Month: April 2016

Op tomorrow – and a short silence

Here we are. It’s my op tomorrow.

Surprisingly for me, until I left work today I was not feeling nervous. Then my colleagues who knew about it were all so supportive wishing me well. ..and ah yes up popped the anxiety again. Hallo there 😉

Tonight I have several things to do – check my transport for tomorrow, to see if there’s an early enough bus or if I need to get a taxi, get some groceries as I may not be able to get out for a few days after the op, text my friend who is very kindly bringing me home on Friday, call Dad, tidy up at home, pack, get myself ready….eek. But plenty to think about which is probably a good thing!

Thank you so much for your support, messages, wishes, prayers and caring. It really means a lot at the moment. I never expected to find so much friendship through blogging and I’m hugely thankful.

I imagine I won’t be able to post for a few days whilst I’m recovering. I’m sorry in advance for the silence. You are in my grateful prayers and I’ll be back in touch as soon as I can.

Ginny xxx

Advertisements

Gynae update – almost op time

Warning gents (or anyone for whom this may be TMI! )- look away now if you wish 🙂 !

It’s almost op day.

My surgery is scheduled for this Thursday. (It was postponed by one day because of the junior doctors’ strike.)

On Friday I had the pre-op assessment, where they check things like your blood pressure, that you don’t have particular infections,  or any conditions they need to be aware of which may make anaesthesia more risky. Thankfully all went fine.

This afternoon, I’m going in for an MRI scan. I was just about to get on the bus to the hospital when I got a phonecall to say the scanner was broken and my appointment was canceled! I really put my foot down. I need to have the scan before the operation. I questioned when they booked it (after an A&E doctor and I had kept chasing!) the fact that it was so close to the operation and was assured it would be fine. After the severity of symptoms I’ve had there was no way I was going to risk the operation getting postponed because they didn’t do the scan. I don’t usually insist for things like this but today I did. They were not forthcoming at first but I’m now to go at 4.30pm and wait however long it takes for another scanner to be available. I’m just thankful it’s being done today so the op can go ahead.

On Thursday I have to go in for 7.00am. All being well I’ll stay in overnight and come home the next day. I’m so so much hoping they can do what they want to and it fixes something. They are doing exploratory surgery, they are hoping to be able to remove some of the endometriosis and they are going to insert the coil. Depending how bad the endometriosis is they may not be able to remove all of it (they think it has probably grown over the bladder because of some of my symptoms and if it has grown through the bladder they will need to do another operation). I’m really hoping they can remove what they need to and that having the coil helps prevent it returning (I’m not sure about how effective they think that’ll be) and makes my periods lighter. Taking the Pill made no difference and I have still been bleeding for 3 weeks at a time but because the coil releases the hormones in a more localised way in the womb, it’s hoped it’ll be more effective. I was not too keen on having the coil but things have got so bad now I feel I have to try it. They are not willing to consider any other treatments til I’ve tried it. I’m kind of feeling trapped by that but I am also very thankful that after 10 years + of problems, a thorough investigation is now being done.

This past month I’ve really not been great physically. I had 4 days off work because of the pain and bleeding. I could only stand up for a few minutes at a time because I was so dizzy and in so much pain. I’m still having only 2 weeks between periods and they are lasting well over the supposedly usual week. My fibromyalgia and arthritis are bad at the moment too but the gynae symptoms are having a big impact. So Thursday can’t come fast enough!

I’m grateful that I got referred to a consultant who is taking things seriously at last.

Right, time to head off to the hospital and pray that everything is in order for the scan now!

Ginny xxx

 

“Keep to two subjects, the weather and everybody’s health”

“Keep to two subjects, the weather and everybody’s health”

“She’s to keep to two subjects – the weather and everybody’s health.” – Henry Higgins, “My Fair Lady” (the musical)

I rather like the quote I stumbled across a few years ago,  I can’t remember where, along the lines of: I hate it when anyone starts talking about the weather because I instantly begin to suspect they are avoiding talking about something else!  It’s true I think.  I’ve also read that the two topics on which normally reserved British people strike up a conversation with strangers are the weather and delays to public transport. Again, probably true, I think.

