Tuesday, 10 December 2013

"Wait... They Don't Love You Like I Love You" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs


I have been lying my entire life.

To others and to myself. About who I am, what I want, and how much I fit in.

I am reforming myself.

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. This was, in equal parts, shocking and unsurprising. Unsurprising because I knew there was more to my mental health than depression. I never quite fit in to that mould either. Shocking because now it’s real. It’s not my imagination, it’s not paranoia, it is a fact that I’d have to admit to others, and worse, to myself. Scary stuff.

In my bravado, I took it on and looked at all the ‘criteria’ I fit in order to be diagnosed. In the first few days, there was a lot of reading and "OMG"; there was also a lot of “FINALLY! Now I understand why I do that!” and “It’s like they’re writing about my life!” too.

Here I was, meeting almost all of these criteria.
Here I was, being put in to words.
Here I was being validated, accepted…understood.
Here I was, with BPD.

The subsequent weeks have been a roller-coaster to say the least. I did research, I owned it, I explained it, I contemplated it but I never digested it. I never absorbed the implications, the understanding. I was so wrapped up with finally finding answers and being understood that I never truly thought of what this actually means to me now. 

What does this mean to me now?

This means that I have to work through a million different emotions about it all. The funny thing is, I've never felt more validated in my life. And it is killing me.

I've lied to myself and other people my whole life:

“I’m overreacting.”
“I don’t care.”
“I fit in everywhere, I’m a social butterfly.”
“It doesn't really hurt.”
“I’m sorry.”

My reactions to things were abnormal, so I looked to other people to emulate proper reactions to situations, even though I was dying inside. I needed other people to tell me how to feel. I created masks to fit in, to be normal. I was good at everything so I never had to excel at anything. I fit in everywhere to mask never fitting in anywhere.

I've been obsessed with being the perfect person, always processing/reacting/behaving in the correct way, fitting the patterns, being my twisted idea of normal. Now I don’t have to beat myself up for being different?

I’m not sure I can cope with that.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Dear Pillow, Sorry For All The Tears


Their influence over me at such an unstable time is so great that it flipped a beautiful day into an utterly miserable one in around seven minutes. I'm not strong enough to fight the hormones, the illness and the chemical misfires in my brain right now and I managed to let everything in.

I broke and I fell, hard. I cried for everything that was, everything that had been and everything that would be. And then came the absolute emptiness. The pain that makes every other emotional pain feel like a splinter.

I wanted to hurt myself so badly.
I still do.

So, I ate. Everything. Anything I could get my hands on to stop from taking a blade to my leg, stuffing a fistful of pills down my throat or putting my face through a door. I ate and I purged.

I feel shame, I feel regret, I feel broken but above all, I feel so very hurt. I am so deeply sad about it all. I'm still grieving over the life I think I should have lived, the life someone else has. I can't tell myself that 'I'm enough' right now because it would be a lie.

I have to learn to forgive and let go, for my sake.

I miss Helen. 

Monday, 18 November 2013

"Turn! Turn! Turn!" - The Byrds



The beast is back.

The cycle has started anew.

Is it pessimistic to call it a cycle?

I suppose I'm always expecting to end up here, back in the gloom of it. The change is so noticeable to me because of how I felt before. The thoughts are distressing because they are no longer 'the norm'.

I want to hurt myself.

I want to throw things, scream, cry, mutilate but I won't. I can't.

I haven't cut in over six months, I haven't abused money, found solace with a plethora of men, drank my pain or done any other damaging 'coping mechanism' that I used to do. What would be the point in learning these new skills if I can't practice them when I need them the most? It's hard, very hard. But nothing worth having is easy or simple.

I have spent the last year trying to unlearn twenty-seven years of mental abuse, mental conflict and guilt. I'm impatient at my progress, thinking I should be better than this by now, then that leads to more guilt, more shame. It's vicious, I'm vicious, I couldn't even begin to judge someone else even half as harshly as I judge myself, there is no way I could ever live up to my own impossible standards.

One day at a time, just get through one day at a time.

