One of my inspirations. My cat, Titus, engrossed in one of my fish tanks.
My tattoos of love and strength keep me going too
OK I cannot guarantee it, but I have the go ahead to set myself up as a new counsellor helping those associated with homelessness.
As a student, requiring my first placement, I could have gone down the usual route of looking for a placement somewhere that already offers placements, but no, not me… I have never been one to follow the crowd, I have always enjoyed setting new things up, organising and offering the best service I can. And now, I have the opportunity to do what I really want, and that is to help people who need it.
I have started my third year of my counselling courses am now studying level 4, and something has happened this year. I have always appeared confident to others, always been able to work well in the group settings, study hard, and do great role plays, but this year, I FEEL all those things instead of just doing them and feeling like I cannot inside. I can put this down to my college work, my fantastic fellow students, my group analysis in which I am a patient (very tough but very therapeutic) and my determined self-help efforts of writing, keeping journals, and self-analysis. There’s also my fabulous cat, Titus, Molly my hamster and all my wonderful fish, plants and flowers, that have kept me going with fun and creation, Chris who has supported me, and my mum and dad (who invite me to dinnner regularly). I am a capable individual …….Continue reading I think I have a placement as a student counsellor! Helping those associated with homelessness…
So, I had a phone call today at 9am saying that the psychotherapist cannot take today’s group analysis. I had written down a lot of stuff last night as I’d had a mini trauma and was really looking forward to getting it all out in words in group today but never mind. Instead, I made two collages this morning, from photos and pictures.
I bought two big plastic fronted clip frames years ago and have never used them. I have also been trying to put all my pictures up on the walls, but ran out of suitable frames, so I thought, let’s make a collage – I haven’t done that since I was a child. Now, I am always changing and moving stuff around in my home, and I am (nearly) qualified in interior design (yep another thing I began and dropped out of near the end!). I love to design little spaces in my house, as I don’t have much room.
So, I (being mindful) took all my left over pictures/paintings I have collected from abroad, childhood photos, recent photos, photos Chris bought from my 40th Birthday cruise last year, aerial and other photos I have taken of places and scenes, and put them all together in a frame. It came out so well, I made another one!
If you haven’t much money to spare, then these are a great way to jazz up a wall and inspire good memories, and you can change them any time too and how about making one for someone special as a Christmas present…:-)
So now, when eating my dinner I not only have the fish in my second tank to watch, but some lovely photos and memories to ponder over and if …….Continue reading Inspiring ideas – My Group analysis was cancelled for today, I was disappointed, then turned it into creativity – Making Collages! Christmas presents?…
A new flower emerging
Each year, mental health is recognised by World Mental Health Day. It’s a time to come together and talk about mental health and mental illness.
The best thing I can do, apart from keep posting my blogs on this site, is to give the gift of my story of mental health and mental illness. I wrote two memoirs ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’ which begins with my birth to adulthood, with lots of adventures and my experiences of Eating Disorders, Self Harm, Abuse, Rape, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Alcohol and Drug abuse, Paranoia, Psychosis, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and various talking therapies such as CBT as well as my mums Catatonic Schizophrenia and stigma. The second, ‘39’ is me aged 39 with flashbacks to the past and my continuing recovery back to mental health. Both are well reviewed and, although shocking at times, they are inspiring reads.
Available on Amazon, you will be able to download both of them for FREE from Wednesday 8th October to Friday 10th October inclusive. Just click on the links to find them on Amazon.
‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’ on Amazon
’39’ on Amazon
Things we can discuss:
- Our experiences of mental health issues
- Experiences of others’ mental health issues
- How we can beat stigma and treat people with mental illness with respect
- How we can empathise better with those who have mental illness
…….Continue reading It’s World Mental Health Day on Friday 10th October 2014! Both my memoirs are FREE Wednesday 8th to Friday 10th October inclusive; let’s beat stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues!…
Titus during a car journey
It occurred to me that I share photos and snippets about my rescue cat, Titus, on Facebook and Twitter, but not much here on my blog, so I decided to dedicate a whole post to him, as he is a wonderful little creature and I want to celebrate cats.
