Wednesday 9 December 2015

Climbing the Mental Health Mountain - 3 Years on

I recently opened up about the fact that it had been 3 years since I had my nervous breakdown and with that what I was feeling and experiencing at the time.
Today marks 2 things, each that I wanted to discuss here.

Today, 3 years ago, I was released from being sectioned and had to restart my life.
It showed me that some of the stronger character traits that I had were still inside me and with that I had inner strength within a slightly scared and battered body; something I think many people can relate to in one way or another.

At that time the Doctor’s rationalised a lot and promoted my inner strength; something I mentioned in the previous post.
However, they treated me initially and put me into the world with a care support team.

As a lot of you know, getting that therapy support was hit with difficulties:
I was at that point an alcoholic and subsequently I failed the ‘alcohol test’ that permitted me to be treated by a psychology team. Having D.P.D and having a substance dependency meant that I would not, at that time, be suitable for treatment as it would be counterproductive. Failing that meant I had to wait for 2 years before I could reapply for secondary therapy.

Alternative therapy was sought through counselling, however, because a larger part of my MH was associated with a personality disorder I was deemed unsuitable for that service with the reasoning being that a 6 – 12 week therapy wouldn’t actually resolve the deeper issues. On being denied counselling I had to wait 6 months before applying again.
Those 2 years I worked hard at maintaining my Mental Health; starting with the drinking and subsequently I was 2 years sober January this year.

(Not an easy task for anyone, especially someone with D.P.D)
I attended self-help groups for self-esteem and loneliness, I lowered social aspects of my life to limit the possibilities for interpersonal triggers and every 6 months I applied to three different local counselling services; with no new outcome.

I did these things through hard work, strength and many tears. I did it myself and more importantly for my Boys
This was done for myself and my children but there was an added goal; if I was sober, if I could survive and if I could get to the 2 year mark then I could reapply and get the help that I deserve and no longer continue this fight alone.

Coming to terms with my Mental Health and with that finding ways to deal with it was a massive battle.
I had to delve into aspects of me that I found uncomfortable and with that find ways to cope with triggers, emotions, stress and dependencies that I didn’t really realise that I had.

I was scared, fragile and worried that I wouldn’t be able to cope and eventually shipped back.
Up until this year, and on this blog with you lovely readers, I was hit with the stigma of Mental Health. I never truly realised that there was such a taboo about it; even more so for men. I tried to talk about it and debunk the myth but I had other and more important battles to deal with.

I expected to come back and be greeted with family and friends that would support me but instead met with hostility, misunderstanding and rejection.
One close family member even said, at Christmas of all times, “I will never forgive you for all the problems you have caused. You are nothing but a drama queen, finding excuses for your poor pathetic behaviour”

I haven’t spoken to that family member since. This example happened across a lot of relationships where people just didn’t understand.
These last 3 years have been a massive climb for me; this year especially since I tried to come out and embrace some of my triggers and build social and interpersonal relationships.

I am pleased to say though that this brings me to my second point.
Today I am meeting with a Psychologist and having my first appointment and treatment!

This has come as such a relief that I can turn to professionals for support and guidance and take some of the pressure off of myself. This could be the start of me finally stepping forward to being healed.
This also terrifies me too.

I know so much of me, over the next few years, will be discussed and uncovered and it worries me that this will be an emotional and difficult next chapter.
The thing is with all of this, coming at the same time of year and on the same day, that I have been reminded that the healing process started 3 years ago; not now.

I am strong; strong enough to survive the breakdown and on top of that to take this journey to now, by myself, for as long as I have. I shouldn’t have anything to worry about then; I have done these 3 years of the climb, I am sure I can do the next.

One thing I do know is this: I might not be at the top but I am still climbing up!
Super Busy Mum
A Cornish Mum


Lucy Howard said...

