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>From the time when my dad moved out when I was 12, things continued in the same way for quite a few years. He would come over some evenings. He would come on holiday with us, and stay for a while over Christmas. At some point he started spending the weekends here. Then there would be times when I wouldn’t see him for a couple of months because of my mum or I getting upset about it all and cutting contact with him. Neither he, nor my mother, were seeing anyone else. It was a fairly strange relationship, as it was so uneven. My mum desperately wanted him back, and so everything was on his terms. He came over when he wanted, but if he wanted to do something else instead then he would, and my mum would get upset, which would generally lead to a period of her not wanting to see him. If she didn’t want to see him then I generally didn’t see him either. I hated going to his flat – I only did it a handful of times over a period of about 6 years. I didn’t like seeing that he had his own life away from us, and I didn’t feel comfortable there. So generally either he came here, or I didn’t see him.

At 16 I finished school and went of to 6th Form College to do A levels. It was a relief to leave H and co. behind – I don’t think I have seen anyone from my year group since I left school over 8 years ago, apart from briefly bumping into a couple of people, including her. Maybe she is a nicer person now. I hope so. I did ok in my GCSEs, but didn’t get the results I should have got, because I did no revision. That is something of a pattern for me. I think my fear of failure is so intense that I take it the opposite way and work on the premise that if I haven’t tried then it doesn’t matter if I have failed or done badly, whereas if I worked really hard and still didn’t do as well as I should then I would have no excuse – I would just be a failure.

Anyway, 6th Form College was a much better experience than school in many ways. It was literally 10 times the size in terms of student population, and obviously they were all aged 16 – 19, rather than 4 – 16 like my school had been, so there were rather more people in a year group at college – about 50 times more…. C was going to the same 6th Form, and I also knew a couple of other people, through performing, who were going there, but that was it. Oh, and a guy from my school, but I rarely saw him. In theory everything should have improved for me in college. I had friends, and obviously I was studying the subjects I wanted to etc. And in some ways it was great. I had some really good teachers, one of whom I am still in contact with now – he came to see me in Carousel. The main problem with it was that I didn’t want to be there. In the summer between finishing school and starting 6th Form, I had done a 2 week Musical Theatre summer course at one of the drama schools in London, and absolutely loved it, and therefore resented going off to study academic subjects when I wanted to be doing performing. I wished I was doing a Musical Theatre BTEC rather than A levels, so that I could be doing what I wanted to do. In retrospect I am glad I did A levels, and I don’t think my parents would have let me not do them anyway, but it resulted in once again my attendance being pretty poor, because I couldn’t be bothered with it, and so that, combined with not doing any work that didn’t absolutely have to be done, and not doing any revision at all, meant that I finished my first year with pretty poor results. I didn’t dislike college – as I have said, I had friends there, I enjoyed some of my lessons. I was very fortunate in that the Head of Music/Performing Arts seemed to think the sun shone from my arse, and so I got quite a few opportunities in that area. I was in the college choir, and got all the solos – I sung the Once In Royal solo 3 years running at the carol service (yes, I stayed 3 years – more on that later), as well as various other solos. I was always asked to perform in all of the concerts, and to record songs for the music tech students etc. In my 3rd year they did Les Miserables, and I pretty much got to choose my role, although that was actually a new member of staff directing that who had never taught me. We had a couple of auditions, and then were waiting ages for them to decide casting, and one day I asked if they had cast it yet, because I said I wanted to include it in my UCAS personal statement, and wanted to be able to say what part I was playing (oh the arrogance!) and got the reply, ‘well we haven’t finished casting yet, but I am assuming you would like Eponine as you sung On My Own in your audition?’ I said I would please, and that was that settled. College gave me a confidence in my abilities that school never had – in college there were 2000 people, all of my age, and yet I was the one who got the solos and the leads, and who the staff knew, even if they didn’t teach me. At school there was a lot of nepotism going on with casting, and so I never got leads, despite being the only person who regularly performed out of school (and regularly was cast in leads there). So college was good for making me realise I must be better than school had lead me to believe. My first year of college was fairly uneventful. I went to lessons some of the time, stayed home some of the time, did some of the work, didn’t do some of the work. I was still doing dance and singing lessons outside of college, and some shows, although I had started doing less by that time.

