World-weary.

 

 

*Depressing post, mentions suicidal thoughts*

 

 

I will be totally honest… I don’t feel safe. I am world-weary. I have had enough of life. It has become too much to bear. Too real. Too painful. Too bleak. There’s no purpose to my existence. No joy. No excitement. Even the things I ‘look forward to’ are flatter than they used to be.

Life changed when my granddad died. Nothing has felt the same. It’s all felt pointless. Mundane. It feels like now I’m just living, waiting for the next person I love to die. I find no real enjoyment in life.

I see people all around me, smiling and laughing, holding hands, kissing, travelling, socialising, getting married, having children, living life…. and then there’s me. Stuck. Paralysed by depression, grief and heartbreak. Everything is dull. I seriously haven’t ever seen so much darkness. I can’t see a future for me. I feel I’m going to be alone forever. I feel like a failure. I don’t want to do anything anymore. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to socialise. I don’t want to exist right now. I’m tired of the same old same old, every single day – wake up, resist getting up, eat food, do nothing/work, think about everything, watch TV, eat food, overthink, cry, sleep, repeat. Okay, it’s not quite like that, but you get the idea. There is nothing bringing me joy in my life. I don’t have a partner, a companion in life. I don’t have children. I don’t have a social life.

Right now I’m not even sure I want those things. But without them I don’t want to live anymore. I wish that the therapist I was transferring on could’ve said to me “You will find someone, you won’t be alone forever”... or something to try and fix me. Now having a broken heart about him, feeling I will never find anyone like him, it depresses me. I think ‘what’s the point?’… If I’m always going to feel this hollow and alone, what is the point in life? Even my hobbies I don’t enjoy at the moment. The only thing I can bring myself to do is writing. And that’s just to purge the negative thoughts and feelings so I don’t act on them. But I feel really close to acting on them.

I can’t explain this feeling. I’m holding on for the sake of my family right now. That’s all. If I didn’t have that emotional tie I would go. There’s nothing for me to hold on to anymore. I feel I’ve lost everything. I know I haven’t, but right now it feels like I have. I don’t feel my life will get any better. I don’t feel I will ever meet someone I can call my own. I feel like I’m always going to be depressed and in pain. I’m never going to receive the help I need to pull myself out of this hole and recover. I was given all the ‘help’ I could be given and it wasn’t enough, it made me worse. I am alone with this now. And it hurts too much. I want it all to stop.

Everything feels out of control. I feel powerless. I feel I’m just going through the motions, doing what is expected of me. This is the first point in my life I’m blindingly aware of my depression and really struggling with it… because in the past when I felt like this I had support. I had professional help. Now I have nothing. I had a crappy IAPT service who made me go backwards in my recovery, and told me to phone the Samaritans. Where is the actual support, for people who don’t want to do life anymore? How could they leave me and let me get to the point I don’t want to live anymore?

I don’t know how to pull myself out of this darkness. I can’t do it. I’m not even sure I want to do it anymore. I’m tired of fighting and surviving. I want a reason to enjoy life again. I want to be saved. I want to mean something to someone out there – not because they’re related to me, but because they couldn’t imagine their life without me in it. I want hope. I want to not hate myself. I want kindness, compassion, understanding, commitment and sustained effort. I want the sunshine. I want a reason to smile. I want a reason to stay alive. But right now…. I can’t see any of that happening.

Life is so different now. The world is changing. I’m losing people I don’t want to live without. My mental health is only getting worse. I don’t know how much longer I can deal with feeling this way.

The Good In The Worst Year.

2017 (1)

 

2017 has been the worst year of my life. If you’ve read my blog you’ll know some of the challenges I’ve faced, the heartaches, the trauma. It’s been a massive struggle to get through it all, and at times I’m surprised I’m still here. What with the loss of a loved one, family health scares, big family fallout, friendship issues, therapy / transference issues and abandonment, my own worsening mental health which landed me at the MIU a couple of times in the last few weeks or so.

It’s been a battle… one I haven’t won yet. In fact I’m close to surrendering, waving the white flag and giving up on life. But so far I’m still fighting. And I thought I’d list the positives from the year… either things I enjoyed, achieved or got through. I suggest you come up with a list like this too, to show that even in the darkest nights there’s a little light to be seen.
I’m sure there’s more, but here’s what I came up with:

Good Things About 2017

  • I’ve spoken out about mental health more, which helps me and hopefully others too.
  • Did a 5k raising over £300 for Parkinson’s UK in memory of my granddad.
  • Gave up Chocolate for Lent / March “Dechox” raised £80 for the British Heart Foundation.
  • Ben Montague studio gig – Ben is a great musician and lovely guy, you should check him out…. was a great gig – and met two of my Facebook friends finally!
  • Seeing The Band musical. A really great show!
  • Looking after my brother’s place while he was away – gave me a much needed break – and got to catch up with a friend who lived nearby.
  • Built more confidence serving customers at work. Long way to go, but progress!
  • Went to Charmouth for the day.
  • Went to the doctor about several issues I had put off for months / years. And had tests done. Very daunting, but got through it.
  • Reached out for help from mental health services (even if it didn’t go well, reaching out was a big step).
  • Phoned Samaritans for the first time, when in despair. A big deal for me with a fear of using the phone.
  • Managed to sell a ticket I didn’t want anymore – figured it out by myself.
  • Cancelled a booking and got a refund on the phone – nerve-wracking!
  • Couple of gigs.
  • Went to fireworks with my Goddaughter for her first fireworks display.
  • Successfully babysat both of the kids at the same time, for the first time!
  • Harry Potter Studio Tour!!
  • Went to the zoo with my Godson.
  • Came off Cabergoline (so far so good!)
  • Finally got over someone who was no good for me.
  • Created a crisis box.
  • Made new friends from therapy.
  • Persevered with my therapy group, determined to see it through to the end. Despite major issues and times I wanted to quit, I didn’t.
  • Got back into writing poetry.
  • Tweeting about BPD connected me to many people on Twitter, who I’ve had interesting conversations with, and hope to continue next year.
  • Had over a thousand views on my blog – over 800 viewers this year. Reaching UK, USA, Germany, India, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Austria, Bermuda, Vietnam, Israel, Hong Kong SAR China, Bangladesh, Singapore, Serbia, Paraguay, Turkey, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Denmark, Belgium, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Romania, Nepal, Slovakia, Switzerland, Pakistan, Iraq, Georgia, Mozambique, South Korea, Hungary, Cambodia, Iceland, and any other who may have appeared since writing this……. Hello to all of you from all around the world – thank you for taking the time to read my posts. I really am a blog nerd, and love seeing where you’re all from!
  • And last but by no means least…. the most important achievement this year….

I survived!

How Do I Move On?

