Playing Host to a Ghost

Every morning I wake

with misery as my company

it’s a rude awakening

I cannot forsake.

It drags me out of my slumber escape

It pours me my coffee

although I am still not awake.

I feel trapped inside a raw body

that was never meant to be

but I put on a brave face

so nobody can see the real me.

I hide behind my smiles

and the jokes that I make

but every time I laugh,

a piece of me it takes.

My broken brain belittles me,

it is not fooled by my charm

it knows my own self destruction

it praises my self harm.

I brush my teeth

I put on my clothes

then hide my scars in the mirror before anybody knows

the deep and dark suffering

I live with every day

I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy

to feel such overwhelming pain this way.

Even when I try my best

and do what “normal” people do,

there’s nothing in this world

that can truly pull me through.

It’s like my pain and my darkness

have become one with me

but I have become so good at hiding it

even I sometimes forget the suffering in me.

I am broken, I am scarred

I am so imperfect in my anger

that I hold onto it so much

I even lash out at strangers

even the people closest to me,

they try so hard to understand

but they underestimate my misery

and how its company holds my hand.

I feel like such a failure

a resentful fire burns in my soul

my emotions are my enemy

and they are something I cant control.

To feel so alone and so misunderstood

it creates an emptiness in your heart and soul

whilst you brain fights the evil with good.

See I’m not a perfect person,

I admit my wrongdoings,

attempt to repent my sins,

but when I was born it was too late;

the trauma had already began.

I cant blame everyone for my flaws

not all the time at least,

because underneath this masquerade

is Beauty and the Beast.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,

they live in complicated harmony

battle with themselves

and fight others constantly

pushing people away

even the ones that mean the most

they never gave up on their dreams for me

even when my body was playing host.

I wake up most days

not sure of who I am,

I don’t think I’ve ever known,

I could never understand.

So you see its hard for me to open up,

to explain my own fucking mind,

when it feels like a long time ago

I left a part of me behind.

To never feel like you belong

you believe your own head

when it says to you you’re worthless

and that you’re better off dead

trust me I have fucking tried,

but for some unknown reason

I sit here still alive.

Even after every bad thing

that has happened to me

I believe everything happens for a reason –

maybe my life is just meant to be.

 

 

I always make the same mistakes…

Not too long ago, my mum said to me “The only person you can rely on is yourself.” And oh my god was she right… (Just don’t tell her that). It has stuck with me ever since, because people will inevitably let you down. The thing is, is it their wronging or yours? Maybe (for arguments sake) if we didn’t have such high expectations then we wouldn’t get so disappointed, right? I have to admit I do have high expectations but I think maybe the reason for this is that I expect from others what I would do for them. Surely that doesn’t make me a bad/needy/neurotic person? Sometimes it really feels that way though.

Up until fairly recently I pretty much depended on other people to define me. I surrounded myself with anyone and everyone because I was terrified of what would happen to me and my own head if I was alone for too long. But the thing is, the people I surrounded myself with were not very nice people at all, in fact they were really toxic and narcissistic and basically drained the life out of me. I’m not saying I am perfect by any means (pretty sure I’ve said this a thousand times) but I think I at least try to acknowledge my mistakes and attempt to make amends with the people I have hurt or done wrong by. Granted, it has taken me a while to realise my problems but hey we live and learn right?

It took me a long time to accept and move on from all the bad stuff that happened to me and all the shit people put me through. It took me even longer to accept that this was in fact a blessing which had made me stronger and wiser and (I would like to think) a slightly better person.

In a perfect world, yes. But unfortunately the world we live in isn’t perfect and shit happens. ALL THE TIME.

It’s heartbreaking though when you really love or care for someone though and they just let you down. How much disappointment can one take before saying enough is enough? Does it make you a weak person for wanting to forgive people? Or does it actually in fact make you that much stronger and wiser because of all the pain and suffering your heart is willing to take? Forgiveness feels like a heavy burden to bear and it may not always be easy, but you have to let things go, sooner or later, one way or another, otherwise you will just hold onto the heartache for the rest of your life and for what? It’s a form of self harm because the only person you are truly hurting is yourself.

So be kind to yourself, love yourself more than anyone else and let that shit go. #sorrynotsorry

Demons

They always come to me

first thing, when I wake

even when I sleep and dream

My heart and soul they take.

