Here's the Thing

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Knowlingly alone

I have never felt more alone and confused. Today, I felt surrounded by monsters and amidst the fear and disgust I have come to find normal in their presence, I felt the shock and horror that no-one else had noticed. How could they not see? How could they not spot the discrepancies that scream at me so loudly I can barely look.

What makes this worse is that more recently I have begun to spot them amidst my colleagues and this is making work more and more difficult for me. I find it hard to look at them, to focus on what they are saying and to answer their questions without wanting to run, or scream and call them out to everyone as the impostor that they are.

Today, work was bad and then the journey between work and home tipped me from unsettled to just plain confused and alone. Silent in my own quaking fear as I found myself picking out more and more. It has got worse over the time I have been seeing them. At first it was just one or two, the initial taking over of the odd person here and there. The silent testers, to ensure they would not be noticed, I would assume. Of course it worked. No-one notices, so they they have begun to take over more and more.

I begin to fear for how long this will go on. How many do they need before they move on to whatever the next part of their plan is. I do not know the plan and I know of no way to stop it, or them. I can barely bring myself to write this. I am too scared.

Do they know yet that anyone can see past their glamour. Can spot them for their inconsistencies and wrongness? Can smell them? I am scared of what would happen if they knew. Would that make me a threat to their plans?

I feel tearful and alone. Sad and low and ultimately scared and disgusted that this can be happening around us. Increasingly. Slowly but definitely. One or two, I could ignore, I could shake off. I can't anymore. The colleague is that way now every-time I see them. There is no come or go, no 'what if it was just me in a moment'. There are too many moments and no-one else is noticing....

Monday, 5 July 2010

Flirting with inertia

I feel lethargic. Stuck in the vacuous cavern of my own melancholia. I sleep and I am restless, I move to try to focus and achieve an activity, for work, or play, and I want to curl up and sleep.

A restless existence that flirts with its own inertia. Constantly tidal waved by thoughts of my own decline and descent into madness, thoughts of death and how to get there and thoughts of what can be done to stop myself from swimming constantly against the tide.

I have tried to do all the things you are meant to do. I told my psych when I last saw them. I told my GP when I last saw them. I have informed HR and my boss. I have tried, and failed, on numerous occasions to call a crisis line. I have no voice for them. There is nothing but a gaping hole of a wound to my soul that I can find no band aid big enough for.

I am fast running out of fight. I know this, as I have been in this puddle of low before. I know the routine and run-of-the-mill stages of my own depression. Yet I can do nothing to stop it but watch and hold on for the ride.

I know that if this time round I reach the stage where I am taken to hospital, like last time. I want to be properly admitted. I only know this, because it is the one thing I walked away from last time, that I wish I had not. Maybe it seems odd to some people. Why would I want to be admitted to a proper ward. Simple. I want it recorded, I want it taken seriously. I do not want it brushed aside as an impulsive act or moment of indecision. Frankly, I spend so much of my life pondering ways of killing myself, it would be nice for the health profession to put as much thought into ways of helping.

I will stop now, or I will end up ranting, or crying, or both.

I just needed to write something. While it was here in my mind.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Maybe November

I have not been in a while - Again. I suppose I spend so much time thinking away from the computer that by the time I log on to write it all down the thoughts have become too tangled and mixed. A stream of consciousness that no longer makes sense.

I am still going to yoga (most weeks), and am still trying to jog. I am still struggling with my moods.

I saw the psychiatrist, my once every six month review, that reviews little and concludes less. They want me to go on the Anxiety therapy course and will not review my meds until they know that has not worked. It leaves me sitting and waiting, again. I am not always sure how long I can sit and wait.

I have already begun building up the amount of tablets I take in one go. Re-building up to an amount I know will do harm. Part of me knows it is wrong to do this, but that is the lucid part that wants help, that lets people know what is going on for me. There is also a part of me that just wants this to go away. To curl up and let it fade away. To step across that line and no longer have to believe in a reason to take the next breath.

I have had a date in mind for most of the year. I know the when, I know the how, I know the why. That part of me is strong and a planner - It has been at these stages often enough now to have learned from past mistakes. This time, it says, there will not be mistakes.

I write here now though, lucid and knowing how harsh and illogical that sounds. The thoughts do not leave though. I dream of methodology and consequence. I panic about what can go wrong and try to ponder ways to get around it.

I say to others all the time that they have to grab hold of the part of them that is lucid, that shinning light that fights and glows through the darkest thought and says: you can get through this. I do my best to do that. That is why I go to Yoga - to nourish that part of my soul and allow it a moment to breath, free of the deep, all engulfing sadness.

