Mental health issues
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i am struggling to accept the "new me"

BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected
edited July 2018 in Mental health issues
I'm new here and not sure what I am doing so please forgive me if i ramble. 
I have had a physical disability for nearly 30 years and since further surgery two years ago my physical disability and mobility have been severely impacted. As a result I now have mental health issues as i am struggling to accept the "new me" which if i am honest I don't like. Is there just me that feels like this?? 
Thank you for taking the time to read this. 
Banny

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2018
    Hi @Banny, and a warm welcome to the community! It's great to have you here.

    Thanks for sharing this with us: I'm sure many of our community members will be able to empathise with how you're feeling. You may be particularly interested in our mental health discussions, and I've moved this post into there too. Do get involved, and just let us know if we can be of assistance. 
  • kazahanskazahans Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi. Don't know if this helps. I am working my way through the grieving process myself. I know it sound odd as I'm still alive and kicking but feel I lost me. I spent 10 years in denial stage,me I can't possibly have PD.then came anger how could it happen to me I've been cheated of all the plan I made for retirement etc. Depression followed.poor me,why should I bother even trying. Where did my friends so called anyhow **** off or exclude me. Now  think I'm in acceptance, I think well I can still do and starting getting out to meet new people. I think we all must go through this at some stage. We would be human if we didn't. 
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 418 Pioneering
    Hello @Banny ,

    It most certainly is not just you. When disability comes later in life and you can remember back when you were fine, it takes a long time to come to terms with it.

    Many people can't believe some of the amazing things I did when when I was young and unrestricted. I must admit, it even feels as though someone else did those things to me.

    @kazahans has described it well. It's all about letting go of what was and accepting what is.

    It is possible to get through the dark cloud and come out the other side. It may be a different "you" but it will still be you.

    Make sure you are sharing all this with your GP and and follow-up clinic you may go to.
  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Hello @kazahans
    Firstly, thanks for taking the time to reply.
    I totally understand what you mean about grieving for the loss of who you once were, I think that's where i am. My problem is that i feel that i did this to myself, I caused my old self to "die" if you will. I have been partially paralysed (it effects one leg) for nearly 30 years and had a hip replacement on the opposing side two years ago. Despite being reassured by doctors that it wouldn't effect my mobility and independence and that life would be great and a lot easier... I have ended up losing nearly 50% of what i could do  previously and my mobility has been impacted as well. Life isn't great and I am so mad at myself. 


  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Hello @Markmywords

    Thanks for replying. 
    I think that sometimes it's hard to remember that you are not alone especially when you are in the centre of it all happening. You are quite right, you do remember the things that you could do before the restrictions started, I can remember being able bodied up to early 20's and the crazy things i did then. I remember the things i used to do before the hip surgery and i miss them. I miss having fun days out with friends my mobility doesn't allow that these days. 

    My GP is aware of the issues I am facing and has put me in touch with a Mental Health organisation. 

    Thanks for the advice - sometimes you know what you need to do but not to sure if you are resolving it in the best way rather than making it worse.
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2018
    This site helped me to learn to come to terms with being disabled. I struggled to put yes on forms that said do you have a disability as I was worried about being rejected due to stigma around mental health. However, once I accepted it and was honest with myself it was like a big relief. Now I have a diagnosed physical health condition I have to be up front about that too. At first it was like a bereavement losing my old self but in life things change and we change and its better to adapt to change and be open to the new you. Thank you Scope
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    @Banny, it took me 8 years to accept that I was disabled and I have fought against it every day, still trying to keep walking. Now, as of 2 months ago, I have to accept that I can no longer walk enough to leave the house and am therefore housebound. Somehow I still cannot accept that this has happened earlier than necessary simply due to a GP's decision. Although I do tell people I am housebound I still don't feel like I am, I just need to find a way round it. My MH issues have all worsened dramatically due to this current change in much the same way my becoming disabled in the first place. I believe this is quite common.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 890 Pioneering
    I'm still struggling, 10 years on...
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 388 Pioneering
    In the past week i commented that my depression feels like i'm grieving for myself and my old life. It's definitely not just you.
    Also reaching out for help makes me feel helpless and suicidal because i don't get the help i ask for.
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    I still struggle everyday.

    I want, me , back but don’t even know who, me, was or is.

    Dont think I will ever find out  :'(
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Banny   Understand what you are saying. I think for me personally having been born with this disability and the mental health I have is trying to accept.

    Why I am struggling. Striving and seem to find it harder as I age disgracefully.

