Story time with Aunty T

barney stinson tru GIF-downsized

*** TRIGGER WARNING- SUICIDE/ SELF HARM… READ WITH CAUTION!***

Story time! get some Snacks/ Drinks and make yourself comfortable as I tell you one of my many Mental Health stories. Tissues maybe required as this may make you emotional and/or cry tears of frustration. Or is that maybe a warning for myself….

The year was 2013 and I was 17 turning 18. This was meant to be a joyful year as my last one as a teenager but I assure you this was not the case. From Jan-Oct of 2013 I was a depressed, throwing up, self-harming suicidal mess. Well, before 2013 I was but 2013 was the year the bottle top exploded.

By May I had been to the ED 10 times ( I think, can’t exactly recall) with suicidal thoughts/ self harming thoughts (and I think one of those times I ended up doing it) and was let down quite a lot by sadly a few professionals. For example one of the times I was told ” just talk to your Parent’s ( who by the way we told you self harm without your consent lol) and come off your Depression medication by the end of the week, you’re just a sad Teenager. You’ll be right!” and was sent on my merry way.

May 20 something came up and I was done with life with a capital D. I wanted that D (insert immature thoughts here) and wanted out, and yet a little bit of me still wanted to try and live.I set my alarm to wake me just before one of my folks left early for work so I could make sure they were gone. They left and I set into action. I knew (well, what I thought I knew) to release pain/ cry for help I had to cut my left arm, I wasn’t being listened to and I was being driven insane with pain and anguish. A potential thunderstorm was coming that week and I knew that would push me over the edge ( by the way I have a massive thunderstorm phobia- just so you knew.)

Once that was completed I set to work with making my way out and satisfying my urge to try at the least. I had a emo/ punk fashion phase and had a wallet chain lying around so I placed that around my neck and began to pull it up behind my head. My breathing became strained and my body began to shake, was this going to happen? But then I stopped. A little tiny bit of me wanted to live and to see if I could actually get help to end this. The urge became strong again and I tried again twice, stopping again as that little bit of hope came back.

Catching my breathe sprawled out across my bed I grabbed my phone and called two Mental Health Emergency/ Crisis lines ( there’s a few where I live in Australia) who proved to be of no assistance. I was told as I lived semi-rural and refused to go to the nearest local hospital where they last treated me like crap there wasn’t much they could do. I was advised stay in bed and have a warm drink of milk and watch trashy TV to calm myself.

This wasn’t enough. I reached out to a Family Member who brought me up to the City to their place and took me to a hospital to seek treatment. To my blessing I spoke to a Psychiatrist who listened to me and advised me that I could be admitted to the Mental Health unit for Treatment but under guard as I was under 18, this was an Adult ward and the Hospital for under 18’s was full. Was this my salvation? could the road to recovery begin? To add to my hope I received my first proper kiss while I was waiting to be admitted. A relationship didn’t eventuate from this but hey, the kiss was good!

About two days later I was brought to the Ward and completed a verbal questioner and to my relief I  met two Girls that I became friendly with and could talk to on the first day. I felt a sense of relief and calm that I could relate to people. However once my Family members left reality set in, I was in a Mental Health Ward with Nurses/ Doctors constantly around me and I was going to be followed around 24/7 and have my every move watched. I had some of my belongings taken off me and was prohibited from wearing certain clothes.

That first night I only had a few hours sleep as I bawled my eyes out. I was freaked out due to my new situation and the fact that I was sleeping in an isolation room with minimal furniture, no windows, white walls and boot marks up the walls. I also received nasty messages from a Family Member before I went to sleep on the first night with messages that I will not disclose for privacy reasons.

The second day I had breakfast and became acquainted with a few more people and attended some of my first groups, mindfulness and something else I believe. A lot of them was me hearing the same things I’d heard a millions times in therapy before but it was good to attend these groups. The care and support I was receiving from the Nurses/ Doctors was incredible and this would continue until the end of my stay.

The third day was much like the second and pleasant as I had thoughts of ” things could get better” and my ability to take in the world around me kicked in again. The sky was more blue than ever, the grass greener, the birds sweet song was at it’s most blissful and my interest in the world was keeping me going again. Conversations with people from all walks of life kept me interested and the support I was giving/ receiving from everyone was.. something I couldn’t describe. Especially from one Girl. I owe a lot to her.

The fourth and fifth days were like the two/ three before but I tried a new medication which while it made me feel itchy it returned a sense of calm and normality. I had visits from good mates and even had the opportunity to go out by myself and do retail therapy and attend my Psychologist appointment.

