Bathing with knives

Okay so this is a weird way to start a blog, I guess, but lets give it a try anyway.  This is all about giving myself an outlet, where I can freely say all of the things that I don’t want to tell anyone else. Not even my husband, because if people I care about knew how I truly felt, they’d never leave me on my own.

I think it’s important to mention that you can feel suicidal, and yet not be suicidal. There’s this ultimate feeling of not wanting to live but not having any intention of taking your own life. It’s quite a common feeling so I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. As an estimation, I guess I feel this way about 90% of the time. I almost want to make this pact with the world that this omniscient presence should just involve me in some weird freak incident where I, and I alone, perish.  Because as weird as it sounds, I want to die, I just don’t want to do the act myself. Like I would hurt people because of that, but maybe if it were an accident it wouldn’t be so bad.

So lets skip forward a bit.

It’s a Saturday and I’ve been feeling particularly down and having this niggling feeling of just wanting the world to swallow me up, to cease my existence. There are no particular reasons for this, nothing has happened, I’m just perpetually melancholy and I have been since childhood. I’m moping around, crying for no reason. I desperately want my husband to understand how I feel, but I don’t want to speak the words because it seems so unreal when you say it. I tell him over and over that he wont understand and that I’m scared to be left on my own. After him begging me to answer as to why this is, I finally tell him that I’m afraid of what I’ll do while he’s gone, not because it will hurt me, but because I don’t want to hurt him.

Please note that this breakdown started when he wanted us to go on a simple dog walk (I find it difficult to leave the house).

He hugs me and tells me to trust him and that we’ll sort it out. Then he puts me in the car and we take our four legged children to the New Forest. And it was nice. But what he doesn’t realise is that these moments are fleeting for me. It puts me into a false sense of security, I’m at a high point for a brief time and feel like maybe things could be okay again.

When we get home, I start preparing dinner. Chopping up some sweet potatoes to make burgers and wedges. This is when he says we can talk about things that upset me, now that we’re home. It’s stupid things, things that people wouldn’t usually get insanely jealous over. It’s inevitable that he’ll find other women attractive. However, in my head that translates to ‘you’re not good enough’. These women, they’re the complete opposite of me. I’m medium height, brunette, I weigh about 71Kg, although it fluctuates. I carry most of my weight in my arse and thighs, chin and lower stomach. These women, they’re perfect. They’re slim, blonde women with blue eyes. They have toned thighs with beautifully protruding round bottoms and enormous boobs. All of this tied together with a perfect face and a tiny waistline. The kind of woman you can’t compete with, the kind that you can’t even dream of coming close to.

Yes, I understand that it is illogical to compare myself to these women. He married me and he loves me, but I’m nothing like what he is attracted to and is it so bad to want to be that? You have to try to understand. I’m not jealous because he finds people attractive. I feel this way because it makes me feel like I am nothing, insignificant.

Anyway, I mention about some amateur porn star he follows and how he can’t use her ‘getting fit’ and ‘just admiring how much effort she puts in with exercise’ as an excuse. How he must just like looking at her. To which he replies, ‘Yeah, so?’. This is normal, okay, I know that I’m not delusional. Just severely mentally ill. I tell him to leave me alone and he does, of course he does.

A million thoughts go through my mind and I just hate every inch of myself. I want to cut off all of my excess skin, I don’t want to be in this body anymore. I grab the nearest knife, hide it in my bag, and go to run a bath.

I sit in this bath for so long, I don’t have any awareness of time, I just keep filling up the bath with hot water. I don’t know what I want to do, what  I came to do, the knife is just sitting beside me resting on that little handle bit in the bath. I figure I’ll just test it out, see how sharp it is, how it feels on my skin. I’ve cut myself before, not with a knife mind you, it’s actually weirdly therapeutic. The thing about this is I picked up the worst knife. It was so blunt and the end was bent from overuse. I tried cutting my skin and I pressed really hard, believe me I wasn’t scared of the pain, but it just wouldn’t do anything, it just left these cat scratches.

I felt defeated. I traced over all of the parts of me that I hated, wanting just to be able to slice them off. I wanted to pierce my belly and let all of me spill out. Yet, I just sort of sat there, trying to cut myself (failing), just feeling empty.

My husband came in after a while, he was laughing at me, I was on my belly in the bath so I guess it kind of looked funny. He didn’t know that I was on my belly because I was dunking my head underwater wondering if there were anyway to actually drown yourself in a bath.

He stopped laughing. Reached across me and grabbed the knife. Asked me if there were anymore and made me stand up, naked and vulnerable, to see if there were any more. He took away anything sharp, anything harmful and sat watching me until I got out. I hadn’t taken a towel, I didn’t have much intention of getting out of that bath. He grabbed it and watched me as I did everything, dried myself, got dressed. I had never felt so vulnerable with my husband seeing me naked as I did then. I wanted desperately to just evaporate into thin air.

