Sunday, 29 September 2013

Day 8 - Verses in the bible that mean a lot to me.

The whole bible has things that I think are important, but here are a few special ones for me. 

Mark 5:34 - Jesus said to her, "Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague."

Isaiah 53:5 - But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him - our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.

Psalm 29:11 - The Lord gives strength to his people; The Lord blesses his people with peace.

Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you.

Luke 22:42 - "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Exodus 14:14 - I will fight for you, you need only be still.

Psalm 94:17-19 - Unless The Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, "My foot is slipping," your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Some of these challenge me, some of these I hold onto for dear life. I hope they can do the same for one of you.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Day 7 - What is BPD/A&APD? (To me)

Ok, let's start with BPD.
BPD stands for borderline personality disorder. It is also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder.
It means:
- I feel emotions very intensely, more than the average "normal" person.
- My emotions change very rapidly, like someone's flicking a light switch off and there's no warning sign. 
This diagram is my way of showing you what a day with BPD is like compared to a day without. The blue is with, the orange is without. The dotted lines show the limits of normal emotional intensity. BPD often goes way past those lines, or at least reaches the maximum within them. 
- Because my emotions are so intense, most of my actions tend to be emotional responses.
- Impulsiveness and compulsiveness happen A LOT. I may do something impulsively and then regret it, or I may feel a compulsion to do something, not necessarily a bad thing, but I may feel I have to tidy up right now, and there's no choice, it has to be right now.
- I often jump to conclusions that people's bad moods are because of something I have done that I am unaware of.
- I find maintaining any form of relationship difficult sometimes, trusting is difficult, and I worry that people are only pretending to care. 
- It also often makes my thoughts race so fast I cannot identify what they actually are, this can be paralysing and make me appear very spaced out, or it can make me very agitated and fidgety.

And A&APD? It stands for Anxious and Avoidant Personality disorder. It's basically what it says on the tin, but ill spell it out for you anyway.
It means:
- most things make me anxious. Speaking to people. Using the telephone other than texting. Leaving the house. Large groups of people. Social Situations. Places I cant leave at he drop of a hat (or feel I couldn't if I needed to). And more. Fun I know.
- I tend to avoid things that make me anxious. 
- When no avoiding them I can have panic attacks, or it can make my BPD symptoms l,e racing thoughts worse, or I may just impulsively run away. 

I hope this helps you understand a little more. :)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Day 6 - what does being better mean to me?

Being better means different things to different people, in relation to different illnesses. For example, if I had a cold, I wouldn't say "I'm better" until I didn't have any symptoms. But with something's that isn't the case.
At the moment to me being better would mean:
-being able to get a job and enjoy it.
-being able react in a productive rather than destructive way to emotions.
-being able to do the things anxiety stops me doing.
-being able to have a family and have children at some point in the future.
-being able to help others in similar situations to what I've been through.
-being able to fully understand complex information.
-being able to concentrate long enough to read solidly for an half an hour if I wanted to.
-being able to sleep at night.

Being well is about both the big and little things, it's not necessarily about removing the disorders completely, and I'm not entirely sure I would cope with that even if it was possible, because its always been there and it's how I make sense of the world, if it went away how would I make sense of the world? Instead it's about learning ways of coping and managing in a society that's designed for those who don't have the disorders I have. If more people had borderline personality disorder and society was made up of a majority of people with it I doubt I would have the same difficulties, but it isn't, so that's what I need to learn, that's how I get better. :)

Day 5 - what my heart is crying out for right now.

Ok, when I wrote the list of 10 things I would do I really was challenging myself with sharing, and this isn't gonna be easy.
A little about heart and head first. I won't talk about what my head cries out for, because my head doesn't always say helpful things, and I want this to remind me what the true me really wants to be, to see, to have, to know. When I talk about my heart I'm talking about what I desire, what I wish and hope for when I can.
My heart is crying out to see breakthrough in life, in my life, in lives of the kids at the club I help with, in the lives of the people I live with, in the lives of my friends, in the lives of my church family and the community surrounding it. My heart is screaming for me to care more, do more, be more for everyone else, but I have to remind myself how much better I can be at that once I can care more, do more and be more for myself. 
My heart cries out for freedom, freedom from confusion, from illness, from injustice. This is something I believe can only be found through God and Jesus death, which paid forms health, your health, healing, freedom etc. 
My heart cries out for people to understand, or at least accept me, and others with mental health problems as they are. Being diagnosed does not change who that person is, you don't get diagnosed and then get it, you already have it before your diagnosed, so don't treat them different now that it has a name ok?
Again, these are just a few things. But this reminds me why I shouldn't give up. Cus if I give up I cannot make a difference to even one person.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Day 4 - things I've learnt in the past year