Let Go

 

I’m wondering if any of you have trouble letting go of people? If you feel love or attachment to someone, but cannot keep them in your life, how do you let them go?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I don’t think I’ve ever really learnt how to healthily do it. My experience has been – losing someone from my life / cutting them out of my life… hating them…. pretending they’re dead and don’t exist to me anymore. It’s the only way I know to free myself of past attachments. I have to hate the person, and pretend they’re no longer here.

I could do this quite easily with past friends who hurt me, as I’m angry with them and they didn’t deserve me as a friend. It was easy for me to hate them. Okay, some of that hate came from hurt and disappointment that they could cause me such pain. But hate empowered me to block them out of existence and ‘move on’.

The last man I had strong feelings for, it took me a long, long time to get over… but hatred allowed me to do this. It was easy to hate him. There were many reasons he deserved my anger. He did NOT treat me well. He hurt me more times than anyone else ever has. All I had to do was think about the way he made me feel, how easily he vanished on me, how low he dragged my self-esteem, and I could find hate in my heart for him. This hate and disgust has allowed me to move on from him. I can see a picture of him now and feel absolutely nothing... except disgust at his behaviour. I haven’t recovered from how he made me feel about myself and ideas he gave me about men, sex and love. Those scars and beliefs will be hard to lose, but at least I don’t cry at the thought of him anymore. I don’t feel the need to chase after crumbs from him. I’m quite happy to be on my own until I find someone worth my time and my love.

The trouble I’m having is I feel attached to a man who I have no reason to hate. If you follow my blog you’ll know I’m talking about my transference issue with a therapist. So it’s like going through a break-up with someone you never had, so don’t have any memories to hold on to… no option of saying ‘Well we had our chance‘ – we didn’t and never will! But it’s also like he’s died. The feelings I’m having are similar to those of grief… only he’s not dead…. he’s very much alive and happily living his life, forgetting I even exist. Yet I’m stuck here, feeling like I’m in love with him, and wishing I could forget I ever met him.

How do I move on from someone I never had? How do I move on from someone who didn’t really hurt me, and I have no reason to hate?

Hatred is the only way I know to get over someone. I know no other way. He doesn’t deserve my hatred though. He’s a lovely man. I don’t want to pretend he’s dead to me. But how else do I ever forget him?

Do I need to create reasons to hate him? Do I need to take things that were said, or not said to me… ways he let me down… focus on these things and feel angry towards him? Is hating him my only option? How do you let go of someone, with love? I’ve never had to let go of someone living, who I only feel loving feelings for, and no anger. How do people do it?

I want to be free of the pain that comes from thinking of him. I don’t want to burst into tears whenever I remember I’ll never see him again. I don’t want the sick feeling anytime I hear his name – which seems to have increased since losing him – everyone seems to share his name! I want the suicidal feelings to go away and to be able to think of a future, even if it will never involve him again. I want to be able to hold on to happy memories and the things I like about him, without it hurting to not have him, and without it making me feel inferior.

Obviously what I want most is to not have lost him from my life forever. But as that’s exactly what’s happened, the second best thing would be to not be paralysed by this loss….. to remember him with affection…. hold on to what I liked about him…. and to know how to release the hurt of loss and unrequited love.

I wanted their help with how to let go… but I never received it. Now I’m left to clean up this mess alone. Nobody will ever know how hard this is for me. I miss him and I’m in a lot of pain, that nobody really knows about now. I have no support and have to figure it all out myself. But I’ve never been able to peacefully let go of people I care about, unless they’ve given me a reason to hate them. So now I’m stuck for how to move forward. I wish there was an answer, but I fear there’s not…. not for someone like me.

Have you managed to let go of someone you loved, without resorting to hating them and pretending they’re dead? How did you do this? And how long did it take to be able to look back without pain? Let me know your experiences.

All the best.

xxxx

Flip Of A Switch.

Inferior.jpg

 

I’ve experienced snowballing thoughts before, but nothing like the other night. I had posted a link to someone’s blog, where they discussed ‘quiet borderlines’, which is apparently a relatively new concept. This interested me, as when I first had it revealed to me I might have BPD I thought there’s no way…. I had encountered someone who had it – who was the one who alerted me to the fact the mental health team considered me to have it too! Anyway, this girl was nothing like me. She was loud, demonstrative, openly emotional… I kept a lot of my feelings inside, not wanting others to see me upset or angry. I wasn’t confrontational. If someone upset me I didn’t let them know or fight back. I didn’t appear as though I had this ‘disorder’. I was quiet, rational-seeming, nobody would know I had these issues from my appearance, words or behaviour.

Now, upon reading this blog I found, I thought maybe there’s different sorts of BPD. I already know that we’re all individual, and some will have some traits that others don’t have. We also differ in being extroverts or introverts. Our morals differ too – I know my morals are very different to the person I’m referring to. Maybe I didn’t want to be lumped in with her, knowing how she behaved and how much she hurt me. Maybe it’s a personal thing for me.

Clearly I’m wrong. But I’m not a mental health professional. I never claim to know everything. I’m learning as I go. And my aim is to get myself through this illness as best I can, and help others to feel less alone. I stupidly posted this article, without thinking how it might make some people feel. Us BPD warriors are all in it together. We shouldn’t be split up into the ‘quiet’ ones and the ‘obvious / difficult’ ones. It was never my intention to make people feel that way by sharing it. I had it pointed out to me that most people with BPD match the description of ‘quiet borderline’… like I said, I don’t know these things. I’m not a professional, I don’t work with people with BPD… I don’t personally know many people with it. All I have is my own experience and any research I’ve done over the years, in order to help understand myself. If it is indeed the case that all people with BPD can be described as having quiet BPD, then it’s about time that is illustrated in the literature on BPD. The stereotypical description of those with BPD has to be challenged.

Anyway, point is, I posted that, and saw some comments about it, which made me feel I shouldn’t have posted it. This kicked in my self-hatred. I straight away thought I’d done the wrong thing, and I was a bad person for it, so I deleted it. I thought if it offended one person it would’ve offended everyone else too. I felt like a stupid person who knows nothing. I started calling myself thick and comparing myself to the superior intelligence of other people, including the person I’m transferring on right now….. and boy I shouldn’t have let my mind go there!

Suddenly I was sobbing into my pillow, reminded of having lost him forever. I started feeling inadequate – there must be something wrong with me if I’m still all alone at my age. Even though I’ve had friends support me lately, I had entered that state of mind where I believed nobody cared about me, and they all just tolerate me. The switch had been flipped. A friend had liked comments made about what I posted, and I had convinced myself they thought it was wrong for me to post it, and were ‘against me’. I thought I’m never going to speak out again. I’ll quit social media and my blog. Everything hit me all at once. Usually when I snowball it takes five to ten minutes to go through everything. This happened in a minute or two. Grief and loss. Betrayals from the past. Self-hatred. Flashbacks to therapy. Feeling isolated and alone. Desperation. It all just exploded in one big bomb of emotions.

