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Posts Tagged ‘summer course’

>Busy busy

>I feel like such a fuck up. I am really annoyed with myself about the summer course in America. I should have done it. I still don’t know if i would have been able to cope with it or not, but I am really angry with myself for not trying. I should have gone. I am stupid. I have been looking into summer courses over here, but with everything else going on it will be really hard to fit it in, and none of the courses over here look nearly as good and I am just bloody pissed off with myself. Plus doing a 2 week course over here including accommodation would cost me as much as the 3 week course in America including accommodation, because I got given financial aid for it. I am a twat, I should have just gone.

I feel like I have taken on too much with these plays. Everything is clashing, and I feel like I have too much on. Tomorrow I have a readthrough for the Shakespeare. Monday I have ballet. Tuesday I have a singing rehearsal for the musical, and should also be at a Shakespeare rehearsal, but I obviously can’t be in too places at once. Wednesday I have ballet. Friday I have the drama festival performance. So Thursday is my only free evening for the next week. Then I also have an appointment with L one day, although I don’t know which yet as she has lost her diary, I have my CPA review with L and Dr E on Thursday. Friday I am supposed to be seeing Dr O at 9:20, but I have had an appointment through for the Voice Clinic (which the ENT Dr said he was going to refer me to) at 10:30, and that is a 35 minute drive from the GP surgery, so if the GP is running on time it would be ok, but if she is late then it would all go hideously wrong. The obvious thing would be to rearrange the GP appointment but they are so bloody busy at the moment – I had to make this appointment 4 weeks in advance, so I am not sure what to do really. But I don’t want to change the Voice Clinic appointment, because I was really pleased it came through so soon, and they only hold it alternate fridays, so it would mean having to wait at least another 2 weeks. There is just too much on. I feel quite overwhelmed by it all.

I really don’t want to go to my CPA review. Even though Dr E is nice, I still find seeing her a bit intimidating. I suppose it is just because she is a Psychiatrist. And I always feel really put on the spot when she asks me things. She will ask me all the questions about is seeing L helpful, and if I say yes then she will ask me how it is helping me, and what it is that is helpful and all that sort of thing, and I just freeze and don’t know what to say. And I will sit there feeling really awkward. I don’t like it. I don’t want to go.

Purged again today. This is starting to become a pattern, which isn’t great. The suicidal thoughts are certainly going strong too. Not really sure what I can do about it. I don’t know how to stop them getting stronger and stop myself from getting worse.

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>When I saw L on tuesday she asked me to write about what being ‘better’/well means to me, and what I would want from life if I didn’t have mental health problems etc, ie how I would want my life to be if I recovered from this (she didn’t say if – she said when, but to me it is a big if). I am finding it very difficult, I think largely because I find it so completely impossible to imagine. My adult life so far has been completely taken over by my mental health problems, and even before I was diagnosed as having Depression, and given medication etc, things were not right for quite a few years before that. I am not sure if they were ever right, I have a bad memory.

I do remember that even when I was very young, ie primary school age, I didn’t fit in, and I was more comfortable in the company of adults than I was with other children. I had one best friend, who lived down the road from me but went to a different school, and I wasn’t massively interested in having other friends. I was very jealous when she was spending time with her other friends from school etc – I didn’t want to share her, I just wanted her to be my friend. I suppose I did have friends at school, and I did have friends round to play and went to theirs etc, but they weren’t really close friends that I can remember. I was teased a lot at school, which turned into bullying when I was older, although only verbal – nothing physical. I am kind of side tracking here, but I suppose what I am trying to say is that there was always an element of not fitting in and of being different, and quite isolated, and then quite a lot happened around the time I was 10/11/12 – nothing really traumatic, but things that were big to me as a child. Within a couple of years my brother moved out, which I remember being very upset by, although I am not quite sure why as he must have been about 23 at the time, and I don’t remember spending a lot of time with him prior to that or anything. My granddad died, who I was very close to. And my parents split up. I think it was also around that time that my relationship with my sister started going wrong. She had absolutely doted on me when I was little – she was almost like another mother, and she used to take me out a lot and buy me all sorts of things. Then suddenly (it seemed to me) she just kind of turned on me and started saying how spoilt I was, and just not being very nice to me. I probably was spoilt, but it was her who had been doing the spoiling – my parents didn’t spoil me. Even the things I did hobby wise, like dancing, had been on her insistence – she had been desperate for me to do ballet when I was little, so I did. But at some point she seemed to start resenting me a lot – I think partly because of the opportunities I had that she never had, and partly because I obviously had most of my Mum’s time etc – she is 17 years older than me. Our relationship has never really been right since then. Sometimes she is fine with me, and seems to want me to spend time with her, but she can be really quite nasty sometimes, particularly when there are other people around, and she isn’t at all supportive of my mental health problems. She is quite a difficult person generally – everyone is really careful of what they say around her as she is liable to explode over tiny things – comments she takes the wrong way, or something she perceives as criticism, or really anything at all. So people tiptoe around her. I suppose if I am honest I can see similarities between us behaviourally, but I tend to bottle things up far more than she does I think, and I think I probably direct more of my anger inwards, whereas she gets very angry with other people. Although having said that, I do too sometimes – I can completely explode, generally at my parents, and be really aggressive. I don’t know. Maybe we are more similar than I would like to admit. Anyway, this is all digression.

