Mental Illness Is A Thief.

I once wrote a list of positives about myself…. I have that list in front of me… I don’t remember when I wrote it, but I can only assume I was in a better state of mind, as I’d find it hard to say many good things about myself at the moment.

Here’s what I wrote:

 

  • I am sensitive to the feelings of others.
  • I have a good heart.
  • I am approachable.
  • I am honest and trustworthy.
  • I am protective of those I care about.
  • I am creative.
  • I have a good sense of humour.
  • I am respectful to people and animals and the world alike.
  • I have good morals.
  • I don’t let people down.
  • I say what I mean and I mean what I say.
  • Even if I sometimes doubt it, I am mentally strong – I’m still standing.
  • I like my own company.
  • I don’t need anyone else to complete me.
  • I enjoy the freedom of being alone.
  • I am a reserved person. I save my best for those who earn it.
  • I take the time to care about others.
  • I am polite.
  • I am capable of learning.
  • I am thoughtful.
  • I am not too proud to apologise or ask for help.
  • I am understanding.
  • I am down-to-earth.
  • I have good taste in music.
  • I may not have much but I have a lot to offer.

 

 

 

Mental illness robs you of many of those things. It also robs you of the ability to see any good in you, even when it is still there. That’s when you need your friends to remind you of who you are. I had a friend say to me just yesterday some of the good things about me. I may not believe them all, but hearing it does help… if for no other reason than to know they don’t all hate me!

 

When I look at the list, there are some things I feel remain – good taste in music, creative, sense of humour – these tend to be a constant. Other things are subject to change… for instance I do let people down… I’m not that approachable anymore… I don’t always take the time to care about others… I’m not always understanding, though I try my best to understand the motives and feelings of others.

 

The reality is that when you’re ill certain parts of you close off. You can’t be the person you’ve always been, because you’re fighting a battle nobody else knows about. The worst thing that can happen is for someone to judge you on who you are as a result of mental ill health. It makes you think that’s who you are as a person.

 

I received a message from a friend the other day which threw into turmoil my image of myself. Those of us with BPD struggle with a sense of who we are at the best of times…. It made me feel like I’m a terrible person. It created chaos in me, because everything said to me was a misinterpretation and misunderstanding of me, my words and behaviour. So whilst I was showing certain positive qualities (in my mind at least!), they twisted it into me showing all the worst qualities they could think of. And the trouble with someone like me, is that others’ opinions of me become MY opinion of me. I think if one person thinks something, others must too, and therefore it must be true.

 

They may not have said the words, but the words they did say painted a picture of me as a selfish, controlling bitch. Instead of seeing me as someone in huge emotional pain, traumatised, mentally ill and doing the best I could to survive… alone, they warped the truth and made me the ‘bad guy’.

 

Part of me was furious with them and thought what a horrible person they are and how much I hate them. But the rest of me took it as a reflection of ME. If I’m not all the bad things my friend thinks I am, then I must at least come across that way, either because of my illness or because I don’t communicate my reality correctly.

 

They were upset with me for blogging about them, as they interpreted it in a negative way, not as intended. And they asked if I could understand how that would feel…. yes, I do understand. And my initial reaction was that I should blog about what an awful person I am. Even though my blog was not about attacking them, and was actually about explaining that my own mind (my illness) is the problem – therefore I was effectively taking the blame (even though mental illness is not my fault!) …. they interpreted it as me blaming them and painting them in a bad light. So to ‘even it up’, in their mind at least, I felt I should tell you all how damn awful I am…. even though I already know that, and I’m constantly putting myself down for having an illness! Here you go:

 

  • I am a bad friend.
  • I don’t deserve friendship, happiness or love.
  • I’m too honest.
  • I’m selfish.
  • I’m messed up.
  • I’m manipulative.
  • I’m attention-seeking.
  • I’m a bitch.
  • I’m too demanding.
  • I’m a Debbie Downer.
  • I’m boring.
  • I’m lazy.
  • I’m a failure.
  • I’m a bitter, angry, resentful person.
  • I’m unforgiving.
  • I’m immature.
  • I’m clueless about real life and real problems.
  • I’m nasty.
  • I deserve pain.
  • I don’t deserve to live.
  • I’m hateful.
  • I’m a drama-queen.
  • I’m fat and ugly.
  • I’m stupid.
  • I’m an embarrassment to know.
  • I’m a terrible person.

