In the last few months having turned 18, I have been through the transition from CAMHS to Adult mental health services. When I first knew this was happening I looked online to see how others found transition, but for some reason I could not find anything. So here I am to fill the internet gap and hopefully enlighten someone in the same position I was.
At first, when it was mentioned, I was reluctant; with the idea of being trapped in the ‘system’, having to start therapy again with new people and the fear of mental illness dictating my life.
However, after much anxiety I came to terms with the idea and realised I could not fight this on my own without support from services…. A meeting was then set up with my CAMHS team and someone from the Adult Eating Disorder service. It was strange knowing someone I had never met before would soon be helping me with some of my most personal struggles..
For me I was lucky my transition was quite smooth. I had a few meetings with CAMHS and the new Adult Eating Disorder Service and then one with my new psychologist in a familiar setting (CAMHS). I thought the idea of meeting in a ‘familiar setting’ was pointless but when it actually come to going to the new place for my first appointment I missed my first appointment because I was consumed by overwhelming anxiety.
I felt bad for wasting his time, but luckily for me my new psychologist was very understanding and after a phone call we agreed a way to make it easier. I think this was a turning point for me and the moment I realised he just wanted to help.
Having now been under the Adult Eating disorder service for almost a month (without Camhs aswell) I am finally beginning to feel more comfortable to open up and some things are already starting to improve. I suppose in contrast from a year ago I have come a long way – with not revealing what was under the surface to family/ friends/ or professionals I had known for a while – to now opening up to someone completely new.
I think the most valuable part of my recovery so far is learning to connect with my backlog of emotions, which on some days feels impossible. Things aren’t exactly smooth but opening up about what’s truly going on has allowed me to access the right help. I bottled things up for years but now I am beginning to face the reality.
I’m learning to focus on the small accomplishments. Getting up, having breakfast, going to school. These small victories stop me from denying credit of accomplishing things. Because no matter how insignificant things might seem at the time recovery is all about the small steps.
“Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can…”