Coronavirus & My Mental Health.

It’s a concerning time for everyone right now, with Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading across the world. Many countries are going into lockdown and confining people to their homes. In the UK people are panic-buying toilet roll, hand gel and paracetamol, and leaving the shelves bare of many other things too.

 

Many events are being cancelled. Social distancing means appointments are being cancelled as well as groups. People are working from home. Social gatherings are being banned. Restaurants are closing their seating areas and becoming takeaways. Schools are closing until further notice. Pubs, clubs, theatres, zoos are closing. We are now effectively in lockdown and can only leave our homes for essential shopping, medical reasons, work or exercise. Groups will be dispersed. People may be fined for ignoring these rules. Initially this is three weeks, but will be much longer no doubt. It’s worrying times.

 

I want to tell you about my own personal worries and how this is impacting my mental health. I really feel for everyone out there right now, who has a mental health condition and is facing the prospect of months of isolation, with no support. I’m with you.

 

Last Tuesday my peer support group got cancelled for the foreseeable future. It hit me really hard for so many reasons. I don’t have friends anymore. That group was the only support I had… socially. They were my only contact with actual human beings outside of my house.

 

In the year or two prior to attending the Wellbeing Centre, I had isolated myself. I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t talk to anyone, besides family. I didn’t have hobbies. I didn’t have goals. Things were incredibly bleak and black. I was on the verge of ending my life. I obsessed about it daily. I felt certain it would happen in the next six months or so. So attending the Centre has helped me tremendously….

 

I felt human again, after being out of contact with other humans for so long. The journals we keep in the sessions helped me to look at things more positively. I found more gratitude. I recognised my achievements. I started wanting to achieve more. This year I’ve signed up each month to walk 25 miles… trying to collect medals for my efforts. I’ve also got back into hobbies such as drawing and poetry. I’ve taken up new ones, like crochet – that’s helped me so much. I love learning all about it. I looked forward to seeing everyone and being able to talk about things with someone. So losing all of that now, it’s really upsetting.

 

It’s made worse by the feelings and I guess a form of attachment I have to one of those taking the group. I’ve battled so hard with that this year, secretly (other than writing about it on here). I’ve talked to the Centre about it. Unfortunately things weren’t left on a great note, as after the last session I had a conversation that sent me backwards in my recovery. I also think I upset the person I have the attachment to, and so didn’t get a chance to apologise for it. (This has changed since writing this – he’s reassured me he wasn’t offended and I’d just misinterpreted his comment…. so that’s okay, even though I wasn’t basing my belief on what he said but rather his body language… so I don’t believe him, but at least that’s ‘resolved’).

 

But now I don’t know if / when I might see him again. I already dreaded losing him one day down the line. But I knew it wouldn’t be just yet. I wanted to focus on the time I had with him rather than thinking about the inevitable loss… but with everything closing down for God knows how long, I’m forced into a ‘loss’ situation with him. I have a sense of grief for being without him. And worse than that I fear for him… I worry something might happen to him. And I worry I won’t get to see him again. I feel silly for caring about him. He’s not mine to worry about. But I do. And I can’t keep him safe. I have no control over if he’ll be okay or not. I won’t even know if he’s not okay. And I miss him already. The thought of weeks or months without him feels unbearable. I wasn’t ready for this. It feels like a darkness that will never end. It takes me to a place I’m scared of.

 

He brought the light back into my life. Even a three week break was too much for me. The light faded. It’s gone again. I fear it won’t ever return. At least I knew after three weeks I’d see him again… now I don’t know when it’ll be. This will be longer than three weeks, I’m sure of it. Without seeing him, having contact with others, or having any friends to talk to during isolation… I don’t see how to survive it. I won’t be the same person at the other end. I know that for sure.

 

I had just started making progress, which unfortunately got ruined a bit last time, but this is going to take me back to square one. It’s the not knowing when it’ll end or what life will be like afterwards… who’ll still be standing. It’s terrifying.

