Tuesday Journal: 31/03/20

Things I’m grateful for:

  • Wii games to keep my mind occupied and have fun in lockdown.
  • The photo challenges set on Twitter – gives me something to look forward to and to think about.
  •  The things people come up with to keep others entertained online – that sense of humour, fun and kindness people are showing each other.
  • Crochet. Obsessive about it again at the moment.

 

What I struggled with:

  • Feeling alone. Feeling invisible. Ignored. Nobody talks to me. I struggle to talk to others when they offer. I’m trapped. Wanted to talk to someone in my life about everything I’ve been going through. It was put off and now I feel unable to ask to talk to them again. So feel totally alone with how I’m feeling.

What I learnt from it:

  • Sorry, but nothing. I’ve learnt what I already knew. I’m nothing. I’m irrelevant. Nobody cares. I AM invisible. And I’m so messed up too, as other people offer to be there, and I just can’t talk to them. I can’t reach out. I can’t keep communication going. I’ve shut down again. I don’t know the way out of this. Going to the Wellbeing Centre helped me. I might not go there for another six months now. How the hell am I going to get through this on my own, in my own head, unable to communicate or be noticed? I can’t do this.

 

What I achieved:

  • Set up Skype to keep in touch with family.
  • Finally phoned my friend who lives alone & is in her 70s.
  • Faced my anxiety and did the shopping. Was scary. Don’t want to do it often.
  • Finished my 25 miles walking for March and signed up for April, even though it’s only 5 miles to start with – will increase it depending on how much we’re allowed out etc.
  • Managed to get through the last two weeks without doing anything to myself. Urges are there, and I’m sure it’ll happen at some point. But two weeks is good for me… considering everything.

Tuesday Journal – 24/03/20

As I said, I will write every Tuesday to keep a record of each week, like I would be doing at the Wellbeing Centre if I was still able to go. So this will be today’s but first of all what I would’ve written last week if it wasn’t cancelled.

 

Tuesday 17/03/20

 

Things I am grateful for:

  • My favourite season – Spring. Used to go for my walks in the evening as it’s lighter now and not too cold or too hot.
  • Westlife – keeps that connection for me with Liv. Anytime I listen to their music or watch their DVDs like the one that came out on Friday, I feel she’s here with me.
  • Blogging. A way of coping with my feelings. Expressing my thoughts. Enjoying working on the poetry blog.
  • Memory loss! A perk to memory loss is coming across old poems I wrote, having no memory of writing them or what they were in response to, and thinking ‘that’s pretty good… wonder who wrote that….’ – nice surprise when I realise it was me!

 

What I struggled with: 

  • Everything….. carrying on…. ‘adulting’ – I’ve gone backwards after talking last week. Thought I’d turned a corner but it was a dead end. Stopped doing everything again. Feel like a weak, wounded, vulnerable, broken little girl on her knees after pleading for help and being dismissed.

What I learnt from it:

  • Not much. That I have to just look after myself. That it’s my lot in life to beg to have my needs met, and to be rejected at every turn. This is all I’m worth. And all I’ll ever get. Nothing positive this week really.

 

Things I achieved:

  • Forced myself out for a 6 mile walk on Thursday.
  • Joined in on BPDChat on Twitter.
  • Survived.

 

 


 

Tuesday 24/03/20

 

Things I am grateful for:

  • That I attended the Wellbeing Centre when I did, so I found inspiration to set goals, think more positively and have more hobbies to keep me busy during lockdown.
  •  The ability to switch my mind off from the news etc. … some aren’t lucky enough to be able to do that.
  • Family.

 

What I struggled with:

  • A fair few things. Obviously my emotions in response to the groups being cancelled. But got through the initial devastation of that. So I’d probably say comfort eating and letting go of the walking, due to the Coronavirus stuff and feeling under the weather myself. Put on weight. Really craving chocolate at the moment, but got three weeks still until I can eat it. So trying to fill the void of that chocolate comfort I’m craving…. nothing seems to satisfy it though.

What I learnt from it:

  • I’m obviously wanting to comfort eat for a reason. I need to reflect on the deeper reason and try and meet the need in a way that doesn’t involve binge-eating. Find comfort in something else – like exercise, crochet or writing.
  • Not to beat myself up too much for it. It’s a stressful and upsetting time.
  • I may have put weight on and stopped walking, but I can start again from here.

 

Things I achieved:

  • Another 6 mile walk yesterday.
  • Made a crochet flower for my nan.
  • Phoned an elderly friend who’s isolating.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Letter: I Did It For You.

