bpd · depression · mental health · reading · stigma

My other half

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Let me introduce you to my other half.

I did not know of them at a young age I just had a sense I was never ‘normal’ not like normal exists anyway but I was different in the sense I didn’t know anyone who truly thought like me.
But to get to the point of the matter…my other half.
So I met them officially in my early 20’s but I had been introduced in my early teens, an arranged marriage of sorts happened, not that I could say I love this person.
No name, don’t think they deserve one really, but in sickness and in health till death do us part I must live with them.

So if you haven’t gathered already my ‘other half’ is not man or woman but very much a person and an existence like you or I. Well not quite but they exist inside of me. No I am not schizophrenic but yes I have a personality disorder a phrase or title of which scares many, not that those who it scares knows anything about it, that statement has no intention of being passive aggressive as I was and still am one of those people.
My other half, what are they like? I know you want to know, sadly many have had the misfortune of meeting them, an impulsive, broken, manipulative and angry person. I ignore them when they take control or ‘pull the strings’ if you will, like a puppet! Not that I let them take control at all, you think I’d allow someone like that to control me? No.
I am still getting to know some of their traits one being paranoia too, add that to the fucking list! If you can’t tell I don’t like them, but then again it’s me… that’s why I did it and that’s why I do it. How can you kill a part of you without killing yourself?
Dramatic statement!!! I know, but close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears if that makes it better, it’s still the truth.

I did acting as a child the art of becoming someone else even if just  for a moment intrigued me, it was an escape. Not much fear would come when the curtains rolled open or the spotlight came on as I wasn’t me.
How does this relate you ask? Besides the obvious it’s because of a stigma I fight and many do, I do not want attention. Hard to believe when I’m screaming in your face, or running around like a mentalist or maybe just covered in bruises or scars. But I don’t do it for attention,  it’s not a choice I make it’s a reality I live with. So roll back the curtains and turn the spotlight on, not because I want you to see but I want those out there who relate, who care to understand when you breakdown it’s always public but they are not cries for attention the spotlight doesn’t hit us as we want you all to see our best performance yet, it comes on to highlight an issue many would prefer to ignore.

Take centre stage my other half.

Those who suffer from medical conditions sometimes have a card or a band or some sort of warning of what to do in an emergency situation but with mental health I feel as though I need to come with a leaflet, an explanation of who you are talking to why you are talking to them and what to say or do, actually more importantly what NOT to do or say. My other half has a way of reading a situation and a person and doing whatever it takes to get what it wants.
Oddly we want the same thing, peace, we just have very different ways of going about achieving it.
But while we live with each other we rarely get it.

So here comes another question, who am I? What makes me and this ‘other half’ so different?
The question of who I am is one I find incredibly hard to answer. I am often so many different versions of myself for different people I struggle to know who I ‘really’ am… am I just trying to make people happy? Am I faking it? What does real genuine emotion feel like????
I have been so fooled by my other half that’s why I must finally introduce her, ok maybe it’s a her I don’t know. I mean it could be a he… it could just be an IT! A demon I once thought maybe? But let me introduce you to my other half the demon? I mean I don’t want to play up to the mentality of well what many would assume as being mental to begin with.

I only wish you could have a day with my other half, then you’d know, then you’d see, thumbnailthen you’d feel the burden… until death do you part.

bpd · depression · grief · mental health · stigma · support

Mourning

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This word I always associated with the loss of someone close, mourning loved ones which have sadly passed on and the process of mourning that person and having to come to terms with their permanent absence.

But I now know mourning is a lot more complex than that, as I have mourned so much in my life which has felt just as strong as the mourning of a loved one gone.

Nostalgia can feel like mourning, I look back on life especially the good times and mourn what has been and gone…But depression has made me mourn the most. The person I was, the person I could have been, possibilities gone because of a crippling mental wall which rises in front of me powerless to bring it down. images (1)
So many parts of me have died, parts of myself I used to love, it used to be so hard to bring me down I was so joyful now it can be just as difficult to feel joy.  I have come to mourn things I have barely even had, a house to call my own, a career of which I love, a relationship that well lasts and I mourn that zest for life which fizzled out so long ago.

Those around you especially those who suffer from mental health can know loss so well they are in mourning, it’s not easy to understand but just because there isn’t a physical absence in their lives that you can relate to it doesn’t mean they don’t feel like there is. It’s lonely, especially when you know it’s not logical and how someone feels may not be the truth but if there was a way around it believe me I think most would have worked it out by now as there is no comfort in mourning something you can’t see or never had, but we still mourn.