 

Not only that but the three year anniversary of losing my granddad was this weekend just gone, and I needed that support from the group. I needed to go last week and this week. Because nobody supports me online. I’m invisible to everyone online. And I have no friends. So that’s all I had. Also in a couple of months it’ll be the first anniversary of my friend’s suicide. Again, I have no support with that. Nobody talks to me. I needed to know I had the group to hear me. I’ll be all alone with these difficult dates. I’m highly aware of all the loss I’ve faced in the last few years…. and now there’s more loss, of the group and the person I care for.

 

It’s highly likely that every event I had booked up last year, to keep me alive this year will also be cancelled. I’ve got the theatre next month…. was going to see Queen in June and Westlife in July and August – was going to actually see them on my birthday this year – it would’ve been the best birthday ever….. but as usual it was too good to be true… just like last year getting front row seats – that was too good to be true, so my friend who was going with me took her own life five weeks before… turned a dream come true into something to just get through and grieve. I can never have a good experience. It’s true. Something always, ALWAYS ruins it. Every single time. So this takes me to a depressing place where I just think ‘what’s the point?’… Life was hard enough without all this.

 

Add to that the anxiety I feel. Before, my anxiety symptoms tended to happen outside the house – my blinking tic, my palpitations were associated with leaving the house. Now I’m having them at home. The fear of the unknown, the sheer scale of this and all the drama of it, it’s too much to cope with. To someone with anxiety it feels like the apocalypse… for real. I actually said the other day, this is pretty much like an asteroid situation isn’t it….. to which I was told it isn’t – because in an asteroid situation you’d just have to accept that’s it and you wouldn’t survive, whereas with this at least there’s hope and we will survive it. But it still feels ‘end of the world’ sort of stuff. Maybe because of my depression and that it is kind of the end of my world right now.

 

I’m also seriously concerned for loved ones. All of my family would fall into at least one of the vulnerable categories. I seem to be the only one who doesn’t. I’d say at least that’s something. But the thing is I’m not concerned about me getting it. I hate life at the moment. If something happens to me so be it. But losing someone I care about to it? That I can’t do. I can’t lose anything else. I have a very small family. I can’t lose any of them. I would gladly sacrifice myself, catch it and die if it could spare them all. Some of those family members I won’t get to see now. All I can do is worry about them from afar… again not knowing if / when I’ll see them next. What if something happens to them and I never got to see them again? I hope to speak on the phone to the people I care about. I have an older colleague / friend who lives alone. I really feel for her being isolated. I know she will hate it. So I will try and stay in touch with her too. I wish I could do more for them all, but I can’t risk carrying and passing anything on to them. So I have to keep my distance and not go out.

 

I’m used to isolation. Before I went to the Wellbeing Centre I’d stay in my room most of the time, with the curtains closed. I’m not one who typically gets bored. The only reason I’m struggling with the idea is the lack of support and social interaction with real human beings, beyond these four walls. It’s the fact that I had stopped totally isolating myself for about four months…. and now I have to go back to isolating again. It’s demoralising. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to break back out of my shell again one day. I’m not sure I will. It took a lot of effort to get where I did. If I hadn’t been shown the light for a few weeks then I wouldn’t miss it. I would find isolation an absolute breeze, as it was my reality for at least two years! It’s being given something and having it taken away that I struggle to cope with. But I will do my best to cope nonetheless.

 

I’ve decided to make a list of things I can do with my time. I plan to avoid the news, forget the reason why this is happening, and just treat it as an enforced holiday. I will do things I enjoy. I will look after myself and see it as a period of recuperation. Here are some of my ideas:

 

  •  Catching up on sleep!! Anxiety is affecting my sleep cycle at the moment, so I’ll try and get extra sleep and find a routine.
  •  Binge-watching boxsets…. from things like LOST, to Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, even Dawson’s Creek – many episodes of old shows to watch.
  •  Exercise – if a time comes when I can’t even go out for walks, I can still do exercise – either DVDs or online workouts, or the exercise bike.
  •  Trying to improve my drawing skills.
  • Get back into painting again.
  • Keep learning more about crochet and creating lovely designs. I bought another batch of colours the other day to keep me busy.
  • Playing guitar.
  • Listening to music.
  • Playing old Wii games.
  • Playing online games – on Facebook, Royal Games, Sporcle, or doing all the Escape The Room Games online. There’s lots to be played!
  •  Tidying and cleaning. Necessary stuff.
  • Playing board games with family. If none of us are going out then we can’t pass anything on to each other.
  •  As long as I’m able to leave the house and go to the postbox down the road, I’ll write to those I care about, living alone, and keep them in the loop. Otherwise I’ll just phone them.
  • Writing poetry.
  •  Blogging – on this blog and on my poetry blog. I can find old poems I’ve written and design the banners for each of them, which is fun.
  • Keeping a journal about all of this so that one day when we look back, I can talk about how we got through it.
  •  Learning new skills. I taught myself crochet by watching YouTube videos. I could learn other things too.
  • Brushing up on shorthand now I’ve found my shorthand dictionary.
  •  Losing weight. So that by the time I next see other people I’ll be a whole different person. They won’t even recognise me!
  •  Jigsaw puzzles.
  • Puzzle books.
  • Reading.