Don't ever give up.

Be too stubborn to give up. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

I Can't See The Forrest For All These Trees


I'm trapped inside my head. My recovery has tidied my creativity into a corner somewhere and I don't know how to get to it. I need some drama to function. I dislike being this way. There is no bubbling urge to purge words on to paper. Thoughts are fleeting or can only be orally realised. Paper is my enemy and typing holds no relief.

To consort with my nemesis, littering the surface with my marionette fingers, shadowing the crisp, white sheet with my black poison is painful. Hurtful. A betrayal.
But, I need to. See how I'm starting to flow? Pen to paper, fingers to buttons, create. For fuck sake, just create!

The pressure is too magnanimous, I just stop. I cry. I grieve. I lose.

Just write. Words will find their way out, like water, this black ink is like water.

And water always creates a path. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

"I Want To Be Your Sledgehammer" - Peter Gabriel



My therapist said that I like to tear things apart. Not in a She-Hulk way (although there has been occasion) but mentally, I like to dig in to things to see why. Inquisitive. Like Sylar without all the murdering. Y'know curious. 
This apparently makes me a great patient, which is all rainbows and puppy dogs until I can't see the answer or I can't show my working out. Then my world is stunted for a while.

See, I'm not great at the 'big picture' thing, I'm not quick with the connecting of dots anymore. I used to be, not so much now. Point is, I never realised it but I can actually pinpoint the exact time when I started to come out of this ebb of depression. Before this point, life held no consequence, I really didn't care if I lived or died. In fact, frequently I would actually fantasise about death, even wish for it.

It didn't happen suddenly, it sort of tagged on from my sudden bout of panic attacks, which I now know was an indication of my emotions changing. When I first got the panic attacks the fear wasn't about dying, it was about being horribly disfigured or brain damaged by an allergic reaction. I know, kind of irrational. But there it was. Anyway, I had begun a new TV series, another form of escapism, and I know I need to stay away from dramas but it was something I'd been waiting to get round to for aaaages.

So, this guy is facing the chair in America for a crime he didn't commit and the date was worryingly close, all of a sudden I start crying. Crying! I just became overwhelmed with the sense of injustice at this man having his life taken away from him for a crime he didn't commit. He had absolutely no control over it. Two things raced through my mind:

1) I promised myself that I would never commit a crime in a place that sill allowed executions.

2) I am now terrified of not being in control of my own death.

Now, the suicidally minded among you may think I would then make a plan to end my own life on my terms before the power was taken away from me but no. I actually became scared of death, which in turn, I assumed, must have meant I wanted to live. TO LIVE!

And now, after my panic attacks are beginning to subside and my moods are more stable (more on that another time), I realise that I'm pro life. I'm happy to be here, living, surviving, climbing out of the ebb.

I never thought I would notice my recovery but there it is, one step at a time. Just one step at a time. That's all.

Monday, 23 September 2013

A Life Once Lived



I try to picture his face in my mind.

I can't.

The things I used to know so well - the patterns his beard grew in, the shape of his earlobes, even the colour of his eyes are now lost in my memory.

This man that I knew as well as my own reflection is now a complete stranger. I look at his face in old pictures and all that remains is vague familiarity and regret.

I still love him, or at least the idea of him.

Our life together, our four years together has now broken down to humorous stories of a life once lived and a few phrases that we had created in partnership, rolling off my tongue from some imbedded muscle memory.

I closed the chapter on him almost immediately, unconsciously erasing him from myself in some vague effort to rid the pain of throwing our life together away. The regret is for who I was to him, and to myself.

I was a selfish child.

I wish I could go back armed with everything I now know, back to that life, back to that body, back to that Him.

I'm vulnerable.
I hate admitting that.

I wish I could remember the patterns his beard grew in, the shape of his earlobes, even the colour of his eyes.

I'm so sorry. 

Monday, 9 September 2013

That Awkward Moment


That awkward moment when someone in America has your life and they are living it so much better than you are.

