Saturday, September 30, 2006

Day 41.1

1) What do you do when you don't trust yourself with the value of your own life?
2) What do you do when you are scared to go to sleep in case you sleepwalk in the night and try and kill yourself?
3) What do you do when you are so tired that you want to go to sleep to block out all the thoughts of death, but are scared that the above will happen?
4) What do you do when you cannot see the value in living, or understand why it is so important to fight to stay alive?
5) What do you do when knives and scissors lying around the house, look as if they are glowing and feel as though they are magnetised, so you cannot help but pick them up?
6) What do you do when you feel like you can no longer control your own mind?

I don't know. All I can do is try to jam my head into a book and hope that I make it through to the morning. I am scared every day of what I might 'accidentally' do to myself at some point. I have no idea how I got to this place, and I have no idea how to get myself out of it.

I watched my friends with their babies today and thought, "How could I ever get to the point where I would be stable enough to have a baby of my own?" I doubt I ever will as I don't think I will ever trust myself enough to look after another life, especially when I feel so careless with my own. I would also hate to think that what I have is hereditary, and that I would be committing someone else to live a life like mine - or indeed to have a mother like me.

Day 41

10.00am: Wake up after a night of dreaming about the ex ex. Not nice dreaming either.
11.30am: Back to bed with vomitus headache.
11.45am: Swallowed painkillers.
12 noon: Weeping.
2.00pm: Engaged in bathing.
2.30pm: Shopped local for fruit and newspaper.
3.00pm: Swallowed Diazepam.
4.00pm: Met and cuddled friends babies.
5.00pm: Home feeling awfully teary.
6.00pm: More headache.
7.00pm: Watched TV.
8.00pm: Pissed off and still watching TV...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Day 40.2

I walked 14481 steps today. I counted them.

Day 40.1

A troublesome day today. A gold star should be awarded for effort, but a black sticker for the bleak, black mindedness.

Confusing counselling, a strained meeting with my friend, (my public face was somewhat off kilter today), a facial nerve that wouldn’t stop jumping; bumping into an old friend (a big shock), soggy feet from a soaking in town and getting on the wrong train home - all wrapped up by climbing into bed at 8.30pm whimpering like a fool.

My counsellor and I thrashed out a lot this morning - culminating in us finding a theorem (one of many I dare say) that we thought may well have hit the mark – to some degree at least. I shall try to lay this out as clearly as I can. Look out…

My family has always been about the 3 of us - my mum, my sister and I. We stood by each other through thick and thin, come hell or high water; every idiomatic phrase you can think of. My mum did everything to keep us safe when we were little, mainly from our biological ‘father’ and all his conniving ways.

I, alongside my genius of a sister, have always believed I was the family ‘fuck up’ as previously mentioned, and have always gone about my decision making by first thinking – “what would my mum/sister think of me by doing this…?” I have therefore and by default, been living a life not of my own, (we contrived) but how I think I should be living, through two other people’s, very different, perspectives. Always scared of making my own decisions without going through them first – at least a dozen times each - and only once we are all happy, would/do I go ahead.

This is a learnt behaviour that has been exacerbated over time after hearing that my own decisions have not always been the best ones, over and over again from an early age. Well, it was my decision to sleep with a fella at 16 and get pregnant, it was my idea to live with a man who abused me, it was my idea to…after all.

I am scared of being on my own. Yes, we know that now, but why, if that is the answer, does everything not become miraculously resolved upon its revelation? Well my friend, because there’s more to this little concept of being ‘on my own’. Being ‘on my own’ I have now discovered also means having to make my own decisions based on what I want – not what I think I ‘should’ be doing. Being safe in the knowledge that I can make decisions on my own and that if they (the decisions) are different to how my mother/sister feels about things – that is ok.

My Friday counsellor described it as ‘Rozza’s world’ and ‘everyone else’s world’. I conform to everyone else’s world even if I know/believe my own (Rozza’s) world is the world I actually want to reside in.

I have often wondered what would happen if I ever lost my mother or my sister. I cannot bear to even contemplate such tragedy, as is the norm I believe. But if something did happen – for arguments sake – my life would be over. I rely on them for everything and since thing have gone tits up my end; they are literally all I have left. My rhetorical question of the hour was: “So, if I learn to make my own decisions that will make me independent and therefore happier?”

There is no doubt in my mind that being an independent soul means that when all about you fails, you have your own back up generator to fall back on. That you require no external jump-starting or any other re-chargeable donation because you have all the tools necessary to get yourself going with your own little, portable, survival kit…So my quest for independence begins with “How do you stand on your own two feet without losing the power of three. Without hurting those that are so much a part of you?” I suppose I just have to get past the incomprehensible amount of guilt that accompanies going against the other 2 from time to time to find out.

Pride comes before a fall they say. Hilarious.

Day 40

40 days and 40 nights. Today, my Blog becomes as long as Lent.

Mum left this morning at 8am, I cried. I don't normally cry when she goes, because I have to pretend to be big and strong and that I'm ok so she can leave easily without getting upset. But I cried and then she cried.

I don't know why it was harder this time, her leaving me here. I think maybe because coming back to my flat always feels like starting at the beginning again. I don't know how it's going to be this round. Will it end like all the others, with me hitting the wall and calling her so scared that I'm so out of my mind that I might die?

I've never been one for putting one foot in front of the other and taking each day as it comes, but I think I'm going to have to learn.

Still walking around like a half shut knife after yesterday's vomitus actions - which is never a good look, and now I have to haul myself out of bed to get to counselling on time.

There was also a giant spider in the sink this morning. I am officially a spider magnet.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Day 39.1

P.S. The last week has been pretty much black sticker based.

Day 39

Back home and currently kissing my computer because it is fast and actually works. Also feeling rather green after the four hour journey down from the Highlands. This has been a bit of a theme for the last week. Feeling sick that is. Plus I found out that it is going to take two WEEKS for my new meds to kick in. Bloody hell. Well, I was actually told that ages ago but it failed to sink in through my thick head.