But alas- all good things must come to an end! my discharge day arrived and everything that was pleasant and my treatment plans all came undone. I recall feeling let down but okay at the same time but this was not to last, more stories will be told about this later. Anyway I was told that I was too harsh on myself and that nothing was going on for me, I was just facing a hard time and didn’t need any medication. I was told to face my storm phobia and continue on with life. I was to be put on no medication and I feel have my stories that I poured out of abuse/ trauma go ill- taken.

Another ray of hope was taken out from underneath me and another opening of my mouth went unheard. But fast-forward until now and I place my hand on my chest still amazed to feel my heart beating and to feel myself breathing and living. I still have plenty of stories to tell and I hope I tell them to willing readers. I tell one of my many stories to end the stigma of talking about Mental Health and to say that it’s okay to talk about it. This has been hard for me to write and will continue to be, but again… it’s okay to talk.

Until next time.

GIF CREDIT:  https://giphy.com/gifs/oh-edition-maIEBUU5OmrMA

Ramblings

season 16 episode 6 GIF-source

After surfing the internet over the past few days this GIF represents how I feel those without Autism see those with Autism raise awareness about their condition and aim for acceptance within the community. This is a generalization mind you and I could be completely wrong.

How do I explain this? I’ll do my best. Basically I feel like they either don’t care ( again probably not true) and/ or aren’t too sure what to think. When someone posts about Autism such as a Parent of someone with Autism, a Psychologist , an “Expert” etc. people take notice and gather information from them but when someone with Autism speaks up  they can fall on deaf ears and/ or have what they say challenged.

Looking online there are viral posts such as ” Autistic Child has a meltdown- What will happen next will warm your heart” ( I made this headline up but it sums up some things I have found) , ” Mum shares heartbreaking posts about having a 3 year old with Autism.” These tend to show the “bad” things such as the meltdowns, being socially isolated, being bullied, ” not fitting in,” being stared at in the shops etc.

Personally I feel like these go viral as it highlights the bad and goes hand in hand with the common “traits” with Autism ( in the diagnostic criteria) such as socially isolating one’s-self, having meltdowns, experiencing sensory overload and “not fitting in with other’s.” Don’t get me wrong there are good viral posts out there such as someone with Autism achieving their goals and doing other great things but personally it seems the “bad” ones spread better. On another note the diagnostic criteria sounds really negative.

As there is so much information out there that is worded in ways such as “struggles with” ” isolates” ”  being bullied” “can’t go to places because of sensory aspects” when good is mentioned or condescending information is given ( the positives instead of the negatives) this is seen as wrong and can be criticized. It’s time we spread more of the good and spoke up against the negative label put on us. As someone with Autism I aim to spread the good and hope to change some perspectives on Autism.

I apologize if this doesn’t make sense and I know this is poorly written. My hands won’t coordinate with my Brain, but on the same token I was able to get out what I wanted to say. See what I did there?

Until Next Time.

GIF CREDIT: https://giphy.com/gifs/season-16-the-simpsons-16×6-3orif2GRIuA4ZSlgQg

Crisis, Baldrick, Crisis!!!!!

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Yesterday, at the shops… a crisis happened. Well, it felt a crisis. Sensory Overload.

A previous conversation had left my heart racing and caused every calm emotion to leave my brain. Then I realized I had to go to  the shops and I could not avoid this, and I also thought that I would be okay. I was wrong, oh Boy… was I wrong!

Standing in the isle trying to suss out the best and yet cost effective Cat Food to buy my ears started to ring and somehow my heart rate increased even more. How my heart didn’t explode I do not know. Reading the labels became impossible as words mingled together and did not make sense. Then everything started to close in on me and every noise was magnified.

The only thing I could do was stand there glued to the spot and still as a statue. People passed me and I felt a few glances but I did not care. This crisis needed to resolve itself or I was going to scream. To my relief noises stung my ears less and space was growing around me. I was able to stock up on Cat Food and make my way out of the shop, although I slammed my car door closed quite hard and was amazed at how it did not break.

How did I overcome this? I can’t say this worked 100% but it may work for you;

  1. Breathe. It’s hard and it might be too loud/ overwhelming but you might be amazed at how much your mind decreases racing by breathing. Breathing also seemed to ground me and bring me back to a little calm.
  2. Close my eyes. Closing my eyes blocked out colours/ visions and stopped me from sensing glances around me. This allowed me to calm myself down a little and rationalize my thinking (well, as much as possible.)
  3. Focus on the task at hand. I had to get Cat Food, and I had to open my eyes. Opening my eyes I focused all of my energy and all of my concentration on the prices and brands. This was all that mattered. After a few minuets I made my purchases and walked out (well, paying too. Shoplifting= bad.)