My fight has been shaken recently by the unsettling news that my boss is leaving in November. I am a Personal Assistant - so this means that in effect my job will change. I will have to get to know a whole other persons way of working and try to fit to that. The part of me that has a date in mind is glad the date is prior to that. The part that fights is looking at other jobs while waiting to see if maybe, just maybe the new person is someone I could work with. Either way, it will be a new person.

I have felt upset. Jealous of the people in the place that my boss will be moving to and conflicted by feelings that somehow it proves I am not good enough at my job. Every time something has changed in my role there, people have left me and my team has shrunk to the point where at the end of November it will just be me left. I feel deserted.

These are all as irrational as my dreams about jumping of roof-tops to a lack of witness and assistance. I will fight them in the same way, distract myself and keep on going. Keep working, keep jogging, keep moving on and hope that somewhere along the way there may come a miracle that helps everything suddenly fit and not feel so chaotic and broken.

My thoughts may swirl and spin and confound, one after the next - too fast to record or make a logical, grammatical sense out of. Maybe one day they will be given a path that helps ease the knots they bring.


Friday, 14 May 2010

Baby Steps

I will start with the larger 'Yay' of the week. I managed to stay in my Thursday evening Yoga class for the full 90 minutes. Yes, I didn't do all of the postures - I am still working my way up to that. Staying for the first time though was a goal for me and I achieved it. Simi, the teacher, was pleased for me and I, of course, felt the buzz of success (which means I got a bit less sleep than perhaps needed).

There is a key to Yoga that appeals to me. It focuses on breathing and posture, but also on listening to your body and only pushing it as far as it can go. No further. Therefore, the fact that for the first two classes I had to leave before 90 minutes was not a bad thing in the mind of the Yogi, more a sign of gradual development. That in my third class I stayed, showed progress and I am sure that over time, my progress will move more to the postures themselves, as I manage to do more of them (by which I do not mean perfect, more, actually take part in.)

I am a great believer in baby steps. In small, gradual improvements or adjustments to the self that build up over time. Some of them are barely noticed until the moment you take a pause and look back. Human beings are not built to with-stand sudden change. It throws of the equilibrium and leads to all sorts of changes in mood and metabolism. Much better to move gradually and fluidly at a level your mind and body can accept.

I sometimes look back and accept that however much I may complain of being under-the-weather, depressed or tired, I have still come quite a long way.

My social anxiety at one point in my life, meant I had no real friends, rarely left the house for more than school and the occasional family visit and refused to answer the phone. My depression has led me to attempts at killing myself, at least one of which nearly worked and stripped my body to the core in terms of health and coping abilities.

When I look at now, versus then, there is a change. Subtle, but still significant and achieved in the very baby steps that means I would not always be aware of it.

I am a PA. I answer the phone and talk on it, not just in work, but at home as well. I have met people, made friends, lost friends, moved my body from barely functioning to a state where I can begin to deal with some of its complaints. I am going to Yoga. Doing that alone means braving two tubes and a hot room full of people. Yesterday, I managed not just to get through the tubes (packed from delays) and stay in the class, I also spoke to people afterwards. Made friends.

These are not big things to most people, so why - some might say, make a fuss? The answer is simple really. It is a confirmation for me. A baby step - but one that means more in retrospect than it may looking at it by itself.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dissociative Thoughts

I have been spending a lot of time thinking. Not that that is anything unusual, or amazing, just that that is part of why I have not been here to post - Strangely enough. I have been thinking and re-thinking over the same thoughts and trying to mesh them in a way that does not sound wrong.

Frankly, I have given up trying. So will post it, however it happens to tumble from my brain and through my finger tips onto the keyboard.

Someone said to me recently that I am 'qualified' in mental health. Not in the 'I have trained and gained some form of Masters' sense, but in the 'certifiable' sense. This, and the recent pledge campaigns of some organisations, got me thinking about mental health and my own stance on it.

I am very very vocal about the fact that I do have 'issues'. I think in some ways this is a good thing - As it means people are less stunned on the occasions where I fall apart and it all goes wrong. I do not have a why or a how though - So am very reticent about giving details on those things and I think that in the long term, people get pissed off with me and want me to just 'get over it'.

I have had that said to my face more than once in my life, so it would not shock me if it was the general opinion of many human beings that I come across in my day to day life.

I have done a lot of reading, a lot of research and have talked to and chatted on forums with many people with large variations of mh issues. I am a supporter on one forum. So know that I am often surrounded by it.

I can not say that means I understand it any more than I did when I first started out though. Mostly, it has given me terminology. A way of defining some of what I feel and think and experience so that I can express it in a unified way. I think this may also piss off the 'get over it' crowd. As they somehow feel, if I really did have these things, they would have been dealt with by now.