 

There’s SO much I can do with my time. I certainly won’t get bored of that. I might just feel a bit lonely. I’ll miss people. I’ll worry for people. But I can keep myself busy. Or not. I can equally just rest and do guided meditations to relax. We do what we must to get through this. And then hope that life can continue afterwards as it was before.

 

Staying at home is no problem for me. That was my life last year and most of the year before. I only went out for appointments or to volunteer. I didn’t see anyone socially. I didn’t go to the shops. I hardly left the house. So in a way it’s no different for me. The way I’m struggling, already, is the thought I might not see people from the Wellbeing Centre for months on end. The light at the end of the tunnel has been snuffed out. Also while I was going out to the Centre and meeting with people, I placed less focus on people online. Now I have no contact and have no friends to chat to, I find myself noticing how invisible I am again. I post and nobody notices. Nobody talks to me. I liked not caring about that for a while. Now I feel very isolated again. It has turned my mind back to things I’d pushed out of my mind – the friend who abandoned me, and the friend who took her own life. Wishing I had both, or either of them right now. I feel very lonely already. It’s forcing me to face all that again when I really don’t want to. I had started moving on.

 

Having experienced a change to the isolation I knew, I now feel it more to have to return to such isolation. It’s like being shown love, to have it cruelly ripped away moments later. With mental illness I find that hope can be dangerous… despair is my life. If all you know is despair then it doesn’t feel as bad as things improving and then getting worse again…. the despair then feels so much worse and like something you can’t survive. It makes you think it’s better to stay down in that pit and never see the sunlight for a moment. You start to fear happiness or hope. The darkness feels even darker after the light.

 

Anytime I’ve looked forward to something, something has ruined it. And just as I started to try and turn my life around this year, this has happened. What’s the point? By the time this is over, most if not all of that work will have been undone.

 

Nothing can replace what I feel I’ve lost at this moment in time. I  fear losing more. But I’ve decided that every Tuesday I will blog about the things I’d normally write in my recovery journal at the Centre. I will list three things or so that I’m grateful for, one thing I struggled with in the week, what I learnt from it, and three things I’ve achieved. It won’t be the same. But it’ll keep my mindset on recovery, gratitude and achievements.

 

It’s taken a while to get this post done. I’ve felt a bit under the weather the last few days. Was worried I had this Coronavirus thing, as I’ve felt breathless and been coughing ust a little bit. But probably just anxiety. I feel better today.

 

Anyway I hope everyone stays safe, follows the advice and rules and you can all find your way through this difficult time. We’ll come through this together. But I fully understand how hard it is for people like us. Stay strong and take care.

 

xxxx

 

 

Poem: My Prison Soul.

My Prison Soul

 

 

My Prison Soul

 