Day 38 has been written but I was so grumpy last night that I couldn't bear to try to get the parents idiotic PC to creak into action to post it, so I might post it later. Or I might not. I can't remember if it was dull or not...

I thought of something in the car on the way down - after I had a panic attack and had to strap myself down not to leap from the moving vehicle - why is the sea salty?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Day 37

This is the second attempt at posting this - so if it appears in duplicate I blame this stupid bloody PC piece of crap...
Today I found out that I have lost 10lbs in weight since coming off the Citalopram - 6 days ago. Jesus. Where did it go and what went?

Day 37

Today I found out that I have lost 10lbs in weight since coming off the Citalopram - 6 days ago. Jesus. Where did it go and what went?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Day 36

Hmmmm. The mind draws a big flat blank today, so let us see how this 'shooting from the hip' lark goes...

I have been rather disheartened by the old blog over the past few days. Not because I don't think that this isn't an important personal 'theme' to document. Quite the opposite in fact, but more so because I haven't felt as if my head is my own space for the last few days and have found it increasingly difficult to muster up the energy to disect, theorise and find something interesting to mark down about them. But then I suppose that is not really the point of writing this blog. When one begins to think of a blog such as this as a public domain things become a little more interesting for the 'author'. When you start thinking about people reading what you have written and you find yourself wanting to inject something worthy into one's own talentless ramblings things become a little unstuck, you can even start to try to be clever - none of which are the point. Point, point, point. Bleugh. I know that I have previously mentioned that one of my 'aims' (brilliant...'aim') was that a blog such as this may bring or spurn some kind of kinship to a passer by that may be looking for comfort in a similar situation. Oh fuck, blah, blah, blah.

I wish I didn't have that psychotic paranoid streak - it becomes a tad irritating at times. You all hate me don't you?

Today has been a musing between I am mad, yes, absolutely and no, I'm just bored/tired/frustrated. I'm still at mum's and planning to leave Thursday. At this point Tuesday and Wednesday are stretching out in front of me like cavernous blank pages. Far too intimidating to even contemplate and in a rather defeatist (?) manner, too much bloody hard work.

I watched a tape of what's-his-face talking about his bi polar condition - Stephen Fry, that's it, and freaked myself out completely. Not in thinking "Jesus, I think I might have caught that too", but on a much more basic level. When I hear people talking about depression and how it makes them feel, it makes all that I am going through a reality. When that happens I get very scared because it's just so unbearably awful. When I hear people talking about how they cannot get out of bed, can't get washed - or cook or go outside I think, "God how tragic, what a waste of a life, if I was like that I would end it all"...and then, in the same split second I realise, "Oh yeah, that's right, that's how I think". The realisation makes my stomach heave, literally.

So, day 6 of my new medication - apparently this one has something to do with Dopamine. Another one for the netdoctor.com, (or whatever it is I keep looking up) when I am back working on my beloved Mac that takes a nanosecond to upload a web page rather than this antiquated piece of shit that takes ten years. (Please don't die on me before I upload this...) Yes, so day 6 - I have palpatations - which are new and the driest mouth this side of a Weegie's hangover. All new side effects. I keep reading that this drug's side effects include weight gain - there's a surprise. If that happens I am going to seriously give up and start om-ing. I can't read either this/last week - it is driving me crazy. I have read the same chapter of my book about three times over and each time I get to the last paragraph I think, "I've read this bit already". Goldfish.

The highlight of the evening was going to feed the resident badgers at my mum's place - although we had to pretend that we weren't going anywhere near the den for the sake of the neighbours wagging tongues. I hardly doubt the giant and bulging measuring jug full of badger food, stuffed under my gigantic jumper was much of a giveaway...Anyway we scatered the food and waited, and waited and then I started thinking, "what if I was to see a spectre in these here woods?" (it was dark and I am scared of the dark) and got so freaked out I had to leave, mother in tow. Having to be quiet for any reason also makes me very giggly.

Another thing that makes me giggle, apart from apple labels, is the fact that I just found a playlist on the old ipod called "I cry", that I have obviously compiled during an emotional moment or two. Some of the tracks include "Chasing Cars" - Snow Patrol, "Trouble" - Ray LaMontagne, and most spectacularly..."Because of You" - Kelly Clarkson. I am so very tragic.

Now that, has cheered me up.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Day 35

I need to update this dear old Blog of mine as my posting has fallen by the wayside, along with my ability to cope with the daily grind. (Here we go again.) The monotony of the cycles that this illness falls into, drive me to distraction. Thank God I never re-read these posts. One day however, when 'this' is all done and dusted I shall probably sit down with a large dram and read over this sorry state of affairs and see the clear patterns that present themselves and think it all rather obvious, unnecessary and unbearably cringe-worthy.

I am writing this from the 'comfort' of my parents study - yes, I have retreated here again and have unearthed the archaic PC to scribe over the last few days.

Thursday (Day 32) was a write off of gigantic proportions. I started the day full of great intentions but failed quite fabulously at the lowliest of tasks. Wednesday evening I had been out with friends - aided and abetted by my trusty sidekick Mr. Diazepam. Social occasions always leave me flatter than road kill by the end of the evening as my 'public face' requires some stellar amount of energy to keep up. I also feel a little morose when everyone pairs and picks up with their other halves and head for home, while I face the solitary journey southside in the back of a black cab...

So Wednesday night hailed the beginning of taking the Lofepramene which I swallowed very willingly, roughly 3 seconds after entering my flat and dragged myself off to bed. I had a fitful night sleep where I imagined that the pill I had swallowed a few hours earlier, was indeed going to kill me and no-one would be able to get to me in time to revive me from my near death experience. This always happens when I take mediaction for the first time. Around 4.30am I finally fell into a deeper sleep, and awoke feeling like I had been run over by a large truck. The rest of the days' emotions are out lined in the previous two posts, (32 and 32.1) but what I failed to reveal was that I called my mum and begged her to come and save me through a full on panic attack on the afternoon of Day 32. I had again found my own breathing too much to fathom and found myself in yet another spiral of deep despair. I wanted to end it all and was so scared that I would do 'it' unconsciously that I needed someone with me to keep a watchful eye. 'Suicide watch' I believe they call it in prisons.

