Still alive

Just a small warning before reading, I talk about self harm in this post.

Christ it’s been over a year since my last post, it went by so freaking fast. I don’t know why I stopped posting, guess so much stuff was going on that I just forgot to.

Things have changed since my last post, some good and some bad. I guess I’ll start with the bad. My family are going through something that has been really stressful to say the least, I can’t go into any details because it really isn’t my place to share it with strangers on the internet. But I can say that it looks like some of it will be resolved soon, the rest will probably take a long time.

As for my mental health I had a setback towards then end of last year. Things got bad again and I had to go through some medication changes which took a while to take effect. I also had to start going to a CPN for help with self harm which I never expected to rear it’s ugly head again. I didn’t start doing it for the same reason as before which was for relief as well as being a form of punishment. This time it was due to the paranoid beliefs I sometimes get trapped in, the belief was and still is that by doing it I’m preventing something bad from happening which I know is crazy and ridiculous but when I haven’t done it I fully believe that it’s real. It’s only afterwards I come to my senses and think “What the fuck are you doing to yourself ?” but that only lasts until I wake up the next day, then it’s back to “I have to do it to stop something bad from happening.” I don’t know what put this in my head, it really seemed to come out of nowhere. My sessions with my CPN have been going well however and she is getting me into a DBT group that meets once a week and also comes with one on one sessions with a psychologist once a week. At first I didn’t want to do it because of my fear of strangers and groups of people but my mum convinced me to try it at least once, it’s not like the people in the group are going to be harsh or judging because they will be going through the same things, which puts me at ease a little. I just hope it happens soon before I talk myself out of it.

As for the paranoia and voices it’s been mixed. I do still have episodes of the voices but they are less frequent and don’t have as much power over me. The paranoia is a different matter, I keep having episodes were I will turn innocent unrelated events into something interconnected and threatening. For example, one day I walked my dog Bob (my dog) and three things happened; first I saw a guy sitting in his car that was parked in the bus terminus next to the field I walk Bob in, second I passed a guy walking in the field but he didn’t have a dog with him and third (the most innocent thing) on the way back home a neighbour was at their living room window and waved as I went past. When I got home my anxiety levels started rising and I began going over these three things in my head and I couldn’t stop. “Was that guy in the car there to watch me? why was that man walking in the field without a dog? why was my neighbor at her window, was she also watching me?” I kept thinking these over and over, trying to connect them and make a conspiracy out of them. Luckily that time I had a moment of clarity and realised what I was doing before it went full on “They’re all working together to do something to me.” It’s happened quite a few times this year but I always seem to manage to stop it before I go full on tin foil hat mode.

Something else that happened recently was that my dog Bob got really ill. One day we got up as usual and I gave him his breakfast, which he then threw up, sometimes that could happen if he eats it too quickly but he was sick again and again. By the time I got in touch with the vets he had been sick about ten times over the course of an hour. My mum gave us a lift in and the vets kept him for six hours to do some tests and get him fluids. It turned out that he had a really bad infection in his bladder which they thought was the cause of him being sick so the prescribed some antibiotics and we took him home. He had stopped being sick but wouldn’t stop crying because of the pain in his abdomen so I stayed up with him until the next day and took him back. Same thing happened as before and we picked him up a few hours later and they prescribed him painkillers. He managed to get a couple hours sleep but again was in a lot of pain, even with the painkillers. We took him in again and this time the vet wanted to get a look at what was going on so he was booked for a scan of his abdomen. We got the results of the scan the day after and it turned out he had several small kidney stones which weren’t causing any blockages but were still causing problems. Thankfully that day he was back to his normal mischievous self and wasn’t in pain anymore. We took him back in a week later for some more tests and a scan and there was good news and some pretty bad news. Good news is that the bacterial infection is gone as well as one of the kidney stones. The bad news is that his blood test shows that he has kidney disease. It honestly felt like a punch to the gut when I read the report, what it means is that he isn’t going to be around for as long as I thought, I don’t know if it means if he’ll live only a couple more years or quite a few because he’s in the very early stages and his vet said that they can’t make any predictions until it advances. I knew he probably wouldn’t live as long as our dog Tess did, she was 16 when she passed, because he’s a pure breed and a english bull dog but I thought he’d be around a lot longer. I’m trying not to think to pessimistically about it but the way my mind is right now I just can’t help it, so I’m mentally preparing myself for the worst case scenario though I doubt I’ll ever be prepared for that. But no matter what happens he’s going to get all the love and help he needs, it’s the least I can do for him because he’s my best friend and hell he saved my life.

But it hasn’t all been completely bad. I’ve been seeing more of my dad the past two months and we’ve been connecting a lot more. Up until a few months ago I never knew what to talk about with him because he doesn’t show his emotions as much as other people, so I could never gage what he was thinking about the conversation and I mistook that for disinterest. But my sister told me about a conversation she had with him about it and he essentially said that he’s always never really shown his emotions but it doesn’t mean he isn’t happy to talk to us or isn’t interested. After she told me that I finally understood and since then I’ve been way more confident in talking to him. I’ve also been seeing more of my sister, I’ve been going over to her and her partner’s place for dinner quite a lot and it’s always a laugh. I think these experiences with my family have been having an effect on my drive to get out and live my life. I find myself wanting to meet people and make some friends, I’m nowhere near close to actually doing it but I’m getting the drive to which is a step in the right direction.

