A step forward…

So, after getting upset about the whole last post situation, I’ve now got my phone back!

So, here’s 2 pictures of me, when I was really ill. No makeup and not a single edit on them. Just harsh artificial lighting. This is my biggest fear when it comes to putting pictures on… but, scrolling through my pictures I came across them.
But, of course, good old body dysmorphia decided to show its face. Then, I looked closely at the pictures and said, “err what a disgusting ugly mess, “my skin is terrible”, “my teeth are awful “I can’t post them”. “I’m a catfish” and “no one deserves to have to see my mess of a face on their newsfeed”.

However, the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing pretty well so I decided to post this because it is a BIG thing for me to do. Yes, it brings me to tears looking at the rank, awful pictures but, if it’s the right step to help my recovery, I guess I’ll try everything!

Malise xx

*potential trigger warning!

So… I would’ve never dreamed of putting this out there, as this is a part of my life that I’ve never wanted to share every single detail about and because people shouldn’t have to see this.
It’s bad enough I’ll always remember, even more so because I’ve got scars all over my body that will be with me forever. But, I feel like I have to be open and honest about everything to get better. So, I guess it doesn’t matter if I share it.

The pictures below are literally my life since August last year. I wake up in the morning, glance through the mirror and instantly see something ugly, horrible and disgusting staring back.
That then means self-punishment which in my case, is self-harm.
Bruising, burning, overdoses, cutting, restricting diet and fluids, punching walls and elbowing walls.

This is why I’m on a PICU (psychiatric intensive care unit) it’s the only place I can be kept relatively safe. It’s probably why I’ve been on the PICU for so long…

Tough times ahead!

So, the last few weeks have been challenging and probably my biggest test yet!

My skin has started to play up… I literally look through the mirror in a morning and have to hold the tears back. That’s as I constantly tell myself I’m a disgusting ugly mess.

When I feel like that, I just want to isolate myself from others, not talk or see anyone, and basically hide myself away because no one deserves to see my ugly, disgusting, mess of a face.

It’s also so hard for me to get people to understand, even my psychiatrist doesn’t really understand fully. But, I’ll never knock him because he’s trying his best with me.

Today has been the worst day for me mentally and emotionally. My skin has made me feel absolutely crap. I’ve had so many strong urges today because I’ve felt like I have to punish myself for how disgusting my face is.

But… this morning although I felt how I did, I still managed to get up, wash my face, brush my teeth, get dressed and do my hair. Then I actually left my room, last month none of that would’ve happened.

Malise xx

What’s happening…

The urge to hurt myself has been strong recently and it’s hard for me to explain why because others may think it’s stupid but to me, it’s my reality. It’s what I have to live with, and what I have lived with for years.

Imagine your life being based around how you look and how you feel about yourself… Well for me it’s a constant battle. I mean, if I get one spot or one blemish I feel disgusting, ugly and repulsive and like I deserve to be punished for it. So, that’s when I end up repeatedly self harming.

I don’t know what’s really happening lately but, I have been struggling more. Mainly due to how I see myself and my skin when I see my reflection through the mirror. Some days I find more manageable than others but, I think overall I might actually be handling things a little better however, i’m still a long way off.

Today, I also found out my bed management have put in for a body dysmorphia specialist unit. Which has been the goal since November last year. I’m still on the PICU at the minute because it’s the only place I can be kept relatively safe, and also because it’s a bit of a waiting game to hear from the specialist unit.

Not knowing what’s going to happen or where I’m going to end up fills me with anxiety, especially around Christmas time but, I’ve just got to learn to not worry and take things day by day.

Malise xx

The reality of BDD…

I wake up every day panicking and worrying about my appearance. I head straight for the mirrors to see if I have any flaws like marks, spots, scars, asymmetrical face and horrible teeth. I end up spending about 8 hours of my day fixating on my face.

I’ve hidden away from the whole world for 6-7 years because I feel like such an ugly, disgusting mess and I don’t want anyone to see me like that… Also, people should not have to see someone as repulsive as me.

Body dysmorphia has affected my life for years but, it was only last year I was properly diagnosed…

I look back and I can now see that I was struggling with it bad when I was in school. I would wear a full face of makeup as well as double-stacked false eyelashes. Then, I wouldn’t let anyone at all see me without it.

Do you know what, I’ve never once been in a relationship because of how badly I see myself. I don’t think anyone will ever want me like I am. I’m just an ugly, disgusting, horrible mess.

I’ve always wondered how, and what I could do to put an end to it all but, then I think of my protective factors, which are my family!

