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The beast that is nature

It’s mental health awareness week in the U.K.

This time last year I  was in a coma after trying to take my life-again. I woke up 9 days later on my mom’s birthday. I don’t  think I  have come to terms with the fact that I am still alive. These past fews days  my mental health has been deteriorating and I’m  trying my hardest to fight these sodding demons in my head.
I’ve  been feeling suicidal again. I have everything to live for.
It doesn’t  mean the thoughts go away.
I fight my battles every single day and I  reach  out even if its to get away from my head  for a few minutes.
I can’t  have a head transplant or swap my head with some one else for an hour.
Self medicating rarely works or makes me feel good so I  push myself to reconnect with life in different ways again.

It’s  mental health awareness week and maybe by being in nature , trying to get out of my head may help.
Maybe by just going through the motions even though my thoughts carry on chattering  away it doesn’t matter. The act and the intention is what matters.
For a few moments I’m  distracted by some other nature that isn’t my own…
Suicide isn’t the answer. I will carry in telling myself this until I  believe it.

My story hasn’t ended.. life has a greater purpose, I
#mentalhealth  #mentalhealthmatters  #mentalhealthawarenessmonth

Entry 2

Today, I heard the postman push through my mail. I opened one letter and my heart nearly dropped to the floor quicker than the letter did. My hands were trembling like an addict going into withdrawals.

It was the referral letter from my G.P. and mental health nurse to be assessed by the Adult eating disorder services in Leeds. When I picked up the letter to go and read it , I felt like I was drunk – the words were spread out , doubling over the next word, hazy and unreadable , hazy and clouding my vision then my judgement as I felt the tears wet my cheeks and watched then drip into the paper.

I’m unsure why I started to cry. A combination of Fear and relief?

Fear that I might be rejected from getting psychotherapy because I’m not thin enough. Since I’ve moved house -3 months ago, I’ve put on 6 kilos( nearly 1 stone).

Fear that I will get the help I want and face my Eating disorder willingly. I know it’s a headspace controlled by my eating disordered part of me. The space of the unknown. That moment in between.

That train of thought –to be ill I need to look ill.

My rational mind totally ‘gets it’. My emotions and feelings about the impending assessment took my thoughts back to the years I spent in and out of hospitals, the loneliness ( I still feel many days)felt, my dream career that I had to stop due to my health deteriorating linked in with my eating disorder, the isolation..

I still tend to isolate myself. Most days ,I struggle with getting out and socialising. Most people think I’m over confident.

These days I’m less rigid in my thinking around my eating disorder. I know it’s there. Hell, it chatters to me 24 hours a day 😂😭. I also know the amount of energy it takes keeping my weight at this level.

The thought of all the dedication and commitment to go back and actively starve myself to below 50 kgs fills me with terror because the life I’ve managed to create will have no meaning or purpose, if I let it consume my entire world , it’s a bit like,how I feel about my suicidal thoughts since my last suicide attempt in , May 2020. I remember the pain and terror of when I thought I had been abducted by aliens -when the truth is :I was in a coma for nearly 10 days.

Truth is: I was beyond terrified however, the suicidal thoughts don’t disappear completely.

I’m actively trying to get my weight down to 53-54. A weight loss of 3 -4kgs. My safe weight. Will I want to stop when I get to that weight or carry on chasing a deficit in numbers and chipping away at my character, self esteem and my personality simultaneously?

Just like an addict- adding fire to aid the beast of addiction to lash out flames of fury at me.

Many years have passed since I was last sectioned for anorexia. My life has transformed -no, I have an actual life that my imagination never ever could conceive. I was drowning in ignorance because my mental illnesses had told me things that I believed.

I’ve made goals and achieved them. Some goals were not planned until circumstances pertaining around them turned them into goals to conquer or over come.

  1. A daughter
  2. A husband
  3. My degrees in higher education
  4. Volunteering with mental health charities
  5. Eating the way I do today
  6. Conquerimg other obsessions and addictions-actively working to stay away from that behaviour
  7. Looking at getting back in to full time employment

There is the desire to be free of my eating disorder.

So much has changed in my life and what role my Eating disorder and obssesions play in my life

Conversely, not much has changed either…….. ( dot dot dot dot).

I didn’t want to write today. Small words about a big force that hangs over me.

The queen of my mind.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. Yes, it exposes my vulnerability. I am merely human. I have bad days and good days. This letter is to the so-called friend I’ve kept as consul for most of my life.

Dear Anorexia and all the other secondary mental illnesses

I always seem to put this post off. I usually come out with all these things I have to say to you at the wrong times. Like when I am having a bath.

Erm…inappropriate.

Okay, I sought you out. I did.

I begged you to be my friend and you eventually became the only friend I had. I didn’t want to lose everything. So, despite how I felt or how much pain I was in when I hurt myself, I did it. We had a strong bond. Bonds are not easily broken. Not even now, when I don’t want to be friends any more.