Sometimes I wonder if I have made myself the way I am. If my Mother is right when she says I 'take on' the symptoms of what I have read in some 'way of gaining attention'. I wonder if this is the true nature of myself. An attention whore. Then I realise that at my worst, at the times when I am really struggling, my instant reaction is to dissociate, to curl up in a feotal position, often in a fit of tears and hide from the world. Somehow in the hope it will go away and leave me to some semblance of peace.

I have dissociated a lot lately and it has left me feeling tired. I spend a lot of time fighting to bring myself back and stay 'grounded'. It is mostly only mild, but there have been a few times this past week or so when I have 'stepped away' for long enough to feel a distinction.

Dissociation - for those of you that do not know, is like a circuit-breaker in the mind which switches when the mind feels like it can not cope with an overload of stimuli, emotion, or experience. In my case, therefore, it is mostly when I am very stressed or upset, or if I am out in crowded places. Everyone dissociates to some extent - some believe that is part of what day-dreaming is. It is when everything gets that little bit hazy and you can't quite remember what happened during those five minutes. Where the world feels like it is being viewed through a bubble and is that little bit more out of touch.

I only bring it up as I have come to the conclusion this is what has been happening, gradually more and more frequently for me. It took a fair bit of research to reach that conclusion. Mostly because if you look online and google dissociation, you will be pointed towards Dissociative Identity Disorder (once called Multiple Personality Disorder) and PTSD and the suffering of some major trauma or abuse....

The most trauma I ever really had in life was a four and a half day coma at the age of 4 - when I was diagnosed of diabetes. Seconded only by the death of my Grandmother when I was 11.

That is it. Honestly. It is almost impossible to find information that does not somehow suggest there must be some onion ring in your life that needs peeling away at to find. But I digress and know this is something I have mentioned before.

I started Yoga recently. The first class, I think this was one of those times when I dissociated and was most aware of a feeling of vulnerability. In its most child-like state. Fragile and panicked and unsafe. Scared of everything and wanting nothing more than to curl up and protect the self. That is, after all, what the feotal position is for.

I would raise it as an issue or mode of thought with someone from cmht, where it not for the fact that I no longer see anyone from there... I think I am due to see the Psych next in July or something.

Beyond that... Nothing. No-one. So I will write here. To put it down. However fragmented it may seem.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Words that reverbrate in my heart

And I'm still waiting for the rain to fall
Pour real life down on me
'Cause I can't hold on to anything

This good enough
Am I good enough
For you to love me too?

Extract from lyrics to Good Enough - Evanescence (vocals by Amy Lee).

I am not sure of my lucidity, so won't say more for now. The above says more than enough, I think. It matches my thoughts and my tears.

Friday, 9 April 2010


There are moments in life that act as ultimatums. Something has to give, one way or another and as much as we may all like to bury our heads in the sand from time to time, it will always come back and bite us with its inevitability.

I have, today, been having one of those days when the inevitable has been staring at me with steely eyes, waiting for me to make my move. One way, or the other.

My depression feels very much like it is winning today. All the signs have been there. My focus and attention has been off. I have been tearful and avoiding people and sounds, flinching away from them like something painful will come from the vague awareness of their presence around me. I have begun stock-piling, medicines and ideas, plots and methodology.

My body sickens me. My BMI is 30.8, which makes me obese for my height and age. I need to loose at least 30lbs to be considered back in a healthy weight range. I am constantly achy as my joints are not designed for this amount of blubber and walking a 15 minute route from my home to the train station reduces me to tears.

Part of me is thinking that the extra weight will help gravity as it pulls me down to the ground from where-ever it may be that I eventually leap. The other part is planning a diet, a proper one that is due to start in earnest tomorrow.

It is that, or listen to the side of my brain that says I am fat and ugly and worthless. Because I am. Because I can give nothing to this world at the moment. I struggle to focus on anything for longer than ten minutes at a time before I have to switch away.

Part of my mind wants to curl up into the foetal position in a dark place somewhere and cry quietly to itself. It has been doing that for a while now.

Something has to give and soon.

I can not shake the feeling that whatever shifts is going to soon, one way or the other.

I can not stop the whirl-wind of thoughts and feeling. The constant gnaw of panic and anxiety chipping away at my soul, tearing it to shreds in sheer hatred and frustration. I barely sleep for the constant back and forth between one thought and another. Would this be the best? Or this? Would anyone miss me? When is the right time? What should we wear?

I have decided somewhere, amidst all this, that I need to loose weight. I need to do something to keep the 'keep going' part of my brain focused on the positive. As without that, I do not have any fight left.

I am in one of my lowest states and I know that the moment that fight stops, the moment I allow a pause, I will end up in Hospital.

Something has to give. That is my ultimatum.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Subjective Self

I have not visited this site in a while. I have had nothing of great magnitude to say that has not already been said before, many times. That is not to say I have not been thinking just as much and mulling things over. I just have not recorded them, partly, because I have been afraid that writing them down would make them real or somehow overly trivial in the eyes of the world.

