An unexpected week

Last week I went back to work and to say I was scared would be an understatement! On Sunday night I prepared myself as much as I could for what I anticipated to be one of the worst weeks I would experience in work. I expected to be riddled with anxiety to the point where I wouldn’t be able to go to work- I was not. I expected to feel pure panic as I drove to work each day, bordering on a full-blown panic attack- I did not. I expected to cry, each day over something minor, something small, something that wouldn’t have mattered- I did not. I expected to obsess over everything; put more rituals in place to ensure everything was perfect-I did not. I expected to hide the fact that I had been in hospital for my mental health, I expected to allow the shame I was feeling to take control, I expected to shy away from my colleagues during the week, I expected to fight this battle on my own, but I did not. It was a hard week in many ways, it was the first week back, I was sc


A week ago I found myself explaining to my therapist how I wanted to end my life, how I was so desperate for my mind to shut off and how I was ready to end it all, in that moment I felt distressed. A week ago I found myself ringing a close friend asking him to collect me from the local health centre because I had to go to hospital and couldn’t trust myself to be left alone, in that moment I felt ashamed. A week ago I found myself ringing my brother in law asking him to bring me to hospital, where I would need to go in order to stay alive, in that moment I felt guilty. A week ago I found myself ringing work to explain that I was being admitted to hospital for my own safety due to my mental health, in that moment I felt embarrassed. A week ago I found myself sitting on a mental health inpatient unit faced with colleagues from my work in pre hospital care working on the unit, in that moment I felt panic. A week ago I found myself fighting to keep myself alive, I found

A scary situation

In November 2011 I found myself in a very scary place. I found myself lost, confused, broken and looking for a way out. I found myself in unfamiliar waters, I found myself facing an admission to an adolescent mental health inpatient unit. I spent 4 months working with a tram of people from doctors, nurses, psychologist, occupational therapist; everybody you could think of I crossed paths with at some point during those 4 months. When I got out of hospital I knew my time with the mental health services was not over but I had hoped I would never have to face another inpatient stay again. Over the years I have found myself presenting to A&E either looking for help or because I had engaged in self destructive behaviour which required treatment but I was never admitted back onto a mental health unit, I was usually treated medically for a few days and discharged or given medication to get me through the night and referred back to my community mental health team, both options didn’t

A prisoner of my own mind

A while ago I wrote about a bump in the road that saw me take a step backwards…. That bump is still very much on the road and I am simply coasting along hoping the end is in sight somewhere. But when the end comes I have to ask, how long will it last for? How long will the good times last before we hit another bump? I don’t want this anymore, I no longer want the label I have attached to me, I don’t want borderline personality disorder. When I was first diagnosed I resisted my diagnoses, last year when I got unwell again and found myself re-entering the mental health services and engaging with the community mental health team I had to use every ounce of energy to truly accept my diagnosis and in many ways empower the label and allow it to help me understand myself. That label, which had a positive purpose no longer holds the same status, now it is simply something I do not want, something which has taken over my mind and body, it is something that I need gone, I need it to disappe

New Beginnings

There comes a time in your life where you find yourself saying “It’s time” I have recently got to the point in my life where I have to say its time, its time for something new, its time to follow my dreams, its time to try and make my life different.  The past year has been extremely difficult to me; it’s been a year with some highs and a lot of lows. I have found myself reaching rock bottom once again, spending time in hospital, reverting to old ways of coping, experiencing new levels of anxiety and having months of pure hopelessness, emptiness and despair. But among all that I had a lot of good, more specifically good people, people who have stuck by me, supported me and gave me tough love when I needed it most. It is these very people that have allowed me to get to the point where I am today, a point where I can say it is time for something new, it is time for me to change things in order to be better able to look after myself, control my emotions and have a life filled with

A surprise battle

As I sit here writing this my legs are shaking, my thoughts racing and my body crying out for relief. What’s wrong with me? I have been overcome with urges to self-harm. Why? I wish I knew the answer. I’ve been up and down the past few weeks and now it might be that things are coming to a head, maybe I’m not taking enough time for myself, maybe I’m getting caught up in running through the motions rather than living in the moment, whatever the reason, I know right now I have an urge, a craving, a desire, a need. When was the last time I even self-harmed? It wasn’t that long ago yet it was at the same time, but when I cant quiet put my finger on it. Why did I do it? I don’t know, but I’m sure in the moment I had some justification, whether rational or irrational, in my mind it was a justification. Now, now I’m feeling overwhelmed, sucked into a black hole and the only light is a small, shiny, sharp object but I cant, can I? I cant pick I up and use it, it would be too big a risk, it w

A sharp turn...

A step in the right direction was needed. A new outlook, a positive focus and a vision of a future, and so a couple of months ago I took that step in the right direction, I did it; I felt the fear and did it anyway! I made choices for me and me only, I felt good, happy and content, I felt like this time was going to be different, no more relapse, no more self-harm just take things one day at a time, day by day and I would be ok. Today I have found myself crying, physically exhausted and emotionally drained. I no longer feel I can keep the new, positive and focused Siobhán going. Where did it all go wrong? Did I loose sight of my goal? No, I’m making progress, I’m making payments and for once in my life my goal of becoming an EMT is still within my sights, within my grasp. Did I fall off the wagon? No, I’m taking time for myself, exercising, keeping with a routine and focusing on my emotional regulation skills. Did I give into temptation? No, I have battled through the