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.
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?
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.
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 .
Life is tough at the moment for many of us including myself. I have become very unwell and I’ve been knocking on doors for help from the Community Mental health team who have been unhelpful. Tried to throw myself off a bridge on the 23 September. I have and Eating Disorder and because I have put on weight I stabbed my breast and my thighs.
I have decided that while I’m still living I am going to try and help myself so this what I have done today. I also have a voice and I won’t be ignored.
The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues.
You can download the WRAP app for free -IT explains what how WRAP can help you. You can make your own WRAP plain and email it to yourself.
What it is and https://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrapapp/
Follow WRAP on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WRAPYourWellnessYourWay/
An interesting article to read ‘In the worlds ‘Happiest’ countries- the Happiness gap and how it has an effect on your Mental health.
The Nordic countries are meant to be the happiest countries in the world however according to new studies and analysis 12.3 % of the population are still struggling and the article goes in to detail of the the reasons why.
I’ve also started doing the Happify app again. https://www.happify.com/home/
Art helps you recognise your strengths, gives you activies to do help you achieve your goals and it explains the science behind the activities. It has a community forum for support. It gives you daily activities you can do and there are instant games you can play -Guided meditation, Negative Knockout, Acts of kindness. You can keep a track of where you are at and it it activates your Dopamine levels -that are responsible for the reward/pleasure part of your brain & this helps to keep us motivated .
You can find out more about Dopamine at Psychology today https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/dopamine
I’ve also started engaging with the unmasked campaign – it is a leading Suicide prevention charity started in 2019
Unmasked Mental Health provides support to like-minded change seekers in a genuine and personal way. Helping them to feel secure and live life confidently.
Find out more on their website https://unmaskedmentalhealth.co.uk/about-us/
Let’s TALK ABOUT THAT FUCKING ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!
Yeah, I’m obviously not going ignore that it is WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY -especially considering the work and training I have been doing this week, around Mental Health Recovery embracing the 5 key concepts to the
HOPE-People who experience mental health difficulties get well, stay well and go on to meet their life dreams and goals.
SELF-RESPONSIBILITY- It’s up to you, with the assistance of others, to take action and do what needs to be done to keep yourself well.
EDUCATION-Learning all you can about what you are experiencing so you can make good decisions about all aspects of your life.
SELF-ADVOCACY-Effectively reaching out to others so that you can get what it is that you need, want and deserve to support your wellness and recovery.
SUPPORT – While working toward your wellness is up to you, receiving support from others, and giving support to others will help you feel better and enhance the quality of your life.
WRAP is . . .
I’ve been so inspired, comforted, shocked and angered by the stories I have heard this week. Every one of us has been through shit- the same clinical diagnoses come up again and again, being drugged, feeling ashamed, stigmatized.
Being called crazy for acting in a way where obviously a person’s mental health is not good for whatever reasons.
Still, we live in this society. With this Victorian -lock them away, throw away the key mentality.
In my life, I have met people from all walks of life, ethnicities, religion, job roles/class.
I knew a physiatrist, (I have known many) who was not mine but a fellow inpatient, just like me. No one will know who I am on about. It was many years ago and nobody who knows me today and who I connect with today will know this person.
The thing with suicide – it can be intentional and unintentional – a quick act or an act that goes on for years until eventually, Grim reaper does come to collect.
Usually, there are years of pain and suffering and wearing the ‘I am ‘normal’ mask, not like – them – the “crazy” -unwell people, before someone does intentionally/unintentionally ends their life.
“I only drink 1/2/3 glasses of alcohol, a spliff, a night/at weekends to calm me down/get a buzz .”
I’ve heard that a lot.
Why does a person need this kind of outlet and coping mechanism to chill or escape from reality?
I include myself in this.
Life is stressful.
We are not helping our mates, colleagues, family, friends and community by pretending this is one of the healthy ways to cope.
“I only inject heroin or smoke crack, snort coke/Ket on weekends” It’s recreational use.”
