I’d like to start by saying that if i filled in every single gap of this story you’d probably be reading a 3part novel series, so i’ll quickly tell you about me and briefly what gaps might get lost or be missing in this story. So I am a single mum to 2beautiful girls, they are my everything. The point of where this story first starts I was on drugs, I will mention where I came off drugs as that is an important part of my story. At the point of where this story begins I only had one daughter, and I got with my 2nd daughters father after doing the first group but before the 2nd group. Abuse was part of my growing up as a child from the first lot of abuse(sexual) being at 6yrs old, and then abuse (of all sorts, physical, emotional, sexual, mentally) continuing until around 28yrs old…. Anyway I think that is most of the gaps. So I’ll start with the story I want to tell which is about my life living with and surviving Mental Health issues.
I cant remember the exact year I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, but I think it was about 2007… I have also suffered from really bad, depression, anxiety and PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for many years before my BPD diagnoses… You may be asking why I am sharing this story….well I wanted to let people know what i have done to pull myself through these dark and horrible times and that with certain choices and decisions life can improve, although at times it may seem like there is no way but down, I am here to say that there is a way up, although that depends on each individual and their choices and decisions…. If this story, or post or whatever you would like to call it can help even one person through the dark clouds then I will know that sharing this was the right thing to do…
Firstly let me start by saying this, my story is in no way going to fix everyone’s problems, issues or health… Nor will any of the things i have done to get myself to this point in my life be guaranteed to help everyone or suit everyone. The first thing I learnt when I needed and seeked help was “You Cant Help Those Who Don’t Want To Help Themselves” and ” You cant help those who are not willing to accept the help and advice they are offered”….
Ok so I was a single mum to my then 2year old daughter… I had suffered depression for years along with anxiety etc,…… but this one day something just what felt like took over my body…. I was feeling something more than depression, something darker and deeper…. Usually looking at my daughter would snap me out of selfharming state of mind, looking at her eyes would make me smile even when feeling low and down… My daughter was everything but this certain day even looking at her, giving her a cuddle and watching her play done nothing for this dark unknown feeling… On the top i could feel anger, but it was stronger than i had ever felt before…. I was also aware of the feeling of tension that was taking over every inch of my body. I didnt like this feeling and i didnt know how to express it and honestly I was scared of this feeling because I didnt know what I was going to do. I was living in a house through a young mum’s housing association at the time, and their office was literally around the corner. So with this unknown feeling and what I would do with this feeling I put my daughter in the car, and drove the not even 1minute around the corner to speak to the staff.
As soon as I knocked on the office door and the staff member (they all knew me quite well) saw me she knew I wasnt ‘Right”. I was told to take a sea in the office, the children’s worker that was also on site at the time came and took my daughter to play in another room while I ‘talked’ with another case worker…
Well as soon as my daughter was out of the room and I was asked what was wrong, I just ‘Lost’ it…. Crying, yelling, screaming, grasping for breath I begged for them to help me, I continually cried “why me?”, “why am I feeling this way?”, “I cant do this anymore” “Please just help me, help me stop feeling this”….
That was a day that I will never forget, even now typing this, my chest is tightening up at the thought of how i felt that very day, I wouldn’t wish that feeling upon anyone.
My case worker then went and spoke to her boss and the children’s worker that had taken my daughter in a different room so she didnt have to hear or see my ‘breakdown’….. When the caseworker came back in she told me that the children’s worker was going to watch my daughter so that I could be taken over to the emergency room, where they also had a Mental Health section where I was told that I would be able to talk to a professional about everything. My caseworker(well the worker that took me and that was on at the time) stayed with me throughout the entire thing, she sat there with me for 20mins waiting to be seen by a psychiatrist, and then stayed with me while I yet again cried, yelled, and screamed about my life, my feelings right then and that had overcome me, my caseworker not only stayed and supported me throughout the whole ordeal but also held me while I cried when I was told I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder(in my eyes that was them telling me I was mental and my life was over), but also after taking me back to pick up daughter also arranged for a worker to stay with me that night at my house and go through everything the psychiatrist had said after the word Borderline Personality Disorder
The mental health team then called me every afternoon for a week after the visit to the emergency room- of course I had agreed to it and wanted it because I wanted help.
Throughout the next few weeks and months I seen one on one counselors, had constant workers checking up on me and a 6 week one on one session with a psychologist….( I was throughout this whole thing self harming and hiding it the best i could)……
At one of the visits with the psycologist he mentioned there were groups to help with understanding and coping with BPD, Depression, Anxiety and more… The first group he spoke to me about was a group- called D.B.T. (Dialectical Behavioral Thinking), a group which not only would help me understand about my thoughts and feelings but would also show me different ways in which I could change my thought patterns and improve my feelings. I agreed to give it a go, and when I first started the group, I argued my point on pretty much everything they talked about or tried to help with. By the end of the group I had stopped self-harming in a way that was dangerous and instead used other techniques that were neither dangerous or harmful to myself.
Other than stopping the self harming, which in itself is a big achievement I didnt really get much out of the group, I guess I was to busy trying to argue my point on the techniques and advice they were offering… So I decided after still seeing my counsellor that I would give it another go and do the group again, this time with an open mind…. Second time around and instead of opening my mouth and arguing everything, I sat back and listened, observed and took notes…. by the end of completing the second round of DBT, I was able to mindfully block out some of the negative thoughts to be able to help me sleep at least a few hours, I also gained skills and knowledge to help improve friendships/relationships, but also found certain skills really hard to put in place or use.
