Blame it on the sunshine

Edit:  I’ve just checked my post, and have graduated from a Solo debit card to a Maestro debit card.   Solo cards are the debit cards given to people too irresponsible to breathe.   Having a Maestro card now gives me the freedom to make drunken purchases on STA Travel that I will later regret and then have to explain to my overseas friend who didn’t want me to come visit in the first place.  HURRAH!

A Maestro card officially makes me HUMAN, as opposed to the inconsequential wift of smoke I was back when I had a Solo card.  If I ever get a Visa, apparently my urine becomes a stream of glittering liquid gold.  If I ever get a credit card, then with everything bowel movement I make I get 10% splashback.

ANYWAY!

Firstly, I haven’t updated you on my granny.  She had an operation they thought would kill her but she was out of intensive care within two days.  Now she’s back at home, with people caring for her.  My granny is great.

And…

Oh dear.  Everybody’s cheering for the impending summer.  Hooray! reverberates around the country.  The Divine Comedy wrote the hand-clappingly exuberant, “Pop Singer’s Fear of the Pollen Count” about it.  Everyone is lovingly unwrapping their wicker hats and jelly sandals.  Except for me.  I do love the summer, in theory.  Even the asphalt jungle of London takes on a kind of benevolent beauty during these cherry blossom months.  The streets, which ordinarily gust the stink of piss and burgers into your face as soon as you leave the smoke-stained sanctity of your flat, begin to smell of flowers and saplings, and other subtle but no less beautiful scents that catch you off guard, as would the unexpectedly exquisite perfume of a passerby.  

In theory, I love the summer.  In practice, the summer months are the most dangerous for me.

For some unknown reason, I tend to suffer from vicious depressions during the summer. Occasionally, I’ve had terrible manic episodes in the summer, too, but the rule of thumb seems to be that whatever episode I get struck by in the summer will be hellishly severe and last for months.  This time last year I was under the care of the Crisis Team due to an incapacitating depression that got so bad that I tried to off myself.  The year before I was very depressed.  In fact, almost every summer for the past twelve years I have become a cuckoo.

I seem to have a kind of reverse-SAD.  As with the rest of the world, I do sometimes feel terrible during the winter months.  The days are short and worthless, life practically has to be strangled out of them.  The skies are grey, the trees are grey, your floating face in the mirror is grey and if you had the energy to disembowel yourself, a long grey slippery rope would slide out.  But, to my memory, which, lets be honest, isn’t that reliable, I’ve gone through my worst manic episodes during winter, and my worst depressions during summer.  For a lot of people with manic depression, the opposite is true.

I have a few theories why this is.  The first is Sod’s Law.  Outside, the desirous hoards laugh and laze in the sun, everything feels so much easier, the world, more free, life, more hopeful.   My mind hates me and actively conspires against me.  So, it strikes me with a depression that keeps me separated from this carnival.  It conjures a force-field that surrounds me, keeping me in a gloomy stasis, where all coherent thought withers down to just the one; “I wish I was dead”.  Ha ha, Seaneen!  Now another four months of your life will go to utter waste and you’ll struggle to remember a single detail of this time that doesn’t involve googling the fatal doses of painkillers!  In your face!

The other is that it might be my fault, a little bit.  The summer nurtures my ever-present rebellious streak.  There are plans, things to do, and because the summer always feels such a rarity that everything is as though it is without consequence because all can be excused, I start to slip.  I embark on many picnics and pub outings with friends and throw caution to the breeze- if my friends can drink, then why can’t I?   Then a late night in which I forget my medication, then I forget the next night- and I don’t want to take it anyway, I’d  rather be unsleeping than sleep to three and miss the glorious mornings,  I can’t stand months of mediocre afternoons, so why should I even take my medication at all when nobody else I know has to deal with this, it isn’t fair, I want to be like them…

Alas, my medication does little for depression anyway, but missing doses is enough to kick me into an unstable paranoid hypomania that turns into a heavily negative mixed episode, and drinking makes me feel depressed.

The summer can exacerbate pre-existing “Ah bugger” feelings, too.   I can’t wear short sleeves because of my scars.  I could but it would make me feel exposed and I’m paranoid enough about my appearance.  So my clothes become suffocating (and I tend to overdress to overcompensate for my paranoia), my scars itch and burn and I feel ridiculous and apart, and that depresses me.  I’d love to be one of those woman in short dresses, I imagine what the gentle sunlight feels like on their skin and imagine how it feels to live within a bodysuit that’s so smooth and only bears the human marks of bumps and childbirth and childhood accidents, and not the obviously deliberate scars than mine bears.  It makes me feel crap to be in long sleeves all the time during the summer.

