Time to Bid Farewell

There have been a few times throughout the years where the privacy and anonymity of this blog has been compromised. Despite this, I’ve kept blogging and this blog is now in its seventh year. This time though….I don’t think I can any more. I was asked by the Head of OT at my university to come to a meeting today, and the Director of Fieldwork and someone from Counselling Services was also present. It was there I was informed that they had found and read this blog and now that they have, there is a duty of care to ensure I am medically fit to do fieldwork. Thus my next fieldwork placement is pending medical clearance from the doctor at the mental health clinic.

I feel so exposed. I have poured so much of me here that I have never shared in person. Yes, I’m the one who chose to blog publicly. It was never intended though for the eyes of those who know me personally, and I can say with certainty that I did not ever anticipate OT staff at my university would read it. I’m stunned and can’t quite believe this is actually happening. I’m horrified and mortified by how much my lecturers now know.

Over the years Behind the Facade has garnered a number of readers and followers and it’s been wonderful to connect with a whole community of mental health bloggers. Unfortunately a downside to the increased traffic is that you never know who may come across your blog, and who may choose to report you. First the hospital I was in a couple of years ago, and now the university. Who knows what’s next, and it’s just become too much of a risk. Though my archives have been made private for now, I may decide to make them public again in the future once I ensure I’ve eliminated all identifying information that could give me away.

So I guess it’s goodbye for now. Which is sad, as this blog has been an outlet for me in my worst times for the past few years. At the same time this blog has dropped in importance to me in relation to the other things I have in my life, and the mental health blogging community isn’t what it once was, so maybe now’s a time as good as ever.

Take care everyone and thank you for being a part of my journey xx

 

One year

So I don’t quite know how it happened…but it seems it has been an entire year since I’d last taken a trip to the emergency department, been admitted to hospital or even taken an overdose. Okay, so I know for most people they manage not to do that ever so it shouldn’t really be such an achievement, but for me it is. Those who’ve followed my journey on this blog for some time may recall a girl who was quite consumed with her mental health issues. Who, for the past three or so years prior, could not go more than four or five months without overdosing and ending up in the ED. To be honest I’m not even entirely sure how this year happened, but here I am.

That’s not to say I don’t still struggle. I most certainly do. There are times when I still contemplate overdosing and that ending it all may be easier. Certain things and situations still will trigger me. At times I still self harm. There are times when I miss and long to receive the support of a mental health professional, and feel envious of those who do. But all in all, compared to how I used to be, I think I’m going okay. I just hope it continues not just for one year, but for many, many years.

2012

When I look back at 2012, my blog posts have been rather sparse in comparison to previous years. That’s probably not such a bad thing. When I’m well, my online life dwindles as I become more active in real life. There’s less of a need for me to vent and record every sordid detail of my life.

Reviewing the year that’s passed has in recent years caused me to feel dejected. However, though 2012 has brought its share of tough times, there have also been a number of instances where I’ve been proud of what I’ve achieved and grateful for what it has brought me.

In the beginning of the year Kobi, my little Maltese Shihtzu, came into my life. He’s my furry ball of joy who amuses me with his antics, keeps me company when I’m lonely, and comforts me by licking my tears away when I’m sad.

New people have come into my life. This year I made a group of friends in OT. I met my first boyfriend.

Despite many late nights, last minute assignments and freak outs, I passed both first semester and second semester of second year OT. I am now halfway through the course, with third year being the challenge in 2013.

In November, I turned 21 and spent in in the company of a group of friends. This was much more enjoyable than spending it with nurses, psychiatrists and patients in a psych ward.

This year has also been about striving for independence. I went on a holiday by myself for the first time. I finally received my drivers licence, even if it did take four driving tests before being able to do so. Through moving out, I now no longer have to live under my father’s rules and criticism and am free to live without fear at home.

For the greater proportion of the year, I’ve been managing without professional help bar the occassional GP visit to obtain scripts for my meds, and that’s been working out well for me. My last overdose, last ED and psych ward admission was back in March. That’s now almost ten months, the longest it’se been in years. I went five months without purging and an eating disorder is no longer an issue in my life.

