Poem: Therapy

 

 

Therapy

 

 

Therapy should help you see the opportunities

And light up your night sky with stars,

Not leave you with nothing to show but

An arm full of scars.

It should lessen your troubles,

Not make them doubled;

Strengthen your voice,

And make you feel you have a choice,

Not make you powerless, afraid to speak out…

These last weeks have broken me, there is no shred of doubt.

I’ve tried my hardest, every single week

But each day brings a vision more bleak.

I’ve suffered a secret, unfortunate affliction,

That I dare not speak of –

It’s the stuff of fiction.

A feeling I myself cannot understand;

An experience so tragic and most certainly unplanned.

And now with one week to go,

I’m living through the deepest pain, that nobody else knows.

The weight on my heart each moment, it grows.

The beating no longer resides in my chest…

The imminent loss has dragged it down to its new place of rest.

The pit of my stomach is where my heart goes to die,

Unrequited in torment brought on by ‘goodbye’.

None will know the horror I’ve endured,

Falling ill to circumstance,

Praying for rescue, with no hope nor chance.

My refuge became my prison cell;

Perpetual torture, trapped in hell…

Unable to escape the choices I made,

The cards I played,

The longing in my heart, and the impending grief

Of losing the cause of my heartache, but also of my relief.

Nobody could know, for I’ve worked hard to conceal

The chaos of gut-wrenching emotions I feel.

The therapists know, as does my arm,

All others are oblivious to the destruction and harm,

And how hard I’ve fought, to try and remain strong,

To attempt to join in, and feel like I belong.

I surprise myself that I lasted this long.

I’ve made every session – the whole course I’ve braved…

I only hope at the end of it I can be saved.

Poem: One Slash.

*This poem is about self-harm & depression, so read with care*

 

One Slash.

 

 

One slash of skin and the monster within

Breathes new life.

From that moment the whirlpool had me;

I pedal hard beneath the water, but to no avail,

I cannot escape the clutches of darkness…

I’ve tried and I’ve failed.

The fog has thickened,

The tunnel has collapsed,

The weight of the world has doubled upon my shoulders;

My heart has grown colder.

There is no joy anywhere in sight.

Everything troubles me, nothing is right.

Erratic emotions,

Volatile moods,

One word and then SLASH,

The monster stirs, clawing at my arm;

Although it is a part of me, it wants to do me harm.

Never before in my life, have I been victim more –

Victim to my unstable mind,

I watch my life as it all unwinds.

My sanity splatters against the walls of my soul,

I’ve lost my compass, and all of my control.

Torn apart from all that held me together,

That one slash of skin has changed me forever.

The path I walk is treacherous in nature,

And frightful to the eye;

A slice of me no longer cares if I live or die.

They summoned the demon inside,

Walked away, and now I’ve nowhere to hide.

Its grip on my heart cannot be denied.

The sickness tells me they want me to perish,

An untimely death.

If I cannot help myself then I don’t deserve breath.

If they knew the violence of the monster they’ve released,

Would they swoop in and help me tame the beast?

One slash was all it took

To lure me back, and have me hooked.

One slash, one bad relapse,

One letting of blood and now I’m trapped.

Please save me someone, save me from myself;

I’ve drifted miles away from everyone else…

Alone,

Suspended in purest black,

I’ve fallen too far, now there’s no way back.

There’s no safety net as far as the eye can see…

Could this be the end of me?

I’ve lost the person I used to be.

God, take me back before that night,

Make those blood-stained tiles dazzling white;

Take that razor from my hand,

Make the encounter go as planned;

Undo my actions, and heal my heart,

For that one slash is all it took for my life to fall apart.

Poem: Twice More And Then Goodbye.

 

Twice More And Then Goodbye

 

 

Twice more and then goodbye,

I dare not dwell on it, lest I cry.

But the ache in my chest, knows no rest;

It calls your name throughout the day

And weeps for you at night,

Breaking daily, at the thought of forever

Without that face, that voice, the light of your spirit;

My heart cries an echo of love in your direction,

But you’ll never hear it.

My feelings, formed thoughts, formed words, formed rhyme –

I wrote once of love, but now of loss and the swiftness of time.

I wish you’d stay for evermore,

The wounds of abandonment burn tender and raw.

I’ve sliced and written line after line, of my affection,

The perceived connection,

About your perfection,

And the harshness of reality – your eternal rejection.

The forbidden fruit which grows upon my tree,

Ripened for you,

Offered by me.

But there are some things that simply cannot be,

For my life is a tragedy…

Life brought me to you, only too late,

It always does, life is cruelty and bitterest pain.

There is no sunshine in my sky, it went away,

It hides behind clouds of darkest grey;

I know only blustering winds and torrential rain,

Each day drenching me just the same.

They say ‘Look for rainbows!’