Nevertheless today’s weather was rather worthy of note. I woke up to sunshine, though it was very cold. It then began to pour although only half the sky was cloudy. I walked to my Tuesday coffee group in sunshine and a cold wind. Beautiful deep pink blossom was coming into bloom in the park, almost overnight. Here is a photo of it (sorry not fantastic because of the strong breeze). Rain returned and then I left group in a mixture of snow and hail lasting several minutes. Hail when it’s almost May?!

Ginny xx

 

Perhaps I should just stop thinking so much… oh, wait…

I’m feeling completely thrown. I know this is yet another thing I should just be able to move on from. Everyone else has. By not letting it go I’m childish and self centred and maybe acting like I have far more influence than I really do and hanging on to things other people just don’t find important. Perhaps part of the problem is how much more things said and time spent together and exchanges make me feel than most people do.

So, after I posted last night I decided to phone my friend N. It was almost 2 weeks since i wrote to her apologising and I hadn’t heard from her.  I was pretty sure she was hurt and angry and that it was likely she was upset and frustrated and didn’t want to meet or keep contact. I did want to just try again to tell her I’m sorry. I didn’t want to ask her to forgive me but I hoped she could know I was sorry and there might be something I could do to make the apology real and somehow make better the harm I’d caused.

I was also increasingly really scared about her. I was really scared I’d made her very ill because of what I’d done and said. I was dreaming about it and suddenly having images of horrible things happening and how much I’d hurt her. I almost always get these panics and fears after I’ve been angry with someone or hurt them emotionally. This had all intensified.

So I resolved to phone her. I was aware some of the need to call her was self centred because I needed to know what the silence of not hearing from her meant and answer my fears about whether she was ill.

When I called, her phone went straight to voicemail – it was switched off. This wasn’t usual. Very often she doesn’t answer, if she’s at work for example, but rarely is the phone switched off. I panicked. I felt complete dread.

I tried to be normal. I texted N. I told her I’m so sorry and some of the things I wanted to say. I said I knew she can’t forgive me and wasn’t asking to meet but I did want her to know I’m sorry. Could I call her?

The voices in my head started telling me she was dead because of me. I was losing it. I was so scared I was shaking and crying and thought I was going to faint. I “knew” she was dead and it was all because of what I did; it was my fault. I actually called the hospital to all if she was admitted. They told me nobody of her name / DoB was admitted or had been admitted. At some point amongst this I rang and texted N’s husband as well. I admitted I was really scared something had happened to N because of me. I said I’m sorry for saying that because it was kind of selfish to have to check and could pressure him into contacting me.

Then I cried and waited and the voices in my head got really loud.

Thankfully N’s husband texted me back within a few minutes promising me she is fine and they were busy but he’d talk to her about getting in touch. I was stunned and so so relieved, above all; also exhausted from having been so scared.

This morning I got a text from N. She said sorry for not replying as she and her husband were very busy, and she did already forgive me – she said she’d already said that she forgives me (at the time we were arguing). She said she hopes I’m a bit better.

I suddenly felt stunned again and really confused. Even more confused than when I didn’t hear from her. I wanted to be massively relieved on the one hand and of course I really was relieved that she’s okay. However questions were firing off in my head.

I hadn’t actually processed at the time we were arguing that she said she forgives me. How did she forgive me when I was still angry and upset and had really hurt her? I hadn’t apologised. I guess if i try to see the situation the other way round,  I hope that I’d forgive her that way too. But I feel she shouldn’t forgive me and I didn’t deserve it when I hadn’t accepted yet the wrong I’d done.

Second, she forgives me and I believe her even though I can’t accept it for myself. What is she feeling? Is she still hurt? Does forgiving mean not feeling hurt? Often when I forgive someone, trying not to hold anger against them, I think I still feel hurt at what happened. I don’t know how to get over that. Actually I worry that means I don’t forgive as I should and hang on to hurts childishly. What is N feeling? Is she still hurt? Have I still hurt her?

What does N want to do now? Does she want to be in touch? Does she want to be in touch on the phone,  email,  meet? What does she actually prefer? As opposed to what she might feel obliged to do…

Finally yet again I see how differently I read the situation from what it meant for her. For example when I didn’t hear from her after I wrote, it meant to me she was definitely still angry, hurting, didn’t want contact etc at best. At worst in confirmed my terrors about what I’d done to her. To her it was just that she was busy. To me, if someone had written to me like that I can’t imagine not contacting the person in at least some way no matter how busy I was, unless I was too hurt / upset / similar to do so. To me my thoughts and feelings about the letter and about the other person and about the other person’s feelings about the letter (aargh! Thought spirals!) would have been so strong I couldn’t possibly understand just not replying at all.

