Eleven Days.

*Self-harm*

 

 

I felt like I needed to write an update, to work through my feelings about a lot of things. So I’m sorry this isn’t a useful post!!

 

I can’t believe it’s only eleven days or so since I called the Samaritans for the second time in my life, and wanted to die. It feels so much longer ago than that. It feels like a lot has happened since then. I’ve written so many things about what led me to that place… letters to the person involved that will never be sent. I finally found compassion for them and intended to share that with them… but right now I’ve circled round again to anger, hurt, hopelessness and the urge to just walk away with them thinking what they do of me. I’m sure I’ll come round to forgiveness and compassion again, but right now I’m bloody angry and I have a right to be.

 

In those eleven days I’ve tried to keep busy – going out more, tidying, preparing for Christmas, I’ve taken up cross-stitch too, which keeps my mind off things…

 

This is the first time in a long time where all my injuries are pretty much healed up. After difficulties with wounds healing recently, they’re all finally scabbed. I took my bandage off all day yesterday and left it off today, for the first time in absolutely weeks! No bruised hands…. still sore from previous injuries, but nothing new. That’s not to say there have been no incidents for a long time…. I’d say a week at the most. That is a long time for me. I’ve had to fight to not hurt myself in that time. It’s not easy. Being physically unwell helps to some degree, as I feel so poorly that I tuck myself in bed and watch DVDs. I can sort of zone out from reality.

 

I’ve also had a letter from the Community Mental Health Team offering me an assessment in the new year. It’s progress I suppose. But I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m already 99% sure they will deny me the help I need… they’ll just do it to my face this time – if that’s how they do it?? I don’t know if they do that or if they write to you…. any clues anyone?? I’m worried about my reaction if they tell me there and then that they can’t help me. I won’t be safe. Anyway, I have this ‘false hope’ to get me through the festive period at least…. in the hope that I’ll be helped… but I know deep down that they won’t do it. And if they do I’m scared of what it means…. so I’m confused about the whole thing. Not getting the help was making me more suicidal as I couldn’t go on without support. Now I possibly could get it I’m scared… I’m partly scared they’ll make it even worse than it is now. My experience with a mental health service last year has put me off a little. I don’t want them to open up more wounds and throw me back to cope on my own. I need people to make me feel safe at the moment. And I’m scared of the unknown.

 

But I’ll talk to the doctor about it all when I see her this week. She’ll be pleased they’re at least seeing me this time. Hopefully also get some sort of answer from my blood tests I had, to explain why I’m constantly tired and ill.

 

I’m also finding it a little difficult in the lead-up to the second Christmas without my granddad. I’m really missing him at the moment. It’s lurking there in my heart. I can feel it. But I shut it out… I don’t let it evolve… I don’t open up the box and explore my feelings about it because I know it will hurt. So I let it fester. I know this isn’t the right thing to do, but given my circumstances at the moment, I don’t feel safe to experience grief again right now. I prefer to deny it or frame it as something other than ‘reality’.

 

I have had difficulties with ‘reality’ this year. Never in all the years of being mentally unwell have I ever felt so detached from reality. This is the biggest thing I will tell CMHT. I feel disconnected. That I’m not really here anymore. That interactions I have are just done on auto-pilot. It’s all fake. I’m experiencing it right now. Although I feel twinges of emotions, a part of me feels numb. Part of me feels I’ll never smile again. When I look around the room things don’t look or feel ‘real’. I can’t explain it. I don’t feel connected to anything. Or to anyone. And the paranoia I’ve experienced. Which may not have been paranoia after all – except I think it was, and that same paranoia pushed someone away – hence proving what I said in my blog about paranoia and about the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. I’m so disconnected from everything, it’s like I’ve given up on life, and on myself and other people too. It’s really hard… because I honestly don’t believe that can ever change now. I feel this is it. I’m damaged. Can anyone actually help someone once they’re at this stage? Or will CMHT give up on me as a lost cause? I feel like a hopeless case.

 

Everything feels flat. Lifeless. Empty. And yet filled with agony. I can’t believe we’re almost three weeks away from Christmas. It doesn’t feel like it should be Christmas. This year has been so awful. I have shut myself away for most of the year, especially the last six – eight months of it. I saw a bit of Summer. Autumn pretty much vanished. Now we’re in Winter, coming to the end of the year. I don’t feel very ‘festive’. I’m trying my best, but it’s hard to enjoy Christmas when you’re grieving, when you’ve lost your one and only  friend, and when you feel so detached from life. It’s sort of like Christmas is ‘happening to me’ this year. Inflicted on me whether I like it or not. I don’t want to do anything anymore. I don’t enjoy anything. Not in the same way. I’m fearing all the ‘fun’ things I have planned next year, as I can’t even feel connected to those things anymore. Even if by some miracle CMHT agreed to help me, there’s no way it would be in time for any of those events. I’d probably be put on a waiting list. What’s the point? I can’t even get a break from this hell by doing something I previously enjoyed doing…. I feel dead to the world. Like I’m just existing so as not to inconvenience other people…. and yet my existence seems to inconvenience them anyway, so really I’m screwed either way.

