Category: Introducing this Blog

A question for bloggers, and the outline of my blog

A question for bloggers, and the outline of my blog

A special thank you to those of you who have commented on what posting schedule you’d like to see and those who have shown their support. Today I’m writing to update you on the new outline and posting schedule I’ve decided on; also to ask a question to other bloggers.

From your responses so far to my recent posts, it seems that topics you would particularly like me to write on are eating disorders and life with / after trauma and abuse. I will make these topics main categories on this blog. The main categories will be: PTSD (including life with and after abuse and other trauma); eating disorders and body image; borderline personality disorder and dissociative disorders; mental health and finances; mental health and work; living with physical health disabilities as well as mental health conditions; question time (writing in response to questions you and others have asked me – this will of course encompass a wide range of aspects of mental health conditions and cross over with other categories on this blog); in the future I want to add a “help” section where I will outline coping strategies that help me, mainly regarding PTSD for instance things you can do that may help during a flashback.

The posting schedule I’m going to start off with is one weekly journal-style post and one weekly post on one of the above topics. I may be able to increase this but I think this is a reasonable aim to begin with. As mentioned before I will post outside this schedule at times. I think I need to choose what days of the week I will make my two regular posts. I’m thinking Wednesdays and Saturdays but I may change this – I’ll let you know when I next write.

You will have noticed the change of name to Dignity Beyond Trauma and at the end of the week I will write a post explaining the new name.

I have upgraded my site plan so will be giving this site a new and hopefully more accessible look over the next few days.

Finally, I have a question for other bloggers. Do you use another form of social media as well as your blog, for example Instagram or Twitter? If so what benefits do you feel this brings to you and to your readers? What should one consider before linking your blog to another kind of social media? It’s something I’ve been considering doing; I am not going to attempt it right now as I need to focus on sorting this blog but I am interested in the future. I’d be very grateful to know how it worked out for you. Thank you in advance.

Ginny xxx

Going for it – currently making changes – thank you for your understanding

Going for it – currently making changes – thank you for your understanding

Okay. Deep breath.

It’s time to start upgrading this site. It means a great deal to me and I am nervous about doing it. At the same time I really want to make this site better for you, lovely readers, and more meaningful for me and others.

As part of this, I will be changing the name of the blog and changing the layout. I am sorry that in the short term this might make the site appear messy and confusing. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. As much as possible, I will try to explain changes as I make them, however at first this may be difficult and there may be some delay before I can write posts. Please bear with me.

As I’ve been looking over this blog in preparation, I have been astounded at how it has developed, albeit gradually. I had no idea that I had written over 300 posts! I’m so grateful to you for following me and for the interest, caring and compassion you have shown so far in your comments. Thank you.

Ginny xxx

What would you like to read in my revamped blog?

Some big changes are coming here at intothisbreakinglight, including a new name. See my previous post, Changes Ahead .

What would you like me to incorporate in my revamped blog? I want to help, as well as sharing my journey, so I’d love to know what you’d be interested to read.

Here are some elements I’m considering including:

– A specific section collating suggestions and resources for living with PTSD and complex trauma; what has and hasn’t helped me. I need to find out how to create this. Sifting through chronological posts is just not accessible for readers in my opinion, especially if the reader is exhausted or distressed.

– Similar specific sections regarding Borderline Personality Disorder and eating disorders / body image.

– A regular “question time” where I write a post in response to a reader’s question. Maybe once per month at first.

– A weekly journal-style entry to share what has been happening in my life and plans for the near future.

– A regular posting schedule. I don’t know yet what frequency I’ll choose. I will also post outside this schedule but I think it would be good to have a regular schedule I always stick to (even if I start with just one weekly journal and one other weekly post).

– I meet with medical students and researchers to share my experience of living with mental and physical health conditions. Loads of interesting questions get asked in these sessions. I think I may start writing some posts expanding on these questions (of course, not breaking any confidentiality).

These are just some of my plans. What do you think? Are they any good? What else would you like to see?

Ginny xxx

Changes ahead

Changes ahead

I’m going to make some big changes to this blog over the next week.

It has been many weeks since I’ve posted regularly. My husband has been coming through major surgery for cancer. Another family member has been through severe trauma. We have been struggling through a heavy load of financial issues since last autumn. My PTSD symptoms are worse. I’m not coping with day to day basics as I want and expect myself to. I could go on.

However a big reason I want to make changes in this blog is that my posts have been too sporadic and too distressed and distressing. I don’t want this site to be just me venting and screaming about how hurt I am. That doesn’t help anyone.

Yes, I want to be totally honest in what I post. Totally real. I don’t want to turn the blog into a falsely cheerful, superficially positive story. After all I’m talking about very present and painful trauma, illnesses and struggles. I am not going to pretend that I have all the answers or that I’m “over it” and nothing can touch me.