This tells me my thoughts and feelings about N and our friendship are much…. stronger?…than N’s are about me and our friendship. In some way that hurts and in some way it throws me and in some way tells me I’m very very wrong. Am I obsessional? Childish? Needing reassurance? Assuming I have far more effect on others than I do? Even assuming I matter to others, dare I even say wanting to matter to others, far more than I should.

It sounds degrading to the other person to say my feelings are stronger. I don’t mean it like that. It can seem as if I feel a lot more or want to be there a lot more for other people than they do for me. Apart from times I massively hurt them and the dangerous anger in me takes over. I’m really ashamed to admit to the feeling I sometimes have that I care about other people more than they do about me. To even entertain that thought is shameful – it shows a childish, selfish need to be helped and loved and cared for and a longing for someone else to be there for me. It makes no sense to have this feeling, given the guilt I also feel because I know I’m such a burden to people. 

I guess I have plenty of levels of thought and feeling that I shouldn’t and that other people don’t. Being convinced someone is dead or seriously sick because we had an argument is probably pretty weird. Well, it clearly is, when I write it like that. Perhaps I have far too deep levels of thoughts and feelings about people that mean I read the implications of situations totally wrong – lack of contact meaning people are angry or don’t care, when actually they are busy;  the very fact that “busy” is the reason people don’t respond in particular circumstances being something that makes me feel frozen out and unwanted and that it’s impossible people do want me (if I were them, I would act so differently), when actually it should be normal?

Again it comes back to I feel too much and need too much. I probably make relationships draining for the other person because actions mean so different to me than they do to other people. The consequence or meaning of an action is always far greater for me and usually far more to do with wrong I’ve done (like the above example of N’s silence in response to my letter; or when someone canceling meeting up or not wanting to come over when I’m really upset and need help meaning it’s proof they can’t stand me really, when actually it means they’re just too busy).

I texted N back and thanked her and directly asked her first was she still hurt (I didn’t know how she could forgive me at the point I was still angry and hurting her) and second what did she really want to do – did she want to be in touch, did she want to meet? She didn’t say whether she wanted to or not and I felt needed to know what she wanted. I’m waiting to see what she’ll say, if she replies.

Ginny xxx

I’m sorry —

I don’t know what to do about the hurt I’ve caused.

A few weeks ago I posted about how I’d fallen out with my good friend N. I have been wanting to apologise to her. I don’t feel I can ask her to forgive me. I know I hurt her. I know I spoke when I was angry and distraught and I caused her a lot of pain.

I was hurt too. I was desperate and unstable and in crisis and I did really need help, need someone; I was going to pieces. But this doesn’t mean I had the right to demand things from her or that she had to be there for me when she couldn’t. I acted ungrateful and angry. I lost sight of all the care she’d given me.

Then there’s the knowledge that she had found me a burden and my certainty I was an annoyance and inconvenience and angered her and she saw seeing me as a duty and there was nothing good for her in the relationship and she didn’t want to be around me anymore. Who would. She was clear she thought nobody would stay with me when I was in the state I was in. That was true and it was also true I needed someone but that didn’t mean it had to be her.

I know I’ve caused her a huge amount of upset and hurt and been very childish and selfish and needed too much. I know I’ve probably angered and hurt her in ways I don’t know yet or understand. She told me I had.

I don’t know what to do. I wanted to tell her I’m so sorry. I wrote to her so many times and tore it up because each time it seemed so stupid and self centred and a rubbish apology. I wrote several letters that I didn’t tear up. I went to her place to see her and took the letters. If she was in, I’d see if I could speak to her face to face if she’d let me. Then I’d go. If she wasn’t I’d post the letters through the door. I went and she was not in so I posted the letters through the door.

I didn’t ask for us to start meeting up again. I think that might not be good for her because I’m still so unstable. I’m still going from crisis to crisis and needing too much help and so upset and angry at times it wouldn’t be fair to her or anyone to try to be meeting up. That said I miss her and care for her a lot and really really really wish I could be there for her and thank her and support her when she needs it. (But I’m not the one she goes to when she needs anything, much as I’ve tried to be there.) I can’t ask her to meet again but I wish I could tell her I’m sorry. And know if she hears it or accepts it.

