It’s been nearly two months since I last wrote on this blog. If I’m being honest, I thought a lot about deleting the whole thing, or at least not writing again. After my last post about my benefit being taken away from me, it hit me just how much of myself I have put out there on this blog for the world to see. And it frightened me. Wizard Psych had questioned why someone as guarded as me felt like they could open up to the world in this medium and I never really questioned it until I started feeling like I was recovering.
In the end, I decided against deleting. This blog is over two years old, and it documents a journey that built me into who I am right now. With the snoring dog right beside me for good measure. I reckon you could all do with an update of life since our last catch-up, so here we go.
I HAVE FINISHED THERAPY. Six months of hard work and a lot of hard conversations, and a satisfying conclusion to something I am so fucking grateful for. I want to write a longer post about the benefits of therapy another time, because I owe so much to it and I know that what I’ve taken from it will go a long way in the future. I’m still on my medication (both venlafaxine and lamotrigine, haven’t had to take diazepam since my benefits were taken off me.)
Oh yes. My PIP. I still haven’t got it back. I called last week and apparently my file is with a case manager. I couldn’t get any health records sent to me in time before I had to send it back to the DWP, but I did write a four page letter dissecting every part of the assessment that they got wrong. I also got two statements from former employers saying about the struggles that I faced during employment. Eventually I got sent back my psychiatric records dating back from 2009 – oh boy it’s a tome and a half. I haven’t read it yet aside from a skim through, and I haven’t sent it to them. I dread to think how much it would cost me to, especially when they stopped my benefit and thus my one source of income. If for any reason it goes to tribunal, then I’ll happily bring it with me and hope the clerk keeps a straight face as they hand it over to the judge. I’ll make another call next week, start getting persistent.
I’ve turned my art into somewhat of a long-term career goal. I’m building up a daily routine and taking pride in the direction of where my creativity is going. I finally feel pride in something, and I believe in myself with what I’m doing.
My advocacy work has stilled. Not because I don’t want to do it, but I feel that I spend so much energy on just trying to find the right opportunities to get my work out there – and honestly, I get very little back. I’m grateful for the chances I’ve had, I’m glad I’ve met so many great people and I get to talk a lot about mental health and the stigma attached to it. The big problem that I’ve had (again, something that Wizard Psych spoke me through) is that since my BPD diagnosis, it feels like the disorder has become my identity. The fact is, you can have a mental illness and still be a fully formed person behind it. I’m under no illusion that there will be plenty of times in the future where the BPD is definitely more prominent, but there is more to me than my illness.
I do feel much stronger in talking to people about what BPD is; I also feel like I can tackle people’s discrimination without being too emotionally compromised. That takes a lot, and is understandably difficult for anyone to do. I’m also better at recognising triggers and walking away from negative situations – such as former friends online who are still trying to push my buttons after 18 months.
I feel like the me I should have been all along.
There was more that I wanted to write. There’s always more I want to write! I will start writing more frequently, now I’ve got this first post out of the way.
(also, I’ve deleted the Facebook page for this blog. I felt too vulnerable with it out there – if people want to read and keep updated, then they know where this blog is!)
Hope everyone’s been doing okay. Sorry I’ve been off the radar for so long, it’s a kind of habit of mine.