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Fear *Trigger Warning: Suicide*

This is a highly personal piece. Please be trigger aware when reading. This post mentions suicide and suicidal thoughts. It doesn’t however mention methods. Please take care when reading. I am currently safe and have shared these thoughts with mental health professionals.

Today I worked out something that is terrifying and maybe kind of sad. Well maybe not worked out but realised. That thing is I am only still here for one reason; fear. 

This may sound dramatic but it hit me today that if I didn’t have fear, I would probably be dead. So what is so terrifying that I am still alive? The answer is the unknown and death. 

I have had suicidal thoughts and feelings a long time and have been often asked “why do you not act on your suicidal thoughts/feelings?” I have always given the answer that its the people around me that keep me here but today I realised that’s just not true anymore. Yes, I love the people around me but in my mind they would be better off without me. This was when it came to me the reason I am alive is actually pure fear. 

I am terrified of dying and the unknown that is entwined with it. We have no definitive answers on what happens after we die. I know many people have different beliefs but mine are very undefined and therefore for me I see no certainty in what comes next. This terrifies me. 

So why does it bother me so much that what is keeping me alive is fear? I don’t really know why I find this scary but I can guess. Part of me thinks it is rather sad that I see no need for my continued existence. Another part finds it scary because fear can be such a fleeting thing and can be overcome. At this moment it is scary to think I could not be here if I just overcame that fear. 

For the foreseeable future though I am here to stay. My fear of death shows no sign of abating. I don’t know how I feel about this. Mixed feelings, probably, if I am honest. I do have support in place. 

If you are feeling suicidal please seek help. Look at the useful websites page for organisations that can help. 

Guilt

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

Guilt is something I feel a lot of. It is an emotion that quite often threatens to overwhelm me and often makes simple acts of self care hard. It is an emotion I think is quite common in people who have a mental illness. Here my plan is to explore some of the things that lead to my guilt. 

I feel guilty for a number of reasons. One of which is that I am currently unable to work due to my mental illnesses. This is hard for me to deal with as I constantly feel like a burden to those around me. I have worked while I studied and for a few years after I qualified but now the impact of my mental health means this just isn’t an option currently. I hope it will change but I just can not support myself and the guilt is horrendous. It leads to, at times, a worsening of my mental health because I just feel so negatively about myself. Guilt has a huge impact on me.

Another reason I feel guilty is because I am currently using self harm to cope. I know how much this upsets people around me yet at the moment I can not see how I can function without it and this makes me feel incredibly guilty. I hate that I am upsetting people and letting them down. I am also a lot harder to deal with and this makes the guilty feelings sky rocket. Again I feel a burden to those around me. 

I feel guilty for the care I require from a stretched NHS. At the moment I am having input from at least three mental health professionals as well as doctors for my physical health. I feel I am a drain on resources and unworthy of care. I feel guilty to the point it physically hurts. 

All these things I feel guilty for are not my fault. Yet guilt prevails and quite often wins as the strongest emotion I feel. If anyone else said they felt guilty for these reasons I would tell them that they have no reason to feel guilty, that they are not a burden, that this is not their fault and they are worthy of care. But for me this feels impossible. 

I have no tips on how to deal with this overwhelming feeling. All I can say is that if you feel guilt for similar reasons you have no reason too. But I know this won’t always help. I have friends who tell me the same, yet still guilt overtakes me. I think this is just something I will have to learn to battle. If you have any tips on conquering guilt please share them. And remember you are not alone. 

Intense thoughts and feelings

This is a personal piece. Please be trigger aware. This was written a few days ago and is a typed up version of what was going on. They are unedited.

This was originally going to be called raving thoughts as this is all this is. The mad, raving thoughts that are running through my head when really I should be trying to sleep. 

The thoughts started this afternoon  and are going at what feels like 100mph. I can’t make sense of them as they seem to be bouncing off each other and the inside of my head. My pen is struggling to keep up with my brain and I am conscious that my writing is difficult to read and make sense of.

I’ve always had times when my brain seems to work much faster than my hand. When I was at school I would get into trouble for missing out words or letting my punctuation and grammar go by the wayside in order to keep up with the speed my brain was working at. Now my thoughts go through phases where they become an unsettled mess and I just need to get them out.

When my thoughts are working fast I can become elated or I can crash into a pile of thoughts that I just can’t sort through. Things don’t always make sense. Instead it can become a rambling tale that has no direction. 

So why am I documenting it? I think it is time I found an outlet and tried to make sense of why I sometimes end up in this state. I can spot patterns and it quite often happens when my mood becomes changeable. My thoughts can go from 100mph to nothing. This can happen quite quickly. Like now in the middle of this rushed scribbling my mind has suddenly blanked.

Controlling these sudden changes is difficult for me. I’m not sure if it is part of my BPD or not. The changeable mood definitely could be and although I am on a mood stabiliser its not totally controlled. Another way I try and control it is self harm. It is not a good coping strategy and only works temporarily. It is not something I recommend.
Right I am going to stop here. My thoughts are slowing. If any of you experience racing thoughts I would love to hear how you cope with them. 

Self Harm Revisited

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

Things for me, just lately, have not been going well and this has led me to revisit an old coping mechanism; self harm. It has become a big part of my life again and something I have come to rely on to help me get through each day. It has also reminded me why I despise it so much as well. This post is about my current relationship with self harm. 

Self harm, for me, is a bad coping mechanism. It keeps me alive at times but not living a life. It has dragged me back into an existence that I do not like, yet I feel powerless at the moment to do anything about it. It has become the centre of my thinking again as I find myself counting down to the next time I can hurt myself as well as visualising how I can do it. This is far from helpful. So why am I holding onto it? 