After round 2 of DBT completed, and on medication the psychiatrist put me on at the start of all this, I was feeling slightly more confident and ‘normal’… So I stopped taking medication and stopped seeing my counsellor and continued on with my life…. Bad choice, before I knew it I felt like i was drowning again, being able to recognise this feeling and knowing I would end up falling if i didnt seek help i went back to my GP, he put me back on medication and arranged for me to start counselling again all at my request…
Sometime between all this is when I got with my 2nd daughters father and our relationship suffered from pretty much within the first 4weeks…. Mostly due to my health and my ways of coping and dealing with things, and just continual arguing.
Anyway in October of 2008 I wanted a second baby, my 2nd daughters father who was my partner at the time, didnt want a child with me because he wasnt ready and our relationship wasnt stable… Anyway I ended up falling pregnant and on New Year’s Eve 2008 i found out i was 4-5weeks pregnant with number 2. I was still taking drugs but when i told my 2nd daughters father i was pregnant we agreed i’d give up, and i did. Still also just coping with my mental health with thanks to counselling and medication, i still wasnt feeling right or myself… After gorgeous little miss number 2 came along i breast fed for 6weeks, before my milk dried up, and then I decided to go back to smoking and taking drugs. Again my mental health got worse along with my depression. I thought the drugs helped, boy was i wrong…. After about 1year of taking drugs, and not getting any better i decided i needed to give them up. It was 2011 just before new years eve and i went and seen drug and alcohol services to ask for help, at that appointment i learnt that drugs are a chemical imbalance and so is my metal health and depression, with so much imbalance going on in my brain cells, well the ones i had left, no wonder I wasnt coping, the drug and alcohol services arranged a referral for a detox clinic (aka rehab)… on the 5th January 2012 the detox clinic called and said they had a place open on the 9th January, I wasnt going to take that because that is the date before my eldest daughters birthday, i explained that while i want help and will take it I will not be absent from my daughters 7th birthday, they then told me that was fine and i could come in on the 11th January 2012, I took that and after 8days in detox they let me go home, I am proud to say i have not touched or been tempted by drugs ever since. Detox was the best choice ever.
Instantly my mental health improved, as did my physical health…. Of course i wasnt cured or anything but not having that extra chemical imbalance has helped in maintaining and dealing with my mental, and emotional health. I still have dark days, every now and again, i still have weeks where all i want to do is sit on my couch and not socialise with other adults, I’d rather just look after my kids and keep to myself, but these issues are ones i am currently working on. I still see a counsellor once a week, I have a mental health worker who is helping me with my anxieties, my depression and my fears and insecurities. I have very few friends because i have built up so many walls, all of which i am trying to break down slowly, I am now volunteering at my daughters school a few hours a week, I now have 3nights a week care of my now 4year old daughter and still have full care of my 9year old. I am managing finances now, I have more time for my daughters emotionally and mentally as well as physically being able to be there for them, love them, care for them and support them through their dreams and goals. I have changed so much and it isnt from just giving up drugs, although i do think and believe a big part of all my positive changes are from giving up the drugs, but my positive changes are also more due to all the steps i have taken over the years…. So here’s what done to change my life to live a better quality of life, in no particular order either, but i have :
Asked for and received help from a case worker
Asked for and accepted help from a Psychiatrist inc. medications prescribed
Accepted the advice and offer of seeing a counsellor and a psychologist
Accepted the advice and referral from the psychologist to do a DBT group
Continued to see a counsellor and took the advice to do a 2nd round DBT
Recognised when I was falling down (after stopping medication and
stopping my counsellor appointments) and asked for help again
Started seeing a counsellor again, and started taking prescribed meds again
Took the advice and referral from counsellor to see a mental health worker
Realised i had a drug addiction and asked for help, got help and have been
drug free for just over 2years and 2months
Started taking prescribed meds after giving up drugs, and the prescribed
meds actually work better being off drugs
Still seeing a counsellor weekly/fortnightly
Still seeing mental health worker
Have a GP mental health plan in place
Seen financial counsellor and back on top of finances
slowly but surely
Wow that is a fair lot of accomplishments, now as i mentioned at the start, none of this is possible if you are not honestly and truly wanting help. If you do want help and you are getting help but still feel lost, then please speak to your gp, or other health care professional…. Some of the things i have done or services i have used to help me may be or may not be available to you or may not even suit your needs or wants.
I can also honestly say that I still suffer from these issues and some days are worse than others but i use everything i have learnt to help pull myself up again, and it isnt even an instant pull myself up, some ‘bad days’ can last from 2-3days up to weeks…. The thing that really pulls me through though is pulling out my book in which i have written down everything i have changed, and or achieved and i realise from the person that was first diagnosed, that person that wouldn’t know how to control emotions or feelings, that believed lashing out was the only way etc., well you know the story now…… Point being with how far i have come, even though i dont see it and am still learning to see the positive in things, and accept these things when it is written down in front of you and it is true then there is no denying it and it is something one should be proud of.
Okay so i dont know if this will be too long, too jumbled or whatever, I dont know if any of it makes sense lol… But I needed to get this out and thought what better way than to share it with other mum’s.
Posted anonymously, 19th March 2014