I did more but I can’t remember what I did. These may not work for you as we’re all different and different strategies work for everyone in different ways but maybe give these a try. Also with the glances that come your way and occasional negative/ mean comments- do your best to ignore them. They could be judging and/or working out whats going on but you focus on you. You’re the most important person after all ( you focus on you and your well being first, as selfish as that may seem.)

Until Next Time.

GIF CREDIT: https://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1370&bih=642&ei=JoO7Wsj4JseC8gXUhIOYDQ&q=crisis+gif&oq=crisis+gif&gs_l=img.3..0l5j0i5i30k1l5.1320.4595.0.4812.15.11.2.0.0.0.274.1215.2-5.5.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..8.7.1221.0..35i39k1.0.2jiJv5qahRo#imgrc=R4JMW43tQOjH3M:

Autism awareness month- Good or Bad? (Autism Speaks questions)

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I’m scared about writing this article, scared about potential backlash and scared I’m over-reacting and/ or saying the wrong thing. I know it’s the internet and the internet can be savage but please, be kind!

I’ve seen talk about Autism Speaks/ Autism Awareness Month (April) and how it’s bad and I’m writing to ask people’s opinions on this? I’ve also read about how Autism Speaks does not speak for those with Autism and brings those with Autism down. I’m afraid I’m not aware about this organisation so could people please fill me in?

I’ll also do further research as I’m highly curious about this because if Autism Awareness Month is bad… I’m not okay with this.

Short post as I’m brainstorming topics to write about.

Until next time.

GIF CREDIT: https://giphy.com/gifs/scared-spongebob-squarepants-bed-14ut8PhnIwzros

Stigma and Taboo!

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Actually no idea why I chose this GIF as I don’t know if it has anything to do with the stigma of talking about Mental Health concerns/ issues but Joey though! (that’s him..right?)

Anyway I’m here to write about the stigma with talking about Mental Health concerns/ issues. It honestly seems taboo to talk about mental health things (mind blank on words) for example with depression. Here’s my story…

I was diagnosed with depression six years ago and sometimes I feel I can’t talk about it even to this day. For the sake of confidentiality and being a nice guy I won’t mention names but if I was having a rough patch I would hear such things as ” people have it worse than you so what do you have to complain about!?”, ” please just snap out of it!” ” your situation isn’t that bad!” ,” they * a person this person and I were talking about* have depression caused by chemicals but you just have it because you’re sad!” “you’re just over-reacting and need to chill out!” and many other things.

As you’d imagine I felt like I was over reacting so it wasn’t right for me to “complain” about how I was feeling. I still feel this now and have had more comments since then in terms of my treatment and various professionals I’ve seen over the years. I feel it’s taboo to talk about my depression with certain people around me and I know this feeling needs to stop.

People around me have also said that they’ve felt worried to talk about their concerns with others because of the stigma and fear that they won’t be taken seriously.

This is why this blog is here.  It’s time to end the stigma and taboo. We need to be able to talk with others in a safe environment about our mental health concerns/issues (however you want to word it) and not be judged about it. We also need to change how mental health is treated in the Community/ within Hospital settings but I’ll write more about that later, let me assure you.. there are heaps of stories!

More writing soon on actual helpful stuff and stuff to do with my brain and feels.

Until next time.

GIF CREDIT: https://giphy.com/gifs/celebrity-reshuffle-aWPGuTlDqq2yc

 

Some say I’m a dreamer…

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My second last post ( I think) I was talking about finding the motivation to keep on writing, and now I struggle with possibly confronting reality.

My motivation has risen again but I find myself debating… with myself (bad writing) if my goals are realistic and if they can even be reached.

According to the internet there are over 60,000 blogs out there in the internet universe. That’s a massive number and a massive number of amazing articles. Some bloggers might dream of being famous, having their blog well known and having thousands of views a day which there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

My dreams? I want my blog to be very well known and to be a source of information and inspiration to thousands, if not millions but with over 60,000 blogs out there how is this even possible?

Writing this it may seem like I want to be better than those 60,000 and to be in competition which isn’t true. I want to collaborate and share other’s stories and articles to and be equally as good as them… if that makes sense.

But am I getting too ahead of myself? will this ever happen? will I just be dreaming too much again and expecting unrealistic outcomes? will this blog fail and will another dream just fade away?

Until next time.

GIF CREDIT: https://giphy.com/gifs/L7i2GzkuS7WKc

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: https://giphy.com/gifs/instead-87xihBthJ1DkA