What’s Going On?

This question unsettles me no end.

I think about it in different places and spaces, often as a reaction to my environment but sometimes as a reaction to my general place in the timeline that is human history.

I am living in a country run by a government who advertise socalled Mental Health Campaigns (no, we don’t need another fucking hashtag) on twitter, whilst simultaneously stripping the funding from any program which can be quietly shafted in the spotlight of broad daylight.

Thanks! Thank you for ending the eating disorder program at my university, in which one of my best friends finally found a therapist who is right for her. Thank you for forcing more and more people like her to go private, spending whatever pittance they can spare after rapacious rent costs. Thank you!

Young people in my country are constantly being fed with a laced hand by the group of Cheshire cat mouthed puppets we call politicians. I can no longer pretend to have a political opinion, in my own state half fuelled by mania and half forcibly concealed by utter bewilderment at what the fuck is going on in my life and everybody elses’. This state, which is sometimes called psychosis, depends on me being out of touch with the reality of life and society. But why the fuck would I want to be ‘in touch’ with that?

On Monday night I went to a talk about Windrush; more specifically the thousands of lives torn apart by our pathetic excuse of a ‘ruling class’ when they reversed their citizenship. This was after requesting their service in post-war renovations of the broken down British landscape. Many of these people had lived in this country since the 70s, and consider themselves as British as the soil they’ve been forced, or even chose, to work on. And yet, they can legally be told that they don’t belong, and be faced with the effects of this shrugging off of their personhood, or citizenship – whichever sounds better in the post-Crisis reports I guess? I agree with the hosts, who called this one of Britain’s most, if not the most shameful scandal yet, in our history so reliant on these ‘scandals’ for the ‘economy’.

Photo from @UniKentEnglish twitter account

With every talk, lecture, focus group and seminar that I attend, the omly thing that increases inside me is a general sense of ‘What the Hell?’

How have those in power continued to get away with shamelessly targeting the already undersupported, underfunded members of society, in order to line their pockets with a little more cushioning for the blow that Brexit may or may not bring?

This issue goes beyond mental health diagnosis, beyond race and class – these are, after all, merely terms used to define us in the delayed and often inaccurate bureaucracy. Statistics for the death tolls, the pie charts of yearly casualties and survivors.

Honestly.

What the fuck?

If anyone would like to bring me up to speed on why this is acceptable then do drop me a line.

Thanks?

Forgetting, or Confusing, Eve Lloyd Michell

If you’ve known me for a long time, you’ll know that I am quite a fast-paced person, for better and for worse.

A lot of the time I start a story and don’t finish it until I’ve told the side story for every “character” involved, even if I don’t know all the details. It’s a habit, and a bad one at that, but also a symptom of psychosis.

The NHS website explains that people with psychosis often share this trait, which makes me wonder if psychosis has been lying dormant within me from a very young age, if not birth.

 

Confused Thoughts
Screenshot from NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psychosis/symptoms/

If these symptoms ring a bell for you it could possibly be an early sign that you are particularly susceptible to psychotic illnesses.

If friends tell you you are “convoluted” or “scatty” – check up on yourself.

Are you sleeping properly?

Are you eating properly?

Are you drinking enough water?

If not, you could possibly be in a manic episode.

I have experienced a number of manic episodes which, as far as I can work out, began around the same time as my grandfather and aunty became terminally ill and eventually, after a hell of a lot of suffering, died. A year apart, but a few years in the making, if that makes sense.

Sometimes big events like these can cause a metaphorical screw to come loose, and sometimes that screw will never be fully twisted back into place without the help of support workers and psychiatric drugs.

I am currently trying to follow the recommendations of the governmental drug dealers, rather than the Trap music I indulge, advising me to pop all my promethazine and valium at once.

Please talk to someone if you identify with any of this, because early intervention usually means earlier recovery.

Peace, love, and all of the above,

Eve x

Dealing with Anger

As a person who has had what some people call “anger management issues” for my whole life, I have quite a bit of experience of anger and frustration. For some reason, I was able to suppress it extremely well at school, so it was never picked up when I was a child.

As I got older, however, the instant switch to extreme fury became more and more consuming, and led to a lot of impulsive self-harm, as an attempt to redirect the irate energy away from who/whatever ‘triggered’ me.

Although this is perhaps a more sociable way of dealing with anger, as opposed to screaming/throwing things at friends or complete strangers, it’s not particularly healthy.