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bpd · depression · grief · help · men · mental health · PTSD · stigma · suicide · support

The Breakdown

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For all of those who don’t know what happens when you are seeking professional help after struggling with mental health let me paint you a picture…

Recently though not easy to admit a pattern has formed in my life where I noticed my mind was getting the better of me, things were spiralling out of my control. No matter how much I created positive distractions or looked after myself my mind quite simply kept crushing me and only when I had two weeks worth of anti-depressant pills in my hand and a bottle of water did I realise it was time to get fighting again, but I need help.

So the process… crisis line as in 111 was called, protocol questions are asked, then you are passed on to someone else who will call you back within the next hour otherwise an ambulance is sent to your location.  However in my case I got a call back, again questions which are hard to answer have to be asked such as, ‘Are others in danger?’, ‘What has happened recently to bring this on?’ 1
I mean if only I had a nail sticking out my leg those questions would be much easier to answer when in my situation from the outside nothing is visibly that wrong.  Eventually the conclusion was an emergency doctor’s appointment the next day was to be made and the crisis line would fax over what information they could to help the doctor who would be seeing me.

The next day comes, doctor appointment arranged, sat in waiting room, name called, walk in and sit down. How can I help you today? My initial reaction to the question is ok don’t think he has received the fax details from crisis line… the next thought being how do I even begin to answer this question?
I started by focusing on my plan, aim and concern at wanting to take my life and attempting to do so. He then asks what again may have ‘brought this on’ and I am aware besides a recent tragedy in my life I have nothing to complain about besides well a truck load of emotions with no logical reason behind them and a mind which sends all my senses into overload and makes me do and say things far from my character.

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So the usual answers are given and a reference to my past involvement with mental health services is mentioned, ultimately again this has to be passed on to the mental health team which I have previously  been involved with.

 

But before the next step or ‘plan of action’ is mentioned not so helpful statements are made such as ‘Your life is your responsibility ultimately’, an obvious and slightly unsupportive statement. Also to mentioning a tragedy of losing someone I knew and cared for the response being ‘That’s life’, again an obvious  statement of which I assume might seem cold to many none the least someone with an emotional unstable disorder.
So without even considering replacing my medication I am told a letter will be written with no indication to when the mental health team will be in touch and a simple ‘hang in there’ in the meantime (easier said than done!) 7e486d93357beedf78dc7960b2e10819

Now I won’t slate the NHS as that is not my aim, I won’t even slate the doctor who’s unwanted and unneeded opinions were hurtful and unhelpful as I know many might abuse the system. But I want to bring to light that physical and mental conditions are treated completely differently, for example you wouldn’t tell a cancer patient that their life is their responsibility as they never asked for such a tragic disease to happen to them in the first place. Neither would you rush someone into A&E after a tragic life threatening accident and then just tell them ‘that’s life’ send a letter to another healthcare team and ask for them to ‘hang in there’ until contacted to start a whole other waiting game.
Extreme examples I know but I only hope to highlight changes need to be made here!

Eventually the question was also put to me ‘Did you really want to take your life?’ Well yes I wanted to and still think about taking my life a lot and I won’t lie to some extent I don’t care how that makes others feel because after a lifetime of burying myself in guilt considering each and every way my illness might make others feel I ask myself, do you know how it makes me feel?

anxiety · bpd · depression · mental health · stigma · suicide · support

Dreams

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I remember dreams… oh how reachable they seemed!

I would stand on stages and form into other people to the amazement of others, I would fall in love with a man and experience a love that I’d only ever known of in dreams.
I would travel the world like it was a piece of cake and soak myself up in all the beauty I encountered and which surrounded me. That feeling of achieving dreams was like being at the top of a roller-coaster when you’re about to go down the first big drop, the anticipation making your heart beat so fast! Then as you go your breath is literally taken away, it’s like you discover how to breathe all over again, the excitement captivates you completely.

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You might wonder why I am romantically ranting on about dreams. But the realisation of growing older and having my mental health and self-loathing take so much from me has permanently changed my dreams over the years. Where I once dreamt of doing something I love I now only dream for enough money to get by and a job that doesn’t make me entertain my passing suicidal thoughts. I do not dream for true love but attempting to renew that love for myself. I no longer dream of travel but the chance to actually move out of my parents house and to call some place my own.
My ultimate dream has become to be able to yearn for more again without the feeling of impending doom, which is similar to that roller-coaster but no thrill or joy… you stand on top of a mountain and beautiful as it may seem you worry the leap, the drop might kill you, so instead of jumping you just stand still only dreaming of that confidence to one day jump.

