mental health

  • Brain Freeze.....

     This is a blog about my mum.

    I don't write about her very often. Our relationship is complex and mostly non-existent. Which I hate... but that's how it's always been so now I just get on with it.

    As a child, living with my mum was like trying to balance a handgrenade. 

    On a see-saw.

    With no hands.

    My little brother perched on one end, me on the other, and my mum the un-exploded bomb in the middle, in all of her unpredicable, chaotic glory rolling around between us, the pin constantly working loose but never quite coming out completely.

    The fear of that pin coming out caused me to live my life in a constant state of high alert and high anxiety, which now I mostly manage, but back then was horrendous.

     

     

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  • Weebles wobble.....

    When I was a kid I loved Weebles.

    These, along with Lego bricks and Play-People were my absolute best things. I loved them. I didn't have a favourite, but if I absolutely had to choose between them all then Weebles would win hands down.

    Don't get me wrong, Play-People were cool... They were better-looking for a start. They could do more stuff - plus they could live in the houses I built for them out of  my Lego bricks, so in the versatility stakes they pretty much nailed it... but Weebles? Well they were something else.

    In a league of their own.

    Because Weebles were hardcore. 

    It didn't matter how hard you flicked them or how rough you played, those badboys were indestructible. You just couldn't keep them down, and believe me I tried - usually by flicking them as hard as I could - a manouvre which would floor a lego-man completely, but which didn't phase my Weebles... A bit of a wobble for a few seconds - a minute at most, and then they were up...while my lego men and Play People lay in crumpled heaps on the floor. Totally K.O'd. 

    So Weebles are resillient little fuckers.

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  • Talking to fridges.....

    A friend of mine is writing a book - A compilation of personal accounts centred around the #metoo hashtag.

    We share this in common, my friend and I. We've both experienced the devastation of rape, but thankfully, years later we've worked our way through it and come out on the other side.

    We were chatting online. We talked about the book; discussed our own experiences, and  I asked her if she had ever had counselling. After a minutes hesitation, her reply was "No.....unless you count talking to the fridge".......

    Which she'd obviously been doing and which clearly seemed to work for her at the time.

    It made perfect sense. Because the idea of my friend talking to that fridge was an absolute lightbulb moment. For reasons I've outlined below.

    You see, a fridge is designed with a door that can be opened 24 hours a day, meaning that it's always there when you need it - anytime, night or day.  A fridge can't talk....so it can't "give advice" or interrupt you mid-flow.  It can't walk either...so it's not going to get up and leave halfway through your conversation. Its job is to basically chill the wine and keep hold of the chocolate for when you've finished off-loading and need consolation....

    It's the perfect tool for the job.....

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  • Blacking Out.....

    My friend Nathan knows me pretty well - We spend a lot of time together. A lot more time than we used to actually, now that I'm sober and capable of stringing more than just the odd sentence together.

    Tonight we are talking  about my drinking days. I don't really want to have this conversation but it's Nath and he was worried for a while and so  I know that I should.

     I take a sip of my drink, grit my teeth and prepare myself for a bumpy ride...

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  • Fashionistas.....

    You don't need a degree in fashion to fit in in rehab....Because everyone looks the same in there. Tracksuits and hoodies by day, Pj's and hoodies by night.

    We were one huge "blind date from hell" fest. Styled by W*therspoons and the stuff that J*remy Kyles wet dreams are made of.

    We all looked rough as rats.

    Because you're not out to impress anyone in rehab. Or meet the love of your life.... You're too busy trying to get well. And so for a girl like me who normally won't leave the house unless I'm mascared up to the max, not having to make the effort for a while was liberating.

    The first few days I was in there, I did do the works.....habit more than anything. But then I realised that it would be much more productive to grab an extra half an hour in bed every morning, and rock up to morning check-in looking like a garbage pail kid like everyone else, than faff about trying to get my eyeliner straight for a bunch of people who actually didn't give a rats ass what i looked like.

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  • Hearing voices.....

    My boyfriend has Psychosis. It means that he sees, hears and talks to people who aren't actually there. At least if they are, they are very very quiet and very very small, as no-one else can see or hear them...I can't anyway. 

