Ticking.

I haven’t been sleeping much, far too restless.

I’ve felt the familiar anxiety creeping and stalking my every move.

Anxious about my appearance, but oh, what’s new about that? I’m growing increasingly concerned my teeth are going to fall out.. for no particular reason. A few weeks ago, I had a similar fear that I was losing all my hair. Still uncomfortable with my weight, linking numbers on a scale to self worth.

I came to a halt in writing my book. Really, I don’t think there’d be much point. Writing is a hobby, sure, but no more than that. I think I’m relatable, for some, but I’m not revolutionary by any means. My book would just be me regurgitating the same shit you hear from anyone who documents their struggles with mental health.

I’ve definitely got a lot of energy but no outlet. I still don’t get out much.

I’m talking to people more but who knows how long that’ll last? I am really trying to make an effort but it definitely feels super difficult to make friends at this age- so, you know, feel free to reach out if you live near me in South Yorks, lol.

I’ve been spending a bit. Focused entirely on clothing, which isn’t a negative as such because I rarely buy myself clothing. I pretty much gave up on that once I’d gained weight, didn’t see point in taking any pride in my appearance, when all I felt was repulsion.

My head feels so “full” at times. Just bursting with pressure. Not a headache, just a distinct, heavy feeling, which can really be bothersome. Makes me have strange thoughts. Like, I can see myself cutting my skull open to relieve this “pressure”. I just have fantasies about the pressure seeping out, and even though it must be all psychosomatic, it does feelĀ  a little better. It’s very difficult to explain, I don’t tell anyone, they’d never understand it, they’d think I was insane. Maybe it’s a stress or anxiety thing but I’ve felt it on and off for years. It’s often followed by this intense longing to escape my own mind. God, even I think I sound fucking mental, which is ironic because I’m probably in the best place mentally than I have been the past 2 or so years.

 

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Loner Ventures Out.

I’m making an effort to socialise more.
While it’s true that I am an introvert, isolating myself from those around me isn’t healthy.
Since I was young, I’ve used self isolation as a coping mechanism, a defense mechanism.
And for awhile, it would make me feel better but as the days grew into weeks, my mind would sour.
I would become increasingly paranoid. No longer did I think being alone was just for peace and quiet, my mind had become twisted, and told me that being alone was the only way to survive. That nobody could be trusted, that they all despised me, judged me, wanted to hurt me.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve slipped into this frame of mind.
And the more people tried to help, the more I pushed back, because I had convinced myself that their help was fake.
Every compliment felt like a lie.
Every attempt at encouragement and support felt forced pity.
And each time, I slowly have to repair my mind, to accept people’s kindness and love again.
I admit, I definitely can get sucked into my own misery, but the darkness blinds me from seeing reality.
Everything around me becomes distorted. Friends and family get upset and frustrated, especially when I refute their help.
Now I’m feeling better, I’m trying to mend a few of these relationships.
Years ago, that would mean I would reach out to the toxic people in my life too- but I’ve learned that I can’t have a good relationship with everyone and that isn’t my fault or problem but I do need to appreciate those I do have and remind them that they matter to me.

Update!

So, I’m still alive! I really like to only write when the urge hits me, when I have a lightening bolt and feel really emotionally powered by a subject. That’s pretty much why there’s always so many gaps between posts.

I’m doing much better but unfortunately, I’m still waiting on support in regards to my mental health though. It’s all so confused and ill explained. From my understanding, I’m on two waiting lists. One to see a psychologist and the other for emotional skills group therapy (basically DBT?)

I’ve been floating around until these appointments come through, managing the best I can. I’ve rang Samaritans a few times but I never find them very helpful, though I do appreciate the work they do.

I’ve had a few bad moments.

The most recent followed a call with my nan last week:

“Today really fucking sucks.

Rang my nan, the only person of my family who speaks to me.. But of course, she only speaks to me on the promise I won’t bring up “what happened”. Oh, I’m fucking sorry your daughter is married to a piece of shit who can’t keep his hands to himself.

I’m sorry I reported him for what he did to me, how fucking dare I, right?

How dare I be fucked up that my family banded together and pushed me out, made me the black sheep for speaking out.

What the fuck is wrong with people? How can they have such a lack of empathy?

So, she asks me how looking for work is going.. To which I say, I’m not ready to get back into work, my mental health is nowhere near stable enough. Yep, of bloody course I get called lazy for that. Perfect example of how my family regards mental illness right there.

I decided to gently bring up how I’m feeling and address how nobody is speaking to me and how they all think keeping silent after an assault is the right thing to do- “Well nanny, your own flesh and blood treating you like you’re the one who did something wrong makes you start to hate yourself”

She didn’t want to hear it, didn’t want to acknowledge how evil this whole situation is.

Every damn time I mentioned the situation, “right, well, I have to go now”

I broke down, started crying hard down the phone, she ignored that and said goodbye and that was that.

I just don’t get it. I’m expected to just accept this shit and sit and watch everyone go on holidays together, plan events and fucking play best fucking friends with a fucking monster who took advantage of a terrified 17 year old girl.