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The reason I write this is over the years so many have said ‘Go for it!’, ‘What have you got to lose?’ or maybe commented on a lack of desire and drive to go after what you want. But it’s not that myself or others who struggle don’t want to pursue our dreams but when your mind and emotions can be so fragile there is so much more at stake than a simple chance of failure or rejection, it’s the idea that you might fall off that cliff of which you tried so hard to climb and this time you won’t be able to get back up. This time you will be another lost soul who couldn’t hack it anymore.

Image result for just do itHowever bleak this may seem I personally do see a bright future for myself and I do start to dream and yearn again but it’s slower for me, I tread carefully, this journey much like the one I started last year is one of self-discovery, discovering the lost parts of who I was and helping form the person I am becoming.
I am not a victim or someone asking to be pitied but I am merely trying to show another insight into the things many people won’t or don’t want to talk about.

If you can chase a dream then do it but if you don’t feel strong enough yet there is no shame, just don’t stop dreaming as dreams create hope and hope is part of what keeps us alive.

anxiety · bipolar · bpd · depression · help · mental health · paranoia · poetry · stigma

No love lost

Another strangers eyes breaks my gaze,
hands slip up my leg without a phase.
Another strangers lips touch mine,
as our bodies start to intertwine.
To bed I bring hope and chance,
As we go about our midnight dance.
Yet in the morning I feel guilt and shame,
This stranger only knows my name.
He has not even glimpsed within,
their interests go no deeper than skin.
Romanced myself into another dream,
Fuelled by the drink is currently the theme!
Arrived feeling lost, left feeling void,
not even angry, not even annoyed.
Why is the only question? Why I exclaim!?
Don’t I wait for a love which is mine to proclaim.

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bpd · mental health · poetry · spoken word

Time

What do we seek in time and space?

When we leave this world without a trace.

Our ashes might fly into the night sky,

Or dirt may lay on what was once called ‘me’.

Who I am right here means just the same as I was there,

I’m a mystery, an illusion, I’m filled with fantasy and confusion.

What I am to you I was something completely different to someone else.

Part of your thoughts and feelings made me who I am, and will make me who I was.

So why hang onto it all? Our memories, our emotions and our possessions,

Our opinions, our hates, and our lifelong obsessions? 

They will not fly with us into the night sky,

Nor lay with us for eternity as this thing we call time passes us by.

Seek and you shall find,

Escape the walls put up by your mind.

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anxiety · bpd · depression · help · mental health · stigma · suicide · support

Collateral Damage

Why did I leave you ask?

Collateral damage.

You know those movies where it’s dangerous to know the superhero? As one way or another the enemies always find out their true identity, putting everyone they love at risk? 

That’s what suffering from mental health can feel like, but far less like a superhero.
It’s like you are the superhero and the villain all at the same time, and you want to save your loved ones from the darkness and the hurt and the pain so you leave, you push them away, you can even say harsh words because deep down you think you’re saving them from yourself, a monster that you know all too well.

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I felt like a monster for a long time. Unable to love myself, I even surprised myself to the lengths I despised my very existence. So if you try and look at it through my eyes everything that could have been portrayed as selfish, unkind or cold I thought I was often doing for others good.

What’s another one of those lines from these kind of movies that the superhero always says…? ‘Everyone I love gets hurt’. I figured better I push them away as kindly and as gently as I can before the real monster comes out and really hurts them.

Then the ultimate question why not take the superhero and the villain out of the equation all together? If both are dead surely everyone would be happy?

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How wrong I was.

 

It’s not fun to admit these things but it gives an insight somewhat into how someone in mental turmoil might think. 

Yet it’s not a sacrifice I was making, I am not a monster and those I thought I was saving I only ended up hurting more. I only discovered this through realising I’m a blessing not a curse, I’m strong because I know what it’s like to feel so very weak, I’m compassionate as I’ve known piercing pain. I need to live, I have to live and I will live.

My mind and body are my own they do not control me, and what I feed into them is ultimately what comes out, and I had been feeding them so much hatred and negativity for too long. Once I took that anger and stopped turning it on myself anymore I learnt to channel it towards all these lies I had told myself and believed for so long, then I fought and I fought for my life. I do it every day and it gets easier but silent battles are hard to justify to others when you feel like they want to see your battle scars.

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