Mum made me swallow some Diazepam while she was on the phone and she stayed with me until the terror subsided and made way for the unbearable need for sleep. We've been here so many times now. She knows the routine off by heart while I can never remember how to reverse out of the situation. Needless to say, after trying to keep typing the previous post to keep my doom infested mind from going past the point of no return, I hesitantly made my now deathly slow move into the bedroom and to bed. These post panic sleeps that follow a particularly bad attack seem like you are closing your eyes forever - they are quite magical in their own way as they are encased in submission. Submission to the old beast within and all that he can do to you.

Mum arrived around 9pm that night after literally jumping into the car and heading 3 hours down the road towards me after she put down the phone. It was all she could do as my main 'anchor' when she is not around was out of town. I guess that's all you can do as a mother when your child, (albeit a 29 year old child) is hysterical and screaming down the phone that she feels like she is going to die, that she doesn't know what to do to make it all stop and that she is scared out of her mind.

Now that I have a bit of distance from the whole proceedings I can look back at myself that night and realise how unbelievably slow I was when she arrived and often am when the big bastard comes to get me. Slow in mobility, speech and brain function, my tongue always feels too big for my mouth and all my words come out in the wrong order. My eyelids hesitate over my eyeballs with every blink and my eyes roam unfocused over the subject in front of me. Mum just gives me a warm drink and gets me into bed.

Friday (Day 33) I had counselling which was no mean feat to get to in the waves of the aftermath of Thursday. Mum had her car with her so made transportation a little easier. When we finally got to my appointment she had to help me up the front steps and into the building. She waited in the adjacent room while I spoke to The Friday Lady. Hilarious it must have seemed to anyone observing, if they did not see what had preceded this dramatic change to my personage. The Friday Lady offered me a blanket and some pillows if I just wanted to ile on the couch for the duration of the session, but instead I stuttered and stumbled my way - in a painfully slow manner through the events that had led me to this point. We cut the appointment short as I couldn't continue to talk and my mum and I made our way slowly back to her house in the highlands.

And so this is where I am, and have been for the last 2 days, also where I shall probably remain for the remainder of the week, until my next therapy appointment on Friday.

My mood has elevated past the below zero point on the doom scale over the last two-and-a-bit days, notching up by tiny increments. Thank heavens for small mercies. Who knows whether this improvement is to do with the tiny doses of Lofep. that are building up in my system, the psychosomatic element of swallowing a tablet that people promise will make you feel better or being under the wing of my amazing mama? It is bizarre that after the fall, when you are climbing back out of your pit, the more fragile you feel. My insecurities about actually being ill come back with full force and I spend much of my time questioning my mother about whether she thought I was ill enough to have her come fetch me or if I am ill enough to be taking the all powerful meds. It's an incredibly unstable time and one that requires a magnitude of reassurance from all those around me. All I want to do is drown myself in the folds of a magician's cloak and retreat into the bosom of the under world.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Day 32.1

I am going to try and keep typing until this panic attack goes away. Trying to keep my brain focused on something other than thinking about myself going mad.

Apparently this is happening today because my system has no medication in it and even though I started the new meds last night - they haven’t had enough time to get into my system so I am still flying solo.

It’s hard to explain what this feels like, but for the point of posterity, I’m going to try…

It feels like you have just been told that someone you love has died suddenly without warning. It feels like everything that you have ever known is not true. That you are not who you thought you were and that everything before this point – work, life, loves - has all been a dream. You are too scared to even move, to breathe, to blink.

It takes all your time to walk from your bed to the bathroom and you have to hold onto walls as you go. It feels like the worst hangover you have ever had - when you just want to cry because you are in so much pain. The pain inside is usually something that starts a self-harming episode. You feel like your insides are exploding and that you feel so wrong that you can’t be in your right body so all you can do is scratch, scratch until you can cut yourself loose. Today I don’t even have the energy to self-harm. Even if someone were to try to make me do I, I couldn’t.

And the tiredness…like you have never slept. Eyes like sandpaper, limbs like lead and that horrible sick feeling that accompanies extreme lethargy. It feels like all these things rolled into one and you're supposed to carry on like normal.

And now I need to sleep.

Day 32

I can’t do this.

The shakes are back – I can’t get out of bed. I feel faint and have cold sweats. I just want to cry and cry and cry and I can’t make it better.

I am at a total loss of what to do and there is nobody here to help.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Day 31.1

Things that make me laugh - a lot:

1: The 'cox' sticker on a Cox's Pippin apple.

2: The "touch me" stickers on M&S bra cups.

3: The fact that a bra has a 'cup' - 'cupping' is always a naughty thing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Day 30.2

Saving the day by watching "Runaway Bride". God, I love that film. Underneath the schmaltz it has a pretty good underlying message – especially for people who, like me, have single-ness issues. It’s the theme of choosing what kind of eggs you like (benedict, scrambled, fried) for yourself without conforming to the likes of others, that appeals to me the most.

I once read an article about a shrink whose therapy was based around films and their therapeutic qualities. He listened to his patient’s issues and then recommends a film that tackles the issues. I think he was onto something…for example I would suggest watching “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” if you don’t understand your mother. “The Notebook” if you are unsure of whom to marry, if there is more than one party involved; and of course “Runaway Bride” if you need to figure out what kind of eggs you like. This theory subscribes mainly to the proverbial chick flick as usually any great films with any real substance don’t have the desired effect of 'upliftment' – here I’m thinking about “Life is Beautiful” – how to get through anything through the realms of fantasy or “π” – DIY trepanning.

Apart from watching this amazing film, I have managed to wash three days worth of dishes, several pairs of underpants and even had a shower. The polecat has once more left the building.

Day 30.1

Today finally brings a decision on taking medication.