The NHS website has a guide to dealing with anger, which I’ve been reading tonight to remind myself that anger is something we can overcome. To summarise, for short term anger, it recommends these steps:

  1. Recognise the feeling of anger
    • faster heart rate
    • faster breathing
    • tensing
  2. Count to 10
    • sounds basic af but actually counting before you react can be a saving grace sometimes
  3. Slow down your breathing 
    • if you can, try and exhale for longer than you inhale. instant relaxation!

 

While this may sound really simple, just the act of researching how to deal with anger made me feel slightly more under control, so learning and practicing these steps is going to become part of my self-taught anger management program. (lol)

Hope everyone is feeling less angry than me and maybe even having a good day!

Eve x

Information from:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/controlling-anger/

^There are tips for longer term anger management techniques – do have a look if you find you may need to learn them.

Feed Your Head

Sometimes my head is playing catch up with my body.

It happens quite a lot actually – I’m on a bit of a lapse in communication between body and mind.

Just remember, though, just because someone reacts slowly doesn’t mean that they’re not hearing, seeing, observing everything.

Sometimes it’s easier for me to just sit in a corner and let everyone else do the talking, as my hyperactive imagination/paranoia/messiah complex give me this silly idea that people are talking/stalking/watching me.

psychadelia
image from: https://www.redlegger.com/apps/blog/show/4028993-feed-your-head

It’s mostly just a bullshit game for me, but I tend to catch on eventually.

To combat this a lot of the time I wear headphones and tune into a slower vibe if I can find one. Sometimes I just prang out for all eyes to see. Is no bueno, but that’s life.

Trying to feed my head sensibly these days but mostly it’s a complete guessing game.

The Morning is My Worst Enemy

Sometimes having multiple mental illnesses can be a somewhat smooth ride between symptoms and alleviation.

Sometimes, it’s waking up with no fucking idea how you are going to get through the day.

I wake up hungry, so the voice of my eating disorder tries to convince me I’m not. I wake up tired, so my angry inner monologue becomes externalised. I wake up confused, so I confuse everybody around me.

Today I woke up at 13:45.

If I were to do that as a neurotypical person, as I believed I was a few years ago, I would wake to choruses of “Morning Sleeping Beauty!” or “you’re so lazy!”.

I’m not lazy, or having beauty sleep.

I’m trying to sleep off as much as the day I can, as sometimes that is all that feels possible.

Today I woke up with no idea where my brand new glasses were, and had to resort to wearing my sunglasses. Luckily, in the summer, it’s not frowned upon too much.

Having eyes which are super sensitive to light also gives me “crazy eyes” – I squint, glare and widen my eyes at people with no idea what my face looks like.

image from: https://orange-is-the-new-black.fandom.com/wiki/Suzanne_Warren

Some people call that resting bitch face, some people call it just trying to cope.

Today is not shaping up to be a good day yet. I know it could be, but the fact that I wake up in such a sour mood pretty much every day sets me up for distress and failure every time I open my eyes.

Please be patient with mentally ill people, especially when they first wake up.

I know I come across badly when I first arise. I feel it and try to fight it, but winning is not always possible. It is a process I suppose, but for now, I fucking hate mornings.

Where Is My Mind?

I have recently been back to the doctors, as it was becoming apparent to my family – and somehow not to me – that I am operating from a background of psychosis again.

Psychosis is a scary word.

It instantly brings images to mind of a man with an axe, or a serial murder/rapist taking out their hurt, anger or emotional turbulence on another person.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I am the most docile, placid person on the earth, but having psychosis certainly doesn’t make me dangerous either.

Image result for psychosis
image from https://cannabisandpsychosis.ca/facts/what-is-psychosis/

In fact, it’s making me more of a danger to myself in many ways. At the moment these include:

  • compulsive self harm in the form of hitting scratching or biting myself
  • shouting at people I love who are trying to help, thus shaking up my support system
  • wanting to eat less and survive off substances eg alcohol and nicotine
  • intense mood swings and aggressive outbursts
  • forgetfulness, especially with food, drink and medication
  • horrific sleep disturbance
  • delusions of being spied on (hello Zucc)
  • extreme paranoia about EVERYTHING

I’m not sure why I want to express this, but it feels important to me that people gain a better understanding of what psychosis really means from someone experiencing it firsthand. If everyone knew just how difficult psychosis really is, perhaps they would be less inclined to label an emotional ex or controlling boss a “psycho”. It’s hurtful and downright incorrect.