Dear Liv,

 

So I did it. I went to see Westlife, without you here. A month ago I couldn’t have imagined going, not after losing you. I was fortunate to have a wonderful person and good friend step up and agree to come with me in your place. She was just the right person to go with. She turned something tragic and heartbreaking into something fun and uplifting.

 

Yes of course I was sad. I had my moments where my chest ached because you weren’t there watching them with me. But I really tried to make the most of it and enjoy it… for you. I hoped you’d be proud of me for going and enjoying it. I have never been as absorbed in anything before…. I was so into it that I almost completely forgot there was anyone else behind us. It was like our own private show. If I annoyed anyone behind me, or if anyone was judging me, I just didn’t care.

 

I sang, I ‘woo’-ed, I laughed until my cheeks hurt. I took way too many photos – I wish you could see them, you’d love them! Nicky was looking at me and I waved at him – he gave me a nod and smile – and I have someone to back me up on that this time! Nicky is my favourite – it’s decided… he’s the only one who’s ever acknowledged me out of the four of them. They all looked and sounded so great – even better than the last time we saw them.

The O2 has changed a lot…. there’s a shopping centre upstairs! The place we met before was no longer there. They have a dedicated merchandise zone. It’s all different. The checks were more formal.

 

We were stuck in a lot of traffic so we were running late. We were in the toilet queue with 15 minutes until Westlife came on – we missed the support acts… I don’t mind. I hate having to sit through things like that and pretend to appreciate it! We only just made it really. It was unbelievable being in the front row…. being that close to the stage. Knowing that in just a few minutes they’d be in front of us. I think turning up late was good in a way…. it stopped me having too long to really think about the fact you weren’t there. We kind of just went straight into the excitement and enjoying it.

 

I won’t say much about the show – I hope you were there with me, watching from wherever you are now… so I hope I don’t need to tell you. The medley was brilliant wasn’t it? The boys really seemed to enjoy it a lot more than in the past. I got utterly covered in confetti… as did my drink – couldn’t drink it as it got filled with little squares of paper! Money wasted! And the flames – so hot!! Did you see the Westlife babies…. the kids…. sat in front of us near the end, playing with the confetti? We think it might’ve been Nicole sat in front of me.

 

It was a special night. A bit of a blur – sometimes it didn’t feel real. There were moments I couldn’t take it all in. Times I let go and had fun. Times I held on to the locket and remembered you, saying I wish you were here. It all went too fast.

 

I had such an amazing night. I didn’t cry. I didn’t get home until 3am…. and didn’t get to sleep until 5am. I could hear birds singing outside… through the ringing in my ears. By this time the thoughts of you were creeping in, and the sadness. Looking at photos and videos… thinking you were meant to be there too. I had to go to sleep at that point, to stop this great night becoming something upsetting.

 

I miss you Liv. I wish you were still here. I miss having you to talk to about the show. If I share any photos etc. you aren’t here to comment on them or chat about it. That’s just the immediate impact of you being gone. When the hype about it all dies down, there are much bigger reasons I’m devastated you’re not here. You weren’t just about Westlife for me. You were my friend for over twelve years. You were my biggest cheerleader and my rock. That’s a much bigger loss than just not having someone to go to a concert with.

 

But I guess right now the main thing was getting through last night. I didn’t think I’d be able to. The last few weeks have been nothing but stress, on top of the crushing grief, of having to find someone to go with.

 

It turned out alright in the end. I went with someone I wanted to go with. Through the grief, the trauma, and also in the face of losing my best friend from my life, I went to see our boys, and I had the most fun I’ve ever had at a gig.

 

What happens after last night I don’t know. Today hasn’t been a good day. I won’t go into that here. I feel quite flat and down. Emotional. Delicate. Rejected. And like people don’t realise how big a deal yesterday was to me. The biggest thing of this year is over. The reason I had to keep going is over. It will be hard to continue on with life now. But I hope the good memories from last night will help a little on the difficult journey forwards. I hope you were with us. I hope you saw the show. I hope you saw me fight to be happy. And I hope I made you proud.

 

I hope you’re at peace now, wherever you are, my lovely friend. I miss you xxxx

Just An Update.

 

 

Just needed to update my blog with what’s been going on and where I am.

 

I’ve done just over 19 of my 50 miles. It still feels a long way to go. I thought it would be easier than this. It could be just unfortunate that it coincides with stopping chocolate and cutting down my medication…. that’s all kicking in more now.

