I have given a lot of thought as to whether or not to start writing a blog about my mental health problems and recovery. Unfortunately, I have a habit of starting projects, being very enthusiastic for a while and then losing interest. This lack of consistency has a negative effect on my self-esteem as I end up feeling like a failure. Of course, if I use that as a reason not to do something then I don't stand a chance of achieving anything. I find that when I write I understand more about myself and I gain a sense of fulfilment which is very important to me. I have kept a journal for twenty-two years which has been an essential tool in my recovery process but that is a private activity, writing for an audience is a very different matter. By sharing my story I hope to learn more about myself but also to hopefully help other people experiencing similar problems, even if it just makes someone feel less alone.
For as long as I can remember I have experienced periods of depression and anxiety. When I was a child I didn't have the understanding or vocabulary to ask for help although I can distinctly remember how awful it felt. I was first diagnosed with depression when I was fifteen (after my second overdose) and have since seen numerous psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and community psychiatric nurses (CPN's). Of course, I have also been prescribed many different anti-depressants and other psychiatric drugs. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and treated for that, however this year my diagnosis has been changed to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and I'm now undertaking Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT) with a therapist on a one to one basis.
One of my natural abilities is problem solving, I'm a very analytical person. Over the years when I have felt bad, my instinct has been to understand the root cause of the problem and to learn more about it. I want to fix myself. As I mentioned earlier, I have kept a journal since I was fourteen which has been crucial to this process (if somewhat embarrassing to read back at times). I have also read widely on the subject of psychology and self-help which has provided a great deal of insight. Talking to friends and partners has also been incredibly useful (for me more than them, I suspect). I am now at the point where I have constructed a fairly comprehensive understanding of my psychological make-up - I know why I am the way I am. To me, this is the first step towards recovery. Now that I know myself I am working on trying to accept who I am - there may be some things I want to change but I am focusing on accepting who I am in the here and now, trying to eradicate the feelings of shame, inadequacy and helplessness that have prevented me from being happy in the past. I would like to share this journey with others, it would be very rewarding to get feedback from anyone who is interested in these issues, all are welcome!