No one could be more surprised than I, when standing in my kitchen this morning staring out the window; I was struck by the most crippling dejavu. This is just how I was before I started taking my meds. Nothing has changed.

I couldn’t believe that all this was still underneath the tablets. I had been blaming them for my mood and self-harming, but actually they were helping. That is so hard to admit/accept to and exactly why it was so important for me to see what was happening underneath the medication. This process has also made it clearer for me to see how long before my ‘crash’ that I was not ok. That makes me unbelievably sad. It also may be the beginning of my understanding that this is an illness just like any other. At least I hope it is - because the thought that this is who I am makes life not seem worth living.

Tomorrow I will dispense my prescription and begin the tricyclic antidepressant, Lofepramine. My own decision at last.

Day 30

What I’d really like to do today is to take all of my prescribed meds and have the day off. By that I don’t mean overdose, but just have a day – where I don’t have to concentrate so goddamn hard on being normal. I’m tired. So tired of it all.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Day 29.1

Still stupid.

People tend only to lead you up the garden path if you are prepared to be led.

I was going to write a bitter diatribe regarding the ex ex in this post. But I can’t. The fucker made me a sucker and there is no point in even going into it. For now anyway...

I am on day 5 of cold turkey. I am still here, obviously.

Today was pretty black - sticker wise.

Day 29

I committed the cardinal sin of single-dom. I called my ex. Not the ex, but the ex ex. Nail my hands to my sides and tape a roll of gaffer tape round my head to keep my trap shut.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

Stupid.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Day 28.2

"Is there no good penitence but it be public?"
- The Crucible

Hmm. Perhaps.

Day 28.1

I’m sprawled here after a weird day of headaches and stomach aches, pondering over the last few days of detox. Here are my ramblings…

My mum arrived on Thursday evening just like Marry Poppins arriving with her magical carpet bag. She sang constantly and pulled out vast quantities of calm as if it were a magically telescopic lampshade; invisible spoons of sugar and maternal medicine followed. Friday involved counseling appointments, visiting the Housing Department and a 5 weekly visit to my Jobcentre mentor.

While my mum drank coffee and leafed through a local college prospectus - I was offloading to my Friday counsellor. Trying again to decide whether to take the medication prescribed to me on Tuesday by my doctor or fly solo, we moved through different scenarios, always returning to my gut instinct that I didn’t like the thought of now going back onto meds. It feels like a backward step – although my ‘team’ keep telling me it’s not.

We also discussed my latest desire to flee the city and to move toward the crofting lifestyle, complete with a couple of hounds trailing my heels and a large rifle to wage war on those who trespassed onto my land.

Oh what to do. Oh what should I do? This ‘should’ word seems to be a bit of a theme. My counsellor gently asks me who I feel is behind the ‘should’? Apart from ‘society’, my family is a large pressure. Unbeknownst to them the need to achieve, to be the best I can possibly be and make them proud is a large factor in all of this. Never quite feeling good enough and lying under the shadow of an older, more successful sibling, leads me to the generous conclusion that I am, a fuck up.

I remember fucking up as a child and telling lies at school that I had been attacked and was pregnant. This situation, as one might think, may have caused great concern and misunderstanding in the adult world but it only filtered through to my classmates. At aged 10, misdemeanors such as this sparked nothing but bullying - stones thrown at me across the school playground, name-calling and ostracisation – all the wrong kinds of attention. Eventually it all got so bad I had to move schools. Cause and effect: I did a bad thing and then I was punished.

I often thought in later years that coming up against boys that didn’t know the meaning of ‘no’ and getting pregnant at barely 16 were my punishments for the lies I told as a child. As I grew older I figured that I continued to screw up – making choices that were none too clever. The result of all this is my belief that I am inherently, a bad person. I still hold a lot of guilt about my behaviour as a child and this has stuck by me like glue through adulthood. I think, “if only they knew – they wouldn’t speak to me or want to know me”. In my line of thinking this inability to make good choices means that I obviously cannot make good decisions either. A tricky place to be in when life is full of choices.

I look at other kids at the age I was when I said what I did, and I think God, there’re just kids, what do they know? I remember telling a girl at my secondary school that if she knew what I’d done at my primary school she would hate me. All she said was that she understood why I did what I did. That I just needed attention. She told me she came from ‘broken home’ too and that she knew how I felt. Her generosity just made me feel even more guilty and I could not accept her absolution. I wanted to so badly, but I daren’t believe that she could possibly understand and that I could/should be forgiven such sins, so the monsters in my head just kept screaming. I can pinpoint this time in my life when things rapidly started to go downhill. At aged 15, I was self-harming and ‘drinking’, aged 16, I was pregnant, a few months later I refused to leave the family home for a period of many months. I refused to venture out further than the front steps. I finished school early and sat my exams at home. I was going out of my mind. “I can’t”, I said. Sound familiar?

At the end of our Friday session, I think I ended up deciding that maybe the city I’m in ‘ain’t so bad and that I need to take each day as it come medicine wise…My counsellor passed me her mobile number as our session ended to call in cases of emergency.

At the Housing Benefit centre things were a little more ‘peachy’. We finally got my housing claim sorted, (fingers crossed and touch wood) and hopefully the money will be in my account at the end of next week. I’m not holding my breath - it's only six months later after all.

My appointment at the Jobcentre was a little less encouraging. By the time I went to see the bloke allocated to my ‘case’, I had lost the will to live and stringing simple words together was proving all the more difficult. This is what happens after prolonged periods of concentration, such as the counselling. I think I told him I wanted to be an interior designer and would apply for an appropriate course forthwith.

Even though a tough day, Friday, due to the achievements I made, was yellow/green.

Saturday, rather more familiarly, hit me like being shot out of a cannon at a thousand miles an hour. Within an hour of getting up I was back in bed, weeping and hiding under my duvet clutching a teddy like a small child. Jesus. I blame hormones, although more likely to be symptoms of withdrawal considering I am on day 3, sans medication. After chatting with my mum – she came to dig me out of the pit of doom and to wipe away the tears - I started to put my house back together after the ‘deconstruction’ last week during a very bad day when nothing fit.

