How my life has changed since meeting Ashley Day… A more personal post

How my life has changed since meeting Ashley Day... A more personal post

Hey guys!

Today’s post is a little different, something I wanted to share so I can look back on it personally as well as to show others that anything is possible so never ever give up.

Firstly I’m going to start by explaining some things you may or may not know about the last few years in my life. Back in 2016 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. And throughout the weeks, months and year from then I was in and out of a very very dark place. I had been through so much and seen so much and experienced so much, I just gave up and didn’t see the point in living life really. I barely went out, I barely seen my friends, I just stayed in bed most of the day and most of the night. Then during 2017, again I was in a dark place and I was diagnosed with a third illness, borderline personality disorder. A disorder I had never even heard of until I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist during my visit to Canada. It was not the best trip due to multiple reasons, but the one thing I am grateful for is that precious diagnoses which explained how I was feeling perfectly. The psychiatrist explained that the anxiety and depression were still apparent but they were not the main things I should have been focusing on back home.

When I got home from Canada I ended up going out a lot, spending a lot of time drinking in nightclubs and honestly just drinking to forget I suppose you could say.

Then in December 2017 I was in hospital really unwell with meningitis when I received an Instagram message from a lad I had never spoke to before. It was a simple message but one that made me smile when I was feeling my lowest. I never replied to any Instagram messages because a lot of the ones I received were off lads who only wanted one thing let’s be honest. But for some reason I replied, I remember sitting in the hospital bed doing a little bit of stalking on his profile when he messaged me and all I could think was how hot he looked in his pictures so I ended up replying. From that day I haven’t looked back. The whole time I was in and out of hospital he would message me checking on me and making sure I was okay. First thing Christmas morning he messaged me wishing me a Merry Christmas, the little things he said and did before we had even met meant a lot to me.

A few days after Christmas, we finally arranged to meet for the first time. The night before he rang me and we spoke on the phone for the first time and immediately we clicked, we spoke and laughed for hours and ended up falling asleep on the phone. The next day, he was late, which I have now learned is completely normal for him. However we met and we went to Merryhill just to talk, spend time with each other and see if we connected in person just as much as we had over messages and a phone call and we definitely did. We ended up staying with each other for about 9 hours, knowing I had work the next morning didn’t bother me, I just didn’t want to go home so we ended up driving around, going to a 24 hour shop, just so we didn’t have to go home yet. That night I knew I was in love, I never believed in love at first sight but after that night I definitely did because it had happened to me. The next day in work I was so happy, the whole team around me knew something was up and kept pestering me asking me why I was so happy.

Two days later we met again, this time I went to his house and met his parents, who by the way, are so lovely and I feel so grateful to have them as my in-laws to be. Since that day we’ve pretty much been inseparable, me staying at his house almost every day, spending time with each others families and just growing closer and closer together.

Some people may say things have happened quickly and yes I would agree, however I have no worries about how quickly things have happened because I completely, wholeheartedly know that he is the person I am going to marry one day. People always told me that love happens when you least expect it and that when you meet ‘the one’ you just know instantly and I truly do believe that’s the case with Ashley Day. My feelings for him are beyond anything I could have ever imagined, beyond anything I have ever felt for anyone in my life before. Sometimes you think you’re in love and everything is perfect but then when you find the person you’re supposed to spend your life with it is a completely different feeling. We still bicker and sometimes argue but within minutes (sometimes hours if I’m being a bitch), we speak and laugh it off and move forward and I honestly believe that that’s the best thing about being in love. No matter what happens you always kiss and make up and rectify situations.

I am so glad I have found Ashley. As I started this post off with, I have had a terrible few years and I never imagined I would be in the position I am in today. I feel the most content I ever have, I feel the happiest I ever have and I feel ready to live life with Ashley Day by my side. My previous post is all about Borderline Personality Disorder, a disorder I had no idea how to deal with, I know it’s a horrible disorder that makes you feel so horrible sometimes, you react badly to situations and sometimes you’re just in a horrible place, but when Ashley and I first started talking I explained some of the things I had been through and everything I had been diagnosed with and unlike so many people, he didn’t judge me, he understood, he listened and he looked after me better than anyone I had ever known before. As time has gone on, as our relationship has progressed I have told Ashley even more than I had, I’ve told him things I have never told anyone before, I have told him some of the lowest points in my life and not once have I felt judged. He’s helped me, he understood me and most of all he’s took care of me so none of those things could happen again.