 

I went for my walk today and felt so anxious. I had to stand at the front door psyching myself up to open it. And when I was out I felt on edge. The last couple of walks, noises have made me jump and feel panicky – the other day it was when three motorbikes went by – they were so noisy I felt scared and had to dig my nails into my hand to calm down. For the first half of today’s walk at least, I felt as though I was being followed. It kept sounding like there was someone behind me. On a couple of occasions people were there. I let them pass as I didn’t feel safe. I felt so self-conscious and really didn’t want to be outside the house. I don’t know if this anxiety is caused by withdrawal, or what.

 

I’m starting to wonder why I’m doing this walking thing… I know it’s helping me get fitter and feel more positive. But that’s not the point. I’m meant to be raising money for Parkinson’s UK, and other than closest family I have no other sponsors and don’t expect I will. I’ve loosely asked around, but I don’t know many people anymore. It’s hard to ask them to sponsor me. It’s getting me down a bit, especially at the moment, as it was also in memory of my granddad. So having raised nothing feels like a failure. It feels like people not valuing him or my love for him. And it hurts right now as I’m just a few days away from the second anniversary of the loss of him.

 

Last year I reached out, hoping to have the support and care of friends for the first anniversary. One person said something. Nobody else. This year I won’t make a big deal out of it. It’s setting myself up for even more rejection and neglect. This time last year was where my mental health deteriorated rapidly… the splitting and paranoia kicked in. That sealed the fate with my former friend.

 

That’s weighing on my mind a lot right now. I attempted something recently in the hope of finding peace as I moved on. I don’t think it’s really done any good. I’m still blocked. I’m still angry. I don’t believe the story I’ve heard. I still believe it was vindictive. I still believe they meant me harm. My paranoia is alive and kicking. There’s only one way it would ever be resolved… the friend realising how their actions have hurt me, undoing it and making up for it with the same effort I tried with them. Direct communication. And taking responsibility. That’s one thing that I’m unhappy about now – the inference that I’m somehow to blame for tensions between them and other people. No. If they argue with other people as a result of messing things up with me then that’s their fault, not mine. I take no responsibility for how they interact with others as a result of their inability / refusal to interact with me. I’m angry. I’m anxious about the whole situation and I wish I’d left it alone. I got upset about it today… about how they turned into this person. I never thought they’d treat me the way they have. It’s hard to accept.

 

Another thing is I still have such a problem with self-harm. People would probably assume I’m doing better now and therefore not doing it. They’re wrong. Yes I’m forcing myself to do my volunteering. Yes I’m forcing myself to go walking most days. Yes my diet is different, I’m coming off my medication and I’m finally taking some vitamins! All positive steps. But I still self-harm. Even when I have no reason to. Even on the ‘good’ days.

 

Because self-harm can be like that. It is like an addiction. Sometimes it’s all my mind can think about…. when can I next hurt myself and how? I don’t know why I’m doing it and why I don’t want to stop.

 

I feel all the old shame again. Because I’m trying to hide the fact I’m always doing it. I reckon people think I’m better than I am. I already know the people at work don’t understand and think self-harm is a one-off thing. So if they were to see the bandages on my arms they’d be like ‘Have you done it again?’ Well yes…. of course I have. It’s an ongoing problem. It doesn’t just happen once and then you get over it. If only.

 

No matter how hard I’m trying to pick myself up and push myself forward, I still can’t stop hurting myself. I’m even worried that family won’t understand that I’m still doing it, even when I seem okay. So I hide it. I know nobody would understand this mentality. I keep saying to myself it’s mental illness. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s an illness, in that it’s something that’s got a hold of my mind and drives me to do what I do… to need it… to want it and to think I deserve it. But it feels like weak excuses. Nobody would understand unless they also know that feeling, having been there themselves.

 

In better news, I had a great night at the theatre last night, just as I had a good time at a gig last month. I’m halfway through the good things I booked up for this year to keep me going. They are so anxiety-provoking but I’m trying to learn to have good experiences again, and trust that things don’t always end badly. I’ll be honest I’m a bit scared of what happens after June…. once I’ve got through them all and there’s nothing left to aim for. It is playing on my mind a bit. Nothing to hold on for. Hopefully by then I might get some community support…. I’ll be contacting the Wellbeing Centre and Recovery College this week to see if they’ll help me. As much as I’m trying to help myself, my mind is still sick, so I know I still need the help.