You see, I would kill myself. But I know it might not work. It sounds dumb but I am cowardly. I don’t want to suffer even more, so if there were a guaranteed way to do it then I would.

And I hate when people call you selfish for wanting that. You don’t understand how it is to be me, and I don’t understand how it is to be you. My mind, it isn’t right. I can’t feel happiness the way most people can. I feel empty or pain with the occasional moments. Those moments rarely feel worth it.

Anyway, I’m kind of rambling on. Long story short, it didn’t amount to much, just a very angry spouse. And I’m okay. I’m not going to go and slit my wrists imminently.

But yes, I do still feel suicidal.

Scrounger

There is a lot of stigma around those who claim benefits. For whatever reason you claim benefits, it is guaranteed that someone will not like the fact that you need a little help in life.

I wont lie. I used to be one of those people. I’ve always resented my mums side of the family, those that had tons of kids and claimed benefits to support them. It wasn’t until I realised that I was the one that needed help, that I began to understand that some people need extra support in life and that it isn’t such a bad thing.

Okay, so I’m still super ashamed of it. I find it degrading to be put into this category, that of a scrounger. Someone that dupes the government out of money, taking from those that work, the tax payers. But the truth is, I need your help, I don’t want it. I’m sick, and not in a conventionally physical way.

I didn’t want to admit this for a really long time. It was actually my dad (someone that also does not like ‘scroungers’) that told me that maybe it was time I faced the facts, that I needed help and I couldn’t cope in normal situations. I receive something called employment support allowance. Basically, I’m not well enough to work but I didn’t want to go through the hassle of applying for disability allowance, I’ve no idea what I’m doing and I’m completely out of my depth. It’s a small payment that means I can help contribute towards things in the house. I wanted to save this up towards a college course working with animals, to help with my mental illnesses.

I first received these payments when I was living with my dad, before I got married. However, me and my husband decided that I wasn’t really getting the emotional support I needed and if we got married he could provide that for me. What we didn’t realise is that the benefits would be completely cut off.

Everything was fine before, the college was going to help me out because I received these benefits. But as soon as you don’t have proof that you’re unemployed for a reason and not because you want to be, they dismiss you. We have zero money, in fact minus money. I have an overdraft, he has loans and credit cards. I now don’t even know if I can go on this course, something that would have allowed me to have a career. Something that didn’t put social pressure on me. It’s gone, that chance of being self-sufficient and able to contribute is gone.

I want to pay my way guys, I want to work. Do you think I want to sit in a house in the middle of nowhere, everyday, waiting for my husband to come home. Do you think I want to sit here alone, whilst he goes away for work for weeks, months. Fuck no. I want my own life, I want my own job. But that’s been taken away from me.

You see, I can’t work normal jobs, I’m sure I’ve said it before but to be honest my memory is shocking. I can’t work in a role that orientates around people, it causes me to have huge breakdowns. I have these conflicting mental health problems that just mean I can’t function normally 99% of the time. I do not have a rational brain. This is just as prominent and serious and a physical health problem. So I finally get this opportunity to work with animals and create a career where I can be happy, but now it’s gone. Because my at the time boyfriend wanted to marry me so that he could support my illness.

I am not a scrounger. I want the complete opposite of that and I hate that I need this help. But they took this away from me. And now, I just don’t know what to do anymore.

I still have no purpose.

Today, I cannot cry. The tears wont come out, I’ve lost all hope.

Recovery

Most of the people who talk about recovery are those that are experiencing it. But what if you haven’t been there yet? Everyone around you is talking about their recovery and how they got there, but you’re sort of stuck in one spot.

I’m constantly jealous of those that have found recovery. It is not an easy step, recovery is just as hard as anything else you experience in mental illness. But to know that I were on the right track, that I had begun taking control of my own life, is a freedom that would be unmatched.

It’s okay not to be in recovery. You’ll get there. Heck, maybe even I’ll get there eventually. Everyone takes their own time to get to it. Maybe there will be relapses. In fact, there more than likely will be relapses. For most people with depression or anxiety, it is a long-term illness. Therefore, you’re going to have bad periods. But if you’ve recovered once, you can recover again. And again, and as many times as it takes for you to feel even slightly normal.

But this post isn’t about being in recovery, it’s about the absence of recovery, the limbo of not knowing when or if you’ll get there.

