I found a BDD support group via Rethink, the mental health charity, which takes place at The Priory every month. I received an email, inviting me to attend, if I wanted, on Friday. I did not have time to think about it so I went on Sunday.
I will never discuss what other people said, or name them; this is the trust you enter into; but I will say that it was one of the most rewarding things I have done. Yes we all need CBT, or pills, and need the help of professionals, but when you meet a group of people who all come out with stuff you can relate to, its really quite liberating.
So many of the things that were said had me thinking, 'yes I have felt that', and it gives a validation to the condition, that this is not some passing fad.
We still have a media who mock mental health, yet we live in a country that is quite ill. Most people you meet will tell you to pull yourself together, and that is only if you get to the point of sharing your problem, which I would guess 99% of us don't. Apart from really close family I have lived my issues out on my own. Like Shirley Valentine, I talk to walls about my problems. With that in mind, it was refreshing to sit in a room with like minds; I was going to say nice, but there is nothing nice about this.
This has dictated how I have lived my entire adult life; I am angry that my diagnosis came so late but relieved that it now all makes sense. The depression side of it still hits home from time to time, but I do hope that self harm will be a thing of the past, forever! I never want to be an in patient ever again.
I am 7 months in to my CBT, which is hard core, and very difficult, so this group will be a valuable edition. I may always be BDD, but I need, and want, the tools to be able to cope with it. I will never get my years back, but I may be able to live the rest of them ok(ish). Yes I would like to go back and enjoy being a teen and not have this monster eating my head, but that is not going to happen. Finding a support group is the best thing that has happened for a while, so I am thankful to it and it will do for now.
London September 2010