A steadier ship

Here’s a warning for you…. You don’t have to listen to The Gaslight Anthem for very long before you find yourself accidentally listening to Bruce Springsteen wondering when you got old enough to listen to Bruce Springsteen. Here’s The Boss singing a song which is even more gorgeous when he sings it even if Patti Smith is one of the coolest people on the planet:

I am pleased to report that I’m over my wobble and I’m not feeling sad anymore – told you the ship would steady itself! I’ve admitted defeat with the whole food thing and went to my GP* to get a referral to a nutritionist because I might not be able to do this by myself and it’s very important that I manage to do it. Mr Wise reminded me that the last time I started getting over a serious case of the flat and empties I went a bit weird about food which is useful to know because if you know the patterns you can head them off at the pass. I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight in a not very considerable amount of time and I’ve dipped back into red on the chart** so there’s a lot of work to be done. But it’s okay, because I’m going to do the work and I’ve promised that I’ll get myself to the supermarket after work to do a hilarious ‘I can eat all this stuff without getting fat’ shop which is an excellent start even if I do say so myself. Pass the peanut butter….

It’s been a while since I did an online dating update, mainly because I’ve been doing some thinking and making a few little promises to myself about attachments and boundaries and now I’ve figured all that stuff out I’m all happy and excited about the whole idea again. I’m currently in touch with two interesting guys – Mr Magic and Mr Grammar Geek. Mr Magic is a magician*** who is a) very kind, b) very wise and c) not very likely to be afraid to argue with WeeGee. Mr Grammar Geek is an academic who a) is absolutely on the same page as WeeGee when it comes to intelligence, b) can out geek WeeGee on the grammar front**** and c) talks a very good cup of tea. There was a Mr Cheeky but he got a bit spooked when he realised I was mental***** and there’s a Mr Brevity who is definitely not very brief and is almost certainly interesting if perhaps a little intense so the jury is still out. Anyway – I’m going on a date with Mr Magic on Sunday which will be good fun and I’m fairly confident that I won’t come over all shy in the company of someone I can speak to on the phone for TWO hours without even thinking about it. I’m also going to meet up with Mr Grammar Geek next week and I just know that we are going to have a perfect cup of tea because neither of us would have it any other way and if it all goes horribly wrong there’s always the split infinitive to fall back on.

Here are a few more of those WeeGee observations from Match.Com

  • If you tell WeeGee your favourite film is Last Tango in Paris and she ignores you there’s no point repeating the fact because WeeGee isn’t an idiot and is ignoring you on purpose
  • If the only photo you have of yourself looks like it was taken when you were talking to your lawyer on the phone through a wire grill WeeGee will conclude that it probably was and give you a wide berth
  • 80’s music is cool and everything but if it’s the ONLY thing you listen to you aren’t really a music lover are you?

Meanwhile in other news it is officially winter because WeeGee has had to dig out the winter wardrobe. Nothing else to report today save that I said something unpleasant to The Man Who Knows under my breath but didn’t say it quietly enough and found myself on the back foot trying to think of  something that rhymed with f**k……

Loadsa love from WeeGee xxxxx

*I didn’t ever manage two visits in one week when I was PROPER mental

**But only just

***I’ve asked – he can’t magic us all better

****To be fair, I reckon he could out geek me on almost everything apart from maybe Monk

*****Which is fair enough, because it’s not for everyone is it?


Leaps and bounds

I went to see my GP before work this morning and it’s official: I am ‘coming on in leaps and bounds’. How EXCITING is that?! Unfortunately, my excitement was slightly tempered when I arrived at work and Mr Hilarious said ‘what have you done to your hair – it looks like you’ve got a comb over?’ and I had to spend ages wandering around to see if anybody had any hair straighteners because I did indeed look like I had a comb over……

Anyway – This is just a short post to let you know I’ve decided that I quite like coming on in leaps and bounds. It’s nice getting to know yourself again after all that time in hiding; it’s nice getting up and going about the days without once wishing you were dead; it’s nice taking care of yourself without having to even think about doing it; most of all it’s nice to laugh naturally in response to something funny instead of forcing yourself to join in because ‘laughing is what the normal people do’.