I had just started my second year of college, and so was just 17 when the next thing happened in my home life. My mum picked me up from the bus one day and was very upset – she had received an anonymous text message saying that my dad had been seeing someone for a year and that she should divorce him. It turned out that it was true – we never did know for sure who sent it, although the assumption was that his girlfriend (another 25 year old who worked for him) had got the number off his phone and sent it, although she denied it. Whilst he wasn’t living at home, and it was now 5 years since he had moved out, he hadn’t seen anyone in that time to our knowledge, apart from the initial affair, and had generally spent quite a lot of time at our house and with us. Of course in retrospect we realised that for the last year he hadn’t been spending weekends with us like he had been before that, and that he had been coming over less often, but since everything always had been on his terms anyway, we hadn’t really questioned it before. I was very upset – not that he was seeing someone, but that he had been lying to us for over a year. It really hurt me a lot, and I think made me lose a lot of trust in not only him, but people generally. I still can’t comprehend how and why he would lie like that for so long – it wasn’t like he was living here – they were separated, and had been for quite a few years. My mum was absolutely devastated. As I said, she always wanted to be with him, and this news was just too much for her. She refused to tell anyone – she wouldn’t even tell her friends or my siblings initially. She kept saying how ashamed she felt and how stupid she was for not knowing, and how if people knew they would laugh at her and think she was stupid. I think that for her too it was more about the secrecy, and not knowing than it was him seeing someone else, although obviously that hurt her too. Yet again, he broke up with her once we had found out. So we were back to keeping secrets (although we had never actually stopped) but this time it was just the two of us, as there were no siblings or friends or counsellors involved this time. And it really was role reversal – she was so upset, and had absolutely nobody to talk to apart from me, and so I listened to it all. Obviously I was older by this point, but she was really leaning on me quite heavily, and I couldn’t rely on her at all emotionally. And I started to crumble. Not in front of her. I didn’t let her know how much I was struggling. But I was struggling more and more. My mood was low and I started purging frequently.

I had a really great teacher at college who I started talking to. She was really supportive, and for a while I talked to her every week. I suppose really she was the first person I ever talked to about anything emotional at all – I had just never talked about feelings before to anyone. She was really helpful – without her I don’t know if I would have gone on to get other help. She listened, and she got me information and a self help book for bulimia. She was also the one who encouraged me to go to my GP to get help (who gave me anti depressants and referred me to the CMHT), and also to see the college counsellor in the meantime. I was very attached to her. I think my issues with attachment can be attributed in some ways to my relationship with my parents, although as I said before, even when I was very young I was very possessive with friends, so perhaps it has always been in my nature. But it was after my dad left when I was 12 that I started getting really attached to people. Never men – it has always been women, who I suppose I see as maternal figures, who I have become attached to. I feel like it should be men, since it was my dad who left and wasn’t there for me, but I suppose emotionally I wasn’t getting what I needed from my mum, and therefore begun to look for it elsewhere. There have been a number of people I have grown very attached to – wanting to be around them all the time, and for them to care about me and look after me, and I suppose essentially to parent me. It is weird because my mum and I have always been very close, and yet I have always had these fantasies of whoever it is I am attached to at the time (only ever one at a time) taking me home to live with them. But I suppose it is due to my mum not being there for me emotionally when I needed her, because she was struggling so much herself. Maybe that is why even now I find it very difficult to talk to her about how I am feeling. I think I can also attribute my eating problems to my parents to some extent. My parents have very different relationships with food. My mum is tiny, but eats a lot of food, a lot of which is crap, and by rights should be enormous. She rarely weighs herself, and doesn’t understand why I don’t just eat what she does – she can’t seem to comprehend that her metabolism is not normal. My dad is much more careful about what he eats – he is a healthy weight, but he weighs himself daily, and hates it if his weight goes up, and will cut out unhealthier foods until it goes back to where he wants it to be. As a teenager he used to frequently comment on my weight, and suggest that I should try to lose weight, frequently citing my career choice as the reason why I needed to be smaller. He doesn’t do that any more, probably because I haven’t been as big as I was as a teenager, although even then we were still talking healthy BMI range, just nearer the higher end of it. But he does still ask me how my weight is, and will make comments about what I am eating sometimes. As a family they (we?) are very sizeist – I have grown up with negative comments about overweight people etc, so I think that, along with comments about my own weight, coupled with a desperate need to feel in control of something when my life felt so out of control, was really fairly likely to lead to an eating disorder.

