Positives from negatives
I haven’t written for a while, not because I haven’t wanted to but because I have been really busy working on different projects. It’s been quite an exciting time doing different things and more excitement lies ahead in various forms too.
My petition has gathered a lot of pace in recent days and I have been pleased to see that it has reached a lot of people who seem to have been in a similar place as me in terms of finding access to appropriate support extremely difficult. I am hopeful that we can use these negative experiences to promote positive change. I have actually had some very positive interactions with members of the CCG regarding the campaign so fingers crossed we can build on that and get somewhere towards providing the much needed personality disorder service in the county.
I am still having my break from EMDR therapy. I have to admit that whilst initially I was reticent to do so and felt let down by my therapist, I am now glad that the break is happening. I have had a lot of experience of therapy over the years and whilst it is always unsettling to some degree, this EMDR work has been the most draining and intense that I have ever undertaken. It has actually been quite a relief to have a rest from emotional baggage overload for a while. That doesn’t mean to say that things are perfect and stress free at the moment of course, but at least I’m not stirring things that are difficult.
Very soon, my brother and his girlfriend are getting married! I can’t quite believe that it has come around so quickly and when I stop and think about it, it seems really strange that my little brother is grown up enough to get wed but it’s happening! I have the honour of being a bridesmaid which is lovely but the last time I played that role for anyone I was 8 years old so I’m a bit out of practice...
It will be a big social occasion so I am naturally anxious about that. I just find it hard to know what to say and how to act around so many people. I’m hoping that my acting skills will come to the fore and I will be able to pull it off but even if I do, it won’t stop the endless self-criticism after each interaction. I will have to try hard to keep that in check.
I have been involved in another anti-stigma staff training workshop recently and also given my input as a person with lived mental health experience on a panel of experts for a task for the CCG. It is amazing to me that these opportunities have come out of something so negative in my life. It really does show you that you never know what is around the corner and that even when things look bleak and insurmountable, they can and will change (just so long as you want them to).
I am still getting used to driving again but very much enjoying the extra time it brings with it, and of course the freedom associated too. There have been several trips to the garage as this and that keep deciding that they need replacing on the car, but I have even found that I can hold my own better than I used to be able to with mechanics.
I said when I left the Cassel treatment programme that one of the biggest changes in me was my reduction in anger on a day to day basis. That has really been something that I have found helpful in terms of relating to others, even on a minimal contact level like being the customer of the garage. Since I have become less angry, I tend to have a less pessimistic and cynical view of the world and can see interactions as being there as an opportunity to gain something positive from, rather than a chance for someone to judge me negatively or screw me over in some way. Having a more open attitude towards people seems to have improved the quality of those interactions too so it seems to be win-win for me and the other person.
Naturally, I do still get angry and I’m not saying I now look at the world through rose-tinted glasses by any means but it has been interesting to see how my attitude towards people influences their attitudes towards me, even subconsciously.