 

I’ll be blogging more in the next few days / weeks, but just wanted to put some of my thoughts into words for now.

 

 

 

 

Am I Broken?

I had a serious meltdown on Monday night and as a result made my blog private, and decided not to blog anymore. I was severely hurt. I have since decided not to let anyone shut down my voice. Yes I may change my manner of blogging if possible, but I’m only speaking my truth. Mental illness has become my life this year, not by choice. It’s been a battle to survive. My blog is my way of explaining my thought processes and the challenges I face with this illness. Nothing is ever done maliciously. I simply say things as I see them, from the perspective of having a mental illness and experiencing a mental breakdown. You see the world completely differently during a breakdown. I think you’d all acknowledge that. I report on what I’m experiencing and what my perception of reality is – not to hurt anyone, but rather to explain why I act the way I do… to explain that I’m paranoid and believing things that may not be true. If people take offence at that then it shows a lack of interest in even trying to understand my illness and how I feel. The aim has always been to explain so as not to be misunderstood, and so that people know why I’m behaving how I am, and at times this has failed epically and left me even more misunderstood. But this is a failing on the part of those who refuse to try and understand. I’ve tried to make people understand, if they still can’t then unfortunately it’s not my problem.

 

I have decided to continue my blog, as those with a mental illness know where I’m coming from and what I’m saying – and that after all is the whole purpose of this blog. That and challenging stigma – and what I have faced recently is stigma in my opinion.

 

Before the thing that caused my breakdown on Monday night I had been at the theatre at a comedy show…. I had intended to write about it when I got home, as it was the most peculiar experience I’ve had lately, but I got distracted by even worse things…

 

But anyway, I was anxious about going to this show, as I hardly go out anymore –  especially to anything big like that. I went with a family member. I had already felt reluctant about going, as I’ve had such a horrible year and my mental health is that bad that I felt I wouldn’t enjoy it. To some degree I was right…

 

It was hard to understand what he was saying, as he speaks so fast, with an accent too… so I missed a fair few bits. I also have a back problem, so found it difficult to sit for a long time. By the break I was desperate to stand up…. so the second half was particularly painful, I still couldn’t always hear him… and then he brought up Brexit. He lost me after that. I don’t find it amusing to laugh at and attack something I voted for which politicians are on the cusp of betraying. I don’t like lefty luvvies making fun of my vote for entertainment purposes or their own virtue-signalling purposes. So, I kind of switched off at that point, and no matter how hard I tried after that to reconnect, I couldn’t find anything he said funny enough to laugh at it.

 

I became very aware that I was sat in a room full of hundreds of people laughing their heads off, and I felt very disconnected from it all. It’s like I was there but not a part of it. I kept trying to get myself to focus on the show and the jokes, but my mind had already wandered off. And my illness had taken over.

 

I felt like I was broken. Faulty. Damaged. I started thinking all these things I’ve planned for next year – if I’m this ill I’m not going to enjoy them. I don’t feel able to enjoy anything anymore. Even when I went and saw the fireworks at the start of the month, I felt detached. Walking to see them, alongside everyone else making their way there, I thought ‘It can’t be fireworks again already… it doesn’t feel like that time of year’. Probably because I have hidden away for most of the year so missed a lot of the seasons…. I can’t believe it’s Christmas again in a month… the second one without my granddad. I don’t feel in that sort of spirit because of my mental health, the problems I’m having and because the year has just disappeared. I’m going to try and make the best of Christmas, in that I want it to be a peaceful Christmas.

 

But I feel so disconnected from life that even fun events feel like ‘going through the motions’ and pretending. I don’t get the same joy from them at the moment. So I went away from it having not enjoyed it, not finding it that funny, and feeling very pensive. I thought there was only one thing that could finish off the day in style – a horrible message from someone…. sure as hell that’s what I got when I got home 11.30pm. Then the proverbial hit the fan and I ended up on the phone to the Samaritans at 1am.

 

I won’t say any more about that in this post. This is more about that feeling of being disconnected from the world around you – it’s something I’ve felt all year to some degree. It has only got worse over time. My family are real. But any interactions outside of that don’t feel real. Anything that happens around me is as though it’s happening whilst I’m in an invisible bubble, just watching. I even hear myself saying words and sometimes don’t feel I’m in control of saying them.