Yet sunlight is needed to light up the sky in radiant colour,

Since there’s no such thing for me,

My life is darker and duller.

Maybe in a different time, a universe far from here,

You could have been my sunshine…

The one whom I’d hold dear.

You’d take my hand and walk with me, to a future of our own;

You’d kiss away the scars of life,

And show me happiness like I’ve never known;

You’d make me feel beautiful, and as though I am your world,

You’d pick the apple from my tree, and make my toes curl.

You’d love me unconditionally

And stay with me for all our lives;

I’d be your best friend, confidant and eventually your wife.

We’d live in bliss for all our days,

The clouds of my life departing, from our love’s rays…

I wistfully dream that maybe, someday, somewhere,

If not in this life, then perhaps once we depart –

In a new life, with a brand new start,

I’ll be given the chance to capture your heart.

And there will be no more hurt,

And no more farewells,

Because ‘Twice more and then goodbye’…

And goodbye is hell.

Poem: Never To Be.

Never To Be

She bids farewell to her heart’s desire,

The pain expanding through her chest.

The nights grow colder; the days more dim,

The sad reality… she will never know him.

She’ll never feel the rhythm of his heart,

Nor be the one to make it beat faster, harder,

Out of his chest;

She will never be blessed enough

To know the warmth of his embrace;

The peace, of resting beside him as the sunrise touches his face.

Her lips will never connect with his.

She’ll never hear his voice again,

That gentle, calming tone, which always soothed her pain

And led her to a dream-like trance;

A spiritual romance.

She will hear his adorable laugh no more,

Nor share in the inner workings of his brilliant mind.

She’ll not see those dancing, deep and penetrating eyes

For the rest of time;

Her life will feel like an imperfect rhyme…

How can a world exist without his presence,

His spirit,

His light?

How can life go on with him forever out of sight?

She will never know the safety of his hand,

The love behind his smile,

The warmth of his breath upon her skin.

She won’t know his achievements and lavish him with pride;

Her deepest fears and secrets, in him she won’t confide.

She will never feel the intimacy of lying in his arms all night,

Learning of his life, his hopes, his dreams,

And putting the world to rights.

She will never be the reason he smiles

And looks forward to another tomorrow,

She’ll never be his solace, his comfort through life’s sorrows.

She won’t share his joy, his pleasure, his bed;

She’ll be haunted evermore by ghosts of words unsaid;

The poems he inspires will never be read.

Soon there’ll be no more goodbyes, and no more hellos,

He’ll live in her heart as he lets her go;

She’ll love him forever, and he’ll never know.

Where Do I Turn?

Where Do I Turn_

 

I’m currently researching whether CBT is useful to those with BPD.

I feel trapped and lost right now. And horribly alone. I’m lacking trust, faith and confidence in the therapy service I’m using at the moment. I don’t think they can help me. I’m going to discuss this with the doctor tomorrow, to see if there’s any other help I can get.

But I’m looking into what types of therapy are useful for people with BPD. Obviously I know DBT is useful, as I did two courses of it back-to-back and it was one of the only things to help me, by reducing my self-harm. The course I’m doing at the moment touches on aspects of DBT, but the support isn’t there. It’s a twelve week course, without individual support alongside it. It’s not long enough, and there isn’t that bond with a therapist. All that’s happening is a lot of old wounds are being violently ripped open, some new ones added to them, and I’m expected to treat them myself and navigate a labyrinth of intense emotions, and suicidal feelings entirely alone. Or at the very least, until the end of the course and I see my individual therapist.

I don’t think this type of therapy is suitable for someone as troubled as me. I need more support than this. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any further help out there. I’ve been led to believe the Community Mental Health Team will not take me on, as I don’t fit their criteria anymore. So where do I turn? What therapy would best benefit me? I need advice.

In my research I’m reading that many people with BPD find CBT quite damaging, though I’m sure there are many cases where it has been useful to people. I’m starting to think we need different treatment, more attuned to our emotional needs. I’m seeing the best options as DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy), Schema-based therapy (whatever that is!), or TFP (Transference-Focused Psychotherapy). Now, as someone with BPD who is currently transferring on a therapist, this sounds like the best option. But I cannot have this therapy with this person, probably not even this service. I might even have to pay to go privately to see a specialised therapist – and what’s the likelihood of me experiencing transference with them, like I am with this one right now?! How can I discuss my transference on him, to a different therapist? How on Earth would that be helpful? What if I don’t form a good bond with any therapist I see?

The way I see it, with BPD it’s important to build a strong therapeutic relationship with the therapist… to be able to trust them, be open with them, and believe they care. The trouble I’m having with this CBT is the emotional distance. I know all therapists have to maintain this, but in a way it’s worsening things for me, because what I need in my life is emotional warmth. So to have that denied by the therapists is very painful for me. It makes me feel they don’t care about me, whether I live or die. It makes me feel like a statistic. It makes me feel like a burden. If anything it’s amplifying the problems that exist for me already, and confirms that nobody cares, and I can’t be cured.