I almost tasted freedom from this prison of emotion;
The closeness of you, my key…
You came so close to saving me.
I peered through the lock, awaiting your arrival,
Beholding the light of you,
And a world free from these shackles of darkness.
Your radiance shone through the keyhole,
Straight through to the cold, murky walls of my prison soul;
That ray of hope kept my fighting spirit alive.
I waited for the sound… the turning of that key;
Through the lock I watched a shadowy figure approach –
The silhouette of a woman blocking you from view,
Ushering you away, and there was nothing I could do
But wail after you –
Come back! Don’t leave me in here! I need you! I need your light!”…
Helplessly I watched you fade out of sight;
The woman jangling the bars of my cell
As she forbade me farewell,
And doomed me to this relentless hell;
Withholding my liberty,
My chance to escape…
She bound my hands
And sealed my mouth with tape.
Left here to rot in silent solitude
And to never complain
Or ever again
Ask to be released.
She will not be satisfied until I am deceased.
It won’t be long my dear –
My heart beats its final beats
As the will to endure perishes.
Nothing can live forever in the dark…
‘The prison guard’ ripped my light away,
Now I’ll never see the dawn of day.
My only companion is the voice in my head –
The one saying I’d be better off dead…
Is this what you wanted?
For me to die?
Left to fight to the death – my demons and I?
I shall not win, for my wounds run deep;
If abandonment you sow
Only death will you reap.
My mind and body are weak;
I have not the strength left to even speak.
The pleas for help die in my mouth –
They’re swallowed by my heart;
My insides ripped apart…
These bones break on the walls of frustration;
My blood runs cold on the floors of isolation.
My recovery shot,
My name they forgot.
If willing was enough, then my heart would stop this minute –
For what is life with no light in it?
She trapped me and gagged me, and threw away the key…
Now, without your help I will never again be free.

 

 

 

Poem: Drowning Through Life.

My Prison Soul (1)

 

Drowning Through Life

 

That place between life and death,
That void…
That’s where you’ll find me;
Swimming around in an ocean of emotions
Too immense for the human soul to witness,
Or the human body to contain.
No breaths of relief can be taken here.
I choke on the fluidity of people’s inclination to care,
To stay there,
To see my worth;
I drown in the words unspoken,
Unheard,
The lack of sentiment, the lack of words.
I gulp down indifference
And gargle blame,
Lost in this sea where nobody recalls my name.
Even the sharks that usually circle at the scent of blood
Care little to devour me –
Nowhere to be seen;
Though I bleed profusely from my wounds,
I bleed not red but emerald green…
The colour of envy –
Envious of those who get to live on solid ground
And know not the horror of drowning through life;
Jealousy of those who matter to someone,
Whose cries can be heard and are satisfied
By a love, an interest, a connection,
The warmth of affection –
Not left to the ravaging currents of these ice-cold depths,
Forever a
lone…
My blood is water,
Water, my blood –
My broken heart feeding salt to the sea
Which then in turn reminds me of how those tears came to be.
Can anyone see me here, sinking under the waves?
Am I worthy of being saved?
You’ll see my face in a crowd
But I am not there –
My mind is elsewhere,
In that far-off land – unable to live, not ready to die,
With no-one to help me or to bid me goodbye.
Look for me in between these worlds,
Find my soul;
Please see me
And return me to myself,
Or else
I fear
These days will be my last.

 

 

 

Manifestations Of Anxiety.

I’ve noticed in recent weeks that my anxiety is getting much worse. I’m noticing how it’s affecting me physically. I’m really struggling with it to be honest and don’t know how to cope with it.

 

I haven’t really blogged about anxiety before, as it was more under control in recent years… it seems to have got worse since seeking help for my mental health. Anyone who reads my blog might have an idea of what I’m experiencing at the moment, and my mind is pretty preoccupied with that right now. My mind feels packed to the rafters. I feel paranoid, although to me I don’t think it’s paranoia, obviously. And I feel almost obsessive. My mind won’t stop. I’ve had to become obsessed with crochet for the last couple of weeks, to try and stop my mind obsessing over my feelings and the situation I’m in…. I’ve done so much that I’ve damaged a nerve in my thumb now. That’s the level of obsession and emotions.

 

I’ve noticed so many physical symptoms attached to my anxiety. I’m sure some would sympathise when I say that IBS can be an issue. My emotions definitely affect my stomach. More recently I just feel discomfort and lose my appetite. Food doesn’t interest me. The discomfort of eating in public is coming back – any situation that might require eating in front of people I don’t know, I will avoid.

 

I don’t want to sleep – I stay up late thinking – I think I was awake until 3am last night, and only had about six hours of sleep.  And when I wake up I’m straight into obsessing over everything, so can’t go back to sleep. I’m feeling impatient to sort out this issue that I’ve sat on for two weeks. I know I won’t feel better after having done it, as a new wave of anxiety and issues will start, but having to sit with such uncomfortable feelings on my own for this long, it’s been hard. Saying that, I sometimes just want to sleep through it all and wake up when I can handle it. But the whole ‘can’t eat, can’t sleep’ thing seems to be the main thing for me.

