Tag Archives: distruction

This kid’s not alright.

So young. Sat on a bench, her short legs just hanging there listlessly, unable to reach the ground. But without engergy enough to swing. Her scuffed shoes just there. 

All encompassing, pervading every facet of my being. Darker than the blackest black. The stuff emo kids can only dream off. So thick it’s a relative forcefield around me. Ironically the one thing keeping me together was the same thing that was destroying me.

Loneliness.

Not the kind that a text from a friend, or a smile from a stranger can help stave off. But the kind where you know you’ll never be free of it. The type where you’re surrounded by people, quite literally, but no one can reach you and, most crucially, you can’t reach any one.

It’s only now, in my stronger self, with my new learnt techniques and medication, that I can look back on my darker times and start pinpointing what the emotions I had were.  I can identify fear well now, that was an emotion I only really felt in my mid to late teens, other periods of my  life seem to be conspicuous in the absence of fear. Sadness, I was never sad, I was always…..melancholy. Sad implies a cause and therefore a solution. Acceptance, not from people, or even myself, but acceptance of the way I was/am (interchangeable at times). Etcetera…I felt happy at times…like on journeys with my step dad to watch the football, or getting a good mark on a piece of work I’d really worked on, or when I completed prose that I felt told the story….

I’m painting the picture of a very unhappy child, but I wasn’t. I was certainly grumpy or crabby or mardy. Now it’s pretty obvious that actually it could have all been avoided pretty easily.

No, I wasn’t unhappy. That darkness I was speaking of? That’s loneliness.

It is only with time and hindsight I have learnt that. It’s still something I battle with now. Which is tedious given the fact from the minute I wake til the minute I sleep I’m with people. And even when asleep, I’m not alone. I’ve got the good old night mares to keep me company.

We all know my back story, I’m 27, had 5 different psychiatrists, 6 different counsellors, 3 psychologists, 2 overdoses, 5 different anti-depressants, 2 anti-anxiety drugs, and now a lovely cocktail of happy pills and none crazy pills, 4 diagnosis’ (Depression, General Anxiety Disorder, Chronic  Anxiety and now Borderline Personality disorder with an addition of dissociative and schizophrenia behaviours thrown in for good measure).

So what does that have to do with the price of fish?

Simple really. As a child, I couldn’t name my emotions. I didn’t understand them. Even now as an adult, I have to focus to see what the cause behind the emotion is. I mean, happiness is easy to determine, as is melancholy. But anything beyond those two, well thats harder. I feel anger, immense anger. But only temporarily, very fleetingly. The only emotions that seem to take hold and stay are loneliness and melancholy.

But admitting to that, isn’t allowed. How can I be lonely when I’m married and surrounded by friends?

Well I’ve figured it out now.

How can you not be lonely, when you don’t like being alone?

Which sounds absurd, because I love alone time. But never silence. I can’t sit in silence. Which is difficult, because too much noise overstimulates me and makes me cranky. But when I’m alone, I have to have music. Always music. It acts as a dampener to my thoughts. I can’t think too much when I’m concentrating on lyrics can I?

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Loads of people can identify with the feeling of being alone when at a party.

My problem is, I can’t take being alone for what it is.

I have to over analyse. I have to over think. The ball of neuroris that is my brain can’t tolerate too long without input from other sources. Otherwise it takes off at a tangent and colours everything green.

Remember, everything has a taste, colour or sound. Thursdays taste of bacon, my teeth itch, lonliness is green.

Back to that kid. That young girl on the bench in her playground. She was eight. Eight. One year younger than my eldest is now. I still remember it. Clearly. As if it was frozen in time, an image I get to replay every day. That young kid. She wanted it all to stop. All to go away.  Her heart hurt, her brain hurt. All she wanted was for it to stop. To stop and end for ever ever.

See, I’ve been battling this for longer than I can’t remember.

I’m okay now. But acutely aware of the fact I’m still in this war of attrition. Knowing that I’m only okay because my medication stop me being anything else. Knowing that too long without the tablets and it all comes back. Knowing that I still don’t have the energy to fight it again. Not yet. I don’t think I ever will.

I don’t have the energy to fight and still be a good mother. To fight and still be a good friend. A good wife. A good person.

But that’s fine. At least I’m honest about my crutch. I’m honest that I need the pills. I’m all talked out. All lessons learnt. All opposing thoughts done. I’ve done the years of therapy, and psychiatry. Time served. I’ve spent over half my life in therapy. Therapy can’t change who I am.

And I am that neurotic mess who hides behind a face of makeup, hard walls, sarcasm and apathy. I am that person who will say something cutting just because she can. I am that person who will always be there for my friends. I am that person who will burst into tears because her hot bread has been toasted too much. I am that person who will learn, learn and learn some more. I will set myself unachievable targets and hate myself for failing. I will always be my harshest critic. I will always be battling my own brain.

