My Crafternoon Blog on Mind

Here’s a current screenshot of the Mind tweet in regards to a post I recently wrote for them about my Crafternoon experience. 45 likes and 29 retweets! To me, that’s amazing… And crazy!

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I’ve been nervous about posting anything like this because it was opening me up more in the public eye, but I realise that when you’re blogging, you can’t really remain anonymous. Especially when you share your life story! It’s pretty much impossible! I, of course try to remain as confidential as I can, without including names of other people, and respecting others privacy and I don’t discuss anyone elses problems other than my own (unless I have discussed with them prior to writing!)

Here is the link to my blog on Mind: How crafting helped me to manage my anxiety

I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has liked or retweeted the tweet, read the blog, and popped over here to check out this blog!

I’d really appreciate it if you could follow my journey, either on here by clicking follow, or via Twitter @ghostwithinme

I’m currently in the process of moving, (after a holiday!) so things are a bit chaotic here, but I really wanted to get this post up as I’ve had a massive response to the insights on this page!

If you’re interested in finding out more about what a Crafternoon is, please check out the Mind website here: Crafternoon for Mind

Again, another scary, but exciting thing here:

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Until next time!

Take care xx

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Being blamed for something you haven’t done

Possible triggers: Abuse, physical violence, alcoholism, self-harm, suidical ideation

I have a habit of getting myself in a situation where people blame me for something I’ve not actually done.

For some people it becomes a joke, so much so that I just play along with them now. And for others, they just say it without thinking about the way it makes me feel.

Growing up I’d get told off if I broke a glass or mirror. I was clumbsy, I won’t deny that, and I’m sure telling me off was just a way of trying to ask me to be careful, shouting at me isn’t going to make me feel any better. I’d feel guilty and feel bad for doing something wrong and yet it was an accident. Then, if something broke whilst I wasn’t even there, or something was moved from its original place, I would get the blame for it still!

I guess that is why I gave in and started taking the blame for things.

However, there has to be a line in which I take the blame. And this has become evident through recent events of been blamed for something so disgusting and abusive, which destroyed the way I felt about this person, and ultimately made me fear for my own safety, and not what they were capable ofr doing – but what I was capable of doing to myself.

The relationship was with my brother. I still can’t get over what he has accused me of. We were children when it was supposed to have happened, although, I’m apparently in my early teens (there’s two years between us) … He was extremely vile in the way he spoke and shouted to me, and I sat there barely able to fit a word in edgeways. I battled the tears, determined to not let him win. And it wasn’t until I was out of his sight, that I broke down.

I’d been able to speak to our parents about this, and since then, there’s been no mention of it. And there won’t be. My brother has gone home (overseas), and I have decided that even though I’d hoped for our relationship to get back on track after years of domestic violence and his alcoholic outbursts (and yes, he had been drinking on this night too), that I had to cut myself off from him. I’ve been mourning the loss, but I know that it will make me a stronger and better person.

I was afraid. But now, I am not.

I have taken a stand and I will not be accused of something I didn’t do. I will not let him get the better of me, and I will fight my every corner to show him that I don’t need this sort of manipulative behaviour in my life.

The words may have scarred me internally, but I was strong enough to not beat myself up over such a thing. I was so scared of my actions, but I was able to control myself, which I think goes to show how far I have come since leaving the therapeutic community. Sure, I still have the thoughts of self harm, and I may do it unintentionally (a way that I wouldn’t consider it to be, but others do), but I haven’t acted on the thoughts.

I have ended up on a medication which has steadied my thoughts and although I wanted to reduce my medication, I now realise that I need to be on it to help me live. At least for now.

And that is not a problem. It does not make me weak. It makes me strong for wanting to carry on.

To be accused of something you didn’t do can be life changing. And unfortunately, my brother should have learned from this after havign spent months in prison for something he was accused of, which also turned out to be false claims, and the evidence was there (just found late….!)

I have learned that trying to pass the blame onto someone else when they didn’t do anything is not healthy, for both parties. It means that the person who didn’t do it suffers, and the person who makes the accusation has to live with their lies.

I am always blamed for things, including the loss of friendships or the breakdown of friendship circles. But over the past couple of months, I’ve come to realise that none of it was my fault. I have been true to myself throughout, and I have been open and honest about everything, and there may be some people who disagree with me, and they may choose to take that as a criticism, but that is then their weakness. We all need to be accepting of each others thoughts and feelings. I admit that I am still learning to accept that I challenge the way other people do certain things, and how I may feel as though there is only one way, and no other way, but I’m learning to accept that it’s okay if people do things differently. I just don’t accuse them of being wrong! I on the other hand have been lead to believe I am in the wrong, when that is not the case.