I should come back though - For the catharsis, if nothing else.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the notion of self and self-worth. About the values that people build their world around and where they come from. About how people can be so cruel at times and not appreciate that their view may not be the same as that of the other.

I have been ill some of the time I have been away, I have also been on holiday to Cyprus (much sunshine and a week of relaxing and not worrying about work). I am, however, still here, still churning the thoughts in my mind and breathing in and out. I am still not entirely convinced on the why and if it should continue that way.

I have had two resounding thoughts this past week. I should not be here and I am sorry that I am. It occurs to me that one has to place a low value on their own self-existence if they feel the need to apologise for it. I am not sure what my brain is convinced I have done wrong, yet I can not help but want to apologise for simply existing. For failing so far in my path to self-destruction and in doing so, for dragging everyone around me through the miserable mire that is my minds own creation.

These thoughts are not at all helped when those few people that bide their time in ridiculing others decide that I am a worthy target of their jokes. This happened last night and is, if anything, a common occurrence in my life - I have a sign somewhere on me that just seems to say "I am not normal, take the piss out of me." I was traveling home after a fun day out and this small thing chewed up the little self worth I had gained through the day and spat it out the other side into the trash. I cried the rest of the way home.

I spent a number of hours thereafter thinking through, not entirely rationally, what the concept of normal is and exactly how subjective that is from person to person. One sees another, but they do not fit into the tight box criterion for that person's sense of 'normal' even if it is perfectly normal to the other. Does this mean that person is abnormal, or are they just different and when does different become bad?

I am often a person that people struggle to categorise. So much so, I can not categorise myself and this leaves me wide open to the parts of my brain that are determined to see my demise. That part of my brain is loud at the moment, it can pick apart my every flaw and re-define my every thought and meaning, my every breath and step to drag me towards an ultimate end. There is still a part of me that fights this, which writes and tries to think rationally, that puts things on hold until a later date in the hope that something can be found between now and then that will improve the self, or the world, enough to make its continuation less painful.

I am a constant, ongoing battle between the two. Undecided, conflicted and scared of the many thoughts and actions. The plans and times and dates. The what ifs and why nots. It is no surprise that I tire myself out. I have given up on professionals providing any help - They have made it clear that they will not help, unless I take very particular actions. This traps me in the conundrum. I have no faith in an ability to be able to stop should I let that side of me loose.

These are in no way finished thoughts, I am sure I will return to them. For now though, that will have to do, as my brain has run itself into a muddle that makes no sense to put down here.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Strength Deployment Inventory

I was out all day yesterday - in training. All of the PAs (well, bar two, one of which was in Scotland... which is a wee bit of a commute, and the other ill) and me sat up in one of our meeting rooms for a whole day and had training on a thing called the Strength Deployment Inventory.

This, is basically a system that sorts you into a personality type based on what your personal strengths are when things are going well, and when they are not going well and how you can use them to over-come when things are not going so well.

My results were not surprising for me, I had a hunch what type I would turn out to be. That is a Blue-Green blend (Cautious-Supporting). Then, when in conflict, I slip fully into being much more Green (Cautious-Analytical).

What was revealing for me in the day, I think, was not finding out about myself - since, mostly it was stuff I already knew. It was discovering that the other PAs were mostly Blue (Altruistic-Nurturing), with one Hub (Flexible-Cohering) and that the idea of using your strengths to work with people who have other strengths is not the reality of the situation at all.

Instead, what the course expected people to do, was second guess the strengths of others and then steer your actions towards what suited them. What this means, is that as the other PAs are Blue's and the Hub can be seen as a potential Blue, my Analytical, formal and details driven style has to be put on the back-burner while I write in an in-formal, pleasant people focused style to them... even when I am trying to do my job, of asking them to meet a deadline, or format a document correctly and on time.

Oh, and I have been told not to do that as often... even though the reason I do, is that the deadlines are rarely ever met, so I remind them more often.

We did a whole section in the afternoon that just felt like an attack on my style of working. In effect, because everyone else already fit into the Blue Zone, I was the one expected to do all the work to please them, because the deadlines and structure and routine that make me comfortable and safe, and that I work with best, do not work with/for them. I instead have to be 'open-minded' and flexible, to be informal and step away from routine communications that are fairly straightforward to understand, because they need to be padded out with superfluous niceties.

There were a few pointers for them to work with me, but it felt like they were undercut by the discussion and this, by the end of the day, just re-affirmed everything I already knew: I love my job and I am good at what I do, I just do not fit with the other PAs. We are too different.

I took many good things away from the day. I just also took away that sour taste in the mouth that you get when you know you have hit a dead end.