I thought you might be a bit more understanding if you understood what you took from me and what I allowed you to take.

You took most of my life experiences and made me put on a pair of your glasses so that I could only see life through your perspective.I didn’t have strong vision to begin with so I accepted your gift and I still wear them every now and then. I don’t know why you want me to hurt myself,

Life: everything I have ever seen and experienced has been through a filter of your making. You have had the final decision before I get to see anything, so I can then process it and carry on.

You encouraged me to self harm in so many other ways Drugs, cutting, taking chances, impulsive behaviour, getting into trouble. I don’t know if friends should really do that but I only had you. What did I know

You are jealous. I became your reflection..

Your reflection.

I had no life in me for many years. I was merely a toy- puppet of yours. Attached to strings to dance to your cacophonous melody. Sometimes I still feel you, hear you. Pulling me up. Making me go in a direction I don’t want to go in.

Every interest I had, be it watching a movie or reading or going to a rave and dancing or talking to people to try and make friends- you stole that from me.

I allowed it. I only see now, how awesome I can be without you. Fucking cool bananas.

You told me I was peculiar , not like other people, special, different.

You did a remarkable job of making me think that nobody understood the words, I spoke so I stopped talking. I let your talk for me- everyday, every living moment. Every tick of the clock. Your voice. Sounds so soft to others- barely audible- Invisible. To me it sounds more like a constant shriek in my mind, I feel anything but invisible – I feel I take up too much space.

Figure that one out? I can’t.

I lost my family. People thought I had an ego and thought that I was up my own fucking arse.

I only wanted to like myself.

I just wanted to feel good about myself. I thought you could help. If I was attractive to others people would get me and see all my awesome qualities and my true personality. You couldn’t stop at that.

You needed to coerce me into changing one small thing , then another small thing. You helped chip away everything that made me ME until I was lost and abandoned in the dark.

A vacant spot in a vast pool of darkness.A world of black and white. If people tried to talk to me you turned up the white noise. I sat there motionless.

Every person who spoke to me or who tried to be a friend to me -you would whisper they were lying to us, they don’t like us.

Always

be on your guard.

Your motto.

You taught me that. I was and I am still on guard.

You know what?

Fuck this ..I’m not wallowing in the past.

What I really want you to know is I don’t want you in my life at all.

I was wrong and made a mistake.

I know better now.

I have a choice – it is my choice who will be in my life. Yes, you are powerful enough to try and come between everyone I love. I won’t let you.

I won’t.

You want to be friends with my daughter.

NEVER WILL I ALLOW THAT.

I know your true face. There is nothing behind that mask. I rip it off and before I can see the true you you dissolve right before my eyes. You need me more than I need you,mate.

You still try to convince me that our friendship is a blessing – that you give me strength to live.

I’m pretty convinced if I could find the cord that links me to you, I would be brave enough to cut it and I would finally start breathing properly again. I would learn how to breathe again. I would succeed.

How many times am I going to have to evict you from my mind?

Why don’t you get it?

I’m done with trying to kill myself.

You have taught me one thing – I am not at your mercy to live or die. You don’t get to choose because : I. won’t. let. you.

You crept back into my life last year.

So cunning, so sly……

Look at you smirking -so sure, so smug.

Like a snake, you slithered and curled around my whole body. I remember the familiarity of your touch -cold. Cold means thin. This means I’m winning. Your charm nearly disarmed me again.

In what seemed like mere seconds,your entire body had coiled itself around my neck -suffocating me. I nearly lost my mind for you again. A couple more months and I could have been back in the hospital.

I’m not some new friend of yours that has to be emaciated to believe I have earned your undying friendship. Today, I live in a body and a mind I have created.

To try and cast you out. Of course you weren’t going anywhere. How naive I still can be after all these years.

Why would you go somewhere else when you have everything you need in me.

Today,

I am healthy.

You tell me I’m fat.

I’m not fat.

I eat and you tell me to pinch my skin, you tell me to loathe it. You yell at me , telling me to grip my bones.

You tell me the bones have been lost in my womanly body.

How dare I grow up?

How dare I start having periods again?

How dare I have a child?

How dare I put her first ?

How dare I empower myself……

Now,you listen to me. You can make me cry- you know you can.

You know that every living moment I know you are with me, in me.

You won’t even let me be touched and loved by my own husband.

I flinch when he touches me because you have convinced me that my body is wrong.

It has taken four years to get to the place where I am with my husband. You don’t want me to enjoy being loved.

You don’t like affection.

Affection means a chance to be loved.

Your kind of love is like boiling water and third degree burns – plastic melting and merging with my skin -never letting go ;forever scarred and deformed.

All this to make sure you have me forever. You feed on my thoughts.

