#Take5ToBlog

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Seeing that it’s Time to Talk day, I decided to take part in the #Take5ToBlog. It’s where there’s 5 questions from your name, your illness to your hopes for the future.

I found this though a Facebook post and also a email I was sent and I just had to take part so I could do my part to raise awareness of mental health and the issues around it.

Now I’m fairly open about my mental health (as you would see from my twitter and also this blog) but this is slightly different.

So here’s my #Take5ToBlog

My name is: Fox (like I’ll give my real name on here) and I have experienced a variety of mental health problems to name a few: Bipolar, anorexia, anxiety, OCD and also PTSD.

My mental illnesses have affected every part of my life: being awake, sleeping, work ect. The crushing lows and highs of bipolar have impacted so much of my life from self care, friends, personal relationships and also work. Anorexia also affects every waking moment, living with the fear of food and the fear of gaining weight, having a voice where it makes you believe that you are fat, the guilt after eating something, the impulse to exercise all the time to lose weight. The anxiety is another one; the fear of being in a crowded place, speaking to people who I don’t know or being in a different place, this affects me to the point where I’ll have panic attacks, bolt away or worse case… I just shut down.

My greatest source of support has come from my closest friends who have been so understanding over the years and stuck by me even when I’ve been at my lowest and was sectioned. Also my girlfriend has been fantastic at supporting me, understanding how I may act or react to something and being very resuring when something happens.

My hope for the future is two things. The first one is to get back to the point where I was a few years ago where I was stable and not in the depths of my eating disorder. The 2nd is that mental health can be discussed openly and not hidden away as a shameful seciart.

I’m taking 5 on time to talk day because it’s important to talk about mental health and to raise awareness of the issues surrounding it.

Now I’ve done mine, are you going to do yours? Or take 5 minutes to talk to someone? It can be just a simple hello and how are you doing.

Some conversations are scary. Some aren’t. Don’t be afraid to talk about mental health

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15 steps to losing friends during a episode

While sat with family on boxing day, myself and a family friend (who is also bipolar) decided that we’ll make a list of steps of how to lose friends… Okey it’s not the best thing to do but we’ve all been there doing episodes where we are outgoing, confident and get on with people (or maybe not if irritatablety plays it’s part) or when being depressed, pushing people away, shutting down ect.

So here’s our easy 15 step guide to making and losing friends.

Step 1: Be in a manic state (treat everybody as your best friend, being confident and just be awesome)

Step 2: Go outside to interact with people in different places, pubs and night clubs are the best for this as you can dance away with that engery you now have.

Step 3: Meet new friends who now want to be your friend because they love your energy, confidence and your habit to spend out on all those things you know you just need and think you are awesome because of this.

Step 4: Agree to ‘hey, we should totally meet up some time!!!’

Step 5: Get Facebook/number/address of new friend.

Step 6: Now that you are out of the social context, fall into a depressive episode.

Step 7: From now on, whenever your new friend tries to contact you, don’t bother to answer, since you feel so miserable that writing a text seems impossible and assuming that everybody secretly hates you.

Step 8: Feel bad because your new friend takes it personally and wonder what’s wrong with you.

Step 9: Don’t explain to them your condition because you don’t know them that well and it would awkward as they wouldn’t understand or just think you are crazy.

Step 10: Avoid them every time you see them because you feel too bad to know that you hurt them.

Step 11: Lose this friend.

Step 12: Isolate yourself.

Step 13: Lose all of your friends.

Step 14: Count the cost of this and the cost of past episodes.

Step 15: And repeat

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Past few months with the Local mental health services and the fallout

I am surviving,
And that is,
About all there,
Is to it

Over the last two months, I’ve been in and out and passed around from the local mental services, from the local primary care team to the intensive team (crisis team) back again to the primary care team, to the GP, back again to the intensive team and then a brief stay in hospital thanks to a intervention by my eating disorder team.

My local intensive team are quite bad and are well known for it, while under their care, I was accused of lieing, self Dx’ing myself (I was told by one of their doctors that I wasn’t Bipolar but instead Borderline or I could just have recurring depression which lead to a argument and me slamming the door and walking out), being a attention seeker and making things sound worse than they were, along with being told to eat something all the time although the meds I was given killed of my appetite.

Thankfully I got a second opinion from one of the different doctors who agreed that my bipolar Dx shod stay the same but with BPD added in as well (co-mobid).

After a few weeks of support from them and daily visits I was discharged back to my GP and to the care of my eating disorder team. I was quite thankful for this because of the above but after a couple of weeks I started to rapid cycle; I felt high, confident, more energy, on top of the world, not needing sleep and excitable but that was short lived, I would come crashing down, not being able to move, crying, self care at its worst along with other things. So the cycle continued, a family member figured it was my antidepressants that might be causing it like they have done in the past, so I stopped taking them.