I never believed in love at first sight, or you ‘just know’ when you meet ‘the one’ or you can fall wholeheartedly in love with someone within hours/days or you can move quickly into a relationship and it work. But Ashley has made me believe all of those things. I fell in love so quickly, I knew he was the one immediately and even though we’ve moved quickly we are the happiest people in the world with every aspect of our relationship.

We’ve already been through a lot as a couple, thing I won’t go into, but we are so strong because of it all and I am so grateful to everything that has happened because it’s made me fall even more in love with him.

I believe that if you’re happy, you shouldn’t care what anyone has to say about it and that people will always judge you/your relationship, will always have things to say, will always try to drag happy people down because they’re unhappy themselves so enjoy life, move quickly if it feels right, fall in love and be happy because if there is one thing I’ve learned since having meningitis + 3 other severe illnesses and being told by a consultant most people would have died in my situation, life is so short and you never know what is around the corner, so do whatever it is that feels right and makes you happy.

I feel so lucky to have him walk into my life when he did, I now no longer go out drinking every weekend, saving myself money as well as not being ill and having hangovers, I much rather enjoy staying with him, baking, driving and experiencing new things. In the short 3 months we’ve been together we’ve already experienced so much new stuff together and we have so much more planned. This time last year I never would have imagined I would find the person I was going to marry, have children with and spend the rest of my life with, but I’m a million percent sure I have now.

Now, to Ashley. I know you’ll be reading this because you support my work and always take a cheeky read, I see you. I adore you wholeheartedly. I am so grateful for everything you do for me, I am so grateful you care, you support and you never judge me. You will never understand how much that means to me. Thank you for listening to me cry, get angry and feel shitty about my past without judging me, holding me hand, wiping away the tears and ensuring you’ll never let anything like that happen to me again. Thank you for making me understand what love looks like, feels like and is. I am a billion percent sure you’re the person I will spend the rest of my life with, grow old with, make a family with, race granny mobiles with.

I know this is a more personal post than I’ve posted before, but I was feeling soppy due to everything I’ve been through in the last twelve months and I’m so grateful how much he’s helped me through in a short time and I felt the need to share it. For girls and boys alike, never settle for anything less than someone who will look after you, never judge you, support your mental wellness and never leave you when things get rough. If your partner needs support, support them. If they need help with their mental well-being then help them, guide them and support them because it is so much easier to overcome when you have someone by your side pushing you and making you believe that it’s possible.

For anyone feeling low or suffering from a mental illness or disorder or who just feels like love isn’t for them, trust me I felt all of those things throughout most of 2017, but I now have someone in my life who’s changed everything for me, who’s made me the happiest I can ever remember. Never give up on yourself, on love or on your partner. Life is so short, make memories, be happy and never hold a grudge because you’ll never move forward and find happiness if you do.

I feel like I have rambled on enough now, but I just wanted to let out some feelings because it’s been almost a year since I was in the worst place ever and now I’m in the best place ever and I just wanted to share it and show the world how special Ashley Day is to me.

Thank you for reading and see you all in a more back to normal post very soon!

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Borderline Personality Disorder

bpd

Hey guys!

Today I  am writing about a mental illness/disorder that I knew absolutely nothing about until a psychiatrist diagnosed me with it last year during my visit to Canada. Borderline personality disorder or BPD as it is known is an illness/disorder that I was completely unaware of so when I was diagnosed I was petrified, I had no idea what it was, how you get it, is there treatment? If so how do you treat it? I had no idea whatsoever and I think it is so important for people to have the knowledge as on average 1 in 20 people will have this disorder and like me, they probably won’t know what it is.

So firstly, what are the symptoms?