This ones gonna be tricky, I've learnt so much.
1- I've learnt that sometimes things have to blow up before they can be put back together. That hiding things and pretending they aren't there so you don't have to deal with them or get help with them does not work. This time last year I was in pretty big denial, slowly throughout the year at conferences and other things I realised how much I wasn't coping with things I thought I'd fixed. I knew it was time to get help, and I gave everything to God (see my post I love you, beautiful) and (this is where you want me to say everything got easier) everything appeared to go wrong. Really wrong. You can only know how wrong if you watched it all happen, which some of you did, and I'm sorry you had to watch. But now I have way more help, now I know who is supporting me and I'm on my way to being well again, really well, not fake well, I've been fake well too many times.
2- I've learnt that God will not leave you, even if you throw yourself off a metaphorical cliff. He was there when I was well, fake well, ill and all the in-betweens. 
3- I have learnt to trust God more (I say more because I know I don't trust God fully, I wish I did, and I will keep trying, but more is more than before). To trust him when everything falls apart. And I mean everything. And it didn't even fall apart they way I thought it would! I learnt to trust God to get me through panic attacks, meetings, conference, trips to hospitals, talking to people, phone calls, all those things you think are easy but are really hard when your ill). 
4- I learnt mental health problems are not something to be ashamed of, and neither is needing to be on benefits for now. I won't sit down and let you tell me that you shouldn't have to pay taxes to pay for me to have benefits, because if this was reversed you would never say that. I'd love to be able to work or be at university and not be on benefits right now, but I'm ill. You wouldn't tell someone who had an organ other than their brain working in a way that stopped them being able to work to not be on benefits, so don't tell me that either. Also, I've learned that if your not honest and you don't speak out then people don't understand, and they don't learn about how to help or support or whatever. Not that I always speak out, or that I find it easy when I do, but I've learnt I should.
5- I've learnt that worship is beyond just singing, it's beyond just anything. I'm not claiming to fully understand it. But worship is about every single thing you think or do or say giving glory to God, and worshipping is trying to to that as much as possible. Worshipping god might be taking myself to the doctors when I'm ill, or trying to do something I have to do despite being really sick with worry about it over and over and failing repeatedly but still trying.

Those are just a few of many things.

Also, I know I said 10 days, but I've been busy and then ill and never got round to it, but I will finish eventually!

Day 3 - things I enjoy and how they could be useful.

1- Dance. Dance is always fun, useful to let out emotions, to make you feel good, to keep you fit, to be sociable (or not seen as I do it mostly alone). It's great to teach other people, or to cps how a message. It's great to watch. 
2- Working with Children - always helpful when you help run a childrens club (WOOHOO FOR TNT BEING BACK ON TONIGHT AFTER THE SUMMER). Helpful for future careers (paediatric nursing). Just lots of fun. 
3- Making bracelets - good distraction, also good for helping you concentrate. If anyone wants me to make them a bracelet let me know, and colours and stuff, would appreciate £1 donation cus thread ain't free!
4- Reading - only helpful when my brain works, but great for learning things, or losing yourself in a pretend world.
5- Music - great for playing really loud through headphones and blocking out mental battles. Good for dancing too. Good for making you walk faster. Good for expressing yourself. Good for worship.
6- Writing - expressing yourself, explaining things to others, explaining things to yourself.

I'm sure they're are plenty of other things but these are the main ones that stand out,and I wanna keep this short and sweet!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Day 2 - 100 things I am thankful for.

