Reflections on November

Hello all my lovelies,

If you read my posts you know I love a good reflection. So I thought, why not reflect on a tumultuous month such as November?

I will be honest, November is a month I am struggling to remember giving that my mental state is not at a decent capacity. There were definitely some atrocious days but I can’t say it was all entirely bad and these words have such strange meanings, I guess the correct version would be it was a hard-hitting month.

So I have a couple of topics in mind, let’s take it that way. I think rounding up with all the things that cause stress would just make this a very depressing post. While I’m not for toxic positivity I do think I need to be realistic.

So, let’s start with relationships. Relationships are often a foundation of how we cope, they are apart of us. Having at least someone to back us up can make all the difference. I can happily say I have had no problems with support and positive relationships during November. My family may not have understood what I was going through, but they checkeup on me and helped where they could. Whether that’s taking up additional chores from myself or feeding my wonderful guinea pigs: and they gave me respect. My partner was fantastic, he was essentially my sounding board and while I tried to be a good partner to him, he was very respectful when I couldn’t give 110 percent all the time. So no complaints here!

I guess health would be the more contentious issue. I will be straight up honest and say that my GP he was of no use during this time, I understand that there are many stresses going on behind the closed doors (I’ve seen what happens as a GP receptionist). But I have come to find out that when I asked for my antipsychotic back and he made no mention of my circumstances to the psychiatrist it essentially was “can L have her antipsychotic back?”, so I’m glad I took it upon myself to write a letter about my mental capacity when I was more lucid. I would like to let you know that I have since gone it back until my telephone assessment with the mental health team in a couple weeks time. They were shocked at how I have deteriorated and quite unsure as to why my GP did actually take me off it. So I am happy to say I have been sleeping for the first time in many weeks.

With physical health, I’m not further forward until I have MRIs and the next rheumatology appointment but I have since purchased a support to help me sit properly, knee braces and a cane to walk better. They do help so that is also a bonus and I haven’t gotten physically worse which I really count as a win.

University! What a bonus. It’s been a really positive one, because I got back my first assignment results for my final year at 72% and 78% which I am quite happy with. I have feedback that is constructive and can use in the next assignment to hopefully improve upon. My tutor who will be helping me on the research project in particular has been so supportive and understanding which is really just refreshing so I know, should I falter infuture they will be there to ensure that I take care of myself.

November felt truly terrible in the moment but this is why reflection is important. You gauge the true impact of each moment and my reflection has shown me that yes it was awful but I had a pretty successful November, that’s my takeaway and I think it really puts things into perspective.

Wishing you all my love,

L x

Dealing with intense emotions

Good morning to you!

How are you faring?

I have talked before about my experiences with EUPD, one of the most well-known symptoms is having intense emotions and mood swings. For example, I have gone from crying to exactly 15 minutes later dancing around the house just because. Oftentimes, I will never react the same way to situation twice, I am capable of many, many intense emotions at the “simplest” of things. This does not in any way make me dangerous as many may think, it is simply more painful for me to experience.

Every emotion has the opportunity to be painful for me, to drain me, to rule my life for whatever period of time. I can be the most empathetic, loving, compassionate, caring person you may ever meet. But when that stops, I usually feel so depressed, like I feel the world’s pain upon my chest and my shoulders, I feel so empty and so hollow that I have no bones keeping me in place, only emotions.

Thankfully, through therapy and the right combination of medication, the darker side of emotions have less of a handle on me but that doesn’t mean I never get like this. It just means I have learned to deal with emotions more healthily. Today I thought I would share with you my process, it is not by any means perfect, I still falter at the hurdle sometimes but I am definitely in a better place. I thought that sharing my process might be of interest, maybe even of use. So let’s get into it!

Acknowledge the emotion

This is arguably one of the hardest things to do. Even though our mind has evolved to create astounding self-awareness in us as humans, it is by no means a perfect solution. But the first step is realising the situation I am in, what I feel, why I am feeling that way and accepting the feeling. This could be as simple as “I feel ____ because ____. I noticed this because of ____ behaviour.” It is a bit like having an intrusive thought (which 100% of humanity experience), I acknowledge it and do what I can to move forward.

Take self out of situation

This may be a little trickier depending upon circumstances but I always find once I have noticed my emotions running high, that I need to find my baseline. I do this first by taking a step back, putting everything on hold and just breathing. I usually tell someone, or they have told me I need to take a step back, it is so useful having a support network to possibly guide me through this process.

Finding the trigger

I may already know what triggered this. I check whether I have eaten, or drank something recently. Did I get enough sleep? Am I giving myself enough time to relax currently? It may sound basic, but things like rest and food are integral to maintaining a happier and more stable me. I myself am very sensitive to this. When I am angry, I usually find 9 times out of 10 that it is because I have missed a meal, or have low sugar levels, or even on the rare occasion I forgot my morning medication. (I am human not perfect)

It could be something or multiple things cause stress to occur when first waking up that has set the tone for later in the day. But it is important to look back to see what caused this.

Take action

From finding out the trigger I need to be able to move forward. Sometimes for me it is a case of just doing something like mindfulness or using distraction techniques to cope. Other times I talk to someone about how I am feeling. So long as no harm comes to anyone or anything, there is no right way to deal with emotions.

There are many ways to take action whether through mindfulness and sitting with emotions or creating something, making lists and plans, organising spaces, exercising, reinforcing boundaries. Self-soothing with things like having a bath, moisturising and changing the bed sheets can really help.

And that is how I deal with emotions these days, I hope it gives you a little insight or might even help you. But like always, if you are concerned about yourself please contact a health professional.