I haven’t heard anything from her since I dropped off the letter. It was 2 weeks ago. I wondered if she might be away but at this time of year it isn’t likely and the car was “home” when I left the letter. I am worrying if she could be ill. This turned into panicky, extended worrying that she is ill because of me, or worse. That’s what I worry about if I’ve upset someone.

I think she is so hurt and angry and disgusted with me she wants no more contact. I deserve that. Yet I wasn’t prepared for silence. I was prepared for her furious anger and hurt and her to tell me never to contact her again. Or for her to tell me how she felt about what I said and did. I did not expect and am not asking forgiveness. I wish I could know something I could do to make her know I really really am sorry and how much she matters to me and how wrong I was. I wish that even though I don’t think she can forgive me could she accept that I am sorry?

However needing to know that she hears and accepts that I am sorry is a very selfish part of apologising, when I think about it. It’s something that would stabilise the horror I feel at what I said and did and ease my own hurt.  I should accept not having it.

The amount I’ve hurt her is really raw and I’m really scared at what I’ve done. I’m sad and hurting for losing N. as well. It’s my fault but I’m still missing her and scared at what I’ve done. What I’ve done to the relationship and what I’ve done to her.

Ginny xxx

Selling star maps to the sun – disconnecting behind the front

Camera One closes in, the soundtrack starts, the scene begins- you’re playing you now…

on the corner of a street, in a lawn chair in the heat, sightseers see what they want, you’re selling star maps to the sun…

(Josh Jopin – Camera One)

The disconnection between what’s going on inside me and what I have to be on the outside is scaring me. I’m getting worse at it. Out of control emotions are scaring me, especially explosive rage. I’m losing control. It feels as if everything I feared might happen if I stopped self harming is now unfolding rapidly and I’m losing it.

I’m faking being alright whilst I’m dissociating inside, until a dream-state traps me and I can’t function or speak,  or until for no good reason at all the anger explodes.

I have to take responsibility and I desperately don’t want to run away from this but I have no control in those times. I’ve been taken over by a dangerous angry screaming force that can only hurt, or a needing, crying child. Afterwards for days it’s as if I’m just watching myself playing a part.

I don’t know how to break out of it.

Ginny xxx

One of the most dangerous ways to react to someone with BPD who is asking for help when they are suicidal or self-harming

 

 

TRIGGER WARNING: fairly massive warning on this one that this post discusses suicide and self harm and issues around getting care in crisis…

Yesterday I was met with one of the most punitive, ignorant and dangerous reactions I have had from a medical professional. I wonder if people who react like this actually do not realise the genuine danger patients are in and how much further into danger this kind of reaction pushes us.

As I write this post I want to be clear that I am now safe and have received help and I am not posting this to alarm or worry readers about me. I’ve been seen in emergency services and eventually had very supportive care, which I will post about in due course. Please don’t panic about me. I am now safe and have had help. I just think what I experienced earlier is a massively dangerous issue that needs to be highlighted.

Yesterday I was absolutely unable to cope. The pressure of my housing situation, financial problems, threat of losing my flat, trying to discuss things with my landlord, my physical help, repeated errors from benefits services and other supposed sources of support, the lack of help over the past 5 months or so when I’ve been at my lowest points, the voices and flashbacks and nightmares – everything boiled over and again I was in the place where the pain and emotions and loss and guilt blocked out any ability to carry on.

I lost it and I was at the point of trying to end my life. I knew how I was going to do it. I had tried and tried but had nothing left.

I spoke on the phone to the GP Surgery. Somewhere, I guess some part of me was still wanting some kind of help or at least daring to tell someone. (They had called me over issues with a mess up over the prescription i should have had; I’d again been left without my medication. ) I admitted what I was feeling. I begged to see someone. I don’t know what made me do that, ask for help when the decision was already made in my mind that this was it now and I’d come to the end. But I did.

I admitted that I wanted to end my life and that I was self harming. I admitted that I had the tablets to overdose. I asked to be seen and that I needed help now, could they see me or get the crisis team? I said how all the mess ups with my prescriptions and benefits and no help in crisis were piling things onto me and making it more and more impossible to cope. I was having hallucinations and flashbacks. I had been asking for help for months. Now I could not go on anymore, I was going to end it. I needed help.

