Now I’m just me. A nobody. Worse, a nobody stuck in a place that is nowhere.
But I’m hoping this will catch on. I’m hoping that one day, all mental health support plans will look like this – which is to say that they’ll be HONEST!!!
I’m handing it in this afternoon. I wonder what sort of reception it will get. Not that I’ll ever know. I may be honest, but you can bet your arse they won’t be in return. *sigh*.
Name of Participant: Linda Wemyss
Plan Assisted by: ____________________________________________________
Date of Plan: 03-10-2013
What is my current mental health condition and how does it affect me?
I have (Complex) PTSD, with recurring suicidal ideations and self-harming urges. I also have anxiety (stress), and Aspergers.
Ugh. I have to write this my way. Sorry. I could use buzz words and structure my grammar just so, but it’s really beneath us all isn’t it? That fake crap?
I don’t “just” have a mental health condition. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which includes (or causes) eighteen + other medical conditions all up, including Dysautonomia. There are no specialists that I can see (not on my income anyway), so I have to do my own research and decide on my own medical care. That’s ok, as there is no cure, and treatment varies with each individual as it affects everyone in vastly different ways. Not only do I get this joy, however I also have to deal with it in both of my children as well. I have to hear my youngest joints crack and think about what we are going to do when he requires a wheelchair and if there is any way to keep him out of one. I get up in the middle of the night to calm my eldest when he has neuropathic pain, or muscle pain from doing too much that day. I think about every inch of their bodies – from their orthopaedic inserts, to ensuring the school knows they can’t do contact sports and to especially watch for head injuries. There are no breaks from thinking about it – it has to constantly intrude on our lives. I can’t separate my mental health issues from it either as it causes most of them these days.
What is the current treatment for my condition, and how well does it help?
I see a psychologist about once a month, which is great (though I now can’t afford it for the rest of the year). I need to see her two or three times a week for a few months to clear some emotional backlog but shit happens.
How do I manage any negative effects of my condition?
I feel (and am) out of control most of the time, so I try to control my environment as much as I can. Listening to music helps, but I forget to put it on. And sometimes it can trigger stuff too, so it’s a gamble. Mostly though – I try to remember that this is my life and everyone else can get fucked. I am who I am. I used to try and “get better” but the girl I could have been if I had a mother who loved me and a father who didn’t die and an ex who didn’t rape and try to murder me, doesn’t exist. I exist. Broken and all. I accepted that, and now I am trying to move on and be the best me I can be, instead of striving to be some dream girl who only exists in my imagination. Luckily, even broken, I’m pretty cool J
I also become brutally honest, swear a lot, and stop giving a shit what anyone thinks. Though to be honest – I’m not exactly sure that those are bad things.
How is my physical health?
Up the shit. Next.
Can I improve my physical health?
Yes and no. I can improve what I eat, and how much exercise I do. Unfortunately I can’t stand long enough to cook (or even prepare) and the only exercise I can do requires a pool, which is problematic in this god-forsaken town. My life would not only be infinitely better, but it would also be longer, if council could pull their heads out of their arses long enough to realise that a hydro pool isn’t just a luxury for people that play sport, but is a therapy tool for those of us who have debilitating and degenerative genetic conditions.
I imagine getting out of the house and into some fresh air would also be good J But damn, to do that during summer I need a pool too (Dysautonomia can be a bitch!).
Physiotherapy would be good too – three times a week. Again though, I’m just a poor bitch trying to raise two kids on the pension, so that doesn’t happen either.
*grin* Good thing I have a good sense of humour or I’d be positively homicidal!
WHAT KEEPS ME WELL
What am I like when I am well?
I’ve never been “well”. I’ll tell you when it happens.
What do I do each day to stay well?
Laugh. Make jokes. Swear. Say what I really think instead of what people want to hear. Help others. Be as good a parent and wife as I can be. Be as good a person as I can be. Laugh some more.
What more could I do to stay well?
At this point? Probably nothing. Keep fighting. I don’t know. It would require some massive support and we all know that isn’t going to happen so fuck it. Accept that some people draw the short straw and move the fuck on.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I BECOME UNWELL
What are the symptoms (thing I notice) that I am becoming less happy/unwell?
It’s hard to say. A lot of things that you might think (being more tired, lethargic etc) are things that physically happens with EDS and Dysautonomia anyway… So I guess, when I give up. When I stop fighting. When I stop being a smart arse. Or I cross the line from smart arse to plain old rude. I don’t know. It happens in a split second sometimes too.
What are the signs (things other people notice) that I am becoming less happy/unwell?
Usually, I’m bleeding before anyone notices anything. I joke more when I’m going down, and people don’t get that this is a defence mechanism and that I’m actually drowning.
What causes me to become less happy/unwell?
Aside from a society that is selfish and apathetic? *grin*
Watching my kids suffer. That really pisses me off. Watching other people who COULD do something to help, do NOTHING!!! Then I get really fucking homicidal. One of these days, I’m going to crack and I’m going to take a few of these bastards out with me. There are only so many times you can get screwed with your pants on before you turn around and knee that fucker in the balls.
How do I prevent things from getting worse?
How is this question different from “what do I do each day to stay well?”???
What do I believe recovery is?
For people with Complex PTSD – it is a myth.
What are my expectations of recovery?