Saturday: probably yellow with a smidge of black.

Today, i.e. Sunday, was quite grey. Jesus a gradient. The weather, my mood and my thumping headache, all grey. I dragged my ass into town and I think managed to contaminate my mate with my darkening mood. Sorry lovey.

Bring back the singing lady with magical healing powers.

Note to self: Find out how to change spell check from bloody US spelling.

Day 28

My mama is leaving this morning. Bloody Hell. I am as jittery as the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof, waiting for the demons to get me as soon as she vacates the building. Goddammit. (Yes, I know it's Sunday, but that was appropriate.)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Day 27

Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness. Sometimes it is necessary to reteach something it's loveliness.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Day 26

I apparently, live in a fabulous dichotomy of emotions - either completely frantic or deathly numb. I say ‘fabulous dichotomy’ as if there were more than two options, I stand-alone with Mr. Black and Mr. White – no Mr. Grey; no siree. If I were in a painting class I would fail the gradient mixing section.

My counselor today tried to define this dichotomy as feeling either, “frantic” or, “just being”. I pondered this for about 3 seconds before responding - “No, I’m not ‘just being’!”

Panic. ‘Being’, in my mind, denotes some kind of spiritual connection with a nod towards self-recognition. Conjuring up images of people sitting in the lotus position om-ing at the world on a tatami mat, being at one with themselves and the universe. I on the other hand do not feel ‘at one’ with any kind of universe – more so in direct competition with it. My only spiritual connection it feels, is a 69 pence Buddha that I bought at Au Naturelle in the vain attempt to show the universe I was willing. If someone dare ask me to ‘om’ I would probably have a panic attack as being calm is akin to being touched in my latest ‘DON’T’ category.

Oh the pressure of defining oneself. Mr. de Botton seems to have written some polemical scripture about ‘status anxiety’ and how we are all suffering from it. I tried to read it one day (probably the same day I purchased the 69 pence Buddha) and couldn’t get past the first paragraph. “High status is thought by many (but freely admitted by few) to be one of the finest of earthly goods.” one book description offers. I drop the book as if it were a hot iron. I fled the bookstore and stuffed a picture of Mother Teresa in my pocket, from one of those free postcard dispensers in a pub. She, I envisaged must be a more appropriate, aspirational symbol.

The definition of who we are, what we want and where we are going are quite obviously, enormous mountains to scale, and for me are unanswered questions that scream like banshees inside my weary little head on a daily basis. These 3 evil, little, life checkboxes can take a lifetime to tick off, if one succeeds marking the boxes at all. Some poor sods (?) will reach their grave without ever ticking off these boxes and will possibly never consider them important enough to even contemplate. Others make their pigeon holing and 5 year plans a priority.

From the age of 19 I have been attending colleges and working in jobs that I hoped were going to lead me somewhere grand and noteworthy; all under the guise that I was defining myself. The more I tried, the more I panicked because the answers constantly eluded me. Finally, one crisp morning last May I woke up frozen solid, feet in concrete of my own making, repeating over and over for about 8 hours straight “I can’t”. “I can’t” tell you who I am. “I can’t” tell you what I want to be. “I can’t” tell you what I want. After trying not to throw myself out of a window, (yes, seriously) and refusing to let my mum leave me alone with the madness that engulfed me (she stayed on the phone with me from the Highlands to London for those 8 hours, almost solidly. She deserves a medal.) and a frantic conversation with my GP after my panic stricken mother had alerted him to my predicament, I bobbed and weaved through the agonizing fear of facing the unbelievable truth that after all my hard work and painstaking efforts, I had no idea who I was and if I even existed. I dragged my (then) boyfriend who had fled the flat in the morning when I began rocking back and forth on the sofa whimpering, back from work to escort me to the doctors to get my first dose of coma inducing anti depressants.

As my failure to launch became deeply apparent, all around me my peers, nae my friends were all settling down, all buying homes and having babies. They all seem to be at the point when the graph of life was taking an upward spike, mine on the other hand was and apparently still is, diving down below the axis towards obscurity and certain death.

Stupid Mr. Identity, please, please, for the love of God leave me alone. Or at least give me something more important to worry about. Actually I take that back, I couldn’t cope with anything else.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Day 25

I missed Oprah, Goddammit.

The Housing Benefit office closed at 3.30pm today so I missed my shouting match - also Goddammit.

I did however have a nice coffee and chat with my friend today and my mum is coming tonight to visit for a few days to hold my head together. Thank God for small mercies.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Day 24

This has been by far the loneliest time of my life. I don’t see people during the day – I am stuck out in a part of town where I am on my own as the mates that should be here aren’t. Just goes to show you can never rely on other people to formulate your life. It comes down to the same old thing – you do have to be self reliant to survive life, otherwise you just get let down.

I’m still undecided about going onto the other meds this evening. At this point I wish I could see into the future, but I can only go day by day. Hour by hour sometimes. Today I know I took the last Citalopram, and tomorrow I have to wait and see how I am to decide what happens next. I think I have to monitor how much additional support I need from the Diazepam over the next few days and if I’m taking more than usual – it would make sense to go onto more stable and non addictive medicinal support i.e. the tricyclic. That was my sis’ advice.

I am also seriously considering moving up near my mum. Today has been passable, but this evening things are starting to go for a burton and it’s getting harder and harder to keep going on my own.

On a positive note – I made it into town today and went to the library. Round of applause for the depressed, shaking girl…I also battled again with the bank regarding missing funds and yelled at the Sickness Benefit people because they neglected to pay my benefit out this week. Tomorrow I have to tackle the Housing Benefit Centre, as they’re still not paying out.

Yeah, keep on trucking…

Black, yellow, black, half yellow? Oh fuck it, it's black.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Day 23.1

I went to the doctors. She said: “I think you should go on the Lofepramine”. Based on what I had told her about the last week on 10mg and the blatant change in my ability to cope on a daily basis alongside the specific treatment plan laid out by my psychiatrist she thought this the best option.