I wrote a ‘live poem’ – writing in the moment, from my gut, hoping it would ease the emotional intensity. It didn’t. I couldn’t stop crying. I felt I was going to go entirely insane. I unfortunately had a slip up, which I’m really annoyed about, as I’d managed over three weeks without it and have to start again now… and having done it the once, the craving to continue it is back. This is going to be an uphill battle stopping harming again. Without any support too. It’s not fair. But at the time it was the only way to bring the emotions under control – there were too many, for too many reasons, and I honestly didn’t know what to do to stop it. It did the job, but in a way I wish it didn’t do that job, as that’s what keeps me hooked doing it. I know in the short-term it works. But now I feel ashamed, and I’m having to hide my arm again. And my mind is fixated on doing it more. Which then makes me reflect on the lack of support I have, my resentment about therapy, and the transference / loss, which further feeds the snowball effect.

I think I was in that state because it was the first day to myself since before Christmas. So I was finally alone with my thoughts, and let them all in. I was already in a bad mood, as I was trying to write but people kept talking and distracting me.

So it’s funny how little things can add up and have that effect, where one little thing and you’re gone. I’m just in a bad spot right now after therapy issues…. feeling really rotten about myself. I feel inferior to others. I’m not ‘good enough’. I just really don’t like myself anymore. And I can’t see why anybody else would.

I was going to write a piece about this ‘quiet borderline’ thing, but I’ve decided some things are best left alone… at least until I understand it more myself. So let’s just say, however your BPD presents itself, it sucks, and I think we can all agree on that.

I’m going to be writing and blogging a lot more in the coming days hopefully, as this is the worst time of year for me personally… the new year. Hate it. It highlights everything I don’t want to think about. I’d normally think ‘I’ll just get through it, and then it’ll be a new year, all’s forgotten’… but this year I’m feeling like it’ll be more of the same. And in fact the prospect of a fresh start is causing a problem for me – in that there are things / people I’m not ready to ‘let go of‘ yet… and those people aren’t going to feature in 2018 for me at all. That’s a highly depressing thought for me, and makes me not want to do next year.

So I just have to keep myself safe for as long as I can. And then I might start thinking about getting more help to fix what the IAPT service broke in me – shame it’ll probably cost me money to fix that. But if it’s necessary to keep on living and to find an equilibrium, or even happiness, then I’ll have to do it.

Poem: A Part Of Me.

A Part Of Me

 

I tried to slice you out of me, releasing you from my veins,

But no matter how many times I try, the ghost of you still remains.

I tried crying you out, draining your image from my eyes;

I’d tell you I’ve forgotten your face, but that would only be lies.

I’ve written pages of letters, poems, heartfelt words,

But so many thoughts and emotions still linger, unheard.

I’ve blasted music in my ears, to try and drown out your voice,

But in the silence I’m haunted by it, and have no choice.

I’ve tried breathing you out of my lungs, expelling the air,

But on the next inhalation I find you’re still there.

I tried sleeping you away, but you appear now in my dreams,

So the following day I’m filled with silent yet deafening screams.

Even if I awoke one morning, deaf, dumb and blind,

I’d still be tormented by you, for you’re tattooed on my mind;

You’re etched within my heart, until it ceases to beat,

For my heart is alive with memories – not just a scarred lump of meat.

You’re forever in my mind, my heart and even my gut –

Nothing can change this, no amount of words or cuts.

It’s hopeless, I’m powerless, I feel my hands are tied,

My body, my heart, my mind won’t escape you, until the day I’ve died.

Poem: Drowning.

Drowning

 

Inadequacy bouncing around in my skull…

Unintelligent babble of a loon who knows nothing.

Attempts at help always slap me in the face.

The snowball begins –

The isolation, the grief, the despair

All whirling round and down, and down, deeper and deeper,

Dragging me down by the ankles.

I can’t breathe,

I can’t see.

Tears and thoughts of the letting of my own blood, flood my eyes,

A hollowness in the centre of my chest,

A sickness in my stomach.

I try and ride this wave of emotions…

But this is no mere wave,

This is a devastating tsunami,

A vicious whirlpool,

A violent riptide,

All at once, pulling me in every direction;

I can’t find the ground… there is none…

I’m drowning, and my God I just want to let go

And submit to the waves,

Let them take me.

Only then might this pain end.

Only then may the world be free of me,

And my incessant rambling,

My pathetic neediness,

My intolerable being.

I disgust myself,

Pitiful human

Not deserving of love,

Happiness

Nor acceptance.

Revolting inside and out,

I belong in the ground –

Only there will peace be found.

So come on waves, take me now,

Pull me under and end this torment,

For us all.

Love & Loss: An Open Letter.

*Contains swearing, suicidal thoughts etc*

 

Dear Matthew,

All I wanted when I sought your advice, was to know how to let you go…. to know how to stop the pain. I just want it to stop. Why wouldn’t you help me…?

Nobody knows this burden I carry. Yes they now know about it, but it’s not spoken about anymore, and even if it was discussed, nobody can ever comprehend what I’m feeling. Can you understand it? What it’s like… to be wholly enamoured with someone… someone you know you can never have… to be heartbroken with this realisation…. but on top of that to never see or speak to them ever again…

I can’t do it Matt. I can’t do it. I thought I could. Look, I’ve already made it through three weeks without you. I survived Christmas. But it’s having to survive however many years I’m given to live. I know this makes no sense to you, to my friends and family, to anyone, but I cannot do this. I don’t understand why I feel how I do, but this is how I feel. And it’s unbearable.

I wish I never met you… just so I didn’t have to lose you. I don’t know how to recover from this loss. I don’t know how to stop ‘loving’ you. I don’t know how to stop wanting you, missing you and hurting for you.

I dreamt of you last night. It was a nice dream. But I awoke having thoughts of ending my life. I can’t see any other way to stop this bomb of emotions ticking away inside me. I need to scream into a valley and let the pain echo over the land. I need to cry and collapse in a puddle of tears. I need to be held and protected from myself.

I haven’t harmed since that night I lost you. But the scary thing is, I feel I’m beyond that now. Harming myself won’t stop the pain. The only thing that will stop this grief is to see you again. And that will never happen. So do you see the predicament I’m in? There is no other way out of this mess… this torture. And that’s why my mind turns to that dark place.

I’ve started having visions again, of me standing on the bridge. I call your number, just to hear your voice one more time, on the answerphone. But you answer instead. I tell you goodbye. And after that, I don’t know what happens. I don’t know if I jump or if I’m saved. But if I’m saved I want the pain to stop. I want to forget you.

Knowing you has scarred me forever. Not only physically but emotionally. You are my living ghost, haunting me day and night now… I can’t even escape you in my dreams. I just want to forget you. How do I forget you?