Why won’t you let me watch a fucking movie with my partner without making me aware of my body?

You are sick. Contagious. A reoccurring infection.

I don’t want to be sick. I know I can’t just get rid of you. For a time I was able to shut you out and started living.

Oh, what a jealous friend you have been. You plotted and planned – ready for your comeback .

Always had to be the one who has to take the lead part.

You can’t have the lead part in my life any more. My life is my stage. I am a producer,editor, stagehand, actor, writer, graphics producer , costume designer, light technician . Your dear friend has been made redundant.

See ,The terms and conditions of our contract?

See this lighter in my hand? Flame jumps from container to paper – it can’t lick up the paper quick enough.

I’m the one who says what goes in the script and what doesn’t

No, I know you don’t like this. You are laughing in my face. What was that?

I have no confidence,

I’m needy, lazy, a failure.

You are right,I’m not fucking perfect. How many times have I nearly died doing your bidding?

I want to be happy.

No, not your idea of happiness.

I want to forget about being aware of how you want me to feel about my body. I want to enjoy each moment away from the knowledge that my body is just there.

Today, I respect my body. You don’t need a mask to cover up the fact you have no idea what that word means.

I had so many things I had in my head …. to say to you…

I feel you still don’t get it.

I know I eat.

I have to eat . Don’t put the guilt trip on me if I feel hungry.

Yes,I do. I love food. There are so many more types of food I want to try and I am still afraid to try . I am learning though.

Every book or film or conversation I have ever had was drowned out by your voice or because I couldn’t stand to hear your voice again , I drugged myself, tried to take my life

– oh so many times.

Yet, I still stand..

You won’t go because you love a challenge. you enjoy the struggle.

How boring would it be for me to just give up.

Oh don’t get me wrong, love.

I have nearly died for you and you happily appeared to allow it. We both know you became my friend because you knew I would fight you.

Still now, twenty odd years later I fight you.

No – you can’t have increasingly lower digits. I have set the bar for what weight I can live with. I’m not going to stop eating if I go over that weight threshold. – I will cope. I will get back to my safe weight.

You hate the fact I exercise to keep fit and on track-to focus -to keep me rational – I have found out the secret you have hidden from me for so long.

I’m not going to binge or take laxatives again. It fucking hurts. 100 laxatives a day for how many years. I’m not buying into that abuse any longer.

You are having so much fun with me at this moment. Forever toying…..

The scales have gone up. I should know I’ve only been there with you over 50 fucking times today on that scale. Willing that 1.5 kilo of weight to go down.

I am not having fun.

I am a woman not a child. My spirit is not a newborn. You can’t corrupt it like you did all those years ago.

I get periods. There is a lot of ‘I don’t want’ that comes with the power to create life.

Fluid retention is one of them. You want me to think that these laws of a woman’s body don’t apply to me. Your arrogance never fails to catch me off guard.

You want me to think I have lost control…….

I see all this and I hate you with every thought, every emotion, everything.

Yet, you still won’ t go away

You may be having fun but I’m not having fun and I don’t want to play.

You have brought many foes to my door- snuck them in. Bipolar ,a so-called personality disorder, the list goes on and on. All free loaders.

Remember when I was at the height of my career? You wouldn’t let me become more successful. It wasn’t your definition of success so you took it from me.

Remember when I tried to better myself and go to college?

You fucked with my head then too.

Yes, I got my degree, eventually. I nearly died getting it.

I nearly died getting my daughter back too.

You like the fighters. The ones that put up a struggle. The more I struggled the more obstacles you put in my way- one of your finest tricks was the abusive relationship act.

I finally see you are indeed a one trick pony.

Well done, a round of applause.

You are not the master of my mind any more.

You are a bully- deranged.

YOU CAN’T HAVE ME!

I’m getting married and you can’t stop that. Yes, I know I’m vulnerable because I need to fit into my wedding dress.

Guess what?

I am going to have another child and I won’t let you stop me. I am going to nourish life, nurture it like I should have done the first time.

I will be free of the medication I take to stop you from having the upper hand all the time . I don’t think you have realised,

the fight you have with me, does not just end with me alone any more. You continue to take me on -you are now taking me and my family on.

You are a threat to my life- no not a pathetic one,but one full of joy and love and respect. You hate it. I don’t know why you won’t allow me to love.

Where did you come from ? and what made you so malicious?

I can’t be your therapist and provider.

Yes, we are back to fighting again;

I don’t need tarot cards to know the ending to this.

I’m winning.

Yes, I am.

You are strong, I will give you that but I have had four years of some kind of freedom from you –

You ,dear friend, let your guard down .

Thank you, because you gave me another reason to live and want to be alive. The devil I know or the glimpses of joy I have found in living ?

you lose,

check mate!

I will continue to rise as the queen of my mind and your whole kingdom built on flimsy lies is going to come toppling down.