  • Fear of abandonment: People with BPD are often scared of being abandoned or left alone. Even little things like a loved one being late home or going away for a few days can trigger an intense fear. It often leads to begging, being clingy, starting fights for attentions, being overly jealous, tracking your loved ones movements or even something like physically stopping you loved ones from leaving, ie; blocking a doorway etc.
  • Unstable relationships: People with BPD often have relationships that are intense but short-lived. You fall in love quickly, believing that each new person you fall in love with will be the one to make you feel whole, however you end up quickly disappointed. Your relationships either seem perfect or completely horrible with absolutely nothing in between. People around you often become emotionally confused from your rapid mood swings.
  • Unclear or unstable self-image: People with BPD often have an unstable sense of yourself. Sometimes you feel good about yourself, but sometimes you completely hate yourself or even can view yourself as evil. You don’t have a clear idea of who you are or who you want to be or what you want in life. As a result of this you may frequently change your jobs, friends, lovers, values, goals or even sexual identity.
  • Impulsive, self-destructive behaviours: People with BPD may engage in harmful or sensation-seeking behaviours, especially when upset. You may impulsively spend money you can’t afford, binge eat, drive recklessly, shoplift, engage in risky sex or overdo it with drugs or alcohol. The risky behaviours may seem like they’re going to help you feel better in that moment, but they hurt those around you over the long-term.
  • Self-harm: Suicidal behaviour and deliberate self-harm is common in people with BPD. Suicidal behaviour included thinking about suicide, making suicidal gestures or threats or actually carrying out a suicide attempt. Self-harm includes all other attempts to hurt yourself without suicidal intent. 
  • Extreme emotional swings: People with BPD commonly suffer with unstable emotions and moods. One moment you feel happy and the next you’re angry or upset. Little things that other people can easily brush off send you in to an emotional tailspin. These mood swings can often be very intense however they tend to pass fairly quickly, usually lasting just a few minutes or hours rather than long term like depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness: People with BPD often feel empty as if there is a hole or void inside of them. With extreme cases you may feel as if you’re ‘nothing’ or a ‘nobody’. This feeling is uncomfortable and people with BPD often try to fill this hole with things like drugs, food, alcohol or sex but nothing feels truly satisfying.
  • Explosive anger: People with BPD may struggle with intense anger and short temper. You may so have trouble controlling yourself once the fuse is lit. You may yell, throw things or become completely consumed by rage. It is important to note that this anger is not always directed outwards, you may spend a lot of time being angry at yourself.
  • Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality: People with BPD often struggle with paranoia or suspicious thought about others’ motives. When under stress, you may even lose touch with reality – an experience known as dissociation. You may feel foggy, spaced out or as if you’re outside of your own body.

Something to bare in mind is that Borderline Personality Disorder is very rarely diagnosed on its own, it is often associated with depression, anxiety bipolar, substance abuse and eating disorders, however saying that it can still be diagnosed on its own, it is just very rare to do so.

Now onto the causes, how does Borderline Personality Disorder occur? 

There are many complex things happening in the BPD brain and researchers are still trying to untangle what it all means. But in essence, if you have BPD your brain is on high alert, things feel more scary and stressful to you than they do to other people. Your switch is easily tripped and once it’s on it hijacks your rational brain and makes you act in ways that aren’t always appropriate to the situation at hand. It may sound as if there is nothing you can do, after all what can you do if your brain is different? But you can in fact change your brain but training yourself with new coping mechanisms and self-soothing techniques. With time and dedication, you can change the way you think, feel and act.

Because personality is connected to identity, the term ‘personality disorder’ might leave you feeling like there’s something fundamentally wrong with who you are, but a personality disorder is not a character judgement. In clinical terms a personality disorder means that your pattern of relating to the world is significantly different to ‘the norm’. In other words, you don’t act in ways that people would expect and this causes consistent problems for you in many areas of your life, such as relationships, career and feelings about yourself and others.

Now onto three self-help tips.