It feels very invalidating at the moment, which I didn’t experience as much with DBT. The deeper connection and understanding is lacking. I know this is because it’s a group course… they are there to simply teach skills and ideas, and nothing else, but surely they ought to take at least some responsibility for the monsters they awaken? The problems I’m currently having are related to the therapy, therefore wouldn’t it be ideal if they could help me with it…. help me see things a different way?

But I’ve come to terms with the fact they aren’t going to help me. They don’t understand my issues. They don’t care what happens to me. I’m going to face a painful loss in a couple of weeks, and I’m expected to just survive it on my own. They don’t get that this isn’t about a course ending. It’s not that I’d be like this whatever it was that was ending…. This is about the one therapist I’m transferring on. The one I admire and don’t want to lose. It’s specifically him I don’t want to lose. He thinks I have issues working with him. I don’t. I have issues NOT working with him. I want and need his help. And I don’t want to face the pain and heartbreak of losing him forever. Why is that so hard for people to understand??

He / they clearly don’t understand transference, as they believe it’s something that should sort itself out, without any help (in other words ‘Just ignore it and it’ll go away’), and if it doesn’t then I just need to not work with him anymore. But they’re missing the point – that I don’t want to lose him. So having it implied I’ll have to lose him if I don’t get over it, is so unhelpful and damaging. Basically it’s saying ‘Get over your fear of losing me, or you’ll lose me!’ WTF?!

Everything I’ve read about transference indicates it’s something to be looked at and worked through. It’s a useful tool to recovery. But I shouldn’t be left all alone with it. This is new to me. I’ve never experienced transference before. I don’t know what I’m doing! But clearly they wouldn’t know either. They think it’s nothing more than one of my ‘vicious circles’ and can be dealt with through mindfulness.

It’s making me angry, because these people have NO idea how much pain and distress I’m in right now. They don’t know about my life. They don’t know how their actions or lack thereof, are contributing to already existing beliefs. They think mindfulness will solve all my problems. ‘Mindfully accepting my emotions’ will see me safely through what feels to me like a traumatic loss. They don’t understand that this is the level of distress I feel, and I need support with it. Or at the very least I need to feel heard, understood and validated… and not in general terms of ‘Oh it’s natural to feel like this when something comes to an end’… I need to feel they’re hearing ME. Like they understand what I’m saying and how big a deal it is to me personally. I don’t feel my feelings matter.

And I don’t trust that they’re not mirroring my life and making me feel distress deliberately, to test me and make me cope on my own. I don’t trust their motives anymore. If I can’t trust them, what / who can I trust?

When Therapy Does More Harm Than Good.

* Self-harm and a lot of very bad language, I’m sorry *

 

 

I find myself being a ball of thoughts and emotions today. Last night fucked me up royally.

I found myself at the MIU at the hospital again after my CBT group. I had gone home and harmed myself badly. The nurse who treated me was appalled that this was the second time I had come away from therapy, harming myself. But she said it’s not the first time she’s heard of it doing that to people. I explained to her that the course is opening up a lot for me, and I’m not getting the support with it. I told her I’m unlikely to finish the course now. I can’t keep coming away worse than when I went. In the couple of months I’ve been there I have ended up at the hospital twice (two of only three times in my life). But I have harmed myself more times at home and not sought treatment. This isn’t right.

Yesterday I asked one of the therapists if I would receive any help with my transference issue at all, as I was concerned that this can of worms had been opened, and I would be left to deal with it on my own. I can’t recall everything that was said, only what I took from what was said… the message I received was that I have to be my own therapist, use mindfulness, and pretty much get over it. It either magically sorts itself out, or I have to stop working with the therapist I’m transferring on. So no mention of help working through it. Fuck that. So I come to therapy to try and help me recover, I have this massively distressing thing come up, and I’m expected to shrug it off or be forced to face a traumatic loss that I’m already dreading. “If you can’t get over it by yourself I’ll abandon you”… that’s how it feels to me. That is so fucking awful to convey to someone like me. I feel utterly powerless and alone. That’s why I harm myself nowadays… I have no control over anything. And things like last night’s conversation DO NOT help.

I wasn’t being listened to, understood or heard. I give up trying to get them to understand me. What’s the point? I wish I’d never even mentioned this issue to them in the first place. The way they’ve handled it, or rather NOT handled it, has set me back years. I am so fucking angry with them as a service. I’ve lost all trust and faith in them. My interaction with the one yesterday made me realise they don’t give a fuck about me, and I really am as alone as I have always felt… they’ve stirred up this shit-storm for me and don’t care what it does to me. The other therapist didn’t help me when I specifically asked for their help, abandoning me when I needed them…. ‘for my own good’, to get me to push myself – I don’t trust their motives now. Both of them have ruined my problem-solving attempts, by rejecting what I had decided to do. They’re fucking useless.

