Day 8: What age you were diagnosed at? At what age do you think your symptoms began? (You can make a timeline)
I have been diagnosed with so many diagnoses over the years. In the main that was my own fault, as in my younger self. A defense mechanism to throw something under the bus while keeping hidden the real problem. Often because I was ashamed of that which I was hiding. It meant that they and I, then formed an inaccurate picture of what was happening for me and subsequently ineffective treatment plans and targeted care.
I wish that in the moment of trauma bedding into my psyche I had sought help. That I was open and approachable to that help. Rather than laughing inappropriately in an attempt to deny the serious nature of whatever I was expressing or hiding. Or simply denying the presence of whatever it is “they” thought was important. I am not sure “they” and I, ever did or will see eye to eye.
I am not convinced that the dates attached to my diagnoses are accurate, even now. If the year or date had some form of memory guide attached, like a special day or event, then there is more chance I will remember it. Sadly I may not remember the exact dates of events or diagnosis but my medical record faithfully records it and they continue to impact upon me. Even if some were completely removed in recent assessment. Those lines of ink continue to exist, like a tattoo under or in my skin or a thistle.
I learnt the right words to say, long before working in the field. Responding to questions about plans for the next week with plans, reduced the idea that I might be suicidal. Agreeing to take the medication, doing so but neglecting to say when I stopped. If the medications were helping, denying any side effects so I wouldn’t lose this precious lifeline. I was lost in my own reality as much as I was in what was wrong with me.
Not everything was lies and those that were, were often lies I had even told myself. Trying to believe that I was “normal” or “well”. Needing to believe in that, in order to survive, to continue to function. The sad thing is that I remember instances when I was completely broken and desperate for help and it just wasn’t there. Mental health services are a tad hit and miss in NZ. Sadly, they are also easy to trick.
I am at a place now where I am seeking help and once again my readiness may in no way be met with an equal level of assistance. I find I do a lot of work on my own with books I have found that give me another piece for my recovery journey. It is part of learning to trust myself again and that this journey is one I have to make.