Being an empath is really an amazing gift.5 Things I’ve learnt about being an empath
I love being an empath I truly do but it’s not without it’s difficulties. I have often heard people say that sympthy and empathy are the same things but they really aren’t.
The dictionary states;
Sympathy; feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
Empathy; the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
A good example of the differences between the two was given to me in a group therapy session a few years ago and it really stuck with me.
Anorexia and me.
How would you feel if you were told every day that you were fat? Huge? Disgusting? You were told that the revolting way that your body moves around puts people off of their food. They are disgusted by you and your body. When summer approaches and you start showing more skin it makes others around you want to vomit.
How would you feel if you were told you were pathetic. You can’t do anything right – ever. You are not only ugly on the outside but on the inside as well. Everyone is either laughing at you or disgusted by you.
How would you feel if your best friend spoke to you like that?
So the summer holidays are approaching (far to quickly in my opinion) a mere 2 weeks away! So I thought I best get my bum in gear and think of some summer holiday ideas come rain or shine that we we can all enjoy.
As my eldest is only in Reception we have only had one real set of summer holidays last year and in all honesty I wasn’t very prepared. This time I wanted to ditch the stress and have some ideas in place.
We have well and truly been spoiled the past 3/4 weeks with hot weather and beautiful sunshine but we do live in England and more often that not it does tend to rain for the majority of the kids summer holidays. So I need to have ideas for outside and inside but also on a bit of a budget too. Now I am lucky in some respects as H is just like me and does love his arts and crafts but on the other hand he gets bored very very quickly – also like me!
Before I begin this post please note that it could be a trigger to you if you suffer with self harming. Please look after yourself and if you are not in a ‘good’ or strong enough place then save ‘When self harm returned’ for another day.
I have been so long now without having to resort to any kind of self harm. It was so long without doing it that the thought of doing it again was so far off in my mind, I seriously could not imagine bruising or cutting my skin again. That is until just a few days ago.
Now firstly let me just put out there how terrified I am to post this. I am so scared that people are going to judge me. That they are going to laugh and mock me. What if they are disgusted by me? Or what if they just plain avoid and ignore me? Honestly my heart is pounding! But as I’ve said again and again I do this for the readers of this blog. So many of whom – I know because you contact me – say that these open and honest blog posts are what help the most. Not sugar coated or just part of the story, open, honest and real. So for you guys here goes…
Yes it’s true, this post is about the school anxiety I feel as an adult! In fact I feel like I’m more anxious now than when I was at school sometimes!
Just a few weeks away marks the end of my eldest sons first year at school. End of Reception class. Now I assumed, quite naively, that Reception would be just like preschool. 80% playtime with a small amount of structured work.
Boy was I wrong!
I’m not necessarily saying that I wish it was like that I was just not prepared at all. Having said that 4/5 year olds really do have a lot of work to do. Homework every week. Reading books every week and lists of words to learn each evening. I can barely keep up! Cue anxiety.
Art and what’s coming next for me…
I love art. I love anything creative in fact. Be it drawing, painting, writing, crafting, upcycling or knitting! I love the whole process, the taking nothing an turning it into something. Be it a blank page or a wooden pallet.
Like I’ve mentioned I love art but as I’ve discovered again recently I need art too. Without it I get bored. I feel lost. Fed up, worthless even. Art is proven to help hugely with recovery from mental health issues but I had completely given up on art. Didn’t see the point. Didn’t think I was good enough. I thought it was a waste of time. That was until I ended up in hospital very ill. Doing art again, well, it saved me. It gave me a focus. Art gave me a purpose when I had lost everything else.
Quite simply art makes me feel alive.
Although I blog about my mental health almost every week I very rarely talk specifically about my life with borderline personality disorder – BPD anymore.
At the beginning I wrote about ‘borderline personality disorder and being a mum‘ and ‘BPD the positives’ but now I very often shy away from my diagnosis of BPD.
Well, it’s down to that good old stigma again!
When people ask or find out my diagnosis I am more often than not met with the look of “oh crap!” and general comparisons to “that celebrity that went ‘crazy’!”
Mental health issues, please don’t judge!
If I have learnt anything during my time struggling with mental health issues it’s – don’t judge!
This may be a slightly strange post to read, maybe strange because you’ve judged someone in a similar way to what I mention, which is fine, we have all done it! Or maybe strange because you may not believe me. You might whole heatedly believe the first thought that crosses your mind, and that’s fine too. I’m not here to point fingers and blame. I’m just hoping that by reading this, reading my experiences you might think again at what you are seeing in front of you.
I’ve honestly learnt a huge lesson. I was always (and sometimes still am) someone who will be sat in the waiting room for the Dr or dentist and create an entire life story for everyone sat around me. Their name, age, what they do for a living, why they are there, why they look a certain way – weird I know – it’s never done out of any malice. It’s just something I’ve always done.
Despite my best efforts and the efforts of my midwife (not my mental health team – another story) I am in the midst of postnatal depression (PND) for a second time.
Although this time is doesn’t seem as frightening or intense, I am well aware it is post natal depression.
I fooled myself early on that this time it was just the baby blues but after several months of feeling low and overwhelmed I knew it was PND.
Mental health system failing those with children.
I’ve written before about how the mental health system is failing people every single who are struggling with mental illnesses but it is especially failing those of us that have children.
I have always tried to find childcare for my son(s) in the past for my appointments, be it therapy sessions or psychiatrist appointments but it really isn’t easy. My family all work full time, my husbands family also work and the friends that we do have that might be able to help have babies or young children of their own.
My mental health team have never made it easy for me, it’s very much “Well that’s all there is” when it comes to appointments, take it or leave it!
When I mention to people how difficult it is to get appointments I am often met with responses of “That’s ridiculous can’t they do evenings or weekends?” Truth is no they don’t do weekends or evenings. It’s usually between 9am and 4pm. Plus on top of this they are so stretched that if they offer you an appointment and you don’t take it you’ll be lucky if you’re offered another one in the next month or few months even!
I was recently assigned a new CPN (6th one in 4 years!) she is just a useless in my opinion. I finally, after a 3 month wait, got an appointment with my psychiatrist for my urgent medication review as I had been crisis but my little boy was very poorly and there was nothing I could do but apologise, cancel and ask to rearrange asap! 2 weeks later she came for a visit and I asked if I was getting another appointment and her response to me was “Is there much point in booking another appointment if you’re just going to cancel!” Yep. That was really her response. Shocking huh!