Posted in About Me, Mental Health

Trying to remember the ‘old me’

If you haven’t seen the featured image on this post then here it is again;

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This was me in 2011 the night before I flew away to Norway for 6 months of volunteering, an impulsive but life-changing decision that I would definitely do again.

By this point in my life ( 20 Years Old!!) I had experienced my fair share of death and loss, anorexia, bulimia, self harm and abuse. Most recently I had experienced heartbreak and had moved back to the family home. I was getting by (luckily) by not having to pay rent and working a caring job and bar work and Christmas jobs at Marks and Spencer!!

Fast forward to me now and things are very different, but I do miss the ‘old me’ – I was sat thinking about this the other night and then it dawned on me that I could not really remember the old me.

The old me;

  • Happily worked at least 2/3 jobs as well as study.
  • Only experienced pain when I injured myself.
  • Was a little anxious but got on with things.
  • Could cope with 2 hours sleep and get up and head out for the day.
  • Exercised several times a week.
  • Had people around me.
  • Was motivated and enthusiastic about my future. ( The inability to get into Nursing or Midwifery at Uni started this downhill spiral).
  • Could get by day-to-day without anxiety, depression, illness, pain or life getting in the way.
  • Was happy (ish)

Don’t get me wrong there are positives in life now, but the fact that I looked back to remember the old me and I couldn’t, really hit me. Looking at 2017-Present Day it is difficult to see how a bout of anxiety and depression and other difficulties has made me change so much as a person and made me a shadow of my former self. Factors such as physical illness, workplace bullying, mental health and the realisation of what happened to me as a younger person throughout my life only just becoming a reality and really getting in the way has made me change. I am still unsure whether this change is completely good or not, yes I do get very anxious and depressed, I am in pain a lot of the time and struggle to get to sleep, stay asleep and function normally but I find it so hard to discuss these things as people simply do not understand. You can be the most caring person in the world but unless you have experienced certain things you really cannot understand them. I am tired, it is not tiredness that will be fixed by a decent nights sleep, although that would most likely help it is not going to cure everything. I lie in bed and have to have the tv on in the background because otherwise my mind is at 100000000 miles an hour, it hurts, it is tiring and sometimes scary and upsetting.

I am a shadow of my former self.

I am a working progress.

I do have a plan.

I am working on it.

Just bare with me.

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Posted in Mental Health

A vague reality. TW

TW – Trigger Warning: this article could be harmful to you or your recovery . If you feel like you need help then please call 111 or 999 in an emergency. There are also other services that can support you.

Please don’t suffer in silence.

Look at me, what do you see??

Look at my arms and what do you see??

  • Tattoos?
  • Hair?
  • Dry Skin?

If you look closely you will see vague lines, luckily when I was younger I healed well.

I do not remember the first time I hurt myself.

One thing that does stick in my mind is during 2012 when one of my patients in the ward/unit I worked on noticed I had worn tape over part of my wrist for most of the week (I saw patients usually about 3 times a week) – Working there and changing the tape without wasting time or being noticed each time I washed my hands was so difficult. My hands were washed a lot in this job!!

Self Harm for me was a way of physically feeling my emotional pain. I did not really have anybody to talk to properly about my feelings so I felt the need to deal with it myself. My ways of self-harming was taking control over my food, over exercising and cutting myself. Nobody questions a teenager that does sports and a daily paper round; carrying up to 110 newspapers¬†each day. Bruising or cuts come with sports and work, don’t they?

I am now 27 and whilst I do not shout out about my past of self-harm, I am not ashamed of it. In recent months I have found myself wanting to hurt myself, I have told my doctor and I am trying to focus on writing or art (or sleep) instead of thinking over these feelings. Maybe that isn’t tackling the problem but I am doing everything I can at the moment. The NHS is great, but the waiting lists are not so great!!

So what do you focus on when you look at people? What do you see when you look at me? I am not the only one with vague marks on their body. Why are they vague? Is it because I was uncertain why I started caused them? Or perhaps it is because they can only be seen if you really concentrate, or know they are there?

Maybe it is both.

 

If you are self harming, please be careful and seek help.



 

I have used the below information from an NHS Website.

(Click the Links for further Support)

Useful organisations

There are organisations that offer support and advice for people who self-harm, as well as their friends and families. These include:

Find more mental health helplines.