Living life on the borderline

Borderline fail and becoming an “adult”.

Posted on: June 6, 2011

I am just one big ball of fail and drama teetering on the edge of the border line.

Now that I’ve got the dramatic intro out of the way…

I am feeling rather frustrated. I don’t quite know how the mental health services want you to work. If I don’t ring the crisis team tonight and end up having a Fail and I unfortunately survive it, then they will be annoyed that I’m not taking responsibility for myself. Cue angry psychiatrist and care-coordinator appointments, angry faces, angry angry angry. But. If I DO ring the crisis team because I don’t want to have a Fail, that means that I didn’t ever feel like Failing in the first place, so please leave us alone now thanks bye.

I don’t know whether this is just how treatment works, it wasn’t the case in CAMHS but then it’s a pretty well known fact that child and adolescent mental health care is better than adult mental health care. I really do wish I was back with CAMHS. I miss CAMHS. I’m even starting to miss being inpatient. Before that really does sound crazy, let me explain.

There were one million and one things horrible about being in hospital but. For that period of time, I didn’t have the problems at home that I do now (and the problems most professionals agree contribute to my mentalness a great deal). I was removed from it, limited to a 15 min phone call in the evenings. Rather than exercising alone at night, or just sitting alone crying, I could have a hot chocolate and find a member of staff to talk to (depending on how good the staff were that night!). You were there because you were crazy and everybody feels sad when they think of a crazy young person. Crazy young people deserve trips out and having their makeup done for them and lessons that you might only get half a piece of work done, but they realised just how much it took to complete that half piece of work when your mind was shattering.  But somewhere around my 17th birthday, I was propelled into “adulthood”, adult services, adult treatment, adult total disregard for feelings.

I talk to adult services, where my messy little 17 year old self is treated on par with 50+ year olds. I am expected to have life experience and understanding that I just don’t have yet. I study at an adults further education college, where just getting your work done one day when you’d rather kill yourself isn’t an achievement – neither is getting the work done good an achievement. Perfection is an achievement… or was it expected all along?  Grades are everything! And what about your career? It’s all about the dollar, baby. No, no, no, we don’t CARE if you’d rather work with people than earn money. Success is measured by your wage packet at the end of the month, the size clothes you wear, the car you drive.

Somehow over the past few months, I’ve built myself a little shrine to Miss Perfect Outwardly. I’m overachieving at college, or was. I signed up to a billion volunteer projects. And then I got offered some more and you can’t turn it down because I thought you were doing well? I thought you were better? We won’t ask how you are because things might not be going well and then you’d have to talk about it.

And this all happened at 12:01am on my 17th birthday. I’m not even out of my teens and I’m now an adult. I’m barely legal to have sex, I couldn’t get married without parental consent, I can’t even drink alcohol.

It’s a very hard gap to bridge. One I think isn’t being addressed enough. In some areas in the country, the cut off for CAMHS is 16. 16? Some eating disorder experts have even gone as far to say as treatment for 16-18s with eating disorders would be better cared for socially, emotionally & educationally in a CAMHS setting, rather than adults specialist eating disorder care.

Sometimes I wonder if we’re really the mental ones in all of this. And I think I’ve ranted enough for tonight. And I’m no further forward in deciding whether to call the crisis team or not.

“Blessed be the cracked, for they let the light shine through”.


2 Responses to "Borderline fail and becoming an “adult”."

This is a great post, with some crucially important points that should be heard. I hope your feeling better xx

Dear Living Life on the Borderline,

As the media intern for a non-profit focusing on mental health advocacy, I recently came across your organization in my online search for mental health resources and believe there is an excellent opportunity for cross-promotion between our Web sites.

Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services, or PEERS, is a consumer-run agency that is leading the innovative Social Inclusion Campaign in Alameda County, California. The mission of the campaign is to promote social inclusion of and end stigma and discrimination against individuals with mental health issues.

One way we hope to promote social inclusion is by asking members of the community to make a personal commitment to end mental health stigma. By taking the “Stigma Stops with Me” Facebook pledge on our website ( or on our Facebook page (, you will be bringing people together to combat mental health stigmatization and advocate for the betterment of the community as a whole. We also welcome any friends, family, or colleagues you have who may be interested to pledge as well.

In addition, we are interested in placing your link and logo on the PEERS Web site as a “Community Partner” at In return, we would appreciate a PEERS logo and link placement on your site if you are able.

Thank you, and I look forward to the opportunity of working together!

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About the blogger.

I'm an 18 year old girl/woman/person of the female gender who blogs about growing up, living with mental health problems and her experience with the NHS mental health services, both CAMHS and CMHTs. Expect plenty of teenage angst and general craziness. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

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