Life In An Elevator (Trigger Warning-Self Harm)

This week has been interesting to say the least, unlike most weeks over the last 6-8 months (certainly the last 4) there have been so good things. The wonderful support      worker from Survive wrote and posted a letter on my behalf to my GP asking if he would plead my case for some DBT (Dialectual Behavioural Therapy, an effective treatment for both BPD & PTSD).  Having seen a draft I was quite shocked, it encapsulated me and what I’ve been trying to say so very well.  I can’t quite work out if I’ve not articulated myself  properly or whether no matter how well i could articulate myself the people who should have listened weren’t listening for whatever reason. The cynic in me says they weren’t going to help and decided I had all these coping mechanisms that didn’t exist to offload the untreatable  borderliner. So I wait with guarded optimism the possibility that I might get some help. But I dread to think how I’ll cope if things don’t work out. Either way I owe my eternal gratitude to Annie for her support as I do all my wonderful friends (particularly Amy, Nads, Jon & Frankie) who’ve given so much more than I believe I deserve.

The other good thing to have happened was my meeting with MIND. Now I know that Bootham & the CMHT had a point when they said I could benefit from MIND’s services, but they were only half right. Yes I could benefit from the social therapy they offer, to be able to rebuild myself up with other people in similar situation, learn a new skill and gain confidence. Yes this will be good for me and I have been signed up  to start their photography group in 4 weeks. I can’t deny that for the first time in a long time I am actually looking forward to something, I really am. But I know I have proper work to do on my issues and how best to cope, seeing as my coping strategies are not constructive or effective. Now even if MIND’s counselling service was taking new referrals that wouldn’t work for me. I’ve done so much therapy like that. I can identify what I’m feeling and able to talk about it, but my skill sets lack the strategies to cope with the thought, feeling, memory  or  emotion that’s causing the distress. Even then from what I have done it wasn’t till I did art therapy with Caroline back in Sussex did I get the breakthrough in talking about what was troubling me.  It’s a bit like having the London Underground map but being stuck on the Paris Metro. If I can get a proper course of  DBT from the health service & alongside MIND’s services then I can’t see why I can’t get better, or at least put my issues and symptoms into remission and be equipped when they resurface.


**I feel it only fair to issue a trigger warning for the rest of this post. And urge you to return to google or another suitable website if you feel you might get triggered by what follows.**

Now with the ups there have to be downs and the week didn’t start quite as positively. I didn’t  wake up Monday until nearly 6pm. It’s rare to sleep so long and it  must have been an interesting sleep because I woke up and I was naked, my pyjama bottoms kicked off at the bottom of the bed. I wouldn’t realise until I went back to bed later but not only had I kicked the sheet almost off, but I’d also managed in my sleep to get the duvet completely out of the cover. Now you may be wondering why did I sleep so long? And why was it such a violent sleep? Well, quite simply I fucked up, well I say I fucked up as if I was consciously aware of my actions but the hours of Sunday night are slightly blurred.  In fact I can’t remember much of Sunday at all. I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking or how long I was in the state I was in but sometime late that night I became aware I’d taken my dose of medication already, but more disturbingly I’d also taken the next 17 days supply. I realised what had happened when I became aware that I was surrounded by 4 empty blister packs.  I honestly can’t say I was or wasn’t feeling suicidal because I genuinely don’t know or remember. Now since things have been sliding I have found the disassociation progressively worse. It started with a moment of self harm, I vowed after I made my statement to the police I would put my self destructive ways behind me. Apparently that was a promise I was to break when I went to the bathroom 6 years later to discover a face stained with dried blood. I’m not proud of what I did, but previously when I harmed myself it was always a much more controlled and as strange as it may sound safely, I had a regimented routine which always included administering appropriate self care and treatment afterwards.  I also found myself later carving a word into my arm, which still haunts, so I either wear long sleeves or a tube bandage to conceal. I’d forgotten what being disassociated was like and the harm I do to myself. If only it was just a case of being disconnected and 3 buses driving past. In fact it somehow seems easier after the fact when I’m not at home because it’s just a case of missing a bus or   someone talking to me maybe at worst bought too by a car horn blasting at me. But when I’m at home the thoughts that trouble me consume me flick the switch and I guess out of instinct I reach for something that brings destruction to me. This wasn’t meant to be about glorifying my behaviour or sympathy generating. I take ownership of my behaviour and apologise for any distress it may cause anyone.  I wish I had the coping tools ‘they’ assume I have. And I guess there’s a glimmer of hope  if I can get DBT funded, but am terrified what future or quality of life I can expect  if this pattern of crisis every 5 years or so, with a major crisis every 10. This assumes my body doesn’t beat my mind to it.

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