Okay, so I may be exaggerating a little but we're basically twins. I don't know what fate brought her in to my life but she has kinda changed my world. Her name is Jes.

I have never met this girl, I don't even know what her voice sounds like...but I don't need to. I know what her inner voice sounds like. I know what her morals are, I know where her compass points and what her hopes and fears are. This is the power of a blog. You invite someone in to experience your life, a window in to your mind and your soul.

Reading about her (frighteningly) awesome life made me feel two things:

1) This girl is exactly where I wanted to be at our age, she is dealing with life and that makes me so much more of a failure. Someone literally has almost the same issues as me and is still kicking ass at life, I suck.

2) I can't believe that I have stumbled upon someone so freaking kick ass! This girl, unlike so many others, has the balls to own her issues, deal with her life and spin it in to something worthy. This inspirational female is exactly who I needed to find to carry on my journey of discovery, recovery and publicity.

The first thought was because I'm not even close to being out the cycle of instinctual negative thinking but the second is where I really am. Just knowing that it can be done, and done with fucking style, makes this all a little more palatable. A woman needs good role models in her life and in a world where there is an inherent lack of them, I am exceptionally glad I found her.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

All Good Things


Today was my last therapy session with my current psychologist. It has been an incredible journey, good, bad and really ugly but every cycle must end so something else can begin. Today was/is a day for pride. I'm feeling strong, capable and bright.

I was asked to write a 'Personal Story' for Psychological Therapies for them to publish, use to show the 'bigwigs' how us with mental health problems deal with therapy and to help the general public to gain a better insight in to our 'demi-monde'.

This was what I wrote:

So far, I have come in contact with the Community Mental Health Team, short term therapy, psychology and I am currently being assessed by a psychiatrist.

I have been suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts from an early age, at 21 I was put on Fluoxetine and the dose slowly increased. At that time, I was offered short term therapy which did not help. I bounced from job to job, having more and more time off for the serious bouts of not being able to function. No one could understand why I couldn't 'shake it off' or 'get over it'. I felt weak and like I had failed at life. I got another job, stuck it out for as long as I could but I would always end up in the same position. I medicated with alcohol and anything I could do to just feel a good feeling for a while. When I was around 22, I was diagnosed with M.E and after coping for a while, I began to spiral. The Prozac had made me numb, I couldn't cry, I couldn't feel and I had no release so that was when I began to self harm. I would bleed to feel a release and to just 'feel'. There wasn't many people that knew about this because they already couldn't understand why I was so broken, so I hid it. I drank and I gambled. Finally, in the depths of my breakdown, I ran to West Yorkshire. I changed medication to Citalopram which enabled me to feel again but those feelings immediately turned in to suicidal thoughts. A great portion of my self harming happened at that time, cutting, drinking and promiscuity. Finally, I was referred for long term psychology and had my medication changed for the last time to Mirtazapine. This medication allowed me to cope enough to get to long term psychology, I can honestly say with out it, I wouldn't be here.

The only issue I had with this in-depth psychology was the waiting list, the whole system changed while I was waiting and that seemed to send me to the back of the list again. At the time, I was incredibly angry about it but I have since realised that in my case, it was the best thing that could have happened as when I finally got it, I was ready for it. When I first met my psychologist, Helen, I went in with a lot of anger and unrealistic expectations of her changing my life and fixing me. It took a while for me to realise that it didn't work that way, she helped me understand that the change comes from me, she is just there to help me puzzle things out and see things from a different perspective. There wasn't one definitive moment when I suddenly 'changed' but I can tell you that for me, it got worse before it got better. As my insecurities and perceptions began to change, my body took on the stress and I began to have uncontrollable panic attacks. I began to feel the same feelings of failure and inadequacy again until Helen helped me realise why they were happening. At the beginning of my therapy, I had isolated myself from friends and family, I was self harming in various ways and I was looking to run again. Now I'm coming to the end of my therapy because I am going home to reconnect with my family. I haven't physically self harmed in over 6 months and I haven't had a panic attack in over 2 months.