Maybe this summer I should experiment with,”Fuck Off and Die” chic.  As in, if you look at me strangely because of my scars, you can Fuck off and Die.  I did do the whole short sleeves shebang one summer in supposedly liberal and groovy Camden and people got up from my table and walked away when they clocked my arms, whispering about me.   But now my scars are far less shocking than they were, so maybe…

My raging depressions, and having this illness, pisses me off because I’m not unhappy.      The fact that nothing really seems to be wrong in my life exacerbates my feelings of helplessness, because I don’t know what to change.   It’s intensely frustrating.  It all feels very physical to me, and it always has done.  The sensations of falling into darkness, and the skin-crawling agitation and the feeling of slipping out of control all come from inside, not outside.  Pain in the arse, I tell thee.

Anyway, providing that I don’t die of Swine Flu first, I have to be careful this summer if I want to get to see my birthday in September.  Of course, I could be being characteristically fatalistic but my mood’s already quite messed up, in the sense of “hypomanic energy and irritation coupled with the, “Right, I’m going to hang myself” thoughts.  It’s nothing serious and I’m okay but at this time of year, things seem to get bad very quickly for me.

I’m utilising my usual mostly ineffective tactics to keep me out of the ground.  Trying not to temptingly isolate myself (I’ve been out recently, and had a lovely night at our local a few days back, except I got a bit tipsy and started ranting at my friends about good porn on the internet)  or to carry on getting pissed (I have had a horrendous couple of months and revisited my old friend The Booze to cope with it, and now I’m trying to go back to being teetotal, because giving up the booze was so fecking hard that I don’t feel like having to do it again),  trying to sort out my sleep, attempting to keep busy and productive with writing, trying to answer emails, although I “epically fail” at that, as tha kids would say, and trying to eat.     I do eat and keep it down, which is the important part, and I force myself to eat even if I’m not hungry.  I could genuinely subsist on coffee and tea at the moment, with a slice of toast if I’m feeling decadent.  Although I’m fairly fat so not eating wouldn’t do me much harm, it just, y’know, psychologically would.  

I still haven’t signed up to join the swimming pool but that’s mostly due to the fact that I just paid my rent and finally got a cheap external hard drive to save my ailing computer. I haven’t got enough left over membership fee and first month.  However, I have another trick up my wizard’s sleeve, which is not a euphemism for my vagina.

It is dull and exhausting having to be a careful person.  I’m fairly responsible and all, I mean, I am an adult, not an adolescent, despite my adolescent passions and impulses.  I pay my bills and that (I’m so grown up that I’ve decided to change supplier to save money), I’ve taken care of cats and they have yet to die on me.  It just gets really bloody tedious having to keep such a close eye on yourself and to accept the consequences/telling off when you don’t.  I’m not very exciting.  I’m not a daring harlequin cat burglar.  It’s tumbleweed all the way.  

I shall at least be having a restful weekend, as I’m visiting Rob’s parents and Hobbes, who reside in the bosom of the tiny Leicester village, Frisby on the Wreake.  It’s one of those rather pretty little villages that has one pub and whose shops close promptly at 4pm, so if you want a Twix you have to drive the required ten miles.  Rob is from another tiny village nearby, whereas I’m from West Belfast.  His hometown has lovely, lyrical street names and actual real life thatched cottages.  My council estate translates from Irish to English as, “The Green Hole”.  It’s certainly a hole.  It should really be called, “Cars Burnt Out, Shitty Mispelled Graffiti and Dog Shit Hole”.

I’m never quite sure how to behave around all that undisturbed greenery, and I have spasmodic attacks of guilt every time I stub a fag out in the grass.   It makes me feel like some sort of character in an American sitcom.  The garish hooker that is hired to pretend to be someone’s girlfriend, that’s me.   

I’ve also received the recording of the Radio 4 play but have yet to listen to it, I can’t seem to gather up the bravery to.  I will do, I’m just bracing myself for how strange it may be to listen to it.  

Before I go, here’s some photos I took on Wednesday that you may find FASCINATING! but most probably not.