 

Friend-wise, I’m all over the place. I’m extremely doubtful of anyone’s intentions to be my friend. I don’t think anyone truly wants me in their life. I’ll talk with people about meeting up and it never materialises. And as much as I could just suggest it to them again, as maybe they feel they’re annoying me by asking me again, it’s not what I’m able to do at the moment. At this point I actually need others to take the lead and invite me on a particular day, or tell me what we’re doing and when (as long as I’m free). I hate to admit this as it probably makes me sound needy and demanding, but I’m not going to initiate anything with anyone at the moment…. for two reasons…. first because I’ve been made to feel a burden, unwanted, uncared for and invisible for so long that I’d rather stay in my quiet little world of loneliness than to bother others and risk any more rejection. But secondly because I am scared. I’m scared of getting the ball rolling and people expecting too much from me. I’m scared they’ll do what someone else did with me last year, and keep messaging me before I can reply… I’ll then get overwhelmed having to respond to so much, and put it off…. and then I’ll apologise for taking so long and be made to feel shit for it. Which then makes me pull away as I think I’m such a rubbish friend and people deserve better than me. It’s true, they do. But I really struggle with interaction at the moment. I struggle with small talk. Got something to discuss? Great, go for it. Got a question? Ask it. Need my help and support? I’d be only too willing to help. I’d be thrilled that you asked me. But idle chit-chat I just can’t do. Just talking for the sake of talking…. and I know it’s what you do in a friendship, but right now I don’t have it in me, and I don’t want to hurt anyone by not replying. If I’m honest, as much as I post online, I’m in isolation mode again. Thinking nobody cares about me. I feel lonely not having a close friend anymore.

 

But I have someone in my life whose close friend has sadly passed away recently. A part of me feels I lost my friend at the time I did, to be able to sympathise on some level with this other person. It’s a different sort of loss, but we both have nobody close anymore. So I can imagine what she’s lost and how it might feel. I’m trying to see that things happen for a reason. It doesn’t mean it’s good that these things happen. But you can create meaning out of most things in life. You can turn a negative into a positive… even if it’s just using your awful experiences to help others who are going through the same thing.

 

I’m trying to be positive. It’s a little harder right now to do that. But it is a particularly difficult time for me at the moment and there’s a lot going on. I hope I can keep going as I have been and that things get easier. I feel like I’m paddling at the moment…. I’m not quite sure whether I’m getting anywhere or not…

 

Anyway, that’s just a round-up of what’s been happening. Hope everyone’s well.

 

xxxx

Mixed Bag.

*Just getting stuff out of my head tonight… haven’t proof-read – just blurted*

 

 

I have a mixed bag of feelings at the moment. It’s like a re-ordering of issues. Some things are losing their importance and others are returning. Grief is something that goes up and down… I have my moments where I still can’t believe it’s true and I’m flooded with emotions. We’re approaching the two year mark, so I’m finding that difficult… thoughts of what we went through in the process of loss.

The therapist I was ‘transferring’ on (had feelings for) has reappeared in my mind – I don’t know why… and I miss him a lot. It’s not because of grief, as was explained to me. The feeling lessened because something even more difficult took its place – losing a friend… so now that’s done and dusted, the feelings from before are coming back. Think I might do some work on all that old stuff again, just to sort out my feelings. The key will be not fighting against it… I feel it for a reason, I just need to work out what the reason is and what I can do about it.

The friendship I lost was a big deal. I cannot explain what it did to me. But at this point I don’t actually care anymore. She fucked up. She made the wrong choice and time will reveal that to her. I have my recovery to focus on.

I’m trying to come off one of my medications at the moment. I’ve been on it a long time – over ten years and I’m on the highest dose, so I’m doing it gradually as I really don’t want to risk the withdrawal symptoms possible with it. My focus is on this and managing any problems that come up as a result. I dropped too fast the first couple of days and felt ill and had headaches, so increased by half a pill since… I mainly just have a slight nagging headache every evening. Other than that I’m not sure what else is because of coming off the pills or just because that’s how I am at the moment. I’m trying not to think too much about symptoms. I’m trying to be positive about the step that I’m taking. I’m also hoping for the weight I’ve put on to gradually come off too….

Alongside coming off the medication, I’m about to give up chocolate for Lent, for the third/fourth year in a row… AND I’ve just started my charity walk of 50 miles in 50 days for Parkinson’s UK, in honour of my granddad. Any amount I can raise will be wonderful, but I’m doing it for him and also to help my physical and mental health at the same time, which I know would make him so happy. He would want me to be well – for my mental health to be okay. Getting out every day and walking at least one mile is my attempt to achieve that. I’ve only done three days of it so far, but it does help.

It may seem an easy task – most people walk over a mile a day in their everyday lives right?? But my mental health deteriorated last year to the point I would only leave the house for appointments or to visit family. I don’t socialise. I don’t do the shopping… only occasionally. I became a hermit. I was too scared and too depressed to leave the house. I’ll be honest – I was too depressed to leave my pyjamas most days. That’s how crippling my mental illness has been in the last year. I couldn’t bring myself to open the front door and be seen by people.