They haunt me in daylight

They taunt me in the dark

Constantly clawing at my mind

And tearing it a part.

My Demons they always find me

no matter where I go

I’m restricted by these chains, bound by this pain

And my demons seem to follow.

They tell me I’m not good enough

As I try to right my wrongs

They tell me I should just give up

And that I don’t belong.

I live in a war zone

In the depths of my own head

Where living doesn’t feel like an option

And that I am just better off dead.

Cos no matter where I go

My Demons seem to follow.

“They don’t love ME, they love the IDEA of me.”

What it’s like to “date” when you have depression and anxiety.

Dating and meeting new people, is quite possibly one of the most terrifying yet frustrating things to do when you suffer with depression and/or anxiety (or any mental illness for that matter). For me, there’s this voice inside my head telling me “Go! Have fun! You deserve it! You need some fun in your life, what have you got to lose?” This is my favourite part of my brain because it reminds me of the young, carefree girl I once used to be, before self doubt and paranoia took me hostage and my body started playing host to my “ugly sister”. She is the destroyer; the paranoid and the self destructive part of me that constantly makes me feel totally worthless and incapable of any kind of love. And it breaks my heart every time, because I am reminded of the scared little girl I will probably always be; the girl who can’t let anyone too close, in fear of being abandoned.

I wish I could say it wasn’t always like this but I would be lying. I can’t for the life of me remember a time I felt safe, I felt sure of the “love” that surrounded me and the love that I [rarely] gave to myself. I have always felt like it’s some big joke that I was never “in on”. I never got the memo. I convince myself that nobody actually loves me, or even likes me for that matter. They simply tolerate me. They deal with me. My entire life feels like a lie and it’s torture. My body is there and my face is smiling, whilst my brain is conjuring up this elaborate story that everyone is literally out to get me. They pretend to like me. But in my own fucked up reality, they are here to tear down my walls, make me open myself up to them, to one day (quite possibly in the near future) turn around and laugh in my face. No I’m not making this up, and yes this is oh so very real for me.

Every time I open myself up to someone, every time I take a risk and go on a “date”, or let someone see the “real” me… it is absolute and utter torture, because inevitably, I will self sabotage everything I did or said, make that person HATE me and all because I would rather hurt them, than them be the one to hurt me. Because I just couldn’t bare it… couldn’t deal with it. At the end of the day I also honestly believe I am doing them a favour (which I obviously am) because who the fuck would want to know me, let alone love me anyway? I am broken. I am scarred. I try to tell this to people I meet all the time but they don’t seem to believe me. I tell them point blank that “I’m crazy” and they shrug and laugh it off like it’s some hilarious joke I have just made. No its not a joke. I genuinely feel this way and to me, it’s very fucking real.

Ironically, there is nothing more I want than for someone to love me and understand me. I wish there was some “magic wand” that I could wave to make all these incessant thoughts and feelings go away, that something would wipe this horrendous internal monologue clean from my brain, but unfortunately there is no such thing. SO until the day comes that there is a “miracle cure” for my stupid brain, I will undoubtedly push people away, regardless of who they are or what their “intentions” are, because that’s just the detrimental part of me I have unfortunately become accustomed to. And if you don’t like it? Well, get used to it because that’s just who I am. And it’s not like I didn’t fucking warn you anyway.

10 Things I Hate About You…

I was just 24 years old when I thought I had it all figured out. I had a good steady job, new and exciting yet serious relationship with a boy. (I say boy because he doesn’t deserve to be called a man.) I had friends, a social life… I was having fun! Everything suddenly fell into place and I could see the start of a faint sketch of what my life could look like. A decent blueprint. Or at least I thought.

It started with him telling me my friends weren’t “good for me” and that I shouldn’t spend so much time with them. He was very convincing. Slowly but surely, one by one, my friends stopped calling or texting to the point I stopped going out or doing anything but stay at home with him. Before I knew it, I didn’t really have any friends to turn to when me and my ex had a fight and I had no one to talk to.