And I feel so upset to have to say that, because only a few weeks ago I was so grateful to them, and desperately sad about losing them. But this set-up isn’t working for me. They’re leaving me in distress and without support.

I told the therapist last night that I didn’t feel safe. They asked if I had the means on me to harm myself, and I said no, and inside my head I was screaming ‘I WISH I DID!!!’ … they asked about how I could keep myself safe tonight… I honestly didn’t know. They just don’t seem to understand my pain and suffering right now. I am getting worse. And they still don’t want to know.

They don’t even seem to recognise how fucking hard I’ve been working every single fucking week to be there, and do the homework and make progress, despite this agonising feeling. The therapist said about it being a block to therapy… which is what I had said originally… I then changed that and said the block is denying it, pushing it away and seeing it as something other than an aspect of therapy. Now here he was saying it’s a block! NO. The BLOCK is the way it’s being handled, i.e. it’s NOT. Why can’t it be acknowledged?! Why can’t my feelings and pain be validated?! Why can’t I NOT be made to feel like a fucking burden / nuisance / unlovable / disgusting / awful freak, for having feelings I don’t want to have.

I should never have said anything and I’m so angry with myself for having done so. I SHOULD have done what I’ve always done and stuffed my feelings down, and suffered in silence. These therapists are teaching me that’s the best way to live. All this therapy is demonstrating to me at this point is that every belief I have about myself and other people / life, is correct. I’m a worthless piece of shit who should kill herself, then they won’t have to deal with me anymore. I hate myself, I hate them, I hate life, and I give up on all of it.

I didn’t open my mouth at all in the session last night. I disappeared during the break. And I left the session quickly, without saying goodbye. Nobody noticed me at all. The therapists, particularly the one I spoke to before the session, didn’t even look at me once. I might as well have not been there. I was invisible. Body language towards me was different. I felt rejected and isolated. During a role-play, discussing ways you could say no to someone, they joked about different answers, and said ‘My granddad died – my other granddad’… and I found that insensitive since that’s exactly what I’m struggling with right now. So I took that personally.

I battled graphic images of what I wanted to do to myself when I got home. In the break I sat in the toilets and decided I would do it. I felt calmer in the second half as I knew I had self-harm to turn to when I got home. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough.

I don’t know if they realise they’re destroying me. And if they realise, I’m not sure they actually care. I have three more sessions. I wanted to spend those sessions making the most of their company, and joining in with the group. But I’ve never felt more alienated in my life. I feel so stupid for ever mentioning transference. I feel ashamed I’m getting worse and harming more. I wanted to be on good terms with them, but now I don’t feel I am, especially since I was totally ignored and blocked out of vision last night. I feel I’ve pissed them off, they’ve had enough of me, they hate me, I disgust them, they’ve given up on me. Which is fine. I’ve given up on myself.

The only good thing is I’m seeing the doctor before the next session, so I can speak to her and decide what’s best for me. I’ll tell her everything and she might say there’s a better service for me. These people are only compounding my problems and leaving me to deal with them alone. This should not be allowed in someone with BPD. It’s dangerous. But I get the sense they don’t give a fuck about that. ‘All lives matter‘, apart from mine apparently. Whatever.

Poem: Life Or Death.

*This poem is about suicide / suicidal thoughts, so please take care*

 

Life Or Death

 

The tragedy of our time…

So many heavily burdened souls,

Stepping off that ledge,

Pressing down on that wrist,

Swallowing those pills,

Wishing it didn’t have to be like this…

So many suffering spirits, tired of this life,

Yet not wanting to die.

Not wishing to say goodbye.

Purely longing for a change in fortune,

A silence in their minds

For people to be more kind.

For the pain and torment to cease,

Simply seeking a moment’s peace

In a messed up world.

To feel a sense of purpose,

Belonging,

To no longer feel alone.

To believe they matter to someone out there,

To receive the right level of help and care.

We don’t want to die.

We just don’t want to live,

Not the way life is…

And these dark thoughts fool us to think,

We’re a burden, a strain, a nuisance, a pain.

We’d be doing all a favour to rid the world of us.

In the bleakness of despair we think not

Of the grief, the aftermath, the fuss.

All there is, is a choice…

Life or death.

But with the life laid before us,

There seems no choice at all.

Life is too overpowering and leaves us feeling small,

Irrelevant,

Dispensable

Forgettable.

We write that note,

Do that deed,

And if indeed we do succeed,

They will never know

We never truly wanted to go.

We longed to be saved,

And so many efforts were tirelessly made

To hold on just one more day,

To seem ‘okay’,

And believe that one person in this world needed us to stay.

But the truth is too painful to say.

We’re alone in life,

Alone in death,

Our pain, only visible once we take that last breath.

