The Lucy Eperience

The Lucy Eperience

Saturday, 22 February 2014

CBT #3

So on Wednesday I had had a very long day, up early to prepare for my first university interview of 2014 (which was fantastic) and soon after was my third CBT session!

In this session we went over the positive and negatives of the week:

       - I had a great interview
       - I went to a brilliant party
       - I fit into my size 14 pencil skirt!

      - Missed my personal best at running
      - My chest infection is making me miserable
      - I've put on a pound this week
      - I'm not losing my weight quick enough
      - I've overly stressed myself about university and had multiple urges of self harm.

So the week was a long week, not always good, not always bad, but then I had to talk about my homework. My therapist (as I am a new patient) needs to understand what things trigger me, and I had to fill in a sheet of what triggers me and what memories it brings back and how much it affects me on a scale of 1-10.

This was difficult, because even talking about certain things upsets me, so this took up most of the session, but for the last 20 minutes we spoke about ways to help ease my urges whilst out in public and we are working on 'relaxing my brain' so I don't over think before I go to sleep. One technique which has worked well the past two days is my deep breathing, where I focus on relaxing each muscle in my body individual in between deep breaths. I found that this has calmed me down when I felt stressed or I was getting triggered and has even helped me to cope out in public without it being obvious what I am doing (unlike pinching my arms). And over all the session felt great, especially after the wonderful interview I had!

I then had an interview on Friday at another university and I felt so supported that I feel as though that university may become my first choice, which is great as they are offering me a free therapist and counsellor for when I go there!

Today (Saturday) we set off at quarter to eight in the morning to go up to Lyme park, for their first ever park run held there! It was long, cold and felt like it was constantly up hill but it also felt rejuvenating, I feel fully relaxed and very good even though I probably have an extremely long time! But the views were fantastic and the marshals and back runners were completely amazing!

Next week will be my third interview and I have another in March, so I'm waiting on the response of one more, but compared to last year I feel as though I have done extremely well and I am so proud of myself.

I'm proud of what I've achieved, how I've coped, how many people I have helped and how much I have over come. And I can only do better!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

In my absence...

So, I know I've not really posted apart from my short Vlog (which got some great feedback). I've caught a nasty chest infection, leaving me quite down and feeling rubbish, but once my chest is cleared I will do another Vlog, and a longer one at that!

I'm trying to recover for tomorrow as it is my first University interview and I don't want to sound like an annoyed old man whilst telling them why I deserve a place there! But another thing is, because of this chest infection, I can't run, and I can't train even though I have a race in less than 3 weeks! So panic has set in and I'm worried about my 10k, I'm also worried that my chest will not have cleared up even more by tomorrow!

In other news... I got into my very cute/retro size 14 pencil skirt for the running clubs party and I looked fabulous! Apparently, according to the lovely girls at the running club, I looked very 1950-ish!  And I even wore The Lucy Experience colours! I had my pink hair, lips and blouse! I will post some pictures below!

I have my third session of CBT just after my university interview so depending on how I think I did on that day will affect how my CBT session goes! I will be posting afterwards and to tell you all about how I think I did!

Last week my CBT session was a mix of still getting to know me and my triggers and also helping with my sleep and self-harm urges.

It was also a session on how I feel about myself, we spoke about how I feel about my weight, if that triggers me, and yes it does, I am so used to still being petite and slender with just slight curves that when I look at my body now all I can think is that I'm disgusting. Not only that but when I first started slimming world at 15 I lost my weight so quickly and I felt great, and now it is just not coming off quick enough. I want to feel great about myself, but it is so hard to when all you see is the negatives, and it affects me on a daily basis!

I will be working with my therapist to help me and also re-listening to all my hypnotherapy tapes to help my weight loss and management!

Wish me luck for my interview tomorrow and I will post after it!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Vlog #1

So I have done a Vlog! I will be creating them from time to time to make a change from just writing and you can hear the child-like voice behind this blog!

Please share, comment and like this on facebook, twitter and youtube!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

The Lucy experience Vlog #1

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Lucy is on a little rant...