He is 7.2kg (16 pounds) and he is a black and white ‘tuxedo’
He had been in a cattery for eight months when I fostered him, and I still find it hard to believe that no one wanted to re-home him as he’s so handsome for a start! Anyway, I was fostering for the RSPCA at the time, and got him. Within two weeks I decided I couldn’t let him go so I adopted him. That was one and half years ago…
“Pets… When you adopt a rescue animal you save two animals; the one you’ve adopted and the one that can take its place in the rescue centre X” Amanda Green
(I have a hamster and tropical fish too, and would have a dog if I had a garden; I love all animals…)
He likes: …….Continue reading I am dedicating this post to my rescue cat Titus who enhances my life and helps my mental health recovery!…
Me as a child aged two and half
Me around three
Me aged about nearly four
me at nearly four
me as a child around 3
I am going through a period of change due to therapy and changes in my life I cannot control; a state of confusion, but I need to deal with it as an adult, not a child. I have spent most of my life dealing with things in a child-like way even at forty as I am now, and it has worked for me as a coping mechanism, but I do need to think about my future and take responsibility, both for my relationships and myself. I already have a huge portfolio of qualifications and have worked in management yet the longest I have stayed in a job is one and half years – often because I have become bored, or the employer has done something terrible (even though I never took it to court), or I have not agreed with the employer on ethics, or I have wanted to leave to enjoy myself, etc, (usually my emotions took over and I am naturally impulsive) but it does have to stop at some point.
I have no children, but I am now dedicated to my animals, and I am in my third year at college studying Counselling. I hope I can use those skills to help others. In my psychoanalytical group, they are talking me out of the course and into a job that I already have the skills for. Writing, photography, websites and my books, as an indie author, do not earn me enough, but to take any old job instead of one that will be far more useful, interesting and challenging, is something I need to think about. What is important…
Thinking about my past work and relationship record reminded me of when I was younger and what I went through and how I was so innocent, as we all are, when a very young child, so I thought I would share some photos… When I was born I lived in my mum and dads bedroom until I was one and they could move to a bigger home. I was quiet and no problem to them at all. I cherish that. When two, three etc I would go on the bus with my mum, on her lap and just people watch quietly just as I love to do now – I was glad to know that. As I grew everything changed and I feel it was a great shame that I turned into something I didn’t like at all – indeed hated most of the time. I have battled long and hard to rid myself of negative thoughts, behaviours and outcomes, and I have come a long way. I do like and love myself once again. And I certainly love that little girl. …….Continue reading Photos of me all innocent as a child, not knowing the truth that lay ahead…
IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome and me
I suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Sometimes it’s just not present in symptoms, other times it is almost debilitating due to the pain the stomach spasms cause.
This was my stomach a few nights ago in the photo. I laid all night with a soothing hot water bottle across my gut. I was stressed and run down from the dental appointments and mouth infection I had from a root canal treatment that week. Not just that, but other stressors too. And it is usually stress that brings it on for me. A sudden bloating of the gut, pain in the lower gut to one side, a feeling like the gut it going to blow up it expands so rigorously. It also flares up if I get a bout of depression come on.
Other times I might get it because I ate too much garlic, onion or fatty foods or drank fizzy beer or coffee or some other food/drink triggers.
More of my posts including problems with IBS CLICK HERE …….Continue reading What IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) can look and feel like…
If you don’t want to read about my mental health improvements, then just read the second half of this blog; it might surprise you…
Anyone who has read my books, been friends with me or followed my blog posts/facebook or twitter account, will know just how much I have improved my mental health over the past few years. If you don’t, CLICK HERE for a snippet of what I was like in 2009. I had many debilitating effects from BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), OCD, anxiety, paranoia and depression.
I have improved no end since then, but I have already written about all that before, so I am going to concentrate on the past year alone and where I still need to improve.
For me, I need to be more responsible for myself and less impulsive with drinking and spending so that I can do my counselling course to the best of my abilities and pay my bills and have better health.
I have been in group psychoanalytic therapy for a year now, and am just about to start my third year as a BACP counselling student. After six weeks away from my group therapy, I went back on Wednesday to a great session. The therapist told me that I have come a long way since she met me and that the issues I had over the summer were a few blips. So, I am thinking of major improvements just during the one year in group, like:
- I have been having ‘days off drinking’ – I was regaining some willpower over that.
- I got to group sessions in the last year
- My time keeping was getting better
- I got to my counselling studies at college last year, did all my homework and passed the course
- I am much less angry
- Less anger = less self-destructive behaviours
- I have been eating more regularly
- I have been taking responsibility and looking after my cat, hamster and tropical fish really well.
- And more!
SO, if I can do all of the above again, and on top:
- Have more days off drinking
- Increase my willpower and decrease impulsive behaviours
- Even better time keeping
- Keep up with the harder level counselling course (level 4)
- Eat even better and more regularly
- Go to bed earlier at more regular times and get up earlier – routine every day
- Start to exercise – I have a bike!