Invisible, we go unseen,

Not a soul could notice something’s wrong.

They’ll only discover it when we’re gone.

I’ve been gone a while now,

If not in body, then in spirit.

I’ve been crying out for love and help

But nobody cares to hear it.

I fear where this path will take me,

But what more can I do?

I sent a message out loud and clear,

It’s just not getting through.

I matter not,

To him,

To her,

To anyone…

But I’m sure I will, only too late,

Once the deed is done.

 

Constant Conflict.

 

Constant

 

 

 

 

* Self-harm / suicidal thoughts mentioned *

 

 

The constant battle. The battle between your head and your heart…. your reasonable mind and emotional mind….. between your will to survive and the urge to give up.

Having a mental illness is tough enough to recover from, without having a ‘voice’ inside you, urging you to stay down… to get worse… to undo all your hard work, and do yourself harm, or worse.

If you’ve never experienced it then you’ll never understand why mental illness can be so exhausting. You might look at someone like me and think ‘Well you don’t do very much compared to me, yet you’re always so tired…. you’re just lazy’. And that is unbelievably wrong.

Having a mind in constant conflict with itself has to be one of the most exhausting things in the world. Imagine being bullied, to the point you want to end your life. Think about how it would feel if your best friend suddenly turned on you, and told you what a piece of shit you are, every single day. Or picture yourself climbing a steep staircase, and just as you near the top, someone stops you, and pushes you and you tumble all the way to the bottom, and have to start again… and they keep doing this every time.

Now imagine all those things happening at once. That is what it’s like to be me. Only the bully is in my head. I am the best friend who turned against me and abuses me every day. I am the one pushing myself back down the staircase every single time. My mind is my enemy. My emotional mind is my enemy. And it wants me to give up on life. It wants me to keep harming myself. It wants me to do things totally out of character for me.

It is the thing urging me to go back into the toilets at my therapy group, harm myself again, only this time do it right, and make sure I don’t wake up. It’s the thing telling me to find a tall building, or a bridge and contemplate the end, so that someone can save my life and make me think I’m worth something. It’s the thing telling me to sabotage every good thing in my life, so that I have no reason to hold on anymore.

I am battling between the desire to be well and make everyone proud of me, and the wish to have a complete breakdown, where I’m not responsible for my actions, and nobody will judge me for what I do, and I won’t have any guilt or shame for it. I want permission to fall apart and not be okay.

The fight inside me right now is about my next therapy session… do I really show willing to do better than I did a few weeks ago? Or do I do what the voice inside wants me to do, and repeat what I did a few weeks ago? I battle these thoughts by saying they’ll likely kick me off the course if I did it again, and my life would spiral from there. But the voice inside me screams ‘I don’t care!’

It’s like being an adult, yet having a three year old inside, throwing a tantrum whenever you suggest something that will help you. And I feel like a parent who’s been worn down by that toddler, and is about ready to cave in and give it what it wants. I can’t battle any more.

Constant conflict. Internal battles. A split mind. That’s the story of my life right now.

One part of me wanting to get better… the other wanting to self-destruct and put myself in hospital. One part desperate to let go of the past, the other desperate to cling on. One part shouting at me telling me this transference thing ‘ISN’T REAL!!’… the other saying I should stop invalidating my feelings. One part of me in awe of the miracle of being alive, and the other hating life. One part thinking I’m an awful person, and that’s why everyone treats me like shit, and the other part thinking I’m a good person, and don’t deserve to be treated like shit. One part loving someone, and the other wishing I’d never met them.

My mind is split between the reasonable and the emotional… and I think the idea is that mindfulness is supposed to help the two come together, to reach ‘wise mind’ and allow me to make better choices in the present….. I tell you, it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than mindfulness to fix my mind. I cannot see it working. The emotional mind is screaming too loudly. It’s too far gone… it’s in despair.

The scales are tipped in the wrong direction for me now. There’s less desire to hold on, be strong and fight the urges, and more desire to give up and cut, and not care. And I feel so ashamed about this. I expect better from myself. But I’m just so sick of fighting the whole time. Nobody knows how noisy it is inside my head every day. Nobody understands the urge… the need to lose control and do ‘something stupid’. I’m so fed up with having a conscience that keeps me trapped in conflict. Why do I have to think about consequences? Why do I have to consider the impact on other people? Why do I have to care what people will think of me? Why can’t I just be like other people and just do what I need to do, without hating myself? I’m sick of being this person. And then I feel guilty for not wanting to BE this person… for wanting to go against my morals and values. I can’t bloody win! I beat myself up whatever I do.

The war won’t stop. I just want to make it stop.

 

 

 

 

 

Survival.

Survival

 

The other day I admitted to my family, how bad my mental health is. I am one of the lucky people out there, who has a supportive family. I know some people aren’t so fortunate to have that. I don’t know how I would cope if I didn’t feel the love and caring of my family.