The answer to the above question is partly answered here. It is an addiction. I am addicted to hurting myself for the small relief I get from it for a few minutes after I have hurt myself. I am addicted to the feeling of endorphins being released after I have caused myself pain. In this way self harm very much like being an alcoholic or a drug addict. I was ‘clean’ for so long but when things got difficult I found myself falling back into my addicted state. 

As with any addiction there is a cycle to it; hurt self to feel better, guitar sets in, feel worse, repeat. And this is a cycle I have known for more than half my life. No wonder I found myself falling back into it. As I have said before it is very much like being an alcoholic. The temptation is always there. I had resisted it for over a year but a set back has taken place and I feel I am back to square one. But am I? 

The honest answer to this question is I don’t know. At the moment it feels like the self harm is here to stay but I also have the knowledge that I have managed without it for a considerable length of time so there is hope I could do this again and maybe for longer. We will have to see. Hopefully with support I will get back to a place where I do not need self harm as a coping mechanism. I will keep you posted on my progress.  

Crisis Team Come Down

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

Yesterday, after a psychiatrist appointment, I was referred to the crisis team for the second time in a month. This led to some very mixed feelings following my interactions with them. This is something I thought I’d explore in writing.

When I saw the crisis team a month ago I was desperate for their help and support. I was on the edge and finding the voice I hear very distressing, but I wasn’t self harming at the time. My experience with the crisis team was not a positive one. I was told I was not I’ll enough at the time; that my main problem was that I lacked confidence and was shy. Nothing to do with the voice in my head telling me all number of distressing things. I felt completely disheartened and it actually made things worse for me. I began self harming again as I felt this was all I had to help me cope. 

So yesterday when I was told I was being referred back to the crisis team I was sceptical. I even decided I didn’t really want their help. I was over ruled and they made an appointment to come to my house. When they arrived I told them how uncomfortable I felt having them there. The two people were great. They told me they understood and that they could rearrange the appointment at their base the next day. They did their risk assessment and left. I was glad as it gave me time to think. 

Today I had that appointment and it went OK. I had to talk a lot about what is going on for me and I was finding it quite hard. But the doctor was great and very gentle in her questioning. This was something that had been missing from last months appointment. It was decided they weren’t the right service to support me as I felt, myself, that it was too overwhelming. But I was OK with this. Or so I thought…

This afternoon has been extremely difficult. The come down from feeling quite positive about the outcome has been difficult. I feel completely uncomfortable in my own skin and everything is irritating me. I now feel quite negative and the thoughts that were troubling me are back. I just can’t understand this sudden change in mood that has come on or the speed that the elation, of not having to see the crisis team, turned to absolute misery. 

This post has little use other than to document this feeling and try and make sense of these feelings in my own head. I am lucky to have friends to help me make sense of this sudden shift. Maybe we will never know why this come down took place. 

The next step for me is to have my care coordinator allocated. This is something the crisis team are chasing. I hope to keep you updated on my continuing encounters with mental health services.

Reaching Out

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

Reaching out to people is something I find really hard to do. And at the moment I am finding it even harder than normal as I struggle with my inner demons. This post is just some thoughts on reaching out and why I am finding it so difficult right now.

I am a very lucky person in respect of the fact that I have some really good friends who are very supportive of me when I am struggling. But at the moment I am finding it very hard to be truly honest with them about just how bad I am feeling and the fact that although I know I need their help, I am struggling to ask for and accept it. 

In my head the voice that I hear has started to tell me to withdraw from those around me. It tells me that I am too needy and should not ask for help especially as I am not worth it. The voice makes it very difficult to argue that my friends want to help me as it says my friends are too nice to tell me otherwise. It has every base covered. I am stuck feeling lonely and being unable to ask my friends for support. 

Reaching out is important as it stops us being lonely and gives us the support network that we need to get better. But it is also one of the hardest things to do when you are feeling particularly unwell, as is the case for me at the moment. Reaching out is something that takes a great deal of courage as you are putting yourself out there. At the moment I just do not have that courage. 

I miss my friends. I am extremely lonely without them. So why can I not fight the voice and reach out despite it? The honest answer is I don’t know. I wish I had the answer as then I could work on a solution. But I am sure I will get there in time. I hope so at least. 

If you are feeling lonely and unwell you might feel like reaching out is difficult also. I hope however that you are able with time to reach out to someone as you are truly worth being supported. I know it might be easy for me to say and understand that it is harder to do. But please know you are worth it. And if you know someone who is withdrawn I implore you to reach out to them and let them know its OK to reach out to you.

Relapse

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

This post is a post I hoped I never would have to write but I think this is an important post for me to write. As you may have guessed from the title things have not been going well for me and I have relapsed into a deep depression. 

The reason I think this is an important post is because it is an honest view of how recovery works. It’s not all high flying and going forwards. There are quite often bumps in the road that tip you into a hole of despair. And that is exactly what has happened to me. 

I’m no longer able to say that I am a year free from self harm. In fact I can barely say that I am a day free at the moment. But part of me is hopeful things will change and I will get there again. I hope I will be able to cope without it again. 

This whole relapse has led me to seeing the crisis team for extra support which did not work out very well. I was told I wasn’t ill enough for their support which led to a further drop in my mood. But on the positive side I am going to get more support in the form of a care coordinator. 

This relapse has shown me how amazing my friends are. Even when I was withdrawing from the world they were there supporting me. I am truly grateful to them for that.

This was just a short post to explain my absence from the blog and show the true nature of recovery. I might not be able to see a way forward at the moment but my friends keep telling me this is just a glitch. I hope if you are having a relapse you can see a way forward and know that this is not permanent.