So my pre-teen years were quite difficult. I was particularly affected by my parents splitting up. My dad used to come and see me, and I would be completely distraught when he left, really hysterically crying and screaming and trying to chase the car as he drove away, and laying down in the middle of the road outside the house after he had gone. Then sometimes I would refuse to see or speak to him for months at a time. Then it would be back to him coming over as though nothing had happened. I think I was very confused and upset – my parents had always been the couple that would never split up, and I had no idea he was leaving until the day he left. I was a mess, and my mum was a mess, and so I would try to be ok for her, because I didn’t want to make things worse for her. She went for counselling for a while, but I never talked to anybody. We didn’t tell anybody he had left. We just pretended he was still living there. Nobody at school knew they had split up. Most of my friends didn’t know. This went on for years really. Just keeping up a facade of happy families. He would always come and stay over Christmas, and come on holiday with us. I was always devastated when he left again. For some periods of time he would spend every weekend with us. Then either my mum or I would decide we didn’t want to see him, and he would disappear for months, until we let him back. It was all pretty confusing really. I didn’t have any friends at school, and over the years I started to grow away from my best friend. I wasn’t happy. I used to skip school quite a lot. I did get ill quite a lot as a child, and when I wasn’t actually ill I would pretend to be to get time off school. The only time I was happy was when I was rehearsing shows or performing. I felt accepted there. I felt like people liked me. I could pretend to be someone else. I think that was when I first started having a happy face that I would put on, however I felt inside. I was 12, and I had just auditioned for my first big production outside of school (Annie), and then between the auditions and rehearsals starting my dad had left, and I was confused and upset and all over the place, and those rehearsals were a safe place for me. I had the lead part and I didn’t feel useless – people thought I was good and all of the cast were nice to me, and it was my escape. It was also around that time that I first remember getting attached to people. Not to the same extent that I did when I was older, but it was definitely there. I idolised the woman playing Grace. My teen years were basically spent avoiding school whenever possible, and going from one show to the next, because rehearsals were the only place that made me happy, and where I felt good about myself. And where the various people I got attached to over the years were. So although I was 17 before I ever spoke to anybody about how I felt – I had really never ever talked about emotions and feelings at all before then with anybody, not even in a general way – and was referred to the CMHT etc, right through my childhood and adolescence things weren’t right. I wasn’t happy. I wouldn’t say I was depressed as I did still enjoy things, or performing anyway, but I wasn’t happy either. And I think that is partly why I find it so difficult to think about the future, and what I want, and being happy and living a normal life. Because I don’t really have much experience of that – certainly not as an adult, but not really even as a teenager or child. But I did have a clear idea of what I wanted when I was a teenager, and so I will try and write about that. Occasionally I will have moments when I remember why I cared, and why I wanted things, and I try to hold onto those, but they don’t last long. I think one of the reasons I am finding this play so frustrating is because I am just not enjoying it at all – I have spent all of the rehearsals wishing I wasn’t there, and when performing was my only outlet, and the only thing that I enjoyed for so many years, it is really hard to know that even that doesn’t make me happy now. It makes me feel more hopeless.

