How do I begin to explain how awful this year has been? From start to finish it has been an uphill struggle. I end this year worse than I started it, and that’s saying something. This time last year I was about to face my first Christmas without my granddad here. I had finished my therapy course where I had a breakdown and my mental health had got worse. I was trying to pick up the pieces of my life and get through a difficult time. I thought if I could get through that the worst would be behind me. Boy was I wrong….
This year I have had so much shit thrown at me from so many different angles…. from strangers… from friends.
I have experienced paranoia, splitting and what feels like the longest, most drawn-out mental breakdown. Things started going downhill in about February / March… it was the lead-up to the first anniversary of my loss. There was nobody around for me…. no sympathy…. no care…. no support. That’s when I started splitting on everyone and isolated myself. Over time I started to feel disconnected from everything and everyone…. detached from reality… the paranoia crept in and kept getting worse. I have struggled with my grief this year too. I reached the ‘depression’ stage of grief, and I’ve never come out of it.
The world is different now. I see life through a different lens. Everything is darker, flatter, heavier…. nothing feels ‘real’ anymore… not outside these four walls anyway. I don’t feel safe, secure or certain of anything. Life is pain. Just waiting for death. It’s very hard for someone who hasn’t faced a loss like that before to adjust to this new life … and I’ve had to do it alone.
Not only have I had to face it alone, I have had so many heartless people make it so much harder, by throwing their shit at me. I’ve faced more shit this year than I can remember getting any other year. I don’t know if it’s just because I can’t cope with it so well this year, or if there really have been that many more people causing problems for me.
I had a ‘trauma therapist’ (who I didn’t know) deliberately trigger and humiliate me on social media… I had an American ‘Democrat’ attack me for defending those with BPD, from her harmful misinformation where she linked BPD and Trump. I had the people who labelled me as a troll, stupid and a racist, for making a very rational, fair and non-racist point on my own timeline. I had someone stalking my posts because I disagreed with our MP.
I’ve had people thinking I was getting at them and making me feel awkward and disliked by other people, which contributed heavily to me isolating myself. I’ve had people turn their backs on me, who I never thought would. I’ve had people misinterpret everything I’ve said and paint me as a villain. I’ve had them mischaracterise me. I feel I’ve spent most of this year having to explain myself, defend myself and apologise for being ill. I shouldn’t have to do this. I’ve had people kick me when they know how suicidally down I’ve been. I’ve had people hurt me, and double down on that when I’ve brought it to their attention, rather than admit mistakes and apologise…. I’ve been compassionate, forgiving and had none in return. I’ve just had aggression, blame and punishment from them.
People who I thought would be friends forever have treated me the worst… but through it all I’ve discovered those who treat me with the care and respect I deserve. Those who know how to talk to someone this ill and grieving. People who see good in me and tell me. People who don’t think I don’t deserve them. I’m thankful to those people for not holding my illness against me, as some have.
This year has changed me. There may be some good aspects to that, but mainly it’s changed me for the worse.
I cannot stop hurting myself anymore. Whenever I’m left alone in the house I bruise myself… sometimes three times a day, over and over again. The urge is constantly there, so as soon as an opportunity arises I do it. I’ve managed to cut down on cutting recently… that had become a twice-weekly sort of thing at the least. Not done it for a while… the hitting has taken over. The only reason I may seem ‘better’ at the moment has been me focusing on Christmas. I know as soon as it’s over I’ll revert back to how things were before.
I have felt so suicidal this year. For the first nine months of this year at least, every single day I would want to kill myself. I would obsess over how to do it. Just over a month ago I had to phone the Samaritans because I couldn’t stop hurting myself and I just wanted to die. It’s really saying something if I phone the Samaritans, because I do not like using the phone. I had no other choice… it was 1am, I didn’t know what else to do.
My hair-pulling got a lot worse this year… I developed a bald patch on my head…. it grew back….. I got another patch….. it’s an ongoing battle.
I’ve closed down from people. I’ve shut myself away – I’ve hardly left the house most of the year, especially the second half of it. I stopped volunteering. I only went out in the car with family most of the time. But the majority of my time has been indoors at home. I’ve missed so much of the year. That’s why it’s shocking that it’s Christmas now…. I missed Summer and Autumn, so it’s suddenly Christmas and it doesn’t feel like it should be.
I went to the doctor several times as my only source of support for my mental health. She referred me to the CMHT, who rejected my referral without even speaking to me. That was difficult to deal with. She re-referred me and this time they’re going to assess me in January. I don’t expect they’ll offer me help, but at least it’s something. I’ve had to battle through the last year alone. No professional help. No friends.
I haven’t enjoyed things lately. I don’t feel I can anymore. ‘Fun’ events I’ve been to have either felt flat or totally ruined by my state of mind and the way I relate to the world around me. It makes me fear for all the good stuff I have planned for next year. In June next year I’m finally fulfilling one of my dreams I had when I was younger – to be front row for my favourite band….. I only hope I can survive until then. But more than that I want to feel better … I want to enjoy it. If it’s anything like this year has been I will not enjoy it at all. I don’t know if this has been as a result of my illness, grief, or how I’ve been treated by others…. or a combination of all three.
I cannot believe that at a time when I’ve struggled with my mental health and with grief, some people who are supposed to care about me have treated me the way they have. Those people online are strangers – they don’t know a thing about me or my life. They don’t matter. But those who do, and have chosen to be less than compassionate and sensitive, I really don’t understand how they could do that to me. I’m not sure how I can ever forget what they’ve done. But I have to focus on those who have been there for me. Those who have treated me kindly. Those who understand my illness and know how to talk to someone in despair. That will be my focus in 2019…. to focus on the good and put the bad in my past. And hopefully to try and separate the past from the present, which is something I’ve been unable to do this year.
This year has taught me what I deserve… although I feel so utterly shit about myself and think I deserve pain – that’s why I keep hurting myself – I know deep down that I do not deserve the shit people have thrown at me. I know that nobody deserves to be spoken to how I have been this year, not when they’re suffering with their mental health and adjusting to a world after loss. It has taught me not to accept that from anyone anymore, and that I need to stand up and say no to that sort of treatment. If it means losing a person as a result, so be it. They don’t deserve me. Those who care about me wouldn’t want to hurt me, and wouldn’t drive my self-worth down… they’d lift me up, tell me the good things about me and what I deserve and they’d strive to make me feel better. If they can’t do that then they’d at least not make me feel worse.
This year has opened my eyes to things I hadn’t noticed before. And particularly circumstances this Christmas have decided what I need to do to get better. It’s time for a change. I deserve better than this. That’s the note I want to finish this year on. I deserve better. If there’s nothing else I can say about this year, then it’s that. I see that as a positive, to even recognise that I deserve more from people. After the year I’ve had and how I’ve felt towards myself, it’s nice to point it in the right direction and to stop blaming myself. This has been hell and whilst I know it will take at least as long to get out of it, as it took to find myself in this hell, at least I’m starting to recognise the good in me again. I’m remembering who I am in my heart. The words and actions of others have helped me to see it… to see I’m not what they think I am. So to all those who hurt me this year…. thank you. You may have broken me, but you’ve also allowed me to recognise my own worth, and that in a world where friends can turn their back on you at the drop of a hat, I need to be my own best friend.
A peaceful Christmas to everyone. May 2019 be a better year for us all…. it has to be, surely….