Why didn’t you help me? Why did you have to be so cold and distant? Forget the job, haven’t you a heart? I saw it in the penultimate week… when you spoke to me and seemed to understand more – why couldn’t you have shown me that compassion earlier? And why couldn’t you have allowed me closure? Don’t I deserve just one fucking ounce of closure, just once in my life?! You’ve added to the pile of crap I already had to live with. You’ve taught me all people, particularly men, are the same. And I am not worth a conversation. I know, I know… I’m too demanding. I don’t have rights to ask for these things in this situation… you have to do things ‘by the book’. Screw the book – I’m a human being, you’re a human being, couldn’t you just burn the book for a moment and treat me like a person in need of a little human understanding and warmth? I guess that really is too much to ask, of anyone… But do you see how being made to feel that way is adding to my shit sense of self-worth? This is what I mean about being failed by you lot…. I have come away worse off… thinking I’m a burden, a nuisance, an attention-seeker, demanding, needy, stupid, pathetic, immature, completely fucked up in the head and beyond help. I believe you and everyone else there are pleased I’m gone, and no longer an issue for you. I believe none of you gave a fig about me as a person. You all detested me.

And that fills me with such intense rage, I want to throw my computer out of the window, and punch the wall next to me, until I break my own hand, or there’s a hole in the wall – whichever comes first. I want to trash the whole room. I want to harm myself. It’s not your fault I was stuck with a shit therapist, who didn’t take any interest in my struggles, made me feel like an idiot for how I felt about you, and ditched me immediately after the course…. but the fact that happened makes me hate, not only her, but also you. Because you didn’t help me. You robbed me of that option, and made it so I would have to discuss the problem with my therapist at the end, and did she help me? NO. You dodged the issue yourself, made me think I would have support afterwards, and I didn’t. So it feels like you lied to me. You avoided helping me, you lied about the support I’d get. And now none of you have to care what the fuck happens to me. I could throw myself off a roof tomorrow and none of you would be any the wiser. And if you knew, you wouldn’t care!

Do you know how painful that fact is?! That you don’t even give half a shit about me, and I feel 100% emotionally invested in you! I know you can’t help how I feel about you. And my God I wish I didn’t feel it. If it was a physical part of me ‘loving’ you, I would cut it out this instant…. but this feeling for you permeates through every single cell in me. It exists in every bone, every muscle. It’s in my blood and the air I breathe. It’s in my heart and my mind – I can’t cut this out of me… no matter how many times I’ve tried. You’re a part of me now, and I can’t get rid of you. A part of me doesn’t want to be rid of you. I want you in my life, in some capacity. But then I just sound pathetic… for needing someone in my life so much, and feeling like I can’t live without them, and you probably don’t even remember my name by now. This fucking sucks.

I asked you weeks before I lost you, how to detach from you. You never gave me an answer. I wish you had. I needed to prepare for losing you. All you said was about remembering my values. How does that help me? What, remember the fact I’m a ‘good person’ and would never be ‘the other woman’ – this isn’t even the issue – it was never that kind of issue. It was never something I’d have to consult my values about. I know full well that I am a decent woman. I would never in a trillion years go after a married man. I knew this was hopeless and unrequited from the start, I made that clear. My values don’t even enter here. Remembering I’m a good woman doesn’t help me to not have feelings for you. It’s quite possible to have strong feelings for a married man and yet not act on them! I wanted to know how to let you go. And thinking ‘Well, he’s married’, wasn’t and isn’t enough to do that. This doesn’t change the fact that I know it’s one-sided and that you’re married and happy and about to have a child. I know that even in a perfect world where these things didn’t exist, you would never choose me. I know that. This isn’t about whether I can have you or not, and whether I’m a person who would cheat with someone or not….. this is about intense feelings of love, and immense grief and sadness that I’ve lost you, forever. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t have to make sense. I feel these strong feelings for you whether I can have you or not…. whether you’re in my life or not…. this is how I feel. And I can’t just stop feeling this way. I wish more than anything I could. If I could fall asleep, wake up in the morning and have no memory of ever meeting you, my life would be that much better… I’m sorry to say. You’re a lovely guy, but to have known you and lost you, is worse than to have never known you existed. I wish you and other people could understand this concept.

Meeting you has further ruined my life. Because I’m sat here in pain, trying to cope with essentially the ‘death’ of a man who I never had, and who never knew how I felt about him – yet he’s still living life happily, and blissfully unaware of the mess I’ve been left in.

I’ve been left with a whopping great gaping wound on my heart, that nobody can help mend but you. And since you’re gone from my life forever, I have to hope I don’t bleed to death before I find a way to heal it alone.

xxxx

Poem: My Angels.

My Angels

 

This Christmas I shall not own my heart…

Divided into two parts – one half for my angel in Heaven,

The other my angel on Earth,

Both missing from my life, never to be seen again;

Two shining examples of extraordinary men.

One, with a soul I wish to commemorate and build upon,

The other, a soul I admire and will model as The One.

One I shall meet in Heaven,

The other, destined to be parted forever;

One just beyond the veil,

The other protected by a ten foot wall –

I’ll never know of his life, and he’ll know nothing of mine;

But my angel in Heaven watches me from beyond the sky.

This Christmas my heart shall be broken,

By grief, which is merely love that cannot be spoken…

It has nowhere to go… no resting place;

It echoes on through time and space.

Grief is love eternal.

And my angels shall be loved for the rest of my days;

The one in Heaven shall walk beside me, always,

My Earthly angel has gone,

Vanished from my life, but his memory will live on.

He opened my heart without even knowing,

And no Heavenly force could stop my feelings showing.

This Christmas my heart will be full of love,

For two men I shall never forget,

Even long after their final sunset.

One has forgotten me and taken his own path,

Blissfully unaware I’ve been torn in half;

My Heavenly angel loves me, but is eternally at rest.

To have known them both I’ve been truly blessed.

This Christmas I’m hurting, but we’ll never be apart,

For when they both left me, they took with them a piece of my heart.

 

 

IAPT, BPD & Me.

iamalone

 

*Apologies for any bad language – a slight personal rant included. Mentions self-harm & suicidal thoughts*

 

I don’t know if I’m just not understanding the meaning, but there seems to be something very misleading about ‘IAPT’ services…. ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ – how exactly do they do this? I had access to them for four sessions. Okay I did a twelve week group as well, but that’s very different to working on your own individual issues with support. Four sessions to fix not only the problems I had before the group, but just the one to resolve issues that were awoken by the group. So yes, I had access, but now I don’t.

I feel that by ‘improving access’ they mean it’s accessible to everyone – in other words you can refer yourself. And you will get seen because it’s such quick turnaround. They see you for a couple of sessions and then ship you off to a group course to keep you occupied, before signing you off of their books, and shipping the new recruits in.

In a word, it’s a FACTORY.