Then somewhere along the line, whilst I was building him up, helping him do better in work and getting a new job (higher paid than mine, I might add) he started making small digs at me and my life. He kept calling me crazy when we had arguments, he sat and looked at me in disgust when he was supposed to love me. He told me over and over that my “skirt was too short” or that my “tits are on show” when they clearly weren’t and although none of it was true, he was making me feel self conscious and exposed and unworthy.

Then, when I managed to bag myself a job in the same office, doing what he was doing (the job I encouraged him to get) he clearly just couldn’t handle that and used it as another platform to abuse me from. He would walk past my desk making snide remarks about the way I looked, or the way I was dressed. Nothing so obvious that I could pick him up on it without causing an unwanted argument, but he slowly but surely chipped away at my confidence and self esteem.

I hate to say it but I was blind. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there.

We moved into a new flat together, a flat which was miles and miles away from any of my family (who had been totally immunised with his narcissistic charm) or my friends (what was left of them). Granted, we had a bit of a drug problem together (something he also liked to blame entirely on me) so we did argue a lot and things got quite bad. I was starting to get depressed and anxious and started doubting myself so much I was basically an empty shell. A shadow of my former self. But we still spoke of a future together; we talked about marriage and having children together. There was still hope.

Then, like a punch to the face, he turned around to me one day and said “I’m not doing this anymore” and left. Just like that. He packed up his things, barely shed a tear and walked out on me and the life I thought we had been building together. Just. Like. That. We had only been in the flat a month or so, which my mum had bought as an investment for her property business. I had also just got a brand new car on finance which was in my name as the main owner. He was a coward.

And the worst thing? I STILL had to work with him.

Less than a week later after he had broken up with me, I went into work feeling like I had just been to my own funeral. I sat down at my desk, nothing was in focus. I felt weak. Suddenly I couldn’t breathe, my whole body was shaking. This is it I thought, I’m dying. I’m having a heart attack. And that my friends, is the first time I experienced a panic attack. It was brutal. This was the beginning of a dark and lonely journey into the discovery of who I was.

But in hindsight? I had a lucky escape. I could have had it worse. His behaviour shows common traits of a physical abuser too. I’m not saying his words didn’t physically hurt me, because they did. But I came out of it alive. I am now healthy, happy, and drug free.

In the end, I have to say I learnt a valuable lesson, in love and in life. And in a weird and slightly bitter way, I have him to thank for it all. Who knows he might be reading this now, relishing at the fact I’ve sat here and written about him, his narcissistic ego getting a fucking hard on. If he is then all I have to say is: “You didn’t break me, in the end you saved me.” I was given a new lease of life, a blank canvas in which I painted whatever the hell I wanted. And my life is beautiful.

These are the things I learnt from my emotionally abusive & narcissistic ex. Luckily, I got out. If you or someone you know has been or is currently being affected by emotional or physical abuse the hotline for victim support is 0808 168 9111 or go to http://www.victimsupport.org.uk.

  1. I am worthy
  2. I am good enough
  3. I’m not “crazy”
  4. I am independent
  5. I built you up and you tore me down
  6. You will most likely do it again…and again
  7. I am not a victim
  8. I was lucky
  9. It could have been worse
  10. Thank you

 

Medication: the good, the bad and the ugly.

There have always been many taboos surrounding mental health; if you go to therapy that means you’re crazy, or if you self harm you must be dangerous, or if you hear voices, that must mean you’re Norman Bates in the making. But one of the biggest qualms we all seem to have with mental illness is medication. Whether you’re a sufferer or not, medication seems to be the thing that solidifies the fact that you are “sick”. Yet ironically, people still don’t value mental health as a real problem, even when there is medication as a sort of “proof” of the illness being real. Crazy right?

When I was first diagnosed with depression at eighteen I refused to take any medication for it. Luckily at that point in my life Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was enough to help me make it through the really tough time I was having. But as I got older and life inevitably got tougher, I eventually had to succumb to the fact that I needed medication to help “stabilise” my moods and get me on the road to recovery with my BPD. However, it did take me a few tries on different medications to find the best one for me. It was a long and tiresome process over the course of about three years.