Despite my mental health problems, my second year of college was better than my first year in many ways. I think primarily because I felt safe there – it filled the same space for as rehearsals had when I was younger and my dad first left – it was somewhere to escape to. I suppose in a large part because college contained the only person I really trusted to talk to – at this point I had been referred to the CMHT, and at some point during the year had an assessment there, and was then on the waiting list for the rest of that year. My attendance was better, and although I was having problems concentrating, I actually did better than I had in my first year, although still not nearly as well as I should have. And then my second year came to an end, I had A Levels, and I didn’t have a clue what to do next. I was terrified of leaving college, because that was where my only support was. I had no plans to go on to university or anything. And in the end I just couldn’t face leaving. So I stayed on an extra year. I retook the first year of English Lit, because I had got 2 grades higher for my second year than I got in my first year, and then I took both the first and second year of Sociology at the same time, so that I got an A level in a year. I also worked part time at the college, as a Learning Support Assistant. Just before my third year started, I started seeing a Clinical Psychologist at the CMHT, primarily for help with my eating disorder, although during the year my mood got worse and worse, until I attempted suicide at the end of the year. This academic year was 2004/2005, and so was 6 years after my dad had first moved out, in 1998, and 1 or 2 years after we found out he had been seeing someone again, in 2003. During this time he had started spending more and more time back at home – staying there more often, and by some point in 2005 he was more or less living back at home, although he still kept his flat, and spent occasional nights there. But he was back home. The perfect fairytale ending right? And they all lived happily ever after….

I do not by any means think that my problems now are caused by my parents splitting up. As I said before, I don’t think things were quite right when I was even younger than that. But I do think it probably exacerbated matters. I find it really difficult to admit that my parents splitting up could have even contributed slightly to me having mental health problems now. What is the statistic – half of all marriages end in divorce or something like that? And people go through much worse and don’t end up with a slew of psychiatric diagnoses, which makes me think that either I must be really pathetic, other people must be really strong, or my problems come from absolutely nowhere, and it is absolutely nothing to do with my parents. I flit from one view to another depending on my mood. But I can see that L had a point when she said how difficult it must have been having to keep it all a secret, and having to try and contain my emotions to avoid upsetting my mum. That was difficult, and probably isn’t a typical experience of parents’ splitting up, although of course I don’t know for sure. I almost feel guilty for having mental health problems when I have been through so little in comparison to other people. Ok, my parents split up, but so what? That is hardly uncommon. And apart from that I had a good childhood. I got to do whatever activities I wanted, I had a good education, I was loved and looked after. I certainly was never abused in any way, or neglected, or anything else terrible. Nothing bad happened to me. And yet here I am, at age 24, with 7 years in the mental health system, multiple suicide attempts, multiple admissions, numerous CPNs and Psychiatrists and other professionals, medications, etc etc. I feel ashamed of myself for being so weak. For having these problems, when others go through so much worse and yet cope so much better. I really do feel guilty when I think about it. I don’t understand why I am in the position I am in, when there has been nothing serious in my life to cause me to feel like this. I can see that my teenage years weren’t perfect, but they were not bad enough to lead to this. So what is wrong with me? I have absolutely no idea.

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>I have completely and utterly messed everything up. I emailed L at 5:45am asking for my appointment this afternoon to be cancelled and to be discharged. I didn’t give any explanation. I figured if she wanted to know or gave a shit she would phone and ask why, and if I had started trying to explain everything in the email I would have been writing it forever. I also then did something that probably wasn’t the best idea, but was better than the alternative. I was feeling so suicidal and my head was screaming at me to kill myself, so I had to harm myself in some way, and I am so shit at cutting that it never gives me enough of a release, plus it leaves something visible, and I didn’t want anything anyone could see. So I took some tablets. Not many at all. It was certainly not a suicide attempt, and not even something I would consider an overdose, although obviously technically it was. But it was very few, and nothing that could do any real damage. I just needed to do something to feel like I was hurting myself. It didn’t help much.