I have been ill for a long time and it just seems to get progressively worse. When I was 16 they told me I had long-term depression, that I had already been suffering with it for years without knowing and that at this current time I had ‘severe low mood’ (here in England the doctors don’t like the term ‘depression’, I guess it can be overused). I had therapy through the NHS from that age of 17 – 18. As soon as I was an adult, the hassle of changing my paperwork to get me onto the adult programme was too much, my case was dropped. They dropped me. I doubt this is a regular occurrence. The psychiatrist assigned to me was a guest psychiatrist from another hospital, I guess he had to go back and didn’t really want to go through the paperwork of getting me handed over. Like many people with depression and anxiety, my mood can be erratic. One day I can have the happiest moments, make split decisions and think I have my whole life planned out. The next I’m the lowest I’ve every felt, trying to drown myself, doing anything to take away the pain. So I quit college. Then I joined again and finished college. Then I signed up for uni, then I quit that course and changed. Then I quit that course and came home. I got a great job. I had a breakdown within a week and quit my job and got lip fillers.

My life is full of quick decisions, I’m never sure if I’m making them or if my illness is. I’m now 22 years old, me and my husband are in an amazing house with our three dogs. He takes care of me financially and emotionally. I should be happy, maybe in recovery. But I’m not. You see, I can’t find a treatment that works for me. Pills don’t work and even if I found one that did, I wouldn’t want to take it; I don’t want my mind altered its where my creativity stems from. I’ve tried an NHS therapist and a private one. I tried hypnosis. I don’t know what more I can do to bring on recovery.

But that’s OK. It’s alright not to know what the fuck you’re doing right now or where your life is going. If you’re reading this and you’re suffering and you don’t know when recovery will get to you, that’s okay, me neither. You’re never alone. You may isolate yourself (it’s all I do), but you’re never alone. There are so many people who have been there before and can share that experience with you, when you’re ready let them. Maybe it wont help, maybe nothing will help. But you keep searching until you find that thing that can bring you some amount of peace.

I’ll let you know when I find mine.

 

 

Wandering Aimlessly

I’m sure many of us have been through a time in our lives when we feel as though we are wondering around aimlessly, with no purpose and no idea what to do next.

Well, this is my reality. I can’t work in a normal environment because I’m too sick from conflicting mental illness’s. Being around people drains me, I can barely leave the house; anything much more than an hour is too much. Panic attacks kick is, I feel physically sick, head pulsating and exhausted. I’m constantly dizzy, seeing spots and feeling overwhelmed.

What many people don’t understand, is that it isn’t easy not working. It’s not like I don’t want to work. There is nothing I want more than to have a purpose, to be able to stand on my own two feet and not have to be a burden on my loved ones. My husband struggles so much with money but he would never pressure me and is forever supportive. However, I feel like a drain on everybody around me. We can’t have nice things, go on trips or do anything we want to with our spare time, because I can’t help provide.

This is going to sound strange. I am very well aware of how privileged I have been in life. I never had to go without, my father always took care of me and would give everything he had to make sure I was happy. I was a spoilt child, no doubt about it. But when  I got older and understood how money worked I was always grateful of everything he did for me. I would even try to turn down money or work for myself (I managed one steady job before my illness got this bad), but he would always help me out financially. I never wanted to burden anyone with my own financial issues. When I finally admitted to how sick I was and realised after how long it had been that it wasn’t going to go away, I went to the government for help. There were endless forms, assessments where all of my vulnerabilities and traumas were laid on the table, and interviews about my hopes and dreams. They concluded that I was crazy enough to get their support and not be reviewed for another year. You have to understand, I was so stubborn about this. I never wanted to claim benefits. There has always been this huge stigma around it. But, I realised that this is how I am and there is no quick or easy fix.

Marriage changed it all.

Getting married meant that all financial liability of myself was essentially passed on to my husband, who works very hard. One income is not enough for two people. We haven’t heard back about the payments yet, but we know that the most likely outcome will be a cease in payment.

But I wanted to do good with the money.

I didn’t want to waste it. Piss it away.

I wanted to better myself, find somewhere that I could stand on my own two feet and help contribute. Everywhere says that working with animals is one of the best things a mentally ill person can do. I can completely see why. I’ve always loved animals and filled my home with them. They make me feel an amount of comfort that I can’t get surrounded by people. I wanted to specialise in  dog grooming, I have no idea why that exact field I just love the idea of it.

I wanted to use this money to get me somewhere, and they knew it. I told it to everyone who interviewed me. How it would be okay because it’s only 5 hours a week and I get to work with dogs everyday so I think I would be okay.

Now everything is coming into question and I may not get to do this.

So, here I am stuck in this endless spiral again of aimlessly wandering around the house, passing the time until my husband gets home. Crying to him because I’m useless and I can’t help and we’re poor because of me. 

I wish I could do all of those normal jobs. The ones I’ve tried and failed. I just wish my brain didn’t sabotage my body constantly and I could exist without feeling like I’ll shatter as soon as someone gaze hits me.

Until then, I’ll stay here, looking after our three pups and enjoying the moments when my husband is home.