So for me to go out every day is a big step. It’s something I don’t really want to do, but I’m determined to because it’s for charity, and it’s for my granddad. I don’t see it as a choice now. I have to get it done. Right now it’s tiring… I’m hoping by the end of the 50 days I’ll be fitter and feel better mentally, so much so that I want to continue for my mental health and weight loss. That’s just a dream at the moment. I can’t imagine wanting to do this – but time will tell.

So I’m trying to focus on doing what’s needed to get me well. I’ll be looking into the Wellbeing Centre and Recovery College side of things next week. Stepping away from a hesitant friendship for the time being was another way of looking out for my mental health. So I feel proud that I’m taking the right steps at the moment, as hard as they are to take.

In one respect I’m feeling more positive. But I’ll be honest … I still struggle with my ‘paranoid’ thoughts that nobody actually cares. It could be because I’m approaching the time from last year where people failed to show they cared about my grief and didn’t support me. Maybe I’m predicting the same lack of care again… or maybe it’s because people don’t interact with me as much at the moment. I see people on Facebook who have likes and comments on most of their posts – that’s because they have between 300-500 friends. I have a very small group of them because I prefer privacy and sharing my feelings with people who I think / hope care. I guess in my mind I put too much pressure on them to care and talk to me. This is something I have to work through.

I do go through these periods of people not interacting with me as much and me thinking they don’t want to know me anymore. That I’m invisible. And it’s time like this where I usually withdraw from people more. I isolate myself as they don’t notice I’m there anyway, so they wouldn’t notice if I disappeared. I’m fighting those thoughts at the moment. It’s hard. I don’t know if they’ll win this time or not. I just feel so much that I don’t matter to anyone. It comes in waves – I’ll get people’s support, care and attention in bursts, usually all at the same time… but then I’ll get silence from them all at the same time too…. it makes it feel like a rollercoaster… there’s no consistency… stability… it’s scary for me, because it affects my emotions so much. It affects my self-worth. I feel stupid appearing to talk only to myself 90% of the time. That’s what makes me withdraw. I feel nobody cares to hear what I have to say. That I shouldn’t be so egotistical to think that what I want to say is worth hearing, and that I should be heard. And I know people would say they just have their own lives and it doesn’t mean they don’t care… I know that. But I’m talking about paranoia. I really am trying hard to tell myself this. It then makes me feel like a selfish person for wishing not to feel invisible. It’s a constant battle in my head. But I’m trying to win that battle at the moment.

It’s good to have things to focus on though, like walking and medication changes. And I’m also trying not to self-harm. This month I managed eight days in a row, followed by four days where unfortunately I did, and then I’ve so far had another seven days without it at this point. My aim is to get to nine days at least, to beat the last ‘record’. It feels like it’ll be hard to achieve though as tomorrow will be difficult for me to get through. I’m tempted to take a diazepam to get through the day unscathed. But not sure….. I’m also feeling extremely irritable tonight. Everything is pissing me off – even I am pissing me off. I don’t know if it’s because I’m worried about tomorrow, or if it’s everything else…. or if it’s coming off my pills…. I’m mainly just accepting my reality at the moment. But it’s annoying to be so moody like I feel tonight.

 

So yeah… a mixed bag of thoughts and feelings. Just needed to organise them.

 

 

 

Letter Of Self-Compassion.

Dear Me,

 

You got through Tuesday … well done. It was difficult. It was draining and emotional. But perhaps now you might feel better, knowing that someone believes you about the intensity of your illness… knowing that there is help out there for you. Maybe it’ll feel better now you understand why your mental health has deteriorated…

 

Having your medication increased before Grampa passed away was a mistake. Funnily enough it did what you wanted at the time – it numbed your emotions. It made you more subdued. It got you through the initial loss, more or less. But as it was pointed out to you in your assessment on Tuesday, numbing your emotions isn’t the answer…. it stopped you being able to grieve properly. For all the time until your body adjusted to the new dosage and the pills lost their effect, you didn’t experience your feelings fully…. you didn’t grieve. You already know you didn’t grieve – you were staying strong for other people. You didn’t know what grief felt like… it was your first experience of it. So in the initial aftermath when friends were there for you, you weren’t truly experiencing the full effects of grief. By the time the ‘benefit’ of the medication wore off and you felt the true and full effects of the loss, people weren’t there anymore. Life had returned to normal and it felt like everyone forgot you were grieving. It’s no wonder you’ve struggled all last year…. your medication wasn’t working, and nobody was there anymore, at a time you needed them more than they could have known. You needed them more last year than you did the previous year, when he passed away, because your grief was delayed.

