“Happy” “New” Year…

First of all I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope 2020 is a wonderful year for you all. Thank you so much to everyone who follows my blog, reads it, comments etc. – it all means a lot to me, especially the supportive comments I’ve had in the last year or so… I apologise for not responding to many of them… I’ve kind of closed down when it comes to conversation and offers of help. I’m not used to it, so I don’t know what to say anymore. But please know how much I value the continued support – it really does help.

 

I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been trying to quietly survive this horrible thing that is life. I’m unsure which way things will go for me now, but I’m trying my best to endure all the pain and loneliness, however uncomfortable I feel with it all. I figure that’s what life has to be for me from now on…. sitting with uncomfortable emotions constantly… tolerating each moment until the inevitable end.

 

Sorry, I’m not very jolly at the moment. I got through Christmas but the truth is I find the New Year harder. Always have. And with the state of things now it’s even worse. My friend Liv lost her battle with her mental health in 2019…. I should be glad to see the end of this year… but I feel differently about it. It’s like another loss… she lived in this year…. she won’t next year. 2020 will be a year that she never touched. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’m struggling with my grief right now.

 

It’s all ‘Happy New Year!’ and fresh starts etc…. there is no fresh start for me. I don’t want one. All I want is the life I used to have before I lost everyone. All there is, is a continuation of how I am now. All I have is ‘life goes on’… indeed it does … that’s the worst part for me. Life going on without Liv. Life has done that for nearly eight months now, and I still can’t accept I’ll never talk to her again. She was a very quiet person, but the world feels so much quieter without her. Or maybe I am. I think it’s silenced me. It’s paralysed me mentally. Anything I feel inside no longer shows on the outside. Nobody knows how I feel. They don’t know how close to the edge I am.

Everything is happening in a blur around me. Everything is dark, dull, heavy, lifeless, unreal yet at the same time it’s too vivid, too sharp, too real. Me and life are two separate entities. I’m an outsider looking in… seeing life happen, in a warm, inclusive, jolly … unity – something I can never be a part of again. After all, who would welcome in someone as broken as this? I was a virtual outcast before Liv took her life. I had been abandoned by pretty much anyone I considered a friend. Liv was the only one I had left. I had people I saw more than I saw Liv. We didn’t live that close to each other. But I knew her at least thirteen years. She was a true friend. The best friend I ever had. There was not a single bad thing I could say about her. We never fell out. She always had my back. She never left me feeling invisible. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She was always there. I will never find anyone as wonderful as she was. And now she’s gone. Forever.

 

Now it’s the middle of winter, and I’m on the outside of a warm get-together, full of laughter, friendship, love. I’m out in the snow, peering through the window, being forgotten… wondering how everyone else can carry on… I watch them… envious of those who ‘belong’ in this world… those who have friends and can find even a shred of happiness at this time… I hold my face close to the window and watch life happening… but my breath fogs up the glass and it all becomes hazy. Still the sound of ‘life’ can be heard from within. I reflect on the days I felt I belonged here. The days I could live in this world. It didn’t last long…

 

Funnily enough most of my good days happened in this decade we’re about to leave. But so did my worst. Which brings me to a round-up of the last ten years…. the highlights, and of course I must honour the low points too… they’ve brought me to this moment.

 

2010-2019

 