Psychosis is not a joke. It makes life for a psychotic person even more difficult, especially if they already had multiple mental illnesses, as I did. It feels like it could be a one-way ticket to my grave at the moment, but I’m determined to carry on taking my meds, putting one foot in front of the other and trudging through this bullshit we call living.

Take care, and stay strong.

Eve x

When Overnight Oats Become All-day Oats

Getting my breakfast out to finish my breakfast at 18:14

It has occurred to me fairly recently that something which I really want/need to develop as I try to manage my disordered eating is a sense of regularity and routine. At different times throughout my life I’ve had different patterns, but one thing that’s always been a struggle is eating in the morning. Feeling stress and anxiety upon awaking can definitely contribute to me not eating, as well as a pervading sense that I have something far more urgent to do, like go to a lecture, or write an essay, or get to work on time. Any excuse, really, but the reason is often linked to the idea that ‘I don’t have time’.

Perhaps this is because I have poor time management skills. Actually, no, I definitely have poor time management skills. I leave all my university reading til the last possible moment – cue me today eating my lunch at 13:45, trying to finish the required reading for my seminar at 2pm. This habit of leaving things till the last possible moment seems to translate in to my diet as well. For a long time when my feelings towards my body shape were more violent, I forced myself to delay my eating for as long as I could stand it. These days, quite a few years into practicing the rituals and techniques of restriction that I developed for myself when I viciously hated my body, I find myself in a strange position where mentally I want to restore my diet and body to health, and yet in action I often make many of the same choices I made when I was actively restricting, in a king of strange, unconscious, habitual manner. I’m not sure if I would even notice it if it weren’t for my boyfriend having to ask me the question “Do you think you might want to have something to eat soon?” many mornings in a row.

To try and combat the issues this irrational thinking creates and give myself no excuse not to have breakfast, I’ve recently taken to making overnight oats. The main reason is that I can easily take these with me in a lunchbox if I can’t make myself eat it before leaving the house. It’s literally no effort, so time isn’t an excuse.

Today I had lunch at about 1pm: 3/4 of a basil and tomato pasta salad. I started to eat the oats before a seminar, but after 2 spoonfuls the professor came in, so I put them away and forgot about them. I finally finished them this evening, just after 6pm.

I feel like I should’ve eaten my full breakfast and lunch by 2pm, not at 18:15. Now I’m obviously no expert on regulated eating (duh) but I feel like breakfast at around 8-10am, lunch at maybe 12-2pm and dinner at 6-7ish sounds about right. Maybe a little earlier, maybe a bit later, and fairly flexible within those hours. So yes, it seems I am aware of around about when you’re supposed to feed yourself throughout the day. And I supposedly want to be doing this properly. Yet still, in the moment where I should be thinking ‘oh, it’s, 9:30am, I should probably have breakfast now’, I’m thinking ‘ I have uni at 12, here’s a list of every single thing I need to do before then in order to get ready for the lecture, except eat.’

I think part of this is that I’m really good at ignoring hunger cues – so good, in fact, that I don’t even realise I’m doing it. Either that, or I have affected my ability to properly feel hungry by the mild abuse of my digestive system in the form of restriction. Whatever the cause, it seems that either I’m not listening to, or simply not hearing, the call which tells the average human that now it’s lunch time, and now a few hours later it’s dinner, and now even more hours later it’s breakfast. I seem to hear a panicked voice say “shit, it’s 10pm and I haven’t had dinner, what can I whip up out of a cupboard of dried ingredients that need soaking and a piece of ginger?”

The truth is, I have to get organised. And since I’m disorganised in every aspect of my life – my room fluctuates between being pristine and submerged in discarded belongings, my sleeping pattern hasn’t been regular since I was a toddler, etc etc – this is going to be very difficult. And I think it has to be a holistic, slow, “it’s a process” type change. But the impatient perfectionist in me that has become used to instant gratification is not so thrilled by this concept. I’d like to start getting up earlier, eating earlier, and going to bed earlier, rinse and repeat, but I’ve fantasised about that since I was about 15 and never been able to enforce it.

All in all I’m not really sure what the point of me writing this was. I suppose I just wanted to air some thoughts, seeing as I haven’t written a post in months. Articulating these thoughts should, in theory, help me track/document/chart my progress or journey in the long run. But it’s also quite cathartic during the writing process too, so I suppose the point of this post was really to get me writing, and thus processing, again. Thanks for reading, if you got this far through these neurotic ramblings.