Though mental health issues hasn’t been prominent in my life this year, I’ve still continued to be active and volunteer in the mental health sector. It still continues to be my passion, and I still very much enjoy it.

Here’s hoping 2013 is a good one.

Content

It’s been over a week now that I’ve moved out, and I’m beginning to settle in and even enjoy my new found freedom and independence. At first there were bumps, as I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I missed my home, where I had spent the majority of my life. There were tears as I wondered whether I could really cope and even contemplated picking up and going back. But now I’m glad I took the initiative to escape a situation I did not want to be in.

Moving to a new area, I went to see a new GP close by. He issued me the scripts I asked for; Pristiq and Seroquel, with enough repeats to last six months. Prior to this I had still been having only a week’s worth of medication dispensed to me at a time. Though it may be a little deceitful of me not to disclose this to the GP, I was tired of having to go to the pharmacy every week. Besides, I haven’t overdosed in 9 months and if I really wanted to, I could anyway. And for the moment, I don’t. Things are going well. I’ve finally moved out. I passed all my units at uni and will be going into my third year of occupational therapy in 2013. I have friends, and I even have a boyfriend now. The guy I’d been dating has become my boyfriend, in fact my first at the age of 21. And I too am his first, at the age of 25. For now, I am rather content.

Escape

Sometimes, I’m tired of fighting. I’m trying to tell myself that I can get through the obstacles that life throws at me, but more often than not I’m not so sure. On the exterior I’m trying to appear independent and capable, but on the inside I feel timid, scared and full of anxiety.

I’m moving out in less than a month, on 1st of December. Mostly to escape from my father. Was told last week during a screaming match between him and I that if I’m not going to abide by his rules, then I can leave and go find somewhere else to live. Apparently he’s “always right” and so my mum is not allowed to defend me against him. He threatened my mum that he’ll leave if she defends me against him again. But it’s fine, I’m leaving so it won’t likely happen again.

I’m terrified though. There’s the financial side of it, with the rent, cost of living and other expenses. Having to be an adult when I’m still so unsure about myself. Wondering if I’ll be able to cope and manage on my own and still keep up with my studies. A part of me also grieves for my childhood which was littered with difficult times and never having a proper dad as as I move towards being an ‘adult’.

It might make it easier if I had support but I don’t, and I feel so alone in the world.

I’m trying

It’s difficult trying to find the balance between trying to stay on top of everything, trying to take action in my life and not overloading myself with too much stress and end up completely giving up on life. Have been feeling rather anxious lately, which is probably understandable given all that I’ve taken on and am trying to do.

Had a try of a new job this week. It’s an easy job, just spending time going on an outing with a woman who has a mild intellectual disability. It pays well too. Whether this will be ongoing though I’m not sure, as they are trialling another person too. I also potentially have an interview for another job next week. It’s for the position of being a live-in support for a woman with Downs Syndrome, free rent in exchange for part time support. I’ve also been looking for a room to rent so I can move out. Though I want to be free of living in the same house as my father, I still have a lot of doubts and anxieties about whether I can do so. Can I afford it financially? Can I manage independently? In some ways I still feel like a child pretending to be an adult in an adult world.

On top of it all I still have uni work and assignments. Was totally panicking and crying about it all this week. Failed my neuroscience test yesterday. I feel bad for using my mental health issues as an excuse, but I went to my GP to get a medical certificate so I can get an extension on the assignments. Ended up crying when GP started talking about stuff. How for me, it’s been a cycle for a few years now that I end up in a crisis then back at hospital. That I can take medication but it doesn’t get to the bottom of it if I’m not seeing anyone. She doesn’t want to see me when I’m still 40 and doing this And that there are people who have been through so much, but they don’t act like victims. Which I thought was a bit unfair, as I AM trying, dammit. I’m trying to keep on top of uni, and asking for a bit more time on assignments, instead of just overdosing when the pressure gets too much, as I have done in the past. Because my father is one of the big triggers for unhappiness at home, I am trying to see if I can move out. I am trying to find employment so this plan is financially viable. Last uni break we had, I was the one who organised for us my group of friends to go out for lunch which in the past could be quite a challenge for me. Even though it can be hard, I am trying not to let friends who are unwell trigger me. I. Am. Trying. Dammit. GP seems to think that not seeing a psychologist equates to not taking action to try to beat depression and again suggested I consider seeing a psychologist. Seriously? That’s like putting me on the fast track to becoming unwell again. She did acknowledge though that it’s been about six months now that I haven’t overdosed and said “You should be proud of yourself.” Yes it has been six months, which is the longest I’ve gone without overdosing for about 2.5 years.

