*Trigger warning* references to self harm and suicidal thoughts and urges. However, this post is not focused on these issues and are only brief. If these are difficult for you please don’t read. Look after yourself.
To be honest I really didn’t think that I would still be here now. Several times this year I’ve been on the brink of just giving up and ending the pain I feel inside.
But here I am, just a couple of weeks left of this year and I have been reflecting on what has happened and where I am at this moment in time.
At the start of the year I embraced my therapy and pushed myself to get on with things. By February my frame of mind was determined and focused. I had a plan, I was going to make a success of my life and be somebody. I became obsessed with my ideas and what I needed to do. There was no crawling and then hesitant walking, I was sprinting. I ran straight into a brick wall in mid March. I wanted to die.
Having learnt a lot in the past few months I can say that I now know that this was manic behaviour. I thought I could take on the world and make things better. There were no plans, just bundles of ideas that had to happen immediately and if they couldn’t then that was failure. I was impatient and irritable. I was frustrated by how hard things were to get done and why I couldn’t do what I wanted. I got angry.
Mid march came along and I joined twitter. I needed somewhere to get out everything I was feeling inside because I was going to explode if i didn’t. The nightmares had become so bad, the flashbacks and self harming were building and getting more frequent and excessive. I turned to alcohol and my prescription medication in order to make all the jumbled thoughts in my head quiet. It of course never worked. Maybe for a short period, but then reality hit back and it was always worse than it had been the day before.
I was on most days, suicidal. I went for days with no sleep, I became very reliant on co-codamol to just make my mind fuzzy so I didn’t have to feel. Getting out of the house became more torturous than ever and the person inside of me began to disappear.
I’ve taken several mini overdoses this year. Some were just because I needed a larger amount of pills to have an effect and some were the start of something bigger, but something stopped me…or someone might stop me.
So, I am now here, not feeling brilliant mentally. Christmas is hard for many people and for me it’s a triggering time of year. This year there are additional problems which have added to the stress and issues already at play. My husband and I have been doing ok until the end of last week when we had a couple of massive rows. I had a panic attack in the middle of one. It was horrible and I felt shaken to the core. I told him I would leave, that I quit, that I’d had enough. I would have done only he said he hadn’t given up and that he was determined to make our marriage work. But that we had to start living and not just existing.
I confess, I thought that we had started living. But from his point of view, the steps forward that I’ve taken this year are nothing special, they are just what I am meant to be doing. Maybe he is right, but for me I know that not being in bed all day is a huge thing. I lack energy every day and find the housework overwhelming at the best of times but more so right now. I don’t know how to make him understand that the little things I do are ‘big’ things. It may seem small and stupid to him but given how I have been feeling this year and how low I truly got, each day is something big.
However, now the kids are on holiday and Christmas day is rapidly approaching, we haven’t put our tree up yet, there’s lots of cleaning to do and sorting of little bits and pieces. We have struggled the past couple of weeks for one reason or another and had to use a foodbank. We have been given hampers from the local churches associated with the foodbank and I was invited to go to a school fair before it open to choose some presents for the kids…3 each. It was humiliating and I was so embarrassed but deeply grateful to the kindness and generosity of my local community. I’ve also been offered and given help by some very dear friends. I cannot thank them enough.
They may not have the biggest or best presents in the world this year, but we have a roof over our heads and some christmas goodies to enjoy and fill ourselves with. It could be much worse and I am deeply thankful that the worst hasn’t happened.
For the past couple of months I have been trying to get a last appointment with my psychiatrist but it’s like trying to get blood out of a stone. I just wanted her to change my meds to monthly instead of weekly as I feel that I am not in that place. So, I’ve penned a letter to the CMHT in the hope that I can change my psychiatrist and I will have to live with weekly prescriptions until I can see someone else. I have calmed down a lot since my initial decision to make the change and therefore my letter doesn’t sound as ‘mental’ as it did! At least in my opinion!!
2015 is knocking loudly and whilst I hate all the fuss and crap that goes with celebrating it, I have decided that I am going to approach the new year focused on having a life and living again. I am going to sort my funding for my first year of the degree I want to do. The second two years are fine, but not of much help to me if I can’t do the first year! I am also going to focus on the therapy I’m doing. I am redoing the dbt I was doing earlier this year. I am no longer off my face on co-codamol and booze. I’m still addicted but more in control of it than it is of me. I don’t really drink and I am more with it than I have been. So, I am going to make this work using my counsellor to help me deal with the trauma from the past which triggers me so easily.
I’m not expecting to feel good all day every day, but I am hoping to find some more awareness and understanding. I want to be able to be more proactive in my moving forward and I want an open and honest conversation with the psychiatrist… The new one! I believe that my diagnosis was dumped on me too quickly with little regard for how I have got through my life to my breakdown. I accept that I meet the criteria for bpd, but I also meet the criteria for bipolar 2. But it’s just ignored. I have gained more understanding of the way my moods go up and down and how long they last. It is frustrating to be put into a category and left with no room for manoeuvre or discussion. So I’m going to take the bull by the horns and make it so the medication and therapy works for all aspects of who I am.
I am determined that I will be well enough to get myself to uni and that I am not going to let anything ruin it. My husband may not get everything that goes on in my head, but he loves me and wants me to be well. I may never be brilliantly well again, but I don’t think I ever was not to mention the fact that I’m not sure I want to be like everybody else.
My life is not unique, I am not unique and there is nothing special about me. However, what I do know is that my life is mine to live and only I can do that. It’s not up to anyone else and therefore if I don’t fight with all I’ve got then no one else will.
This year seemed doomed, I had lost all hope and motivation. Just what was the point?
But, I’ve made some wonderful new friends this year. They have become my closest friends and for the first time ever I feel accepted for who I am. I don’t have to pretend to be anything I’m not. I am just me and that is special. They are special.
I am going to keep looking forward. I have one goal, to get to uni. I’m not going to put any other pressure on myself. I’ve got nothing I’m going to give or take up. I’m just going to live.
This will be the last post of the year as I am going to do my best to focus on my family over the holiday. However, I couldn’t leave it without saying a massive thank you to all of you who read, follow and comment. You have all made this journey feel worthwhile and I have appreciated the kind words and support you have been giving . This blog has been a huge step for me and I hope that next year it will continue to help me move forward.
I’d like to wish you all a happy Christmas/holiday and hope that you all have a safe and happy new year.
Love and best wishes to all,
Lib xx 🎅🎄🎉