Mental Health: Why I Didn’t Ask For Help

I remember the day the can of worms opened. My mother and friend were sat next to me with the doctor as I lay in the hospital bed comatosed. They had the results of my blood test. I knew I could not lie anymore.

“I took an overdose.”

This sentence opened up the gate way and long story of my mental illness. I had kept everything inside for years and it had manifested into acute depression. I didn’t even realize what depression was at the time because it had become so normal. I would sleep for 16 hours plus a day and wake up crying. It was the saddest time of my life.

Since that day four years later I have opened the can of worms even more. I had tried to put my mental health in a box, pretending that everything was OK, but when I close the lid it spilled over. The contents of your mind and hurt is something that cannot be contained.

I started my recovery in March of this year. For ten years I had tried to put my mental illness aside. I was frightened to talk about it, I was scared that I was going to be branded a failure.

I remember when I had to go in for a routine diabetes blood test and the nurse asked me what medication I was on “I’m on anti-depressants” I said in a quiet whisper. I was ashamed.

To this day I have faced prejudice and stigma, but since blogging and writing to release my artistic creativeness I have engaged with others who also experience mental illness.  A passion has grown in me to talk about all things mental health. I am no longer ashamed because the things I have been through have made me stronger and love more.

I had a routine appointment today and when I told the doctor what medication I was on she flabbergasted by how much I was on. Mental health needs to be supported not medicated. Even with the doctor, she asked me what mental health I suffered from and all I said was “anxiety” I did not want to tell her the long, boring story. The fact is I also Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and I am a regular self-harmer- and this was a doctor who has heard everything!

I  am still partly conscious of what I tell people. Luckily their reaction has always been amazing and they cheer me on. IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO KEEP TALKING. Do not let your problems get to the point where you look down at your body covered in cuts and you think “what am I doing to myself?”

Amy Belle

Beautiful Things

I saw this beautiful, antique, baby doll at a vintage junk shop. She was hidden under smelly old blankets and was screaming to be rescued. I dug her out and picked her up, she was porcelain and heavy- it was love at first sight. I put off getting her for two weeks but I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I and my boyfriend went back and he bought her for me. When we brought her home her head fell off! Her hair was a mess, her dress was ripped and she was covered in marks and chips. With a good scrub, a new outfit, and some glue she was looking great! Now she happily sits on my chair. In therapy my counselor asked me who picked me up because I was liked the broken doll nobody wanted- I said, my grandmother. I am still a little broken but I am looking good- apart from a few cracks- but only I can find the glue I need to hold me together 🙂 It goes to show you that with a little love and time, broken things can be brought back to life.

What Song Defines Your Mental Illness? 

Do you have a song that speaks the words you can’t find? My song is Katy Perry- Unconditionally My mental health is all about love and was caused by lack of it. I am still searching for that unconditional love and learning that true love is unconditional.

Oh no, did I get too close oh?

Oh, did I almost see what’s really on the inside?

All your insecurities

All the dirty laundry

Never made me blink one time

Unconditional, unconditionally

I will love you unconditionally

There is no fear now

Let go and just be free

I will love you unconditionally

Come just as you are to me

Don’t need apologies

Know that you are all worthy

I’ll take your bad days with your good

Walk through this storm I would

I’d do it all because I love you, I love you

Unconditional, unconditionally

I will love you unconditionally

There is no fear now

Let go and just be free

I will love you unconditionally

So open up your heart and just let it begin

Open up your heart, and just let it begin

Open up your heart, and just let it begin

Open up your heart

Acceptance is the key to be

To be truly free

Will you do the same for me?

Unconditional, unconditionally

I will love you unconditionally

And there is no fear now

Let go and just be free

‘Cause I will love you unconditionally (oh yeah)

I will love you

I will love you

I will love you unconditionally

The Day I Almost Died

It was the day I woke up. I realized that I was truly unwell. I was playing Russian Roulette with my life.

It happened in March 2015. I was so happy. I put my mental health in a box, I had moved into my dad’s new flat and had many friends, a boyfriend and I was loving my nursing job. Then it was blow after blow. I lost them. And my best friend told me she was moving far away. I couldn’t take it. I didn’t want to die- I just wanted to be happy. I cut my legs up the worst I’ve ever done. I remember feeling the thickness of blood running down my ankles and seeing it run onto the floor. My black fur rug was stained red. I panicked and called for 999. I said I had self-harmed badly and they said that an ambulance couldn’t come right away. I had had enough- so many cries for help and yet again another door slammed into my face…. so whilst on the phone to 999 I took the biggest, biggest overdose of medication I ever have. I was swallowing so much my body was vomiting them back up- I went through my own vomit and swallowed the tablets again. No relief. I hung up on 999. My father came home to such a sight. The paramedics turned up soon after- and like angels (I swear one wore a halo) they knelt down by me and one placed a cold, cool flannel over my legs.

I then felt panic- I couldn’t breathe. I then blacked out.

 

 

I woke up in intensive care 3 days later wired up. So many tubes. I had stopped breathing. I was put in a coma and on a ventilator. My own little lungs had collapsed and couldn’t breathe on their own. I guess I was moments from death. Reality hit me when I asked the nurse where my clothes were and she handed them to me. They were cut in half where the doctors had to cut to get straight into my chest.