 

I don’t laugh at things the same. At home I might, but not elsewhere. I feel I can’t let go of everything that’s happened in the last couple of years…. I can’t just let go and have fun anymore. I’ve spent most days suicidal. It’s hard to truly experience the feelings of happiness and enjoyment when you’re still in that state of mind. Will I ever find things funny again? Will I ever be able to genuinely smile and enjoy being around people again? Will I ever live one day like a normal person and not secretly be wanting to end my own life? It doesn’t feel like it.

 

Monday evening was when I realised how broken and ill I am. I was later attacked by someone who refuses to understand that illness. So I have to put myself first, understand my own illness and not beat myself up for having it.  I don’t know how to connect with the world around me anymore… I’m not sure the way out of that. My first priority has to be to try and get the help I need – the understanding, support and validation. I’m not an expert in breakdowns and how to recover from them. So I have to be patient with myself and as people would say to me, take it a day at a time. I only hope people can show more compassion and understanding than I received the other night, whilst I live in this hell. It’s scary to not feel part of life, to be in so much pain and not want to exist anymore. To not feel in control of your own mind and body sometimes. It’s embarrassing to have people witness your mental breakdown, fearing they will judge you for it and leave you. Trying to rebuild your life whilst wanting to die is so hard. And I’m grateful to those who understand and who have stuck by my side and not held my illness against me.

 

I shall continue writing, as a step on my long journey to hopefully getting well again one day. If my truth offends people then I’m sorry. But I’m only sharing my relatively new experience of paranoia and trauma, and living with this illness is more painful for me than sharing my truth could ever be for you.

 

 

xxxx

 

 

Depression: The Permanent Resident.

I’m going into one of my dark depressions again, I can feel it. Depression never goes away. I know some talk about it like it’s a ‘friend’ who visits now and then. It’s not like that at all. It’s a permanent resident. Now and then it’ll go upstairs and give you some breathing room, but you can hear it stomping around on the floorboards above you. It never leaves you. You know at any moment you could hear it thudding down the stairs to come and torture you some more. The threat is always there.

 

Some clever so-and-so would say ‘Just leave the house then!’ – as if getting out will solve everything…. to them I say ‘You haven’t got a clue…’

 

It’s not a real house. The house is inside you. It goes with you. It’s like a spiritual house. You can be out enjoying yourself and still hear the thudding above you. Have you ever been having fun with someone, they’re laughing, carefree, talking away… and then seen as the light fades from their eyes…. the sparkle dies and it’s like a cloud of anguish has appeared behind their eyes? That’s depression coming downstairs. That’s the reminder that they’re never alone. That’s normality setting in… right before your eyes.

 

I very often catch myself in a moment, feeling relatively okay, smiling, chatting, showing my fun side…. and then seemingly out of nowhere it’s like I float away from it all… like it wasn’t real… like it’s a blip. Depression has come down to remind me that I don’t deserve to be happy.

 

This has been gradual in the last few days. It’s for a combination of reasons. I can always tell now when I’m slipping back to a bad place… I stop replying to people – it becomes too much for my mind to cope with. I don’t do my volunteering, and don’t even let them know I’m not coming. I don’t want to do anything. I have all sorts of urges. I pull my hair out more. My paranoia gets worse, and I start isolating. Everything everyone does irritates me. I stop trying to participate in discussions, as I’m always talked over and can’t cope with the feeling. I feel hateful and like the world is against me.

 

The future looks bleak; the past seeps into my present; my present is just survival.

 

I feel so irritated right now… whenever anyone talks I’m screaming inside. There are people I ought to reply to, and I just don’t want to, to be totally honest. I’ve gone in to my ‘selfish’ mode. And I know it’s selfish. And yes I do feel guilty about it. But at the same time I know I don’t have another choice. I don’t have it in me. When I get into this state of mind it’s hard to get out of it.

 

For a little while I’ve experienced a feeling that I used to have many years ago…. I used to say to my family that it feels like ‘something’s missing’. I have no clue what. It’s like I have a need, but don’t know what that need is… so I try and cater to them all – I stuff my face with food… no that’s not it. I write… nope. Maybe I need a hug…. no. I think of all the possible things I could do to fill the void. I could pick an argument with someone. I could self-harm. I try all sorts of things. Some I just think about. And I never seem to find what it is I need. It’s still missing.