One of the things that has been constant throughout this whole journey is writing, I wrote everything down, all my emotions (or lack of) and even had a blog about mental illness. Over the course of my therapy, that blog has changed. The tone is less 'Why, God why?' and more 'Let's figure this out' with helpful tips and hints to make it through a tough day. I began to exercise more (as much as a girl with M.E can) and I have even found myself being optimistic, not just about day to day situations but about my future. I am happy to say, I am on the road to recovery (I'm not out of the woods but at least I've found a path!) and I personally think that it is completely down to the psychologist I had and how much she cared about her job and helping me to get to where I am now. She has encouraged me to think about things in completely different ways, to explore myself and who I am and to keep writing about it. With my whole heart, I thank her.

I think this sums up my experience quite nicely and for once, I'm excited to see what the future has in store for me.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

"Let's Get Physical" - Olivia Newton-John



SHAKE IT, SHAKE IT, BABY!

So, I'm in a typical day of my depression. 
Apathy, apathy, apathy...I want to kill myself...apathy...why am I alive...fuck off. 
I then read some fluff story about depression and ways to beat it. You can pretty much guarantee that in any one of these lists/stories, one of the 'cures' is always exercise.

My reply was always the same.
"Exercise! What the fuck is exercise going to do for me? Why would I do something that makes me miserable to try and make me happy? Who the fuck wrote this? Why are the thin, happy people always trying to control us with exercise?!"
Then came the excuses.
"I have M.E, I can't exercise and it's not like I can just pop to the gym and run for four hours! They aren't accounting for the disabled, what do the disabled and depressed do? WHO WROTE THIS?"
While it is true that I can't exercise like 'normal' people, it is not true that I can't exercise at all. But when you have depression, a work out isn't exactly up there on your priority list between suicide and apathy. As you can already see, me and exercise aren't the closest of friends. I mean c'mon, I'm a chubster, I have M.E. (so exercise huuuurts) and I had a lot of bad experiences in P.E. as a big-boobed asthmatic who was too tall for a hockey stick!

But.

Despite all this, I started exercising. Don't mistake me, I don't suddenly agree with all these gym enthusiasts about it being a miracle cure or the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything (two points if you got that) but I have noticed a correlation between my mood and exercising. I have noticed that after I exercise, I feel a little more positive, a little lighter, mentally. I have also noticed that I no longer loathe exercise and that (shock, horror!) I actually crave it.

Here are some generic exercise facts for information purposes:

  • It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have up to a 30% lower risk of depression. Source
  • Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem and improve sleep. Source

For me, it's about doing something that makes me happy. Something I love, that will motivate me to move and make me smile. My exercise is dancing. I dance alone in my bedroom. I make a playlist of all the songs that make me want to shake my ass, I crank up the volume and I...do some stretches, because they are important. But then I dance! It's not always structured, it's not always something that anyone would even describe as dancing but it makes me feel bloody good and it gets me moving. When I feel like I can't 'shake it' any more, I start with strengthening exercises, slower, more structured. By the time they are done, I am able to dance some mo'! Then I die a slow death. But at least I have a smile on my face.

I'm going to be frank, exercise doesn't sound appealing, you never look graceful and sweat isn't the biggest turn on but no one said you have to do it in public. Get creative, use those beans that everyone has in their cupboard for the day they might fancy them, let's face it, they will never get eaten because they suck. You suck, baked beans! So put them to good use as weights while you jog on the spot. If you find something that you like to do then it makes the process that much easier.

I will leave you with some unlikely sources of exercise:

  • Juggling
  • Hide-and-seek
  • Wii
  • Washing your car
  • Flex when you're sitting or standing
  • Hula hoop
  • Have sex (if it's good, double the endorphins!)
  • Pillow fight
  • Arm wrestle
  • Even housework counts!
Source & Source
Before I did it, I would have read this and told me to "fuck off" and trust me when I say, that's the nicest way I could have put it but just give it a chance and if it doesn't work? What do you want? It's not like you paid for this! 

