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.

 

 

When Life Gives You Lemons

I say fuck the lemons, just give me the tequila! (totally irrelevant and ironic)

 

It’s safe to say this year for me so far has not been the greatest… Let me break it down for you…

  1. I ended up in hospital after drinking a litre bottle of Famous Grouse and attempting suicide for the 4th? time.
  2. I was then admitted into a psych ward (a Spanish one I might add) for 48 hours due to the continued self deprecating suicidal thoughts… (Stay tuned for a special blog on this one)
  3. My boyfriend then broke up with me and fucked off back to Manchester the selfish little prick, so yes, another relationship bites the fucking dust… yes it was a “new” relationship but one I had yet again invested myself in all the same.
  4. I had to start therapy again, and after a good year or so without it, anyone who has been there will know it feels like taking ten steps back and it fucking sucks.
  5. I lost a couple of clients with my little “cleaning business” but then I guess I did gain a couple too, so maybe this one doesn’t count?
  6. I was also in the process of trying to find a housemate to share with me where I currently live so I didn’t have to stress too much about the cost of rent and bills all by myself… I found someone, a great guy actually, who unfortunately pulled out last minute as he got onto a personal training course back in the UK. Something which I SELFLESSLY told him to pursue but as it transpires, it’s s course you can basically do from anywhere in the world (anyway, minor details)… regardless… you wanna know how I know you can do it from anywhere in the world? I did my own research for my own benefit because it is something I have always been interested in . Going to the gym really helped me overcome addiction and gave me coping mechanisms that helped with my depression and anxiety.

 

Anyway, Long story short…. I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason.

Why did I meet this guy, this “potential housemate”? Why did he talk about personal training etc that INSPIRED me to push myself and pursue my own fucking dreams of becoming a personal trainer myself?

Firstly I wouldn’t have met him had I not been in Spain, not looking for a housemate and almost certainly if I had still been with my boyfriend.

At the time the pain of another heartache was all too much to bear but now, in hindsight and what a beautiful thing it is, has showed me that it ALL HAPPENED FOR A REASON. I have been through all this shit to find my path again.

I lost my way. Again. Had my heart broken, Again. But this wasn’t all for nothing I guess, because now I feel like I see my own future again. Me myself and I.

Life teaches you a lesson and you hopefully learn from it and move on.

Well fingers crossed, this time next year I could be running my own fitness studio, or as I pointed out to my parents earlier, this qualification combined with my university degree in creative writing…. I could end up writing for a magazine such as women’s health.

See?

I think everything does happen for a reason?

And you know what? Fuck the lemons, give me that shot of tequila any day.

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

Courage and Cowardice

We currently live in a world where communication is everywhere. We have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tinder which give us the means of communication with anyone worldwide at the touch of a button. So why is it so fucking hard to communicate with someone face to face? As a society we find it almost impossible to talk about anything personal or anything that can make us feel utterly vulnerable to someone we care about, yet we so freely flaunt our lives and air our dirty laundry (and worse) on Facebook and Tinder, no questions asked.

It took my now ex “boyfriend” 4 days to ask me “Are we okay?” After I had been distant and non responsive and quite cold towards him after an argument that wasn’t really resolved and left a bitter taste in my mouth. As you can see, I have a tendency to hold onto things… Now you could look at it this way: why had I not said anything to him in those four days about how I was feeling and what I was thinking? Or you could ask why did it take him four whole fucking days to ask me a simple question, which maybe if he’d asked a little sooner, we might not be exes?

The simple answer is this (and it’s hardly breaking news); we hide behind our computers screens, bury ourselves in our phones, avoiding any face to face communication and confrontation. We find it so easy to speak our mind when given a keyboard to type on but god forbid our relationships are on the line and BAM! We can’t say shit because we’re terrified. We’ve lost the ability to actually say how we’re feeling to an actual human being, instead posting it up on social media for the whole world to read. Which makes me really sad, even though we are all guilty of it, myself included. I mean look at me now, I am literally hiding behind a blog. I am such a hypocritical cliché it’s making my head hurt.

The thing is, what can we do to try and change? To better ourselves, communicative and otherwise, so that our future selves, lives, relationships don’t suffer the consequences of our cowardly actions? We take small steps to make those small changes. We open up to someone even if we’re terrified, we tell someone we love them, even if they might not say it back. And we stop shaming others for the lives they lead and for the things they do just because the computer screen gives us the courage and cowardice to do so. Yes, it’s painful baring your soul to a loved one let alone a complete stranger… but if you reveal what’s under that mask you wear, the mask that we all seem to hide under; life isn’t so scary after all.

The frequency of my inadequacy

The frequency of my inadequacy

vibrates with hate and indecency

it constantly disguises itself as

a trustworthy friend who ceases

to evade my utter lunacy

yet so brilliantly

fucks my life over entirely

in its entirety

impulsively burning bridges

with such self deprecation

That I stand there in dumbfounded

fascination

As I watch the flames

burning

my cheeks with shame

and humiliation

My very own severe degradation

It’s like I can’t even help

my situation

It takes it toll

And I fear I can’t hold it in

much longer

and though I am stronger

I am still only human.