If you are going to throw a punch – don’t let your guard down.

Practice what you preach.

 

Spit out the PIP

My word but moving house is super stressful.
I’m happy because I’m moving to new pastures.

Life has been a mind haunting experience over the past 2months.
My anorexia nervosa reared its ugly head because I needed some form of self medicating after stopping toxic self medicating.
I lost over  2-3 stone!
I love food.. I have recently  been bingeing on food. My husband can’t stop me. After a binge,I’m verbally abusive to him, because I feel so ashamed and disgusted with myself.
I chew  the foos and spit it out.
  My weight has gone up to 8stone 10 from 8stone.

I’m  angry because I  rely on government money for my illnesses.
I’m trying to get better.
I have an assessment award review in 3weeks time and, well… I feel like I need to lose the wight I’ve gained to justify I’m  ill.

I attempted a serious suicide overdose in , May 2020.
I was in a coma for 5days on life support and a further 5 days in critical ICU care.

I’ve  done 4 serious suicide attempts   in 2 years and 2months.

I tried to jump off a well known bridge.

I had 5 people hold me down so I couldn’t  jump.

Now my gut instinct says try and kill myself.

I’m  tired of my illnesses.
I wish I could have a job that covers my bills.

My daughter who is 9 years old has never been on holiday-not even in the U.K. because I can’t afford it.

I’m bricking it. I have a lot of paperwork to prove I’m  ‘seriously* ill as my family and husband states.

I can’t move time ahead nor make the assessor re approve my  extra income.

Not having control over my world is debilitating  but i have to focus on my new life and have a plan B if I am not awarded PIP.

These voices

These voices in my head gossip it’s a constant source of bedlam.

They never stop,

They never leave.

Their constant trolling,

There incessant banter

Sparks a hell-raising fire

Until I kick out from cracking up from all of their heckling.

I imagine a dark horse rescues me so I can canter away, breathe in the ocean air.

Keep up this distraction forever.

These voices make me pull at my hair, I see I have a few grey hairs now.

Droopy disproportionate boobs.

I fear the larger breast a whole 2 cup sizes bigger needs to be stabbed, squeezed, cleansed from the infected fat.

If only this would quell these voices in my homely self made asylum.

Perhaps my patients would snap back into reality

Snap out of their various maladies.

Even when my glass house shatters

These voices know I’ll glue back each piece bit by bit in an attempt to make myself better.

These voices know they can always come back.

Rent-free

The foods on me.

Feeding on the folds of my imperfect flaws.

That emotion I can only describe as fatness.

A feeling, a thought, a moment, an eternity, a sense of a loss of control.

It comes and it goes

It takes a second glance

Catches me off guard.

I have to take pictures to believe I am not hallucinating. Pictures lie.

They do and then a second glance and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

This is what these voices chant.

That fatness comes

That fatness goes with a second glance.

Another thought pulls through for me

One second glance

One more chance to be lucid.

To survive another day

To survive another day

Only for these bastard critters to gorge on my mind.

Make all their fears mine.

These voices, they scream at me.

They yell at me.

They tell me to go away.

Often when I wish to disappear I dissociate

Have a rest

Go on autopilot.

Leave the carnival of freaks to cast me out.

I want to process what I hear, what I watch, what I read, what I see without them humming their filth in my head.

I want to be present

Tune into my world

Reality.

where it truly matters.

I don’t want to miss connecting with my loved ones.

These mouthpieces…

I have nothing left to say.

Confessional poetry -Anxiety

*inspired by a work exercise I had to do for my bibliotherapy course- WORD PROMPT -ANXIETY*

Loss of control
Increased numerical equation
Detract from the value of self-worth.

Mind full
Mind bloated

Aspirations snipped loose by an unearthly, scale driven puppet master
Reduces an entire psyche to a chemical embarrassment.

Good mood desires nourishment
the live to eat philosophy
A heavy burden the beast bears herded in
restricted to forage on cashing out a societal life policy.

A one manned island
ravaged
to its hunger

GRADUATE OF LIFE

 haven’t had my graduation ceremony yet and with all that has happened this year, I totally forgot that I have finally finished my degree. My other half was going ballistic (in a good way) and looked at me and asked me why I looked so down. I guess either I am still in shock or I don’t think it is that big a deal compared to what other goals and shit I have had to focus on this year. So let me high 5 myself and reflect on how the path to get my degree became – the successful one.

Way back in 2007,I had just come out of the hospital with a BMI of 16. I enrolled at my local college in the U.K. to do my BA in acting performance.

I was with a lovely group of talented individuals and managed one term. I was quickly losing more weight again and my mental health went down. I could not maintain a low BMI. I either had to go lower or higher and I went lower. I managed to get merit (when they still called it that) for my classical acting. How amazing is that?

I wanted to engage with my group but I couldn’t shift the anorexia. I had become a sub-host to it.