Anyway that’s pretty much all the important things that have happened this year. I’m not going to make any strict schedules on when I’ll write new posts, it’ll probably just be when things happen and I want to vent.

If you’ve made it this far (I would totally understand if people haven’t, this is a long ass post) then just want to say cheers for reading!

Moving on

Am I ready to move on? I’ve been asking myself that question for the past week and I honestly don’t have an answer. I want to move on with my life but things keep happening that make me question if I’m ready. The voices and paranoia keep rearing their ugly heads every so often making me feel like I haven’t made any progress at all.

But one of things I’ve had to come to terms with is that my mental health problems are always going to be there no matter what I do, they’ll always be a part of me. So it really comes down to a choice, I can hide away and undo all the work I’ve done towards getting my life back or embrace the fact that there are always going to be problems but realise that they don’t have to hold me back.

I choose the latter. Now I do have an answer to whether or not I can move on. I will keep moving forward and I will endure my mental health problems, I want a life even if it is a constant battle to maintain and hold onto.

I needed to think that through, that’s why I love writing down my thoughts, it gives me a clearer picture.

Anyway time for me to go, as always cheers for reading!

Road to sanity: entry 16

Hey guys, so it’s been quite a while since my last post, that’s because I haven’t had much of anything to write about. I’ve been stuck in limbo for the past month waiting for my first appointment with an occupational therapist and last week I finally got it. It was just a “triage” meeting, as they called it, to see what kind of things they could do for me. It went really well, I was worried that my nerves would prevent me from explaining my situation properly but the OT seemed to get what I was saying. We finally decided on a plan for my next steps. I’ve been placed on the waiting list for one on one help with an OT and I’ve been signed up for a course where I get to find out about volunteering opportunities that starts next month.

I feel like things are finally moving forward for the first time in months and I’m quite excited to see where things will go from here. It hasn’t all been sunshine and daisies though. I have had a few episodes with the voices and fatigue from the MS has been really dragging me down, I’ve been having to have naps like an old man just to make it through the day which really isn’t like me. I’ve also had to stop working out because of it which is really frustrating as I was making a lot of progress losing weight. All in all it’s been a mixed month, a lot ups and downs.

Anyways that’s all I’ve got for now, gonna try and go back to weekly posts as it helped a lot for me to vent on here.

So until next time, cheers for reading!

Road to sanity: entry 15

Hey guys so this week has been monumental in my road to recovery. I’ve been officially discharged by my psychologist, which is a really good thing, I talked in my last post about how my psychologist felt it was time for me to move on without him and it scared the shit out of me when he first suggested it but I came around to his way of thinking. Our appointments were getting shorter and shorter as there was less for me talk about because I was dealing with my problems so well, I feel like I’ve made true progress and future has gotten just that little bit brighter.

In other news I saw my dad after about five months of the occasional text, he works a hell of a lot and recently had a lot to deal with. I was nervous as hell, I’m always nervous when meeting up with him because I’ve never really got much to say about what’s been going on with my life and I struggle to make conversation with people in general. It was easier this time however, me and my sister both went with our dogs which definitely eased my anxiety. It went well and I actually had a good time, the dogs were brilliant at keeping me occupied and gave me a lot to talk about.

So that’s it for this time folks take care and cheers for reading!

Road to Sanity: entry 14

Hey guys so I’ve given up on having a set day for my posts, I’m just way too forgetful to do it so I’m just gonna write them roughly once a week.

So how have things been going? Pretty good actually, my psych appointments have been going really well so well that my psychologist thinks that it’s time for me to move on without him. When he first mentioned this I panicked, I couldn’t see myself being able to cope by myself but I’ve come to realise that he is right. Our appointments have been getting shorter and shorter because I’m coping with my problems a lot better than I was so there is less for me to talk about. This is a pretty good turn of events and I’m feeling positive about it. I’m still waiting to hear from the occupational therapist to get the next phase of my recovery going, hopefully I’ll hear something soon.

As for the family gathering I talked about last time, it went well. Turned out I didn’t have to talk much as my cousins where all talking about all the stuff they had been up to, which is really good as all I had to talk about was video games I’d played. So yeah it went really well, I even managed to relax and have fun interacting with family I hadn’t seen in so long.

So all in all it’s been good since the last post and things are looking up.

As always cheers for reading!

Road to sanity: entry 13

Hey guys so I’ve been without internet for past two weeks which has been really frustrating, that’s why I haven’t been able to post anything. Honestly you don’t realise how reliant you are on it till it’s gone. I’ve only been able to use my data to do small things like leaving likes and commenting.