I guess in many ways, I am fairly strong in the green sections of my personality. I am a bit socially-autistic. I have social-anxiety! When I was younger my communication was frequently attacked as stupid or I was told to shut up if I ever gushed over something. So I stopped doing it. I am an awkward communicator, the formal, standardised style suits me as I can do it without stepping away from what is needed, without having to do the whole informal thing that makes me squirm at the very thought. It is a learned response - and I have just been told that in order to work with others I have to unlearn it, and they don't have to lift a finger to try to unlearn the fact that they can not handle something formal.

I will stop ranting now, it isn't going anywhere. Just needed the grumble.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Paranoia, Self-worth & a lack of caring

Sometimes I think Paranoia is the thing that breaks me. It makes me loose what little faith I have in human beings - that is, the ones I know and would normally trust, not the ones I am shite scared of when my social anxiety is playing up.

To explain. If you have a friend, a colleague, that tends to imply that you value their opinion. Say one day you are walking down a corridor and you see said friend or colleague, talking, maybe laughing or seeming cross and gesticulating in your general area. The human brains natural reaction is to be defensive and assume they are somehow laughing at you, because you must be stupid, or look ridiculous or they are just plain fed up with your attempt to be friendly and normal around them. A lot of people are able to brush aside this thought and assume it is something completely irrelevant to them. I am unable to do this, at the moment (note: sometimes I can) as my perception gets more and more distorted by the workings of my own brain against itself.

With Paranoia/Depression/Social-anxiety, this is made worse by the belief that everyone hates you, that you are worthless and truly a waste of time and that any of the evaluations your brain says others are saying about you are not just correct, but under-exaggerated. You are, in fact, much much worse.

What if they found this out? How much would they hate you and laugh at you then? How can you stop it, when you are not even sure you can pin-point what part of you it is that is so flawed and distorted?

I say this may be the thing to break me, because I have such a low self-esteem. Because my brain tells me, all by itself exactly how bad I am - The last thing I need is to believe that this is what everyone else thinks of me as well. If anything, I try to achieve the opposite. I do my best to be 'normal' and 'stable' and friendly. I do everything I can to try to help others, to please them. All I want, in some part of me, is for other people's approval. I get horribly upset if I feel I have done anything wrong. Anything that may prove that negative self-destructive part of my brain just may be correct.

I will be honest in saying I am struggling at the moment. I spend much of my time trying to improve myself - I have bought a rowing machine to try to help with my fitness, I try to jog during the week (even if this does mean accepting that people will sneer and laugh at me, because I will never be one of those people that is just skinny as a rake and looks good in sports clothes).

I can not, however I try, crawl my way out of the black hole I have been sucked into - The one that sung so loudly from my last posts. I feel stuck in this low phase and everything is gradually getting harder - To the point where sometimes, I really do not care. I do not have the energy to stand trying to tidy my eyebrows (however much they need it), I really don't care if I have showered or got dressed (frankly on the weekend, I rarely do) and getting out of bed is just something that takes too much effort. More importantly, I am beginning to not care about whether or not I continue to fight this thing. What is the point? All I will do is go around the same road and reach the same conclusions. There is no point. There is no magical value to my existence - so why fight to improve or continue it any further?

If people hate me so much, if I am that bad that they have to talk about me behind their backs, or I somehow do something that annoys them - Why bother?

I was watching a Dylan Moran DVD at the weekend, he made the point that humanity is the only species that the world is trying to tell to 'Fuck off'. One may well do it a favour and get it over with.

I have a holiday in March. It has been paid for, so I will go. There is nothing after that though. Nothing planned, nothing scheduled, no people to let down.

I have found my when.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Moments of Decision

I have come to the rather distressing conclusion that I am running out of 'go and fight'. That is, the thing that keeps one going even when depression is gnawing its way through your heart and soul. It is often said that such times can be got through by breaking them into smaller segments; minutes and hours that form the days and weeks of our lives. Doing this, however, can take a lot of self-talking and stubbornness and can be very tiring.

Imagine those mornings when your alarm goes off and you really wish it did not have to, that you did not need to get up out of bed, or move, or take the next breath. That there was no need to reach across and switch the damned thing off to save it waking the house-hold. Say, it is cold outside, or you did not get to bed until much later than planned. Now times that, tenfold. Mix in a lack of self-worth, a lethargy that makes breathing feel energetic and the realisation that you are somehow still here, alive even though a large chunk of you wishes it were otherwise.

All that, just to get up. Mostly, I am able to force myself out of bed. One of the things I have learnt through years of practice is that if I let myself just lie there. I will never get up. I will stagnate and this makes things worse. I know this, as I have done it. It gets you nowhere - least of all, out of bed.

When I write that I am running out of go and fight. It is that stubbornness and self-bullying that forces me to move. To keep breathing. To keep fighting. To ignore the dark caverns of my mind and soul as they scream and tug at me, trying to pull me down. Each moment is getting harder to push myself through - As though there is some thick myre in the air, a sludge that pulls me backwards.