I slept really badly. I think I got about 3 hours, but I woke up loads of times, and so it was really interrupted. I checked my email and had a reply from her saying that she would cancel my appointment for this afternoon, and that if I wanted to be discharged she would arrange a CPA as soon as possible. I then had another email saying she had booked me in for my usual time on Tuesday and she thought we should talk about it then. I then felt really shit, and wished I hadn’t cancelled, and also felt kind of hurt that she hadn’t called to ask why I wanted to cancel or anything. I spoke to my friend A, who persuaded me to reply and ask if I could uncancel my appointment, so I did that, but she had already given away my appointment. Which I suppose was to be expected really, but it just made me totally lose it. I asked if she could call me but she said she was really busy and would try but didn’t know if she would get time, but that I could call the duty worker. I was so upset by that time that I did call and speak to someone. She was nice enough but basically just said the usual stuff about trying to distract myself, suggested having a bath or something to eat or going for a walk. She said she would speak to L when she got back and that one of them would call me back later. It turned out to be someone else again who called, who again gave me the distraction talk and said it wasn’t long until Tuesday when I could see L.

I am furious with myself for cancelling. I was being such a bloody moron. It was a crap idea. I was just so hurt and upset, and I suppose I was trying to play mind games and see how she reacted, which was a shit idea because they never work – you never get what you want. So I have been left feeling even more like she doesn’t give a shit about me, and even more alone. I suppose I was hoping she would call and ask why I wanted to cancel and then I would have spoken to her etc. It wasn’t a conscious thought, but when I got her reply today and realised how hurt I was that she had just accepted me cancelling like that. Tuesday may not seem long away to then but it feels like an eternity to me, particuarly since I should have bloody seen her this afternoon, and it is already a week and a half since I saw her. Given what I have just said about wishing I hadn’t cancelled today this will sound ridiculous, but I don’t know if I want to see her Tuesday. Every single thing that has happened this past week has made me feel less and less like I can rely on her and that makes me want to just give up on her, as I feel like she has given up on me, but I feel so completely alone without her. The trouble is, what I miss is the relationship I had with her prior to the last couple of weeks, and when I think about seeing her that is what I want. Not how I feel about it all now. I feel upset and hurt by her, and angry and upset with myself. I know I have been childish and acted stupidly today, and if I could redo things I would. But I feel like I must have some something wrong last week for her to not contact me at all, and I have no idea what. I am so confused and I don’t know where to turn.

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>I am a) absolutely furious, and b) feeling really shit. Which isn’t a great combination really. The anger is because as I wrote about a couple of months ago (here) I had to start looking after my 5 year old nephew after he finished school on Thursdays, until my sister could get here to pick him up. Although it doesn’t sound like a big deal, I have found it incredibly stressful, and I have got into a complete state at times as I have been so panicked about it. There were also a couple of times when I was supposed to be seeing T, but wasn’t able to because I had to be at home to look after my nephew, and that obviously annoyed me because I don’t often see friends, and so when I can, and feel like it, I don’t want to not be able to because I have to look after my nephew. So every week I told my mum that I really didn’t want to do it, and how anxious it made me, and then in the end after having to tell T yet again that I wouldn’t be able to see him because of looking after my nephew, I said to my mum that was the last week I would do it, and they would have to make other arrangements for the next week. Naturally they didn’t, and I had to do it again, and was really angry that I had been completely ignored yet again, and said I really was not going to do it anymore. She asked if I could just keep doing it until half term (last week) as that would give my sister time to make other arrangements, so I agreed to that, but said I was absolutely not going to do it after that, and that if I was needed for the odd afternoon because someone was ill or something then that was one thing, but I did not want it as a weekly commitment. So as far as I was concerned my responsibilites with that had finished a couple of weeks ago. Then on Monday, my mum asked me what was going to happen about him this week. I said I was under the impression that she had told my sister I wouldn’t be looking after him anymore weeks and weeks ago when we discussed it, as the whole point was that she would have time until after half term to find another arrangement. Turned out she hadn’t actually mentioned it at all, as she said she knew my sister would say how selfish and mean I was and how I only thought about myself, and she would be able to see her point. I said I didn’t care, I wasn’t doing it, and she said she would call her. I then didn’t think anything more about it, until I heard hammering on the door this afternoon. Assumed it was a delivery or something, went downstairs, and there was my nephew. I was absolutely furious. I hate that my feelings are just completely ignored – I have said so many times that I just find it too stressful, and it makes me really upset and anxious, plus I don’t want to be tied down and not able to arrange other things if I want to, but it seems like that is completely unimportant. My sister is such a bully, and as long as everything suits her then she doesn’t actually give a shit about whether something suits other people, or how it makes them feel. And I am really angry with my mum for telling me weeks and weeks ago that I only had to do it until half term, and then doing absolutely nothing about it, and then telling me again on Monday that she would speak to my sister, and again doing nothing about it. And after he had left I said to my mum how annoyed I was, and that naturally I hadn’t been expecting him today, and once again got the ‘Well I really don’t see why it is such a big deal, I don’t know why you can’t just look after him, and there is nothing about it that should make you anxious’ speech that I get from her every time. I have tried to explain that I think it is actually irrelevant that she doesn’t think it should make me anxious, as it does, and it also makes me very upset, but she is more concerned about not rocking the boat where my sister is concerned than she is about my feelings. So I am feeling really pissed off and upset about the whole thing. I don’t care if I am selfish for not doing it – I just get too stressed by it, and I don’t see why I should have to put myself through that much anxiety, just because my sister can’t be bothered to find someone to look after her child.