Back in 2008, I decided to have another go at it. I had gained a normal amount of weight. I met a seemingly lovely man who swept me off my feet. He worked in the army and ended up going on tour for 3 months in Canada. I went to live in Barcelona with my Aunt for a few months and partied hard. Hit Ibiza with my cuz and when I came back to the U.K I was ready to piece my life back together.

The night I arrived back in the U.K. was the same night the army guy got back and he came straight to see me, bringing me little gifts back from his tour. I was so touched and couldn’t believe we had another chance to get to know this one another again and give him my heart. I invited him for a meal at my Nan’s house the following evening as he was rather ‘fatigued'(such an elegant way of putting it)  from his flight.

The following day he texted me to tell me he was getting his car serviced and would see me later. Later turned into 6pm And 8pm and then 9pm. The curry was losing it’s cool. I rang him asking him why he hadn’t pitched up and he completely dissed me on the phone and told me he was with his family and I can’t make him choose his family over me! WTAF?

If he had explained that he wanted to be with his family then I would of got it.-The lovely army guy broke my heart. He didn’t want to be with me. I internalised all this as my fault. I had put on weight, I had been homeless and had recently found somewhere in the U.K. to live and I thought I wasn’t good enough. I remember walking my Nan from my new home to the bus stop and I broke down. I didn’t know how much I liked this guy until I felt my heart tearing. Each sob caused another tear and another.

In 2009 I was finally in a better place and I was ready for another attempt to get a degree in the arts arena. I started a  two Foundation Degree with 24 students. By week two that had whittled down to 7 students. Again a totally different bunch of lovely people. I fucked up. I stopped taking my meds. I was trying so hard to fit in but I guess I felt a bit intimidated by all the talented actors and talent. I didn’t know then that they were all just as frightened of failing as me. At first I  was coping and I managed to go out get wasted and silly and form friendships. Standard uni stuff. One night a girl on my course rang me and told me to come out. She said the night was on her. I got dressed and put on my party face even though at that time I was taking 100 laxatives a day.

When people asked me out I would say ‘Awesome. I will be there’  I had a bad habit and once I had taken those tablets I was ill. I mean of course, I had the shits. Haha. Never thought I would be typing this but the moment before I purged I had stomach cramps that pushed and pulled and stabbed at me from the inside. I couldn’t walk from the spasms. SO that night I gave a big fuck you to Anorexia and went out to have some fun and bond with some friends.

My taxi pulled up at ‘the only reputable club’ in that locality and I saw my college friend wave at me and she was laughing and she gave me £50 and told me to come with her. It was a bit. Well, I was sober and everyone else was hammered. I didn’t find it funny. I wasn’t in the zone yet. I went to the bathroom and then I went to look for the pack and I couldn’t find them anywhere.

My mobile battery died and I turned around to the first person I saw to ask that person if I could use their mobile. I happened to bump into the person who went on to degrade and disrespect me in the most colourful and inventive ways. I couldn’t find anyone so we went back to mine and drank until………… I passed out mid-sentence.

This guy wouldn’t leave me alone. He was lovely at first but really full-on. I tried to back away. My friends told me he looked creepy.Leave him alone.

A guy from uni came up to me and told me that creepy ex was well and truly creepy and to stay away. Did I listen? no, I let my insecurities get the better of me. I melted into his world. At first it was flattering that someone would want to be around me so much. I didn’t think I was going to get in a relationship with him. I was trying to make friends and I had my eyes on someone else.

Out of respect to my daughter, I won’t go into a diatribe of events. He tried to take my soul. When he couldn’t have all of me he came up with a cunning plan to try and take my life away from me. Our daughter. During this time I could feel Anorexia clawing it’s way back inside. Cold, damp and merciless. I couldn’t allow it home again. I reached out to a couple I know and went on to meet my future husband to be. Before you judge- I have had my karma. I nearly lost my daughter as you may know from previous posts.  I had time on my hands. Instead of being a full-time Mom to my daughter, I was a 10 hour per week Mom instead.

I decided while I battled it out in the court arena with social services and my creepy ex I would resume my studies. This time not in a mainstream uni but an online one. I worked my toosh off and today I can say I am a graduate. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my partner and my family.

DON’T JUDGE -if you can help it.  That is a huge lesson I’ve learned. This piece of paper means so much more than the letters printed on it. It is a symbol – a tangible piece that reminds me of how I got to this place where I am today. I’m a bride to be with a gorgeous daughter who will be four in October. I’m working with mental health charities and I am a stable weight- super healthy. I don’t smoke. I drink mostly water ( with the odd cocktail of course) , I exersise. I am a success. I am proud of me. No one can take that from me. I won’t let them. Always be ready to learn a bit more. I may have officially finished learning but I will not let that stop me from learning in other ways. I treat every experience in my life as a learning curve. Always look for the silver lining no matter how bleak.