Because I have no choice. I can’t be anything but who I am. I can’t be that happy, easy going person I want to be. I can’t wake up in a good mood when I’m coming round from a drug induced sleep. I can’t be that person who always has a kind word. I can’t be that person that other people gravitate to, because she makes them feel good.

 

I’ll forever be that person, that makes most people feel slightly uncomfortable, despite them not even knowing why. I’ll forever be that person who’s more spikey than cuddly. I’ll always be that person, who people think is joking because no one can be that mean.

But, I’ll also always be that person, who is the first to help. The first to offer solace and comfort. The first to empathise. The first, and last, to stop caring.

Me and my resting bitch face, may be unapproachable. We may make people feel uncomfortable.

 

But, something I’ve learnt over the years? That’s usually because in me, they see parts of themselves they don’t like. They see in me, the chance of the battle they will have to face. And no one likes that. No one wants to admit that mental health illness can, and will, attack anyone. They want to think its only the weak. It’s only the lazy.

.

And in me, they see that unfortunately, its indiscriminate. It will take anyone it desires. It will render even the strongest, warmest, move loving of people. And turn them into a shell. It will make them feel that lonliness I live with. It will make them feel like no one around them wants them or needs them. It will twist your own brain so much you can’t trust it. So by extension, you don’t trust anyone.

 

 

Oh. And I’m a total bitch…..

Lose your dignity….save your life.

About 6 months ago I was called in for my routine smear test. My first one, at the age of 25.

Despite knowing all I knew about cervical cancer and how delaying the test can end up killing you (Jade Goody? The young 26yr old recently?) I did just that. I delayed it, always thinking I had something more important and better to be doing. The first time was meeting Jacqueline Gold. The second time, napping. Napping? What the actual eff? And then weird things started happening.

I was permanently bloated, I looked like I was six months pregnant! I was bleeding after sex. I was getting random pain. I was constantly lethargic. Couldn’t pass water properly.

I went to the doctor, she sent me for a scan. “Oh it’s fine, it’s just your coil isn’t working and is in the wrong place. Lets remove that.”

Three weeks after that none of my symptoms had changed. I went back to the doctor. She took swabs. “Oh it’s fine you’ve just got Bacterial Vaginosis, but you need a smear. Go to the nurse.” I went to the nurse the same day (in fact immiediately after, the doctor called through.

After the usual rigmarole of falling over when trying to remove my jeans, falling onto the couch and generally making a prat of my self, the dreaded words came “Put your ankles together and drop your knees.”

And then the most terrifying thing happened. My heart pounded so hard it hurt, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, the room span and my mouth went dry.

“There’s something wrong. Something isn’t right. You will need to see a specialist.”

I walked out, called the husband and nearly broke down there and then. Me? Cervical cancer? I’m 25! I have two children. It can’t be me!

For the next two weeks, waiting for the results of my smear test, I cried, I denied, I lied. I would tell myself that it was fine and just an over cautious nurse. I’d google my symptoms and all of them were massive red flags. I’d wait for the post every day, always waiting for the letter to come to tell me I was being over dramatic and a hypochondriac. I’d look at my two wonderful angels and wonder if I’d live to see them start secondary school. See their first loves. Watch them go to prom. I’d look at my husband and wonder how long we had left, was my cervix a ticking time bomb? Was I going to leave him? I’d stare in the mirror and brush my hair wondering if I’d lose it. All these thoughts, it was tearing me apart.

They were the worst two weeks of my life.

Then the letter came. Abnormal. Inconclusive. Blood contaminated it. My heart stopped again.

I saw the specialist the next day. I went with a heavy heart, shaking, nervous, scared.

I gowned up, sat on the chair, placed my legs in the stirrups and thought of England. And my girls. My beautiful angels who still needed their mummy.

Then the specialist looked at me, smiled and said “I can see the problem. It’s not cancer.”

I could have hugged her. All that stress for nothing. Turns out I had cervical etropcian. It simply needed cauterizing, but to be safe she biopsied me and sent them for testing.

I have had the cauterization done now, and whilst that REALLY hurt, and I really hurt afterwards too, I’m fine.

So why have I written this? Because it dawned on me, if I, usually really sensible when it comes to my body (I even get my moles checked) would delay a smear until it could have been too late, any one will and can. And I’m imploring you, begging you even, to just go and get it done. For two minutes of slight uncomfort you could avoid all my stress and worry. Cervical cancer when caught early enough (which it usually is with regular smears, and being in tune with your own body) won’t kill you, it won’t rip apart your loved ones. But when it’s left to grow and spread, which it will be if you avoid your smears and don’t know what is normal for you, it will. It will decimate your life and the lives of those you love. Why are we happy enough to have bikini waxes for aesthetic reasons but won’t see a professional for our health? It’s absurd. So book your smears, get the swabs, and continue for the next 3/5 years. And know that you’re doing the best by your body that you can.