The GP spoke over me from the start. She told me that “you have to be extremely careful about how you are coming across” if I expected to get any medication. She then told me repeatedly, in response to me admitting that I was suicidal and self harming, that “that is not a fair threat to make to people” that “you will find I do not respond to threats” and that I am a responsible adult able to make my own decisions and there is no reason that I should take an overdose. She then announced that she was going to end the call and hung up on me whilst I was begging her to help me.

If Someone with Borderline, or any other mental health problem, admits to suicidal thoughts, plans or intentions, or self-harm, it is the most incredibly ignorant and dangerous reaction to treat them as though they are making threats in order to manipulate and must be punished accordingly. The stereotype that people with personality disorders or any mental health problem are manipulative, or that being suicidal or struggling with self-harming  is attention seeking,  are extremely dangerous. It is all the more dangerous when it is trusted healthcare professionals acting on the basis of these stereotypes when their patients have dared to ask for help, meaning that when we are in immediate danger we are dismissed, punished and rejected.

Experiencing suicidal thoughts is not attention seeking. Self harming is not to create drama or cry for attention. Admitting that you are in danger and want to end your life, that you are absolutely at the end of the road and can’t go on, that everything being piled on you is pushing you nearer and nearer the edge, is not making threats. The attitude shown by the GP today makes it impossible to ask for help when we are most in danger. I now know that if I admit to the terrible thoughts and feelings, I’ll be treated as though I’m manipulating people and will be rejected. If patients are treated like this, suicide and self harm is made something that must never be admitted to or talked about and for which help can never be sought. If patients are treated like this, all the feelings and events that have brought them to the point of suicide are dismissed in an instant, as our position is made out to be manipulative fabricated threats rather than complete brokenness.

Yes, I am an adult. Yes, I am responsible for my actions. If I self harm or attempt suicide, it is my action alone. If I cause myself harm that is done by me alone. That does not mean that the experiences and emotions behind my actions are not real, that I am not in danger,  that I am fake. No longer being able to carry on doesn’t mean I am manipulative. Asking for help and admitting to the horrible things in my head doesn’t mean I am making threats. Asking for help doesn’t mean the feelings that make me want to end it aren’t real. The fact that if I do something to hurt myself, it’s my action, doesn’t mean I’m not in danger and don’t need help.

I’m terrified of manipulating or hurting people I care about. That’s why I hide my self harm and did not tell anyone for years, why I usually don’t ask for help after overdoses… I’m scared that people may feel responsible for saving me… and the self-harm itself started in order to punish myself and hurt myself to turn it all in and not let the horrible things in me hurt anyone else, and overdosing  is sometimes about utter pain and sometimes utter rage and loathing at myself and fear of who I’ve hurt.

People who are self harming and/or on the point of attempting suicide are not nasty manipulative frauds, they are in massive pain and massive immediate danger. They do not need punishment and dismissal. They need a place of safety and compassion and they need desperately for the hurt and the danger they are in to be believed.

It is terrifying to admit to things like how close you are to suicide or that you’re overdosing. I never say it to friends (though two friends have sometimes guessed) because I do not want to make them feel responsible to keep me safe or worried I’ll do it again. That’s one thing.  But it has to be possible to admit it to healthcare professionals, if there is to be any way to get help.

Yesterday, my life was saved by a police officer who recognised the danger I was in, and by the emergency team who assessed me when he took me to them, and by the mental health workers at the safe haven I was taken to. I owe them my life. Thanks be to God.

The safe haven is a new organisation that has been running for just two weeks in my local area and I think massive good is going to come of it. I’ll post more on that going forward. Please God can that be the support other people find when they are in the state I was in yesterday, not reactions like the one I got from my GP. Sadly I think I’m not alone in what I encountered. And this isn’t the first time. I’ve encountered similar and worse lack of recognition or response to the danger I was in, and accusations of making threats or being manipulative,  from within the personality disorder service and in crisis teams.  If i am ever recovered enough to be able to somehow try to help other sufferers or explain to people what BPD is like and how to help someone in crisis, tackling this would be a massive priority for me.

Ginny xxx

It just doesn’t stretch, whatever I do

I’m scared I’m so close to everything falling apart. Financially. But it feels like everything.

I got an automated voicemail message from my landlord telling me I’m to call them urgently to discuss “ways we can help you to pay your rent”. They had closed by the time I finished work so I have to wait til tomorrow to call them and find out exactly what it’s about but I know it will be about my rent arrears. I doubt they will be “helping” me pay, somehow! I know the fact of having to call them doesn’t instantly change anything but I’m really panicking.