The thing that makes this distressing, is that in previous moments when this has happened I have ballasted myself on the promise that I would speak to a Doctor, a Psychiatrist, or a Therapist and we would find a solution. We could change my medicine or see what is going on that is wearing me down in that moment. This time, I feel like that ballast has floated off into some distant dark place that I can no longer see or reach. The Medical Profession has given up on me and essentially said there is nothing they can do.

Oddly, there is very little that has held me upright this week and weekend.

Firstly, the lethargy is a strange thing in that, there is such a thing as being so depressed, one does not have the energy to act on the suicidal and self-harming impulses - This lasts for a while until one reaches the Moment of Decision - That famous bit where the depressed person decides on their course of action and is somehow magically better to outside viewers, because they can see an end to all of it. A literal end. A permanent one. I am not at that point yet, I have, however, had constant thoughts and plans swirling around in my head and know that without the second thing that has held me up, I probably would have acted and taken that Moment of Decision. It is at that point now where I am having dreams about it.

The second thing that has held me up, is also odd. It has been the British Weather. Anyone that knows me, knows I hate the snow, and it does very little to improve my mood. What it has done however is acted as a logical delay. Any decision to take action normally takes everything into consideration. Mine, included how overly stretched out British Emergency Services are. Why, would I want them to be wasting their valuable time on me, if there are people out there who genuinely want to live and are struggling through the snow and ice, who may have fallen and injured themselves, or who may have hypothermia or need help that is stuck somewhere in a snow drift. All very mellow dramatic, but also very true and reflective of our current News Reports. The weather is so bad, people are dying in it. People that shouldn't.

I know some-where deep inside that there is an inevitability to all this. It will happen. It is just a case of when. I suppose I write here in order to help sort out the mass of thoughts in my head and ensure I can not deny it to myself at a later point. These are true thoughts, they are mine and I have been having them increasingly over the last few weeks.

I do not write here as a cry for help, or for attention. This is not a little-white flag that is being waved in hope that someone will come magic everything better. I am beyond believing such things work. Please, if you are reading this, do not patronise me by assuming that is all this is. I did my 'cries for help' when I made appointments with the Doctor's and the Psychiatrists. I went and told them what was going on in my head and asked for help. They sent me away with nothing to show for the effort. Unless you are able to clobber them over the head with a mountain of common sense, I doubt there is little that can be done but watch as it unfolds. Which it will. I can feel it unravelling slowly but surely.

I know what my final messages will be though, my dream told me that, short and simple and sweet and sent in every format achievable. E-mail and text and twitter. My dream showed me the way and it was surprisingly simple.

I woke crying, as I am now, but it still made sense to me. I just have to wait for the right time.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Institutional Walls

It can take a long time for me to gain trust in people and I have a natural lack of trust when it comes to the medical profession. They make me weary. I think possibly because I saw so much of them growing up, but mostly because I had a very bad GP (and surgery) for quite a while and it left me with the belief that they really did not give a toss one way or the other.

Sadly, this means I am a bit shaky with any local services. Today, I lost my trust and belief in the local CMHT resource center. I last saw them a couple of weeks before Christmas, and spoke with my Psychotherapist, Chris, who had previously mentioned that she would discuss my case with the Occupational Therapy team and her other colleagues as Psychotherapy did not seem suitable to me. I saw Chris, and we were joined by Judith, one of the Occupational Therapists. Judith discussed my needs with me and possible reasons for my social-anxiety. She picked up on my hearing straight away and that warmed me to her.

I guess I was too gullible because of that and gave more faith than I should have.

Judith discussed having a couple of appointments to get me used to the service and an anxiety course, which would be either in January or March. As I am one to put practical suggestions to use sooner rather than later, I said I would prefer to join the January one... hence my mentioning it in previous posts. I left that appointment with the impression I would receive more information in the post, along with appointments to see Judith.

By yesterday, I had received nothing and had already been trying for a couple of weeks to get in touch with Judith, Chris or one of their colleagues.

It turns out if someone calls you from the Resource Center, it goes through a central number, and that this is the number I have always been given for the center. It also turns out that if you call a direct number and it rings over a certain number of times, it diverts to this central number.

That number is as useless as a map written in Kanji. They could not tell me who had wrung me. They claimed not to have anything to do with the course, and stated it was dealt with by a different department, who they could not put me through to, but said would call me back (they didn't).

I finally got a call this morning from Runwell Hospital. The main hub of CMHT in my local area. It is basically the Mental Hospital (yep, it used to be the old fashioned kind too) and has their appointments centre.

