Friday, 21 December 2012

The phone call.......

ah you might think, you said you would get back to us yesterday, and you might think, why on Earth are you writing at this unearthly time? Well my friends, they are really for one and the same reason.

Rethink Mental Health contacted me to say that the Daily Mail are interested in writing an article about what it is like to be Isabella. Hmmm, I thought, and just why are they so interested in writing about a person who only has three 'safe' places she will go in the world, Sainsburys, my Doctors and the psychiatric unit? What is interesting about a person who cleans her home obsessively and then cleans it again? A person who is so full of grief and sadness that she resorts to cutting her body, drinking excessively and overdosing on her medication? Someone who has psychotic episodes and sees maggots, mice and guinea pigs?  A person who was once a pretty terrific teacher, and now can't walk down a street, who wont talk to anyone, and can only communicate via this blog? Well apparently, the above paragraph is why...... 

So why then did I not write to tell you this yesterday, and why am I writing this at silly o'clock? Because just at the moment that I realised that I was ridiculously happy that someone thought I was interesting enough to write an article about, I realised why (re: above paragraph).....

It is not great to be worthy of publication just because I have lost the plot, I have articles from teaching newspapers about how great my teaching was, that is what I want to published for. 

It would seem, whatever I do, I do it well; or at least well enough for the media to be interested in anyway, even being mentally ill.

So the moment of happiness was shortly followed by the bottom of my world disappearing and terminal gloom setting in. Of course I will be interviewed for the article, I will demand to see the article and insist on changes being made if I don't like it, but hell fire people...remember me because I was a great teacher, not because I am ill.

Much love x

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Ta dah.......

I have Christmas under control. That is, I have the tinsel, trimmings, excessive presents etc all sorted... oh yes, and that all in time for the end of the world tomorrow.

Christmas in my head, well that too seems to be under control. 

Tomorrow is Christmas for my youngest daughter and I. We will have a proper Christmas lunch, though I no longer eat meat, I think I have it all organised.

Dave the rabbit is all decked up in his house with sparkly lights, a snowman and a Santa, though I am not sure he has noticed.

Have cross stitched all the Christmas cards. Not sure if they will be noticed, or appreciated for the love and time they took, but that is ok.... I know how much love and time they deserved. I could have called this post, 'How cross stitch saved my life', it has, but a title like that may seem a little dramatic.

Have important phone call at 10am, so am off to worry pointlessly about it, and will report back to you later regarding it.

Much love x


Thursday, 13 December 2012

What goes up....

....must come down. Yup thanks for that Isaac Newton.

Truly, when I had just got used to the state of equinimity, it got dragged out like a rug from under my feet. No, I can't go into details, mostly as it would bore you, but also, I think I kinda behaved quite badly too. The good old, 'well I am mentally ill card", does not excuse all types of behaviour.

The past, as I have said before, is as it is, and has, in some way, to be accepted for being what it is. That is  not to say that past hurts do not continue to hurt, but they hurt less if you kinda get that no amount of intelligent reasoning is going to make them any different.

Right now though, hurts which happen do trigger awful reminders of the past, and that reader, is what happened. A small event triggered, what is called in the profession I am a patient of, a psychotic episode.

I am glad it is over, it was scary. Feel nothing today, a blessed relief.

Speak soon, keep warm.
Much love x

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

It's minus freeking two.....

oh yes, I know it is winter and all that but please, minus 2.......

Dave (the rabbit) has gone into a state of almost hibernation. He comes out of his house, sniffs around a bit, then either makes a nest in the throws on the sofa, or goes back to his bed. The heating thermostat is working, but hardly makes a dent in the overnight temperature. Many jumpers are worn (not by Dave), and he has daily fresh hay in his house, amazing what he can do with it, not quite macrame, but flippin' close.

I have  made one of those appointments, which seemed a good idea at the time. Off to the opticians for 8.50am. Huh, why oh why was that even an idea? But the headaches have grown worse to the point where all the mega drugs from the Doctor make no difference and it feels like my brain is either going to explode through my right temple or implode my right eye. Charming huh, I will spare you the rest of the details, but having cut out caffeine, cheese, wine (oh yes, this is serious stuff) and chocolate, the only  other option I can think of is either a brain tumour or I need glasses.

I have dealt with the brain tumour option, have been to neurology, and have to have one of those EEG machines for a week. Fortunately, as I have an extreme dislike for hospitals, I will have the electrodes glued to my scalp, and then leave the hospital, only returning daily to have the disc, which records my brain electricity, changed. Cool stuff, so that woman, you see strolling around Sainsburys, with wires coming out of her head is me.

So, what after the opticians does the day hold? 
I reallyreallyreally, have to wrap the Christmas presents for my children. Hate it, wont see them open them, have no idea what they like anymore, but gotta do it. Have made them all new stockings, and feel pretty clever about it. Think I will post one so you can see.......
Well, am trying not to descend into pit of self pity and gloom, after all, though the past was really truly crap, it is what it is.

If I accept what happened, and also accept that I cannot rationlise it, explain it or make it any different and that it just is what it is, then I can stop it haunting me. It is over. Of course there are times when flashbacks happen, and it has me by the throat, and there is little I can do about that, but on a day of equinimity (thanks for that word Gordon!) it is just not so bad. The overwhelming, all consuming pain in my chest, the one that wont go away, the one which only goes away when I cut, drink or overdose, it just aint around so often. No, there is no excitement about the future, but there is also less fear of it too. I just have a feeling that everything will be alright, not great, but just equininimously ok.

Keep warm, and much love x

Monday, 10 December 2012

The purpose of being Isabella.....

a period of reflection.