My God what had I done? I was very lucky not to have had brain damage. I was lucky to be alive.

 

Since that day, I have been in recovery and never looked back. I have taken another overdose since, quite recently, not many tablets at all but my body shut down. My fragile body can’t cope anymore. This is the 3098569043298450432945 attempt to take my own life. I don’t know why….maybe I just wanted to escape and not have this heaviness over me. Anyway I’m happy, healing and fighting. I have to fight this- or I will die.

Amy Belle

 

 

 

To Love And To Hate

Pain is love, love is pain
All time used and time to gain
I dream of clouds and a moon that shines
My soul is yours, your soul is mine.

How passion once spoke it, gave me dreams
It gave me terror like in black and white movies
How I adore and loathe thee so
Promise to not fall and never let go.

I love you so, my futures yours
Gasping for the one I adore
I grasp all of you with both hands
For I never so wish to want a man.

 

Level

My soul is level as the sea
The destruction is calm that lies in me
Oh, how I long for more of these days!
My heart ache and sadness is washed away

I wake up with out a weight to bare
Not laying exhausted thin as air
Today my sadness won’t come to dare
I know I’m unwell but today I don’t care!

So much I can achieve and much to do
Cheeks are pink no longer blue
I know that this feeling today is true
I smile and mean it right back to you!

Shooting Star

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I saw a shooting star
Releasing anchor in the sky
Oh, how rare you are!
Shimmering glitter into my eye.

Are you a beckon of hope?
Do you voyage good news?
Are you sending me the strength to cope?
Can I shine as bright as you?

Blue sky can feel so empty
But accompanied by balls of flames
I see you are tiny but plenty
A beacon of hope you remain.

Amy Belle

 

Why I gave up Aripiprazole and Lorazepam…

 

Oh, sweet Lorazepam. It made me feel sleepy, high and relaxed. The doctors gave me only 3 pills a week due to my risk of overdosing in the spare of the moment and addiction. I was addicted to Lorazepam. I became an addict. Not to dirty needles and street drugs but to a medication that was prescribed to me by a doctor. Isn’t it crazy? I think the legal stuff is more dangerous than the illegal stuff. It started off slowly, with only one pill a week to stop me self-harming. “SOS ONLY” the label read. After two weeks it went from SAVE OUR SOULS to SUCK ON SWEETS. I was hoarding the medication and counting how many I had left every day. I was phoning up the doctors every few days to make sure that I had them in my medication delivery. If I didn’t have them then I became an anxious mess. When I didn’t take Lorazepam I had terrible withdrawal. I took three in a day to escape from the reality of a shit mood and had withdrawal for four days. It was like bad flu times a thousand. I never want to go through that again. I also became reliant on it for everyday things. I told myself I needed the Lorazepam even to cook dinner. I had been on it for two months and then the dosage needed increasing more and more. The doctors wouldn’t increase it so I just did it myself by hoarding and taking them all together. When I woke up my first thought was “when is my medication due?” I needed it to sleep. I needed to eat. It was terrible. It needed increasing again and now I’ve given it up. I have to hand my last three pills over later, my babies, tomorrow. Oh, it will be so tough but so worth it. I haven’t taken any for a few days now and I’m doing well despite being a hot, sweaty, annoying mess. I also gave up on Aripiprazole. I haven’t slept properly for two weeks. I’ve been surviving on short naps. That is no way to live. I also have depression and use sleep to help me escape from the world and I haven’t been able to. It seemed like time was never ending. It also made me my mania worse. I was so moody- one minute I was crying, wanting to die- the next minute I was smiling and laughing. I’m going back on Quetiapine tomorrow- the medicine I’ve been on for four years and I know works for me. I just want to have a nice long sleep and wake up feeling balanced again.

Amy Belle

The Perfect Relationship Is One That Isn’t Perfect

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We perceive the perfect relationship as one that is calm, collective, without arguments and everything is hunky-dory. But a relationship isn’t a bed of roses- they take work. My other half drives me mad! But one thing we share is the most important foundation to a healthy and thriving relationship: mutual respect. I’m not going to sit and brag about how amazing my relationship is because it isn’t perfect (and nobody wants to be bored to tears). But he wants me and there is passion. Before I met him my relationships were very unhealthy. There was no fight or passion. No man wanted to fight me. They couldn’t be bothered to argue back. How was I meant to respect someone if they didn’t stand up for themselves? I’m a moody cow and I need someone strong who can handle me. Also like a true borderline, I can put my hands up and say honestly I am very manipulative. Or it goes the other way… I attract men that since I have no self-esteem so they build me up and then slowly break me down in order to control me. The only way that I’ve been able to have a healthy relationship is by stopping being dependent upon men and stand on my own two feet. To find out who I was, what I liked in life and having to be able to have some bite about me. It’s taken ten years but I’m finally there. Find someone who will fight for you and be your best friend- not take advantage of your good nature. And remember every relationship is different.

Even the fairy tales we know had a hard time before happily ever after.

Amy Belle