I compare myself a lot to other people. People I went to school or college with. Who now have virtually all moved away from home and been to university, and are now working. A few didn’t go to university but have been working. Nobody else seems to have done absolutely nothing. One girl from my class at school is a Doctor now. Another is doing a Masters degree. One guy is in a band that have had Mercury Prize nominated album and toured all over the world. I feel completely humiliated when I see people I haven’t seen for a long time and they ask what I am doing, because I am not doing anything, and I haven’t done anything since A levels. And it frustrates me because I know that I was as clever as everyone I was at school with. I don’t mean to sound arrogant when I say that, but I was. Even though my attendance at school was relatively poor, and I didn’t work terribly hard, I always still did well. Not as well as I could have done, but better than most people. I got the best GCSE results in my year, and I didn’t do any revision. Admittedly my year group wasn’t the brightest (both girls I have mentioned had moved schools before GCSEs), but even so, I should have done something. I feel like I have been left behind. Not just academically either. In life generally. Some people I was at school or college with are engaged or married. I even feel useless when I compare myself to friends I have who also have mental health problems. Even compared to them I seem to have achieved less. Some of them have also been to university and got degrees. Some haven’t managed to get their degrees, but at least managed to do a year or 2 before leaving. Some have worked. Some have travelled. Nearly everyone I know apart from me seems to have a driving license. There is just an endless list of things that I haven’t done that other people I know have. And that makes me feel really useless.

To me, being well would mean;
– Feeling ok about my life. Not wanting to kill myself. Not happy all of the time, because I know that isn’t realistic, and that people aren’t happy all of the time, but happy some of the time. And ok most of the time. Everyone has bad days, but every day shouldn’t be a bad day.
– Feeling well enough to do things, like the summer course in America for example.
– Enjoying things. Having things that make me happy. I am completely lacking this at the moment, and it is probably one of the hardest things to deal with.
– Being able to go into busy places, like bars or something, without getting such overwhelming anxiety that I have to leave.
– Having friends, and wanting to spend time with them and go out with them. I don’t really have many friends who don’t have mental health problems themselves, and whilst I do have some really good friends, I would like to be able to have friends who aren’t caught up in the whole mental health world. I know why I tend to stick to people who have MH problems – it is because they understand when I am having a bad day and just can’t stop crying, or when I can’t cope with leaving the house, or I can’t have a proper conversation because all I can think about is suicide. And because I have been hurt by other friends I have had who haven’t been able to deal with that, because they just don’t understand. Or because they get bored of me never wanting to go out with them. Or because they have been scared off by seeing me or talking to me when I have been bad. But it has all lead to me feeling abandoned, and so now I am scared of making friends with ‘normal’ people. If I was well that wouldn’t happen. I would want to go out and see them, because I wouldn’t be anxious about being around people, or feel like I had to put on a happy mask all of the time, or be too pre-occupied with suicide to hold a normal conversation.
– Having relationships. Wanting to see someone. Falling in love. Not feeling like I don’t deserve it, or like I shouldn’t be with someone because it wouldn’t be fair on them to have to put up with me.
– Accepting my body and weight. Not neccessarily being happy with it all of the time, because again that isn’t realistic, but just having the type of relationship with my body and food that other people do. Not desperately wanting to purge when I eat ‘bad’ foods. Being able to eat healthily without going into restriction mode, and being able to eat some junk food without beating myself up about it, and then letting myself just eat as much crap as I want because I have ruined the day anyway. Finding a balance between eating whatever I like (mostly rubbish) and restricting. Not letting the scales determine whether it will be a good or a bad day. Not constantly thinking about calories and weight whenever I eat.
– Having my own place. Not supported accommodation, but actually my own flat, or flatshare. Just like other people do.
– Being able to go to drama school. This is probably the biggest thing, as it would mean being able to do most of the above, plus be in college 40 – 60 hours a week, as well as all the work outside of college – vocal work, body conditioning, learning songs and scripts, writing essays etc etc
– Not being reliant on benefits for money. Working like everyone else – ideally in acting, but doing the typical out of work actor jobs like temping and telesales when there is no acting work.
– Being out of the mental health system. Not needing therapy or medication, or support in that way. Just dealing with bad days however other people do.
– Not wanting to turn to some form of self neglect or self harm all of the time, and not seeing suicide as the way out when things get overwhelming.
– Being able to think in a more balanced way, rather than just in black and white.
– Wanting to live. Seeing life as a positive thing, rather than something that I want to be over as soon as possible.

I am writing all of this but it feels like something that is a complete impossibility. I can’t imagine any of it ever happening. I find thinking about the future so overwhelming, because the things I always wanted seem too far out of reach, and I don’t even know if they are what I want, because I don’t want anything at the moment, except to die. Thinking about the future goes against every instinct I have – I find it difficult to even think a day ahead, let alone years into the future, and I find it very anxiety provoking and just scary I suppose. Because I can’t imagine any of this ever happening. Because all I can see is years of feeling like this stretching out in front of me, and I can’t cope with that.

