Worth A Read..

Hi Everyone!

I thought today I would write about a book I read a couple of months ago called ‘Mad Girl’ I don’t tend to read books that involve mental health there being no reason in particular other than  I use reading as a form relaxation and being able to go into another world that’s completely different from mine.

This book I decided I would read though after seeing it in the shop, it caught my eye with it’s bright colour and the title did allow me to giggle to myself so why not?

I honestly enjoyed the book so much to the point where I couldn’t put it down (I tend to get like that with books much to my partners dismay when the bed side light is still on at 1am). I felt as though the author was speaking to me and I could relate to what she was saying throughout the pages. How she suffered with her mental health which led to the feeling of a big flashing red arrow pointing down at me because I understood ME ME! and that is why I think I enjoyed this book so much, if you want honest then you have it there is no hiding. It’s funny and makes you smile but it also has a serious message throughout the book about mental health and how important it is for word to be spread.

You can step into someone’s mind for that whole book and get an understanding of what it is like to live with mental health, all the struggles and hardship people go through on a daily basis but it also puts an element of humour which is nice to see. I don’t always want my mental health to be seen as a down subject I can laugh about as well and give as good as it gets. It’s like a breath of fresh air to see the subject put into different lights throughout the book and sometimes you want to laugh and then you want to well up.

The book is a journey through the authors life and I really do like the fact its not all based on quotes and statistics but you are actually reading what a human being has gone through and how they have coped it hasn’t been written by someone who has never suffered  but is assuming what we want to hear and just reals of statistics.

If you really want a good read then I do highly suggest this book, it will give you a run through of all the different emotions but its totally worth it. It would even be a good read for family and friends so they can get an insight into what life is like for you or someone else they love.

If you have also read this book then leave me a comment and let me know if you enjoyed it and what your thoughts were.

x

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uncertain feelings..

I have friends who I adore, who are always there for me through thick and thin and stand by me no matter what.

I find myself not being a worthy friend back to them. I often make plans to see them and when it comes around to it I find myself making up excuses. I can’t find the motivation to get up and go and the thought of actually meeting up doesn’t fill me with excitement to see them quite the opposite actually.

I could happily have my own company and be absolutely fine, I don’t feel as though I need friendship but on the other hand I know it’s so important to have those people around of you. Is it strange to enjoy your own company so much? Why wouldn’t I want to be around my fun loving friends? To me it doesn’t make any sort of sense and I can’t comprehend it.

I look at those around of me who can’t wait to go out and see their friends and spend all their weekends out and go out after work. Then there’s me who can’t wait to come home and become a hermit for the evenings and weekends. Enjoying being by myself..

I often wonder am I being grumpy? Or am I being unsociable? Am I?

I use to love going out and seeing my friends, all the time. Now this change? Is it something to do with my mental health? Or have I just become this grumpy person?

I find it hard to deal with..

Does anyone else feel this way?

Late night thoughts x

Medication..

Back again! Today in this blog I wanted to talk about medication and my experience. I don’t want to offend anyone whilst writing this nor am I doing this to give advice or sway anyone’s opinion.

When I was first diagnosed with my obsessive compulsive disorder I never thought about medication and it didn’t really cross my mind that I would ever need it to help me. I thought I will have a course of therapy and this will be all that I need.

I never started off on medication I sought different options before this, like I said above I went to speak to people and I tried to conquer this on my own but it wasn’t that easy as this is not something you can always control yourself and sometimes you need that help from a doctor and what they can offer you to help through these times and that’s completely okay. When I knew I could’t help myself anymore I went back to the doctors to see what else could be done and they suggested that I try some medication. I was very hesitant about this suggestion as the thought of possibly having to be on medication everyday for how ever long filled me with dread. I don’t know why I had this preconception about medication because I had not really thought about tablets before but the biggest want for me was to be able to be happy without the need of anything in my body I wanted to sort this out myself but this was not going to happen. After some thought about the suggestion from the doctor and talking to my family I decided I would give it a go and see how it went.

3 years on and I am still on medication. It has changed my life completely and for the better, it has settled me down and I am able to cope with my daily life unlike before it was a struggle. It just proves I needed that extra boost to help me feel the way that I wanted to. Everyday I take that tablet and it allows me to be able to get on with my day and if I don’t take that one little tablet I struggle with my day so I do need them very much so.

I have changed different tablets over the course of 3 years due to different circumstances but I am finally on a tablet that I am happy with and can see the difference it makes with myself.

Coming to terms with possibly being on medication for the rest of my life hasn’t always been an easy thought but I have now come to terms with this and I tell myself If I have to take one little tablet everyday that helps me function and enables me to live a normal life does it really matter? and for me the answer is no. I would rather take that tablet than be the person I am when I haven’t taken it, I don’t want to be unhappy and finally I am not.

You have to do what’s best for you..

If I Don’t Complete This What Will Happen?