I got dressed up like a tramp in cat hat and duvet Manicsfan coat (it was raining), took my camera to my desk, flat, and my immediate surroundings- nowhere more than five minutes away, to find interesting things that are around me everyday. Unfortunately! My battery died before I had the chance to ghoulishly snap Joe Meek’s Offing Palace, but I did get to the peaceful graveyard that is pretty much my back garden, my favourite newsagent and local cafe, and the farm that is five minutes walk from my flat, in Holloway, Zone 2, which is quite strange to me, and I can sometimes hear the roosters in my kitchen. Even though I got drenched, I enjoyed my three hour day trip to the five minutes around my flat. There may be some rubbish photos as I cannot be arsed to go through photobucket and delete things.  They’re big so stretch the page.

Anyway, have a lovely weekend and think of me wandering around fields trying to avoid flicking fag ash over startled worms.

Photos after the imploring, “Read More” tag.

Continue reading

The Bell Tolls

I love spring.  Even though I can’t wear short sleeves, I still feel the breezes tickle my skin.  I like gallivanting in the sunshine and listening to ear-splinteringly loud music as I tip my imaginary hat at the people who pass me by and wonder why the hell I’m tipping an imaginary hat.  

I gallop downstairs in the morning, or afternoon, it depends when I wake up, and check my post for cards, money and crack.  Instead, I find the renewal forms for Disability Living Allowance and a letter from Islington council illustrating that they are paying me the wrong amount of housing benefit and leaving me scuppered to the tune of £90 a week.  

It kind of kills the “spring has sprung” joie de vivre and puts you in a terrible mood all day.  I want to go and buy a pack of Malteasers but money woes mean that eating anything feels like swallowing coins.

Sorting out the housing benefit should be easy enough although they’ve left me absolutely buggered this month and £300 short of my rent.   All I need to do is go down there and shove my proof of benefits into their belligerent faces and in, oh, thirty years or so, it should be sorted out.  I am not panicking.  I have become an expert at this.

DLA, on the other hand, that I’m panicking about.  It seems to be one of those arbitrary benefits where the decision lies with the person marking your forms (and it is marking, rather than reading).  Mine doesn’t run out until October but in the meantime I have the rather disconcerting task of writing essays about my bad days.  Currently, I’m on middle rate care and lower rate mobility due to mentalism and the need for people to sometimes assist me with my mentalism.  If I drop a level, say to lower rate care, everything falls apart for me.  My housing, for one thing.  I’m under twenty five, so technically, I’m only entitled to the rate of one bedroom in shared accommodation (which is what they’re paying me now).   Because I live alone, and because of my DLA rates, I get a payment called the Severe Disability Premium, which renders the under twenty five rule null and void.  This means I can live alone in a one bedroom flat, which I do now.  Should the DWP decide I am not entitled to middle rate care (which I am, by the way), then it’s back to the paranoid hell of sharing and bedsits.  “How…not awful”, I hear you cry.  It very much is awful if you’re someone like me who not only suffers from crippling body anxiety and panic but also paranoid episodes of mania and depression where nothing feels sacred or private and I wonder if the person in the next room is listening to me with a glass.

I have a lot of help from the community mental health team.  I see my CPN every week and if they make a decision that jeopardises my mental stability, then she swoops in and says, “Hang on a minute”.  But I still hate filling in the sodding forms.  It’s a long exercise in, “Bloody hell, I am incapable” and rather demoralising.  Nobody likes being on benefits, despite the populist image that we all sit on our arses all day drinking cider and watching Jeremy Kyle.  It’s a horrible experience, having to rely on handouts to survive and feeling ashamed of yourself because you can’t work.  And because I live in London, my benefits don’t get me very far in the first place.  It’s a precarious existence, knowing that that help could be stopped at any moment.

I have my old CPNs forms for DLA here, which she filled out.  It includes my three official medical diagnosis, which are the mouthful- bipolar 1 disorder, rapid cycling with psychotic features, body dysmorphic disorder and bulimia.  Under duration, “10 years”.  Jesus.  And that was nearly two years ago.

The forms go into embarrassing but necessary detail about the things I sometimes need help with, such as not burning down my kitchen, getting dressed, eating, washing, tidying, being understood for the first few hours after waking up (I slur) and being outdoors during times of paranoia.  It’s all true but it is galling to read.