There was something I saw on Twitter recently about IAPT and the burnout rate for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners and High Intensity Therapists. This made me stop and think about the pressures that the staff are under to reach targets and provide the service they do. They may not have the training they need and the funding, to help those in need, and perhaps they feel powerless. But I had it pointed out to me that that’s not my problem.

I shouldn’t have anything to do with that side of things. I should expect top-notch care from people whose job it is to keep me safe and well. And if they failed me, they failed me. I shouldn’t feel sorry for them, that they are struggling too. I shouldn’t feel like a burden or like I’m too complex for them. I cannot help having the mental illness I have. I cannot help the fact there’s no support out there for people like me. I’m in need of help, and I should take up whatever help I can get – and it’s their job to provide that help. If they couldn’t do that, they’re not up to scratch, and that’s down to them.

Yes there are massive gaping holes in the NHS and mental health services. Something needs to be done about this. The staff are doing the best they can. They’re likely stressed and unsatisfied with the state of things too. But the difference is they are able to quit if they want. They can leave their jobs if it gets too much. I don’t have that luxury. I cannot quit my mental illness. I wish I could but I can’t. I need the help of people like them, in order to try and pull myself out of it. I rely on them. So I need them to do their best to help me.

And unfortunately in my experience I don’t feel all of them did their best. Even my doctor seemed disappointed in them. She knows how hard it was for me to keep going back to the group after my self-harming incident… that I pushed myself through the last few weeks of the course, to get the support at the end, and didn’t receive it. She herself had said weeks ago that the service was unlikely to abandon me at the end of the course, as clearly I’m not well……… that’s obviously not how the service works!! It seems they get rid of you, regardless of what state you’re in.

 

10

 

I wrote something about my incident so that the facilitators of the group, and my therapist would be aware of it. I believe those running the group read it, though I could be wrong – not sure I trust anything now, regarding this service. But I believed my therapist had it passed on to her. However it seems it was ‘added to my notes’ – which she clearly had no interest in reading. What was the bloody point?? I had already harmed because an encounter with one of the facilitators had left me feeling powerless, and that had made me question what the point in using the skills was, since they wouldn’t allow me to do so…. so to have my therapist, on top of that, make me feel like I wasted yet more of my time, I just think there’s no point trying with them. It’s not even like I’m a difficult person, refusing to co-operate! I was eager to learn, and to try things… I had knowledge and was pro-active. But it seems I was ahead of them in some regards. I knew what they could do to help me, but they didn’t seem to have a clue.

Is this my problem, or theirs? Is this a lack of training? Is it a lack of experience with someone like me? Am I too demanding? Am I too clued up about my own mental illness? Is it lack of funding to actually offer me real help? Is it apathy towards me?

Whatever it is, it felt like I was screaming out and pleading for their help, and they refused to give it. I felt like ending my life at times, as it would be doing them a favour, as I’m clearly a burden to them, just as I am to everyone else. I honestly thought they wouldn’t care if I did end my life, and they would’ve left me to get to that point. I actually considered doing this at one of the sessions. I harmed myself in a dangerous place, not caring about the consequences. But I was interrupted before it could go too far. I patched myself up and carried on as if it hadn’t just happened. They never knew this, and never will unless by some miracle they happen upon my blog and know it’s me.

At one point I spoke to one of the facilitators, and he said that if I’m struggling with the course and can’t go on with it, I could be offered a different therapy… I asked if that was through a different service somewhere else, and he said no, through this service. But me being a glutton for punishment, I chose to see the course to the end, and see my therapist. Now, if I hadn’t finished the course, would I have been offered this magical different therapy I wonder…? Because I sure as hell wasn’t offered it at the end. I don’t even know what it would have been!

I thought IAPT was about accessing different therapies – I thought it would open doors to recovery by being referred on to people who could help me… I thought it was this ‘stepped care model’ and with me being ‘Step 3’ I could be ‘stepped up’ to the CMHT if necessary. So do I assume that my therapist didn’t think I was ill enough to require this level of help? She clearly didn’t think I needed ANY help, as she discharged me! She thinks I need to help myself now. Well thanks a fucking lot! It’s not like I’ve been trying to do that for the last five years of my life!

Do they honestly think a twelve week course will help someone like me, and then that’s it? In a normal circumstance then perhaps… but given the disruption to my learning I experienced during that course, because of self-harm and transference, it’s almost impossible to feel I’ve benefited from the course, like others may have. So to treat me as a normal case, thinking I should be able to cope on my own now, because I’ve learnt the skills, taking no responsibility for the individual difficulties I faced because of this service, it’s not on. It’s not good enough.

And I hate to be someone who complains. I hate to seem ungrateful. It’s particularly hard, because one of the facilitators actually patched me up after I harmed myself, so I feel grateful to her, and the other one I admired greatly and felt emotionally attached to, so to slag off this service after the work they put in makes me feel really guilty.

But I think it is possible to be grateful for the help I did receive, to feel the way I do about one of them, and still say the help I received was not enough. It was a bad experience. They could have done more. And should have done more. I’m trying to come to terms with this conflict. I am grateful, I liked the facilitators as people, I feel strongly about one of them still, but as a service they let me down. And in fact each member of staff I came into contact with let me down personally in one way or another at some point. But people make mistakes, I know this. They are only human.

I don’t know if I’d use this service again. If I did I’d ask to see a different therapist, as I feel like we didn’t really gel. In fact I didn’t like her attitude at all. But right now I just need to recover from using this service. In the new year I hope to look at my folder from the group, and really reflect on what was discussed, because right now it’s a blur of emotions when I think about it. But otherwise it’s just business as normal – I have had to survive on my own for years now… no, I shouldn’t have to… I should get the support I need, but obviously that’s not going to happen, so I have to continue on as before, just with more psychological scars to contend with. I’ll give it my best shot… either I’ll sink or I’ll swim. I’ll either recover on my own, or I’ll reach the point where I can no longer be denied the help I need. That’s the sad state of the mental health services now… you have to be on death’s door before they’ll even contemplate helping you anymore. Either that or you have to be mild / moderate to be helped by IAPT. Unfortunately I’m more complex than that, despite what this service’s paperwork indicates (they said I had something like moderate depression and mild anxiety – you can’t diagnose me from that piece of paper, let me tell you that! It doesn’t cater for people like me). But the thing is I’m not actively trying to kill myself, therefore I’m not ‘ill enough’. So I, like many other people, particularly those with BPD, am stuck with nowhere to turn. That’s why being abandoned by this service now is a kick in the gut. I’m isolated because there’s no suitable help out there for me.

