Hospitalisation and How it Affected my Writing

I was looking back at some old blog posts on a different host site, and I stumbled across a long forgotten post from Novemeber 2010. In it I wrote

…So that’s what’s been going on with me. Well that and a stint in hospital, which I think had completely broken me.

I’ve not been able to write anything, which in turn has led me to be upset… but I just don’t feel things the way I used to. It’s weird and horrible, and I hope no one has to feel the way I feel.

My sense of humour has totally changed. Things I found funny before are now not nearly as funny. I have officially become an unenthusiastic person. It bites and I don’t know how to change it, or how to feel things anymore.

I’m not asking why. I accept that this is something that has had to happen, because it did actually happen, I just wanna know what to do about it.

Reading this seven years later and being confronted with that former version of myself is hard. My heart swells and remembers the faint echo of its old wounds whilst reading this post.

It was written shortly after I was sectioned under the mental health act and hospitalised. I am someone who is pretty open about this having been part of my life experience, though I feel where I come from, both from a cultural and religious standpoint, there is still at times a stigma attached to mental health problems, and being open about difficulties people face in that regard. I stand by my resolve to be open about my experience though, because it is through sharing, open discussion, and sincere reflection, that I believe we all learn, develop, and reach new levels of compassion and understanding.

What is very weird though, is that I’d forgotten that my writing slump coincided with my being sectioned. Prior to being sectioned, I would spend countless nights losing sleep because I was pouring out a new story idea, or working on a new poem, or just scribbling my feelings out in a journal. After being sectioned I just couldn’t do it. I tried, I tried to force myself to keep writing, I even attempted NaNoWriMo from my room on the triage ward, but it just didn’t pan out.

For perhaps the majority of my life words and writing have been places of refuge for me; from spending summers folding a4 sheets of paper in half, stapling them in the middle and designing books, writing endless stories fuelled by a youthful imagination, to journalling during my time in boarding school, even those angst filled poems that littered my teenage years. However, in the midst of one of my most difficult life experiences, that tool and solace was lost to me.

It was not that I couldn’t access writing, it’s just there was something off about it, even now it’s so hard to express this in a way that makes sense. It was almost as though in the same way that my self confidence had withered away during my time in hospital, the creativity I normally overflowed with when it came time to put my fingers to the keyboard or even pen to paper had shrivelled up too. I can still remember the desperate struggle to write, how huge of a mental block there seemed to be, how it was almost as though I’d lost not only the capacity to express myself, but also the will to do so. I believe this is very much a parallel to how things stood for me at that time mentally too. It took a lot of work to get back on an even keel, Alhamdulillah! I do feel that this experience, as much as it knocked me down, was useful in that it was a way to start rebuilding myself with a stronger foundation.

Eventually, painstakingly slowly my love of writing did return. I started of with a journal, a hot pink faux leather bound lined notebook; no dates or days, just blank lined pages a year after I left hospital. I didn’t write every day, in fact weeks would go by and I wouldn’t pick up my pen at all. When I did write, I would write a sentence here, a paragraph there, and there were a lot of days where I couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed, talk less of the mental effort it took to pick up a pen and organise my thoughts enough to write what I was feeling.

I kept writing though. A new year started and I was still using that same hot pink diary… occasionally. Gradually I was recovering, and so was my writing. Things were not exactly the same, just as I had been altered by my experiences, I believe my writing was too. At times writing can still be a challenge, but I am so grateful that it wasn’t lost to me forever.

To anyone who’s found that mental health issues have negatively impacted their writing I wanted to just put this out there, don’t lose hope. It can come back, it may not be the same, but the challenging things that we go through in life don’t have to forever be dark ink blots on the pages of our life stories, we have the capacity to grow from and learn from our experiences. To transform the inkblots into fantastic illustrations of growth and starting points for change.

Lots of love

Plum Paper Planner Review

As salaam alaykum

Peace be upon you,

It’s a beautiful morning, and I am finally getting this review written,edited, and posted.