 

Very recently I’ve struggled with breathing. Feeling I can’t breathe deeply enough. Seeming out of breath when walking – and it’s not because I’m unfit… I’ve been walking more this year, so my fitness is doing better. I know it’s anxiety related.

 

I also have palpitations. I sometimes get ectopic heartbeats, so extra beats, where it can feel like your heart stops beating for a second and then it thumps extra hard – I think it’s something to do with electrical impulses to the heart that makes it add an extra beat. It’s odd that it’s actually extra heartbeats when it feels like missed heartbeats. I’ve had them before and the more you’re aware of them, the more they seem to happen. But recently it’s all the time. I’m not even aware of them in that sense. But if I’m imagining a scenario, or I’m about to go out, or exercising… or anything really, my heart is going crazy… like it hasn’t got a set rhythm. The trouble is that makes you start to worry there’s something wrong with your heart – which will then make it worse. I guess more than anything they’re annoying. But I do feel a little ‘off ‘when I get them. This is one of the biggest issues with my anxiety.

 

The other one being the tics. This happens mainly when I’m outside the house and around people. I’ll blink and it feels like I haven’t blinked hard enough. I know that sounds stupid… but yeah, I’d call it a blinking tic. And I feel sure people will notice it and think I’m weird or whatever, and that anxiety about people noticing it makes me do it more. It’s frustrating. I find it’s worse when it’s cold and windy – probably because I wear contacts, so it makes me need to blink more in the first place. I think the answer is to close my eyes and breathe. But it’s hard to do that walking along! I actually have a stomach tic too, which thankfully isn’t noticeable like the blinking one. I used to have this when I ate food, back in the days I was thin and didn’t really eat much food as I thought I was fat. I’d feel uncomfortable, so I’d tense the muscles in my stomach and once I started I couldn’t stop. But that’s not as often now as the face one.

 

Obviously I clench my teeth and get headaches associated with it. Same with other aches – I probably hold a lot of tension in my back, shoulders etc.

 

And my hair issues have become worse again too. For a few weeks I didn’t pull hairs out. I didn’t cut split ends off. It’s one thing that definitely improved. But it’s returned now. Obviously that’s something I do privately at home, but again, it’s obsessive…. it’s compulsive…. it takes over and I have to do it. I know it’s related to the anxiety and maybe the impatience I feel at the moment.

 

I just want to get on and resolve this issue. It’s the anticipation of it – having to psych myself up to confront it and follow through on it. Not knowing what reaction there will be. What consequences there could be. Knowing that once I’ve done it I can’t undo it, but also there will be nothing more I can do. Things are really bad at the moment… I just want them to be aware of it. I’m in a very triggered state right now, in so many ways. It’s too much to deal with alone.

 

I’ll write more about anxiety at some point, but just needed to get this out there. It’s a huge issue for me now.

 

 

 

Forgotten & Fading.

So this week has consisted of me feeling extremely depressed, suicidal and isolated… reaching out about how I feel and getting zero back…. contacting my doctor because the chemist said there was a shortage of my medication, only for the surgery to then tell me the chemist have my owing medication in (nice of them to inform me!)…. talking to someone on Twitter about politics, only for them to come  back saying ‘Sorry don’t know you (etc.)’ as if to say ‘I don’t know you so your opinion is irrelevant to me’… ‘Who are you and why the hell are you talking to me?’… oh and then today expecting a call from the Job Centre – they never called.

 

So to sum it up – I feel entirely invisible. Whilst waiting for my phone call I started wondering if I am in fact real…. or if I’m dead… I even started thinking maybe I’m actually a figment of someone else’s imagination.

 

Facebook ‘friends’ didn’t notice my pain or me needing them.
The chemist didn’t see fit to tell me my medication was in.
First person I try and converse with in ages is like ‘Don’t know you’.
And the Job Centre forgot our appointment.

Oh yes, and it feels like the Wellbeing Centre have also forgotten I exist… that or they think I’m too messed up for them to help. I was told it’d be a 3 or 4 week wait until I hear from them…. it’s been 6 and a half weeks so far.