Exercise, have you tried it yet? 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Crying Shame


CRY

'There is no reason to cry; it's not like anybody died, it's so stupid.'
'Crying is a sign of weakness.'
'Crying is embarrassing.'
'Crying means I have lost the battle.'

Sound familiar? These are all reasons we tell ourselves and other people, to convince us that we cannot and should not cry. It's all lies. 

Crying is a perfectly healthy physical response to overwhelming emotion. Happy, sad, relieved, angry and proud are just a few instances when people get the familiar 'welling up' feeling, but we look away, we take deep breaths and we fan our eyes because crying is inconvenient, it is shameful and it's just downright embarrassing. But why? Why have we become so afraid to cry?

"Like the ocean, tears are salt water. They lubricate your eyes, remove irritants, reduce stress hormones and contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes."

"Typically, after crying, our breathing and heart rate decrease, and we enter into a calmer biological and emotional state."

So tears are proven to have health benefits and can literally calm us down yet we, I, still find it hard to admit that I need to cry. 

I am an emotional person, even in the throws of an apathetic depression some sneaky emotions still wormed their way in and obliterated my tear ducts, but if I cry because I'm stressed or hurt then it must mean that I have lost. I am only just coming to terms with how ridiculously wrong (and stubborn) I am. I am a bottle and eventually I reach my fill, once that happens then I will either dramatically explode or become completely unable to take any more. Crying is a release, a purge and a bloody good one. Better than self harm, better than drugs or alcohol as this is something your body is prepared for and actually welcomes!

"Tears are your body's release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety and frustration. Also, you can have tears of joy, say when a child is born or tears of relief when a difficult time has passed. To stay healthy and release stress, I encourage my patients to cry. For both men and women, tears are a sign of courage, strength and authenticity."
Source 

So, for the love of God, cry your heart out. Not literally, although I'm not sure that can be done but I wouldn't try it, just in case. But cry it all out, the pain, the fear, the tension. Cry at home, at a film, a book, an advert, a puppy, a tin of soup if you have to but just do it because your body will thank you for it*.

Cry and be sedated, cry and be liberated. 

*Your make-up, however, will not thank you so you might want to retouch and maybe carry some tissues and eye drops for the red eye.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Welcome To The Dark Side


I'm acutely aware of how difficult it is to have a friend who suffers from a mental illness. And, in turn, aware of how difficult it can be to have me as a friend who suffers from mental illness.

I have lived with and in mental illness for so long that it is completely normal to me. This is bad for two reasons:
1) You become completely unaware of how much worse you are getting.
2) You can start to become unsympathetic towards the world.
Both are very serious things in my eyes.

I became friends with someone who also suffers with serious depression and in our pairing we found comfort and safety, two against the world is better than one. But, in our pairing we shut out the rest of the world and cocooned ourselves in the seductive embrace of hatred. This created a 'nest' effect that was reinforcing our isolation.

When I started therapy, this began to change. I began to become more self aware, I questioned who I was and why I had let myself get this bad but without anyone to indicate or monitor it, there was no way I could have known. By saying that, I am not absolving myself of any blame, I am merely forgiving myself for something I now know I cannot control. In learning how to be a little less robotic, I began to see how mental health affected other people in my life and then, in turn, how their mental health affected me. Previously (and sometimes currently as I am not in the clear yet) I was unsympathetic to other people and their issues. I was unfairly judgemental because that is how I judge myself and I was of the mindset 'if I can be better then why can't they?'. Only, I wasn't better. I was unfairly taking out my loss of hope on them.

My friend has attempted suicide once and almost attempted it a few more times in the last year. She seems to be caught in a perpetual cycle of sadness that she cannot escape. She doesn't think she can be helped and so refuses it. I spent four years trying to 'save' her. My emotions ranged from wanting to help her, to being angry that she wouldn't help herself, to trying to save her from herself, to resenting her and then back to being a Savior.  It is more complicated than this (isn't it always?) but this is the general outline.