Blanch Guts

I may not be anonymous

I’m predisposed to mostly white.

Paled by charming powder puffs

Under any paltry day or night.

I may not be anonymous

I may appear big, small heavy and then light.

one little line of chronic

then it’s down & up 1000s hillside slopes to cut the gluttonous lust.

It grows in fervour

Diminishes all care.

If time is money (Wutang)

then it’s wasted to card dealing chancers

who think it is fair in the twilight

to fight this addiction to an eating disorder.

Sizes me up

Rounds me in

Heard in

cattle calls

Not time to feed but blanch Guts away to her final slaughter.

Why do I want to change my hues?

Tie Dye?

Or maybe these words are a whitewash of denial or a statement covering up a fat lie.

(May 2019)

Last night I called Samaratins

I’ve always been skeptical about accessing services such as Samaratins however since I’ve been actively trying to help myself become mentally well again, I reached out via email to find uot more about Samaratins.org and what services they can offer me – I thought I had to be suicidal to get in touch with them. 

I’m currently building up a post crisis plan and contingency plan with the Mental health team – my psychiatrist, my Psychiatrist community nurse and support worker and other services in my community to get back on track. I thought I would share my experience on my website  blog.  This is how it went.

I emailed Jo ( all volunteers are trained and called Jo) to ask for further information. Jo got back to me to ask me for a bit more background and gave me a link to the samaratins.org website.This is what I had to say. 

Hi Daisy
It sounds like you and your CPN are doing great work together.
Samaritans is a 24/7 listening service. We are currently available on the phone, email and by letter. Can I suggest for a more detailed definition of our service you visit our website www.samaritans.org.

Is there anything you would like to talk about tonight, is there anything worrying you or is there something you would like to share with us about how you are feeling?

Hi Jo

Erm… well, I have been a long time service user with lengthy inpatient and outpatient stays in the hospital for bipolar, EUPD and chronic anorexia.
I tend to go in a cycle with how I escape from my thoughts and emotions instead of regulating them.


I’m in that place where I’m highly
Motivated to get to the place I was in from 2013- 2017
I achieved more in those few years than in my entire lifetime,
Apart from my career in travel.
I have a lot I want to do with my life and pass on what I’ve found out to help others.


I’ve volunteered my heart out up until 2016 because I was studying my BA at the time. I fought social services, my family and my 9-year-old daughter’s paternal father in court for 16 months. On the 05 may 2015 I addressed the judge myself and she was and is discharged into my care with full parental responsibility & she is a phenomenal child. I can’t believe she is my child.


I was never going to get married nor have children until I hit my 30′ s. Both just seemed ” to happen”. Many traumas and bad relationships, abortion and boom! By the age of 36 married and one 6-year-old.

My eating disorder has always been a big problem for me.. I’ve been starving myself or self-medicating for most of my life.

In 2017 my body nor my mind could take on everything I set out to do. I was volunteering 5 days a week 9- 5 pm. I was asked to do my WRAP co-facilitator course to do workshops; I had completed the first year of my MA 60 credits and a post-graduate in the humanities with high merit. I had been married for a year. My gran died a horrible, drawn-out death over 3 days in March 2017. I had to decide to take my aunt off life support because my Mom didn’t know what to do. My aunt died in our arms( at hospital snowed under morphine a few months later). I had to support my mom who is ill at times and be “there” for her.


My weight was getting low and it gave me a huge buzz. It’s the best high ever. No drug compares in my opinion to feel my bones protrude or the scales getting lower or that power I feel.


Unfortunately, I started self-medicating with illicit substances and I ended up doing one of my worst suicide attempts in March 2018. I insisted on carrying on with the final year of my MA. I had split up with my husband ( we are back together), My daughter was more or less living at my mom’s place more than she was in her own home. Most of the time I didn’t want her to see me out of my head, or out of control.


I was a single mom & My mom reported me to social services in 2018 within two weeks and then went to Miami for 5 weeks for a break! I received my lowest mark to date and I decided to end it. My mom had a hunch because that night I didn’t want my daughter at home with me.


Anyway, 9 hours in ICU and my Mom ( who was once part of my daughter’s care support package that I discovered and used as to persuade the judge I could look after my daughter with the help I had my daughter to look after and I carried on self-medicating and I had to go through a core assessment with a social worker’s (alone this time and I reached out my child’s school for support stop my child from being thrown into a highly flawed social care system. Twice in that year. Mom rang them again when my daughter was at her home.