    I agree with what every body says. Also lately the harsh reality has come out about myself. The single one thing was the assessments. Explaining to a friend who I like very much. How much I try to cope.

    Mentally scarred with alcoholism and yes have recovered but the memories are dwindling. As I play my music, cannot recall when and how and why am like this.

    I know am a certified member of the old man grumpy club life president.  How did that happen.?

    What annoys me is the people who I have met starting to dredge up things thirty or twenty years ago. Of which I have no memory but they keep doing it. I of course laugh and well that was then.

    It is different if I do it.  Yet they these memories are treasured but why are you doing this, it is my life. Also every one is entitled to talk what ever you wish to. Please though be gentle and kind.

    Patience and tolerance.  Why I like it here all of us in the community can share and care. Support each other. Not like outside where the harsh truth is out for to see, to hurt and harm.

    Things like walking and simple every day duties become a trial and tribulation. A mini drama with an all star cast.  More and more. All of us have encountered that.  Minor incidents blown out of all proportion.

    One Foot in the Grave an episode constantly.

    Acceptance is never easy I always try to be if I can much as I can supportive and upbeat. Then something happens. Why is it I feel so sad sometimes and depressed when try to move on.  

    All I can do is try to cope and just rest a while and think how to can I move to the next thing I need to do.

    What does the time does I recognise the help and support I can get here. Just to offload and for once I am listened to.

    So I will keep rolling on. So will you my friends and hope we all can just be one voice and fight the injustices we all feel.

    Take care

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected
    @Topkitten - I can understand how you are feeling about having to accept that walking is becoming harder, my mobility seems to be fluctuating on a daily basis, in fact sometimes it changes during the course of the day. I hope you manage to find a way to get out occasionally,  I have recently got a wheelchair  to help me get around on the really bad days.

  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected
    @feir that's how i feel too - I feel as though I am grieving for the old me... when we are young we never think of our bodies letting us down and i think that is why we struggle to accept the changes. I hope you find the right type of help you need - please don't give up trying to find it, it will be out there. I've only been on here a couple of days but the support that seems to be on every post is fantastic. We are not as alone as we sometimes think we are. Take care 
  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected
    @susan48 you are stronger than you think .. you say you struggle every day and i take from that that you never give up ... you are strong and hopefully in time we will all find ourselves and be happy with who we are... we can only hope that the day will come soon. Please take care.
  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected

    @spiceman –  I understand what you are saying however I am glad to know that I am not the only one who is growing old disgracefully.. I passed a certain age last year and decided that I had conformed to societies “vision” of what a person with a disability should do and behave like for long enough .. I am making my own rules … and never go back to the same place within two months … just in case they remember me.

    I’m not allowed to join the grumpy old man club but I am in the grumpy old women’s club…. Like  you I am not sure how that happened but maybe there is a way we can become part time members ??

    I agree with you regarding the support and sense of community on Scope, I’ve only been a member a couple of days but I am so amazed at the kind words to my post and the support I have seen on other posts is amazing. I feel like I am accepted for who I am with no judgement and that is so nice and I don’t know about you but I find it calming. I feel like I can breathe.

    All any of us can do is try and cope with the challenges we face, rest and then keep rolling on.

    Spiceman take care of yourself.

    Banny


  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Banny   All I can say thank you for the messages and words of wisdom and may I add glad to have met you.

    Understand I do think that we as community are people on the move and coming to realise that we take no one for granted and expect to change with the people outside.

    Be in a box.  Conform to what we all of us are supposed to be.. We are not like that. I hate the very thought of it.  .

    Challenges are always looking ahead and how can we as people can we be supportive. No matter what the disability or illness. We have as we grow older.

    Recall all of us have been there wishing to be young again.  Are we jealous of the people today or were we part of a time that was special.?

    Are we looking for something we can not reach.?

    All I know this forum and the people I have met have been more understanding. More friendship and love and warmth.  Lots of support as well that helps me everyday to get a uplift and beat to the day.

    May add if want a friend always here.

    Take care

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected

    Hi @spiceman,  Thank you for your messages and your words of wisdom too. It’s been lovely to meet you.

    I think that as a society, we need to everyone to see the possibilities that life has for everyone regardless of disability. I was talking to a colleague today about young people’s perspective of disability needs to “tweaked” I know that we have the Paralympians who show the world what they can do, but the problem is they then just think that only the Paralympians can do things. They need to see the “general” people who every day strive to be the best they can, to come across one teacher in their life that has a disability of some kind. They need lessons where they have to go in a wheelchair, on crutches,  have blacked out glasses to see how difficult even the simplest of tasks can be for people with these limitations. Not only will it give then an insight to our challenges but maybe foster a generation who have respect and acknowledge our strengths rather than just see as weak and beneath them.