IAPT obviously isn’t geared up for those with BPD. But is that my fault? No. When I was discharged from the CMHT I was told that this service I’ve just used, is my option. In fact they’re my only option. So that’s why the doctor told me to speak to them. They’re most suitable for those with depression and anxiety, and hooray – I have both, but I have more than that too, which they can’t help me with. But does that mean I cannot have help? Since I don’t have an official diagnosis of BPD I’ll probably never get the level of help I need. I’ll probably never be able to see a psychiatrist to even be given the diagnosis now, so I am well and truly screwed. I, like many others with BPD, appear to be a casualty of the system, yet again. Not well enough to be treated by IAPT, and not ill enough to be treated by CMHT. Yet we as BPD soldiers, are most at risk to ourselves, so how it can be allowed that we suffer on our own I really don’t understand. At times I feel we’re deliberately being left to fend for ourselves, so that we will become part of the statistic, of ‘1 in 10 dying by their own hand’ – perhaps they want that particular statistic to grow. Maybe society wants us gone. Maybe I am a burden. Maybe they want me to kill myself as I am deemed ‘weak’. Like survival of the fittest, and although we’re stronger than most people will ever be, we’re viewed as ‘pathetic’ and ‘beyond help’… whilst those at either end of the scale for mental health are ‘worth saving’.

 

for your very special wishon thanksgiving!

 

The damage that is being done to those of us who already have in-built beliefs, that we are worthless, a burden, unlovable, and we fear rejection and abandonment, is off the scale. I’m screaming inside ‘WHY WON’T ANYBODY HELP US?!‘ Do we not deserve help just as much as someone with mild depression? Have we not got as much to offer the world as someone with moderate anxiety? Does my life mean NOTHING??

Mental health services should be there to fix these beliefs we have about ourselves and life. They should be helping us to feel worthy. To make us realise we’re not a burden and we deserve love. They should be supporting us and encouraging us, not neglecting us and abandoning us after a couple of sessions. Many people with BPD, though not myself, have experienced neglect or abandonment as a child – to have that replicated by mental health services in adult life, is shameful.

I feel I was neglected in this process. And now I’m on my own again… with more negative beliefs lumped in, just to make it all that more difficult. I feel resentful towards them.

But the only good thing I feel right now, is a unity with all those other people out there with BPD, who cannot get the support they need, and are just as desperate as me. That gives me strength right now, to fight for justice for them, if not for me. The mental health services may not think my life matters, and I might not think my life matters, but I believe the lives of other BPD soldiers matter. And none of them should be let down like I have been let down. So I will keep speaking out for them. They are the only people who understand how I’m feeling right now. They are the ones who know what it’s like to constantly be at war in your own head, and to feel like your heart is screaming in pain, and exploding silently in your chest. The only ones who know the battle to get up in the morning, and pretend that a night of crying and harming yourself didn’t happen… we live to fight another day, with no hope in sight. They are my family. And they matter in this world. If mental health services can’t see it, then at least I do.

I know the strength it takes to ride this rollercoaster every single day. I know the ‘highs’ that aren’t actually all that high, and I know the lows, as low as Earth’s core. I know the feeling that we will never fit in, and function in this world like ‘normal’ people. I know the self-hatred. I know the intense emotions and the emotional and physical scars they leave us with. I know the despair, the fear and the loneliness. I know the pain of just living. Whilst others enjoy their lives we simply exist, and try to survive. We deserve more than this. But we can’t do it alone. We need mental health services to help us. That’s their job. So unless they want blood on their hands, it’s about bloody time they do it.

xxxx

 

worth.jpg

 

 

Forever Etched.

I see line after line of almost parallel scars, like rungs of a ladder, as though they're symbolic of%

* Discusses self-harm and scars – read with caution *

 

At the time of writing this I am two weeks self-harm free. It may not sound a lot, but with how things have been lately it’s a massive achievement for me. Not only have I survived two weeks since the end of my CBT course, which was a traumatic loss for me, but I’ve also not harmed myself since late that night, before I called the Samaritans.

The urge to do so has lessened, but it’s an odd experience to be triggered by your own scars. I’ve written before about how I feel about my scars, and the strange, complicated relationship I have with them. A part of me hates them and wishes they didn’t exist. Another part of me doesn’t want them to fade and is fascinated with them.

People who don’t self-harm would think it’s crazy that we could ever like our scars. But it’s an odd sort of ‘like’… it’s detesting them, yet being afraid of losing them. Not that you ever lose a scar, they just fade… they’re always there, just not as visible.

I want to talk about my scars, because it’s troubling me a little bit at the moment. I’ve just been through a period of my life where I have harmed myself quite a bit, and quite badly at times. Whilst I was in that zone I wasn’t bothered by the wounds and scars. In fact I wanted more of them. I’d always be eyeing up the next space to add another. I’ve always tried to keep my harming to a small area that can be covered with a plaster, but unfortunately over the last couple of months I broke out of this zone, and once I did that I no longer cared about containing it.

Certain emotions set me off and I couldn’t stop doing it. I honestly didn’t care about scars – I didn’t even think that far ahead. And after a wound had healed, I would crave a new one. It sounds insane when I think of it, but when you’re in the state of mind I was in, that need is overpowering. Pair with that the fragile emotional state I was in too – I was controlled by my self-harm.

Whilst I have a long way to go to recover, and I’m still battling some very deep, intense and distressing emotions, I feel more in control in this moment. Don’t get me wrong – some nights I’m up until the early hours of the morning, crying my heart out in desperation, and my urge is to end that emotion the only way I know how. But so far this fortnight I’ve managed to resist it.

It’s only now I’m away from what was causing me distress that I am clearly seeing my arm and the damage I caused. I see line after line of almost parallel scars, like rungs of a ladder, as though they’re symbolic of the desperation to climb out of the pit of despair I found myself in. And even from saying that you can see I see them poetically. But at the same time I hate to see them. I hate that I have them and will now have to hide them for months until they fade. I’m disgusted by them. I’m ashamed. Some of them I remember the event that led to them.

Out of all the scars, I can still pick out which one started it off – I can see the one I did at therapy. I can see the second one I did at therapy. I can see the one I did after a bad session and interaction with the therapist I was transferring on. I can see the one I did once the course ended. Those stand out in my mind. The rest have blurred together. But I recognise some of my scars for the events, and in that way it’s a painful reminder of things I’d probably be better to forget.

Oddly enough the worst and biggest scar I have came from after that bad interaction with the therapist, and I went home and harmed – but I ended up going to the hospital to have it treated, and they used steri-strips and glue, to minimise scarring… the one and only time I’ve had a wound glued and it’s turned out quite a bad scar. It’s peculiar because it healed so well to begin with. It was closed well, a small line and suddenly it started growing bigger, it’s itchy even all these weeks later, and red around the edges, and it’s bumpy. This is where the fascination comes in. I feel my scars, especially if they’re raised ones… and the feeling’s the same – it’s a slight interest, but mainly disgust and it freaks me out.

