Monthly Archives: December 2017

Reflecting on 2017

Its that time of year where everyone is reflecting on how great 2017 is. So I thought I would do my own refection on 2017. Please be trigger aware when reading.

The start of this year was not great. It started with an appointment where I was referred to the crisis team. This didn’t go well. They told me that my problem wasn’t the voice telling me to die but the fact I was shy. I felt let down as I was discharged from them without help. I was still suicidal and I began self harming again.

In February I managed to arrange an emergency psychiatrist appointment. This turned out to be a good move in some respects. I was referred again to the crisis team who, although they decided they weren’t the right team to help me, were more useful. They decided that I needed to have weekly support and I was assigned a care coordinator. I met my first care coordinator and was introduced to my support worker as well.

Things were still difficult but I now had someone to talk to on a weekly basis. They were able to follow things up with psychiatrists and other members of the community mental health team. This included chasing up a referral for therapy. In July I attended a psychology awareness programme. This was the first step towards getting therapy and something I have planned to write a more detailed blog post on in the future.

In July I also started blogging weekly. I decided I wanted a more regular blog schedule. My blog also turned four. I took more pride in my blog and found it a useful outlet.

At the beginning of August I attended an assessment for therapy with a psychologist. This was incredibly difficult. It took a lot out of me and my mood began to dip again after being slightly better for a few weeks. The assessment resulted in me being put on the waiting list for a group therapy. Again this is something I have planned to write about in more detail in another blog post.

I continued to see my support worker and care coordinator weekly with the occasional psychiatrist appointment thrown in but my mood continued to sink. Until I got to the point where I am now. I’m currently struggling to look to the future. I’m quite suicidal again and I feel in a worse place than where I started the year. I’ve been asking for help from all the professionals involved in my care.

So what about 2018? I don’t know what it holds. I’m due to start therapy. Hopefully things will improve. I’m not going to set any goals as I find them difficult to keep to and they stress me out. I hope though to keep reaching out to people on the blog and on Twitter. I hope you will continue to read. Thank you for sticking with me this far. I’m grateful to every one of you.

Feeling Like A Burden 

This is a personal piece. Please be trigger aware when reading.

I feel like a burden a lot of the time. It is a feeling that leads to me feeling suicidal a lot of the time. It is a difficult feeling to manage and one that consumes me a lot. Therefore I thought I would write out some of the reasons I feel like a burden. For clarification I do not think anyone is truly a burden except myself. I would never think it of anyone else. Everyone has value.

The first reason I feel like a burden is that I am unable to work due to my mental illnesses. This means I rely on my parents and benefits to support me financially. I feel so useless because of this and such a drain on resources when I know others need it more. I feel like a burden. Now please dont get me wrong, if you claim benefits I do not think you are a burden as I see you as worthy of the support. I, however, don’t feel I am worth it and therefore am a burden.

The second reason I feel like a burden is the amount of NHS resources I need. I take up a lot of professionals’ time just to try to remain stable. I feel like I shouldn’t and that there are more deserving people than me. I feel like professionals must be fed up of dealing with me as I am never OK. It all leads back to how little I feel I am worth. I get scared of saying how bad I am feeling for fear I am burdening them with responsibility. I shouldn’t feel this way as I know it is their job and what they are paid for.

Another reason I feel like a burden is the amount I rely on other people to support me emotionally. Anyone with a mental illness needs people they can reach out to when they are struggling. This includes friends and family. This is totally acceptable and necessary. Until I come to myself. When I reach out I feel like I am forcing people to deal with my problems when I should just cope on my own. I feel like I must be hurting them in some way and burdening them with my problems is wrong. I feel unworthy of their support.

The final reason I feel like a burden is a culmination of everything. Just by existing I feel I am taking from everyone on the planet. I need food that would be more use to someone else, I take up time that could be better spent on others and I require air that maybe someone more worthy could breathe. I feel like the least worthy person in the world.

In conclusion a lot of why I feel a burden comes from my lack of self worth. I feel I have nothing to offer the world so therefore I am a burden instead. Logically I know this is not true. Everyone has worth and value. I just can not see it in myself.