So what’s been happening since the last post? I’ve been keeping up with my psychologist’s plan, going out and enduring the anxiety, it’s getting easier slowly but surely. I did push myself into doing something I haven’t done in six years, I went in to town. This is a pretty big deal for me as going into town has been one of my major fears, there is just so many people that I was afraid I’d have a panic attack, I almost did but I managed to control it. My psychologist says this is a sign that I’m improving drastically, I think he may be right. I never imagined being able to do that five months ago but now I feel like I can finally start moving on.

My next trial is going to be a hard one. My family is getting together for my mum’s birthday, I haven’t seen most of them for about a year so I’m gonna be awkward as hell, it’s about holding a conversation, I never have much to talk about because I never do much of anything, nothing interesting anyway. I don’t know, maybe I’m making a bigger deal out this than I should.

Anyways that’s enough for now, gonna catch some shut eye.

As always cheers for reading!

Road to sanity: entry 12

So last week was a stressful one. I can’t go into more detail than that because it’s not my story to tell, I’m not one to gossip about other people’s business. Because of all this stress I haven’t been able to keep up with my plans to leave the house everyday but I have done something I haven’t done in a couple of years and that was go to a large supermarket and IKEA. I went with my mum and sister, it went really well. My anxiety was through the roof when we were on the way there but it subsided about ten minutes after actually getting there, mainly because I saw that everyone there was busy with doing their own thing and not staring at and judging me, after that it was a cake walk.

I had my psychologist yesterday which went well, he was saying that he believes that I’m ready to accelerate my plans and start working on getting on buses, I’m skeptical over whether I can do it or not, my plan was to wait until I had my occupational therapist but now I’m not sure if I do need to wait until then. I don’t know we’ll see, still gotta wait till I have a bus pass which I’ll thankfully get for free and should take a couple weeks to get it.

It has been a strange mixed week of stress and progress which I guess is better than just a week of stress. Anyway that’s enough for now gonna be going out to another large shop which should be interesting.

So until next time, cheers for reading!

Road to sanity: entry 11

Hey guys, so I guess Mondays are my new blog day as I always forget to do it Friday but hey it’s getting done.

So this week has been pretty boring, which is a really good thing. Usually an eventful week means voices and severe depression so boring and un-eventul is good. I’m keeping up with my plan to leave the house everyday and push myself into more uncomfortable situations. One of the things I’ve done is taken Bob to the vet by myself which is more stressful than it sounds, Bob has some pretty bad conditions and needs specialized treatment so we have to go to the vetinary school for his treatments which means there is always a large group of students at the appointment so I get very anxious in that situation but I managed to do it by myself which I’m pretty proud about. I almost didn’t do it but I heard my psychologist’s voice in my head asking me ‘why not?’ and I didn’t have a good arguement against it so I decided to do it.

It was stressful and I was incredibly awkward with the students but I did it and I’m glad I did, it’s another thing I can say yes to which is my goal for my life, to be able to say yes to the things I’ve always said no to.

Besides that the week has been pretty quiet and normal which I’m really thankful for. Anyway that’s enough for now, so until next week goodbye and as always cheers for reading!

Road to sanity: entry 10

So things are a bit rough today. I missed a dosage of my meds the day before last and it seems to have thrown a wrench in the works. Luckily it’s not the voices that are causing problems but the depression. I just feel extremely low and a bit lost. I’ve been managing to get my mind off things with video games though, they are always the best thing for me when it gets like this.

I got a letter the other day saying that I’m now on the waiting list for occupational therapy which is really good, it shouldn’t be much longer till I’ll finally be able to start working on getting on public transport and going into town. This will be the biggest and most important step towards getting my life back and I can’t wait.

I’ve been keeping up with my plans that I made with my therapist. Besides from today I’ve been getting out the house once a day and doing my excercises everyday. I’m starting to see the benefits of both, being outside in the real world is getting easier and I’m starting to feel physically healthier.

Anyway that’s it for now, the depression will hopefully pass in the next couple of days and I’ll be able to resume my daily plan.

As always cheers for reading!

Video games saved my life

Hey guys sorry I’m late again but I’ve gotten back into gaming and I have been a bit distracted and totally forgot to post something. But it has given me the idea for the this post so there is a plus side.

A year after I left highschool, I was 17, my mental health was at it’s worst. I was in constant fear of someone or something coming after me and the voices were feeding into that but I had one thing that could take my mind off of those things and it was gaming. I played games obsessively because the offered refuge from all the paranoia, fear and crippiling loneliness. Without video games I’d have been left with nothing to stand between me and total insanity. It sounds a bit dramatic but it’s true. The stories were what got me hooked. The very first game to get me completely engrossed was Bioshock and is to this day my favourite game, hell I’ve got a tattoo of a poster from it.

Gaming helped me escape from my fucked up life, It still does, whenever I feel at my rock bottom I turn on my console and escape to another world where my problems don’t exist. There was a long time where I was addicted to it, playing from the moment I got up till the dawn of the next day. Thankfully that has passed and I don’t play that obsessively anymore.

Gaming made my life bareable in my darkest times and I’ll always be thankful for it.

Anyway I just felt like sharing that.

As always cheers for reading!