    It only happens when he's been drinking heavily and is therefore either dangerously intoxicated or starting to withdraw. Which currently is most of the time right now, and it's a worrying, and often disturbing experience for anyone around him, watching a fully grown man sit and have an animated conversation with people that only he can see.

    During Psychosis he loses touch with reality. He only sees and hears the scenarios in his head that to him are real conversations, but to everyone else are the red flags that indicate that his drinking is once again spiralling out of control and that he is mentally and physically extremely unwell and in serious need of professional help.

    Sometimes he talks to me too, but not very often - at least not to my face. In reality he talks to me all the time...it's just that I'm very rarely in the same room when the "conversation" gets going. I'll be in the kitchen or the bathroom maybe....he'll be convinced that I'm sat there next to him on the sofa in the living room.  But when I try to say as much he accuses me of lying and playing games with his head...when in reality it's not actually me playing headgames at all.  It's vodka and the copious quantities of it that he continues to drink that's busy distorting his reality.

    It's upsetting to see and hear him like this. Talking away to himself for hours on end...having full-on conversations with these imaginary people that aren't actually there.  But if I try to hold a conversation and tell him that he's talking to himself he doesn't believe me.

    It's horrible.

    Especially when it's 3.00am and I can't sleep because his imaginary friends are keeping him up all night again...He's usually having a 'discussion' about me  and how he's scared that he'll lose me if this carries on.  Which he will if he doesn't get help. Because seeing and hearing him like this is excrutiating...I actually can't take much more. His alcohol induced mental problems are starting to consume us both.

    The whispered conversations are horrendous...the look on his face when I try to explain to him that there is no-one in the room breaks my heart. Because he genuinely doesn't know what is going on around him.

    It makes him paranoid.

    He thinks that I have an agenda. That I'm filming him / recording him...taking photos. For the record I'm not. I wouldn't.  Although I have to admit that it has crossed my mind...because maybe then he would see what everyone else sees...that he's talking to himself. But it would terrify him. The thought makes me sick. Its not an option. 

    My boyfriend desperately needs help. He's very very sick. He's been hospitalised several times because of his addiction.  But he refuses to see the doctor more often than not...presumably because he will be told in no uncertain terms that he needs to stop drinking. Which he continues to do on a daily basis and which is slowly but surely killing him...because he physically and mentally can no longer do without it. 

    So the talking continues and every day he gets worse. He no longer needs me to talk to... his friends are all consuming. If they tidied up after him too then maybe I would be more tolerant. But they don't...they just continue to talk cod-shit, which he in turn talks back...24/7. Unless he's asleep...

    It makes him incredibly hard to be around and even harder to listen to.  I constantly have to leave the room just to breathe for a second.  Ever increasingly I'm leaving the flat completely...because I need some space from him and some real conversation...with real actual people. 

    It's breaking my heart...I'm at my wits end and I'm ready to leave. I love him so much but I have no idea where to go from here. Except home.  He doesn't even know if I'm there or not anymore... I may as well be invisible...except that if I was then maybe he would talk to me more...

    My boyfriend needs help. Without it he will die. He can't carry on like this. His body is screaming for him to stop drinking alcohol. It can't keep up with the strain that he's under and his head is slowly turning to blancmange. Things have to change...because at this rate, as much as we all love and care for him, one by one everyone else will leave him too....for the sake of their sanity if nothing else.  

    So my boyfriends imaginary friends had better be loyal...because if he continues to refuse the help that he needs, then those invisible mates of his will be all he's got left...which is heartbreaking...

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Me before you......

    I've always been a 'fixer'. I'm brilliant at it. Which is a shame....because up until now, this amazing ability that I have to pick people up, straighten people out and get them back on track again has seemingly never applied when it's my own problems that need to be dealt with.

    The last few years have been ridiculously hard for me. An incredible amount of shit landed in my general direction and it's taken me a long, long time to claw my way out of the absolute madness and mess that that caused me and begin to regain enough confidence to attempt to rebuild.

     

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  • Chasing Pavements.....

    Today has been hard.

    I've been on a training course. A few hundred yards from my ex boyfriends house. We broke up recently...needless to say I struggled to concentrate. All I could think of was him.

    The course was centred around addiction. My ex-boyfriend is an alcoholic. I was one too back in the day. Until I went into detox  and re-wired my brain... I'm tee-total now.