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>I haven’t written for a few days. I have been very tired and just not really felt like I have had anything to write about. Things are not getting any easier. Having said that, I think there has been change over the last few weeks, but I couldn’t say whether it was good or bad. A few weeks ago I was completely exhausted, to the point where it was difficult to do things like move my head. My thinking was really slowed down, and I knew I felt really terrible, but I think I was too tired to actually do anything about it. Now I am still exhausted, but not in quite the same way. I don’t really know if I could explain the difference, but it is different. And my brain is definitely different. It is filled with thoughts. Racing thoughts. Constant thinking and planning and plotting. I think I seem better to other people – certainly L has commented that visibly I don’t seem as bad as I did a few weeks ago. I think that is largely because I have recovered the ability to talk in full sentences, which is of course a good thing. But I actually feel far more at risk now than I did then. I am much more on edge. I am having to take a lot more Diazepam to try and calm me down and slow my thoughts a bit. I feel like I am actually a much greater risk to myself now than I was a few weeks ago, even if I appear better to others.

It is the play this week. I am not looking forward to it. This is all wrong. I used to love performing. Being on stage gave me such a buzz. When I was growing up I was only happy when I was at rehearsals, or performing. That was the only part of life that interested me. Now I don’t even have that. I said I couldn’t make the rehearsal friday because I was ill. That was a lie – I just couldn’t face it. I had to go sunday as I didn’t feel like I could let people down by missing yet another rehearsal, but it was crap. I wasn’t in the mood at all – I was completely lost in my thoughts. I just phoned it in. I also got very faint in the middle of the rehearsal and had to sit down for a few minutes. I am not sure what that was about. I got like it again at ballet today. I have quite a heavy period at the moment so I am wondering if it is related to that. Either that or I am ill. The weird thing is, that much as I hate this play, in a way it is keeping me going. I have been having such strong suicidal thoughts over the last few days, particularly friday and saturday, but I am acutely aware that I would be letting down the rest of the cast, and I can’t do that. I have the tech rehearsal tomorrow night, and then the dress on wednesday, and then performances thursday, friday and saturday. And then it will be over. Thank goodness. I feel like it is taking too much of my energy, and I don’t have enough as it is. Plus of course the feeling obliged to stay alive thing just makes me really resent the whole thing.

My mum picked up my Zopiclone on saturday. Unfortunately she is following the little note that my GP scribbled all over it and giving me one tablet every other night. Which basically does fuck all. Considering I have been taking 30mg a go lately when I have dipped into my stash, and not even been knocked out by that, I think it is fairly obvious why 7.5mg isn’t doing a lot. Or anything at all really. This is pretty unfortunate. I am now thinking that since they don’t work I may as well not take them and just add them to the stash so that I can either take a few at a time when I really want to sleep, or use them to overdose on. Sleep is still a problem. I am having trouble getting to sleep, which isn’t anything new, but I am waking up a ridiculous ammount, and I just still feel so tired when I wake up. And I look tired too. I have black circles under my eyes, and bags. People keep commenting on how tired I look. I am never quite sure what the aim is when people say that. I am usually aware that I look like crap, and someone reminding me doesn’t really help. And how are you meant to respond?

The weekend was really hard. Friday night I came very close to overdosing. Much closer than I have for a long time. Actually probably the closest I have got since I last did overdose. Then I got into a complete state on Saturday – I was convinced that L was going to stop seeing me, and the thought of that just sent me into complete turmoil. I know I will have to deal with it at some point, but right now I just can’t think about me. It just really fuelled my fears of abandonment enormously and I just got so worked up and I just couldn’t calm myself down for hours – I was just sobbing completely uncontrollably for ages and ended up with a splitting headache as a result of it. It also made the suicidal thoughts even stronger, because the thought of trying to cope on my own just feels so completely impossible. It is hard enough to keep going at the moment as it is, and without support I just couldn’t do it. And then I was also thinking that I should kill myself because I feel like I am such a nuisance and if I was dead then she wouldn’t have to see me, nobody would. But then I got really scared about what would happen if I tried to kill myself and it didn’t work, and would I end up with no support then. And round and round in circles my brain went. It does worry me how I can get so dependent on somebody. I get so that I really rely on people, and then if/when I lose them I find it incredibly hard to deal with. I think it is partly because I find it so difficult to trust people – I could count on one hand the number of people I have ever completely trusted, and whose judgement I would always believe. Actually, I would probably only need 2 fingers for the people I have trusted absolutely, and then a couple more fingers for people I have trusted, but not to quite that extent. I wonder if that is ‘normal’ or not.