I won’t “recover”. The suicidal ideations and self-harming urges? NEVER going to go away. Not completely, not forever. Recovery is such a crappy concept. Not to mention that it places enormous pressure on people for whom pressure is already overloading their lives. Fuck recovery. I aim for acceptance. Acceptance that I am who I am. Acceptance that who I am is ok. Acceptance that the next time I feel like hurting myself, I can get through it without doing something stupid. My aim isn’t to “recover”. It’s to “deal with”.
RECOGNISING MY STRENGTHS
What are my personal strengths? (values, knowledge, skills, personal qualities).
Well, I like to think that I have a fine sense of humour J
I say what I think. Obviously.
I think. An underrated quality in our society these days.
I can write. I have an education. And when I’m well, I have a kick arse attitude.
What am I not so good at, and would like to improve?
Social situations. For the most part, I’m ok. But – there are issues. I don’t know that I want to improve them though. I mean – people have hated me for being “too nice” (her words). I don’t get it, but I’m not about to become less nice, so what does it matter? I don’t have the skills to get along with the gossiping bitchy mothers at school – but I don’t want to get along with them either 😉
Things are overwhelming at the moment – Both my kids have EDS and both have Autism. My husband has Aspergers. I have EDS and Aspergers. Life is rather complicated and I am alone in it all – I have no real support from anyone. I’d like to be able to cope better. Things are starting to fall apart a little (a bill missed here, or an appointment getting double booked there etc).
I feel really really fucking alone. Even with all the people around.
WHAT INSPIRES ME
Not much anymore. I’ve seen too much, and have an excellent bullshit radar. Inspiration to me isn’t thought at all anymore, it is physical – I’m Aspie and hypersensitive to emotion – listening to music can inspire me. Not the words, but the way the beat itself can cause my hormones to rise. It’s pretty cool actually – like a natural high. Ever put St Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) on and turned it up when he goes “I can fake it, I know I can, You broke the boy in me, But you won’t break the man”??? I listen to that, and feel like I can do ANYTHING.
POSITIVE CONNECTIONS AND SUPPORTS
What positive connections do I have and how do they help?
My husband and kids. Two cats. A couple of close friends. My psychologist. They all help ground me and they all love me for who I am.
Are there other helpful connections I want to make?
I am working on getting a decent medical team together, but it’s taking a LONG time. Like, years.
I want to do something with my life other than sit on my arse. I want to write (and am a contributor to the Autism Aspergers Network Magazine – but I want more). I want to speak. I want to make a difference. I have a very unique position with the experience I have and part of dealing with all the shit is to try and turn it into something positive.
Are there any external influences that are barriers to my recovery?
Lack of education (others, not mine). Lack of funding. Usual shit.
POSTIVE CHANGES I WANT TO ACHIEVE
I want to write more often, and one day actually earn something for it.
How can I achieve this, and how long do I need?
I want to have a life that doesn’t involve four appointments a day, three of which say “no” and the other which says a meek “maybe”. I’m sick of fighting and never getting anywhere. I need to make major plans, but I’m drowning so much at the moment that I don’t even know where to start. I can’t think straight. I can’t think.
How can I achieve this, and how long do I need?
I want to speak. I want to share what I have learned over the years. I want to rock the boat and tip the fucker over. I want to challenge people’s perceptions and ideas and I want to encourage and inspire people to THINK.
How can I achieve this, and how long do I need?
Is there anything I want to do, that I think I can’t do?
Aside from run, climb, dance? *grin*
I don’t lack potential or skill. I do lack the ability to effectively prove to others that I have potential and skill. I lack self-confidence (though I put on a good show don’t I?)
How could I change my thinking to get what I want?
Part one answer: I need to de-stress enough to get my brain to work properly again. That is a physical thing, and not really what you’re asking.
Part two answer: When are mental health professionals going to realise that this shit doesn’t work? For starters, people who have what YOU might describe as “inappropriate” thought processes, usually have them for a damn good reason. It’s not their thinking that needs attention, it’s what caused it in the first place. Secondly, this question is offensive and asking it is just going to piss people off, and put walls up in the process.
I know of a three year old who was raped with a spanner. If (when) she turns to drugs after being in and out of foster care her whole childhood, people are going to blame HER for “making the wrong choices”. How about instead, we put a bullet in the fucker who raped her? How about we tell her that turning to drugs under these circumstances is perfectly fucking normal and support her, instead of blaming her?
Part of “getting better” is not putting up with this sort of shit. It’s offensive.
How I want Choice Support Service to assist me in my recovery:
I need help to get my life back (or at least, as much as is realistic). I’m not sure how to do that yet, but I imagine it involves planning of some description.
Actions I want to be taken in case of an emergency (circumstances/actions to be taken/by whom):
Three likely scenarios in order of likeliness: Suicide, self-injury, run off to a magical wonderland.
I’m big and ugly enough to take care of myself. I want someone to be there for my husband and kids. They will need support. My husband especially will freak out and zone out – he’s going to need daily visits for a while to make sure the kids are fed etc. Choice may or may not provide this, but if you guys could make sure it happens from somewhere, I’d really appreciate it, thanks.
Who else should have a copy of this plan?
Anyone. Everyone. Put it up the web for all I care. I probably will J
People or services I do not want involved in an emergency:
I suppose it’s too much to ask that I see no psychiatrist, ever. They are mostly, in my experience, clueless and egotistical. If I have to talk to someone I’d rather it be a psych nurse, cop, or someone with some actual experience on the ground. Someone with a soul.
Actions I want to be taken if support from Choice is unavailable:
Depends on the situation. Probably nothing. I’m patient. If it’s permanent then I’m either better, or fucked anyway *grin*
I agree that this Initial Support Plan is a true and correct record: