You will have to forgive me for the insane shit I am about to write. I have been drinking in the desperate hope that it will make me tired and knock me out.
Recently I have had more panic attacks than I can count. My heart races, my breathing becomes shallow and fast, I feel sick, tears appear out of nowhere and the worst part are all these crazy thoughts and feelings that just bombard me at once. I can’t escape and this intense feeling of panic just grows inside me.
Yesterday I had one of these shitty experiences. My panic was that I was going to lose all my shit, get kicked out of uni and be a totally outcast like I was 4 years ago. I am terrified of having a breakdown. I’m terrified that I am going to lose the little control I still have and that my world, my foundation is going to crumble.
October 4 years ago, sleeping well became something I could only imagine. I woke several times a night and struggled to get back to sleep. I remember putting this down to the stress of being at uni, the unravelling of any relationship I had with my mother and sister and having a teenager and 2 young kids to look after. I remember being exhausted and my mood was up and down. I was doing my best to keep it together.
Then in Jan/Feb 4 years ago, one of the service users disclosed his own experience of being sexually abused. This was the reason why he had started to drink and use hard drugs like coccaine and heroin. Fuck knows why now, after all this time it happened, but as I was driving home one afternoon I just couldn’t get this voice out of my head that I had been sexually abused too.
Since that day it haunts me constantly. I try and ignore it, I do my best to deal with possible triggers by avoiding or distracting myself from them. I don’t talk about it, I don’t wear it like a badge on my sleeve for everyone to know. I am like the service user who trusted me enough to tell me. I am ashamed. embarrassed, have elements where I blame myself despite reassurances that it wasn’t my fault and throughout the time I was abused, it was a secret…the voices haunt me and I don’t want to break that oath I made to keep it a secret.
I know it sounds stupid, I am 37 fucking years old now yet I have the mind of a 6 year old.
I took my first overdose in late September early October the year I was 14. I had been planning it for more than year, but this kind of happened without much real thought and preparation. I was really sick because I took antidepressants as the overdose. I regretted it for weeks. It was around this time that I started smoking weed and helping myself to my dad’s whiskey. I just didn’t want to feel anything any more. I bunked off school. My parents couldn’t get me out of bed and when I did go to school I snuck off home at lunchtime. I just didn’t want to be there with people who just didn’t get it and teachers who really didn’t give a shit.
At this time in my life I was seeing a child psychologist. She was probably really good if I had been really brave and told her the truth, but because I was too scared to say anything and the time I had no one had believed me, she thought that I was just attention seeking. I wasn’t, but no one knew.
It was a lonely time.
The last couple of days I have felt more depressed and low than I have in ages. I have not been able to get myself out of the house and to uni. Instead I have kept myself hidden at home. I have taken copious amounts of pills of one sort or another, ignoring completely the recommended dosage and just taking as much as possible of whatever I have in order to knock myself out. Tonight I have no pills to take – at least none of the ones which reportedly are sedating but don’t have much affect on me. So, I have downed some vodka and now working my way though a cheap bottle of wine. It’s disgusting but it has alcohol which is really the only thing that matters.
I hate my head with a passion. There is a part of it which is capable and motivated to be far more than I currently am, but it gets swept away by this other side which is totally lost, feels totally worthless and a failure. I feel like I spend my days just fighting my own thoughts, trying to decipher what emtotion it is that i am experiencing. It is all such an effort. But one thing which is guaranteed, by early evening, those conflicting thoughts and feelings are replaced by this constant feeling of darkness, of shame and self-loathing. It comes almost like a sun set, it’s predictable. It’s the only thing in my life that seems to be.
I have wondered sometimes whether this dark feeling that takes over is somehow comforting. I think that I have got to the point where i would feel totally lost if I didn’t have these feelings. I know that many of these thoughts etc didn’t just happen for the first time 4 years ago, I know that I have had so many sleepless nights where darkness has taken over and have done since I was very young. The difference being that back then a sleepless night wasn’t something I really understood, I just couldn’t sleep. In fact, for a long time I didn’t understand the enormity of what was happening/ had happened to me.I was too young.
I think that this is one of the reasons I struggle to discuss my feelings about things and why I don’t sleep now. I didn’t have the words at the age of 6 to discuss what I was feeling. I couldn’t tell anyone.
When I was 10 and sent to boarding school sleep was difficult. It would take me ages to drift off and then I would wake multiple times during the night. It got progressively worse as I got older. Being away from home and at school made it all the more difficult, I couldn’t just get up and go downstairs and make something to drink or eat. I couldn’t listen to music or watch tv. The only thing I could do was to stare at the ceiling. Nights were very lonely.
I guess not an awful lot has changed in all these years. Nights are still difficult, lonely and depressing. However, at least now I can watch tv and drink alcohol!