This was horrible; I stopped eating, struggled with the simplest of tasks and I started to dissociatate more to the point where it was impacting everything I did. This lead to my eating disorder team during a supported lunch to phone the Intensive team to see about getting me admitted which happened after waiting for 6 hours for a bed. I was kept in for a few days till I discharged myself because I felt it wasn’t helping and was to restrictive.

Back at home this week I’ve started to think more and more about how I’ve been treated by the intensive team and the primary care, they should of seen what was happening, acted on what I was saying (I had some insight) and after my section 136, offered the right level of support and not what they done above. The past couple of days I’ve been exhausted, stressed to the point where I’m getting ill by it all, crying about it, shutting down as a way of coping and over thinking it all, could I have changed things? No I couldn’t, but now what’s happened has distoryed my trust in the services to the point where I don’t want to engage with them again (well apart from my ED team). This fallout will continue for a while till I can learn to cope with it and recover.

They sent a survey to me and my family about the care I received, let’s just say it was very very low and I wrote a letter on the back that I hope they read (Dear Crisis Team)

Till then I am just surviving and that is about all there, is to it.

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My experience with Anorexia: Trigger Warning

I am forever engaged in a silent battle in my head over whether or not to lift the fork to my mouth, and when I talk myself into doing so, I taste only shame. I have an eating disorder.

11 years now I’ve been in a off and on again battle with Anorexia, periods of recovery and then relapse. Something I never really talked about till now so here’s a long post about my battle…

All started when I was 13, started as a control thing, my parents controlled everything I did and controlling what I ate was my part of gaining some control but as things like this go it quickly spirals into a deadly cycle of restricting, binging, lying and hiding from the truth.

I quickly lost weight (I’m quite a skinny person anyhows), I gained prise from friends, cousins asked me how I did it, people I knew commented about how I looked; parents and teachers didn’t batter a eyelid, encouraged by all this I kept going. Ana took hold. The cycle I mentioned took hold.

Skipping breakfast, rushing out, cycling the 5 miles to and from the school, pacing the corridors to burn off kcals I did guiltily eat at lunch and then cycling back home and then trying to skip dinner or have very little only to binge at night, I emptied the cupboards, fruit bowls anything I could get my hands on to stop that voice. Only to be filled with disgust once I stopped. So the cycle continued

Fast forward six months I was at one of my lowest weights, somehow I started challenging ana, slowly fighting back seeking recovery, I never told anyone but I think some knew.

A year and a bit later at the age of 15, I was healthy, happy, at a safe weight only at times going into old habits.

At 17, I sunk back into the world of ana, but this time was different. I was manic, high as a kite, loving life, hardly sleeping, who needs to eat? Eating wastes time , time I need to use so I can complete my mission, I kept thinking to myself so the cycle began again. This time people started saying that I was anorexic.

The days became nights, nights became days, I was racing sinking deeper and deeper into anorexia and mania again, that voice of ana becoming stronger and stronger taking over my life and a little bit later I crashed, into a crippling depression. Not moving, guilty about eating, being repulsed by the fat on my body. After a few weeks I tried to take my own life, I failed thankfully, admitted to a mental health hospital. Told I was anorexic (formal this time, not just people saying it), bipolar (along with BPD just to make things more interesting) In there I once again recovered to a point with my anorexia. Discharged I continued my life, working, seeing people, studying and sadly the odd restriction and binge (mainly to remind my self that I have control)

Now it’s 2014, 8 years later from then; I’m 24 and relapsed back into that horrible cycle of restricting, binging, the guilt of eating, the fear of gaining, the obsession of counting everything I’ve ate. This time it was picked up on a review, I was referred to a eating disorder clinic. For the first time in my life I’m getting specialised support and treatment for my disorder. So far so good, I still have the cycle but it’s becoming more and more controlled, I’ve stopped certain behaivers and now using coping methods to control thoughts (mindfullness and ice diving are great)

Now with the right support I can beat this demon once and for all, but a small part of me knows that it will always be with me, lurking in the background, waiting for that moment.

A quote I like to use at times is ‘recovery is a choice, and everyday, every moment I have to make that choice’ will I choose recovery? Fuck yes I will

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Living with the lies

Today I was going though some old email accounts and come across some emails from a very old blog I used to write. This was full of posts when I was at my worse in terms of my mental health and also with anorexia and listed things such as poor care, sections I was on, the move between camhs to adult services and also poems (used to be quite a poet till I gave up).

So while having a good read down memory line I saw this under a post called ‘living with the lies’

I don’t know why I do it, but I do. I have this unhealthy obsession with pretending to people that my life is trundling along with absolutely no problems and everything is fantastic when in actual fact it’s falling apart very rapidly and is being held in place by the tiniest of tiniest of threads which can come undone at any time because of the smallest thing, and today I think its happened

It got me thinking, during that time I was very ill and not at that point of asking for help so I pretended everything was okey, I still do have that obsession at times where I do say I have no problems, everything is fantastic when everything is really going wrong but over time I have improved on that, instead of all the time, I do now ask for help if I need it.

BUT

All it takes is that one trigger, that one thread to come undone and everything comes apart.

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