I had an appointment today where my CPN commented that my mood seems to have escalated again, which it probably has.  I talked to her about coming off medication and the fact that I feel almost brain damaged.   I really do, but she pointed out that it’s probably more down to my illness (it seems to be at least that repeated episodes erode your memory to the point of nothingness) than the medication.  It is intensely frustrating and embarrassing to be a twenty three year old woman with such appalling, appalling memory and who has trouble with her speech.  I can’t get my mind to work properly and sometimes I want to scream.

She pointed out that my medication doesn’t actually control my mood swings.  I seem to be, she says, treatment resistant.   Some people are, and I probably am because I went a long time without treatment and developed rapid cycling, and antidepressants only make me worse.  It is a source of constant annoyance to me. I still suffer from rapid-cycling moods.  The only thing that medication has helped me with is my sleep, and it caps the severity of the manias and therefore keeps me out of psychosis.  But, I guess, it’s better than nothing and has the least side effects for me, so we stick with it.

Rationally, I know that if I did come off my medication, I’d have to do it very slowly and pay intense attention to my moods.  The latter bothers me because part of the reason I want to come off my medication is because I’m sick of the intense attention I have to pay to my moods. I’ve come off the medication before suddenly and have become ill, in terms of paranoia and mania, extremely swiftly indeed, within days.  But, aha, would it pass or just get worse?  It’s a bit of a gamble.  It could all go disasterously wrong and I could find myself back in hospital.  Who knows.

My friend Jack came up to visit for a few days recently.  I have not been myself lately (it has been a traumatic two months), and have been wandering the wilderness for such a long time that my social skills seem to have deserted me, so I had no idea how to act around him, and act I did.   It takes me a little while to learn how to relax around people.  I spend so much of my time alone.  I ramble a lot but am often hypervigilant about what I say, and slip into a little analytical coma.   We were both in our own worlds, really, which aren’t the best conditions for visiting.  It was fun, though, and maybe the next time I see him I’ll feel more like myself again.

I’m trying to ease into sociability.  When someone visits you, it’s mandatory, you have to be social.  Otherwise, it’s your choice.  I’m going out tonight and tomorrow, and slowly beginning to reply to e-mails again.  

My body is returning to normal (despite- too much information- a week’s bleeding recently) so on Monday I’m going to join my local swimming pool to get in shape for the coming apocalypse.  My exhaustion and pregnancy weight gain means I have jellified.  I can be poured down drains, twisted round fingers.  I am soft, I will always be soft, but I want to be stronger.  I have always wanted my physicialty to reflect my mentality.  I’m very short, but not at all waiflike.  I don’t look like one of those vulnerable women so adored and protected.   You know, beautiful madness.   The fact that doctors and nurses think it’s so much more horrible for the mentally ill to be pretty and young.  Because I’m young, I’m supposed to be pretty and delicate, too.  And the tragedy is that illness and medication destroys it all.  How droll.

I’ve never wanted to look like that.  Because I have breasts and self harm scars and I’m a woman,  I have the appearance of someone you might be slightly afraid of.  I’ve always wanted to look like I could kick my way out of an inferno.   So I’m setting myself a little goal- to get physically stronger.  Swimming might not be the way to go, I should do training, but I hate the bloody gym and all its elastic people.  I feel lumpen and stupid there.   I used to love swimming but stopped going because of my scars and cuts.  Now they are fading.  So I can swim again.  It used to make me feel so free, but that was as a child, with floats and fun and games.  I used to sink to the bottom of the pool and kiss boys there.    I jumped off a diving board in a lake in New Jersey and was screamed at by my carers for flirting with boys while playing Marco Polo.  A chubby twelve year old, I was incorrigible.  I hope adulthood hasn’t squeezed the fun out of paddling in water.  

I used to wear swimming googles in the bath then submerge my toys underwater and pretend I was the daughter of a king, the king of the sea.  I’d let my head drift from side to side so it looked like seaweed, then be disturbed, and leap from the water, at the banging of the door, shivery, and shocked, clutching the Royal Family.

Woman with manic depression rams another car until hers bursts into flames, and dies

This is a grim story.

BBC Link

Daily Mail 

(the only two sources that mention her illness)

A driver burnt to death after refusing to leave her vehicle when it was set alight following a crash, an inquest was told. Continue reading

Oh bugger

I’m doing a BBC Ouch podcast this morning. I haven’t slept,  I’ve run out of medications and have a cold- so, I will be a rapidly speaking sniffing woman talking about bipolar disorder and will, let’s face it, sound like a fecking coke fiend. But if I’d slept late on medications (at 10am, that’s “early” for me, it takes at least two hours for my fog to clear), I would have been slurring so therefore would have sounded like an alcoholic. Rock! Hard place!