  1. I had a group of friends for the first couple of years of the decade. Those were the times I felt I belonged somewhere. We had some really good times together. My confidence grew as a result. I was ‘pool champion’. We spent a lot of time together.  I even tried karaoke! (Never again!!).
  2. I really got into my fossil hunting holidays and had some great finds.
  3. I met Westlife on their ‘last’ London show in 2012.
  4. I’ve since seen them reunite and was in the front row for their London show this year. The first time in the front row!
  5.  I went to France – saw Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower etc.
  6. My brother got married.
  7.  I got to see my best friend get married & was her bridesmaid.
  8.  Also went through the experience of motherhood with her. Became Godmother to her two beautiful children and watched them grow … at least up until the ages of two and four. I was so proud of them. They were everything to me.
  9.  I tried out rollerskating, and discovered it’s not for me – I prefer to keep my feet on the ground. Still have an injury that flares up from falling over.
  10.  Saw the filming of Broadchurch whilst on a daytrip to West Bay.
  11. Saw Take That in my hometown this year, for the first time.
  12. Saw Boyzone a couple of times too – their last tour this year.
  13. Saw Little Mix near where I live.
  14. Shane Filan tours.
  15. Ben Montague gigs – especially fun having the studio gig with a group of us.
  16. The Band musical. Sound of Music. The Nutcracker / Swan Lake On Ice.
  17. Comedy shows – Michael McIntyre and Ross Noble being the best.
  18.  Did the Race For Life a couple of times.
  19.  A few charity events including DeChox for the British Heart Foundation, walking 50 miles in 50 days for Parkinson’s, and other events for this – where with the help of my dad’s colleagues one time, I managed to raise over £300 for Parkinson’s. Also did the Samarathon this year in memory of Liv, to try and raise money for Samaritans, but nobody sponsored me, so that’s a bad point really, but at least I thought to do it, and it motivated me to walk and to keep going in life… for a while.
  20.  Reduced my medication this year. Not a lot, but it’s a step forward.
  21. Went to the Harry Potter studio tour as a Christmas present. Great day.
  22.  My little boys – the gerbils… bonded with them and looked after them several times. Happy to handle animals more now.
  23. Started a blog!!
  24.  Got into politics! Even just this year alone, I went to the Leave Means Leave rally in Parliament Square – great day out – brilliant atmosphere – not at all how it was reported by biased media and lying Remainers. Oh yes, and I managed to not get hit by the moped undertaking traffic near the London Eye – that would’ve been a bad start to that day. I voted Brexit Party for the European elections… chose the Conservative leader and voted for them. Survived all the bullying and hate from the left and stuck by my beliefs. Good will win in the end. We’re on our way to all the wrongs being righted.
  25.  This year I taught myself to solve a Rubik’s Cube – and got my time down from over 15 minutes, to around 3 minutes.
  26. I learnt to make marmalade with my nan this year.
  27. I learnt to knit and got into cross-stitch.
  28.  I gave up chocolate for Lent a few years in a row.
  29.  Got over my fear of dogs, by befriending a Rottweiler!
  30.  Stepped out of my comfort zone, joining online dating site, met someone from there – wasn’t a match. Kissed a stranger at the new year one year… see it as a bad thing actually – it wasn’t a good thing – he was not my type, but just went with the atmosphere and allowed myself to feel uncomfortable with new situations. Regardless of these things I stuck to my morals and beliefs, and am happy with my relationship status going into 2020. Love will wait.
  31. I finally got over a guy who didn’t treat me right. Took too many years, but I got there!
  32.  Took part in poetry competitions and had my poems in some books. Was a rip-off so stopped eventually, but felt like an achievement at the time.
  33. Had a couple of wisdom teeth out under General Anaesthetic and got through the trauma of it.
  34. Phoned the Samaritans three times in the last two years. Was difficult to do.
  35. Asked for help and went to the hospital after self-harming at therapy. Sounds like a negative, but took a lot of courage to do it.
  36.  I finally got round to meeting Liv in person. ❤
  37.  The next time I did so, was of course tragic, but it held with it an achievement – I went all the way to Brighton on my own to the funeral… somewhere I’d never been, and I found my way to the crematorium just in time.
  38. Started volunteering in a charity shop – found a place to ‘belong’… may have lost that a bit in the last couple of years, and probably time to move on, but picked up some skills from doing it. Made me feel human.
  39. Sought help for my mental health – had CMHT assessment, was rejected and sent to Wellbeing Centre, but happy to jump through those hoops for now. Might be the only thing to save me.
  40.  I’ve booked up my tickets to see Westlife near where I live next year, and also at Wembley Stadium on my birthday too. Plus going to see Riverdance next year, and also Queen & Adam Lambert, which I’m looking forward to, as I’ve never seen them before.

 

 

This decade has certainly challenged me. It’s tested me in ways I could never have imagined. It was “character-building”.

There have been far too many negatives, but I’ll just name a few of them… I want the positives to take centre-stage.

 

  1. Had my life turned upside down by a compulsive liar.
  2.  Had my emotions messed about by a guy who was only interested in his ego.
  3.  Lost all of my friends – one betrayed me and took the guy I liked, one turned into a bully, one gave up on me when I was ill and grieving… though I’m starting to understand that situation more now.
  4.  Liv took her own life, five weeks before I was supposed to finally see her again.
  5. My granddad got ill and eventually passed away.
  6. Other family / family health issues that I won’t go into.
  7. A couple of pretty bad breakdowns – one in therapy, one in France, one this year.
  8.  My own health issues (but got treated for it successfully).
  9.  Another of my friends passed away in 2012, and two colleagues passed away this year from cancer.
  10.  I lost my Godchildren from my life.

 

 

These are just some of the worst aspects of the last decade. ‘Life’ really did happen to me  in these years. Most of the bad things and the lessons learnt from them happened in the last three years.

 

This year has been challenging. I am feeling pretty hopeless, despondent and broken at the moment. Today isn’t a good day. It never is for me. The thought of having my discussion group at the Wellbeing Centre this morning was all that got me through Christmas and made me think I could survive the New Year too. But they never responded or confirmed it was on today, so I didn’t go. The one day I really needed that branch of support and everyone else probably went to it, but nobody told me about it. So I now have to get through tonight, get through a whole other week before I can talk about how awful things are right now.

 

I’m triggered and reminded of my IAPT experiences, because they never responded to me either. They never did the things they said they would. So this year is ending on a negative note. A very negative one. I already have trust issues with mental health services. They’ve blown it already. Splitting on them now. I really needed their support today, and I just got forgotten instead. What a time for that to happen…

 

There’s nothing ‘new’ about the New Year. Things will never change for me. I’m always invisible. I’m always left out of the loop. My mind assumes why that is and that people don’t want me around. That I wasn’t told about the group today because they didn’t want me there. Mental health workers should be given better work phones as they don’t ever seem to work when I contact them. It’s ridiculous and they have no idea how much this has triggered me. My mind is too sick to recover, because even mental health services mess it up and feed into my paranoia and self-worth issues. I can’t win. So happy Tuesday people. Wednesday will be just the same as today. Please can this all be over now? I’m not strong enough for any of this.

 

Sorry, this ended up differently to where it started. Wrote the first part yesterday, but today has seriously messed me up. Going to take my emergency meds today / tonight and try to just survive it. Then I’ll either have it out with them or consider whether I want to put myself through all this heartache again.

 

If you can enjoy the New Year then do, but if you can’t then stay safe, and hopefully talk to you on the other side. A new decade. I hope yours will be better than mine looks to be. All the best xxxx

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!

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.

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