I think the feeling shit is primarily just the natural progression of how I have been feeling this week. My mood just seems to be dropping further. I hate this so much. Knowing what is happening, and yet being powerless to stop it. The depression is certainly getting stronger yet again, as are the suicidal thoughts. And it is continually in my mind that if I am going to act on them, I have to do it in the next few weeks, or I can’t for 2 months, and that does scare me quite a lot. I am also having thoughts that I don’t like and feel quite ashamed of. They annoy me, because they just sound so typically borderline, and I don’t want to be that. When I have thoughts that are typical of depression or disordered eating for example, obviously I hate having them because they make me feel bad, but I don’t feel anything negative towards the actual thoughts, whereas I really do about thoughts that I perceive as borderline. They always make me feel ashamed of myself and embarrassed, and so I try to just pretend they aren’t there – I often don’t write about them because I just don’t want to be thinking them. At the moment I think I am just feeling a bit envious of a couple of my friends, and I hate myself for that because they aren’t well, but I just can’t help it. It is one in particular really, my friend A who took the paracetamol overdose the other day. It sounds awful already, saying I am jealous of someone who took an overdose. She also spent around 9 months in hospital fairly recently, from about this time last year, until this summer. Anyway, she is fine, she was on a drip for a while, but she is back home now. She has been saying for a couple of weeks that she is feeling really crap and having suicidal thoughts, and obviously I have tried to be supportive and talk to her etc. But what I am finding difficult is the amount of help she gets. We had very similar histories, and she used to be in a similar position to me, and see someone weekly and that was about it. Then she started DBT, and so had quite a lot of support from that, and also got a lot of referrals to the crisis team. She had a couple of short admissions (1 week) when she was struggling. Then around this time last year she was admitted, and for some reason kept there for about 9 months. They did a lot of messing around with her meds to try and get her onto something that would help stabilise her, which made sense, but I was really amazed that they kept her in hospital for so long as she wasn’t manic or psychotic or anything else that people are usually hospitalised for a long time for, and it was just a normal acute NHS ward, not a therapeutic community or anything like that. I found it difficult sometimes when she was in hospital, as she would say she was feeling really bad for example, but some of those times I was also really struggling a lot, but on my own, without constant support like she had. But I knew that there was no way I would have wanted to be in hospital for that long when it had no therapeutic value etc, and I also thought it wasn’t a very good idea, as she would find it really hard when she left and suddenly didn’t have all of that support. As predicted, she found it difficult when she was discharged, as I think she had completely forgotten what it was like to feel really shit and not have 24/7 support, and what it is like to have suicidal thoughts and just have to get through them on your own because there is no alternative. But she had been doing ok. She was coping as well as could be expected really, and didn’t seem to be doing too badly really – the medication definitely helped her and she wasn’t self harming, and didn’t seem to be that low or suicidal – certainly a lot better than I have seen her other times. Then a couple of weeks ago she started feeling worse and telling me she was having suicidal thoughts but didn’t want to be admitted or see the crisis team, and so I tried to remind her of all the times in the past she had managed to cope with thoughts like that, and that she could do it again. And then the other day she took the overdose – it wasn’t a suicide attempt, as she told me she had done it about half an hour later, but she had bad news and she said she just did it before she had even thought about it, and she was planning to go to hospital for it etc. When I spoke to her earlier she said she was being seen by the crisis team, and if she wasn’t feeling better by Monday then she would be admitted, and she said she didn’t care either way. And for some reason I just found that really hard to hear. I think it is because of the countless times when I have been feeling so completely desperate because of how suicidal I have felt, and just how terrible I have been feeling, and just had to cope with the same amount of support as usual, ie a weekly appointment, or sometimes not even that if it has been a period when L has been away. I don’t get seen by the crisis team or offered admission. I haven’t even been admitted following suicide attempts, although I did have a couple of admissions back in 2005 when I was living away from home. And I have been feeling worse and worse over the last week or two, and the suicidal thoughts are getting stronger, but I know that it wouldn’t matter how bad things got, I still wouldn’t get that kind of support. And I do understand why, because I know I need to learn to cope with the suicidal thoughts without escaping into hospital, and that it really isn’t a solution in the long term, but sometimes I just feel so desperate, and a break from having to fight constantly to keep myself safe would just be such an enormous relief, and if I am honest I do feel jealous that she can have that if she asks, or even if she doesn’t, when I can be feeling exactly the same and get nothing. But I hate myself for thinking like that, because if she is getting more help it must be because she is more ill and needs it and deserves it more than I do, and I really shouldn’t be jealous of her for it. But I can’t help it.