 

So it isn’t right how you were treated last year. You didn’t deserve what happened. And hopefully in time she will regret hurting you. You needed care, compassion and support. And it’s perfectly understandable to be upset that at a time you needed that, you were met with silence and eventual hostility. It doesn’t matter what people had on. You can be understanding that others have their lives so can’t be there, and still feel upset that you were neglected. You don’t owe anyone an apology for being angry at how you were treated.

 

Your anger comes from a sense of injustice – knowing you didn’t deserve it, and from a place of frustration…. not being able to make her understand. Just being honest about your emotions and having that ignored and being made to feel like a burden, and being blamed for the state of the friendship… it’s okay to be as furious about that as you are.

 

You were the one with a serious mental illness…. you were the one experiencing paranoia and splitting – which you know are not rational patterns of thinking. She clearly doesn’t know this fact, so took things more personally than she should have. It became about her defending and explaining herself, when you just needed her reassurance and care. Her responses to your paranoia and splitting only confirmed the things you falsely thought. You needed people to not take it personally, to see it as a symptom of an illness… one which they could have helped with by proving those thoughts wrong – not through explanations but through love. She didn’t do this. Fact is, she was supposedly the ‘rational’ one of the two of you, therefore she was more able to communicate and to protect the relationship… if she’d wanted to. She was capable of reassuring you and forgiving you for your behaviours. She had the potential to be reasonable where you couldn’t. The bad things you felt about her were as a result of your illness, not a reflection of her… you made that clear… they were irrational thoughts… ones you didn’t want to have. The bad things she thought of you were her actual rational opinions, based on the symptoms of your illness that she did not recognise as such.

 

Yes you perhaps should not have blogged about your feelings…. it led to her being hurt. But you know how unintentional that was. You know the motive behind your own blog. You know how much she misconstrued what you were saying. You accept you could have worded a couple of things differently and you have as such apologised for the pain you caused. It’s more than she has done. You accept that sometimes when you’re in deep despair you don’t always make the right choices. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You need to forgive yourself – it wasn’t the crime of the century. A mistake perhaps, but not even that. The meaning was misinterpreted and you had a lot of things thrown in your face as a result of her misunderstandings… at a time you needed love and support.

 

I know why you’re so upset… You feel sad because none of this was your fault. This was suppressed grief worsening your mental health at a time when people couldn’t be there for you. This made you split and be paranoid, which you cannot help – you can’t just switch off paranoia with rational thought! Even today you still feel paranoid about some things. It’s hard second-guessing reality. Your mental health took a nosedive…. you couldn’t make the effort for her. You made it clear all year that you needed others to make the effort for you, as you were struggling. You explained your illness all year, and you said you felt like you didn’t have friends…. instead of being offended by that, you needed people to assess their behaviour and consider if they could do more to make you feel you had them as your friends. You needed reassurance. You needed effort, care and love. You didn’t get that.

 

You got distance. This may be for very legitimate reasons, not related to you at all… but she needs to accept that the splitting and paranoia surrounding her, which is off-the-scale now, contributes to your beliefs…. they may be irrational thoughts, but it’s what results from lack of reassurance and being attacked unfairly…. it solidified the split and made you doubt her intentions even more. So you are bound to think that everything she did was to upset you or have some emotional effect on you…. it’s okay to say that. If she thinks that makes you sound self-absorbed, selfish or it upsets her that you think these things about her, then that’s not your problem and illustrates perfectly what the problem is. She’s the one who needs to learn that paranoia and splitting is not within your control… that it may be irrational…. the things you think and say may be untrue …  but she is the ‘rational’ one – she has the power to dispel these beliefs… and she will only do that by being nice to you. By being reassuring, caring, kind and not holding it against you. She is not in that mindset currently. She had a chance to do that before, and she was simply defensive instead… she thought you were attacking her in that blog and went on a counter-attack as a result. Only time will teach her that you didn’t genuinely think bad things about her – her behaviour since may have changed that. You didn’t want the friendship to end. You were simply suffering with your illness and your grief, and felt powerless to get anyone to give a damn about you… you felt so alone. You just wanted her to understand and to show some level of concern or care for you. And every time she failed to do that, it compounded the irrational thoughts. And those irrational thoughts upset her, and pushed her away. She gave up on you. Because she thought you honestly felt that way about her. One day she’ll realise that wasn’t the case. One day she’ll understand how much she hurt you… what she did wrong… and she’ll know that she walked away from and gave up on someone who would never have given up on her. No matter what you may have said in the last year… the things that may have given her the impression you didn’t want her as a friend… you know and you wish she knew that those were the cries of a desperately isolated, helpless and paranoid person, quietly pleading for her friendship. You never gave up on the friendship…. you just felt she had. And her inaction proves it.