Yet I am more than the damage done to me and the hurt of every day. I want to try to find that. I want to write about that. I want to be thankful for all of me and all of every day. Also, I want to incorporate more focus on what helps me cope and even heal.

I want to have a regular posting schedule and more defined sections on this site so I can share what’s happening in my life week to week, but also share information about what helps me and may help readers, answer readers’ questions, post in response to reflection about what’s happened to me in the past, how I tried to cope and why. I want this blog to be helpful to readers, partly through reflecting what living with PTSD and borderline personality disorder is like, partly through sharing resources and information.

Big changes are coming up. Please watch this space! Thank you!

Ginny xxx

WHOOPS: An apology from this technology Dodo (…or, doh!-do…)

Erm, so, I’ve just discovered that I’ve been missing a whole load of notifications of replies to comments, especially on your blogs, because I didn’t realise where I was supposed to look for them… think this has been going on ever since I started this blog…Sometimes I get an email notification of replies and comments and so on, but often I don’t, and it turns out there were a whole load of notifications that I’ve been missing. I wasn’t looking in the right place.

I’m so sorry!! Partly it is because of the poor internet access I had until last month but that’s not entirely to blame. I am very new to blogging and I’m not the best with computers and technology especially if I’m posting from my phone.

You are all so supportive and kind and matter so much to me and I feel really rubbish that I’ve missed so many responses and not replied to you. Please accept my huge apologies and know that I am really thankful for all the time you take to write.

Hugs xxx

Ginny x

Finally online!

Finally online!

It feels as though it has been a long wait but finally I have broadband at home. Yay! Now gradually I will be able to get caught up on replies owing here. I’m looking forward to being much more able to visit your blogs too. Thank you for your patience with me during the past weeks of problems with connection and posting.
I’m not too well physically at the moment so I am sorry that it may still take me some time to get caught up.
Hoping you have had a good day.
Ginny xxx

Walking this Borderland #1: Introduction to the “Walking…” series

Walking this Borderland #1: Introduction to the “Walking…” series

I’ve decided to start a new series which I’ve called “Walking this Borderland”. I’m going to try to make each post in this series short and readable. My idea is that each will share an idea, skill, or thought that I find helpful in coping with an aspect of the symptoms of my Borderline Personality Disorder. Some of these are things that have been suggested to me by health professionals. Some are ideas a friend (perhaps who also has BPD) has given me permission to share. Some I have come up with or encountered myself in my path living with BPD.

I am sharing these in the hope others may find them interesting or helpful. Perhaps if you suffer with BPD or another Personality Disorder or know someone who does, you may find they are things you can identify with or are relevant or helpful to you. Perhaps they might equally be helpful to people who struggle with other mental health conditions – or even to anyone curious about emotions. Perhaps as a reader you would like to share your own experiences and ideas that help you, in the comments. I’d love it if you did want to do that.

As I have said many times before on this blog, what I’m sharing is personal and every person is very different in what is helpful to them or how they experience emotions. I really hope there is nothing I post in this “Walking…” series that would be unhelpful to anyone reading but please bear in mind that I am only sharing from my experience. Though I have worked in many mental health treatment settings and had some non-clinical training, and receive therapy myself, I am not a doctor, I am not clinically trained, I am not medically qualified to provide support or help to people with a mental health condition. So whilst I hope that this series is going to be useful, I very much urge you to please please access and rely on support from clinicians who are trained to help you.

Ginny xx

Thank you!!

Thank you!!

Wow. Thank you so much to all of you who have liked / followed / commented on here.

This is my first time blogging and sharing more freely my experiences of mental health is also a relatively new thing for me.  When I began this blog, I really hoped that I would be able to post things which are of interest, which readers can relate to and so in some way help.  I know how much that has helped me.  But I didn’t know where to start.

So, it means a lot that you have taken the time to stop by here and to leave comments and feedback. I know from personal experience when I’m struggling that it is often not easy to share or even to read something so I particularly appreciate what you do.  I’m encouraged that this is a place to find solidarity and share experiences along our paths. Thank you very very much. It has not been a great couple of weeks for me and so it means all the more to me right now to find this encouragement here.

***

On a related note, I’d love to know what you wonderful visitors to this site would like to discuss / me to post about – what topics are particularly interesting or meaningful to you. It’s often comments that friends, some of whom I meet in support and therapy groups, that spark off a new train of thought, a different way of looking at something, a discovery of an unexpected experience in common or a connection I had not made before, and I certainly find this interesting myself when I write and reflect on it.

I’d love to hear from you with any thoughts you’d like to share, questions or suggestions.

Again thank you so very much

Ginny xx

Some thoughts on what this can and cannot be

This is a post that I think that I will revisit and update from time to time.  I’ve been wondering how to make this hang together but in the end, I decided to post as several separate thoughts, on what this blog can and cannot offer or be.  I hope this doesn’t come over strangely. These things seem important to express about what I’ll write here, though all quite different from each other.