I sat for over an hour, talking about the last week. I admitted why I keep self-harming… that when I did it that time before, it told everyone I was not okay. And then life returned to normal, and people forgot I’m still not okay. Ever since then I’ve had the urge to repeat it, to remind everyone I’m still struggling. I’ve wanted help and support, and caring. I’ve got into a bad loop, where I want to harm myself bad enough to require treatment, but haven’t wanted to reach out to anyone and admit I need that treatment. So I’ve harmed several times and just patched myself up. The last time was at therapy again, I cut my wrist. I’d wanted it to be bad, but since I was conflicted and didn’t want people to know about it again, I limited myself.

I felt ashamed that after saying to the therapists ‘Never again’, I had done it again. That night I knew things had to change. I have to stop harming. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to do it. But I have to force myself not to. I have to try. Otherwise things will continue to spiral down… and I don’t know where that will lead me.

So I need to take every precaution right now to keep me safe. Through discussion with family I have decided to take a break from work (it’s voluntary anyway).

Some might suggest this is not a wise choice, as work is what keeps people well, with a sense of purpose and achievement, as well as boosting confidence… it’s important to keep on working. But that’s what I forced myself to do, not even a week after my breakdown. I rushed back into normality. Harming myself as I did was my chance to have the break from life that I so desperately needed… and I wasted that chance. Ever since then I’ve felt more pressure.

It has felt like I’m powerless… like my life is out of control… as if I’m on a ride that I can’t get off of. I’ve been living from ‘event’ to ‘event’ – the days I’m working, to the therapy session, to seeing my friend, to appointment, to another work day. And I cannot cope with this way of existing. There is no joy. I’m just trying to ‘get through’ everything, to the next thing. I’m wishing my life away. It doesn’t feel safe, as sometimes I just want it all to stop. But since it can’t I have to just go along with the ride, feeling out of control and resentful of life.

The urge has been to do something so extreme I end up in hospital. I even broke down in tears, admitting to my family this week that I want to put myself into a psych ward, just to have a break from life. That was the deciding factor in taking a break from everything. It’s better to have two or three weeks off work, and focus on recovery and self-care, than to burn out and do myself harm, or worse. So I went in on Friday and told them I won’t be in for a couple of weeks, to look after myself. Getting home that evening felt a relief. Knowing I have some time to reflect and catch up with myself.

It sounds strange, but I have felt like I’m not in sync with myself…. like perhaps my body is going through the motions, but my mind is far behind me. Hopefully this break will allow my mind and emotions to catch up, and I can go forward from there, as a whole person.

Life is going to be hard for me in the next few weeks unfortunately, as my therapy course is coming to an end, but I hope to reach out to the therapists about that next week. Nobody knows how much I’m suffering right now, so I have to protect myself and put myself first. I have to care about my own safety and the value of my life…. which is hard, believe me, when you feel nobody else cares about you, it’s hard to feel you’re worth anything. But when you reach a point… a choice… between life and death… if you don’t really want to die, you have to make yourself respect your own life, and guard it.

So the next couple of weeks, I will attend my therapy. I will see my friend, as it’s important to keep contact with those who are good for your mental health, no matter how much you may want to isolate yourself. Other than that, I will be having a rest and trying to find joy in life again.

I’m creating a ‘crisis box’. This will have things in it like colouring books, photographs of my Godchildren, Disney DVDs, a body cream, chocolate, fluffy socks, nail varnish (purple of course!), cheerleading cards, and I’ve bought the original ‘Spirograph’ that I used to love as a kid…. all things that comfort me, distract me, or bring me the joy I used to know as a child. So whenever I’m in a crisis or on the verge of one, I can open that box and use whatever I like from inside. It will be beautifully decorated, and on the inside it will tell me the reasons to not self-harm.

I am going to take any steps I can to look after myself, communicate my feelings, and stay alive and well. Some may think it’s ‘lazy’. I honestly don’t care about those people. They don’t know what it’s been like to be at war in my head, and to want to end the pain and conflict. Yes some don’t have the luxury of being able to take time off work, they have to just carry on. But my current circumstances allow for this, and it’s right for me at this point. It’s not forever anyway.

I’m proud of the choice I’ve made, to have my break from life in this way, instead of a harmful way. What some would call ‘avoidance’ I call ‘self-preservation’. Survival. I need to want to do ‘life’ again. I need to regain hope and passion. I need to find inner peace. That’s my aim in the coming weeks.

xxxx

Baby Steps Through Anger.

Baby Steps Through Anger

 

Nobody knows the truth of the last week for me. So I’m going to write it here, to unburden myself.