 

Edit:  It went okay, I just rambled and fidgeted.  I have no idea how to talk about this blog at all so I kind of…. trail off.  Still, fun.

I am bladdy exhausted.

And apologies that I am still mostly absentee, I am still attempting to extract my head from my arse.

To be, or not to be, or to be what I should not be

I think I’m a far stronger and more capable person now than I’ve ever been.  I sometimes feel like I can withstand anything and I’m not a hysterical mess who falls apart at the drop of a hat.   I do deal with this, I don’t idle along on the path of self destruction.  But…

Ah, whining! Hello there.

I want to stop taking my medication.  I don’t know how I’d ever learn to join the mortal world in natural sleep but I feel (or don’t, as it happens) that I’m anaesthetising myself.   I hardly even argue anymore.  I used to argue all the time.  I wonder if I am becoming one of those repressed housewives, whose hate or hurt or any antisocial emotion only comes out after a bottle of gin and the loosening of the tongue with valium, to a dead sleep and regretful waking.

So many people close to me, who love me and have seen me go mad, would credit my progress to medication.  I am more even now, less insane.  I don’t self harm, I haven’t wondered through the streets thinking I was being stalked by Danny John Jules in ages. I still experience the bleak depressions and my self awareness tips into ridiculous and strangulating self analysis.   

I wonder if I feel that I am losing myself due to the immense stresses of recently, or if I want to abandon responsibility and drift into wholly natural madnesses.    I always do the responsible thing.  It might just be because recently I had to make a gigantic decision that was based on having this fucking illness.  The sense that it is not fair.  I’m not singing the virtues of mania or mental illness.  I wish violently that it was not the cause of absolutely any single part of me, because that is not fair because the treatment means sacrificing parts of myself, and a lack of treatment means I will probably destroy my life or die, like I was heading for anyway.

I feel like I am less vivid than I was.   Less interesting, less, for want of a better word, intense.  I miss the invincibility, the confidence and the energy of hypomania.  People say I am sweet, but I miss the vicious streak in me.  Not hatefulness, but anger.  What is wrong with being angry? With justified rage?  I analyse everything to incoherency, where the end result is always the same:  My Fault.  

What has kept me on my medications, apart from placating people I love and the psychiatrist (and there is the question, the one I’d never think of anyone else answering, would never call anyone else this; am I weak?  Have I submitted, given my life over to the all-famed “higher power”?), is the fear of hospitals and the terror of the psychotic abandonment of my teenage and early twenties years.     The people who truly loved me look me in the eye and say I’m mad but they love me anyway; the others, they bring me to my knees with well aimed shame.    I don’t want people to think I am crazy, when I’m not.  Vicious, or cruel, or malicious in the slightest.   It is repugnant to me.

And I know in my worse times, and even my best, I can be relentlessly self pitying.

I know that this is just a mood disorder.  It’s just that.  I am a different person than I would have been without it, but I haven’t changed as a person- not the fundamental person- because of the medication or whatever.  Just some details.  There are other things, like the BDD- and mania, or more specifically hypomania, gave me a relief from that.  A security in my skin before the raging agitations told hold.  A feeling of peace and of transcendence.  Confidence.

If I am naturally mad (and I don’t mind being mad- I fear being crazy),  then what is so wrong with that?    I am furious I don’t have enough control over my moods to just live with it.

This is the manic depressive sonnet, really.  Romantasising illness, forgetting the awfulness, the misery, confusion, agitation, psychosis, hideousness.  However close to death and destruction our illnesses bring us, there is the lure of fire.  Of wanting to be atop the spinning plates.  It is not self destruction on my part, or even what will be will be; I am not someone who extols the virtue of rightness just because of what is natural.  Mental disorder is unnatural in a sense because it is a deviation, or at least seems to be, from the proper brain chemistry.  But it occured, and so it is.  

But all these experiences, horrible and not, and feelings and moods, they were mine and I don’t feel that they are anymore.   And I say this from the position of sadness and depression, where the lament of missing the madnesses is most resonating.