The title of this blog post is my one liner when it comes to OCD, If I don’t complete this what will happen?

All of my rituals are based round this sentence..

I have always tried to ignore the question ‘what do you think will happen if you don’t complete a ritual?’ I never wanted to face the answer behind it all. Otherwise I would have to accept the afterthought and worry and anxiety into my head.

When I went to have my CBT one of the first questions my therapist asked me was the question I had been avoiding for so long. When he asked me I just shrugged and said I really don’t know I was shutting down and avoiding, he started to suggest different intrusive thoughts and when the right one come across the room went silent he could see my face drop and he knew I was worried about hurting people. Someone has discovered why I complete these rituals and I wasn’t comfortable with this.

Every ritual completed was to keep my family and those around of me safe and I so believed it. It was unthinkable what might happen if they weren’t completed It was not even worth considering. I can be driving along in my car concentrating on the road all the way to my destination but when I get there I will say to my partner what If hurt someone on the way here or I hit someone on the road. It irrational as I know full well I would know if this has happened but the little voice in my head is telling me different and it is so hard to fight this off.

I find it hard because I have never been a nasty person or would never intentionally hurt someone but the fact this little voice in my head is telling me otherwise can be emotionally draining. It is difficult to contend with on a daily basis and even though in 2017 I feel better I can still feel that little voice talking to me.

Life is a constant question of ‘what if?’

I over worry about everything I say to people forever worrying and becoming anxious that I have hurt them with words or upset them. I will replay a situation over and over again in my head trying to justify my words to them but it will forever be that one question that plays through my head.

Do any of you have a reason for doing your rituals? that keeps you doing them?

I would like to hear them if anyone feels comfortable

x

Letting Go Of My Dream

Becoming a nurse has always been my ambition from a young age. I always new that’s what I wanted to do and through everything I did it was for that career.

College I worked my ass off to get the best grades possible and then I went onto do a course of Level 3 Health and Social Care which I completed with great grades. After I applied for an adult nursing degree which I was successful to get onto to AMAZING! everything was going the way it should and my path was falling into place in front of me allowing me to move on.

My OCD was present at this time but not to the extent where it was limiting my life and stopping me from living my life but I knew it was hanging around. I didn’t believe that this was going to affect my life long dream and stop me from doing it wasn’t I wrong.

I started university and I was so excited that in 3 years I was going to complete this course and I was going to be a qualified nurse. I really enjoyed the first few months, I was making new friends and learning lots of new interesting subjects it was a whole new environment but I felt as though I was thriving in it. This was going to be great. After settling in it was time to start our placements on wards, this was the practical aspect of the course and what I was most excited and looking forward to. My OCD wasn’t even a second thought, I was placed at an hospital 1 hour away from my home town this was okay though I would move for the mean time so I could be closer.

My first day on the ward, I had a bunch of different emotions running around my body worry,anxiety,excitement and anticipation. I was doing a twelve hour shift 8am to 8pm and that was a wake up call. Everything was going fine I was shadowing and watching trying to fit all this information into my mind. All of a sudden when I started to have patient contact my OCD came into full force it was speaking to me ‘You’ve hurt them’ ‘You did that wrong’ ‘doubt yourself’ ‘You are no good at this’ I couldn’t believe it after all this time it was a no show and all of a sudden WHACK! it was back. Everything I did from that moment on meant this little voice was always talking to me and making me doubt myself it was a full on day along with this dark cloud looming over me.

I came home and cried, cried a lot. All these thoughts were swirling around in my head ‘How are you going to be a nurse?’ ‘Did I hurt someone?’ ‘What If I do hurt someone?’ ‘I am not going to succeed at this’ I was so emotional and I couldn’t get myself together after this experience and these thoughts wouldn’t leave my head.

I went back to university after this for a month or so but the thoughts and OCD became to much. I had to make the hardest decision of my life and this was taking a break from the course to get myself some help I can feel myself welling up even writing this. I made this decision and went through with it, I had lots of anxiety around what people were going to think I had to tell my friends at university and my family and friends at home. I didn’t want to deal with the judgements and looks of disappointment, it was hard enough that I felt this let alone what other people were going to say and do.

I got myself the most brilliant therapist and went through a year of CBT with him. This was a god send I had never really opened up like I did in this year and it felt great and to actually talk to someone who was going to help and support me.

My intention was to always going back to my nursing degree but after my CBT I still didn’t feel ready I felt as though going straight back to it would be the wrong decision for my health. I decided to get a job with less stress for a year and get myself back on top to where I was before. This didn’t happen and I still struggled for months after and 3 years later I still have not returned. On the other hand for the first time since completing my CBT I have got myself a job back in the health care sector and I am super proud of myself as this is where I feel as though I belong.