So…

I am not a medical professional.  I am writing from my own thoughts and experiences of living with several mental (and physical) health diagnoses, including borderline personality disorder, and of caring for / about loved ones with mental health difficulties.  What I post is my personal experience and opinion only.  If I describe certain experiences, thoughts, behaviours, I am doing just that – describing them, not advocating them.  I may discuss what has and has not helped me, and again this is very personal – I do not intend this as direction to anyone else or to say that such-and-such an approach will help everyone.  This path has taught me clearly that no two people’s experiences and needs are alike no matter how similar they may seem on the surface.

I hope that what I write may help someone.  I hope that if this blog generates discussion (for example, in the comments) this will also help people.  But because I am not a health professional, this cannot be a place to find treatment for particular problems and particularly not emergency assistance in a crisis.  I hope that anyone who is visiting this site who is struggling or feeling unwell or in crisis will also be able to access face to face medical support.  Having said this, I may put together a separate post containing resources and contact details of organisations and support networks that I have found helpful in times of crisis – or indeed, at any stage of living with mental ill health.

Please bear in mind that information you share in comments and posts on here is publicly visible.  For this reason I myself will be very cautious about disclosing personally identifiable information and specifically will not divulge my full name, where I live or the specific service within which I receive treatment.  I would encourage everyone who posts here to be similarly cautious.  Having said this, I will always keep confidential anything that you tell me in a message, the one exception to this being if I believe that you are about to harm yourself or another.

The frequency with which I update this blog will vary.  This is for many reasons, including my varying mental and physical health and the fact that I work part time in a stressful job.  This also means that I may not always be able to respond to every message or post, or may not be able to respond promptly.  If I do not respond promptly, please do not feel that I am choosing to ignore you.  That is not my intention and I am very thankful for any posts, messages etc that anyone wishes to take the time to share, and I value these contributions.  I may simply not be able to reply right now.  I ask for your patience and understanding and I am sorry that I may not be able to reply as quickly as I would like to.

I do not intend this blog to have a political or religious slant.  However, I may discuss social, political and religious issues as they become relevant in particular posts.  Again, these are my personal experiences and personal beliefs.

Starting out

(I would be grateful if you would please read “About” before reading this, or any other post)

It has taken a long time to come to this point.  The idea of starting some form of blog has taken shape over several months.  Writing, on and off, has been an important part of thinking, processing experiences and emotions, praying, reflecting, sometimes reaching out to people, keeping in touch (sometimes when anything else is too frightening), building relationships.  Sometimes just a way to walk through the frighteningly frantic thought processes that spin round and round.

I’ve also hoped that somehow I may be able to bring something from my experiences that helps someone else.  I firmly believe that everything we experience, however bad, in some way eventually increases our understanding of the world, of others; increases our ability to empathise and love.  (Yes, I can say that now, because today I have some degree of calm… the next time, whenever it be, that I am in the midst of the terror and anxiety it will probably be impossible to comprehend this hope, but somewhere, very faintly, it remains, and I am thankful for that.)

So I guess I hope this blog may bring together the purposes writing serves in my life and the hope to help someone and to share with others experiences.

It is hard to know what is helpful, or interesting, to others – not least because I don’t know who will visit these pages and what they may need or feel.  Therefore, though I do deeply hope this site will bring about some good and help for others, I need to be clear that it’s a personal experience, a personal story. I am not clinically trained. I am not a doctor or counsellor. My knowledge of the conditions and issues I discuss here comes from my experience of my own life, the life of people close to me, the services I’ve come into contact with and the therapies I have participated / am participating in (also, some little experience of working in support roles in psychiatric healthcare settings and as a volunteer).

I also think I need to make clear that some of what I share here will be painful, because the reality of what I’m going through is painful. It is frightening, often feels out of control, often feels hopeless, often all I can see is dark and bad. Equally, there are surprising moments of encouragement, which are surprisingly easy to forget when the next stage in the struggle comes, and I hope to be able to explore those too, and genuinely be thankful.

It seems to me that a strong feature in Borderline Personality Disorder is that feelings become so very intensely consuming and real that they can block out all other truth and experience and in the midst of them, it can be impossible to know anything else, no matter how much the “else” is otherwise important to us, central to our lives.  Then, despite how absolute they seem, these feelings change so fast.  This does not mean they were not genuine at the time but can be very hard for me, and anyone around me, to understand.  Perhaps this means that what I express here will also be hard for anyone to understand at times.  If so I hope you’ll tell me.

And finally, I really am thankful to people who take the time and interest to visit here. I’d like to know what you think, for you to ask questions, or share your own experiences.

This journey is in no way the course I thought my life would take and I did not choose it. And I cannot see far ahead.  Perhaps that is a good thing in some ways – though I may want to, often the little I do see of the path frightens me because it seems insurmountable.  Yet I hope that this blog is one way that it can be a fruitful path and a shared one, and a way to keep taking just one step more.

Thank you.

Ginny x +