Being 100% honest with you all here like but, if I didn’t have my family showing their love and support, I wouldn’t be here today!

As you all know I’m still in hospital, I have been since November last year but, since moving to a PICU in Darlington I’ve come on leaps and bounds. I mean, I still have incidents but, they have decreased dramatically. I’m actually talking to the staff when I’m struggling and even breaking down and crying on them. So, it’s a huge thing for me as I normally bottle everything up until it gets too much.

I’ll try not to let body dysmorphia define who I am. I will try my best to hold on to the tiniest little bit of hope I’ve got left to get my life back. It’s going to be a long hard process with many tests and tears but, it’s time to make a change now because I don’t have the strength to keep going around in the same vicious cycle.

Malise xx

Stuck…

I feel stuck, like I’m in a place where I’m a little better but, I just don’t see things getting any better…

Although I’ve come a long way, I still don’t see a future for myself and I do worry about it and even if there is one for me?

I’ve missed so many things that people my age have done because of my mental illness and it started when I was 14-15. So, the important teenage years in high school weren’t great for me.

I’m very self-destructive… I’ve never let myself get into relationships or even form close friendships because of how I see myself, I just always think that I’m disgusting and no one would ever want to be with me or even associate with me. I know I’ll never be good enough for anyone. I’m also talking about friends and family too. How can I possibly feel the way I do and have a happy future with family and friends when I don’t even know what’s going to happen myself…

Malise xx

A Blip???

I wish this post could be more positive however, I feel like I need to share the negatives in order to be my true self.

So, as you all know I was doing pretty well, I went a month, ONE WHOLE MONTH incident free! I thought that was it, I was finally getting better, that was until I woke up with bad skin…

I know it sounds stupid to everyone else but, to me and maybe someone else with body dysmorphia it’s literally the end of the world. I started smashing my elbow off brick walls because l felt like I deserved to be punished for looking like a disgusting ugly mess. I ended up having to go to plastics in Durham and I’m on antibiotics, yet again for the infection.

I was meant to be going to the hairdressers on Tuesday 26th October seen as though I’ve worked so hard for it but, because of how shit I felt about myself and having an incident, I had to cancel it.

I know everyone has blips but, it’s just really knocked me for six, everyone was proud of me and I feel like I’ve just let everyone down, including myself and now I’ve got to start all over again. At the minute it’s feeling impossible. I find myself crying all the time because I just feel stuck not knowing what to do…

Malise xx

My life in a year… on a psych ward

As of August 2020, I started self-harming because of the way I felt about myself. I started with bruising then I took an overdose (leading to hospitalisation). Then October 2020 I started cutting, covering my body, neck down to ankles front and back. I was doing it 24/7, to the point, I’d only have a break at mealtimes. It was obsessively extreme that my Mum had no choice but to get me sectioned. November 3rd I was sectioned and put on a section 2 and ambulance driven to hospital.

The same day I got admitted to the hospital I still managed to self-harm. I was quiet, nervous and wouldn’t leave my room, nor would I speak to anyone. I had everything taken off me and I just couldn’t cope. So, I ended up restricting diet and fluids and over-exercising. I ended up losing 1 and a half stone in 2 weeks and I was severely malnourished…

I ended up in general hospital on the gastro ward getting tube fed and put on IV fluids for 3 weeks over Christmas and the new year. Which is where I had some of the worse experiences. I got manhandled by the consultant, I started having pseudoseizures, I saw a patient die in front of me and I was getting accused daily of trying to pull my nasal (ng) tube out. The staff would try and barge into the bathroom with me constantly. It made my already bad mental health 1000 times worse… I was in such a bad place I ended up ripping my ng tube and cannula out in front of them. I was then discharged and sent back to the acute ward at the mental health hospital.

I was only on the acute for 3 days, as I was then moved to the intensive care unit (PICU) where I spent about 10 days. After that, I was moved back to the acute ward but, things starting getting bad again pretty quickly. I was managing to self-harm by cutting all my body and I would lay shaking covered in blood but, when staff did hourly bed checks they didn’t see me until 2-3 hours later. I’d feel so guilty when they found me and I would apologise for doing it because they shouldn’t have to see that. However, when I did have incidents I felt the staff would use it against me as they wouldn’t talk to me after, and they would express how disappointed they were in me. That alone would instantly make me feel like pure shit.