I’m still trying to be gentle with myself and keep up my routines and thinking tricks because I’m not taking any risks at this point. Plus, every so often a mental thought pops up and I act on it and I know I need to work on that. Most of the mental thoughts involve WeeGee getting a bit scared when she remembers people always hurt you in the end* and responding by pulling away and closing the boundaries down. That’s rubbish for me and rubbish for the people close to me because they think everything is swimming along nicely so end up feeling confused. I’m also conscious that thoughts of food are louder than they’ve been for quite a long time. I’ve responded by making new meal plans and banning myself from running until the thoughts have gone away. The main thing is I have responded – and that’s one of the reasons I know I’m coming on in leaps and bounds.

Lots of love from WeeGee xoxoxoxox

*Which isn’t actually true. Some people have hurt me in the past, but people might not hurt me in the future

A spot of quiet reflection

Today marks the six month anniversary of How do you eat an elephant? An appropriate point for a spot of quiet reflection methinks……

I suppose the first thing to say is the fact that WeeGee started doing something new six months ago and is still doing it today. That’s a big achievement what my tendency to move on to the next obsession a little too quickly and all. In six months my blog has changed quite a lot – I guess it takes a little while to find your feet. You know what though? I’m actually rather proud of my little blog –that I started it, that I’ve kept on doing it, that I’ve managed to turn it into something that matters to me. Me being proud of something I’ve done doesn’t happen very often so I’m definitely giving myself a little pat on the back today.

Now I’ve had my pat on the back I’ll do a bit more reflecting on stuff. I’ve been a reflective mood for a while, so I thought I might as well turn that into a post. To be honest I’ve been reflecting on pretty much everything, but neither you or I have time for that so I’ll focus on the most important bits.

A lot of my reflection has focused on where I’ve been and how I go about keeping myself where I am now for as long as possible. As to where I’ve been, well I’ve been lost somewhere totally shitty. Looking on the bright side I’ve learned an awful lot about myself along the way and I feel like I’m coming out the other side stronger. I know also, how I got to where I got to – holding on too tightly to things that actually, when I let go of them, just floated away without doing any damage at all. That tells me I need to learn to let go because once in a while letting go is the right thing to do.

Keeping myself here feels like a slightly daunting task. As much as I tell myself I can do it, or how much I feel like I can do it, I’m scared that one day, out of the blue I suddenly won’t be able to do it anymore. I can’t predict what’s going to happen in my life which means I can’t predict what’s going to happen in my brain. I can’t promise myself that where I am right now is going to be where I’ll be forever. That’s the thought I’ve been having and writing it down made me realise that maybe that’s the whole point. I don’t want to stay here forever and maybe I have a better chance of keeping myself well if I keep on moving.

I’m anxious about happens when Mr Clever decides I’m officially better and no longer need the medication and small army of support workers to get me through the day. I guess I just need to be on guard –  if I feel like things are getting risky I have make sure I do what I’ve been guilty of not doing in the past: shout up. That’s quite a big challenge I suppose, although in the main scheme of things I like a bit of a challenge every now and then.

I had a bit of a revelation during my recent session with Mrs Mountain. We were talking about what happens when all the support stops and I said something along the lines of “I can’t have counselling for the rest of my life”. Her response was “Why not?” And the penny dropped. Counselling isn’t just about putting yourself back together when you fall apart – it’s also about keeping yourself back together which is actually the most important part….

Moving on – a good deal of my reflection has been about Mr Friendly. I think that’s fairly natural. For a long time I thought I just wanted him back in my life – that, if I’m honest, Mr Friendly in my life was the only thing that would make me well again. Guess what? I’m getting well again all by myself. Mr Friendly will probably always be my friend and I’ll always love him. The big thing for me is that when I think about loving Mr Friendly now I think of a friendly, fond kind of love rather than whatever kind of ‘love’ we had when we were together. Being back together with Mr Friendly is actually a really bad idea, not least because he hurt me very badly. What he did, or rather the way he did what he did was anything but okay and it really doesn’t matter that he didn’t hurt me on purpose. The thing is I don’t have to forgive and forget all that stuff and I don’t need to pretend that it’s okay – I just need to accept it and then leave it in the past.

Anyway – we’re almost 1000 words later and that, I think, is enough quiet reflection for one day.

In summary, I’m feeling pleased with myself at the moment: I’m still learning lessons, and I’m finally fairly comfortable in my own skin. Long may it continue?

I might be back later to update you on the developments in my online dating experiment. It’s quite exciting really because for the first time in a very long time – I feel a bit of an adventure coming on!

Lots of love from WeeGee who is getting to the point where she barely recognises herself and likes it!

Who is WeeGee?