  • Calming the emotional storm: You need to stop trying to fight, avoid, suppress or deny what you’re feeling, give yourself permission to feel the way you feel, no matter what those feelings are. Just experience your feelings without judgement or criticism. Let go of the past and the future and focus on the present moment. 
  • Reduce your emotional vunerability: You are more likely to experience negative emotions when you’re run down and under stress. That’s why it is important to take care of your mental well-being. You can take care of yourself by avoiding mood-altering drugs, eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, minimising stress and practising relaxation techniques.
  • Learn to control impulsive and tolerate distress: When you feel overwhelmed by difficult feelings, borderline personality disorder means you’re so desperate for relief that you’ll do anything for relief including things you know you shouldn’t be doing such as cutting, reckless sex, dangerous driving and binge drinking. It is important to recognise that these impulsive behaviours serve a purpose, they are coping mechanisms for dealing with distress, they make you feel better even if it’s just for a brief moment. Regaining control of this starts by learning to tolerate distress. It is key to change the destructive patterns. A key way to doing this is finding a quiet spot and sitting in a comfortable position, concentrating on your breathing, taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in slowly, pause and count to three then slowly breath out and continue doing this for several minutesYou could also watch something on TV that you enjoy, throw yourself into work, calling a friend for a chat, exercise or do something you enjoy that keeps you busy.

Next, onto diagnosis and treatment. It is very important to remember that you cannot diagnose borderline personality disorder on your own. So if you think you or a loved one may be suffering, it’s best to seek professional help at some point. BPD is often confusing or overlaps with other conditions so you need a mental health professional to evaluate you and make an accurate diagnosis. 

The support and guidance of a qualified therapist makes a huge difference in BPD treatment and recovery. Therapy has the potential to be a safe space where you can work your way through your relationship an trust issues and try new coping techniques. You should feel safe with your therapist and feel as though you can trust them to help you and guide you through, someone who makes you feel accepted and understood. You must make a commitment to therapy, attend your sessions and work hard with the therapist.

I did a lot of reading and research into BPD when I was diagnosed because I had no idea what it was or how I had got it, but once I did the research I started to realise that it was not my fault, it’s just a part of my life and brain. I worked hard learning coping mechanisms and techniques to deal with things better than I used to and overall I am a lot happier now than I ever was. With the help of my parents and my boyfriend I am finally in a good place and a happy place. 

One thing I would say if you think you could be suffering from BPD or if you know someone who could be, it is definitely push it with the doctor for a proper diagnoses. For 18 months I was put on anxiety medication and anti depressants in England with my regular doctor and therapists and it was only when I went to Canada and seen a doctor and psychiatrist out there that I was actually given a solid diagnoses and told I no longer should be taking the anti depressants or anxiety medication because it wasn’t needed and wasn’t helping me. I think the NHS is very special in our country, but sometimes the diagnoses with mental illness isn’t always accurate. In my case the doctor just threw tablets at me and assumed they would make me better and I have heard a lot of similar stories, so definitely push for a proper diagnoses if you think you have BPD, push for a session with a psychiatrist or therapist and don’t give up until you receive the help you actually need and not just tablets.

I, for one, am so grateful to the psychiatrist out in Canada for helping me to finally get a diagnoses to be able to work on because in the past 6 months or so I’ve worked on it all and I am now a million times better than I ever was. 

Another thing I would say is if you know someone suffering with BPD support them and help them through because it is honestly such a horrible place when you have something wrong with you but you don’t know why or what or how and everything just spins around in your head. I am fortunate enough to have a really strong support network around me, my parents, my best friends and my boyfriend have all supported me, listened to me and understood me, they’ve helped me through and I am honestly so grateful to each and every one of them for everything they’ve done for me.

Mental illness is something I am passionate about talking about and spreading awareness because so many people suffer in silence and are too scared to speak out in case they are judged and that shouldn’t be the case. Speak out, get help and don’t be scared to admit something isn’t right. Today’s post is something very close to my heart and I hope you have all at least learnt something from it.

Thank you for reading!

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Disclaimer: All information and facts were read and reworded from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-disorders/borderline-personality-disorder.htm