I am feeling a bit stressed, as a friend I’ve not seen for 2 or 3 months sent me a text the other day asking if I was doing anything on Sunday. I said I had a concert rehearsal from 11 – 12, but was free after that. She replied asking if I would like to go out for lunch. Since I had just said I was free, I couldn’t then say I was busy, and she’s a very long term friend, who I have known since I was 4 and she was 2, and I would like to see her, but the thought of eating out is really scaring me. I always find it fairly difficult eating out, because I know it is likely to have a bad effect on my weight, but it is something I try and do anyway, because it is one of the most obvious ways of socialising with people, and actually I like some food a lot, and therefore quite like eating out – it just makes me feel guilty, and I quite often purge. But I still do it. But this time it is actually filling me with dread. I think it is because I finally, over the last week or so, seem to have got my body into a pattern of losing or maintaining every day, without really gaining at all, and I think I am just terrified of ruining that. I don’t think I have ever felt quite this scared about a meal out. I think it is because emotionally I am really feeling on the edge at the moment, and knowing that my weight is going down is the only positive I can see at all, and I am scared of what my reaction will be if the numbers start going up, as I just don’t think I can cope with any more bad feelings at the moment. I am angry with myself for letting my eating and weight get this much control over me – regardless of my weight, or what stage I have been at eating wise, ie whether I have been purging or restricting or whatever, I have always still gone for meals out, and I am just furious that I have now become so terrified by the thought of it. Why have I been able to do it for the last 7 years, and now suddenly it feels like the scariest thing evver?! I suppose it must just be because I am feeling so precarious mood wise, and so I am just desperate to cling on to the one thing in my life I can see as a positive, and I am scared that this meal will shatter that, and therefore any semblance of coping. I am scared.

I have an appointment with Dr O tomorrow. It is lucky they always book me a double slot, as I seem to have a string of things to tell her. My back still isn’t better, my hamstring/hip thing is bad, and then there is the lump thing that I should mention. Plus the usual getting my medications, her making assumptions on my mood based on whether or not I am smiling, and suggesting I learn to cross stitch if I am not doing well.

I need to sleep. I have been writing this on and off for 11 hours now. My concentration is just all over the place. I can’t think properly, and my brain just feels slowed down.

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>I am not feeling that great. I had my appointment with L this morning, but it didn’t help as much as normal. Usually I email her what I have written during the week, mostly the same as I write on here, but there are some bits I don’t usually send, for example if I have written about what we talked about in an appointment I obviously don’t bother emailing that, and there are some things I send her that don’t come on the blog, but about 90% of it is the same. Anyway, then she usually reads that before she sees me, and then some of what I have written about she picks out to talk about, and will ask me about certain things. We talk about other things as well, but we usually at least start based on some of what I have written. I find it works quite well, as I don’t have to try and remember what has happened in the last week, and she already knows what is going on so I don’t have to start from scratch with explaining things etc. Obviously I then go into more detail about what I am feeling/thinking, but it is so much easier than just walking into a room and someone saying ‘So how are you? How has your week been?’ etc.

