Alternative title: On the 23rd day of Christmas the NHS gave to me, a meeting with a PWP!
Quite frankly taking your brain to speak to the mental health team (in this case, a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner) is a lot like taking your pet to the vets. There’s all the excitement of an adventure, the bouncing around in the car, the barking along to East 17’s “Stay Another Day” … It’s all perfectly fine, all very friendly, until it can see the building – then the penny drops and all hell breaks loose as it creates a dirty protest while lying on the floor refusing to budge any further and tantruming over a thermometer being stuck up it’s butt … Ok so the last bit applies to pets only but you get my point.
We’re in a small white office hidden away in the depths of my local GP Surgery, the many times I have graced that waiting room with various ailments and not once did I notice it is downright unbelievable. I suppose at those times I wouldn’t have been actively looking for it but now it sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. It’s been over an hour and the assessment is still going strong. We’ve scrutinized the diagnosis (the symptoms, the signs, the impact it’s had on my life and on those around me), we’ve talked diet, mindfulness and exercise (yup, no takeaways, more greens, more Yoga, Pole Dancing and meditation), I’ve asked as many questions of my PWP as she has of me.
“You know” she said as our session was concluding “you seem pretty self aware, you’re not embarrassed by your diagnosis and in fact you seem to be taking strength from it. It’s refreshing”.
I sit for a moment, thinking. Mulling the words over … Realising that there is still a huge stigma attached to Mental Health, realising that the few colleagues (and now ex-friends) who have treated me as though I’m poison since my diagnosis do actually believe that either I’m lying or that I should be ashamed, realising that the mere label of Anxiety or Depression will (for some people) instantly flare negative thoughts in the minds of others as to the type of person I am.
“I have an underactive Thyroid that I take medication for” I say, “without that medication my body would be in all sorts of trouble… I’m aware of the signs of the medication needing adjusting, I have blood tests on a regular basis to monitor Thyroid function and I’m required to take one tablet, daily, for the rest of my life for it”.
She appeared confused but nodded for me to continue.
“I have Anxiety and Depression that I take medication for because, in a similar way to the Thyroid issue in Hypothyroidism, my brain has a chemical imbalance. I’ve been learning to recognise the possible triggers, I’ve become more aware of the needs of my body and mind. I have regular appointments with GPs and, following this, probably with a mental health practitioner too. I am also under no illusions that I will ever be truly free of these issues” I lean forwards.
She stops nodding.
“Why should I be embarrassed of the Anxiety and Depression but be perfectly accepting of the Hypothyroidism?” I ask.
With that, she smiles.
I refuse to be ashamed. I refuse to be embarrassed.
Because I have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of.
Come on folks – it’s time to break the stigma!
Anyway lovelies, did you all have an awesome Christmas? Shout out some of your favourite gifts received … Or share the worst / funniest! I’m curious! 🙂
PS – As I mentioned last week, there are a few changes coming about in 2016 …
- In an attempt to get more fruits / veggies into my diet I’ll be trying a new juice everyday throughout January … And obviously blogging about it (more on this on January 1st!). So these will be mini recipe posts published daily! But so you don’t miss out on my antics there will be double posts on Tuesdays to accommodate my “life in general” posts! Lucky sods aren’t you?!
- I’m adding Level 2 Pole Dancing and Aerial Hoop to my routine (they fit around my yoga class) and hopefully, later in 2016, I’ll be trying out Aerial Silk too.
- I also mentioned in my “Bird of Paradise” post I’ve been thinking of posting progress photos of my Yoga journey (to LHB Blog and Instagram) … I’m going to extend this to Pole and Hoop too.
**EDIT – As some of you are aware I’ve been giving a shout out to the Cumbria Flood Appeal (I love you Cumbria!) and thought I’d add the Lancashire Flood Appeal to the mix (the flooding in Lancashire has definitely hit home … Those of you following me on Instagram will already be aware, but those that don’t know, the River Calder threw a tantrum and my little town suffered as a result) … If there is anyway in which you can help, please do!**