Hoping things stay okay

It’s scary how quickly a descent can occur. There was friction with my father yesterday, on Fathers’ Day no less, and from there my thoughts just spiralled. Instead of then just being about the present issue, it became about the past where I didn’t get what I needed, and it became about the future where it felt futile to hope or want for anything more.

I’m glad to report that today was a better day. Because what terrifies me the most is if it’s not just one bad day, but one after the other in succession, which then turns to weeks. It’s funny that it used to be the thought of getting better that scared me, particularly the loss of support it might entail. But now that I’m not seeing any mental health professionals in the first place, there’s nothing to lose and only something to gain. I’ve had months of predominantly wellness and stability and there are no words to describe how much I fear losing that. It wasn’t that long ago I was very unwell that I’ve forgotten what a painful and lonely place it is when in the grips of depression.

It’s been over five months since I last overdosed, and five months since I was last in hospital. In the past almost 2.5 years I’ve never been able to go more than 4-5 months without overdosing and ending up in the ED again. I’ve been crossing my fingers that things don’t go downhill and that I can keep this up. Please let me keep this up. I have no options if things go downhill. Therapy makes things worse because of my fear of rejection and abandonment. I have no doctor to play around with my meds. So I can only hope, and keep hoping, that it doesn’t.

Can’t cope with my emotions

I don’t know how to cope with my emotions. Okay, if we’re being real here, I guess I never have known. I never had the chance to learn how to deal with unpleasant emotions in what may be classed as an ’emotionally healthy’ way. As a child, if I slammed the door or punched the pillow in anger, my father would react with more anger and forbid me to do so. If I was upset and in tears, it’d also be met with irritation from my father and he’d yell at me to stop. Growing up, there was no sympathy nor comfort in times of hurt and sadness.

During my most recent hospital admission, my parents came to visit. My mother questioned me on what OT activities are available during the day to which my father then asked what OT is. I suppose I gave him a bit of a look. I’ve only been studying OT for the past over a year. But ya know, whatever. He then got angry at me for “looking at him like he’s dumb” and I in turn got upset at being attacked and started crying. He then accused me of being  “too sensitive,” “mentally weak” and asked “How do you expect to be an OT and deal with patients when you get upset so easily when people are angry at you?!” This is just the most recent example of what I’ve grown up learning- that my emotions aren’t valid and I’m not allowed to be feeling what I’m feeling.

So I try my hardest to quash my feelings, ignore my emotions, cut, eat, purge them away. There’s only so much a person can try to bury before it overflows though. Given recent events, now more than anything, they feel uncontrollable, unmanageable, and I just don’t know what to do. Feelings of being backed into a corner with the psychiatrist I saw, feelings of abandonment in having to cease therapy with D, feelings of isolation in not having anyone to confide in, feelings of hopelessness when it seems as though nothing’s ever going to get better, feelings of rejection and hurt when suddenly discharged from hospital, feelings of apprehension in starting therapy with someone new all over again, feelings of inadequacy and stress when attempting to complete uni work, feelings of alienation, being judged and misunderstood when reading comments I’ve received on my blog, feeling unheard when it seems as though nobody cares, feelings of loneliness in not having friends to hang out with, feelings of desperation when I think about this life I’m stuck with… Which has resulted in me reacting by rejecting services, pushing people away, overdosing, angrily venting on my blog and resolving to make my own decisions in regards to wanting to die. And while I acknowledge it’s difficult for people to understand instead of being condemning, and it hurts that so many have proved that they can’t, I so badly wish they did.  I just don’t know any other way, I’m desperate, I don’t know how else to cope, and I want these feelings gone.