 

This is the list I feel my friend would want me to remind myself of. At a time when I need reminding of my good qualities, they only want to make me think bad things about myself. Even if it’s unintentional, the way they talk to me illustrates their opinions of me.

 

But I look at this list, and as much as it came to me a lot quicker and easier than a positive one ever could, deep down I know it’s not the truth. Some of it is. I am fat and ugly, I am too honest and at present I am rather hate-filled. But most other things are as a result of my illness. Some of them aren’t even true then – it would just be an opinion of someone uneducated. I appear selfish, manipulative, attention-seeking, lazy, a bitch and a drama-queen, because I have a mental illness that has taken over and is close to winning. But I am none of those things. I do know that.

 

Whilst I feel like a terrible person and at present I question my original list about the ‘having a good heart’, I know what my intentions are. A lot of people may think bad things about me and my motives. Just as my friend interpreted my blog as me attacking them, rather than explaining my illness to them, other people probably think I’m a certain type of person. If my friend thinks I’m selfish, heartless and controlling then I’d like to say this…..

 

You’re wrong. I have a heart and you bloody broke it. While I might not appear to care about others, I care about them sometimes more than I care about myself. I have a lot of compassion and empathy. It may not seem it, but I AM capable of putting myself in others’ shoes… something they seem unable to do with me. I try my best to understand others whilst they don’t even try to understand me and my illness. I am aware of people having their own lives and stresses – I’m not selfish… but being in distress can make me seem that way, like I’m ignorant to the existence of others’ lives. I worry about them and show concern for them, whilst they just attack me and make me feel like a burden. I take my time to consider my responses to people…. I don’t want to hurt people. People don’t seem to do the same for me. They all just react. I’m actually a very reasonable person, where others without my illness seem to be the unreasonable ones. I will apologise when I hurt people – none of them do it for me. Even if they’re the ones who owe me an apology, they just double down on the hurt or give a false apology, whereas I feel genuine guilt, shame and remorse and am genuinely sorry (and I’m the one with BPD!). I am thoughtful, considerate and to some degree kind. Even if people hurt me, I’ll still send cards, I’ll still send thoughts on anniversaries, I’ll still try my best not to let their bitterness towards me change who I am at my core. I still try my best to be gentle even when hurt. It’s difficult though.

 

So whilst people are out there thinking bad things about me, I am here, hurt by their low opinions of me…. their misunderstandings of me and who I really am. The only reason I appear to show more of the qualities from the second list than the first, is because I am unwell. I’ve always been unwell – I just used to be able to hide it better. I’d wear a mask for everyone, even my best friend. After my granddad died last year my mental health deteriorated, and after a breakdown at therapy a year ago I’ve lost control. With being abandoned and isolating myself this year it’s just got worse and worse, until I can no longer hide how I’m feeling. I can’t wear the mask. I suppose if you were a fan of using the words ‘high-functioning’ and ‘low-functioning’, I’ve always been high-functioning…. now not so much. Now I’m a lot lower-functioning and my illness is plain to see…. except to those who refuse to see it as an illness. They will just think I’ve become a bitch. Thank God for those who see it for what it is and still believe in me. Thank you to those people. ❤

 

I am many of those things on that first list… inside. I wish I could show them on the outside again, because where I don’t, people think I’ve changed – I haven’t. I just can’t express the good as loudly as the bad is screaming from me. It then makes people treat me differently, which makes my illness worse and makes me feel worse about myself.

 

It is SO important if you know someone with a mental illness, to never treat them differently because of their illness, or to blame them for how they are. How they appear to you may not be how they feel inside. You need to remind them of the good in them, because mental illness is a thief, and an illusionist… it plays tricks on the mind, whilst stealing the good. It’s not the fault of the person with the illness. We never asked to be ill, and we likely hate ourselves enough, without feeling you hate us too.

 

I may not like who I am right now. I may not be able to confidently state to the world who I am and make a list…. but I DO know who I am at my core. And when people try and misrepresent me it frustrates and upsets me. But they’re not my concern. Let them think what they like. I’ve lost people in the past because they chose to stick by their false opinions of me, rather than admitting they were wrong, or trying to understand my illness. I don’t say this in a big-headed way, as I don’t actually think much of myself currently, but… ‘It’s their loss’. If people want to lose me because of their inability to listen and understand my illness, and because of the qualities they lack, then so be it. I shouldn’t have to explain myself to them. They should know who I am.