I spent the rest of the day in bed hiding. I couldn’t bear the thought of being conscious for the next 6 hours so I slept. Avoidance technique number 1.

When I woke again this evening I spent the next chunk of time on the phone to my parents asking what I should do. Should I keep trying to come off the tablets or should I go onto the next batch of drugs? At this stage the battle with believing that I actually have an illness is paramount. I also guess at this stage vanity, (trying to come off the medication to shed the 4 stone they have charmingly walloped onto my frame) goes by the wayside as I am now seriously worried that if by coming off the tablets prematurely, I am actually putting my life at risk.

What is the point in being seen by specialists to avoid their recommendations? My shrink told me it was too soon, but I thought I needed to get back to my natural weight to be happy, over and above treating the depression. Then again if you are not convinced you are ill – then how can you make a genuine, well-balanced decision?

My mum put it quite succinctly when she said something along the lines of…“ If you’d had a great week and were managing to function, even on a basic level I could understand you not taking the medication, but you haven’t. You haven’t been able to wash yourself, get dressed or even get out of bed this week – never mind keep on top of basic things like washing the dishes and feeding yourself”.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

The only things that keep going through my head are the comments by my specialists – that I have suffered from bouts of depression all my life. Maybe this is why I feel like a fake – because to me this way of being is so familiar.

Day 23

Stuff – everywhere. Annoying beyond belief. It is a weird thing having to accommodate someone else’s belongings into you life. That would be the problem with renting a partially furnished flat. It would be ok of the stuff was nice, but old tat from the local junk shop just bungled in here to tot up the rent, is annoying. We already had to beg the landlady to get rid of the blood/vomit stained mattress of old that was here when I moved in. I must be at that ‘nesting’ age where all I want to do is rip down walls and paint nice colors and have a ‘home’. Sans boyfriend is fine, but just one permanent fixture in life would be nice. No fear of that though considering Incapacity Benefit pays a pittance. It seems a different world away when I was a career girlie in London town. I miss my job immensely and the people I worked with. One big happy family…

It’s hard to go from working, working, working to nothing. I’ve never, not had a job and I miss the graft.

Some woman is practicing her vocal range in a close nearby. Wobbly scales fill the air. I wonder if she has jowls – it sounds like she does.

See how I cleverly fill my head with trivia while I wait for my doctor’s appointment. At least this morning has not been punctuated with tears – instead a welcoming numbness has descended.

God she’s still warbling. I might have to throw rocks.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Day 22.1

In my own world today, the world a step behind reality - I had the blackest day for a long time.

Since I came back from my mum’s last Tuesday I have been falling into a slow decent of emotion. Most days this past week have involved sobbing of some description and today I became hysterical. It got to the point that I had to action my ‘in case of emergency’ phone tree. Mum called at the point of no return and managed to convince me to call my CPN for help. As she (Mum) is so far away there is very little she can do practically on days like today. I could hardly speak on the phone to the clinic, but through heart rending sobs tried to get out that I needed help. My designated CPN is away on holiday for three weeks so I had to get an emergency appointment with the CPN on duty. “Can you come down to the centre for 2.30pm?” she said. I couldn’t get the words out to say, “I don’t know how I’m going to get off the floor never mind get clothes on and catch the bus”. But I just mumbled “Yes”.

I needed to know if what was happening to me – this rapid decline into emotional distress - was due to coming down to 10mg of my Citalopram or if this was just how this illness works. One minute fine – the next, on the floor trying not to end it all. All I wanted to hear was “Just ride it out for the next couple of days and it will become more manageable...” all she said was “Have you thought about joining the gym or going swimming?” I erupted into more hysterics and she said something on the lines of “harsh, but true…” I tried telling her that I couldn’t manage to shower and get dressed properly never mind join the real world. I thought back to the flat from hell that was awaiting me - a cripplingly out of control mess of unwashed dishes from the last week. Piles of washing and furniture moved manically into an unfathomable mess during a manic spell last week. If I’d had a house visit they would see what’s really happening.

You would think that someone who is still considered ‘at risk’ and that regularly self harms would have a giant red sticker on their file that says “If this person comes in, in a distressed state, or calls sobbing her heart out – take serious notice”.

I asked if it would be possible to get an emergency appointment with my psychologist as I’m not seeing her ‘till next week and she almost snorted with laughter. “That’ll never happen,” she said – “You just have to keep yourself busy for the next few weeks.” She ends the appointment, me still shaking with hysterics saying “Just try no to work yourself in a state and I’ll tell your psychologist you called.” Never once mentioning the elephant in the room.

I came home and booked an emergency appointment with my GP for tomorrow morning in the hope that she will have some helpful advice.

I don’t care if they say “This is what happens during withdrawal – you just have to ride it out for the next few days and it will get better.” Just as long as I know what this is and that I’m not losing my mind.

Things are a little calmer this evening as I lie on the couch, steeling myself for Round 2 under several blankets.

Day 22

9/11. September 11th. No matter how you say it everyone remembers where they were when they found out. Just like my parents and their generation remembering when Kennedy was shot. I was in Texas visiting my sister. We thought we were watching some bizarre Die Hard film on CNN until the magnitude of what was happening became an unbelievable reality. My sister was working that day in the financial district and her offices were evacuated. I was hysterical until she came through the door, safe and sound. A tiny fraction of what the families of those in New York must have been going through. We lit every available candle in the house and filled the windows, porch and every available surface with light, in the vain hope that it might do some good. Everyone felt the enormity of 'our' vulnerability.

Almost a week later we were on one of the first planes out of Newark when flights began running again. We flew over the smoldering remains of the Towers on a night flight. The searchlights were almost as big as the surrounding buildings, giant spheres of light, like someone caught the moon and placed it on the ground. Our plane flew in complete silence throughout the whole journey. The captain only spoke when we had a two-minute silence at 8.45am (EDT). He didn’t need to ask us to remain silent us as hardly anyone had dared to breathe the entire way.