Much happiness to you,

L x

Looking to the future

Hello my lovelies, how are we all? I hadn’t realised it had been so long since I posted, these days, as many will identify with, have just blurred together. I have been struggling recently, I had an episode earlier this week and I haven’t had one in what feels like a lifetime. But I’m slowly bouncing back, stronger each time. Things are no doubt hard right now, as so many will say it’s starting to become a cliché almost. I am also aware of what toxic positivity can be like. But right now, focusing on the coming months is helping me get through everything. I have so many goals so I just thought I’d share a list of what I’m hoping to achieve over the summer. A few may not seem as exciting to some, but please remember, I love to learn and some of it is needed for future plans.
  1. One of my first goals is to get through the mound of books and philosophy magazines I have collected. Reading is such an underrated hobby sometimes, I feel, and I am excited to get through my pile!
  2. Related to the above, I hope to create my first ever manuscript and book, I have been inspired by my past writings on here that a fair few of you seemed to enjoy and I want to use my experiences to educate but more importantly, empower, others. I doubt it’ll ever be published but to have a resource of my experiences might in turn be therapeutic for me.
  3. My third goal is to research dissertation topics. I have a broad subject in mind that I am so passionate about and want my dissertation to mean something more than just for a grade. I also am not the best at finding literature sometimes so this will be a big help when it comes to starting my final year.
  4. I also want to research and plan out a campaign around suicide, prevention and people speaking from their silence. Suicide is a tricky topic but it’s one thing I’m definitely passionate about improving in society, I will talk more about this project closer to the November/December launch when I have firmer details. I will want to spread the word as much as possible.
  5. Overcome my food phobia. This is probably the most difficult one given I have had it for so long. But I think I’m getting the right resources, I want to be able to have a healthy relationship with food and it’s time I tried to overcome it!
They are my top five goals, and in no way am I doing this to “make the most” of the time we have right now, these have been on my mind a lot and am wanting to do! I thought it would be good to share 😊 so these are my summer goals. At this point in time, I encourage you all to do what you need to in order to get through The Current Situation, be kind and compassionate to yourself. I hope you are all well, much love L x

I’m back: part 2

When you’re going through hell, keep on going. Winston Churchill
Happy Monday and good morning all! Thanks to recent glorious weather I have just spent a while mopping up mucky paw prints from all over the floors (thank you Raven). I thought I would start off this week with a very apt quote that has stayed with me throughout the years. It serves as a very strong reminder for me that no matter how far I fall, I keep going and keep fighting. It is what feels like a very real and powerful message. Now, the main reason for this post is just to become a bit more open about what has been going on, what I hope to achieve in the coming months and what kind of topics I will be posting about in the future. As I have dedicated this part of the internet a place of positivity for myself, and for you, I will always try to remain hopeful. But there may be times when my honesty is a bit more raw, with those posts I will place a content warning at the beginning. What is currently going on (CW: Mentions diagnoses and current impact e.g. hallucinations) Okay, let’s get the hardest part over first: my health. *Deep breath* I have multiple mental health diagnoses that impact me greatly which I will share more about as time passes. For now I shall just rhyme them off; Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, Recurrent Depressive Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Agoraphobia. I also have a food phobia and disordered eating. Gosh, I will be honest, seeing that written down makes me emotional but it’s what I have been given. Now, my agoraphobia is a result of my breakdown in April 2018, I can barely leave the house and haven’t really been able to unless I am with at least one of 4 trusted people, even then I am really distressed inside. My food phobia has come from 14 years of disordered eating. Very long story short, I completed 10 months of intensive therapy last year using a fair few therapeutic models and approaches, I was seemingly well. I got discharged on 24th October. I was well in November. Then 1st December comes and everything crashes. Week by week my motivation goes, my sleep becomes disturbed, my mood goes all over the place as if I was not on my medication. I tried my best in December to go back to basics like I learned. I created goals and tried exercise. But February has come. My paranoia, deep emptiness, loneliness and hallucinations have returned. There is a whole lot more happening but it can get complicated. Despite it all, I am getting on with life. I have to. I still find enjoyment in some things, I am currently on a self–love journey, I still adore my little guinea pigs, I am doing surprisingly well in university (82% on my latest assignment, very pleased). One thing I firmly believe is that I never give up, despite it all, I keep on going. I listen to my body and try my hardest to take care of myself. It also helps I have the most supportive partner and support network to keep me in check. I do feel that the winds will change. So that is what I am going through. I am okay, and will keep on going! So what do I hope to learn, achieve and do? I will admit since therapy and getting further into psychology with university, I do have a different outlook that I am not too sure how to explain. My self-awareness feels a lot more heightened and I know what my brain is physically doing. So it feels like what is going on is sometimes only happening to half of me and the other half is absolutely fine and separate from it all. Either way, it is a complex situation. I know things will improve because they have before. So I have this knowledge. I have my foundations for self-care and well-being. Where do I go from here? Well, I will work with the services to see if I need further treatment or what can be done. I think it’s time to start and finish some projects I had in mind during a mania phase and put my passion out there, give myself positive things to focus on. I feel like this is where I learn my distress tolerance, and learn how to move forward and get through what I am going through. Keep on going. I think for me to grow I need to do a lot of reflection, see what has been going on and how I can react differently next time, how I can act now and for the future. There is always something to learn. What will be featured on this blog in the future? I am very excited about what I have planned for the future posts here at PP! There are going to be plenty of book reviews as I am really enjoying reading right now. In terms of wellness, I hope to look at goals, a bit more in-depth into routines, other aspects of wellness holistically, I will also be sharing my journey of self-love. Things are going to become a lot more personal and I will be sharing my story of mental illness, how my mental health has impacted me, what has changed over the years and what has not. I want to start a real conversation on everything I have experienced and what has come of it. I hope what I speak about in the future resonates with you, inspires you or even maybe helps you to feel a little less alone. Thank you for standing by me. Much happiness to you, L x