If you feel like a burden I want to tell you that you are not. I know you might not believe it but it is true. You are worthy of life and all the support that you need. If you have an illness, physical or mental, that still does not make you a burden. It makes you someone who needs help and that’s OK. Everybody has worth including you and that means you can not possibly be a burden.

Suicidal again 

This is a personal piece. Please be trigger aware when reading. I am safe and in contact with mental health services. This is something I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I’m sharing it to give a true reflection of just how low I sometimes feel.

I feel suicidal again. I’ve lost count the number of times I have been down this road before. I nearly always have suicidal thoughts, which is distressing and difficult to live with, but feeling suicidal is stronger. This is when the thoughts take hold and my head starts making plans for my death.

I have spent hours in the last week laying awake, going through what I would do to end my life. How I would do it. Where I would do it. When I would do it. When feeling this bad these thoughts stop being distressing and become comforting. This may sound strange but having a plan in place makes me feel able to cope as I can see an end in sight. And at this moment in time, an end is what I feel I need.

There is a lot of truth in the saying “People who take their own life don’t want to die, they just want the pain to end.” Life feels painful at the moment. And right now that pain feels too much to bear. I want a way out that stops the pain. The only one I see is suicide. I know this sounds selfish.

I’m sure a lot of people will say “but what about the people you leave behind?” I promise I have thought about them and this isn’t a selfish act. In my mind their lives will be improved without me in it. I am a burden. All I feel I do is take from those around me. I don’t know how to stop being a burden without stopping my life altogether. If there was another way I would choose it.

Death scares me. I desperately want another way out but there is not one. I have been told I will always have my illnesses to some extent. This means there will always be difficulty on some level and I don’t know what level that will be. If its the same level as it currently is I know I can not cope with it. I am not strong enough and it is not fair on those around me to have to deal with it either.

I hate myself for being at this point again. For wanting out. For being weak. I just can’t cope anymore. I feel hopeless and like I don’t have a future. I am sorry. Life is tough.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal you can contact The Samaritans any time.

Christmas and Mental Health 

Christmas can be a really tough time for anyone and particularly difficult if you have a mental illness. From having to deal with lots of people to the enforced happiness of the season, it can all feel too much. Therefore I thought it might be useful to share some tips and advice to help cope with the festive season.

1. It’s OK to not be OK- First of all I think this is an important thing to remember throughout the season. Just because it’s Christmas does not mean your mental illness goes away. In fact it might even be a bit worse. And that is OK. If you want to say no to something because you feel it will make things worse that is fine. Don’t feel forced into socialising if you cannot cope with it. Your health is more important.

2. Take breaks- If you do find yourself going out and socialising remember it is OK to take breaks from people. If you need to spend five minutes in the toilet that is perfectly fine. You are doing what you need to do to get through. Also if you have a lot of social occasions planned, try to plan in an evening or day for yourself to get some respite. This can help you feel able to cope more with attending. If you are staying with family, try and find a quiet space you can escape to for a bit of peace. Its OK not to want to be with people all the time.

3. Plan ahead- Christmas can be hectic with buying presents and organising social events. If you plan ahead it can make things a lot easier. For example, before you go shopping for Christmas presents maybe look online and plan what you want to buy for each person. Or plan which shops you are going to visit so you don’t feel like you are wandering around forever. Before a social event it might be useful to make a list of who will be there and who you need to buy presents or write cards for. Lists are so important to me to make me feel more on top of everything.

4. Don’t drink too much alcohol- This one might masks me sound a bit of a party pooper but drinking too much alcohol can have a depressing effect on your mood and make things seem much harder. I’m not saying don’t drink at all (although if you don’t want to drink that’s perfectly acceptable) but just drink responsibly. It can be so tempting at this time of year to drink a lot but you may end up feeling worse.

5. Remember to use self care- You are important. All of the tips so far link into looking after you but it is also important to make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating well and drinking plenty of water. It can be so easy to neglect yourself during this time but you are special too. Talking can also be self care and reaching out for help if you are struggling during this time is important.

So those are some of my tips and advice for making Christmas easier. If Christmas is a struggle for you remember The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you have any tips or advice for coping with Christmas feel free to share in the comments or on Twitter.

Picture from Pinterest