 

At this point you have given up on her. Because you’re not getting the care you need and deserve. Because she’s hurting you more than helping you. Because you’ve now done all you can.

 

You sent her and the family Christmas cards and presents. You wrote to her, to apologise, to explain, to show compassion and to make amends. You should never have had to put that effort in for her, when effort was the very thing you needed all year from her. When that compassion was what you needed. She should have been doing the running, not you. It’s always you. This has to stop now. Stop chasing after people and fighting for people who wouldn’t do the same for you. Grow some self-worth. That effort was wasted on her. Don’t ever do it again. It was not appreciated.

 

For the first time in over a decade you didn’t even get a Christmas card…. or a text to acknowledge you or to even thank you for what you sent. You were completely snubbed over Christmas and the New Year, and there’s been only silence since. No matter how hurt you felt and how much you didn’t want to hear from her, that is plain rude and disrespectful. It’s unforgivable and the final nail in the coffin. And it seems like it was done to punish you…. for that horrendous crime of writing about your feelings…. which she misinterpreted. She wanted you to feel bad… she wanted you to feel like you were the one in the wrong and didn’t deserve her. Don’t start to believe that. I know you thought it all year anyway – you don’t need people to make you feel that way… you naturally feel you don’t deserve anyone. That changes now. I know it made it look like you were the one in the wrong – there she was blanking you, pretending you were dead to her, whilst you went running after her, saying sorry and wanting to fix things… it makes it look like you were trying to make things up to her. Don’t worry what it looked like. You know the truth. You know that you sent what you did in the full knowledge of your innocence and knowing she had totally misunderstood you and hurt you as a result. You were being the bigger person. And you know what? You are. Because despite being the hurt party and being mentally ill and suffering as much as you were, you still made that effort for her. You took hours making those things for the kids. Days. You didn’t have to do what you did. But you did because you are not petty. Because you were willing to forgive her for her misunderstanding. Because you have a good heart. Because you thought you owed it to each other to not end things on terms like that last message you received. You deserve better than that. The message she sent you indicated she took no blame for the state of the friendship…. she didn’t like that you expected her to make amends with you (even though that was a misinterpretation of you what you said anyway)…. and she was worried people would think badly of her and would think she didn’t deserve you.

 

I’ll tell you who deserves you…. the person who questions if they do deserve you. The person who looks at their behaviour, can reflect on it, consider your emotions and do the right thing, without making you feel guilty for expecting it. You need to build yourself some boundaries young lady. Some standards, and stick to them like glue. You might lose people you’ve known all your life because of those standards you set…. let them go. The people, not the standards! You are not a doormat. You are allowed to use your voice and say when you feel you deserve better treatment. You may need to consider the way you go about voicing those feelings – as you well know you are not perfect and can always improve – you’re not so arrogant to think you are never wrong… in fact you’re frequently wrong and feel genuine remorse about it. You deserve people who show genuine remorse towards you too. People who would do anything to not lose you. You deserve that. People who are not too proud to admit their mistakes and apologise. People who remind you of the good in you when you cannot see it in yourself. People who tell you how they feel towards you…. without you having to put words in their mouth. They say it because they feel it and they mean it. You deserve relationships and friendships like that. You need it. Do not settle for less. I’ll kick your arse if you do.

 

Let her think what she does of you. What others believe about you is not your concern. Your concern is picking yourself back up…. gluing yourself back together… holding your head up high and carrying on with you life, with or without her.

 

You have to accept that it is highly likely this friendship is dead. No matter how much you don’t want it to be… if what you did (however misunderstood), upset her that much that she says nothing will ever be the same now, and punished you by snubbing you, then how long would it survive if resurrected? It would always be in your mind that she holds it against you, along with her interpretation that you gave her an ultimatum. It will haunt you that she saw the reality of your illness and said nothing will ever be the same now, because of one misunderstanding / ‘mistake’. That she gave up on you that easily. That she was that petty and that rude to snub you, when you had gone to a lot of effort for her…. How would that last? Think about it… seriously… I know you don’t want to lose her – the whole point of last year was because you were afraid of losing her. The reality is that she was not afraid of losing you. She must have let go of you a long time ago… you’re always the one left holding on long after others walk away. Don’t do this to yourself any longer than you have.