There is always an opening for an opinion, but that doesn’t make anyones opinions invalid, whether it’s right or wrong. (And I speak knowing a couple of ex-friends feel this way towards me…!)

I’m going to fight for my right to be accepted and to not be blamed for all the wrong doings of other people.

Jeez, I hope this makes sense. Unfortnately, the thoughts of my brothers issue does distract me, but I know I will not let him win. I will not let the bullies control me any more.

 

 

 

 

Bad news vs. Good news

On Tuesday, I had a mixed emotions day… One of those days where you go from high to lo and back again!

I woke up earlier than usual, so much so that I could hear the birds starting to wake up. The street lights were still on and there was stillness in the air.

Lauren says it was because I was excited… Excited about going to view a property we have been offered. I wasn’t convinced it was the reason, but I decided to nod, and go along with it.

I went to my session with my care co-ordinator, who asked me how I would like to manage the session. I sat there anxious, not knowing what to say. I said that it seems so much happens, you just don’t know where to start…

And then proceeded to discuss the issues involving my brother being in the newspaper after he’d done something stupid, and how it made me feel. It wasn’t so much what he’d done, but what the article had said. To state he has used drugs, and named them, but also to state he has mental health issues, it then stated the street he is currently residing it. What a way to make someone with mental health more paranoid! It made me worry. But fortunately he seemed to be okay… At least, that’s how it seems.

I mentioned about the fact we’d been offered a property, which would change our lives… So it is a big step for us and a massive decision. If we didn’t take the property, it would mean we’d have one more shot at bidding on a property on the housing register, and if we didn’t like that place, we could be removed from the list and would have to start over again. So it was a big decision to make. (I will discuss later in this post).

After finally finding some conversation, I fell to a blank. Of which my care co-ordinator then took the opportunity to throw me a bombshell. She is leaving. Oh heck. I didn’t know whether to cry or congratulate her. So I did both. The vulnerability I suddenly felt with being lost in the mental health services, losing someone who has got to know me over 6 years, to then be possibly passed onto someone I’ve never met, and to start all over again… And then the next bombshell hit me. She wants to look at discharging me. It’s just being “thought of” at the moment, but she thinks that I’m ready to try living without the mental health services, but Lauren and I think otherwise. Lauren believes I should be in some sort of talking therapy. I discuessed my concerns, and how I still felt towards myself and things, and although I may handle some things a lot better, some things I still struggle with, say with friendships, self-esteem, trust, and just confidence! I wear a mask every day. Always changing these masks, that I don’t know who I am. I say I know what I want to do, but I don’t have any belief in me actually succeeding. I could get a distinction for every lesson I do, and still feel as though I could do better. I could do anything and still see the flaws. I am my own worst critic, and I cannot cut myself some slack. And I need to know why that is. She proceeded to show me some DBT sheets, which I’ve posted below. (If you click on them they’ll open up so you can actually read them!) They’re from a book I want to get called DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets by Marsha M Linehan.

 

She asked me to read them, and as I read it out loud, I started to cry. Tired and emotional, I wanted to believe what I was reading because I know it’s true, I just can’t believe it in myself.

The session ended and we made the next appointment, which I am anxious will be my last.

I’m not too sure what is going to happen now. I feel like I’m drowing in the abyss, and I’m going to find myself continously falling until I know for sure what’s happening.

A couple of hours after the appointment, of telling Lauren the shock news and her asking if I was okay, I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. We were about to look at the new place which could change our lives.

My Dad met us there, and as we waited for the housing officer, we nosied round the property and tried to see the pros of living there. When the housing officer arrived, we were able to look inside. We stepped in, and although the place was still being painted and worked on, you could see how spacious the place was. It’s a two bed ground floor flat, with a wet room.

We knew we would be on the register for so long if we were to wait for a bungalow, and they seemed to be only offered to the 55+. We had tried a couple of times to do a mutal exchange and both times failed, one – because it wasn’t considered suitable accomodation for me, and the other- because it was for over 55 with disability, even though it was the perfect place.

Still, we continued to bid, and ended up being offered this property. Lauren and I had been to peek through the windows, and had slowly watched it “come together” after the workmen destroyed it all. As I said above, if we didn’t accept this property, we would only get one more chance of a place, and then be removed from the register, so looking inside and seeing what we could do to the place was crucial.

There was still a fair bit of rubble about, and the walls and doors had been freshly painted. The previous tenants were smokers, and that was evident by the smoke stained glass, and yellowing in the bathroom.

The rooms are larger than what we currently have, and having the extra room for me to rest, or get away from Lauren when she needs to sleep and I’m either having a bout of insomnia, in pain, or suffering from endless spasms. The wet room makes an easy access for me, as I’ve bee struggling to get over the bath for some time now. I have a bath bench, but that doesn’t make it any easier when trying to get out. It will be a big change, for both of us. The kitchen seems small, but it’s not that bad. The front room seems habitable for us and the furbabies, along with the main bedroom. We seemed fairly happy with the place, but we wouldn’t preferred some time to measure things up, and yet we felt pushed to make a decision on the property.