    As for the box – mine had a slight accident with a pair of crutches.. I bashed it to bits  

    Depending on your age, I think we were part of a time that was special and a time were acceptance was just there, we didn’t need to look for it. Now I think because we know that life can throw us curve balls and not every day is going to filled with roses we appreciate the time in our life when it was easier and less pressured.

    Talking to you and others on here is starting to help me start to put things in perspective and hopefully I will begin to work on me.

    Same here, if want a friend will be here

    Banny

  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Well past couple of days I’ve really been struggling with a fibro flare up as I don’t have any other meds than the ones I take regularly to help with the pain which has reduced me to a blubbering wreck. I don’t like this new me but it’s going to pass. Tells me I should look after myself better and not put off attending to my health needs. The new me can’t put off health appointments. That’s really hard as I have avoidance issues around my mental health as well. After 2 days I’m feeling a little better and I’m hoping that tomorrow is better. PS why does this always happen at end of week when my doctors is closed lol? I had to have a talk to my son and help him understand why the new me gets like this again. It’s so unfair for him.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected

    Hello @debbiedo49

    I’m sorry to hear that you are in a fibro flare at the moment, whilst I don’t have this I have two friends who do and have seen them in fibro flares so I know how they can affect. I know you have said that you have avoidance issues about attending appointments but have you thought about a telephone consultation with your GP to discuss your pain. It’s a compromise between looking after yourself but not putting yourself under pressure to attend a “physical” appointment – only a suggestion and apologies if you have already done this. I have no idea why conditions seem to worsen at weekends … mine seem to worsen when I am on leave. Sods law I think its called.  As Mum’s we are programmed to be the ones who look after children and others around us but never accept help ourselves.  I hope your son was able to understand about your fibro I know my friends family struggle with understanding it.

    Take care – stay strong.

    Banny

  • LittleGizmo86LittleGizmo86 Member Posts: 79 Courageous
    Banny said:
    I'm new here and not sure what I am doing so please forgive me if i ramble. 
    I have had a physical disability for nearly 30 years and since further surgery two years ago my physical disability and mobility have been severely impacted. As a result I now have mental health issues as i am struggling to accept the "new me" which if i am honest I don't like. Is there just me that feels like this?? 
    Thank you for taking the time to read this. 
    Banny
    Hi banny and welcome.
    It most definately is not you. I have beem through those same feelings. I was recently officially diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. I had the relapsing form for years but due to medical errors it wasnt diagnosed. It only got re investigated after i began to deteriorate fast and lost sudden eyesight that i made a serious error at work that could habe caused serious hard to someone. Due to there delay they cant save my sight and my optic nerves are now wasting and i will go blind. I dont like this new me and i dont want her but i have learnt that i can hate the situation and myself all i want... but it wont change anything. I can either live like a mess and waste what time i have or accept the new me (as hard as it is) and make the most of the things i do have. While changing my outlook and accepting i cant do my job anymore or someone could get seriously hurt... i had to accept that the old job that the old me did... i have actually found a new path that may makes me happy and my life better than it was career wise. That would not have happed without it. You never know what awaits in your new life for this new you.

    Also what Kazahans said is good advice. I had and still having councelling while i deal with the legal situation of it all and she adviced the grieving process. Loss is loss whether it is a person or a part of you. You need to grieve for the old you. I dont know if you can pm on here but if you can and you would like to then pls send your email and i can forward the email booklet on grieving that my councellor sent x
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Banny good advice and yes my son is good with me
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    @feir, that is exactly the same for me. My suicidal thoughts only ever break through when I am let down badly and I have acted on them about 50% of the time.

    To others...

    Avoidance is natural when you feel like you will be let down of see someone who is just wasting your time because they don't even get close to understanding.

    I have though always had good support from the 111 although far too often they send an ambulance which is of no help and is wasting their valuable time Generally the ambulance service is quite good though I did recently get a comment basically playing down my pain simply because I put up with a lot of pain letting them in without showing it. I have found that because I suffer so much pain so often I don't let it show. What is the point os crying and screaming 50% of the day when I know that 50% was a good day?