 

I struggle enough to hold on to who I am. I don’t need people gaslighting me.

 

One day I hope to rediscover the good qualities in me… those I listed, and hopefully more. But right now I just have to exist with my reality and try not to hate myself any more than I already do. I know some very nice and wise people would say to cut myself some slack… to not be so hard on myself. They’re right. It’s not easy but I have to try and block out other people’s opinions of me and forgive myself for being too ill to be the true me. Hopefully it’ll return in time.

 

xxxx

To Speak Or Not To Speak?

Saying something = offending / upsetting other people = abandonment = isolation.
Staying quiet = suffering = self-harm = worsening mental health = avoidance = isolation.

 

Saying something = being a bitch = people hate you.
Staying quiet = being a doormat = people like you.

 

Saying something = insight / knowledge / eloquence = doubts of honesty / severity = well enough.
Staying quiet = doesn’t know about illness = given insufficient help = failure = ‘too ill’.

 

Saying something = having a backbone = being ‘strong’ = not needing anyone = feeling misunderstood = being avoided by people.
Staying quiet = feelings are trampled on = being ‘weak’ = being needy = being too much for people = being avoided by people.

 

Saying something = ‘brave’ = inspirational = mental health warrior = until you say something that offends another mental health warrior, then = scum / reject.
Staying quiet = shame = stigma = secret struggles = pressure = suicide = statistic.

 

Saying something = warning others of my triggers = telling them how to hurt me = deliberate re-triggering = self-harm / suicidal thoughts = closing up = low self-worth.
Staying quiet = people always crossing boundaries = easily triggered = self-harm / suicidal thoughts = resentment / relationship woes = fallouts = low self-worth.

 

Saying something = hurting other people = self-hatred = ‘I should die’
Staying quiet = hurting myself = self-hatred = ‘I should die’.

 

 


 

You see? There is no way to win. Whatever I do I’m screwed. I know I’m not the only one to experience these feelings of ‘Should I say something or just keep my feelings to myself?’ We take so long deciding on the best option, but whatever we go with we end up suffering.

 

I’m well aware that most people would rather I hid my feelings, hurt myself and stayed quiet, instead of saying things they don’t like. I wish they knew the agonising I did about whether to say anything or not.

 

What I got from someone the other day though, is that it’s better to be honest and say what’s upsetting me, so that I feel heard by the people who DO care, rather than to suffer in silence. The only trouble with this is believing that anybody actually does care, and also that people upset by my voice are very vocal about it most of the time, and this does result in me punishing myself for daring to stand up for myself, or look out for my own needs. In my bid to not self-harm, but to express myself, I often end up being made to feel guilty, like an awful person, and as a result I self-harm anyway. I cannot win.

 

I wish people would understand that I’m stuck. I suffer, whether it is alone, in silence, or whether I ‘reach out’ to others. I always suffer. And my God I’m the one who ends up hurting, I promise you that. You may think I’m trying to hurt you, but in reality I’m trying to resist hurting myself. But if push comes to shove I would sooner hurt myself than cause someone else pain. I just wish others would feel the same way about me. They don’t. Too many in my life have caused me pain and not even flinched.

 

But with me, if I even sense I’ve upset someone, out comes the blade. I don’t choose to upset other people. I just get tired of them hurting me, and me not being able to stop it… not being able to stand up for myself or express my hurt, because it will offend other people… which results in me hurting myself as penance. So I’m hurt by others, and hurt by myself for speaking out about that hurt.

 

Nobody has ever accepted the truth well. They always turn it round to make me the bad person. They never whole-heartedly accept that they caused me pain or weren’t there for me. It’s always got to be at least a little my fault.

 

I know they’d all prefer me to shut up … it would make their own existence easier. And that’s why my self-worth is at an all-time low. Because I am just an obstacle to the lives of others. I’m too easily hurt and triggered, and that means people have to apologise, and feel bad – how dare I make them feel that way, right? How dare I ask that they put effort in to make me feel they care about me, yes? That gets in the way of them living their lives. Why don’t I just go away and die in a corner somewhere? That’s how I always feel.

 

Me – ‘I-I-I’m v-v-very sorry to disturb your h-happiness, b-b-but can you p-p-please stop doing w-what you’re d-d-doing to hurt m-m-me…?’
Them – ‘Oh just piss off with your negativity, stop criticising me, you’re making me feel shit about myself – you’ve really upset me now… not talking to you anymore, loser’.

