Heya. It is I, back from the quiet for this post.
What have I been doing?
Making a lot of bracelets. So many bracelets. I actually have a bracelet blog now, and post on Instagram nearly everyday. You can find me over there at @Rhios_Bracelets.
How am I?
Pretty okay actually. I think I’m mostly out of that episode I had that lasted for a few months. I think it had something to do with my medications. I moved house, and therefore moved chemists where I get my meds from so I had a different off brand make of meds, so I went and got my meds somewhere else and after a week, I felt so much better. I was back to sleeping, back to enjoying things. I’m still a bit depressed and lacking in motivation but I’m able to push through that and still make bracelets and things.
How is my little one?
She definitely isn’t little anymore. She’s going to be my height pretty soon.
She’s not been well recently herself, and had a pretty bad bout of anxiety. She’s struggling with school stress and well, everything really. It’s sad because she says things to me like, “I’m a failure, I’m doing horrible at school, I’m going to fail everything”, and then comes home with a test result of 96% and I’m like “But you’re doing so so amazing” whilst at the same time understanding that part of being not well mentally means you can’t feel that you are doing amazing, whatever you do isn’t good enough. So there’s mum me, “You are awesome” and mental health me, “I totally understand how you feel but I’m going to tell you, you are awesome anyway even though you don’t believe me”.
She’s very much a perfectionist when it comes to school, she wants to be the best, and anything other than 100% or getting into the top sets isn’t good enough for her brain. I feel bad that she has to go through this too, and she’s had days where I’ve been really worried about her.
I contacted her school though about it and they said they are going to give her a support person and they were really amazing about it. Just so glad she’s finally in a school that just seems to get it.
She is doing absolutely amazing at school, even though she’s not well, and even though she doesn’t believe it. She has academic dreams of top universities which I feel although she’s struggling with stress, intelligence wise she’s totally capable of that. Right now she says she’d like to do chemistry, “To make drugs to help sick people, because I want to help sick people but not be near sick people because of germs”, or physics, “But not boring physics, fun physics with strings and lasers and space stuff”.
Have you played Mass Effect Andromeda? What did you think of it?
Yes. I have played it. It was okay, but nothing to get all Rhio obsessed about like the trilogy, in fact, when I now talk about Mass Effect, I still talk about the trilogy and not Andromeda, in those conversations, Andromeda does not exist to me.
It was cool in that Ryder looks a bit like me, so I didn’t have to change her.
The game wasn’t horrible, but it was broken, and no I’m not talking about animations, I’m talking about lore. It didn’t follow the lore enough. I didn’t like any of the characters enough to want to romance them, so I settled for Liam, but Liam was too dumb. Kaidan was dumb, in a cute way, naive even, so naive it’s sweet and totally adorable and instantly changed my pupils to love heart shaped, but Liam was too far dumb so it was just cringeworthy at times.
Did you watch 13 Reasons Why?
Yes, I’ve only recently watched it as I was waiting until I felt better. I liked it, but, I don’t think it did enough for mental health issues. I don’t think it helped with mental health awareness much at all. When I say to people, “I am depressed right now”, the most common response is, “Why are you depressed, what have you got to be sad about?”, and with 13 Reasons Why, she had 13 of those reasons so it didn’t help with that stigma at all, it added to it. You don’t have to have reasons why, some people are just ill. You can have the best, most amazing upbringing, and still get depressed.
Instead it was more awareness for “Some kids find High School the toughest thing ever”, which I think is important, because some adults do not understand how hard school is for some people.
I did like it though, and I liked that they focused on the aftermath of what happens when someone ends their life, because that’s important. When you’re ill, you don’t see that, and one of the reasons I’ve never done anything final myself is because I have first hand experience of when someone tries to kill themselves, and what that did to me. I couldn’t imagine doing that to the people who know me. They’d feel terrible.
I also saw a bit of myself in Hannah, especially when she walked out of the counsellors office at the end and waited. I’ve done that. I still think about that a lot. It was a “I really don’t know how to tell you I need you” thing.
