myself up. If I feel down and depressed, it’s okay to laze about and hide under the duvet, as long as it’s not forever. Because as soon as I get used to something, I become drawn into doing it again and again, and I need to remember that the next day is a different day with different possibilities, new beginnings.

I’ve recently found some things written by people who knew me for a WEEK, at a summer school 11 year ago. Since then I’ve gone through lots of different therapies, types of medication, gained and lost friends, been through college and university and yet, when I read what they’ve put, I realise that who I am is just who I am! These people knew me for a week and they had been able to establish that I was “mad” and “crazy”, but they wouldn’t have had it any other way. I may be “strange” and “alien” to them, but that’s what makes me the individual.

11 years ago, I only had the diagnosis of depression and anxiety… Perhaps my “craziness” is my anxiety? Or maybe, that is my confidence shining through?

I want my confidence back.

I’ve discussed here before about me and my friends going on holiday… Well that happens to be next month. We’ve had to buy new swimwear and I’ve tried out the slimfast diet, and instead of losing weight, I actually gained! Of course, at first I was devastated. But then I realised that these are my friends, and they love me for who I am, so why should I try and better myself for me? I need to love who I am too.

I have identity issues, low self-esteem and issues with my weight and how I look (I guess that is part of the identity issues!) but I know that if I can feel good in what I am wearing, even if just for a minute, then I can start to love myself.

I stopped the slimfast diet and I began to eat how I normally eat. I may not eat like “normal’ people and I may calculate what I am eating in my head, but I am and have stayed a steady weight for half a year, which is an achievement in itself. I should be proud for not torturing my body for what I’ve been doing. I am in a good place.

So much so, that I’m weaning off of my medication. It’s something I don’t often talk about but coming off it is challenging and has it’s horrible side effects and leaves me wondering if I should come off it at all. I’m on the dreaded Venlafaxine. It’s not the first time I’ve been weaned off them. At the end of January last year I managed to come off them after 6 months of coming down in dose. I then had a trigger which set me off again and the only thing to “save” me was the medication. This time I’m doing it a bit quicker, and still suffering the withdrawals. Though, I’m feeling more confident about being off of it for longer this time. In fact, I don’t want to go back on it. It’s a horrid drug and I need to be me for as long as I can without having a drug affect me and turn me into a zombie. I know now that my feelings are valid, and although I may struggle still with expressing them, particularly at the right time or in the right way (they are things to still work on), I know that I can have them and I don’t need to bottle them all up.

I’ve also been brave in inviting members of the family to see me. Family members who I struggle to bond with, talk to and get on with. I was so proud of myself for getting through it and for only feeling the nerves afterwards. Annoyingly they got a parking fine for coming to see me too because of where they parked, so that triggered off lots of emotions, but I kept being told to see the funny side, yet all I could feel was humiliation. My IBS was set off that day and it didn’t help that we then had some friends over for a study group we’ve set up as we’re all doing home learning courses. My cramps were horrendous and I felt so hungry, even a friend said that she’d never seen me eat so much. (I’m not too sure how I feel about the, but my body clearly needed something so I’m not going to dwell on it!)

I’ve also been on Facebook removing pages I’ve set up, removing myself from admin roles and the same with Twitter, removing people I don’t need to follow (Mainly all the like/retweet comp pages!) I’ve also tried talking to a friend on there after tweeting to her a response to her tweet. I’m yet to find the confidence to suggest meeting up, but it will happen.

The confidence is there!

Other changes are: I’ve continued to work on my coursework, and I’ve also booked a stall or a local market. I’ve got to get busy with making things now… I’m sure it will be okay. It cost me enough. But it means I’ll be out in the open displaying my work and locally too. I’ve also contacted loads of organisations about voluntary roles. I want to get out more and do something.

This is my life, and I have to take control of it as I can’t expect others to run around for me. I want to start running around (so to speak) and gain control, and I know it’s possible.

It’s just about making lemonade….

Thanks for reading,

Erica xx

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