 

The simple fact is that you can’t go back and undo everything that’s happened. You have ‘trauma’ issues. Undiagnosed but possible I would think, that you have C-PTSD. And this means that you cannot let go of hurtful things that happen. Or rather they won’t let go of you. What has happened has scarred you…. in more ways than one. That damage is done. Equally you cannot go back and change what you have done. You cannot go back and unblog your feelings. You cannot change the words you said to make it clearer what you meant. You cannot go back in time and change how you reacted to the Hannah stuff. you cannot unwrite what you wrote back then… you cannot unbeg for her to consider your emotions. I don’t think you should to be honest. If someone won’t consider your emotions then sometimes they need to be told about them! But if you had known it would lead to accusations of ‘ultimatums’, then in hindsight you would not have approached it in that manner. You cannot undo that. And the past won’t go away.

 

People do overcome difficulties in relationships and friendships…. people do forgive and move on… but the difficulty here is her level of understanding, and your emotional needs do not seem to match anymore. Her actions or more importantly inactions demonstrate that she will not forgive you for what she thinks you did wrong, because she sees things less compassionately than your illness requires her to. Perhaps in her mind it is unforgivable and she can’t forget it. That alone is reason enough to call it a day. You don’t need to beg for forgiveness. You don’t need to suck up to her. Because you know the story. You have apologised. Do not make it all about what you did to her… that you wrote about things that involved her, without naming her. Because if you do that, it sweeps over the things she did to you. It absolves her of her sins. It makes it seem like you are a piece of crap on the floor, you don’t deserve anyone or anything, and you’ll grovel to anyone to keep them as your friend. You have already done more for her than she has for you in this situation. Stop giving. It is her turn to fight for you. To apologise to you. You have tried being compassionate and forgiving to someone who hasn’t sincerely apologised. And she appears to be unforgiving to someone who has apologised.

 

Reality is that the whole debacle was because you are mentally ill and struggling so much with it. It’s because you are grieving without support from friends. It’s because you were abandoned when you needed people the most. It’s because you felt you were misunderstood, judged, blamed and punished for the symptoms of your mental illness. That is purely wrong. It’s okay to say it is. Call out stigma where you see it. All people make mistakes… even her….  the bit that shows how redeemable someone is, and how fixable a relationship is, is willingness to admit those mistakes, apologise for them and show dedication to making up for them. I wouldn’t expect it from her. Not now. She is moving on… by the sounds of it she’ll be moving, probably far away from you now she doesn’t need to stick around for you anymore – what a way to find out you’re potentially being actually, physically abandoned by someone you care about – online. You used to be the first she’d tell about things. Now she hints about them (in your paranoid mind, to hurt you). It makes you feel excluded from her life. So she clearly doesn’t want you in it anymore. She’ll move on and like with Hannah, you will be painted as the villain.

 

Even this post would be used as ammunition. It would be all about what you did wrong here, rather than admitting that this is as a result of how she treated you…. that this is about self-compassion and fixing what she broke in you. That it’s not about her, it’s about you. It’ll always be about making you feel guilty and like you have to apologise for what you do, without her taking responsibility for how she’s made you feel. But you know what is true. And one day she will regret it. It is her loss. No matter how sad it makes you to lose her, the kids and a long history…. if she cannot see what she has done wrong, and won’t do what is needed to fix it, then you’re better off. Because one day you will recover from this mental illness. You may look back with regret at some things you said and did in the midst of your breakdown… but ‘you will still be you’, as Grampa always used to say. You’ll make it out the other side of this breakdown, and you will be the same person you were before you went into it…. you will be the same person you know you are right now. You know you’re still in there, and you needed your friends to look into your heart and recognise you as their friend. You’ll know that she let go of a loyal, caring, thoughtful and honest friend… someone who would never have given up on her. Time will reveal the truth to her. And she will one day regret losing you. But not right now…. right now she hates you. And that’s okay. She’s entitled to. She doesn’t know what you know.

 

Always hold on to who you are. Don’t ever let anyone make you doubt that you’re a good person. Don’t keep punishing yourself for mistakes you make… other people don’t punish themselves for their mistakes – they take it out on you instead!!! Put the anger and the blame where it belongs. Stop inflicting pain on yourself. Stop hitting yourself…. stop trying to break your hand and your arm…. stop cutting and bleeding for people who don’t even blink at the thought of hurting you or losing you. It’s crazy. Focus on your recovery. Focus on getting well again. And cherish the people who are around you, supporting you, loving you and who remind you of the good in you. The people who never give up on you, especially in your darkest time. Forget what you have lost, and focus on what you still have. You will get there. Just stop letting the opinions of others become your reality. Forgive yourself, focus on your health and one day this will all make sense on a higher level. Love yourself first. You’ve got this.

 

xxxx