Today one of my closest friends (so close she’s my family) remembers 9/11 as the day one of her family members died. He was in one of the Towers. She is the bravest person I know and her family are all fighters, just like her. I don’t know what goes through their heads when they think of that day, or the following days, weeks, or even years. All I know is that they are still here, 5 years later, putting one foot in front of the other, every day, and surviving.

People talk about silent heroes all the time and my gorgeous friend and her family are definitely some of them.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Day 21

Another day of weeping. How the tears fall at the smallest of opportunities. Sad endings to books, films, emails from friends…my best friend asked me today if I have cried for myself yet. I don’t know is the answer to that. How do you know if when listening to the song that spurs on the tears - if you are crying for the beauty of the music alone or just because the lonesome lilt feels so similar? I don’t know, I just don’t know.

My past came right up to hit me in the face today as when I was leaving my best friend’s work, where I was camping out in her office, hiding from lots of things. As I walked through the shop in the public gallery, towards the exit, my ex partner was walking ten paces in front of me, pushing his baby girl in her buggy. I fled back to the temporary cover of the office and watched as he and his girlfriend walked around the gallery spaces. We waited until they had gone upstairs in the elevator and the coast was clear before I made my second attempt to escape. I wonder if he caught me looking as he turned to face me waiting for the elevator door to close. Shaking like a leaf I made my way slowly, to home.

I wonder now, if it was the shock of seeing his familiar gait pushing a buggy that I had once longed to be filled with our children that had filled me with such misplaced longing. For weeks my counselors have been saying that it is screamingly obvious to them that our relationship - that has been over for some years now - still lies wide open.

I toss this over and over in my mind and wonder if it is similar to those stories of kidnap victims falling in love with their captors. I don’t understand why there is this “unfinished business” when I fled from my home in the middle of the night because I was so scared at what he was going to do. I remember him ripping the phone out of the wall as I was trying to call for help. I remember leaving with a backpack stuffed with the closest clothes to hand and running out into the street leaving everything behind. I remember turning up at my friend’s house after a terrifying long cab ride through London at the dead of night and her talking me down until the early hours of the morning. I remember having to ignore the calls he made to my mobile all night – every few minutes – to say God knows what. I doubt he remembers anything as he was so off his head on alcohol and who knows what else. I remember leaving because I was terrified, but I don’t remember leaving because I didn’t love him.

My mum says “He is only still in your head because you allow him to be there”. In my mind, his being there doesn’t feel like a conscious decision.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Day 20

"Day 17

They also keep reminding me that when I am finally off these babies, I will probably notice actually how much help/relief they were giving me. I say nothing.

posted by Rozza at 7:36 PM"

Ha. The shit is really hitting the fan now. The oh so famous last words quoted above. The world is spinning out of control and I am clinging, spreadeagle, to the ground like I have the worst hangover in the world. My old friends the panic attacks are creeping back in and my daily usage of Diazepam has also resumed; full force. I am constantly on the verge of tears at all times and had a giant, spontaneous weep last night on the phone to my mum. That hasn't happened properly for a loooong time, (apart from the hesitant trickle last week). All this from reducing the Citalopram to 10mg? What the hell can I expect next week when I am cold turkey. Today I spent the entire day convincing myself to put one foot in front of the other. This was pretty difficuly seeing though I was in company. I dread what to think I would have been like left alone.

I haven't had a sleeping tablet for 7 days. It's painful but I'm trying not to allow myself to get freaked out by it all. The "sleeping" that is. Plus point number 1.

I again, say nothing, but also pray that I can deal with all this reality. I had no idea...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Day 19.1

I recieved a very creepy email into my inbox. To some, this might be a lark - but to those who are having an identity crisis - it possibly means the end of everything....

I quote:

Hey!

I'M Roz ______!

Best,

Roz ______

x

End quote.

She has the same surname as I do - which of course I have deleted as I am, of course protecting my identity. Freakoid.

Day 19

Note to self: NEVER walk 9.25km in silver lame ballet pumps. Jesus. Oooow.

On kicking off the ‘pumps of torture’, I nearly had a heart attack – not because my feet were bellyaching, but because I looked down at my toenails and thought I had gangrene, a severed nail bed and an incredible vanishing nail. After three minutes of extreme panic involving a cold compress and lamas breathing techniques (I hate the sight of my own blood – especially when it comes to gross things like toes…) I realised, that alas, the conjured up nail deficiencies were actually the remnants of a nail varnish party my sister and I had had when she was visiting a few weeks ago. I painted each nail a different colour, hence the varying scale of diseases I thought I had. Just goes to show how much time I spend looking at my toes.

I had counseling again today. Interestingly I went in as angry as I could be and came out feeling rather good about myself. My counselor was quick to point out, “I love how you say: “I’m furious”, when you sit there as calm as can be with a smile on your face”. Damn public face. Well - I don’t like to make a scene.

My head is unraveling quicker than a bad pitch in “Dragons Den” so I must go and download the latest information that helps to explain my randomly selected, mood du jour.

P.S (God this is turning into a “Dear Diary, why so blue...?”) Picking scabs is still as fun at aged 29 as it is aged 5. Plus, the magic lotion that stops scabs itching is pure almond oil. Wish I’d know that at 3 in morning while I was chewing the back of a wooden spoon to stop me scratching. (I would never actually do that - chew a spoon - as I have a phobia of untreated wood.)

Day 18

From roughly 9am to approximately 6pm today, all I saw was the underside of my duvet. Then I grabbed myself by the scruff of the neck, swallowed a Diazepam and headed out to an opening. And had a very nice time, thank you very much.

(Today is actually yesterday, because now today is...today.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Day 17.1

I initially started cutting my hands with scissors, now I just scratch until the skin comes off. I also blank out when I am doing it. When I realise what I have done I feel utterly humiliated and disappointed. The reason that I have decided to upload these images is that I have never seen pictures of an adult self harmer or their scars. I want to see what others do to themselves. This is not to give myself ideas on how to next hurt myself or because I want to see gory images; but because I hate feeling like the only freak in the world.

