Single life

April 27, 2009

So I’ve been single for just over a month now and I can honestly say I hate it. Don’t get me wrong, there have been benefits. I can now eat what I like without having to worry about the ingredients and I’ve managed to build a proper relationship with my parents who have been more fantastic than I ever thought possible. But it’s not enough.

Cooking for one just seems pointless. What’s the purpose in preparing a delicious meal if I’m the only one who’s going to enjoy it? The amount of effort involved just doesn’t seem worth it if there’s nobody to share it with. And to be honest, I never missed out because of Nick’s allergies. I enjoyed the challenge of cooking what I wanted in a way that he could share it too. And no matter how good a relationship I have with my parents, it’s not enough. They’re my parents, they want to enjoy each others company without me always there because I can’t cope with being alone.

I thought it was supposed to get easier with time but it doesn’t. I miss having someone to cuddle at night, someone to share the intimate details of my life with who understands. Someone who accepts me as me and just wanted me to be happy no matter what. I want him back so much it hurts. Most areas of my life are definitely on the up, I can see a future but without him to share it with, it’s not the same. I can get on fine on my own, I’m enjoying rediscovering my independence but I want someone to share the successes and the struggles with.

Every time something happens or every time I see something that makes me laugh or makes me think of him I want to pick up my phone and tell him all about it. But I can’t, that wouldn’t be fair. I don’t want to turn into some sort of creepy stalker ex who can’t let go of the past.

I want us to be able to give it another go but not just pick up from where we left off, that had gone badly wrong. I want to start again, take it slowly, get to know each other again, rediscover that magic that was there when we met but I don’t know how. I don’t dare ask him to go out with me in case he refuses. I’m too scared of the consequences of any action I might take. I know it would be different if we tried again, I wouldn’t make half the mistakes I made this time. I’m back in the state of wanting a partner not a carer.

I don’t know why I’m posting this. I know I’m going to get shot down, told to move on and forget it, to stop being manipulative but that’s not my intention. I just need to get the thoughts out of my head.

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An acronym for every occassion

April 23, 2009

Yesterday I had appointment part 2 at fancy private therapy place. Apparently one assessment wasn’t enough, this was another assessment with the psychologist I saw last time and the therapist who runs the DBT programme. The aim was to see if me and DBT would be compatible and if the therapist would be prepared to work with me.

Other than my complete inability to keep eye contact, it went pretty well. I admitted my cynicism about the whole concept but was reassured that it was normal. In theory, DBT sounds like an exciting approach. It’s aim (as far as I can figure) is to control crazy emotions when required and to enable you to form functional relationships. I had to admit that I couldn’t see anything in my childhood that would have caused this, instead choosing to blame myself entirely,  but as the conversation progressed I could see little details that maybe could have had an influence. It starts from the assumption that as a child you were never taught to regulate and express emotions “normally” and now as an adult, those emotions are out of control.

If it works, I should be able to choose when to let my emotions run away from me which would be fab because having strong emotions is part of me, I just don’t want them there all the time so that they interfere with every little thought, decision or action. It doesn’t specifically deal with suicide ideation, suicide is not an option within the programme. If you try to top yourself, you’re out (obviously if you succeded I can’t very well see how you’d be in but anyway…). You can discuss ideas and how you feel as much as you want but you can’t act on them which is fair enough. The theory being that when your emotions and relationships are sorted you won’t want to kill yourself anymore anyway.

It does sound like incredibly hard work. There are two sessions each week – one individual and one group. The idea of group work terrifies me, am not good with people but there’s a small part of me that thinks ‘hang on, these are people that think like me in some ways, at least maybe then I won’t feel so crazy, so alone’. In between there’s also phone coaching (also not good with phones but apparently there are ways to deal with that) and homework to complete and all sorts. I’d do it though, every bit. If there’s even a small chance of success, then I have to take it.

So, conclusions? I definitely meet the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. I fit to nigh on all the criteria in DSM IV. Not the sort of diagnosis to make me jump for joy, however it does mean that me and DBT are a match made in heaven. I’m the sort of person for whom it was designed to work.