This week has been very full, so I apologise for not posting like I normally would.

First thing I have to tell everyone is that I have been offered three interviews for three great universities to study mental health nursing! And I am over the moon!

Secondly I have had a written interview with a fantastic photographer called Jay, who so kindly published me on his blog! This interview was so fantastic and I am so glad he chose me to write the first piece! Feel free to take a look and share the interview and his brilliant blog! He too is working hard to break the stigma around mental health.

Thirdly I have had a massive clear up of my twitter, I have been quite disgusted by some of the content of my followers. As I follow a lot of people, and a lot of people follow me, I looked on the news feed and people who have dedicated their twitter to mental health have been posting pictures of themselves self harming, which (coming from a self harmer) I find is truly vile. Fair enough, to self harm is a coping mechanism... but to post it online is attention seeking and can trigger all your followers, it puts temptation in their way and just creates more of a stigma.

I find self harm is a very lonely and personal thing, I never wanted anyone to see my cuts and scars, I wore thick long sleeved hoodies all through the summer and winter until they healed further. In no way would I post something like that online, nor would I want to promote that to others. I know that if I see a picture of self harm I get serious urges and I would not want my followers who suffer as well to see that, because that doesn't help anyone. Especially with captions saying 'God I feel better' and 'that has made everything okay'. So I have spent a few hours and removed all of them. Because it doesn't help me, or anyone else. In fact, it is rather selfish.

Not a single one of my pictures, of my self or other pictures that I post would show my scars, my scars are my own personal demons, I keep them to myself, because others do not need to see them. It isn't for them to judge or stare, they stay there on my wrist, and they remind me that I have faught for so long, and I can keep on fighting. They remind me of my weakest point and keep my from going back there. And in my mind, my scars are a big part of me, and it isn't anyone elses place to see them.

But finally, moving away from that small rant, I am extremely close to my first one stone marker! It is so close I can smell the certificate and sticker! My running has massively improved, so much so that on park run people were telling me I was running fantastically well and had settled immediately into the perfect pace for myself! I still want my three stone by May, and I want my target by December, so hopefully if I keep it up I can get my goals! Plus I am now doing a half marathon! So please keep sponsoring and check out my twitter and facebook!

Check out Jay's link and remember to like and share!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Thursday, 6 February 2014

CBT #1

So Wednesday the 5th of February was my first session of CBT with my brand new therapist/counsellor!

There wasn't too much going on in this session, but compared to my previous experience with CBT it seemed a lot different and a lot easier and nicer!

The first session was to get to know me, about my past, why I was referred and what I would like to work on. For me, talking in person about my experience is difficult, talking face to face with a person who I've only ever spoken over the phone to was even harder. The average session lasts 50 minutes, mine lasted over an hour so we could talk everything out.

I told him about my past, the abuse, the loss of the ex family, my self harm and suicide attempts, I told him about my urges, about my mood just getting lower, how I feel as though I'm struggling again.

We spoke about my urges of self harm (including binge eating then refusing to eat) and how I control them, which for me is pinching my skin or tapping my collar bone when I become uncomfortable in public.

Most of the session was talking whilst filling out contracts but somehow I managed to keep myself together, I didn't cry, I kept talking and I was made to feel extremely comfortable during the sessions.

I thought I did extremely well, I came out quite 'wobbly' and down, but better than when I went in, and it took three hours for the session to sink in and I just completely broke down, I couldn't hold back tears and I just couldn't smile.

Hopefully next week will do me even better, but I don't think I have ever had a counselling or therapy session without becoming upset.

I will be having 8 sessions to begin with every week, and before the eight are up we will discuss if I need more.

I know each week with benefit me in different ways and it is giving me someone to talk to about how I feel, we will also be working on controlling my urges of self harm and also on my nightmares.

But in the mean time I will be drawing to help sort out my thoughts, which I will upload!

So keep reading and keep sharing!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Put your label maker away!