They informed me that they could not put me through to Judith, but would send me an Assessment Pack, which I would have to fill in to then receive a phone call to see if I even qualified to receive the service in the first place.... That I did all this before seeing the Psychotherapist was irrespective. They could not put me on the anxiety course without the forms filled in and the phone call had. The course was meant to start today, so effectively, I am not going on it anymore.

Stupid NHS red tape.

I am back to square one with the entirety of CMHT because I went through all this to get to see Chris. I am no longer seeing Chris as I was supposedly referred on to OT and am not suited for her type of therapy.

The Psychiatrist there were useless as ants in shoes (I asked for help, they said there was nothing they could do and to use coping mechanisms) and I only held out for the fact that therapy may well have been what I needed to deal with my social anxiety and the seeing things and the loosing all faith in human beings and believing they were monsters.

Maybe that is the problem? The entirety of the NHS is being run by monsters. Anyone would be hard pressed to convince me otherwise right now.

I really do have the belief that the only way anything ever gets done when it comes to MH issues is if someone rocks up to A&E having done some serious harm to themselves. It is unsurprisingly tempting and yet, the fact that I use every ounce of my strength to not do that, somehow means I will never get the help I need.

Writing this, and thinking about it is making me tearful, but I do constantly find it amazing that the NHS is unable to be more pro-active and preventative. If someone asks for help, that should mean they need it, not that they are somehow fine. There should be some acknowledgement that maybe it took a lot for that someone to ask for help in the first place and that they haven't just asked the moment the sky looked a little grey.

Frankly, I have given up on them ever doing anything to help me. Why should I put faith in an institution that does not listen to a word I say and judges me before I even say a word? Maybe that will piss of anyone that reads and works in the medical profession, but I have yet to see proof that says otherwise.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Grizzly Bug

I find my self incredibly irritable today. Possibly the remaining parts of the mixed-state, most likely my brain's way of announcing its dissatisfaction at the realisation I am back in work and had, indeed, dragged it out of bed at an early hour this morning.

This - of course, means I am tired. Tired makes me grizzly (think toddler tired).

One hopes it will come to accept it soon enough and just stick to its normal routine of demanding regular caffeine intake instead. A demand I am more than happy to oblige.

I have been busy this morning, partly as I am irritable and I know it is best to keep moving rather than try to sit still when in such frame of mind. Trying to keep still is like telling someone who had an itch not to scratch it... never works, makes things ten times worse and anything that was meant to be done, is left incomplete.

One other thing that is not helping, is that the Anxiety Course is meant to be starting tomorrow and I still have no information on it... I do not even know if there is a space for me to attend. This makes me sad, and, what the hey, it makes me anxious as well. I have organised with work to be able to work from home on Tuesday's... but I do not want to stay home tomorrow on the whim that it may take place, or they may have a seat free... I have chased it up. I am waiting for them to call me back.

Right, on with the work thing, before I wind myself up over things anymore than I already have.

May go make a coffee first though.....

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Disproportionate Woes

Thanks to the generosity of my Mother, I went shopping in WHSmith today, in the hope of spending a £10 gift card she had given to me. Why people think WHSmith is a place for gifts escapes me, but at least it is not quite as bad as an Argos voucher - By which I mean, you can at least go into the store and browse for things and spend said money on impulse.

I came out of the shop with more than £10 worth of books and an 4GB SD card (hp) for whatever it is one of those can be used for in my little eepc.

Whilst browsing the somewhat depressing selection of books my local WHSmith holds, I came to the conclusion that in every single one of the 'woes of my life' book, the person in question had been abused and horrifically treated and this is attributed as the cause for whatever mental illness and/or spate of self-harm they have had. It occurred to me that there are far too few books out there about people who have or do suffer from some type of mental illness, or who have been swallowed whole by the addiction of self-harm without having been abused, abandoned or somehow hit over the head with a mallet or the worst of societies parenting.

I have a mental illness (woohoo... ?) and yet I have at no point in my life been abused. I have had good parenting, nothing major or tragic has happened in my life and I am pretty sure I have never been hit over the head with a mallet of any kind. So, one can see where the problem lies. I am often faced with the stereotype that because I do not come from a broken family, because I have not been abused, because I am intelligent and able to 'function' (by which they mean, I go to work) I somehow do not qualify for the term 'mentally ill'. Better yet, I have been accused of being a hypochondriac, an attention seeker and worse yet, I have been told that I have taken on board the very things the people in all these 'woe is me' books do and think and somehow merged my personality thoughts and actions to fit, as some kind of attempt to seek attention and affection.

Ummm... No. The problem is, there is a HUGE stereotype and stigma created and it goes so far and so deep that I have met Psychiatrists that live by the notion that there must be something in my past, or my environment that makes me the way I am, else I simply can not be the way I am.