I wish I had reported it at the time but I was so scared and everything bad that I thought would happen has happened.”

And some late night thinking:

“I really feel that, about being almost too involved in your own problems. I really relate lately. I feel kind of like.. Maybe I’m quite immature, in a way, because I do kind of just spend so much time dwelling on my own misery. That’s not to say I haven’t been through some dark shit, but what do I get by playing the victim? I guess part of me feels if I try to “move on”, so to speak, that people will never understand how hard I’ve had it. I’m a little scared if I become this super positive and happy person, that I’ll be forgetting what I’ve overcome. I know that doesn’t really make sense but it’s hard to explain.
I feel pretty lost, which I suppose is nothing new. At least 5 times a week I must genuinely think, “I wish I was dead” and in the moment, I really mean that.
I tend to live in the past, which is such a big part of my depression. I can’t seem to move past what’s happened to me, so much so that I’m wasting the present.
I have so much resentment for people and I hate it because I don’t want to be this jaded, miserable bitch.. But I am. I think about running away so much, not even from anything in particular, just to escape. The worst part is, my life isn’t all that bad. It isn’t fantastic but it isn’t the worst and still I just feel confined to my own heartache and pain.
I don’t feel like I know how to function as an adult, I don’t think I want to let my childhood go, in a lot of ways. And the older I get, the sadder I get, because I get further away from that childhood state. I can’t be babied my whole life but that’s still what my heart longs for. Silly, isn’t it?”

When I last spoke with a member from my mental health team, she asked me, “What do you want?”

And I didn’t know how to respond until I found myself crying, “I just want someone to help me process all of this”

Gotta Stop Thinking.

Its late & I’m struggling to hold it together.
I just miss my mom so fucking much.
I know I sound like a broken record.
I just still don’t understand.
We were close, she was my best friend.
How could she ignore all my pain for him?
Maybe she feels I bailed on her because I moved but that was almost 3 years before she even cut me out. And I had to get out, I couldn’t bare living there, it felt like I was selling my soul being under the same roof.
We were fine until I went to the police.
She thought I was calling her a bad mom because I reported him assaulting me.
I don’t think she’s a bad mom, I think she’s also a victim of emotional manipulation.
I love her so much and there’s not a day that goes by where it doesn’t tear me the fuck apart but what am I to do?
Regardless of his influence, she still told me she didn’t want to be a part of my life. I don’t know how true that is, it’s far from the woman who raised me, it goes against everything she’s ever been.
I miss my siblings. In a year or two, they’ll be entering high school, becoming teenagers.. And I won’t see any of it. God knows what they think of me, what they’ve been told.
I’m guessing it isn’t, “Lucy’s not in our lives because daddy touched her up”.
I love the three of them so much but my words are lost. Filtered by his dominance.
Am I weak? Am I strong? Am I crazy? Do people see more to me than a broken, vulnerable, fragile being?

Blip.

I’ve been worrying about age again lately. Very concerned it’s almost the end of the year and nothing has happened in my life. All I can really say is, “damn, 2018 was my year of anxiety”. I’ve never struggled so much, it’s been a really hard year, but I don’t plan on taking that with me into the next.
I don’t want to get to 30 years old and realise I wasted my entire 20’s repeating the same cycle of sadness, anxiousness, and loneliness.
I think I’ve got a lot of growing up to do. There’s definitely been times I’ve let my disorders rule my life and I’ve felt too weak to take that control back.
And at times, I’ve become a person I don’t like, a person I don’t recognise, a person who I’m simply not.
I haven’t taken time to appreciate what I have, those I have around me, and the life I have.
Sure, it isn’t perfect, but it’s far from the worst.
But when you dwell on negativity, you self pity, you think every day is hell.
And life is just far too short for that.

 

Rash Decisions

What if I’m just not ready for some things yet?
Does that make me weak, avoidant?
Or am I just being honest with myself?
When will I ever be ready? Am I trying to take on too much at once? I’m the first person to say how recovery requires simple, baby steps, but I punish myself for not making leaps and bounds.
Or do all my baby steps just feel like leaps and bounds and I’m just more comfortable staying stationary?
Really, I applied for this volunteer work on a whim. As a way to prove I could be “normal”.
When the excitement died down and reality kicked in, I immediately regretted it. I’ve been torturing myself over it. It’s something I would love to do but there’s so much I need to work on before that.
I’ve made progress and I’m worlds apart from how I was a year ago but I’m still not quite there.
I obviously cancelled the interview. The guy it was with was very understanding.
Did I get in the way of my own progress? Or did I just acknowledge my own limits and avoided putting unnecessary pressure on myself?
I’ve been starting and discarding a lot of projects recently and I know it’s because I feel a little lost, grabbing hold of anything for some vague sense of purpose.
Am I a failure at this stage in my life? Am I making the right decisions? What do I need to focus on- healing? Am I anywhere near that? What is the next step for me?

Role.