    He was too, when we met - at least that's what I thought. It's what he told me when we got together anyway, otherwise I would never have gone there. Looking back though, now I'm not so sure. Maybe he just hid it better than he's able to these days...because right now he's currently drinking his own body-weight in vodka. He's disappearing in front of me and he's breaking my heart. Because this guy is going to die if he carries on like this. 

    I'll give him six months - A year at the most which is absolutely tragic...

    He's only thirty-three. 

    I stayed in a B&B last night. On my own. Instead of staying with him. Because I made that mistake last time and it didn't work out too well. He massively overstepped the mark and did something terrible. Because he was drunk.

    'Shitfaced' actually.

     

    Anyway it was a huge mistake. I knew straight away.  I should never have gone there in the first place... And these days I learn from my mistakes. Not always immediately granted... but at some point the penny always drops and I start to see sense...hence the B&B.

    Which was fab by the way. I loved it - It felt like I was home.

    Which it will be one day.

    Because this is where I'm headed when I'm well.

    Just not with him this time.

    If things were different I'd be with him now. In his flat that I fell in love with, with this guy I fell in love with...

    But things aren't different. Because he's a raging alcoholic.  And my heart has been broken far too many times by this man. So this time, tonight when I walked past his house, I resisted the urge to phone him. Ring his doorbell. Try and 'make him better'. This time I did what's actually right for me for once. And kept on walking....

    I took myself out to a restaurant. Then I went to a bar. The same one I've started to go to when I run to this town. Because I love it here. I feel safe and confident and alive in this town. I've already started to make friends. 

    Like the guy who works in the photo shop. The one I take my features to, to get them printed so that they can hang on my walls.

    And the guy behind the bar in The Dolphin...and the people I've met in there.

    I'm in a town that I adore. That calls to me. Every single time I come here I know I'm coming home. I'm absolutely head over heels for this place. It fits me perfectly.

    So having to leave it behind, get back on a train and go live in a field again unsettles me. I feel scattered and torn. Upset and anxious.

    I can't keep on doing this...being pulled in two directions. It's bad for my head...

     

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  • Faking baking.......

    It was his birthday.

    I'd planned a holiday as a present - nothing incredible, just a few days in the sun last minute.com. It made sense. It was cheap, it was hot and it was a chance to get away while I had the time booked off from work.

    I was so excited.

    I needn't have been.

    Because it didn't happen......

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  • Big Hair....

    If you asked my male friends to sum me up in two words they would use one of these as a description.

    Big hair. Nice arse.

    I have a sparkling personality,  nice eyes and white teeth too but "Big hair" and "Nice arse" are the dealbreakers....

    I stand out a mile because of these badboys. Which is something I didn't think I'd ever be able to say again - Because my addiction took the lot.

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  • Welcome to Detox.....

    Published as "What happens in detox" - Ivory magazine. February 2018

     

    I'm not pregnant.

    In case I was wondering....Which I wasn't. Mainly because they hadn't told me that I was being tested for that when they insisted on me providing a sample. They were supposed to be looking for drugs....

    Which they found. Obviously. There's not much that gets through a piss test in detox. Luckily for me they were prescription. Which meant no naughty step (always a bonus) - because I was so drunk when I arrived that steps of any kind were to be avoided like the plague....I didn't really trust my legs to be able to do the maths.

    Instead I found a chair, sat on it and stayed there until the staff came to check me in...  Safest option all round to be honest.

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  • Jane Doe....(Caution - *Trigger warning)

    *Contains reference to sexual assault....

    Pretty much every single person I know, uses or is familiar with, social media and the user-names that people often create for themselves in order to disguise their true identity or intentions. "Sexxy babe 69" on a dating site for example probably isn't going to be easily confused with one of the Waltons, whilst "Shyjustlookingforfriendship" probably is one of the Waltons. It's an assumption. People will read between the lines and try to match the user name to the personality type, probably without even realising what they are doing.

    For a long, long time, I was Jane Doe. And I wasn't deliberately trying to be mysterious and unidentifiable. I chose the name because it suited my mental state perfectly at that time. Anonymous, dead female.....because that's exactly how I felt.

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  • Talking to fridges.....