Yay a solution, or not? DBT doesn’t come cheap – it’s intensive and therefore expensive. There’s no way we’d be able to afford it ourselves. This means convincing the PCT to pay and therein lies the catch. I just can’t see it happening. The NICE guidelines state:

1.3.4.5 For women with borderline personality disorder for whom reducing recurrent self-harm is a priority, consider a comprehensive dialectical behaviour therapy programme.

That’s me. So technically NICE is on my side and the only place within the area that offers any sort of DBT is the private therapy place. However, the NICE guidelines also state that people with BPD should be assessed and managed by the Community Mental Health Team. Apparently we should be working together to develop a comprehensive multidisciplinary care plan. I apologise for reverting to internet slang but LOL.

For now I’m back to playing a waiting game. They’re going to wite a report to the PCT arguing for funding and I’m going to ask my GP to do the same. However, I reckon these reports will vanish into the system never to be seen again and I’ll disappear to the bottom of another eternal waiting list. It’s so frustrating, I have this seemingly excellent solution I’d be happy to work with and that would be happy to work with me, I just can’t get to it. Give it a couple of weeks and I’ll see what happens, I might be requesting you all come and picket the hospital with me until they back down!

On a lighter note, I’m still unique! The therapist said I’m the only person they’ve ever met who sat in the appointment and discussed DSM IV and NICE guidelines with them! Usually people with a diagnosis of BPD see it as a disaster and collapse even further in on themselves. Whereas I see it as the first diagnosis I truly agree with and once I know what I’m fighting against, it doesn’t seem so bad. Giving it a name and an identity has stopped me feeling alone, like I’m battling something that nobody understands. OK, having a personality disorder didn’t exactly top my lifes ambitions when I was younger but now I know, I don’t feel so mad.

And on the double plus side, I’ve still got the cheque for yesterdays appointment in my bag! Do you think they’ll notice?!


Home, sweet home

April 19, 2009

I’m back! Had a fab holiday – drank too much, did  nothing useful and generally recharged my batteries. If my relationship hadn’t been over, it could almost have been described as perfect. Coming home again has been hard, especially having to face my extended family for my Grandad’s 90th party. His continually asking where Nick was really didn’t help. I have lots of posts I want to write – ranging from a longer holiday log to why I don’t think mental illness will ever properly be understood or tolerated. But right now, I really need to get unpacked and do my laundry and somehow I don’t think that will make for very exciting reading. Definitely still on the up though, bar occassional wobbles, so that has to be a plus.


Holding

April 6, 2009

I am still here, did you miss me?! I’m coping, suprisingly well to be honest and even more remarkably I don’t want to die at least not until I’ve seen how things turn out. This is nothing short of a miracle for me, ok I still get moments of “let’s just put the car into that there signpost” but they don’t last, they don’t pervade everything I do.

The reason I’ve not been writing much is I’m working on this mindfulness malarky (ignore the religious element in the link and concentrate on the psychological stuff). Basically it involves living in the moment, being non-judgemental, observing and describing your emotions but not adding anything to them or taking anything away. I am hugely sceptical about it, but apparently it’s a key DBT technique so maybe if I can get a bit of a handle on it before I start therapy, it will make it that bit easier in the long term.

However, mindfulness and blogging are not the best of friends. As part of this, I’m trying not to dwell in the past or consider the future (admittedly with only very limited success), so obviously writing about either of those two times is out too, particularly while I’m struggling so much with it. Which leaves me with the present and to be honest that’s rather dull unless you want to read my emotion descriptions along the lines of “I notice I feel fear, I observe I have butterflies in my stomach”.

I’m considering doing a more indepth piece about what mindfulness actually involves and how it feels to me. However, I’m basing my information on knowledge gleaned from books and t’interweb so it may not be very accurate. I don’t want to be shot down for providing inaccurate psychobabble on something I freely admit I don’t even begin to understand. However, I could give my take on it form my very limited personal experience for what that’s worth.

Other than that, I’m off to Bulgaria on Thursday. Woo!