I made an appointment with the doctor and I walked to the surgery. My mom was complaining about taxi fare etc.. I was hyper however the doctor ” made” my mom ring social services again. Back to 2018

My psychiatrist said I was in psychosis and I think the only reason he didn’t section me is that… I don’t know. He has known me for 15 years! I had my child to look after… I’m still not sure why he didn’t section. I think my then C.P.N. stuck up for me and I was put onto fortnightly injections to show compliance. The side effects were terrible. My mom took me to the hospital to take another medication to counteract the side effects before leaving to go abroad.
It was a rough couple of years from March up until 2019.
I was self-medicating daily I’ve (never been on heroin, or crack or ketamine.
I was in toxic relationships.
I didn’t care about my weight then. My nose was falling apart and I was losing my daughter to my mom at a fast rate.
I still wasn’t dead!

I took a really big overdose in Feb 2020. My former care co-coordinator didn’t think my cries for help were serious. My friend kept me awake on the phone. He wanted to call the ambulance. I begged him not to because of my daughter.


I got back with my husband in early 2019.
We had to get an injunction on a guy I allowed into my life. We weren’t good for one another. I seem to attract men who need me for finances or something…
I need them to be assholes to me to make sure that I can never trust my husband. The one man who has never disrespected me in 9 years and I’ve done a lot of shitty things to him
In May 2020 I had had enough.

I had been studying suicide manuals I found on the internet and decided to follow the overdose step by step guide. I ended up in a coma for 5 days and wired to tubes for a further 5 days in ICU.

For 2 months I was on a high. I was self-medicating on my Eating Disorder again. My mom and I have always clashed I was living with her trying to get away from a home with bad energy.
It didn’t work out with my mom and my daughter and my cat and my husband living at our current home. She threw me out in front of my daughter and as an excuse, I don’t know
I became stuck in my old habits. It was that or my eating disorder. My choice. My mom threatened to take me to court over my daughter numerous times for my drug use. I lost a lot of time with her my daughter.
I lost confidence in my mom Abilities again.

I was spending crazy amounts and stopped caring again. I have reached out to every service in my area and say I’m too complicated. My issues are too ” complex”.
I asked for a new care coordinator ( June 2020) and she saw me in crisis mode for 2 months. In Sept 2020
I put on 1 kilo ( in my head or physically. I was self-medicating so I had stopped bothering about scales.
That day I did something I haven’t done since I wad 17 years old.
I’m 39 in November. I stabbed my right-hand breast repeatedly and my inner thighs. Then bought 2 scales.
I then tried to jump off a well-known bridge for suicide attempts the same night.
My psychiatrist sent two psychiatrists to assess me to under the mental health act section 2 1981. .I think.
Earlier that day,
I walked out of his office screaming at my psychiatrist to discharge me from the enhanced team for people with severe Mental health input.
What was the point in taking prescribed tablets alone when I have been knocking on every door for DBT and therapy?


I spoke frankly with the assessment team and I wasn’t detained
I had a massive blow out 6weeks ago..


My mom had taken my girl away 1 day after we had discussed a plan and strategy and the boundaries and goalposts were moved according to my mom’s mood and demands. I decided f *** it. I was in a bad way and then I fought my mom for my daughter. I got her CPN involved, school. I told her secrets to my family. I betrayed her because I wanted my baby girl back.


She’s been home with me for just over 2 weeks &our bond is good. She is back into a good routine. I’m loving our bond, her age, her interests and her love.
I’ve thrown me into various therapy apps to get better, recovery apps, happy apps, registered to do volunteering again. I’m writing on my website again.


I’ve added a music blog to my website -it focuses on music artists I find and interview them on their career, creativity and thoughts on Mental health and their own experiences. My next feature is ready to publish by early Nov.
I’ve signed up to do loads of volunteering skill courses – peers mentoring etc…
I’m redoing my WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan
Learning DBT on my own.
. I haven’t used illicit substances for 8 weeks and I am higher than I have ever felt.
I’m starving myself again. I don’t like it, hunger, the dedication it takes. I do like the highs and my BMI is down to 17.1. I was living at a 19 – 20 BMI from 2018 until now…
. I’m happy because I’m investing my time in my family and buying us things. It feels good.

I’m mindful of how much I drink because of calories and I can’t drink like I did when I was using. I become ill. I have a protein shake usually 2times a day.
. A few microwaved mushrooms, cucumber( not microwaved) and microwaved onions. And celery and herbal tea to snack on.
I’m very active. I love to keep busy.
Mentally and psychically.

That’s a bit about me.
I don’t know what else to say.
I’ve managed to find a charity who let me have 10 zoom conference counselling sessions for survivors of rape, trauma and sexual abuse. My last session ends next Tues I have rescheduled 3 times!
I don’t feel suicidal and haven’t in 3 weeks.

I don’t have time to ruminate or think about self-medicating in an illegal way. People don’t leave me alone for too long and at this point, I don’t feel suicidal. I feel insanely high on my Eating disorder I’m on a high because I am making positive changes & I have had to cut out my family to be the mother that she deserves and I deserve to be.