Sunrise through bedroom window
Sublime Sky

It has been a long time coming! Recently I’ve had a lot less energy, I put this down to the return of anaemia, but also I’ve had so much to do preparing for baby as well. Regardless I am so happy to be finally writing this review :).

Stay tuned to the end, for a little gift courtesy of the lovely people at Plum Paper.

The morning my beautiful planner arrived, (after two months of not so patiently waiting for it to arrive), I turned to my husband and apologised.”I’m sorry, I’m in love with this planner, I have to marry it.”

His response?

An unphased “Good for you”.
IMG_7924

IMG_7929He’d been the unwilling audience to several speeches and much of excited gushing in the weeksย leading up to it’s arrival. I spent quite a bit of time looking in to different planners, and once I decided to go with a ย plum paper planner, i had a lot of fun browsing through the add ons, and choosing which ones would be of benefit to me and my life style, and help me to take task of my time, and be more productive.

Naturally I took pictures.

 

I like how it’s laid out, they had a few options on their etsy store, but this was my preferred layout.IMG_8205

It’s easy to use, and I can keep track of what I’m doing/ or supposed to be doing. It’s also really fun to see things organised, and play around with decorating each week.

IMG_8265

IMG_8266I’ve found the calendar really useful as it helps me plan ahead during the month.ย 
IMG_8263

At the start of each month there’s a page that allows you to set some goals that you’d like to fulfil that month, as well as things you need to remember and lined paper for notes.

IMG_8203

There’s tabbed file dividers that separate each month.

IMG_8269

IMG_8270

And a double sided wallet for storing papers or stickers, or whatever else you may want to carry about in your planner.

IMG_8241

I also chose some “add-ons”, delicious add-ons gallery here.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All in all, I’d say I’m very happy with my purchase. Perhaps in’sha’allah (if Allah wills), I’ll get a new one around the same time next year, so far it’s working out quite well as a tool to keep me organised, and a bit more focused when it comes to achieving things every month.

Now for the gift!! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a coupon code!!!

You can use the coupon code JAINBLU10 to get a discount on your order at Plum Paper, it expires 31st December 2015.

Enjoy x

Take care,

Lots of Love,

Azeezat. A.B.A

Bipolar- Mood Management

Hello.
I feel like I’ve been off the blogosphere for a while. I’m feeling a bit poorly today, and have had to miss photography class ๐Ÿ˜ฐ. Thought I’d make the most of this day off and do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while (post wise).
I had my last couple of meetings with my psychologists at the beginning of this month and we had a really useful last couple of sessions. I wanted to share this bipolar mood management thingamajig.

20130214-113221.jpg

It looks a bit crumpled and I had to do some rummaging amongst my various notebooks for it but its still intact- so let’s get to it

So at the top it says:

it’s helpful to keep an eye on what your mood’s doing, how it fluctuates, and what you and others notice about you when your mood starts to go low or high. Living with bipolar is a balancing act- the aim being to stay within the area around 0 on the scale below, when you’re most healthy and balanced

20130214-113710.jpgโฌ…(better picture of the scale)

After this it says to fill in the boxes below, thinking about what you start to feel like, the way you start to think, and what you do when you start to become high or low, and when you are very high or low. It also says to ask a close friend or family member to help you as they may notice things about you which you might not be aware of.

So then beneath that it has a the scale, underneath which is a table with five headings. “Very low mood”, “starting to get low”, “well, healthy, balanced”, “starting to get high”, and “very high mood”.

There are subheadings in each section of the table, “what I think”, “what I feel- physical sensations & emotions”, and “what I do”.

So I managed to fill this in, and I think it’s a really useful tool. This material was taken from this website.
I’ve not included my own answers – just because. If you want to get one for yourself or someone you know to use you’ll be able to find it at the link I just provided.

This is my first post relating to bi-polar. Hopefully I’ve put myself across well.

What do you think about this post? Did you find it useful?
Happy Thursday ๐Ÿ™‚

xxx

A.B.A.A.