The point of this is, mental health may be more talked about, there may be a creative genius lurking in the shadows of a depressive's soul, I may be trying to show you a different side to depression on this blog but there is a darkness. There is a reason that mental health has the stigma it does, there is a reason that people think it to be a taboo subject and that is because it can get very messy and somewhat disturbing. 

Who wants to talk their best friend out of committing suicide?
Who can handle seeing a leg/arm full of self-inflicted scars?
What is 'normal' to me would still shock the general population and it is very easy for me to forget that fact. In the rare glimpses I get to look in on my own situation, I begin to understand why I'm so isolated. 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

You Are Not An Island




YOU ARE NOT DESOLATE

  • 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year.

  • Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental health disorder in Britain.

My personal belief is that everyone has or will experience some form of mental health problem in their life. The only difference between my opinion and their fact - is the willingness of people to admit to it. We all know someone who grieves in an unhealthy way, turns to drink or drugs as a way to cope or simply loses their temper too easily. All of these things can be attributed to a mental health problem but people don't like admitting to things like that. We think it makes us weak.

I suffer from depression, anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder (recently diagnosed) and M.E. I am not weak nor am I lazy.

It may sound cliché but I am not alone in my depression and neither are you. What ever mental health issue you have, you can be safe in the knowledge that you are not alone in it. Although sometimes you may want to feel special, like you have something all to yourself, like no one can ever feel the pain you're feeling or that no one understands you, I am here to set you straight. If depression makes you feel special then you have deeper problems than you think and you should seriously see someone. If you think that no one else in the world can feel like you or relate to you then you haven't been around the right people. We are out there, we are all out there.

Depression and anxiety can make you isolate yourself, it can make you feel like you are the proverbial island but once the mist clears, you can see that you are surrounded by many other islands...and I'm not sure where this is going but it's starting to sound a bit ridiculous... The point is, you're not alone. Get it?

Find a friend who isn't scared off by mental health, who doesn't suck the life out of you or make you feel weak or lazy for being depressed. Just having one person that you don't have to perpetually explain yourself to can make a world of difference. But, be aware of the amount of energy you're asking from them and in return try not to constantly harp on about your inner monologue, there are paid professionals to listen to that stuff. 

It's not rocket science, put out what you're willing to take back.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Warning: May Contain Flashing Images


My mind is always racing:

What if?
Why?
What will I do?
Why do I feel this way?
Is my mind open to all the possibilities as to why this is happening?
Oh God, what if I'm completely unaware?

It's extremely vexing. All I want to do is sleep.

Night-time is the most dangerous time for me, it's the most vulnerable time. I can go from fine to manic in just a few seconds.

There are two reasons why my mind is so plagued between the time of closing my eyes and drifting off.

The first is because during the day, I have tried to shut out all the things that have unsettled me. I have to do this because it is too much for me to process. It may sound strange but I am so sensitive to the suffering of the world (and myself, and those around me) that if I don't shut it out, it consumes me. RSPCA, NSPCC, starving children and overworked donkeys as well as the long list off issues posted on my news feed. It becomes overwhelming. So I blank as much out as possible but no matter how hard I try, it somehow seeps in to my subconscious and harasses me at night. That's when I can't shut out the noise and the flashing images in my head. I get so frustrated that I end up in a panic and I have to force myself awake and distract myself with something before I become inconsolable.

The second reason, in case the first wasn't bad enough, is that my mind likes to torture me with 'what if' and other ridiculous questions. My mind, I realise I am speaking of my mind as if it is a separate entity to me but as anyone with mental health issues will tell you, most of the time it is an uncontrollable beast that can become very destructive to itself. My mind creates scenarios, constructing every possible scene it can conceive until it finds the perfect one. It then gets disheartened by the notion that 'life just doesn't work that way' and proceeds to run every eventuality that could possibly lead up to that scene. Slightly insane, no? Usually it is just replaying moments, though. Usually the thing I am obsessing about has already happened and the reason I am obsessing about it is because I may not have handled it in the way I would have liked to.