I was first put on Sertraline which I found really awful; it gave me terrible acid reflux and I lost a lot of weight due to the pains in my stomach. I also found it made me more jittery which obviously didn’t help with my crippling anxiety. I was also given Diazepam (Valium) and Zopiclone to help me sleep as I was also suffering with severe insomnia. Unfortunately with these medications they can cause addiction so the doctors never gave me too many at one time. They were a “quick fix” and they shouldn’t be used long term. The next antidepressant I tried was Seroxat/Paroxetine, which did an okay job for about a year and a half. Then finally and currently, the doctors put me on Mirtazapine, which is an anti depressant and Quetiapine, which is an anti psychotic. When I first started taking these meds, the side effects I had were drowsiness and just generally feeling “zoned out” like a zombie, but these along with DBT have helped me the most I think.

Another thing I would like to say is that with regards to coming off your medication, you should be really careful and obviously discuss this with your doctor or someone from your local mental health team. There are side effects of coming off medications and sometimes they can be quite severe if you come off them too quickly or go “cold turkey”. People can have whats called “brain zaps” or you could get night sweats. Worst case scenario you could really unstabilise your mood to the point of feeling suicidal. Obviously everyone is different but it’s good to be aware of these things when taking or coming off medication. If you do things properly and take advice from your doctor, side effects should be minimal. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t had too much trouble with lowering doses or changing medication, the main thing for me was the change in my mood and night sweats to the point I would have to change pyjamas three times a night.

Just remember everyone has different side effects and different meds work for different people. And yes it is a tiresome and life draining process (sometimes), and you may or may not have to try lots of different medications to find the right one for you, but all I can say is that be patient and don’t give up. The majority of the time medication isn’t there to cure you but rather there to help you “level out” and be able to cope with things a little bit better. You WILL find something that works for you eventually, I promise. I have to also point out therapy is a GOD SEND. If it wasn’t for the six months of intensive Dialectal Behavioural Therapy I’ve just undergone, I am not entirely sure medication would have been enough for me, but combining the two together has quite literally saved my life. Just try to find what works for you and stick to it. It will take some work and commitment but if you want to get better you have to try. I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy, but trust me it will be so fucking worth it.

Every day is a new day.

Today I would like to share one of my coping strategies. It’s also a big hobby of mine and I try to do it at least three to four times a week. It’s a healthy addiction (believe me I’ve had many, most of them VERY unhealthy ones) and it really helps with my depression and anxiety. Can you guess what it is? That’s right… it’s THE GYM! Yes I am one of those annoying fitness people (sometimes).

I’ve recently started having personal training sessions with a guy at my local gym and it has been one of the most empowering experiences of my life. He’s teaching me and training me on how to lift heavy weights, correctly and carefully. I have to say it’s pretty damn amazing. I can feel myself getting physically fitter and stronger every time I go and I feel incredible for it. Strong independent womaannn 😉

However, I’m yet to discover any abs (extremely disappointing) due to the fact my nutrition is probably not 100%. I struggle sometimes with binging and overeating, mainly sugary and extremely delicious foods that are quite bad for you if not eaten in proportion to a healthy diet. I never used to struggle with this but my medications seem to make me crave sugar and carbs. Oh the joys of being on antidepressants and mood stabilisers*. Even though they do wonders for my mental health, they’re not so great for my physical health. Although I am slowly getting there with dealing with my cravings, it still feels like a bit of an uphill battle with this one. For any of you that has the same problems, I really feel for you cos it isn’t fun. Especially in today’s society where the need to feel perfect is so strong, people resort to starving themselves and worse. I will elaborate on this further in another blog, so hold up.

Anyway, sorry for rambling on, I sometimes feel the need to say a billion things at once! But the jist of what I am trying to say is that where there’s a will, there’s a way and if you want something bad enough YOU ARE CAPABLE of getting it. You just have to be patient and persist. I know this is easier said than done because when you suffer with depression it’s hard to sometimes even get out of bed or wash yourself or even eat. I know, I’ve been there and it’s a dark and soulless place. It’s all about those baby steps. I have faith in you. You might not see the light yet but it’s there; just behind those dark grey clouds, it is there. I promise.

So when all else fails and you feel like punching someone or hurting yourself? Go to the gym. It works wonders. Even if you struggle to get yourself there or get going, once you do you will feel a new sense of purpose. It might even clear those clouds. You just gotta hang on, it will be worth it.

xxx

 

 

*Mirtazipine and Quetiapine