Bollocks to that, I say. I have lived my life and no amount of digging will reveal anything untoward at all. My problem is purely chemical. My brain has a chemical imbalance - that, is the sense in which I say I have a mental illness. At least a part of my problem is dealt with by medicine. Everything else is dealing with the way this has distorted my thinking (for example, I am due to attend an 'anxiety course', by which one learns mechanisms to deal with anxiety, not by which one is given lots of anxiety and expected to somehow magically come out unscathed). It has nothing to do with 'coming to terms with my past'.

If anything, this is probably part of why every time I go to a counsellor or psychotherapist they come back with the fact that it is 'not suited to me'. Of course it isn't. There is nothing to dig up. Of course I am not going to suddenly peel back like and Onion and reveal some hidden gem we can work through. There is no gem. Well, that, and I am ruddy difficult to get talking in the first place. Sure, I can type about myself here, but if you sat with me and expected me to talk about myself you would quickly find that I would have to know and trust you a LOT before the walls were moved and I would reveal anything.

Maybe one day I will consider myself to have enough life experience to even this disproportionate balance. I am not at that point yet. I am only 27 - There is apparently a lot more life to live, however much I may kick and scream about it.

And as a completely aside note - my legs are complaining from yesterday's bout of exercise so I guess it must have done some good. Key now is to try to make some kind of habit of it.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly duckling

There is a term used when describing moods, called a mixed state, literally all the worst bits of depression with all the worst bits of the hypo-manic stages of mood. Today, has been mixed on many levels, without a drop of consideration for moods.

To start with, my aim to get sleep back-fired and I ended with a result of very little sleep indeed. I was still awake at around 04:30 am in the midst of a bout of hyperactivity in which my brain would not sit still for thoughts and my body could not settle into one place or another. One quickly becomes bored in such places of time, when the majority of the world seems barely moving and everything else seems completely ground to a halt.

I finally convinced myself to get out of bed in time for lunch. Had lunch, sat in monotony for a while wondering why there was nothing decent on television anymore... I had no focus or concentration and no motivation to move even though part of me could not stop doing so.

I eventually built up the will to get changed and go out to try out my new jogging kit. I set out on my normal route, walking mostly - since I still have a cold and it is very cold outside. I was pleasantly surprised to find my layers kept me nice and warm so I was not shivering like I have in the past when going out. Much good news. Having walked and jogged around my normal route, I then decided to test out the trail part of my new trainers and took to jogging a couple of light circuits around the field that is sat behind our street. I was equally impressed with the trainers. I think my Asics are still best for the pavement, but the trail trainers are brilliant for grass, mud and slippery stuffs - which is what they are designed for.

In some ways - it helped, it got me out, gave me fresh air, made me smile and eased my thoughts for a little bit. It is just a shame that I am so damned unfit at the moment and have to head back home eventually. I hated seeing my shadow while out and about, simply because I know how badly disfigured it is. Ugly to the world, but impossible to stay hidden.

I think my moods instability over the last few days has hit a head today and I have reached a point of stagnation. Stuck neither here nor there, knowing both exist but reaching for neither. This evening, I feel like I am walking downwards towards some dark hole in the ground and have forgotten how I got there in the first place, or what one may hope to obtain by turning around. It is an unwieldy feeling that makes me feel hollow in the pit of my stomach and brings tears to my eyes. It makes me want to blaze.

Maybe work on Monday will help to re-instill some routine, some security into my system and it can step back up to gain some faith in this existence. Right now, stood where I am, I do not see enough in it to push through. It takes too much effort.

I wonder how many people feel the sensation of being stuck in a rut. That somehow they can pound the pavement of this life as much as they like in one direction or another - but still end up in exactly the same spot. The same concerns, the same questions, the same insecurities and obsessions. The same aims and goals.

There are a few things I have as goals in life, and unfortunately, none of them are simple or cheap. Else I would have them already.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Things to do when you are dancing

So, tomorrow is Saturday, and the last one before the larger majority of us in the UK have to return to the world of work on Monday... after far too long a time to be spoilt out of the habit of getting up and out and being focused on anything for very long at all.

So, things this Mouse has to do before Monday are:
  • Go for a jog of one kind or another (this is ignoring the forecast of -1 and snow/rain)
  • Tidy bedroom, as it won't get done after Monday.
  • Sleep - ideally, else Monday will be torture.
  • Sort out lunches for the week - Cous-cous is my friend.
  • Resist temptation to log on to work e-mails and make self panic about the approach of Monday
  • Sort sugars out - as much as anyone can in two days....
Actually, scrap that last one, lets just eat chocolate, drink much and be merry for the last two days of freedom??

Lets embrace this little glimpse of hyper while it is here and do with it what is best done! What do you think? After all, they nearly always come before a bad crash, so why not use them for their best?

If it all goes wrong, there is always Monument bridge to sit awaiting.