anxiety · depression · grief · help · mental health · paranoia · poetry · reading · stigma · suicide · support

Loneliness

lonely

The dictionary definition of loneliness translates as…

Sadness because one has no friends or company.
‘Feelings of depression and loneliness’

The fact of being without companions; solitariness.
‘The loneliness of a sailor’s life’

(of a place) the quality of being unfrequented and remote; isolation.
‘The loneliness of the farm’

Loneliness is a feeling everyone would have or will be familiar with, as to some extent we have all felt lonely even when logically it might not make sense. By that I mean for example feeling lonely within a relationship, or lonely in a house full of people who love you, feeling lonely despite receiving help and support in difficult times… sometimes loneliness doesn’t apply to the obvious situations but can apply to a deep despairing feeling which follows you wherever you go.

I cannot speak on behalf of many but for myself when I am in a bad place and am told to reach out, or to speak out and that others are there for me I start to worry. As so often I have tried to explain that when I’m in this place where my mental health and especially my personality disorder can get the better of me I don’t even recognise who I am for a while. In this place I am not entirely myself and having others say they understand makes me feel more lonely, having others say they are there for me then getting freaked out or feeling judged by my erratic behaviour makes me feel more lonely, opinions and fireadvice I did not ask for can make me feel more lonely. So automatically out of fear of upsetting others or being seen as ungrateful I withdraw inwards to a place where I feel I might be safer, as emotionally I am already on fire the idea of being burnt even slightly more scares me to death, as death is literally what passes through my mind every few seconds. If only these emotions could come and go but they just burn and burn inside of me with no logic to why they are so intense it causes my body and mind to shut down.

I wish I came with a manual so I knew what to say when others asked what they need to do or say, or what can help me, but I am not myself I actually don’t know… I can imagine being a friend, being anyone close to me at this time would be hard. Not sure how I would cope if I didn’t already know what this feels like, it can’t be easy but that only makes me want to withdraw more and be less of a burden. loe
But loneliness echo’s within me.
I could compare this experience to feeling l
ike a baby crying out with no idea what is happening and wanting to be comforted from this pain but having no one there, just people staring at me wondering why I’m so distraught with no evidence to reason. Until eventually I stop crying and bury the feelings, but they are buried alive and sometimes they come to surface with no warning then you all see the demons, then I am lost to an overwhelming desperation to put out the fire, to find some comfort to not feel so achingly alone I go back to being like that child.

Silence is not golden when it comes to mental health and my words are not always comforting, maybe often not useful, could sometimes even be seen as offensive but they are true and a living reality for me and many others.

I often cannot speak about it, I also struggle to take this mask of ‘auto-pilot’ off to show whats happening on the inside, but I can write, and I will write if not only to remind me but also others that we are not ever truly alone no matter how alone we might feel.
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‘I’m here for you’ those lips state,
But where have you gone?
You want me to answer your questions…
like I come with a manual once I’m broken.
We’ve all forgotten haven’t we?
So obsessed with ME!
How could you be there for me?
You don’t even know where I am.

 

mental health · poetry

Episode

Oh little child if only you had known,
The lies that were told before you had grown,
For once we chanted to our foes,
‘Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me.’
Oh how young and foolish were we,
As sticks and stones have pierced my skin,
But words have cut me from deep within,
No fist could fight nor words turn right,
The darkest parts of my soul bringing forth past pain even as I grow old.
Release is all I seek, release me is my plea,
So I am not condemned to eternity full of this misery.

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anxiety · charity · help · mental health · stigma · support

Month No. 4

Month Numbero Four

Well it’s hard to believe I’ve been 4 months without a drink now and only 2 more to go!!!

This month has probably been the hardest in all honesty. Not just the sobriety side of it as I find myself no longer really craving an alcoholic drink, but instead having days when I feel it would be really nice to have one or just wanting to sit down relax and unwind with a drink. Other than these thoughts and the occasional urge to ‘hit the town’ I seem to struggle less and less as time goes on.