 

So I have to quietly put up with being hurt, being forgotten, being alone, so that I don’t interrupt the lives of others. Now can you see why I feel so worthless and a burden most of the time? I watch everyone getting on with their lives, being lucky enough to know happiness… in the meantime I’m hurting and alone … but saying so upsets them, so I have to just silently drown, alone.

 

Whatever I do I will end up isolated, either being a bitch or a doormat, I’ll never be the right amount of ‘ill’ to get help, I’ll be avoided by everyone, I’ll either be rejected or I’ll be dead, my self-worth will be on the floor and I’ll think I should die. Whichever way I look at it, whatever choice I make, people are the complication in life that will always decide my fate. And I will never be cared for as much as people care for their own egos. This will always make me inferior. It will always mean I must suffer in silence until my death… for their sakes. What is the point of my existence? It’s hopeless.

 

 

 

Exodus Of Friends.

*Bad language*

 

 

I am the most alone I’ve ever been in my life. And it’s the worst time it could happen. I have nothing left. My mental health is the worst it’s been in many years. I’m grieving for the first time in my life. All of my friends managed to miss the fact I went through the first year mark last month. Look, I know it wasn’t my mum or my dad I lost, so people think ‘What’s the big deal?? It was only your granddad‘ but for fuck’s sake, it was my first major loss. He mattered to ME. I’ve not experienced the grieving process before. I had never gone to a funeral. My first funeral I’ll remember for how my extended family fucked it up. I had never been through the one year mark. I needed to feel the support of people. There was none. Now I’ll remember that first year for the wrong reasons – for the lack of care from friends. I can only assume it’s because they figure I wasn’t that close to him, and all grandparents die. But there is a hole in the world without him. We’re doing our best to carry on, but life is different now. Other people get words of support and comfort on their relatives’ anniversary dates, even years later, but I didn’t get a single nod for his first one… my first one. I can understand if I hadn’t posted about it, but I did. Several times.

This is where a lot of my hurt is stemming from at the moment. This is what made me split on everyone. It’s only been made worse by the fact I’ve disappeared for two weeks, and nobody’s even been in touch to check I’m okay. I don’t know what would be worse – that they’re purposefully avoiding me, and not talking to me because they’re annoyed with me, or that they have just forgotten to get in touch / that I exist. Both are highly offensive. The amount of time that’s passed with nobody caring is too much now. I’ve passed the point of no-return. I have to assume I’ve upset them, or they’ve simply stopped giving a damn about me. In which case fine. I’m not going to apologise for feeling like nobody cares. I’m not going to apologise for expressing that my mental illness is having this impact and that I needed people to reassure me and support me. I was told that my friends aren’t worthy of me. I personally wouldn’t say that. But I did deserve better than this. I am deeply upset at my irrelevance. I feel like an outsider to all of them. But to be honest I wouldn’t be able to see a way back from this now….

With the splitting and anger actually comes guilt, shame and the feeling that I’m selfish. Whenever I’ve felt nobody was there for me before, and someone explained why they weren’t there I’ve felt awful, as they had their own stuff to deal with. So now, whenever I’m upset that I’ve been neglected and abandoned, I automatically feel as though I don’t deserve support, because I’m not there for others. I automatically feel guilty and selfish for the assumptions my mind makes.

I’ve not had an experience like this before, where I’ve been so outspoken about my feelings on this subject. I worry people may have read things and it may have pushed people further away. But there’s nothing I can do about that now. The trouble is, those thoughts send me into a shutdown mode, where I resign myself to having lost everyone, so I don’t try to reach out anymore… and then I’m full of self-pity for causing this mass exodus of friends myself.

It takes me on a tumultuous journey of emotions inside. And the only time anyone would know about it, is when I post something online, or write a blog like this. I can’t reach out and talk to people directly now. It’s become too complex. This is my only outlet. I tried explaining my fears, my needs, my emotions, and either nobody cared enough to read, or they read it and still didn’t care. It really felt like a blanket abandonment. One person was ‘liking’ my posts. But nobody was talking to me… not when it mattered.

I’ve given up now. I may as well be dead to them.