    One other thing that is suggested far too often is to contact Samaritans. The problem with Samaritans is that because they can't access records and cannot make notes I personally find it extremely depressing trying to describe 13 years of suffering and a multitude of covered up mistakes by the health service. I did, on one occasion speak to someone who basically didn't believe me. Healthy people generally cannot conceive of the health service not providing an excellent service in a quick response time and solve all the problems either when they arrive or when you reach A&E. I think most people have blinkers on when it comes to long term conditions.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 890 Pioneering
    This is long, and I've rewritten it multiple times. Hope it makes sense!

    I think we're all feeling the loss of who we were to smaller or larger degrees. In some cases it's the loss of physical capability, to wash the dishes, go canoeing, pick up a crying kid, hike up a mountain, or sit at a desk long enough to do a job. For others it's mental abilities: the ability to concentrate, analyse, think, and remember things; to write a memo, a letter, play the piano, or to read a book and still be able to remember the beginning by the time we reach the end.

    Some of us have lost both physical and mental abilities. Some have lost more: jobs, careers, financial stability, homes. Some have lost friends, partners and family, maybe because they don't believe what we're going through, or because they can't deal with the idea that someone just like them can have something so devastating happen out of the blue. Some of us feel that we've lost everything we used to be.

    How do we deal with such fundamental changes to who we are, which we didn't deserve, and never expected to experience? I really don't know, tbh. All I know is that I spent a few years doing nothing, going nowhere. I kept thinking that there was a cure for what had happened to me, that I could get back to who I was, or some approximation of her. I put my life on pause while I had injections, physio, osteopathy, denervations, drugs drugs drugs... And although it became increasingly obvious that I wasn't going to be able to go back to who I used to be, I stayed there, stuck, refusing to accept it and move on.

    Then my surrogate mother/housemate/carer/friend got sick. I cared for her for 3 months, as she got sicker and sicker. She was always a vital, healthy person, rode her bike everywhere, took rambling holidays, vegetarian, never smoked, etc., and it was so hard to see her wasting away. She was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer (spread to liver, stomach, lungs) 8 days before she died. She was 61.

    Losing her was incredibly difficult; I'd never lost someone that important to me before. I did everything I could to help: calling her friends and relatives, hosting her sisters, helping her to write a will, and eventually, donating and recycling her possessions. I finished transcribing the beautiful love letters her parents had written when her Dad served in India just before Partition, and found a museum that wanted them.

    Her final gifts to me:
    1) She left me 400GBP in her will, which was a crazy surprise.
    2) She was quite uncomfortable with emotional intimacy, although we had grown very close, so she asked her sister to tell me something after she died. Just as I had thought of her as a surrogate mother (as well as a close friend), she had thought of me as the daughter she never had. I wish I'd been bold enough to tell her that I felt the same way when she was alive.
    3) A few months after her death, deep in a serious depression, I was trying to think of a way to honour her life. She had died too young, which was incredibly unfair. She sang in a choir; played African drums; volunteered at a local literary festival; had visited 86 countries and had all kinds of crazy adventures; wrote really amazing travel diaries (published after her death); was a terrifying Scrabble player; had a degree in archaeology; loved great wines, but never got drunk; could fix a bicycle, cook amazing risotto, and sew her own clothes; and was a much-beloved aunt, sister, and friend (her funeral was PACKED, and people came from all over the world). She was incredibly vital, active, and loved, and yet she was gone. I hadn't really been living my life for years, just surviving, but for some reason I was still here. The best way to honour her was for me to live.

    So I decided to make a new life. It isn't the life I expected or wanted, and there have been false starts, wrong turns, and long periods when the DWP squished the ability to try right out of me, but I've made progress. I still grieve, I still think of the way it used to be, and I still don't know how to get over it all. I still miss my friend. And I'm living in a good place, I have partners and friends who are wonderful, and I've done a bunch of therapy. Still a lot to do, but... Hopefully it'll work out eventually.

  • BannyBanny Member Posts: 18 Connected
    @Waylay Thank you so much for taking the tie to respond to my post. I understand what you are saying about grieving the loss of our abilities, I know in my case i hadn't even thought about letting myself grieve for the person i was... I was too annoyed with myself and my disability.
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, cancer takes people away so quickly sometimes. You don't have the opportunity to get your head around the diagnosis before they are gone, I lost both parents to cancer one within 3 days of diagnosis the other 6 days after. 
    You are bound to miss someone who was so important to you, I know i miss my Gran who i lost 17 years ago but there are still days i want to talk to her. I will always carry her in my heart as i am sure you will carry your friend around in yours. Hopefully, it will work out for us all eventually.
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