Anyway, today it started slightly wrong because she was running late – not that much, only about 15 minutes, but she is never normally late, so I was starting to get a bit twitchy. Then I saw her come out with her patient before me, which has never happened before, and immediately take me in, and although that shouldn’t bother me, because obviously she has lots of other patients, but it was just a bit weird. And then because she was running late she took me straight in, and so I just felt a bit weird about it all. I don’t know. And then she said she was sorry but she hadn’t had time to read what I had written, as she had been caught up in a complicated case all morning. That is fair enough – I know she is often very busy, but it was a shame it was this week, as I think maybe I could have done with talking about the suicidal thoughts and what was going on with them. Of course I could have talked about them anyway, but I didn’t really what to say. ‘I am feeling suicidal but I don’t think I am going to kill myself, but knowing that if I don’t kill myself in the next few weeks I will have to live for for the next two months, and that feels like too much, so I want to kill myself now’ seemed a little random and complicated, so I just didn’t mention it. And there are some other things that I touched on in my writing, that I thought when I wrote ‘Oh I should talk about this with L’, but I couldn’t remember what they were or anything, so I obviously didn’t talk about them. And then often my appointments run longer – they are usually anything between an hour and an hour and a half, but L had to finish fairly promptly as she had a meeting to go to, so actually I think I was only with her about 50 minutes, which I do realise is a standard therapy hour, but it isn’t standard for my sessions. So overall although it was fine, but it didn’t help me as much as it often does. So yes, I am just not really feeling that great.

I am quite tired. I didn’t get enough sleep last night really. It wasn’t actually that few hours, but I really do need a decent amount to not feel like a zombie, and then I obviously had to get up this morning to see L, so I think I only got about 6 hours, which isn’t enough for me. I was going to nap this afternoon, but I decided to stay awake in the hope I would sleep better tonight. That never does seem to work, but I feel like it should! Other things going on – my weight had gone back down yesterday, and stayed the same today. I am really hoping I can get it down a bit more tomorrow. I just want it to keep going down, even if it isn’t fast. I didn’t go to ballet last night. I just didn’t really feel up to it. I wasn’t in the mood. But then I felt guilty because I had eaten what I usually eat before I dance on Monday, and so I stressed a bit about not burning off the calories etc. I suppose in the end it was ok because I maintained my weight, but maybe I would have lost if I had gone to ballet… I did go to the sing through. It was ok. I still don’t know what I want to do about it, but I thought I may as well go to the sing throughs to keep my options open. I have another one tonight. Then ballet tomorrow. Which I must go to. Blah. I just don’t feel like leaving the house at the moment at all.

I think I might have a cyst or a tumour. I know that sounds a little melodramatic, but I do. I have had a lump on my face, literally just below my ear, for quite a while now. I can’t remember when I first noticed it. It was definitely within the last year, but it might have been more recent than that. Maybe only a few months ago. I don’t know. My memory is atrocious. I did mean to mention it to my GP last time I saw her, but I forgot. Anyway, last night I decided to google it, as you do. I wasn’t quite sure what to search, so I started typing ‘lump face’ and google’s first suggestion was ‘near ear’, which I thought was quite interesting, as it means it must be quite common, so I searched for that. It came up with lots of information about tumours on the salivary glands, mostly the parotid gland, and in pictures that looks like exactly the right place, although all the ones in the pictures are big and mine isn’t. It is only very tiny, not even as big as a pea, and it doesn’t hurt at all, but I suppose I should probably get it checked out. I have an appointment with my GP on Friday, so I will mention it then. I perhaps won’t mention I have diagnosed myself with a paratid tumour with the help of Dr Google, as I think Doctors prefer you to allow them to do their job themselves.

A friend of mine took an overdose this afternoon. It is my friend A. She came online and talked to me and said she was really sorry and that I was going to be angry with her, and I said I wouldn’t be angry, but asked what she had done, and she said taken too many Paracetamol, so I asked how many, and she said 32 and a few Zopiclone. She said she was feeling really bad and she had done it before she had even really thought about it. She doesn’t live anywhere near me, so there wasn’t much I could do, but I asked her for the phone number for her housing support worker, which she gave me, so I called her, and she got an ambulance round there for her, so she is at the hospital now. I wish she could have talked to me before rather than after, but I am glad she told me and that she is being treated. I am not angry obviously. I am just concerned. And part of me wishes it was me, although I wouldn’t have told anyone. It sounds awful, but when I was looking up the lump on my face last night I thought maybe it would be cancer and if I didn’t have treatment it would kill me, and then I wouldn’t have to kill myself. And then I hated myself for thinking that. So many people are so desperate to live, and sometimes I just feel evil for even thinking about wanting to die and suicide.