(Petty Treason for) Amnesia

How it feels to lose your memory after significant trauma and/or triggered depression.

An analogy for amnesia

Imagine you were born out of hate and not love

Like you were a mistake on purpose

You grew up with memories

That you can’t quite illustrate

The lines are blurred

And you’re sure it’s a dream but can’t quite pinpoint when you fell asleep

If only you could wake up

Then you would know if it was real

or a figment of your imagination.

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.

I don’t like the drugs but the drugs like me…

…as Marilyn Manson once said.

I have always had this love/hate relationship with drugs and with myself. Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to escape reality. When I was younger, I buried my head in endless books to escape, finding sanctuary within the pages. Then as I got older I unfortunately discovered a more destructive way of escaping; drugs. And I couldn’t get enough of them.

I started drinking when I was about fourteen years old. I can remember the first time I got seriously drunk and feeling so utterly free with my new found confidence. Then I started smoking weed at sixteen, which turned into something more serious by seventeen, when I had my first run in with the police for drink driving. It was then I tried cocaine for the first time. By eighteen I had a bit of a problem with it as I started dating my dealer and he was the first boy to break my heart. It was long after I was diagnosed with depression as well. I do wonder sometimes if it was the drugs that triggered it all off or the heartbreak. Or maybe it was a bit of both? Who knows. One thing I do know for sure is that this was just the beginning of my chaotic and destructive life.

After being diagnosed with depression, the doctors tried to put me on anti-depressants but I refused to take them. I saw this as almost giving into depression and thought it was a sign of weakness to take them. Instead, I had some private Cognitive Behavioural Therapy whilst I was attending Milton Keynes College and things started to get a little better for me. I was lucky enough to get my Diploma in Media Production and start moving forward with my life. Sort of.

I ended up taking a year out before starting university and my main focus was on having fun and getting totally wasted and just enjoying being young. My step sister and I moved out when we were about seventeen or eighteen and we held the best house parties. One house party we had in a house share with her boyfriend at the time and my gay best friend. We had speakers stacked up to the ceiling and a massive nos canister in our living room. I stupidly posted the party on Facebook and about three hundred people showed up. The police ended up raiding it with riot vans.

But it was at this party I tried Ketamine for the first time and I fell head over heels in love with it. I remember walking down the stairs into the front room and I kept saying over and over “I’m walking on marshmallows.” For me that was one of the best experiences I had ever had, as I was able to totally let go of all inhibitions. I felt invincible and I genuinely had not a single fucking care in the world. It helped me forget all the shit that had ever happened to me and just made everything seem so much better. It was a beautiful and dangerous love affair and I started doing it nearly every day.

A year or so later I somehow managed to get into my first choice university, which was The University of East London. I remember pulling up to the entrance and saying “I don’t belong here, turn around, I don’t belong here,” yet ironically it was the only place I ever felt truly myself. It was one of the most terrifying and most amazing things I have ever done and I will never know or understand how I ever did it- my love for drugs didn’t stop, if anything it got worse. I sound like such a fucking cliche but it literally fuelled most of my creativity. And I was happy.

I graduated University and shocked everyone including myself. My mum admitted to me that she didn’t think I would make it through the first year and to be totally honest with you I don’t blame her for thinking that- I changed emotions and directions as quickly as the wind changed the sea. I was a little unstable at the best of times. But the most satisfying part of it all? I was basically on drugs the whole time I was there, yet I managed to graduate with a high 2:1. I once even gave a presentation to four of my tutors on NO sleep, still half cut on pills, mkat and half a bottle of wine. And I got a first. So yeah, you could say my graduation was an accomplishment.

After I graduated, I fell into a low paid but steady job working 9-5 doing office admin. At weekends carried on taking drugs and partying – it was the only thing I knew how, the thing I could do best. I managed to get a pay rise, then a promotion and another pay rise. I was doing pretty well; I was happy, I had friends and a good job, my own place. I was attempting life as an adult and I was winning for the most part. Until I met “Him”.*

After he came and tore my world apart, the really bad drug habit turned into one hell of an addiction. I was easily sniffing six grams of Ketamine a day, along with GHB and cocaine and anything else I could find to numb the immense pain I was in. I was something I never thought I would be. I never admitted to having a “problem”. I was a full blown addict. I then started drinking loads again. Things got better then they got even worse. I started smoking crack everyday and on the occasion heroin, something I am so ashamed to admit, it makes me feel sick. I wasn’t this person, surely? I hated myself so much, I honestly didn’t care who I was anymore. I just wanted it all to end. I wanted to die.

But I didn’t die. I have no idea how, but I managed to fight my demons and my addictions. I wish I knew how I did it so I could give you some advice, but I honestly don’t. The only thing I know is that I just somehow managed to keep on fighting and keep on living, even when life was no longer worth living and I was not a person worth living for. It took a lot of strength to do that, but if I can do it, so can you. Don’t give up.

If you or anyone you know suffers with addiction, the Narcotics Anonomous UK helpline is 0300 999 1212.

*See blog “10 Things I Hate About 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.