These are how my hands look these days. The images are black and white because the coloured ones are pretty gruesome. U-G-L-Y (the hands that is).

I finally managed to upload images using blinkin' Firefox. Stupid Safari.





Day 17

I actually found a support group to go to. Oh dear Lord in heaven. I imagine us all sitting around, just like in an AA meeting, declaring our mental health issues under the guise of anonymity. I might shout out my full name, just to freak them all out. Or I might create a pseudonym for myself. Like...Penelope.

I wonder if there shall be tea and biscuits? Well, I shall find out in a couple of weeks when the next group meets.

Today was another counseling session and I talked my little socks off. Therapy days are the hardest. They leave me knackered beyond belief. After trawling through the muck that got me to this point in life - I shuffled to the library and got out yet more books. I have moved swiftly on from Josephine Cox to Jodie Picoult. I devoured two of her cumbersome novels last week and needed another fix to keep me going this week.

Going from no words to only words is a mighty step forward and one I am quite intrigued by. I can get lost for hours every day - the characters worlds always more intriguing than my own. Just being able to follow a sentence and remember what happened in the previous paragraph is progression. I could barely remember my own name up until a few weeks ago, so knowing my own name and being able to read is a minor miracle.

I finally reduced my Citalopram (the antidepressant) today, entering into the final stages of weaning. I was terrified of this point last week, but this week it all seems a bit more manageable. I think when I actually noticed (yesterday) that I felt no differently on 20mg than I had on 40mg, or indeed 60mg for that matter. All my support team are still um-ing and aw-ing about my decision and I think the general opinion, of the professionals, is that we’ll give it a wee while and then probably have to pop me onto another antidepressant – long term. They also keep reminding me that when I am finally off these babies, I will probably notice actually how much help/relief they were giving me. I say nothing.

I am planning to watch some seriously crap TV tonight – ‘Princess Nikki’ on E4. You know, I think that girl is onto something - quite seriously. Whereas every other human on the planet seems to hold in all their emotions to the point of self-combustion – she just lets it out as and when it builds up inside her. I honestly wish I had the bottle to be that honest about how I am feeling on a daily basis, and had the confidence not to give a shit about what anyone would think about such outbursts. I on the other hand, think my insides have petrified and I think I might be developing a stalagmite up my bum.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Day 16.1

This week is International Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.

http://www.chooselife.net

Day 16

Frustrated. Annoyed. Irritated. Angry. Frustrated. Irritated. Annoyed.

I’m back at home in the city tonight.

Day 15

I found my first real moment of peace today - sitting, legs dangling over the dockside wall at the beach by my mama’s house. For a moment the crashing in my head stopped and all I thought about was what was right in front of me. Listening to the spinnakers dinging against the boat masts in the wind we sat, side by side, looking out over fishing boats and watching crabs navigate the sand through the peaty coloured water.

Breathing in the salty air - I thought only about boats.

Monday 4th September 2006.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Day 14

A day from hell travel - wise. Everything that could go wrong did, and all I was trying to do was to get to my big sister - 4 hours away - for her birthday. Ironically this was also my first solo mission since I began self harming about 2 months ago so was a mean feat to achieve. Frought with delays, missed busses and trains, my journey was finally concluded (after setting off at 10am) at 5.30pm without (I add rather proudly) my usual, liberal sprinkling of Diazepam. The somewhat weary traveller was welcomed home with a bowl of freshly home made, mama soup; chicken and rice - our family favourite cure-all.

Now I lie here, on freshly laundered, brushed cotton bed sheets, surrounded by pictures of my late grandparents soothingly smiling upon me, listening to the last ebb of the day's hustle and bustle as the house slowly gets ready for sleep. Full of more birthday food than I care to think of right now, I have turned in for the night and scribble this down on a tatty fold of paper - ready to upload tomorrow. If, that is, I can find the old computer underneath all the books and rolls of wrapping paper in the study.

Sunday 3rd September 2006.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Day 13.3

I accidentally killed Boris (Junior) 3. I am going straight to hell.

Day 13.2

A car just reversed into me. A weird experience having a large, uncontrollable (it was driven by a 1000 year old man – no judgment, but seriously they should strip old, blind people of their licenses) hunk of metal into your knee – forcing your knee joint to bend in the opposite direction it is supposed to. Bloody hell.

That newsflash trumped the entrance of Boris (Junior) 3 into the house. He is (Junior) because he is smaller than the other two that have graced my presence.

Dear God, please can you banish all eight legged beast into the fiery pits of hell, and while you’re at it – old crumbly drivers that shouldn’t be reversing, never mind going forwards?

I knew it was a good day to cry.

Day 13.1

I cry. It is so hard to let the tears fall. To allow myself to feel the sadness and let it tentatively slide down my cheeks - its first outing to the world. And my awakening. Maybe that’s the key; maybe sometimes it is necessary to re-teach something its loveliness. Maybe one goes on blaming and holding the pain in higher regard than the goodness. Sometimes, the blaming is easier than the acceptance of things past – allowing yourself to make the mistakes you need to make to get to the stage you’re at. Allowing the mistakes to happen without getting out the eraser.

Tomorrow is an anniversary of mine. If I had let nature take its course – I would have been mother to a twelve year old by now. Instead I shall be celebrating my sister’s birthday.

Day 13

Sometimes it is necessary
To reteach a thing its loveliness.

- Galway Kinnell,
'St Francis and the Sow'

Day 12

This was yesterday's post that I forgot to post. I fell asleep on the couch.

Last night my recently skinned arm kept me awake for most of the night.. “you have to let it breathe” doctors say. I.e. take off the wound dressings. This means peeling it (my arm) off the covers every 20 mins when it sticks to the bed sheets. Then I had to go to counseling for the second time this week. This appointment’s always the hardest – my therapist really makes me work hard – I have to decide what we talk about and then do the majority of the talking. Today’s topic was pretty hot and at one point she said, “are you crying?”; “no", I said – "just sweating”. She turned down the heating.