But the thing with scars, is although they’re reminders of bad times, they are also reminders of hard times I survived. They also have memories attached to them of self-care and love. For instance, the one that started this slippery slope of self-harm has memories attached to it, of being found by one of the therapists, and her treating it for me…. having the hospital look after it…. me looking after it. In fact because I damaged the tendon, it has memories of that and the fact I didn’t self-harm for three or four weeks after that, as I was looking after myself. It was only once I’d really begun healing from that, that I started chasing the feeling again… wanting to recreate it – for very complex reasons, which I will cover in a future post.

So there’s actually a lot of emotions connected with our scars. They’re not just a physical sign on our bodies. They’re an emotional experience forever etched in physical form. And at least for a little while, we can call to mind that experience and the emotions we felt, just from seeing that one scar. I find it takes about as long as it takes for a scar to fade, for the emotional memory to fade with it.

So whilst at the time self-harm feels like a good choice – actually, at the time it feels like the only option if I’m honest – all it does is keep the bad experience around longer. It might bring the emotional intensity down in that moment, but every single time we look at our scars we will be reminded of what made us cut in the first place… and in that way we give the situation or person more power than they are worth.

One day I will forget this period of my life. I will look at my arm and these scars will be white. I won’t recall what happened to cause each particular scar. The emotions attached to my scars will weaken, and I will be in a different place, fighting different battles.

But right now I’m in recovery. All I have are my scars, my memories, my emotions and my strength and determination to beat this addiction. I’ve done it before, I can do it again, and although I will likely never stop entirely, I can have control over my urges to harm, instead of them controlling me.

I may feel guilty, ashamed and repulsed by the sight of my arm, but at the same time I have to love and accept myself, scars included. They are not the sum total of me, but they are a part of me, and I have to learn to like and love every part of me, in order to recover. This will be my aim in the coming months.

 

Christmas… (With A Mental Illness).

Christmas

 

Christmas. Need I say more? Do we really have to do Christmas this year?

This time of year can be difficult for those of us with a mental illness. There’s so much joy and excitement in the air, and people being ‘merry’, going to parties, ‘getting in the spirit’, talking about their plans.

 

Those with a mental illness can find it a stressful time… an upsetting time… a lonely time. I know it’s hard for some to comprehend but some of us find Christmas and the New Year…. sad. For some of us it’s a time of reflection… thinking of people we’ve lost… things we haven’t achieved… how lonely we feel. I hate the New Year and in actual fact the last few years I’ve slept through it, as I hate that moment when midnight strikes, and I think about all the people I wish I had in my life, all out there at that same moment, celebrating a new year, getting on with their lives whilst I’m still stuck where I’ve always been. I only stayed up for the New Year last year, to be with my family, as it was going to be the last one before my granddad passed away… I wanted to be supportive of my family… we’d had such a rubbish year last year and all wanted to kick that year out the door, and welcome a new one in. We knew it wouldn’t be a ‘better year’, as we knew we’d be facing that loss at some point, but it was good to start a different year.

 

This time of year can be difficult for those of us with a mental illness.

 

I used to love Christmas, but now I hate the bugger. I feel I should get one of those ‘Bah humbug’ hats. For the last six, seven years or so Christmas has felt worse and worse. This is because I am chronically alone. I never have a special someone to share it with, and I’d love that more than anything. I know I have my family, and I love them more than life itself – they’re the reason I hold on to my life! We have a lovely Christmas together. I just wish for once I could be happy with someone, and he could be a part of my Christmas too. It sucks always being the single, lonely one… every single year. And feeling that because of my mental illness I will never find someone who could love me, and stick with me. Christmas reminds me of what I don’t have. I’m able to fool myself for the rest of the year, that I like being on my own, but when Christmas comes around the loneliness glares at me.

 

Glares

 

This year is worse. This year is the first Christmas since my first loss. My granddad isn’t here anymore. He was ill last Christmas. He had been in hospital for six weeks, where we almost lost him, and after that he was at home in bed, for three months before Christmas. He had changed in his mind after going into hospital. He had times he wasn’t really there. He wouldn’t always know who we were or where he was. I decorated a small Christmas tree for his room last year, so that he could still feel a part of Christmas. We knew it would likely be the last one. We didn’t know at the time, but in less than three months he would be gone.

The day before the funeral was a big fallout, that still hasn’t been resolved, and until those at fault apologise to us, it never will be. They’ve always been a problem, and this time they crossed the line. But we should have been pulling together as a family after my granddad went, and he would be so upset that his death split the family up. We should’ve been helping each other through it. I’ve not been coping with his loss at all. Along with other issues it’s led to me harming myself a lot more, not wanting to be here… my family should be a source of support. But they probably aren’t even aware how badly I’ve been coping with it. They don’t talk to my parents, so they don’t talk to me either (not that I want them to now anyway – they’re in my bad books until they acknowledge what they did and make up for it!). I even felt it at the funeral… being the youngest of the family I would’ve liked my cousins etc to be protective of me and make sure I was okay. They said hello and goodbye to me. That’s all. This lack of caring and support from ‘family’ only adds to my sense of loneliness, isolation and grief. So there’s bad blood in the family this year to contend with too.

There’s the fact he’s no longer here. The fact my nan is alone. We don’t feel like celebrating. When people think about ‘What do you want for Christmas??’ – I want him to be here again. I want to have him back and well. I want happiness. I want good health for myself and those I love. I want someone to love and who loves me. I want inner peace and to like myself. I don’t want anything that can be bought. I want the impossible.

And then there’s recent events for me – my therapy and worsening mental health. My attachment to one of the facilitators of the group. The hopeless feeling of love towards him, which I thought would get better after finishing the group, but it’s only feeling worse right now. I will never see him again. It feels like another bereavement, and just before Christmas too… makes it even harder. It’s like I’ve had my heart broken, and gone through a break-up with someone I never even had. It’s hard to recover from that, because if it was a real break-up there’d at least be some happy memories in there… I could say ‘We had our chance’… I can’t do that here. And I’m grieving for him, but he’s still living… It’s very hard to know how to process a love that isn’t real, a break-up that didn’t happen, and the death of a person still living. I don’t know how to cope with love when it is real! Or a break-up when it does happen. Or a death when they’re truly gone forever – all of these ideas are new to me!! So to have it all not be ‘real’… it’s messed my head up, and the worst bit is I’ve now been left to deal with it pretty much alone.

Therapy has ended. They didn’t really help that much. I’ve been offered two sessions with someone to work on transference, but otherwise that’s it… I’ve just been left to pick up the jagged pieces that continue to cut me, every time I think about him.

I’m going to be in pain this Christmas anyway, but with the loss of him, and missing him, it’s going to be even tougher. I would’ve loved just one Christmas where I wasn’t missing a guy, pining over a guy, crying over a guy. This was set to be the first Christmas in years that I could say that, and then I had to start this group in September and boom… ruined. So yeah…. not feeling too festive this year….

