So the professionals say I have borderline personality disorder, which in a way explains my behaviours and manic spells. Along with this I have anxiety and depression so a bad episode can mean being bed bound for days sometimes longer.
Some like having a diagnoses as it gives clarity as to why you are feeling a certain way, it enables you to get tailored therapy and educate yourself on it and research ways to help yourself.
Having a diagnoses makes you feel semi normal, like how you have been feeling wasn’t in your head. On the other hand some don’t like the label of a diagnoses or feel against the diagnoses they have been given.
For me I was just relieved someone took the time to listen to me properly, without telling me I was too young to feel like that or that it will pass. It has taken me years and years to find that one professional who has worked well with me.
For years it was always just a GP I would see. I wasn’t even aware that surgeries rolled out mental health nurses to help the waiting times to see a doctor. However I always ended up leaving the appointments feeling worse than I had entered it. With a script (prescription) thrown my way with medication I have never tried before let alone educated on what they are or side effects. That was as far as help that you were given.
If I walked in to a GP surgery with a broken arm you would get different treatment with a sense of urgency, but with mental health it is treated so different because it is not always visable.
I remember needing urgent medical attention and was removed frow work and taken to the doctors. They had a call from my work advising on my situation and could I be put in a separate room whilst I waited due to the distress I was showing. I was seen pretty quickly by a male doctor who took one look at me, I explained how I had been feeling etc. You know what his response was “you are very young to be having those thoughts or feelings like that”. My response to him at the time was if you do not help me I am going to walk out this appointment and walk right into on coming traffic. His face was horrified! However at the time that is exactly how I felt. I mean looking back I had wished I took a photo and laugh about it. He then turned round and said I will check if the mental health nurse if free to see you. I stopped right in my tracks and said sorry a what? Why haven’t I had this? For years they knew I had suffered with mental health to now be told about a service I should have been already recieving. To say I was angry would have been an under statement.
What is even worse is that because the NHS is stretched you don’t always get to see the same GP. You see so many different ones, making it harder to connect and build trust. It means repeating how you feel. This in itself can be difficult. I hate explaining myself over and over. Not only this but it comes back down to having stability and routine, and by that I mean having one GP who knows you well enough without constantly repeating myself. It means having appointments booked routinely.
Thankfully I now have a great mental health nurse. Since I started seeing her I have seen a massive improvement within myself. She can book appointments in advance and likes to see me weekly. I have her work mobile contact number should I not be able to attend an appointment I send her a text than forgetting to cancel appointments or call and wait ages on hold to get through to a surgery. She challenges me when I need it. She helps me live a better balanced lifestyle. If I skip meals by mistake she wants to know and works out plans to get back on track. She has referred me for many therapys that have really helped me. One thing I do like from about her is she is patient with me. She gives me the best advice, and always a call away. I never recieved any of the help she has given me through ever seeing a GP. She got to the bottom of things and got me a diagnoses. She explains medication and the effects if may have on me.
What I am struggling with most of all is work. Yes I have gradually put myself back in work from taking 2 months out to work on myself. I haven’t ever been unemployed so making that desision to take a time out was difficult. I was always in control of my life by being kept busy working so much so that I started negkecting other parts of my life.
I would highly recommend a break for anyone looking to refocus and just give yourself some time to heal. We are not made to work and pay bills that is no life to lead.
Now I am back into employment I am struggling with the back and forth thoughts of am I really ready to get back to working? Should I have gone back part time than full time? Am I taking on too much? I don’t have enough time to focus on myself as much as I did before. To get that balance of work life, home life and social life. I often feel overwhelmed when working long stretches at a time with little days off in between. Doing double shifts kill me.
To some they might laugh at me saying this but having a brain that is constantly working overtime it is mentally exhausting. I often get so carried away overthinking things. Someone of my age should find it easy to hold down a full time job right? But is this right? How many people like me struggle daily. To maintain a balanced lifestyle.
How many people feel it is too much to do a double shift. I always never know how long I am going to be able to hold down a job for. Mental health for me makes working incredibly difficult. I am a super hard worker. I am determinded to achieve things. When I am good I really am good. However you won’t always come across employers who have a great understanding on how to support me.
When I tell people about my mental health what they find easy is to just google borderline personality disorder and think that is who I am. I am more than the diagnosis. I am more than the statistics the web holds. It is not one shoe fits all. To some that is the easy option. However getting to know someone like myself helps more than anything. To know what my triggers are. To know what to do should I be having a bad episode. With working how difficult is it when you need time off, and all you can do in that time off is stress about work and potentially being sacked due to needing time off.
In my previous employment I had the most amazing boss known to man. I have openly spoken about Babs in previous posts. How she helped me straight away when I was made homeless. She held my hand throughout the hardest times of my life. When I wanted to end my life she appeared and saved me. She was always around when she knew I was having a tough shift keeping an eye on me. She always always knew I was ill before I did. She made decisions for me when I couldn’t. If only every employment had a Barbara Haig working for them. Even though I do not work at Social Bite anymore I am still 100% part of that family.
So I write this post because recently has been a little turbulent in life. I have started to have more bad days than good. I have questioned my abilities and what I can give to others. I have qquestioned how much longer I will be employed before being told that my probation period is not passed because I can’t always face working. Other days I have so much fucking energy that no matter how much I try burn off the energy I am like a Duracell bunny on speed that can’t be brought back down again.
Remember people aren’t there diagnosis they are humans who have a little more to them. Who may need more kindess shown to them and supported a little more than others. After suffering this for years you would think I wouldn’t need to explain my behaviours to others because they mistake my manic phases for being too hyper not professional enough. To my down days being lazy than actually depressed. To excess cleaning and not eating are signs of becoming unwell. Compulsive behaviours and needing things done certain ways. These are signs of me personally being unaware I am unwell. I do have a hand full of people around me thankfully who can tell when I am unwell and they don’t judge they just get it. This is important to surround youself amongst these people.
I don’t take criticism very well, infact it may actually make me focus more on the negatives and seeing no positives. This can often spiral into not being good enough.