In one of my MDT meetings with the psychiatrist, I managed to blag her into giving me unescorted ground leave for 15 minutes, even though I had the intent to hurt myself. So, I ended up getting an uber to pick me up and I went to Leeds and bought razor blades and rocked up back to hospital 5 and half hours later all cut up…

Not long after my trip out, I ended up back on the PICU. Where I spent another 10 days or so. During my time on the PICU, I experienced a lot of verbal sexual abuse by one of the male patients, some of the stuff he said was vile. However, I took it all in my stride and didn’t let it bother me. Not long after I got told I was moving to a different acute ward.

Change is a massive trigger for me as I get anxious about having to meet a whole new bunch of people so, it didn’t go down too well. I started smashing my fist on the wall busting my knuckles open. I refused to go so, I ended up getting restrained and carried by 5-6 people who then took me to the acute ward.

When I got to the acute I was incredibly distressed because I didn’t want to be there. So, when my Mum came I tried to do a runner with her, which got me restrained once again but, this time in front of my Mum. It broke her heart seeing me like that. Later that night I managed to get my hands on a razor blade and I continued…

The next day I was put on level 3 obs which is where someone stays within eyesight of you at all times. I struggled massively with it at first but, I got used to it. That is until they told me I was getting moved to a high-risk all-female PICU in Darlington and I was dreading going to a new place, with more new people, that I managed to get my hands on more razor blades and cut all my arm open.

The next morning I was getting restrained and handcuffed and put into a van but, the staff failed to hand over that I had open wounds on my arm and still let the transport team rag me about. While I was in the van the transport team were disgusted by the state of my arm, and they took pictures because they couldn’t believe the staff at the hospital didn’t hand it over.

When I arrived at the hospital in Darlington, I was warmly greeted by the staff. I was dreading it at first because I didn’t think the staff would understand my disorder and I struggled with all the restrictions for a while but, the staff were all lovely and very understanding!

I started off doing well for the first few days but then things suddenly turned really bad, I smashed my iPhone glass screen protection into pieces using them to cut into the already open wounds on my arm. Which got me restrained and injected to calm me down. From that point on I was getting into incidents constantly I started repeatedly smashing my hand on the walls to the extent of nearly losing my finger. So I was then put on level 4, 2 to 1 which meant I had 2 people at arms length at all times. I was on them obs for a couple of months until my risk subsided. However, I was still getting in incidents even having 18 a day at times.

When I eventually got taken off level 4, I started smashing my elbow on the wall instead which also resulted in me nearly losing my arm. I never believed it though. That brings me to now, I’ve managed just over two weeks incident-free off obs 9-1 in communal areas and I’m getting my hair cut a week on Tuesday. I don’t know what changed but something has and it’s for the better. I’m handling things a lot better. I mean, I have my days but they haven’t resulted in me hurting myself, which is massive because that’s all I knew for nearly a year.

Malise xx

Finally…

So, after nearly a year in hospital and 6 months on the PICU things have only just started looking up for me. I’ve gone from having incidents every single day, to a point of me even having 18 in one day and I can now say I’ve managed to do 2 weeks incident-free. I’m still struggling and I do have my moments but, with staffs’ help and support I’ve managed to deal with the urges without acting on them and hurting myself.

I’ve been on observations since the day I arrived starting on level 3, 1 to 1 then 4 checks in communal then level 4, 2 to 1 then back on level 3, 2 to 1 which I’ve been on ever since but, today they’ve been reduced to 9 until 1, 4 checks in communal areas. I’ve also got leave to go and have my hair cut and I have to be incident-free to go. So, it’s going to be one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced and I’m very anxious to be having a few hours on the ward by myself as there’s time to overthink everything but, I don’t want to mess everything up when I’ve been doing so well. I think I’ll be okay. I guess time will tell…

I’ve also recently had an assessment for a rehab ward on-site and I’ve been accepted. So, that’s where I think I’ll be spending the next year. Things are not going to change overnight but, I’m heading in the right direction. Yes, I’ll have to work hard and engage in therapy but, I think I’m ready!

Malise xx

Cutting contact…

Dear Mum, Dad and Mace

With much thought I have made a decision to cut contact with you all for a month. Please don’t take it to heart, I’m purely doing it just to see how I cope. I’m not doing it with intent to hurt you’s at all. I’ve cried and cried the last couple of days because I do love you all dearly and if anything bad was to happen because of my decision, I know I would never forgive myself. I love all 3 of you so much but, being in the setting I am when I see you it feels strange and like I don’t know any of you anymore. I know you’ll never give up fighting to get me to the body dysmorphia specialist unit, where I need to be and I can’t thank you enough for that alone never mind everything else you do for me.

Malise xx