The reason this month has been the hardest is the realisations I have come to with my sober mind. Being haunted by memories and nightmares of theImage result for lonely girl things I have said and done when incredibly intoxicated. The realisation of what I did to myself and what others have done to me too. Then the hardest of all the realisations I encountered was that of realising who your true friends really are, and I often hate a phrase such as this as it almost seems like emotional blackmail but it really is true. So many are not here anymore, and it’s caused me to have many lows and left me with a lingering yet intense feeling of loneliness.

This feeling of isolation has bought up many emotions most of which I cannot connect to specifically, but I guess the vulnerability of speaking about something I don’t quite understand can be both relieving and scary at the same time. You feel so vulnerable (especially emotionally) you worry and fear one wrong comment, one misplaced foot could send you off the edge! Yet the more open and honest I am, the more I try to communicate these things the more I realise that the worse doesn’t often happen and when it does I still in time manage to stand back up again.
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So another roller-coaster month but one which has really confirmed to me the power of speaking out and the importance of attempting to communicate what is going on in my mind, so to help others and myself understand better how to live and how to support someone with mental health struggles.

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anxiety · charity · help · mental health · OCD · paranoia · reading · stigma · support

Relationships

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I recently read a post regarding an individual’s experience on dealing with relationships during her mental health struggles and it has inspired me to write a post on this too, and also I strongly encourage others to read her experience here.

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There is a big stigma behind relationships and mental health.
I’ve come across posts and pages where people have warned others of getting involved or being friends with someone who suffers from mental illness, calling it draining, or calling the individuals selfish and claiming they are better to stay away from.

In fact a recent study by the UK mental health charity Time To Change found that 57% of single people would not date someone with a mental illness.

As many of you can imagine with feelings of possible inadequacy already at play and a realization that you struggle with mental health an individual may come to believe that they’re a burden on loved ones, or possibly even incapable of being loved. These have been thoughts I myself have struggled with at times anyway…

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This post is not focusing on the stigma behind these comments or feelings though, but more so how these thoughts affect the individual and can cause ‘coping mechanisms’ which create almost an emotional numbness to the outside world.
You can start to distance yourself from others, guilt ridden that you shouldn’t burden them with your problems and that they wont understand. Or you smack on that fake smile leading others to be none the wiser of any inner turmoil you’re going through. It can lead you to be less sociable and less available, and even coming across as slightly rude and uncaring at times.

For the individual this may seem like theImage result for lonely best option and not necessarily just for themselves but for those around them. They want to protect those they care for from their sadness, as they torture themselves with how they ‘should be’ or who they ‘used to be’ and the reality of who they believe they are becoming.

 

Now what I have found is essential is attempting to see the other person’s point of view. The person who loves and cares for the sufferer. Now not everyone is very educated or knowledgeable on mental illness, so a distance can be created both ways with the person on the outside asking questions such as… ‘Why is she not talking to me?’ or ‘Why does he not come out anymore?’ and ‘Why do they keep cancelling on me?’
Without communication the sufferer is not aware of the support they have and can be suffocated and drained by their own damning thoughts. Where the friends, family or partners of that person can be left confused, frustrated and at times even angry.

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I think the reason we don’t open up can be due to fear. I know personally I fear I will become vulnerable just to be rejected again, that I will put myself out there just to have my own condemning thoughts confirmed true. That ultimately, my little world of sadness isn’t worth being risked on that tiny glimpse of hope which could possibly end up sending me even deeper down into my depression. I feared if I reached up for help I would eventually just drag others down with me.

For me at least I realised two things which helped give me the courage to try and break my patterns.
1. I cannot read peoples minds as much as they cannot read mine.
2. Yes some people may reject me but ultimately they are not the kind of people I need in my life.

So I started talking and the world didn’t crumble, I opened up and others opened back up to me, slowly but surely the chains started to release and I was free to feel a bit like myself again.

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This is my encouragement for others and my apologies to all of those I hurt when I was spending all my time hurting myself. A sorry for not being there, a sorry for pulling myself away and pushing you away, a sorry for not coming out or cancelling on plans and a sorry for all I did and all that I didn’t do…

And an encouragement to those who are still sat in uncertain silence SPEAK OUT take that risk and keep taking it as people do prove you wrong, and eventually those negative voices about yourself suddenly start loosing their grip on you and the hold they have on your life.

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