Saturday, 10 October 2015

World Mental Health Day, and Chronic Illness

Sorry I haven't blogged in a long time, my head has been quite foggy! 

Since becoming chronically ill I have viewed a few of the things I used to post relating to my mental health in a slightly different way. You know those pictures put up about "if physical health was treated like mental health" etc, we'll I'm starting to feel differently about them. Yes, I agree mental health isn't treated well by people and there is a lot of stigma. Yes I agree that acute physical health crisis is treated very well compared to mental health crisis. However something I've learned since becoming unwell with a chronic physical condition is that not all physical health is treated well, people with chronic physical illness are often told they are making it up, or that biologically they should be able to do X, Y and Z. They are refused pain relief because there isn't a visible thing causing pain (like a broken leg). All sorts of different ways. But I just feel I need to share these thoughts. Yes, mental health is treated badly and is stigmatised, but so are a lot of physical health conditions, especially chronic ones or ones with little knowledge around them. 
Thank you for reading! :) 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I'm living more days than I'm surviving.

Today I completed a year of DBT therapy skills group. Which stands for Dialectical behavioural therapy group. It's a sixth month skills course which requires you to do two courses, taking a year in total, and today that year has come to an end. 

Am I "recovered"? No, I'm not there yet, but I'm a lot further down that road than I was this time a year ago, and although it's not been a straight line up, I am getting better. I can stop and think now, I can be mindful, I can manage my emotions before they get too intense to deal with the majority of the time, I can get through difficult times, I can manage my illness a lot better, I can mostly keep myself safe. These aren't just skills for while I'm poorly, they'll be with me for life, and they'll have positive impacts on my life forever if I use them. 

I was asked to give a one sentence summary of the change DBT has made in this past year, and I said "I'm living more days than I'm surviving". I've survived many days, and in the past few years doing so has been extremely hard, but at the moment I am able to live more days than I just survive, and I praise God for that. 

(If I'm completely honest I've been in constant pain for just over a week, and so the past week has been mostly just surviving, but excluding this current battle, I'm living more).