What Being on a Mental Health Waitlist is Like

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Imagine you have an endless clock ticking in your head, the sound is not only annoying but  terrifying because you don’t know what happens when the clock stops ticking. That’s what it’s like living with a mental illness and no access to the treatment you know you need. That’s what it’s like living in my head at the moment.

I aim to always be honest and open about my mental health because talking about it is the only way were going to leave the stigma behind. I have been lucky enough for the past 3 years to have a wonderful mentor who worked with me weekly in navigating my mental health alongside studying and working. The problem was that she was funded by the Government under Disabled Student Allowance, who have strict rules. The week I handed in all of my coursework they stopped my funding. To them, I didn’t need academic help so I wasn’t their responsibility. It doesn’t matter that graduates face massive change and are under extreme stress. Even though I know I can still count on my mentor, it’s not the same as having her there weekly.

So, after speaking to my doctor, I was informed that there is a 4 – 5 month wait for someone to talk to. Oh and that’s after the one company that provides talking therapy in the whole area bother to call me back. People might not understand why I’m mad why I get so frustrated because I’m ok now, right? I wouldn’t say I’m 100% ok, I am struggling and do regularly. I’m managing as best I can.

I don’t understand, the worst thing for a person with a mental health condition is being left with their demons and no help is a dangerous thing. Those 4 months could mean the difference between life and death for some people. It makes me angry and upset that one person has to deem you ‘sick enough’ to get treatment in a healthy time scale, that there isn’t enough money in our health service, that it’s clear that mental health isn’t taken as seriously as physical health.

I’ve been in the deepest and darkest parts of depression and I’ll be honest, it’s one of the most terrifying things. It scares me knowing how sick I was and that as a teenager. I spoke out, I even told teachers and doctors I was depressed and just how poorly I was, only to have it shrugged off. I’m trying and fighting and working not to get back into that place and to stay on top of this illness. At the same time though, I feel like the doctors are giving up, that they don’t care if I get to the point of darkness, they’ll help then. We need to get rid of this culture of letting people get to their worst before we help because we wouldn’t do that to any other health condition.

We need to get rid of this culture of letting people get to their worst before they help, because we wouldn’t do that to any other health condition.

Waiting pays off! My good news!

Hello to all my lovely followers, to start off with today has been a little bit crazy and fast paced and I’m absolutely shattered as I write this. I’m laying in bed at my Basingstoke home with the stupidest grin on my face. All that I’ve been posting about trying to stay positive and not get too low? Well it’s worked because I’ve had great news today!

I have been missing uni lately, missing the structure, learning, having societies to go to. It’s because even though I wouldn’t have been able to go to class, I would have had something to think about, work on rather than my brain going around and around. Really I needed a new challenge, which I have been setting myself. I’ve settled into writing habits, been packing for the trip to Athens and trying to establish some sort of routine around my back, which is harder than it sounds.

Today marks 5 weeks since my accident and by complete surprise I finally got my back brace! My Physio is an angel, and absolute angel and so are the rest of the team. Thanks to them I’ve had a lot less pain after they thought waiting another 2 weeks for my brace to be fitted would be ridiculous. They’d had training themselves so simply went up, got the brace and got me fitted (took 3 members of the very smiley team). I’d been so nervous about physio but I laughed so much and although it was painful I’m so looking forward to getting better now.

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People do stare when I wear it, at first I didn’t care I was just so happy and felt so much more protected. My nerves got a bit worse walking though town when people stared but for the most part I was just so, so happy that I finally had my brace and I have things to look forward to. Already today was going better than yesterday and most of the day before. Even though it was pouring down outside it was like I just had this little sunshine following me around that let me forget about everything else for a little bit.

I logged onto my laptop with a few things to do between packing and had a lot of free time to kill (or so I thought) until an email flashed up. I saw that it was about the internship position I’d gone for an interview for, I thought I hadn’t got it. Well how wrong was I! I’ve been offered one of my dream internships!! I’m now a Social Media Coordinator! I get to handle our social media, go to events and live tweet, it’s all so exciting! I’m flying with happiness about it all after thinking I wouldn’t get it at all!

So I got down to the office in the pouring rain as quickly as my spine would let me. Everyone was lovely and welcoming. I felt instantly comfortable in the new office and will be issues with my staff email and such when I start after I come back from my trip to Athens! I’m recognised as staff now!

I’ve got so much to look forward to now that I can relax a little about not getting the grade I wanted and buying a bigger pair of shorts, because you know what? Right now I feel pretty damn awesome.

Being very lucky

I’d dropped off the radar for a few days from Twitter, Facebook kind of because I got some shocking news yesterday about my fall. I’d been called back into St Heliers Hospital after my GP got a letter saying that they had gotten something wrong. I spent 7 hours in hospital yesterday with people looking at my spine, checking me, taking my blood pressure, having an MRI scan (which was absolutely horrible) and waiting some more. The result? I’ve gone from being told I have nothing wrong to having three fractured vertebrae, possibly a fourth that they’re not sure about. I’m also told that they’re not sure how I’m walking around as I am, basically I’m lucky to be walking and not to have to have surgery. For now I’m in the clear for surgery as I have stable fractures, hopefully they’ll stay that way.

For the next 10 days at least there is no driving, no shows, no carrying my handbag. I’m stuck either in the flat or for little trips out. In short, I’m very lucky to be walking and to be the way I am I just have to be extremely careful. If I’m honest, I’m heartbroken more than anything. I was living and breathing for riding this year, it was always the best day of the week, Wednesday. So I feel really gutted and a bit back to square one, I’ve had to cancel Prague and shows and my parents as well as Ali had to spend hours and hours in a hospital.

So hopefully these blogs will be updated because I really don’t have much else left to do. Everyone is being so good to be at the moment and to be honest my anxiety is sky high worrying about the fractures moving and you know what? I’m really, really angry that this was missed one, I could have forgiven but three or four is just not on. Now I just have to wait to go to fracture clinic for more x rays and hopefully all will be well until then.