I’ve heard there’s going to be an Anorexia film, “To the Bone”, and well I will definitely watch that and probably do a post on it. I’m pretty safe watching those types of things these days. My triggers are more weird and unavoidable things (weight loss from illness, people commenting on that weight loss), and I don’t think these types of shows cause eating disorders or mental health issues. Again, that’s part stigma to say these shows CAUSE those things because that’s not how mental health works. You don’t “catch” it, if you go to someone’s sterile clean house because they have germ-phobic OCD, you are not going to come home and then suddenly develop OCD. That’s exactly how ridiculous that sounds to me, someone who has Bipolar and is in recovery from eating disorders. Instead people who are susceptible to these things, can be triggered by these shows, but they had to have something wrong to start off with.
It is good that these things are out there, because it helps people that don’t know they are ill. Some people really do not know they are ill. I did not know, I was starving myself and convinced myself what I was doing was normal “Everyone goes on diets”. I don’t know how I did that, but I was ill. Logic gets broken. So if we can show people what ill looks like, they can see themselves in the characters and hopefully, go and get help and get better.
Show me some of your most recent bracelet?
Okay… Pusheen Pizza!
Are you still doing NHS stuff?
No. Not really. I got ill, mentally and physically, I had labyrinthitis and then the worst viral infection I’ve ever had and was in hospital twice when they wanted help from me. One of the dudes rang me twice while I was in hospital. I also managed to knock myself out from coughing so bad so ended up being blue lighted to hospital. Also I had intense right sided abdomen pains so I really thought I had appendicitis or something, no, just regular normal digestive crap. My digestive system is messed up. It causes me issues and a heck of a lot of pain on a daily basis, and sometimes it gets so bad I feel like I should be in hospital with it because there’s no way that much pain = nothing wrong at all. I was just wrong, that much pain = normal for me.
When I first got better, I felt like I had to do something so that me being ill meant something. That those people who very literally saved my life, saved my life for a reason, I thought helping others was my reason. I still kind of feel that way, in that, I really do want to help people, but I felt what I was doing wasn’t helping people. I was going to conferences and telling all these doctors and nurses my story, and then I went to my own GP for a medication check. At these medication checks they weigh me because I’m on medications that cause weight gain. I had gained 1kg, 1 solitary kilogram in 12 months since my last weight check which put my BMI at 20.5 i.e only just normal, anything under 20 is underweight, and they spent literally ten minutes giving me a lecture on how I need to watch my weight and go on a diet to someone whose medical notes says ANOREXIA AND BULIMIA in bold on the top of the page. This has happened so many times, and it felt like I wasn’t making a difference at all.
Then I went to another conference, and before I went up, a nurse was showing a film on cancer patients and their really bad treatment, including a nurse who was all, “Oh ffs” about helping a young woman in bed with cancer who had wet herself and wanted her sheets changed, and some of the nurses were excusing this behaviour angrily saying, “But it’s hard for me, so…”.
And I had to go on after that, after they did not understand why they had to be nice, despite how difficult that is for them, to a cancer patient. I get that it’s hard, but come on, you don’t take it out on your patients. How the heck was I then supposed to make them understand mental health issues when they can’t grasp cancer? It felt futile me even being there and I got annoyed so by the time I got up to speak I was really upset. They applauded me afterward and I was like, yeah, whatever.
I want to help patients, I don’t want to help doctors and nurses get it because it’s a futile and pointless exercise. Some people are just never going to get it, it’s something I’ve learned myself over and over again, and not something I want to be reminded of daily.
The other day, when my daughter got really upset, and we spent all night talking together and I helped her; I helped her calm down, I helped her see that her thoughts were wrong, I hugged her endlessly and tightly until she stopped crying, and until her anxiety wave was over, and it was this moment, this moment that was both sad and beautiful, that I realised, THIS was why they saved my life. For her. So that I can be here for her. So that I, free from obsessing about what I had to eat that day, can be 100% present in the here and now for my daughter. So that she has someone, me. I was the most important person who could have been there at that moment. Without those people, I might not have been there. So I thought about these people a lot and realised that, I don’t need to do anything, I already am.