 

This is a problem I’ve had on and off for many years, and it’s only just dawning on me that this is something people with BPD experience. I mean, long before I’d even heard of ‘BPD’ I would have this feeling (along with many others)… I found it distressing as I didn’t know what it meant. Very often I interpreted it as me wanting to self-harm but without a reason to do it. I think I used to make myself upset so that I could do it, to see if that would help. I wasn’t sure also whether I was just bored. The thing is I’m not a person who GETS bored. I never have. I always tend to find something to keep me occupied. I’ve always been quite creative, imaginative and okay with my own company – I could write, play music, paint, watch something… all sorts of things. So it’s rare for me to be bored. But maybe it is the feeling of boredom, and as I’m not used to it I find it unsettling.

 

I once had to have tests done where they put something into my system and then took my blood every so often. What they gave me made me really restless. I was so bored. I didn’t want to write or use my puzzle book – I just wanted to get out of there… I kept saying so, but I couldn’t go as I was having the tests done! But the feeling of boredom was quite distressing. It’s not the same as what I feel at the moment though. This isn’t as intense as that. It is just a feeling like there’s something missing. I don’t know if anyone else experiences this and what you do about it?

 

But yeah, the depression side of things… it’s strange, because it’s like there’s two aspects of me – one is saying ‘I should send an email to so-and-so’, ‘I need to go into town’, ‘come on, go into work’, and the other part is like a screaming child refusing to budge… holding on to the fence at the playground while the parent tries to pull them away. You’d think that having the sort of insight I have into the workings of my mind, I’d be able to alter my way of thinking and break free of that aspect of me. But it’s not like that at all. In a way it’s worse because I feel people think I’m knowledgeable enough that I should be able to help myself, and the fact I can’t makes me feel guilty and ashamed. In a way I wish I was ignorant and knew nothing about my mental illness.

 

I see the voice that says what I ought to do as me. It’s who I am at the core. The bit that’s resisting feels like it’s not me. It’s not that it’s someone else – it is an element of me, but not one I recognise as myself. Perhaps it’s a teenage me. It’s rebellious enough to be a teenager. Yet has tantrums like a toddler. It’s an angry and silently violent part of me. When people suggest something helpful for instance, I almost instantaneously visualise the response of that part of me. It shouts, swears, throws stuff around, punches walls, sometimes even attacks the other person – it yells ‘YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!’…. before my actual voice says to them, ‘Yeah, I could try that, thanks’. I have the tantrum raging inside, but don’t convey it to people around me. I maintain my ‘nice’ image.

 

Though people sometimes witness my ‘episodes’ where I explode and externalise everything I said I visualise, more often than not it happens inside me and nobody would have a clue what I’m experiencing. But what I experience in my head is pretty much exactly the same as my physical episodes. When I do externalise it I feel out of control. It’s like it’s not me saying and doing the things I’m saying and doing. In that way those episodes often feel like I’m taken over by something that is not me. I almost feel ‘possessed’. I know that’s ridiculous and not the case. But it’s how I feel when it happens. I feel scared of what I’ll do. I can’t stop what I’m doing, and I feel great embarrassment and shame afterwards. So when it’s all internal it’s much the same – I have this side of me raging, resisting, defying… and it’s like a possession in my mind. Like my mind is not merely my own. It shares a space with something that doesn’t want me to be well. It doesn’t want help. It doesn’t want to live.

 

I don’t know if it’s the same character as ‘the hijacker’ that I’ve spoken about, or if it’s a separate part from that. But either way I feel powerless. I feel there’s nothing I can do… I keep trying to push through their protestations, but it takes every effort in me. There’s an email that I need to send for example, and I’m going to have to push myself to get it done, because this part of me doesn’t want me to do anything. It wants me to sit and mope… spiral… isolate… give up…. be selfish and do things I want to do instead. I often have to force myself to talk to people when I don’t want to – more often than people would know. It’s not that I don’t care about the people, but more not caring about anything, and just wanting to hide away from life. I find communication draining at the moment, because of the amount of strength and determination it takes to actually get it done.

 

It’s an uncomfortable state to live in, but I do it most days…. loneliness, paranoia, anger, demands, hopelessness, guilt, constant conflict between who I am and the illness. And it all happens in my head, behind my eyes. So people expect things of me that I look capable of, but I’m not capable of because of my inner state. There are expectations on me. I’m treated as though I’m as normal as anyone else, because I appear that way. So I let people down.  I neglect them. I seem like a failure.

 

Depression does this to you. It paralyses you, and the BPD attacks you in your head. I’m caught in a psychological prison and a part of me rages when someone suggests I break out of that prison. But as stubborn, irrational and even insane as that sounds, my answer to you will always be ‘YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!!’ … and just thank God that you don’t, and pray that you never will.

 

This existence is hell.