Now for the surprising bit. Well, I say surprising, but in all honesty, I could see it coming…
When I split up with a previous boyfriend many years ago, I kept in touch on the odd occasion via text message. In one text he said something poignant. He apparently missed my moods, unpredictability and well sex, because our relationship was built upon that in the first place. He said that his girlfriend was boring, as she was just ‘normal’. Now he and I had issues when together, for many reasons, but he felt the wrath of my tongue on many occasions and I was in a mess, mentally, at the time. But, he still missed that unpredictability…
I was reminded of this a few nights ago, when having a serious chat with Chris on the phone. He and I do not have a proper relationship any more yet still see each other because we are very close – it has been eight years after all! I called for the chat because he has been so fed up lately about having to spend all his weekends with me. I compromised a few months ago and suggested we see each other at weekends only and he can have the week to himself either at his home or seeing whoever he likes without issue from me. It was working… but still not enough. He wants his freedom. “I’m fifty eight years old” he says. Well, yes, and I am forty years old, so what? He’s was married for 20 years, I have never been, so what? So what to all of it. The only thing worth thinking about here is the present and the future.
The other reason is that on many occasions he predicts I am going to cause trouble, when I am not. It is ingrained in him to walk on eggshells still, at times, and pre-empt my reactions when events occur. Thing is, I am a lot better now, and do not react badly like I used to, most of the time. He actually causes arguments and makes me react sometimes, just because he is almost goading me to.
So, he starts comparing himself to my ex as above, and said that he knew how he must feel because although I am better and that is a good thing, he misses the impulsive, unpredictable me. He preferred me, it seems, as a BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) nymph even with the problems!
I think they get used to the anger, aggression and impulsiveness. Either that or it’s just that the sex was so good that it was worth all the shit. Who knows… but, obviously, I am not as interesting as I was. That was hard to hear. OK my sex drive is at zero, most likely because of the Citalopram (a common side effect) but which is better?
I must admit that when I began taking medications for my mental health my fears were that I would become boring, lose my …….Continue reading This blog may surprise you – Mental health, mental illness, BPD, depression, Citalopram, sex, recovery and relationships…
Me (Amanda Green) as a young child
So, here’s a photo of me as a young child…
And an excerpt from ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’ …
‘Many doctors have asked me about my childhood and my earliest memories. And I always told them the same thing: one of my earliest memories was the feeling of being lost.
Even with such a large family it’s possible to feel that way. In fact I often wonder if I’ve always been lost; in one way or another. Perhaps those early memories are a metaphor for my life.
I was in a department store that first time I felt truly lost. Mum and Dad hadn’t noticed me wandering off. Next thing, I remember standing there on my own. I was thinking maybe they’d forgotten me. Where were they? Maybe I did something wrong? But what did I do? Finally I was approached by a stranger. She used the tannoy; there is a lost child in the toy department. Did she mean me? Was I lost?
Then we waited.
It must’ve only been a couple of minutes but it seemed like hours before they came to get me. My dad looked flustered, asking me why I’d just wandered off; Oh Amanda, never do that again. But seeing him there all I felt was joy, overwhelming joy that I wasn’t lost anymore. I was found. I was safe. For now.
The next time I remember feeling lost was my introductory appointment at my first school, a few weeks before I started. Of course now it’s a haze in my memory. So long ago. But I still remember the feeling of being lost.
We remember only fragments of childhood
I was standing in the classroom, a room full of children, strangers. They were all looking at me. I was a lost child again. What was happening? What had I done? That’s when I saw them – brightly patterned pots in the middle of each table and me in that moment thinking the only thing that mattered was what was inside them. I could hear the teacher talking to Mum but in that moment the nerves dissolved to nothing. I had set my mind to those pots with their colours. I guess I stopped being lost, lost instead in the colour – the possibility of what I was to become.
When I think about it now I see how, like so many moments in life, the ability to climb inside a moment, to be absorbed by something so completely was a way of not thinking; of not seeing. You see, while I was just being a normal little girl, there was always that shadow over our family. Maybe that was what made us different, not that I would have understood it. I just always knew my mum was sick. In fact my mum had catatonic schizophrenia.
But all I knew was she wasn’t the same as other mums. And that meant I wasn’t the same as the other children.
Did the teachers know?
Did they know that big fancy word for what was wrong with Mum? Could they see it? …….Continue reading A photo of me, as a child, and an excerpt of my memoir ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’ depicting that time……