I have semi made a decision on America. Primarily due to pressure from my parents. Well I don’t think they intended it as such. My dad asked me if I had made up my mind, and I said no, and he asked why not and didn’t I need to decide. It seems that grabbing my teddy bear, bursting into tears and repeatedly saying ‘I can’t talk about that now, please close the door’ made him think it wasn’t a good idea for me to go to America for a month. My parents basically said that if I was in that much doubt about whether or not to go, then it probably wasn’t a good idea, as I would just end up getting more and more worked up about it. They have a point. But I now feel like a failure. Naturally. I tried to persuade my mum last night how much better off she would be without me. I asked if she wished she had never had me. She said parents don’t think about that. I said that I was now making her think about that, and did she wish she hadn’t had me. Apparently she doesn’t wish that. Neither does she wish I would disappear, which I have felt was a good idea ever since watching a documentary last week about a man who tried to disappear for a month to see if it was possible. I thought I could pretend to disappear, and nobody would be worried about me because I would be disappeared, and I could then kill myself, and nobody would know, and therefore nobody would be upset. I didn’t share the killing myself part of the plan with my mum – just the rest of it, but she didn’t like it. I suppose she has to say that really though. She can’t really say to me that it was a massive mistake having me, and of course she wishes she hadn’t, because that would sound a bit mean. Although I did say that I wish she hadn’t had me, which is possibly also a bit mean, but true. That is what I want more than anything else. To just not exist.

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>Struggling

>I am really struggling quite a lot. Yesterday afternoon was hard – I didn’t really do anything except write my blog post from yesterday, and that took me from about half 12 until about half 8, and there is not 8 hours worth of writing there, so I am thinking I must have done a fair bit of dissociating. The night wasn’t so bad – I had the election coverage on and was talking to a few people on MSN and I think I stayed fairly with it. I got to sleep about half 4, slept terribly, woke up at some point during the morning and went online for about half an hour, then when back to sleep until about half 1. I still woke up feeling exhausted, because even when on paper the ammount of sleep I have had looks ok it is so interrupted and disturbed that it just doesn’t seem to refresh me at all. My mum still hasn’t picked up my bloody prescription.

Today has been really bad. Even when I was waking up in the night I felt really crap, and then when I woke up properly I just felt really dreadful. I feel very tense and anxious, I think mostly about the things I wrote about yesterday. I don’t know what to do about the America thing, and whatever decision I make feels wrong. I also just feel so hopeless, because I really don’t see things changing and that is so hard. The last few weeks have been so unbelievably hard and I have felt so terrible, and I have kept going and I haven’t tried to kill myself because I thought things would have to get easier soon, and they haven’t, they have got harder and I feel worse and more suicidal, and I really just don’t know what I supposed to do now. I can’t just keep on going. I feel so lost. I desperately want to kill myself. I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know how to pass the time because I just can’t concentrate or think properly. I feel like I want to cry all of the time, but it is like I am empty, there is nothing there. I just can’t carry on. I feel so bad that it really hurts. I really think I have reached breaking point.

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>L arrived bright and early this morning. She was bright anyway. And it was early. I was tired and still in my PJs, but I was out of bed so she was very impressed. I asked if she had been planning to come and drag me out of bed if I wasn’t up and she said not to put it past her. I think she would actually. Anyway, she took me to see the supported housing and someone gave us a tour of the place.

The vibe of it was very like a hostel or something. Very young – everyone I saw looked under 30. Very bright and colourful etc. There was a games room with a pool table and TV with various game things, and a computer with internet and a karaoke machine (!!). Then there was a TV room next door, which apparently has Sky. There was a garden and smoking area etc, but I don’t smoke, and an art room, and a little gym with a treadmill and cross trainer and weights machine things etc. A laundry room with a couple of washing machines and a tumble dryer. There was a really massive kitchen/dining thing. It was like 2 kitchens really – the room was really long and there was a kitchen at each end, and then 2 big tables with chairs in the middle. Apparently everyone has a cupboard that locks to keep their stuff in, and then fridge space etc – there seemed like plenty of room. The bedroom I saw was quite nice. Apparently it was one of the smaller ones, but it was a reasonable size, and all of the rooms have ensuite shower rooms. They have furniture – bed, desk and chair, wardrobe and chest of drawers, but they said you can keep as much or little of that as you want. There are 12 rooms. It seemed fairly male dominated – there are currently only 3 girls. It seems like you get a lot of support. They come up with a plan of what you will be doing on a daily basis and what things you need help with, for example if you need help with cooking then that goes on there, or if you need help with your medication or shopping or whatever then they support you with it. There is always a member of staff available through the night etc.