 

With my best friend abandoning me this year too, it just feels every single person on this planet has given up on me. They’re all rejecting me, forgetting me, blanking me. It’s almost impossible to not take that personally when you’re as ill as I am. I feel I don’t exist… and when I don’t want to exist, it only pushes me closer to that reality.

 

But hey, in good news… yesterday I finally left the house…. I may have plotted my demise on my long walk home. But at least I got out.

 

The loneliness, the grief, the powerlessness, the silence… it’s all hurting too much. I’m really not okay… and nobody even asks me how I am anymore. Nobody knows how bad things are for me, because they don’t talk to me. They don’t want to know.

 

I’m spending most days not looking after myself – eating or drinking enough. I have headaches every day at the moment. I often can’t sleep – I’ll be wide awake at 2/3am, unable to turn my mind off… unable to even move because of the mental paralysis caused by my emotions and memories. And then I can’t wake up in the morning… it’ll go 10am before I wake up. I can’t work. I hardly ever go out. I’m just trying to tolerate every hour of every day and just survive. I’m always inches from the edge. I had a breakdown yesterday, because I have so much pain and loneliness inside. I have to keep it all to myself. I hate myself. I hate life. I feel so disconnected. I can’t cope. I try and hold it all inside and then it bursts out when I’m alone.

 

I’m in limbo at the moment. And I’m invisible too while I’m there. And in agony. I’m slipping through the fingers of faith. There’s no hope for me, only blind faith that something or someone will help me at some point…. and I just have to hold on until that point…. I’m losing my grasp every day. It’s almost too late. I can feel it. And I don’t care anymore. I just want the peace of feeling nothing… thinking nothing… remembering nothing. This isn’t the life I was born into. I don’t know how to live it. But for now ‘survival’ is the best I can do. I just hope at some point one person in my life will stop ignoring my pleas for help, and will notice me, save me and give me a reason to live again. I really don’t want to right now.

 

 

 

Other People.

*Language & self-harm*

 

 

Today was so bad. It links into my previous blog post about instability too…. one little thing can totally switch your mood….. I didn’t see this coming. I went into work (I volunteer), in as good a mood as I could muster, given how life has been lately. I didn’t want to go in. I never do at the moment. But I keep pushing myself. I knew it was the last time before having a couple of weeks off. So I went in… in a helpful, hopeful state of mind… ready to do whatever anyone wanted me to do. I wouldn’t call it a good mood. It was a fair / decent mood. It was mainly a front – a mask I wear at work.

 

I didn’t anticipate how other people would affect me. I wasn’t prepared for them to not be in good moods. The trouble is when others are in a bad mood, sometimes they can’t help but take it out on me. It might be unintentional and no harm is meant, but I can feel those vibes. Empaths pick up on energy. I was receiving a lot of negative energy today. Everything I did was wrong. Filling a bag too much – when I was explaining I was getting to the end of a bag of stuff as I was so close to finishing, and then I was going to get a new bag and move some stuff over – but they didn’t want to listen to me. Then it was me moving something a few inches from where it was left. Then I kept getting in the way. Then I put things in the wrong sort of bag. Every single thing I said and did seemed to piss this person off. I almost left. I wish I had now. But I didn’t know how to excuse myself. I felt trapped there. So I’m afraid I opted for hurting myself in order to carry on. Every minute there was excruciating for me today. I could feel the energy being sucked out of me.

 

I know it wasn’t my fault. I know I did nothing wrong, and it was the other person. I know this because when I was working backstage, it was silent outside – the other staff weren’t talking at all. Usually if these things happen I might consider it’s ME in the bad mood, as everyone seems in a bad mood – but at those times they at least talk to each other! There was a very definite atmosphere today and I didn’t like it. Even with a customer they seemed off. So I did my best to treat them in the way a customer should be treated… even though I felt like hell myself and didn’t want to be there. I hated this other person today and couldn’t muster up any sort of conversation or anything for them anymore. But the customers don’t deserve to have it taken out on them too. So I did my best.