1- God's faithfulness.
2- The NHS, yeah they get a lot of complaints, but I'd be dead without them.
3- My church family - Birchfield church has a very special place in my heart, and I love all my family there very much, it's made up of a group of incredible people.
4- Bekki, Emillie, Harry, Bump and Ben, you guys have brought me a lot of love and joy.
5- Matt, Claire, Sophie, Annabelle (and bump), who have been a huge support, more than I thought people ever would be, and have taught me a lot.
6- Michael and Dan.
7- SWYM Be Transformed, a year that didn't turn out how I expected but I learnt more than I thought I would.
8- The Gateway, and last years UW team, and Claire Hardy, who have supported me last year and a long time before.
9- My family.
10- Dance.
11- Books.
12- Creativity.
13- Diet coke (it had to be in there somewhere).
14- All the lovely people at the Cafe - Jo, Hilary, Chris, Carole, Bethan etc.
15- Rachel.
16- Joel and Bex (and Minds Like Ours).
17- HUGE mugs. 
18- Andy (sorry for all I've put you through).
19- Jerry the cactus (it had to start getting weird somewhere...)
20- Summer Festivals.
21- Nai and Mark, who really supported me and still do from so far away! (Missing yoooooou).
22- Brad and Robin, who really helped opened my eyes back in march.
23- Pebbles, my rabbit that speaks with the voice of Emillie and Harry.
24 - Holly Court and the home treatment team and all the people involved in my care.
25- Opticians, and glasses, and the ability to see.
26- House group on Wednesday mornings :)
27- that I don't have to prove myself to God, or earn his love.
28- that I'm alive when I shouldn't be.
29- cards, I love it when people send letters or cards.
30- photographs.
31- the sea.
32- rain, cus I love the sound and the smell and the puddles.
33- having rights.
34- the availability of learning to all in the UK. 
35- Fred, who takes us on multiple adventurs.
36- little blessings, like realising I've managed to concentrate enough to read something or watch something, always feels like a little accomplishment.
37- sleep, when I get it its so good!
38- meaningful hugs.
39- Julia, who I miss incredibly. 
40- days and nights, and the secure pattern and stability that brings to life. 
41- jim-jams, which if it was socially acceptable, I would wear all day.
42- god providing things when I've needed them.
43- cas, who has seen so much of my life, unfortunately he's mute though,
44- hot drinks, coffee, hot chocolate. Hugging your insides. Mmmmmmm.
45- radiator trousers.
46- clothes and shoes.
47- running clean water.
48- heating.
49- having a government that does its best to help those who are vulnerable and/or struggling.
50- (half way!) dressing gowns. Unfortuneatley I don't actually have one right now though.
51- nature, it's so pretty.
52- Susie.
53- Rosie and Joe
54- Sarah
55- Abbie and Cyan
56- Ellie.
57- Sian, Tracey, Nicole and family.
58- Nurses, doctors and staff in the hospitals, specifically Hannah, Andrea, Bev, Sadie and Claire.
59- All the chaplains out there who support people daily where they are.
60- peanut butter.
61- hair brushes, even if they seem to make my hair fall out.
62- Barry.
63- hope.
64- Ella.
65- Nigel
66- Emily Hurlock, Stacey, Claire Stoney.
67- Washing machines and tumble dryers.
68- beds and duvets and pillows.
69- plates, bowls and cutlery.
70- mobile phones.
71- the Internet.
72- the ability to read and write.
73- the fact that there is always something you can learn from everyone you meet if you try hard to find it.
74- moustaches, but not real ones.
75- (75% done) fire alarms.
76- coffee shops.
78- electricity.
79- Samaritans, just think how many lives they help and change.
80- blurt organisation.
81- Frank, sometimes. Take note emillie-grace.
82- hot water bottles.
83- music.
84- headphones, so I don't have to listen to your music and I don't have to share mine.
85- Miranda.
86- my Nike hoody and running stuff.
87- hairbands.
88- that I can walk.
89- belts.
90- my Doc Martens.
91- ballet shoes, which I always love wearing. Always.
92- yoghurt.
93- colour, wouldn't life be boring without it?
94- Lily Lamb.
95- other people who share their experiences to help you through yours.
96- fun days out with amazing people
97- good memories.
98- things that smell of vanilla.
99- Jesus' death on the cross.
100- that this is finished. (Yes I wrote that in before some of the others, so what!)

If you read all of that well done. But you have probably wasted quite a bit of time, sorry!

Why don't you try and make one too?!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Day 1 - a few reasons I believe in God.

I hope you all know that I'm a Christian, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, I believe in the Holy Spirit. 
But why?
Let me tell you.
Firstly, I can't look at creation and not believe in a creator. Ever looked at your own skin? (If not then you are now!!). All those lines, all that detail. Can you feel your heart beat? (Admittedly I mostly can't but that's another story). That is happening for a reason, you have your own little rhythm. Or even take a piece of grass for example, ever picked up on of them (and murdered it...) and looked at it? S much detail on something so small, that we see as so meaningless. IT MUST HAVE A MAKER! I couldn't make something that beautiful. Well, I suppose babies are pretty beautiful, but even they can't fully be created by us, because we have been created too. Anyway, you get the idea, look at something natural and I challenge you not to be amazed at its detail.
Secondly, I'm alive. I shouldn't be, not really. I should be pretty dead. But I'm not, because God has kept me alive for some reason (one I'm not always very aware of). 
Thirdly, well, it's pretty much proven that Jesus existed, and how could he do what he did on earth without being God? He couldn't. And he did even more powerful things by being dead and then alive again. (How many of us can raise ourselves from the dead? Heal a blind person? Walk on water? Of your own accord? No I didn't think so somehow).

I'm not trying to force anything on anyone, I'm aware some of you reading this may not believe in God, and that's totally your choice and I respect that. But I'd be very dead without him, and I'd be heading that way pretty fast if he didn't have me. Whether I choose him or reject him Jesus' death still has an impact. This is not me saying I get it all, or that I'm perfect, or that I always fully believe and understand the power in what Jesus did. (I'm very much aware that I really struggle to believe sometimes that there is a future and a hope, but god provides people to tell me in those times). It's just me trying to work through it in my head, to write it down for myself. 

There are plenty more reasons for believing, loads of huge stories and little stories, that show Gods existence, his faithfulness, his love. But these are just a few that spring to my mind first.
And you can always ask him to show you, what have you got to lose? (Well, potentially everything, but that's a good thing, because nothing we have is that great anyway comparatively).

10 days.

To give myself something to try and achieve I'm going to post every day for 10 days (unless something drastic happens) about the following list of things.
1- a few reasons why I believe in God.
2- a list of 100 things I am thankful for.
3- things I enjoy and thoughts on how they could be useful.
4- things I learnt in the past year.
5- what my heart is crying out for right now.
6- what does "being better" mean to me.
7- what is BPD? A&APD? (Or at least what is it to me...)
8- verses in the bible that mean a lot to me.
9- how I'm learning to survive.
10- 20 fun things I want to do in the future.

If your interested then pop over daily and see, or read them all at the end. This (as I've said before) is completely selfish, I'm doing it for me not for you, but you can share it too I guess!