I am not really sure how I feel about it at the moment. My biggest concern would be sharing a kitchen. I am not sure if I could cope with that. I wouldn’t want to use anything that other people used. I also wouldn’t go in there if I thought it might be dirty etc, and that could be problematic. I am a bit neurotic about cleanliness outside of my house, and even at home I am paranoid about what things have been used for etc. So I suppose the kitchen situation would be what I would find most difficult to deal with. I think I would also find it hard being around people so much more than I am now, but I suppose that is something that I should get used to really, as I know I probably spend too much time on my own at the moment. I think I also have difficulty seeing myself as needing supported accommodation like that. It just seems like something for people who are really ill, and I can’t think of myself like that. On the other hand, I know that I would need quite a lot of support if I wasn’t living at home. I think the time scale kind of freaks me out too. They said people stay there up to 2 years, and then there are 6 move on flats, so people either move into those, or they support them in finding somewhere in the community. I can’t cope with the concept of being ill, or having problems that need support for another 2 years. It freaks me out. I feel like I need to be better now, or really soon, or I just can’t cope. There is no point in having a life unless I am better now. Or really soon.

I really really hate thinking about the future. I am feeling really stressed and tense about everything. I am stressing about the summer course in America. I absolutely have to make a decision about it and I just can’t. I don’t remember the last time I had a month when I felt fairly stable the whole time. So why do I think I could have a stable month in another country, where I have absolutely no support, and would be working hard. Plus things like cooking and just looking after myself generally. There would be nobody to help me, either practically or emotionally. Unless I felt a hundred times better than I am at the moment then there is just no way at all that I could cope. There is also the added problem that I really don’t know how my voice would cope – I haven’t sung properly for over a year because of the problems with my voice, so singing a lot is probably a pretty bad idea. There is also the issue of cost. I have been lucky and been allocated some funding for the course, so it is a lot cheaper than it would have been otherwise, but it is still a lot of money, and by the time I have added on other costs such as flights and travel and food over there, and a couple of nights accommodation first to get rid of jet lag that is already a lot of money. And then I was intending to spend some time in New York after with a friend, as I have always wanted to go to New York, and so it would seem silly to not spend some time there when I would be flying home from there anyway. So basically the whole thing would cost me in excess of £2000. I do have that money, because I am a hoarder with money, and have saved my whole life, but I absolutely cannot afford to waste it. Which puts quite a lot of pressure on this decision. If I pay for the course and flights then that is immediately £1500, and if I was too ill to go then that would just be money down the drain. Thinking about it like this, the logical thing really seems to not go, and to reapply for next year if things are better by then. But if it gets to the summer and I would have been well enough to go then I will be really upset and frustrated with myself, and even if I know logically that I wouldn’t have been well enough to go, I will still beat myself up over it because that is what I do. It will be added to my list of failures. And people keep telling me what a fantastic opportunity it is, and what a great experience it would be, and that just makes me feel even more pressure. I really wish I hadn’t applied. I hate myself for always doing this. I always think too big, and end up getting stressed and frustrated and upset. I either back out of things and end up angry with myself for it, and thinking I am useless and pathetic, or I try and do it and end up getting ill. There are 2 occasions I have really tried to do something big and gone through with it – once was going to university, which landed me in hospital twice, and once trying to move part time to London to do a part time course, which resulted in me trying to kill myself. So I don’t have a great track record. Admittedly these things were different, in that they weren’t just for a month, but when I tried to do the course in London I spent 3 days crying, came home for the weekend, and tried to kill myself. So although it would have been more long term, I was only actually there for 3 days. God, I am so confused. I feel really stressed and overwhelmed.

I have spent hours writing this. Over 5 hours. I can’t concentrate. I am really struggling. I just feel like everything is getting on top of me. I am really feeling like I can’t cope. I suppose my dreadful sleep isn’t helping. And my mum still hasn’t picked up my Zopiclone. I am just having really strong suicidal thoughts. And it is really hard to think about the future when I don’t even want to be here by tomorrow. I want to overdose. I really don’t think I can cope. I don’t want to be here. I feel really exhausted.