I am fully aware that I worry too much, I am fully aware that I insanely over analyse everything and that is probably a deciding factor in my depression but I am taking steps to try and rework this. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Definition Of Insanity Is


It's endless torture. 
That is all life is; stream of pain and disappointment. I can't shake this feeling, I had a good run but it has all gone back to the beginning.
Because they all let me down.
Because I let them hurt me.
Because I'm too weak to keep them out.
I can't be here, it's too manic. I can't live in this feeling, this state of being, it's uncontrollable. The resentment bubbles up again and I try, I've tried to forgive but there is too much hurt.
How can I forgive anyone if I cant forgive myself?
I blame myself for it all, it's my fault for being so weak, so naive. I let them in, I gave them access to all the things I held dear and watched as they burned it all to ashes. I stood and watched it and could do nothing, I was happy to let it happen because that is all I'm worth.

They have all taken a  piece of me, it adds up. Every snipe, every degradation, every time they let me down. I'm missing bits all over and there is nothing to fill the gaps but hate and resentment. I don't have good judgement, I am blind to the monsters. Why can everyone else see them except me? I trust my instinct and it is wrong, I shouldn't trust one damn person.
Had I died inside years ago then I wouldn't be in so deep now.

I am inside out, the inside is seeping out, breaking the bones of my masks and twisting their shadow in to something to fear, something to hate. I tried. I'm tired.

Tomorrow is another day but this one, this one is broken. This one is tainted, poisoned, dying. This one will end quickly.

You make me sick. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

You're Kind Of Amazing



A few weeks ago I read this post that kind of changed my world. It told us that we need to stop apologising for being our-fabulous-selves. It said a lot more than that but it got me thinking. Why are we a nation of overly polite, humble pie-eating-contest winners?

We aren't allowed to brag, if we do we are branded a show off, a loser, annoying or overcompensating for something else. I know there is a limit but there is a difference between saying "I'm doing really well in my job and can finally afford that new car" and "I just bought the new (pretentious car name and stats), it cost (obscene amount) and it's better than any car in the world!". The latter person is a total douche but why do we feel the need to hide our achievements so that we don't make other people feel bad? I'm not saying go out and hurt people but why hurt yourself, dull yourself down just to save the (very estimated) feelings of others?

The reason this post (kind of) changed my world was because this is something I have done my entire life. I haven't been able to find that line between bragging and humility. I was rarely rewarded for my achievements growing up, it just wasn't something we did in our house. This lead me to be overly needy when it came to approval and so I wanted to make a bigger deal out of my achievements which would amount to bragging. But I hated bragging, it made me feel cheap, dirty and a little bit used, so most of the time my achievements slipped by completely unnoticed.

I don't want to apologise for being educated.

I don't want to apologise for being quirky.

I don't want to apologise for being who I am.

Just because was a social chameleon does not make me fake.
Just because I have a few quirks does not make me a freak.
Just because I laugh at my own jokes does not make me a loser! Okay, even I admit the last one does make me a bit of a loser but do you know what? I am really okay with that.

Embrace yourself, whether you are quirky, brilliant, hilarious (if only to yourself) or just sweet vanilla because the minute we accept and relish all the parts of ourselves that we like, others will too. And the parts that we don't like? Explore why that part of yourself is deemed bad and work though it.

This is me.

I am erratic, romantic, eclectic, eccentric, quirky, and whole heartedly dramatic.

Who are you?

Friday, 25 January 2013

One, Two, Miss A Pill, 99, I'm Crazy



I’m me, but I’m not me.

It’s worse this time. Does that mean that I’m crazier than I used to be?

He looks at me confused. 
I can’t even muster up the strength to explain, to reassure. I can’t use my words. My mouth doesn’t want to speak, my hand doesn’t want to write. My arm feels heavy, my head too…my eyes…my throat…my conscience. I want to hurt everything, them and me.
The flashes are here.
The urges too.
They want me to stick knives in my leg again.
They want me to hurt myself.