I struggled at the CBT group session last week. I was anxious, I’d taken a diazepam, I gave a note to one of the therapists asking for them to help me speak out at the start, and she didn’t. I left with suicidal thoughts. A member of the group appeared to snub me on the way out. I went home and self-harmed, couldn’t sleep, considered phoning the Samaritans, but don’t like using the phone, and couldn’t risk no answer. So the next morning texted the other therapist as I had his number, and it wouldn’t require speaking on a phone. I got no answer. This sparked off reminders of the past for me, and many different emotions. Nobody in my life knows how much I’ve been struggling in the last couple of weeks or why.

In total honesty, I went to my session last night, prepared to harm myself or much worse. I felt really angry at the therapists and group… seethingly so. When we started with a grounding mindfulness, this just pissed me off. I couldn’t take part in it properly, as I was fuming. So in the feedback I told them that. I told them that I went away the last week, in a bad state of mind, and although we were told we could talk to them if we didn’t feel safe, I felt unable to, because of the point they kept making about time restrictions. I told them it made me feel like a burden, therefore unable to open up to them anymore. I also said about the text I sent and not getting a response, and how that triggered the memories of the past. I was so upset and angry as I spoke I had to stop and breathe, so I didn’t burst into tears. My voice shook, but these things needed saying, or else I would’ve walked right out of there and not come back. I told them I had thought of quitting the group.

I was commended for being brave enough to say anything, and for being honest. But not much else came from it at that point. I didn’t receive an apology for being ignored. I didn’t feel a resolution on the other issue, so my anger didn’t subside. It bubbled underneath for almost the whole first half of the session.

One good thing was the member of the group who appeared to snub me the previous week, publicly apologised to me for it… which felt awkward and embarrassing for me, as I’m sure it did for them too, but was nice that they had recognised what they said, and what effect it might have had on me.

But the anger towards the therapists kept simmering underneath. At times I felt I wasn’t listening to other members of the group. I wanted so many times, to excuse myself and go outside for a break, as I couldn’t stand looking at the therapists, particularly the one who ‘ignored’ my text. Their voices were pissing me off, and I wanted to get out of there and harm myself. But I sat with the anger, and eventually it did come down, like a wave. I kept telling myself ‘Just make it to the break’… and I did. But just before the break, my feelings were dredged up again by one of the therapists, and I became desperate to get out of there.

As soon as the break started, I headed for the toilets, and sat in a cubicle, trying to calm down by breathing. It wasn’t working. It didn’t feel enough. So I admit, I harmed myself… not quite as badly as before, but enough to need to treat it again. I kept listening out, hoping nobody was going to come into the toilets. And just as I was finishing up, I heard someone coming in and thought ‘Oh shit, not again’. It was the therapist. I told her I was okay and just needed some time away from everyone. I chatted with her through the cubicle door, not giving away what I’d done, all the while trying to bandage my arm back up as quickly as possible, so that she wouldn’t suspect anything.

By the time I came out of the cubicle, someone else came into the toilets, which likely distracted her, so I quickly washed the blood off my hands. She then said either we could have a quick chat and miss the first five minutes of the second half, or she could phone me today to chat, rather than me feeling rushed at the end. I went for the quick chat, as I thought I wouldn’t be able to carry on otherwise.

When we came out of the toilets, the other therapist was lurking, probably concerned I’d harmed myself again, and he wanted to apologise for not responding to the text. He said he didn’t receive one. However he was aware of a ‘multimedia message’, which he thought might’ve been spam. His work phone is an old sort of phone, so probably didn’t even share my number, I assume, otherwise I’d wonder why he wouldn’t open it. He said he wouldn’t ignore me if I was in distress. It was just because obviously my message was too long, and didn’t come through like it would on a more modern phone. Unfortunate. And going to be hard to get over, as it kicked up a lot of shit for me.

I went for my chat with the female therapist, and told her the week I’d had. She recognised that I had faced three situations, effectively in the space of a day, whereby I felt rejected or abandoned, and how that would’ve felt. She confirmed what I had thought about her lack of support the previous week, in speaking out, and said it was because she knew I could do it myself, and wanted me to push myself to do it. This still pisses me off actually, as that’s not helpful to me right now. I needed the support. And now I don’t know if I can trust their motives. It makes me feel more alone.

I went back in the room and felt less angry, but aware of the pain in my arm. But they’ll never know about that. I’ve become good at hiding my pain and pretending nothing is wrong. I even put on a brave and happy front at home. Nobody will know. I guess in a way this shows I’ve gone backwards even more, as my self-harming always used to be very secretive like that.

But last night I decided enough is enough. I put self-care ahead of anything else. That’s why I didn’t stay up and write this blog last night. I put self-soothing and sleep ahead of it. I’m also going to create a ‘Crisis box’… a nicely decorated box, with things in it that can help me in a crisis – colouring book, chocolate, a favourite film, photographs of my Godchildren, and anything else I can think of – with reminders in it of why I don’t want to cut too. I need to stop self-harming. If for no other reason than I’m running out of space! I realise it’s spiralling out of control, and I don’t want to be that person again. I’m ashamed of who I am at the moment, but I need to be self-compassionate in my approach to stopping.