If anyone asked how I am now I wouldn’t even know how to answer. Of course when people ask that they never really want to know how you are anyway. But I’m not able to say ‘I’m okay’. I still hurt myself. My trichotillomania (hair-pulling) is out of control. I’m so depressed and anxious I don’t want to leave the house. I’m not looking after myself. I’m still unwell physically after two months. I think I’m in a cycle – where I feel worse mentally because of physical illness, but my illness won’t clear off because I’m low mentally. I’m still struggling with grief and also with the transference stuff. I’m struggling to do my voluntary work. My ‘mentor’ is on the other side of the world. My ‘boss’ doesn’t seem to understand my mental illness. My family are all I have right now – and I’m so lucky to have them. But I’m not opening up to them about what’s wrong at the moment. All they know is I’m not well physically. So I’m completely alone in my pain and depression. I have no therapist. All I have is the occasional reply to blog posts or on Twitter. But I brought this on myself. It’s just a shame it came to this, and nobody broke my fall in time.

There was a point a couple of weeks ago, when I was going to contact one friend, and ask for her help, as I didn’t know what to do, as I could sense all this happening…. but I never sent that message. I closed my account, and even she hasn’t been in touch. My problem was never with her. But now it’s with everyone. I wish I had said something because now I’m stuck. My presence can’t matter that much to anyone, if they don’t even notice my absence. 

It’s going to be hard to see friendship in the same light anymore. This has totally trashed my self-esteem beyond repair. I can’t even pick myself up and move on, finding new friends, as it’s damaged me that much. I feel like an awful person. And I don’t have friends to help pull me out of my beliefs anymore. So I’ve given up on myself. I’ve given up on people. I’ve given up on working and going out. I’ve given up on life.

It was so bad in my head yesterday, that I had to tie my hair back and wear a beanie hat, to stop me pulling hairs out. And I took the battery out of my clock, because the ticking was driving me mad, and making me aware of the passage of time. I still haven’t put it back in. Today is a worse day. I won’t go into that though. But I’m shutting myself away. My phone is off. I’m done with everyone and everything. There are two people who have noticed my existence in the last few weeks – hopefully they know who they are, and know how much it means to me – they reminded me I’m not a ghost and that they can see me. I am sorry to those two that I’m still deeply upset, and it would seem like their care isn’t enough. I hope they don’t think I’m ungrateful. But the damage that’s been done is too deep, that I can’t just get over it. Not this time.

I’ve never felt this ‘done with everything’. I’ve never given up on people like this. I’d normally close my account for a few days, gain a better perspective and rejoin. My perspective isn’t changing… not for the better anyway. It’s only getting worse, the more days that pass. I can’t see me ever getting back to posting on Facebook again. Because nobody gives a shit. I’ve been in these places before, where I’ve thought, ‘Why bother posting that, nobody will be interested in it…’ and usually I’m right. But in the past it didn’t totally stop me. It has now. I don’t believe anyone is interested in anything I have to say. They don’t care when I post about grief or mental illness stuff. They don’t care when I share light-hearted stuff. They attack me when I share political / news stuff, because I’m the outsider in that regard. I’m the ‘alien’.

I’m shutting down more and more every day. But I don’t think I care anymore. It’s only heading in one direction. I can’t see it improving now. So I’m kind of giving up, and just letting it drown me. Everyone else was fine to watch me drown. So I’ll let myself drown. Without an audience though.

The Things I Love!

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I’ve been thinking, I’ve spent too much time recently being depressed, writing angry, sad, depressing posts… beating myself up…. hating myself…. hating the world. So although I still feel the same, I want to write about the good things in life – the things I’m interested in, the good qualities in me, and the things I love about the world. Today I was sat thinking about my interests, and how they probably make me sound like an OAP!! They’re not exactly ‘trendy’ interests, but do you know what… they make me who I am. I’m proud of my quirky interests… my boring (to others) interests, and my old-fashioned values and morals. And I’ve been advised to be my own best friend, so as uncomfortable as it will make me feel, here’s my list:

 

 

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  • I love fossil-hunting and would do it every single day if I could! I wish I lived on the Jurassic Coast, so that I could walk down each day and look for fossils. What annoys me is when people find bits of fossils, that they don’t want, and they leave them on a rock for someone else to ‘find’ – that’s taking away the whole FUN of fossil-hunting! It’s about getting your eye in and spotting an anomaly in the stones / sand. I’ve been so into it before that people have thought I was a professional and asked me for advice. I’ve also been known to lay down on the beach, in wellies, wet-coat and a backpack, picking out tiny ammonites smaller than a pin-head! The thrill of finding a fossil is like nothing else, and it’s so addictive. And to think these were living creatures millions of years ago, and you’re the first person to see them since they were fossilised. It’s very special. When I’m hunting for fossils I’m really there. Nothing else matters in the world if I’m doing that. It’s one of the only things that really holds my attention and makes me happy.