I never realised just how much my pills help me. They are literally saving my life. If I could crawl back inside my head, I would today but it’s too dangerous. I will get lost, there is no light or clear path and I don’t know my way around anymore. My therapist thinks I must have some idea as I keep telling her where the dead ends are. She wants me to explore it like I’ve never been there. Does she know what she’s asking? Why would I go back to a place so barren? So cold and dark? There are more than skeletons in there and if you know there is danger then you should stay away, right?

I need to get all this out, my pain is showing on my face. He said I look like I’m about to cry. I would rather him think that than know the truth. The truth is, the only feeling I have today is hate; the angry kind of hate. No love, no heartache. Pride, sneaking in there is a little pride but mostly rage. Impotent rage which feels like an oxymoron but that’s the only way I can describe it. My body doesn’t feel like my own, let alone feel like it’s attached to my head or brain.

I want to sleep.
I want to eat as I’m hungry but I can’t get full.
A hole?
Eating holds nothing; the pain of hunger reminds me I’m here.
Clench…body is frustrated.
Why?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Attack Of The Panic


I am twenty-seven years old.

I had been dying my naturally blond hair to the darkest ebony I could find for eight years. I have had many variations of colour including a blond streak (dyed in).

It all started about ten months ago. Around the time the influx of horror stories about hair dye trickled in to the trashy magazines I loved so much. I had read them with the same apathy I reserve for most of the ridiculous stories they print but I had no idea something stuck.

A few weeks later I had decided I wanted the blond streak back. After I had applied the dye, I was fine. About twenty minutes in, I started getting breathless, my heart started pounding and I started to get dizzy. My breathing was erratic, laboured so I thought I was having an allergic reaction to the dye.  I quickly washed it all off but it didn’t seem to help. I began to panic (unaware that I was already panicking) and called NHS Direct. They went through my list of symptoms and helped me understand that I wasn’t having an allergic reaction but I was having a full blown panic attack.

I had no idea what had brought it on. I wasn’t thinking about the stories I had read; I had completely forgotten about them, but something must have remained in my mind. That is the only explanation I had.  I tried to forget about it, going on with my normal routine. When my roots started to show and it was time for me to dye my hair black again, I had only a few jitters about it. As the dye went on, I was fine. Ten minutes in the same thing happened, breathless, dizzy and a wave of hot panic spread over me. I was convinced that I was having an allergic reaction, washed it all off and sat hyperventilating in the bathroom.

I was determined to remain my artificial colour and beat this new anxiety so I pushed on. The next time my roots showed, I tried again. The same thing happened. At this point I started to research hair dye, I did it to try and convince myself that the symptoms I was having were nothing like that of an allergic reaction. It did nothing but fuel my fear. I began to look in to all natural hair dye, if there was no PPD then it couldn’t hurt me. I spent quite a bit of money stocking up on all natural hair dye but when I opened the box, the same warning label was there. Another panic attack ensued.

Out of fear and desperation, I decided I would go back to my natural hair colour. Let the black grow out and then cut it all off, start afresh. That is what I have done; I now have all natural, very short hair. It was very hard but it seemed like the only option I had. I’m trying to embrace it.

I wish the story ended here.

I would like to point out that I have never had an allergic reaction to anything in my life. Not one thing so my fear is completely unfounded.

Now I have realised that I am anxious about allergic reactions completely, with anything. It didn’t help that my boyfriend had a moderate allergic reaction to Paracetamol and that seemed to cement my fear. It is bleeding in to other areas of my life. Being ill and having a poor immune system, I am on a lot of prescription drugs. I have noticed that I get a familiar ‘hot panic’ feeling when I take anything new. I have had to stop reading side effects as this sends me in to a panic attack; it is the same if anyone reads them to me. It has spread so far now that I won’t allow anyone to dye their hair in my house as I’m scared that they will have an allergic reaction.
This is crazy! I used to think I was invincible but now I’m scared of everything. The panic attacks have become more frequent, I can have them at any time now, and they don’t have to be attributed to anything. I feel like they are stealing my life, my identity and I have no idea how to stop them. I have tried overcoming my fear, battling through it but it only made it worse.

I am powerless.