Over the past year, I have quickly descended the steps of what could be termed 'normal' behaviour and attitudes, into what is termed as mental illness or psychologically damaged . I am interested in this, but choose now to look forward and not to go back, this to the point where I will not re-read my previous posts in this blog.

I have been fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where I have been taken care of by mental health services, the NHS, and on occasions the Police Force. Not all of this care has been the way I feel it should be and you all know of my fight to change this. Big news I have now been invited to discuss the changes I have suggested and have been invited to meetings to form the Operational Policies, and look at the refurbishment of the Place of Safety suite in the City.

During the past year, I have been lucky enough to come into contact with some pretty amazing psychologists, psychiatrists, and of course my CPN, Nick.
During one of the sessions, it was pointed out to me that perhaps the 'healthy adult' Isabella was not who I thought it was. I had been told in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) that the teacher me, was the persona which was the one which was the strongest, and was infact the strong and healthy 'adult' me. The dithering, helpless, victim which was the persona which came through more often, could be helped if the 'teacher' me looked after her. Sounds kinda simple when put like this, however, when I choose to cut myself up, drink huge amounts of alcohol and overdose, the 'teacher' me is not about, not there to say, 'if you do that you will be in a lot of trouble, will have to stay behind after school and do a hundred lines, "I will not try to hurt myself, I will not try to hurt myself....'

That teacher Isabella is an act. It is a part I play in the theatrical performance of a school day. Every school day, I put on my costume, I play to a different audience each hour, same set, different script. I played it damn well, so well I won awards, given responsibility for curriculum, key stages, departments. But at three o'clock when it was over, I was nothing. I did not know what to do, where to go, who to be. Outside in the world of reality, not governed by school rules, regulations, lesson plans etc, I simply had no identity. I had no identity to the point where I wore my id badge to the supermarket, so that I was still a teacher.

I had tried to be the best daughter, not allowing reality to shade what was really happening. I tried to be the best wife, again, reality was that it was in an appalling situation. I tried to be the best mum, and I thought I did good at that. But these roles are again, as with teaching, just acts, UNLESS..... you know who you are and are confident and comfortable with what that is. 

So now, stepping back up the steps towards, what is at the moment just a period of stability, I dare not hope for more right now; I am choosing a different flight of stairs.

An extremely clever man pointed out to me that these were just roles I was playing, and that Isabella was in fact an empty shell. If one always tries to be what one thinks others want her to be, then infact she is nothing, at least nothing in herself.

This was a huge revelation, a massive relief. I was empty.... that meant that I could be anything I wanted to be. I could be a fascist, or anything else ending in ist. I could be ANYTHING....even a florist!

But it isn't like that, not really.

It is difficult to explain what it is like really, I can't quite find the right words. 
However, for instance I have posted about an old acquaintance wanting me to re-ignite a friendship with her. It was an unhealthy relationship, and I choose not to go back there, bit of a no brainer to be frank. But in the past I would have felt compelled to allow that relationship to continue, to allow myself to feel uncomfortable, victimised and sad. Not now. Is that the teacher Isabella making boundaries, making sure that behaviour is safe for me? No, I don't think so. I choose  not to surround myself with people who make me feel anything less than 'good enough'.

Good enough just to be me.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

needing a think and need your thoughts....

and so it came to be that on the 8th of December in the year of two thousand and thirteen, that Dave (the rabbit) and I are sat on the extremely uncomfortable sofa in my sitting room, waiting for the blasted heating to make an impact on the sub-zero temperature the South West of England is currently enduring. 

We are slightly concerned. Not by the weather, as that was predicted by the Met Office, but by another of those moral quandaries that sneak in when life was just settling into a comfortable, normal phase (and boy I love those, what a rest from the chaos in my restless brain).

It was my birthday on Thursday, and it was nice, apart from the Norovirus, but hey, apart from the brain shattering headache, my temperature being so high that I felt  I was in the mid tropics, the vomiting and upset tummy, it was a good birthday.

I have taken up cross stitch, now I know that I am diverging from the conversation, but I thought it was important to mention, as this is how I am maintaining the status quo. While cross stitching, my brain and hands are busy, so I am not thinking of anything else. I know, you are thinking hell fire, she is only 23 (ahem....45) what is she doing cross stitching? But I am a lot better for it, until last night.

A late birthday card arrived. A card from someone I haven't seen for a long time, Infact, a card from someone I have chosen to not to see for a long time. Why? Because they were horrid to me. The card stated that they would like me to make contact with them again, and left their telephone number. Well, it would seem simple would it not, just not to make contact with them, as 'they were horrid to me', but hell no. Apparently my reaction, which was to drink a large bottle of the finest white plonk the local corner shop had to offer, to phone the mental health helpline, and to cry furiously while sat in the car over looking the sea and contemplating the end of the world, was "wrong". Apparently, that person was not horrid to me, I am just "ILL", I am making "something out of nothing" and that their horrid reaction to me was my fault because I am 'ILL'.

The trouble with recovery, is that my brain is starting to work more and work better; I can argue, with myself, what is right and what just isn't (probably). Later I was told that maybe she had 'changed', well maybe, but maybe I am better off not taking that risk. After all my life has been ok without her (yes, I can hear you at the back laughing...ok, my life hasn't been OK, but her absence hasn't made it any worse!)

Problem one, how can I differentiate between what is a real and valid thought and what is just another of my loonie ravings?

Problem two, I think the thermostat on the heating is buggered.

I am sure that my absence has puzzled many of you who are avid blog readers and writers who find that that blog writing is a cathartic way to deal with lifes ups and downs, but for me I found that to dwell on what had been was unhealthy.... I make a tentative return..... BUT BE WARNED, I AM A LOT BETTER NOW... HEE HEE HEE (that was meant to be one of those slight scary vampirish laughs)

Much love x