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  • I love the stars! Whenever there’s a meteor shower I’m out there watching for them. But I also love just looking at the stars, and contemplating the universe we live in. Looking at the night sky makes you realise how blessed we are to be on this planet. That out of all the planets in the universe, the right conditions were met here, for human life to exist. And to be alive is a gift. Even if life is tough… it’s a miracle we are here now, able to ponder the universe and the meaning of life with our evolved brains! I think the world would be full of calmer, kinder, wiser souls if people would just go out at night, not to drink and party, but to look at the stars!! Looking at the stars is like looking back in time, because the light we see has travelled across space and time to reach our eyes…. we could be seeing the light from a star which has been long gone, and the light is only now reaching us. And in that way it brings out the philosopher in me… I think of the light we share in our life, and how the light lives on through future generations, if we allow it to. And when we’re gone, we’re never truly gone. I liken the spirit to starlight…. it glows eternally, in an infinite universe. Plus stars are very pretty too!

 

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  • The moon also – I wish I had a telescope to view it much closer, and to see the planets as well. Hopefully one day I might. I like taking photographs of stars and the moon… the moon is much easier to photograph with an average digital camera I have to say. Stars are pretty hit or miss.

 

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  • I like sunrises and sunsets. Although I tend to see more sunsets I must say! It’s a beautiful symbol that something can end, and you get another chance tomorrow. The sun may set, but it will always rise again. It teaches us about beginnings and ends, and how the end of something is merely the beginning of something else. And again… pretty!

 

  • I like watching storms online… the storm trackers. I’m a geek – I watch the storms approaching and tell everyone about them… but as soon as they’re overhead I’m a wimp and hiding under a cover!!

 

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  • I like rainbows. And I like clouds. I like trying to identify different clouds – need to revise more though. But I’m always saying ‘What beautiful clouds!!’ and driving others mad… other people aren’t so into clouds as I am you see…

 

 

  • I enjoy playing music, but unfortunately lack playable instruments at the moment…. I play the piano, and my favourite piece to play is Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. I throw every fibre of emotion I have into that when I play it, and at least used to be able to play it from memory, as I felt it so emotionally. I remember playing it in AS Level Music as a performance, and the tutor saying he’d never heard such an emotionally played version of it. I just wish I had a piano I could play right now, as it always used to release my emotions. I really enjoyed it, and want to learn new pieces. I actually like listening to a song and trying to play it from what I hear…. but it is tricky to do! I also like strumming a guitar – I’m not a good guitar player I must admit, but whenever I was hurt or angry in the past I’d pick up the guitar, put on something like Avril Lavigne, or Green Day and just strum the hell out of the guitar along to it. It made me feel better, though as I’m not a frequent guitarist, I have delicate skin on my fingers, so it really hurts after a while!

 

  • I love listening to music too. I may not be particularly ‘cool’ in my tastes. I don’t care. I hate (c)rap. I hate opera. But I like a bit of cheese and pop… I like the occasional new release in the top 40, though I don’t follow the charts anymore. I love Westlife’s music and don’t care what anyone thinks of that now. I like rock…. I like Bon Jovi and Green Day I like classical music and find it soothing. On a good day or a bad day I like putting music on and singing along to it, to release an emotion, good or bad. I find some music very moving and listen to it for that reason. Music speaks to my soul, and says what I can’t put into words. I love music.

 

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  • I love writing. I used to write a lot of poetry, and hope to get back into it when my creativity comes back. I like writing blog posts and articles. Writing is my life. It saved my life. If I hadn’t started writing feelings down, and writing poems, and eventually blogging, I don’t know where I’d be. It was an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. And it’s something I felt I could do at least a little well. Okay I’m not up there with the greats by a long shot. But it’s certainly one of my strengths, and sometimes expressing myself in writing is easier than in person. I hope to write a book one day, or form a collection of my own poetry and get that published. Long-term goals.