This year I would have been graduating as a qualified nurse, I see on social media the people I knew on this course posting about passing and getting their degree and that they now have jobs. I find it really really hard and I can feel myself welling up looking at it. That would have been me if it wasn’t for this f**king mental health (sorry for the language) I would have been a nurse. I go through my daily life still yearning for this and seeing nurses around makes me want to get back to it so much but I am more nervous than you could imagine. I just cant explain the sadness I feel in myself at times, I could honestly cry.

I have to look forward now though. Who knows what the futures brings, maybe I will go back to my nursing degree and qualify or maybe I will become satisfied with my current job and it will be enough. I have to remind myself that I have been strong to get through this and come out the other end with the light.

I had to let go of my dream and I will never forgive my illness for that.

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Control

Being young and living in a household you hated was awful. Not being able to get along with your mum and stepdad was the issue and being a teenager made the whole situation difficult to bare lots of different emotions and hormones and not feeling as though I was being supported.

I wanted control..

The only way I could get control at this point in my life was to control my eating habits. I started to cut down my food intake, I would watch what I was eating and then slowly I hardly ate at all. I lost a lot of weight to the point where I believe if it had gone on any longer I would have had a big problem to deal with. I had finally found control in my life and it was something I was going to hold onto for as long as I could.

What I struggled with the most is the fact that my mum didn’t even acknowledge the problem that was happening right in front of her eyes. It wasn’t even like I tried to hide the fact this was happening I wouldn’t even eat my dinner when it was made and I didn’t take food when offered so she must have known or even had an inkling. She chose to ignore this and get on with life for herself and that was upsetting.

Since then I have heard many people say that when your life is out of control and you can’t grab it with both hands that you seek that control from something else in life and for me that was food.

When I left my mum’s and went to live with my auntie and uncle and all the stress and worry and feeling out of control left and left me for good. I gained control back in my life in so many other ways that I hadn’t before and this felt amazing. I began to eat properly again and healthy meals were being cooked for me and I began to put on weight and I started to feel better again and gradually life became good again.

For having my auntie and uncle I am forever thankful because if I had stayed at my mum’s I don’t know what would have happened and I dread to think. I am lucky.

Being out of control in your life is one of the worst feelings and I so totally sympathise with anyone that has or is going through it. You are strong though and you can get through this I promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back To The Start..

Often when I speak to people about my obsessive compulsive disorder they have the same questions such as when did it start? Why did it start? How old were you?

When did it start? and how old were you? –

My OCD started from a very young age I would say from 11 years old. It all started with obsessive hand washing this meant that anything I touched I couldn’t resist not going and washing them even though I would desperately  try and stop myself I can only describe it as the force of two magnets pulling towards each other but instead of the magnets it was the sink to my hands. This obsession went on for around a year and from what I can remember all of a sudden it just stopped, out of nowhere how does that happen? at that age it didn’t seem out of the norm but it was very frustrating I can remember that feeling.

My OCD disappeared, vanished just like that. I could start to live the ‘stress free’ life of a now 12 year old. I would no longer have to worry about this obsession and I could just go out daily life and not constantly fret about washing my hands.

3/4 years later being either 15/16 and just starting to take my exams at college my OCD decided it was going to return and of all times it thought now. I no longer had the obsession of washing my hands it presented itself in a different form and that was going to be my rituals that I would have to carry out from morning to night. It was the worst time for an appearance and I was older now which meant I understood that there was something going on with me and it wasn’t right. I was going to have to deal with this along with trying to complete my exams it was a lot on my plate. From 15/16 my OCD has never disappeared again and I am now 21 years old I believe I am in the long haul with this one.

Why did it start?

Lets start of with being 11 and having this obsession. I truly believe this started due to stress and constant worry, family life was a mess for me I didn’t have contact with my dad and myself and my mum really did not see eye to eye which was a struggle. I had decided that I wanted to go and live with my auntie and uncle due to being able to have a stable routine there and then stepping up to the mark for me from a young age. With all of this going on I was vulnerable and OCD decided it was going to pray on me and gift me a sh*t present of mental health surprise! wow thanks. Looking back I really do believe that this is what started off my obsession.

Those 3/4 years later my OCD returned. My exams were just starting at school and again the pressure was on which was causing anxiety, stress and worry. Can you start to see a pattern? whenever my body is feeling these emotions and I am at my most vulnerable point I am weak my strength is not there to fight this off. My OCD can sense that and this is the time that it hits you and takes your breath away as you see this is starting all over again. I have had lots of stress from the age of 15/16 when my OCD returned and I believe this is why it has never really gone away because there is always going to be a time when I am weak and to vulnerable and it can take control of my mind. Any stressful period in my life and my OCD is standing right behind me ready to kick me in the back of the legs so I obey its rules.

Like I have said above the emotions of stress, worry and anxiety are the big pushing factors in why I believe my OCD pops back up again and again. I always have to be careful that when I am coming into one of those periods in life that I am prepared for what else is around the corner.

Late night thoughts..

x