I was struggling already today, feeling very sad after a difficult 1:1 therapy session on Monday, a friendship having broken down and a few other things. After getting this message I just wanted to crawl under my duvet, cry, shut off, everything and nothing…and the urge to cut is very strong but I’m trying to resist.

Nothing is working out. I got into arrears last year when I lost my job, wasn’t paid notice and holiday pay as expected, and my housing benefit didn’t come through for 10 weeks. Working part time I’ve been entitled to some housing benefit but my claim has been messed up, suspended, altered back and forth from start to finish and I’ve had more periods of weeks with no money coming in. I’ve been paying my rent, with great difficulty, but not able to clear the arrears.

Now they have stopped my housing benefit because my salary has increased by a few pence per hour. This leaves me unable to meet even the tightest budget. I do not have enough money to cover the bare minimun of rent, council tax, bills like electricity, telephone, prescriptions, travel to the hospital, some access to the internet and food (let alone any other expenses like buying clothes when needed, any longer distance travel, or socialising). I’ve cut back as much as I can, especially on food. I don’t make proper meals, just toast, cereal and cheap snacks. It makes me feel awful (plenty of guilt for bad fattening food) but I can’t afford anything else.

I know the arrears are my responsibility and I have to pay. I feel panic and guilt every day over them. I know that in the past when very unwell I made poor financial decisions and was irresponsible with money, which has contributed to why I don’t have savings. So has the fact that I’ve been too ill physically to work full time at several points in the last 10 years.

Part of what is so upsetting is that I am now doing all I can but I still can’t stretch to cover the tightest budget or see any way to change things. I am pushing myself as hard as I can to keep going to work. It’s very difficult mentally – and I’m sad that it is so hard to do it but that is the situation I have to accept right now. It’s very difficult physically too. The pain I’m in from the fibromyalgia, arthritis and so on has been increasing since I started and each day it gets harder to do certain things (going up and down stairs, staying on my feet for lengths of time, etc) and if it carries on it’ll get to a point the pain is too much or I can’t stand long enough or something like that. I hoped if I kept pushing I’d get better at dealing with it but that isn’t happening and instead everything is flaring up.

I really want to keep working. I’m blessed with kind and happy colleagues, a caring employer, a creative environment, varied days, lots to learn and so many good things. Psychologically this job is so much less stressful than the legal secretarial work I couldn’t cope with. There’s so much that should be positive that I don’t want to waste.

However I’m in a situation that I just can’t cover day to day living going forward let alone clear the arrears I owe. It shouldn’t be a reason to give up but when things seem to be falling apart anyway, it’s harder to keep pushing through the physical pain and mental struggle to keep working.

I feel really trapped because with the rent situation alone I think I’m going to end up losing my flat. I know the landlord, being a housing association, has given me more time with the arrears than many other landlords would. A private landlord would have thrown me out ages ago. I know that’s another way I’m fortunate. It’s my responsibility but I don’t know how I can or will be able to pay.

Even if I could clear the arrears  I don’t know how I’d pay the rent going forward. If I can’t,  I don’t know where I’d live because I have no money for a deposit to rent privately. If I went back to renting a room as a lodger my mental health would crash downhill but at this point I would have to be grateful for anything. If I lose this place and end up homeless I’d lose my job. I might anyway if my physical health keeps going down.

It’s horrible thinking even if I get evicted and lose my flat, I don’t know how I’ll change my situation. It’s horrible that trying as hard as I can to do the work I can, I’m not able to live on what I earn and I’m assessed not to be entitled to any benefits despite this. I want to work as much as I can but I’m actually in a worse situation, it appears, than if I were not working at all signed off sick. My rent and council tax would then be covered by benefits. Not that that would help with the arrears but it would at least cover rent going forward. The system says it shouldn’t happen that you are worse off working than not, but it does. I’m actually put into a situation where doing the most work I can means I’m left with not enough to live.

I was referred well over two weeks ago to an organisation that would help me sort all this out and talk to my landlord. I was supposed to have been seen by them within two weeks. I chased up as I hadn’t heard, only to find out they said they had not received my referral from the support worker. It had got lost in the secure email system somewhere,  ironically. It has been sent to them again but now they are not likely to see me til after my operation.

I have no idea what to do. There are so many “if”s and a spiraling whirl of consequences that make it feel that everything’s already falling apart.