 

I was praying for home time. I now don’t want to go back after my break. I’ve never experienced that before. It wasn’t me just being sensitive. I was being spoken to as though I was one of the new volunteers who can sometimes be a nuisance. So either I was really pissing them off, or they were in a foul mood and taking it out on me. I’ve been there a few years now. They’ve never spoken to me like they did. They spoke to me like other staff members once did, where I once considered leaving because of them.

 

I understand if they have something going on. Maybe they were having a bad day or not feeling too good themselves mentally, but even when I feel like shit I don’t take it out on other people. It’s like how people deal with headaches differently – I take myself off away from others and rest until I feel better. I don’t inflict myself on others. Whereas some people bark at others… they snap and take out their temper on them. Why can’t more people be more like me? I’m not meaning to sound big-headed by saying that. I just mean why do people take their shit out on me when I don’t deserve it, and when I wouldn’t take my shit out on them?! It’s not fair that I try and take others into consideration when I feel shit, yet they don’t do the same for me, so end up taking their shit out on me when I’M feeling shit myself. They take it out on me and seem completely unaware that that’s what they’ve done. I think that’s what it is – awareness. I KNOW when I’m in a foul mood, and I wouldn’t take it out on others. Maybe some just lack self-awareness, that’s why they take their moods out on you and can’t understand why you respond with upset or hostility yourself.

 

The trouble I had was these little things built up very quickly. And then I reached a point I couldn’t come back from. Once I’ve got to that ‘I’m not wanted here, I might as well go home’ stage, I can’t come back from that. This person triggered off my paranoia among other things. I felt every syllable from their mouth and every action, was full of annoyance and disdain towards me. I could sense a different tone towards me than to other people. I could’ve imagined that but what I’m saying is my paranoia kicked in, and I didn’t want to be around them or say anything, as I felt all I was, was a nuisance and thought anything I said or did would be wrong. I felt mentally and physically absent after that. I couldn’t reconnect with my settings. I was scared to be near customers as I wasn’t grounded. I felt sorry I existed today. Sorry that I was in the way. Sorry that I was breathing. I wanted to come home… but I was scared to say anything to excuse myself. So I had to just tolerate feeling like a worthless piece of shit.

 

Oh well…. I had one of my emergency pills when I got home, as the thoughts and memories around it were too intense and causing worse self-harm urges. So I’m not so bothered now. It is such a shame though that at a time when everything’s rubbish and I have nothing left, the one thing I had is now problematic. That it came just before my break, which will make me not want to go back. Right now I’m not sure I will go back. Not for a few weeks probably. I’m too delicate at the moment. Too many more wrong moves by people and I won’t be here anymore. It’s safer to stay away from everyone, at least until I can get some level of help. My confidence at work was knocked a couple of years ago now after my breakdown at therapy. I didn’t go in as much and felt like I was starting all over again. I didn’t feel as capable of doing things. I didn’t feel useful. I felt more of a burden than anything. I’d recently started to feel a bit better there, but after today I feel I don’t belong there. I didn’t feel like one of them anymore. That upsets me greatly.

 

But never mind. Seem to be losing everything at the moment, so what’s one more thing? Need to stop writing now, as it’s erasing the effect of the pill I took. Best not to think on it. Just need to enjoy my break and not think about that place or the people in it. None of it matters.

 

 

A Birthday Reflection.

As my birthday’s here I thought I’d take a minute to reflect on this last year of my life…. there have been some great moments in it, which I will talk about in a minute… but all those things are overshadowed by the negatives. This has without a doubt been one of the worst years of my life. I don’t want a birthday. It certainly won’t be a ‘happy’ one, let’s put it that way. I’d love to think that starting a new year of my life, I could begin again and have a better year going forward… sadly I don’t expect this to be the case.

I’m so isolated. I’ve lost my best friend, my Godchildren, my only other friend is dead, and so is my granddad. And looking back at who I used to be I feel nothing but disgust and shame, and longing to be a child again. I hate who I’ve become. Everything feels wildly out of control and unstable.