 

  • I’m a deep thinker. I’m open-minded. I have strong beliefs about things, but I don’t force those beliefs on others. I have no problem with a difference of opinion. I’m constantly challenging my beliefs on things anyway. I’m a spiritual person, and believe the spirit lives on after death, but that doesn’t mean I know for sure what happens. And for that reason I would never stick to one religion – I’m open to any possibility. Likewise aliens – the scientists say that alien life would need water, oxygen etc, basically the same conditions we have on Earth in order to exist on a different planet – I say this is rubbish… the whole concept of ‘alien’ is unlike Earth. Who is to say that all life-forms require water to survive? Our human rules and understanding of science dictates that, but there could be things out there beyond the capacity of the human mind to understand fully. So how they can be so narrow-minded to think alien life cannot exist unless the same circumstances exist out there somewhere, I really don’t know. I like conspiracy theories…. some would say it’s crazy stuff, paranoia or whatever, but I call it open-mindedness…. looking at the possibility that things are not as they seem. Some things I’m certain were cover-ups. And I just like reading about these things and forming my own opinions based on the information. I don’t follow the crowd and believe the mainstream narrative. Hence some of my political views!

 

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  • I love nature. I love the trees, mountains, ocean, flowers… everything nature gives us. I hate that we’ve built all our ugly buildings and roads all over a beautiful planet. It upsets me. There’s not enough places to be with nature. You have to travel so far to truly find somewhere natural. But when I find somewhere I feel more peaceful. I love the basic things that this planet has given us. We need to cherish those things. People, cities and buildings do nothing for me. Nature does everything.

 

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  • I love animals, more than I love people. Of course I love my nearest and dearest more than animals, but most people are a complication to my life. Animals aren’t complicated. They have much purer hearts than people. I used to have a phobia of dogs. One would come near me and I would burst into tears. Now I love them, and want to go and say hello to them. I look into the eyes of a dog and I don’t see an ‘animal’, I see a SOUL. A soul that only wants to have fun, and be a companion to a human. Cats are okay too…. but they have a more evil streak, and are more independent, and just use humans for food and a stroke now and then! But they’re still lovely, and are therapeutic to talk to, as they don’t talk back. I never want to harm any living being. I won’t kill an ant unless I absolutely have to. I will save a tiny fly from drowning and dry him out, until he can fly away again. I see every animal and creature as a gift to this world – they all have a right to life. I’m very respectful of animals, and yes, as a result I am also a vegetarian. I don’t judge others for eating meat, but there’s no way I could ever do it again now.

 

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  • I like bird-watching. I like trying to identify different birds, and photographing them too. I like spotting birds in my garden, and very often the robin and blackbirds come and ‘ask for food’. I also look out for my birds…. if they’re making their distress call or sounding hacked off, I’m out there, hunting down the cat that’s threatening them. As much as I like cats, in my garden the birds come first! There’s a better range of birds at my grandparents’ house – the goldfinches are particularly photogenic, and I even managed to finally get a picture of a nuthatch there too.

 

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  • I like board games. My brother’s always being recommended new games, and consequently we get to try them too. I’ve even been to board game conventions near me, to play games with others and pick up new games to try. My favourite ones have been 7 Wonders, Ticket To Ride, Carcassonne and the latest one is Takenoko. I like a good strategy game. I’m a bit of a nerd it has to be said. But I don’t care. Nerd and proud.

 

  • I like doing jigsaw puzzles as well as Sudoku puzzles. Anything to keep my brain ticking.

 

  • I like binge-watching TV shows. I like Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, The 100, as well as things like ER. I also like film series’ too – Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Harry Potter; Planet of the Apes films etc.

 

  • I also like watching a good horror film, but I don’t like the bloody, gory slasher type horror films. I prefer a more subtle ghost/haunting kind of horror that stays with you long after watching it…. there’s just not enough of them that are just right… so I end up watching the same ones again, and of course the more you watch them, the less scary they are. What’s funny is I won’t watch a film like The Grudge, or Paranormal Activity at night. But I will watch Most Haunted episodes… which is supposedly meant to be more realistic and likely…. but whilst I believe these things could exist, I’m pretty sure they fake most of that show, so it’s less scary than a film. I like to watch horror films to create a different emotion in me. I used to like romance films, rom-coms, but I find them depressing now, so prefer horror or the big blockbuster types.

 

  • I used to like Jack Dee, but my sense of humour has evolved to the likes of Michael McIntyre, Dara O’Briain, Ross Noble, Lee Mack to name a few. If I’m really down or have a headache I often find laughing to a DVD of theirs helps.