I feel like things are never going to get better. I feel like my brain is all broken into lots and lots of little pieces, and nothing can put it back together. Like Humpty Dumpty. It is about 6 and a half years ago now that I was first given anti depressants and referred to the CMHT. I am only 23. That is a big percentage of my life. Over a quarter of my life. And I have had lots of different medications, but none seem to have helped much, and so they seem to have been given up on. And I have seen so many different people – Psychiatrists and Psychologists and CPNs and OTs and Social Workers and Support Workers. And none of it has helped. I feel as bad now as I have ever done. Maybe worse. And I just don’t see how things are going to get better. It feels impossible. I feel like I am too broken; my brain is too confused and scrambled up to ever sort out. I can’t believe that I am nearly 24 and I have achieved nothing with my life. There is so much I thought I would have done by now, and now if I manage to shower and get dressed then that day has to be seen as an achievement. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just cope like other people do? Things should have got better by now. If I was ever going to get better then I feel like I would have started to by now. Where do I go from here? Am I supposed to just accept that this is my life? Because I can’t do that. And I can’t see things changing. Which brings me back to the option of killing myself. Whichever way I look at things, it seems to be the best option. In fact, at the moment I don’t see any other options.

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>I have too much over the next few days that I have to do. There isn’t too much I can get out of either. Basically I have ballet lessons on mondays and wednesdays every week, which I sometimes skip, but I generally try and make myself go to however bad I feel. I have the advantage of knowing the syllabus so well that I can pretty much do the class on auto pilot, but because it is pretty much the only time I leave the house apart from for appointments I try to go. Plus if I don’t go I get a lecture from my mum about how good it is for me to go etc, and that ends up being more hard work than going. I am also rehearsing this stupid play, as I have mentioned before. I didn’t go to the rehearsal for that on friday – I emailed the director saying that I was ill. Imagine my delight when I got an answerphone message yesterday saying that they had decided to schedule an extra rehearsal for today (sunday). I called and said I was still ill. However, I really can’t get out of any more. So far my week is looking like this. Everything is in the evenings unless I say otherwise, so I do at least have all day to flounder in bed, but I find it such an effort to leave the house because it involves putting on such a big act continuously, and that is draining, which isn’t good when I am already exhausted.

Monday – Ballet class. However, it is also my niece’s birthday, and she lives in the same town where I dance, so my mum wants us to go and see her for an hour before my class. Considering I wasn’t even planning to go to the class, this is far from ideal.
Tuesday – Rehearsal. Regretting getting involved with this play more and more.
Wednesday – Appointment with L at 10:30, followed by N at 12. Then ballet class in the evening. Not terribly happy that all my support for the week is happening within 3 hours, as that leaves me the rest of the week with nothing. I usually see L on a tuesday, but she couldn’t do tuesday this week.
Thursday – Photo session for the newspaper for the play. Will at least be short, but will involve putting effort into my appearance which takes too much effort.

I also have to decide this week for sure about this course in America, as the deadline for the (non refundable) deposit is this week. I am really not in the best frame of mind to be making decisions about my future, when at the moment I don’t want one. The obvious choice would be to back out of that, which I could easily do. Particularly as when accepted I told myself I would only go if I had lost some weight by the time I had to pay. Which I haven’t. But if I am alive in August, and doing a bit better and could have coped with it then I will be furious with myself. And even if I’m not it will become yet another thing added to my list of things to beat myself up about. Another time when I have intended to do something and then not been able to do it. Another failure.

I am feeling so overwhelmed. I am still having really strong suicidal thoughts and images etc – they aren’t getting any weaker. I still can’t concentrate on anything at all to distract myself. My sleep is awful and I am constantly exhausted. I had a shower and washed my hair this afternoon, as I was getting pretty disgusting to be honest, and I felt like I had run the marathon afterwards. So how am I supposed to get through the activities of the next few days? I feel pathetic. I know it looks like nothing to people who go out to work every day, or are in education, or just have really busy schedules, but it as about as full as my schedule tends to get, and it couldn’t be a worse time for it. I will possibly scream if anyone suggests that the distraction will be good for me. If I was doing a bit better then that would possibly be true. But when I feel like this I just find it incredibly stressful, and I don’t get distracted, I just get desperate. I want to scream anyway actually. And cry. But I am numb still. I just can’t cope.

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>Future

>I haven’t posted anything for a couple of days because I haven’t really felt like I have had that much to say. Basically things have been more of the same. I am still struggling a lot with low mood/eating/suicidal thoughts.