I am a mercurial person, I always will be.  But sometimes it just feels wrong to me that I take pills that mess with my brain, that do nothing for depression.  The diagnosis is a kick in the balls anyway but it was especially shitty to me to be diagnosed with bipolar I.  They throw everything at mania, and it was the severe manias that were the most life destroying for me.  But nothing for depression.  There is nothing I can take and often nothing I feel I can do.  And wonder if I will die without really living anyway.   If I’m going to die anyway why not be a harlequin atop my spinning plates.

Recovery, or the idea of it, that mirage, is equilibrium and I can’t find it.  Sand in my mouth, over and over again.   The medication has just left me as someone prone to depression who cannot form a sentence sometimes and who cannot recall a good portion of her life (although mania and depression eroded my memory, too).   My hands shake, I sleep, I have horrible dreams, my thoughts are in disarray.  I have become accustomed to thinking in pathology- is it pathology, all of it?   And a lot of my creative energy is focused on… this.  Not the blog.  But the thinking.  And the trying to figure out a way to live with it, and to live without it.  And always wondering if I’ve just been left to be depressed for the rest of my life.

I hated myself sometimes for being the reckless psychotic madwoman.  I don’t want to live without consequence, it’s not that.  But I rarely cry anymore, and I even miss crying.  I liked the fact that I was impulsive, for better or worse.   I loved more intensely.  I felt things more intensely.  And all the beauty of the world and the exquisite delights of love and the wonderfulness of the sense of touch,  the night air and muddied red lights, sirens and skin are still fascinating.   As dull and inert as I have felt, and as much as I’ve fantasised about kicking the chair from beneath me, or been far gone enough to not understand what is real, and what is not, and having no hope of knowing, I still spy the moon and revel in the impossibility of our existence and the one million little things that happened to make us who we are.  The moods can drain the colour from the world but it is the wrong way round; I am the grey one, the world is in colour, and I do not feel a part of it, and know I am loved, but have no understanding why, or even real belief in it anymore.  And I find it hard to truly regret anything,  and end up regretting the one big thing, that I am who I am, and wonder if I can even really carry on living with myself because of it.   

Sometimes, I just crave the freedom to go mad.  I wish it just didn’t hurt people when I did.  I wish I could be one of those types of brilliant mad people- the oft cited, yet always less mad than the people we know, the “a little bit mad”, acceptably mad ones.  Eccentrics, they’d call them.  I wish I could have a dial in me that I could set to “stop” when I needed to, naturally, not just “stop”, full stop.

It is crap wondering if you’ll have to be on medication for something you thought was part of your personality for the probable rest of your life when you’re twenty three.  I don’t feel like I can win either way.

Here lies Seaneen’s, “I want to throw my medication into the Thames” incoherant rants,  number 33.  This time I’m wondering if I should do it slowly, give it a go and see what happens.

Coping

Hello there! It’s very late, as I have just returned from one of my forays in the Really Real World.

I’ve been extremely antisocial lately.  I almost lost the ability to converse in the flesh;  I found my words tripped and spiralled and I didn’t know what to say, because there was too much to say.   How long has it been since I asked someone how they are?   Today I’ve been out twice.  I went for a cup of tea in the greasy spoon with my friend, where I fought the ever-present tremor my medication gives me by bravely spilling both my drinks and apologising for shaking like a geriatric alcoholic.  Then I went to another friend’s club night, feeling as though I had emerged from a decade wrapped in plastic, in a warehouse somewhere, waiting to be found, having given up shouting, having given up on ever making a sound again.   The world is baffling and new.

For the past six weeks I have barely worn make up or brushed my hair, and I have felt unwomanly, even though by all accounts I was experiencing the most womanly experience that womanly women experience.   It was strange to stand in company in eyeliner, to dance, to laugh and to be dressed up.    I am trying to ease myself into sociability again.   I haven’t felt alone even though I isolated myself, but I do still jump a little at the sound of someone else’s voice.

Thank you for all your lovely kind comments and e-mails.   I was so frightened the reaction would be horrible, so it was a great relief, and support.  I am, and have been for ages, behind in all correspondance.  I have had, as you can appreciate, a lot on my mind, and I’ve been going through it all privately.   I haven’t really felt up to replying to things.  

I don’t have much to say.  I attended my first CPN appointment in over a month on Thursday.  The “team” has moved, and surreally they have moved to a building almost exactly identical to the old one, save for slightly darker blue chairs and even more exposed wiring.  We talked a little about what’s been going on lately, but I haven’t felt like talking about it, I still don’t.   What is there left to say now?

