The Unexpected Hiatus

Hiatus

I’ve had a number of people comment over the last few weeks on Twitter, on Facebook and our other social media platforms that they’ve noticed I’ve been rather absent of late.  Unfortunately this isn’t due to technical problems, it’s not due to anything other than the fact that I’ve been on a break.  An unexpected hiatus, if you like.  There’s been a number of reasons for this, some of which I’ll go into, but before I do I wanted to apologise for not being around.  So…let’s look at why.

New Things, Old Things

I could go on about the same old story: struggling with depression, with anxiety, with BPD…but you all know how that one goes, so is there much point in me hashing that one out again?  Possibly not.  Still, I’ve been finding it harder to motivate myself lately.  Sometimes just getting out of bed has been an achievement!  Whether it’s the winter months drawing in or something else, I don’t really know what’s prompted this.  Nevertheless, it’s here and I’m finding it hard to get that motivation sorted.  

(At this point, let me say that any tips and suggestions are more than welcome!  Just don’t be offended if I say it doesn’t work for me, after all we’re all different!)

So that’s the old thing.  Well…old things.  Anyway, off with the old and onto the new.  I started psychotherapy recently!  It’s kinda funny because my therapist looks a lot like Jim Broadbent but that’s another story.  Still, this is what I’ve been doing the past few weeks, trying to sort everything out and attend my psychotherapy sessions with this guy (joking, not quite him!)

Now the psychotherapy itself has been a bust, unfortunately.  We did the whole “getting to know you” session and he said he would consult with a colleague and find out what options were best for me.  I was told by the hospital I was originally under that this was going to be the treatment for me, that it would give me the answers I needed, it would find out the cause of my conditions and so on.

They were wrong.

Psychotherapy…Not What I Expected

That kinda sums it up: it’s not what I expected.  I’ve been told that in order to get better, I have to go into a DBT group session.  Now, I don’t do well with group therapy.  It sends my anxiety through the roof and makes it even harder for me to get there, so it’s more or less impossible for me to do so.  Yet the therapist, after only one session, has decided that is the only option for me.  Something to do with my personality disorder.  Regardless of whether or not I can do it, I’ve been told this is the only way forwards.

It’s unfortunately something I can’t do.  Not to mention the waiting list is over a year!

So here I am, with no treatment prospects, no avenues for getting better, more or less at a dead end almost back to where I started.  I’m sure you can understand how that would be difficult.  Add on top of that that running this website, coming up with the content is hard work and so on, you can imagine where my struggles are coming from.

What should I do?  I’ll be honest: I don’t know.  It doesn’t look like I’m going to get treated.  I also don’t know how to find this motivation again.  That, unfortunately, has been the reason for my unexplained hiatus.

Truth be told, I’m struggling.  Really struggling.  So who knows what will happen next?

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Disclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Don’t Let You Limit Yourself

There Is A Limit

How often do we hear that we all have a limit?  Everything we do, everywhere we look, there are limitations.  Things we can do, things we can’t, things we can say, things we can’t.  How many of those limits are created by our minds?  We might have dreams we don’t think we can achieve.  So as I share something from my life, why not tune in so that you can receive my challenge as well?

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Become a Patron - Don't Let You Limit YourselfDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Let it Be

A Revelation

Now, while I do identify myself as a Christian, I don’t know if I’d be classified as a good one. I drifted away from church as a teenager and have only in the last few years come back to it (albeit to a very different church to the Church of England  I walked away from). But throughout, I’ve still had faith. Belief in that higher power that helps us be more. Now, I don’t care if you have faith or not, or what in; that’s your choice. But for me, today I had a revelation. It was something quite a few people had already told me, but the speaker today had been driven to bring a message. Let it be.

Now, no he didn’t stand there and specifically start quoting The Beatles, but was more talking about how much we strive to be defined and accepted. How we judge ourselves and others by what they do,when actually we need to accept who we are. God loves us unconditionally as we are. Rather than fighting to be more, or to get others to recognise our status, we need to just be.

Your Approval is Not Required
It really hit home with both me and Alex. For him, helping him to redefine how he perceives the work he does here at PBTS. When he’s lacking in motivation, the lack of external recognition from people close to him has made him question the validity of what he’s doing. After all, blogging is not what people look at as a ‘proper’ job, no matter how much work he puts in. But does it matter what others think? It’s what he feels called to do. He reaches out to people struggling with depression and other mental illnesses every day on Twitter and Facebook.

He’s a listening ear to those who need it, when they need it most. Listening to the speaker this morning it bought it home, that the approval and support of those who don’t see it as a ‘real’ job isn’t really necessary. From day one, he’s felt called to do this and that alone gives it worth. So instead of fighting for the approval he’s going to let it be. He cannot force others to see the value in his work, but that does not devalue what he does.

I Need to learn to Let it Be

For me, it drove something else home. I mentioned in a previous post how someone in my life had recently inflicted a great deal of hurt on me. That no matter what I did, or how hard I tried, nothing was good enough. Because they are important to me, I kept fighting. Kept trying, giving them what they wanted to get it thrown back in my face again and again. My depressive side had a field day with it. I was obviously not good enough. A failure. It heaped the blame on to my shoulders alone. Which in turn was driving me to try harder and harder to get this persons’ approval and affection.

So many people had said to me that I was fighting too hard. If anything by fighting so hard it was having the opposite effect and driving this person even further away. For a long time I couldn’t hear it.

Backing Off

But I’d started to back off in recent weeks. I’d accepted that the acquiescing to every single demand they made wasn’t making any difference. So why was I doing that? I remember sitting with Alex one evening saying how I didn’t know what else I could do, what more could I change ? The answer was so simple. Let it be. I have done everything I can and more. This does not mean I’m bad, I am a good person, this is not something I can force to change. I have to let this individual come to terms with their own issues on their terms. The moment I realised that, things began to get better. I felt better. I’ve accepted how I am; I will always help someone when they call, but that does not mean I have to fix everything for others. It’s just not realistically possible. And that does not make me a bad person or a failure.

It’s not easy to remember that when you have mental health issues. You are not defined by how others treat you, it defines them. If they behave poorly, do as the Beatles suggest, “let it be”.

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Subscribe today to receive a free chapter from my eBook “Pills and Blades”, a subscriber-exclusive podcast episode and more!

Become a PatronDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.