I hear that too. These very words have come out of my mouth over the years.
SELFIE- WE ARE HAVING A BLAST – ONLY ON THE WEEKENDS!
“I can’t cope with life at all and need to take antidepressants/ mood stabilisers/ drink/smoke/inject/starve/comfort eat to cope and deal with the stresses of life”
I can hear the crowd heckling and tsking already.
That person has gone too far.
“All in moderation.” I hear some people say.
Have you actually looked at what the ( ahem..) governments guidelines for how much alcohol you are actually “advised” ( doesn’t mean you should) to drink or the number of painkillers you should take and when you should take them?
(if that is your “thing”)
Did you go out and buy a government, custom made, wine, beer glass or whatever to make sure you are getting the correct dose?
If you look at your drinking glasses compared to what the size of the glass that is advised (if you insist on drinking something that happens to be legal), I think you may have gone over the limit.
In this context, The moderation theory is a fucking myth, in my opinion.
Food is legal – people get addicted to it/not eating it.
So is Sex. So is stealing – that is illegal, of course.
Why are we self-medicating ourselves in this way?
Ask yourself. Don’t point a finger at Bob or Tina next door who are total mad heads, crazy, raging druggies or whatever, who are always having a bust-up.
Look at your own life. The own things you use to keep you well, that keep you able to make it to work the next day or not.
Keep you ticking over just nicely enough to cope with Lifes/ people’s unrealistic expectations of you.
Just a thought.
Do or don’t. I am not here to judge. I’m merely expressing my thoughts. I’m thinking/ musing– being human.
I know I come across as confrontational in this post and maybe I am.
Hell, yes I am.
I’m pissed off at how society decides who is fit and who is a misfit.
There are so many other ways to chill, be happy, live.
Why do we (I include myself in we) choose ways that are not actually healthy?
Why do we alter the wiring in our brain? Numb our feelings?
What is wrong with feeling and expressing so-called “weak” ” negative” feelings?
Take a look at your friend, a stranger in the street/ family member/ the person who calls you crazy.
It’s not hard to figure it out.
Did you know that a person with a label of schizophrenia is more likely to kill him/herself before harming another?
Yes, self-medicating – drinking, taking drugs to cope increases the chances of a person with a diagnosed mental illness becoming violent.
Think of Christmas, bank holidays, seasonal drinkers who congregate in civilised places to drink or even the illegal drug takers who congregate wherever to imbibe whatever substance.
I’ve been to these pubs/clubs/houses/parks/festivals/doss houses sober and seen what “normal” looks like.
How many of those people do you know?
Do you know their background, mind state?
Really, How well do you know them?
Have you seen what alcohol and drugs can do to a person who is a “normal” member of society?
“It was the alcohol, the prick who looked at me differently, the fucking coach of whatever sports team, that German/English/ French prick.”
What you put into your body will change how you act/perceive things and that is my point.
If I drink alcohol – when I have and done so, I tend to binge drink and I can “lose” it.
One last thing to think about, if you wish.
If I asked you to visually describe and give traits of a person who you think is likely to think about or actually take their own life, what does that person look like?
Here is a Fact: or about as accurate as a statistic can tell you.
The person most likely to attempt/take their own life, according to the statistic website I chose to use,
age 30- 64
method: firearm, strangulation, suffocation and poisoning
Previous Attempts to self-harm.
No items found.
I’m using him as an example with his permission, of course. 😀
Five years ago, he did fit into most of the criteria for being the person who is more likely to attempt/commit suicide.
He thought about ending his life when he was bullied, in his early teens, in the neighbourhood, he grew up in.
My husband has ended up in A&E due to an injury he acquired intoxicated. In his case, skateboarding accident.
Today, he is not suicidal nor does he own a firearm( it is illegal to in the U.K.) He has not drunk alcohol in 5 years, doesn’t smoke or use drugs – he has never even smoked a cigarette.