She broached the subject of the future, but I sidestepped it.  I don’t want to think about that, either.  Not in terms of children.  It is a question I have had to think about for years due to health issues; if this has taught me anything, it’s that this is not the time to think about it, that I wouldn’t be ready anyway no matter how much I hypothesised.

I have to take a pregnancy test in another two weeks but I know I’m not pregnant.  Not only by the excruciating, shocking pain that heralded the end, but I knew I was pregnant instinctively, now I know I am not.  My cravings have disappeared, and so, largely, has the exhaustion, although I am still very tired.   I haven’t been sleeping well at all.  The hunger and the nausea has gone, replaced with an indifference to food.  My moods have calmed down and settled into a sort of blankness.  After the storms comes the silence.  Sometimes I am rushed by sadness.

And there is the emptiness, the little emptiness.

I am coping, better than I thought I would be, which makes me feel callous.  It is in part not thinking about it, nor ruminating on all the issues of self worth/self worthlessness that it raised.  I was spiralling into a horrible place, and now I am clawing myself back out.  I don’t know if I’ll continue to feel okay or not. It comes and goes. I feel bad that I’m relieved to have my body back, but to me, where body control is an issue, it was terrifying to be aboard a vessel I couldn’t steer.  

For now what I would like to do is start properly writing again and to conquer my inertia.  I think I had a life to return to.

Recent events.

Just so you know.  

edit:  Thank you for your overwhelmingly lovely comments.  Apologies for the cynical introduction.  Rubbish mood and was dreading writing this post as anticipated abuse.

I believe that the private life should be private.  There are things I will not discuss here, and that’s the way I like it.  There’s a lot of reasons why; just that some things are personal, sometimes I worry about other people’s reactions, and so on.  I used to be much more open and write about everything, but as I’ve become older and more independant, I’m more selective.

Sometimes I wonder if I have prostituted pain for the sake of this blog.  That I have shared too much of myself.  It’s a cynical view but there is an undeniably voyeuristic element to mental health blogging.  When someone is disintegrating, we check back often; in part to see if they’re okay, and in part to see if they’re not.  It is human.

I’ve been writing this blog for over two years, and you probably understand some things about me, and have a grasp on what sort of person I am.  But it is still, in part, a story.  As all lives are.  People will dip in and out of here in a way that they couldn’t if they existed in my real life.  It can become fiction. So it can cheapen experience, because it is only really real to me.   So I hesitate in sharing some things, because I don’t want it to be just a thing.  

I’ve been alluding to things not being great over here, and I haven’t wanted to discuss them.  Not in real life and particularly not on this blog.   I haven’t known how to talk about it, and have felt that if I did, it cheapen my feelings on it, and I have not wanted to invite comment or judgement.  Most people know now, when it was happening, a few people knew and I have had their support and love.   I haven’t felt like answering the phone much but my sisters especially have been with me through it all.

But I feel that if I don’t talk about it here, I will never be able to write in this blog again, and that I will never be able to be honest with you again.   I don’t want to pretend that nothing has happened, because something has happened and it’s not a little thing that will slip for me and leave me blissfully unaffected.  And it is relevant.  

For the past month I have been suffering from bone-snapping exhaustion that has left me borderline functioning.  And there were other things, and I wasn’t sick and it was the obvious cause all along.

I was pregnant.  And I’m not anymore.

I had a termination at six weeks.  It was the hardest and most heartbreaking decision I have ever had to make in my entire life, and I am not okay.  

I have always wanted to be a mother.  I had a miscarriage two years ago.  It was very early, before I even know I was pregnant, but it made me think about motherhood.  I have PCOS, which makes it difficult to conceive, but losing a large amount of weight seems to have almost banished the symptoms.  I can’t adopt.  

I thought that when it happened, I’d be happy, and I’d know that I could cope and that somehow everything would be okay.  I even thought that if it happened now, while I’m twenty three, it would be okay.  That I would have this gut instinct that told me it would be okay.

I have apologised every single day.  I’m so sorry because it won’t be okay. It would never be okay.  And I can’t do it and I’m sorry that I can’t do it.

