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Double DD’s, Potatoes and Prozac

The title isn’t quite accurate – I don’t really have any of those three things in my life – the double DD are no more since losing weight, potatoes are no more and swapped out for sweet potatoes and I weaned myself off the antideps a couple of years ago.. but never one to let the truth get in the way of a (blog) story et al…

I’ve written, and spoken, about my sexual health on numerous occasions – and this blog has, by default, become another avenue for me to bang the ‘sexual health drum’ – it’s a subject I can talk about, do talk about and will continue to talk about.

But one area that I battle every blooming single day – and yet I’ve never written about ‘it’. I struggle to voice ‘it’ even. ‘It’ being my mental health. We all have ‘it’ – ‘it’ is on a sliding scale of wellness. I admit it – mine wobbles.

I am a people pleaser, incredibly independent, often stubborn and occasionally selfish all at the same time. This comes as some what of a challenge. That being said I like challenges. I thrive on challenges –  they seem to push me into new directions, yet they also cause me wobbles.

It is also probably fair to say – the last ten years has included quite a few challenges and wobbles – some minor and some fairly epic on the scale as scales go. Each challenge has also brought me amazing opportunities and hindsight really is a wonderful thing.

Last September, after months of wrangling with my inner angst at asking for help, I went to see the GP. I needed help. I wasn’t sure what help or what I was asking for, but knew I needed to admit that I didn’t feel on top form. I’d got to this point once before years ago and was very swiftly packed off with a prescription for antidepressants and that was the end of that.

Recounting to the GP who I’d never met before the events that had lead to me being sat there, his face fell. He simply said ‘One of those events would require you needing significant help Lizzie, so all of them combined is really quite something that you’re still here at all.’

Gee – thanks for that. And yet this is where the NHS system falls flat when addressing ‘mental health’.

A prescription wasn’t the answer this time. I was referred. I had a telephone assessment. I ticked the boxes for ‘clearly needing help’. I joined the waiting list. And that’s where that story ends. Here we are in February and apparently I’m still sat on some waiting list – 6 months after mustering all the courage I had at that time to ask for help.

I haven’t chased the list – the ‘therapy’ that they offer is time limited (a session a week for up to 8 weeks) and wanted me to clarify ‘a goal to measure how I felt better’ – CBT I believe. I am not certain I could rattle through the last 10 years events alone in the total of 8 hours max offered, let alone get across how I felt, feel and think. The thought of starting that process and then having to be reassessed and join the queue again is frankly quite ridiculous.

However, asking for help seemed to help in itself. Then November and December came along and life disappeared into a whirlwind – Think2Speak launched, World AIDS Day happened and school settled for Sprog. Life has been keeping me very very busy ever since.

2016 started and continues to astound me everyday; amazing opportunities, and therefore sometimes challenges too, keep presenting themselves. Juggling two businesses, HIV advocacy work, motherhood and then walking into a relationship means two days are never the same right now. The diary is getting increasingly booked up and I’ve chosen to put in ‘time for me’ – my way of having time out. Time for Lizzie.

I wonder if the referral will ever materialise?


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