Obviously I can’t carry the box with me when I’m out, but I’m going to try the rubber band technique when I’m outside the house if I get an urge, and dig into the crisis box when I get home if needs be.

I need to look after myself. Nobody else will. Nobody knows I have self-harmed three times in a week – that’s the worst it’s been in many, many years. It’s my secret… though you now know it too…. so I alone have to face the consequences and pick myself back up. Nobody else can do it for me. They don’t know my suffering. I have to be my own therapist, my own best friend and my own carer. It’s either that or give up entirely and self-destruct. But I’m choosing to TRY and get better.

I hope to start sharing more positive news with you soon. But the positive parts I can take from last night, are that I was brave enough to speak out and tell them what I thought, and how I felt. I got apologies and explanations in the end – unfortunate that it was AFTER I had self-harmed. Things could have played out much worse – they could have discovered my self-harm and kicked me off the course… or I could have done it, run out and killed myself, as it played out in my head. So to just harm myself to the level I did, is a small ‘victory’… I’m still here to tell the tale and learn from the experience. I witnessed that anger can subside on its own, which I’ve not really experienced before – I’ve usually reacted and harmed myself to get rid of it, rather than just feeling it. I have come away more determined to stop harming. And I will never take something to harm myself with again, no matter how awful I might feel, and how big a confrontation I sense coming. I will deal with it in a different way from now on.

I want to make the most of the last sessions I have with the therapists. In four weeks I’ll have said goodbye to them forever. This breaks my heart. I don’t want to spend that time being bitter towards them. I want to try my best and take some steps forward. I have to, else this has all been for nothing.

xxxx

Poem: My Heart.

My Heart

I think of you at dawn’s first light,

Throughout the day and late at night,

I lie awake and try to write,

The way it breaks my heart.

It breaks my heart to know we’ll never,

See a day when we’re together,

This love will echo on forever

But only in my heart.

Only in my heart and dreams,

Can our bond reach new extremes;

I’m deafened by the howling screams

That ripple through my heart.

Rippling through my heart and veins,

The mother of all soulful pains;

The longing for you still remains

The secret of my heart.

The secret of my heart is you;

The butterflies emerged and flew;

Brought us closer, then they drew

Your image on my heart.

Your image on my heart brings peace;

All fears and sufferings decease;

No parting will make me release

This passion in my heart.

This passion in my heart for us –

The purest love, no frills, no fuss;

I crave you in my world, and plus

To have you in my heart.

To have you in my heart’s sublime;

To you I dedicate this rhyme;

I love you for the rest of time…

You’re always in my heart.

Poem: Save Me.

*Implies self-harm*

 

Save Me

 

I’m falling apart, piece by piece,

Cell by cell;

Dug myself a grave and fell

Right in, over my head,

With emotions too deep to keep,

Too real to feel,

Too raw to endure.

Reality dawns, that I might not make it out alive;

The darkness has taken hold –

I haven’t the strength to fight it, if truth be told.

The scales have tipped,

My self-esteem has dipped,

And the ways long-lost have returned,

Refusing all I’ve learned.

Pain has become my language,

Blood, the ink,

My wounds, the words…

But my pleas for help remain unheard.

Look at my scars, I beg you…

Read their story,

Find the moral of the tale;

It’s there for all to read, inscribed in Braille.

Let your fingers feel the outline of my pain;

The ink may dry, but it leaves a stain.

Search each chapter, every single line,

Find where the parchment and pen combined.

Read the tragedy of my mind.

Cover the stains upon my wrist –

Cover them with your kiss,

Heal me, please, I beseech you,

Hold me in your arms, for as long as my arms may reach you.

Take away my agony,

Dry my tears,

Banish the dark and stave off my fears.

I need you now, to take a stand,

Go out on a limb and hold my hand.

Carry my burden, as if it were your own,

Show me love and compassion like I’ve never known.

Give me hope,

Or pass me the rope,

The pills,

The knife,

Be my saviour,

Or let me leave life.

Without you I am nothing,

In your presence I am all;

Be my hero, or let me fall.

I fell in this coffin long ago,

Signed my own death warrant, falling for you,

Now all I can do,

Is enjoy the view

As I’m buried alive by affection,

The reality of your eternal rejection;

Silent, unspoken,

No answer required to leave my heart broken.

Now it bleeds…

Bleeding through the slits in my skin,

Nothing can tame this monster within,

Its sole intent is to claim my death;

To make my blood stagnate, and rob me of breath;

To kill all my hopes and leave me bereft,

And if truth be told, I’ve no more fight left.

I’ve fallen apart, piece by piece,

Now my broken heart prays for death’s release.