I get very frustrated at myself for having a mental illness, and I know I shouldn't. But it is not like having a physical illness, it Isn't as though I'm in a wheelchair, or missing a limb. It Isn't as though I've been given a short amount of time to live or I have to make massive changes to my life and home just to get about.

The only thing I have to show is my scars on my body and a note on my GP's folder saying 'severe depressive, severe allergy to latex'.

If I walked up to people I know, say in college, and told them I've just been diagnosed with cancer there would be shock around the room, they'd be upset, feel sorry for me, but as I've told people about being diagnosed with a mental illness, their reaction is so different. I've been stared at like I'm contagious, I've lost friends, I've been told to 'get over it' that it isn't a 'big thing' and to 'deal with it'...

If I walked up to someone who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, and they were completely shattered by it and I casually said 'get over it' there would be an uproar! I would be slandered and hated, yet people are freely aloud to say that to me, and I never saw any of them get in trouble about it.

Obviously not everyone has reacted like that as I have some brilliant friends who have completely understood and know my background. But even so, I've had more people stare at my scars and look at me like I'm crazy than I've had people hug me and tell me that things will get better, and it makes my blood boil.

I think, the people who just can not understand that having a mental illness is a very real diagnosis and affects a persons daily life, they forget we are human, forget we have feelings and that we are going through such a difficult time, and this difficult time, it seems never ending.

When people use names like 'psycho' 'emo' 'crazy' it hurts just that little bit more, and they are horrible labels.

I am not 'psycho'. I get easily frustrated as I struggle to cope with emotions.
I am not 'emo'. I self-harmed to stop me from hurting other people.
I am not 'crazy'. I am a professionally diagnosed severe depressive who has been through nine years of hell.
I am not 'mental illness'. I have a mental illness and my name is Lucy. I have feelings. I am not a label.

The stigma around mental health makes like difficult for people who suffer from it. We are made to feel guilty, as though our illness isn't real. But it is. And the stigma needs to stop.

When I promote my blog, I do it to help people, people who feel alone, who are constantly surrounded by people labelling them, people who still think there is no hope. But there is.

There will always be hope, and there will always be help.

And you will always be loved.

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

Sunday, 2 February 2014

One small step for woman, one GIANT 10k for Lucy!

So my email came through, I am on the Trafford 10k run! And I'm fundraising for Mind, the charity! On this day I will be running just over six miles promoting the 'stop the stigma' campaign! I will be running for myself, for my friends who have mental health problems, and all my readers who also have mental health problems!

This will be my first race, and a big one for me! This has got me extremely excited and I will be pushing myself to train and do the race! The training should hopefully boost my weightloss and I will be posting pictures of the race!

The link below is to the 'Justgiving' page where you can donate money for the race, your money will go to support Mind to help with their fantastic cause and to carry on helping people in need!

There are so many people in this world that still need support, I'm lucky I got my support when I did, but other people are still searching for support, still truly in need of it! So by funding and promoting people may be able to find the help they need!

In June I will turn 19, It will be nine years since the abuse started (roughly) and also three years since the abuse ended and I was diagnosed. This is scary for me, I've suffered nearly a decade of misery, of constant reminders and triggers and it is starting to play with my mind.

I've noticed recently that my thoughts keep slipping back to things that I don't want to think about, and urges of self-harm are starting up. I know I have enough self-control not to cut myself or starve myself or binge on food, but it doesn't stop the urges being there. Luckily on Wednesday I start my counselling sessions so I can have some professional advice on what I can do to help my urges and to keep my control. I will also be talking about tips for my sleeping as recently I've been getting as much sleep as I did in the first six months of my diagnosis. This is between 2-4 hours a night which is not helping my urges one bit.

On wednesday I will update the blog and hopefully be posting lots of useful information on urges, self harm, how to tell if someone you love is self harming and also more tips on insomnia!

But for now, I will leave you on a positive note that I have a new Personal best on my running at Park run, with three minutes off my last time and I am now running at 41 minutes for the 5k track! Hopefully next saturday I could be sub-40!

Lots of love,
Luce xxx

                                                                My Park run PB!

                                             My favourite picture of me and mum for the week