    A friend of mine is writing a book - A compilation of personal accounts centred around the #metoo hashtag.

    Because we share this in common, my friend and I. We've both experienced the devastation of rape, but thankfully, years later we've worked our way through it and come out on the other side using our respective coping mechanisms. Mine involved talking to a trusted friend at the time, seeking professional help, and eventually writing about it years later on my blog. My friend however, took a slightly less conventional approach....

    We were chatting online. We talked about the book; discussed our own experiences, and  I asked her if she had ever had counselling. After a minutes hesitation, her reply was "No.....unless you count talking to the fridge".......

    Which she'd obviously been doing and which clearly seemed to work for her at the time.

    It made perfect sense. Because the idea of my friend talking to that fridge was an absolute lightbulb moment. For reasons I've outlined below.

    You see, a fridge is designed with a door that can be opened 24 hours a day, meaning that it's always there when you need it - anytime, night or day.  A fridge can't talk....so it can't "give advice" or interrupt you mid-flow.  It can't walk either...so it's not going to get up and leave halfway through your conversation. Its job is to basically chill the wine and keep hold of the chocolate for when you've finished off-loading and need consolation....

    It's the perfect tool for the job.....

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  • Unfurling.....

    I've bought a house.

    Well a caravan.....And now it's mine. I own it.

    It's just for me.

    Well me and Magic.

    Magic is my cat.....the one I promised myself I would get just as soon as I got a place of my own. And now I have one. A place that is. Not Magic.....Magic comes later.

    I have to move in first....

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  • Being Batfink.......

    I'm finally starting to value myself.

    It's hard work.

    It goes against everything I've ever know or been told. It feels weird.

    'Alien'.

     Like I'm pretending... which I am. Obviously. But I'm secretly hoping that the 'fake it till you make it' approach rubs off...and then one day I won't have to pretend anymore.

    Thats the cunning plan anyway. It's pretty much the only one I have to be honest. So I'm giving it a go.

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  • Snow Angels.....

    My feet are freezing.

    They literally feel like two blocks of ice.

    I have my heater on, I'm fully clothed. I'm huddled under two double duvets in my bed. I still can't get warm. Because my caravan it appears, isn't built to withstand winter.

    Neither unfortunately are homeless people.....

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  • Miss Optimistic......

    I try to see the best in people.

    Even when I know that it's futile.

    I keep looking for the good in someone even when I'm being treated appallingly - I'm the kind of woman who would find something loveable about a rabid dog. In fact if I thought that I could get near it I'd probably take it home.....

    My bad.

    But the last fourty-eight hours means that I'm starting to learn from my mistakes. So thats progress.

     

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  • Drunk....

    I'd only popped out to the shop.

    The fridge and the cupboards were bare. We needed something for dinner and so I left him in charge of making the bed while I went on a quest to feed us both.

    When I got back, my boyfriend was drunk.....I'd only been gone fifteen minutes.....

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  • All the single ladies.....

    It's alright for Beyonce.....wriggling around blasting out "All the single ladies" and then scampering off home to Jay-Z.....but what about the rest of us? Us 'actual' single ladies, who don't have a Jay-Z or any other kind of  guy for that matter, to get our groove on with or snuggle up to once the lights go down......what about us?

     What if you don't even own a leotard? Or sexy shiny shoes like Bey? Well, maybe you did.... once. A long time ago......when you were still young and foxy, with the whole world at your feet and when you didn't give a shit about imaginary lumps and bumps or cellulite.......What if anything even remotely resembling foxy hasn't made an appearance from your wardrobe in a very long time.....because everything that does has been tucked away on a shelf somewhere gathering dust - along with your self-esteem and your confidence after the last disastrous relationship you had eventually bit the dust.....

    Because I'm a single lady at the minute and trust me..... it's really not as glamourous or as exciting as Bey makes it look in that video.....

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  • Un-maternal instinct....

    I'm older than my boyfriend. By more than ten years.

    I pretend it's not an issue, but in reality it is. On days like today for example, when he's ill and I'm looking after him. Because when I say "ill" I mean "drunk" and when I say "looking after him" I mean "doing everything".

    I'm cooking and cleaning and making hot drinks. I'm checking that he's not too hot or too cold.....I am actually at times making sure he's still breathing... 

     

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