You hear all the songs in the shops, and I don’t know what’s worse for someone grieving, someone who’s depressed, lonely and hates themselves…

  • “So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun”…. What have I done? Bugger all, thanks. Survived maybe. Oh another year is over, and I’m still in the same place I was last year… or even worse – I’ve gone backwards.
  • “So here it is Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun…. Look to the future now it’s only just begun” … Everyone’s having fun are they? Well I’m not. Thanks for rubbing that in. Look to the future?? What if you see no future for yourself? What if the idea of the future fills you with pure dread?
  • “It’ll be lonely this Christmas without you to hold; it’ll be lonely this Christmas, lonely and cold” … You don’t say…. two things in this one thank you…. loneliness and the fact I’ve lost someone I love. I’m avoiding this song at all costs at the moment.
  • “I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know; make my wish come true – all I want for Christmas is you” … Kicks me in the heart right now, as there’s someone I wish I could have, who I cannot have… and as usual, every Christmas there is someone I do want who can’t be mine. This was going to be the first year without that problem, but now that’s ruined.
  • “It’s Christmastime there’s no need to be afraid… at Christmastime we let in light and we banish shade” … For some it is a time to be afraid… afraid of our own minds and if we’ll make it out alive. I fear how I will get through Christmas and the New Year. And if you’re depressed it’s a dark place…. just having something called ‘Christmas’ doesn’t suddenly make it any lighter.
  • “Time for parties and celebrations, people dancing all night long; time for presents and exchanging kisses, time for singing Christmas songs” … I don’t get invited to parties. Even if I did I likely wouldn’t go, as I don’t like them. It’s all joy, material gifts and people snogging each other. No joy here. I want things that can’t be wrapped up. And kisses… yeah, right.
  • “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” … No, it’s not. If you’re happy, loved, and have hope then perhaps. If you’re mentally ill then it’s probably one of the worst.

I think ‘Fairytale of New York’ is the safest bet for a Christmas song….. Who knows what the heck they’re even singing about anyway!?

This year has been hard, with the loss of my granddad, the health of another close family member, the family fallout, friend issues, my own worsening mental health, the ‘transference’ issue – which has left me feeling like someone I love has been ripped away from me against my will; losing support of the mental health services at this time of year, whilst in the most challenging period of my life….. and now I’m supposed to do ‘Christmas’ too?? No thanks.

 

sui thoughts

 

For me, like many others with mental health problems, this is a time of year to simply survive and get through… and then we start a new year, and have nothing to look forward to, as it’s just going to be more of the same – depression, anxiety, loss, heartbreak and suicidal thoughts.

So if you’re out there being jolly and loving Christmas, spare a thought not just for the poor and the homeless this Christmas, but also for those who cannot find a smile on even the most ordinary of days, who have to force themselves through the festivities whilst battling their own demons. Think of those who won’t make it through this time of year, and those who only just scrape by…. Don’t call us Scrooge. Don’t call us The Grinch. We’re not ‘party poopers’ … we’re fighters, and we fight our mental illness every single day, including Christmas Day… Mental illness doesn’t give us the day off. Please remember that.

 

Scrooge

 

And if you’re feeling low, scared and lonely this Christmas, just know you’re not alone. There’s a whole army of survivors out there, feeling just the same, just aiming to get through this time of painful reminders. We’re all in it together, and will still be here to support each other on the other side. Let’s remember each other this Christmas.

Xxxx

Open Letter: Why Didn’t You Help Me?

*Bad language*

 

Dear *James,

Yet another night I’m sat in tears over you. I guess I should want to sleep, as that’s the only way I will ever see you again. I’m heartbroken that I didn’t even really get to say goodbye to you. I wasn’t mentally present. I don’t know if you wished us well, said goodbye or what. I didn’t even say thank you.

I wish so much that I could’ve been given the opportunity to sit down with you, once the course was finished, and just be allowed to talk about the elephant in the room…. to finally express how I felt, and perhaps find some level of healing. In a perfect world I would’ve been allowed that closure. I would’ve been able to say anything I needed to, and I would’ve had validation, that it’s okay to feel how I do, it’s a positive, and you might say that you hope I’ll find someone to share these feelings with… that I don’t need to be ashamed… and that there is hope… there are good men out there.

This could’ve been your opportunity to fix all the broken parts of me, all the fucked up beliefs I have… you could’ve played a huge part in my healing, but now it feels like you’re a part of the damage. I wasn’t given the space to express myself. I wasn’t given closure. I could’ve done with you checking that I’d be okay after the last session…. that I’d be safe… you had the knowledge that I felt unsafe about losing you… you knew that. So why didn’t you care what might happen to me when I walked out the door?

I know throughout the course you couldn’t help me, it wasn’t your job. That’s why I held onto it all, to speak to my therapist about it at the end. But she did fuck all to help me. I feel you’ve all abandoned me with it. This massive horrible, heart-wrenching experience and it’s like none of you want to know.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I came along and delivered a problem to your door – something none of you were prepared for. I’m sorry I’m that person. That one who fucks everything up. I’m sorry I ever said anything. I wish I hadn’t. This has only reaffirmed the belief that I just should not open my mouth ever. I should suffer in silence. None of you have made me feel it’s a good thing I opened up about it, so I can only assume it wasn’t.

You probably think I saw my therapist and she helped me and I’m okay now. You’re probably not concerned about how I am. But you lot failed me. And now I’ve been sent out into the world to cope with it on my own. You all washed your hands of me. You’re free. But I’m suffering, because of the way you handled this.

And to be honest, those feelings paired with the feelings I have for you, and the loss of you, are making me consider the bridge again. I’m so sick and so tired of feeling how I do tonight… and I feel it most days at the moment. I feel such an overpowering sense of love towards you, that I know isn’t ‘real’ but it fucking feels like it right now. I feel sick to my stomach at the thought of forever without you. I don’t want to do ‘forever’ if that’s the case. I just feel if I could’ve had one conversation with you afterwards, it might have cleared things in my head, and allowed me to move on. But just like with everyone else from my past, you didn’t allow me that closure. So now I’m stuck in a place of love, loss, and abandonment.

You know, here I am thinking about jumping off a bridge, and here you guys are leaving me with this huge problem to solve on my own – which effectively feels like you’re throwing me off the bridge, or at least giving me a push. Therapy is supposed to help you, and make you feel safe. I’m more of a danger to myself now than before therapy.

I just want you to know you could’ve done more to help me. I would’ve really appreciated it. You might’ve freed me from my past, but now I’m firmly rooted in it. Now my heart is violently ripped open and won’t stop bleeding, and I don’t know what to do. I just want the pain to stop. I want to not love you. I want to not miss you. I want to not lose you. But I do, I do, and I have. And nothing can change that. I just wish you had helped me when you had the chance.

xxxx

 

*Name changed