So…. Needless to say, we accepted!

We signed the paper, without putting a date on, as we’ve yet to receive the keys, but it looks like it’s definitely going ahead. Yay!

This is going to be stressful and exhausting, but also exciting and scary. This is a place which is suitable for my needs, that we are likely to be here for many, many years.

Now though, I’m stressing about the finanical situation we’re in and wanting to try to find a way to make some funds for carpet – at least!

We’re on holiday next week and although we have started packing, we still have so much to sort out.

I’m trying to not get too worked up about things because I want to be able to have a stress-free break next week… I’m sure that upon my return the anxiety and stress will soon return though!

That’s all for now. Bad news vs. Good news.

Both filled with worry and nerves!

Speak soon!

Erica

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here she goes again…

Another random post with lots of random updates!

The total for Mind grew to £218. I’m pleased that we managed to raise so much for an amazing charity. I have been asked to write a blog post about the experience in organising and holding a Crafternoon event. That should be interesting. The stress, the anxiety, even the exhaustion and the physical effects of how it made me feel! I’ve yet to write it. Yet again, life has gotten in the way.

…..

I went to the doctors at the beginning of the month (I can’t believe it’s the 8th already!), and spoke to him about the issue around my brother. He told me that he was a fantasist, and that I was, or am, to take the words and bury them. It’s easier said than done. He also prescribed me quetiapine. Something I’ve not been on before, to help with the noise inside my head. I honestly wish I’d been given this medication sooner. I have been able to get to sleep much quicker, as I don’t lay awake at night whilst all those voices and thoughts shout around as I try to settle down for the night. Although I’m on a low dose, and my doctor wants it to be short term, I’m going to be asking for it to be used long-term because I feel as though my head is a lot quieter and clearer already. It was the self-harm thoughts I needed to eradicate, and I think that it’s done that. There are some moments of the day I get them, but finally not all of the time!

…..

It was my Dads birthday on 6th March, and we went round for a family meal, well… Minus two of his sons, as they are both overseas. It was nice, and it had been months, if not years since we last had a family meal at his. It was a little difficult at times with my other brother asking questions, and I did feel my Dad snap at me for asking a question too, but I don’t think he meant it. I tried to enjoy the time with my family, especially as it doesn’t happen often!

…..

So, as I’ve mentioned before, probably a few times, as it’s been over a year now, that we are hoping and looking to move from where we are. Things may have settled with the neighbour (as in, we are now speaking to one another, not that they’ve moved, or that they’ve quietened down!), but we are still finding where we are unsuitable for my medical needs.

I had a housing assessment, which suggested I needed a wet room installed. When we moved into the property, we were told getting a shower fitted would be our best bet before putting in for a wet room, and when we tried to contact them again, they didn’t get back to us! It also suggests having a second bedroom, so that I can sleep in there during the day so that Lauren has access to the whole property if I’m having a bad day. It also means we’re able to have our own space, and gives us both a breather, and let me tell you now, it can’t be easy for your wife to also be your carer.

We’ve tried going down the mutual exchange route, but the council have denied it on both occasions. Today (8th) they have offered us a place, and we don’t know what to do. A friend used to live in the area, and we popped by to check it out. but something just isn’t sitting right. We’ve weighed up the pros and cons, and there’s still no decision. We get to view the place next week, but feel as though we should just turn it down now… Unfortunately, if you’re on the council housing register, you only get a couple of times to turn down a property, which means we’d be taking a gamble on the next place being just right, or face being removed from the register and having to stay where we are, which isn’t suited. It’s so hard, and it’s giving me more of a headache than I already have!

…..

I want to go back to something I used to do when writing out my blog posts, and that’s my “to-do” list. Reason is, there are a couple of things I want to discuss, but they fall into a blog of their own, than a paragraph of another!

These are:

  1. Being blamed for something you haven’t done
  2. Being ignored, and yet you keep trying to get a response
  3. How my mental health affects me (maybe combined with 4!)
  4. How my physical health affects me (maybe combined with 3!)

Points 1 and 2 are issues I have had problems with for a very, very long time! Though, saying that… As are 3 and 4!!!

Oh, and at some point I need to write another review. It’s been almost a year (The Festival of the Brain) was my first, and current last! HAHA. I would like to review the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which I went to see last night (7th), so I may do that next, and then carry on with the above!

Here we go again… My mind may be quieter from the voices and noise, but my “own thoughts” are a constant stream…

And on that note!

Goodnight 🙂