I remember after 2016 when members of my family were struck by various illnesses and my granddad was in hospital for six weeks, and almost died… at the New Year, thinking ‘This next year will be better… it has to be’… but I knew it wouldn’t be. I knew it would be the year my granddad would pass away. We’d watched him deteriorate for months. So there was the knowledge it would happen. In that way it could never be a ‘better year’. I thought 2018 could be a better one, but my granddad was still gone…. and people forgot. My friends neglected and abandoned me. I was abused online by left-wingers on three separate occasions. Had my voice shut down on every platform effectively. Fell out with my best friend. Was suicidal all year. Surely 2019 had to be better – I had so many fun things planned for this year…. no. The final betrayal and abandonment by my former best friend. And my other friend died by suicide. My mental health has smashed on the floor. My meltdowns are more public. I can’t control the demons inside anymore. I’m hanging on by a thread, living from event to event, wishing it all away… trying to get to the next goal and the next…. as though I’m trying to reach somewhere or something… only I don’t know what it is. An end??

So no… I don’t think this next year of my life will be better. If anything it will be purely about survival and recovery. It will be hard and lonely. No matter what good things may possibly be in store for me, nothing will change the fact my friend is dead and how broken and upset I am about that. Nothing will change the fact I’ve lost my best friend and my Godchildren. Nothing will change the fact my granddad isn’t here anymore. And nothing can change the past or make people care about me.

 

But anyway… in terms of what’s happened in the last year of my life…. it’s been the first year of my life where I haven’t seen the person I viewed as my best friend. This next one looks to be the first without even talking to them. But the events that have happened are:

  •  I had my last MRI & was discharged, & had my neurology appointment.
  • Was referred to CMHT, who initially rejected the referral, but saw me in January – directing me elsewhere first.
  • Westlife reunited and announced their tour!
  • Saw Dara O’Briain – wasn’t a great night due to my mental health & Brexit jokes.
  • Looked after the gerbils at least three times.
  • Went to the closing night of Take That musical ‘The Band’.
  •  Went and saw Boyzone on their farewell tour.
  • Went to the Leave Means Leave rally in London – great atmosphere.
  •  Walked 50 miles in 50 days for Parkinson’s UK.
  •  Went on my own to a new place – Brighton… for a heart-wrenching reason though.
  •  Went to see Take That for the first time – outdoor gig, close to B stage.
  •  Went and saw Westlife in the front row for the first time ever. Was amazing!
  •  Two of my colleagues lost their fight against that bastard, cancer.
  •  Samarathon  – 26.2 miles throughout July for Samaritans.

 

So a lot has happened…. good / bad. It’s interesting to look back at it like this… but it’s hard to feel anything about the good stuff. Like I said, it’s overshadowed by losing my two oldest friendships of 13+ years in the last few months, and the resulting grief. Being left with nothing is excruciating. I’m struggling to hold on. I’m so detached from life now and every minute that isn’t numbness, is pain. But I’m trying so hard.

I’m keeping to myself a lot more now, in the last couple of weeks. I’m hoping to set myself the goal of walking a marathon a month, to keep me active and better my mental health – I’ll be doing it purely for health reasons and that feeling of achievement, and not doing it for charity, as I failed to raise any money the last time, which negatively impacted on my mental health. It’ll just be for me. I’ll be focusing on getting the help I need, and looking into bereavement counselling. I’m also working on a new blog which will be more informative and helpful to others hopefully – less negative and personal. It’ll still be about my experience of mental illness, but hopefully more constructive than destructive.

My aim in the next year is to lose weight, to get well and to stay alive. Anything else is a plus. I hope to expect less of people and to accept I’m on my own, and to be able to cope with that reality better.

I’m looking forward to a holiday at some point, doing what I love most.

I may be turning a year older now, but I’m really only a day older. I’m still the same person. There are no miracles. I’m still dealing with the same stuff today that I was yesterday. Age is just a number, especially when you’re living from minute to minute, trying to hang on. Same sh*t different day and all that… the years spill over into each other. I have a lot to work on with myself… I need to find myself again and learn to like myself again. I have to do this alone. I know that now. And I’m going to try my best.

It may not be a ‘happy birthday’ but it’s just a day like any other. I think sometimes we can ruin ourselves by building these days up to be something they’re not, and thinking we have to act happy. I plan to tolerate it and carry on the fight on the other side. That fight is more important than just a day and a new age.

 

Hope people enjoy the long weekend coming up. Speak to you soon.

 

xxxx