From the beginning of my treatment, I have been warned against becoming pregnant.  It is so very dangerous for women with psychotic illnesses.  The six weeks of my pregnancy gave me a tiny glimpse into the possibilities, the thing I had feared so much.  That I would become seriously ill.  And that I might hurt myself or my child.  The hormones affected my moods so badly.  I came closer to self harm than I have done in over a year.  I wanted to kill myself.  I fantasised about hanging myself.  I couldn’t sleep.  I didn’t want to see anybody.  I cried and everything set me off, I screamed and raged.   I started to drink.

And already within six weeks my body started changing.  I have put on half a stone and my legs began to swell up.  I found it utterly traumatising because it was all for nothing.   And I found it traumatising because I have BDD and it terrified me to watch my stomach and breasts grow when I couldn’t do anything about it and when there was no reason.

I am not well enough to have a child, or to raise one.  I’m a rational person but when I am very ill, I am not rational.  My stability is being held together with scotch tape at the moment.  I could not bring a child into this world when it might not even have a mother, and when I might hurt it.  My granny hurt my mum.  My mum hurt my sister.  The gamble that I would kill myself or hurt my child was too huge to take, as was the certainty of my inability to even provide for it.  I’m twenty three and on benefits.  I live in a small one bedroomed flat and none of that is going to change anytime soon.  I cannot gamble with a life.  And I am not ready, in any shape or form.

And Rob knew it too.  As did everybody close to me.  And it broke our fucking hearts.  

I have never felt more of a failure in my life.  Around the same time this happened, my housing benefit was stopped.  So on the day I had to take the first pill, I dragged myself to the benefits office to sort it out (and it still isn’t).  I wanted to throw myself in traffic because of the acute failure I felt.    I have a risk assessment that deems me a risk to others.  I am covered in scars and there are people who think I’m insane.  I am not insane, not crazy, not mad, but not able to have a child.

I want to one day.  We both want to one day.  I want the day to come where I can do it, where I have the deep, abiding instinctual certainty that I would be a wonderful mother.  The certainty, and the instinct, was not there.  And I was too afraid to even talk about being pregnant because I didn’t want to begin to get excited over something I knew I couldn’t do.  So I didn’t.  I cancelled all my CPN appointments and shut myself away and just dealt with what I had to do.  And it was harder because we’ve been together for four years and have talked about having children.  This wasn’t just a whoops slip up with a one night stand.  We wanted to be happy that I was pregnant instead of knowing that if we had a child right now we’d ruin our lives and theirs.

I’m Catholic and I know all the pro-life perspectives on abortion. It’s one of the reasons I have found this so hard.   I’m an atheist but that morality has never left me.  I had the medical abortion (the pill, which was so painful I nearly went into shock.  I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t scream, I just wanted help and for it to stop) because it felt more natural.  This is not what I wanted in my life.  I could have been selfish and had the baby and risked it.  But I knew and Rob knew and the CPN knew that the risk was too great.  And I would never be able to give up a child for adoption.

People who want to judge me, just don’t bother because you have no idea what I’m going through.  I did not make this decision lightly.  It ripped me apart to make it and both Rob and I have been crying.  It was only six weeks but it was still something.  But you tell me how I bring a child into the world that I can’t afford to feed and clothe, with a pregnancy that might kill me, with an illness I have to cope with for the rest of my life, with medications I wouldn’t be able to take, with the very real risk that I would hurt the child.  Tell me how I would do that.  Just hope and wish it would work out?  It wouldn’t.  And what an enormous gamble to even make.  If I fuck up and die, then that’s my life, and everyone around me will be devastated but they will cope and be able to continue their lives.  But I cannot do that to a child that I bought into this world.  And it isn’t fair because I wish it was different.

I have been crying and raging for the past couple of weeks.  If I sound angry, it’s because I am, in part at myself, and in part because I know that writing here is going to illicit some judgemental responses and that it’s a dream for those out there who hate me and like to tell me so.  But these past few weeks have been absolutely awful.

So that’s what’s been going on. Pretty much everyone knows about it now.   I have been logical and reasonable and am just trying to get through it, I am absolutely sure it was the right decision but it doesn’t mean that I am not devastated that I had to make that decision in the first place.  The only saving grace is that it has bought me and Rob closer together but I have no idea how I’m going to feel when this is physically over, hopefully I’ll be okay.  I don’t know how I’ll feel in the long run.  At the moment I’m just very sad.   I do know it was the right thing to do.   I don’t want to pretend that this hasn’t happened because it did.  And I don’t want to pretend that it was a little thing for me, because it wasn’t.

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