You are not well!

09 Mar

Yesterday I had an appointment with my care co-ordinator. We were talking about a plan going forward and that she thought the first step would be to go for a walk together – just locally. I have such bad social anxiety that even that feels overwhelming.

But my response was that I really struggle to accept that’s where I’ve ended up – going from an independent, extremely social person to one who struggles to go for a walk on my own and therefore needs support. And like in my last post, it makes me feel pathetic that I am this way!!

My cc said she never normally says the following. She always looks at people’s strengths and works with them, but she thinks I need to accept something fundamental. She looked me straight in the eye and said ‘you are not well’ and repeated it a few times. She told me that I’ve accepted I can’t do certain things with my hand in plaster and don’t feel pathetic because of that, so why can’t I accept the illness as it is?

It got me thinking and am I a victim of my own stigma? But I don’t feel like that about others, so why about myself? I’m still struggling to accept I’m ill, and that’s maybe why I’m stumbling so often. Is there anyone else that sees where I’m coming from or feels similar?


Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


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11 responses to “You are not well!

  1. acarerseyes

    March 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I can only speak about this from what I have seen with Chris. For a long long time he couldnt accept he wasnt well, it didnt matter what I said, or the doctors told him or anyone else because he couldnt accept it himself. He rarely asked for help and anything that was offered he found hard to accept or would end up finding reasons not to carry it on. It wasnt until last year that he started to realise how poorly he had been, I was talking about things to do with the children and he couldnt remember them and felt he had somehow missed out on them growing up and decided he didnt what that anymore. The hardest thing he had to do was admit to himself he does have a mental illness and that is ok, he cant help it and the only way to change it and move forward is to accept it.
    While he is more accepting of it now and often feels more able to ask for help and support than he did it is something that for him will still take time, he has moments where he rather not have to admit to himself or anyone he’s unwell and finds it hard but remembers for him to get well he needs to accept it and then fight it.
    I know it’s difficult but you need to be kind to yourself, the same as you have hurt your hand so you know it’s fine that for example you can’t write or maybe cook as well as before at the moment and thats not your fault. Dont think of it as something huge you have to fix, just take little steps because all those little steps eventually lead to something big. Dee (JoinedU1) said to me ‘The ocean is made from many drops’ Dont be hard on yourself if something doesnt go quite right or you get set back a little thats ok, we normally learn from things and try again.
    Sorry to go on, I hope that made sense. Sending you a huge hug.
    Sarah xxx

    • femaleptsd

      March 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks Sarah – what you say makes sense to me and whilst I’m obviously not glad that Chris is going through all this, I’m glad that it’s not just me!!

      I know I need to accept it now, I’m just not sure on the how side of things. I guess just going for the initial walk with cc is a start but I still struggle with whole concept – it’s a difficult one.

      Thanks again for sharing x

  2. Gill

    March 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Yes! And funnily enough, I have just broken my wrist twice and been in plaster for 13 weeks! I have never commented before, but my rape was 20 years ago – and I still get flashbacks and still feel suicidal. And so yes, I feel pathetic.
    I live on my own – but do have 3 dogs. So i walk them for about 40 minutes at 5.30 in the morning, so that I don’t have to meet people, but so that they get their exercise.
    They are all that keep me going.
    My flashbacks are always at night and it has got to the point where I only sleep for 2 hours, if I am lucky. If I can’t sleep, I wander the streets in floods of tears with no thought for my personal safety – usually about 3.00am.
    Am going through the process of being moved from Incapacity Benefit to ESA – managed to get away without having to have a medical, but have been placed in the Work Related Group – so they expect me to attend work related interviews and apply for jobs! I find meeting new people and going to new places impossible, but they seem to have no understanding of PTSD or mental health issues….

    • femaleptsd

      March 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Hi and firstly thanks for your comment. I’m sorry you have been left in this place with the ESA and work related stuff – I can only imagine how stressed that must make you feel!!

      In terms of the PTSD, are you getting or had any help for it?

      • sqezekid

        March 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

        No – CBT was suggested at one time, but after 5 assessments, I was told that it would be too stressful for me. Am trying to access psychotherapy, but a psychiatrist told me I needed about 2 years and the NHS are offering 16 weeks! On top of that, my rapist was a “Consultant Psychotherapist” (but not a qualification to his name, it turned out). So I have major trust issues and would probably only just be trusting the therapist by the time the therapy was due to finish!

      • femaleptsd

        March 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        I know for me to access the therapy I am currently having (longer than 16 weeks already and hardly done anything) I had to have a care co-ordinator which meant I had to be referred to the community mental health team (cmht) which is secondary care not primary care (which offered me 12 weeks of cbt). Are you under the cmht or if not, can you be asked to be assessed?

      • sqezekid

        March 10, 2012 at 6:22 am

        I tried to access the Community Mental Health Team – and was told that they only have resources to help people with bi-polar or schizophrenia. But not Clinical Depression or PTSD!

  3. Mike

    March 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    An objective reader of your blog would probably agree with your cc. I think your issue is that you observe people and the world around you with objective clarity — you see the failings, ridiculousness and contradictions more than most people do. In doing so you’ve probably got a lot in common with many artists who could see the world in ways that other people couldn’t — yet still suffered themselves.

    But you can’t really apply logic to knowing what’s going to happen in the future — it’s all so unpredictable. No-one knows because you can’t live your life and compare it to a control in an experiment. You have to have faith that something much better is going to be around the corner in life.

  4. trickygirl

    March 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I don’t think you’re a victim of your own stigma, I think a lot of it comes down to a subconscious frustration with yourself – you were an independent person in the past and now, because of the illness, you’re not. Sort of an inner ‘Grrrr, dammit, I used to be able to do that!’ kind of reaction. I found that very difficult to deal with, particularly in that I had to stop doing things that I used to take for granted because I just couldn’t cope with them any more.

    Acceptance of being ill is not easy either, but I find it helps to remember that the symptoms I am suffering are my body and brain’s natural reaction to what I have been through (although that doesn’t stop the fact that actually physically suffering from the symptoms of PTSD is horrendous, of course!).

    However, it’s difficult to balance that rational knowledge with the physical and mental pain that feels like it will never go away…

    It all takes time – and some aspects of the problem(s) get sorted out in your head much faster than others do. What I think helps you in some respects is that you come across in this blog as being very aware of your feelings and how the illness is affecting you, which means you can see which aspects need to be worked on.

    I also think the fact that it takes time to get anywhere with healing from something like this is equally frustrating. When I’m feeling like crap, I often wish there was a magical instant cure for it – but the rational part of my brain knows that it’s a slow process and that I will stumble sometimes.

    Take gentle care of yourself *hugs* xx

  5. Claire

    March 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I think accepting when we are ill can be a source of strength because it makes us kinder to ourselves.

  6. fromawhispertoaroar

    March 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Yes! Yes! I feel that way. I read your posts and I think only of your strength and courage. In my life at this time I am always admonishing myself for ‘still’ being scared to go out. I mean, how can someone with a postgraduate degree fall apart when going to the supermarket? I guess we critique the moments in isolation and forget the bigger picture. These things are symptoms of a larger reaction to huge trauma. And we’re still fighting! That’s got to count for something! Thanks for that post. A good reminder x


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