 

  • I love my Godchildren so much. From the moment they were born I knew they’d be a big part of my life. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow up so far, and it brings me joy to make them smile, and to see my Godson learning new words and copying things. When I spend time with them I forget about life for a while, and they give me such happy memories. I don’t have my own children, but the love I have for them is the closest I have to that. I can’t wait to see the people they’ll grow up to be.

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  • I love photography. I take far too many photos. I like taking scenic shots, those of animals, people, flowers etc. Basically anything you could photograph I like doing it. I like taking photos at gigs and creating videos out of them. I like taking photos I can use for my blogs. Taking a good photo is like finding a good fossil – you take loads to capture that one special one that deserves a frame.

 

  • I love my family and I’m very protective of them. I don’t have a big family, but my parents, grandparents and my brother are my world. I told my granddad (via the sky) that I would look after my nan, and whilst I can’t always be there, I hope I’m doing a good enough job to show her how much I love her. The loss of my granddad has made me realise I need to show my love more frequently to those who matter to me. I’m loyal to my family, and if someone wrongs them, I’m 100% on their side. If it means forever snubbing other members of the extended family I will do it, as I know the truth, and I know how lovely my family are.

 

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  • I like art. I like painting and drawing and creating collages. I need to practise it a bit more. Bit rusty. And I’ve lost a bit of confidence in it, but it’s enjoyable. I did a series of drawings and paintings of my granddad after he passed away. It helps to focus the emotions on to a piece of paper, and pour that love and grief out. I really should take that up again as I’m struggling now.

 

  • I’m individual. I have no interest in partying, drinking, sleeping around, having hundreds of ‘friends’ on social media, having all the latest technologies etc. I’m not a girly girl – I’m not into fashion, shoes and handbags, shopping, expensive jewellery, perfume, eyebrow-shaping, tanning and all those stereotypical ‘girly’ things. I hate shopping. I hate shoes. I’m very much a ‘make do’ person. I don’t understand people like I described. Much more important things in life. Deeper stuff. I’m quite happy in my own little bubble with a few good friends. I prefer a quiet night in, alone. I have a sense of fun without alcohol anyway. I’m quite old-fashioned in my views. I have good strong morals and feel I was well brought up. Although I feel most people in this world today aren’t on the same wavelength as me in terms of values and morals, which makes it quite lonely, I’m very proud of the person I am in terms of values, and knowing right from wrong. It’s other aspects of me I find it hard to be content with. But I like that I’m not a sheep. I like that I’m different. I like that I’m ‘weird’.

 

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  • Things that make me happy are: Bubbles; Purple; Broccoli; Chocolate; Fireworks; Butterflies; Snow; Putting my feet up after a long day; Dogs; Babies; Water; Singing – however bad it may sound; Random acts of kindness; Showing my appreciation for those I love. There’s many more, but just a snapshot there.

 

 

  • I’m a fighter. I may not feel ‘strong’ as such most of the time. But something inside me is strong. I’ve been through a lot in life, and I’m still alive today. Maybe not entirely in one piece, but I’ve pulled myself through many difficult times and challenges, and I will continue to do so, until I no longer can.

 


 

You see, I am more than my mental illness. I am a person, just like anyone else… perhaps quirky… weird… nerdy… but I am me. I see nothing wrong in being me. My interests, my hobbies, my passions, my beliefs and the little things that bring me joy, are what make me who I am. My mental illness is only one aspect of me. It’s the thing I battle through to try and enjoy the other aspects of my life. Yes I struggle with my emotions. Yes I can be hard to handle at times. Yes I can be quite intense. But on the flip-side, I am a loyal, caring, devoted woman, with a heart full of love waiting to be given. I don’t do things by halves. If I love you then I love you with every cell in my body. If I’m happy then my heart smiles and does somersaults. I have a lot of empathy, and my mental illness has put me in touch with the feelings of others, so I am consequently a more sensitive, respectful person. I have an inquisitive mind. I have pulled myself out of the darkest places, so I have great mental strength. Although there are many negative sides to mental illness, it’s not all doom and gloom. Sometimes our struggles guide us along a path to compassion and understanding for others. Those with mental illness have a lot to offer this world, if people could just look past the illness and value the person.

Write a list of your own interests, hobbies, values, passions, positive qualities…. you’ll see you’re more than what your mind makes you believe you are. You are a complete person, and worthy of love, respect, kindness and compassion. But you have to start treating yourself with these things first of all. I’m going to try to, I hope you will too.

xxxx