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Hiya! Sorry it's been a while.  :waves: 3am seemed like the perfect time to pop in. ::)

Things are progressing somewhat and in a rather positive way. I know I've still got a way to go, but a few good things have happened recently and I thought I'd share them. :)

- I have accepted an unconditional offer from a local university to study a BSc(Hons) in Public and Environmental Health. I'm off to study in September and, though I'm somewhat apprehensive, I'm also rather looking forward to it. I applied some time ago, but was almost certain that I would not get a place on the course. This just shows that my thoughts/feelings are not always facts/reality, even though that feel like they are at the time. Work have said I can keep my hours (my uni hours will be two full days) so financially I'll be OK.

- I have started my second round of DBT. I completed my first round at the end of 2020 and the second round started this week. I was in a lot of turmoil over whether or not to continue with therapy, for a whole variety of reasons, but in the end the decision was taken out of my hands and the MH team told me I shouldn't have been given a choice - 2 rounds was what was happening. ::) I've already started taking the repeat more seriously than the first time I did the modules; I've started making notes on worksheets and I've looked for and printed some of my own materials, rather than just shoving what I've been sent into the (very unorganised) folder as soon as the session was over. I now have 6 folders - one for each module (2 lots of 3 modules).

- I have lost half of my body weight. It sounds a lot, but I was morbidly obese and now I am not. I've still got a way to go in that regard (I'm still overweight according to medics), but I'm so much healthier now, especially as I also do a lot of physical activity. I walk, do workouts on my TV (from a subscription service with some equipment I have), swim in the sea and cycle (not always using the battery   ::P:). Weight is far from everything, but I was lugging round an awful lot and it made everything so much harder. Things are tough anyway when emotional dyregulation is a challenge you face, but not being able to tie my shoelaces without getting out of breath did not help the situation. I have found that eercise has been really beneficial to my mental health. It certainly doesn't solve everything, but it does give me another outlet and I tend to want to look after my body more when it feels stronger, which reduces the urges to self-harm.

- I may have met a boy. ::) It's really early days and meeting is not a thing right now, but we've been chatting via message and video chat and it's pleasant. He's funny and kind and clever and it might not go anywhere at all, but I'm enjoying it for what it is and will see what happens. It's a nice place to be.

- I have improved some of the relationships that I've got with various people. My sister is having a baby so I'm going to be an Auntie. :) I've been keeping my flat tidy and haven't lived with flies since I moved in 4.5 years ago. Alec the cat is still wonderful.  :chococat_h4h:

Things are still very fragile and I still have to be very careful with regards to emotions and triggers and balance, but I'm slowly becoming more aware of myself and how to manage things more effectively. I hope not to have another episode of being self-destructive, but that is not necessarily completely realistic - so I will take it day by day, use the skills I am learning to the best of my ability and if I slip, I will try not to make it too horrific and then pick myself up and try again. Aim for the best possible outcome, but plan for mistakes - just in case, to make the transition back to OK possible and more smooth. Or that's the idea.

I think about you all often.  :hug1:

Well done, that is great to hear. I am happy for you.

Thank you, Tucan.

Things are still up and down, you know? But there's a general upward trend when it comes to mood and coping mechanisms and things. Last year was the most dangerous year I've ever been through with regards to self-harming behaviours, so if I don't want to be dead by my own hand, I really need to try my hardest to work on my 'stuff.' There's the possibility that I may need further therapy after I have completed DBT in order to address some trauma I've been through, which could be delivered either through a local issue-specific charity or the cmht depending on what's going on towards the end of 2021. I'm already apprehensive about what it could bring up, but I'm more confident about having the skills to manage whatever that involves in a safe way than I've ever been.

You sound loads better than you were which is fab to hear!  :hug2:

Well done on getting to uni, you'll do great and working at the same time is incredible.

Congratulations on the weight loss too, that's incredibly difficult. I'm medically overweight too so I know that it takes such a long time to lose weight that it's hard to stay motivated if you have a lot to lose. Well done!

You're brave to go for another round of DBT, it's incredibly hard to do eh? I've just started DBT and I'm already on the verge of chickening out!

Just an idea but it could be worth contacting the issue specific counseling services, I'll bet that loads of people have concerns about it and don't forget that even the volunteers will be trained so they will know not to push things too far. Maybe consider how long the waiting list is and, if it's easier for you, ask if they do counseling over zoom or Skype. It just find it reassuring to know what my options are and to get an idea of what I can expect. Could that be helpful?

Thank you, Vermilion. :) :hug2:

I'm really pleased that I lost the weight. Not only has it made doing things easier, but it's also meant my BMI is low enough for me to be able to train to be a vaccinator for the covid vaccination programme. It has to be below a certain number because of the increased risk of severe disease if you catch covid and it's above it. I would not have been eligible this time last year, so I'm feeling really glad that I did/am doing it.

DBT is really, really hard. Well done for starting! I was in such a mess before I started the first time and found it almost impossible, but I'm so glad that I stuck with it. :) You've got this too. :hug2:

I'm already on the waiting list for the issue-specific therapy. I was put on the list after an assessment at the end of last year and the waiting list is about 12 months long. I am not sure that it's something I want to/will want to do, but they said that it was worth putting my name on the list for 1:1 stuff as the list is so long and I can still change my mind when I get to the top. Everything they're doing is online at the moment, so I'd guess that facility would be available even if things are a little bit more 'normal' by the end of 2021. They've got a helpline that I've rang a few times and the women at the end of the phone are always really lovely.

I spoke to my social worker earlier today and she said that it seems as though I've made a lot of progress. She said that I wouldn't have ever applied to go to university because my confidence was so low. She said that the way I talk about myself and how I talk about therapy is very different these days, and that she has faith that I can have a bright future where I live my life. It's weird, isn't it? I've spent so long trying to destroy myself (quite literally at times) because of thoughts I've had about myself that I'm starting to accept might not have been quite right. What utter chaos faulty thinking has caused. ::)

I'm doing alright.


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