What goes up, must come down.
I’ve been doing good, I’ve been getting better, I know that.
Still doesn’t erase the dark days.
I feel stressed and sad today.
My head hurts and I just want to retreat into isolation.
Everything feels overwhelming.
I look around my home and just see failure. All the things out of place, the scattered mess, the lack of cohesive design. I don’t know how to run a home properly.
My mom always resented having to clean and look after the home. Her own mother, my grandmother, was a slave to old school stereotypes. As a child, all my mother saw was her mother spend almost every moment cooking or cleaning, she would never sit down, never relax. This really affected my mom, she never wanted her life to be that way. She didn’t want to spend her days scrubbing floors or washing dishes, she wanted a life. She vowed never to become a slave to no man.
Somewhat predictably, she eventually found herself tied down in a marriage full of the same expectations she loathed.
I watched as she became ill, in her late thirties she developed a thyroid problem which left her in a constant state of fatigue.
But she had already assigned herself to the role of his wife.
To cook every meal, to clean whenever she had a break from her work shifts, whilst looking after 2 children under 10.
I see so much of myself in her, although we don’t speak any more.
My home is never spotless. The idea of spending more than an hour cleaning fills me with a stubborn rage.
There are many people who don’t understand, see my disorganised home and judge.
Shouldn’t I be ironing instead of reading that book? Shouldn’t I be dusting instead of watching that film?
The answer is no. I would sacrifice a spotless home for a day of laughter and enjoyment.
So, I’ll handle the judgements and hushed grievances from people, especially those from an older generation.
I’ll handle my own paradoxical frustration, as I sometimes fall into the trap of not feeling like I’m doing “enough as a woman”.

Mommy’s Girl

Isn’t BPD a strange thing?
I constantly overthink and question so much.
Right now, the topic on my mind is my childhood.
I know I was treated badly, verbally abused by my mother’s partner on a daily basis for years, no escape.
But now I wonder, did I.. Somewhat deserve some of the treatment I received?
I had undiagnosed and untreated developing mental health disorders, nobody in my family had an understanding or were equipped to really help and support me. They often put it down simply as “behavioural problems”.
What if I really was just a bad egg? What if my untreated behaviour pushed him into letting his anger out on me?
How much of his treatment did I bring upon myself?
At the age I am now, I can recognise how my disorders affect me and acknowledge there are negative behaviours that can stem from them, which I try to combat when possible.
But as a child, I was so clueless. I didn’t know how to cope, I didn’t know why my mind was so different, why I acted in ways that were not typical. Why I was so easily triggered, why I would become so depressed and suicidal, why I felt so overpowered by my emotions.
I would have outbursts a lot, I struggled (much as I still do) with codependency and would become spiteful and immature if I didn’t feel fully loved by my mother. I ached for her attention, which she always willingly gave in excess.
He resented that, was very jealous. I believe this somewhat lead to him taking his anger out on me.
But again, did I trigger that? Was my unrelenting need for my mother’s time and care selfish, creating distance in her own marriage? Was his anger justified in that respect?
I have a lot of “what ifs” about who I was, who I am.

Flower.

The closer I move towards recovery, the more anxious I become.
Letting go of unhealthy coping mechanisms and behaviours is hard. Like saying goodbye to a dear friend.
They were not beneficial to me, it was all an illusion.
The times I thought I was healed, I was just hiding in the bottom of a bottle.
I see now how naive I’ve been and I acknowledge that I will always have moments of naivety but I can grow from those.
It’s okay not to get things right the first time around, it’s normal to repeat mistakes, there’s always room for error. How would we learn, if not through that?
I see my past and the people associated with it more clear than ever. I see the toxicity that poisoned me.
How could I grow without being nurtured? I was bound to wither in those environments.
To move on, I had to let go.
Allow myself down a new, scary, unexplored path.

Interview: Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, PTSD & Insomnia.

D is 23, he lives in New York, US, and has been diagnosed with bipolar, depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD and insomnia. His journey with mental illness began at a young age. One of his first memories was him, as a child, out in his backyard choosing a tree he wanted to hang himself from, suicidal thoughts frequented his young mind.

His school years were traumatic. Bullied constantly, he was regarded as an outcast, with no friends to help support him. He found comfort in his brother but sadly, he passed away in 2015.

Their father was abusive, it took years for CPS to remove him from the household, D was only 7 years old. Before the removal of their father, his mother would take D and his siblings to stay at shady motels to escape the abuse. The family struggled financially, at times they would all hide themselves in the attic, there wasn’t enough room in the car to seek refuge. Their mother was the only source of income, holding down long hours which unfortunately left the children on their own, having little relationship with her and none with their father.

At age 12, D was on PINS, person in need supervision, a watchful eye for children who helped him on the road to being diagnosed.

Despite his mental health being known to various mental health sources, D has yet to make any progress towards a state of recovery. He has many triggers, an almost constant depression, extreme hyperactivity mixed with deep pessimism. He takes solace in the the few relationships he has but self destructive impulses are a constant, drug addiction unfortunately taking hold of him.

“Try to always understand and be understanding, I think that’s what gives me some strength. Always try to recover, grow and heal. Would you rather face your fear or continue living in Hell?”