One thing I have noticed that really brings on the suicidal thoughts hard is thinking about the future. I find it so utterly overwhelming and impossible to think about, and end up feeling really desperate, which leads to me wanting to kill myself. I am not quite sure how to resolve this, and it is difficult as it ends up really affecting my life, as I won’t commit to doing things even a week or 2 in advance often, let alone months, as I just find it too hard to think ahead like that, and so then I end up not doing things and missing out on things I have wanted to do. Sometimes it is little things, and it doesn’t matter that I miss out on them, or I can do them at short notice etc, but it also applies to bigger things, like going on holiday or to visit friends, or courses etc, and sometimes I do regret not doing these things. I suppose I am partly thinking about all of this so much, because I recently (ish) did a video audition for a musical theatre summer course in the USA, which I was accepted onto, and so my mind is now going into overdrive about it. Do I go or do I not go? It is a great opportunity, and I will be really annoyed with myself if I miss it, but can I cope with being away from home for a month? Can I cope with no support for a month? I was in a similar situation last year, in that I was offered a place on a summer MT course in the USA (although not as good, and in the long run I don’t regret not going) and was really divided about what to do about it. I decided not to go, and it was the right decision, partly because I don’t think the course would have been as good as I had hoped, but also because I really struggled a lot both depression and eating wise last summer – I was severely restricting my food intake, and basically spent the whole summer feeling terrible, very low mood, very suicidal etc. I don’t know what would have happened if I had gone away, and felt like that there.

It also sets off my insecurities about myself as a performer. Am I good enough? Am I wasting my time/money on things like this? Should I just forget the whole thing? As I have discussed before, performing is really the only thing that has ever meant anything to me, and I already have a lot of (reasonable) concerns about my chances of becoming professional, but that is all I have wanted for as long as I can remember, and I don’t know what I would do if I dismissed that as an option. My age is starting to become an issue – not really for acting, but certainly for musical theatre, which has always been my first love. Then talent wise, I am nothing special really. Acting is my strongest – I have always considered myself an actress that sings and dances, and I suppose I am a reasonably good actress, but I really don’t know if I am good enough. I am definitely only a mediocre dancer – I have always considered that my weakest discipline. Singing… singing is a problem. I used to be a fairly strong singer – not outstanding, but I was ok. But for the last couple of years I have had problems with my voice, and so for the last year I really haven’t sung at all, because I don’t want to make it worse. The next paragraph is probably boring, so if you want to skip it then do.

I saw ENT, and was referred for speech therapy to correct a problem with my vocal cords not meeting properly. When I finally got to the top of the waiting list they said they didn’t treat singers. After that was when I switched GP, and so I was re-referred for speech therapy last year, to somewhere that will treat singers. Still hadn’t heard anything 9 months after the referral went off, so asked my GP to chase it. Have since had a letter from them saying that as it is over a year since I saw ENT I have to go back to them before they will see me. So I now have an ENT appointment for the end of May. Goodness knows when I will actually get to see someone who can help me. So this is something of a problem, both long term career wise, but also short term. Am I stupid even considering doing an intensive musical theatre summer course when I have a problem with my voice?! Probably. But when I applied I was hoping I would have seen the speech therapist and I would be on the way to having my voice back at full health. Doesn’t look like that is going to happen now.

So do I go for the course or not? I just don’t know. I have been very enthusiastic about it to my parents etc, said I will definitely be doing it, no qualms etc etc. It does look amazing, and I have heard nothing but very positive comments from people who have done it in the past. But can I cope emotionally with it, and will my voice be up to it? I don’t know. I don’t want this to be yet another thing that I have intended to do and not gone through with. There are so bloody many of them. So many jobs and courses that I have intended to do and then turned down. Or things I have started and then failed almost immediately.

And what about longer term future? Ignoring talent and the small matter of getting accepted for a moment, am I ever going to be well enough to move away and go to drama school? To do 50+ hours training a week? And if so when? When will I be well enough? When it is too late and I am too old? And realistically, will I ever be good enough? Am I talented enough? I really don’t know. But I do know it is the only thing that has ever meant anything to me, and made me happy. And it sounds ridiculous, but if that is not going to happen then that is another big thing in favour of not being here. I don’t know. I just feel like there are so many negatives to living, and so few positives. In fact, there are no positives for me – there is just me living for other people. And I am so fucking sick of that. I just don’t see the point. And even if someone said that in 5 years time I would be living in London on my own, with an acting job, maybe in a relationship, I don’t know if that would be enough to make me want to live. It still wouldn’t be enough to make living like this at the moment worthwhile. And if everything I have ever wanted isn’t enough to make me want to be alive then what on earth am I doing?

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