Best Wishes
Daisy

I received a lengthy reply with positive feedback  back at 3 a.m. this morning.  It was an email that served as a soundboard to affirm what has happened and what I am doing with my life. I found it a positive experience I would urge people to use this service even if  they don’t feel suicidal . 

Making friends living on an Acute psychiatric ward

I remember my first meeting with a mental health charity to collaborate and co-facilitate an anti- Stigma workshop/group that This is what I have been wanting to do for some time and here I am achieving my dreams. When I was back -institutionalized in an Acute ward with Anorexia and Bipolar in 2005. I think that personality trait to help others and organize groups has always been in me.

I was am a nightmare patient.

I always refused bed rest and focused my time on doing things like raffles to raise money for a charity shop connected to the Retreat,in York. I ended up raising over £100 in a matter of days with a BMI of 14.5. so about 41 kilograms. , 90 pounds – I’m nearly 5.8.

In other clinics- I was tube fed and restrained -often by up to four nurses.

That is a whole other story and debate.

I met another man who is/was a barrister and he had a complete breakdown. His wife had been cheating on him. I met an artist who expressed her unarticulated pain by painting. I met a woman who had been fighting Anorexia and OCD all her life and who taught me how to put a Christmas tree up.

I had forgotten.

I didn’t know what life was and what it meant to live.

I met a few ladies, not on my unit -The Acorn unit ( the name pun has not gone over my head). They expressed their pain through cutting and self-harm.

Nobody played games. Although some of us, from time to time would get hold of paracetamol and other shit and overdose to liven the humdrum mundaneness of life in an acute ward. I once got caught out on weigh day with fishing scales attached to my paper gown. The staff was quite taken aback with imaginative ways we would come up with to avoid putting on weight. These girls were hardcore. I met so many people.

I met a girl who terrified me. I could tell she had been in hospitals all her life. Her family could absolve themselves of whatever guilt they felt towards their daughter by puttting her in private clinics and the problem was dusted under the carpet.

I had started the process and recovery of eating again and putting on weight. I couldn’t cope. I developed another way to cope, for at least 4 months my day consisted of:

  • chewing gum

  • making a coffee

  • eating more chewing gum

  • make a cup herbal tea

  • smoke a cig .

I was on this loop for24 hours /7 days a week -for 4 months.

I was driving myself crazy in a way that was unfamiliar to me. The nurses tried to lock me out of the communal kitchens and one night I flipped out when they tried to grab me so I started throwing stuff around.

I wanted them to help me. The girl who initially terrified me came into the kitchen and sat down on the floor with me and held me for over an hour while, I shed tears for everything I can remember.

All the emotions attached to those memories I had pushed aside. None of these people was violent. We were trying to be understood and to understand ourselves.

I met a young girl with schizophrenia -she dressed like a Goth. Always had headphones in her ears. She was trying to silence the voices. She had been coping well up until her Mother passed away and like any normal person she was traumatized by it and her mental health went a bit off balance again. She was trying to make sense that her mother is dead. She was grieving.

One night a new guy arrived on the scene. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He had that charisma of the kind of guy I always seemed to attract. His eyes were full of spark and mischief. A person you would want on your side. We became friends. We spoke a lot. He did a very Titanic thing and drew a picture of me. Fully clothed. I can’t find the picture to load up. He was still going through the DT’s. I will live with my memory of how the picture looked- possibly very trippy. Ha Ha.

Barry was only staying for 10 days before he went to ‘a dry out clinic further up the coast. I don’t know what happened inside me but I didn’t want him to go.

He was a lot older than me but we did everything together.I got him painting again. I know he had just got out of prison but he was so talented. I begged the nurses and psychiatrists to let him stay.

‘Look! Look! how talented he is! He needs help from you’.

Our last night before we parted ways. We sat in the smoking lounge and watched ‘Pulp fiction’. I know this may make some people reading this go .. erm………what?

I lay my head down in his lap and he played with my hair. For me, the act was more like a father gesture. I suspect for Barry it could have been different.

He wrote loads of letters and planned to come to visit me. The nurses censored my post and turned him away.

I often wonder what happened to him.

I get angry that just because he was an in and out of prison for many reasons- he was denied the rehabilitation that I received. He had issues. I am no innocent.

I feel he could not have benefited from a recovery type community setting rather than prison. It’s not my place to say what he did, I don’t want to remember.

It would have ruined the fact that I found feelings inside me. I could laugh again, I could cry. I was real. I felt like a human being and not some freak with Anorexia. Anorexia took second place and I wanted it to always take second place. I felt real.

So back to the Anti-stigma workshop, I am doing. I can’t wait. I have a passion. I have the drive. This is my new chapter. I did have a beautiful picture Barry drew of a dragonfly but I guess moving around a lot means that I have lost other precious memories. I am finally in a position to help other people. I’m not letting this opportunity getaway.