Friday, 22 January 2016

My two-hour psychiatric evaluation, what was revealed to me and my resulting 16 weeks of counselling.

My two-hour psychiatric evaluation, what was revealed to me and my resulting 16 weeks of counselling.

After the whole catastrophic fiasco at the world championships in Canada this year, I was left feeling despondent and at times catatonic, crying myself to sleep for weeks on end. Therefore my GP deemed it necessary for me to undergo a two-hour psychiatric evaluation. It was held that I didn’t suffer from bipolar disorder, paranoia, that I was histrionic or had any other particular personality disorder but that along with aspergers symptoms, I had depression, anxiety and was consuming too much alcohol - which was all linked to me having low self-esteem. I was prescribed counselling as a result. I was originally prescribed 8 weeks of counselling but the the counselor extended it to 16, as she was so concerned.

Low Self-Esteem

I was quite shocked when I was told I suffered from self-esteem issues but when it was explained to me it made sense.  Competitiveness and low self-esteem are linked: if you had high-self esteem why would you be competitive? It’s like the competitive person needs reassurance that they are good at whatever they do. Many very competitive and successful people have had traumatic pasts and have often been victims of bullying or had family problems. I don’t want to go into my past in great detail but what I can say is that growing up in Northern Ireland being mixed race, from a mixed marriage, quite effeminate and “posh” was not easy.

I found this very intriguing as it is contradictory to the existentialist train of thought; or is it? Because in the face of adversity you can either choose to fight against it or give up. I think I am a “fighter” and am even arguably truculent:  I will always fight for what I want and have had to many of times. However there have been periods in my life when I’ve been the opposite and wanted to give-up for example between the ages of 13-17 due to being very bullied at school and family problems, I had lost all drive and motivation and this is what I felt like again - I felt like I had lost the battle and wanted to give up on life and I was experiencing a great deal of suicidal thoughts. Hence the anxiety and depression were really just counterparts of my self-esteem.

Alcohol Consumption

My evaluator explained that although he didn’t believe I was a raging alcoholic - it could develop and it was best to “nip it in the bud”. The reason I had become reliant on alcohol was because I was using it as an escape mechanism - from all the stress I was putting myself under and all the animosity I felt and therefore instead of just enjoying a drink; I was abusing alcohol.

One part of me took in what they had said but the other part ignored it thinking - “I’m in my 20’s and getting really drunk regularly is just what everyone my age does.” But a smorgasbord of incidences made me realize that they had a point! It was not normal for a 25 year old to: as a result of losing their keys climb through a high window proceed to fall through it breaking the curtains and almost his neck; have to sleep in your garage as a result of forgetting your keys; drink the good majority of a 70cl bottle of vodka before going out and continuing to drink when out and getting into dangerous situations.

It might be okay to have a “mad night” every so often, but not once or twice a week; which was what I was doing. On top of it being dangerous, expensive and bad for my health, it was also counterproductive - as I waste so much time when I have a bad hangover. I had begun to find this very frustrating and it just didn’t seem worth it anymore; it was time to curb my debaucherous ways.

I’ve managed now to cut back on my alcohol consumption - I might have a glass of wine in the evening but I only have a “heavy night” once a fortnight. I have asked my best friend from home (who studied Theology at Oxford) to point out to me when we’re out when to stop. I’ve known her since I was 7 and she knows me inside-out and she thus knows that I’ve always liked partying and drinking but she’ll be able to tell when I’m going overboard and as she is my friend I won’t feel like I’m being scolded.


I finished my 16 weeks of counselling last Thursday and am feeling much better now. I decided in terms of the blogging etc with the Irish Dancing situation to end it because: firstly, although I only intended to depict my side of the story, I had upset people in the process; Secondly, despite that I wasn’t mendacious about anything I understood that people can perceive things differently.

Along with ending the blog posts I have apologizing to all those involved and have wrote a sincere letter to CLRG informing them of this. I hope as a result there will be a resounding d├ętente as I don’t believe continuing the feud would be favorable to any of the involved parties.

I have been going to the gym and running to keep my fitness up and started to go to an adult ballet class (because I felt my feet straightening up!). Despite the unpropitious circumstances I am still very determined to get back to Irish dancing and do a final year or two of competition. People may believe that I am panglossian but after all that has happened I feel I should at least be granted the chance to prove myself.

Monday, 4 January 2016

10 Personal Highlights of my 2015.

10 Personal Highlights of my 2015.

To balance the almighty rant I wrote yesterday of how terrible my year was, I’ve decided to look at the highlights of my 2015.

  1. I started this blog and have been very surprised by the amount of interest it attained.
  2. From blogging, I discovered a career path I might like to go down- writing and journalism.
  3. I became a published writer and journalist and now regularly contribute for a national publication.  
  4. From writing for that publication, I also ended up being offered a job, doing sales for the magazine
  5. I have rekindled my love of reading and am reading a book a fortnight, plus read newspapers nearly everyday.
  6. I have had an idea for a novel, which I have written the first 3000 words of.
  7. I started to get used more by my modeling agency.
  8. I have started to take better care of my financial affairs (started to grow up, I suppose!).
  9. I have had a business idea and already had my initial meeting with invest NI.
  10. I to travel to Montreal, and despite what happened there, it was an amazing place to visit.

Although, especially in one part of my life, I had a terrible time in 2015, there were also many great things that happened also. Hopefully 2016 will be a year full of good memories and not bad ones.