Oh Martyn, I just want to give you the most massive hug. You are such a strong person. I think you are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. To do all that without any help is amazing. It angers me that so many people that really need support are not given it or have to fight for it. But I am so pleased that you are now getting the help you deserve. You are amazing and such a strong man. You will manage this climb and reach the summit. And the view will be worth the slog the get there. Hugs Mrs H xxxx,

Unknown said...

Some folk lack empathy and will never understand the troubles of others, I'm glad you moved past their criticism and kept moving forward - you are a beacon to everyone struggling

jeremy@thirstydaddy said...

Good for you Martyn. Two years seems an excessive amount of time to make somebody wait to reapply, but good for you for hanging in there and taking care of yourself in the meantime

Debs @ Super Busy Mum said...

I applaud you. I truly do. Good for you man, and just keep going forward yeah! Best way to head in my opinion! Thanks so much for linking up! #MMWBH

Martyn Kitney said...

Thank you Mrs H. I'm not sure. Some days I feel it and some days I don't. But I guess that it's meant to be like that. I agree. The system is flawed and more people do need help. I hope you're right. One day maybe.

Martyn Kitney said...

Thanks Maz. It's really appreciated :)

Martyn Kitney said...

Thanks Jeremy. It is excessive but a lot of that was my own doing. But it's worth the fight to get me back together.

Martyn Kitney said...

Thanks Debs.i appreciate it. Only way to move is forwards.

Sanna P said...

So sorry to hear this - it angers me when people that need help can't get it! There is a massive void of appropriate mental health support across the country, not enough to go around... You gave done so well pushing through with little support, that is amazing!

mummyandmonkeys said...

That's so bad that you have had to wait so long for support and help. Amazing that you have made it two years sober and I hope that the support you now have in place will continue to improve things for you. Thanks for linking to #PicknMix

Stevie - A Cornish Mum said...

I'm pretty sure I told you to stop giving me watery eyes with your posts Mr K! You have come so far and shown strength that I still don't think you realise you have. Almost 3 years sober now, that is really something to be proud of and I am so glad you finally had your first appt/session. Can almost forgive you for making me say nice things again ;)

Stevie x

Martyn Kitney said...

Thank you! It's been a long journey but worth it. There is definitely a void tat needs addressing!

Martyn Kitney said...

Thank you! Been a hard climb but it's worth it in the long run!

Martyn Kitney said...

Sorry! Really need a warning for it! You're right that I dint know what strength I have. But it's easier to see when you're not in it. Haha it must be tough to say nice things but thank you ;)

Anonymous said...

Keep climbing you've come so far in such a short amount of time! I'm currently helping my brother in an almost identical situation having been sectioned a few years ago and being dependant on alchohol and drugs he's now trying harder to quit everything and I'm going to support him as much as I can. Keep climbing you've come so far I'm sure you can go even further :)

Martyn Kitney said...

Thanks! It is a tough battle by yourself. Your brother is lucky to have you. Together I'm sure you can do it

Unknown said...

Good for you and for everything YOU have achieved through determination, capability and strength. You should be very proud of yourself!

Unknown said...

It makes me incredibly sad and angry that there is still such a battle to get support for mental health issues. It takes huge resilience to keep fighting your corner, especially with the ever changing goal posts of the mental health service. It sounds as if you have achieved so much already. As for those who don't take time to understand - take comfort from the fact you have way more self awareness and compassion than those who judge you ever will.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked that you had to wait so long, but good on you for getting to this point and for sharing this story with the world! Keep going strong, never give up on fighting for you and your beautiful boys. We have to fight for ourselves, mental illness is tough, and yes unfortunately still comes with a lot of stigma. My father suffered anxiety and depression 5 years ago and was hospitalised he is doing so well now, only on a small amount of medication and coping with what life throws his way. I also suffer anxiety and have received help. We have our beautiful children to be strong for and we have ourselves to be strong for too! Keep fighting! You have so much to be proud of

Linda Hobbis said...

That's a ridiculous wait you had to go through. So pleased you are fighting and doing well. We have depression in our family too. It really helps for others to read this.