I don’t want to make out I have it harder than the next person. I know so many people are in this situation. I know I have to deal with it. It’s a time I wish someone could catch me when I’m falling like this but I know that’s nobody’s responsibility. I’m scared and everything’s already unravelling inside.i suppose I have to try not to listen to the spirals in my head until at least after I’ve spoken to my landlord tomorrow.

Ginny xxx

I’msorry for getting so behind

I’m sorry for getting so behind on responding to comments and visiting other blogs. I owe several replies and I’m not ignoring you, I’m sorry. In the past few weeks I seem to have been almost constantly under the weather with colds / flu and my fibromyalgia has really flared up now – I’m quickly fatigued, have a lot of pain, glands inflamed etc. Together with the endometriosis it isn’t a great combination. I spent most of yesterday and today sleeping (I wasn’t well enough to go to group therapy yesterday) apart from some attempts at cleaning up my flat. I feel so useless right now.

You are in my thoughts and I’m very grateful to you for still reading when I’m so rubbish at keeping in touch. I promise I’ll get back to you as soon as possible and I’m sorry for being useless.

Ginny xxx

Not being there

In the past few weeks I have been struggling more physically with a lot of pain, exhaustion and several viruses one after the other not helping. I’m learning slowly to not get frustrated or panicked when there are things I just can’t do at the moment. This is a very slow process of learning about what I can do – it’s been over 15 years now since my physical health conditions started. It still makes me feel very useless when I compare myself with other people and see how much less I seem to manage to achieve day to day than they do and comments that bring it home, deliberate or not, hurt.

However the hardest part is feeling that I can’t be there for other people (friends, family, people I work for, and so on) in the way I would like to. At the moment I manage to work part time. Usually after work I am exhausted and dealing with too much pain to do anything else. I get behind on simple things like housework. I’m behind on replying to comments and messages on here – I’m really sorry all the more because I am grateful for the time you take to stop by and read and comment and you are all far more supportive to me than I manage to be to you. I had to stop most of the voluntary work I used to do and I feel I’m not there for my friends or family in the way I’d like to be. Most live a long way away and the journey can usually be too much, plus I can’t even write or telephone as I’d like to when I’m very low physically or mentally.

I really feel like I’m selfish and should push harder (though I know I can’t) and that I’m really failing in friendship. Even in my dreams – which have been really disturbing lately – there seems to be a theme of not being able to help people or watching bad things happen to people and screaming out but not being able to stop it and the not being able to stop it comes with a sense of horror and judgment on myself that lasts quite some time after waking.

I try to take courage from remembering that it’s not grand accomplishments that are necessary and even little actions done with love and care can be meaningful even if we don’t see how they are at the time. I don’t have a high powered or even full time job but in the work I do I can still do it with dedication and care and going that bit further to help those I’m serving (literally, since I work in a shop!).

But when it comes to not being able to be present in the way I should be for others in relationships – I’m not giving the time or the help I should in practical ways – I feel I’m failing. However much I care for someone, if I can’t do the practical things (visiting, writing, helping and being there when they need it) then aren’t I really failing, from their point of view?

I know we don’t earn a genuine friendship any more than we earn God’s love. We aren’t loved by God because of what we do or because we have earned it or made ourselves successful or good enough. We are loved, still in our weakness, because His nature is loving. The more we admit our need for Him the more He fills us with His love. The good we do is the work of His love through us and every little act and prayer we offer is this love, gives this love to other people and gives love back to Him. “We love because He loved us first.” He even says it is by this love we will be known – people will say, “see these Christians, how they love one another.” In their work with the poorest people, Mother Teresa’s nuns made it their aim not to begin by preaching but by care, love and selflessness in their actions. If someone asked them why they acted as they did, then they would speak about the Love that led them to it.

Actions aren’t what make us good or acceptable people, though I can certainly tend to feel that. They are the fruit of being loved and wanting to love. But what if I can’t do the things that are needed and expected in friendship, that bring care and support to the other person and show to them that I care? In the past I’ve even ended relationships because I’ve felt so strongly that I’m not a real friend because I can’t be there as the other person needs. Recent ways relationships (one or two in particular) have gone wrong because (I think) the other person doesn’t find anything good in the relationship and thinks I need too much, make me think this even more.

Perhaps it’s something to discuss in therapy group.

Ginny xxx