I’ve been in a thoughtful mood of late – the thing about being mental is that you’re not really supposed to ‘think’. When a thought comes in you have to decide what to do with it, and if you can’t figure that out you have to tell yourself its only a thought and then stick it on a shelf (or in a box) for another day. Sometimes I wonder if all that thinking about thinking is more exhausting than the thinking itself.

I’ve mostly been trying to figure out where crazy stops and WeeGee starts because so much of the worst of me is really just an extreme version of the best of me. I’m beginning to wonder if I would still be crazy even if I wasn’t crazy.

At the heart of all the thinking is this notion that I have – you can only be who you are. Sometimes, I withdraw from therapists because I start to get the distinct impression that what we are really working on is making me into a different person. Sure I want to get better, but I really don’t want to find yet another person that I have to somehow pretend to be. I want to work out who I was to start with and then get on with being me.

It’s a bit of a standing joke that, at thirty two years old, I still haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. In some ways, it is kind of funny because I’m transient to say the least. I keep heading back to University to qualify myself for yet another profession that I won’t quite pursue in the end; I take up new hobbies as regularly as I give up on them; I would change my hair colour like the weather if I didn’t have the kind of proper job that ruled it out. In other ways, it isn’t funny at all, because I don’t think anybody realises that I’m still trying to work out who I am and the person that they know is mostly make believe. As an aside – growing up is over-rated, no?

This is a short post, and I’ve no idea whether it will make sense outside of my head. There are some things in life that you just assume everybody knows, until one day it becomes painfully obvious that isn’t the case and that you’ve been wrong all along. I suspect feeling like a make believe person is one of them, but then quite a few nutters read my blog, so you never can tell!

Love, WeeGee xx

Joining the back of the queue

I had a bit of a setback earlier this week. Turns out, the waiting list for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in my borough is considerable and I’m at the back of the queue!

I’m feeling a little cut adrift, to be honest. The psych appointments are all well and good, and I fully appreciate that they are necessary but…. point number one: they make me feel like a bit of a mentalist (I am a bit of a mentalist so I’m allowed to say that) and point number two: I worry that the focus on the symptoms and the feelings somehow reinforces the symptoms and the feelings, if you see what I mean. I’ve followed CBT courses twice before and found the approach incredibly helpful. I like to understand and I like to have a plan and using CBT techniques provides both. Over the last month or so I’ve tried to put as much of what I have learned in the past into action, but I do feel that both a refresher course and some regular contact with a specialist is something that would be helpful for me at the moment. Nevertheless, for now I need to hang on in there by myself for a little while longer. There are plenty of excellent self help CBT tools on the web, so I guess I’ll be turning to them* for the time being.

I don’t suppose for one minute that I’m the first person to have found the energy and courage to admit they need a little help only to be told that whilst help is available it will be a long time coming. At the same time, it’s certainly no secret that mental health services are under resourced and over-subscribed so NHS waiting lists in excess of 12 weeks are hardly surprising. The question is, what can I do about this state of affairs? The depressed me says nothing – people get what they’re given, and have to suck it up and hunker down; the ‘other’ me says not a lot, but maybe a little!

Mind are a fantastic charity who do a lot of brilliant advocacy work and play a huge role in keeping the issues associated with mental ill health on all kinds of important agendas. They also work closely with those affected by mental health difficulties providing advice, services and local support networks. Mind do great things and have an important role to play both in providing much needed resources and in ensuring the needs of those experiencing mental health difficulties are at the forefront of the minds of our policy makers. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days now and I’ve decided that doing something to support Mind could be just the little thing the other me could do!

And so I’ve found this on the Mind website and I think I might give it a go. Even if I only manage to raise a couple of quid, I’ll have done something positive, right? I’m also fairly confident that the exercise, and the outdoors will do wonders for my well being and hopefully the challenge will give me an external focus whilst I wait for my name to reach the top of the CBT queue. Finally, maybe I’ll be able to do a tiny little bit to raise the profile of Mind and the awareness of mental health difficulties amongst my friends and family as well.

I’m not entirely sure that I know what I’m letting myself in for – I do a fair bit of walking and I’m not altogether averse to running now and again but I’ve no idea how many steps I actually take in an average day. 10,000 sounds like quite a lot, doesn’t it?! Anyway, I’ll be signing up this weekend and I’ll keep you posted.

Of course if anyone reading this is looking for something to do over the summer, they’d be more than welcome to join me – little things added together make big things after all!

* Mood Juice is a particularly good one.