Overall it hasn’t really been a great day…

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>Anniversary

>I first tried to kill myself 5 years ago today, 26th June 2005. It was a Sunday. It was pretty impulsive. The suicidal thoughts had been around a lot, but I hadn’t planned when I was going to overdose or anything, although I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to keep myself safe over the weekend, and had said so to the psychologist I was seeing at the time. My dad was away at Glastonbury. It was Sunday afternoon, and my mum was out, and I just couldn’t cope any more, and I took an overdose. Just paracetamol. I didn’t know any better at the time. I had written a note, which I had left next to my bed, and I think it was about 10PM when my mum came up and found me. I had been sleeping, but I was fully conscious etc. When the ambulance crew came they were absolutely convinced I had taken something else too because my pupils were so dilated, but I hadn’t. I just have big pupils. I was taken to hospital, and they did blood tests, and then put me on a drip. I assume it was too many hours after I had taken it for charcoal. I was on the drip for 2 or 3 days, and by that time my bloods were back to normal. On the thursday I was assessed by the psychiatrist on duty. I remember him not speaking very good English, and asking a lot of stupid questions, like ‘If I let you go home are you going to kill yourself again?’ which I remember finding quite amusing. I was given the choice of being admitted to the psychiatric ward or going home. I naturally chose to go home. My birthday was 2 days later.

When I look back at that, 5 years ago, it upsets me. 5 years later and I am no better. In fact, I am worse than I was back then. I was still living a normal life back then – I just felt very bad, and my bulimia was quite bad. But I was still going to college, although I remember having to leave some lessons because I was too much of a mess. Ok, I took an overdose, and I did feel like I wanted to die, but the thoughts were nothing compared to how much stronger they got in later years. I wish that it had worked, or that I had managed to kill myself at some other point since then. I have achieved absolutely nothing in the last 5 years. My life has mainly consisted of staying in my room. I have very rarely felt happy or contented. I have just been surviving. And I don’t see the point of just surviving – I may as well not be here at all. If I had known 5 years ago that I was going to be in this position now, I could not have coped. I would have kept trying to kill myself until it had worked. But back then I still had hope some of the time. Now I don’t. 7 years of Depression has eradicated that. I am convinced that at some point I will end up killing myself – trying not to is just delaying the inevitable. I just wish it had happened years ago, and I hadn’t had to go through all of this.

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>Sleep

>I am getting really pissed off with my sleep. Or rather my inability to sleep at a reasonable time. The last 2 nights, it has been after 6:30am when I have finally got to sleep. I don’t know why I can’t sleep earlier – I can be completely exhausted and unable to keep my eyes open, but yet I just cannot get to sleep. Cue lots of stress and bad thoughts. I am spending the nights alternating between trying to sleep, and trying to read or do something else until my eyes get to the point where they won’t stay open again, at which point I attempt to sleep again, and so it goes on.

I had a really bizarre dream last night. I had taken an overdose and been taken to hospital, and was unconscious, and when I woke up again I asked a nurse what day it was, and she told me, but it was 3 years later, and I had been unconscious for 3 years. So everyone else was 3 years further on in their lives, but to me it still felt like the same time it had when I had taken the overdose, so it was all very confusing. I left the hospital, and when I was at home I went to log onto Facebook to see what people had been up to in the last 3 years. But Facebook had shut down – it had been sued or something. It was all very weird!

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>Skin games

>I was going to self harm now. I kind of did, but it wasn’t actual self harm. Actually it wasn’t self harm at all. It was more playing with my skin and a blade. Seeing how far I could dig the blade into the fat on my thigh. Pushing it hard. But not slicing. There is definitely far too much fat on my thighs. Looking at them makes me feel physically sick. It hurt like slicing does, but it didn’t really bleed. Skin is pretty tough really. I can push a sharp blade into my leg with all my strength and it only cuts through a few layers of skin. Quite impressive stuff when you think about it. I suppose this playing with a blade game should be win win really – the pain without the scar. But it isn’t the same without the blood. I want to do it properly now, but I know there is no point really. It will only make me feel better for about 5 minutes. I want to overdose really. That would be infinitely more satisfying. Even if it doesn’t work it is. Obviously it would be most satisfying if it did work. But even if it doesn’t, it still calms me down a bit. I suppose because the discomfort lasts for longer. And because I get taken care of for a few days somewhere safe. Safety is reassuring. But even small overdoses that I haven’t been to hospital for have been quite satisfying. Maybe because I know I am hurting myself inside.

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